I Married A Man I’m Not Attracted To. Now What?

Hi Evan, I am stuck in a very tricky situation, which came in my life because of my wrong choices. I married a man to whom I am not physically attracted. I don’t like some of his facial features. For me somehow, a certain type of face seems attractive and a certain type does not. When I first started dating him, I just didn’t notice it and I liked him for being a nice guy. 2 months into our dating I realized I am just not attracted to him. 8 months after still dating him, I married him because of what my and his family members would think if I said no. My family likes him very much. As for me, he has a great body and is a genuinely nice person but because of my lack of physical attraction, I am just not in love with him. I did not marry him because of family pressure. There was none. I married him (knowing I wasn’t attracted to him) because I thought that over a period of time, I would start liking him. 3 months into our marriage and now he complains that I am not physically or emotionally close to him. I know I should have had a voice before, but what to do now? We have fights every other day over this issue and just nothing comes out of it. He is frustrated over the lack of intimacy. I am just not courageous enough to leave him and I could not say to him that I don’t love him. Can I change my mindset? Please tell me what you suggest. –Maya

Aw, Jesus, Maya.

You say so many things in your question that are easy to dissect that I don’t even know where to begin.

First of all, I’m really sorry you’re in this predicament. I’m not going to make light of the fact that you and your husband are unhappy, which is tragic. I will, however, wonder what exactly is making you tick.

“I just didn’t notice” his FACE?

I’m not even sure how this is possible, but I acknowledge that sometimes one can get into a relationship where passion is lacking. It’s more that your excuse seems to ring a little hollow.

You can prefer tall men and be open to shorter men. You can prefer dark hair and marry light hair. You can prefer small noses and fall for a man with a big nose.

“A certain type of face seems attractive”?

I get that not everyone on earth is equally good looking, but I very much want to caution you to being too attached to a “type”. You can prefer tall men and be open to shorter men. You can prefer dark hair and marry light hair. You can prefer small noses and fall for a man with a big nose.

Unless, of course, you decide that you can’t. Which would be a shame, because there’s a lot more to most people than a face.

Still, unless you were actively turned OFF by his face, I’m not sure how you got this far along in your relationship. Then again…

“2 months into our dating, I realized I am just not attracted to him.”

So you married him after 8 months to make your family happy.

Got it.

My official diagnosis, Maya, is that you’re not a bad person for dating a man with whom your attraction is questionable. People do it all the time. Some find their attraction grows when they start to love the person. Some discover that the spark isn’t enough to continue.

Your ridiculously massive mistake was MARRYING this man, even though you knew how you felt. That’s not his fault (although he was pretty foolish to propose to someone after 8 months) and it’s not your parents’ fault for loving him.

This is your fault, Maya, and only you can make it right.

Stop claiming that you’re not courageous enough to leave him. That’s a convenient excuse that you’re trotting out to avoid looking bad in front of your husband and family.

It’s not my place to tell you to make things work with this nice guy who loves you. Attraction is a very personal thing.

But since you asked me for advice, I’ll give it to you straight.

Stop claiming that you’re not courageous enough to leave him. That’s a convenient excuse that you’re trotting out to avoid looking bad in front of your husband and family.

It’s too late. You already look bad. You married a man who wants affection, you won’t give it to him, and he’s upset. Staying with him is not going to make things better.

Woman up, tell him the truth, and rip off the band aid.

And for god sakes, Maya, don’t repeat any of these mistakes with the next guy, okay?


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  1. 1

    What you wrote in your email to Evan is almost exactly what a friend of mine confessed to me about her marriage.   She got married hoping she would learn to love him and feel passionate about him in time.  It never happened.
    The went to both individual counseling and marriage counseling for several years.   Their marriage counselors told them their business was saving marriages and that they did not have anything there to save.
    7 years later they have finally gotten up the courage to get a divorce.  Don’t let your and his life stall out for 7 years.   Divorce him.  Now.
    Good Luck.

  2. 2

    What I don’t understand is how he could propose to a woman who wasn’t giving him the physical affection that he wanted.

    I think they are both at fault here, and perhaps there is something valuable in holding out for someone you feel a connection with.

    Since the OP can’t force herself to feel something she doesn’t feel, she needs to have an honest conversation with her husband, reminding him that she was always like this… before he proposed. 

  3. 3

    Who thought that finding “the one” is so hard?

  4. 4

    I wasn’t attracted to my last serious bf. He was only a little higher than I was, had a pot belly, was ginger haired and bold, 11 years older, but he was very kind and generous with me. When I fallen in love with him, he became the most handsome guy on Earth to me. The attraction wasn’t there right from the beginning, but he grew on me. After 2 months of dating, if there isn’t any attraction, then most likely there never ever will be any in the future.

