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I boldedthe two parts of this response where I can see clearly how your self esteem and sexuality are directly tied in a way that makes you contradict yourself.

Why on earth would you have a High Desire sexually for someone you believe that does not care about you? Would you think that perhaps you come across as needy? Is a needy person sexually desirable in your opinion? Does a needy person generally have a high degree of self confidence?
I would also like to point out, that sex is NOT simply emotional for me -- my drive for sex is mostly based on a physical NEED for sexual release. I want to share it with someone in an emotional way, but my high drive is physically based - my body wants an orgasm (or several). So I have almost never expressed my sexuality in any way tied to my self-esteem. The fact that my husband doesn't want me hurts, but I know it's HIS problem, NOT mine -- we don't fit, we don't match, and he doesn't care enough to want to meet my needs for that. That's also HIS issue, from within HIM.
 

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Here are some questions for you... Why are people so afraid to allow their relationships to fail? Why does that feel so unnatural?

How can FAILURE be embraced in such a way that it helps that exact same relationship heal and become a success?

Why does it mostly take someone building up their self confidence before they will finally allow things to fail?
Well, I think that if people are in relationships or use them to validate themselves as people, they are personally tied to how the relationship LOOKS to others and/or to whether they are successful or not. But that isn't the only reason people are IN relationships!

Also, I think if someone is willing to walk away from a relationship where they are unsatisfied, then they have created a boundary and sent a strong message to a spouse who may have not wanted to face issues before that moment, thereby creating change that makes the relationship successful.

Are those the answers you were thinking of...?
 

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Well, self-esteem has nothing to do with MY high drive, nor anything to do with my husband's low drive...in fact, he has great self-esteem, and [BOLD]I sometimes believe that's why he doesn't care about MY needs, because he feels entitled to only having things the way HE thinks they need to be.[/BOLD]

Self-esteem can contribute to how people express their sexuality drives, but I don't think they control them as much for most people as they did for you and your wife.
Self-centered, narcissistic behavior like this (bolded) is actually a symptom of low self-esteem and low self-worth. If this is the way he behaves, I doubt your assertion that he has high self-esteem. Many people with low self-esteem also mimic the behavior of those with high self-worth because they don't want others to know the "truth" about them... they carry a lot of shame. Your husband may have a big ego, but that's not the same as high self-esteem.

Obviously, I don't know your husband, but this is what I'm seeing, based on what you have written.


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Here are some questions for you... Why are people so afraid to allow their relationships to fail? Why does that feel so unnatural?

How can FAILURE be embraced in such a way that it helps that exact same relationship heal and become a success?

Why does it mostly take someone building up their self confidence before they will finally allow things to fail?
In my opinion, what’s been proven true for me is, the more I mature and heal, the more I am able to see my own flaws, in a non attacking way. I don’t get so frustrated or self loathing. I can see a “problem” and thinknthrough is calmer and more rationally. So I can take it from others more easily.

Each day should be about growth. So if someone who loves me says “hey, you are too quick to give advice and it would be good to listen more.” I can take that as an attack or see the truth in it. And there are times I have looked at myself and not seen what someone else has seem. That’s okay too!!
 

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Self-centered, narcissistic behavior like this (bolded) is actually a symptom of low self-esteem and low self-worth. If this is the way he behaves, I doubt your assertion that he has high self-esteem. Many people with low self-esteem also mimic the behavior of those with high self-worth because they don't want others to know the "truth" about them... they carry a lot of shame. Your husband may have a big ego, but that's not the same as high self-esteem.

Obviously, I don't know your husband, but this is what I'm seeing, based on what you have written.


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This is a great observation, and I was thinking that might be how it sounded as I was typing it (great minds think alike?? :) ), but he really has NO problem with self-esteem. He has some narcissistic traits, for sure, but he's not a Narcissist like my dad was - who you are absolutely correct, has major self-esteem issues, and only wanted people who were a "mirror" showing him how great he was.

My husband is much more self-assured and I think that comes from immaturity. He cannot handle things not going his way, because he's selfish and self-centered, not because of low self-esteem. His lack of interest in sex comes from just not feeling like it, and being too selfish to care how it affects me. He actually has LOTS of self-confidence about being able to do what he wants and get what he wants...it was always something I loved about him. He takes a leader role in most every situation he is in. Right now, he feels like we shouldn't have sex, because HE doesn't "need" it...so it's MY problem if my needs don't match up to his.

