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Switch to Forum Live View Saving sex for marriage, but never getting married?
9 years ago  ::  Oct 07, 2009 - 11:14PM #21
Posts: 719

I can understand your position well. Like you, if I cared about someone enough to be in a relationship with him, I could never justify trying to coerce him into sex if he didn't want to do it for whatever reason. But, like you, I have a hard time understanding his position... if you like the idea of having sex, and never intend to get married, then why wait for marriage? 

In addition to the list of possible reasons that Tolerant Sis listed (which are all good possibilities), I might add one. My boyfriend is a healthy heterosexual male and we currently enjoy a very healthy sexual relationship, but he was a virgin until he was 25, and not because of a lack of offers or a religious belief in abstinence. The way he describes it, part of his definition of himself was as a person who does not have sex, and he would think about how that made him different from the people around him, many of whom he disdained. This self-identifying was so strong that he actually kind of freaked out after we started having sex, he felt like he wasn't himself and was losing himself, and we stopped having intercourse for nearly a year. Eventually he did move past it and no longer defines himself that way, but at the time it was a very real thing for him, and I had to decide whether I was only waiting around for him to change, or I could accept it as it was. I decided that I wanted to be with him and if that meant no intercourse for an indefinite amount of time, I could accept that. 

For a long time, I had a somewhat similar thing going on regarding masturbation. I didn't think there was anything wrong with it, but somehow I got it into my head that it was just something I didn't do and wasn't interested in. It wasn't until I was seventeen that I even started to question it, and it took a while after that before I had completely gotten over the mental block I had set up. I discovered that I, like most people, actually was rather interested in masturbating, but for some reason that I can't explain, it took me years to figure that out. 

From the way you describe your boyfriend, I wonder if he has a similar thing going on, like perhaps he has worked the idea that he has strong self control and therefore does not have intercourse into his definition of himself. 


As to how to proceed, I don't know what to tell you. He may very well come to a point where he decides either that he does want to get married, or that he does want to have sex even without marriage. But, waiting for this to happen seems to betray a lack of respect for him and his choices on your part. If you could be happy just being in the relationship, without intercourse and without the prospect of marriage or children with this man, then I'd say go for it. 

But since you are not happy with that (no judgment there, it's just how it is and honesty is necessary to working relationships), I see it going two ways: (1) he does change his mind and finds that it involves admitting that he was wrong about what he wanted and who he was, and you knew better than him. This could easily lead him to resent you. Or, (2) he does not change and eventually you get tired of waiting and move on but resent him for all the time you put into the relationship with no hope of going to where you wanted it to go. Either way, he resents you for the lack of trust in and respect for his personal choices, and you resent him for not giving you want you want out of the relationship. 

Bottom line: even if he is likely to change his mind, even if he was certain to change his mind, waiting for him to do so seems like a bad policy to me. 

I'd advise you to have a serious conversation with him about this. Ask him his honest opinion about whether he thinks he might change his mind sometime in the next few years. Be careful not to make it just about the sex... it's about the whole thing: sex, commitment, marriage, children. Also be sure to let him know that you are not looking for him just to give in to you, you just want to truly understand his position. Then ask him what he thinks you should do, since you do want these other things that he seems to have no interest in. How he answers could be a good indicator... does he try to convince you to stay with him, or does he think that you'd be better off not waiting around for him?

Who knows? Maybe he is already thinking about having intercourse but doesn't want to bring it up until he is sure he is ready, or maybe the no marriage, no children plan is a true deal breaker for him. 

If anyone knows, he does, and the only way you're going to find real answers is to get them from him. Good luck.


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9 years ago  ::  Oct 08, 2009 - 2:36AM #22
Posts: 18


Thanks for the input. I had a talk with him about the asexuality, and he got a little bit upset because he said he has built a lot of happiness and pride on the fact that he has been able to resist the urges and stay a virgin. So I definitely think he has built being a virgin and morality into his image of himself, hes always said he is 'different' and i know if he gave it up, he would feel more like everyone else.

Ive been putting a lot of thought into it and I am not even sure the sex is a good idea. If he feels so adamantly, and shows his desire for being moral and pure, who am I to take that away? I mean I guess if he really wanted it, but I dont see that happening.

