open marriage or celibacy.

Discussion in 'Female Sexuality' started by jmay10, Jan 24, 2010.

  1. jmay10

    jmay10 New Member

    I haven't posted in awhile, my wife survived cancer but our sex life did not. We have been celibate for a long time. Our marriage is open. She gave me the green light to find and affair. She even got involved and helped me with some perspective about things women said that I didn't understand. Here's the rub. Very very few women want to get involved in a situation like this. And of the ones that do, how many are you going to have a mutual spark with? The numbers are not good and the odds are so staggeringly stacked against you. In the act of looking I am getting my hopes up and than getting rejected or just crushed. Just when you have a friend and there is a possibility, she meets a single guy and you are toast. I am happy for her. I knew I would only be temporary. But never even got to the temporary stage. That is why I got married, I was never good at handling rejection and as a married man, open marriage or not, you are a lower form of life to be used abused and discarded at will. I can't do this anymore. I am heart broken over what happened to my wife. I still love her more than the day we married. And I cannot take the cycle of rejection that goes with trying to find someone. I have to learn to live with celibacy. Very unhappy about it but there is no option. I think my subconscious figured it out awhile ago. My own sex drive has crashed. Maybe self preservation?

  2. myrealname

    myrealname New Member

    It has to be the hardest thing to be in a commited relationship in which your partner, for physiological or psychological reasons, has lost all libido and you have not.

    It always seems to come down to the same three choices:
    1. Stay, and remain celibate.
    2. Cheat, or do the open marriage thing.
    3. Leave

    There are women in the same situation, commited to a husband who has lost his sex drive. Perhaps you could find one, but it would require her husband to be understanding, or for the two of you to be very covert and discreet.

  3. GreenTea

    GreenTea Super Moderator Staff Member

    It sounds like for you, sex is inextricably tied to emotional intimacy. Some people can stand having sex without such strong emotional ties. Some even prefer it that way. Others do not.

    If your sex drive has gone, that probably means the situations where you would have sex don't meet your needs for emotional intimacy.

    If your wife really can't, what you would need is a committed polyamorous relationship--with someone who is happy with what you can give, but not looking to be the one and only. That, or celibate marriage--or a recovery of your wife's desire for sex.

  4. jmay10

    jmay10 New Member

    Your comments are correct about needing sex tied to emotional intimacy. We have the emotional intimacy. Just not the sex part to go with it. I have been doing some reading. I am an involuntary celibate. "Incel". It looks like a dark and unhappy road.
    I would like a poly relationship. But I am middle aged and what do I really have to offer a woman she couldn't get from a million other men? Life is not fair. Its just the way it is.
    My wife feels nothing. And so I feel nothing. I have done enough research to know it is common with some cancers and also irreversable. I am going to look for a researcher who would like to study me. There is very little scientific info available on people (approx 10% of the population) who are going through this. Somehow I have to turn this negative into a positive.

  5. Juicy-Juls

    Juicy-Juls Active Member

    I dunno..I don't know all the history or back ground on your marriage. But something struck me with your post. I mean, your wife is a cancer survivor. Meaning she has probably been through the worst of hells that anyone could possibly imagine both physically and mentally.

    Did you ever stop and think that she is agreeing to something like this simply because her health denies her the ability to satisfy you OR her sexually and she doesn't want to loose you? I just cannot fathom that MNM would ever opt to accept such an offer if I had been through something like that. Celibate or not...

    It just sounds, I dunno...I am not casting any judgment on you because I don't know the whole story, but I do not think that you should be accepting such ideas. She may be saying okay now but I can probably bet when it becomes a reality it is not going to be okay..

    Just my 02...

  6. jmay10

    jmay10 New Member

    Maybe you misunderstood my post. Part of my decision to give it up and deal with it and just live celibate is those exact points you make. I love her enough to think about what she is truly feeling inside. The act of looking, hurts me. The act of finding, will hurt her no matter what she says. I am going to embrace celibacy and just do what I have to do. Someone here sent me to a histersister site. At least I have her love to carry me through. So many with this problem have no one.

  7. GreyWolf

    GreyWolf Member


    I remember your posts from last year.

