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Dear Chump Lady, Is the sexless marriage a myth?

Dear Chump Lady,

So, I was reading a single mom blog today and she was talking about how the single dads out there seem like they feel more “pressure” to have more kids.  She thinks it has something to do with how they were in “long, miserable, sexless” marriages and now that they got out, they want to go and bang young chicks. But the young chicks aren’t THAT young, so they might want to have babies again so the guy kinda goes along with it… (like trying to get with younger women is a good reason to have another kid anyway!  and I’m sure these awesome guys waited until they got out of their miserable, sexless marriage.)

I actually think, going by things my ex has said, that a lot of these guys in fact just want to “start over” with a “new” family and selfishly don’t want anyone that already has baggage even though they already have their own.

 Anyway, my main point that I got sidetracked from is this miserable, sexless marriage excuse!  Do you believe there is such a thing?  Or are they all just cheaters making excuses?  I think women that haven’t been cheated on might tend to believe this actually does occur A LOT.  But I think I might believe it’s true in 1% of the cases where it’s claimed.  I think this excuse epitomizes chump blaming. And perfectly reasonable people actually believe it!

another Erica

Dear another Erica,

Do I believe sexless marriages exist? Yes. Do I believe sexless marriage is used as an excuse to cheat. Yes. Or as an excuse to dump the wife and bang younger women? Yes again.

There are so many variables here. Look, a guy might describe three times a week as “sexless” if, in his opinion, that’s not enough sex. Or he might be in a marriage in which his partner is sexually withholding and unaffectionate. You know, actually sexless. But neither situation is an excuse for cheating — not enough sex or no sex. It’s a reason to either manage your expectations, get your ass in therapy, or demand a divorce.

If those single dads left sexless marriages honestly and want to hook up with a younger woman and start over on the baby thing? That’s their choice. The price of admission is still changing diapers when your contemporaries are empty nesters. I don’t think that makes them cheaters or jerks — just guys who are going to be rethinking this shit when they’re paying retirement costs and college tuition simultaneously.

If those single dads invented the “sexless marriage” excuse to trade in for a younger model? Well, they’re douchebags, of course. And we’ll see how much sex they’ll be having with a colicky three-month old around.

I agree that the sexless marriage excuse for infidelity comes up a LOT. (Anyone read the stable of male commentators on HuffPo?) Chumps get really sensitive on this issue, understandably. It’s bad enough chumps get blamed for the cheating. But to imply that it’s because we suck at sex? Really? Gee, thanks. It’s hugely insulting. I can’t speak to other people’s marriages, and I don’t want to be TMI or anything, but sex wasn’t a problem with my cheating ex and me. When DDay hit, I was gobsmacked in part because  I assumed men only cheat when they aren’t getting it at home. (One of many stupid ideas I had about infidelity pre-DDay…. that should be its own post…) That dog was fed.

And I don’t think I’m alone on this. What’s also interesting to me on the “sexless marriage” issue is how hideously common it is for CHUMPS to suffer the sexless marriage. It’s one of the biggest cheating red flags there is — your spouse suddenly doesn’t want to have sex with you. They’re quite content to have no sex at all, where once they used to quite enjoy sex with you. And there’s no medical issue, no crisis, just a gee, I’d rather not. And why is this? BECAUSE THEY’RE FUCKING SOMEONE ELSE.

So to then have that turned around — projected — as “I was in a sexless marriage” is utter mindfuckery.

All that said — I also think the sexless marriage is real. It may be for medical or hormonal reasons. It may be because someone has gotten overweight or has hygiene issues that repulse their spouse. It may be because of mental illness or addiction. Or it may be because someone is a passive aggressive withholding jerk. Whatever the case — two people are married and they aren’t having sex.

If one person is deeply miserable about this, and it’s not a mutual, agreed upon sexlessness — I think it’s incumbent upon the other spouse to address the issue and not withdraw further. If someone is not having sex with you, and they won’t discuss it, or work on it, and they withhold? I think that is form of emotional abuse. It’s a kind of infidelity — they’ve checked out of their marriage.

So when I see those comments on HuffPo, I try to engage. I don’t want to minimize the legitimate pain of being in a sexless marriage. Of being on the receiving end of someone who is rejecting you in the most intimate way. It’s horrible. I lived this in my first marriage (and quite frankly, I wonder now if he wasn’t cheating). It drove me round the bend. I wrote about this before, how I did all sorts of cost-benefit analyses of whether or not I should cheat on him. Yeah, really. Me. Chump Lady. By the grace of God I didn’t — and I’d like to tell you it was my moral compass that stopped me, and maybe it did. But frankly, if you’d asked me back then, I’d probably tell you he deserved it, or he wouldn’t care, or his withholding was a manifestation of his mental illness and I must stick by him in sickness and in health… but I don’t know if I can do that and never have sex again… I weighed all my options. And just going there made me realize — whoa. I want out. It was very hard to admit that to myself. And even harder to divorce him and be a single mother with a four year old.

You know what blows my mind now? That when I was thinking about cheating then THAT was somehow less shameful than being divorced. Isn’t that fucking NUTS? Divorce stigma is alive and IMO it’s far bigger than cheater stigma. I bailed because I realized what I really wanted was my freedom. To lay down the burden of being married to him AND to be able to date freely.

What I say to people who are in miserable, sexless marriages is GET OUT. If you’re that miserable? You’ll end it. If you don’t end it? You’re not that miserable. Sticking around is cake eating or some other kind of profound dysfunction. There’s nothing noble about martyring yourself to a bad marriage.

They don’t expect you to say that — and that’s how you tell the difference, another Erica. Those “the sexless marriage drove me to cheat” guys want you to say “Oh you get a pass, buddy. Yeah, she deserves it for giving you blue balls.”  IMO, anyone who is truly in a miserable marriage feels relief at the thought of ending it. (They might feel guilty about that, but oh, they feel the relief. And they LEAVE.) And anyone who thinks a sexless marriage is an excuse to stay married and CHEAT? That person is a cake eater. They want both the affair and the “bad marriage,” because it gives them a pretext for fucking around. The “sexlessness” doesn’t upset them — no, it’s the ticket to the banquet of fuckbuddies. A banquet of cake. And I promise you, the marriage is probably not sexless either.

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  • My so lovely brother-in-law actually asked me to my face whether I put out enough during my marriage when his brothers infidelity came to light. I said a) none of your business b) it’s an excuse for cheating that could have been dealt with by discussion if there was a problem and c) we had sex often.

    Asshole. Even my ex said sex wasn’t the issue. He just did it cause he could.

