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Author Topic: Celibate Marriage  (Read 23949 times)


Celibate Marriage
« on: December 18, 2009, 02:11:pm »
I have a terrible problem and need to know if anyone has had such an experience and/or advice on how to deal with it.

I have been unwillingly celibate in my marriage for over two and a half years -- completely celibate, with almost no physical affection, even. It happened gradually, beginning as early as a year into the marriage. It's amazing that I ever became pregnant -- but I did, and after that, intimacy vanished completely. I tried a number of times to initiate it and was rebuffed. Now I'm no supermodel, but I'm still nubile and considered attractive; I'm clean and groomed and not frumpy. I even used to be kind and loving to my husband, and I was never rejecting or unresponsive sexually, so the standard excuses he might have are not there. When I occasionally broke down and told him I was unhappy with the situation, he was so defensive and in denial that our relationship, if you want to call it that, only became worse. So I dropped it and just tried to live with it, doing my best to squish down all sexual and romantic feelings and all need for affection and companionship. Sometimes I thought I had conquered it, but lately it's gotten so much harder to squish. Last week I completely broke down and wrote him a long letter telling him precisely what had happened (or not happened) between us from my point of view and how I felt about it, and begging for an explanation. Finally I got him to talk to me -- it was like pulling teeth -- and what I got out of him was a parody of Catholic views of marital sexuality, with that as his reason for having been put off by the whole thing. My husband is a nominal evangelical Protestant, by the way, and he knew and agreed to my beliefs when we got married. I also need to point out, whatever anyone here thinks of it, that I believed NFP was acceptable to practice and that I did so successfully and with his full approval for two years, so he is unjustified in painting me as a nitpicky prude who just wanted to be repeatedly impregnated. I was so distraught by what he said and so desperate to change the situation that yes, I broke down and did something sinful in order to please him. Did it change the situation? No, not as far as I can see. He's as cold and indifferent as ever.

I have no idea what to do. My loveless marriage has left me so defeated that old friends notice it, although they don't know the cause. I'm not willing to play "Total Womanhood"-type games with plastic wrap and cute temper tantrums, and at this point I barely have affection for him, so just being nice and not talking to him with sarcasm is extremely difficult. Also it makes me sad that if things continue, I will never have more than one child. I'm just -- stuck. Until he dies, or I do. How, how can I find joy in this situation?
"Skeptics will always prevail. God gives us just enough to seek Him, and never enough to fully find Him. To do more would inhibit our freedom, and our freedom is very dear to God." --Ron Hansen, "Mariette in Ecstasy"


Re: Celibate Marriage
« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2009, 02:27:pm »
I wish I could give you some advice, but I really don't know what to say...

"Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. " -- I Peter5:8

"Better to illuminate than merely to shine, to deliver to others contemplated truths than merely to contemplate. " -- St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274)

"But Christianity preaches an obviously unattractive idea, such as original sin; but when we wait for its results, they are pathos and brotherhood, and a thunder of laughter and pity; for only with original sin we can at once pity the beggar and distrust the king." -- G. K. Chesterton (1874-1936)

"The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist." -- Baudelaire and Verbal Kint from The Usual Suspects

"I'm a practicing Catholic; I'm practicing until I get it right." -- Martin Sheen


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Re: Celibate Marriage
« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2009, 02:46:pm »
Maybe your husband has a medical problem, like a thyroid issue, that's pretty much wiped out his libido.  I don't know if he would be willing to find out (it's requires a quick blood draw).

Is he unemployed or under terrible work pressure?  Could he be suffering from depression (hypothyroidism can cause this, too)?

Don't give up.   :pray2:
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Re: Celibate Marriage
« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2009, 02:50:pm »
Well, first of all, I'm sorry for your difficulties.

Second of all, l am not married, so I have no direct experience.

That said, it seems to me that, regardless of what his feelings on your religious beliefs are, if he is not desiring intimacy with you, there is some other problem.  Did you ask him about getting some counseling?  That seems like it would be a good way to get at the real issues.  I could be he simply doesn't have a very strong libido.  But maybe there are some other things.  If it's just this religion thing, that sounds like a misunderstanding that can be corrected.  Meeting with a priest might be a good way for him to understand things better and get help at the same time.  Or if he is not open to that, maybe a minister from his own denomination - not for spiritual matters, of course, but it might make him comfortable enough to open up and try to solve the problems.  Or even a regular marriage counselor could help (your priest can probably refer you to some, and you wouldn't have to tell your husband where you got the reference from).

I can't imagine he is any happier about the situation than you are, even if it is not as much on his mind as it is on yours.  I don't think you should just resign yourself to living with this until you have really tried to fix it.  This isn't a good way for a marriage to be, for you or him or your child, and that's for sure.  So try to get some outside help first.  And of course, pray...


Re: Celibate Marriage
« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2009, 02:53:pm »
 :pray2: :pray2:


Re: Celibate Marriage
« Reply #5 on: December 18, 2009, 02:58:pm »
 :pray2: First of all.
I agree with Underdog that this could be at bottom a medical issue., I don't know what age he is, but if he's having .......difficulties, some men will try and find issues with their spouse to explain it. It doesn't make him feel "manly", so he's seized on your imagined problems as an excuse. You're clearly trying to initiate, so he has to realize you're not being prudish about anything.
People talk vaguely about the innocence of a little child, but they take mighty good care not to let it out of their sight for twenty minutes.-Saki.
"Meanwhile, Fate was quietly slipping lead into the boxing glove. "
— P.G. Wodehouse
The Modernist's Prayer  by R.A. Knox
O God, forasmuch as without Thee
We are not enabled to doubt Thee,
Help us all by Thy Grace
To convince the whole race
It knows nothing whatever about Thee.


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Re: Celibate Marriage
« Reply #6 on: December 18, 2009, 03:18:pm »
Have you looked into the possibility that he is cheating on you?  If that is not the case, then this has got to be some sort of major psychiatric/physical sickness.  It has nothing to do with your physical attractiveness at all. 
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Of empty men.


Re: Celibate Marriage
« Reply #7 on: December 18, 2009, 04:23:pm »
No advice, but lots of prayers for you.

 :pray2: :pray2: :pray2: :pray2:

"To my cat, Mittens, I bequeath my entire, vast BOOT TO THE HEAD!"


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Re: Celibate Marriage
« Reply #8 on: December 18, 2009, 06:15:pm »
So sorry, Satori.   :pray:


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Re: Celibate Marriage
« Reply #9 on: December 18, 2009, 06:20:pm »
I'm so sorry to hear this.  :pray2:
~O Heart of Jesus, burning with love for us, inflame our hearts with love for Thee.~

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