Thermostat Question for MEM11363 and All
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Old 02-24-2012, 08:05 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Thermostat Question for MEM11363 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.
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Old 02-24-2012, 08:23 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Do not define yourself, your happiness, or your emotional state by another person.
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Old 02-24-2012, 08:36 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Throwing a glass of water in your face would be considered abuse by some people. At some point, you are going to need to make it clear that that crosses a line and neither of you can do that sort of thing to one another.

She seems to want to be in control. The way she's been flashing you, massaging you, etc.. Do you think it's because she desires you or because she wants to check and see that she still has power over you?
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Old 02-24-2012, 08:44 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Do not define yourself, your happiness, or your emotional state by another person.
Deejo I actually think that’s an almost impossibility. Our emotions are triggered by other people, especially those we love, as to whether we want the emotion or not. In fact it’s been proven that at times we have emotions without even being consciously aware of them. Those emotions can take their time to reach our conscious awareness. Sometimes they ramp up like they are on autopilot until we do take note of them.


“No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main ……”. We are all linked by our emotions, by our ability to trigger emotions in others. Some more than others but nevertheless all linked.


I don’t think it right to deny or subjugate, subdue our emotions (to deny them) but instead to look to understand how they came about in the first place and learn from the experience. I think people who have been deeply hurt “close down” their emotions because they never want to get hurt again.
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Old 02-24-2012, 08:46 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Thermostat Question for MEM11363 and All

A couple of thoughts:

It is fine to respond to your wife approaching you. The key is that you are letting her take active participation in the marriage, including the sexual part. When she responds positively, you can do likewise. Give her some positive feedback without going back to overheating.

As for the glass of water, that would likely have been a huge issue for me. While there are circumstances where it could have been fun, having it thrown in my face after a bit of teasing, particularly in front of my son would not have gone over well. What was her tone and body language? Was she angry, or was this with a laugh and a glint in her eye? If angry, I would have stood up, told her coldly that such behavior was not acceptable and that she can never do that again, and then walked away. If with laughter, I would have grabbed her, put her over my knee and spanked her, then taken her to bed later for some hard sex. Either way, it was a fitness test that you need to learn to pass.
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Old 02-24-2012, 08:47 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I hadn't considered that she is checking that she still has power over me. It's happened before that when I back off, she comes to me and says things like "What's up...you've been do distant lately"....and flirts with me. I hope it's not that she's just testing her power....And she does seem to want to be in control, but after the water incident, she made a point of saying that she could "warm me up", and kind of downplayed it ("It wasn't THAT cold") to the point where I think that there was some embarrassment there...
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Old 02-24-2012, 08:52 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I think you are just getting to know who your wife really is and that you have a way to go as yet. To help you out read Awareness (Anthony de Mello). He will help you “detach” from her, to be not so dependent on her and get to see who she really is.
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Old 02-24-2012, 08:53 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Tall Average Guy View Post
A couple of thoughts:

It is fine to respond to your wife approaching you. The key is that you are letting her take active participation in the marriage, including the sexual part. When she responds positively, you can do likewise. Give her some positive feedback without going back to overheating.

As for the glass of water, that would likely have been a huge issue for me. While there are circumstances where it could have been fun, having it thrown in my face after a bit of teasing, particularly in front of my son would not have gone over well. What was her tone and body language? Was she angry, or was this with a laugh and a glint in her eye? If angry, I would have stood up, told her coldly that such behavior was not acceptable and that she can never do that again, and then walked away. If with laughter, I would have grabbed her, put her over my knee and spanked her, then taken her to bed later for some hard sex. Either way, it was a fitness test that you need to learn to pass.
SHe was telling a story to my son, humorous in nature, and describing a "strange" guy. As she did so, I smiled and pointed to her so my son could see me and made laughing gestures.. her back was to me and she was facing my son...couldn't see her face, but she threw the water over her shoulder and said "Oh, look, my cup is empty...must have a leak"...then joked about it. It was water cooler water, so it was cold, and I didn't react at all except that my breath was taken away. just said...."Oooooookkkkkkk....", she said she'd warm me up, and I said "That's ok...I got it". She would have taken me spanking her and taking her up for some hard sex as using it as an excuse to try to get sex when she's already told me she's not in a "sexual" mood lately, so that would have been a problem.

Last edited by TheJourneyBegins; 02-24-2012 at 09:01 AM.
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Old 02-24-2012, 08:56 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Next time you get the opportunity just throw a glass of water over her. And make a joke of it.
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Old 02-24-2012, 09:06 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Next time you get the opportunity just throw a glass of water over her. And make a joke of it.
I should. We do have a massive double standard issue, in that a lot of stuff she does she would NEVER tolerate (and hasn"t) from me. I think I will try this, but I do know that the outcome is very predictable.....she will be enraged, call me a child for "getting back at her", and lock herself in our bedroom for a while, or spend what time we would have had together with her kids....that is, AWAY from me. There would be no discussing it. Interesting approach.
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Old 02-24-2012, 09:33 AM   #11 (permalink)
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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”.
Sounds to me like you have a dominant woman who wants you to dominate her. Or at least at the moment she thinks she wants you to dominate her. It’s very different than having a submissive woman who wants to be dominated, wants the man to take the lead.


I think if you do try and dominate her then you are in for very big clashes. And they wont be “nice”.


But if you let her dominate you, unless you like that sort of thing I think your marriage is going to be very uncomfortable for you.
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Old 02-24-2012, 09:39 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Sounds to me like you have a dominant woman who wants you to dominate her. Or at least at the moment she thinks she wants you to dominate her. It’s very different than having a submissive woman who wants to be dominated, wants the man to take the lead.


I think if you do try and dominate her then you are in for very big clashes. And they wont be “nice”.


But if you let her dominate you, unless you like that sort of thing I think your marriage is going to be very uncomfortable for you.
SHe's been dominant in sex, and it turns us both on. However, that's not everyday life.

As far as Absolute zero, Very Cold, Cold, or cool...where do you all suggest I start? I think I started at VERY COLD, ALMOST absolute zero. But I WOULD like to respond when she initiates........
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Old 02-24-2012, 09:46 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I disagree on retaliating with water. One line: throwing water at me is unacceptable, understand? Said firmly, but calmly, like an adult, then walk away.

On the other stuff, you can respond to your wife, you are physically anyway. Just don't get sappy and keep in mind she is chasing you.
After thinking it over for a bit, my feeling about the water thing is that I won't do it. I don't accept it being done to me, and I won't do to others what I will not accept.

In your opinion, is her behavior indicative of her chasing me? Perhaps because she feels the pullback and doesn't like it?

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Old 02-24-2012, 10:07 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Should have rephrased. What I usually say is:

"Don't make someone else responsible for your happiness.

It's yours You own it. Others contribute to it or diminish it.

If you are being a good partner, and if you have a good partner, you should generally be working towards the contribution aspect with the occasional setback.

But ... if the dynamic you have established sets the tone of what one partner thinks and does is more important, or has more value than what the other partner thinks and does, then you are already on the downward spiral.
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Old 02-24-2012, 10:24 AM   #15 (permalink)
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A couple of thoughts:

It is fine to respond to your wife approaching you. The key is that you are letting her take active participation in the marriage, including the sexual part. When she responds positively, you can do likewise. Give her some positive feedback without going back to overheating.
Does responding to her advances not run the risk of confirming for her that she has power over me in that I'll respond to her, but she doesn't have to respond to me? I certainly don't want to convey the impression that I'm a puppet on a string, but then, if I DON'T respond, she may quit trying.......
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