  5. 5

    Please leave him. It’s so unfair and almost cruel to stay with a man you aren’t attracted to or don’t love, when there is almost certainly another woman out there who will. It’s also unfair to you, as you should be with someone you’re attracted to and love as well. Why waste his time? The poor guy is wishing for something that probably won’t ever happen and you’re sitting there feeling sorry for yourself. Why don’t you do the right thing and leave him? I know I’m being harsh and direct, but I find this so sad.

    1. 5.1

      I agree completely with you. I had to break up with my boyfriend of two years recently because I wasn’t attracted to him. It has been the hardest thing I have ever done because we connect on such a deep level but for me the physical attraction was not there. This meant that I started to feel like I didn’t love him as much as he loved me; there was a certain element missing emotionally and I couldn’t ignore it; it would have been unfair to him to do so. I agree that it would have been cruel to stay with him despite this. He deserves to be loved and appreciated fully and completely and I sadly I just can’t give this to him.. It’s extremely hard but I keep reminding myself that it was the right thing to do.

      1. 5.1.1

        Leah @5.1 – I’m not trying to be judgemental here, but how on earth did you endure 2 years with a man you weren’t physically attracted to ? The reason I ask, is I have tried to “give men chances” to see if attraction can grow, because they were “nice” and wanted a relationship with me and were good to me, and did all the things a boyfriend should do. But if it didn’t grow into an attraction (and it only did ONCE) I really couldn’t stand it for more than a few weeks. For two reasons: First, if I don’t feel physical attraction, even hugging, kissing and cuddling feel horrible and it only gets worse. And sex becomes an absolute cringe-fest for me. (Yes, I confess, I have let things progress that far with a guy I was “trying” to be attracted to, because he was so into me) The second reason: If I am trying to force myself to feel attraction for someone that I really don’t feel it for, it is because they seem like a genuinely nice, caring, relationship worthy person, and they are treating me very well. I feel WORSE than awful when I hurt a man like that.

        When I have broken off relationships with someone who I was attracted to, and MISTAKENLY thought we’d be compatible, and then they start treating me poorly, I don’t feel bad breaking off THOSE relationships, because if the person became super critical of me, constantly flaked on me or was dishonest with me, I don’t feel bad breaking up with them. Even if they give me the sad cow eyes and ask for another chance (and I really don’t see their behavior ever changing) I don’t feel bad, because hey, they did things that made me feel bad, didn’t stop when I asked, continued the hurtful behavior, etc.

        But to hurt a “good guy” because I wasn’t feeling attracted to him. I HATE doing that.

        I have a first meeting with someone tomorrow, and I must confess, I try to avoid going out with men, if I think I might not be able to be attracted to them. It IS hard to tell just from a profile. Some guys go into the “No way Jose” category, but there are some guys whose pics make be think, “Hmm, he’s really not bad looking at all, but I’m not thinking he super cute either, but if I meet him in person, I might feel differently”. This guy I’m meeting tomorrow falls into that category. I feel like a bitch saying this, but I finally agreed to a meet up with him because, he has been pursuing me online off and on for awhile, and my options lately have been pretty nil. I haven’t even met him yet, and already I feel like I’m settling. He has many qualities I like in a man, and seems like a good guy, but I’m not sure if he’s my type physically. I hope I feel differently tomorrow when I meet him face to face. (and that he doesn’t subsequently decided that I’M not his type :) )

        I’m trying to strike that balance between “giving guys a chance” and “leading a man on”.

        Both my husbands I met in person first, but they don’t photograph well. I remember certain photos and think to myself, if online dating had been around back then, I doubt I would have dated them based on their photos. But believe me, I was plenty attracted to both of them. But if I met a photograph of them before I met them in person, I doubt I would have been to excited about meeting them.

  6. 6

    Maybe I’m wrong, but this sounds like a foreign woman who wanted to be married to an American man, “no matter what” for the status it would accord her within her family and community.  Sad thing is, Maya seems far more concerned with her own discomfort than with the fact that she probably really hurt and used this guy.  I can only imagine how terrible this must make him feel. 
    I’m all for Evan’s advice to give a guy a chance even if he’s not your physical ideal.  I’m currently dating a fellow who, upon first meeting, made me recoil.  But I decided to give him a few more chances because we’d met online and his emails showed a senstve, hilarious, bright personality.  Now, four month’s later, I cannot keep my hands off him and laugh to think that I almost let him slip away simply because he has a big mole on his nose and is 3 inches shorter than I.  So, as I said, I believe that attraction can change.
    However, I assert that if I had still been physically repelled by this, or any, guy after a couple of months, I would have bowed out.  Attraction can ebb and flow but if it’s always been non-existent between 2 people, I don’t think that one can force it.  I cannot make myself care about Maya’s predicament — she sounds cold and self-serving — but for the sake of her husband, I hope they divorce quickly and that he moves on to a woman who finds his face, heart and mind, beautiful.

  7. 7

    @Henriette,I think you are right but you know men love to fight like mad and insist that foreign women don’t care about silly things like looks and money, when the simple fact of the matter is that to women in the developing world, they attempt to ignore things that they want for the chance at a better life.

