I wrote this 5 years ago and so much has happened since. I always felt this writing could benefit someone, but have not had the courage to publicly release it. I will continue the rest of the story another day…
A Sexually Repressed Marriage Debacle
Thursday, March 17, 2016, 9:26 AM
My marriage to a sexually repressed man.
All my adult life I have been a “sex twice a day” girl. If the urge was there I acted on it. Sex was fun.
After a relationship learning curve; a.k.a. a handful of failed relationships, lucky me, I meet my Mr. Wonderful. He is a handsome, hard working, and responsible man who likes to have a good time. I do the “good girl getting to know you” routine for a couple months and all is well.
The first kiss was awkward and I told myself that wasn’t unusual; first time jitters; maybe he is shy; it will get better with practice and knowledge of each other. Oh Boy! was I wrong.
Consider this fair warning, awkward first kisses lead to an awkward first time. If it is uncomfortable in any way, start talking, open those lines of communication and make sure they are honest.
Eleven years and a lot of tears later we are on the verge of divorce and it is still awkward.
My Mr. Wonderful has never gotten past whatever holds him back sexually. He still doesn’t kiss. Erectile dysfunction is something we deal with every single time we attempt sex. It has had a direct impact on our relationship, on me and on him.
Let me tell you my story and how lack of communication and sexual intimacy lead to an overall relationship killer.
The first few years I wasn’t concerned. I came up with so many excuses; He is shy, unsure of himself, uneducated about the female body…you name the excuse I’m sure I thought it.
Foreplay was good, but as soon as we got to penetration, he would lose it. We had this incident where he wanted to use a heating gel. I had never used one before, but was game. So I’m covered in this stuff, it’s hot and really sticky, and my nether regions are on fire. I have to stop all play and go wash it off. He closed up like a clam. This single incident helped fuel the excuses for a long time.
The next incident was modifying a position. He is quite a bit taller than me and it is mostly leg length. Doggy style is one of my favorite positions. He had this way of doing it that would spread my legs out like I was doing the splits. It was uncomfortable and limiting. I asked if we could change up our positioning to see if another way would work better, he would have more room to spread his legs and I wouldn’t be in the way. Over the past 11 years we have done it doggy style maybe 5 times.
The list of things that were tried once and never touched again is long. Almost every one of them I said I liked, some I said we needed to modify a bit for comfort and some just weren’t for me. Repressed communication and sexuality at it’s finest.
As time went on an erection during foreplay became hit or miss.
On my side, I had an orgasm probably 90% of the time we “successfully” had sex. Success was him staying hard enough to rock me to orgasm without slipping out. This gave me hope. I thought if he was going to make sure I was getting off it was okay, everything else would work out. I reinforced what felt good to me while he was doing it. I stopped asking him to try different ways of doing what he wanted to do.
I asked him about his preferences while we were playing. I also tried different levels of touch on him to see what he liked.
I asked to many times to count “what can I do?” His answer was usually “nothing, I’m tired, drunk, stressed, or bad timing”. Other times he would apologize and roll over. Sometimes the answer was “it’s not you, it’s me”. Don’t we all love that one!
So, I got busy and educated myself about many different flavors of sex and how the male anatomy works. I read about different types of self-control and exercises to help gain control of his physiological response.
I shared all of this with him as I found it. First very unobtrusively, I would give him articles to read, then follow up with him. He never read any of them.
When I realized he wasn’t going to read them I started trying to have a conversation about them. He would get snappy and end the convo.
I finally gave up. I left the stack of articles laying on his nightstand for 4 years until we moved to our new home. While packing I ran across them covered with a layer of dust and in the same order I put them there. I remember because I ordered them rated by importance based on what was going on and what I had read. That’s when my compassion all but died.
After compassion ran it’s course I was concerned. Is there something physically wrong that is preventing him from sustaining an erection. I felt I had tried every trick in the sex book at that point. Stubborn man refused to see a doctor for the next 6 years.
During the concerned stage I was also hurt. My feelings and self-esteem took a huge hit. What was wrong with me that I couldn’t sexually excite this man, my husband.
When we were out with friends he would say things with his buddies about “never getting any”, “my old lady hates sex”, etc. My comeback to these comments was along the lines of “do you want to go there? I can expand on this….” He would always back down, but the damage was being done all in good fun.
During this stage I started to experiment more in-depth with the different sexual flavors I had read about. One was pain. He liked quite a bit of pain and I was okay with that to a point. During this experiment I discovered things about myself; I could take the pain, but I wasn’t comfortable giving much, and I am very submissive. He needed me to give a lot of pain and take a little. I just couldn’t give him the level of pain he needed.
At this point I started to decline sex, not often, but I was hurting more and more. It seemed the experimenting caused a bigger rift in our sex life. I was sexually frustrated and genuinely hurt every time he lost his drive in the middle of playtime and left me hanging.
I started being more vocal about him going to the doctor and figuring out what the problem was. I started showing my frustration more. He was embarrassed and I was hurt. Not a good combination for figuring things out.
He also started blaming me for not wanting sex when he wanted sex; he blamed it on bad timing and made it clear it was because of me.
During this stage he stopped hiding his porn and sex aid use. It became very evident he was using both daily, sometimes multiple times a day. He had no embarrassment about it and at first I didn’t care. Eventually it had an impact; how could he successfully get himself off, but not perform with me. It reinforced my feelings of inadequacy; tore another hole in my self-esteem.
This stage lasted the longest as we both took jobs that required extensive travel. We spent the better part of three years seeing each other for 2 weeks every three months. When I look back on that time apart, it is very clear to me I was on the verge of the next stage and that that time preserved our marriage.
