The question posed on the internet was: Do you think you could marry a person who can't physically have sex? Why or why wouldn't you be able to do that? In my own case, I married (and subsequently divorced) two men, who were physically able to have sex â€“ and yet neither performed it. In the first marriage, I married a narcissist. If you don't know what that really entails I heartily recommend the Wikipedia definition which sums the character disorder up so well. Here are the seven basic earmarks of a narcissistic personality:
- Shamelessness - Shame is the feeling that lurks beneath all unhealthy narcissism, and the inability to process shame in healthy ways.
- Magical thinking - Narcissists see themselves as perfect using distortion and illusion known as magical thinking. They also use projection to dump shame onto others.
- Arrogance - A narcissist who is feeling deflated may reinflate by diminishing, debasing, or degrading somebody else.
- Envy - A narcissist may secure a sense of superiority in the face of another person's ability by using contempt to minimize the other person.
- Entitlement - Narcissists hold unreasonable expectations of particularly favorable treatment and automatic compliance because they consider themselves special. Any failure to comply will be considered an attack on their superiority and the perpetrator is considered to be an "awkward" or "difficult" person. Defiance of their will is a narcissistic injury that can trigger narcissistic rage.
- Exploitation - can take many forms but always involves the exploitation of others without regard for their feelings or interests. Often the other is in a subservient position where resistance would be difficult or even impossible. Sometimes the subservience is not so much real as assumed.
- Bad Boundaries - narcissists do not recognize that they have boundaries and that others are separate and are not extensions of themselves. Others either exist to meet their needs or may as well not exist at all. Those who provide narcissistic supply to the narcissist will be treated as if they are part of the narcissist and be expected to live up to those expectations. In the mind of a narcissist, there is no boundary between self and other.
Having shamelessly lied about every aspect of his life, our projected life together and his financial circumstances I found myself married to husband number one. Of course I would have avoided him if I knew what he was, but he fooled me. A narcissist, unlike a healthy person, will say what he needs to say in order to get what he wants to get, never mind the consequences. Although he was physically capable of sex, he had not a clue on how to be intimate. That was the antithesis of his character disorder.
I never imagined sex could be impersonal until I took off my clothes with this man. Whatever "sex" was to him, he had decided before he met me. He did it exactly the same way every time down to the music he needed to have playing. For foreplay he would look at porn in the other room (unbeknownst to me). When he felt ready to "start" he would enter the room, set up his music and lighting, and then move into a few caresses to see if I were "willing."
I didn't have any problem with the warm up, it was what happened next that was strangely un-erotic. If he ascertained I was willing, he would get up out of bed and leave the room for 15 or 20 minutes while he shut off his computer, brushed his teeth, or put away his office papers. When I was good and cold, usually looking at a book or something, he would pop back into the room, get off in 30 seconds or less and call it good. It was so not appealing I found myself avoiding sex with him.
In a pique he tried to bully me into it by complaining, "What's a matter? It's not Christian enough for you?" Which, I'll tell you what, is not a super effective way to get a gal turned on. We remained married for about a full year without sex while I figured out how to divorce him. We attended some couples therapy which was where, after 4 years of struggling in a truly difficult situation I finally got a diagnosis. He is a narcissist! Everything finally made sense. It wasn't me, it was him.
While I was avoiding him he was cheating on me, which I really couldn't blame him for, as men do have needs. No normal person would have considered what we had by then a marriage. His fragile ego and character disorder had made intimacy impossible. The experience led me to believe that having sex in a marriage was a good thing. That it signified a level closeness I was obviously missing. Despite my first divorce, I still really wanted to be married ten years ago.
I felt the main reason for the failure of marriage number one was the false advertising crazy first husband campaigned. He had set up a deliberate con because of his mental problems. If you had asked me then if I could marry someone unable to have sex, I would have said "no," because at the time of my first failure, I thought sex was an important facet of intimacy.
What changed my mind? Believe it or not, husband number two. He was also physically capable of sex, he just didn't care for it. Either he was asexual or a latent homosexual. In seven years together I can count on one hand the number of times anything happened. If I were to narrow the acts down to only intercourse, the number would be lower still.
I doubt Howard, husband number two, was asexual only because if he was, I think he would have accepted it about himself and been honest. Conversely, in our pre-marital counseling he said just the opposite. He promised to be open intimacy, and hoped to heal some of the issues I had due to husband number one. So what happened ? Read article number 2!