    So this guy probably convinced himself that he got someone who wasn’t shallow like American women and now is probably shocked that it has turned out not to be true. 

  8. 8

    I agree that she made a big error in judgement by marrying this guy. However, she did marry him and she made a commitment with him. I find it very disheartening that marriage has become so expendable in our society. I don’t think it should be so socially acceptable and encouraged to just give up marriages (especially after only three months!) because somebody changes their mind or falls out of love.
    It sounds like she made the decision early on that she couldn’t love him because she didn’t like his face, it isn’t clear to me that she has ever really truly given it a chance and really emotionally committed herself to the relationship. I think this is a way of keeping oneself emotionally unavailable – if there is some “fatal flaw” in the other person, then she doesn’t have to truly love him and commit and make herself vulnerable to being hurt.
    Here’s a novel idea, how about she honor her commitment. Rather than searching around for validation of her negative feelings (which will only serve to perpetuate her uncertainty), how about she make a conscious decision that she is going to commit 100% to the relationship and to loving the man that she chose to marry. He does not sound like a bad person, and she obviously thought he had some sort of redeeming qualities which she was attracted to, or else she would not have stayed with him. She needs to change her attitude and mindset, rather than just looking for validation to take the easy way out.
    Obviously, not the same situation, but for example, if I go to work every day with the mindset that I hate my job, something major would have to happen to convince me otherwise. It will be easy to find things throughout my day that validate that thinking, because of course there are bad qualities to every job. However, If I go to work thinking I am grateful to have a job, and I am grateful that I get the opportunity to help people; then, I look at my job a little differently and I actually enjoy it more.
    Just my two cents!

    1. 8.1

      Thanks Annie ! Your comment has brightened my day :)

  9. 9

    You know.. that is how I have felt so many times.. If it is not there (for me)in the beginning, it won’t be their later on either – and I find it irresponsible for anyone to say that “it will come later”.
    It might for some, but I know it won’t – not for me.. and I don’t settle – no matter how good the other qualities the man has. If there is no sexual attraction other then novelty, I am just not making that mistake anymore.

    That is why I tend to go against the general view here – I know what that woman feels, even if I have never ever married or lived with any of them.
    If there is no orgasm for me in sex with him, there is no real relationship with him either.

  10. 10

    I’m with Annie!  Marriage is a commitment!  What happens as we age, our faces sure change, so is it ok to divorce then as well?  I think it’s a very sad situation and she outta “woman up” and honor her commitment and find ways to fall in love with him and make it work.  I can’t get over how self centered this woman is.  And what did her husband see in her that he wanted to marry her?  Very, very sad…..

    1. 10.1

      Yes! Marriage. Is a commitment

    2. 10.2
      Olesha Karrinbten

      Yes we age and no one is as beautiful or sexy forever …. But when old age comes the memories of a passion and attraction to your mate are part of the foundation that leads to a happiness down the road … Why is holding out for someone whom you feel a connection with physically deemed shallow…. It is like fast food it will fill you up …. But if you want nourishment you need a different kind of food …. Relationships should be nourishing . Looks aren’t everything …. But neither is being nice

      1. 10.2.1

        This is so true. We all age, and get more wrinkles, and things begin to sag. attraction is not just looks, it made up of lots of different things. However, we can meet an individual and be so drawn to them and attracted to that person. Doesn’t this change after some time?? So what is the difference in meeting someone that presents more kindness more do than the attraction? I believe a person has to be attracted to an individual in some way, to have married.

    3. 10.3

      Self entitled women, princesses, queens, what ever you want to call them. Its all in how they were brought up as a little girl. Most of these kinds of women expect the world delivered to them even at extreme health risk to the husband. The more self centered these women are the worse the marriage is going to be. Traits of Histrionic personality disorder, Narcissistic personality disorder, are all on the rise in society. Even in a marriage alot of men and women think its proper to sneak behind there spouses or partners back and flirt , give notes, exchange gifts and facial expressions of emotion like they are dating someone else while they are with someone. Commitment has flown out the window. Its like these people have no self respect anymore. Im gonna do what i want to do when i feel like doing it. This is narcissism at its finest. All of these chicks posting selfies on facebook, and the social media, even when they have a boyfriend to get attention from any guy who will make a comment are heading no where good. If you have no internal feelings of self esteem high enough to have self respect for your self and your current boyfriend then you are not quality relationship material by no means.

