Suddenly The Sex Stopped
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25-04-2017, 01:32 PM (This post was last modified: 25-04-2017 01:39 PM by westcoastthinker.)
Suddenly The Sex Stopped
Well, I'm pretty sure this won't be the first post on this topic, but nonetheless, I could use some input.

Both my girlfriend and I are 35. She is a single mother. We've been happily dating for 2.5 years. I am a non-believer, agnostic-atheist. She is a Christian who comes from very religious evangelical parents, but when we met, her "relationship" with God wasn't as... how can I say... fanatical. She would go to church from time to time. I would join her for church on the major holidays (Xmas and Easter). We would have wonderful sex.

2 years into our happy relationship, she also experienced a stressful revisit with court for child custody, unusually high stress at work and some lifestyle altering health issues. These negative things have played a role in her increased dedication to the church. She now attends church every Sunday (sometimes twice in a day), she only listens to Christian music, she has started working at her daughter's Christian school, and she has stopped wanting to be physically intimate (out of wedlock) due to guilt that she is disobeying God.

Obviously, I want to be loving and supportive, but the newly introduced absence of sex and her increased participation in religion has lead to a heavy disconnect. Not sharing physical intimacy (due to religious belief) has been difficult for me to accept. To help alleviate our "disconnect" she asked if I would attend church with her and her daughter more often, with which, unfortunately, I have little interest.

I feel like no one is wrong and no one is right. It's just a case of people growing apart as a result of personal circumstance. My fear is that if I accept this and eventually marry her, what's stopping her dedication to Jesus from increasing even further to the point that my status as a non-believer becomes unacceptable. On the flip side, I'm not sure how much more religious would be acceptable to me.

So, I know no one can tell me what to do or can predict the future. Hopefully through good communication and mutual love/respect, we can find the path that makes the most sense. However, I am curious to know what others have done, who have been in a similar position. Any feedback, perspective would be very helpful.

Thank you.
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25-04-2017, 01:47 PM
RE: Suddenly The Sex Stopped
If you're seriously considering marrying this woman you need to have a frank discussion about your lack of belief. You have to figure out exactly how much of a presence you want church and "the lifestyle" to have in your life. It needs to be spelled out in black and white, not vaguely alluded to and not just left up to just waiting and seeing what happens. It's better for her to know now where you stand and figure out what that means for her in the relationship than to get married and have it become a dividing issue.
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25-04-2017, 05:37 PM
RE: Suddenly The Sex Stopped
Take my advice with a ton of salt, but I think you are blinded by a symptome, not the cause of the issue. Your SO might be suffering from depression and anxiety issues which leads, naturaly, to lack of sexual interests and numerous cop-out mechanism like religious fervor. Have you talk to her about consulting a doctor about her stress? Does she exibit other symptomes of anxiety disorder and depression like loss of appetite, sleep trouble, irritability, lack of energy and a lot of pessimism? I asking because I had similar problems with my wife recently and it really is a bad situation. I hope you will be able to sort things out.

Freedom is servitude to justice and intellectual honesty.
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26-04-2017, 02:48 AM
RE: Suddenly The Sex Stopped
Personally, I think you just need to have a long frank discussion with her about how she see's this working out.

Talk about her change, under heavy stress periods, and see if that still bothers her. (as mentioned above help for that would be a starting point). The other area to talk about it religion and how it effects your day-to-day lives. Regardless of if you have religion or not, it shouldn't be the defining thing about who you are as a person, so her basic becoming the ultimate christian is a bit worrying to say the least, maybe she's using it as an escape from the "real" world problems, and stress she may/may not be under. And overall you need to talk about your relationship, about how you came to love her and how that is slowly changing because she has changed so much.

Again, if you have religion in you life, no matter what it is, I'd pick a real person over a deity any day of the week, but that's also unfare to presume she would pick you over her "god".

Just see how it goes, and at very worst, you may have to leave her to it.

I don't want Fop, goddamn it! I'm a Dapper Dan man!
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26-04-2017, 07:55 AM
RE: Suddenly The Sex Stopped
I can understand why you feel compromised by your girlfriend's increasing religiosity—versus your atheism.

