Just scheduled a clinical psychologist session for one - Talk About Marriage
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post #1 of 45 (permalink) Old 11-14-2016, 05:01 PM Thread Starter
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Just scheduled a clinical psychologist session for one

I really upset my wife last night in a way that has hit a new low for our relationship. I scheduled to meet with a psychologist this week to get my life back together. I have trouble putting my feelings to spoken words. Perhaps I have too many clouded thoughts in my head and I need to clear them one at a time and organize them thoughtfully after. I canít say how many revisions I wrote composing this piece but for itís short length it took me over 5 hours to complete.

My wife struggles with some form of everyday anxiety that persists in her family; she strives for order and honesty and loves our family (we have two children under 9). I have a general lack of attention to detail (possibly ADD) because I donít always hear things after acknowledging I have. Or, I take things out then I donít always remember to put it away or feel leaving it out is more convenient for some future uncertainty. Or, Iíll start a project around the house, then walk away for something else and forget I was doing it until later. Or, I treat our garage (the one space larger than 2 sq ft Iím allowed to keep as my own space) like itís a dumping ground. Given this, I am surprisingly successful in my career and fatherhood but the mistakes I make there are easily forgiven because of either generated revenue or unconditional love. These same mistakes I make around my wife are taken less and less tolerably and I believe her when she says they are wearing her to a breakdown.

I am also a man with a very functional testosterone system. I could have sex every day, likely before every meal and I struggle with my wifeís increasing lack of desirability toward me. I have made a few steps toward improving my appeal, including maintaining my body weight in the normal/healthy range (I was once considered obese by those numbers) and working out regularly, minimizing my drinking and giving her 10-30 minute foot & leg massages (on average) every other night. These are not just desperate attempts to coax my wife into having sex with me, I truly love her and want our relationship to be strong. And we do have good, even very good, days together. The problem I deal with is the rejection. I learned early in our relationship not to ask for sex as my wife is very turned off by the desperation. Since then, I have become nothing but desperate. We have sex on average once every 6 weeks and thatís been a steady average for years. She doesnít feel in the mood very much (or does at inconvenient times for her), never climaxes for me (even when I go down on her, which I very much enjoy doing but stops me before getting her close) and I can't hold out my orgasm for more than a few minutes because I canít hold my excitement.

Last night was a case I could have let play out like every other night before it. That morning my wife recognized I was depressed but I had trouble copping up to it because I was sitting with our kids and not ready to get into it with them around. I was, in fact, feeling frustrated, because the night before we were getting very cuddly together. Iíd rub her neck and shoulders and sheíd moan low with pleasure (not uncommon when I massage her, true). Most nights like this she would be soothed to sleep and the night before was no different; only I was more turned on than usual. So I was a bit frustrated the next morning that I hadnít come close to any sort of mutual intimacy with her, even if it meant her just rubbing her hand across my chest. I started to convince myself I was at fault and I should have been more aggressive. I took most of the day to clean the house, relax and resolved to communicate my desires, even if it meant having to ask for sex, which was an absolute last resort. My wife spent the morning exercising then took the kids out for a few hours after. Later in the afternoon while she was taking a shower, I casually knocked on the door and asked her if I could get her anything. To my unexpected surprise and delight she said, ďan orgasm.Ē I was ready to take my clothes off right there and join her but with the kids playing around the house it was understandably an anxious no-go from her. That night I put the kids down as early as they could (without getting cranky) then slowly, patiently, tried to get my wife in the mood with caressing her shoulders and neck and everything else she loves while she watched her favorite channel on TV. I followed with a long foot rub where she fell asleep several times but when I asked if she was she kept insisting she was awake. Finally, I couldnít hold it anymore and I tried to move my way up, but she was considerably turned over and closed off. She thanked me kindly for the foot massage and I knew this was my last chance; I had to pull my Hail Mary even though I knew what it meant: I asked if she wanted to have sex. I got a sorry but confident Ďnoí. I didnít know how to control myself, internally I panicked; externally I could not hold my disappointment and resolved myself to the shower where I knocked out the testosterone surely but shamefully. When I got out she was still awake and asked if I was feeling better. I said I wasnít, that I was feeling hurt and rejected. That woke her up fully and infuriated her. She said I sounded desperate and I admitted I was, I was tired of lying about it. She hinted I sleep in another room, which I left to do, but that made things worse and she came in to tell me a minute later. I followed her back explaining why I was upset I felt teased (though carefully not using that word specifically) and thatís when her anxiety peaked. Itís happened before and itís always nasty: the Ď**** youí and Ďshut the **** upí hurt, especially because she very rarely curses, but itís the crying that hurt most. I hurt her feelings big time, she would take no soothing and I fell asleep next to her trying to figure out how I could have handled it better. About an hour later I must have started snoring because she kicked me out (common scenario) and this morning she suggested we find help or weíre done.