As for the marriage he has said if I ever felt like I had to leave he would understand. Simple enough. He said that he would let me go more or less. Which bothers me. Even in a few years, he wouldnt think I am worth it enough to try and consider it. I feel If I am willing to reconsider having sex in a relationship, and give up that- why cant he be willing to at least consider long term? I would accept lack of sex, which is something i NEVER would have done, but he cant even give this a second thought? YET when he says he would more or less let me go so he wasnt holding me back. He says he would understand that i needed to find someone to be my husband but he asks me to not break his heart and says he will never leave ME. He says it will crush him and he will go back to being a cold, numb person that doesnt trust anyone. He says he hates thinking of me leaving and even when it comes up, he does say "please dont go" and gets upset, but I dont know/think it would ever be enough for him to change his mind. He doesnt want me to go anytime soon, but I know it would only be harder later. Apparently if I leave, its my fault. He has said he cant predict the future but hes almost completely sure he will never change his mind.

I appreciate the advice. I guess you could say you got the benefit of waiting for your man though, even though you accepted that he may never have sex again.

I do respect him and his body, and his choices. Its just hard for me to accept that I will be in a relationship that has a definite end. Im still growing and maturing and this is one of those things I still need to learn about I suppose- Having a relationship based on love and not sex, and not based on what I could gain.

I just hope that I will find worth in all of this, it is truly a tough position.

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9 years ago  ::  Oct 08, 2009 - 11:00AM #23
Posts: 2,849

 I would point out that he's 21.  Yes he is an adult.  And while he thinks he knows all the answers for all things, many a young man has, after acquiring a few years life experience, re-evaluated his position on things-much to his own surprise. 

I have known a fellow for 21 years.  In his late 20's he was insistent- no kids. Ever.  Even sour on the topic of marriage as he'd just endured a short and bitter marriage.  And while the older folks cautioned him that he'd change his tune, he was adamant.  No one and nothing was going to change his views on this.

Well here he is age 48- married for over 10 years, with two kids.  Now he tells folks he wishes he'd had the kids earlier as they really tax his energies.  And he's very happy. Can't imagine life in any other way.

This man's evolution didn't occur overnight and didn't result from a few magic words uttered at him. It was an active process on his part. He was willing to see beyond the sum total of his painful experiences, learn about why he felt as he did, and be completely honest with himself and his wants/needs.  That takes a certain amount of exposing one's vulnerabilities- not an easy thing to do.  Took a fair amount of professional assistance to accomplish this.


Part of your fellow's concern stems from seeing bad examples- a poor marriage or the troubled childhood.  Things he's decided never to emulate. And that's fine. But he hasn't taken that next step - seeing beyond what his life experiences have shown him.   There's probably nothing another person can do to convince him "there's good relationships out there!" as he won't believe it can happen for him (although he will agree that it does happen -for other people).  

 Right now his current stance guarantees he won't let down his guard and possibly subject himself to bad experiences.  He's safe from hurt. I'm betting that, while this may be the case, he's not yet able to articulate this to anyone, including himself. That may be why he has no definitive answers for you, yet wishes that you not leave him.  For many men it's very difficult to put into words what he is feeling. 


Your words: "he will go back to being a cold, numb person that doesnt trust anyone"  He needs outside, professional intervention.   This he knows isn't how regular folks are; but he also fears self-examination with the intent to heal from these experiences. And, the requests you are making of him only point this out to him. He doesn't want to commit to what you want in this relationship.  What if, down the line, he changes his mind and is 'stuck' with having to honor his words of today? For example, if he agrees that one day he will want to marry and then you hold him to this - and he discovers, down the line, that "nope, don't want marriage"-then what?  Right now, he's got you there, on his terms.  And, no words of commitment to meet your relationship needs.  And no reason to seek professional assistance with his personal issues.  Convenient.  Partners in good relationships should be open to growth/change and possibly going outside one's comfort zone.  He isn't up for that now; he won't be up for that within a relationship. You will be doing all the work here.

No one can predict the future and no one can truly say what one will want down the road.  Only thing is, are you willing to gamble on this guy?

And, while he may change his viewpoints, it doesn't automatically mean he'll change within the parameters you have discussed here (frown on marriage--> willing to marry some day, no premarital sex -> okay with premarital sex).  His accumulating life experiences may drive him in completely other directions.  This ties into Satanic Stalker's comment on resentments.

