Thoughts on this - Page 128 - Talk About Marriage
Sex in Marriage Sexual problems are common in many relationships. This section is for discussions about sexuality. Please limit discussions to those asking for help with a problem and those offering advice. Any other threads may be deleted.

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post #1906 of 1926 (permalink) Old 05-11-2017, 06:43 PM
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Re: Thoughts on this

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Oh, okay. The way you said it upthread, it sounded a whole lot more definitive than all of that.

Still, it strikes me as instructive. There really aren't all that many people who would read about asexuality and immediately think that it sounded exactly like them.

And her lack of interest in researching the issue rather drives that point home, don't you think?
Also, in looking at the list of questions for "are you an asexual", Alex's wife has several items on that list, which I know based on many of Alex's threads and things she has said. For more reference, check out Alex's FML thread.

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post #1907 of 1926 (permalink) Old 05-11-2017, 09:15 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Thoughts on this

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I'm pretty sure she shut down anything remotely sexual except for the window, and that they are basically like roommates aside from the allotted time. Maybe he will reply and let us know if I'm recalling that accurately, apologies if I'm not.

I don't know what will help. Aside from having a heart to heart with her that living like this forever isn't meeting his needs... and hoping she cares about that statement.
I wouldn't say we're roommates. And I wouldn't say she shut it down, either. It just doesn't happen? She's just not good at it? I just don't rev her engine?

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post #1908 of 1926 (permalink) Old 05-11-2017, 09:36 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Thoughts on this

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@inmyprime

I guess I don't quite understand your emphasis on verification. If a friend of yours tells you he is gay, or that she is attracted to men, you would just believe them, no? When you tell me that you didn't feel attraction for that particular gf, I believed you, and really don't need you to prove your absence of attraction. I accept that you are quite capable of determining and reporting whether you are attracted to someone or not. I don't need to verify it.

Now, true, some people lack do self-awareness and/or hide from their true selves. So you do hear stories of, for example, people who are homosexual, but lie to themselves and the world about it because they don't want to be that way, or at least don't want to admit it. So maybe there are times when the self-report simply isn't true. But mostly, we assume that people actually just know who they are attracted to and who they are not.

And typically, those who do hide the truth are those who are outside the norm because they fear being judged, excluded, or put down. If someone is openly admitting to falling outside the typical, it seems to me to be all the more likely that there is truth to it.

How does this help alexm? Well it gives him a baseline from which to explore further. It also might help him to understand why she is the way she is about sex.
I agree with this, and also with what @anonmd said - to a point.

What's going on with my marriage isn't all that uncommon. My over-analyzation of it, is

I generally do think that many women (and a smaller percentage of men) have sex because you're 'supposed to', 'it's what you do', 'it's part of finding a mate' etc. I don't think it's often done maliciously or even consciously. It just is.

Frankly, sex is simply not that important to a certain amount of people - an amount that I think is probably higher than we've all realized.

Look, my wife likes sex, and she likes sex with me, specifically. Outside of the 'schedule', we will have sex when there's nothing else to do, for example. That's not sexy, but it does show that her schedule is not purely about SEX.

It's really just that sex is nowhere near the top of any priority list whatsoever. It's OKAY to be like that, generally speaking, but it's not okay for my side of the marriage.

And the reason for my issue is that I tend to prioritize her needs, feelings, desires, wishes, etc. - which is what, I think, a good partner should do. I don't prioritize them above my own at all times, I pick and choose, but nonetheless - an effort is made on my behalf to give her what she wants out of the marriage and the partnership, sometimes at a cost to myself. This is what marriage is supposed to be, IMO.

So asexuality - I don't see it. Severe lack of prioritization for my needs in this area - yes, absolutely.

While asexuality is a fascinating topic, can we please leave it out of this discussion? It's unfortunately become a catch-all diagnosis for people who are LD in ways that we can't quite categorize. Much like autism has become the go-to diagnosis for people who may have different social habits than others.