My lower self-esteem keeps me from feeling like I deserve my needs to be met, and made it hard for me to set boundaries about what was acceptable sexually for me and what wasn't. If HE doesn't want me, then I don't want HIM. That's how MY lower self-esteem shows itself sexually. But that's how I react to ANY "need" I have in my relationship with him (buying something, doing something I want that he thinks is foolish, etc).
 

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Discussion Starter #106
Also, I think if someone is willing to walk away from a relationship where they are unsatisfied, then they have created a boundary and sent a strong message to a spouse who may have not wanted to face issues before that moment, thereby creating change that makes the relationship successful.
Now that is a great answer! Can you see how it takes a lot of self esteem for someone to stand up for themselves and create that boundary?

That process in and of itself often serves to remove barriers in a relationship while at the same time people might describe it as setting boundaries. Almost as if a paradox.

I am also about to reply to another one of your comments about HD as it has me thinking...
 

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Now that is a great answer! Can you see how it takes a lot of self esteem for someone to stand up for themselves and create that boundary?

That process in and of itself often serves to remove barriers in a relationship while at the same time people might describe it as setting boundaries. Almost as if a paradox.

I am also about to reply to another one of your comments about HD as it has me thinking...
Yes, but just because things COULD go this way, doesn't mean they DO! In a perfect world, and perfect relationship, they would...
 

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Discussion Starter #108
...I have almost never expressed my sexuality in any way tied to my self-esteem...
followed by:

If HE doesn't want me, then I don't want HIM. That's how MY lower self-esteem shows itself sexually.
So you want to be wanted and you need to be needed? These are the things that enable your existing self esteem to maintain the status quo.

Imagine if you had tremendous self esteem? How would your sexuality be different? How would that change the sexual dynamics in your marriage? Here are a few possibilities:
  • Your happiness or lack thereof would not harbor resentment towards your husband since you would come to realize that is not his responsibility. This in turn would remove some huge barriers for both of you enjoying sex together.
  • Sex would not be about fulfilling a need as in give and take, instead it would turn into something that is shared (you seem to kind of get that).
  • You might become aware that some of your sexual desires are driven by stress and used by you as a coping mechanism to sooth. While sex "feels good" in this context, it is more about the relief from stress that "feels good." That is not a good thing or bad thing, but once you are aware of it, you can actively incorporate it into your style of sexual play without making your husband guilty for stressing you out just so sex will be so freaking awesome! Or perhaps he might be into that somehow once it can be done playfully!"
I could go on and on... but this is a topic I still struggle with myself from time to time.

There is such a fine line of playing around with things that add sexual tension and make sex awesome. It can be fun one moment and then someone gets their feelings hurt the next. Like riding a bicycle and falling down. You gotta get back up and be slightly more humble.

Badsanta
 

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So you want to be wanted and you need to be needed? These are the things that enable your existing self esteem to maintain the status quo.

Imagine if you had tremendous self esteem? How would your sexuality be different? How would that change the sexual dynamics in your marriage? Here are a few possibilities:
  • Your happiness or lack thereof would not harbor resentment towards your husband since you would come to realize that is not his responsibility. This in turn would remove some huge barriers for both of you enjoying sex together.
I cannot get past this first part, because it makes me angry at you to read it, because I feel like you are REFUSING to understand what is going on with my husband...
THE ONLY BARRIER to us enjoying sex together is that when I told him that no-sex made me unhappy, he said, "I don't care. I don't feel like it."

I am not following the string you are trying to connect between my need to be desired and that changing HIS RESPONSE, which is SELF-centered. He DOES NOT CARE how I approach him. I, like Mary, tried multiple ways of talking, offering, compromising, understanding (some challenged my sense of self-esteem, some felt natural)...NOTHING mattered, NOTHING changed - when HE doesn't feel an urge to have sex with me, WE DID NOT HAVE SEX.

My resentment is NOW, that is NEW, and it is born from his constant rejection of me and every way I have tried to meet HIS needs, only to be ignored, and it manifests in the way that I DO NOT DESIRE SEX WITH HIM ANYMORE. That is me protecting myself. The refusal is ALL HIM - my self-esteem and approach have NOT ONE THING to do with his response. He has even said No to me at times, simply because I asked before HE did...that is hateful, in my opinion.

Now I will try to read the rest of your post...Lol!
 

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followed by:



So you want to be wanted and you need to be needed? These are the things that enable your existing self esteem to maintain the status quo.

