The immovable object. - Talk About Marriage
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post #1 of 563 (permalink) Old 06-08-2015, 10:18 AM Thread Starter
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The immovable object.

Several posters have called me out in John117's thread. To avoid threadjacking, I am creating this thread and will refrain from commenting on my situation on John's thread.

For the record, I am not looking to resolve my personal or marital problems. I have invested almost 20,000 posts on various marriage forums over the past 13+ years. I have tried everything I am interested in trying. At this point have given up hope of making major changes and am pursuing a different path and a different payoff.

This thread is intended to provide the backstory to those of you who do not know me form other forums so you will understand my background and perspective when I post on other threads.

Married 23 years next month. 2 kids - S20 and D18. Classic victim of bait and switch. Sex stopped literally the day we got married. No sex wedding night. Sex at first honeymoon hotel after which H2 announces "now it is consummated and you cannot get it annulled". No further sex during honeymoon (got turned down every night "too tired" etc) except last night when I had to beg. Should have filed for annulment upon airplane touching down back in USA. But I was foolish and believed in vows, better or worse, marriage involves work, etc. Stupid me.

Five years later we have 2 kids and go away for week's vacation. As with honeymoon, sex only 1 time and numerous turndowns. Including the night of our anniversary, after taking her to dinner in the same restaurant where I proposed, watching fireworks, then staying in fancy hotel. Upon return home, I insist on MC to address sexless marriage.

We spent 8 years in MC with various MCs and sex therapists. Not once did H2 do any of the "homework" assignments. Not once did H2 live up to agreements we made. Went on vacation several times during this period. No sex. One of the MCs even said to her "your H works hard to support you as a SAHM, I know you work hard caring for the kids but next week you are going to be away from home at a hotel alone with your H with no responsibilities, don't you think that maybe you could have some sex with him on vacation?" You guessed it, no sex on vacation either.

2 years into MC H2 admitted she had been raped multiple times. She maintains that the rapes have no impact on her sexuality and gets violently angry if I suggest perhaps they do. Shortly after disclosing the rapes, H2 spent all our savings and ran up huge credit card debt. That was a decade ago and we are still not recovered from the financial devastation.

Ten years ago our last MC "fired" us saying "if you are not going to make any changes, then you are wasting your time and mine talking to me. I can't keep stealing your money."

D18 leaves for college in the fall. Many would say now is the time to divorce. I have no interest in doing so.

I was unhappy as a single person before marriage. Not very successful with females. Hence my susceptibility to H2's allure. And my skepticism as to whether a happy life would await me after divorce. I was unhappy when I was young and had much potential workwise (professionally, I have not lived up to my academic accomplishments) and could offer the prospect of raising children together. I cannot envision being anything but unhappy now that I am older and relatively unsuccessful and no longer have "I will be a great dad to your kids" as a selling point. I never had friends. I never did much but come home to my apartment and watch tv / play computer games. No point in divorcing for that, I can do that while married to H2.

The bottom line is that I am clinically depressed if not a full blown personality disorder. The work needed to overcome that is more than I am willing to invest. Then there is the impotence, much of which is caused by my lack of exercise and my unhealthy diet. I have been in therapy and took A-D meds on and off since age 17. Never made any difference in my mood or outlook. I did exercise for a time. Ran a half marathon. Dismal results and hated every minute of training. I did a course of P90X. Got in good shape. Did not feel any better and made no difference to H2.

To get to "happiness" I would need to invest time and money (which, with 2 kids in college, I have none of) to work on myself physically and mentally. Major therapy. Maybe ECT. Change diet. Exercise more. All in the hope that it might make a difference and that I could become someone I have never been. Non-depressed.

I have been depressed as long as I can remember. Back to nursery school. The concept that if I worked hard enough and invested enough effort I could overcome the depression seems impossible to me.

What I know is that divorce blows up my world. Kids take a hit. I take a huge financial hit (in my state 20+ year marriages lead to permanent alimony). I can't afford to retire ever as it is. How will I make ends meet on half of "not enough"? You are going to try to convince me I will meet some wonderful woman who is financially comfortable and wants to take me on as a reclamation project? Really? So what is "for sure" is that there are huge practical and financial and emotional downsides. All in the hope of a better future? It doesn't even come close to balancing.

Of course, it would balance if you assigned a large negative value to living unhappy and depressed. I do not. This is how I have lived my whole life. I don't know anything else. So to me, this is not negative. This is baseline. This is how life is.

You might feel compelled to entice me with fantasy stories about how I can learn to be happy. H2 enticed me with those same stories. Look how that turned out. I am not gong to be fooled twice.

Last edited by Holdingontoit; 08-15-2016 at 01:33 PM.
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post #2 of 563 (permalink) Old 06-08-2015, 10:36 AM
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Re: The immovable object.

Your post reminds me of another member who no longer posts here (CopperTop). He was as stuck as you are, sorry it sounds like a miserable way to live.
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post #3 of 563 (permalink) Old 06-08-2015, 10:38 AM
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Re: The immovable object.

I bet you think you're being a realist as you list your failures and dismal outlook on life and your potential happiness.

