Originally Posted by Laurae1967
This is what frustrates me about this board sometimes. People oversimplify complex problems. "He's a jerk. She's a *****."
The reality is that BOTH people are responsible for the state of thier marriage and sex life. BOTH.
For example, say there are things that I do that cause my husband to not want to give me affection. Say, too, that I don't always know what those things are because he doesn't tell me or only partially tells me. So anyway, my husband pulls back and gives me less affection. Then I notice he's not giving me much affection, and I get resentful and hurt. So I am even more apt to act in ways that make him not want to give me affection. But he isn't clear about it so all I really know is that my husband isn't giving me affection. And the less he gives, the more I get upset and the less I act in ways that motivate him to give me affection.
This is a DYNAMIC involving two people. It is complex because we all come to a marriage with our own baggage, our own individual ways of communicating, our own set of expectations, and our own insecurities and fears that often make seeing things clearly difficult.
So in what I described above, my husband should take responsibility for communicating what behaviors make him not want to be affectionate. And I need to be more aware of those so that he can give me more of what I want. But if one or the other is always looking to blame the other person, nothing every gets solved. Each person has a part to play.
If communicating our needs was easy, and if being exactly what our partner wanted was easy, this board would not be in existence!
I think posts in which people assume that the "offending" spouse is withholding on purpose, which is usually not the case, are not very productive.
If one partner is not communicating what needs are not being met then yes it is cut and dry. Nobody should expect their partner to read their mind. It doesn't become the responsibility of the clueless party until they know it is a problem to begin with.
As much as I do agree that communicating is not all that easy, it doesn't make it any less the fault of the one not doing so. Nobody ever said marriage was easy.