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Can you tell the difference between what your wife does to make you happy and what satisfies you about your relationship to your wife?

I am doing some writing about this topic, from a guy's perspective, and wonder if anyone would be willing to share any stories about how you learned to value your wife as a whole person and not just for what she can do for you. I talk to a lot of women who feel that the affection and love she gets is conditional on what she does for him. Sex is one of those areas this comes up frequently. How did you break this mold?

Was there an event, a close call with death, disability or divorce, that made you see her differently? What if tomorrow your wife became physically disabled and could not have sex?

Thanks for your help and I will ask permission before excerpting any stories.
 

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Over the years I've learned to value her for who she really is,
not just because of sex, or how she pleases me.
I don't know how it happened, but it did.

Every morning before I wake her I take a good look at her on the bed, tangled between the covers. I just feel good inside, and say to myself she's my beautiful wife.

I don't think in terms of what she could do for me, yes I have needs, but she tries her best to fulfil them, and I truly appreciate that.
She tries her BEST.
I think of how can I make her happy. I know her dreams and ambitions,I want to help her fulfil them. I know her fears , and try to protect her. I know her short comings and I try to work with her on them,so that we could both experience personal growth.

I have learned something though.
A lot of things we may consider " shortcomings " of " faults " in our spouses are actually idiosyncrasies. If we look closely, we would be able to tell the difference , avoid conflict and build greater understanding and appreciation.
 

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There was no mold to break. You say that as if all men inherently feel that way.

I'm sorry but that thought process is totally foreign to me and I really don't understand how people can live with themselves like that.

In general I value people in terms of how I see them treat others. I certainly value my wife that way at the very least. We stumble over each other to do for the other. Always have 35 years now. Even when times were tough in those early years that was still our way. Indeed it may be what stopped us from flying apart as there were some very hard times.
 

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I feel like my lack of sex in my marriage has kept it from being all it could be. I told my wife that also. When my wife refuses to be unselfish in her sexual giving it makes it hard for me to be unselfish in different areas. Now in my situation withholding sex is my biggest problem, in some other marriages it might be something besides sex, but when one spouse is not meeting the other spouses needs I think it keeps both spouses from getting the other's best. So I believe that the lack of sex in my marriage has restricted the amount of love that I have for my wife.
 

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Yes, I have already told my wife that I would love her without sex.......BUT I found I am now in a state of mourning for my lover of so many years that now seems to be gone....
 

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Can you tell the difference between what your wife does to make you happy and what satisfies you about your relationship to your wife?

I am doing some writing about this topic, from a guy's perspective, and wonder if anyone would be willing to share any stories about how you learned to value your wife as a whole person and not just for what she can do for you. I talk to a lot of women who feel that the affection and love she gets is conditional on what she does for him. Sex is one of those areas this comes up frequently. How did you break this mold?

Was there an event, a close call with death, disability or divorce, that made you see her differently? What if tomorrow your wife became physically disabled and could not have sex?
Not sure why I am like this but my wifes heart has always been more important than sex. If she could not have sex I would at least still have her, to spend time with and her bubbly personallity, and still have all good memories together.

Whereas if something would happen to her all that I would have are memories. I have always thought what if something happens and it makes me appreciate her more, while she is still around.

She could never be replaced, have to end this, makes me think too much, makes me emotional.
 

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My wife yields to sex maybe once every month or two. That'd be about 6-8 times per year. If I feel like really flattering myself, I'll say each episode is one hour, so that's a maximum of 8 hours per year devoted to having sex with my wife. There are 365 days per year, 24 hours per day. Do the math. Obviously, I must value something far more than sex or I'd have been gone years ago! I hear this "that's all you care about" protest and it doesn't pass the logic test for me. Why would any sane individual who cared mostly about sex stay in a sexless marriage? Now, I suspect the average husband spends the greatest portion of his waking hours working to support his wife and family. It would be far easier to make the case that the withholding wife values his earning ability nearly to the exclusion of all other considerations.
 

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Can you tell the difference between what your wife does to make you happy and what satisfies you about your relationship to your wife?

I am doing some writing about this topic, from a guy's perspective, and wonder if anyone would be willing to share any stories about how you learned to value your wife as a whole person and not just for what she can do for you. I talk to a lot of women who feel that the affection and love she gets is conditional on what she does for him. Sex is one of those areas this comes up frequently. How did you break this mold?

Was there an event, a close call with death, disability or divorce, that made you see her differently? What if tomorrow your wife became physically disabled and could not have sex?

Thanks for your help and I will ask permission before excerpting any stories.
How about a little introspection before you write anything. I find your preface to this question offensive. A healthy man in a relationship does not see his partner as "just what she can do for him". Sexual expression is a part of the commitment of marriage. it is not a quid pro quo for affection or "love". Healthy members in a dyad meet each other's needs. The man who tries to win sexual activity by giving affection, attention, or acts of service in an unspoken contract for sex is the other half of this faulty concept.

However, to expect a husband or wife to feel affectionate when their partner is repeatedly neglecting their needs is foolish.

I have no stories for you and I can't see me ever having any. Life is too short and sexual expression too important in my view to an intimate relationship to accept a sexless life. And even a bedridden person can have meaningful sexual expression
 

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I will speak for the "good guys" out there - we are legion.

We love our wife's traits, her skills and her knowledge. This is what makes her - unique. We love those things separately from what she does for us.

For me specifically.
Traits:
- Smart
- Great Mom
- Determined
- Organized
- Playful
- Adventurous
- Sense of humor
- Athletic
- High standards
- Painfully blunt
- Quick learner
- Responsible with money
- Affectionate

Skills:
- Great in bed
- Great at board and word games
- Good at racquet sports
- Incredible masseuse
- long list ....

Knowledge:
- Who knew there were so many different color names
- Long list....

_____________________
Totally separate from what I love about who she is, is the matter of how she treats ME. And that is a separate and distinct matter. Just as it makes me happy to do the things that make her:
- Feel loved and valued AND
- To avoid doing things that cause her to feel unloved and/or bad

She knows the same for me.

This is a happy marriage. That means most of the time it is all about her. Completely fine with that.

Sex is WAY more important to me than to her. And that is ok too - because she MAKES it a priority because it matters to me.

If she wasn't willing/glad to make it ALL about me, a few times a week, that would not be ok with me.

And if she ever said to me "All you care about is sex" I would simply laugh at her as that is so obviously not the case.

And then I would ask her a pretty obvious question: Why is it you don't like having sex with me?

Women generally make that statement when their desire wanes and they don't want to have sex.

When a man is with a woman who loves him, you don't hear him say "All you care about is my money, unless he is suddenly having financial trouble".

Same concept in reverse.

Can you tell the difference between what your wife does to make you happy and what satisfies you about your relationship to your wife?

I am doing some writing about this topic, from a guy's perspective, and wonder if anyone would be willing to share any stories about how you learned to value your wife as a whole person and not just for what she can do for you. I talk to a lot of women who feel that the affection and love she gets is conditional on what she does for him. Sex is one of those areas this comes up frequently. How did you break this mold?

Was there an event, a close call with death, disability or divorce, that made you see her differently? What if tomorrow your wife became physically disabled and could not have sex?

Thanks for your help and I will ask permission before excerpting any stories.

Can you tell the difference between what your wife does to make you happy and what satisfies you about your relationship to your wife?

I am doing some writing about this topic, from a guy's perspective, and wonder if anyone would be willing to share any stories about how you learned to value your wife as a whole person and not just for what she can do for you. I talk to a lot of women who feel that the affection and love she gets is conditional on what she does for him. Sex is one of those areas this comes up frequently. How did you break this mold?

Was there an event, a close call with death, disability or divorce, that made you see her differently? What if tomorrow your wife became physically disabled and could not have sex?

Thanks for your help and I will ask permission before excerpting any stories.
 

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Not sure why I am like this but my wifes heart has always been more important than sex. If she could not have sex I would at least still have her, to spend time with and her bubbly personallity, and still have all good memories together.

Whereas if something would happen to her all that I would have are memories. I have always thought what if something happens and it makes me appreciate her more, while she is still around.

She could never be replaced, have to end this, makes me think too much, makes me emotional.

The amazing parallel universe strikes again. Good to see you post Bro I could not have said it better. So are you my older brother or my younger.........No wait don't answer that; I will You are the older!

Tell SA her sister says Hi! LOL!
 

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The amazing parallel universe strikes again. Good to see you post Bro I could not have said it better. So are you my older brother or my younger.........No wait don't answer that; I will You are the older!

Tell SA her sister says Hi! LOL!
Younger Stonewall.... lets not push it now!! He'll be 49 next month. ;)
 

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Note to self: do not suggest DCMarriageCounseler guy to any friends.
Not sure why he has a special link given for Gay counseling...possibly just showing all aspects of his practice....are we the Boy scouts now??

The OP is not a Homosexual... I just took the time to read his biography on one of those links above with a few clicks......it states ...."I share the the joys and challenges of marriage, parenting, and growing a garden with my wife of eleven years."
 

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Man say we hold sex for ransom, apparently man holds affection and love ransom.

Go figure
Posted via Mobile Device
 

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That is a loaded way of asking that question. "Do you love your wife more than sex" suggests an either-or situation. If I really love and appreciate her, then sex should not be a big deal. If the lack of sex is inhibiting our marriage then I have failed to appreciate her for herself.

