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If I were to ask your wife how her second life is what would she say? I’m curious her perspective on your sex life.
 

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I don't know what's next in your adventure, but it has been something of an adventure for you and, to a large extent, a successful adventure. It's tempting to look at all those years without getting to the positive feedback you need, and thinking it will never happen because it hasn't happened yet. I don't think you should look at it that way. I think you've done really well so far, lots of successes, and this is just the next thing on the plate. I think you'll get there. It's going to probably take MC and if you haven't already done so, the 5 Love Languages book could make a difference.

Pat yourself on the back and keep moving forward!
 

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Could it be that your are not connecting with your wife because you don't like her style or are bored with her, but you don't want to admit that, so you are blaming this on something being wrong with her?

Edit to add: This is not an accusation. This is a genuine question that you might ponder. I just want to make sure you don't think I'm making accusations. That isn't my point. There are many ways to approach this situation that you may not have considered, which I think is why you are here.
 

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Discussion Starter #85 (Edited)
If I were to ask your wife how her second life is what would she say? I’m curious her perspective on your sex life.
From what she has said; she is happy with it (this is never expressed without my asking about it). She always expresses nervousness about my happiness. I guess she is always waiting for the next rough patch (there would be a lot fewer rough patches is she would try. It baffles me, that she has not learned this).

@Casual Observer, we have gone over the 5 love languages already. Twice actually.

@Cynthia, I'm not trying to blame my wife or even imply that something is wrong with her. She is an individual person with her own behaviors, wants, needs and desires. Hopefully, the two of us can find a mutually satisfying relationship together.

When it comes to our sex life the two of us have been on a bumpy road. I have found it to be a good learning experience, I feel like I know her better having gone through this. I have even found piece with the bumpy parts (I used to have a lot of resentment). During most of the process I was so focused on exploring something new or overcoming obstacles that I never sat down and pondered 'where am I going?'.

In the last year or so that has changed and I paused and asked 'Where am I going?', 'Why am I going there?'. I also asked 'who am I?', 'what do I want from my sexuality?' (These are questions @Marduk would suggest I ask myself). Then I started to answer the questions and trim away the excess. Some of the pertinent things are: I have a great desire for sex and for sexual intimacy (I made some posts yesterday that were emotionally influenced and do not accurately express this). As a man my sexual peak was in my early 20's (before I even got married) and it is all down hill from there. Sexual intimacy does not have any peak age and can keep going strong after the ability for sex has waned. I realized the as some wrinkly old man in my 80's, I could still lovingly caress my wives wrinkly and saggy chest long after their best buy date. We can still share those things and have that sexual connection if we want to. Well, I know that I want that. I have realized that I am still young enough to enjoy both sex and sexual intimacy. That is what I desire. That is who I am. If my wife does not like who I am, that is fine. That is her choice.

Another pertinent thing that I know about myself: I don't want the load that I have carried all these years. I'm not interested in doing the work for both of us anymore. I want a partner who I can share with. (I realize that as long as I am in this marriage there is a good chance that I will always have this load. But I can still hope.)

You asked: "Could it be that your are not connecting with your wife because you don't like her style or are bored with her"? Its possible. I have tried to explain myself, so draw your own conclusions.
 

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Discussion Starter #86 (Edited)
I am almost in the same boat as you but for a longer time.

When you do have sex with her is she participating and responding or does she just lay there and let you do everything. By participating I mean is she touching you, kissing you, holding onto to you etc. or is it literally starfish sex. If she is only into PIV but likes it in different positions that is one issue, but if she is only into non participatory missionary PIV then you have a bigger issue in my opinion.

I too have lost all emotional connection with my wife due to her lack of interest in a loving passionate sexual relationship.

I have completely stopped having sex as I didn't like feeling like I had just violated her. The unintended consequence is that our emotional connection is nearly dead. This will happen to you as well if she won't respond to your feelings and need for that emotional/sexual connection.
This is one future I don't think I could accept.

Sorry, I did not finish responding to you yesterday. My wife is always into sex, I have never had star fish sex. The sex was fine, but there has to be someone there to have an emotional connection with.

You felt like you were violating your wife. In my situation it feels like using living toy. Use it, then send it home.
 

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I am almost in the same boat as you but for a longer time.

When you do have sex with her is she participating and responding or does she just lay there and let you do everything. By participating I mean is she touching you, kissing you, holding onto to you etc. or is it literally starfish sex. If she is only into PIV but likes it in different positions that is one issue, but if she is only into non participatory missionary PIV then you have a bigger issue in my opinion.