  • So to then have that turned around — projected — as “I was in a sexless marriage” is utter mindfuckery.
    If one person is deeply miserable about this, and it’s not a mutual, agreed upon sexlessness — I think it’s incumbent upon the other spouse to address the issue and not withdraw further. If someone is not having sex with you, and they won’t discuss it, or work on it, and they withhold? I think that is form of emotional abuse. It’s a kind of infidelity — they’ve checked out of their

    Thank You CL, I have wondered about this a lot, been tortured with it actually, he would not talk about it then told people that’s why he left me….and then I found out he was cheating all along, even when things were “good”. I honestly don’t care at this point if I ever have sex again…but I felt (feel) so undesirable and vile….I’m so glad to hear it was abuse…not me…

    • yeah, these cheaters fuck with our minds so much… it’s really not fair. I’m sorry you had to go through that. I hope that all of us chumps eventually meet someone that actually makes us feel good about ourselves 🙂

    • yes, this a thousand times, this. I even said, I was worried it was your prostatitis. “what prostatitis? I never told you that.” said him. WTF??!? Like I would or even could make that up! So– not only get this kind of abuse, getting lied to, so I could *worry about his health*, and then being told I made the whole thing up. As if.

    • So…you keep the husband on short rations and HE is somehow required to stay faithful?
      Selfish sack of human waste

  • I miss sex and feel its unfair I’m now celebate. That being said I wouldn’t have sex with my ex for all the money in e world ever again!

  • “Look, a guy might describe three times a week as “sexless” if, in his opinion, that’s not enough sex.”

    Exactly! This would probably be how my husband could justify to himself using the “sexless” excuse. It was less frequent than he wanted and less inventive than he wanted. I would say I am sensitive about this because just as I couldn’t meet his expectations in cooking and cleaning, etc., I also, of course, didn’t give him all the kinky sex he wanted either. I did know felt that way. But what was I getting from him emotionally that would make me want to go above and beyond with him sexually? Not much. And did he take the initiative to do new stuff? No. He just complained occasionally about it. So as with everything else, I’m supposed to give and do everything, and he was supposed to take take take. So, I would agree that our sex life wasn’t awesome because our marriage wasn’t awesome. And because I guess I am used to taking the blame for all things, for being bitchy, no letting him do x, y, or z etc., I guess I have internalized the blame here as well. Especially because this was THE excuse he used for cheating. That our sex life just wasn’t exciting enough. And it’s my fault because he did complain about it to me and I didn’t do enough to spice it up, essentially. But our sex life wasn’t crappy or nonexistent, either. And it does bother me that when I admit to being cheated on I assume people will believe I wasn’t “giving it up” or whatever. And because I know he wasn’t satisfied with our sex life, it isn’t even completely untrue. Then again, I obviously wasn’t completely satisfied with our sex life either, so I don’t know why I feel the need to take all the blame here.

    He could also easily use that excuse because it’s not like anyone really knows what goes on behind closed doors. That’s why I wish I knew how many truly “sexless” marriages exist. Because, yes, purposely withholding sex sounds like such a f-ed up thing to do that I would think it doesn’t happen that often. Then again, cheating is an f-ed up thing to do and it happens a lot.

    Also, the obvious decrease in our sex life was the big red flag for cheating for me. Combined with the increased calls with her. That’s why it only lasted 3 months before I figured it out.

    • Yep. We were married to the same man. I had the same complaints from STBX. He didn’t do anything exciting, new, or romantic for me, but I was supposed to be the gymnast who is also a porn star in the bedroom for him. But, as we always say on here– I might not have been super satisfied, but I didn’t cheat!

  • I love you Chump Lady!

    Andy announced we were not having enough sex—well, he was the one who didn’t want sex, who moved out to the couch, and yet somehow I was responsible for his blue balls because he didn’t want to have sex with me. His girlfriend? No problem.

    Then he announces we can just have an open marriage. I’m going, “That requires 1) trust, which you *just shat all over*, and B) NO FUCKING WAY.”

    So then he continues screwing his MARRIED girlfriend behind my back while telling me how much he loves me and that he wants to work this out.

    God, I am world class chump material. I was even paying for his girlfriend’s rent—under the guise of “needing space”. Naturally I didn’t know his girlfriend was living with him, much less ON THE FUCKING LEASE.

    Now he tells me a) all our problems are because I’m so stupid I believed his lies, 2) other random insults and accusations, c) do I wanna meet up for drinks? and 4) we need to discuss co-parenting. ALL IN ONE FUCKING EMAIL.


    I’d like to take out a full page ad in the New York times and tell the girlfriend her boy toy just tried to pick up his ex-wife.

    I freely acknowledge I am not a ten. I am 5 5, 180 lbs, size 15, mother of one child—but I don’t look 180 lbs, if that makes any sense—a number of friends have been surprised to hear my actually weight, they thought I was 20 lbs less. Blue eyes, brown hair. I don’t look like a body builder, but I have a little muscle, which is where the weight comes from.

    Andy made me feel like the ugliest hag imaginable. Made it very clear I disgusted him. Years of this shit bouncing through my head. Then he announces if I don’t take him back, he’ll kill himself. And then he announces I am emotionally abusing him.


    • These people can’t admit they might be bad people, so they have to rewrite reality. It sucks for the chump who thinks that even though the marriage is “going through a rough patch” or whatever still thinks they can agree that the sky is blue. Surprise! It’s orange.

      • One of my favorite thoughts throughout our 24 year marriage, if I say the sky is blue, he would for sure disagree, because I was rarely right about anything in his distorted mind. That is emotional abuse because it makes you question your own judgment. Shame on them for making us feel like we are the ones that are out of touch with reality!!!

        • This is absolutely true, Anne. Why, just a couple months ago, I’d asked STBX if he would just keep an eye on my cat to see if she was alright (while he was over with our daughter.) She had gone suddenly blind, and I had called the vet, but had not yet been able to get her in. When I came home, I’d asked if he had been observing her at all. His response – Not really, but she’s acting just the same as she always does.
          I said “I’m worried about her getting stuck somewhere or falling down the stairs. She’s blind. ” His reply “NO SHE’S NOT!!!!” Simply because I said she was, he needed to declare the exact opposite. Here she is walking into walls and he will say she’s acting normally just to defy me.

          I tell you, it takes a HUGE toll on one’s confidence and self esteem. Getting away from this has been so healthy for me. I’m only beginning to see how much this had been affecting me for years.

          And it goes without saying that our sexless marriage was all my decision. Ugh.

  • Hmmm…there were times we didn’t have much sex and I would try to talk to him about it and he would blow me off, saying that we shouldn’t have to talk about these things, they should ‘just happen’. Now, of course, I realise that the less often sex periods were when he was banging a side piece.

    And his whole thing is that nothing should take effort, not even making things a bit more fun in the bedroom after 20 years. You can’t work with that kind of shit.

    • “his whole thing is that nothing should take effort”

      Oh, yeah, I got this adolescent goofballery plenty from my first wife (The Cheater). Not so much about sex (although that some) but just about life in general. Raising kids, housekeeping, budgeting, running our businesses, family get-togethers, maintaining friendships, whatever. If done right, as you said, it will all “just happen.” (As if families “just happen”). And if I suggested we should put in effort to deal with any of these important aspects of life? Then I’m the hard-ass, the kill-joy, the dork who makes everyone miserable with schedules and efforts to build consensus.

