This could go on for a awhile so in the interest of saving time and writing some simple facts:
Married for >35 tears,5 kids, she won’t let me touch her, sex once in 2.5 years, have been to counselors, she considers us roommates, and seems to be an economical union. Top good quality: Me - Forgiving; Her - compassion. Top bad quality: Me - control; Her - control.
I made a vow for better or for worse, truly this is on the worse spectrum. Am I loving her more by seperating? I don’t know what else i can do within the marriage. So much history, so many failures.
This could go on for a awhile so in the interest of saving time and writing some simple facts:
There is nothing in your post that suggests a need or justification for separating.
Your wife is not fulfilling her marital duties to you. Assuming there is nothing that justifies her withholding sex, then she is wrong to do so. Have you discussed this with a priest together?
Ultimately, her withholding sex - whether justified or not - is not reason in itself to separate. And it’s not like separating will solve this problem at all; you will still be without sex. You should try to find a way - via your priest and counselling - to remind you wife of her obligations to you and try to rekindle the flame. This may take some effort on your part to win back your wife’s affections.
No, it just sounds like you are having a really tough time in your marriage. Talk to a priest and love your wife even better than you did when you were first married. Offer sacrifices and prayers throughout the day, too, specifically for your wife and her heart.
Been there done that.
As much as 7 years between encounters. Have gone 24 years this way. Now it dosnt matter as age and nature have taken over.
But if this is really bothering you (and I’m sure it is, it near destroyed me), then its going to be up to you to win that girl all over again. Make no mistake our ladies want the seduction, the flirtation. They need the romance.
Don’t wait until your too old.
. . . and no your not justified in giving up.
Now go get your girl.
You need professional marriage counseling more than a divorce. If she won’t go with you, go by yourself.
I agree. This is the best course of action.
Sorry for your difficulties.
I think you might by working on your controlling behavior, you will find hers changes. As has been mentioned, this will take outside help. (If you knew how to change you already would have done it:) ).
Usually control issues are a by product of not really feeling in control while people are in their developmental years. You’re not alone. If you look you will find support groups available as well.
Good luck on your journey.
I don’t think I’ve known a single couple who didn’t get divorced after a seperation.
If you want your marriage to succeed, which it sounds like, how is seperating going to help?
Like others have suggested, woo her. Remember when you were courting. Bring her flowers. Write her little notes. Ask her on a date. Do something she’s been asking (fix something, wash something or clean something).
Have you ever read “Love Languages” by Gary Chapman? Find out her love language. And do those things!
Well no, it’s not time to seperate, but I do sympathise , the downside of any long term Marraige is that you eventually either become two people that just happen to live in the same house , or if things are going reasonably well, then it’s two good friends that live in the same house, what you missing is just to get a bit closer than being just two good friends living together ,I have no solution , but if counselling is going nowhere, then separation is no answer either, because you will just turn into a lonely old guy living alone,
That would be worse,
I can relate to your situation because I was in the very same predicament. I was married for over 20 years and the last 10 years of our marriage we lived more like brother and sister than husband and wife. I knew the marriage was on very rocky ground and never thought of divorce and wanted to do everything I could to save it including counseling. We only went to two counseling sessions (she refused to go after that) and insisted we get divorced. Since the divorce was being forced upon me, I had no choice but to accept it. I late found out (after the divorce) that she was having an affair and wanted to marry the man and it was he who was pushing her to get divorced from me. As it turns out, I am now much more happy in my life and I believe things happen for a reason. Sometimes you just have to let things happen. It has now been more than 13 years since the divorce and I am much stronger in my faith now than I was back then so I guess that is a positive thing.
Separation, if your intent is to get a break while you repair your marriage, might provide you the room to clear your head and see things better. But, you must commit to counseling of some sort that has the ultimate goal of a strong marraige. If you have been to counseling that didn’t help then try someone else. Those years, your vows and your children need you to give it all you have. I will pray for you both.
