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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have always wondered how true the following statement is, and where the line is. A friend who treated her boyfriend really poorly once described the relationship as follows:

"I left him.... yeah, I, left HIM, because after I had him at the point where I could do WHATEVER I wanted, knowing that if he ever tried to do the same thing I could just be loud/disagreeable enough that he'd decide it wasn't worth it, I realized I didn't respect him anymore"

OK I know its nice to give your partner what she wants, but women at what point do you view him as "a doormat"?

Men constantly deal with the following internal paradox: "If I don't give her what she wants, she'll give me hell, but if I always give her what she wants, she'll get bored, and leave/cheat".

I have heard many women say they want a man who is giving, but also "doesn't let them get away with everything". I realize in my own case how many times I have bent over backwards. While I do pick my battles, and while I have stood firm in many many cases, I can see times where instead of saying "you must be joking if you think I'll tolerate this" I just buckled and did whatever unreasonable thing she wanted.

There are times I wonder if some of our problems are caused by these cases. She certainly loves the benefits of having me (my love and care, the house, the car, the cooking...) but if we aren't having sex because she just doesn't see me as a man anymore.

That hurts me a lot because I felt like she chose to be unreasonable and demanding all those times when she wanted something, and how horribly unfair it is that when I gave it to her, she only respected me less.

So ladies: when do you lose respect for your man on this matter?
 

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In my attempt to better understand men, I recently read an interesting book that speaks of this very thing...it's geared towards women "It's a Guy Thing, An Owner's Manual for Women" by David Deida...'For cultural reasons in the last 30 years or so men have expressed a more feminine persona...both partners end up feeling dissatisfied with this kind of relationship, even though they feel safe. The man will be too passive for his woman and the woman will be too directive for her man. It isn't emotionally or sexually satisfying to either partner....a man with less masculine energy won't be able to fulfill your deep desires in intimacy, though he will feel quite safe to you." I think what he was getting at here (there's a lot before and after that explains the masculine/feminine energies) is that if a relationship gets out of balance...she says "Take out the garbage" and he just does it to avoid conflict...she is in the masculine and he in the feminine and it's a turn-off for both. Sort of like if a woman sees a cockroach and screams and instead of her man getting rid of it, he screams too. Like everything else, I guess it just needs to be balanced. When you start compromising your own beliefs just to please her but don't feel you are getting that in return, it's off-balance and you can begin to feel resentment & she may look at you differently. Women are attracted to a man's confidence of his direction in life. It sounds as though you already have that and are loving towards her, so I'm not even sure what you could do differently at this point especially if she will not open up about the issues that are really bothering you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
We had a stupid argument a few days ago, and I let her get away with saying some things she shouldn't. I think I handled it better in other ways (much less angry, not pouting) and it was over pretty quickly.

I really want to be "the man" though. I mean yeah, I can lift stuff she'd never be able to, and I make most of the money (though quite frankly I don't want that to be my only plus) but there are other "manly" things I wish I was just..... more of.

I mean, I can't master that "oh you're mad, whatever, see ya when you calm down" thing. She seems to be able to switch off like a light when she is mad and be totally cold. I can't do that, I fester and feel bad and guilty. It may very well hurt her to do what she does, but in my mind, I believe she is cold at that point and I aim to rob her of this power.

I've done it on a few occasions, and its had incredible results. Once, she was being a total cow on the phone, and told me she didn't have time to argue. I said "fine" and hung up. 2 mins... I'm not kidding TWO MINUTES later, she called and her tone was TOTALLY different.

I say to myself "dude... it WORKS, just DO IT" but I also fear that being too cold is going to push her away.

Anyways, I've posted a dozen times about not wanting to be the "big brother". I don't mind being a bit feminine at times and showing my feelings, but I don't want to be a "girlfriend with a penis". This isn't a "macho ego" thing, this is an "if she doesn't see me as a man, she'll seek out a real man" thing.

In reclaiming power though, I don't want to go overboard and be a total chauvinist. I just don't want anymore of these "do as I say not as I do" type of cases where its OK for her to <action> but when I do the same <action> its wrong.
 

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The one word I saw nearly totally lacking in your post is "love". Do you guys still love each other? Did you ever love each other? It sounds as if you are describing a battle plan and not the state of your marriage. Did you guys wound each other that badly, or were you both wounded when you got together? I don't think it can be a very happy home you two live in, and if you have kids, it's doubly unhappy. Both of you need therapy, as a couple, and for each of you. You can either learn to love each other as spouses, or you can hate each other as exes.
 

