|Linz is right, Charlie; you don't have to justify your choices to anybody here. But for Hell's sake, man, take a look at the choices you're making.|
My historic issues have been personal ugliness, a poor physique and social ineptitude.
Have you chosen to repair these faults, or have you chosen, by default, to remain as you are? I'm not too handsome either (look at my photo on the Spirit page for evidence), and my physique leaves a bit to be desired, but I'm not letting either of these things hold me back. You can improve your physique by means of diet and exercise, though it's hard work, and even the Phantom of the Opera can look half-way decent with the right clothes.
Just before getting married and for four years or so after, my wife and I did have sex. When my wife had had the children that she’d wanted, she more or less decided that we’d be celibate again - at least, she finds it incredible and ridiculous that at my age, nearly 46 (she's 43), I have any interest in being any other way.
This bitch you call "your wife" used you to sire her children and to provide for her. You owe her NOTHING. She finds it "incredible" that at 46 you've retained your sexuality? I guess she's never head of Hugh Hefner. And Bob Dole, who's in his 70s, pitches Viagra here in the States.
My wife and I are far apart intellectually - she tends towards traditionalist conservatism (combined with a kind of Irish-mothers’-sisterhood feminism), and makes a point of never reading anything that I read or recommend. For my part, now ten or so years ago, I discovered Objectivism.
And you're willing to put up with this sad excuse for a woman until somebody buries you? You're almost 50. Get busy living or get busy dying.
According to Barbara Branden, Ayn Rand rejected people in her circle whose psycho-epistemology betrayed any trace of a non-objective sense of life - even one belonging to their past, one which they had made real efforts to shake off.
Ayn Rand also disapproved of homosexuals, and she wasn't too fond of rock 'n roll, either. Rand was human, and made mistakes. You're probably not the only person for whom Objectivism has been therapeutic. Nathaniel Branden's built a pretty successful practice using Objectivist-influenced methods, as a matter of fact.
It has removed all the resignation that I used to feel about things - and turned me from someone always sad but friendly into someone angry with those who trapped me in the restrictive environment that I’m still in today.
Good! You've got a hell of a lot to be angry about. Take that rage and use it to break free.
Yet I lack intellectual tools for springing the real trap. Here in England, denial of sex is grounds for divorce only if constituting desertion. If I took this line and divorced my wife, I know that she hasn’t worked full-time for years and concede that it would cause her real suffering to try to find such work now. (Return to her old profession, teaching, might entail work in a dead-end ‘sink’ school - most traumatic for her in the past.) She has no pension plan. I’d be leaving her on the scrapheap.
To start with, that bitch belongs on the scrap heap. She's been using you ever since you made the mistake of saying "I do", but she has no right to continue using you. You concern yourself with her suffering, but what about yours? She has deserted you; she used you to sire her children as if you were a stallion used for stud purposes, and now that she got what she wanted she leaves you untouched -- no sex, no physical contact, no affection.
I'd divorce such a woman in a heartbeat. I'd let her keep everything, do everything in my power to avoid alimony, and get the hell out of there.
I fear not only that my wife, if I divorced her, would prevent my access to our girls (there are firm legal precedents allowing this), but also that the effect of divorce on them would be quite bad. A recent report from the national marriage conciliation service concludes that parents’ divorce is traumatic even for middle-aged offspring, long married and parents themselves!
If your wife would use your children as weapons against you, then wait until they're both 18 and divorce the bitch then. But don't spring it on her then. Instead, tell her right now that as soon as your youngest daughter is 18 you intend to end this sham of a marriage, that your life is your own and you mean to LIVE IT!
Use that time to improve your physique and lose whatever weight is troubling you. I hear that prostitution's legal in London; take advantage of it if it's true and buy what you need. Put capitalist principles into practice.
And for what would I be getting divorced? Here in a media organization where I do technical support, nothing more ‘pathetic’ could exist to jeer at than a middle-aged geezer like me - ugly, flabby, unsporting and ignorant of What’s Cool to boot - seeking love or sexual relations with anybody.
Jesus H. Christ on a Harley-Davidson. You sound like me when I was in college. "Who'd want to date a pudgy, uncoordinated computer geek with no fashion sense and no idea how to even pretend to be hip". LET THE ASSHOLES JEER! Are you going to waste what time remains to you worrying about what the poor fucking humans you work with might say about your personal life? FUCK THEM ALL!
My twenty-something colleagues are surprised that an ‘old man’ like me ever ‘fancies’ a woman that he sees, in real life or the media, and would even think of getting divorced over ‘not getting any’ with his wife - after all, ‘They can’t have done it for years anyway, can they?’
And why, having been an Objectivist for ten years, do you give so much as a flying fuck at a rolling doughnut about what these ignorant lads think? Are you going to live your own life, or are you just going to give up because some snotnose just out of Uni thinks that middle-aged men shouldn't improve themselves, take their lives in their own hands, and fulfill all of their needs?
Please understand, therefore, that I have ideas about what to do with my life that do NOT involve sex. I feel that my ideals are quite compatible with Objectivism, so long as Objectivists admit that an Objectivist’s life doesn’t have to include raunchy physical stuff with another person.
Hey, do you think any of the rest of us think about raunchy physical stuff all the time? No, but it is fun, and it is pleasurable, and the desire for sex, for physical connection with somebody you love and respect is not a sin but something to cherish.
Do you want to be Hank Rearden before he loved Dagny for the rest of your life, Charles?
While you don't have to justify your choices, I personally think that Objectivism without sex is like Christianity without prayer. By trying to downplay your sexuality you are denying part of your nature. By denying the needs of the flesh you are trapping yourself in a mind/body dichotomy. Give it some thought.