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  #1  
Old 12-11-2013, 09:30 PM
yakchef yakchef is offline
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Default advice for transitioning to nonsexual relationship with primary partner

Due to health issues and chronic pain my sweetie and I no longer have sex. We have been dating for a year and a half and living together since late summer. I love her and am committed to her.

I have so very many things I am grateful for in my life, and I want to focus my energy on being a good support person for my sweetie, but I still feel a sense of grief for the sexual connection I used to have with her. Sometimes it's overwhelming.

I feel rather embarrassed because we are poly, I should be able to get my sexual needs met elsewhere but I can't. I don't feel confident anymore, it must come out as me being unattractive because no one wants to go on a date or play with me. I've been trying to find people for a year. Sometimes I give up but then I get the idea in my head I should be able to do it, so I try again. It's embarrassing.

Sometimes I just wish I could remove that part of my brain that desires sex, making out, flirting, kink, play, all of it. I want to stop feeling sorry for myself and thinking about myself and just focus on the things I do have. And I need to focus my energy on being solid to help deal with my sweetie's medical issues and being her support person.

There's a part of me that can't let go or accept this reality. I miss fucking, I miss feeling desired, I miss the energy and connection and passion. Sorry about the whining. Thanks for listening.
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  #2  
Old 12-11-2013, 11:29 PM
Spock Spock is offline
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Grief, loss, and suffering can cause long term emotional pain, and the stress of such may also be causing clinical depression.

Especially given your lack of confidence, desirability, and such.

Not that identification of that issue means there is a fix for the issue, only that you consider if perhaps you are depressed? However, trying to treat the depression directly can lead to multiple positive side effects independent of your ability to get a new sexual partner.

It's something I've observed in my own, and my wife's, lives multiple times (and, sometimes, seen the cause of as well!)

Try to address that too (not necessarily first, but in general) if that is a problem because it will be an overall drag on your whole life otherwise.
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Old 12-11-2013, 11:37 PM
yakchef yakchef is offline
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Yes, I know I'm depressed. I'm in therapy and on meds. I struggle with depression anyway, and the work I do in that is ongoing. It's not something I "get better" from, it's something I deal with, and yes, the loss of sexual connection with my sweetie and repeated rejection in dating has made it worse.
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Old 12-12-2013, 12:22 AM
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kdt26417 kdt26417 is offline
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You mentioned you are in therapy; what has your therapist suggested so far? Has he/she suggested anything as far as how you might find people you can date with?

I'm concerned about your sweetie's health issues and chronic pain per se. What are the options as far as treatment is concerned? No one should have to be in pain all the time (and just "deal with it").

So, what have you tried as far as looking for dates is concerned? For example have you tried
  • swing clubs,
  • OKCupid,
  • PolyMatchMaker,
  • local poly groups (not cruising them for dates but just attending and hey, a platonic friendship with someone new could blossom into romance later on),
  • alternative clubs/events like Renaissance fairs, goth culture, sci-fi conventions, indie music, BDSM groups, etc.,
  • mainstream clubs/events that do something you like to do (bowling, cooking, hiking, rock climbers, collectors, history buffs, support groups, or what have you),
  • etc.?
Sorry you're going through this stuff. Hope we can help.

Sincerely,
Kevin T.
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Old 12-12-2013, 12:51 AM
yakchef yakchef is offline
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My sweetie has anemia which makes her arthritis really bad. Her anemia is caused by huge fibroids in her uterus. She is having a hysterectomy Christmas Eve which I am worried about. I hope the surgery goes well and not bleeding so much in the future will allow her body to heal and cause her less pain in the future.

My therapist hasn't suggested specific things to do to find dates. I have tried okcupid, fetlife, and craigslist. I don't get responses from the people I message. I have probably written over 50 messages to people just in the past few months and I am polite, articulate and thoughtful, not generic, so I suspect everyone can sense something about my depression between the lines or something.

After the surgery I probably won't be looking much anymore because I will be taking care of my partner. I am trying to adjust to a life in which my sexuality is unwelcome and superfluous but I am having a hard time not being upset about it. I also feel badly that I am spending energy on this when my sweetie is going through everything that she is. I don't talk about it much with her because I know she knows and feels bad and misses it too, but talking doesn't help and just makes both of us feel worse.
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Old 12-12-2013, 03:10 AM
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kdt26417 kdt26417 is offline
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Well, maybe if the surgery comes out okay, things will improve for the both of you. We can always hope.

So, your therapist hasn't offered "dating suggestions." Is he/she just helping you to work through the depression? What has he/she tried with you so far? if I may ask.

I know you're probably tired of trying more dating sites, but I still encourage you to give PolyMatchMaker a whirl. It's not nearly as active and heavily populated as OKCupid, but it's a pretty good site and sometimes it's the "next rock you turn over" that's hiding the treasure.

Wow, arthritis sucks to have, but most people don't get it at least til they're older. Your sweetie's had some bad bad luck I believe.

But do you feel like she's rejected you on some emotional level -- even if your brain can reason that it's not that, it's the sickness and the pain? Observing the tone of your posts makes me think you might feel emotionally rejected by her ... and thence even subconsciously resentful? I should know, I "blamed my wife" somewhere in the back of my mind when she came down with Alzheimer's. It's not easy being a caregiver, especially if on some level you already feel rejected.

It's times like these when I wish doctors knew how to cure virtually anything. Unfortunately that such knowledge probably lies far in the future.

