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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For the longest time I have been believing my wife when she says she is not interested in sex. It has been for me like it is for many of you forever - I am the initiator regularly denied - like 9/10 times. However any and every time it happens we are both happy and enjoy the intimate times. There are two things I have been thinking about. The first is that she judges everything based on what people are supposed to do - ie, get married, have kids, go on vacation - do this or that. The other thing is how what she says about anything is never direct - ie - I am happy to pick up the kids when in fact she means 'I expect you to do it but I want to sound like the nice guy by offering'. Now, the fact that she is an abuse victim and has has always been prudish got me thinking, what if in fact - 'I am not interested in sex' is also like most other things a read-between-the-lines statement. So here's what I did. I just stopped showing interest back. It's been about a month now and I have observed some interesting behavior. I have observed that she is giving me little hints - very very subtle ones. And, what I think she really wants is for me to pursue and for her to resist up until a point that something eventually happens. Then she is happy.

This may sound a bit mad and you may be thinking well just talk to her - believe me I shall. But for now I want to throw this out there - a theory that as an abuse victim she a. Does not know how in the world to initiate and b. only knows this method - the reject method. I believe now it is her way of validating that I still want her. It serves two purposes, it lets her get what she wants and simultaneously allows her to punish her abuser (manifested as me).

I say this as though it is a revelation, but I need to understand this dynamic. Living with a sex abuse victim is incredibly difficult and frustrating. But I see now that when I show no interest it irritates her to no end. I am not being cold, I am simply going about the day as normal, being nice as normal and then simply showing her the equal amount of interest she shows me. Her level if irritability is off the scale right now. I am not trying to be mean - just trying to observe. In a way it does make me a bit happy to finally understand that she does in fact want it. Just that she hasn't a clue how to express herself as sex is in her mind a painful thing as well as an enjoyable thing.

I have to re-evaluate things from here big time. Of course communication must come into the picture. But for now - whoah!
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That is really interesting.

But how do you know she really wants sex?

How do you know she doesn't just want to feel wanted through your advances and then "punish her abuser" by rejecting you?

I guess you'll know if her irritability changes into a desire for sex as you pull away?
 

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Please don't put all abuse survivors into one category. There are many men who gonthroughbthe same thing with their wives who weren't abused. And many survivors who are HD.
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Maybe she likes control. Holding the sex switch gives her great control. The needier you act, the more empowered she feels. You are now acting as if you could care less. That would strip her of her source of power. Unable to make you jump through hoops for a piece of tail, she'd either have to deal with you as an equal human being or find something else to entice or threaten you with.
 

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You've established a pattern... you chase, she rejects. But you keep on trying, so she knows no matter what, you love her and desire her.

Now you've been putting consequences to her behavior.
She's wondering why you aren't chasing her, which can translate into she's wondering if you still love her.
 

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That sounds like its going to take a lot of will power and strength to see the result of this overtime. I really want to know how this works out for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Please don't put all abuse survivors into one category. There are many men who gonthroughbthe same thing with their wives who weren't abused. And many survivors who are HD.
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I am not sure where I made reference to all abused women acting this way. As I was writing this I thought maybe j should mention that I am aware that many women go the other way and look seek out sex and abusive relationships. Sorry if I sounded like I was talking about all abuse survivors but really just telling a story of what I have observed. When my wife told me she was abised I said I am not surprised and that I always suspected it. Then told her she that I understand it is not her fault and that I will never force her to talk about it however if she does wish to, she has a non judgemental ear waiting anytime to listen..
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
That is really interesting.

But how do you know she really wants sex?

How do you know she doesn't just want to feel wanted through your advances and then "punish her abuser" by rejecting you?

I guess you'll know if her irritability changes into a desire for sex as you pull away?
Unlike other stories I hear here when we do have sex she seems to thoroughly enjoy it. It's like once we get to that point where she does let her guard down it is fun. She does initiate here and there too and one time this year told me 'thank you for one of the best nights of my life'. This was after she went out and purchased candles and body paint etc. other people tell stories of how it is like having sex with a cold body. Much of her body language to me is very suggestive of desire...
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Maybe she likes control. Holding the sex switch gives her great control. The needier you act, the more empowered she feels. You are now acting as if you could care less. That would strip her of her source of power. Unable to make you jump through hoops for a piece of tail, she'd either have to deal with you as an equal human being or find something else to entice or threaten you with.
Control is definitely a big part of it - I can testify to that based in why I learned in therapy. Just now I asked 'how about sometime soon after the kids are asleep we spend some quality time together' - remarkably she gave out an enthusiastic 'sure!'. Back to the control thing...in the past I would have waited till the kids are asleep, concoct a few reasons she should stay up, then get all nerve racked and then spring my desires into her. Usually the reaction is negative - I get it now, that old way makes her feel tricked and cornered. However giving her some time to prepare mentally puts her in control and takes away the element of a desperate partner. Patience is what it is about - patience in the long and short term. It sucks that I have to so closely scrutinize our sex dynamic but I can attest that it feels great to know your wife is comfortable. Takes a lot of trial and error and a lot of resilience to get over the feelings of rejection. Right now I am just happy she feels relaxed!
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I'm glad you have come to determine that your wife's rejections are not tied to her not being interested in you and how your behavior affects hers. That being said, I think another thing at play here is the connection she craves. This dynamic is present even in women who haven't experienced sexual abuse, but it can be heightened in sexual abuse survivors. You pulled away and she senses a disconnection, now she wants to be close to you, desperate even. Boys this is not a game women consciously participate in; many times this cycle is driven by our insecurities.

The hard part here is now that you know about ths cycle you will be tempted to use this game to get sex. But be warned, This may eventually heighten her insecurities and can lead to other problems because her confidence and trust may be shaken. However, space in a non threatening way can be a good thing.