I too have lost all emotional connection with my wife due to her lack of interest in a loving passionate sexual relationship.

I have completely stopped having sex as I didn't like feeling like I had just violated her. The unintended consequence is that our emotional connection is nearly dead. This will happen to you as well if she won't respond to your feelings and need for that emotional/sexual connection.
I have real trouble with the bolded part. Life is all about not having unintended consequences. There's nothing about lack of connection or lack of sex in general that cannot be anticipated to have certain consequences. The earlier those consequences are understood and laid out, the better. Sometimes I feel like there needs to be flashing signs that tell people there will be consequences from a failing sex life; don't pretend otherwise!

In marriage, most of us signed up for a relationship. Not two separate lives under one roof. Not an FWB scenario, for as long as you're friends. A relationship is dynamic and requires each party to adapt at times to the needs of the other, in order to keep a balance that serves their own needs.

Our partners sometimes have spent years not learning how we feel. It almost has to be an active endeavor, because if you're around someone for a while, you pick up on things without trying. So for a partner to be surprised by unintended consequences implies a deliberate attempt to not know how the other feels (or block it out) or needs.
 

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I have real trouble with the bolded part. Life is all about not having unintended consequences. There's nothing about lack of connection or lack of sex in general that cannot be anticipated to have certain consequences. The earlier those consequences are understood and laid out, the better. Sometimes I feel like there needs to be flashing signs that tell people there will be consequences from a failing sex life; don't pretend otherwise!

In marriage, most of us signed up for a relationship. Not two separate lives under one roof. Not an FWB scenario, for as long as you're friends. A relationship is dynamic and requires each party to adapt at times to the needs of the other, in order to keep a balance that serves their own needs.

Our partners sometimes have spent years not learning how we feel. It almost has to be an active endeavor, because if you're around someone for a while, you pick up on things without trying. So for a partner to be surprised by unintended consequences implies a deliberate attempt to not know how the other feels (or block it out) or needs.
I completely agree with you. The unitended consequence is on her part, she does not understand that I get my emotional needs through ohysical sexual contact. She thinks men want sex and will say and do anything to get it, including telling her I need it to feel connected. She thinks just laying on the bed not participateing ought to be good enough. Now this was not always the case, we had a long dating period before marriage and then children where she was active and often the initiator of sex.

She seems confused that after I stopped initiating sex because it was so awful that our connection is dwindling, I really don't care if I meet her needs anymore. I have stopped doing a lot of small things that I did reflexivly to meet her needs. I didn't actually intend to stop them it just happened on it's own.

I predict this is the path that the OP will follow if he stops having sex with his wife. I don't think his wife will ever catch on that she can't be a bystander in the relationship.
 

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Discussion Starter #89 (Edited)
I completely agree with you. The unitended consequence is on her part, she does not understand that I get my emotional needs through ohysical sexual contact. She thinks men want sex and will say and do anything to get it, including telling her I need it to feel connected. She thinks just laying on the bed not participateing ought to be good enough. Now this was not always the case, we had a long dating period before marriage and then children where she was active and often the initiator of sex.

She seems confused that after I stopped initiating sex because it was so awful that our connection is dwindling, I really don't care if I meet her needs anymore. I have stopped doing a lot of small things that I did reflexivly to meet her needs. I didn't actually intend to stop them it just happened on it's own.

I predict this is the path that the OP will follow if he stops having sex with his wife. I don't think his wife will ever catch on that she can't be a bystander in the relationship.
It seems to be a human trait that none of us can learn something until we decide that we want to learn it. It sounds like you tried to teach your wife what your needs were, but she refused to learn. She decided that she already had you figured out and nothing you said made it through her preconceived notions.

I would have grown tired of star fish sex really quickly, luckily I have never experienced it. I do consider our recent sex to be the emotional equivalent of it. I'm not interested in it.

I feel horrible for what you have gone through. The path you describe is one possible destination of my marriage. Knowing myself, I think I would get out long before I reached the point you are at. I just could not go through the motions of marriage like that.

My wife might catch on. Last night she told me that she is her own worst enemy and indicated that she is thinking about getting professional help. We'll see if she ever picks the phone up.
 

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My wife might catch on. Last night she told me that she is her own worst enemy and indicated that she is thinking about getting professional help. We'll see if she ever picks the phone up.
I was where you are... actually, worse, because we had sex once a month... sex was good, though. But it wasn't enough for me. I wanted more, I wanted the connection. When we nearly divorced over this, my wife promised to seek professional help, but she never did. She decided to fake it twice a month until the kids were out of the house... we completely lost the connection. And now we have lost our marriage.
 