It’s hard to get motivated for romance and wooing when the other person has no interest in romance and wooing.
First off, I’m really sorry that you’re going through this. Withholding affection and intimacy is one of the worst, most cruel things a spouse can do. It is every bit as much a betrayal of the marriage vows as adultery is.
As to whether or not you should separate, my answer is ‘maybe’. You have children, are they still in the house? If not, then maybe a separation would be helpful. Your wife has unilaterally decided that you will no longer be living as a married couple. She’s happy to have you around because you meet her needs (social, financial, emotional, mental, whatever), but she doesn’t seem to concern herself with your sexual and emotional needs.
I am not saying that you need to walk out the door, file for divorce, drag her name through the mud, and sign up for match.com. But maybe moving into a small apartment or an extended stay motel for awhile would be a good thing. Explain that she has decided to abandon the marriage, and that it it too painful for you to live in this constant rejection. Tell her that since she has decided that she no longer wants to be a wife, maybe it’s time for both of you to see what that would really mean.
After 35 years of marriage and 2.5 years of celibacy, you are unlikely to change her mind on this with talking, back rubs, promises, weekends away, etc. She needs to decide if she wants to be married to you. If so, then the marriage has to stop being a one-way street. If not, then she needs to admit that so that you can get on with your life. This might get her attention and force that decision. Of course, the risk is that she may not want to be married and she may be using sex to push you away. You have to be prepared to find out that’s the case.
Again, I’m sorry that this has happened to you, and I wish you all the best.
***In response to some of the other comments in this thread, I have to point out that the marriage vows are the foundation of a marriage. Those are the things that you are bound to in good times and bad. The advice to do more housework and buy her flowers is a nice thought, but A) I don’t think that strategy has ever worked to turn a frigid housewife on in the history of humanity; and B) Trying to use flowers and chocolate as the foundation that your marriage vows are built on is crazy! If his wife were cheating on him you wouldn’t suggest flowers to get her to end the affair! Why not? Because the cheating floozy wouldn’t deserve flowers, for one, and two, because you shouldn’t have to crawl to your spouse like that to get them to do the bare minimum.
Hi: If the math adds up-- married 35, you must be about 55. Let’s look at why a woman suddenly doesn’t want to be touched:
a. menopause? It is hard for women to get excited after menopause settles in, unless she is in a new relationship. Did anyone mention checking her hormone levels.
b. depression? The kids are probably mostly/ completely launched. Empty nest syndrome.
Does she work? What does she do with her time?
c. feeling ignored? If you are working and she isn’t, are you still interested in her, now that discussions of the kids doesn’t take center stage? If she is working, does it seem like a dead end job? Nothing to look forward to.
d. Is that all there is? Is she feeling a mid-life crisis? Kids gone; feeling old, useless, dumpy, not so good about herself?
e. What are you doing to turn her on? Women are turned on by what you say/do; men are visually turned on. When was the last time you made her feel special? Told her she was beautiful? made a fuss over her? And, don’t tell me “she knows I think she is beautiful.”
f. Someone else is making her feel good. Maybe not in person, but the Internet can be your worst enemy.
so much more but I am not going to turn this into a counseling session.
How is your and her spiritual life? You state many failures, and so much history, what kind of failures, and history? Both having tendency to control, several possibilities a) insecurity or b) two strong willed people, how does God fit into this scene, eg. His will for both of you, and for your family. If neither have strong religious convictions referring to obligations of christian love will have no effect. Surely raising 5 children had to be a mutual effort, there must be something of love there. Many good suggestions have been made by others. Have you really tried prayer, does she pray? Have you tried a Marriage encounter that is Christ centered? Separation settles nothing. You before God are in this together, you really do not have a choice before Him except to love each other or you will continue to fail. That’s how you both prove your love for Him, you are not getting any younger, it’s your mission in life, marriage is a vocation, a call from God, one of the ways to achieve the purpose of your creation, union with Him.