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Luci

Married and not sure if I'm aromantic, feeling guilty. Any advice?

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I am new to the forum and I signed up to reach out to get advice basically, and to perhaps see if I am not the only one in this predicament.

 

I suspect I am aromantic, and I know that I went through a period of asexuality and I am currently in another 3 year+ period. I don't wish to offend anyone by implying it 'just a phase' and I 100% believe that sexual orientation is biological and not something one just grows out of. I however have had periods where I am super charged for someone sexually, and then go a couple of years not wanting physical intimacy. I don't dislike sex, I just honestly cannot remember what all the fuss was about and orgasms were overrated, there were other things I enjoyed doing instead. And at the time of one of my longest phases, I was with someone who was fantastic in the sack, so I couldn't disrespect him by saying it was anything to do with him.

 

I knew about asexuality but I only recently heard about aromanticism. Thinking about it, ever since boys came into the picture I dated more for the fun of it rather than through any real urge. I had them, raging hormones, and they fired up in the first few weeks because I assume the unknown always got them going, but they would die quickly. I'm nearing my mid-30's and not as fussed about my appearance, but as a teenager I had plenty of boys interested in me. And I found dating them a form of social experiment and friendship (I wasn't mean, my grandmother taught me to be kind with the hearts of boys as they break easier at that age, so I knew to be kind). However I have never pined after anyone is what I am trying to say rather badly I suppose.

 

As I got older I was normally in a relationship because that's just what pretty girls were expected to do in my social circles and I enjoyed the companionship of being someone elses special someone. I also made it a rule to always take 3 months off after a break up in order to ensure I had re-established my autonomy. Again, some would say that's a sensible rule but I was rather clinical about the whole thing which may take it to another level. I have also cried and felt great emotion due to the loss of a relationship, even though I was always the one who initiated it. And cards on the table here, there was one guy who broke me heart rather badly and after a long relationship by cheating, and I think I loved him but I just cant seem to grasp that memory of emotion anymore.

 

My current partner, and recently my husband, is a different matter. Ill be honest, I don't like being on my own. I thrive in company and he is the only man who's company I enjoy for extended periods of time. I am tactile, I really like hugs and kisses (pecks), hand holding, snuggling on the sofa together, making plans and travelling together, being together. I know 100% that I wont find anyone else that I find more attractive than him, and whilst he drives me insane a lot I wouldn't swap him for anyone else. 

 

Here is the other factor, and please forgive the long spiel, but he doesn't believe in divorce and he suffers from a chronic illness. So his energy isn't high and Ill admit that I do like the idea of settling into a marriage and pottering along, I don't wish to be single again and most certainly never want to go back into the dating scene again (such a colossally boring process). Not to be mistaken for coasting, we make an effort for one another in terms of gifts, time and shared household. He doesn't question anything, he is a rather reclusive person, the typecast 50's male who doesn't discuss emotional things.

 

So finally let me get to the point. I don't feel like a LOVE him, or I do love him dearly but not in love? However, I don't feel like I really love love anyone except my mum. I'm not depressed, I am happy, but I am beginning to suspect that I actually don't know what real romantic love feels like. I think the guy I think I loved was more of an infatuation. I remember thinking that he and I worked well on paper and he fell into my lifestyle rather well, and he did, we had great fun until he turned out to be a dick 3 years later. Actually, I have suspected for some time now about the love thing. I watch films and cannot relate to couples that would do anything for each other, or who cant live without each other, or people who fall madly in love with each other. In the real non-Hollywood world, I have never understood my friends infatuation with another person, or that they sacrifice everything else to be with that person. I feel like I am absolutely alien to the concept, a bit of a freak really. Its just as if love, that romantic notion of it, happens to other people and I come from a different species.

 

And if my suspicions are right, I could never tell the hubby as it would hurt him. And I do love him in my way, and I do show affection, and I like receiving cuddles too, plus I make the extra effort so that he doesn't suspect anything. But in my mind there is this wall, this thing I just cannot put my finger on.

 

Perhaps you guys have some insight? And if anything I have said above is construed as hurtful or disrespectful, please go easy on me. I have worded the above as best I can (and lengthily, thanks for reading this far!) but I ask you to be kindly corrective and constructive.

 

Big thank you for reading.

 

Can one become aromantic? Or perhaps I always was but it can ebb and flow sometimes. I know that asexuals can have a sex drive kick in once in a blue moon, is that perhaps the same with aromantics? Or is that I am actually not aromantic but just don't buy into what other people say love should be like? 

