When this woman is considering blowing up her marriage, she asks Reddit:
I (F37) and my husband (M39) have been together for almost 20 years and married the last 10. We have a 3 year old daughter.
Early in our relationship se% was frequent and adventurous. I always loved exploring my se%uality with him. I did not have much experience se%ually before we started dating so our relationship pretty much defined who I am today.
Sometime in the last 7 or 8 years se% started to go from once or twice a week to maybe once a month, sometimes even less. I never pushed for se% but every now and then I tried to initiate with kisses and caresses but the great majority of times he simply pushes me away or responds in an angry mood.
Over the years I asked him if he didn't find me attractive, or if he didn't love me anymore, and he always answers that "of course" he is. I have always been open in my communication with him and have made it clear many times how his constant rejection of me and the shaming for wanting se%, impacts my feelings.
In those moments he shows that he cares, gives me an excuse about his work, his health, his stress, his tiredness and says he will work on it.
I suggested that he could seek an opinion from a psychologist or even our family doctor (we have the NHS so it is even free) but he got mad at me for suggesting.
I thought that maybe when I was pregnant with my daughter 4 years ago he had lost his interest because of my weight gain. After that maybe it was because our baby girl ruled our lives when she was born. But the reality is that the problem started before the pregnancy and is still there today.
To be clear, I was fit before the pregnancy then I worked on myself after the pregnancy. I am elegant, fit, and I consider myself an attractive woman, enought to get attention from men in general, especially at work.
I feel crushed inside. I have no self esteem, no confidence, I am battling depression now because of this... I am in constant emotional pain and anxiety when I sleep next to him knowing that I can't have the man I love and that I have chosen for my life.
Worst of all, we have a daughter and my job doesn't pay enough for me to leave and keep her. But anyway, I want her to be with her dad.
I feel that I desperately need to be desired by a man who then f...s my brains out, at least once. At least one time because I don't feel like a woman anymore. I deserve to feel that I am desired and wanted by someone but I dont want to leave my husband because I truly love him.
I get constant advances from one person that I am good friends with and that I know would keep it a secret. I have not reacted to any of that but I am tempted to.. AITAH?
If you cheat, you absolutely would be TA. But please tell your husband the latter part of this post. It really got to me and I don't even know you. Particularly the part about your self identity, the impact it's having on you etc. Be brutally honest. Tell him what you're considering as a way of feeling desired or wanted again.
Ask him to be as honest about his se%ual interest in return, but be prepared for some home truths. He may be struggling too.
Intimacy and se%ual desire is an integral part of a relationship. Not having these needs fulfilled is absolutely grounds to have a frank conversation about the parameters of your relationship. It is likely it's the intimacy you're missing more than the act of se%.
Cheating rarely leads to the kind of intimacy you're likely craving and could potentially lead to short term relief with long term regret. If your husband is not willing to engage with you or make some changes so you feel fulfilled in your relationship it is at that point that I'd consider ending it.
Please god, do not cheat on your husband without having some kind of crisis talks first. The emotional toll adultery takes on someone is significant, particularly in a relationship as significant as yours.
This could potentially lead to you feeling worse and significant trust issues with your husband moving forward. You could also set fire to all the good parts of your current relationship and trying to get that back could prove impossible.
Do not cheat. You will never forgive yourself. It’s difficult, but it seems as though you two have an open enough relationship to try and work through this with him. A 39 year old male should want se%, if he’s on medication for depression or anxiety, it can suppress those urges.
I’m not making excuses for him - you’ve clearly stated your need for contact and he’s chosen to continue to turn you away - but there may be something else going on with him either emotionally or psychologically that’s making se% unimportant or unnecessary. Please, don’t cheat.
NTA for feeling how you feel. You will be an AH if you cheat. With that said, If you know you are not going to be able to live like this you need to have an "all cards on the table" conversation with your husband.
Tell him that you love him, you want to stay married, but you want more, and you'd like more with him but since he's not making moves it's leaving open big temptations for extramarital affairs. Then ask for his advice about what he would do if your roles were reversed. Ask him what your options are. Maybe he'll surprise you? I don't know.
But I do know that if you don't have an "all cards on the table" conversation you will most likely end up having some kind of affair that if it ever comes out will have far more destructive consequences than anything that will come of a hard conversation.