I have never had an affair and never attempted one. Any inklings of interest women have shown me over the years (which are few and far between) have been shut up by my lack of interest and faith in our marriage. I would never even consider it now with the lack of physical attention Iím feeling. I try to tell her once a day how good she looks or how much I like what sheís wearing. I try to give her a solid day/half-day on the weekends to have some time for herself (I spend my free time at night after sheís fallen asleep; 9pm typically) [for the record, when she does take me up on time out for herself she usually goes shopping for the kids or family, not herselfóits part of her anxiety and I wish she would do more for herself but I love her for it]. I try not to tell her how sexually charged I am at any given moment (and it really is any moment) so I can give her peace, but when I canít control how Iím feeling, she loses all sense of peace and I bear the guilt of putting our family on the brink of dissolution.

Thusly, I looked up a psychologist online in my area that deals with relationships and intimacy problems and booked an appointment this week. I will share this posting with them because I donít think I could explain my situation clearly face-to-face without setting the stage. In summary, hereís what I strive for: I need to figure out how to change my sloppy patterns for the sanity of my family, control my caveman-like urges and show my wife (without touching) I how much I love her so she understands how I really feel.

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post #2 of 45 (permalink) Old 11-15-2016, 07:28 AM
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Re: Just scheduled a clinical psychologist session for one

You sound VERY normal to me. I disagree that this is just your problem.

Your wife needs therapy.

If she refuses, and i assume she will, you have to decide if this is the life you want for the rest of your life. If not, you have choices to make.

What med is your wife talking for anxiety?
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post #3 of 45 (permalink) Old 11-15-2016, 07:52 AM
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Re: Just scheduled a clinical psychologist session for one

I'm not sure why you were attempting to soothe HER. How does she expect you to feel after being rejected by her? What does she say when you tell her that your needs aren't being met?

"Life always offers you a second chance. It's called tomorrow."
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post #4 of 45 (permalink) Old 11-15-2016, 09:16 AM
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Re: Just scheduled a clinical psychologist session for one

Your last sentence just screams pure nice guy. Anyway I suggest you take her up on her power play bluff to split.
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post #5 of 45 (permalink) Old 11-15-2016, 09:50 AM
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Re: Just scheduled a clinical psychologist session for one

You are in a "sexless marriage" and being rejected in pretty cruel fashion. Your needs do not register on her "to do list".

Simply put, you are a doormat.

Acceptance of that and a simple, "Based upon the fact that my needs don't seem to matter in this marriage, I'm starting to agree that separation is the way to go" might do wonders for you.

Then make it happen. It is time to quit giving without getting. Stop giving her massages. Move out of the bedroom. Start saying "no". Put her needs on your list of "things not to do". Focus on the kids and make the separation real.
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post #6 of 45 (permalink) Old 11-15-2016, 09:53 AM
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Re: Just scheduled a clinical psychologist session for one

OP, you realize her threat to separate and / or divorce is emotional blackmail, right?

"Our ability to feel joy is directly related to how much pain we are willing to feel." - Mavash.

"The truth is, everyone is going to hurt you. You just got to find the ones worth suffering for." - Bob Marley
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post #7 of 45 (permalink) Old 11-15-2016, 10:02 AM
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Re: Just scheduled a clinical psychologist session for one

"You will accept being treated this way or I will divorce you."

How do you feel about that 6sticks?
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post #8 of 45 (permalink) Old 11-15-2016, 10:09 AM
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Just scheduled a clinical psychologist session for one

Your only need for counseling is to understand why you put up with this.

That is not an insult

Please explore that in your first session. You seem to believe you are not worthy of happiness or reciprocal love.
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post #9 of 45 (permalink) Old 11-15-2016, 10:46 AM
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Cool Re: Just scheduled a clinical psychologist session for one

@6Sticks ~ you absolutely did the right thing!

Keep us posted on your sessions! IMHO, they can't do anything but help your sanity!

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post #10 of 45 (permalink) Old 11-15-2016, 12:41 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Just scheduled a clinical psychologist session for one

Thank you for all the replies and support! I have read your comments and I expected most of them as they fall in line with the rest of the threads. I feel seeing a specialist is the best thing for me to do right now because emotionally I'm losing my mind and I need to gain my self-respect back. I am 180'ing as best I can and it works for as long as I can keep it up, but I have broken from it every time in the past when things get really stressful.

In response to being treated like a doormat, I never really considered that and still not sure I do in retrospect. She is on medication to control her thyroid (as someone asked), which I understand after spending time on this site is quite common for women after children, and her levels have been reading normal for quite a while now. Her condition has improved but she still does not sleep well at night, either because of my snoring or I come to bed late or her body chemistry or all three. She works full time, is a devoted mother but the day-to-day routine physically exhausts her. When I do something that hurts her feelings (reminder: forgetting things she told me, not communicating feelings, leaving little messes after being reminded not to, etc.) I emotionally exhaust her. I wear my heart on my sleeve (obviously) but I've never really connected with my emotions - unless I write it all out to organize them.

The sad thing is that I do not believe her past threats to file for divorce are bluffs. I think she feels I don't care about her and she needs to move on with her life. I believe it terrifies her as well but she's always had a strong constitution and would act quickly if she felt I wasn't supporting the way a partner should. This comes back to having to deal with my issues of rejection, sympathizing with her anxiety and how to handle it all sanely without boiling over. Whether it is divorce or mutual understanding (or both) I fear my emotions will get the best of me when she's ready to talk.