  11. 11

    Annie, with all due respects, I don’t think staying together for the sake of “commitment” when both parties are clearly unhappy makes any sense, particularly when there are no children involved. Marriage has always been about the care and protection of children, and in previous generations, the care and protection of women bearing those children. In your example, you stick to a job which you may not particularly enjoy because the alternative is poverty and starvation. Now, you stick to a marriage where both parties are clearly unhappy and not getting anything out of it because the alternative is….humiliation ? about not being able to stick to a commitment ?
    Even the Catholic church grants annulments you know. The sister of my brother in law got granted an annulment by the Catholic church – despite having two children and her adultery – on the basis that she was too young and inexperienced and foolish when she got married. 
    Sorry, but for some reason women are expected to “love” a good man who treats her well while men are not under that same expectation. It is as if women have to be grateful for whatever comes their way, even if this may not be something they want. I’d say to Maya. Please find some way out of this before she is stupid enough to bring children into this dysfunctional marriage.

  12. 12
    Christie Hartman

    This is a very interesting counterpoint to many of our discussions on Evan’s blog. Usually we’re discussing why it’s a bad idea to focus too much on chemistry or physical attraction – now we have a great example of the opposite. The pendulum swings both ways. You don’t need chemistry to be really high, but it shouldn’t be really low or nonexistent either. It must be there, or the relationship is nothing more than friendship.

    1. 12.1

      I think this is an example of people going from one EXTREME to another. EMK, and many other coaches advise against trying to base a relationship SOLELY on high chemistry, but NO ONE advocates marrying a man for whom you feel ZILCH or repulsion.

      It is sad that Maya chose to marry a man for whom she did not feel an appropriate level of attraction for, but she did. There is no reason to continue on in her mistake.

      Personally, I like to feel an initial attraction of 7-8 on a scale of 10 for a man. 9 or 10 clouds my judgement, 6 can grow, but it is unlikely. 5 or less is a no go for me, no matter how many people tell me I should “give him a chance”.

  13. 13

    Androgynous, I see your point, and thank you for posing your disagreement respectfully, I mean this response with all due respects as well. I’m not advocating that she stay forever in a miserable marriage, I’m saying that she should do everything in her power to make it not miserable because she did make a commitment. If they were just dating, I’d say walk away for sure. However, she did make the decision to commit to marriage, and I think to give up on it after only three months is a bit premature. I don’t think realistically a judgment can be made that two people are miserable and incompatible after only three months of marriage, especially when one person has had an “emotional foot” out the door since 2 months after they met. I think that she should completely commit mentally and emotionally and see if things improve once she is 100% present and emotionally committed. I realize the analogy to staying at a job is not the same, I was just trying to explain that if her mindset is such that she is focused on reasons she is unhappy or not attracted to him, these beliefs will be reinforced.
    I know that I probably sound “old fashioned”, but I just find it disheartening when people give up easily on marriage. I feel like it should be a commitment to weather the ups and downs and persevere thru the times when it is not easy. Certainly, I think divorce is the best option in some cases, I just think it should truly be the last option.

    1. 13.1

      Dear Annie, would you counsel my marriage problems please?? I completely agree with your school of thought! I am stuck in a similar situation and I am not ready to give up on marriage so casually as if it meant nothing! 
      Matriage is a life long commitment, and some of us make that decision in a haste or due to societal pressures very common in developing countries that people in the west would not be able to relate to.
      We usually don’t approach counselors to ask their opinion whether or not to continue with our marriage. That is something that we can ofcourse decide on our own, and perhaps would have already got a divorce if we felt that was necessary. We approach experts so that they can help us fix the problem, not get out of it.

  14. 14

    I am sorry to say this but Maya seems to be a bit immature. She may even be “young”. Poor guy…he very well may have a difficult time trusting women in the future.

  15. 15

    “You don’t need chemistry to be really high, but it shouldn’t be really low or nonexistent either.  It must be there, or the relationship is nothing more than a friendship.”

    Well-said.  It is not fair to you or to your partner to stay in a relationship in which there is no chemistry or very low chemistry.  The relationship is then doomed to failure.  The last blog was on “settling”, but I would not want to settle or to think my partner was “settling” for me.  What an insult to be “settled for”!  Learn to be happy being single, and only marry the person that you can’t live without. 

    1. 15.1

      There are a lot of women out there that will just ” settle” for a man because of security. Even if she knows something is missing. She knows she is settling but he doesnt. This is just deceitful on her part. Its at the time of divorce when alot of them say after they divorce or are having an affair before they leave the relationship with the one they are with. The majority of these women know this and will just use a man until what she really wants comes along Thats why so many men feel like stepping stones for women. You wonder why marriages are on the decline. because men are wising up to the biased court system. The deceitful mistakes women make who are more than eager to marry to get a contract signed should be equally held responsible for the failed marriage . This will help prevent one person just using the other partner waiting on what they are really waiting for!!!

      1. 15.1.1


        Couldn’t agree with you more. I don’t believe in rushing into marriage and when I get married I am definitely getting a prenup. I have worked extremely hard for what success I have achieved. I have worked to accumulate the assets I have. There is no way I am going to give half of my stuff to some woman, absolutely no way.

