We have been married for 37 years. For the last 22 years there has been no interest by my wife in a sexual relationship. Prior to this we'd had sex, which was instigated by both of us, in the bedroom, or showering together or just a bit of a romp if the kids weren't around, then all of a sudden nothing. I have never been unfaithful, never abused my wife and always treated her with respect and kindness.
There have been a few arguments lately and I have point out her lack of feeling towards me over those years, such as holding hands, a kiss is a peck on the cheek or lips. If I buy her some flowers I have had comments such as "What have you done wrong?" She just doesn't have anything romantically left. She tells me that she loves me and that she was never really interested sex and that I am the one with the problem because I cannot accept that.
You certainly are in a dilemma. You love your wife, she loves you. While sex and intimacy stopped many years ago, you sound as though you are craving to be intimate with the women you love. But your wife informs you she really isn't into sex and never really was. You have tried hard to let me know that you are a decent and respectful man, treated your wife in a respectful manner, never cheated on her and it sounds as though you feel you don't deserve this situation.
When you attempt to be nice by giving flowers to your wife, she rejects you. You state that your wife says it is your problem, as she can live without sex and you cannot accept this. When I see clients that are in your situation it is difficult as both people have a right to their own sexual expression (that is the rational part of it). However, what you are talking about here is your emotions, the way that you would like to express love to your wife, your sexual urge and sexual identity, the grieving of the loss of psychological benefits we get from being sexual. Then there are the relationship dynamics, which are complex.
What can you do about your situation? I think that if your wife is interested, both of you could see a relationships counsellor, but her interest may not be likely. You could gain support from many places, if you of a religious belief then from your religious institution, from a good friend, a relative or a counsellor. I think you need support and a person who can support you while you reflect and make decisions about what you are going to do.
For more information please visit the Impotence Australia website.