      One of the moments that clinched my desire to marry my second (AMAZING) wife was when I first heard her utter the words, “Effort is sexy.”

      • In one o his many rambles I think I gathered that essentially he felt that because, after 20 years, it wasn’t all hot hot hot sex all teh time that there was something ‘wrong’. And naturally, sex with new people was very exciting stuff. Can you imagine? Sex with someone new with whom you have no baggage or other life times with is kind of exciting? And sex with your partner of 20 years is maybe a bit more ‘we know what we’re doing because we’ve been doing it for a long time’?

        He needs a punch in the head.

        • Your ex seems particularly weird (bullying?) in his eagerness to say such stupid and obnoxious things to your face. With mine it was all very oblique and subtle and only clarified (a bit) if I pressed.

          I think it shows admirable restraint that he didn’t get a punch in the head!

  • My marriage wasn’t sexless but my ex had ED in the form of premature ejaculation. When I tried to talk to him about it he said he didn’t last long (2 minutes tops) because he thought I wasn’t into it or that it was painful (I have endometriosis) even though I had never said it was. Then he stopped initiating and I thought it was embarrassment about the PE but in retrospect I realize it was because he was cheating. He told me when I discovered the affair that it doesn’t happen with the OW. Nice.

  • I think you will find that many women use the same excuse, the “sexless marrige” deal. And, many women that cheat are trading in their older husbands for younger guys.
    In my marriage, I did withdraw to an extent from having sex. I was routinely rejected when I made overtures. My wife would arouse me and then just stop and leave , sometimes. Once she did this and I inquired why we were stopping and she responded
    I just wanted to see if I “”still got it””.
    CL, there is beginging to be a flavor to this site which apears to tap inot the steroptypes about men. I notice the male pronoun being used excessiively to describe cheaters. I notice that the lack of sex excuse is attributed to men and the trading in the older model for a younger one is thought to be predominantly a male thing.
    Look at this cougar/milf deal going on. Look on the sites where many women cheaters are complaining about lack of sex as a motivator. This cuts across gender lines.

    • Arnold,

      I don’t mean to be stereotyping men, but I am a woman dealing with a male cheater. Since I was writing from my point of view I didn’t feel I need to use the generic “spouse”, “cheater”, etc. And it was a posting on a single mom’s site specifically that had me thinking about this.

      I don’t like that women have the reputation of refusing sex. (Which you also told us your wife did to you before you stopped initiating it) And that people might make that assumption about me now. And I totally believe that cheating women would use the same bullshit excuses. Claiming a lack of sex when it really might not be so – or blaming the chump completely for the problem. I’m starting to think this lack of sex bullshit excuse mostly just means lack of BRAND NEW sex with a NEW person. I totally buy the cougar cheater, etc. But I don’t think a woman cheater could sell that story as well to the public. That her husband refused to have sex with her so she needed to cheat. I’m an equal opportunity stereotyper that would also believe women cheaters would be more likely to blame it on money issues, emotional issues (“my husband just didn’t understand me, wouldn’t talk to me!”), etc. I could be wrong. I’m not a cheater, I have no idea what goes through their minds. I only think I *slightly* have the point of view of the male cheater because I’ve heard my husbands excuses for it. And he’s the cheater I know best.

    • I think women exploit the lack-of-sex-excuse to some extent (and perhaps it’s increasingly common), but my impression is that the more common analog among cheating wives is that they aren’t getting enough . . . “intimacy” –with that term deliberately left undefined. Which is a particularly pernicious form of mind-fuckery since the chump-husband is then never even sure what it is he’s not giving enough of. Could be sex. Could be foot rubs or watching the kids or a dozen dozen other things. And as difficult as it is to be sexual with someone who is withholding and cruel and gas-lighting you, it may even harder to connect emotionally with such a person.

    • Arnold, women can be just as awful as men. Straight men couldn’t have affairs if there weren’t women who were willing to have them too. The OW in my situation was the stereotypical, perfect SAHM of two little kids with a nice home and a husband who made a ton of money, and she was perfectly happy to meet my STBX, a complete stranger that she met online, for unprotected sex. I’m sure that she blubbered about how her husband never had sex with her either.

    • Arnold, I think it’s because it seems that the majority of posters are women. If there were more men posting, then we’d see female pronouns in the role of cheaters. I don’t recall anyone saying that most cheaters are male, we are just talking about our own situations. A chump is a chump whether male or female and a cheater is a cheater whether male or female.

  • My ex knew I’d have sex hanging upside down, seven ways from sunday, 10 times a day every day.

    But that wasnt the point… the point was the illicit thrill he got from “getting away with” his bad behaviour.

    He had told me his ex wife had cut him off and put on 50lbs during their marriage… I contacted her after I left him. She did indeed put on the weight (as did I – must have had something to do with the utter mindfuckery he perpetrated) but he cut her off. The same way as he did with me.

  • Yes, there IS such a thing as a sexless marriage. If 2-3 times a year qualifies. I did NOT cheat on her and blame lack of sex……but instead she cheated on ME with a Married man 15 years OLDER than her…..who is also a serial cheater…..

    It’s not always the man, and it’s not always for sex…….money was a big motivator for my Narc EW….

  • Sexless marriage is not a myth. It happens. Women and men stop wanting to have sex. In fact, to be fair to Arnold who is upset over the over-use of the male pronoun, I think that it is very much more common that women back off of sex more frequently then men do. Though it is not a man/woman thing. Both sexes can back off.

    So no, it is not a myth. But nor is it an excuse for cheating. It is an excuse for a divorce, though. And, I believe, it is also one of the few things that the Catholic church still recognizes as grounds for annulment.

    But there again — and this is going to be just a constant undending refrain: The cheater does not cheat because of the marriage or something the BS does or did or did not do. The cheater cheats because that is the way he (or she) copes with life. They are self impoverished people who lead with their egos because they have no sense of self and as such they have to seek constant validation from external sources to keep those bloated egos fed. Huge ego+no sense of self=cheater.

    It was never anything to do with the BS. There is nothing the BS can do or change or change about him/herself or the marriage or do better or do less of or do more of or *DO* full stop to have prevented the cheater from cheating. No one other than the cheater can change the cheater’s way of existing in the world. All the rules/conditions in the world are not going to make a cheater change the way he or she behaves. A cheater will cheat until he or she learns to self soothe.

    • I think a lot of the steroetypes and the attribution of certain maotivators to the genders(as nomar said, lack of intimacy for women, and lack of sex for men) comes from the misunderstandng or denial of the femal sex drive. It is as great, or greater than men’s, expecially after a guy reaches 40 or so.
      And, there is the fear based and puritanical thing going on where admitting that women crave sex every bit as much as men threatens the hell out of a lot of people.
      I told one of my friends whose wife was refusing to have sex with him(he had decided not to work for 3 years and just loaf. So, she was pissed) that his notion that women do not have sex drives as high as men was inaccurate.
      This guy went nuts on me, personally insulting me, he was sohtreatened by the concept that his wife had a sex drive but , simply, was not attracted to him(in addition to loafing, he had let himself go physically to the point where he was repulsive).
      But, my point is that much of this attribution of “lack of intimacy” or “poor male communication” as the reason women cheat is plain wrong.
      Women that cheat are horny. Thye want sex. Hypergamy is a huge factor, as well. But, emotional connection is really far down on the list.
      In my younger days, when I still looked alright, I had many, many women approach me , out of the blue, and ask for sex. Thye knew nothing about me. Wanted no emotional connection. Thye just wanted sex.