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post #1909 of 1926 (permalink) Old 05-11-2017, 09:37 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Thoughts on this

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Also, in looking at the list of questions for "are you an asexual", Alex's wife has several items on that list, which I know based on many of Alex's threads and things she has said. For more reference, check out Alex's FML thread.
I have several items on that list, too, and I am most definitely not asexual

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post #1910 of 1926 (permalink) Old 05-11-2017, 09:49 PM
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Re: Thoughts on this

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I have several items on that list, too, and I am most definitely not asexual
Really? I'm really confused by that.

I know this doesn't mean anything, but here are my answers to the questions....

Are you generally disinterested in sex?

No.

Is your interest in sex more scientific than emotional?

No.

Do you feel left out or confused when others discuss sex?

No.

If you had sex, did you think it was dull or boring, and not the amazing experience other people made it out to be?

I thought it was dull or boring with certain partners, but I knew from experience that this didn't mean it would be that way with all partners.

Have you ever had to pretend to be interested in someone in order to fit in?

No but I have exaggerated my interest in someone in order to get to have sex with them.

Have you ever felt “broken” because you don’t experience sexual feelings like those around you?

No.

Have you ever felt that you were straight “by default” or that you were bi or pan because you were equally (dis)interested in all genders?

No, I've always known I am bi and have always been sexually interested in men and women, and occasionally, trans.

Have you ever gone out with someone or had sex because you felt “that’s what you’re supposed to do?”

Kind of, but it had more to do with really liking someone than trying to fit in. I still wanted to have the sex, though. I don't think I've ever had sex with anyone I didn't actually want to have (even if sometimes it wasn't good sex for me, I still wanted it at the time).

- - - - - -

I'm surprised to hear you say you have "several" of these items.

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post #1911 of 1926 (permalink) Old 05-11-2017, 09:51 PM
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Re: Thoughts on this

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While asexuality is a fascinating topic, can we please leave it out of this discussion? It's unfortunately become a catch-all diagnosis for people who are LD in ways that we can't quite categorize. Much like autism has become the go-to diagnosis for people who may have different social habits than others.
I am sorry, I saw this post after I posted the last one (about asexuality). I will stop.

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post #1912 of 1926 (permalink) Old 05-11-2017, 11:08 PM
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Re: Thoughts on this

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Originally Posted by alexm View Post
I agree with this, and also with what @anonmd said - to a point.



What's going on with my marriage isn't all that uncommon. My over-analyzation of it, is



I generally do think that many women (and a smaller percentage of men) have sex because you're 'supposed to', 'it's what you do', 'it's part of finding a mate' etc. I don't think it's often done maliciously or even consciously. It just is.



Frankly, sex is simply not that important to a certain amount of people - an amount that I think is probably higher than we've all realized.



Look, my wife likes sex, and she likes sex with me, specifically. Outside of the 'schedule', we will have sex when there's nothing else to do, for example. That's not sexy, but it does show that her schedule is not purely about SEX.



It's really just that sex is nowhere near the top of any priority list whatsoever. It's OKAY to be like that, generally speaking, but it's not okay for my side of the marriage.



And the reason for my issue is that I tend to prioritize her needs, feelings, desires, wishes, etc. - which is what, I think, a good partner should do. I don't prioritize them above my own at all times, I pick and choose, but nonetheless - an effort is made on my behalf to give her what she wants out of the marriage and the partnership, sometimes at a cost to myself. This is what marriage is supposed to be, IMO.



So asexuality - I don't see it. Severe lack of prioritization for my needs in this area - yes, absolutely.



While asexuality is a fascinating topic, can we please leave it out of this discussion? It's unfortunately become a catch-all diagnosis for people who are LD in ways that we can't quite categorize. Much like autism has become the go-to diagnosis for people who may have different social habits than others.


Then maybe she is autistic? ah, we have done this one already...

You don't think it's just the way many women's desire works (Being responsive) and you just not really liking it?
I guess it's just saying the same thing slightly differently. Though for me, there's a distinction.


