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the rejection often occurs by not recognizing the other person as a spouse and in particular comments like "what are you doing here when is my wife going to get home so you can leave". Even though the lack of recognition and hurtful comments are part of the process it is extremely difficult to deal with after 45 years of a highly intimate relationship. The comments are just the tip of the iceberg, it gets worse from there. Frustrated without intimacy!!!

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Has lunch with a girlfriend recently who has the same problem and has had for 15 years and her husband does not have dementia. There is no affection at all. They are between 60 and 65. She was so sad and hurt about that and some cutting remarks he has made. They have had separate bedrooms for years. I don't know where it will end, as an old flame from the past has contacted her recently. I am sorry for those facing this problem. I think it must be more difficult in some ways than the spouse dying, as they are there, but not their old selves.
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This question and response caught my eye, because my best friend was just talking to me about it. There is no illness involved, though! They are both 68ish and he refuses any type of affection with her. This has been going on for years, and it is breaking her heart. He actually pulls away from her when she reaches for his hand as they walk. He is sensitive enough to cry at sad movies or a gift that someone gives him, but he refuses affection with her. I have advised her to not try, after all these years, to change him. I suggested, as you are doing, "vegaslady," to either go to a professional or to a support group and learn how to cope with her life. I would be interested in other people's comments about "lack of affection from a mate." I am sending her the name of this website immediately! It has been such a comfort to me. I am very sorry for the isolation you both must feel.
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I have a lack of affection and intimacy too, and he knows exactly who I am. It's part of the problems we face. I am in a support group which is about half men. At least one of them, who is very devoted to his wife, has two girlfriends that he has dinner with and who knows what else. It's a personal choice but I feel that it's awfully hard to never get what you need.
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