Imagine if you had tremendous self esteem? How would your sexuality be different? How would that change the sexual dynamics in your marriage? Here are a few possibilities:
  • Your happiness or lack thereof would not harbor resentment towards your husband since you would come to realize that is not his responsibility. This in turn would remove some huge barriers for both of you enjoying sex together.
  • Sex would not be about fulfilling a need as in give and take, instead it would turn into something that is shared (you seem to kind of get that).
  • You might become aware that some of your sexual desires are driven by stress and used by you as a coping mechanism to sooth. While sex "feels good" in this context, it is more about the relief from stress that "feels good." That is not a good thing or bad thing, but once you are aware of it, you can actively incorporate it into your style of sexual play without making your husband guilty for stressing you out just so sex will be so freaking awesome! Or perhaps he might be into that somehow once it can be done playfully!"
I could go on and on... but this is a topic I still struggle with myself from time to time.

There is such a fine line of playing around with things that add sexual tension and make sex awesome. It can be fun one moment and then someone gets their feelings hurt the next. Like riding a bicycle and falling down. You gotta get back up and be slightly more humble.

Badsanta
Ok, now I can respond more evenly...Lol!!
These are all really great ideas for couples in reciprocal sexual relationships!! I'm happy that they worked for you, and/or that you have had the opportunity to work through them to some degree and enhance and deepen your sex life with your wife, and to feel more satisfied! I would LOVE to have a relationship like that - I LOVE reading ideas and philosophies about sex (and anything, even), and exploring and discussing them!!

However, people (men especially, I think) who have normal-high drives have absolutely NO understanding of low-drive men. The suggestions I have read on this site alone prove that to me...even before sex went completely away for us, I used to think, "THAT would never work!", to some of the things that normal drive men imaging would get a man's motor running when it's the wife who is frustrated. My husband's drive is tied to HIS mind, what turns HIM on, and he has NO room in there for ME. I don't turn him on, I don't think - he has to feel the urge and arousal for sex first, THEN he would seek me out. And that was always fine, I was just happy to have sex!! I was open and excited about ANYTHING that excited HIM, always.

But when the urge is GONE, or when the excitement of coming to ME after he's in the mood isn't there, then NO inducement will cause him to want me - NONE, NOTHING. I cannot state that to you clearly enough. After 17 years of dealing with him and his sex drive (so I could please him as much as possible, because I am easy to please), I KNOW what is going on with him. HE stubbornly decides how he wants to express himself sexually, and he does NOT care if I'm not part of it, even when it hurts me!! And I've never yelled or nagged...I've simply said, "that hurts me"...but he does not care.

So while I'm very interested in all of your viewpoints, and the things you've learned, and I believe that they have really benefited YOU (and others), they DO NOT work for ALL problems, especially not mine...and I suspect they will not for @Mary L, although I HOPE I am wrong!

The only solution for ME is to have sex with someone else...Lolol!!!!
And THAT is a topic for another time/thread... ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #111
In my opinion, what’s been proven true for me is, the more I mature and heal, the more I am able to see my own flaws, in a non attacking way. I don’t get so frustrated or self loathing. I can see a “problem” and thinknthrough is calmer and more rationally. So I can take it from others more easily.

Each day should be about growth. So if someone who loves me says “hey, you are too quick to give advice and it would be good to listen more.” I can take that as an attack or see the truth in it. And there are times I have looked at myself and not seen what someone else has seem. That’s okay too!!
My flaw is that I am often the world's worst listener. Or so my wife thinks. Often I struggle to place her thoughts into a context in a way that she has never considered. The result is that my wife is discovering that she often needs to be more patient with me in order for me to listen and fully understand what she is trying to say.

She will say something and ask a question about my opinion. I'll think about it and reply that her question is not relevant. At this point she thinks I am not listening. Once I explain why I think her question was not relevant and demonstrate a different want to look at her situation and propose a new question, she all the sudden realizes that I was indeed listening. But I admit that sometimes my mental process just takes off and prevents me from listening and I have to be patient and ask her to repeat herself (whereas before I used to pretend to be listening and fail the quiz so to speak).

That process used to get us both upset with one another, now we are better at staying calmer and helping each other listen and allow time to think through everything. Perhaps that is a flaw that I have that my mind is overactive and needs more time to listen, but at the end of the day I often have very good insight when my wife is patient enough to actually allow me listen to her.
 

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Discussion Starter #112
However, people (men especially, I think) who have normal-high drives have absolutely NO understanding of low-drive men. The suggestions I have read on this site alone prove that to me.
About a year into reading TAM, I kinda started to feel like, "this site is filled with people that all have a high drive trying to solve each other's problems only from a high drive point of view. It is like a bunch of blind people trying to lead around group of blind people that keeps stumbling into an emotional orgy all along the way!"
 