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post #1913 of 1926 (permalink) Old 05-11-2017, 11:09 PM
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Re: Thoughts on this

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I have several items on that list, too, and I am most definitely not asexual


You could be


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post #1914 of 1926 (permalink) Old 05-12-2017, 06:56 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Thoughts on this

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I am sorry, I saw this post after I posted the last one (about asexuality). I will stop.
S'okay

I would probably fit into the autism spectrum, myself, but I really don't feel I am. No more than anybody else, anyway.

And that's sort of what I'm getting at. I'm not autistic, but I have certain traits and qualities that might suggest so. I feel the same way about my wife in regards to asexuality.

I'm just saying that those two 'diagnoses' do tend to pop up a lot here.


So to answer the questions for my wife using only what I've seen, heard and observed:

Are you generally disinterested in sex?

Yes

Is your interest in sex more scientific than emotional?

No

Do you feel left out or confused when others discuss sex?

She has said she feels uncomfortable when others talk about sex, yes. But not squirmy-like. Probably like how I feel when people start talking about their work... She has also said she never got "the talk" when younger, and she also went to Catholic schools. Personally, I get the feeling she's uncomfortable about the subject because she's private, more than anything. AFAICT, she learned about sex by having sex, and learned about her body in the same way (not masturbating).

If you had sex, did you think it was dull or boring, and not the amazing experience other people made it out to be?

Not that I can tell. But in all honesty, my wife is rarely super excited about things. As some of you know, she and I were each others firsts, then split up for about 15 years.

The first time we had sex, SHE was the one to pull me into my bedroom. She wanted to have sex, and I guess to lose her virginity. We had been dating a month, maybe. If it matters, it didn't really work, as we had no idea what we were doing. She wasn't aroused at all, so I wasn't able to really put it in. I suppose had she known about her body (ie. by masturbating) then it would have worked. In retrospect, she knew nothing about her body back then. We simply didn't know how it worked, other than 'penis in vagina'. Ah, youth.

The sex we had back then was dull and boring, because we didn't know what we were doing When we reconnected all those years later, we had both learned a LOT. I imagine that, when she eventually DID have good sex with someone, it was an amazing experience. She never had an orgasm with me back in the day, and I asked her about that once because she's multi-orgasmic now. I don't remember the exact wording, but her first orgasm was unexpected, and I imagine it was an amazing experience. FWIW, she had no idea about the gspot, nor that some women could squirt, until I introduced her to that. Once I did, she was all over that for several months. And even now, she occasionally asks me to make her do that. She did this past weekend.

Have you ever had to pretend to be interested in someone in order to fit in?

I can't answer this one for her, obviously, but I would assume yes. Haven't we all?

Have you ever felt “broken” because you don’t experience sexual feelings like those around you?

This I can answer, sort of. I don't think she's ever felt 'broken'. She did say that she realized sometime in her late teens that her girlfriends, for example, would constantly talk about how hot this guy was, or how much they wanted to have sex with that guy, or talk about penises - typical teenage girl stuff - and she didn't have those same feelings. She liked boys, dated, had sex, etc. but it was never a physical attraction.

Have you ever felt that you were straight “by default” or that you were bi or pan because you were equally (dis)interested in all genders?

AFAIK, she's never questioned her sexuality. I asked her about this once, and she said no, she's always liked men.


So all in all, yes, she's a little bit different. But I don't attribute that to asexuality (or autism!). I do think most people's sexuality is formed by their upbringing, their surroundings, their parents and siblings, their education (or lack of it), their self-esteem, etc etc etc. All kinds of external sources.

I've always suspected that she has a love/hate relationship with sex. I can see, occasionally, that it's something she does actually like. I can also see that there's some negativity around it, in general. She's very much the personality type to shun things once they turn negative. You now how if you get sick from a certain type of food once in your life, and that food will forever be associated with being sick? She's totally like that.

There's no CSA or sexual assault in her past (that she's told me about), so that's not it. She did have an accidental pregnancy while in her early 20's, and the "father" ran off, but it all turned out okay. She has been cheated on before, by the first guy she lived with, and she clearly had future plans with him, so that was traumatic I imagine. The last guy she was in an LTR with before me essentially called her a *****, and constantly accused her of cheating on him, so that can't have helped.