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I really think being in a sexless relationship just fuels everything else. I can see why you are frustrated and if you had regular physical intimacy, the little annoyances would be much easier to deal with.

I have several friends who've been married 20+ years and say they aren't interested in sex or 'he's not gettin' any...haha' and it does make me wonder because their husbands work all day, shuffle the kids from this sport to that coaching their teams, etc. how they deal with it. My husband couldn't, and I couldn't.

I wish I had the foresight to resolve issues before I married the first time around, because they don't just magically go away once you are married, they usually get worse.

I hope she sees the depth of how this is affecting you...the book I listed above gave me some insight on men's sexual needs. I think there are many women that just don't understand how important it is for men, because they have a low/no sex drive themselves so cannot relate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I may not have mentioned it on this post, but I know (Molly) you've been present on other posts where I clearly state I love her a lot.

As should be evident by now, I am truly striving to understand the reasons behind WHY she is not interested in sex. I believe the biggest is image, and that is being worked on now.

However, if its resent over some unmet need, I need to know WHAT that need is. If its not seeing me as a man, I need to fix that.

And while yes, the lack of sex is one major motivator, this isn't just about "what can I do to get some action?" I believe positive change spills over into ALL areas of a relationship. We don't have a "bad" relationship per se. We do things together, do things for each other, and have a good connection.

Our fights, while irritating, have never turned into multi-day, non-speaking, suitcase packing wars. Things are usually resolved within 24 hours, if not 12, and I work to make sure that said resolution comes about from mutual communication, not one of us caving.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Let me ask the question a different way using an example that happened to a friend. He was camping with a friend about 200 miles away who he hadn't seen in ages and planned this for months. She locked herself out of the car. He was only going to be gone that one night but she called and asked him if he'd come home now because he had the 2nd key. She begged him, but he felt it was unreasonable and unfeasible. She hung up and pouted for 3 days.

I side with him 100% here. She didn't need the car for anything important, it was a minor inconvenience.

So ladies, when you are asking for something completely unreasonable, like the above:

1) How do you feel when your man says "you are being unreasonable and selfish and I'm not going to put up with it"

2) How do you feel when after him pleading his case, he finally caves, and has to rearrange plans and probably inconvenience several people to give you what you want.

3) Lets say YOU believe you are being perfectly reasonable but he doesn't. If he refuses your request, how do you feel?
 

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So ladies, when you are asking for something completely unreasonable, like the above:

1) How do you feel when your man says "you are being unreasonable and selfish and I'm not going to put up with it"

2) How do you feel when after him pleading his case, he finally caves, and has to rearrange plans and probably inconvenience several people to give you what you want.

3) Lets say YOU believe you are being perfectly reasonable but he doesn't. If he refuses your request, how do you feel?

1. My husband has never said anything like that to me, but if he did I would probably stop and pay attention. Maybe think about what I have asked. Maybe I am being unreasonable.

2. I would never ask him to rearrange something very important to handle something I could do myself.

3. He has very seldom refused the things I want. Its the things that I need that he refuses. Refusing my request has lead to me falling out of love and cheating. And I feel down right resentful.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you so much sweetp101 for the clear answers you give to my questions. Your 3rd answer especially is quite interesting: he doesn't refuse what you "want", he refuses what you "need".

Does he know the difference? I realize these days, there is often little distinction between want and need. What I find odd is that he refuses at all. Do you make the distinction clear? I mean lets say he knows you want the chores done or you want to eat out tonight, and he makes that happen. But the things you need are "more intimate touching and a kiss here and there" which he doesn't make happen.

Is that kind of the realm we are dealing with? Should I be trying to differentiate between things my gf "wants" (trivial stuff like presents, or single wants like chores) and trying to figure out what she "needs" (whatever that may be, since I really believe I fulfill as many of them as I am aware of).
 

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I agree. It's not so different from initiating sex and being rejected over and over. Eventually, you give up trying and feel as if they just don't love you enough or care enough.