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Discussion Starter #113
The only solution for ME is to have sex with someone else...Lolol!!!!
And THAT is a topic for another time/thread... ;)
You should venture into the "coping with infidelity" forum and announce that you are considering that solution for your marriage. You'll quickly get LOTS of advice.

Unfortunately you might get some extremely insightful advice that you have not yet considered. You'll learn what a "VAR" is and all that great stuff to make sure you find out everything about your husband before making any sudden decisions!

Badsanta
 

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About a year into reading TAM, I kinda started to feel like, "this site is filled with people that all have a high drive trying to solve each other's problems only from a high drive point of view. It is like a bunch of blind people trying to lead around group of blind people that keeps stumbling into an emotional orgy all along the way!"
True. They are also all chasing the solution to an unsolvable problem. The low-drive person always holds the power in the sexual portion of the relationship, because they alone control frequency. Unless they really, really care about their partner's satisfaction and that their partner has legitimate needs (as opposed to just being horny), the high-drive partner is always going to be dissatisfied in the relationship.

Sadly, the reality of one another's sex drive doesn't usually come to light until after vows are made, and as someone pointed out either here or another thread, a lot of LD people put on "audition sex" before marriage and pull a bait and switch on their partners.

My policy is to be very up front with partners about my drive now, and what my expectations are in regards to sex. Low-drivers are much better off with other low-drivers, and if they would just be honest about this (and if high-drivers paid a little more attention to the clues LDs are putting out), maybe we'd all be a little happier and there would be less divorce.

For myself, the signs were there with my ex-husband, but I didn't see them. I also didn't know what to look for. But we could have avoided so much if he had just been honest with me.

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You should venture into the "coping with infidelity" forum and announce that you are considering that solution for your marriage. You'll quickly get LOTS of advice.

Unfortunately you might get some extremely insightful advice that you have not yet considered. You'll learn what a "VAR" is and all that great stuff to make sure you find out everything about your husband before making any sudden decisions!

Badsanta
Lolol!!!! I can imagine!
I'm NOT a deceitful person, though, I can't keep things to myself like that, it's too much work...I'm terrible at pretending anything. And I'm just too practical to go sneaking around and hiding stuff.
I have NO thoughts of what to do next, but whatever and whenever I decide, I'll be honest and open about it.
 

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Ok, now I can respond more evenly...Lol!!
These are all really great ideas for couples in reciprocal sexual relationships!! I'm happy that they worked for you, and/or that you have had the opportunity to work through them to some degree and enhance and deepen your sex life with your wife, and to feel more satisfied! I would LOVE to have a relationship like that - I LOVE reading ideas and philosophies about sex (and anything, even), and exploring and discussing them!!

However, people (men especially, I think) who have normal-high drives have absolutely NO understanding of low-drive men. The suggestions I have read on this site alone prove that to me...even before sex went completely away for us, I used to think, "THAT would never work!", to some of the things that normal drive men imaging would get a man's motor running when it's the wife who is frustrated. My husband's drive is tied to HIS mind, what turns HIM on, and he has NO room in there for ME. I don't turn him on, I don't think - he has to feel the urge and arousal for sex first, THEN he would seek me out. And that was always fine, I was just happy to have sex!! I was open and excited about ANYTHING that excited HIM, always.

But when the urge is GONE, or when the excitement of coming to ME after he's in the mood isn't there, then NO inducement will cause him to want me - NONE, NOTHING. I cannot state that to you clearly enough. After 17 years of dealing with him and his sex drive (so I could please him as much as possible, because I am easy to please), I KNOW what is going on with him. HE stubbornly decides how he wants to express himself sexually, and he does NOT care if I'm not part of it, even when it hurts me!! And I've never yelled or nagged...I've simply said, "that hurts me"...but he does not care.

So while I'm very interested in all of your viewpoints, and the things you've learned, and I believe that they have really benefited YOU (and others), they DO NOT work for ALL problems, especially not mine...and I suspect they will not for @Mary L, although I HOPE I am wrong!

The only solution for ME is to have sex with someone else...Lolol!!!!
And THAT is a topic for another time/thread... ;)
“he has to feel the urge and arousal for sex first, THEN he would seek me out.”

Yep! Thats the way it’s always been for me too. Then it feels more of a wham bam thank you ma’am.
Maybe I am too needy? I’m usually so desperate by that time I’ll take it, but where is the romance in that? Where is the emotional connection?
and then I almost like I feel unvalued. And I know he doesn’t mean it like that. I know he doesn’t.
 

