You give your lover a kiss and caress them but they don’t respond.
You’re lying in bed at night next to your lover. The day is over, there are many things to do tomorrow, but tomorrow is hours and a sunrise away. Co-workers and people in your life are the worst.
They give you a lot of problems, treat you poorly, and you feel unappreciated by them. Thankfully, you’re with someone you love who won’t treat you like those strangers do.
So, you give your lover a kiss and caress them…but they don’t respond.
If this happens once, you can rationalize that your lover is tired. But when this happens over and over again — the lack of response, the half-hearted responses, or the lack of enthusiasm — you come to the conclusion that you’re stuck in a sexless marriage.
Now, you just want to know how to save your marriage from this lack of intimacy…if it can even be saved.
It can make you feel a number of things:
- Your lover finds you disgusting
- She doesn’t want you
- She doesn’t need you
You may want to talk about it, but how do you talk to someone who is so emotionally far away from you and is actively pulling away and rejecting you?
This spirals you down into painful thoughts of other ways they show that they find you disgusting or don’t want you.
You’ll think about the times they don’t kiss you goodbye, didn’t say that they love you, didn’t hold your hand when you were out in public, or didn’t pay attention to you when you really needed them.
You start tallying all the evidence to show that they don’t love you. Or even worse, you tally up all the evidence to show that you’re not worthy of being loved.
So, in your shame you attack yourself.
- You’re disgusting.
- You’ve gained weight.
- You haven’t made as much money this year.
- You’re not home as much.
- You haven’t given them all the affection they need.
Now, you want to choose how to kill your relationship: arguments or emotional deadness. You want to attack and hurt your lover because you also felt hurt by their rejection. If this isn’t handled, vicious arguments will start or cold and silent resentment will brew. The fights will be disguised and seem like they are about other things.
You will pick fights over how your lover is not cleaning dishes after they eat or not cleaning up after themselves. These arguments will all be attacks that start with, “You don’t…!” They’re all attacks to hurt them because you feel hurt by them.
Can love last this way? No, it won’t. And the only way to save your marriage is to talk and communicate with your spouse.
If you don’t discuss the lack of sex, ambiguous interpretations will come into your mind which will lead to arguments and too often destroys a relationship and family.
The goal of figuring out how to have a conversation about your sexless relationship is to try and determine what is going on through genuinely communicating with your lover. A lot of the time, these issues can be worked through since the lack of sex is a symptom of something deeper that is wrong in the relationship.
If you’re staying and invested in what you believe is a “dead” relationship, there are steps you can take to initiate this painful conversation.
But, a word of caution: not knowing how to value yourself and how to have meaning in your life will keep you in this repetition of staying and investing in a dead relationship.
Examples of this include not saying that you’re feeling sexually and emotionally rejected, having an affair, or exploding in rage.
These are the ways to not adequately ask for what you want in a relationship because you feel you do not deserve to be happy and cannot tolerate the frustration of relationships.
There is one “not so small” thing you can do.
If your lover initiates sex but you’re not in the mood that day because of the millions of things that rightfully exhaust you, empathize with them to think about what it might mean to them to reject them. Even harder to do, ask them about it.
Or do the easier thing and tell them you have a headache, that you’re tired, that you have to wake up early and go to sleep making believe that you’ll take care of this issue tomorrow.
There are solutions out there to the many problems we have in our relationships. You can learn what words to avoid and what to avoid thinking to avoid an argument so you can continue to live in a way that is fulfilling to your lives.
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