Do you really believe that the past 20 years have been nothing but failure?
You've been able to keep a roof over your family's head.
Food on the table.
Family vacations.
Paid for cars and their upkeep.
Clothing on everyone's back.
Both kids in college, not drinking, not drugging and not procreating. Probably safe to assume their not breaking laws...
Your kids are well adjusted, have friends, have significant relationships, demonstrate care and concern for others.

You had nothing to do with any of those accomplishments and successes?

Depression is both a mood and a method of thinking. If you can force yourself to think more positively, you elevate your mood, which makes thinking more positively a bit easier, which elevates your mood a bit more, which makes thinking positively even easier, which further elevates your mood.

So go back and look at that list again...what can you add to it that Internet strangers might not be aware of?

It doesn't matter whether you stay with your wife or not. Once you tackle your depression, anything is possible.

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post #4 of 563 (permalink) Old 06-08-2015, 12:23 PM Thread Starter
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Re: The immovable object.

Anon: Do I know you from somewhere else?

I have done therapy and taken A-D meds many times over the decades. Starting when I was 17 and on and off every decade or so. No treatment ever made any difference (except some of the A-D meds caused weight gain and rendered me anorgasmic). Every time they announce a new A-D med I think about going back, but I am skeptical anything would work. Which I know is partly the depression talking but partly the result of decades of trying and failing. I really think if anything might work it is ECT but the risk of memory problems rules that out for me. I have a wife and 2 kids to support, not enough money saved to retire and I cannot risk a treatment that could render me unable to work at my current position. I would be willing to try ECT after I retire. Oh wait, I forgot, at the pace we are on I will never be able to afford to retire.

Long winded way of saying I have no intention of "tackling" my depression. I don't believe anything worth trying is going to work, and I don't enjoy the side effects.

By the time we are done paying for D18's college I will be too old to consider blowing things up and starting over.

H2 is becoming a better partner lately. On the physical side, she frequently reaches for my hand at night or when we are out walking. She occasionally initiates snuggle sessions. She is even willing to consent to sex from time to time. Now I am the one who "refuses" by refraining from initiating even when she sends signals she would be willing to consent. On the financial side, she is becoming more aware. Years ago she justified her overspending by telling herself "H is super smart and will eventually earn enough to pay this off". Now she sees that I am never going to earn that much and we need to cut down on spending. She saw it impact where the kids go to college and she hates that (I warned her 14 years ago that might be the case but she did not believe me). She sees that there will be no retirement for me and no travel for her if we do not cut down our spending. So while she is by no means frugal she is finally recognizing that there is no money tree in the back yard and my earning power is limited and she needs to tighten her belt. She is even looking for a full time job so she can generate more spending money for herself now that I have to deflect her "allowance" toward paying for college.

Things are slowly improving. Well, as long as you count not fighting over sex because I have yielded the field to her as "improvement" (I get so ashamed of my impotence that I refuse to have sex). But there is more affection. She is getting better on the financial side. And lately she smiles when I compliment her, instead of frowning and accusing me of just trying to get into her pants. So the day to day is better than back when we were fighting over sex and locking horns over her constant overspending.

You might want me to press for even more. I am simply unwilling to do so.
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post #5 of 563 (permalink) Old 06-08-2015, 12:54 PM
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Re: The immovable object.

H--

if you don't want to do anything to change your situation, can you just accept it?

I'm not trying to insult you, but there is a disconnect between all of the reasons you list for why no change makes sense and yet you have an obvious seething resentment for your situation.

No doubt this has been pointed out to you before, but I wonder how you have resolved that in your own mind.
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post #6 of 563 (permalink) Old 06-08-2015, 01:19 PM Thread Starter
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Re: The immovable object.

Can I accept it? No.

I don't see any disconnect. All my choices are sub-optimal given my treatment resistant depression. The fact that I chose one doesn't mean I am pleased with it. I am a seething ball of resentment because I hate that I am too lazy and negative to even try to create new alternatives. To some, that would suggest that I should do the work and try to create additional options. To me, it just reinforces my determination to punish myself for being weak.

What did you expect? Don't you think most suicide bombers are seething balls of resentment when they strap on the explosive vest?

Some people when facing the Kobayashi Maru scenario find acceptance. Some go down fighting. Some try to cheat death and reprogram the simulator. And some of us overload the engines and blow ourselves up, hoping to take down the enemy with us. Kahn triggered the Genesis device. Not all of us are cut out to be heroes.
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post #7 of 563 (permalink) Old 06-08-2015, 04:16 PM
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Re: The immovable object.

OK, you don't want to change your situation. I got that.

How about learning how to let all of the things you hate pass through you? Wouldn't that be nice instead of collecting them inside, ruminating on them and stoking that flame?

I know it sounds dumb, but I am totally serious.

Ask yourself, it is the thing itself the problem or simply your reaction to it? Some people can learn to be OK even in prison, with cancer, etc. How do they manage to let that stuff go? Wouldn't you like to learn that trick? Even if it is just a trick, does it really matter if it helps? What is more real, your pain or the world outside your pain? Do you hide in a world of pain because it is what you know so well?

