Thoughts on this - Page 26 - 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 #376 of 1499 (permalink) Old 04-12-2017, 09:28 AM
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Re: Thoughts on this

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Yes, in the case of my wife, she wants to be pursued. I think this is the case in most of these marriages with a similar dynamic.

It's absolutely about control. Not malicious intent control, but some sort of coping mechanism for something-or-other (I don't know, I'm not psychologist).

As we see SO often here, in marriages that share this dynamic, the LD person absolutely notices when their partner starts to back off. Sometimes immediately, sometimes over a period of time. My example over this past weekend is just one that I can point to in my own marriage.

On the rare occasion that I've actually rejected my wife (out of pure exhaustion, or other legit reasons, never out of spite) she's noticed and been visibly unhappy that I did so, regardless of the reason.

It's insecurity. We all have it (except, apparently, JLD and Dug). Even though it might stem from an area that contains little logic behind it. If my wife is LD and "doesn't care about sex" and can turn down or reject without feeling the slightest bit of sympathy or empathy, then why would she be upset if I turn her down?

So in a roundabout way, being desired sexually gives her security. Following through causes insecurity (he only wants me for this).
This is learning the balance I was talking earlier. Once you understand the music you can master the tempo, but it may not wholly be a song of insecurity.

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Originally Posted by alexm View Post
I came back to bed that morning because I felt like it, and we had some time we could spend together, sans kids. I had no intentions of sex OR of catering to her non-sexual needs. I literally just felt like it, and the bed looked warm, and she was warm.

She had clearly -expected- me to initiate sex with her, and after lying there for a relatively long time with me not doing so, she got out of bed to brush her teeth and get dressed. I stayed in bed.

She clearly was agitated that I did not initiate sex with her, either that morning or the previous ("scheduled") night.

So was it actual sexual attraction that prompted her to bring this up and subsequently get back into bed and have sex with me? Or was it self-preservation - checking to see if I still desired her? Did I actually get her in the mood for sex by being "virile", or did my non-interest in her sexually trigger the response?

Genuine answer - I have no idea. And the reality is, I quite enjoyed it because it was much more organic than it usually is, so I don't actually care which of the two it was!
I agree... ask her, no better way to know than to know! I still do not think you can define this into single actions or thoughts because each week brings the attraction layer in different orders, sometimes adding to, sometimes taking away.

The act of sex may be mostly mechanical in nature, but the emotional tie-in is anything but... sometimes these things are not problems to be solved but a truth of balance to accept.

I think you are on a great path the way that morning went... calm does work.

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post #377 of 1499 (permalink) Old 04-12-2017, 09:33 AM
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Re: Thoughts on this

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Not sure it's called transparency when one person isn't allowed any.
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post #378 of 1499 (permalink) Old 04-12-2017, 09:50 AM
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Re: Thoughts on this

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But, now she's in a stable relationship so there's no need to discomfort herself to give her responsive desire a chance.

What's going to happen if she doesn't?

Obviously, nothing.
Actually, same thing as if you get complacent and never go to the gym. In that case, one day you get a heart attack or stroke. At which point you will wish you had spent more time at the gym.

If she stops having sex, decades later she wakes up and realizes her husband doesn't love her and is just staying out of habit or to avoid the financial hit. And then she realizes she is just as trapped as she thought he was.

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post #379 of 1499 (permalink) Old 04-12-2017, 10:01 AM
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Re: Thoughts on this

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I think this is what my husband thinks, too. And let me tell you - it crushes me. Absolutely crushes me, that he puts himself through so much misery with this line of thinking. That he doesn't trust that if I really thought that there was someone else out there that I wanted to jump, that I wouldn't let him go and go find that person. I'm still here. I want to be here. I don't think the HD can understand how much anguish the LD holds knowing that they hurt their partner and knowing that they are always going to fail at that part of their marriage. I like to assume the best about people rather than the worst, and I think most people marry with good intentions. I married because I truly deeply love my husband. I want to make him happy. This is an area where I know I cannot really do that. It sucks.
@kag123: Thanks for sharing such poignant and heartfelt emotions.