Even seemingly innocuous things like having two older brothers probably didn't help. They would be out with girls all the time, but then turn around and threaten any boy (including me, back in the day, lol!) if I touched their sister. Her oldest brother threatened to kill me if I got his sister pregnant back then.

So I believe that there's an element of negativity towards sex for her, despite it being something she really does like. I can see that she likes it and enjoys it. But there's never not been a negative aspect to it, I don't think.

So it makes a lot of sense that she balances it, schedules it, and otherwise keeps it out of her mind in the way that she does, and leaves it for when she's comfortable, and at a minimum.

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Last edited by alexm; 05-12-2017 at 07:01 AM.
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post #1915 of 1926 (permalink) Old 05-12-2017, 07:18 AM
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Re: Thoughts on this

As I have read through this thread, and I think to an extent this is what @alexm has alluded to, it seems like when there is an "issue" everyone tries to label it, which almost comes across as if there is something wrong with the person. Is she autistic, is she asexual, etc... I get that it is easier to be able to label because then you can figure out how to "treat". Maybe the answer is just as simple as sex is not that big a priority to her. At the start, it could be easier to overcome this because of the relationship being new, less distractions, etc... Over time the "newness" wears off, more stresses (family, work, finances) and something like sex just takes on much less importance. Not saying that is should be an excuse to not make an effort in a LTR, but sometimes it really is that simple.
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post #1916 of 1926 (permalink) Old 05-12-2017, 09:54 AM
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Re: Thoughts on this

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Originally Posted by alexm View Post
I agree with this, and also with what @anonmd said - to a point.

What's going on with my marriage isn't all that uncommon. My over-analyzation of it, is

I generally do think that many women (and a smaller percentage of men) have sex because you're 'supposed to', 'it's what you do', 'it's part of finding a mate' etc. I don't think it's often done maliciously or even consciously. It just is.

Frankly, sex is simply not that important to a certain amount of people - an amount that I think is probably higher than we've all realized.

Look, my wife likes sex, and she likes sex with me, specifically. Outside of the 'schedule', we will have sex when there's nothing else to do, for example. That's not sexy, but it does show that her schedule is not purely about SEX.

It's really just that sex is nowhere near the top of any priority list whatsoever. It's OKAY to be like that, generally speaking, but it's not okay for my side of the marriage.

And the reason for my issue is that I tend to prioritize her needs, feelings, desires, wishes, etc. - which is what, I think, a good partner should do. I don't prioritize them above my own at all times, I pick and choose, but nonetheless - an effort is made on my behalf to give her what she wants out of the marriage and the partnership, sometimes at a cost to myself. This is what marriage is supposed to be, IMO.

So asexuality - I don't see it. Severe lack of prioritization for my needs in this area - yes, absolutely.

While asexuality is a fascinating topic, can we please leave it out of this discussion? It's unfortunately become a catch-all diagnosis for people who are LD in ways that we can't quite categorize. Much like autism has become the go-to diagnosis for people who may have different social habits than others.
alexm, yes, I can drop the topic, but please indulge me for one last post.

I don't think this is a catch-all diagnosis at all, nor do I think it applies to most marriages. The only reason I brought it up is because, according to you, your wife actually identifies with this mindset. Dismissing that out of hand, and then deciding that instead your wife doesn't prioritize you may be doing both her and your marriage a real disservice.

Could it not be that she prioritizes you so much that she goes out of her way to make you as happy as she possibly can despite her own limits?

You said yourself in a later post that your wife does feel she is different from others in the sexual sphere, and has actually felt like an outsider in many respects. Whether or not you use the label isn't what is important here.

What's important, to my mind at any rate, is that you are not assuming the worst of her (selfish, doesn't care about you, just like all the typical selfish nasty terrible wives that TAM loves to hate on) instead of understanding that she may really be coming at this issue from a very different headspace.
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post #1917 of 1926 (permalink) Old 05-12-2017, 10:18 AM
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Re: Thoughts on this

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alexm, yes, I can drop the topic, but please indulge me for one last post.

