My husband and I have been married almost 5 years together almost 6. We got married in our early 20s. I feel that because we were both in love and shared the same faith we rushed things. We were also pressured by his very religious parents that did not approve of us moving in together.
The first few years were fun but our sex life has slowly just died. Went from everyday to weekly to every few weeks and now it's 4 months. I don't know when or how exactly but many times early in our marriage him guilting and begging for sex when I didn't want it turned it into a huge aversion for me. I'm now to the point where his kissing and romantic touch I find repulsive. And sex gives me such anxiety that I will find any reason to avoid it. He pretty much knows now to just not bother and wait for me to go to him. Which is now pretty much never. I don't know if I'm just not a sexual person...Or if because our relationship has been struggling a long time but I just don't even want to WANT to anymore. I don't think of him in a sexy husband or romantic way. I think about him as a best friend and person I care deeply about. Is this normal???
The other issue is that I do not want kids. He recently told me after almost 6 years of not saying anything that he's not sure if he's okay with no kids. He now says that he can be good without them but I feel like he's lying. I worry that one day he will regret not having a family. He's very much a family person and I am not.
We've been talking a lot and our plans for the future are kind of similar except of course him thinking about kids. But certain things we can't agree on. I don't want to be stuck in one place and he won't leave where his parents live. He's very close to them to the point where I feel like I have to fight for my right to be first in his life. I would never make him choose and I never keep him from seeing them. But I end up being guilted because I don't want to spend time with them. They can be very overwhelming with three special needs adults in the house...
I'm just so confused. Is it normal to think of your husband as a friend? And not want any intimacy with him? We get along great as friends but anytime we try date nights or we need support that only a spouse can give is when we have trouble... I don't want to keep hurting and rejecting him sexually and emotionally... But I will not force myself if I'm not into it either
He's a very kind man. He would never hurt me. He says nice things. But I feel like we're just not compatible as a couple. I don't feel attracted to him. I just don't want to be dumb and lose one of the good guys but I also don't wanna settle for a sexless just getting by kind of marriage...
Thanks for your message and honesty here. What you're going through is not easy and I totally empathise with your situation.
Now, the difference between a relationship and friendship is intimacy and everything you have described here points you to just being roommates - rather than actual lovers.
You are correct, you shouldn't settle for a sexless marriage which is why you have a few options that you need to explore here.
Whenever I work with people who are married, i'm always a fan of ensuring that both partners make a decent effort at trying to restore the passion they once had. Why? Because you've come this far that it's only fair that you make a conscious effort to improve the situation.
You mentioned that there was a good sex life in the beginning. This doesn't surprise me because in the beginning of a relationship, most couples will do anything for each other however as time passes, the rules become more strict and it's very easy for resentment to build up.
Let me explain one thing about guys. We love to make our woman happy and sex is the ultimate experience of that. A lot of people think it's just a physical thing for guys and whilst that's a part of it, it's not the whole part. It's a big part of the male psyche to want to make his woman happy and if he can't even do that by having his woman desire him, then he's going to look for other ways to make him feel significant. That might be work, sports, music or some other activity. I can assure you he will literally be feeling like an absolute failure and a fraction of himself when he knows he can't even make you feel truly happy on all levels.
One thing I will say here is that I am in no way condoning his behaviour. In fact, his behaviour was pretty poor and he shouldn't have tried to guilt you into sex but being a guy myself, I can tell you one thing - he's completely oblivious to the impact he's actually having on you. I did the very same thing to one of my girlfriends years ago and it wasn't until a few months later where I started to learn about relationship dynamics and psychology did I really understand the impact of what I was doing. So believe me, I truly understand what you're feeling and I'm not surprised at all that you have an aversion to sex with him. Obviously, I'm very sorry you feel this way as well.
I'm wondering though - is it possible for you to find space in your heart to empathise with his viewpoint? To try and remember all those things that you did at the beginning and how you used to behave. The little things that you used to do together. Remember, in the long run, love is always about giving and not getting. The trap that most couples fall into is that in the beginning, they are focussed on giving until it becomes official, then suddenly they take the foot off the pedal and then fail to give when absolutely necessary.
I'm placing this on your shoulders because as the person who is reaching out for guidance, you are now open to change and in order to truly change, you need to take responsibility for your own experience and your ability to turn it around. If I was messaging him, I would be telling him the same thing (and also giving him a kick up the backside for his behaviour!).
Your question about whether it's normal to think of your husband or wife as a friend and not a lover is EXTREMELY common but most of the time, it's developed. There is often passion at the start and then little things compound over time which lead to the platonic nature of the relationship. It's unfortunate but it's true and happens a lot. I genuinely believe that if it was there, it can be rekindled but it requires a commitment on both parties to make it work.
If after a period of genuine giving to each other (at the level that they need it), and it's going nowhere, then often the couple can part ways in a very amicable fashion but you have to give yourself a good chance to get to that point.
So anyway, I hope that all makes sense. If you have any further questions, let me know.
I hope this gives you some food for thought and helps shed some light on the situation.
All the very best