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Discussion Starter #117
The low-drive person always holds the power in the sexual portion of the relationship, because they alone control frequency. Unless they really, really care about their partner's satisfaction and that their partner has legitimate needs (as opposed to just being horny), the high-drive partner is always going to be dissatisfied in the relationship.
I agree with you and I used to see it exactly in that manner. Things used to be so frustrating. But from where I stand now, I see that I was the one with all the power and struggling by trying to have even more control.

For example, I used to want full control over my when and how my wife got aroused. I sincerely wanted to be wanted, but looking back I realize that it had to be on my terms in the way I wanted and exactly when I wanted to be wanted. I was over controlling and became rather manipulative to try and compel my wife to do as I wanted exactly how I wanted things. I got good at it. I was the one completely in control.

Finally I stepped back and started letting her be in control. At first glance that might seem like the typical passive aggressive idea of not initiating just to see how long it would take her to make a move. But no it did not work that way. Instead I taught her how to better manipulate me (just as I had been doing to her in the past) to get what SHE wants and desires. It has involved working a lot on her self confidence and awkwardly the things she wants and desires tend to lend themselves very well towards improving our sexual well being.

That said from a wife that used to repeatedly tell me, "I just have no desire for sex." "I think I would be fine without sex for the rest of my life." "The day you get old and your penis stops getting erect will be a day that I celebrate being done with all this nonsense." "You should just find yourself someone new that likes sex and leave me."

Now in my house things have changed. We still struggle from time to time which is natural. Recently my doctor prescribed me something and when my wife read the side effects that it could lower my libido, she flat out refused to allow me to take it and insisted the doctor had to find an alternative (I think that is the biggest compliment she has ever given me!). When I came home with a new prescription that had the side effect of increasing my libido and making sex more pleasurable, she giggled and said that she was willing to subject herself to that if it meant me being healthier.

My whole point here is that looking back I honestly felt as if I had no control but could not see that I was the controlling one.

Badsanta
 

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I agree with you and I used to see it exactly in that manner. Things used to be so frustrating. But from where I stand now, I see that I was the one with all the power and struggling by trying to have even more control.

For example, I used to want full control over my when and how my wife got aroused. I sincerely wanted to be wanted, but looking back I realize that it had to be on my terms in the way I wanted and exactly when I wanted to be wanted. I was over controlling and became rather manipulative to try and compel my wife to do as I wanted exactly how I wanted things. I got good at it. I was the one completely in control.

Finally I stepped back and started letting her be in control. At first glance that might seem like the typical passive aggressive idea of not initiating just to see how long it would take her to make a move. But no it did not work that way. Instead I taught her how to better manipulate me (just as I had been doing to her in the past) to get what SHE wants and desires. It has involved working a lot on her self confidence and awkwardly the things she wants and desires tend to lend themselves very well towards improving our sexual well being.

That said from a wife that used to repeatedly tell me, "I just have no desire for sex." "I think I would be fine without sex for the rest of my life." "The day you get old and your penis stops getting erect will be a day that I celebrate being done with all this nonsense." "You should just find yourself someone new that likes sex and leave me."

Now in my house things have changed. We still struggle from time to time which is natural. Recently my doctor prescribed me something and when my wife read the side effects that it could lower my libido, she flat out refused to allow me to take it and insisted the doctor had to find an alternative (I think that is the biggest compliment she has ever given me!). When I came home with a new prescription that had the side effect of increasing my libido and making sex more pleasurable, she giggled and said that she was willing to subject herself to that if it meant me being healthier.

My whole point here is that looking back I honestly felt as if I had no control but could not see that I was the controlling one.

Badsanta
Gosh this just gave me a mountain of hope!!
Sorry you have went though this, but it gives me hope! Just that there can be change.
 

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Discussion Starter #119 (Edited)
My policy is to be very up front with partners about my drive now, and what my expectations are in regards to sex. Low-drivers are much better off with other low-drivers, and if they would just be honest about this (and if high-drivers paid a little more attention to the clues LDs are putting out), maybe we'd all be a little happier and there would be less divorce.
Question for you @FeministInPink Do you ever find that men that often define themselves as being HD turn out in reality NOT to be?
 

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Discussion Starter #120
Gosh this just gave me a mountain of hope!!
Sorry you have went though this, but it gives me hope! Just that there can be change.
My wife and I were joking the other day that my ability of being a lover that far exceeds her wildest dreams first involves a very long process of me lowering her expectations.
 
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