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Some things you say sound aromantic, in particular 

26 minutes ago, Luci said:

I watch films and cannot relate to couples that would do anything for each other, or who cant live without each other, or people who fall madly in love with each other. In the real non-Hollywood world, I have never understood my friends infatuation with another person, or that they sacrifice everything else to be with that person. I feel like I am absolutely alien to the concept, a bit of a freak really. Its just as if love, that romantic notion of it, happens to other people and I come from a different species.

 

Now, only you can know how you feel; but there is other type of attraction than romantic and sexual : like physical, alterous, platonic... maybe you confused this things?

 

29 minutes ago, Luci said:

Or perhaps I always was but it can ebb and flow sometimes. I know that asexuals can have a sex drive kick in once in a blue moon, is that perhaps the same with aromantics?

You mean like aro flux? For some people orientation is fluid, it changes, with period where you feel it and some period you don't.

 

31 minutes ago, Luci said:

And if my suspicions are right, I could never tell the hubby as it would hurt him. And I do love him in my way, and I do show affection, and I like receiving cuddles too, plus I make the extra effort so that he doesn't suspect anything.

Can I ask why you won't tell him? Of course it would hurt him at first, bit in the end wouldn't be more honnest for him, and easier tell him, tosay how you feel? I truly believe that communication is the key on a couple, so both people can find something satisfying.

Though I can understand the fear of losing him. Some people stay in couple after realizing one of them is aro, though it leads to a change in the relationship (compromise between platonic and romantic feelings), bit I suppose some other couple don't.

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Thank you for your reply Nonmerci (how can you tell I have been refreshing my page regularly, not eager at all for a response... :)

 

Your question with regards to my husband. Welllll, I read an article recently about the emotionally stunted man and he fit the bill rather well. Actually I think he feels very intensely, a side that has only come out the few times we've argued, but every other day he keeps his shields up. And I accept that, some people are just designed that way and I am not going to try remodel him. I knew who I was marrying when I said yes, although I am not sure I 100% knew myself. That aside, he can see things very black and white. To him I am fairly certain that aromantic = I dont love you anymore = divorce. I am sure enough that it is not worth the risk of sharing my thoughts, even after I am on firmer ground.

 

That ties in with the second thing, I didn't know it was called aro flux, and that means that this will come and go. I don't want to lose him, and I can weather fluctuations without interrupting our marriage if I care enough. Whether this works in practice, Ill keep you posted. Sometimes truth is not always kindness, especially if the only person who may feel better about it is only me. Thank you for bringing that term to my attention though, I am glad its a known process in the aro community.I also didn't know about alterous, I just researched it and that does seem to come a bit closer to how I am feeling, at least towards him. In general, I still suspect the aro side as well because of my attitude to romance on the whole. I don't snub it, I'm glad those who like it are happy, I just feel like I have evolved differently to others (not better or worse, just differently). Honestly, considerately arranged marriages make way more sense to me. Chosen based on companionship and compatibility rather than emotions, worked well enough up until 100 years ago.

 

Random geek thought, I was watching Star Trek (old school ones) and had a thought that the hologram programmes would be super. You can have some time in there getting some intimacy and some companionship out of your system, then potter along with your life until the next time you have an emotional itch. Would be heaven.

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Ok, I get why you won't tell your husband.

 

2 hours ago, Luci said:

Honestly, considerately arranged marriages make way more sense to me.

Same. Before I knew I was aro, I sometimes regretted to not have been borned at the time when arranged marriage was the norm, because I thought it was easier to get a husband that all the flirt and all... Now, I don't know if I would have been happy in a happy marriage, because I'm not sure I would have love kisses, sex, etc; but it sounded better at the time.

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Are you happy in your current life and relationship? If so you might not want to  change anything. Your relationship are meaningful without romantic love and you don't really need to "come clean" or anything like that if you don't want to. That's my thoughts.

 

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You sound on the aromantic spectrum to me. And in regards to sexual attraction, there's aceflux as well, just like aroflux. You sound like you could be both?

 

On 1/10/2020 at 2:29 PM, Luci said:

But in my mind there is this wall, this thing I just cannot put my finger on.

I relate a lot to this actually! ^^

 

Don't feel guilty. The relationships you have with other people don't have involve romantic attraction to be meaningful, and you don't owe anyone romantic feelings.

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