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Old 04-19-2012, 05:46 PM
anonymous1984 anonymous1984 is offline
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Unhappy Crushed & Need Advice

I’m having an incredibly difficult time and I could really use some advice right now. Forgive the length of this post, but you need some background information.

I’ve been married to my primary now for nearly 8 years. We both grew up in a fundamentalist Christian environment. We met at a Bible Camp in High School. We married at 20 and were both virgins until our wedding night. As a result of our oppressive past, we have been mutually emotionally abusive and codependent; the vast majority of our marriage has been one of incredible hardships. There were periods of happiness and many of our challenges we faced together, allowing us to both become secular humanists and atheists. We work together and try to build each other up, spending countless hours and a significant amount of money on quality counseling. As a result, we are by and large emotionally healthy people.

Even so, there has remained a constant struggle with our sex life—or lack thereof. From day one, our sex wasn’t anything like the make-out sessions or conversations we had prior to our wedding night. Her interaction felt forced and cold and I felt the gap became progressively wider as time went on, to the point that we had not kissed in years. I wanted more passion and desire from her, but that only pushed us away further. It was not but a year and a half ago that she discovered asexuality, and immediately identified herself as one. I was very comfortable with this, because it made very much sense to me and what I read seemed to fit with her perfectly. Our marriage was certainly not sexless, but it was routine and comfortable. I was satisfied. She was satisfied. We could even say that she "loved orgasms but not sex". We were happy.

Fast forward a a little over a year and she says she’s interested in polyamory. We read about it and feel healthy and comfortable enough for both of us to agree to give it a shot. We are open minded people. She meets a nice guy, and they hit it off immediately. I was excited for her. I wanted her to find somebody and be happy. One night, they were gone a while. She came to bed, clearly happy. I was excited. I asked if they did anything. She said they did. That they had made out… for 3 hours. We hadn’t made out in years. She didn’t like kissing.

I was absolutely crushed, and each day since then (nearly 2 months) has been absolute hell. Her supposed asexuality has gone completely out the door. She sees him twice a week, and each time will have sex with him 4 – 7 times (I didn’t even think that was physically possible. He also wears magnums. Talk about feeling outclassed). She’s in love with him. She texts him constantly. She has told me she doesn’t have that kind of attraction to me, and that she has a sexual chemistry with him that is very powerful.

Our schedules have been very busy, and I have become bitter and have had many hateful outbursts due to my inability to cope. Our sex life has dropped dramatically, with the last time being incredibly awkward.

I don’t know what to do. I feel like she shows that she loves me as much as is her capacity. She’s a good person. She can’t show more than what she feels. I’m just having a hard time accepting it. We’ve been through so much together. We have children together. How do I cope with these feelings?

Last edited by anonymous1984; 04-19-2012 at 09:03 PM.
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Old 04-19-2012, 07:55 PM
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lovefromgirl lovefromgirl is offline
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She never got to figure out what she was. I am not surprised that she's spent the one period of her life where she was even allowed to contemplate non-fundie sexuality doing just that.

I am more astonished when these marriages work than when they fail. It's not the couples involved. It's the subculture. How do you go from zero to best-sex-ever overnight? How, if you've not even been encouraged to explore what makes you as an individual feel good, can you be expected to find satisfaction in the Only Sexual Relationship You'll Ever Have (tm some genius) without buckling under the pressure or coming to accept that maybe sex isn't for you? I'd wonder if I was asexual as well if I felt so thoroughly wrong about it.

You cope with these feelings by accepting how shafted she was by her upbringing, and acknowledge that maybe your (plural) situation turned out better for you (singular) than your wife. And then you move forward and away from the madness, possibly separately, possibly in a sexless marriage. Counseling sounds like a great idea here, separate and together, and not through a church. I would also not torture myself with "why", if I were you. In the end, "why" doesn't matter. You have to be here, in this situation, in order to deal with it. "Why" is for counseling (see above) and even that's no guarantee of an answer. Sometimes the answer to "why don't you desire me" is "because I just don't".
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Old 04-19-2012, 11:13 PM
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You got married when you were very young and didn't know any better. Maybe you are just no longer compatible and it's time to move on. Continuing counseling is a good idea, and I think the topic of whether or not the marriage should end is one that needs addressing.
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Old 04-19-2012, 11:47 PM
dingedheart dingedheart is offline
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Cold and forced and that gap has widen over the years....haven't kissed in years.....Are you both doing this for the children? Why would you want to settle for a sexless marriage. Why would she want to settle for someone she has absolutely no attraction for. Clearly its not spilling over. Do you want or could you be sustained with some type of pity/duty sex if that were offered?

