This is really complicated, but I'll try to give you the short version.
I married my bestfriend 2 years ago. We only "dated" for a couple of months, but we had what I can best describe as a dependent, and platonic friendship for over a year. We've always been very close emotionally but the physical attraction for me has never been there. He was aware of this before we married. I had a little break down before the wedding and wanted to seek a personal councelor. He didn't want me to jepordize our chances at marriage, so I decided that I was completely in love with him. We have a great friendship, we've experienced a lot of stress in these first couple of years of marriage and have worked together as a team to make things possible that would have never happened in our single lives. The problem is...I'm still completely uncomfortable with our sexual relationship. I'm just not attracted to him physically. I feel so guilty and I know that he feels rejected. Can I fix this? We went to a marriage councelor a few times and it was no help. Is this fixible? I came very close to having an affair. The sad thing is that I thought it could be the solution to the problem.
Last edited by janesblues; 05-31-2004 at 08:27 PM.
Hey, I can totally relate to you on some level, I got married to my high school sweetheart 5 yrs ago and at that point in time, I was more interested in women than men. It took me a long time to feel really sexually interested. I would suggest conseling for you, because I think that love is something you can learn to do over time, I don't think you can learn to be physically attracted to someone. We learned in our relationship to be very open to many things thus satisfying the other person completley. I do think if your not open to your husband and if he doesn't try to do something about the situation, that you will end up in an affair. Gratification has to come from someone, and somewhere. You may never learn to be very physically attracted to him but maybe you can learn to be happy with each other on some level.Tell him the changes that you would like to be made, possibly it's something he can work on? Good luck!!
thanks amberley, I really appreciate that. I think you're right we should go back to counceling. I guess effective counceling takes time. My biggest frustration with the councelor was that he wanted to evaluate all of these other aspects of my life that I feel like I've already dealt with. He would harp on my mother's death, ask me if I'm angry at god. It started to feel so dime store. I wanted to focus on the issue at hand. I think I'd be more comfortable with a female councelor. It's kind of difficult trying to explain to a 50 year old man how I feel about my husband sexually...
The counseling will be a good idea and maybe solve these things. ITs not a bad thing if you are not attracted to him in that kind of way but it does help if you are a little bit. Have you tried other things like messages, oils, ect. These little things cant get some excitement going.
Ok, I will probably be criticized for saying this, but I am of the opinion the you can't simply "decide to be completely in love" with somone. Love is NOT a decision. It's a complex and deep connection on many levels: spiritual, mental, emotional, and yes--physical. You can have three of these aspects present in various combinations, but without all of them, you don't have romantic love. You can't LEARN to be physically attracted to someone. It's either there or not, and you feel it with your body and your heart. For example, when you love chocolate ice-cream, you don't have to learn to love it. It's automatic, you instincively know what you like or dislike. It might sound simplistic, but I think it's true. I know what you're talking about because I also have a very close male friend, with whom I get along very well, and he expressed that he would love to marry me. We have a lot in common, I always enjoy his company, respect him as a person etc.; the only thing missing is that I have absolutely NO physical attraction to him. At 32, I did contemplate just marrying him and hoping that maybe love would happen along the way. But you know what: I won't do it. Because I predicted if I did it, I would be in exactly your situation. Frustrated and guilty, and fantasizing about another man. How many years are you willing to spend living a lie? You don't love your husband, not like a woman should love a man anyway. Right now you are selling yourself short and I don't believe you're doing him any favors either. How great must he feel to know you're pretty much forcing yourself to sleep with him? Call me a pessimist, but I doubt it will ever get better. It has absolutely nothing to do with your mother's death and your anger. Your problem is that you married you friend, but not someone you love. I'm no counselor but I do have common sense and blaming your lack of physical attraction for this man (which was NEVER present to begin with) on your unresolved psychological issues or your mother's death does not make any sense whatsoever. It's a radical thing to say but I think you should let this man free before your situation gets even more complicated and innocent children are brought into this loveless marriage.
I agree that you can't simply decide to be in love with someone. However, you can learn to love them. Take for instance, all of those people who have arranged marriages. I know a few older couples who were forced to marry. Although they may not have even liked each other at first, they learned to get along. Eventually, they became friends. Then best friends. Then lovers. Seeing them now, you would think that they were meant for each other. Even though the initial attraction may not have been there, they learned to work together, and they found true love in the end.
I'm not saying that this happens in every relationship, but I hope that it will encourage you not to give up. There is no way to know what can happen if you never try. Best of luck!
Well, arranged marriages are a whole different story. The marriage takes place to please the families and for economical/status reasons primarily. In these societies divorce is not an option so these couples have no choice but try to get along and "make the best of it". Some of them may even develop love but how many do not? For every couple in these arranged marriages who learned to get along or even came to fall in love with each other, how many must have been utterly miserable and always longing for more? Is this a risk you want to take? What if you never "learn" to be attracted to your husband? What if, for the rest of your life, the thought of kissing him or going to bed with him makes your stomach turn? What a way is that to live? Has your physical attraction for him and the desire to make love to him grown over the past two years of marriage or is it precisely the same as before? If it were to appear, I don't think you would need to wait two years.
