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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Comments:

  1. 91
    Ding Dong

    Get a divorce asap and get on with your lives. “Attractive” can mean a million things to a million people. It IS in the eye of the beholder. But how you could have married someone you didn’t find attractive, is totally bizarre. I was engaged to someone many years ago and one day I looked at him and thought “what the hell am I doing?” And I broke it off. It wasn’t fair to him – or me. It was one of those lightbulb moments when I nearly “settled”…… it was a rebound relationship and was nearly a big disastrous divorce too! Get out get out get and and make damn sure you commit to someone – if there is a next time – for all the right reasons. BTW I did not end up marrying anyone, I am still single, but I do NOT regret giving up that relationship because I knew it was the “right” thing to do in the long run. Great guy but just not for me, I just felt repulsed every time we had sex by the end.

  2. 92
    MB

    I will never understand people that know they don’t find somebody attractive, yet date or marry them anyway.

    The husband deserves a woman who will appreciate him for who he is. No one wants to be viewed as a person who is being “settled” for.  No one wants to be second choice, not good enough.  Although looks ARE important in relationships, it seems that many people place way too much emphasis on appearance above character.

    I was 23 when I met my husband.  I was a cute girl with a nice little hourglass shape.  But in today’s society, that isn’t good enough.  My husband seems to prefer women that fit the stereotypical cookie-cutter type of beauty…white, long blonde or brown hair, narrow hips, fake boobs, very generic faces.   I am a mixed (black and white) woman with curly dark hair and curvy hips and exotic features.  So initially, while he liked my personality, my looks weren’t his ideal.

    Sometimes it bums me out and sometimes it hurts to know that he doesn’t see me in the way that he sees, for instance, somebody like Charlotte McKinney or Katherine Webb.   But he does value me as a person (as he should!) and we make one another laugh and we have a pretty good marriage otherwise.   Would I change anything about his looks?   Not at all.  But sometimes I feel that he wishes I looked different.

    I guess what I’m trying to say is that when choosing a partner, the kindest thing you can do is pass on somebody you aren’t attracted to, rather than having a relationship with that person.  It is dishonest to be with somebody if you feel that you can do “better”.    That person deserves a relationship with somebody who IS attracted to them and you should be with somebody you like looking at if appearances are so important to you.

    Sometimes we miss out on the chance to connect with wonderful people (whether for friendships or romance) because we can’t look beyond the surface.   As human beings, we are all “shallow” in our own ways to some extent…but at some point you should mature and not allow your preferences to be dictated by what society says or what your social circle finds attractive.

     

     

     

     

     

  3. 93
    Ben

    No wonder the divorce rate is so very high nowadays.

  4. 94
    Kelly

    Ok so this sounds horrible and people
    Will hate me for it. Thr way i see it though is, dont judge me unless youve walked in my shoes. I spent a year homeless on the street. Actually sleeping outside carrying all of my belongings with me. I had lost everything little by little my car my apartment, my clothes, my professional hair color finally grew out, so in many ways i had lost my looks. Thank God i had not lost them conpletely though bc what ended up getting me off the street were a few different men with whom i am not only not attracted to physically but i dont even like talking or being around them. I love how the one comment says “cringe fest” when sleeping with a guy bc i have totally been there. What shocks me though is that i was with these men out of desperation and i was getting something out of it. It shocks me that women will be with a man that they feel no sexual or physical attraction to but they arent even getting any sort of benefit to it it seems to me like being a gluton for self punishment.
    Now, what i didnt mention is that i hsve a real boyfriend who i loge ans cherish, he doesnt know ive been with these other men. He is fum and exciting and gorgeous and its amazing to me how sex with him and even just his touch or kisses are so amazong anf i crave them and want them but that these other men could do the same thing and i cringe. Sex with a man you arw repulsed by or just not attracted to i think is the worst thing in the World. I look at it like a job. It sucks but you do it as a means to an end. So, it blows my mind that these women are doing it for no good reason. I just dont get it.
    I would love to be in a financial situation that i could just never talk to these guys again and live happily ecer after with my boyfriend. If you had that type of financial independce why not just hold out for a guy who has qualitiea emtionally, physically and everything else that you actually are attracted to. I mean im seriously not judging im just wondering.

  5. 95
    Truth

    Then again, you should have never married in the first place to begin with.

  6. 96
    Another Voice

    I made this mistake!  We were married for two years exactly.. on our 2nd wedding anniversary he woke up and told me that he loved me, but was not in love with me.. and leaving.  Now I had to face the world alone with a 6 month old baby.  At the moment,  I was shocked but not totally sad… it was almost a relief to be honest to the point that I did not see he was leaving me for another woman..

    I made it,  but it took a toll on me.  I am sorry I married the guy.. and no one knew how we got to that glorious day.   Its been hard to date raising a child..  and now as an empty nester…  I am trying to find someone new.

    I think it is best to get out of the situation as fast as you can.  Children complicate things… but it is not there precious little faults… its ours.

    I dont have any great recommendations.  I always like my ex…  saw him to his last days… but I have paid a big price….  and I guess it is about minimizing the loss.