    I can relate to your situation. My marriage was affected greatly years ago by medical issues (although not cancer) as well and it was/is anything but easy to deal with.

    I haven't much time at this moment so please look for a more intricate posting in the next day or two.

    I will explain in much detail later (possibly tomorrow) but if I can offer you two main key pieces of advice. Please understand that until I explain and clarify them they may indeed anger you, but just think about them.

    1. Change your perspective.

    2. lower your expectations.

    From your posts I can see that you and your wife have the strong bedrock of a great relationship. I admire you both for that. I wish I could say more right now but time will not allow.

    Until next time,


  8. garamundege

    garamundege New Member

    this is a tragic post - two partners who love each other but can't make love anymore, through no fault of either... life has a cruel humour

  9. GreyWolf

    GreyWolf Member


    Yesterday I offered you two potentially difficult pieces of advice.

    I hope I can explain to your satisfaction.

    Change your perspective:

    You have every right to feel this way!

    One can also say that you were blessed by her surviving this horrible disease. Imagine what your life would be like right now without her.

    I'm not trying to be cruel or harsh. I had a very difficult time coming to terms with the fact that there were some aspects of our love life that were gone, possibly forever.

    There is one part of our love life that is indeed changed forever. I remember being so angry thinking "I'm going to die without ever experiencing that again".

    I've since made peace with the fact that our love life is changed. We've discovered new things in place of what is missing. I've also become thankful that I had those experiences in the first place. I was, and still am lucky to have my wife, as you are to have yours.

    Your wife knows you're not happy. She wants you to be.

    You told us that you don't want someone else, you want her.

    I'm assuming you've told your wife this as well. Keep telling her.

    I know how difficult that must have been to hear from her. At one point I was offered the services of a professional women as a gift for a certain occasion.

    It wasn't what I wanted either. I kept reminding her that SHE was the one I wanted. I didn't pressure, but I kept trying to facilitate our working together.

    Don't hide them.

    I'm not saying cry to her. I'm also not saying to put pressure on her. What I am saying is to keep letting her know that you want to work together on your new love life.

    You have described an otherwise fantastic relationship. I beleive you two can move forward to something even better.

    Part 2 Lower your expectations:

    You may be thinking I'm trying to tell you not to be happy. Quite the contrary.

    If you think your love life will ever go back to the old normal, you're kidding yourself.

    Will some of it ever come back? Maybe.

    You've been developing, and should move forward with a new normal happy love life. One that may be very different from the one you had before the disease, but potentially even more fulfilling.

    Perhaps the two of you can eventually find a way to move to vaginal intercourse, but the two of you must go on a journey of your new sexual relationship. You've got the hugging, the kissing, the intimacy. Just let her know that you'd like to work with her on going further.

    You will both be learning things over again in a sense.

    Take small steps.

    Study things like Karezza, spiritual sex and lubricants. Remember that you two are on a journey together. You will find that the possibilities are endless.

    Enjoy the time you have. This might not be easy, but if you two take this journey together down a new and uncharted path, you may find the journey to be more meaningful than the destination.

    I hope this helps.

    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 24, 2013

  10. pinkFlames

    pinkFlames New Member

    Wow, that's a very touching post, GreyWolf.

  11. GreyWolf

    GreyWolf Member

    Thank you pinkFlames.

    I just don't want to see him give up yet.


  12. Bipolar Express

    Bipolar Express New Member


    I'm not sure how I just happened upon your post from yesterday, but I had to register just so I could respond. You have offered me a reaffirmation of the love I've always felt for my wife. The kids are finally gone, and I was naive enough to think we could pick up where we left off. Physically not probable - it hurts her; she isn't interested & I've been feeling dirty and rejected. Wondering where all those women are that want their men to take Viagra & Cialis?

    Your post brings back the memories that didn't require sex - you know, I can think of Christmases, holidays, vacations, etc. etc, that are the best memories of our life together - not one time could sex compete with that.

    Thanks for your uplifting post! I will keep it to refer to often.

  13. GreyWolf

    GreyWolf Member

    Thank you BPE.