      • Well, in fact, historically men have recognized and have been tremendously fearful of the power of women’s sexuality, which of course is precisely why they did things like limit the amount of time their wives could be in public etc. I mean, that’s just a historical truth. Women, in men’s eyes, historically were very driven by their sexuality and their sexuality put families at risk. Men were always viewed as the more logical of the two sexes and as a result as more capable of controlling their baser desires. Women’s sexuality made them dangerous and they needed to be controlled.

        Women not liking sex is really kind of Victorian construct. But there again, that was what the Victorians held as an “ideal”, the woman as a sexless sort of nurturing caretaker. The reality in victorian times was that women were having lots of sex then, too. On top of that victorianism, we have the 1950s to thank for a lot of weirdo thinking about women and what they need/want/feel/don’t feel/shouldn’t feel etc.

        So to say: “well, women have a sex drive and cheat to enjoy sex” is really just sort of like saying: “the sky is blue.” Of course they enjoy the sex.

        The things that men don’t understand about women are a lot.

        • Agree. In college, I lived in a house with 6 women and sex was always on their minds.
          And, although it is true they cheat because they enjoy sex, unlike proclaiming the sky is blue(when it is), it seems a lot of folks, men and women. cling to this notion that they are less sexual and more in need of emotional connection.

      • But, my point is that much of this attribution of “lack of intimacy” or “poor male communication” as the reason women cheat is plain wrong.
        Women that cheat are horny. Thye want sex. Hypergamy is a huge factor, as well. But, emotional connection is really far down on the list.

        Sorry Arnold, but no. I’m one of those fucked-up women who stayed in a sexless marriage for more years than I care to tell. Completely sexless. And Gawd yes I was horny… but what I really craved was not sex (though sometimes I thought it was) it was *intimacy*. Loving attention from the one I loved that was supposedly in love with me. He “checked out” a few years before I finally left him. It took me a long time to realize that his witholding of sex and affection was ABUSE. I’m not talking about a rough patch here… I’m talking about years (7? 8?) and no I’m not ugly, especially back then, I got hit on all the time by the opposite sex, still do but not so many!

  • oh it exists alright and its not an excuse for anything.

    I wouldn’t have sex with a sex addict, however, unless I was prepared to get sick. They ALL have HPV and condoms do not prevent it. Isn’t that nice to know?

    Unfortunately, he didn’t give me that choice.

  • Less than 24 hours after we had sex my ex dropped the bomb. During a break in his spewing I asked him if he thought I was some kind of hag. His reply, “oh no, I still think you are pretty but I’m no longer sexual attracted to you.” WTF? It disgusts me to think that he was probably thinking of her the whole time. But according to others his low hanging piece of fruit (whore) is not much to look at.

    • What a gross dude! I just find it so appalling that these cheaters still were having sex with their BSs. How does someone even do that?? Lord!

      But Hurt1, I just want to say something: It had nothing to do with how you look or how she looks. No one else factored into his decision other than himself. I mean, look at Halle Berry. She’s GORGEOUS and she was cheated on.

      It is all about the cheater.

      • it is disgusting. Our sex life dropped off, but we were still doing it while the affair was going on. I had a lovely itchy situation going on to prove it! He didn’t even wear a condom with her! I’m just lucky all I got was itchiness. And he’s lucky he didn’t end up with a baby. Idiot.

        How about how my ex recently told me that “now I’d actually be fun to have sex with”.


        • Ugh. Pig. Unprotected sex with OW??? Yep. But STBXH said the she had an IUD in place so everything was ok. She was not going to get pregnant. Oh and she said she was STD free too. Well isn’t that a relief???
          WTF???????? I went through the roof!!!!!!! I told him to get STD tested, during false R.. Took him 3 weeks to a month after dDay. Told him to show me paper that he did it, since his word was shit. He had every excuse in the book. That it would cost him an extra $140 to get it, his work schedule was tough (yeah right… Had time to slink away for some strange with OW), the office closed over the holiday.
          So I went and got tested myself. I passed out during blood withdrawal for HIV testing. I had dropped 20 lbs, couldn’t eat, BP was very low, plus it was an emotional visit. Called him to pick me up after I came to since his office was close to doctor’s office. He was irritated and thought I was being a drama queen. What a fucking schmuck.

          • Oh forgot to add best part!!! Bill came for office visit and lab testing. He made it a point to tell me he went ahead and paid that bill for me. I said, “No shit fuckface, it was because of YOU I had to get tested in the first place!!!! Don’t EVER make what you should be doing and more look like you are doing me a fucking favor.”
            Thankfully, I was okay in all testing, but Inwas petrified throughout the whole thing.

            • Rose — he’s an abusive fuckwit. I am SO glad you’re away from him. Mine also balked at STD testing. And the costs associated with canceling his secret cell phone plan.

          • To clarify: he told me he had unprotected sex and provided other horrible information regarding affair right after I confronted him about the affair last year. He was a sobbing mess and he cracked. He repeatedly asked for another chance and demanded I forgive him.
            But in 24 hours his demeanor changed and he became cold, distant, and defensive. Found out later obviously, affair was still going on. It took me two more months to finally walk away for good, but those two months were the longest and biggest hellhole of my life. And I left. Can’t believe I was married to such a fraud.

          • Tons of cheaters do not use protection. I read that for women cheaters, there is some type of igh due to the chemicals in semen.

      • Talk about gross, FWIW during my brief attempt at reconciliation with my ex she made a grand point of declaring that she *never* had sex with the other dude and me *on the same day.*

        First Response: Wow, thanks. So long as you’re faithful on the days you’re being faithful. That makes it all better.
        Second Response: Not bloody likely. Lying sack of lies.

        What passes for “consideration” with these people is astounding. In retrospect this moment was perhaps at once the saddest and funniest moment of the supposed (aka fake) reconciliation.

