We love each other and want to be together, but from time to time I feel lonely and undesirable, despite her assurances that she still finds me attractive. I suspect my frustration sometimes manifests as irritation or impatience in response to unrelated, relatively minor matters. A withdrawn husband may be deeply engrossed in a thought or project, or he is stressed about a problem at work, for example. When he is done mulling it over, he will come back and give his wife his attention again. We get on well and enjoy our time together but there is no intimacy. Intimacy pertains to the close, connected feelings partners build with one another over time; and the physical and emotional bond that is achieved in healthy relationships. Years of neglect with seemingly no resolution in sight made me despondent. Coping with a marriage lacking in intimacy looks like a plant trying to cope without water.
This means leave the bitterness, anger, resentment aside and start to treat each other with love, kindness, and affection. Maybe sex is just something we could or should enjoy with other people. He does not — or will not — understand this. Lately I have come to the conclusion that he is just a non-sexual person. My early efforts to initiate sex were unsuccessful; if anything, they made things worse, as I invariably felt rejected. This is not the case for men at all. I have sex with my wife 10 times a year or less. I began to feel resentment towards my wife and her unwillingness to engage with sex. His self-confidence and ego are tied to his ability to deliver to his partner. Stop being clingy or complaining. I withdrew and the romance dried up. I have suggested relationship counselling, but my partner does not believe it will help — she insists the problem is with her self-esteem and body image, not our relationship. Over the years I went through hell. One day if the right person comes along, my children have left home, I might. I am sad and angry and disappointed. This is because women equate affection with love, and a woman would only withdraw affection if something went wrong. It can get frustrating or partners may become complacent like roommates or both. We get on very well. While it lasted it was wonderful and fulfilling to be valued and desired again. Keep yourself fit and attractive. I have spent hours agonising about him. I tried everything I could to find a solution, researching advice online, helping more around the house and trying not to be demanding while making it clear sex was important to me. Try to be patient, but this only gets you so far. If I voice my unhappiness she becomes upset and feels guilty, so I try not to mention it. I depend on him for a lot, not just financially but emotionally, too. My husband has done none of these, although refraining from sex is abuse in a way. Not only that, but she has a low sex drive.
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