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30-Year-Old Woman Wonders Whether To Leave A Sexless Marriage To Her 'Best Friend' — 'I Love The Companionship But I Want To Feel Desired'

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Woman wondering whether to leave her sexless marriage

Most relationships go through "dry spells" and slowly become less hot and heavy as time goes on. The honeymoon phase doesn't last forever, after all. 

But for one woman online, her marriage has become so devoid of any spark that she's wondering if it's time to just cut her losses even though every other aspect is perfect.

She's wondering whether to leave her sexless marriage, even though she considers her wife her 'best friend.'

The woman and her wife have been together for a total of 11 years, and have been married for two. Their sexual dysfunction predated their wedding, however.

"It's been almost 3 years since having sex," she wrote. "I crave that spark that we used to have." 

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It's left her feeling like she's "at a crossroads," she wrote in her post. "I either leave and start over, or ... stay, and potentially face the fact that I won't have that kind of sexual and intimate connection again."

She feels conflicted over whether to leave her sexless marriage because other aspects of their relationship are so good. 

"The hard part is, they're like my best friend," she wrote of her and her spouse. "They take good care of me and are very considerate, nurturing and kind. We laugh together, get along and generally make a really good team."

"I love their company and companionship," she continued. But in the end, it's not enough, and it's complicated even further by the fact that she doesn't know where the problems stem from. "I dont really know why its died out," she said. "I've kept myself up, remained loyal, tried to keep things exciting ... but it just doesn't seem like that's enough."

   

   

It's become such a huge question mark that it's left her suspicious that her partner may either be asexual or that they may harbor some kind of trauma that is causing the dysfunction.

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She tried repeatedly to talk to her spouse about their sex life, but it didn't result in any change.

Therapists say that step one in any case of sexual dysfunction in a relationship is open, candid communication. The couple must communicate the problem, and then try to discover what about the relationship or the partners themselves is causing it. This woman did that on several occasions, to no avail.

"I've expressed my needs and every time they say they will make an effort," she wrote, but no "effort" ever materialized.

   

   

"They've also said they just don't have the urge, but will try 'for me,'" she went on to say, which "makes it feel like an obligation or a task, both of which turn me off to the point where I don't even really want to have sex with them anymore. I can barely even imagine it at this point."

And at only 30, she feels like she is far too young to be in this position. "This feels really pivotal," she wrote. But on the other hand, "it's just so conflicting because I do love them, a lot … The thought of losing them breaks my heart."

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Sexless marriages are more common than many of us would assume — as is the conundrum over how to handle them. 

The statistics are difficult to pin down because of the private nature of the question and people's differing definitions of what constitutes "sexless," but it's generally estimated that around 15% of marriages have become sexless. And given that a lack of physical and emotional affection is perennially on the list of most common reasons for divorce, the impact of this trend is pretty obvious.

So what exactly are you supposed to do? 

Here again, advice differs. Therapist Dr. Samantha Rodman Whiten, also known as Dr. Pscyh Mom, told us that this is in part because many therapists align with societal stigmas that to ask for more emotional intimacy is reasonable, but to ask for more physical intimacy is an unfair demand.

Dr. Rodman Whiten rejects this viewpoint entirely. "When sex and/or physical affection are denied to someone who needs these to feel loved and whole," she wrote, "it is just as hurtful and cruel as if a spouse denied the other one a smile, interest in listening to their story about work, or saying 'I love you.'"

That seems to perfectly sum up how this woman on Reddit feels. But crucially, she and her partner have not yet tried couple's counseling or meeting with a sex therapist, which mental health professionals say is the next step if open communication isn't enough to do the trick.

Of course, you can lead a horse to water but you can't make them drink, as the saying goes. If her partner won't agree to go to counseling or they do and they still reach an impasse, she might have to make a hard decision. Needs are needs, and sexual ones are just as valid as other types, no matter what society or anyone else might say. 

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John Sundholm is a news and entertainment writer who covers pop culture, social justice, and human interest topics.