Dear Aaron & Rachel,
I recently separated from my wife of twelve years. I loved her very, very deeply, but, honestly, I was never very attracted to her. So when she had to leave town for a job, we kind of fell apart – at my initiative.
My question is, can this deep love circumvent the attraction issue? I love her so much but I guess I hope there is more to a relationship than obligatory sex and, for her, more than a relationship where your partner just makes love to you out of duty. I love her more than I can say, and we have years of beautiful memories. But must I let her go, though this separation just continues to break one another’s hearts. I fear I’m walking away from the best person I’ve ever known and ever will know, and hurting her irreparably in the process.
Loving With No Attraction
Like most men, you are a visual creature. You need to feel a physical attraction to enjoy sex and romance with your partner. It sounds like you’ve hoped and tried to feel this for a long time with your wife – because of your deep love for her – but it hasn’t been there. If you were never very physically attracted to her, what attracted you to her and kept you interested enough to stay in the marriage for all these years? Maybe it would help to recall the things that you did find initially attractive about her. Are they still there? Can they be rekindled?
Do you think there is anything she can do to be more physically attractive to you? Is it as simple as losing weight or changing her hair style? Or is it something much deeper that prevents you from feeling attraction? On the other hand, do you think you can change something about your mindset and find a way to enjoy sex with her even if you don’t think she’s your “dream girl” in the looks department?
If the two of you can’t find that passion, it would be hard to sustain a romantic/sexual relationship. Your love would be platonic friendship or like the close relationship of a sister and a brother. You have to ask yourself: If things do not change, would the companionship be enough for you both, or do you need to be in a marriage with passion and romance? What would make you happiest? There are a lot of questions to be answered. Following the truth will lead you in the right direction. Best of luck to you both!