  7. 97
    Adreana

    If I was her husband I would be outraged! Imagine marrying a guy thinking he’s crazy attracted to you and madly in love, only to figure out later he doesn’t even wanna look at you. Ladies, if you are visual that’s OK-just don’t lie to yourself and put a man you don’t want  through all this unnecessary pain. Sexual chemistry is a BIG part of a relationship and if you’re not feeling it …well it’s not going to work for either of you. It’s sad that she didn’t even mention things like ” he had a sense of humor”, “is fun”, is “smart”….etc. but all she had to say is he was “nice”. Who chooses to commit their entire lives to someone just because their nice? Do we choose our friends, employees, presidential leaders …etc just because their nice????

    I hope they leave each other and learn from this.

  8. 98
    Buck25

    If I can make one small suggestion, how about, we all agree to stop using the words “shallow” and “superficial” with regard to each other’s attraction preferences (this goes for BOTH genders). I really think we should. A lot of us, on both sides of the gender fence, have been tossing around these rather judgmental terms (which they are, in the context in which they’re usually used here), usually in some attempt to suggest that the attraction preferences/requirements of some or all of the other gender are somehow not fair. This strikes me as futile, and completely unproductive.

    Let’s try to understand that any and all of us are attracted to what we’re attracted to. I don’t believe any of us, men or women, sit down with malice aforethought to come up with preferences designed to annoy the opposite sex. I don’t think we invent these out of the whole cloth, just to make it hard for the other gender. So do you suppose we could maybe just respect each other’s individual preferences, and suspend the judging, and the arguing, and the criticism? We don’t have to understand someone else’s preferences, or agree with them. This guy wants to date younger women? Fine, This woman wants to date a man twenty years younger. Fine. You don’t date fat people, or skinny people,or smokers, or vegans, or Democrats, or people who own Dobermans…or whatever? Fine. and you know what, not one of us should have to justify or explain to anyone else here, what turns him/her on or off, or why. The pickier anyone is, the smaller their range of potential dates/partners; but isn’t that their problem, (not yours)? Why do the rest of us have to weigh in?  Ask yourself how many arguments you’ve seen here, because someone either didn’t feel free to honestly state what was attractive to them, or immediately got slammed, because someone else decided they disagreed? Then ask yourself whether you’ve even once seen all the resulting vitriol change anyone’s ideas of what they were attracted to. And what’s with this bit that if potential partner is “a good man” or “a good woman” it’s ok to shame the person who says, “But he/she just doesn’t turn me on!”; what about that?

    Sexual attraction is an indispensable part of a long term relationship. I get that it’s not the only thing that matters; emotional compatibility and connection may well mean more in the long run; but the idea that we can turn that into pretending that sexual attraction doesn’t matter? Isn’t that exactly what led to the marriage that led to the problem we’re discussing right here, right now? Look people, We can and sometimes do, grow  to love, not just like, someone over time (IF we’re physically attracted to them in the first place,) and if the emotional connection gets stronger, and if we find some of their personal qualities, behaviors, etc. endearing; but we cannot, we damn well cannot, learn to, or make ourselves to, or will ourselves to, be attracted to someone, when for whatever reason, we simply are not.  ATTRACTION IS NOT A CHOICE! We cannot make it happen, and conflating the idea of learning to love someone we might not like so much at first, but do feel physical attraction to, with the idea that we can somehow “learn” to be attracted to someone when we are not, is exactly how trainwrecks like MAYA’s marriage happen in the first place! “Growing to love someone”? Sure that happens, happens a lot, and yes, it may increase sexual attraction, to someone we’re already sexually attracted to to some significant degree. “Growing to be sexually attracted to someone”, without any significant sexual attraction in the first place? That, frankly speaking, is not only delusional, it is a flat-out, no-doubt-about -it, LIE, told to ourselves and and a partner, and if there is any doubt in any of your minds of just how pernicious a lie it is, you have only to look at the example before us. This is NOT a good idea; no matter how perfect a partner in every other respect, he or she is; if you are not sexually attracted to him or her, enough so that the idea of sex with that person is not merely acceptable but something you anticipate with a thrill, a committed relationship (much else a marriage) with that person can only hurt them and you. If you cannot bring yourself to respect that man or woman who is committing to be with you enough, to be completely honest about that, you have done something far worse, and far more hurtful than rejecting someone for not meeting even the the most “shallow” attraction preference you could have. I have been on this planet for 68 years. There are damn few things I’m absolutely certain of. This is one of them!

  9. 99
    Liz

    Ah, so sad.  Its easier to end up here than you think.  I was married for 24 years to a lovely, lovely man and we brought up three wonderful kids together.  But we ended up on train tracks as far as our lives went, with completely different interests.  That might have been okay, but the physical aspects weren’t there either. He wasn’t particularly driven by sex (not at all, that was all driven by me) nor did he need touch.  I honestly loved my husband and appreciated all his good points – there were many.  But eventually,when I realised that I no longer wanted to touch him or for him to touch me I knew that it was over. We both deserve more than that.  Being single again is hard, meeting people is lovely and also exhausting and challenging, the pressure of being a single wage earner is significant.  But in the end, the desire to be independent, not needy, but in a truly loving relationship is overwhelmingly strong and keeps me on track (sometimes I waver…but I’m there).

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