        And as this blog and others have shown beyond a reasonable doubt, many women do settle. They marry some poor, unsuspecting guy simply because he is “Mr. Good Enough,” a “good guy,” “would make a good father,” “takes good care of me,” “has a great job” and a million and one other STUPID reasons for getting married. They marry these poor guys, who are head over heels in love with them and because these women aren’t REALLY head over heels with these guys, the relationship is setup to fail before it even begins.

        I think the underlying problem, again, not with every woman, but with many women, is they are genuinely not sexually attracted to guys who make good fathers and good husbands. Again, not every woman is this way, but many are. A guy who takes care of the kids, helps around the house and has a good while not exciting job, just doesn’t turn them on. And if they feel this way, this is OK, but they need to not marry or date these kinds of guys. Ladies, please decide what kind of guy you want and marry that guy. Settling does NOBODY a favor and will make you BOTH extremely miserable.

        1. david

          You are smarter than most Adam. It took me years of marriage almost 20 . Divorce and then many court trips. What the &$&* is going on here? Years of reading books and tons of research and also analyzing others failed marriages. Plus Ive studied psychology. Very few women out there are marriage material today. Most of them have become self- entitled just because they give sex to you. A vagina to these kinds of women is just a tool to manipulate you into legal slavery and the court system backs them up. Unless you have studied it you just do not know. I’ll admit I didn’t know either. The older you get the wiser. I educate as many younger males as possible to the dangers of signing a marriage contract for him not the maybe future wife. It just isnt worth it. Am I on a crusade to spread the word you bet I am.

  16. 16

    Maya sounds very immature and shallow, maybe even troubled, and I’m not sure she’d be a great match for anyone right now, sad to say. There’s really something to be said for working out your issues before you decide to get married. This marriage began under false pretenses, so sticking it out doesn’t make much sense to me. 

  17. 17

    Spoiler alert: This is snarky. So, sorry, Maya, but I’m having a wee bit of  trouble taking your problem seriously. What is it you’re not telling us, because clearly there’s gotta be more to this story. I could be wrong, but my guess is that you thought that marriage would be an easy entrance into something (citizenship, life of luxury, escape from parents, perks from being a Mrs. & entitled to half his assets, etc) and now that reality is kicking in, you suddenly realize …..what? That he has a face? Just how did that get by you? Did he wear a bandanna over his face like a bank robber, or a Darth Vader mask until the knot was tied? If it wasn’t so pathetic for your husband, it would be funny. I’m trying to imagine you in marriage counseling: “I knew there was something about him that wasn’t quite right, but I couldn’t put my finger on it, until one morning I woke up, and there it was: his face!

    Obviously, I don’t have any advice, but I don’t think you’re really looking for guidance. I think what you want is for us to rally behind you and agree that it’s soooo not fair when someone “tricks” you with all their niceness and caring and offers of commitment, and then — just when you think you really know them…………BAM it turns out they have a face and it’s not a pretty one. Personally, I just hate when that happens. Maybe we could start a support group, Women Who Married an Ugly Face By Mistake. The only thing worse I can imagine is if he turns out to be a leprechaun.  Then you’re just really screwed.        

    1. 17.1

      You are awesome!

    2. 17.2

      I love it! This is totally true!

  18. 18

    Maya: Evan says “This is your fault, Maya, and only you can make it right.”
    I married someone who was attractive but was distant and arrogant. Never listened to me nor cared. That was not nice, and it only continued because of the children. Had there been no children, it would have ended. Simples. 
    If your husband shows you genuine affection, genuine care, brings you flowers and all the rest, be thankful for that alone. There are few out there who will even do this for you. Make something of what seems a bad situation, or it is going to become what you do not want. 

    My advice: give it nine months, but no chiildren! Your husband needs the attention, express his affection for you. Just allow him for generosity costs nothing and you may find that it brings you unexpected rewards. You are married after all. Most of all, have some fun if you can. That he is not attractive does not mean that he is bad.

    Get him to grow a neatly cut short beard or something!!! It could work wonders for you. A little “cosmetic” change can do wonders.

    What you need to do is explain your feelings; what does he say? He might then tell you things that you have never heard from a man like “you are the most beautiful woman in the whole of creation and I love you”. Have your say, and let him have his. Compromise for nine months. Work out a way out if necessary, but you may find you don’t need one. 

    Don’t look at his face, look at his heart.  As he grows older, it is the one quality in a person worth having. If that heart is cold as my ex’s was, it has no worth. That marriage should never have been. At least yours has affection!
    Evan, you say: “I just didn’t notice” his FACE? You would be surprised by what women don’t see. We are not men!! 

  19. 19

    Okay, the attraction (at least for me) always exists at a few levels, not only physical levels but an intellectual level and there is also a level of character.
    Sometimes, I consider some men as attractive ones and only two days later they reveal their unattractive sides (as limited mind and lack of good humor for example) and they are already ordinary men to me now.
    The attraction is much more than a straight nose, thick hair and thin body.
    I guess some people want to get this attraction in the beginning and when it’s missing they suffer, tell lies or just leave this date.
    And yes, I’m 100% with this “… tell him the truth…”. Indeed.

