what is a reasonable hope or expectation? - Talk About Marriage
General Relationship Discussion Although anyone can post anywhere on Talk About Marriage, this section is for people interested in general relationship and marriage advice.

User Tag List

 16Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread
post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-17-2017, 02:41 PM Thread Starter
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 20
what is a reasonable hope or expectation?

I would really welcome opinions as to what is reasonable for a husband to expect from his wife, or a wife from her husband within the dance of sexual intimacy?

What I mean specifically comes from within this framework: Sexual intimacy is a subset of intimacy in general. You do not arrive at sexual intimacy apart from an already-existing friendship, where trust and integrity already exist within the marriage, and where you genuinely enjoy one another, i.e., where the framework is already in place, etc. One does not find the larger, all-encampassing intimacy through the sexual encounter, as it falls entirely short, and intimacy is not a subset of it, but rather sexual intimacy is the "smaller circle" inside the "bigger circle" of "Intimacy". Thank you for staying with me so far

So, in regards to sexual intimacy alone, it itself has its components which differ between the sexes. It is critical to be able to fully enjoy sexual intimacy, and to ensure that each partner is doing their very best to meet those needs for each other, speaking in their language, communicating, etc. To make a long story short, my wife and I have been separated for the better part of 2 years. The reasons do not stem from infidelity, and are equally shared. We are great friends. We are in our mid-40's. During the absence of sexual intimacy during this time, we have physically gone in different directions. I have worked very hard on my diet and exercised rigorously and regularly, and weigh the same as I did when I left high school, at 6'0", 168, and feel good about where I am. My wife has become obese. I don't even think of her as a sexual being anymore. We relate well and are coparenting our children well. I am helpful and fully financially supportive. I even provide housekeeping for her once per week, to assist in those tasks to free her up to do things for herself that she enjoys, etc. I communicate regularly with her, several times per day, and assist with carpooling, do the yard work, help with homework, everything I am able, as well as work a stressful, 50-60 hour per week job.

So, I WANT TO DESIRE MY WIFE PHYSICALLY. A huge turn-on for me would be for her to get in shape. I am not going to control this for her or make any comments. I have in the past, and I am done. She knows it's important to me. If I, as a husband, take care of my body, is that too much to ask????? I am NOT superficial. I am NOT asking for a model. I understand aging and all of that. I get that. We ALL change. But I see so many other women who take care of their bodies, and it makes me resentful, and I don't want to be that way. Thank for reading, and for any comments.

HD48 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-17-2017, 02:52 PM
Member
 
Chris Taylor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Boston
Posts: 2,541
Re: what is a reasonable hope or expectation?

A few comments...

While I agree that sexual intimacy is a subset of intimacy in general, I don't think "an already-existing friendship, where trust and integrity already exist within the marriage, and where you genuinely enjoy one another, i.e., where the framework is already in place" is necessary for sexual intimacy. I can be sexually intimate with a ****buddy, prostitute or my right hand where those factors don't come into play. But, for the sake of arguments, sexual intimacy with those factors involved is much better than without.

So to your last paragraph... why? Two years separated and your wife has let herself go, which tells me she isn't of the mind to date anyone, never mind you. It sounds like she's comfortable where she is, you weren't and did something about it. But even if she did, why go back to the marriage if the underlying issues aren't addressed before one's gaining or losing weight?
Chris Taylor is offline  
post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-17-2017, 03:12 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 1,873
Re: what is a reasonable hope or expectation?

When you say your wife has become obese do you mean obese in relation to weight charts you see in gyms and on the internet or is she massively overweight as in a seventy pounds or more.I own a gym and we get sent weight charts with recommended weights for men and women and frankly they are a joke.There are Olympic swimmers who would be classed as very overweight on these charts.
Andy1001 is offline  
 
post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-17-2017, 03:27 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: UK
Posts: 1,792
Re: what is a reasonable hope or expectation?

I suspect being separated has made you wife comfort eat.

Why are you apart if you get on so well?. Are you planning on getting back together? Are you working towards it by having counseling etc? Or are you just happy to live in limbo?
After all unless you are getting back together why does it matter what she does?

BTW, you are expecting her to do the same as you and be the same as you. She is her own person and if you are not even living with her I don't see why you think you have any say in her life and what she does. Not everyone places such vital importance in having to weigh exactly what they did when they left school. I think that your marriage(or lack of marriage) has far more serious issues that need sorting. Do you spend as much time sorting them out as you do in the gym?
Diana7 is offline  
post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-17-2017, 03:40 PM
Member
 
Rocky Mountain Yeti's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Colorado, USA
Posts: 263
Re: what is a reasonable hope or expectation?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Taylor View Post
A few comments...