This is why I frequently tell LDs that they are fooling themselves if they think it will end up being a "win" for them to "trap" a HD. All too often it is the LD who finds themselves trapped.

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post #380 of 1499 (permalink) Old 04-12-2017, 10:10 AM
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Re: Thoughts on this

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@kag123: Thanks for sharing such poignant and heartfelt emotions.

This is why I frequently tell LDs that they are fooling themselves if they think it will end up being a "win" for them to "trap" a HD. All too often it is the LD who finds themselves trapped.
Why do you think they are trying to "trap" one?

It almost sounds like there is paranoia regarding LDs. I thought kag and Openminded offered a counter perspective to some of the prevailing views.

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post #381 of 1499 (permalink) Old 04-12-2017, 10:32 AM
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Re: Thoughts on this

I don't think I would tolerate the 'you only want me for sex' thing

And given that - most men hearing that - have a very poor sex life - well - it feels like gas lighting since it is so obviously untrue.

But then - most of the guys with severely sub par sex lives believe the solution is to talk about their feelings.

Which is half true.

All feelings can be explained in 50 words max. Sorry guys - they can. Which is at most 30 seconds of talking. Which is the upper edge of the female attention span for an adult males feelings. I am not being sexist. They want to understand. But it is not a fun conversation for them - so get to the damn point.

And the other half of the truth - is - prioritize yourself more.

In a good marriage, you don't have to spend much time worrying about yourself - because your partner worries about/does stuff for you.

In a unbalanced marriage - you need to focus more on yourself. Or feel taken advantage of.



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Originally Posted by alexm View Post
Yes, in the case of my wife, she wants to be pursued. I think this is the case in most of these marriages with a similar dynamic.

It's absolutely about control. Not malicious intent control, but some sort of coping mechanism for something-or-other (I don't know, I'm not psychologist).

As we see SO often here, in marriages that share this dynamic, the LD person absolutely notices when their partner starts to back off. Sometimes immediately, sometimes over a period of time. My example over this past weekend is just one that I can point to in my own marriage.

On the rare occasion that I've actually rejected my wife (out of pure exhaustion, or other legit reasons, never out of spite) she's noticed and been visibly unhappy that I did so, regardless of the reason.

It's insecurity. We all have it (except, apparently, JLD and Dug). Even though it might stem from an area that contains little logic behind it. If my wife is LD and "doesn't care about sex" and can turn down or reject without feeling the slightest bit of sympathy or empathy, then why would she be upset if I turn her down?

So in a roundabout way, being desired sexually gives her security. Following through causes insecurity (he only wants me for this).
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post #382 of 1499 (permalink) Old 04-12-2017, 10:42 AM
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Re: Thoughts on this

OK, maybe trap is too strong a word. It connotes some intent to cause the other person harm, and in most cases I think that intent is absent. But I think there is an element of knowing misrepresentation in most instances. So whatever word you want to use to describe it, the absence of transparency is at the core here. I think most LDs, if they were honest, would admit this.

@Openminded did. I give her huge kudos for that. She admitted that knew she feels zero desire for sex, she knew sex was required for the relationship with her ex to continue, she wanted the relationship to continue, so she provided sex even though she didn't want it for herself. I do not think she is an evil person. I hope she stays here. I think her point of view is desperately needed.

But the bottom line is that she mislead her ex. She pretended to more desire or more willingness to provide sex than she truly felt. And she hid this fact from him. Because she feared he would end the relationship if she were transparent.

And as I continue to argue to LDs, she got exactly the result that could be expected. Both of them eventually became unhappy. They were happier apart than together. As I tell every LD, there is a simple solution for this. Be honest with your partner before you get married. Tell them that you don't enjoy sex with them very much. Tell them that you intend to provide sex even though you don't desire it, because you understand that sex is important to them and you want to make them happy. Many many mismatches will be avoided because the HD will quite rightly recognize that this is a bad match and will end the relationship. Which is the best outcome FOR BOTH.

