What To Do When You’re Trapped In A Sexless Marriage

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What To Do When You’re Trapped In A Sexless Marriage

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Q:  I’ve been happily married for 25 years. Except for the first five years, my husband and I have no sexual relationship.  His drive is very low and I lost interest in trying to find ways to improve it.  Now in our early 50’s, we are both still fit, attractive people.  However, I have missed the scent, touch, and feel of a man’s body and I am not getting younger.  I wish to remain married and, no, it’s too far for the two of us to find our way back to a sexual relationship. He still has no drive and has expressed he misses nothing.  I look at guys my age in restaurants, grocery stores, church… everywhere. And I wonder how many of them have no sexual outlet like me.  I’m trapped in a sexless marriage.  What can I do?

—  Too young to shrivel up

Dear Too Young:

Marry the man you love and take a vow of sexual poverty?  I’ve met with our editorial board and we’ve voted you Hell’s official spokesperson.  Because any man looking for an eternity of emotional, sexual and physical abuse couldn’t find a better place for it than where you’re standing.

Yes, abuse.  Deny touch long enough and it causes physical harm.   Intimacy is oxygen.  Cut it off and you turn your partner into a sexual asthmatic—chronically coughing and wheezing in their attempt to breathe you in.  They’ll experience a tightening of the chest and eventually their lips (among other organs) turn blue.

Make no mistake, when you constantly reject your partner’s advances with some version of “I GOT CLOTHES TO FOLD,” men hear it as “I DON’T LOVE YOU.”  Or want you.  So, go away.

It’s hard not to turn the rejection against yourself.  To believe it’s all or partly your fault, that you’re no longer attractive, that your manhood is useless, your desire pointless and your needs unworthy.

Worse, in a sex-negative society like ours, the deprived partner is seen as the “problem spouse.”  Why do you have to have it so often, the sex-negative schoolmarms ask.  Why do you have to have it at all?  Why are you harassing your re-virginized partner?   Can’t you manage your wicked desires in another way?  Have you tried Sudoku?

Well, you’re not the bad guy in this.  He is.  Not because he’s lost all sexual desire (it happens) but because he’s happy to see you suffer.  New Rule:  If you give your partner sexual asthma you owe them an inhaler.

Meaning, if he can’t provide the intimacy you crave, he owes you his blessing to find it somewhere else. What that means is up to both of you.  Is it don’t ask/don’t tell?  Is it only when either of you are out of town?  Is it only with other happily married guys trapped in their own sexless marriages?

One diversionary point:  You say you’ve tried everything to raise his libido.  I believe you.  But his libido isn’t yours to raise.  Has he tried?  When chronic sexual listlessness hits there’s usually a physiological reason.

I’m going to assume he has and that nothing has worked.  Which brings us back to my main point:  It’s time to cut a deal.  This will be tough for both of you.  You value your marriage.  You want to protect it, but the thought of going on without intimacy is unbearable.  The relationship is too good to leave, but too bad to stay.  It’s time to face an excruciating irony:  The only way to save your marriage is to have an affair.

2017-04-08T18:17:53+00:00 November 26th, 2015|3 Comments


  1. Franklin February 10, 2012 at 1:05 pm - Reply

    I got here looking for “sexless gay marriage”, the answer was very enlightening thank you very much. My case is even worse than Too Young´s because I actually tried to cheat but was unable to get an erection because of the guilt, we both are in late 30s, have been together for 10 years and actually got married 9 months ago.

    Once again thank you very much for the answer, gave a lot of food for thought.

  2. Gavin Brooks November 29, 2015 at 10:16 pm - Reply

    It’s time to face an excruciating irony: The only way to save your marriage is to have an affair.

    The only thing I would add to that is, have an affair and then divorce. Sex should be the top priority in a gay man’s life. Spending time with someone who isn’t prioritizing sex is a huge waste of time better spent fornicating.

    So have that affair. Have several! Play the field and then afterwards, file for divorce. No one needs to be trapped in a marriage, much less a sexless one. There’s always someone better, prettier, younger, and hornier out there. Never settle.

  3. Daniel Olsen October 29, 2016 at 9:48 pm - Reply

    We have Been together 32 years. He’s my best friend, my life companion, my soulmate and I too have a sexless marriage. In the beginning of our relationship, he made me wait three months for sex to be sure that we would get along and be compatible outside of the bedroom. When we did have sex, Wow we’re talking fireworks and explosions. We were awesome together. But nowadays it’s dead. We built our whole life together. Everything is Joint and in both are names. Divorce has been discussed, no longer a viable option. He opened up our relationship 2 years ago and we had 3 separate Philippino guys come and live with us over the course of a year or more. They didn’t work out and now it is just us. He closed the relationship and no more guys. We still have a good relationship, but no sex. I have asked for him to get help and it never happens. We both have health issues and are in our early 50s. We just recently moved my mom into a del Webb home 5 minutes away. I’m still active and love to swim, cycle, work out and lift weights. He does none of this. I’m just starting to get a life back that is mine and I am lost! I need touch, I want to be intimate with him or someone nearby so badly. I need a good healthy strong friend with benefits, but don’t know where to look as we live in the burbs. I feel like I would be cheating on him as well if I go thru with finding someone. My ideal situation would be to meet someone new who I clicked with. A warm breeze make me hard. I am so lost and confused. I don’t want to live another 40 years with no intimacy… PLEASE HELP ME,,, Lost in Roseville.

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