Thermostat Question for MEM2020 and All
Hi all. I’m new to the Forums, and I’m sorry this is so long. Hope you can help!
At the beginning of our relationship, passionate frequent sex and fun were the norm. Over the past year my new wife and I have been dancing to a peculiar tune. She and I both have low to mid teen kids, total of 5 from our previous marriage. The issues:
For whatever reason, be it her independence since her last divorce, or a fear of being controlled, SHE has turned out to be very much the Director, with me being one of the many “Extras” in the house. If I use the wrong term in a sentence, or I say something via a colloquialism that she hasn’t been familiar with, I am immediately rebuked in a sharp and snarky tone, whether we are in front of the kids or not. Should an argument ensue over anything, I have about 6 seconds to make her understand my point before her hand is up, and she says, in no uncertain terms, that she’s “Done”. It is very difficult to talk to her without eliciting some criticism of either the way I said it, or even the subject. Her tone and her demeanor in dealing with my “behavior” is exactly the same as it is when dealing with her kids when they misbehave.
I am the “Hot” partner in the relationship. These are the points that completely describe me:
“1. Are almost always saying ILY or IAILWY first
2. Typically initiate calls/texts/emails when apart/one or both are at work
3. Make “peace” after a fight even when your partner clearly wronged you
4. Walk around visibly angry/VERY angry after a fight (this comes across as “I am furious that you – the person I LOVE SO MUCH – is doing x,y,z to ME
5. Anxiously keep trying to make up when you were in the wrong because you cannot bear having them angry with you (THIS ONE IS HUGE FOR ME)
6. Are mostly/always initiating physical contact (hugs, kisses, touches, groping) (HUGE)
7. When anxious you initiate “talks” about the R, typically to “fix” them/their behavior
8. Do WAY MORE than your fair share of housework
9. Put their needs ahead of yours whenever there is a priority conflict
10. Are constantly seeking their approval
11. Show anxiety or fear when they are angry/frustrated with you
12. Initiate sex when their body language radiates a “lack” of interest/desire, pout/sulk get angry when they tactfully decline sex
She has told me things like “If you want to be the man of the house, OWN IT, don’t grovel, don’t try to please me or apologize over and over. That’s SOOO annoying”.
We don’t get to spend much time together alone. I have my kids one week on, one week off, and she has hers virtually 24/7. 5 days/week I get home at 5 pm, clean kitchen, start dinner, she gets home at 6, immediately goes to her kids room to start helping him with his homework (learning issues), comes up when I tell her that dinner is ready, gets food for her and kids, goes back down to room/living area until homework is done. Then, she’ll generally hang out with her kids until their bedtime, which is also HER bedtime. She then goes to bed, I follow, and we talk for about 10 minutes until she’s asleep. Sex happens only when the stars align, and when she wants it (like when I’m late taking the kids to school, she touches me sexually and then suddenly has to have it then….how can I say no?)
I found this site in a fortuitous, desperate search for answers as to why my bride suddenly said to me “I’m not going to respond to sexual comments when you talk to me as it just ramps you up, and these days I’m not feeling sexual at all” (we’ve made and missed several “appointments” for sex…... ). Read the Man up and Nice Guy reference links, and the Thermostat references in great detail.
I am absolutely sure this is a hot/cold problem , and feel that I ‘m not respected…..last night I teased her good naturedly when she was telling a story , and she “got me back” by pitching the COLD water in her glass into my face (in front of my 18 year old who thought it was hilarious). Looking back on it, it would have been funny, but it was also a sign of disrespect, I think. If I had EVER done that to her, I’d never live it down.
Coincidentally, I had developed the idea of backing off of the ILY, You’re so Gorgeous, You’re so Beautiful, constant touching, groping, kissing, hugging gravy train all on my own, based on the fact that if I’d done it before, she seemed to come to ME. I’ve done this for 1 or 2 days since the “just ramps you up” remark, and in the intervening time she has: approached me and kissed me passionately, flashed me, stood in front of me nude while getting ready in the morning and called my attention to it repeatedly, bitten my neck and touched me sexually prior to starting homework, started a sexually oriented massage on me (before falling asleep during said massage). On all of these occasions I responded in a lukewarm manner if at all. My physical sexual response was obvious, but I didn’t move a muscle to reciprocate. I have been saying “You too” when she says ILY, and NOT initiating any contact or saying ILY. I have replied briefly to her texts. Last night when I came to bed, she moved against me, pulled up her and my shirts to touch her chest to my back, and touched me sexually. I responded as though I were asleep.
The question, after this long winded comment: Am I doing all of these things in an advisable manner? I am truly in love with her, but I can’t keep being the only one who desires sex and intimacy. What else should I be doing? Should I go straight to Absolute zero, or stick with my VERY COLD to COLD responses? My worry is that she has always said that the longer she goes without sex, the less she wants it, and when it has been a long time she has to have sex once to get back to wanting it again, the first one being just a primer and not very enjoyable. Is it likely in your experience that cooling off may just precipitate THIS pattern?
Any help would be appreciated, as I ManUp and try to take back the relationship and the wife I want and love.