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#64975 - 03/20/03 08:50 AM Re: "Room-mate" Blues
stride Offline

Registered: 03/07/03
Posts: 202
Loc: B.C. Canada

Thank you for elaborating re: the situation between you and your wife, though I am very sad to read it. It sounds to me like she is, for whatever reason, not open to exploring these issues with you (of which many are clearly her own). It also sounds like you are doing everything you can think of to bridge the current distance between you two. I wish you the very best with those efforts, but remember to take care of yourself too! (Advice I could use a little more practice with myself.)

A thought: While it may not be the case here at all, I thought I would throw this out there, just in case. My guy is very sweet about making thoughtful phone calls, cooking me dinner, and almost always greeting me with a warm smile, etc. He surprises me with flowers every once in a while, cuddles me when we're sleeping, encourages me to do more things just for myself (go out with friends, return to grad school, find a job I like, do less around the house and leave things for him [e.g. dishes, laundry]), etc. In short, he is very loving and considerate of me in certain ways. He almost always has a hug for me, always introduces me to his friends and acquaintances that I've not met before and generally lets me know that I'm very special to him and matter in his life. (And if he's been drinking [2-3X/wk], he's often even more attentive, frequently opening up to me in ways that he doesn't when he's sober or leaving me very sweet, sentimental and appreciative notes, though he never does this when he's sober so it's not exactly a positive aspect of our relationship.)

Despite all of this, however, our sex life remains problem-ridden and his unwillingness/inability to deal with his CSA issues leaves a HUGE hole in our relationship. Consequently, the lack of intimacy, open and honest personal communication, and the long-standing problems with our sex life are increasingly having a degenerative effect on our relationship overall. In other words, while I do treasure and appreciate the smiles, the flowers, and the dinners he makes for me every few days, these things do not address the issues that are tearing us apart. All the flowers in the world will not heal the pain and other deleritorious effects of not being able to really connect with him emotionally/sexually/etc.
Anyway, the longer our problems with intimacy and sex go on, the less I find that I am able to respond as positively to his other gestures of love. I find myself withdrawing more and more, not out of vindictiveness or as some kind of attempt to manipulate him, but out of a growing sense of hopelessness and loss of faith. Does this make sense?

This is also becoming increasingly true of those occasions when he does initiate or respond to my sexual overtures. My budding tendency to withdraw in that arena comes from a place of distrust: Basically, a distrust that the experience will be a positive and mutually fulfilling one for either of us. I long to make love with him and to have an active, happy sex life, but have become quite gun-shy about even trying to "go there" with him anymore, given my experiences with him thus far.

I've also noticed that if I become really withdrawn for any length of time (which is not characteristic of me by any means), he tends to start making "peace-making" overtures. Unfortunately, the nature of those overtures do not address the real issue or my needs. Not to take anything away from what he is able to give me, but it is a deep and abiding connection with HIM that I want and need most, not flowers. I need intimacy. Reciprocal communication and sharing. I want him to TALK with me. Caress me. Be able to relax and enjoy my caresses and expressions of love for him. Make love with me (which is not to be confused with simply going through the motions of having sex).

So, he winds up frustrated and pissed-off cos' despite the flowers, etc, I'm still unhappy and still wanting to talk about/resolve the very issues that he is so utterly loathe to discuss, nevermind explore physically. I am asking for more intimacy and he's channel surfing in loud silence on the couch, after having moved the vase of flowers out from his line of vision.

On rare occasions, my guy does seem to make more of an effort to have sex with me more often and will even go for spells where he doesn't look at porn in an effort to help things between us (tho' he works in a strip bar by day!). Sadly, this just means that we have sex more often for a short while, but nothing about the sex itself changes. He is still not able to be "present," still instantly loses interest (and physical ability) if we're not in the most impersonal of positions possible, still says absolutely nothing and insists that I remain quiet too, still clearly does not enjoy much in the way of foreplay or pleasuring me, still jumps out of bed as soon as it's over for him (often going to bathroom immediately to wash), etc. So at those times, yeh, we're having more sex, but I end up feeling more discouraged, hurt and frustrated than ever. Meanwhile, he sometimes asserts that this only goes to show that "no matter what [he] does [I] won't be happy."

Anyway, if you've always had problems with intimacy, is it possible that over time your wife has simply come to harbour so much distrust, anger or a general sense of hopelessness that she can't find her way back to you right now?

My sense of anger towards my partner is a recent development in our relationship, but when it rears its ugly head, I don't want to sleep with him either and if he's been drinking, his breath will leave me cold at those times. (If he's been drinking, BTW, he's usually exceptionally attentive, but NEVER sexual--very mixed messages that are very hard to process when all of the attention only makes me want him more.)

Again, this is not about trying to "punish" him at all. It's about my own fears and the desire to avoid being further upset. It's about my feeling so impotent in trying to fix things with him. It's about knowing that if I'm in close proximity to him when I'm feeling that way, I may well do something that will only cause more hurt for us both (e.g. lose my temper, say unfair or hurtful things, etc). Sometimes it is just about knowing that if I lay in bed with him I'm likely to become physically aroused only to be rejected or, if not, have things turn out like they almost always do (see 2 paragraphs above), is enough to. In the latter case (wanting him but fearing how it'll turn out), I have gotten up from our bed a few times now (making some excuse about being hungry or something) to go and sleep on the couch, feeling utterly cornered by the whole scenario.

I dunno, O. A big difference between your situation and ours is that you HAVE sought help for your SA issues and it sounds like your wife is the one who's uncommunicative and unwilling to work on things, at least for now.

Perhaps what I've shared here may hold some applicable insights into your wife's behaviour for you, perhaps not. I'm sure you feel like your beating your head against the proverbial brick wall with it all (don't do that;-).

Hope things work out for you, one way or the other. In the meantime, don't stop taking care of YOURSELF, ok?


In the right formation,
the lifting power of many wings can
achieve twice the distance of any bird flying alone.

#64976 - 03/21/03 03:20 AM Re: "Room-mate" Blues
orodo Offline

Registered: 03/15/02
Posts: 735
Loc: Imladris, The Safe Haven of Ar...

Thank you for your reply. I'm cryin right now, I'm not sure why. But thank you for the insight from the Survivor's Wife perpsective.



It is better to be Dragon Master than Dragon Slayer. Some Dragons are meant to be mastered, others meant to be slain. Odin, Great Spirit, God, grant me the wisdom to know the difference. "May the Valar guide and bless you on your path under the sky"

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