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#2106589 - 11/17/10 08:32 PM Re: Trying Again [Re: Frustrated2]
Young at Heart Offline
Member

Registered: 11/20/09
Posts: 503
Loc: Washington, the State
I think that you angry, pain and feelings are not uncommon.

My wife also felt very angry toward me during the low point in our marriage. In fact her medical doctor/sex therapist that I got her to see pointed out to her that most older women who are not having medical problems and yet are not having sex with their husbands do so, because of anger. The lady doctor told her why would you want to have sex with someone with whom you are angry.

My wife felt that just because she wasn't meeting my needs and was distancing herself emotionally from me, and my focusing on work(to get some emotional praise and feel good about myself) was a further abandonment of her, rather than a logical response to what she was doing to me and our relationship.

Ultimately, after a lot of introspection, my wife realized that all the things she was angry about me doing to her, were exactly the same kinds of things that she had been doing to me and that as angry as she was, that she had caused the same kind of deep pain and scaring within me that she blamed me for doing to her. This came after I really changed the way I treated her for several months.

That realization helped her forgive me and helped her allow her to work on rebuilding our relationship.

I can understand your pain and your anger. I can also say that at least for me, forgiving my wife and trying to make her feel loved in the ways she needed, even when I wasn't feeling loved by her, was a pivital point in the rebuilding our our relationship. To me, forgiveness of others is a present you ultimately give to yourself.

Your situation may be different.

"Do you think there is a way that I could help him understand that I do love him ...."

In some ways yes, in some ways it will take a long time.

As to understanding that my wife loves me, that has and still is hard for me. The reason is that our Languages of Love (Chapman's Five Languages of Love) are so different.

I now know on a mental level that my wife loves me. It still is interesting when she wants to show me how much she loves me, because it usually involves her cooking a special dinner for me. That act of devotion is her way of screaming at the top of her lungs that she loves me. I need to realize it and thank you and comment on how special it is for her to do such things for me.

In point of fact, I would rather that she massaged my shoulders or spent five minutes rubbing her fingers through the hair on my head than have her cook me a dinner. Touch would make me feel far more loved than any cooked meal.

Even though my wife now understands that to make me feel loved that she needs to touch me and praise me, she still feels that on special occasions that she needs to create quality time and perform acts of devotion to show me how much she loves me.

Now at least I understand what is going on and try to sincerely thank her for her experession of love.

At least now we can recognize that love is different to each of us and try to respect each others need for love and expression of love in different ways.

Again, I would like to praise you for your working on your relationship and not giving up. You should feel good about that.
_________________________
>40 years of marriage--My wife and I are now closer than we have been in decades. I believe that my SSM is over.

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#2106619 - 11/17/10 09:32 PM Re: Trying Again [Re: Frustrated2]
trying4years Offline
New Member

Registered: 11/24/09
Posts: 19
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: Frustrated2
It makes me feel sad and angry to think that throughout my relationship I have tried to work with my partner to help him feel loved and connected - to the point where it had the complete opposite effect for me, instead of loving him more deeply, I love him less (if you can even measure love). ...


Do you think the interactions with your H could be coined an aversion? If so, a good read for that is on another website which I am not going to mention because it may be against the forum rules? and I want to keep things clean, but if you go google "how to overcome sexual aversion" you will find what I am talking about. They do go through some ideas for you to try, stages of relaxation and meditation which you must practice daily!

I liked the analogy mentioned about if your boss yells at you every time you go to the water cooler, you will find yourself being tense every time you drink water at the cooler. It's not the drinking (sex) that is making you tense. It's your association of the water (sex) and boss's yelling (H's impatient demands) that triggers your reaction.

I have no idea if this is helpful to you in your situation, but it may help you gain understanding. It may give you ideas to try and a plan for yourself to follow to improve yourself if you can't get your husband on board.

Best wishes!

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#2106957 - 11/18/10 06:03 PM Re: Trying Again [Re: trying4years]
Frustrated2 Offline
Member

Registered: 02/19/10
Posts: 50
Young At Heart: How did you come to realize that you and your wife were both behaving in a way that hurt each other, that she needed to feel loved and that you needed to treat her differently? It sounds like that was key in changing your relationship. I'm pretty sure that my H will not be wanting to read the books that you read, but...I'm searching for a way to help him consider our problem differently.

Trying4years: I think that it is possible that I have developed an aversion. I have recognized a definite psychological component in my reactions to interactions focused on sex. Thank you for the suggestion, I plan to look into it further.

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#2108318 - 11/23/10 08:11 AM Re: Trying Again [Re: Frustrated2]
Young at Heart Offline
Member

Registered: 11/20/09
Posts: 503
Loc: Washington, the State
Originally Posted By: Frustrated2
Young At Heart: How did you come to realize that you and your wife were both behaving in a way that hurt each other, that she needed to feel loved and that you needed to treat her differently? It sounds like that was key in changing your relationship. I'm pretty sure that my H will not be wanting to read the books that you read, but...I'm searching for a way to help him consider our problem differently.


I don't know how to help you get to where you want.

Reading books, helped me understand that I was probably partly to blame for the problems, but I didn't believe that, as it was clearly her fault. Ultimately, I didn't want to explain to our adult children that we were getting a divorce, but I also was not going to allow myself to be emotionally hurt by my wife anymore. The only choice left for me was that I was going to take responsibility for my life, for making changes in my life so that either my wife or other women would find me desirable. My wife could either work on making me happy or in a year, I would divorce her and find someone else. At every point I told her and really meant that I would prefer her to be the woman in my life, but I was going to not be hurt, I was going to find sexual satisfaction with or without her.