        • Omg Nomar!!!! I got that line too!!! “I never had sex with you and blank on the same day!” Get ready for the stupid-things-cheaters-say: “because THAT would have been disgusting!” I just froze with my jaw down to the floor and thought, “Are you fucking kidding me????” (No pun intended!) amongst other complete bullshit, crazy mindfuckery. I am still astounded.
          He really believes to this day he is a good person that made a bad mistake. No. And I clarified to him on a recent conversation: mistake=singular. One time error in judgement. Your repeated selfish choices, lies, cheating, deceiving, thievery, and betrayal of me and our family over the years in our marriage has become the lifestyle of your choosing. Your selfish, vile choices you ACTIVELY made. Situations you have actively participated in, you have CHOSEN to be a BAD person. How you act determines your character and who you are. Don’t minimize the cheating and vile behavior or rewrite our marital history to make yourself feel better by twisting the truth around to fit your sob story. You could have gotten out at anytime. Honorably. But no. You are an effing cake eater. A selfish twit. A disgusting pig. And you will never have my trust again (he wanted to prove to me he could be trusted. I laughed at that one) because you have only proven that I was sleeping with the enemy. A person that would put my health at risk, mentally and emotionally abuse me, gaslight me, and financially abuse our family.
          I realized that he is emotionally and mentally incapable of ever reasoning with the motherfucker (literally). He is has a sickness about him. A toxicity, a darkness that only he can face and fix. I am floored at how he can minimize and justify this horrid behavior. But thankfully, I don’t have to be around this crazy loony tune anymore. It blows my mind just the same.

          • What is up with the trust thing? STBX moaned recently that I don’t trust anything he says. I just laughed. Of course I don’t trust anything he says! He was lying to me for years and even after I found out and kicked him out he still lied about loads of stuff and does to this day.

            But *sniff sniff* ‘Nord doesn’t trust me…it’s really hard’. WTFever.

      • Halle Berry
        Sandra Bullock
        Reese Witherspoon
        Rob Pattinson
        All these gorgeous people and many more famous/non famous people get cheated on. The cheater is the slime, ugly soul.
        Btw. Sexless marriage is not an excuse for a divorce, but a REASON for it. Cheating obviously is never excused or find any reason for that behavior.
        The POS EX H really enjoyed boffing me regularly at home, but also had strange on the side with the wannabe cougar on his lunch hour. Disgusting pig.

    • honey… they rarely are. My wasband’s main fuck was fat and homely. (his words). I don’t want to sound conceited, but let’s just say that I’m not. Its not about that, he says…

      “WE just don’t have chemistry.”

      no, my dear… YOU don’t have chemistry! (well, actually, he does… but its not very pleasant)

      what happens, is that we all know that its nonsense, but it just doesn’t compute. (henceforth le mindfuck)… but that doesn’t stop us from trying, does it?

      As an aside… shortly after D-day #2. I asked our older son, then 21 what he thought of when he thought of Dad and me?

      his answer?

      “Well, you and Dad have this incredible chemistry.”

      yes, that’s what he said.

      • Yeah. Chemistry. Because their boinking at the Motel Six was a matter of ***scientific inevitability***. Like, say, photosynthesis.

        Come to think of it, most cheaters have the emotional IQ of a houseplant. . . .

        • I got the “I need connection” deal . Funny, wonder how emotionally connected one can get picking up strange men in a bar and fucking them that night.
          See, this si why men need to realize that this lack of intimacy/connection deal is pure bullshit, an excuse to go get laid and to orgasm while thinking you are some nobel, evolved soul looking for life’s true meanng.
          Women and men cheat for exactly the same reasons, sex being the main one.

  • CL has this right. If lack of sex is a problem, then bring it up and work it out or leave.

    This is probably used as an excuse. Some men are really into sex AND are really into variety. Such folks should be honest about their needs and ask for an open marriage and find a partner who is into that. I really doubt that insufficiency is the real issue in the majority of cases. Cornered, folks will look for an excuse, and this is an easy one.

    In truth, the secrecy and intrigue of an affair is what’s most intoxicating. In the cases I’ve seen, the guy really likes the “I spy/James Bond” part that comes with the cake-eating. The guy may or may not be having sex with his wife. That’s really not the issue.

    In any case, as usual, CL nails this one. Certainly anyone who is not satisfied in their marriage can start discussing that with their spouse and explore what arrangements they might make to spice things up. Frankly, I think most folks who’d grasp this excuse want to both have that cake and eat it. CL says it all, yet again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • yeah… they get off on the “super stealth, sneaky-sneaky” Mine also thought that it shouldn’t be any effort. (I saw that comment above this) Really? Is that so??? It sure took a lot of effort placing all of those ads, screening out the fakes from the real ones and following up on them and making arrangements… blah… yawn…

      too bad he didn’t get paid for all of that hard work. :[

      I once read this:

      “One man can love a million women but… it takes a real man to love one women for a million reasons..”

      mine had a million excuses.

      • Has anyone read Michelle Langley’s books on Women’s Infidelity? It sheds light on this hypergamy and sex drive issue in women. Same with Mark Rudov’s stuff.

  • I believe the last few years of my marriage were sexless (i.e. 4-5 times a year – tops) because STBX was getting it on with someone else. Having had to bear him telling me for so long that he wasn’t sexually attracted to me, why the hell would I ever initiate sex with him? And the fact that he was out at the bars most nights until 2:00, 3:00, 4:00 in the morning didn’t help either.

    But after D Day, one of his biggest complaints about our marriage? We NEVER had sex!

  • “That person is a cake eater. They want both the affair and the ‘bad marriage,’ because it gives them a pretext for fucking around. The “sexlessness” doesn’t upset them — no, it’s the ticket to the banquet of fuckbuddies. A banquet of cake. And I promise you, the marriage is probably not sexless either.”

    That describes my STBX exactly. He wanted the appearance of the perfect family, and he wanted the wife who would pick up his dirty clothes and put a hot meal in front of him after work every evening. When I found out about the A, I wanted out– he wanted to R. I think he was anticipating that I would take on all the blame and accept his lame apologies, and then he’d take the A underground and enjoy his cake.

    I would also like to add how amazing it is to me when one spouse expects the other to do everything and then also be ready to have some amazing evening of passion when all the overworked, burnt-out spouse wants to do is sleep or watch some mindless TV. We didn’t have a sexless marriage, but we sure would’ve done it more often if STBX had actually helped out now and again. I resent that double standard– that one spouse is “frigid” or “withholding,” and the other spouse is being sexually neglected. The neglect can work both ways. It’s hard to feel sexy when you struggle with the burdens of the day with little help and little down time.

    • Yes yes yes, to that last paragraph.

      This is how he’d “woo” me: Leave me for two weeks straight for work. Come home, bitch about work, plop on the couch with his laptop and watch tv while I cook dinner, clean house, do all the kid duties, all the while I have been taking care of the huge house, my own side job, maintaining 2.5 acres of land by myself. I have to clean up the dishes, get the kids to bed, and I’m exhausted. He spends the rest of the evening looking at porn, ignoring me, then when he’s hot and ready, comes over and says “let’s have sex”. Oh, hubba hubba, hold me back!! 😛

      He also gave me the “not enough sex” routine, which in the later years, was probably true, because I was exhausted and felt used afterwards (probably because he subconsciously treated me the same as he treated his hookers – I was just a cheap meat puppet to him). However, that doesn’t really fly when you look back to the earliest evidence I have of when he started seeing the hookers – only 3 years into our marriage and we were still a love fest then for sure. Doesn’t add up at all. When I wanted to spice things up, he Couldn’t Do It. Had no imagination at all. So very very vanilla with me. Seems to have taken his wild side to the hookers, or maybe he was just as boring with them. The “not enough sex” was just an excuse to turn himself into a perv and fulfill his fantasy about having multiple sex partners (all races and genders included) instead of spending the time bolstering our marriage. He wanted variety, not monogamy. What I needed never mattered to him. What penis wants, penis gets, apparently.