I hate to be seen as completely cold-hearted with what I'm gonna suggest, but life experience tells me one thing: You need to dissolve your relationship with her completely and finally, and pretty soon too. I can't foresee and mid- to long-term relationship surviving the stressors that are already straining your own emotional reserves.

And I'd advise against this sort of "bargain": To help alleviate our "disconnect" she asked if I would attend church with her and her daughter more often. This is nothing more than emotional coercion, and is also pretty underhanded of her. It makes it sound as though it's your lack of church attendance that's one of the major problems—when of course it has nothing to do with it. Think "shifting the blame".

It sounds to me as though it's you—solely—that's making all the compromises in your life and the relationship, whilst she's apparently not prepared to do the same in return. And her religiosity will only get more intense and self-focussed over time, to the extent that you'll merely be a handy "appendage" to her lifestyle.

I know it sounds like an old cliché (well it is, sorry) but withholding sex is still potentially one of a woman's most powerful emotive tools. And any woman who tried this sort of sexual blackmail would get pretty short shrift from me, and pretty well straight away.

In a nutshell then... you need to walk away, for your own ultimate peace of mind, and also to preserve your own sense of self-respect.

—Good luck. Thumbsup

I'm a creationist... I believe that man created God.
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26-04-2017, 08:22 AM
RE: Suddenly The Sex Stopped
(26-04-2017 07:55 AM)SYZ Wrote:  I know it sounds like an old cliché (well it is, sorry) but withholding sex is still potentially one of a woman's most powerful emotive tools. And any woman who tried this sort of sexual blackmail would get pretty short shrift from me, and pretty well straight away.

RE this: Sex is awesome, don't get me wrong, but it's not the be-all-end-all in a relationship, in my opinion at least. I don't think there is a definite amount of 'Times per week' you should be doing it or anything like that. Just do it when the mood strikes you lol.

For me personally, there needs to be a balance of finding your partner attractive but also valuing who they are as a person, so when you're not being all lovey-dovey, you can talk about stuff and just be together as a couple.

In this guys case, its kind of sounds like he is only really hanging on because of the sex, which is never a good thing. Most likely wrong, but that's how it comes across to me anyway.

I don't want Fop, goddamn it! I'm a Dapper Dan man!
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26-04-2017, 09:18 AM
RE: Suddenly The Sex Stopped
This is a cut and paste from an earlier post that I posted a while back but it seems to parallel a lot of the same issues. I can not give you the answer but this was the scenario that I was thrust in my first marriage. Hopefully some of the information is relevant to your situation. And yes... The sex dramatically slowed down after 2 years into the marriage and you will see why if you read below.

I went through a similar situation in my first marriage. I'll be the first to admit that I got married way before I should have. I was 22 and my ex-wife was 20. When we married she knew that I was an atheist so it was no secret that I hid from her (or anyone for that matter). She was a believer but not what I would consider a "practicing" believer. We were married for four years. About two years into our marriage she found Jesus. And when I say she found Jesus she FOUND JESUS. It became a huge problem in our marriage. I didn't help matters by me being militant about my non belief. I should have handled it in a much more productive way but I didn't so I take full responsibility for that. But I was 24 and not mature. It was a point of contention that eventually led to our demise. My non belief status and her full blown evangelical shift was a chasm we would never be able to bridge.
I've been a Professional Firefighter for 23 years now and work 24hr shifts with 48hrs off. I remember vividly not wanting to come home on Sundays and would rather just stay at work because I knew the argument that would inevitably ensue. And it always did. If I didn't go to church with her she would be angry all day and if I did go to church she would be angry because I wasn't listening to the message. I was in a catch 22 situation that I couldn't get out of. Damned if I do and damned if I don't. Had I been a bit more mature at the time I might have been able to express my feelings in a much more productive way but I wasn't mature so for lack of a better word... I was a dick. I resented the fact that she knew what she was getting when she entered into this marriage but two years in she changed the terms without my consent. At least that's how I looked at it. We divorced in our fourth year of marriage. Ironically she is now on her third marriage now. Getting a divorce was an eye opening experience to me. But in a way it was one of the better things that happened to me. It forced me to reflect on my actions and how I handled the situation. I wasn't innocent with the breakup of our marriage but neither was she. It was both of our faults.

