(recently joined)
01/30/07 06:30 AM
Too much damage done already???


I'm new to the forums, but I've been up devouring the posts and comments all night. I'm in need of some guidance -- not necessarily someone to make my mind up for me -- I'd just like to hear your thoughts and opinions as I weigh my own. And just so you're ready for it when it comes up, I'm the bad guy here -- I just want you to know that I'm aware of that.

(Also, I apologize in advance if this gets long.)

I'm 25, and my husband is 30. We've been married almost five years, together for seven in all. No kids, but we recently bought a house.

We have always gotten along beautifully. We have similar interests, similar personalities, we like each other's families, etc. We're both educated and gainfully employed. We have a great friendship. When we spend time with friends, people always remark about what a great couple we make. You get the point. We rarely fight, and when we do, we're able to work things through on all but one set of issues:

His issues with me: I have ADHD, and his complaint list when it comes to me always sounds like an ADHD symptoms list -- I'm forgetful, unorganized, impulsive, etc. I take medications for this (when I remember to) but they really only help manage the symptoms. They'll never go away. I've always tried to do my best to overcome my ADHD so that it doesn't harm our relationship. He and I have gone through books together so he knows what to expect and how best to cope and so that I know how to minimize the negatives and manage my symptoms.

My issues with him: We never have sex. He can easily go a month or longer. He doesn't touch me or appear to desire me. I tried asking him what he wanted, and he requested that I wear more lingerie, so I wore something sexy to bed every night for a month. We didn't have sex once. I got discouraged. I've brought home toys, oils, and p0rn, and I've tried encouraging him to roleplay, you name it. He looks at straight p0rn, and more specifically, shots of women, so I don't think it's a question of his sexual orientation.

About two years ago, the lack of intimacy really caught up with me. At that point, I felt I'd tried everything to fix the problem with him, and decided it must be me. I was worried I'd gotten fat (I'm 5'7" and have never been "overweight") and quit eating.

For probably six months, we had explosive fights in which I would try to talk about the sex (offer coaching, encourage more of anything) and he would bring up my general irresponsibility as a counter-argument -- more as a subject-change than anything else. The conversations all started to sound the same and I slowly begin shutting down as I withdrew further into my newfound eating disorder.

Eventually, I ended up having an affair with a co-worker. It was never my intention, and I certainly didn't love him (and never believed that I did). I just wanted the physical intimacy my marriage was lacking, and the reassurance that I was desirable (read: self confidance issues). That lasted for about two months before he moved away, and I went back to my daily life. I continued to emotionally disconnect, and my husband continued not to notice.

A year later, I had three more affairs, largely because I felt like once the door was opened, I couldn't close it. Two of those were one-time-only, and the final lasted nearly two months before he decided he wanted to date someone, so we called it off. In every case, the affair was purely physical. The only emotional impact for me was that I was no longer being rejected.

Since the end of my final affair -- and I do mean FINAL, I've made the decision not to allow myself to continue in these self-destructive behaviors -- my husband has started to realize how empty our marriage has become. We're more like roommates than anything else because of how emotionally withdrawn I became to prevent the hurt I feel when he doesn't want me.

He doesn't know about any of my affairs, and I've no intention of ever telling him. I feel it is unfair for me to unburden myself and force him to suffer through that when the actions were very much my own, and the lesson was mine to learn.

A few days ago, he asked me if I wanted out of our marriage. We had a long conversation, and I said I wanted to keep trying. He said he did too. We had the same no sex/irresponsibility discussion we've had a million times over. I asked him if he would consider therapy, and he said no (he doesn't believe in therapy).

I guess my concern is that we are in a doomed marriage, that my actions are irreparable, and that when he asked me if I wanted out, I should have taken him up on it. I don't want a life with another man. I love my husband, and ideally would like to turn our very good platonic relationship into the real thing. Is it too late?

Thoughts? Opinions?

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