We just live in the same house……

by Rod Smith

“Married 43 years and I have gone 30 years without sex. Sex wasn’t great from the start. I only did it to please my wife. I have no desire for sex. I told her it was exciting but it wasn’t. Then 13 years down the road and I couldn’t perform any more. Doctor told me I had E/D and high blood pressure. With age I developed other problems, which didn’t help my libido. The little blue pill did nothing for me it actually made me sick. Finally free of sex and intimacy! My wife was really upset and still is. I told her to buy a puppy or find a girl or boy friend to find companion ship. I told her that’s life and I can’t change that. We just live in the same house, she has the upstairs, and I have the down stairs. We share nothing except the garage and laundry room.”

Perhaps this arrangement works for this couple since it has been in operation for several decades. Your insights, comments, suggestions, would be appreciated. I will publish three or four of the most helpful (or insightful or amusing) comments in a day or two.

Two readers respond: See full (unedited) response under comments:

“Marriage is about intimacy and companionship. Even if sexual intimacy is no longer possible through intercourse intimacy should not be destroyed altogether. Each person living in separate locations in the house is indicative of deeper issues. It sounds like a wedge has been driven between the two and sex is the tool to inject more pain. The arrangement lacks humility, honor, and trust. The only difference between this and a divorce is geographic. They are already emotionally, sexually, and physically separated. The arrangement lacks honesty.”

“Why did HE write? He doesn’t seem conflicted, living in an arrangement that he likes. He gives us an example of how ‘normal’ people make life arrangements work that are far from our common cultural ideals (and would be disappointing to most). At this point, 30 years since they last had sex, does he really want to be told how wrong this arrangement is, how ‘unhealthy’ it is? Does he want advice he is not willing to take? He is a known quantity. He knows how he wants to live. It’s his wife that has some hard decisions to make. Either she needs to accept his terms, finally (after 30 years!), or she needs to find some other way to have a fulfilling life that she CAN accept.”

3 Responses to “We just live in the same house……”

  1. This seems unfortunate to me. Marriage is about intimacy and companionship. Even if sexual intimacy is no longer possible through intercourse, this should not destroy intimacy altogether. The fact that each person lives in separate locations in the house is indicative of deeper issues. It sounds like a wedge has been driven between the two couples and sex has been a tool to inject pain more painfully. The arrangement, while civil, lacks humility, honor, and trust. The only difference between this arrangement and a divorce is geographic. They are already emotionally, sexually, and physically separated. They are divorced in every manner but legally. What kind of honor is there in that? That arrangement lacks honesty.

    Now regarding sexuality, intercourse is not the only option. Furthermore, sexual intimacy has diminishing returns when the primary benefactor is self. Sex is about oneness, not solely about the one…me. The instant that marriage or sex becomes about my pleasure, then the whole thing crumbles. Oneness is achieved through loving sacrifice for the benefit of the other. It is more blessed to give than to receive. If both husband and wife are more passionate about each other than self, then that is recipe for intimacy beyond the imagination.

  2. Reading this made me wonder- why did HE write in? He doesn’t seem to be conflicted– his wife is still with him, living in an arrangement that he likes. He gives us an example of how normal people make life arrangements work that are far from our cultural ideals (and would be considered disappointing to most people). But why did HE write? At this point, 30 years since they last had sex, does he really want to be told how wrong this arrangement is, how “unhealthy” it is, that “marriage is about intimacy and companionship”? Does he want advice that he has already established he is not willing or capable of taking? The bottom line is that he is a known quantity at this point. He knows how he wants to live, and seems to be living it. It’s his wife that has some hard decisions to make, because she’s the unhappy one. Either she needs to accept his terms, FINALLY (after 30 years!!), or she needs to find some other way to have a fulfilling life that she CAN accept. The dilemma is hers, and giving him advice about it is a moot point.

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