How to adjust to a celibate marriage

It might not hurt to ask her if she would like to see an individual counselor as well, especially if a Catholic one can be found. I can’t help but think this would be something stressful to discover about yourself. She may be less reluctant to see about more treatment if she has someone to talk to who isn’t involved.


Honestly, this is a major physical and psychological issue. It’s about way more than just sex. You married her in sickness and in health. These sorts of things NEVER simply improve with time.

Perhaps you need to find a way to express it better (psychologists can help) but sometimes the most merciful thing we can do with our spouse is to be the one who forces them to seek treatment for an illness. My husband hates doctors, but if he’s sick, come hell or high water I will absolutely drag him in by his toes if I think it’s serious enough. Granted, it’s never been as complex as a sexual issue, but sometimes, loving our spouse is being the one to say “the buck stops here”.


What course of action does your wife propose?

It is my understanding that she feels we should just accept that she has this and move on. At least she doesn’t have something fatal like cancer or something. As per usual, sex means a bit less to women than men.(Generally speaking)

I had at one time discerned a call to the priesthood, so celibacy is something that I have at least considered before. I know that it is possible, but there doesn’t seem to be much advice/support that pertains to my situation. Everything that I find is for extramarital celibacy. Things like avoiding triggers, near occasion of sin, being alone together, or cohabitating. I think we all can see how those won’t help me.

Then you need to be an adult and say, “I’m sorry, wife, but as a person who cares deeply for you, it doesn’t work that way. Something is terribly wrong and you and I need to work together to see what can be done. If you lost the use of your hand I would not accept you saying ‘oh well’ and I hope you would do the same for me.”

not medical advice

Given the deep psychological issues that are often comorbid with this illness, it is often the tip of the iceberg. Not only that, but even from a cursory look at Google, it CAN progress to the point where it would affect daily life–sitting, biking or even having clothing touch the area.

In short, while sex is affected, it should be the least of your worries if your wife is brushing this off as if you are being a horn dog.

It’s like your house is burning down and your wife declares that it’s fine because she never liked the curtains.


Not all treatments involve anti-depressants. My wife had similar issues at menopause but muscle relaxers and some physical therapies led to improvement.


I had this problem and with treatment it’s gotten much better. Sex has gone from really painful to occasionally slightly uncomfortable. And there’s nothing wrong with antidepressants.


I had this issue too. It was diagnosed prior to my marriage. (Hubby and I had not been intimate. I was at the doctor for another issue and he screened me for it.) Hubby was incredibly supportive. I was treated successfully with topical medication and some physiotherapy. It has been a non-issue for several years.


Your “understanding”? So, there’s no communication on a topic that may change the course of the rest of your lives? :thinking:


Well, yes and no. One thing that I have learned over the years is that a man needs to be careful definitively stating a woman’s feelings. :smiley: Seriously though, it is tough for me to bring up without sounding selfish and her feeling hurt. I have no doubt that communication on this issue has been inadequate. Her only reason to persue second opinions and treatments is for MY sexual pleasure. She could always take it or leave it when it came to sex. She has tried as far as she wants to for now with poor results. It is my desires that I am focussing on controlling at the moment.

Then you ought to seek professional help in finding ways to communicate with her that this issue is about more than your feelings surrounding sex and her feeling hurt. This is a serious medical condition.


What are your approx ages?

Both just turned 32.

Ok, not 82.

This causes me to question - and I struggle to be delicate - what motivates your wife to decide if/how to address her condition? A wish for children is not it. A wish for physical marital intimacy is not it. And concern for her husband does not appear to be it either.

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To answer your question, I believe that she has tried. She has seen her doctor, tried numbing cream. Based on that and research online, she has given up. It is what it is, just have to make the best of it. By starting chats like this I have had several people come forward with possitive outcomes. We will have to find a way to go see a specialist. $$$$

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PLUS as time goes on you can actually end up resenting her for this. You married her thinking you would get all of her and you can’t because of this. While it is NOT her fault it also isn’t your fault. No one is to blame but there also needs to have EVERY avenue explored to help her with this situation and you as well. Don’t give up. Seek out a teaching hospital. You must NOT let this just be as it is.

Also I don’t want to add something that doesn’t need to be added but this could VERY well be partially psychological. There could very well be something from her past that even she hasn’t faced. Nobody knows what another person has experienced in their younger life.

No matter if it’s physical or psychological or what ever is causing this somebody has to have SOMETHING that can help her and you as well. Y’all are YOUNG and this could eventually cause the end of your marriage if not fully explored for answers. DON’T GIVE UP searching for answers!

“Her only reason to pursue second opinions and treatments is for MY sexual pleasure. She could always take it or leave it when it came to sex. She has tried as far as she wants to for now with poor results”



Like I said, the OP needs to treat this as if it was his wife’s hand that was paralyzed. She doesn’t get to make the unilateral decision when so much is left unknown.

Also, it’s greatly troubling that his wife is relying on very, very little information from the internet and not on doctors–especially since she won’t try some of the things that the doctor has suggested, like anti-depressants.


IMO, her medical source preferences are less of a concern than her offhanded attitude to the relationship impacts. She seems oblivious to them. Or does not care.


Undoubtedly, this would be valid advice were it determined that the health condition is not correctable. The question is - should some minimum effort first be expended on correction, what is that minimum, and who has a say in that?

Her own sexual pleasure too. And, the fact is, sex is an important part of marriage. I don’t care how much of a saint you are, but if you’re wife is refusing to get treatment for a condition that could be easily cured, this will likely cause resentment down the line.

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