 Personally, I think this is asking an awful lot of a 21 year old who has some issues regarding relationships.


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9 years ago  ::  Oct 08, 2009 - 8:10PM #24
Posts: 18

Irene, once again a very valid and convincing viewpoint. I do think his age plays a role in it, mine as well considering we're the same age. I think I know what I want but even MY opinions could change. I definitely agree that it would have to be something he decided he wanted to change and nothing I could say or do would effect that, so it makes it easier on me because I know there's nothing I can do other than show him support for how he currently is.

I 100% agree that he is just guarding himself, taking the 'easy way' out. Its convenient for sure! I am not sure what to do because I am willing to go outside of my comfort zone of always having sex with my boyfriends, but he isnt even willing to challenge his own thoughts. I never once suggested that it be ME that he marries even, and I wouldnt unless years had gone by because for all I know, we could breakup for completely unrelated reasons by then.

I definitely also agree that it is asking too much of him, he isnt in the mindset to be able to change these things. He isnt ready. My pushing isnt going to make it better, it actually makes it worse. Lately weve been disagreeing more and getting upset easier and it is partly due to how much weve been talking about these things lately.

I dont want to push him away, but Im not sure if I should stay. I guess I dont have a solid reason to leave yet since its only been a few months, I have no complaints other than these. we understand each other relatively well, have a shared sense of humor, been through similar experiences, share a mutual trust and love that has been built from a friendship. I know he has already given enough of himself sexually to have regret and to form a deeper bond to me in addition to other factors causing him to attach and I am scared of hurting him. =/ I care about him but these things really do bother me, and if I just compromise what I want and say its ok for him to turn these things down, I feel like he is in control and I will be the only one who has to give something up. I dont like that.

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9 years ago  ::  Oct 08, 2009 - 8:55PM #25
Posts: 9,954


Wow.  Nice analysis.


Don't know what to tell ya except this: for most men, their brain is not fully formed until age 25 or so.

The tears when you offer to leave are an attempt at manipulation, imo, and control, too, quite possibly---which would be a red flag, in my book.

It seems clear that you love him; it seems equally clear that he doesn't know how to love himself OR you.  If you are both Christians, you may wish to point out that "be fruitful and multiply" is one of the oldest commands in the Bible, not to mention several others concerning marriage, which I gather you want, at present.  Are you aware of as a resource?  There's a search engine for keywords there in more than 40 different versions of the Bible(including those in foreign languages), iirc, and as many as 5 can be searched simultaneously for side-by-side comparison purposes.

Personally, I find myself rather enamoured of what I understand the Quaker take on matrimony to be---a contract.  IIRC, when two people commit to marriage w/in that tradition, they each write up a contract of what they expect of themselves and of the other in that state of holy matrimony, then they exchange said contracts, make notes, then compare and compromise, where necessary, long before the "I do's" are exchanged, IF they are to be exchanged.  I get the strong impression that you most certainly DO want marriage, and at least one child, as well.  That he does not want either at this point is not a good sign.  However, you may consider asking him to write a "test contract" to help him grow, if that's one thing that holds any interest for you.

So it seems you're in a dilemma; hurt him by leaving now, or hurt him much later after wasting years waiting for him to change his mind, hoping he'll change his mind, praying for him to change his mind. 

Long ago, when I was about 3 or 4, I heard a cat yowling under a bush when I was visiting my grandparents; when I investigated, I found that the cat had caught a bird, which was still alive, although it had broken bones.  I took it to my grandma, expecting her to fix it; she said, "Oh, the poor thing," and promptly wrung it's neck, killing it instantly.  It was many years before I saw the wisdom in her act, which made me cry uncontrollably at the time, for I felt that my trust in my grandma had been betrayed.

Told you that to tell you this; if and when you DO decide to end it, make a clean break and a quick one.  Slow, lingering deaths are not fun, either to experience or to watch.  So he'll be heartbroken.  Some lessons can only be learned painfully, more's the pity; one quote I've recently memorized goes "Experience is the school of mankind, but fools will learn at no other."  There's a corrollary that may help explicate further:  "The wise learn from the misfortunes of others; fools must suffer misfortune."