      • Hahaha…yes, when STBX wants to say things like ‘connection, chemistry..blah blah blah’ I simply point out that his cheating stretches way back…whether things were good, bad, otherwise. He just likes to fuck around and have secret things going on. Might have something to do with his mother having her head up his ass his entire life. He his things from her, he hid things from me and I assume he now hides things from the final, young and very gullible OW.

        • Oh see!!! This is such hard-wired behavior and if they don’t even acknowledge it exists, then how on earth can they change it?


          • I doubt he’ll change. Right now he’s probably on his best behaviour because, in his own words, he hates to be alone and final OW is aware that she was not his first time at the rodeo (although I’m sure she doesn’t believe it was as extensive as it was). But he was chasing other women while ‘seeing’ her so it’s not like he fell madly in love and that was it, no more other women. She was just mistress number one and now she’s number one woman since I bailed. But will that keep him faithful? I sincerely doubt it.

  • I was in a sexless marriage. It was a pretty sexless engagement. It was a sexless honeymoon. I loved him, we got along great, had fun together, and that was not the most important thing to me. His sister was molested by their father as a child. He never disclosed anything happening to him, but I always wondered if that had something to do with it. And I loved him and sex was not the most important thing to me. WHEN HE PROPOSED, the FIRST THING I SAID was, “I dont think we have sex enough to get married” (It wasnt that we NEVER did, we just didnt often. When we did, I thought it was great sex). Anyway, he said, “I dont care, I just want to marry you and spend my life with you”. SO, it turns out, he thought I didnt want to have sex with HIM and I thought he didnt want to have sex with ME and neither of us pushed it because we were otherwise (I think) happy. But I didnt figure this out until after his SECRETARY figured out that he DID want to have sex.
    Funny, no?

  • Yes, I believe that the sexless marriage exists. And yes, I also believe that women tend to stop being interested in sex while men remain interested longer. This is something for couples to talk about, especially as they approach late middle age. Women go through hormonal changes. Sex can become painful. All of this can be worked through, if the two people involved are willing to work with the situation. Maybe medication, maybe extra lubrication, maybe more foreplay, maybe a combination of approaches–but at least communicate and work with each other!

    I also believe that there are sexless marriages as a result of one or both individuals having sexual hangups. Again, this can be worked through. Therapy is wonderful, and people should take advantage of it!

    In no case should sex or the lack thereof be an acceptable excuse for cheating. Yes, if it’s an ongoing issue that can’t be resolved, then it is definitely grounds for a divorce, but a divorce isn’t cheating.

    In my case, one of the red flags was the very sudden withdrawal from sex. Not that my STBXH was one of these guys who wanted sex often. In fact, I learned very early on in our marriage that sex was when he wanted it, not necessarily when I wanted it. Also, whenever he was ill (and this is fairly frequent), he’d be unable to be up for sex. When I realized that over a month had gone by without any sex, the first thought in my mind was if he wasn’t getting it with me, then he was getting it with someone else.

    Now that I have confirmation that he’s been unfaithful, I really don’t want to have sex with him. I know the OW’s history of married men, bar-hopping, one-night stands. I don’t care if he’s used a condom every single time–that’s still a lot of risk! I think I have made overtures a couple of times since then, just to confirm that he’s uninterested. He isn’t interested, and relieved when I give him an out.

    The irony is that when I serve him his papers and tell him I know of his affair, he’ll probably blame it on a sexless marriage. Go figure.

    • I disagree. Women have a much greater capacity for sex than men, especially after age 35 or so.Thye are multi orgasmic, require no recovery time and can accomodate multiple partners.
      I thin when a middle aged man sees his wife losing interest insex, it may be that she is just not interested in him for sex.
      You see this a lot. The woman is getting fucked behind her H’s back by abnother guy abd he thinks she just does not like sexd anymore.

      • Arnold, while it is true that women have a great capacity for sex, especially with respect to recovery time, it’s also true that the loss of estrogen in post-menopausal women along with the dip in other hormones can have an impact on how easily these women are aroused. Also, the increase in dryness can cause some women to feel pain. It’s also true that it’s possible to work around both of these issues, assuming that both people are committed to doing so.

        And it’s also true that some women report an increase in their sex drive after menopause.

        Does this mean that all post-menopausal women who use the “I’m not interested” excuse really are uninterested? No. Of course not! Women lie as easily and as frequently as men, and are perfectly capable of claiming lack of interest when really they’re saying that they’d rather have sex outside their marriage.

        I definitely believe that cheating, regardless of the excuse, is a deal-breaker. I also believe that if one person in the marriage is withholding sex from the other, that is also a deal-breaker. I’m not talking medical problems interfering with sex, as these should be discussed with a physician to see what can be done. I’m also not talking about sexual boredom, which should be addressed by the couple talking to each other and figuring out how to get more spice into sex.

        I’m talking about mind-fuck behavior when one spouse decides unilaterally to withhold sex from the other. That’s not an excuse to cheat, but it is definitely reason for divorce.

  • I thought he fucking had erectile disfunction….he decided 2-4 years ago to with hold (not telling me) as I made numerous advances. He complained after I found out about affair that he didn’t like that I had to have a cocktail to initiate. He got tested and has 0 to low testerone. Now uses androgen gel to fuck his misteress. I told him I hoped she grew a beard from the testerone exposure.

  • I love your blog Chump Lady!

    One of the things that at the beginning I felt embarrassed about was, that once they knew he cheated, they were going to think – “oh she must of not put out, or not been good in bed”

    Totally false, in 23 years of marriage, there was hardly any weeks – that we didn’t have some kind of sexual activity. He actually was “nice” to tell me that it had nothing, nothing to do with our sex life, no complaints, and that I was “the best”, but it was all about “the unknown” – Well he got to “know” her pretty well, having an affair for 3 years with my “friend” 19 years younger than him…

  • “If one person is deeply miserable about this, and it’s not a mutual, agreed upon sexlessness — I think it’s incumbent upon the other spouse to address the issue and not withdraw further. If someone is not having sex with you, and they won’t discuss it, or work on it, and they withhold? I think that is form of emotional abuse. It’s a kind of infidelity — they’ve checked out of their marriage.”

    And if they don’t (discuss it)? What then? What about the deer in the headlight stare or the “I’ll do better, I promise.” (and nothing materializes) What if it was a ploy all along to give the other spouse what they wanted while dating, got hooks planted, popped out a kid or two—and then dared you to do something about it (whether consciously or subconsciously)?