If you look around (sometimes here, but more so on other sites) you will see LD people complaining about sexual pressure (and the supporters of such people) using precisely this argument when criticizing the drive of the HD spouse.

Personally, I could acknowledge my wife's positive qualities when she was refusing to meet my need. But it did not make me feel better about her. It was not possible for me to feel positive about our relationship while she was ignoring my basic needs.

I'm neither a blindly loyal puppu nor a child wondering what he did to make Mommy mad. I don't feel a cultural or religious responsibility to marry. I come expecting to have my needs - which are her responsibility - met and ready to meet her needs in return. If she won't meet my need I'm better off alone.
 

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I feel like my lack of sex in my marriage has kept it from being all it could be. I told my wife that also. When my wife refuses to be unselfish in her sexual giving it makes it hard for me to be unselfish in different areas. Now in my situation withholding sex is my biggest problem, in some other marriages it might be something besides sex, but when one spouse is not meeting the other spouses needs I think it keeps both spouses from getting the other's best. So I believe that the lack of sex in my marriage has restricted the amount of love that I have for my wife.
Absolutely. Also, this situation tends to deteriorate over time rather than leveling off. You ability to accomplish and succeed declines because your need is not met (not just sexually - it impacts many areas of your life). She does not understand that this is an involuntary reaction, resents the reduced attention, and cuts back even further. Rinse and repeat.
 

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Keith,
I read your question again. You have accepted a very skewed frame for this question. Let me make a few suggestions.

Ultimately this is a question about unconditional love. So the first question should be to the person asking it: Do YOU love your partner unconditionally? And what does that really mean. Does that mean you continue feeling the same level of love for them or does it mean you actually continue to treat them in the same loving manner that you did during the honeymoon phase?

Get clarity on what they mean by conditional love. Does this mean the HD partner expects sex at a very high frequency and starts to behave in a less loving manner as soon as there is any deviation from that?

Or does this mean that they have somehow evolved over time to very mismatched desire levels and a mid-point compromise is not ok with the HD spouse. FYI: I have seen midpoint defined in a rather comical manner on this site by LD folks. For example:
LD: I want it once a month, my HD partner wants it every day, maybe we should compromise on two times a month. (this from a LD person in their late thirties).

Or is this a case of an LD spouse who feels VERY strongly that they should not have to do anything they don't FEEL like doing?

I would describe the approach below as an exercise intended to increase empathy and understanding. It can be done with either gender. Lets start with the folks who prompted this question.

Have each of the LD patients list their top two love languages whatever those are.

And then ask them how they have reacted/would react if their HD partners:
- Cut way back on those things and
- Despite the fact they told their HD spouse that they were VERY unhappy about the situation nothing changed

Just want to know how they felt and then what they have actually DONE in those situations. This is a case where the HD partner did it, and knew the LD partner was upset and made no effort to change it.

The real question is this: Was the LD partner able to love unconditionally when their top needs were not met, and their partner was not even making a good faith effort to meet those needs.

I would ask it as: Did you continue to meet your HD partners top needs despite the fact they had deprioritized you and yours? How long did you do that for?


Can you tell the difference between what your wife does to make you happy and what satisfies you about your relationship to your wife?

I am doing some writing about this topic, from a guy's perspective, and wonder if anyone would be willing to share any stories about how you learned to value your wife as a whole person and not just for what she can do for you. I talk to a lot of women who feel that the affection and love she gets is conditional on what she does for him. Sex is one of those areas this comes up frequently. How did you break this mold?

Was there an event, a close call with death, disability or divorce, that made you see her differently? What if tomorrow your wife became physically disabled and could not have sex?

Thanks for your help and I will ask permission before excerpting any stories.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Wow, some great posts here! Appreciate the honesty.

Over the weekend I thought I would add the link in my sig to the site we have dedicated to two members of my counseling practice that do specialize in helping GLBT folks. I was naive to think this wouldn't attract some trolling....so I just took it down. Probably my mistake to not share more personally before asking personal questions as well.

I've experienced variations of what a lot of people mentioned here at various times during my twelve years with my wife. Sometimes it's harder to look beyond my unconscious that wants to just see her as an extension of myself. We get into all sorts of train wrecks when that happens and she isn't a willing partner with my unconscious. Other times--and I think this is more at the core of our relationship--we just have this bedrock knowing that we have and always will love each other unconditionally.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
That is a loaded way of asking that question. "Do you love your wife more than sex" suggests an either-or situation.
DTO and others who have correctly observed that there is a heavy slant to the frame of the question I am asking. Like I mentioned, I am doing some writing for publication and this is what gets the eyeballs to the screen and comments going. I just want to be clear that the way I'm asking the question doesn't reflect my personal values but I can see how some have read into it a bit more that way.
 
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