The next stage was anger. I was furious. This is when I realized it wasn’t me or anything to do with me. I was pissed. How dare Mr. Wonderful drag me along on this journey when he wasn’t participating. It became very apparent to me that he didn’t care what was going on as long as I didn’t rock his boat. So I checked out of the relationship.
We were working out of town and a couple things happened that pushed me over the edge from concerned to furious.
First, Mr. Wonderful had no idea where I was at. I was almost 1000 miles from home and 2000 miles from him for six months and all he could tell anyone was the State I was in. He had no idea what hotel, what city, or the name of the company I was working for. I realized he had no clue about 2 months in and started quizzing him; at first in good fun, but after a couple weeks of daily talks he still didn’t know. I got angry and stopped asking. This incident triggered a massive pull-back from me.
The second thing that made an impact was I came to realize that even when Mr. Wonderful and I had our reunions every three months or so, he was good for one go then it was over, most of the time he wouldn’t even try again. Thinking back over the three years we spent traveling, it was consistent. At one point I told him he couldn’t “take care of himself” until I got there. It didn’t make any difference in his performance.
Third, I had an affair, emotional and sexual. I met a man that got me and was attracted to me, plus all the things Mr. Wonderful was; hard worker, fun, responsible, and handsome. This man knew my history and remembered. He knew what was going on with me and asked me about it, even after we ended up 7,000 miles apart in opposite time zones. And he was sexually attracted to me.
So, here I am spending quality time with a man who represents everything I’m missing in my marriage; I’m furious and ready to call it quits with Mr. Wonderful; and we both get laid off our traveling jobs.
Wah, wah, wah….words cannot describe my disappointment.
It was a huge decision for me to say good-bye to Mr. Affair. He had opened my eyes and helped repair my self-esteem.
I called Mr. Wonderful to give him an update on my work status. Work status changed twice in a day, I was laid off today, then I wasn’t laid off until the end of the week. Every conversation we had after that he asked me if my leave date was the same as it had been (prior to lay-off), almost two weeks in the future. I had told him at least three times that I had been laid off. His lack of attention to my life was screaming at me; he didn’t know where I was and had no idea I didn’t have a job. After daily discussions.
At that point I decided to take a week off, relax and regroup. I had no urge to go home as I knew it would be more of the same. I was done dealing with Mr. Wonderful’s hang-ups.
But I had to go home eventually.
Mr. Wonderful and I go home to live together full time again. It was tough. I tried to jump back in and pretend everything was great. He knew something was wrong. For a while I lied and said everything was fine, “just adjusting to not working after 20+ years”. Finally, I couldn’t keep it in and let it all out.
He was “shocked” and “had no clue” his sexual dysfunction and disregard bothered me that much. I lost my mind that summer. So much time and energy, so many years of my life, and he was completely clueless. Where did I go wrong?
With that question spiraling through my head I realized I was starting the compassion, worry, anger cycle all over again. I pulled back to get a grip on my crazy thoughts and realized I needed to really step back from this relationship. I told him “no more sex” until he got his problem figured out. Absolutely do not touch me, it is over.
His first response was the blame game. It was all my fault because I never want sex when he does, I don’t like to try new things, and I lay there like a dead fish (his exact words). While it hurt to hear these things I had to take it and try to talk about it. I will admit, we have horrible timing. That covers when we both want to and trying new things. Our timing is the pits. The other, my “laying there like a dead fish”, was said to hurt me. When I asked him to explain what that meant to him, he had no answer. When I said what it meant to me, he agreed and said I wasn’t at all like that. I let that one drop as it was painful to me and he couldn’t explain why he said it.
His next response was to go to a men’s clinic for erectile dysfunction. Cool. A positive action. He comes home with an injection for his dick to keep it hard. I was devastated.
How could he think having to use drugs to have sex with me would be the first answer. It was difficult for Mr. Wonderful to understand that it wasn’t about the hard on. It was about feeling wanted, desired. A shot to make that happen isn’t the same as desire. The only way drugs would be acceptable to me was if there was a physical issue making it impossible to achieve an erection.
At the clinic he didn’t have a physical or even a conversation about why it was happening. The doctor asked “why are you here?” Mr. Wonderful says, “my dick doesn’t stay hard during sex and my wife is mad.” Bada-boom, bada-bing, here’s a shot to make her happy.
After an excruciating conversation about what I was looking for, he goes back to the clinic. They actually give him a physical this time. There is nothing physically wrong with him other than his hormones are a little low; they are average for his age and nothing that should cause erectile dysfunction.
I was so certain he had a physical issue because of other abnormalities. It’s all in his head. Defeat.
I go through the motions hoping I can get back the trust and attraction from our early years. I’m far from perfect; some days are a better effort than others. My resentment is strong.
He works hard at making me feel guilty for “making” him spend the money to go through the doctor BS, and then not want to jump him every chance he gives me. It was a time of teary puppy eyes, snappy answers, and moping. Followed by serious sucking up. Him, not me.
He has opened up to me a bit more. We have had conversations about penis size, porn addiction, and timing; sexual and marriage counseling; open relationships and sexual history. We have shared aspects of our life that we never talked about before. All of this talking, but performance issues are a wedge between us.
He is still a good guy that wouldn’t hurt anyone, works hard, and is responsible. But, my Mr. Wonderful is not so wonderful anymore. We have become roommates that sleep in the same bed. It all makes me very sad.
We are all flawed and just trying to make our way through life. I hope my story will inspire you to be honest with yourself and your significant other about all aspects of yourself. Complete, down to the bone, honesty is daunting but it is critical for a successful relationship.
Mr. Wonderful and I made some serious misjudgments about each other and kept our deep dark secrets a secret because we were afraid. That fear killed our trust in each other, my attraction to him, and it may kill our marriage.