  20. 20

    Yes, Annie I understand your point about working at a marriage and not giving up. This makes perfect sense for a couple who once shared a great love and whose love has faded with time and familiarity. However, 3 months into a marriage should be the happiest time possible for a couple, that’s why this period is called the “honeymoon” period. It does not bode well at all for the marriage for Maya to be having such doubts and dissatisfaction so soon. Instead of rushing to divorce, the best and only thing for Maya and her husband to do now is a trial separation. During this separation, neither should see other people as they are still technically married and third parties would only complicate things. If during this time Maya finds that she misses her husband, then yes there is something to salvage after all and the two of them should work at it in the way you suggested. If however Maya finds that she is much happier without her husband and actually relieved to be free of him, then the answer is clear. Working at it is simply prolonging the inevitable and providing an opportunity for things to get even more complicated should Maya get pregnant during this time. Sometimes people make mistakes and trying to turn around a bad situation is not necessarily the answer. Sometimes it is just best to end it quickly so everyone can move on.

    1. 20.1

      Your suggestion about the separation sounds good in theory. In reality the expectation that neither is going to see anyone else is naive. In all probability he hasn’t been getting much physical affection or nookie and that’s what the constant fights are about. Do you really expect him to forgot both entirely for some indefinite time period while she’s deliberating? She’s starved for passion. Do you really think she wouldn’t jump the first man she feels a pull toward? That’s not what people do.

  21. 21
    Katherine Wakefield

    It sounds like you got swept along and hope that it would blossom.  You have done a lot to please others and make them happy and have overlooked your needs!
    I have been in a relationship like this and no matter how i tried it didnt develop.  I ended the relationship as it wouldnt have lasted long term.  He was a nice guy but if that connection isnt there it just isn’t.  You owe it to your husband and yourself to be honest and take action to prevent further distress.   

  22. 22

    Zann, I do think you are being a bit harsh. There is nothing in Maya’s story that would suggest she married her husband for pecuniary gain or gain of any sort. You are simply making that big leap of assumption. She made it quite clear that she married him because he was a good man and treated her right, and she hoped she would grow to love him. Lots of women make this kind of choice every day, having been brainwashed by the fact that they are being shallow for not loving a good man whom they do not find attractive. It all comes back to Evan’s previous post on “settling”. One fact that is being disputed here is whether or not there can be a relationship without sexual attraction. I think the general consensus here is that there must be some level of attraction for any relationship to have a shot at success. The next area of dispute is whether or not that attraction has to be based on looks. This is more contentious with some people arguing that looks should not matter.
    At the end of the day, only the individual involved is entitled to make that call. Maya may be shallow to some, but hey she is the one living with the man, not any of her critics here. It is her life, her decision. If she misses out on a good man, well that’s her loss due to her inability to get past certain things – like his face. And I don’t think Maya is necessarily young and immature. It is to her credit that she gave this man a chance – shame that she married him before realizing what her true feelings were.

  23. 23

    Androgynous #22

    <<Maya may be shallow to some, but hey she is the one living with the man, not any of her critics here. It is her life, her decision. >>

    Right, but she is also the one writing to a public advice blog for advice.

    <<If she misses out on a good man, well that’s her loss due to her inability to get past certain things – like his face. And I don’t think Maya is necessarily young and immature.>>
    That sounds like a contradiction. I don’t know how old she is, but anyone who marries because they are afraid of what their family thinks if they don’t, is not mature. And if she dislikes the face of the man she has agreed to love, honor, cherish, and look at, for the rest of her life, that sounds pretty shallow, immature, and perhaps even disturbed, to me.
    <<It is to her credit that she gave this man a chance – shame that she married him before realizing what her true feelings were.>>
    Marrying someone before you realize what your true feelings are is not doing anyone any favors. Unless problems arise later that you did not anticipate, you give someone a chance during the dating stage, not after you’ve agreed to spend the rest of your life with them.

  24. 24

    Evan, you said it all when you said: “Aw, Jesus, Maya”  Really.
    And Zann, I wholeheartedly agree and nearly snorted soda through my nose at your snarky, but completely real comments.
    Dude, it’s his face!  How could she not see his face and recognize her aversion to it?  I mean…it boggles my mind! 

  25. 25

    Does anyone ever remember that there is such a thing as counseling? Personally, (just an opinion) I think that this kind of commitment is more than “being in love”. That’s a huge part, but there’s going to be times you don’t feel in love or feel attracted. It’s just part of life and living with other people. Marriage doesn’t seem selfless anymore… It seems like people approach marriage from more and more of a selfish perspective. I’m I delusional or does anyone else see it this way?