If he lacks the wisdom or knowledge to make a good husband, there are many resources available to him to teach how he could do so; he could begin, perhaps, by simply looking up the dictionary MEANINGS of the word, and reflect upon them.  IIRC, James 1:5 states that any who lack wisdom may immediately ask of the Lord, and it will be granted him.  I've come to believe that wisdom is that perfect blend of love with intelligence, for love without intelligence is unwise, and intelligence without love leads to arrogance and haughtiness, qualities of character God despises(according to Proverbs in ch. 6).

Warmest regards-


"History records that the moneychangers have used every form of abuse, deceit, intrigue, and violent means possible to maintain their control over governments by controlling money and it's issuance."
-- James Madison(1751-1836), Father of the Constitution for the USA, 4th US President
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9 years ago  ::  Oct 12, 2009 - 10:10AM #26
Mary Contrary
Posts: 29

I wonder what he's doing dating if he wants neither sex nor marriage to come out of it. I think it's time to talk this one out. And pick it all apart relentlessly. You both need to know where you stand, and not to waste time with someone who's not on the same wavelength.

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9 years ago  ::  Nov 22, 2009 - 3:03AM #27
Posts: 18

Hi, I am going to update the still unchanged situation that I posted about 2 months ago.

He still will not consider sex and weve fought about it to the point that it has now been taken off the table. he will not sleepover, he will not shower with me. after saying for the last month that we can go to Florida in March, once I tried to initiate concrete plans he said it was too soon in our relationship and that I wasnt being reasonable.

I feel like I have to sacrifice so much to be with him- the possibility of marriage, kids, sex, the closeness of sleeping together in bed or taking a shower, going on a vacation. He will stay at my place until 6-7 AM..leave..then come back at 1-2pm the next day.

I question if this is worth it. I wondered if this was Gods way of challenging me to become pure but I honestly want those things.

Is it noble, taking the high road- to accept I will not get these things and that Im supposed to change? why isnt he supposed to?


I feel very cheated to say the least. I cant stand the thought of losing him but being with him and all this sacrifice is pretty hard on me too. i cant help but think someone else is the one and I am essentially wasting my time.

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9 years ago  ::  Nov 22, 2009 - 6:22PM #28
Posts: 47

If he wants to be celibate for the rest of his life, then I'd suggest you move on to the next guy, since that's obviously not what you want. Maybe you two can salvage a platonic friendship.

Also, the heavy petting isn't doing anyone any good... (in my opinion).

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9 years ago  ::  Nov 25, 2009 - 5:34AM #29
Posts: 18

Thanks for the input everyone. I agree it is not best to try and change him or to wait, so maybe I can somehow change myself? In any case, thanks everyone.

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9 years ago  ::  Dec 05, 2009 - 2:40AM #30
Posts: 13


I'm new to this forum, but I have read enough to say something about your ordeal. (well i really hope so) I think that what you both need is a deep conversation that would eventually end up with a common understanding of what you both are going to settle with.

The talk about him not wanting a serious commitment such as marriage is something that is indeed bothering. However, granted that he is still too young to put a period to that conclusion/belief, I think that it is not too late to turn the tide to your side. But this is not going to be easy, seeing how he has reacted to your frequent fights and discussions on the issue. I think threatening him that you will have to end this relationship would not help at all, if he says that he would 'let you go more or less'. I think it's a very sad answer, disappointing at the very least. I do not want to say that you can tell from that remark how much you mean to him, but I think there is something behind that comment that you should really try to ask him about. If he feels that you are someone he can't do without, then he would have at least taken a pause to reconsider what his response would have been.

Everyone is right about saying that this talk between the two of you should not be centered to the topic of having sex before marriage--I agree with the commenter who said that it should be the thought of your relationship's future as a whole. Therefore, if you think that you are sincere that you would want to grow old with this guy while staying committed, having kids and family with him and he is not into it at the moment, it's time you should see what he wants to lead you to. I don't want to judge your man but I believe that he is currently enjoying the sense of independence and self-reservation that he is having right now. I once had the same issue with an ex-boyfriend who is often too defensive when we talk about plans of getting married, and we ALWAYS end it up with a fight.

What I learned from that past experience of mine is that the extent of convincing/persuading someone depends on how we influence them, on how important we are to them, on how they value us in their lives. Think about it, if we mean that much to them, they would at least try to reconsider--even just a bit or for a brief time--whatever good intentions we are proposing to them. Of course, the process and its duration depend from one person to another, so trust everything in God's will.

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