30, married 10 years, love him but unsatisfied. Help?
We’ve been married 10 years, friends long before that and nothing we rushed into. No wedding, just togetherness, and it was enough knowing we could have a wedding /some day/. There was a lot of passion and excitement for several years, but it’s been a struggle financially and emotionally. We both have emotional issues we are in therapy and taking medications for, mine manifesting in anxiety and deep sadness and his in self-loathing and anger which results in self-harm. He has been unemployed for almost most of our marriage, unable to keep jobs due to his illness, and I have been happy to support him financially as he keeps me grounded, lifts me up emotionally, and works on creative pursuits from home in an attempt to better secure our future. He tries, really really hard, and I have and will always love him and know he loves me.
But the sex is gone.
I am a very sexual and romantic person, and my husband used to be fairly sexual as well. However, over the last couple years, even before we began therapy and medication that has libido-altering side effects, he has been far less interested in everything from cuddling to coitus. I feel like we’ve tried everything- or rather, I’ve tried everything, and he’s taken some suggestions. I’ve expressed my frustration lightly this last year, had some heart-to-hearts, made some agreements, and doubled my dirty-deed count for the year (now 4), tried different medications for him (hugely exhausting as his mood swings and anger problems fluctuate.) I’ve done the date-night dance, candlelit dinners, dressing in the things I know he likes, building his confidence every day and reinforcing my love for him. And every once in a while he’ll say I look nice, or say how lucky he is, but little things aren’t there.
I cried more than once as I laid down to sleep just wishing some time he’d be the one to initiate contact- to walk up behind me and wrap his arms around me, or be the one to kiss me good morning. And we talked about it once, and he was so sorry and regretful, and promised he loved me and still found me attractive.
Little has changed for the better, though. There’s so much love, and so little passion, and I’m not sure what else I can do. I’ve been wondering for several months how to either reignite his passion or discuss alternative options for us, such as an open relationship (which I feel would be kind of unfair to him, as he has no means of transportation and no real social skills.)
I just.... I’m so tired of feeling so lonely. I want to feel wanted, not just know I’m needed. I want to be able to focus on other things in my life besides how badly I want sex. I want to stop hiding in the closet to masterbate so I don’t make him feel inadequate. I’ve accepted it for so long, but I know if it continues too much longer it will build resentment and regret.
So uh... any suggestions?
I'm not sure what to do either, since you said you've already told him that you need more and he's refusing to do it. (And I can see why you're resentful and regretful.)
It might be worth telling him that you're at your breaking point. You can't go on like this and you're at the point of considering either an open relationship or ending things (both of which I think are fair, if you're not getting what you want out of this relationship).
It might also be worth considering whether this relationship *has* run its course. To me, there's no good reason to remain in a relationship that is making you so miserable. (Especially when you've already discussed your concerns and, it sounds like it hasn't done any good.)