I stayed single until I met my current wife at age 30. My wife is six years younger than I am but we share a lot of the same views and have common interests which helps immensely. She also knew that I was an atheist while we were dating but seemed unfazed by that information. You can imagine my skepticism due to my first marriage but we've been married for 16 years now and it has never been an issue from day one. I would consider my wife more agnostic if I had to put a label on her. But the mistakes I made in my first marriage I was determined not to replicate with this one. I matured somewhat in the time period between my first and current marriage. Some would argue that I'm still not mature and they might be right lol. But I've learned that actually listening to your partner is one of the most important things that you can do for them. Marriage is a dance you perfect over time. If you don't have mutual respect for their beliefs, passions, interests, etc... then it makes it real hard for that union to remain a union. I'm very happy to have found someone that I can share my life with. Someone that gave me a beautiful daughter and has helped me through hard times when I couldn't help myself. It doesn't take a belief in a higher power to find that. It takes a belief in yourself and the person you hold dear to your heart.

I get to decide what my life looks like, not the other way around.
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26-04-2017, 12:37 PM
RE: Suddenly The Sex Stopped
(26-04-2017 08:22 AM)OakTree500 Wrote:  
(26-04-2017 07:55 AM)SYZ Wrote:  I know it sounds like an old cliché (well it is, sorry) but withholding sex is still potentially one of a woman's most powerful emotive tools. And any woman who tried this sort of sexual blackmail would get pretty short shrift from me, and pretty well straight away.

RE this: Sex is awesome, don't get me wrong, but it's not the be-all-end-all in a relationship, in my opinion at least. I don't think there is a definite amount of 'Times per week' you should be doing it or anything like that. Just do it when the mood strikes you lol.

For me personally, there needs to be a balance of finding your partner attractive but also valuing who they are as a person, so when you're not being all lovey-dovey, you can talk about stuff and just be together as a couple.

In this guys case, its kind of sounds like he is only really hanging on because of the sex, which is never a good thing. Most likely wrong, but that's how it comes across to me anyway.


It's not JUST about sex (though that's certainly amplified our growing disconnect), but more about the shift in the relationship dynamic. I don't believe she's withholding sex as a form of blackmail or as a way to force me to propose, I believe she's just following what she believes to be right in the eyes of god. It's unfortunate that it's been realized two years into our relationship, but I cannot fault her for feeling how she feels.

I love her and I care about her, but each day that she becomes closer to Jesus, it seems our connection to each other is weakened. She has never expressed a need for me to become a Christian, but I sometimes feel that she is now overcompensating for my lack of belief. As a topic, religion is difficult for us to discuss because I politely ask her questions that she's unable to answer (or find any source of reason/logic), which is frustrating for her and perhaps, not fair of me. So again, as she becomes more involved in the church, we naturally will have less in common.

This has all been a first for the both of us, so needless to say, it's been very confusing and challenging. Just walking away without close examination feels impatient. Seems the best thing to do is continue to very clearly communicate our positions and limits..and see where that leads us.

Thanks all for the feedback, stories, etc. Wish me luck!
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26-04-2017, 12:39 PM
RE: Suddenly The Sex Stopped
(26-04-2017 09:18 AM)RearViewMirror Wrote:  This is a cut and paste from an earlier post that I posted a while back but it seems to parallel a lot of the same issues. I can not give you the answer but this was the scenario that I was thrust in my first marriage. Hopefully some of the information is relevant to your situation. And yes... The sex dramatically slowed down after 2 years into the marriage and you will see why if you read below.