The tougher situation is the one @Buddy400 points out. Where the LD hits only after NRE wears off, after the kids arrive, etc. In that case, you can't avoid the mismatch with transparency because the mismatch doesn't arrive until after the couple is deeply intertwined. Transparency at that point doesn't eliminate the problem.

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post #383 of 1499 (permalink) Old 04-12-2017, 10:43 AM
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Re: Thoughts on this

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I don't think I would tolerate the 'you only want me for sex' thing

And given that - most men hearing that - have a very poor sex life - well - it feels like gas lighting since it is so obviously untrue.

But then - most of the guys with severely sub par sex lives believe the solution is to talk about their feelings.

Which is half true.

All feelings can be explained in 50 words max. Sorry guys - they can. Which is at most 30 seconds of talking. Which is the upper edge of the female attention span for an adult males feelings. I am not being sexist. They want to understand. But it is not a fun conversation for them - so get to the damn point.

And the other half of the truth - is - prioritize yourself more.

In a good marriage, you don't have to spend much time worrying about yourself - because your partner worries about/does stuff for you.

In a unbalanced marriage - you need to focus more on yourself. Or feel taken advantage of.

One of the deepest feminine pleasures is when a man stands full, present, and unreactive in the midst of his woman's emotional storms. When he stays present with her, and loves her through the layers of wildness and closure, then she feels his trustability, and she can relax. -- David Deida, The Way of the Superior Man
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post #384 of 1499 (permalink) Old 04-12-2017, 10:51 AM
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Re: Thoughts on this

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Legit question, and not a trap - for folks that are LD like you and truly feel anguished over it, what is stopping you from, I don't want to say "faking" it, but from pushing yourself to initiate or have sex with your partner more frequently, or to their liking (and preferably yours, as well), or to simply provide oral sex once a week or something?

If you know what the issue is, and you're broken up about it, then why not act, instead of simply taking no action?

For many people on the opposite side of your fence, they may actually begin to feel valued, despite the desire for sex not being there for you. They'd at least know that you have the desire to make them happy, meet their needs, etc., no?

Yes, this sounds like duty sex, and it is in a way. But to me, actual duty sex is rolling ones eyes, saying "fine, make it quick", lying there, letting them do their thing, and rolling over. That's somebody who doesn't care, IMO.

Actually putting the effort in to meeting their needs, despite it not being yours, is not duty sex. Your desire for sexual interaction may not be there, but your desire to meet their needs absolutely would be.
My husband in particular places a very high value on knowing that I genuinely desire sex at that moment in order to actually want it himself. He considers your description above to be duty sex. Even if polite in its delivery. He doesn't want that. It doesn't "count" towards the check box of having his needs met. I must have an O every time or he feels awful after and makes a big deal over it, even though I've told him not to.

He really thinks if he was more _____ (fill in the blank here: in shape, did more chores, made more money, took me on more vacations, was a completely different person) that it would completely change my innate desire level. Despite me telling him otherwise. There is a point where you just can't convince the person what they don't want to believe.

I've actually spent about 2 years now pursuing my sex drive with various doctors just desperately trying to find a way to make it increase. I have some health problems and take medications that complicate the matter. Have not found any solutions. I've even had doctors laugh in my face that I wanted to increase my sex drive. Crazy.



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post #385 of 1499 (permalink) Old 04-12-2017, 11:05 AM
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Re: Thoughts on this

It is very difficult for anyone to really understand how a person with a very different mental / emotional makeup feels. All you can do is listen to their words and accept what they say but not really experience it yourself.

Its much broader than LD/HD, even just as far as sex, there is a whole range of interests. People who enjoy frequent sex may enjoy very different styles of sex.

