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Sexual gatekeeping

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havequestions posted 4/24/2019 19:11 PM

Is it wrong or selfish to ask your spouse to try things that you find to be turn ons and exciting? Is it selfish to expect they at least attempt these? Iím not referring to anything outlandish.
If your spouse says that intercourse can be painful is it wrong to ask them to focus on you and things that arenít painful? Is it wrong to assume that your spouse would try to get better at doing the things they know you like Instread of doing them grudgingly and poorly so that you say forget it? Is it selfish to assume that over the course of 20 years that route spouse put some thought and enthusiasm into your sexual life? Maybe buy s sexy outfit a toy, something? Is it selfish to want fluff surf to be as flirtatious and sexy with you as they are with strangers they flirt with? Or the friends they hang out with? Is it wrong to assume that your spouse would want you to be satisfied sexually by being a willing and enthusiastic partner?

Hickoryapple posted 4/24/2019 19:47 PM

Hmm. With all due respect, the way you wrote that strongly implies you have your opinion and are not really truly open to others. It did seem to be a largely rhetorical piece. I may be wrong.

Anyhow, if you are after others opinions:

It's not wrong/selfish to ask, but it would be wrong/selfish to expect them to do it if they didn't want to.

If intercourse is painful, it is extremely selfish to ask them to concentrate on you. You should be attempting to find mutually satisfying options together.

If they dont like doing something (I'm assuming you're referring to something like blow jobs), yes, it is wrong to assume they should 'get better' at it. They don't even *have* to do it anyway.

It is selfish to assume they should put more effort into things than you, so being very honest, have you put just as much effort and enthusiasm into your sexual life *in a way which would satisfy your partner*? You sound very much like my WS, in that he has said, very vehemently on many occasions, that he put effort into our sex life and I didn't. When the only suggestions he made were for me to dress up in things which pleased him, and to give him more bj (which I hated at the time, for various reasons). Nothing whatsoever about pleasing me, and the suggestions I made were ignored. So be honest about your effort here.

It is not selfish to expect your partner to flirt etc with you if they do it with others. That's prob due to familiarity after such a long time together. I totally get it, my WS has fantasized about work colleagues (sexually and deliberately) and used that excuse. It's very hurtful. How can you compete with the excitement of new interests? I don't know. Let me know if you find out!

It's not wrong to assume your spouse should be a willing and enthusiastic partner, but I guess a lot of this hinges on the ain issue, and I'm also thinking your partner feels very pressured to do something they are not completely happy with, if you have mentioned all this and behaved in that way already. And that may be why they do not appear to be too concerned about you being sexually satisfied, because you are asking for things which they don't want to do, which are totally to please you. Do you sexually satisfy your partner?

That's my two cents. I have the feeling there may be a bit of a divide about this, and a lot depends on whether you are making the equivalent effort towards pleading your spouse. Which you haven't mentioned at all. And that's very illuminating.

OrdinaryDude posted 4/24/2019 20:10 PM

Perhaps the two of you should see a sex therapist.

havequestions posted 4/24/2019 22:29 PM

I can say without hesitation that I put forth incredible effort.
I didnít expect my spouse to do something that was painful, what I did expect was that maybe she could have tried something else. Even if she, god forbid, didnsomething just for me. I did for her.
I read books about painful intercourse, suggestsed different positions that were said to be less painful. I routinely gave her oral until she climaxed so she would enjoy it without having intersperse. I . Bought numerous toys and vibrators for her to try.
I suffered through numerous episodes where I would get her off and she would be done because it was painful.
She claimed it was painful 5 years ago but never asked her doctor what she could do. She never read about the issue. It was fine for her to just stop and blame it on pain.

You believe that trying to improve in order to please your spouse is not something that one should expect? I disagree.
If your spouse is the only sex you agree to have the rest of your life it certainly isnít selfish to expect them to do things for their partner . I I certainly did. And Iím betting most people do. Anyone who doesnít is selfish and self centered.

havequestions posted 4/24/2019 22:30 PM

I suggested the therapist route. She declined and said there was nothing they could do.

OwningItNow posted 4/24/2019 22:36 PM

We can expect whatever we want. The sky is the limit! Or we can be reasonable as heck.

And the other person can expect just the opposite. And find your expectation unreasonable. And refuse.

It's like a staring contest; who will blink first?

firenze posted 4/24/2019 22:42 PM

We can expect whatever we want. The sky is the limit! Or we can be reasonable as heck.

You say that as if it's reasonable not to have expectations of the person you're choosing to be with. That's silly. And certainly, expecting your partner to put some effort into making your sex life enjoyable for you isn't even slightly unreasonable.