While I agree that sexual intimacy is a subset of intimacy in general, I don't think "an already-existing friendship, where trust and integrity already exist within the marriage, and where you genuinely enjoy one another, i.e., where the framework is already in place" is necessary for sexual intimacy. I can be sexually intimate with a ****buddy, prostitute or my right hand where those factors don't come into play. But, for the sake of arguments, sexual intimacy with those factors involved is much better than without.
Defining sexual intimacy is important. I believe OP has spoken true at least regarding his definition of sexual intimacy. Depending on how you look at sexual intimacy, you can have sex without being sexually intimate, just as you can have a conversation about the weather without being emotionally intimate, or attend church with someone without being spiritually intimate. Regardless of the type of intimacy, the word "intimate" implies a certain level of connectedness, openness and vulnerability. You can bang a prostitute without any kind of connectedness or vulnerability. Casual sex is, by its very definition, lacking in connection and, therefore intimacy, even if genitals are coming into contact.

If OP just wanted to get his rocks off without intimacy, he could bang his wife, ejaculate, and call it a day. But he wants more than just sex, he wants genuine sexual intimacy.

OP,
"Letting herself go" could use some clarification. Yes, she's gained weight. Do you know the how and the why of this? There are two major components here, either or both of which may be driving this. They are exercise and diet. To the first, is your wife not motivated to be active? I'm not talking about training for a marathon here, just spending some time each day not on the couch or behind a desk. There are many reasons a woman may lose motivation to move, both physical and mental. Isolating the underlying cause may be helpful. Similarly with diet, does she deliberately eat poorly or too much. Again, there are most likely underlying issues here. It's easy to use food for comfort, and when we do, it's not gonna' be kale and carrots, it's gonna' be ice cream and cheesecake.

The weight gain is most likely merely a symptom rather than the disease itself. Your age only supports this theory further. By mid forties, it gets much harder for a woman to maintain weight, and it can be easy to just give up. Moreover, women can also have a variation of a midlife crisis as they exit childbearing years, even if they have no desire for children. Thinking she is not as desirable as when she was young can be demotivating as well. Some just lose any instinct for self care.

You say you didn't separate over infidelity, but you don't say why you did separate. Did you separate because you were already suffering a sexless marriage or did that come after? Was she gaining weight before the separation or after? If it was after, the separation may be emotionally troubling to her, even if you separated amicably. Lots going on here--to many unknowns to pin anything down yet.
Rocky Mountain Yeti is offline  
post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-17-2017, 04:48 PM Thread Starter
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 20
Re: what is a reasonable hope or expectation?

Everyone, thank you for the comments thus far.

Andy, by obese I mean a BMI of 31.8, 5'3", 180, and I'm very familiar with the Crossfit-type body that you are referring to by a BMI that may be considered overweight, but it is muscular. This is not my situation.

And yes, Diana, there has been much time we both have spent in counsel. Hundreds of hours.I am not a "gym rat" obsessing over my body. I have just made a decision to eat and drink well, exercise hard 3-4 days per week, and get into shape. I am truly always amazed that every single time it seems that a man even mentions "weight issues", he automatically becomes a self-centered, superficial, unreasonable person in many of the women of TAM. Once again, I am proven correct. I am beginning to believe there is not a woman alive who even wants to listen to a guy who says anything about sexual attraction being connected in some form to physical appearance, i.e., weight gain.

We have spent the better part of two years in counseling as individuals and as a couple. There are a number of issues that existed before we even met, that go back into childhood on both of our parts, which I am not going into on this thread. Needless to say, it has made intimacy challenging, having to sort through these things. But we value marriage, and do not want to divorce, and have continued to work hard. We really have, and we've made tremendous progress. But due to the time apart, and couple that with the lack of physical attraction, I find myself in a tough place mentally. I love my wife. I love her essence. But I also want to WANT her physically, that's it. That's why I'm writing. I'm not writing for you guys to tell me to "get over it", or "you just have to love her no matter how much she weighs". The LOVE doesn't change with weight fluctuations, the desire and passion do. I want both.
HD48 is offline  
post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-17-2017, 05:08 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: UK
Posts: 1,792
Re: what is a reasonable hope or expectation?

Quote:
Originally Posted by HD48 View Post
Everyone, thank you for the comments thus far.

Andy, by obese I mean a BMI of 31.8, 5'3", 180, and I'm very familiar with the Crossfit-type body that you are referring to by a BMI that may be considered overweight, but it is muscular. This is not my situation.

And yes, Diana, there has been much time we both have spent in counsel. Hundreds of hours.I am not a "gym rat" obsessing over my body. I have just made a decision to eat and drink well, exercise hard 3-4 days per week, and get into shape. I am truly always amazed that every single time it seems that a man even mentions "weight issues", he automatically becomes a self-centered, superficial, unreasonable person in many of the women of TAM. Once again, I am proven correct. I am beginning to believe there is not a woman alive who even wants to listen to a guy who says anything about sexual attraction being connected in some form to physical appearance, i.e., weight gain.