    I personally know a woman who is doing that right now—she is daring her husband to do something about her withholding. She knows the embarrassment of a divorce, how horribly it would effect their daughter, how he doesn’t want to spend even 5 minutes away from his daughter (as in shared custody) or upset her life—and the wife uses it. DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT Now what does he do? Explain to his 5 year old daughter “Sorry, sweetheart, but Daddy didn’t get married so that he can sleep on the futon, so I have to break up our family.” She acknowledges it—she told him “You signed the contract, buddy. For better or for worse. You’re sticking to it.”

    Now, this statement above is interesting. Sexlessness and the inability/unwillingness to talk about it. Not everyone is raised to talk things out. Not everyone at 22 years old thinks about how it’s gonna be when you’re 47. “So, potential mate—we’re having trouble with sex in 20 years….tell me in 500 words or less how we’re going to work this out?” Is this something you’ve done while dating someone? Really? I’m sorry, but I must have been a mentally challenged 22 year old for not thinking like that while I was dating my husband.

    So….would it be fair to say that perhaps a man who has been denied because his wife was one way when they were dating, and once she got to her goal….did this whole denial thing, but he loves her and took his vows seriously…he wants to stay in the marriage because they have kids or they have a lot of history… what….so now he going to be called a douchebag (or she a whore if it’s the woman suffering from his withholding)—because they want out?

    I don’t see that as fair. I didn’t say cheat. I do call bs on this whole “well, if you ain’t gettin’ what ya need, then just walk and it’s okay.” Yes, it’s more honest, but have you ever heard anyone say….”Well, I really admire that guy/gal….they weren’t getting what they needed and they just walked away clean from a wife/husband of 20 years and 4 kids.” No. That just doesn’t wash.

    And no. Cheating is never okay. Ever.

    But it is nice that this is the first article that I’ve read here that skates thisclose to implying that perhaps….the cheated upon spouse MIGHT be a part of what happened, instead of some orbiting satellite with no responsibility in the marriage. The chump isn’t always this virtuous, pristine, long suffering soul—sometimes, they’re controlling, ABUSIVE (as CL says above) and deceptive (acting one way while dating and another after the ring in on the finger).

    • Well, yeah, Abby — I have an entire post (linked to in the article) on “What if the BS truly sucks?” It’s real. But it’s still not an excuse to cheat IMO. If they suck? You leave. Why keep doing the toxic dance with them?

      If someone is sexually withholding, like in your example, IMO that guy is being abused. She’s shut him down and won’t discuss it or work on it. She’s made a unilateral decision in the marriage. I’m not talking what color to paint the living room unilateral decision. I’m talking about something humans don’t live without — human touch. Intimacy. Affection. Those are some fundamental cornerstones of marriage.

      So YES that guy should leave and who gives a shit if someone thinks he’s a douchebag? Perhaps if he was prepared to walk, instead of gamely sleeping on the futon, she’d get a clue that he’s serious about his needs. But then, I’d argue (just like in cheating) you shouldn’t want a partner for whom you have to hold a legal gun to their head to get them to behave decently.

      It’s unfair he’s in that position and that he married a crappy wife. We all get unfair here. You only control you.

      If it’s really all that toxic, there is nothing to be gained in that guy cheating and staying in the marriage. It just hurts more people, especially the kids.

    • Abby, you were virtually describing MY Marriage. I called the sex during dating, followed by the no more sex after reaching the “proper” amount of children: “The (insert name of spouses home town here) Bait and Switch”. It brought some laughs, but it was no laughing matter.

      Of course in my situation, SHE was the cheater after 20+ years of marriage.

      I hear over and over again from women I know and have dated: “WHY did you stay married to her for SO LONG”???? I have a hard time answering that question NOW, after removing myself (or being removed) from that situation. But when you are in the middle of that shit-storm, and there are children (minor) involved…….maybe there is a little bit of martyrdom happening there……who knows…. Either way, there’s plenty of guilt to freeze you in place, the “perceived” safe move is to do nothing–to stay put. It’s really much more difficult in the LONG run to stay married, but like the frog in the slowly heating water, it’s almost too late before you realize you should get out.

    • Cheating is still not justifiable, even if one spouse is deliberately withholding sex from the other–perhaps as a passive-aggressive way of breaking up the marriage. Withholding sex isn’t healthy for a marriage either, but it’s a different thing altogether than cheating.

      In Abby’s case, if the woman has shut down all discussion of sex and is deliberately out to make her husband miserable, then the husband has the choice of whether to stay in the marriage or leave it. Her being a douche is not sufficient justification for him to cheat. It is sufficient for him to consider whether he’s better with her or without her, as Dear Abby would put it.

      The kids are a complicating factor, but to be honest, part of the “are you better with or without” also needs to consider what the situation means for the kids. Frankly, the current situation is terribly damaging to the kids. They are internalizing the dysfunctional marriage as the norm.

      If the father is miserable in the marriage, he owes it to himself and his children to initiate a divorce. He can then hire a lawyer to work out favorable custody arrangements so that he can model sane parenting and sane relationships. He can consult with a divorce financial analyst to find out what kind of financial arrangement would ensure that his children will be financially stable. In all of this, he’s being the good guy, and his kids will see that–maybe not initially, but eventually.

      Children want stability; divorce threatens that stability. However, once parents have settled into living separately, and the kids have settled into the routine, they appreciate the lack of drama that ensues. This is certainly the case with the people I’ve known who’ve come from divorced households. The parents are then free to develop relationships that are healthier than their previous marriages, and this also helps the children.

      Obviously, in the case Abby mentions, the husband has to make up his own mind as to whether he stays or goes. Regardless, cheating should not be on the agenda. That merely compounds the fucked-upness.

    • I tried to discuss the lack of sex with both my X’s, before i found out they were cheating. I got stonewalled, as well. I had no idea what to do, with young kids in the mix. I just toughed it out until I found out about the cheating.

    • I would think cheating on someone that has been refusing to have sex with you for a significantly long time could be kinda likened to a revenge affair… not healthy, not gonna solve your problems, but a lot more understandable. But like with a revenge affair, you lose taking the high road and being the better person. You compromise yourself because of what the other a-hole has done to you. And you hurt that a-hole back. But it’s not a way to live and really isn’t fair to anybody (even the a-hole). I understand about not wanting to leave a marriage because of the impact it could have on the children (been there, done that), and not wanting to lose time with them… and for a man, possibly losing a lot of time. It could be thought of as “selfish” to end your marriage “just” because you haven’t been having sex. I think a lot of us went through some shitty passive aggressive (or just aggressive) treatment before D Day and we never left. And then even after D Day most attempt some kind of reconciliation – probably usually to keep the marriage together for the children. Also, unlike being cheated on, being denied sex seems harder to justify leaving, or to view as abuse, because they haven’t actively done anything to betray you. No horrible action was taken. Just completely shitty passive inaction. I’m not saying I agree with those thoughts… just that I can see why a person trapped in this type of relationship might have a hard time getting out.