  26. 26

    I have a little empathy for Maya. Here is my story. After years of falling madly in love with various men because of intense physical attraction, I met my husband of 22 years. he was not the best looking guy, and had/has some personality quirks I find a little irritating, BUT he was one who fell head over heals in love with me, wanted to be with me, marry me, have a family with me, travel and sing and dance and make music with me. We are best friends. Sexually, he would probably do anything I wanted, to please me, yet I do not feel the overwhelming attraction or desire I had with my past loves. In the beginning of our marriage, it seemed a small price to pay for all the good things we had together. We were in our mid thirties at the time. Maybe I felt the baby time bomb ticking. Maybe I thought I had had my fill and it would not matter. Maybe I ceased to trust in those madly in love feelings as in the past it did not turn out well for me. This man is smart, interesting, a terrific father to our daughter and a great companion in every way for me but sexually. I have come to terms with it and done my best to put myself in the mood, spin fantasies in my head, etc to make him happy. He, on the other hand, feels intense attraction to and satisfaction with me. 

    So I settled, for a great guy, but without this one element. But for my beautiful daughter, I don’t know if I would make the same choice again, 

    1. 26.1

      I married someone I didnt love, 15yrs and 2 daughters later I am still not in love with him. Now he is no longer working trying to get disability, which has been denied, So I am the only one working, he has access to everything. Food card, bank account, car… I feel very depressed at times, because I have wasted 15 yrs of my life, I long to feel that butterfly feeling and that warm fuzzy feeling you feel when your in love. I have basically stayed with him because every time we talk about separating it tears my 11 yr olds heart apart. And with ,y luck once we do divorce, he will get his disability, I kno this sounds like Im money hungry, but Im not I was left with $150,000 when my dad passed away, sold everything to his liking, and basically I am still paying for the mistake I made. I did tell him I didnt love him before we got married, but he said just try it, weve been hurt both so much in the past lets just try to make a happy life for ourselves. I love my girls with all my heart, and basically this is my sacrifice to my kids. I honestly dont ever think I will ever stop thinking about the what ifs, and surely dont want my girls to fall into the same path, which they have seen. Maybe once they both graduate we can divorce, but whos gonna want me when Im 55 ?? I cant even imagine dating and starting all over again, so here I am sad, depressed and so alone. If he paid as much attention to me and my needs as he does the things he wants, and his dum tv, maybe I could fall in love with him.But so far nothing I dont mean to spill my junk out to you, but liked your answer, anyways, God bless and Hugz and TY for reading my lil book.

      1. 26.1.1
        Sally Plummer

        I have been married 16 years with 2 kids
        i have never been attracted to my husband and he has always known it
        i tried to break it off on the beginning
        i had severe depression and low self esteam. So we got married
        so all these years later I miss having passion in my life
        my husband doesn’t know how to be sexual
        i feel like  I am married to a child
        i just wanted to share 
        thanks for listening

      2. 26.1.2

        Try not to be depressed. I do understand the T.V and chair frustration. That frustrates me. its so very sad toe, that ones outlet is that or spending money. i have found in almost every relationship there are issues. attraction in the beginning is important. That does fade as well.

      3. 26.1.3

        Yes Im in the same predicament although different as I am a man to have made the supposed mistake of marrying when I felt like this early on. I have tried to rationalise my actions over 14 years but recently had a mental breakdown over the issue, left my family, then returned and now the dust has settled I feel stuck like before. I’ve had so many theories about why I feel this way, to try to tell myself I really do want this marriage, blamed the fact that I was fostered and thus unconsciously felt I was not entitled to happiness in a family, separation anxiety, depression etc. but what really haunts me is thinking that I was just too fearful to break up. I was idealistic, full of religious guilt (amongst all other guilt types). People will read this and think it’s sad and pathetic, and be glad they don’t have these weaknesses, but I just thought I’d say this isn’t just a problem women have. I’ve longed to find a man that has travelled the same path as me that could offer some wisdom, but haven’t, and feel terribly isolated and in despair, like I’m the only person ever to make this ‘mistake’ if it can be called so. I’ve read self-help books, pressured myself that it’s because of my depression. The thing is, I feel I fell in love with my wife, just like anyone, and actually there was strong attraction and chemistry early on, but I noticed imperfections, and beat myself up about it, I couldn’t accept that I would break up over such an apparently shallow issue, and the idealist in me took over, and round and round it went. I trapped myself because I couldn’t deal with the anger and pain I would cause trying to end the relationship. Anyway, thanks if you read this, just getting it off my chest really..

