The immovable object. - Page 10 - Talk About Marriage
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post #136 of 527 (permalink) Old 09-15-2015, 10:17 AM
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Re: The immovable object.

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Originally Posted by Holdingontoit View Post

What am I afraid of? That as soon as I go back to allowing myself to desire her, to allow myself to love her fully and without reservation, without holding part of myself back, then she will go back to rejecting me. We stopped having sex literally the day I said "I do". So she is capable of turning love / affection / sex off like a switch. Yes, I fear she might do it again. I am NEVER going to allow her finger to be on that switch again. I keep the switch turned off so she can't do it to me. Hurts. But at least I have some semblance of control over the outcome.

I am not going back to being under her thumb. Even if it means we will never have the sex life that I want or the emotional closeness I want. I don't expect to ever have that anyway, as I am not willing to pay the price to get there. For our relationship, I am managing the downside only. I have given up any hope of ever having an upside. For my life, I am aiming for upside that involves control and autonomy, and not sharing and fulfillment. Exactly the same as the way she managed our sex life during the years when we had one. Turnabout is fair play.
I find your story compelling, but I'm not sure what it is, and wish I could put my finger on it. It is kind of amazing how much damage we will do to ourselves in the name of protection.

I do this too: beat myself up so that no one else can get to me first. And I am *ever* so much better at it than they are. I expect you are too.
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post #137 of 527 (permalink) Old 09-15-2015, 01:08 PM Thread Starter
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Re: The immovable object.

AA: Exactly. I am better at it than anyone else. Although H2 made quite the run at it.

As for continuing to do damage, depends on how wide you set the camera angle. Wide view: if you need to turn off your sex life to tolerate your marriage, then you should divorce. If you are willing to divorce, then it makes no sense to turn off your sex life. Narrower view: I have decided to never divorce. Within the context of staying married to someone who does not desire me, turning off our sex life entirely hurts less than keeping it turned on, initiating whenever I am in the mood, and getting rejected the overwhelming majority of the time. So the damage from turning myself off (and I acknowledge there is damage) seems to be less than the damage from subjecting myself to frequent rejection. Yes, divorcing and removing myself from the source of rejection might hurt less as to the sexual issue, but then there are financial costs, impact on kids, etc. So the choice is not between keeping the switch on or turning the switch off. The choice is between turning the switch off or divorce, which entails permanent alimony, giving away half of retirement funds, blowing up kids' world, jeopardizing college financing, etc. Not an easy choice, but not nearly so clearcut as to which is the wrong choice.

The "wrong" choice was staying married 23 years ago when we basically did not have sex on our honeymoon. Or 15 years ago when it became clear a couple of years of MC had no impact on (much less resolve) our mismatch. But when you shift forward to today and we are still together the choice is not as one-sided.

When you can see it coming, duck!
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post #138 of 527 (permalink) Old 09-15-2015, 01:24 PM Thread Starter
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Re: The immovable object.

Also, let me explain more on the "non-damaging" part of turning the switch off.

Back when we were doing MC and fighting about sex, many of the MCs told us to have date nights. Eventually I found date nights painful. No matter how much fun we had, no matter how bright and sparkling the conversation, they never ended in sex. Often, they ended with "I had a great time tonight, but I hope you understand that there is not going to be any sex when we get home." Or as soon as we open the door at home "I am tired."

I like spending time with H2. We enjoy the same foods, music, etc. That is part of what brought us together. I do not want to give up dinner together or concerts just because we are not having sex. When we fought over sex, that tension tainted time spent together. Now that we don't have sex at all, I find it easier to relax and enjoy the time we spend together.

So it isn't entirely punishing myself. It isn't all doing damage. Some of it is freeing myself to enjoy myself more. Some of it enables me to feel less pain than I used to feel. Some if it IS protecting me.

When you can see it coming, duck!
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post #139 of 527 (permalink) Old 09-15-2015, 01:36 PM
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Re: The immovable object.

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Originally Posted by Holdingontoit View Post
Also, let me explain more on the "non-damaging" part of turning the switch off.

Back when we were doing MC and fighting about sex, many of the MCs told us to have date nights. Eventually I found date nights painful. No matter how much fun we had, no matter how bright and sparkling the conversation, they never ended in sex. Often, they ended with "I had a great time tonight, but I hope you understand that there is not going to be any sex when we get home." Or as soon as we open the door at home "I am tired."

I like spending time with H2. We enjoy the same foods, music, etc. That is part of what brought us together. I do not want to give up dinner together or concerts just because we are not having sex. When we fought over sex, that tension tainted time spent together. Now that we don't have sex at all, I find it easier to relax and enjoy the time we spend together.

So it isn't entirely punishing myself. It isn't all doing damage. Some of it is freeing myself to enjoy myself more. Some of it enables me to feel less pain than I used to feel. Some if it IS protecting me.
If your wife woke up tomorrow in great health with no returning cancer, would she be a different person or not? (regarding sex with you)
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post #140 of 527 (permalink) Old 09-15-2015, 02:56 PM
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Re: The immovable object.

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If your wife woke up tomorrow in great health with no returning cancer, would she be a different person or not? (regarding sex with you)
Great question!
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post #141 of 527 (permalink) Old 09-15-2015, 04:04 PM Thread Starter
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Re: The immovable object.

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If your wife woke up tomorrow in great health with no returning cancer, would she be a different person or not? (regarding sex with you)
I hope and pray that we reach that day to discover the answer. Her being in great health would be a true blessing.

I do not believe that she will be different regarding sex with me. Then again, I would not allow myself to believe that. Even if she were, I doubt she would be forceful enough to prove to me she is sincere. If the only change is that she would reject me less often when I initiate, then we will never find out.

Hey, I know I am being difficult. I am trying to change the past, not the future. I understand that is impossible. I am not trying to create a great sex life in the future. That requires hard work on my part. Overcoming poor physical shape, ED, PE, exercising, taking meds, etc. Much more work than a more active sex life would have required in the past. Plus I would have to open myself up to her emotionally. Risk rejection. make myself vulnerable. I do not trust her enough to do that.

Since I am not willing to invest that time and energy becoming physically capable of having a satisfying sex life, and I am not willing to take the risk of opening up to her, I am investing my time and energy in creating a marriage I can tolerate that does not involve having sex with my wife. I find it demands far less time and energy on my part to obtain the secondary "payoff" from being in control and of having her chase me instead of me chasing her. She never let me catch her when I was pursuing her for sex. I will never let her catch me when she is pursuing me for an emotional connection.

Others would aim higher and endure downside risk to get there. I am aiming lower and minimizing my downside risk. Some would say "it will eventually catch up with you and you will explode". After 10 years of living this way, I can say that FOR ME it gets easier rather than more difficult. My marriage feels more rewarding for me than it did back when we had sporadic sex. Much better than when we were in MC and actively fighting over sex.

As I said earlier, I am not suggesting this path to others. But if someone else were foolish enough to find themselves many years into sexlessness and still unwilling to pull the plug and get divorced, then I would suggest they try this to see if it feels better. Because it might.

When you can see it coming, duck!
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post #142 of 527 (permalink) Old 09-16-2015, 08:42 AM
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Re: The immovable object.

holdingontoit,
I have to tell you that in some strange way, I admire you.
If I go longer than a week without sex I want to put a bullet in my head and here you are taking care of your sick wife and saying what a true "blessing" it would be if she were to get better.

Some would argue that you are weak and afraid because you have not divorced.
However, for someone to go through what you have gone through and come to complete acceptance of said situation with your eyes wide open takes COURAGE. I don't care what anyone says. I think you are very much stronger than you think. I, for one, would not last a week in your situation.

From one man to another, I salute you.
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post #143 of 527 (permalink) Old 09-16-2015, 11:39 AM
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Re: The immovable object.

Hahaha!!!

Ok. Cautionary tale.
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post #144 of 527 (permalink) Old 09-18-2015, 02:43 PM
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Re: The immovable object.

H-- You may find this lame or insightful, depending on your perspective. I enjoyed thinking about it. I wonder if this might describe the path your marriage has taken or, alternately, the path it might still take.

*********


Tanzan and Ekido were once traveling together down a muddy road. A heavy rain was still falling.

Coming around a bend, they met a lovely girl in a silk kimono and sash, unable to cross the intersection.

"Come on, girl" said Tanzan at once. Lifting her in his arms, he carried her over the mud.

Ekido did not speak again until that night when they reached a lodging temple. Then he no longer could restrain himself. "We monks don't go near females," he told Tanzan, "especially not young and lovely ones. It is dangerous. Why did you do that?"

"I left the girl there," said Tanzan. "Are you still carrying her?"
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post #145 of 527 (permalink) Old 09-20-2015, 12:46 PM Thread Starter
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Re: The immovable object.

I am still carrying. See my username.

When you can see it coming, duck!
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post #146 of 527 (permalink) Old 09-20-2015, 02:59 PM
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Re: The immovable object.

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I am still carrying. See my username.
So stop it.
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post #147 of 527 (permalink) Old 09-20-2015, 04:47 PM Thread Starter
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Re: The immovable object.

No thanks. Reached equilibrium. Not where I wanted to end up, but I am not willing to destabilize in the hope of reaching a better place.

When you can see it coming, duck!
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post #148 of 527 (permalink) Old 09-20-2015, 05:31 PM
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Re: The immovable object.

You can be there physically and not carry her in your mind.

You've reached an equilibrium where you've ceded your happiness to her.

Can you physically carry her across the stream and let her go in the temple of your mind like the dude above?
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post #149 of 527 (permalink) Old 09-20-2015, 08:20 PM Thread Starter
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Re: The immovable object.

No.

When you can see it coming, duck!
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post #150 of 527 (permalink) Old 09-20-2015, 08:47 PM
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Re: The immovable object.

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No.
Have you tried?
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