I was recently approached by a friend about the possibility of publishing an anonymous guest post on my blog. She didn’t tell me the subject; despite very rarely accepting guest posts and because it’s somebody I admire and know to be a good writer, I agreed without hesitation. The title of the article alone was heartbreaking: I’m not attracted to my husband and never have been.
When she sent me the finished piece, it was with a warning that I may never look at her the same way. I was curious and a little concerned just in case she was right – though I doubted it. As I suspected, her story is a very sad one – but certainly not a reason to judge her harshly. Quite the opposite in fact: it takes bravery to acknowledge this truth and to share it, to speak candidly about such a taboo and difficult topic. But I’ve a feeling that this post will receive lots of comments showing support, and lots more anonymous ones empathising.
Over to my lovely friend…
Is Marrying Your Best Friend Enough?
Now, I know what you’re thinking. Most married people would probably call their partner their best friend. It’s natural isn’t it, to be best friends with the person you marry? But, for me, it’s different and for you to really understand where I’m coming from I have to go back a few years to the very beginning.
When I was a teenager I had a couple of serious relationships very early on. I don’t think I was in love but I really liked them, they treated me well and I was happy. But then, one evening I went out after work for a drink with a colleague. I had a boyfriend, I was seventeen and just going for a drink. I honestly thought at that point that a girl and a boy could go for a platonic drink. But one drink turned into two and before I knew it I’d been followed into the toilets and what happened after that wasn’t anything I consented to.
I was so drunk and just didn’t say no, I don’t think I could say no. I didn’t say yes either but, the best part of twenty years ago things weren’t like they are today.
It wasn’t something I even thought to report – I felt like it was my fault for getting drunk. I had brought it on myself.
I somehow got home, went to bed and got on with my life. My colleague never came back to work and I never saw him again. Soon after my boyfriend moved away to university, we split up and I was in a pretty dark place.
In the months and years that followed I no longer cared about myself. Before that I had only ever had a physical relationship with people I really cared about and had taken time to get to know. After that I didn’t see what the point was anymore and ended up in a downward spiral of drink, drugs and random people. I was a mess, I was broken inside and I needed help.
But, instead of help I ended up meeting someone who would change my life.
A man who wouldn’t use me, who treated me right and who loved me from the start. He was what I needed and over the next few years the broken mess inside me healed. We bought a house, got married and had children. Now, we are living the happy ever after.
I’m Not Attracted to My Husband and Never Have Been
Except in my head I’m not as happy as I should be. He is my best friend, I love him and loved him for saving me from my journey of self destruction. But, I have never been physically attracted to him – and I feel so shallow for writing that.
I was with him because he was good for me, he was what I needed and he wanted to be with me. I had never really stopped to think about it any further than that.
The problem now, over fifteen years after we met is that I’ve never been turned on by him and when we’re intimate I find myself thinking about other things, trying to get my head into the place where it should be and not being entirely present.
It’s nice, it’s fine, it works but there have never been fireworks and that ‘I want to rip your clothes off as soon as we get home’ feeling. It’s always just been fine and I have never felt completely satisfied – no matter where we’ve been, what we’ve done or how we’ve done it. Something just isn’t there for me.
But, our life is great. He’s an amazing Dad, we’re an amazing family together – and we’re happy. We have it all really and so I have tried to silence the little voice in my head. I know I can’t break up a family purely because my sex life isn’t great but I could quite happily have a platonic relationship forever – cuddles in front of the TV and our clearly defined sides of the bed.
But I know he wants more than that – he gets more than that – it’s just me that feels like there’s something missing. And I don’t know what to do about it.
He’s my best friend and I love him like one. I can’t think of a better father for my children or anyone else I’d rather have by my side in life. He makes me laugh, he works hard and he’s always there for me and the children. I know that in the scheme of things my issues aren’t that big at all. Some people spend their whole lives waiting to meet someone like the man in my life and would give anything for what I have.
But, when it always feels like there’s something missing, what do you do? Is marrying your best friend really enough – or should there be more to it than that?
If you’ve been affected by sexual assault you can find help and support at Rape Crisis.
Could you have written I’m Not Attracted to My Husband and Never Have Been, or is it an entirely alien concept? I imagine if you’ve found this post through searching, then you’ll relate and understand how devastating it is to feel you’re not or never have been attracted to your husband (or wife); I’d love to hear from you in the comments, and – of course – you’re welcome to share anonymously.