I would tell you that now that you know that you wife wants you and that this is about where she is at, talk to her. The more your wife can trust you, the more she will be able to surrender and enjoy the intimacy you both crave. Oh, and I'm not sure you should tell her about your little social experiment. She may feel manipulated and this could backfire.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
You've established a pattern... you chase, she rejects. But you keep on trying, so she knows no matter what, you love her and desire her.

Now you've been putting consequences to her behavior.
She's wondering why you aren't chasing her, which can translate into she's wondering if you still love her.
For me, I am not a big fan of the '180' as I feel it is a contrived method to deal with contrived behavior of your partner and for me, I at least understand her actions (denying) are actually reactions caused by the trauma of some POS predator she had to contend with in the past. She is a wonderful woman - very supportive and loving and has made me a better person. The least I can do is get over the horrible feelings that rejection bestow on you and try I be real. I have learned a lot recently and just wish to share with others to take a look at your partner and really try to first evaluate if they are being mean or just don't know what to do and maybe need help in the form of patience, kind hearted effort and inderstanding...
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
That sounds like its going to take a lot of will power and strength to see the result of this overtime. I really want to know how this works out for you.
Feel free to friend me here. I don't post much as I feel it a bit rude in a strange way to divulge like this over the net. Mostly just read other's challenges and ways of coping...
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
You are a patient man.
Thanks! Kind of who I am I guess. One thing I do take pride in about myself is I feel I a good judge of character and like I mentioned - my wife is one of the best - a truly good kind caring and intelligent woman. Least I can do is be patient ;)
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I'm glad you have come to determine that your wife's rejections are not tied to her not being interested in you and how your behavior affects hers. That being said, I think another thing at play here is the connection she craves. This dynamic is present even in women who haven't experienced sexual abuse, but it can be heightened in sexual abuse survivors. You pulled away and she senses a disconnection, now she wants to be close to you, desperate even. Boys this is not a game women consciously participate in; many times this cycle is driven by our insecurities.

The hard part here is now that you know about ths cycle you will be tempted to use this game to get sex. But be warned, This may eventually heighten her insecurities and can lead to other problems because her confidence and trust may be shaken. However, space in a non threatening way can be a good thing.

I would tell you that now that you know that you wife wants you and that this is about where she is at, talk to her. The more your wife can trust you, the more she will be able to surrender and enjoy the intimacy you both crave. Oh, and I'm not sure you should tell her about your little social experiment. She may feel manipulated and this could backfire.
I totally agree with you about how it is not just abuse victims but anyone with insecurities - especially in today's deranged world of sex marketing / exposure to the max. As for the advice about making it a game - thank you for mentioning that. Actually at this point it really is not about a goal of 'scoring', but rather a path to better relationship intimacy-wise. I have seen things backfire non me before - the best example is some time ago she began emerging from her cocoon after making an effort to get over all this. Suddenly I was getting sex very regularly and made a huge mistake of over-emphasizing how great it all was. This shoved her back into the cocoon. In retrospect it was that showing of intensity that freaked her out. But to your point about using it as a game - no way - that is not what this is about and communication is the next thing to improve. Actually we function on a day-to-day basis as pretty good communicators - it seems the sexual realm is the final frontier. I really thank you for your input. Men and women understanding each other really is a wonderful vision. Ok, trust is the word - crazy how tricky it is to earn it - but definitely want that most ;)
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
So last night she said all enthusiastically yes let's do something tomorrow after the kids go to bed. If she pulls a sickie on me tonight am I justified in feeling PO'd / what I mean by that is of she bails out at last minute after I've done all the work to put the kids down. In my opinion if she says now while I am about to start kid duty 'I am not feeling well lets postpone' I am fine with that - I respect that but if she song and dances up until 10 then bails it is aggravating and feels deceptive putting me in a place where if I contest I look like a heartless a-hole. I already mentioned nicely 'please let me know if you think you may not be up to it so I don't find out later' - she said ok with a hint of 'ok whatever' undertone. Feeling a bit like the game has started...
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So last night she said all enthusiastically yes let's do something tomorrow after the kids go to bed. If she pulls a sickie on me tonight am I justified in feeling PO'd / what I mean by that is of she bails out at last minute after I've done all the work to put the kids down. In my opinion if she says now while I am about to start kid duty 'I am not feeling well lets postpone' I am fine with that - I respect that but if she song and dances up until 10 then bails it is aggravating and feels deceptive putting me in a place where if I contest I look like a heartless a-hole. I already mentioned nicely 'please let me know if you think you may not be up to it so I don't find out later' - she said ok with a hint of 'ok whatever' undertone. Feeling a bit like the game has started...
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It's frustrating but I think if you show frustration she may think that you are being nice to her for sex only.

Better to treat sex is a natural part of marriage. I know I am speaking to the converted. But be careful not to give her the wrong idea.

You will feel frustrated if she does not keep her promise. I think you should conceal it. Instead, ask her if her motive is to hurt you. If so, then you want her to stop.

She can at lest treat you with the same regard that she treats her friends and other relatives from this time forward. Not angry or whining but strongly stated.

Hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Well looks like my hunch was right - she went to sleep before 8. Before she passed out I asked how do you feel 'like ****'. - I said ' I am sorry and well cancel te massage'. To me that's f'ing rude no apology nothing. Next hour plus I am left to manage the kids, get their clothes ready for tomorrow, shop for lunch stuff, make lunches, bath then and tuck them in to bed. I am a little POd to say te least. I'd be ok with some reference of apology or the likes. It's times like this you can't help but think 'do I really make you that sick'. Actually last night I was on the verge of saying '50 bucks says you'll be sick tomorrow'. I am patience but losing patience...
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