I do not say any of this to diminish you.

I don't flatter myself to think that there isn't some therapist out there who hasn't already said this to you. But maybe you never really heard them. It is hard to listen to someone explain yourself to you. If you're like me, you resist that.

Edit: There is a disconnect because you say you don't want to change, but your emtional state suggests you desperately want to change. It is tearing you up inside, yet you do nothing. This is not an internally consistent position.
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post #8 of 563 (permalink) Old 06-08-2015, 04:59 PM
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Re: The immovable object.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Holdingontoit View Post

You might feel compelled to entice me with fantasy stories about how I can learn to be happy. H2 enticed me with those same stories. Look how that turned out. I am not gong to be fooled twice.

You might not learn to be happy, but you can certainly be less unhappy if you take relatively minor steps to do so.

For example - I promise you there is somebody out there who is a better match for you. More often than not, this person appears without one looking for them. Will they make you ecstatic? Maybe not. Less unhappy? Absolutely.

There is another woman your age out there, who likes pc gaming, Star Trek, and hates working out, and anything else that you happen to be. I promise you. She also likes sex.

Now, your state of mind, as you suggest, may have little or nothing to do with your wife, but you are here, aren't you? If you had truly given up and accepted your lot in life, you wouldn't be here venting. You wouldn't have spent 13+ years on message boards looking for answers. So you're not as accepting as you think you are.

Let me tell you a little secret - divorce and alimony is not the end of the world. Everybody dies at some point, and you can't take it with you, so why not live the best life you can live? You don't have to reach your full potential, or cure cancer, or invent a better doo-dad or anything like that. You just have to be happy. And in order to take the first steps towards being happy, you need to remove the negative from your life. Getting rid of the bad wife baggage may only be the first step, but that's just it, it's a first step.
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post #9 of 563 (permalink) Old 06-08-2015, 05:19 PM
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Re: The immovable object.

You have listed so many reasons why you can't and wont change yourself or your situation. Why do you expect your wife to?
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post #10 of 563 (permalink) Old 06-08-2015, 05:52 PM
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The immovable object.

It seems like you've accepted your lot in life. The only thing I suggest is having frank discussions with your kids about mate selection so they don't end up with a marriage like yours.
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post #11 of 563 (permalink) Old 06-08-2015, 09:12 PM
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Re: The immovable object.

H, get a hobby.

Start going fishing, or shooting, or learn to play the guitar or accordion or paint with water colors. Heck, even jerking off to porn would probably be better for you at this point than sitting alone and being miserable.
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post #12 of 563 (permalink) Old 06-08-2015, 10:01 PM
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Re: The immovable object.

Encourage your wife to get full-time employment and to share in the expenses of college. Gradually decrease her allowance for unnecessary spending. No vacations, w/e's away or fancy dinners. Have alone time at home. A picnic in the backyard or a park. Go to a free outdoor concert with some sandwiches and cheap wine. Go to Mickie Ds or Royal Minced Meat (Burger King)for a special treat. You figure out the rest. If you need to cut up credit cards then do it. Right now you are the nice heavily burdened mule of the family. Time for the mule to kick some azz. Get noticed, get some appreciation. You might get your testosterone levels up and who knows...

Are your children taking out some loans to decrease the burden on you? They should take out loans. There is no reason that they should not invest in their own education. You should be investing that money to your retirement. Will they support Mom and Dad when they complete their education? Have they tried to get grants or scholarships? Do they work or intend to work? If not get them on it. No extras for them either. If they want something, they need to work for it.

You have taken on too much in your family. Why this is so is up to you to discover. Ok, don't go to therapy or take meds definitely no money on MC. There are milder treatments for depression these days. It's should be trial and error to find the right combination. Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation: An Alternative Depression Treatment. Read about the new treatment on the Mayo Clinic site. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-c...n/art-20044324

There is a lot that you can do personally to improve your life that has nothing to do with intimacy with your wife. You have expended all of your energy in that direction. Simply asking others to pick up the slack would make a tremendous change in the direction of your life. Do less and they will pick up where you left off. The question is - will you do it?

My magic wand would remove shame from sexuality for all! Anon Pink

Last edited by Catherine602; 06-08-2015 at 10:27 PM.
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post #13 of 563 (permalink) Old 06-08-2015, 10:37 PM
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The immovable object.

Marital Cold War (super 180) until your younger is out of college then divorce regardless of cost... Meanwhile reign in spending, no quality time, etc. Let her marry the TV.
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post #14 of 563 (permalink) Old 06-09-2015, 06:50 AM
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Re: The immovable object.

Do you do any type of physical activity?

I'm sure you know that regular exercise can be more effective than antidepressants for some people.

If you do nothing, can you start just taking a 20 minute walk every day? Try that for a month straight and see how it affects your outlook.

While walking, focus just on the act of walking. Let that be your time when you clear your head.

For me, exercise is the easiest way to focus on the thing in front of me. You may never take a break mentally from your problems-- this is a good way to clear your head.
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post #15 of 563 (permalink) Old 06-09-2015, 08:04 AM
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Re: The immovable object.

now I'm depressed!
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