    Welcome to the forum.


  14. ManAged60

    ManAged60 New Member

    My wife gradually lost all interest in sex, and I was completely celibate for about 5 years. Recently I joined a dating site for married people:

    (there are several similar - this is not a plug)

    I met the most wonderful woman - 7 years younger than me - who had exactly the same problem. Now we meet about once a month and have absolutely glorious sex. She has to keep it a secret from her hubby, but my wife knows. I think she appreciates that this has made me a much happier more relaxed person!

  15. jmay10

    jmay10 New Member

    Thank all of you for the responses. It is gone. She has no drive, desire, response. Lubes and all that only means she is going through the motions. Sort of makes sex nothing more than a chore. I lose interest when it is like that. My own drive keeps going lower. Never heard of a man shutting off completely but it would actually be easier that way. I tried some pills that totally stopped my sex drive. Felt absolutely nothing. But they also took away so much of me. Sort of lost interest in anything.
    I stopped and went through some withdrawal stuff. Pills can be bad news.

  16. GreyWolf

    GreyWolf Member


    Has she told you that she is no longer interested in a sexual relationship with you?


  17. NaughtyNicky

    NaughtyNicky Member

    I feel very stongly for you in this tragic situation, but the very strong love that you and your wife still share is so beautiful, moving and unbelievably inspiring.

    I have no experience with this sort of situation, so I could be way off the mark, but something that sprang to mind was perhaps if you could come up with ways to keep the physical chemistry and spark in your marriage, along with the powerful love that obviously has not been damaged by the ordeal you have been through - while not necessarily having SEX - could perhaps be the sort of compromise you need?

    The only example I could think of was 'erotic' massage. Buy some nice smelling oils, light some candles, play some quiet, relaxing music, both of you naked (or wearing nice underwear, if preferred by your wife), your wife lying on her stomach on your bed and give her a tender, intimate full body massage. It doesn't need to be entirely sexual, per se, but the physical intimacy without the pressure of intercourse could be healing and a compromise you can both enjoy. And, of course, she could return the favour if she so wished.

    I'm sure there are many other things similar you could do to maintain a level of physical intimacy in your marriage which doesn't require an active drive on your wife's part.

    Obviously, this won't result in sexual release on your part, but perhaps it would be enough to at least not entirely let the physical side of your marriage die.

    My apologies if I haven't fully understood the situation, and this is not a feasible option, and my best wishes and thoughts are with you both.


  18. jmay10

    jmay10 New Member

    Sensual massage? That is all we are left with. She gives me hand jobs on occasion. It is physically satisfying, emotionally it is a toss up. It is not the same. I cannot look into her eyes and see her joy or her pleasure. There is none when it is so one sided. I am a man who needs to see his wife experience pleasure. When there is nothing for her, you feel not wanted, not necessary in that way. She does not respond to my touch. We kiss and cuddle and show our love multiple times a day. It is emotionally very deep. After a physical release, I almost feel depressed. Depressed that it couldn't be like it used to be. And since there is no incentive for her, she doesn't think about it. I think about it much more than I should and it is hard to stay out of a bummer frame of mind. I am trying to occupy myself with other things. Writing projects and keeping myself busy in other activities. I am going to write our story. Complete account of what we are experiencing. It is maybe educational for someone else. In spite of this heartbreak, we are still very much in love and still able to hold "us" together. I would never leave her. I could never trade love for sex. Just not having an easy time making the adjustments. I spend so much time frustrated over my own needs that it is hard to think clearly. Maybe some counseling could help.

  19. OlderMan

    OlderMan Member

    I have been right there with you, brother.

    Men escape into work to get away from the pain and constant mental anguish of situations like these. IMO, there is no real solution to your problem unless your wife somehow recovers her sex drive. There is only coping using the various mechanisms you have already listed over several posts.

    Fortunately, you are both deeply in love. Have you thought about a gentle exploration of anal, or having her give you a hand job while simulating missionary intercourse? It's not the same, I know. But it might be better than now.

  20. GreyWolf

    GreyWolf Member


    Has she told you that she is no longer interested in a sexual relationship with you?



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