Should my wife reconsider decision to divorce?
Here’s my story (I apologise in advance that it’s very long, but if you’re interested in quite a unique and sad story, read on…I would really really appreciate the opinion of other women)
My wife and I have been together for 9.5 years and married for 4 years before we separated in August last year (I’m 34 years old and my wife is 32). Our relationship started off fantastically well, and we had a fantastic sexual relationship for the first 2 years. I really do think my wife is absolutely beautiful, she is in great shape, looks after herself. In terms of our relationship, we were literally like best friends and have huge amounts in common.
We have been fortunate enough to have been blessed with a lot so far. A grand wedding, a dream honeymoon to Bora Bora, great relationship between the two families, a beautiful 4 bedroom house in London, a new car, and a very well paid job. My wife has her own business which I helped her set up 4 years ago, and supported for the first 3 years, which was hard but something I wanted to support her with. We had a fantastic relationship and were blessed with a lot of what couples our age dream off.
However, my wife and I had a very very troubling issue that has plagued our relationship for 6 years (before marriage). After about 2 years of being together, I slowly started to loose physical intimacy for her. This escalated to where we could only have sex once a month, and then even less often. This naturally was very painful for my wife. This escalated to the point where she got depressed and had to go and see a counsellor as she thought there was something wrong with her. I felt confused and didn’t know what to do to fix it. It just didn’t make sense that the only person I couldn’t get an erection for was my wife….i still found females sexually attractive so I knew I wasn’t gay, I still found her hugely attractive so I knew it wasn’t her…and because I was so clueless, I just brushed it under the carpet stupidly thinking it will ‘fix itself somehow’.
Months turned into years and then we thought getting married would be the answer, but it didn’t fix it. We then thought moving out of my parents’ house into our own house would help, this also didn’t fix the issue. We did manage to have sex every few months or so, but it was mundane, not very exciting, and I was just trying to do it to please her. The issue got worse where I started to suffer from erectile dysfunction, but only with her. It was a very upsetting, especially for my wife.
On New Year ’s Day 2014, I finally decided to go and see a therapist and my GP, but neither helped us get closer to the answer. We both tried couples counselling but it felt like a waste of time. And then life continued, we ignored the issue, kept busy with other things….behind the scenes, my wife stopped being upset and angry, stopped mentioning the issue….i should have seen this as a sign that she was slowly giving up on our marriage….i see this now, but couldn’t then. Things were still good in other areas and we still showed each other a lot of affection and care, but it wasn’t how it should have been.
In 2016, last year, the start of the year started ok, we went on a fantastic holiday to Mauritius where we spent time together, had a great time, but we didn’t have sex. However, after May, things deteriorated fast…..Other people noticed things weren’t right. In July we finally addressed the issue, but 4 weeks later she thought that we should separate. I was devastated by knew we had hit rock bottom.
In the 6 weeks of separation I went into ‘action mode’…..i talked to more people about our issue (normally im a very private person), I talked to my wifes family, I went to see the doctor again, I went to see a third therapist (who did help with making sense of my feelings at least), I went to a Chinese doctor for acupuncture which did help with the stress, I seeked solace in God (im a Hindu) and prayed every day, and went to the temple every Monday, I read every article I could find about sexual issue’s in marriage, I made an appointment with a very expensive Harley Street clinic to check that I didn’t have a Testosterone issue, I increased my gym sessions to get fitter in case that helped, I gave her the space she asked for, carried on paying the full mortgage, left her the car. And even after she said she wanted a divorce, my family and I still attended her younger sisters engagement ceremony – it was the hardest day of my life but I didn’t for her. I had made real changes in those 6 weeks and over the last 5 months, which my wife also acknowledges and has commented positively on.
However, after the 6 weeks of separation, she had decided enough was enough, and that she wanted a divorce. She said she still loved me and cared for me as a person, but was no longer in love, and didn’t have any more energy to give. She has been seeing her therapist, but won’t let me come to a joint session. And she isn’t really talking to her friends and family about it. I was obviously devastated. Initially her issues were the lack of intimacy and starting a family, but as time went by she came up with other reasons – I think she was trying to convince herself that she is doing the right thing.
Some of the things that she has said are ‘she loves and cares for me as a person’, ‘she feels broken’, ‘she can’t give anymore’, ‘she wasn’t feeling like herself whilst being married’, ‘she’s doesn’t regret marrying me, but she regrets not resolving our issue before marrying me’, ‘she feels we became best friends, instead of a couple in love’.
The strange part is I actually found out the root of our issue only 2 months ago accidently by randomly typing different searches in Google….what I was suffering from was Porn Induced Erectile Dysfunction (PIED)….its where you watch porn and your brain rewires itself to become stimulated to that level of sexual exposure….this means that a real partner sexually can no longer stimulate you as your brain expects the variety and intensity that porn provides…..it also has other symptoms such as brain fogging, loss of concentration, loss of appetite for real sex and real partners, reduced emotional intimacy, etc. The issue has only been around for the last 5-10 years due to high speed internet.
The problem I have is that I didn’t know it was the porn that was effecting me….. in my head, I could get an erection when watching porn, or seeing some other sexy female image/real life person on the street, so I assumed that my bodily function was ok and it must be psychological….i never put the porn and the erectile dysfunction (ED) together…my understanding of ED was it either works all of the time, or none of the time…. I never have cheated on my wife so I don’t know if this would have affected me with another real woman. I wasn’t and am not actually addicted to porn, I never have been, however I was doing it because it was a good stress reliever….if I had known that it was this that had caused all our problems and heartache, I would have stopped a long time ago…..the good news is its pretty straight forward to resolve the issue….its called ‘rebooting’ and you basically need to stop watching porn and masturbation totally…..depending on severity, it can take 3 – 12 months….in my case, more likely 3 months. None of my friends had even heard of it…..and after seeing the doctor twice, and 4 different therapists, none of them could diagnose it.
Thankfully i am well on the way to recovery, i have been free of porn for 2.5 months, and normal male functionality is returning.
I am very confident that with couples therapy, now that we know what had affected our marriage and im on the road to recovery, I think we can have a very happy marriage together…..however my wife won’t change her mind…she is set on divorce. I love her very much and genuinely feel we have a marriage that can be saved.
Do you think she is giving up to early and should try to work things out one more time, or do you think she is making the right decision? I really do believe there is a good marriage that can be saved here….i know I should have tried harder and not left it so late, I punish myself every single day thinking about that….but I can only do something about tomorrow, and not the past….i would love to know what advice women who have been through divorce would give my wife if she was a close friend of yours…appreciate all the feedback.