In my first marriage there were a few times (I've always been very independent so rarely ask for things) where I asked my ex to be there for me. One was when I was 5 months pregnant and a test result came out questionable (possible spina bifida)...I asked him to meet me at the Dr. appt because I was a wreck. He never showed...went to his brother's instead. Fortunately, the followup test came out fine. He was relieved and said, oh good, because I couldn't handle a messed up kid like that...you'd need to get an abortion :scratchhead: when I was 7 months pregnant, my mom died. The night of her funeral, he invited a buddy over to drink beer and play darts in the garage. When he came inside he looked at me and said 'what's wrong' I said, I'm just upset. It's been a long day and I was just thinking about my mom. He said 'me too. she was like a mother to me' and headed back into the garage. It only takes a few really hurtful situations to make you realize he's just not going to be there for you so you either go it alone or get out and get on with your life.

I guess the better way would have been to say something each time this happened (which I have started doing with my current husband) but I really felt in my heart he would never change and the result would just be opening up only to feel totally shot down again.

Your gf needs to open up and start talking. It seems ridiculous that your only option right now is to scramble around and try various things hoping something will connect with what she needs.
 

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Chopblock ~ Are you serious with what you post?

1) Don't paint all women with a broad brush for ever woman I have met I have found everyone unique.

2) There isn't a man's role or woman's role anymore other than what is in your own head and household. The fact your wife works proves that. For years my mother out ranked my father in the military and made more money. Even today as a civilian she makes more money. She was the first in the area to break into a "man's" job after OUTSCORING every man to take the test. They even made her retake the test twice not believing the results.

Just because you make more money than your wife it isn't a great thing it just means you find that a form of CONTROL. My wife makes more money than I do for the first time in our ten year marriage and when she is done her PHD she will be making $125 an hour. So does that mean any man not making that type of money is unmanly?

Where does that leave you?

3) Several years ago my health declined, my wife however has always been strong. She moves 75 pound boxes all night and shows up most of the men that work with her, even they have told me this. But she can be just as "womanly" as any other. But if not being as strong or muscle bound as a woman makes you less of a man just how do you stack up to Cory Everson, Jill Mills and the like?

Does that mean you are not a man?

4) You seem to think all women play head games and manipulate. Maybe if you learned how to communicate you'd see that there are better ways to get from point A to Point B without headgames.

There are just as many manipulative, controlling, abusive men as there are women. It is a people thing not a gender thing.

draconis
 

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If the kind of women you describe are the ones that see you the same way you see them, then you deserve them. I have the feeling that you put every woman in a general category and complain and make them look like automats that are only following a unique pattern: your idea of women. There's only one thing clear to me: you don't understand women.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
""Oh, I'm tired. I guess I'll get the dishes done in the morning. I'm going to get in the bath." You could win some serious brownie points by doing those dishes. I'm not kidding. That could carry you for several nights!!!"

It comes and goes. I'm not dumb and blind, I can see those messages. The harder ones to see are the more cryptic ones that aren't so direct, like "CVS ran out of milanos" actually means she wants to go on vacation.

I think its all stupid mental barriers. Once she convinces herself something is so, then its so and thats that.

"There's only one thing clear to me: you don't understand women."

Sometimes I don't, and women certainly don't make it easy or even seem like they WANT to be understood. When I am being plain and direct, and all I get is double-speak and hidden meanings, I can't help it if there is a misunderstanding. I expect words to stay true to their meanings. I hate being subjected to subtext and telepathy. I hate being expected to know that "a" actually means "f".

Draconis a lot of what you say is like reading a textbook. Things don't work the way they do in testing or theory. To address your points.

1) Its a gross oversimplification to say they are all unique. There will always be commonalities.

2) Your examples were based solely on the professional world, which has vast differences to the personal world. Since tangential evidence seems to hold water with you, I have met several women who assert that "there is no 'woman's work'" and expect to share the chores equally. HOWEVER, they will NOT take out the garbage, they will NOT clean the gutters, they will NOT mow the lawn. I cook and wash dishes too, I have no problem with equitable division (notice that equitable does not always mean equal). What I take issue with is those who want the best of both worlds: the benefit of equality (pay me the same salary) but still the benefits of chivalry (I'm a woman, I shouldn't have to <thing>).

3) Thats great that your wife is stronger than you. My mom has done the same thing, lifting boxes that men couldn't lift. But picking paradigms isn't going to make a point either. Example: I may not stack up to Cory whoever or Jill whatever, but how do THEY stack up against the strongest men in their categories? I get what you are trying to say, but your example doesn't do it justice.

4) I get fed up with always being accused of being a poor communicator. I make my statements and intentions very clear by communicating them as such. I do not have a hidden agenda in my relationship, it is all clear and on the table. My actions support my feelings. Consistency, transparency, its all there.