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There was a post where you described your relationship in a lot of detail. It looks like it was deleted, but from what I remember it didn't sound like you guys really ever had a great sexual connection. It sounded like there was a period where it was okay, but that was after a lot of work. That is different than most couples. In the typical case, the couple has great sex at the beginning and is able to use that as a reference for what they want to restore in their relationship. If at one point there was a strong sexual connection, it should theoretically be possible to reignite that flame. But if it wasn't there in the first place, there's no guarantee that it can be developed. For most people, being sexual is not a choice that they make. It's something that they desire and they look to their partner to fulfill that. But if that aspect isn't there in your wife, you'll need to be realistic about how much can be accomplished and what success will look like.
 

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Discussion Starter #92 (Edited)
@Marduk, Thank you for all of your posts. I have been reviewing this thread and it is clear that you have more insight into what I am going through than I do. I needed (or still need) a paradigm change, to clearly see what is going on.

This quote from you is my problems simplified down to one sentence. "Similarly if you're wanting a more sexually expressive/connective person, and she just won't do it, then it's also choice time."

This is what I want, I can even go back into my teen and pre-teen years to see where this comes from. (Thank you again for stressing that I explore where my desires comes from).

Following the previous quote you said this (see post #17): "But I think you may find that what you're seeking may be different things at different times, and if you're like me it might take quite a bit of introspection to figure out what it is that you actually want, and why. I can go into what I did there if it's of interest."
I would like to hear more about your experience. I think it would be helpful to me.

Maybe you have already gone into it. In post #27 you shared this:
"I felt the same way at times. I learned to get over it by deeply - and I mean very deeply - accepting my sexuality. I took a long time, like about a year, and I thought and wrote about my own sexuality. I detailed out what I wanted to get from my sexuality, and why. Experiences I wanted to have, experiences that I had that I didn't want, or things I wanted again or more. I went back through my own history and even childhood and uncovered things about sexual triggers I have, and why they are there. And then I just kind of sat back and said to myself 'well, there I am. That's who I am and what I want and why." And then I just went for it.

I knew what I wanted because I now had a laundry list. I knew why I wanted those things, so I had an answer if my wife ever asked "you want what? why would you want that?" So she could get to know me better."
Is this the experience you had (referred to)?
 

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Discussion Starter #93 (Edited)
I am going to post this, just because this thread might be helpful to someone else at some point.

My wife and I have had productive conversations about this topic. My wife is beginning to better understand herself (I think counseling could help here) and hopefully will be able to express that to me.

As a typical 'nice guy' there are perspectives of sex I have difficulty wrapping my head around. As @Marduk indicated in several posts; good sex includes selfishness. My understanding of that has changed in the last 5 days and probably still needs more changing. It appears that this could lead to even better experiences between my wife and I. I have to accept that I was holding myself back. Simply because I could not see other possibilities.
 

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@Marduk, Thank you for all of your posts. I have been reviewing this thread and it is clear that you have more insight into what I am going through than I do. I needed (or still need) a paradigm change, to clearly see what is going on.

This quote from you is my problems simplified down to one sentence. "Similarly if you're wanting a more sexually expressive/connective person, and she just won't do it, then it's also choice time."

This is what I want, I can even go back into my teen and pre-teen years to see where this comes from. (Thank you again for stressing that I explore where my desires comes from).

Following the previous quote you said this (see post #17): "But I think you may find that what you're seeking may be different things at different times, and if you're like me it might take quite a bit of introspection to figure out what it is that you actually want, and why. I can go into what I did there if it's of interest."
I would like to hear more about your experience. I think it would be helpful to me.

Maybe you have already gone into it. In post #27 you shared this:
Is this the experience you had (referred to)?
Yup. Specifically, what I did was to first just blast out what I wanted from my own sex life. Experiences, fantasies, whatever. Just got it all out there.

And then, I sat back and did a bit of a "huh" to that because it was a mix of sophomoric stuff, weird stuff, and then just feeling stuff. Some of what I wanted was super clear, but not why. Some was the opposite - why I wanted something but not what specifically I wanted to happen. And then there was some other stuff that I thought was sexy, but never wanted to do. And on and on.

So then I just kind of free-form stream of consciousness wrote about each one. I'd take a month, say, and try to figure something out. And some stuff that shook out was quite interesting for me. And also enabled me to be more clear, more forthright, and also more settled in what I wanted and why.

And it astonished me how much of it actually went back to my sexual formative years.
 
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