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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There are other threads I have started asking for a little help in some things I have had questions about... So, there's more background to this than I really want to type out right now.

To make a long story short, my wife and I got married less than two months after she got pregnant, which was a few months after we met the first time.

We had a number of good years, and then some things went wrong... some my fault, some hers, some both of ours. Some of you would call me "mr nice guy", some would just point out certain mistakes... It began a serious downhill slide when she began to take out her frustrations with things that didn't go right.. on me. And, I began a pattern of resenting... and withholding affection... to the point where there was little at all. I think our record for avoiding sex was about 18 months.

Obviously, this results in some bad things. One was that I had an unsuccessful vasectomy, and for much of my life after that, any period longer than about 2-3 weeks results in pain and discomfort. I did at times use porn to get off, and she eventually found it and decided it was the equivalent of cheating on her.

She was (is) certain that I have a porn addiction... I'd say I have a sexual need, and that porn itself is of almost no interest to me. I like nudes. Something for a little arousal to help get off. I can't even relate to the people who she got me books about who had an all consuming obsession with it. professionally produced hardcore porn is grotesque. I can't even look at it.

Frankly, if I have some kind of relationship, i don't even have any interest in that. Even as a young man, when I had a decent relationship with someone, I didn't even masturbate. Not interested.

But, after initially telling me to get out, she changed her mind and we moved back together. And, things went along semi decently, until I realized that she's never really forgiven me for anything she's held against me... ever. She just rug sweeps and the moment some big stressor comes along, even if it has nothing to do with me, she drags it all back up again and takes it out on me again.

In the middle of this, she had a serious injury at work, lost her job because of her physical limitations, we have had a horrible financial situation, and then due to her injury could not work, finally got a job, but it was far away...and I mean FAR away.

During the last few months she's said that she doesn't want to be married, wants to walk away... and then the opposite, and doesn't want to talk about it and does and off and on again.

However, she arrives home in a few days and for the next 5-8 months is going to go through surgery, rehabilitation, and so on to repair the injury, and will be able to not have to use the narcotic painkillers and other things she's had to be on (and I recognize have influenced her mental state) for a year.

However... While I want to work this out, and I've spent a LOT of hours trying to understand my behavior (far more than understanding hers) and the whys of what's happened and what we have to do to work out a viable future, I have a boatload of uncertainty right now. And, more than a little resentment of some of what she's said and done. I can forgive. I will, no matter what, forgiving is about your own health, not the person you forgive.

I intend, no matter what, to see her through and take care of her through the weeks ahead. I'll have to take care of her, do the housework, cooking, cleaning, driving her places and so on for a while. One of her big gripes... is no sex.

Yeah. I've withheld it. More like, not interested. Hard to 'get it up' when her presence is associated with a lot of very painful and deliberately hurtful things she's said and done.

And one other thing... Certain medical conditions and health problems made me mostly impotent for a while. Not true anymore. I've been horny as hell while she's been gone and trust me, no problem in the impotency department anymore.

But I don't want to invest emotionally in intimacy if she's not committed to working this out. It just hurts too much. I know that this is going to come up and I know it has to be addressed. So, should I say "no sex unless you're willing to retract your I want out and you make a solid commitment to us"?

My first bad habit is to do nothing and say nothing and just go along without rocking the boat... but, I've made a lot of changes while she's gone... among them a huge weight loss, much more fit...and, more aware of how I contributed to this mess we're in. And, a commitment to myself to change it.

But I don't know for sure just how to deal with this. She gets home on the airplain late one day, we have to leave the next day for the other side of the state, for a doctor's appointment, get back the next day, then one day later, another day long trip, and 3 days later off for several days for surgery, recovery, getting pain management working, and then coming back home and then starts the long process.

It's going to be a mad rush... and there wont' be any sex after surgery.. not for at least a week or weeks.

Still, I think I should deal with it up front. Get her commitment... (or non commitment, whichever it's gonna be, I'm quite sure it will be)

Still, I can't get the image of us finally getting through the mad rush enough that we have a few moments free and it'll be when we're in bed with me saying... "hey, no sex until" and it just seems so unseemly...

Gahh. Life can suck sometimes.
 

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I kinda understand what you are saying.
My husband is a bit similar.

A few things I can say....

One, both of you need to forgive.
Two, does it really matter what she did to you? What are looking for? Do you just want her to apologize, or do you want her to change and never do it again?
Three, having sex is how you re-connect emotionally and regain your committment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I kinda understand what you are saying.
My husband is a bit similar.

A few things I can say....

One, both of you need to forgive.
Two, does it really matter what she did to you? What are looking for? Do you just want her to apologize, or do you want her to change and never do it again?
Three, having sex is how you re-connect emotionally and regain your committment.
At this point, I want a commitment on her part that she's not just going to wander this way and that, with whatever breeze blows by, to stick this out and work it out to success. She's alternated between "I want to make this marriage work" and "I want out, I have no reason to be here".

My reaction that I don't want to deal with sex unless I have that is pretty simple: With no idea where "we" stand, I just don't have it in me.

I would not ask for more. There are no guarantees, of course. And, as I said, whatever happens, i will not carry a grudge. Life is too short.
 

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But I don't want to invest emotionally in intimacy if she's not committed to working this out. It just hurts too much. I know that this is going to come up and I know it has to be addressed. So, should I say "no sex unless you're willing to retract your I want out and you make a solid commitment to us"?

I wouldn't encourage this. It sounds like a power play, as if you're dictating to her. I cannot imagine seeing a positive response from her.

My first bad habit is to do nothing and say nothing and just go along without rocking the boat... but, I've made a lot of changes while she's gone... among them a huge weight loss, much more fit...and, more aware of how I contributed to this mess we're in. And, a commitment to myself to change it.
You don't need to keep your feelings silent, either.

The fact is, our choices/actions have consequences. Your choice to withhold sex has encouraged the problems you're experiencing with her lack of commitment. If you turn that around say "your lack of commitment is making me withhold sex," you can see how this only creates a vicious cycle, can't you?

Instead, you might take an opportunity to encourage her to feel closer to you while protecting your own emotions. Protecting your emotions can mean different things to different people. I've known people who will please someone they care about but feel too vulnerable to allow that person to please them. I've known someone who refused to kiss deeply because it made her feel unsafe. Only you can figure out how to not get emotionally invested simply because you had sex.

Once you're having physically intimate moments, use those opportunities to listen deeply to your wife - deeply enough to get to the real issues - and share your own after you've given enough thought to figure out YOUR real issues. Don't ask her to fix anything, but let her know where your thoughts are.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I did say it feels unseemly...

You think I should just swallow hard and go.

Certainly, I have a few days to think...
 

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No, I don't think you should "just swallow hard and go."

I think you should take responsibility for solving your own uncomfortable feelings. I think you should meet your responsibilities as a husband to maintain intimacy with your wife. I think you have a duty to yourself and your wife to be honest about what you feel, but that solving your conflict is ultimately your responsibility.

You can't control whether she responds positively or not. You can provide an opportunity for her to or you can make the gap between you wider.
 

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Resentment, Anger, and not being able to forgive, will keep either one of you, if not both in a "withholding" of whatever position. You both need to think about what you truly want for yourselves and the marriage as a whole and apply it.
 

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OG,
This will either sound like:

I don't really want to sleep with you, but if you stop being such a bltch I will give you mercy sex.

Or

I want you, have been thinking about us being together and love you.

Let her respond to that:

You can always add that: I think it's best that you decide and make a firm commitment to the marriage before we resume a sex life.

The second message is constructive, the first feels hostile.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
OG,
This will either sound like:

I don't really want to sleep with you, but if you stop being such a bltch I will give you mercy sex.

Or

I want you, have been thinking about us being together and love you.

Let her respond to that:

You can always add that: I think it's best that you decide and make a firm commitment to the marriage before we resume a sex life.

The second message is constructive, the first feels hostile.
Thanks for the input.

I used to think I had a handle on this communication thing between us, but I really didn't. I can explain microwave propagation or network congestion issues with great precision. But talk to the wife about relationship? I'm pretty helpless at this, what I think I want to say is not what she hears.
 

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Thanks for the input.

I used to think I had a handle on this communication thing between us, but I really didn't. I can explain microwave propagation or network congestion issues with great precision. But talk to the wife about relationship? I'm pretty helpless at this, what I think I want to say is not what she hears.
What she hears is a reflection of her own thoughts.

If you pay attention to what she accuses you of saying, you'll learn a great deal about what makes her unhappy and distant. Just pretend that when she says, "You said XYZ and it's horrible!" that she's really saying, "I feel XYZ but it's so bad that I can't tell you I feel that way."
 
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