In one of my favorite scenes from my absolutely favorite sci-fi show of all time, pretty young Kaylee is fussing at her Captain about her sexless life because it’s been so long since they were planet-side. I can’t tell you how much I identified with that scene during our sexless years. It had been so long since I had been ‘planet-side’, and what I desperately craved was to feel that wild desire from my husband. Not just sex, but intense passion. And it seemed that he and I were going in opposite directions. As the kids got older and I got further away from pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding, I was becoming more and more sexual, while he was becoming less and less so. It seemed like a rather cruel little joke on both of us.
One thing I struggled with was wondering how legitimate my feelings were. I would go down the list of the things that made my husband such a good man …. he doesn’t drink, he doesn’t hit, he’s a good provider, he’s a great dad, he helps around the house, why isn’t this enough for you? In MMSL language, he was an AAAAF husband. The only thing he didn’t do was have sex with me.
I would have little pep talks with myself. “Look, he’s a good husband. We’re getting older, sex isn’t as important as it used to be, it’s not everything.” And that worked okay for the most part during the day. During the day, I could convince myself that everything was okay and that our marriage was a good one. But by the time evening rolled around and I was faced with yet another boring night of a tired, beaten down husband, all my pep talks rang hollow. I would stare at his peacefully sleeping back and wonder how he could do this night after night, and why he wasn’t going out of his mind as I was.
In self defense, I started working out and developing my own hobbies and outside interests, hoping that I could tire myself out enough to be able to fall asleep more easily at night. My little ones kept me busy during the day and I would try to find things to do at night that didn’t involve my husband.
I wondered if I deserved a more passionate marriage or if this was just something I had to put up with for the rest of my life. The rest of my life was a phrase that sent me over the edge. I would think about how old I was and think of my life expectancy and try to calculate how many more years I would have of living without sex. I would think, “My gosh, I will spend the next 40 years of my life in sexual misery.” Sometimes I thought my sex drive was a bad thing, and prayed that it would go away. It seemed like the root of all our troubles.
It certainly seemed so to my husband. We would have bitter fights about the lack of sex and he would ask me, “Why can’t you just be happy to have sex every 2 or 3 weeks? Why do you want it so often?” I felt like a freak.
It didn’t help that so many of my girlfriends seemed asexual, complaining once in a while about how their husbands wanted too much sex, no matter how tired they were. I definitely couldn’t share my situation with them as I didn’t want to face the blank, non-comprehending stares. It also didn’t help that I felt like I couldn’t share my problem with my mom or sister because it would feel too much like betraying my husband’s confidence. I felt like I was the only woman in the world in my situation.
Part of the reason for starting this blog is to let you know that you are not alone. I frequently hear from women who are in sexless marriages and are longing for sex and intimacy just as you are. And they are fixing their situations. It doesn’t have to be hopeless. There are steps you can take to motivate your husband to want to fix this situation. But that’s another post for another day.
And for those of you who identified with Kaylee, here ya go. ‘Cause it’s hard to feel pretty when your husband doesn’t want you, isn’t it?