Coming out as asexual after eight years of marriage felt extra like a betrayal than infidelity

“I guess I always thought it was something that would get better, that one day you’d want to do it again…”

“I think I did for a while too. That was before I realized that all the trauma didn’t stop me from wanting to have sex, it stopped me from having sex to make someone else happy…

I can give you anything you ask me, but I can’t give you sex. At least I’ll never be able to give it to you the way you want it.”

If you’ve been in a long-term relationship, you can probably relate to the kind of harrowing conversation I’m referring to. You know, the one where you realize you thought you were on the same page, but then you realize you haven’t even read the same book…

Coming out as asexual to my eight-year-old husband feels like a betrayal. I could clearly see the dismay in his eyes as he tried to process exactly what I was saying.

Sex has never been and never will be something I crave.

I feel like a liar even though I never did it on purpose or maliciously. But at the same time, I feel like the signs that the way I view sex is deviating from “normal” have always been there, and there was an element of denial from both my husband and me.

I could feel the question on the tip of his tongue – couldn’t you have found that out sooner? If only by so many years that we no longer had to consider a child?

The decision would then be easy for both of us. He would walk away and I wouldn’t try to stop him. I know this because I know that a few years ago when we were on the verge of a breakup, if I had known what asexuality was and could have given him the same clarity that I do now, he would have made the decision.

I wouldn’t blame him or blame him.

I guess it’s hard to understand if you’re an allosexual person because I find it hard enough and I’m the one living it. If I had cheated or even come out as gay or bi, I think it would have been easier for him to digest. It would have made some semblance of sense – she doesn’t want me because she wants someone else.

But that’s not why. I love my husband and I love our life together, I have things to work through like my suspicions that I’m on the autism spectrum and other mental health issues – all things that I suspect therapy will clear up and/or improve medication.

My sexual orientation does not fall into this category. It is not a choice and it is not a disorder or a disease.

“So, you’re telling me that if you were with someone else you would still be content not having sex?”

“That’s exactly what I’m telling you.”

“How do you know?”

“Because in all the times I’ve ever been alone in my life I’ve never looked for it. I haven’t had casual sex and I don’t masturbate. I’ve had sex in relationships because that’s what people do in relationships.”

I think a big part of that isn’t even the lack of sex, because there may come a time when I want to partake in it again. It hasn’t always felt bad, occasionally it has been very pleasant.

In the early days of a new connection, I may even tend to move into the demisexual category. The excitement and romance has historically evoked feelings of genuine desire. Although I’ve never been crazy about the act itself.

The problem is that you can’t make someone feel wanted if there is no desire.

It’s not just about the carnal act of getting dirty – it makes him feel unwanted because I don’t want to have sex. It doesn’t matter that it’s universal, everyone else in the world is not my husband. He also admitted that even when we used to have sex more often, he never felt particularly wanted and always felt like I was only doing it as a relationship thing.

The problem is, we both agree that we love every other aspect of our relationship and our lives together. The main difference is: the fact that we don’t have sex doesn’t bother me, but it’s a big problem for him, and you can only take that kind of dissatisfaction until it affects your attitude towards other things.

He doesn’t want to go and I don’t want him to. But he now knows as well as I do that this isn’t going to go away. We agreed on couples and individual therapy, but I told him he needed to be prepared for both.

In order for both of us to be truly happy, there may be no choice but to walk away.

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