I don't think this is a catch-all diagnosis at all, nor do I think it applies to most marriages. The only reason I brought it up is because, according to you, your wife actually identifies with this mindset. Dismissing that out of hand, and then deciding that instead your wife doesn't prioritize you may be doing both her and your marriage a real disservice.

Could it not be that she prioritizes you so much that she goes out of her way to make you as happy as she possibly can despite her own limits?

You said yourself in a later post that your wife does feel she is different from others in the sexual sphere, and has actually felt like an outsider in many respects. Whether or not you use the label isn't what is important here.

What's important, to my mind at any rate, is that you are not assuming the worst of her (selfish, doesn't care about you, just like all the typical selfish nasty terrible wives that TAM loves to hate on) instead of understanding that she may really be coming at this issue from a very different headspace.
I generally agree, except for the asexual part. The only reason I am hesitant to go down the asexual road here is because it is as clear as mud and very subjective what an asexual is supposed to be, what the prospects are, how it changes and so on. If she was a homosexual for example, it would be pretty clear that any of Alexm's efforts should be dropped and basically the correct advice would probably be to separate (unless they want to live like friends together forever after). It's not clear what asexuality will bring to the table here in terms of helping him resolve the topic. If you mean to just basically 'let her be': then yes. If it means: 'let her be, there is no hope'. Then i don't agree. It might make things more confusing because asexuality encompasses anyone who wants to be an asexual as well as those who can't help it but be an asexual.
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post #1918 of 1926 (permalink) Old 05-12-2017, 10:47 AM
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Re: Thoughts on this

It's just a starting point, not an end point. A possible avenue for greater understanding and appreciation.

Personally, I want to be appreciated for who I am, and not have the person I love most constantly assuming my motives are nefarious.

And personally, I want to understand my spouse as best I can, without assuming that he just doesn't care enough about me to behave how I want him too.

@alexm is clearly uncomfortable with this line of thinking which might explain why he's had no further conversations with his wife about this, or attempted to dig a little deeper into her experiences. And I get why, I think.

But -- again personally -- I would rather tackle something that makes me uncomfortable head on than to spend the next 10 years wondering why my spouse isn't responding the way they "should".

And again, it's just a place to start, without any foregone conclusions. She clearly loves him, and clearly enjoys having sex with him. So, there's actually quite a bit to work with ....
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post #1919 of 1926 (permalink) Old 05-12-2017, 11:08 AM
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Re: Thoughts on this

For those saying to just take these LD's at face value and believe what they say - let me tell you my experience.

When hubby and I bought our house, we chose one with a big yard and a big veggie garden and lots of outside room because that's what we had discussed and that's what we both wanted. 5 years later, we'd done a lot of work on it and were enjoying it together. We'd grown apart though, and our marriage wasn't that great. Turned out, he felt underappreciated and resentful toward me because *I* was the one who wanted the big yard and the garden and everything, not him. We'd had numerous discussions about it - you don't buy a house without doing that!! - and NEVER ONCE had he indicated any trepidation. So I went into it thinking we were doing something for US, whereas he was actually doing it FOR ME. Unbeknownst to me. He actually decided, in his own mind of course, that I was taking advantage of him here. So what did he do? Cheated. Instead of trying to talk to me about any of it, instead of telling me how he truly felt, instead of letting me KNOW what was going on is his head, he decided what *I* was thinking (which was completely out to lunch) and acted on it, and almost ruined our marriage. So by taking him at face value, I often do not get anywhere near the real picture - I still to this day have to dig things out of him. He did learn his lesson - he is WAY better at opening up to me now - but saying you should just take your LD spouse at face value ignores the sad fact that many people, whether on purpose or not, completely mask their true feelings and thoughts from their spouse.

People don't get a free pass to cheat just because their marriage sucks.

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post #1920 of 1926 (permalink) Old 05-12-2017, 11:38 AM
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Re: Thoughts on this

@Hope1964 Yes, it is totally true...we can't get anywhere with someone who is not self aware enough to be honest, or with someone who has honesty issues in general. People like this will be impossible to "figure out", they typically don't even have themselves figured out.

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