At the same time that I decided to change myself, I decided to try to make my wife feel loved in her languages of love.

As things progressed I came to understand that some of the things we argued about were our differences in how we felt loved. In particular my wife use to go nuts when she would work on making me a great dinner and I was late from work. I finally realized that she was showing me her love through her making a fancy dinner, and I was rejecting her offer of love by not being there to accept it.

I can really understand how affairs happen. I decided I would rather divorce her and be honest than have an affair.
_________________________
>40 years of marriage--My wife and I are now closer than we have been in decades. I believe that my SSM is over.

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#2110070 - 11/30/10 01:58 AM Re: Trying Again [Re: Young at Heart]
Frustrated2 Offline
Member

Registered: 02/19/10
Posts: 50
I found "how to overcome sexual aversion" and I think it fits my situation. Since it seemed like a good fit, I asked my husband to read it also. Surprisingly, he read it and did not have any negative comments. Other than being very worried about how long it might take to try the recommendations, he seems to be in support of the suggested method for overcoming the aversion. So I have been trying to spend some time each day to work on sexual visualization or activities and to relax, and he has been trying to be patient. So far it seems that as long as I can talk about how I am experiencing progress and talk about plans or potential activities for moving forward then he seems to be reassured (I hope!).

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#2110491 - 12/01/10 05:47 AM Re: Trying Again [Re: Frustrated2]
Young at Heart Offline
Member

Registered: 11/20/09
Posts: 503
Loc: Washington, the State
Visualize success and a happy marriage with sex, love, companionship, laughter, and playfulness. Then go make it happen.

Good Luck, it sounds like you are making progress.
_________________________
>40 years of marriage--My wife and I are now closer than we have been in decades. I believe that my SSM is over.

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#2112796 - 12/09/10 07:46 PM Re: Trying Again [Re: Young at Heart]
Frustrated2 Offline
Member

Registered: 02/19/10
Posts: 50
Change is hard!

Overall, things are good but there are definitely some difficult moments. We are still working on helping me to feel relaxed about sexual interactions. H is doing a tremendous job in his efforts to be patient and has also been a more involved partner in the home and family arena. History has conditioned me to feel leary of his ability to maintian the role of patient and supportive partner. I find myself falling into old patterns where my actions are more focused on making sure that he gets the attention and relief that he needs, but not focusing much on myself and finding or feeling motiviated by my own sexual self. I know that it will require continued concerted effort to get us past this and it is harder than I envisioned.

Also, when we recently started this renewed effort to change our relationship, I recognized very quickly that we both have forgotten how to be light and playful and enjoy foreplay in our sexual relationship - I'm good for a short while and then don't know what to do; he accustomed himself to go directly for intercourse. In general, we are both affectionate sharing hugs,kisses and ligth touches, but we lost the interactions that lie in-between casual affection and intercourse. In retrospect, it was pretty easy to let it slip away, but it is taking considerable effort to rebuild.

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#2112876 - 12/10/10 01:30 AM Re: Trying Again [Re: Frustrated2]
Young at Heart Offline
Member

Registered: 11/20/09
Posts: 503
Loc: Washington, the State
Wow, congratulations. Sounds like things are going well. Remeber that there will be set backs and fights. It will take time to rebuild your relationship. It will happen, but not completely overnight.

As to introducing playfulness into your sex life, that is hard. For me the scars of being hurt and the requirement to expose vulnerability were a battle in becoming playful. It doesn't always work. I wish it could be more natural, but it does get better with time and trust, with healing and forgiveness and above all with renewed mutual love.

Focus on what is going right, don't dispare when things go wrong and count your blessings on you and your spouses rebuilding your marriage. Good luck to you.
_________________________
>40 years of marriage--My wife and I are now closer than we have been in decades. I believe that my SSM is over.

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#2112893 - 12/10/10 02:30 AM Re: Trying Again [Re: Young at Heart]
SillyOldBear Offline
Member

Registered: 06/13/08
Posts: 538
Loc: Midwest
One thing you can try is to have some times when you agree ahead of time that you will not do certain things, like intercourse--that you're just going to "play." Sometimes that will lead to nothing--literally, neither of you doing much. If that happens, just snuggle.
Sometimes, it can lead to silly, playful sexual stuff without the pressure of "getting to the intercourse."

Laughing is really important, especially if something goes wrong, or someone does something silly or clumsy. Gotta be able to laugh.
_________________________
Recovering Sex-Starved Husband.

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#2116586 - 12/28/10 06:26 PM Re: Trying Again [Re: SillyOldBear]
Frustrated2 Offline
Member

Registered: 02/19/10
Posts: 50
Thank you for the encouragement, I've been having difficulty making progress. In fact, I've slipped backward. I found myself focused on making sure that my H got the attention and/or physical relief that he needs, but found myself not feeling excited or interested in him. He was anxious to keep moving forward and get to the point where he could actually engage in intercourse, and I just felt disappointed that the focus is always on having sex (or getting there). I shared my feelings with him and he said that I just needed to make a decision to do it. Well, making a decision to feel a particular way doesn't sit right with me, shouldn't the feeling come from within, not because I am forcing myself to be a certain way? It seems like I've forced myself to go along and try to accommodate him for so long that it is not surprising I feel resentment towards him and my own feelings are dead. I realize too that I am not happy with many aspects of our relationship which contributes to my lack of desire for him, but he is someone who can separate sex from the rest and so he doesn't understand when I try to explain it to him. I'm having trouble liking him and I'm having trouble focusing on the positives in my relationship and I don't even feel like trying...in addition to having a very difficult time trying to figure out how to want sex when I am not feeling any sort of desire.

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