We have spent the better part of two years in counseling as individuals and as a couple. There are a number of issues that existed before we even met, that go back into childhood on both of our parts, which I am not going into on this thread. Needless to say, it has made intimacy challenging, having to sort through these things. But we value marriage, and do not want to divorce, and have continued to work hard. We really have, and we've made tremendous progress. But due to the time apart, and couple that with the lack of physical attraction, I find myself in a tough place mentally. I love my wife. I love her essence. But I also want to WANT her physically, that's it. That's why I'm writing. I'm not writing for you guys to tell me to "get over it", or "you just have to love her no matter how much she weighs". The LOVE doesn't change with weight fluctuations, the desire and passion do. I want both.
You said that she gained weight after you separated, so my guess is that being on her own led to comfort eating. Separating rarely helps a marriage in my experience.
You didn't have to mention that you still weigh the same as you did back then as it came across as boasting. Sort of well aren't I great. If I can do it SHE should sort of thing.

You have 2 choices, bring it up in counseling and be honest that you dont want a wife who weighs that much, or decide whether you want to be married to her or not if she doesn't loose weight.
We all change as we age. My husband is going bald and is grey, so what? I love him to bits. What if he looses a leg or has a bad accident and is disabled? Not going to stop me from loving him or staying with him. What if he has to take a drug that made him gain weight? I am going nowhere.
Most people gain weight as they age, especially women with babies and hormones and the menopause. For women food is often connected to their emotions as well. They eat to feel better.

When will you get back together? 2 years is such a long time.

Last edited by Diana7; 05-17-2017 at 05:21 PM.
Diana7 is offline  
post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-17-2017, 05:10 PM
Member
 
Hope1964's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Alberta
Posts: 8,825
Re: what is a reasonable hope or expectation?

Whoa, dude, if you think Diana was harsh, you ain't seen nuthin yet

"His Needs Her Needs" is something we often bring up around here, and we are very familiar with the fact that men need sex and sexual attraction towards their wife. But it isn't a switch we can just tell you how to turn on and off. You either are attracted or you aren't. If you aren't, you have to figure out why.

Now, you say it's because she's obese. Did you know this about yourself before you met and married your wife? If so, was it discussed at all? If not, when did you find out?

Any marriage where partners don't find each other attractive are doomed to some type of failure. Whether that's just in the bedroom, or full on divorce, is obviously up to the couple. Each couple needs to figure out what's a dealbreaker. Each person does too. So you need to figure out if, should your wife not change, or in fact get even more obese, is this a dealbreaker for you? Will your marriage dissolve? Will you still have sex with her? Will you just do it with your eyes closed and resent her for it? Do you want to stay married under those conditions?

I know what you really want - you want her to just up and decide one day that she's gonna get skinny. But you have NO control over that. None. So figure out what you can and cannot live with, and go from there. Inform her about what you decide, to be fair, but there are no guarantees here. Even if she loses weight she might gain it back in 5 or 10 or 15 years. You never know.

Alternatively, you could try and change your own attitude about it I guess. I have no clue how you would do this though. Maybe you could learn to love her curves or something somehow. I know you can't throw that switch either, but maybe you could learn to do it.

People don't get a free pass to cheat just because their marriage sucks.

Our R
Hope1964 is offline  
post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-17-2017, 05:18 PM
Member
 
Thor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 8,875
Re: what is a reasonable hope or expectation?

The male brain is wired to find certain visual appearances sexually appealing. It is what it is. There is some malleability to it. When I was 18, a 40 yr old woman looked old, and the thought of sex with an old lady like that was a bit icky. Now that I'm well beyond 40, I find many 40 yr old women very attractive. However, the basic attributes of attractiveness don't change.

I find that when I get to know a woman better, her sexual desirability can move up or down a few notches. Her basic appearance initially hits a certain mark. Then, her personality and other attributes can modify it from that baseline.

That's a long way around to saying that I don't think you can will yourself to find your wife sexually attractive once her appearance moves outside of your pre-wired range. In addition, you may be seeing a personality or character aspect which further degrades her sexual attractiveness to you. Her lack of interest in physical fitness and health might take her down even further.

Something I've noticed, too, is that men seem to not really notice the aging of their wife. Not that we don't see it, but we are biased to view them as they were when we first were dating them. Probably some kind of psychological thing, maybe evolutionarily advantageous, idk. As long as your wife stays within some range of appearance similar to how she was before, you still "see" her as younger and attractive. But if she has changed dramatically then your brain may "see" her more objectively. So now you see the weight and the age, which is less attractive.

I think you're a normal male with normal wiring.

There isn't much you can do to change your attraction to her when she has changed so dramatically.
Thor is offline  
post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-17-2017, 05:41 PM
Member
 
badsanta's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Southpole!
Posts: 3,181
Re: what is a reasonable hope or expectation?