Havequestions, if you're still going the extra mile for your wife in the bedroom, just stop. She doesn't deserve it. Tell her she'll start to see effort from you once she proves consistently over time that she's going to put effort of her own in. And if she won't do that, show her the door. No reason to stay with a wayward wife who isn't going out of her way to blow your mind in the bedroom on a regular basis.

OwningItNow posted 4/24/2019 22:45 PM

You say that as if it's reasonable not to have expectations of the person you're choosing to be with

Untrue. I'm serious. Have expectations. Who doesn't?

But the other person is also bringing their own. And if they don't line up?

It's a staring contest.
Who is going to give in?

I am serious. Someone will have to give in. And if you are unwilling to lose your marriage to save it, I already know who it is.

[This message edited by OwningItNow at 10:46 PM, April 24th (Wednesday)]

Stevesn posted 4/24/2019 23:14 PM


Iím confused as to where you stand in your relationship. So many times I have seen you write that D is imminent. Are you still following that path?

Itís clear from the reader that your WW is ďjust not into youĒ. Sorry to say it so harshly.

You are staying on her terms.

I canít find the thread (if there was one) about what she did with the IC, but your W doesnít appear to want to bend over backwards, either literally or figuratively, to help you heal if show you that she really is attracted to you and wants to be with you.

Maybe Iím just missing it.

But whatís clear to me is you should stop asking for anything and make it clear what you need to stay in the relationship, and if she canít deliver honestly, then actually take the steps to move on.

I wrote you this 5 weeks ago and I stand by it today. Please read it one more time.

I wish you well and eventually peace of mind that you tried everything and in the end, it just wasnít meant to be. At which point I think you will find relief and a path to a better life with someone else.

Good luck.

Demand what you need to stay in the relationship. The part I wrote at the bottom outlines those types of requirements you should convey to her.

If she cannot provide it, then stop talking to her about anything but the kids and Start talking to your lawyer about starting the D process.

Sending you thoughts of strength.

At a time the kids are out of the house I would ask her if you can take an hour and talk. Sit at the dining room table with some water (no alcohol) and tell her you have a few things to say. This is how Iíd phrase it. Adjust as appropriate for your situation.

Mrs havequestions

I love you. I am in love with you. My hope is to be your husband for a very long time.

But I can tell you do not share those feelings. I can tell you are not attracted to me any more. I can tell you donít respect me anymore. I can tell you are not ďin loveĒ with me anymore. And Iím pretty sure you donít even love me anymore.

I want to be happy. We only get one life. You may not believe this but I want you to be happy too.

I am no longer willing to live with someone that no longer cares or respects me. Neither of us are happy in that situation.

So either something has to change in our relationship or we should start working on going our separate ways.

Maybe that is a relief for you, as thereís someone else out there youíd rather be with. But if thatís not the case and you want to actually work on creating a loving relationship between us again then itís gonna take a lot of hard work by both of us.

Iím willing to do that work but only with someone who is ALL IN with me On wanting it, because the changes we both would have to take would be far from easy, and will require an open mind and an open heart.

So, I am telling you now, that unless I hear otherwise from you, I am going to move on from this M. I promise to coparent our children with you as best I can and will not try to influence them against you in any way. Youíre their mom and I am their dad and the status our relationship doesnít change that fact.

If you want to talk about what working on our relationship would look like, Iím glad to, but if your heart is not in it, then letís not waste either of our time. So until you say you want something different, Iím going to assume you want this M to end as well.

My heart broke a long time ago when I saw the look of love for me fade from your eyes. We both deserve happy lives, and I am no longer willing to wait for those feeling to just magically return.

Then Iíd give her a chance to talk. If she says nothing or just responds with ďyouíre right, itís time to move onĒ then youíll know.

From that point on your marching orders are to find your path out of her infidelity and unfeeling attitude. So from that point on, no more discussions except about the kids (school, schedules) and finance (bills, expenses).

You start live your life separately and work to end the relationship.

One wise SI poster (OkOkOk) said it this way: You stop asking her whereabouts. You stop talking to her about the infidelity, past details or current. You stop yelling, fighting, begging, imploring. You're not critical or judgmental. You stop saying I love you, you don't hug or allow yourself to be hugged (just politely say "no thank you"). You don't give gifts, schedule dates, tell her you miss her, tell her she's cute, etc. You don't do any of that. Again -- you're not mean! You are cheerful, outgoing, independent. You also stop doing things for her (cooking, cleaning, fixing cars, laundry). And you donít let her do those same things for you.

And no longer give her insight into your pain. No matter what you're feeling inside, *this* is the you that you allow your spouse to see. The cheerful, outgoing, independent, happy you.

Then call a lawyer and start working the process to move on and call an IC and start working with him or her on your grief.

However, if at the table discussion, or after thinking about it she comes to you and she says ďyouíre right, my heart has been cold for a long time, and I dont even remember why, you deserve better, Will you give me another chance? ď

Then you have something to work with. And you can decide if itís not too late to give working on reconciliation a try.

If she does say that and asks ďwhat can I do?Ē You can tell her:

To start, you need to be all in with me. You need to show me and everyone around me that you are proud to be married to me. I always have been proud to be married to you and if you are truly doing the work to revive our love, Iíll make sure everyone knows how proud I am to be your husband.

That means showing me the same respect I show you. I need to be the most important person in the world to you. When we walk into a room together you need to care more about my happiness than anyone elseís there, including your own. And I will continue to provide the same respect to you.

And that includes eliminating the AP and his W from our lives. No contact forever. And you will correct the lies you told about me to them and their friends.

I will no longer be made to look like a fool because my wife doesnít care about what happens to me out in public or at home. And no more flirting with other men. If I am the man you love, flirt with me. I no longer will allow myself to be disrespected in this way.

And that includes the bedroom. If you are no longer attracted to me, then letís move on. I will not settle for pity sex. If you want me, and want to enjoy a physical relationship, then show me. No more ďmailing it inĒ in the bedroom. I want to have an adventurous and living and caring and fun and exciting sex life. If you want the same then letís make it happen.

Individual Counseling is a must, for both of us. Thatís how you show how much you are fighting for your M, by working hard with a therapist that specializes in depression and infidelity and figuring out what changed for you those years ago. The infidelity was a part of it, but that was a symptom, not the cause.

And we will schedule ďus timeĒ where we enjoy life together. The kids will fly the coop soon and we need to learn to be a couple again. So twice a month we will each plan something fun to do together in addition to what we do with the boys.

And finally, you write to me your thoughts and feelings. Iíll do the same. Then we meet and review those ideas every week. And we will review this plan as well over the coming months and years.

No more lack of communication. We need to talk, share our feelings.

I am not willing to do anything less than this. If youíre not up for it, please dont waste our time. Again, life is short, if Iím no longer going to spend it with you, I need to start working on finding who I will spend it with.

I want it to be you, but not under the same conditions we have been living other. Iím taking a path out of unhappiness, you can either come with me or find your own. We each have our own choices and free will here. Let me know what you decide. Iím glad to listen but wonít be waiting around, holding my breath.

[This message edited by Stevesn at 11:17 PM, April 24th (Wednesday)]

GoldenR posted 4/25/2019 01:54 AM

Untrue. I'm serious. Have expectations. Who doesn't?

I agree.

However, I doubt his W got married to him with the expectation of no sex.

Hickoryapple posted 4/25/2019 04:27 AM

You believe that trying to improve in order to please your spouse is not something that one should expect? I disagree

Why did you ask then? What are you specifically referring to? Because if, for example, you're talking about bj, and she hates giving them (they are intrusive, which is not the same for men giving women oral) why should she improve her technique? Do you work hard on perfecting things you dislike doing?

Others posting here obviously did so with prior knowledge of your situation, which I came to cold. I still stand by what I wrote initially. And by what I have said in the example above. If someone doesn't like doing something, it *is* selfish to expect them to perfect it just for your increased pleasure. If they're not into it, they shouldn't be made to feel guilty. Same goes the other way round, obviously. I've never guilted my WS into anything, or expected him to read up on and perfect any techniques.

[This message edited by Hickoryapple at 4:38 AM, April 25th (Thursday)]

OwningItNow posted 4/25/2019 05:50 AM

However, I doubt his W got married to him with the expectation of no sex.

No, I mean things like expecting not to do things that hurt, expecting my husband to care about my comfort, or expecting our sex life may not be adventurous after a certain age.

People have their own thoughts and expectations all the time. That is their right as human beings. It doesn't matter if I agree because I am not in control of what other people should do. People make their own decisions.

This happens in marriage all the time: one person feels one way, and the other feels a different way. It took a very long in-house separation for my H to learn to care about my feelings. Prior to that, he did not. My expectations in marriage did not matter to him one bit. I was willing to leave him over that lack of respect, and that's the only reason he changed.

Darkness Falls posted 4/25/2019 07:03 AM

It sounds like a sexual incompatibility issue and your only options are to live with it as is or divorce.

I agree with everything OIN said. Expectations are fine and good but if the other person wonít meet them, then what?

hikingout posted 4/25/2019 08:42 AM

I am going to restate this in what I am hearing from you, havequestions.

So, basically, your wife says that intercourse hurts her. She allows you to go down on her and then leaves you hanging on any fulfillment. She is not interested in your sexual needs at all. I have not read the story of her infidelity, but I am assuming because you post here that she has gone and had an affair. Was this affair physical? So, how does one explain to their husband "I know that every time you want intercourse I tell you that it's painful, but I went and had intercourse with someone else"? This does not compute. I am sorry if I am misstating here, I do not know the details of this situation.

Even more concerning to me is why is she uninterested in investigating what can be done about this pain? If this actually was an issue for me, I would want to get to the bottom of this. I would want to know if I had a health issue that needed to be addressed, and furthermore I would want to be able to experience intimacy in this way again. Not because I am a sex-starved maniac, but because I like feeling close with my husband. The fact she is uninterested in addressing this issue FOR EVEN HER OWN SAKE makes me wonder if what she is even saying is true? I would be worried about cervical cancer and all sorts of things if I was having sudden pain in this area. I feel very badly for any woman who does have this issue, but those I have heard of having it wanted it to be addressed. It just calls the whole situation into question to me.

I do not feel it's selfish to want to have a normal sex life with your spouse. I believe that's a normal expectation to have going into a marriage. Sure, the sex life may ebb and flow over time just like everything else. Yes, we have to be respectful of each other when there is a health issue to be addressed, or when negotiations are made regarding acts, frequency, etc. Everyone has the right to say "no, not into it" on specific items. And, everyone has a right to get a divorce under whatever grounds they want to. I think lack of intimacy, whether it's emotional or physical is a reasonable grounds under which to file especially when you have given your spouse all the information and they refuse not to have empathy, try and work out solutions that can be win-win, etc.

And, last thought on's obvious to me that what might have been acceptable prior to an A can become unbearable afterwards. The fact this doesn't even seem to be a thought for her means to me that she has found no remorse over her actions or the way she has damaged you. I think she is backing you into a corner of either you continue to accept it or you move forward with the divorce. It's tough with little boys at home as to what direction that you should go, but at the same time I can see how this has become untenable to you.

[This message edited by hikingout at 8:44 AM, April 25th (Thursday)]

Butforthegrace posted 4/25/2019 08:48 AM

Hikingout said, more eloquently, what I was going to say. But I'll add a conclusion of my own, which is the fact that she had a PA (or, possibly, multiple PA's), and is acting this way with you, leads to the logical conclusion that she simply does not care about your sexual satisfaction or your happiness, nor does she desire closeness with you. A person who does care/desire would be doing the sorts of things Hikingout describes without prompting, to foster closeness and happiness. Ergo, a person who does not desire closeness/happiness with you would have no motivation to do those things.

Dismayed2012 posted 4/25/2019 10:52 AM

Over a month ago you said you requested a divorce. I'd consider moving forward with your original plan. It looks as though she's not going to go back to being a participating partner in your relationship so there's no point in continuing with her. Either that or find yourself a hobby or other activities that will help you to feel accomplished. Take care of yourself.

k8la posted 4/25/2019 11:24 AM

FWH just a week ago said, "I finally realized why you don't want sex, and why you're not turned on; I've been acting like a selfish, demanding boy. That is not a turn on."

I sat at my desk with a shocked look on my face. He put to words what I didn't dare say to him; that he had been immature for so long, I couldn't imagine wanting him 'that way' ever again. It was like he read my mind.

Sure. Sex is painful. I don't want it. But I don't even care to try to fix that because there hasn't been any juice in the marriage for me for a very long time. His stepping up and taking responsibility for his behavior was, frankly, a turn on!

havequestions posted 4/25/2019 11:51 AM

Yes, still on the d path. We have basically become roommates until itís final. Sometimes I catch myself questioning the issues that led me here and if I am doing the right thing, so I ask for feedback. It helps me, even if people donít agree with me, many do and I like the input from all. It helps me thinks more clearly.

pureheartkit posted 4/25/2019 12:43 PM

Not choosing one side or the other but want to say that skin can become dry/ fragile/ sensitive/ easily irritated even by soap or showering and sometimes even walking and so even oral can become irritating. Maybe there's no real enjoyment to be had there and she's trying to tell you. There is not a medical solution for everyone.

Not everyone puts it high on the list especially if it's been painful for some time. There are probably many ma y uncomfortable aren't going to be fun if your skin is fragile. Maybe it's a relief to be released from it, I dont know but that's what some women confided to me.

I don't think anyone wants to have pain and unhappiness. We want to be happy. I don't know the answer, I'm sorry you're in this situation. You don't want anything not given in joy, that's no good.

annanew posted 4/25/2019 12:51 PM

There are two issues - one is the person not enjoying sex, and the other is disinterest and an unwillingness to try. The first one is not that uncommon, it's the second one that's a killer. It's really difficult to help someone see possibilities when they are not interested in doing so.

Nothing you ask is unreasonable, but using reason here is not going to get you anywhere.

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