I went through a similar situation in my first marriage. I'll be the first to admit that I got married way before I should have. I was 22 and my ex-wife was 20. When we married she knew that I was an atheist so it was no secret that I hid from her (or anyone for that matter). She was a believer but not what I would consider a "practicing" believer. We were married for four years. About two years into our marriage she found Jesus. And when I say she found Jesus she FOUND JESUS. It became a huge problem in our marriage. I didn't help matters by me being militant about my non belief. I should have handled it in a much more productive way but I didn't so I take full responsibility for that. But I was 24 and not mature. It was a point of contention that eventually led to our demise. My non belief status and her full blown evangelical shift was a chasm we would never be able to bridge.
I've been a Professional Firefighter for 23 years now and work 24hr shifts with 48hrs off. I remember vividly not wanting to come home on Sundays and would rather just stay at work because I knew the argument that would inevitably ensue. And it always did. If I didn't go to church with her she would be angry all day and if I did go to church she would be angry because I wasn't listening to the message. I was in a catch 22 situation that I couldn't get out of. Damned if I do and damned if I don't. Had I been a bit more mature at the time I might have been able to express my feelings in a much more productive way but I wasn't mature so for lack of a better word... I was a dick. I resented the fact that she knew what she was getting when she entered into this marriage but two years in she changed the terms without my consent. At least that's how I looked at it. We divorced in our fourth year of marriage. Ironically she is now on her third marriage now. Getting a divorce was an eye opening experience to me. But in a way it was one of the better things that happened to me. It forced me to reflect on my actions and how I handled the situation. I wasn't innocent with the breakup of our marriage but neither was she. It was both of our faults.

I stayed single until I met my current wife at age 30. My wife is six years younger than I am but we share a lot of the same views and have common interests which helps immensely. She also knew that I was an atheist while we were dating but seemed unfazed by that information. You can imagine my skepticism due to my first marriage but we've been married for 16 years now and it has never been an issue from day one. I would consider my wife more agnostic if I had to put a label on her. But the mistakes I made in my first marriage I was determined not to replicate with this one. I matured somewhat in the time period between my first and current marriage. Some would argue that I'm still not mature and they might be right lol. But I've learned that actually listening to your partner is one of the most important things that you can do for them. Marriage is a dance you perfect over time. If you don't have mutual respect for their beliefs, passions, interests, etc... then it makes it real hard for that union to remain a union. I'm very happy to have found someone that I can share my life with. Someone that gave me a beautiful daughter and has helped me through hard times when I couldn't help myself. It doesn't take a belief in a higher power to find that. It takes a belief in yourself and the person you hold dear to your heart.

This story is helpful. Thanks for sharing.
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03-05-2017, 05:23 PM
RE: Suddenly The Sex Stopped
Hi Westcoastthinker~

Over 5 years ago I worked with a woman (NN) who was a devout Xtian. NN was divorced and had two grown daughters. She had been dating a man (DB) for several months (or years, I don't recall). But, because of her Xtianity, she refused to have sex with DB. I think they were somewhat amorous (kissing, maybe some groping) but she wouldn't have intercourse without the promise of marriage. Of course, DB didn't want to commit to marriage just yet. I'm not sure what his feelings were regarding the 'no sex cuz Jesus' schtick but if the man was anywhere close to NORMAL he wouldn't have been able to put up with such crap. And, as I told NN, if a guy is OKAY with not having sex then something is terribly WRONG with him. You DON'T want to marry a guy who thinks that not having sex is acceptable for ANY reason with the exception of medical issues.

I mean NN was pushing FIFTY years old, fercryinoutloud! Although NN was delightful and SO fun to work with (she was a real doll with a gut splitting sense of humor) I just couldn't understand her position on this. I told her,

"NN, you're going hit the 50 mark soon. Your hormones will wane along with your SEX DRIVE. So, you really don't have time to waste. Start riding your man like a circus pony before it's too late!"

Well, they subsequently broke up and she remarried a nice Xtian man who took her on a trip to see Ken Ham's Creation Museum and Ark Adventure. <cough cough>

Westcoastthinker, I'm going to tell you this just once. FLEE ON YOUR DONKEY AT GODSPEED and don't look back. She will not change and it will only get WORSE. I promise you.

Tallulah
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