I plan on sticking to that appointment tomorrow.

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post #11 of 45 (permalink) Old 11-15-2016, 03:33 PM
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Re: Just scheduled a clinical psychologist session for one

Her divorce threats...

If she DOES NOT mean it, she is bluffing at the expense of your emotions because she knows it gets to you

If she DOES mean it, she is is not at all invested in the marriage and is waiting for you to screw up sufficiently enough to send you on your way.

No matter which it is, calling her bluff is the single best thing you can do. However, don't call her bluff unless you are prepared for her to walk, because even if she is bluffing, she will continue to do so until the 11th hour.

Never...ever...ever play brinksmanship unless you are willing to go over the brink.

"Our ability to feel joy is directly related to how much pain we are willing to feel." - Mavash.

"The truth is, everyone is going to hurt you. You just got to find the ones worth suffering for." - Bob Marley
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post #12 of 45 (permalink) Old 11-15-2016, 03:43 PM
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Re: Just scheduled a clinical psychologist session for one

Whatever it is you think you're doing....it ain't the 180. Sorry. Just keep in the back of your mind: there are no foot rubs in the 180.
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post #13 of 45 (permalink) Old 11-15-2016, 04:09 PM
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Re: Just scheduled a clinical psychologist session for one

I see quite a few things that you could be handling differently. First, get treated for the ADD. I have it and it really does a number on you. Affects lots of things. And, as you can see, affects your ability to 'be there' for your wife.

Have you read His Needs Her Needs? I suggest you do asap; it will explain to you about how you each have needs and how they should be met, if you want to stay in love. And it will explain about Love Busters, things you do to each other to hurt one another.

You'll also need to read No More Mr Nice Guy to see how you're leeching into Nice Guy territory (being afraid to tell her your truth). We can help you stop those actions.

Rubbing her feet is fine - occasionally. Every other day? Hell, no. Not unless she is doing the same thing for YOU. It sounds like you married a princess and the only way to deal with a princess is to be a king. You know, the guy who makes the rules and isn't afraid to enforce them? Women ONLY respect strong men, and it sounds like you've drifted so far away from strong that she no longer sees you as a 'man' but rather a roommate. And never EVER ask her if she wants to have sex. Pick her up, carry her to the bed, and have your way with her. I'm serious.

And the only space you're 'allowed' to call your own is the garage? Time to turn your attitude around, dude. You're PAYING for that house she claimed as her own and you meekly went to the garage like a good puppy. Unless you are both ok with that arrangement, STOP ACCEPTING IT!

Are you spending 10 hours a week together DATING? Just talking about your day over a cup of coffer? Walking? Washing a car together? Going out to dinner? How can she stay in love with you if you're not dating her?

Her inability to O is probably related to all this stuff so, for the time being, stop obsessing about it. If you want sex, lock the door and do it. Try to give her some pleasure but if she's not into it, move on (for now). Make sure you're getting enough that you don't turn this into your Achilles heel. And THEN focus on making it better.
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post #14 of 45 (permalink) Old 11-15-2016, 06:01 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Just scheduled a clinical psychologist session for one

No, what I had been doing was not the 180 but only implemented it since hitting my lowest so going on about 36 hours now. I feel fragile but trying to stay strong.

Thank you for the book advice; I went ahead and sent for those through my library (all available too!) and I will read them ASAP (got an eAudioBook download for NMMNG).

We don't date much (maybe go out once a month; no close family, few available, trustworthy babysitters) and she complains about the lack of romance I show her. If romance is picking her up and carrying her to bed it's usually too late by the time there is any opportunity and I've been rejected no matter how manly or tough I get (the toughness always offends her). At night she's usually so exhausted from her day that after dinner she just wants to binge TV and fall asleep (I usually make sure the kids are washed, brushed, read-to and tucked in at night and she does the morning wake up kids, dress them, feed them, take them to school, pick them up every weekday). The only romance that ever stuck with me was writing and touching, but the inspiration to write is blocked and the touching is working against me.

I really sound pathetic; I realize this. Still trying to 180, I just need to remember to stay calm, assertive and positive when the disappointment discussion begins.
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post #15 of 45 (permalink) Old 11-15-2016, 08:34 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Just scheduled a clinical psychologist session for one

Ok, just failed at 180; so much for being on track for a full 48 hours.

Things were holding steady until dinner time and she came out from our room after I served dinner to the kids and asked if I made anything for us. I said no, to make something for herself and she started saying things like "good to know for next time" and other intentionally hurtful comments about how I don't care for her (she made dinner for me on Sunday night which was very nice but this was also the same night/day that I mentioned in my first post and my mind was occupied, not very hungry, and I didn't eat much of it). She used it as an example and I blew up from doing 180 into a 360. I make most dinners when we don't go out or order in. I tried to 180 back into it but I lost control. I kept calm but she didn't want to be around me. I acted pathetic again and I feel like crap. I don't know how to break out of my destructive patterns without it exploding in my face.
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