I would accept the idea that our communication STYLES are different, and that there could be better crosswalking in that manner. However to flat out say that I must be a bad communicator is a crock. You need to accept the strengths not write one off. It would be like choosing an escalade over a porsche because of the porsche's small size. If thats what you want, thats one thing: but it doesn't mean the porsche is a bad car.
 

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Chopblock,

It sounds like you're trying to talk about your own personal problems with one or more women in your life, but you're doing it in a way that makes it sound like women in general are all like the ones in your life.

You might be better off just speaking about the ones you have experience with, and it won't offend anyone else. You'll probably get better feedback that way.

Best of luck,

Chris
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I was really just curious whether there were women here who had ever dumped a guy for being "too nice" when in actuality, they themselves had a hand in that outcome. I have heard women say that they pick fights over trivial things with their men when they are bored. I have heard other women say that when they were heads over heels in love, they NEVER picked fights. Others are just temperamental or confrontational, or need drama.

I just, as I keep saying, want to make sure I don't end up becoming her big brother. We have a great relationship as people, as friends, and as two deeply connected people emotionally. The sex is just nonexistent.

I can only speculate whether its "me" or "her". I can only guess whether her not wanting to be touched is because she is repulsed by me, or hates her image in general. I've seen evidence of both.

I do love her, I know she loves me. Actions on both our parts prove that. Yes there are difficult times, but everyone has challenges.

But at this rate, I have no doubt we will hit a year with no intercourse. A few more months, and that will be the reality. That is not cool. I am not happy with it. I have said as much specifically many times.

Yet despite the complete lack of sex, I do not feel as if I have withheld anything. Her "deal" as it were, is just as sweet as ever. I believe I have not missed any signals which indicate a lack. I believe that at this point, given how clear I have been (explicitly saying I would like more sex) that if she also feels lacking, and has for almost a year, now is a good time for her to be equally candid.

I have made it clear during our multiyear relationship that if she only communicates via subtle subtext and I don't pick it up, that if whatever she wants is important, she needs to be more direct. I do not buy into the whole "I shouldn't have to TELL you" garbage.

Really which is worse: failing to do something you are unaware needs to be done, or choosing not to do something you are completely aware needs to be done?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks for your replies mommy. They were geared towards draconis, but its nice to see other viewpoints.

Though one thing that did conflict: he took the stance in point 2 that there are no gender specific roles, but then went around to imply that he shouldn't be less of a man because he was unable to perform manly roles (or his wife did them better). That is a tad confusing, which is why I worded my question the way I did.

FYI, there were points where I would draw baths for her. It wasn't just "here's a bath". There were chocolate strawberries. I washed her hair... I pumiced her freakin' feet! Most men have no idea what pumice is and I was giving it away for free!

Yes I understand "the way" I ask for things. While I've done my best to avoid being confrontational, I have had the same lack of success with "I miss the connection it gives us and would really appreciate making love to you" as I have with "its been 8 months since you put out, what the hell?"

Mommy22, you specifically said "make love to my husband whenever he wants".

Why do you do this? How did things get to be this way? I have often asserted that the sexiest thing a woman can do in bed is WANT to be there. Clearly, you want to be there, and you are choosing to do so.

A good part of my frustration is over feeling rejected. At this point, she doesn't even bother saying "I'm too tired" she says "I don't want to". Fine its honest, but you can't expect me to leave it at that. WHY doesn't she want to? I feel like a VERY important piece of the puzzle is being withheld. I feel given what I give and do, I deserve to know WHY she doesn't want to, and what I can do to fix it.
 

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If she is being honest with you and it is self-image issues, this probably went hand in hand with feeling self-conscious about being naked and over time led to a reduction in sex drive because thinking about it brings back the stress of being naked, self-conscious, etc which can overrule the desire for the good feelings one gets from sex. Many women do not physically 'need' sex the way men do. I know my husband goes about 3 days until I can tell by his mood...he needs it...which is the only 3 days that aren't good for me each month...so I figure he doesn't have his period and just please him orally. I love sex...but I don't get irritable when I go without it...horny maybe but not annoyed/short tempered. It's just different, but I get that about him. I can't speak for all women, but it is definitely a difference between my husband and me. On the other hand, for me, the more sex I have, the more I want it. It can be out of sight, out of mind in a way but when the pleasure from it is fresh in the mind, I think about it more often...my husband is different...he thinks about it whether we have it or not and then wants to act on it. 8 months is way too long for her to say "I don't want to" with no further discussion. It sounds as though she's giving you the honest answer...don't know that there's anything to fix here other than getting her to the point that she wants an orgasm more than she cares about how she looks at the moment.
 

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I can only think you mean Pumice stones which are used for pedicures & to remove calluses.

IMHO it means more of why she thinks you are doing it. If you are doing it "just to get her to sleep with you" then yeah I could see why it really doesn't matter.

Communication is only good when you connect with the person you talk to. Everyone is different and there are many different ways to communicate a point to them.

If your SO isn't having sex with you then chances are it is either medical or something deep seated that hasn't been communicated normally because that person doesn't feel comfortable talking about the subject.

Everything seems to boil down to the same point, everything else "seems" good except sex. At this point I think you need to look again at your relationship and see if it is really problem free or if there is a true problem there, because I think there is.

But my point was and is that your problem is unique to you, and that you can't paint all women with a broad brush. Every person is different.

draconis
 

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We both had to hit rock bottom in our relationship to selflessly REALLY DESIRE to please one another.
Well said that you really desire to please one another and that it is a selfless act in doing so. While I can't say my wife always is ready to be with me, if she says that she is tired I know she is. She averages 5 hour of sleep per day during her week. She also has some kidney problems so that can be an issue, but I know if she says something it is fact. I don't have to have sex with the wife though, I enjoy anytime I can spend with her no matter what we are doing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I read 3 or 4 posts from men having the same problem, and several more from women who "are" the problem. That is enough to prove the problem is not unique to me. Add to that the people responding saying "this happens to me too" and the responses/threads from other forums all about the same thing allow me to say this problem is NOT unique. While I understand I generalize sometimes, let us not pretend that I am also the only one with a problem, or that my gf is the only woman acting this way.

You are right about the pumice, but most men still have no idea what it is and what its for. Even those that do (perhaps they see the stone in the shower) are not all offering to do that for their partners.

Now I completely understand, and have explored before the point you made about "why are you doing this". I know that starting out with the mindset "if I give her a bath and a gift and pamper her, she'll sleep with me" is setting oneself up for failure.

At the same time though, even if I'm doing it to be nice and expecting nothing in return, there is a difference between expecting and hoping. Making it conditional is not going to get me anywhere. However, I don't think its completely unfair for me to hope that if I make an effort in certain areas, I will be rewarded in other areas. Isn't that what some of this is about: "I want you to be happier so I will make an effort to meet these needs".

I have considered that to some degree, she believes my only motivation for doing <thing> is to get some -- this is also not unique as evidenced by posts on this forum and others. But consider the fact that I am STILL doing these nice things despite not getting any sex. I believe to some degree that should prove authenticity of the idea: if I was only doing this to get sex, I'd have given up long ago. Even she has to realize that with a year being a stones throw away, it just isn't worth the effort if all I want is something I'm not getting.

I am 99% sure it is not medical. Again, throwing me a bone would be nice, but I've ruled that situation out. I'd like to believe that if it was medical, that using that as an excuse would be a much better deterrent. "I'm not in the mood" implies that were she in the mood, <thing> would happen. But: "every time I do <thing> I am in a ton of pain" is much more absolute.

And if it is a medical problem and she can't admit that to me.... well then what does that say about her willingness to communicate? I'm here drowning in doubt, working my butt off to please her; but she can't fill me in on a piece of information that would shed light on a major problem?

As to the "everything is great but..." type of stance. There is no relationship that is problem free, and I never said mine was problem free. What I object to is the lack of teamwork on solving, or getting to the root of what is a major problem in an otherwise fine relationship. We can communicate about so many other things, we have common interests, we can exist together. Again, the actions of love are there to back up the words.

Swedish, you make a good point. FYI, I ALWAYS take care of her first, so at the very least she is getting something out of it too. The way you phrased it though: essentially the desire for the benefit has to outweigh the stigma, may very well be the be all end all of the problem.

I accept that women view it differently than men. Fine. However I still believe that every day that goes by without, is a day we did things "her way". In a he wants/she doesn't want situation, the compromise can only be "you get your way sometimes, I get my way sometimes". Thats fine as long as its equitable. I don't think "my way for 8 months, your way for 30 mins" is equitable.

Guess we'll see. I have one more question I may post in a follow up thread so as not to hijack this one.
 
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