  27. 27

    I have a different take on this.  If you like and are attracted to your husband’s body, that is a big start.  Like everyone else, I am surprised that you didn’t recognize that you weren’t attracted to his face earlier.  What I’m more curious about is if you like the way he smells or if you ever liked the way he smelled at any point in your relationship.
    Here is why:  scent is a huge indicator of sexual compatibility amongst people; if a man smells good to a woman, it usually means that he would provide enough genetic variation so as to ensure a vigorous immune system in their offspring.  If he smells okay or good, one can usually find ways of being attracted to that person because they are chemically “primed” to be attracted to them.  If you have never liked his scent, then it might be time to own up to your mistakes and walk away sooner rather than later.  Here is a very important question:  did you find him attractive at one point and then went on the pill (or other hormonal form of birth control) and no longer find him attractive?  If so, STOP dialing that divorce attorney right now because that might be the answer to your problems. 
    Hormonal forms of birth control (as well as antidepressants) can drastically change your levels of attraction to somebody.  In fact, taking the pill can cause you to be repulsed by men whom you would normally be most attracted to and more attracted to men who are genetically more similar to you (NOT what nature intended). 
    I don’t know if any of this applies to you, but it never hurts to to consider scientific research when questioning your biological drives.
    Good luck to you!

  28. 28

    I agree with some of the other people here, who have hit on the possibility that Maya has some ‘conditioning’ issues from her family and was approaching her relationship from a point of view of making the ‘right decision’ and ‘pleasing her family’. by picking a man who had all the credentialls her family felt were there.
    I know that a woman with low confidence, no real sense of self and a conditioned repsonse to please her family, would completely remove herself from a personal relationship and look at it like making a wise house purchase. I feel that this is what Maya has done – for whatever reason (I won’t make assumptions about her background). She saw a house/man that seemed OK, it was much better than the other ones she had come across. Maybe there was not much choice around her in the area, so this particular house/man by comparison seemed the best choice. So intially she felt semi-pleased with her decision – until she moved in. When you move into a house, you made a decision about too quickly, you miss all the important details, taking time and thinking for yourself would have revealed to you. You would have noticed the damp on the kitchen ceiling, the plaster coming off of the hallway and the fact that you really, actually (on closer inspection) hate the colour the house has been painted.
    So, like a rush buyer, who was not using her heart at all and was only using her head (and the opinions of her family) she made a choice that backfired. Once she married him and her heart finally got a shot at communicating to her this was not the right decision – it was too late, and now she knows what she has done.
    This is why it is so important to know who you are and what you want in a love relationship and truly connect with your heart to find out the real answers. Don’t listen to what your family wants, don’t listen to what your friends want, don’t listen to what magazines tell you you SHOULD want and (sorry Evan) don’t even listen to coaches who make you feel guilty if you’re not dating men who you don’t find attractive, by suggesting you are turning your nose up at them because of the mens looks or external attributes.
    Listen to YOU. Because guess what? You have the right to be happy in a relationship, you have the right to make somebody else happy in a relationship and you have right to feel desire and attraction for your partner. So, if you honestly find certain types of men unattractive – its OK! There are so many different men in the world – you can’t like all of them, just as they won’t all like you. That’s what makes the world so perfect – there is someone out there for everyone. So please don’t try to fit a square peg in a round hole – find out who you really are and what you genuinely want and listen to your heart, and your heart alone.

  29. 29
    Karl R

    HB said: (#25)
    “Marriage doesn’t seem selfless anymore… It seems like people approach marriage from more and more of a selfish perspective.”

    I would say that people have always approached marriage from a selfish perspective. For a more in depth explanation, you might want to read this article.

    From the article:
    “Most acts that appear selfless actually function to serve the person’s own agenda; feeding their own self-perception, their need for approval, or a sacrifice designed to improve their stature in the eyes of their object of worship (i.e. God).”

    You can’t assume selflessness just because you can’t see an obvious benefit. If you like to think of yourself as being selfless, then doing acts which appear selfless help reinforce your self-perception … which provides a selfish motive underlying the behavior.

    Twisted, eh?

    HB said: (#25)
    “Does anyone ever remember that there is such a thing as counseling?”

    In other circumstances, I might recommend it. But I don’t see Maya’s marriage standing a reasonable chance of lasting, even with counseling.

    Maya has convinced herself that her husband’s facial features make him unattractive. Because of this belief, she has pulled away from her husband (physically and emotionally) to such a degree that it is causing fights on a regular basis.

    It is possible to overlook someone’s unattractive features by focusing on their good features. It takes a certain amount of mental discipline. Nothing in Maya’s letter suggests that she has that amount of mental discipline. On the contrary, several of her statements suggest the opposite.

    I think Maya ended up married because she followed the path of least resistance. Unfortunately for her, the path of least resistance going forward is a miserable marriage. Getting divorced will be harder. Changing her mindset and fixing her marriage will be harder still.

  30. 30

    Dear God.  I wouldn’t want to be her husband.  If I had a spouse realize belatedly that he a) didn’t love me, b) didn’t find me attractive, and c) led me on all this time, I would be crushed.  For those advising that she hang in there and get counseling, I understand how you feel, but I just don’t think it applies here.  Her letter reeks of trying to find excuses that are acceptable for having done a horrible thing: married someone she didn’t want to marry without the first thought for what that would mean to him.  She doesn’t want to be married to him; she just wants to be justified in divorcing him.  Shame on her.

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