People should try very hard not to get into relationships with badly mismatched sexual desires / interests. If they end up there, then its very tricky to figure out what to do. Both being denied sex you want and providing sex you don't want are miserable.

What do you think of the option of the HD person having sex outside the marriage?


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Originally Posted by kag123 View Post
I think this is what my husband thinks, too. And let me tell you - it crushes me. Absolutely crushes me, that he puts himself through so much misery with this line of thinking. That he doesn't trust that if I really thought that there was someone else out there that I wanted to jump, that I wouldn't let him go and go find that person. I'm still here. I want to be here. I don't think the HD can understand how much anguish the LD holds knowing that they hurt their partner and knowing that they are always going to fail at that part of their marriage. I like to assume the best about people rather than the worst, and I think most people marry with good intentions. I married because I truly deeply love my husband. I want to make him happy. This is an area where I know I cannot really do that. It sucks.



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post #386 of 1499 (permalink) Old 04-12-2017, 11:08 AM
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Re: Thoughts on this

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@kag123: Thanks for sharing such poignant and heartfelt emotions.

This is why I frequently tell LDs that they are fooling themselves if they think it will end up being a "win" for them to "trap" a HD. All too often it is the LD who finds themselves trapped.
I try really hard not to take offense to anyone who implies that I would "trap" someone into a relationship! I think you meant well with your comment- but I do hope you don't think that we all go around scheming for some poor schmuck to take advantage of. Relationships are so much work. It would be easier for me to remain single. I don't need to be married.

Also - I hope you (and others) see the irony here of this line of thinking. Alex said he suspects his wife puts her guard up about sex because she's been preyed on this way before - felt that someone used sex to take advantage of her. I think this is a common experience for women at least at some point in their life. I know I have experienced it many times. So the LD could feel that the HD is "trapping" them by pretending to want all of the other aspects of marriage, when they really just want to have free reign over your body for their pleasure.

For the record - I do not feel that way. But do you see how this could go both ways?

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post #387 of 1499 (permalink) Old 04-12-2017, 11:20 AM
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Re: Thoughts on this

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So the LD could feel that the HD is "trapping" them by pretending to want all of the other aspects of marriage, when they really just want to have free reign over your body for their pleasure.

For the record - I do not feel that way. But do you see how this could go both ways?
Yes, of course. All life is risk. Yes, there are lying scheming HDs who only want one thing but pretend they want the rest. They are reprehensible.

I wanted both. The trappings and free reign over her body. I made no secret of that. She wanted the trappings and pretended to enjoy sharing her body with me. Stupid move on my side was having kids with her before clearing up the "why did sex stop on our wedding night?" question. My bad. I own it. And I am still with her. Kids shouldn't pay for my stupidity.

No way to 100% avoid people who are willing to be liars or who will hide the truth to get what they want. But it is entirely possible to avoid being the one who lies or hides the truth. Look, I get why it is attractive to hide or shade. I am doing it every day of my life. That is why I tell everyone I am now living on the dark side and deserve whatever I am getting or not getting. I am not saying I don't understand the urge or temptation to shade. I am saying that in many many cases it turns out to be bad for the LD in the long run. For just the reason you have discovered.

I would say the same thing to a HD who lies to marry someone for whom they don't feel a strong emotional connection but they want to have lots of sex with them. Short term gain. Injures your soul. Not worth it in the long run.

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post #388 of 1499 (permalink) Old 04-12-2017, 11:21 AM
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Re: Thoughts on this

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OK, maybe trap is too strong a word. It connotes some intent to cause the other person harm, and in most cases I think that intent is absent. But I think there is an element of knowing misrepresentation in most instances. So whatever word you want to use to describe it, the absence of transparency is at the core here. I think most LDs, if they were honest, would admit this.

