OK, I've spent the whole night awake and have nobody to talk to, so here goes... I met my wife more than 25 years ago, and we've been together ever since. When I asked her to marry me she refused on the grounds that I was not a Christian. I continued to see her, but also went to church and found myself agreeing with the aims and philosophies I found there. Some months after that I was baptised and at the same time became engaged. I truly believed in God, still do, at least I think so. We married in June 1986 without having had sex or really discovering much about each other physically. Once we were married things did not go well for us, as if often the case I suppose. I left my job in psychiatric nursing, and with it all my friends, largely to find a job closer to our new home. We discovered that my wife had a condition known as Vaginismus which is defined by the NHS as : Vaginismus is when the muscles around the vagina tighten involuntarily when penetration of the vagina is attempted. It makes sexual intercourse difficult or impossible (the vagina can completely close up) and it can be painful. We worked together at trying to overcome this problem and sought professional help. During that period, no matter how much time or effort I expended on trying to interest or excite her, all attempts at intercourse were of course, rejected. It became difficult for me to initiate sex at all, since it would only end in rejection and frustration. Eventually about 18 months after our marriage we finally managed to consummate it with intercourse. Despite all our efforts we were never really able to enjoy a satisfactory sex-life until 1989 or so when my wife became desperate to have children. At this point she began to initiate sex with me and we enjoyed what I would consider to be a normal sex life until she fell pregnant a few weeks later. Once she was pregnant sex effectively stopped altogether until she was ready to conceive a second child 2 years later. I feel I should say at this point that marriage is not just about sex. In many ways our relationship was very good. We have never really shared many interests, but seem quite capable of pursuing our own whilst maintaining a stable home for our children. Despite which, when my wife fell pregnant a second time, and the same thing happened again, I became rather resentful. I think I blamed her religious beliefs for our sexual problems, and gradually drifted away from the church. I concentrated more on my career than on my children whilst my wife built a loving home and cultivated her relationships in the church and local community. I became the manager of a successful shop just off Piccadilly Circus in London and made many good friends around there. However, when the freehold of the shop was bought by new landlords they yanked the rug out from beneath us causing the company to cease trading. I changed jobs a few times and commuted sometimes huge distances, to keep our home together. We eventually moved to Bedford where I opened my own shop. Once here I became involved with my wife's new Church and things seemed to get better. Shortly after moving here my wife wanted to train as a teacher and began her training. My shop did not do terribly well since the area became fairly depressed after we moved here, and about 6 years ago we decided that we should cut our losses and close it. I suffered a near total breakdown at this point. Worry over debts and the failure of my business combining to overwhelm me, but with support (both financial and spiritual) from our church I recovered. Perversely enough I then felt unable to continue going to church for a number of reasons, both physical and psychological so once more I drifted away. I took a part-time job driving school buses and became a house-husband so that my wife could concentrate on her studies, an arrangement that was ideal since I was able to take holidays with both wife and children. My wife graduated with distinction in 2006, getting a job straight away and receiving promotion less than a year later to head of IT. This is where we are right now, my wife has a successful career ahead of her. She effectively earns all the money in our household, whilst my career is gone and without the church or a real career I have no way to build friendships or roots in the community. I feel completely trapped by my circumstances, utterly dependent on my wife's income, no real friends to speak of. I recently began receiving treatment for depression, something I should probably have done when I lost my business. Now I find the depression has lifted, my mind is clear for the first time in years and I have regained some of my old creativity and drive. Nonetheless I still feel trapped and unable to initiate sex with my wife. We share almost nothing in common with but our mutual background and house full of grown-up children who are rapidly heading toward complete independence. With this sudden reawakening of my mind, I am desperate to make new relationships and find a life again. I won't ask whether I should break up with my wife, I feel that is my decision to make and in due course I will make it. What I do want to know however, is where do I go from here? How does one rebuild a life from scratch, with a job that pays so badly it is barely even feasible to pay rent on a single room, far less eat or enjoy any kind of social life. How do people survive marriage breakup? What happens next? I feel so very alone and vulnerable, it sounds weak and foolish, even to me, but after 25 years with the same woman I am simply not sure I will cope out there alone. If anyone has had the stamina to get this far without falling asleep or moving on I want to thank you profoundly for sticking with me. You obviously care a lot more than most people. If you can offer me any advice or hope then I could really use the encouragement right now.