I have thought a lot about this tread, because it hit home in many ways.Hi Mary! I'd love to hear more about your marriage and how you find a way to strike a balance with your husband. It is impossible for me to share my wife's perspective and I am most certainly biased in how I present our relationship. My wife probably thinks I am a horny slob and I see her as a controlling prude at times. The reality exists somewhere in the middle.
My wife was diagnosed with OCD soon after married, but I knew about a year after we started dating. She saw a therapist for a year and was on medication that turned her into a zombie. She quit the meds and we worked through it together and she successful manages the intruding thoughts but I know she still struggles internally. Our marriage was sexless for about 10 years. We had great sex the first year. It came to almost an immediate stop when the OCD flared up. We did not have sex again until about 2 years after we married, she knew I was ready for divorce at that point. We are a million times better now but still have a lot of work to do.
My gut is there are a few main problems today:
There may be another issue that puts some distance between us. My wife is much more strict with the kids. It takes a lot to annoy me and even then, my response to the kids tends to be pretty restrained. My wife has much less patience most of the time will end up yelling at the kids. She probably yells at them a couple times a day. I have raised my voice with my 4 boys less than 10 times in my life. She feels guilty because she becomes the bad guy to the kids and she want me to step up my game. I feel that if I get to her level we will both be yelling at the kids - crushing their soul. The rational thing would seem to be that I become the disciplinarian and she lets me take over but I don't always pick up when she is about to lose patience and explode. I think this dynamic hampers the sex and intimacy levels.
- She needs to be in control of most everything. This gets in the way of her being able to let go and enjoy sex.
- I am a more happy go lucky and passive person. My gut is she subconsciously wants me to be more assertive in bed, despite what she says to the contrary. Given our respective personalities, I struggle to push the boundaries with sex.
- I think there are still trust issues she has with me.
I was sexually abused by my dad and brother. Both parents were emotionally and physically abusive. Food was optional for my sister and myself. It wasn't a good life and I know it created a hole lot of issues within me!! One thing I am is, stubborn. I guess I have used that to MY benefit, when it comes to self awareness and healing.
I began to have panic attacks when our oldest was a year old. Something about having a child really triggered things. I was scared to death all the time. I think deep down I was so scared to make the same mistakes as my parents, yet I knew I could never be that person.
From the moment I found out I was pregnant, I read about everything I could get my hands on. I wanted to be a great mom. My moms only voice was yelling. She would strike first then ask questions. I knew these things were wrong, but what was right? I had no idea. But I was willing to learn.
I don't know you or your wife, and your dynamics... but for me when hubby won't engage with the kids, it leave me with all the heavy. And too much heavy, I am not strong enough to carry. I would read and try to help him understand, but he just wouldn't engage and when he did, he was hotheaded. More because he was frustrated at me for making him do something.
For example. Our teen/adult son has one job around the house. Thats MY rule. My husband agrees he's should have responsibility here, that its good for him, but he would never give him some. Ever! Fine, whatever. So I give him a job. Now, its up to me to make sure it gets done. Make him when he doesn't want to do it. Its exhausting! It would be easier to just fo the job myself. But its not about the job, its about teaching him responsibility. I want my husband to also see this reality. Add rude back talk from our son, he can be down right nasty! And sometimes I lose it a bit. I use to yell, I really dont anymore. It takes a lot to push me to the point I raise my voice. I'm so tired of hearing that I am everyones problem! We have some pretty out of control people in this family. I'm either bat **** crazy (which I am not taking that off the table yet) or my husband has really taught our kids some bad behaviors.
I get that you dont want crush souls. Kids go through lot. They are their own worst enemies. They dont need the people that love them the most to be on their backs for each and every mistake, yelling is the quickest way to make someone feel like crap about themselves! Again, I dont know you and I may be barking up the wrong tree here. But you dont have to yell to stand beside your wife. I would have loved if my husband would have just taken a stand with the kids. "You mom has asked several times for you to hang up your coat and clean the mess you made in the kitchen. I value your moms time, and so should you. Had you just forgotten and when reminded kindly accepted the reminder, nothing more would have been done. But since you chose to get mouthy, make excuses and basically waste my wife's time, you can make that time up by cleaning ALL the kitchen after dinner tonight." Or something like that, anything!! Its the silence that has bothered me. The not doing. Then I am left with a raging child. Its another day in our home of dissention and if I snap I am the bad guy.
We are a team. Its not about me, its about raising our kids the best way for them!
I think my husband is a slob, and I would probably not care as much if he also had the horny part! haha, but true! I start to notice all those little things and they bug the crap out of me, when its all I have to focus on! I am frustrated most days. Kids ignoring me, husband ignoring me, more cat poop to clean! Another dinner to make! And at the end of the day, I get a "good night babe" with a kiss, and tomorrow is on repeat. It was and is exhausting. We only have one child at home right now, there is no excuse for a lack of intimacy. I know when I would get triturated, yell, etc it was a big sexual downer. But so is a husband who lives in the home and is too passive leaving the hard work to me. (that is NOT a poke at you. I don't know you, I am simply explaining my side)
I know I like to be in control. I am most likely not as great at balancing as I think I am. I am huge believer of self motivation and I have worked on me since I found out I was pregnant with our 1st child. Before that really, but that is when it really kicked in.
Its been loooooong road and I am far from where I need to be.
As for me, and I have read on this a bit... most women like me who want control, like to be controlled in the bedroom. I dont want tell you to do anything that would freak your wife out.
There was one night, I have no freaking clue who my husband was channelling... but it was hot and amazing. He just took control. Moved me around as he wanted me. Just did thinks that wasn't our normal. he seemed to be into me like he had never been before. I told him afterwards how hot and amazing it was, He seemed so happy that I was so happy. But never did anything like that again. I personally want control. I even talked to him after that, about how I want him to have control in the bedroom. I sat him down, told him how amazing that was. I told him that I know I can be a bit of a control freak, but when it comes to the bedroom, its his room. I will comply with anything he wants. And I meant it, but ....nothing.
We don't have balance. Sadly. I have my side of the story and he has his. His favorite phrases "dear, we are at an impasse" I hate that damn phrase!
If you ask my husband I am extremely OCD, I am a neat freak and I over react.
If you ask me, I struggle with those things but because he is so far on the other side, I look over the top.
This may be too much on here... and I would never be able to say this to someone I know... but once he was frustrated and said I make him feel bad when I try to be in control. Usually I will come up with situations where I wanted him to take lead and he just sat there, But instead said "well, then spank me!" He laughed and said "oh ya!" but... again, nothing.
I don't know how many talks or hints I can toss out there.
So ya, I am a lot like your wife, but yet I am not.
I want him to explore.
One of the sexiest things is when he would engage with me as a father figure to his kids. No yelling heeded. Just be firm and let them know who is boss. Honestly, its hard for me to respect him when he cant parent his own kids. Lives me to it, then gripes because I yell or Im exhausted. And they way these kids have talked to me and treated me? Shameful! Any parent/person would yell!
I have so may thoughts on this, because a lot of what you and @aaarghdub said resonated deep with me. I seem to be an add mix of things, I have issues, I tend to like things "the right way" when it comes to organized and clean. But I feel I have also grown enough to know when to apply balance. Im sure if I saw myself though my husbands eyes, I would see things differently.