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My husband is reluctant to have sex and I'm trying very hard not to have an affair.

By February 5, 2010 - 3:51pm
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I've been with my partner for 8 years. For the first 6 month of our relationship we had sex all the time and it was great. Then he started refusing, saying he just wasn't interested, or tired, or more interested in watching TV. I found it frustrating but I really love him so I got used to it and just tried to work out how to get him to sleep with me occasionally. Sometimes it'd be bearable/ok and sometimes very dry but we have a great partnership and that matters more to me.

A couple of years ago we got married because I really feel that he's the one for me. However, a couple of months ago I met somebody I occasionally work with and we kind of fancy each other. There's been a bit of flirting and before xmas we kissed a couple of times. I didn't feel guilty at all as my husband has rejected me so many times and I guess I'm a little angry with him for paying me no attention when he knows it matters to me.

I now have quite a crush on the other guy and it's so tempting to do something with him again even though we've more or less decided that we should be just friends as anything else is wrong. But it's so hard when my husband is reluctant to sleep with me! He is affectionate but just isn't fussed about sex (and I want sex badly). I've tried talking to him so many times (about him and me, not about kissing anybody else, I have no plans on telling him that as I don't want to hurt him)

It's just confusing. I never thought I'd be interested in kissing anybody else, I had lots of different partners before I met my husband and thougth I was over all that.

My husband is having a stressful time with work so I know his interest in sex isn't likely to change anytime soon. I've really really tried to help him with his work situation but to no avail. I think he needs to sort himself out a bit as a person, find something he really likes to do and pursue it and if he did that maybe he would feel better about himself and get his mojo back but I don't know how to fix him.

I'm a bit at a loss for what to do so any advice greatly appreciated.

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HERWriter Guide

Dear Dorothy

Thanks so much for your very forthright post.

Your dilemma is a very difficult and a solution isn't easy if your husband won't really talk to you about why he's disinterested in sex.

What's most important, as has been said before, is that you shouldn't go outside your marriage to fix your marriage. If you want to fix this, you have to remain inside. Having an affair with another man may add some excitement (and much needed sex) to your life. But it will also add so many lies and so much deceit that it won't be worth it in the end. You'll end up lying about what you're doing, who you're doing it with and where you are when you're not at home. You may end up getting caught and have no marriage left. Who's to say your lover will even stay with you? There is also the risk that if he cheats with you, he'll ultimately cheat on you. The choice is yours and we pass no judgment here on Empowher but telling you that cheating is a good idea, is not a good idea. Cheating due to internal problems in a marriage rarely if ever solves the problems. In fact, it usually makes them far worse. A troubled marriage is bad enough - a troubled marriage with added infidelity is far worse.

Your husband may be suffering from depression. He may be actually unable to perform sexually and doesn't know how to tell you. Having problems at work can overwhelm men because their job is so intertwined in their sense of self and their identity.

If you say he's a good man and is affectionate and you have a good partnership then there is so much to stay for! I think he needs a lot of help, not his wife cheating on him. Is there anyway he can get a full physical and mental evaluation? He may have an underlying medial condition that he is unaware of.

If your relationship was wonderful and he still treats you well (aside from the issue of sex) then turn inwards with him to fix things, not outward to another man.

Please have a sit down with him and tell him of your worries. Tell him you worry about his stress levels and his lack of libido. And tell him how much you miss him in a physical sense - let him know you love him and would love sexual intimacy with him.
You have needs too! It seems to be that he really does have genuine problems right now and needs some care and support.

Another idea : if he doesn't want to sit down or if that's too "confrontational" in his mind, write him a letter. I know that sounds a bit daft, but get it all out on paper. I promise you he'll read it at least twice. And perhaps if it's not a face to face discussion (yet) he'll have more time to absorb how you feel without having to come up with the immediate responses that a conversation would require. Make sure he knows your needs but also that you worry for him and miss him. These are your concerns, not your demands.

I think you have a great shot at working this out if you stay within the marriage and not turn outwards. Maybe your husband needs you more now than ever and simply doesn't know how to tell you. Talk to him or hand him that letter and give him a big hug.

Once he has an evaluation (tell him how important that is, even if he's not the "type" to do that) you might also head to couples (or individual or both) counseling to see if that can help.

Please let me know what you think. I know how hard this is on you and that the constant rejection is taking it's toll. I'd say the vast majority of women would feel this way and it's completely understandable. When one person is suffering in a marriage, it's almost inevitable the other suffers too and it's not fair on either of you. You both deserve happiness and intimacy and I think it's wonderful that you are weighing your options and not making rash decisions.

I do hope your marriage can be saved and I think it can, if both of you look towards each other for the solution and not to someone else.

I wish you the very best and I'm sorry this is causing you so much pain. Please keep us posted.

February 6, 2010 - 6:09am
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