Quote:
Originally Posted by HD48 View Post
my wife and I have been separated for the better part of 2 years.

I don't even think of her as a sexual being anymore.

I WANT TO DESIRE MY WIFE PHYSICALLY.
I condensed your original post to the few lines that stuck out and caused an impression on me.

To me it sounds as if you are unable to accept and love your wife for who she is as a person. If your desire is fueled by the notion that you want your wife to "change" into something you deserve, then it is NOT your wife that you desire.

badsanta is offline  
post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-17-2017, 06:13 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Hudson Valley, New York State
Posts: 581
Re: what is a reasonable hope or expectation?

I have a fetish for trim body shape. I knew it when I was in grade school. I told my wife about it soon after meeting her. She never mentioned she had a thing about a full head of hair, and I dared to go bald.

There was no way I was going to fix it, but one day I had her sit through a film of a hair plug operation. Then I shaved my head, and my wife never mentioned my hair again.

So did you mention that fetish about weight to your wife before you got married?

I have that fetish, and I have no idea how much my wife weighs, or what her Body Mass Index might be. All I know is how silky smooth her skin is under my hands.

Look at it this way, your wife probably knows your preference, and is telling you to buzz off, mister.
WilliamM is offline  
post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-17-2017, 06:22 PM
Member
 
NoChoice's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 1,451
Re: what is a reasonable hope or expectation?

OP,
I understand your position exactly. I have certain "requirements" that I need in a partner. I told my wife before we wed that I would not allow myself to become obese and I would not be with someone who would. To me weight gain bespeaks much more than superficial characteristics. It shows lack of self control, self respect and self admiration not to mention what it implies about ones lack of concern for their own health. I do not find these characteristics to be in any way superficial.

I am not unrealistic about these requirements and do not expect my wife to maintain the 119 lb frame she had on our wedding day. Aging causes changes in metabolic function and motivation which can reduce one's drive to exercise. However, if she reached 180 lbs. I would be looking for another mate. I could no more find that attractive than I could a woman who was hygienically deficient, in fact I find the two to be closely tied together.

Your only real option is to explain this to her and to explain that you cannot find her attractive physically at her current weight. It will either serve to motivate her to change or it will not in which case you will have to make the change.

For the record I had a very high metabolism when I was young and I consumed massive amounts of food but because I burned so many calories, I never gained weight. Now however, my metabolic rate has decreased significantly and I now consume less than a third of what I used to. I am hungry for probably 12-13 hrs. out of every 15-16 hour day. It is the price I must pay to remain at an acceptable weight. It can be done and I expect no less out of myself than I do my mate.

Peace and long life
NoChoice is offline  
post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-17-2017, 06:31 PM
Member
 
MJJEAN's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: MI
Posts: 2,291
Re: what is a reasonable hope or expectation?

Female here. I get it. I do. Everyone has their preferred body type. Feeling physical attraction outside of that range is rare. Have you explicitly stated your problem to your wife? If not, would you consider doing it with the guidance of a therapist?

Follow the evidence where it leads and question everything.
MJJEAN is online now  
post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-17-2017, 07:39 PM Thread Starter
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 20
Re: what is a reasonable hope or expectation?

My wife was 115-120lbs when we married. My "arousal template" within my brain is definitely wired for height and weight proportionality. The issue has been discussed several times, and in a safe, counselor setting. Thanks everyone for the input. It is what it is I suppose.
HD48 is offline  
post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-19-2017, 12:38 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Ohio
Posts: 3,024
Re: what is a reasonable hope or expectation?

A "reasonable" hope or expectation is whatever is acceptable to you. You obviously have an acceptable standard for yourself, but your wife is not living up to that same standard. I get that. But the reality is that there is nothing you can do about it, outside of discussing it with her. If she decides to get back in shape that will be her choice. On the other hand if she is OK at where she is at but that is not acceptable to you then you have to make a choice.

At the center of every moMEnt of my life is ME!
Ynot is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on Talk About Marriage, you must first register. Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

Important! Your username will be visible to the public next to anything you post and could show up in search engines like Google. If you are concerned about anonymity, PLEASE choose a username that will not be recognizable to anyone you know.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in









Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Thread Tools Search this Thread
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Is there hope from the damage of porn? Andy101 Relationships and Addiction 21 12-13-2016 05:28 PM
I hope I can be a better husband stressedoutsoul General Relationship Discussion 11 02-29-2016 11:05 PM
Is there hope with my wife? vickgeo1981 Going Through Divorce or Separation 9 02-25-2016 07:58 AM
Hope after signing divorce petition. Andy101 Going Through Divorce or Separation 47 02-16-2016 12:57 AM
The Christmas Hope Thread Philglossop1 Going Through Divorce or Separation 5 12-21-2015 02:44 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome