Anyway, I do believe that men do not think of these things the same way that we do. Especially when they are doing something wrong and don't like to think about it.
allgood, I am going to agree with Dip on this one. This is WS-think, not man think.
Plus it wasn't important to them to remember the info at the time, kwim? So the info might well be lost, as far as the frequency.
I agree calling, meeting, texting; these were all business as usual for FWW and her OM. In her mind, both early on when she was doing damage control (we only met a few times), and later as she started to re-write the A history (we met less than once a month) there is a recall bias towards fewer rather than more encounters. I know that FWW and OM met 2x in the month before dday, a month that she was out of town away from OM for one week. She says that at this point, the relationship was old and she was seeing him less. Therefore, if when the relationship is getting old and they are meeting less is 2x a month, then how often were they meeting when the relationship was exciting and they wanted to meet reguarly…
Same thing with previous OM. She has a timeline that includes no stops at his house for sex on the way home from work despite driving right past it every day, and “wanting to be with him”. She did stop to look at lingerie catalogs with him, but only briefly ( lingerie catalogs briefly) and no sex.
But, it's hard to believe that he doesn't remember how many other women are out there.
I agree. FWW admits she would not have told me about BIL is I had not had proof, so who else is out there for whom she is confident (or hopeful?) I will never find proof?
It is my W’s lack of desire for sex…. Am I expecting too much to want a marriage where both are at peace with this?
FWW is working on this, off and on. She does touch me much more than in the past. This touching, a foot massage or back rub, cuddling close during a movie, takes the place of some of the sex. This is one of her actions I am watching closely rather than just listening to her words.
Tryn, I really think my FWW would be happy to have me take complete charge. Tell her what to do and when to do it. If she does not get to do what she wants, my fault; if my needs are not met, my fault. Sex is the same way. Except for when she is sick or tired (which is becoming common lately), I could go to bed and tell her to perform some sex act on me and she would do it. However, she would want nothing in return, and there would be no emotional connection. I know some of the people in Betrayed Men talk about just getting what they want from their FWWs, but that does not (usually) work for me emotionally.
I cannot help to think that in a way, the choices my W has made in life have hurt her mental health is so many ways.
This is so true. In my case, I pay the penalty for the uncle who fondled her, the teenager who raped her, the xH who physically abused her, and the drunken mother who paraded OM in front of her. It is not just the physical sex, she is actually very good at that, but now she wants to participate in sex as a part of an emotionally intimate experience like it is usually for me, and I suspect most healthy people.
It was more than a little disconcerting when she told me after dday that during sex she usually dissociated or thought about shopping or what she needed to do the next day. In my youth, it may not have mattered, but I no longer want to have a physical relationship with someone who is not there. This is just one more of the issues she is going to have to fix, or at least greatly improve upon for us to work.
I wonder if there is an underlying intimacy issue within her as in my FWW.
[This message edited by atsenaotie at 10:04 AM, March 22nd (Tuesday)]
You're right. What are the ways you've worked on addressing this? Do you think her comments are honest or a defense mechanism? Would a 180 help? More non-sexual physical affection initiated by you?
Perhaps no one will agree with me, but I've often wondered if in a situation like this a spouse takes many steps back it might be helpful. Something like how teenagers who aren't going to go all the way, or even below the belt, make out. Does that sound weird to everyone else?
Seriously though, I wonder if that would help? Clearly your WW (and ATS's as well) have issues with sex. So, take the sex out of the equation, but not the initiating, know what I mean? I know reluctance can be off-putting, but I wonder if this would be useful even if it required a little convincing. Something like -- do you enjoy kissing/touching/etc. Let's do that often, make out like teenagers, no sex and see where it goes.
Yes, I know, this would be immensely frustrating...
I stopped initiating sex probably two months ago. It is driving me NUTS. Still, WH wants sex much less often than I do. So, now I'm down to once every week to ten days. It sucks. When I initiate it's more like ten times a week, LOL. I'm going insane. We made love that much in the beginning of our relationship so I had no idea I'd one day be stuck in a near sexless marriage. It really bites. So, I feel your pain.
WH did eventually ask about the non-initiating and I told him he complained I was going to kill him so I've decided to let him take the lead on this for now.
It is helping me detach though. It shows another way we are mis-matched.
I got stuck in dry spells like this a lot in the past. After Dday one thing I was SO angry about is that I've NEVER gotten enough sex in this relationship and there he was, spreading it around. That really pissed me off.
However, it does make his protest that he and OW "only" had sex "about once a year if you added all the times up" a bit more credible. A bit.
Once would have been one time too many -- but nonetheless, it's amazing to think someone would throw away their family and a wife they profess to love (questionable) for THAT.
Ok. Got off on a tangent there. Just mostly meant to tell you, both Tryn and ATS, that I hear you and, NO, this is not a purely male problem.
I don't really believe that birth control is the problem. I've been on it &had no problem with it. Also, I don't know if that's the kind of thing that if she's been on it for a long time, would she all of a sudden have this kind of side effect? Idk. Just throwin it out there.
2. I was not all that comfortable with initiating sex. Changed after DDay cuz I felt I had some competition/something to prove, etc. But, it was definitely me pushing myself outside my comfort zone. Didn't have anything to do with how I felt about my H or not being attracted to him or interested in him sexually.
3. I will say, however, that in the months leading up to my H's A and through DDay I had no interest in sex at all. In fact, I had told my H that I could go the rest of my life without having sex & be perfectly fine with that. This, I will say, was directly related to the status of my relationship at the time, not feeling loved, only feeling resentment or not much use for him.
So, I don't know if any of that was helpful, but my overall feeling is that there's something more to it. Even if it's something that she's not comfortable initiating, there's really no excuse over this length of time for accommodating your wishes.
As for me: no cute officers.
Something like -- do you enjoy kissing/touching/etc.
In my sich, this is the issue. FWW does not particurly enjoy kissing, and is not into "make-out" sessions. The exception was OM1 who wanted to kiss for a prolonged period because as almost as soon as she touched him, and sometimes before, he would ejaculate and be done. With me she tolerates kissing (yes, my breath is brushed and fresh). She is also not into hugs. Every therapist and book says to give your W a hug when you see that she is struggling. I do not, because being hugged only adds to her stress.
FWW has issues to work out, and her sexual history, and fear of intimacy are right up therewith all of them.
Tryn, your W may be struggling with similar issues.
Truth is, when she is "healthy" she may still only be a once every couple of months person, and I do not think that will work for me. But we are both gettign older, maybe I will get hit with prostate cancer or ED and it will not longer be such an urgent issue for me.
As I wrap up, it occurs to me that from time to time (like Satruday) I see glimpses of her dysfunctional personality show through. It always suprises me, becasue when things are going well I forget the issues are still there. With this in mind, the times she seemingly happily initiates or participates in sex may just be her "obligatory sex" behavior re-surfacing. I can imagine in her head: oh, atsenaotie is upset, or I did something to anger him, I need to have sex with him or he will not like me and then he might leave. If I have sex with him then he will love me and stay." This was her thought process with OM, flirting with BIL, me, her uncle, etc
Is this a "dealbreaker" for you?
I happen to believe it is the guy’s job to initiate. But when I read that 2/3 of woman don’t have this issue, tells me my W has some problems. What is wrong with trying to achieve a good balance?
Ats, I have not gone the route you picked. I try to do things that make it romantic way many times. I am reward. I have a good frequency of sex and it is fun when we have it. Why I have these feelings I is because I want to be shown that I am desired. It’s exactly like you describe I suppose..I want it ” Emotionally”. We do have emotional sex too. But let me describe it this way. People can say, “I love you”. That is love of affirmation. But if you never say those words, you never affirm. Let’s just say, I am never affirmed. I think of this as maybe a “me too” I love you and only in return.
My wife does make an effort to snuggle. That does mean something. But sex means something far beyond a snuggle to me. Making love tells me I am the one. I am the greatest. You mean something to me and I share myself and want you to be a part of me. It bring me this pleasure physical feeling that places me in a state of utmost. Snuggles don’t do that for me.
These days, I have changed. I make dinner often for us. I make myself quit work so I can have quality time and intentionally not put the tv on just to talk. I make the choice to just talk. I try hard to follow all those desirables I post. No, I am not always perfect.
But one thing I do know today about making a marriage work. It’s effort. To give up is disappointing.
Thanks for listening.
#1. I appreciate this comment. Her Dr told her, it could be and when she figures it out please come and tell her.
#2. Uncomfortable. This is my W for sure. I was hoping by explain my needs and wants and much affirmation she could overcome this.
#3 This is what the book calls not having balance. It could be from trauma, infidelity, (Obvious issues my W has had). You try to have balance by looking for “something” in someone else. Something is “missing”. I have no doubt when you H was having his A, NO WAY he could 100% place an effort into romancing you. Like I said, IMO, it is the man’s job to pursue and help you feel comfortable. You were out of balance.
My W seems to be missing a few things. She thinks it's because she is away from her family. I told her to fly down there every month. It's always I can't take of work. I told her to have some courage and ask. She has no courage.
[This message edited by trynhard at 11:09 AM, March 22nd (Tuesday)]
I am not going to be some “needy man” in need of sex. I have now proven that the quantity of sex is not the issue. I really don’t think she is listening. It really is about change so we both have the happiest life we can live. Things you do affect the feelings of others. Just thinking right now… so I will make another chart…
But the fact is, the intensity of my feeling are link to the actions of my W. I think this is why most people enjoy and want relationships. The actions of your partner can make you feel good and happy… or hurt and sad. Too me, all are choices and all are decisions.
I don’t know, maybe my W is much smarter than me. She knows after infidelity, this state of mind impossible to achieve. People are not always willing to try and always wanting to make a decision. Be it laziness, selfishness or whatever. Seems every relationship starts off with that high desire to please, only to end in the selfish, lazy, greedy...
[This message edited by trynhard at 12:05 PM, March 22nd (Tuesday)]
I missed the part about her suggesting separation as a remedy, ouch! I agree with you that separation is no way to fix this problem, and it is frustrating that she would still go to that as a solution.
In our conversation this morning, she says she could go sexless and be happy about it.
FWW has said the same thing. She will go on and on about how she has no drive for sex, when all I am asking for is her initiating sex as often as she admits to arranging it with the OM. She had some need or interest that made it OK for her to initiate with him once or twice a month (I know it was more), so I too struggle with the why not me?
I got the book sexual healing journey you recommended (thanks for the tip). I thought it was a good book too, so I passed it on to her. She read some, and then stopped. I thought much of what the book said about being out of balance made sense. I see FWW as still way out of balance. I hope that as she strengthens emotionally, the sex will follow. Her IC says there will come a time when I will complain that she wants it so much.
I absolutely get that it is not the quantity of sex, but the desire for sex. I posted a while ago about how some make the desire for sex different from other love demonstrations, and make excuses for the partner who has a low sex drive. I turned it around to ask what if I only talked with my W when she asked to talk? As and introvert I could go the rest of my life without much conversation, and certainly without chatting. I could tell my W to let me know when she wants to talk and I will, but otherwise not much talking. Maybe I need to get drunk to do it. I become chatty when I drink. How would she feel, know I was just talking with her to make her happy, that I did not really feel a need for it. Oh, she is a good talker, and I can have fun once we start talking about something, but if up to me I would never need to do it.
I think that would make FWW feel bad about asking so much, she would feel needy. I do not want that, and I do love my FWW, so I learn to be a better talker. Not communicator, I do that fine. No, what I work at doing is being chattier; listening to her vent without offering solutions, but affirmations instead. I happily do this, I look for opportunities to do this because it makes her happy, and it pleases me to please my W. I do not worry that if I say a word she will want a whole conversation, or that she talks too long, forever, and I just want a quick chat and I am done. She does not need to get me drunk. She does not have to seduce me with fun topics or special cards, she does not have to prepare a place for us to talk, although it is nice when any of these are done, especially taking me out for drinks .
What if my FWW, or Tryn’s, had the same attitude about sex? What if instead of explaining how an almost complete lack of sexual drive is normal, they worked at finding ways for us to mutually enjoy physical and emotional connections through sexual activity on a regular basis. To not make sex the equivalent of taking out the trash or changing the oil in the car. A messy, smelly job never done for fun, but only when necessary.
[This message edited by atsenaotie at 1:20 PM, March 22nd (Tuesday)]
tryn: there are many women who are like this, i personally don't think that this should be a dealbreaker, especially since everything else is good or better then good....and its not like there is no sex, she is just different in her attitude towards it....the only other option that i can see is if she is willing to go to a therapist to see if there is something more that she could do to wake up her libido....however if she never really had one, this might not be possible...
and tryn look at happy you are the rest of the time within the relationship....that would be the deciding factor i would think....and do not count the time you spend with the thoughts of her 'a' in your figurings...because the thoughts should with time get less and less...
laura: i agree with whoever said you will never get the total truth...so for you, you would need to decide if you know enough and if you can let the rest go....and for you as well as tryn i would think the question would be, how happy are you within the relationship now????
for me, i needed it all, for me it wasn't just a couple of years, it was always...there was never a time when an ow did not exist in pfm's world...couple that with the fact that he IS STIll a liar...
so laura..does he still lie to you???....because the days of those lies needs to be over...even if he cannot come clean with all his past lies...i would think that there need be no new lies which equals no new hurts...
gotta run now....
and damn...you all got chatty again...was lots of reading today...
honest come out come out whereever you are and check in please!!!!
If you have the ED problem, sex can still be a urgent issue. It just can't always be done. I don't know much about prostate cancer and hope none of us learn about that problem.
I can relate to what your IC said. There may comeatime when you complain that she wants it too much. My W is really getting obsessive about sex. I'mnot complaining yet! It does, at times, make me feel a littlepressured though. I am still trying to figure allthis out, but I am afraid toask her about it.
I'm getting a new laptop and hopefully the spacekey will work on the new one.
So you people stop gettin us all riled up!
[This message edited by Allgoodnamesgone at 4:59 PM, March 22nd (Tuesday)]
Sex - it's almost a four-letter word, isn't it?? I will confess that in the past I have told FWH that I could go without sex for the rest of my life. I have also been complaining to my doc about lack of libido for years. She and I have tried many, many things with little improvement in my desire to have sex. I do and have initiated sex as I know that this is very important to FWH but in recent years I just haven't desired him sexually. Fast forward to a few days post-DDay. I'm at my doc's, crying on her shoulder for an anti-anxiety med to help me get through the day. At that time I told her about FWH's LTA, started crying and also mentioned that it was probably partly my fault because I didn't want to have sex as often as he did. Boy, that really got her mad!! She said that the most likely reason I didn't have an interest in sex with my husband was because I wasn't feeling an emotional connection to him. There was nothing wrong with me, it was that I didn't feel like we were in sync. Looking back on it now, it seems so clear to me. While we rarely fight, we also weren't doing anything together...no, really. He travels so much he didn't want to go out to eat when he got home. (I love going out to eat.) I'd suggest seeing a movie at the theater, he was too tired or it was cheaper to watch it at home. Kids would be cranky when he would get home because he rarely spoke to them about anything positive. It was always...you got a B, why not an A? You get the picture. Slowly but surely I have stopped liking spending time with FWH. He is not fun. There is no laughter, no affection (no little touches of the hand, rubbing my shoulders, etc.). He's not mean or abusive, but not someone that I have enjoyed being around the past few years. So did my lack of interest in sex lead to the LTA or did the LTA and the disconnect lead to my loss of sexual desire. FWH says it's the former but I'm not sure.
Since DDay however, I am more convinced that I am completely normal. There was some incredible HB in the first few months after DDay....all initiated by me. In fact, FWH couldn't really keep up. As the months have gone on though, my interest has dwindled and we have been sleeping apart (the few nights he's home) for months. I know that I'm not frigid as my IC has asked and I've told her that I quite enjoy the sexual overtones of some of the books I read. (As an aside, I used to read those types of books before I was married; stopped after I got married but then restarted a few years back. Coincidence??) I want to have sex...but I want it to be with someone I feel loved by and in love with. That's just not the case in my M. It was at one time, but not now.
ETA - You are not expecting too much to want for you AND your spouse to have a mutually satisfying sex life. That should be one of the most important things you have in common. Don't give up!!
[This message edited by strongish at 6:30 PM, March 22nd (Tuesday)]
I want to have sex...but I want it to be with someone I feel loved by and in love with. That's just not the case in my M. It was at one time, but not now.
Strongish: I feel the same way.
Tryn: Hope you are ok. Did you discuss this with your wife - the whole separation thing? It just seems to come out of nowhere. And, I was in a rush earlier, but I wanted to say absolutely she should be initiating more given the circumstances, meaning you've said what you wanted, made it pretty easy & comfortable for her to do it. My guess would be there's something more significant under the surface. Have you any idea? What is she saying?
Just popping in to say thanks so much for all the advice re getting the truth or full story. I am thinking through all you have said. I cannot tell you how much this has helped.
The gators are after me. Work is crazy at present. Love you all. Special hugs to all those struggling.
I have sent you a pm.
Take care honey. Enjoy the trip if we don't get to chat before you go.
Love to all
Tryn: Hope you are doing ok.
Honest: Let us know what Mr. Dishonest is up to. Hope you were able to find the time for IC to help you through this.
Ats & Dip: Yes, I stand corrected - it was WS-speak, not man-speak. I still think I got a consensus on 2 out of 3 of my opinions, however, so I'm still doin ok. Lol.
Big Hugs to everyone.
And again, let's ALL hope there's a cute court officer in court this morning! There were no cute officers yesterday, so I'm assuming SOME of you were not wishing hard enough. So please!
(And, yes, I guess I have a thing for a man in uniform. But, not just any uniform - there's got to be a firearm or axe. Lol)
[This message edited by Allgoodnamesgone at 5:22 AM, March 23rd (Wednesday)]
Went out Saturday night to a club in Boston to see a Motown Band, had some fun. As H and I were driving there, H turns to me and says, "I hope I don't see "the douche bag" there. At first I wasn't sure who he was talking about because he has never said anything bad about OW. That was a first and thank God we didn't see OW there.
MC wants me to see an IC. I think the best cure for me would be D. But I'm afraid of D. I'm not sure I'm ready for it and the fight that will go along with it. I think I need to be ready mentally. I just feel wiped out and tired. I'm not sure I have the energy just yet.
I'm thinking of all of you...so sorry for everybody's struggles.
Hugs to all.