I need CPR for a sexless marriage that is turning into a loveless marriage. We’ve been married for two years, and together for almost six years. From the start, I realized his libido was much lower than mine, but I’m OK with that. We had what I thought was a strong foundation in friendship. Now I’m not sure if we even like each other.
We bought a small horse farm, and we were enjoying building our business and creating our home. Now, he seems to have no passion for anything at all. He has abandoned his colt, and he has abandoned even taking care of our home. “I can’t get K to do anything,” was his ex-wife’s chief complaint, and I now feel her pain. I’ve told him I don’t want her life.
I don’t know how to bring him back to life. His deadness is killing me. Both my art studio and pottery studio are collecting dust. My gardens are choked with weeds, physically and metaphorically. We’ve had sex three, maybe four, times in the last year.
We are both Cancers, and I fear we are feeding each other’s deadness. The demise began when his mother’s weekly phone calls drilled into him that since he has a job he shouldn’t have to do anything else. At first, he would tell me about her calls, and wonder why she couldn’t just let him be happy doing something he loved (the horses). Now, he considers what little he does as an ultimate burden, while everything we worked so hard to make beautiful falls to ruin. I want to breathe life and happiness back into this man, but I don’t know how.
Liam ext. 9290’s Response:
Greetings, T. You find yourself in a frightful situation, one shared by many. Your decision to link yourself to a partner with a much lower libido than your own was an enormous mistake, one we have covered here before. Friendship can be built, but passion cannot be created where passion does not exist. Sex remains at the core of what is happening now. Your choice to deny yourself sexually for the sake of a long-term partnership may have seemed fair enough at the time. However, I have a sneaking suspicion that even early on you felt cheated, on the sexual front, which made you decide you were therefore entitled in other areas. It appears to me that on some level you saw this man as being a little on the weak side. Not so much a “man” as a gentle soul you could spend the years with. You knew he lacked passion. That meant he wouldn’t rock the boat, but now you find that you’re sexually frustrated in this relationship. The chances of that particular problem ever being fixable are slim, and you have some very difficult decisions to make. Before you make them, let’s consider the situation a bit further.
Your husband is not unlike many men in our culture. We are awash in a flood of juvenile behavior, with men acting like little tyrants in need of perpetual mothering. In your case, you were advised of his tendency toward these behaviors before you married him, and chose to discount it. You wished for a relationship so much that, as with the sexual mismatch, you were willing to ignore the warning signs. I look at this man and I see that while his libido is indeed naturally lower than yours, the real problem is that he never matured in a normal fashion. He’s too much of a little boy to be a man in the bedroom. Like most men with his kind of arrested development, when he was seeking someone for a long-term relationship, what he really wanted was his mommy. Your man is messed up, dear. It’s not all his fault. There’s a lot of enabling going on here, his mother being the main culprit. Her power plays and coddling have pretty much destroyed his natural male potential. As for his complaining ex-wife, what did she ever “do” about the situation? What are you doing about it? You who feel she’s been cheated and robbed of her fairy tale?
You speak of your art studio being dusty. It’s your studio. So, why is it collecting dust? Why are you relying on anyone else to take care of your things and your needs? If your pottery studio is in shambles, whose fault is that? It’s time to assume a mandate of responsibility for your own existence. No one is entitled in this world. No mate or partner should be counted on to deliver your happiness. Just because you’re flying solo right now doesn’t mean you simply stop trying. You’re better than that.
Tomorrow begins the next phase – the cleaning up. Make lists of all that needs to be done, buy some Murphy’s Oil Soap, roll up your sleeves and get to work. Don’t worry about his needs; his dinner, his laundry. If he fusses, tell him you’re busy. Take that pony out and exercise it. Spend time alone in your studios with no distractions, and work on your art. I know you’re in pain. I know you feel rejected. Put those feelings into something besides a whole lot of self pity, and invest in yourself. Don’t go to him looking for affection of any kind. Don’t ask him for any help. If he wants to be absolved of his daily responsibilities because he works, then let him sit. He’ll get curious about your busyness. No one likes to be left out of the action, and he’s no exception. If he comes and wants to get involved, let him. You’d be surprised how contagious energy can be. Don’t make it a priority to get him to come along. Either he gets up off his duff and takes an interest in life or he doesn’t. It’s your trip now, and you don’t need his help.
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