For what it’s worth, I think you should explore the death of your mother and what effect it has had on you and your relationship with your husband. You mentioned you trust him emotionally but physically you are not attracted to him.
I married my best friend too. BUT, for all the wrong reasons. He loved me more then I loved him. I loved him but was not in love with him. I too sought out counseling on my own to figure out how I could not love this wonderful man who treated me so good, who was so dependable, and emotionally there for me. I was just like you, the counselor wanted to bring up the death of my father I brushed off the topic of my father and too felt that I had dealt with his death. (I was turning 8 when he suddenly died)
I couldn’t have been more wrong. But, I didn’t figure this out till YEARS later in life, after my divorce from my husband – It was wrong of me to stay in a marriage that one loved more then the other. I decided to seek help again and opened myself up to the death of my father. I was missing that father figure, daddy’s little girl, someone who will protect me, give me support, I was seeking all the wrong men in my quest to come to terms with what I loss out more in life – My father, my security. I also dealt with and came to terms with a loveless, mean, mother who is still alive.
It wouldn’t hurt to explore this for yourself and see if in fact the death of your mother has played a role without you even knowing it into marrying this wonderful guy you have.
He deserves better, but so do you.
I'm afraid I'm going to have to agree with Sophia and GirlHarley on this one. I think you can decide to settle for what you have and make the choice to not look anymore, but I really don't believe you can DECIDE to love someone. You mentioned that just before your marriage you almost had a break down of sorts and wanted counseling but he didn't want the counseling to interfere with the marriage, so you didn't go? Have I got that right? It sounds like maybe he was afraid you would learn in counseling that maybe marrying a man you're not passionate about wouldn't be such a good idea and would decide not to marry him. May I ask if you have any kids, either from this or a previous marriage? Does that factor into your choice of marrying him? I think you do want more passion in your love life, otherwise you wouldn't be asking how to feel more passionate about your husband. But I do think that love is largely chemical, biological. I really don't believe there's any way you can "make" yourself be turned on by someone who just doesn't do it for you, but you can decide to be content with what you have now and not look any further.
Wow, this is better than any stuffy psych office. Let me answer a couple of questions. And I want Sophie to know that I desperately want truth from experience and honest oppinions. I'm 28 no previous marriage, no kids. I lot of interesting factors did take place that made me want to marry my husband. I was in a 5 year relationship that should've ended after about 2. The guy was the most physically beautiful man I'd ever laid eyes on. Things were great, but eventually he became controlling and jealous. I made almost all of my decisions via school, work, friends based on him and his judgements. The truth was he was terribly insecure, but I couldn't see that. He was talented and once again I'll add a HOTTIE. When I finally ended that relationship I tried desperately to focus on ME. It was really hard being alone after all of that time. It was at the same time that I finished school, but an art degree was taking me no where. I was depressed. I began doing drugs that I never thought I would do, mainly cocaine. I was sleeping with a different Mr. Rightnow everytime I would go out and party. 911 happened, everything was going to hell. My now husband was the only consistant, reliable person I had. I thought physical attraction was over rated. We had everything else except that. I joked one day and said, "We'll end up getting married." The next thing I know he asked, and I said why not. The whole thing was fast and compulsive. But I think in retrospect, I felt like it was my chance to redeem myself. He's such a good person, I marry him and I must be too. I thought I'm bigger than just this surface stuff. And we have been thus far good for each other. We both became motivated responsible people. I just want to want him, and I don't. I'm so afraid of hurting him, I think that maybe I would live my life this way. I got depressed after a year. All of the hopes and aspirations I had for a career as an artist got pushed to the side so that he could finish his degree. Now I'm stuck with a job I'm not sure about and a husband I don't wanna well, you know. We're about to move to a new city. I'm so afraid that I'm going to freak. I won't have any friends and this move is all geared towards him and his future. I don't even know if I'm going to be a part of it...
See, I do understand. Your husband is your safety net as mine was.
I had a son with my exhusband - I too was afraid of breaking up our marriage and hurting him. The guilt I felt over hurting him because I did not have any sexually attraction towards him, then I starting losing respect for myself and for him - so, sweetie - I do undertand and I do know what it's like
As for your partying ways, the men in your past - I had that too -
Just before I married my exhusband, when he was my boyfriend, I did break up with him. Only to go into a nasty relationship with this guy who too was a controll freak, insecure guy who almost tried to kill me - I wanted to end it with him and he tried driving his car into a tree so he could kill the both of us.
My exhusband is the one who saved me that night - I was so freaked out and would never trust a men again other then my exhusband - SO I married him for that security and comfort - WOW, this goes so way back now, like 17 years ago.
Anyway, I'm not going to tell you what you need to do but I can just let you know I know how you feel, your not alone even though your feeling it right now and maybe going back to conseling on your own, talk about these issues you have and maybe you will come to terms on which way to go.
Best of luck to you..
BTW, my exhusband and I are still very close and share custody of our 15 yr old son...