I have read a lot of stories that have similar elements to mine, so I will try to be brief. In May we will be married for 15 years. We have not had sex in 14. I knew, from long, honest conversations during the year before we married, that he was a recovering sex addict. I didn’t know then what that really meant.
He was all the wonderful things I thought I needed and I was recently divorced and had a 4 year old son. When the sex waned, 6-7 months after our nuptials, I blamed myself. Through the next ten years, I found him caught up in pornography. Each time it came to light, earnest apologies and requests for support in his recovery ensued. We went to counseling, I went to counseling, he attended recovery groups for a period of time. We did all the things that every expert tells you to do.
In the meantime, I lost my self-esteem, confidence, bravado, sexiness, feminine side..my mind. I would argue, yell, research, snoop, accuse, anything to elicit a reaction or to punish him for what I felt he was doing to me. This only caused me to feel guilty for being selfish, unkind, and un supportive. I roller coasted through emotions.
During our marriage, he was a rock for me at times. I battled breast cancer, went through 4 years and more than 20 surgeries to get where I am today, healthy and cancer free, but emotionally and physically scarred. He supported me emotionally and financially when my ex-husband took me to court over and over again regarding our shared custody of our son. The court battles lasted six years, with at time monthly court appointments, until my ex gave up custody all together. My husband never complained about the thousands of dollars spent to deal with these battles.
He has and still supports my son and I in every way. He financed a pre-paid college program for my son, and now still pays all expenses regarding his college education. I have worked little since 2007 due to my health and he is relentless in trying to build our relationship through activities and shared experiences.
Regarding our current lack of a sexual relationship, for the past 18 months or so, he states he is now impotent. I should inform you he is 11 years older than me and in his early 60”s. He has “no sex drive and cannot maintain an erection if he wanted to”. But he loves me with his whole heart. He was willing to try medication to help with impotence and our sex life, but I said no. I am no longer interested in an emotional/sexual relationship. I feel our life is now one similar to a roommate situation. We share everything. But have no emotional connection, or I should say I have no emotional connection. He still tries to kiss me and hold me and speaks his love of me, but I am indifferent.
I am dependent financially on him and he now is planning his retirement. He has saved well for it and is going to be financially ok. “We are going to be financially ok, not rich, but ok”. My son has at least two more years of college and lives with us. My husband financially supports almost everything for him at this time as well. (sidebar: My husband has been a good role model for my son and he has held a full-time job for 3 years now as well as going to college full-time. He purchased his own car and is responsible for his auto payments and his entertainment himself, so he is not too spoiled)
I wonder if there is anyone out there who has stood by and through all the turmoil this kind of relationship brings and is now on the other side so to speak but feels as I do? I stuck with the “Jeckle and Hyde” relationship and am now left with the remains of what I knew were his good traits, but I am no longer feeling invested. I sometimes feel guilty for not trying harder or being more responsive of his attempts at a stronger relationship. But I sometimes dream of another life. I sometimes think of divorce and a life on my own. And then feel guilty that I will destroy all his hard work to be able to retire, which he has earned through hard work with the same company for 38 years and good financial planning, by divorcing him.
I feel like my life is on hold until I resolve myself to again work on the relationship or leave.