I’m starting a new series today and would like to introduce you to IronSpineSally. Hers is a multifaceted story of a troubled marriage, addiction, infidelity, strength and love. What I love most about her story though, is how IronSpineSally blossoms through the pain and hurt along the way.
I guess I forgot to ask her how old she is but I’m guessing she’s in a her late twenties. She and her husband were married for four years although they dated for eight years before getting married. Five months after her divorce, IronSpineSally eloped with the love of her life and she’s now stepmom to three boys.
She begins her story by sharing the issue that made her confront her marriage. Here’s IronSpineSally:
I guess I thought I knew him better than I did. He had some sexual issues that I was kind of kidding myself about for the bulk of our relationship. I had come from a pretty abusive childhood, emotionally speaking, not physically, but I found someone who wasn’t going to leave me, and I was of the opinion at that time that “he can put up with me, so I can just ignore these things.” Then it came to a head last year and I couldn’t put up with it anymore.
I was fairly young and inexperienced when we got together and we had not had sex without protection until we were married. Then I noticed something was suspicious, but I didn’t have enough experience to know that something was missing. It turned out that he could not ejaculate with a woman. It was never 100 percent confirmed for me until right after I left him and I took him to a therapist to air my grievances, but he avoided things like oral sex, and then things like I couldn’t touch him, I couldn’t get near him. It’s hard to explain because it makes me sound so naïve, which I guess I was. He also had a pornography addiction, which he did not admit to although he did admit to everything else.
I honestly don’t know exactly what the problem is. When we went to the therapist, I had said to him, “I can’t hide the fact that I know this anymore.” We had dreams of having children and he was fully supporting that and telling me, “you have problems, you’re going to have to go to the doctor” because we couldn’t get pregnant. He would sit there while I would take pregnancy tests.
The whole marriage was so bizarre because there was all of this other stuff going on and all of the emotion was a cover-up to keep him from having to expose the fact that we could never have children. I asked him in that therapy session, “were you going to wait until I was too old to have children and put me through fertility treatments” so that he would never have to confront this. He couldn’t answer the question.
So he was faking it the whole time. When I brought it up at the therapist, his words were something like he never actually enjoyed sex with a partner. I don’t know whether he ever had any homosexual experiences, I suppose it’s possible, but we never got to that point of disclosure. He said that he could do this on his own, but that he didn’t masturbate in the traditional sense, and I really, after that, didn’t want to know any more, so I just dropped it. It’s possible he’s gay.
I never found any evidence of that in the massive, massive amount of pornographic images I found over the years. I never found anything that pointed that way, so my inclination would be that it’s just an individual oddity and he wasn’t actually homosexual, but I don’t know. My family has a history of marrying gay men. My father’s gay and my sister dated a gay man for several years, so apparently it’s in our genes.
At that point, I was of the mind that I didn’t want to work on it.
The Divorce Coach Says
I swear it’s just a coincidence that IronSpineSally’s story of sexual problems comes after Andrea’s cross-dressing husband and Lisa’s sexless marriage. While the reason for little or no sex in each of these stories is different, the common thread is the deception these husbands created to hide their issues and to maintain the facade of a typical heterosexual marriage. In a way, I think it’s fortunate that IronSpineSally was not able to get pregnant because had she had children there’s no telling how long she would have stayed in the marriage.
Like I said in my intro, this story has a number of different elements to it so please don’t jump to any conclusions about IronSpineSally’s unwillingness to work on her marriage at this point. More to follow …
Photo credit: anathea