      I agree with the above that even if with seeing your kids less it will be better for them and better for the parent for the parent to be happy and stable. We don’t want to waste our life being miserable, and possibly dragging others down with us – we deserve happiness. I decided to leave, which was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do, when the alternative was literally IMPOSSIBLE to me. I would have lost myself completely if I had stayed.

  • “So to then have that turned around — projected — as “I was in a sexless marriage” is utter mindfuckery.”

    This! I lived with my XH for many years, then he talked me into marrying him, within a year sex stopped. I thought he had issues, he was so sad about them. I got things from him like; “when you are aggressive about sex it turns me off, please let me initiate” so I’d wait, and wait…. in reality he withheld sex from me for years, I considered leaving him because of it but he always pretended to try whenever I got to that point. He would “try” long enough to keep me there because I did love him. It’s only now I realize that if he loved me, we would have had sex even if he couldn’t get off totally.

    After DD, he talked me into marriage counseling, his first “reason” for cheating? verbatim? “Our marriage was dead, we haven’t had sex in years”.

  • haha! My husband said I wasn’t aggressive ENOUGH. But only later, after he had been preying on other married women for 10 years! You see… Datdamwuf, you can’t win. You’re this, you’re that… Its all about YOU as why he can’t remain faithful to YOU.
    That’s the mindfuck.
    what a fuckin’ loser. There’s so, so, SO much more to a marriage than sex.
    Let’s start with honesty. Oh, he WAS honest with you? (he claims) He told you that you were too aggressive? (if there IS such a thing) Well, he didn’t initiate because he wasn’t “feelin'” it or there was no chemistry, or… you refused him one time back in 1987 when you had just gone back to college and were inundated with work and were exhausted.

    But… he’s hung onto that for the last 26 years… and THAT is why he can’t have sex with you now. (that is my h I’m referring to now)

    He’s right though. The marriage IS dead, but not because you didn’t have sex. Its dead because HE killed it with his infidelity, LIES, disrespect, inability to get HIS act together and exorcise HIS demons. But, he doesn’t want to do any of that. He doesn’t NEED to, because you just don’t have sex and he can’t let himself think that the reason might very well lie completely inside his fucked up self.

  • The statistic I read about sexless marriage (don’t ask me for a source because I don’t have if off the top of my head) is that sexless marriage roughly follows the decade of the age of the people. So 20% of married couples in their 20s are sexless, 30% of couples in their 30s, 40% of couples in their 40s, 45% of couples in their 50s, and 60% of couples in their 60s are sexless. The clinical definition of a sexless marriage is sex ten or less times a year, but I’m not positive that was the definition used in the study, although I assume it was. As you can imagine sexlessness is tough to quantify. I was surprised that 20% of couples in their 20s are sexless, but then I was in a sexless marriage in my 20s, so I suppose I shouldn’t be.

  • Interesting that this came up. I stumbled across a private investigato’s website one day. He/she had a list of warning signs that point to affairs. One thing that was said triggered my red flag. They said that if your spouse (mainly men) have a higher than normal sex drive. If they desire to have sex with you more frequently than the normal and more aggressively. It shocked me! So when guys complains about being in a sexless marriage, my instincts tell me this dude is a cheater and probably cheated for a while. IMO.

  • God, what an fool I was. Sexless for the final EIGHT years of our 12-year marriage (well, not completely sexless – we did do it twice in those eight years!)…HIS choice, not mine. We were in marriage counseling, he’d go to therapy on and off, I was in therapy. I cried, I yelled, I cajoled. “What’s wong? Are you angry with me? Are you cheating on me?” His responses: “I have low testosterone.” “I’m stressed about work.” “I love you.” Ugh, and all the times we’d talk about cheaters and he’d act so disgusted with them.

    Now, after all this time…He’s an online porn addict. He has escalated to Ashley Madison, sexting with neighbors, co-workers and mutual “friends.” I will eat my hat if he hasn’t cheated physically and for a long, long time. I finally left, we’ve been divorced for two months and he already has a new girlfriend (another neighbor – #3) and a new car. He also has our house. He’s parading his new girl around my 9 year-old son. Pig. Pig. Pig.

    Wish I’d have found CL a long time ago and cut my losses.

  • My h has brought up our “sexless” marriage as an excuse for cheating. What I have realized since DDay is: We didn’t have sex very often especially in the last ten years it’s true. He did bring it up a number of times and it would increase for a time but then would settle out to about twice a month. Yes, something was wrong with that and I thought it was all about me. I had gained weight and hated my body especially in the last five years. I feel he should have left – probably a long time ago and definitely before he decided to fuck a howorker. However, he tuned out of this marriage a long time ago. I am very sensitive and I believe I could feel it. As a possible Narcissist, he doesn’t connect on a deep level to anyone. This has been a common theme in our marriage for twenty-five years – his mistrust of me. During the last few years, the sex was silent, dry, wooden, unfulfilling, lonely. So I buried my desire along with my personality and became a shadow of myself. Since Dday – I have experienced a metamorphosis. It’s like I unzipped a fat suit and stepped out as my true self. I believe that denying your true self is deadly and we both did that. I was willing to forgive and try to move past this as recently as last week. But then I found out that he had continued to lie to me since what I thought was Dday and that he is more interested in cake than anything or anyone else and he shows no remorse whatever for his heinous acts. The last lie was told three days ago and only now do I trust that he sucks. For sure.

  • One of the excuses I have heard many times for why men cheat is that the wife in question “is just not a sexual person.” I.e. they don’t have enough sex or the kind of sex they desire, so it’s okay to seek it elsewhere while still “wanting to be in the marriage.” I have two things to say about this:

    1) maybe your wife is not a sexual person because you are awful/selfish/incompetent in bed. Have you considered asking her what she would like and then giving it to her without demand for quid pro quo?

    2) Perhaps she is so exhausted from taking care of everything around the house, washing your clothes, working full time, caring for your children, and running your household without a whiff of appreciation or thanks that she has no energy left to be the sex kitten of your dreams.

  • Wrong. If there is no sex, what, exactly, is men’s position in this power struggle?
    Be “monogamous” AND Sexless? Talk about having your cake and eating it too ladies!
    Do you really have THAT little respect for your man that you think he will tolerate this exploitation?
    Hmm. Well, given the 56% of women who don’t put out…

  • I am in an largely un-affectionate, and now fully sexless marriage. They exist, regardless of what you say. And, you can bet your bottom dollar I dream of getting laid by a friendly and interactive woman. Yes, there, I’ve said it. I want to cheat. Do I want a divorce, NO, I want things to go back to the way they were. I have no problem putting her past bad behavior behind us. Men really are soft at heart. We want love, we want affection, we want sex and most of all, we want companionship. And we want to reciprocate with all of the above. Do you think I want to be a “cake eater”, having my way with the ladies, while remaining married? No way. But, I am willing to accept that position as it fills a need.

    • Then tell your wife you want an open marriage. Don’t cheat. If she doesn’t like that — sex therapist, work on it, or divorce.

      I’m sorry, we’d all like things to “go back to the way they were.” You deal with the reality you’re dealt.

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