Perhaps talking things out (or venting a bit) on the forum here helps? in some small way.

I hope you and your sweetie can both get a little relief soon. I have to sympathize.

Please keep us posted on how things are going and let us know if we can help.

Regards,
Kevin T.
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  #7  
Old 12-13-2013, 03:50 PM
Ariakas Ariakas is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yakchef View Post
Due to health issues and chronic pain my sweetie and I no longer have sex. We have been dating for a year and a half and living together since late summer. I love her and am committed to her.
I am right there with ya. My wife has fibro and its been a battle. My wife has come an incredible distance, with both pain management from a medical standpoint and emotional one. Most people don't realize how agony affects mental capacity. If you sweetie is keeping it together, be grateful for her strength.

Quote:
I feel rather embarrassed because we are poly, I should be able to get my sexual needs met elsewhere but I can't. I don't feel confident anymore, it must come out as me being unattractive because no one wants to go on a date or play with me.
Is it lack of confidence or caused by guilt? Is her pain stopping her from enjoying sex, and you going out and finding partners is affecting your confidence because you don't want to enjoy sex with someone else while she hurts?

Pain in a spouse can create a sad co-dependent union. Making her pain, your pain, in other ways. It becomes self sabotage.

Quote:
Sometimes I just wish I could remove that part of my brain that desires sex, making out, flirting, kink, play, all of it.
Ya.. umm... I don't think you do.. that would suck..

Quote:
I want to stop feeling sorry for myself and thinking about myself and just focus on the things I do have. And I need to focus my energy on being solid to help deal with my sweetie's medical issues and being her support person.
Pain management is only one part of dealing with pain. Are you guys seeing counselling, or other help beyond simple pain. The simple truth

She has to deal with the pain
You have to support her in that
You don't have to carry her pain with you
You have to live life too

If you can be happy, you might be surprised by how happy it makes her and in turn makes her feel good. A circle of sadness and pain, creates a toilet affect.. spiralling downward further and further. Someone needs to do a hard left and drive the other way.

Reading your post, hit home for me. Between my mom when I was young and my wife.. I have had a long history of dealing with others pain, as someone who never suffers. I have learned what is required and she has done more than her part too.

Anyways, if I missed the mark, sorry, I jumped on some assumptions based on the tone of your thread.
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  #8  
Old 12-13-2013, 03:54 PM
Ariakas Ariakas is offline
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ok reading some other posts, I see you have counselling of some kind. Besides trying to suggest ways to hook up, has she suggested any other methods to increase your well being..

Sex is fine as a single event.. but your well being overall can't be tied to fucking.

Hobbies, job, life, sports.. friendship.. all of these things will help..

fucking isn't a cure..
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  #9  
Old 12-13-2013, 07:23 PM
yakchef yakchef is offline
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Thank you, Studentforlife, I think it would be very helpful for me to talk with someone who goes through similar things with their partner.

I definitely agree that talking about sex with my sweetie would be a BAD idea. Her view is that since we are poly, I should be able to get my needs met elsewhere, and if I can't, that's my own problem to deal with and she shouldn't have to hear about it. I don't disagree with that, I think it's fair. As for missing sex with her, I think she misses it too in her own way, in a sort of abstract sense, but it's not something that is possible and quite frankly I don't have any hope that it's ever coming back, so talking about it is pointless. It puts needless pressure on her and it does not a bit of good.

My okcupid profile is NOT whiney or "woe is me" and I feel a bit condescended to in that assessment. If you want to look at it, it's afewgaytigers.

Yes, I realize I need to increase my happiness for my own benefit as well as my sweetie's, and that fucking is not a magic cure. At this point I am simply trying to adjust and diminish my sexuality, as it has become obvious that I will no longer have any means of sexual expression in the future. And I am working on figuring out what me being happy with that looks like.

My therapist mainly talks to me about self compassion because I have a problem with being too hard on myself.

I don't really know what good it would do to talk to her about my sexual and romantic frustrations. The last time I told her I missed being desired she mentioned that desire can look like a lot of things, and that I am desired professionally (I teach and students ask to be put in my class a lot).
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Old 07-24-2014, 03:39 PM
yakchef yakchef is offline
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Nothing has improved.

Her pain is the same if not worse. She is overwhelmed by treatment options because they just mean more appointments.

Work is her priority and work uses up all her energy.

In April her mom fell and broke her wrist and then got a brain/spinal infection so she had to go be a caregiver for her mom in Canada for about six weeks. So that used up a lot more of her bandwidth.

Since she had to take so much time off work to recover from surgery and then to care for her mother work is more important than ever. Her job is very challenging and stressful and can require physical activity, so most days she is in a lot of pain from meeting the demands of her job. She loves her job and gets defensive when I frame it like this so I try to be supportive and just ask what I can do to help when she is home.

I thought I had adjusted and was doing okay with the way things are but last night we were talking and it came out that I still miss sex and the way it came out was shitty. It resulted in her being hurt and angry with me. I apologized but you know, sometimes damage is done.

We tried to incorporate other activities like BDSM as our "main course" but essentially she has limited energy, she is in pain all the time and I feel that any physical activity is asking way too much of her. I feel badly that something I need in our relationship causes her unpleasant physical pain and I have a hard time not internalizing that.

Last edited by yakchef; 07-24-2014 at 07:18 PM.
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