Are you trying to date other women? Would you be happy if your sexual needs were being met elsewhere.

Too many time polyamory becomes the half baked solution to an unhappy marriage. If the countless hr of counseling haven' t shed any light on this topic I would waste anymore time or money now.
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Old 04-20-2012, 12:00 AM
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redpepper redpepper is offline
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I feel for you but it sounds to me that she's done. And has been done for a long time now. Done with the comfortable life you have all been living. It sounds like she is making up for lost time sexually with this man. Perhaps all she needs is to blow off some steam and after the novelty has worn off she will be fine with working on what you have. Its not been long enough to tell I don't think.

I would hang in there for at least 6 months to a year and see where it goes. I would also be working on spending quality time with her to see if there is still a spark there. Date nights would be a place to start. Plan something you know she will like and ask her to get involved in finding new and exciting things to do without the expectation of sex. I would also be finding myself some really good sexual outlets that are not going to harm others. It might take awhile, so why not see what you can do about satisfying your self.
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Old 04-20-2012, 12:03 AM
mostlyclueless mostlyclueless is offline
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What would be your ideal outcome here? Do you want things to go back to the way they were before, do you want to stay with your wife on the condition that she brings some of this sexual energy into your relationship, do you want to stay together but both see other people, split up, something else entirely? Lots of possibilities, some more realistic than others...
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Old 04-20-2012, 12:05 AM
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CielDuMatin CielDuMatin is offline
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I agree with redpepper - work on the quality time thing - don't just spend time together doing the boring stuff, make time for the fun stuff too.

It's quite common for folks new to poly to be the "kid in a candy store" with what is known as NRE, or New Relationship Energy. Once that dies down and reality sets in, things get a little more sane.

What I have found is that folks tend to allow the NRE to disrupt their current relationship(s) less and less as they grow in experience.

One word of advice - if she really is poly then listen to what she says about how she treasures your relationship, even though the lights in your mind are flashing "does not compute!" Do some reading about the challenges of so-called mono/poly relationships, and communication challenges in them.
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Old 04-20-2012, 01:45 AM
wildflowers wildflowers is offline
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This is a tough time for you, no doubt about it, but I don't think this situation has to be hopeless. Re: "why would you stay in a sexless marriage" - well, there might be any number of good reasons. Your sex life probably won't live up to your ideals, but it seems like you had made some peace with that before this most recent phase; could you accept that again? If you toned down the comparisons and kept the pressure off her, as well as did a bit of waiting out this new period she's in, it might make it easier to reach that balance or even perhaps a better place than it was.

I guess I'm reacting to the fact that you seemed to think you did have a good relationship, aside from sex, before this hit. Do you still believe that? And if so, why should that have to be lost? Maybe sex is just the weak link in your relationship but there are other aspects of it that are valuable. I know it helps to have a good sexual connection as a point to build from, but I'm not convinced that it's essential, especially if you're open to meeting those needs elsewhere. I do know though from personal experience that trying to build a connection and feel comfortable while feeling sexually pressured is counterproductive.

Others asked what you want, and that is certainly something you need to think about. Also, do you know what your wife wants, and is she trying to help you to deal with this? I didn't get any sense of how supportive she is (or isn't) trying to be.
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Old 04-20-2012, 12:26 PM
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CielDuMatin CielDuMatin is offline
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wildflowers, some excellent points there.

One of the advantages to polyamorous relationships is that one person isn't pressured to be the "be all and end all", to have to fulfill every need of their partner. Nearly everybody is going to come up short on that one.

So, rather than focusing o what is not there, how about focusing on what IS there - the strength of what you have, and all the ways in which you are fantastic together.

Sounds easier said than done, but it IS possible, believe me.
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Old 04-20-2012, 02:15 PM
KyleKat KyleKat is offline
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Your marriage sounds like its on the same path mine was headed towards before I took responsibility and started making changes. Our origin story isn't the same (Katie and I were not virgins and not outstanding Christians) but we were heading down the "sex isn't that great anymore" pathway.

First, stop comparing yourself. You aren't him. He isn't you.

Second, do you still want to be with her?

Third, if you're still in love and want things to work, look into the book "the love dare". It's a Christian book but it's not smacking you in the face all the time with bible verses and how you're no good to god or anything. I think anyone could find it useful, even atheists. Read it. Commit to the dare. It helps. I'm six days in and I'm telling you, it works.
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