@Openminded did. I give her huge kudos for that. She admitted that knew she feels zero desire for sex, she knew sex was required for the relationship with her ex to continue, she wanted the relationship to continue, so she provided sex even though she didn't want it for herself. I do not think she is an evil person. I hope she stays here. I think her point of view is desperately needed.

But the bottom line is that she mislead her ex. She pretended to more desire or more willingness to provide sex than she truly felt. And she hid this fact from him. Because she feared he would end the relationship if she were transparent.

And as I continue to argue to LDs, she got exactly the result that could be expected. Both of them eventually became unhappy. They were happier apart than together. As I tell every LD, there is a simple solution for this. Be honest with your partner before you get married. Tell them that you don't enjoy sex with them very much. Tell them that you intend to provide sex even though you don't desire it, because you understand that sex is important to them and you want to make them happy. Many many mismatches will be avoided because the HD will quite rightly recognize that this is a bad match and will end the relationship. Which is the best outcome FOR BOTH.

The tougher situation is the one @Buddy400 points out. Where the LD hits only after NRE wears off, after the kids arrive, etc. In that case, you can't avoid the mismatch with transparency because the mismatch doesn't arrive until after the couple is deeply intertwined. Transparency at that point doesn't eliminate the problem.
I can only speak for myself.

Honesty and transparency is something I value highly.

I've always been very honest in my relationships, sometimes too much so.

My H and I dated for 4 years before marriage. We were well past the honeymoon period when we married. I had two kids, and got slammed by PPD and other medical problems. That changed everything.

There was not any way I could have predicted that I'd end up where I am now with my health problems. Nothing life threatening, but still things that cause a lot of daily suffering.

I agree with you that no one should purposely mislead someone else into marriage. That's horrible. A really low thing to do.

But when you take those vows "in sickness and in health, in good times and bad" - you are taking them without having a crystal ball that lays out for you exactly what your spouses future will hold. You took them and meant them at that time.

We will not have an open marriage, but my H knows he is free to divorce me at any time and I will not fight him on it. I always tell him - the door is always open, feel free to walk out of it anytime. That sounds awful, but I do feel guilt over having him saddled to me when I cannot help my condition. I don't think I could have done anything differently to predict this would happen. I surely don't want him to be unhappy and feel like he's stuck with me.

I'm a very independent person - probably too independent, to be honest - and I'd be fine on my own. When you love someone you want them to be happy. There are certain facets of his happiness that I cannot provide to him. I cannot decide for him what he wants to do to fix it - he could decide one day to leave. I would understand.

For me personally, I will stay with my H until the day he decides to leave me, if that day ever comes. Barring anything truly awful such as cheating or abuse. I don't "need" anything from him - I just love him and love having him around. I think the fact that I don't actually "need" him is a big sticking point for him. If he gets sick or incapacitated, I'm here to take care of him and stay with him. I think he feels an obligation to do the same, because I'm "sick" and he took those vows.

It's hard because each person has different deal breakers that would cause them to end their marriage despite the vows that they took. My deal breaker threshold happens to be very very high. I *think* his is too, but I'm always waiting around for that shoe to drop one day. Sometimes I think he stays because he knows I would never leave myself, and that makes him feel guilty for throwing away that loyalty.


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post #389 of 1499 (permalink) Old 04-12-2017, 11:25 AM
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Re: Thoughts on this

You've probably tried, but will he accept the idea that you enjoy pleasing him, even if you don't physically enjoy it much yourself. That combined with something equivalent he can do for you that you do enjoy.

I assume that when you offer to do sexual things for him you do it with a positive attitude of "I'd be happy to do XYZ", not something like "Well, I guess I could do XYZ if you really want....".

Your libido is probably not something you can change. At the same time I understand how he feels like he is failing because he can't please you in bed.





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My husband in particular places a very high value on knowing that I genuinely desire sex at that moment in order to actually want it himself. He considers your description above to be duty sex. Even if polite in its delivery. He doesn't want that. It doesn't "count" towards the check box of having his needs met. I must have an O every time or he feels awful after and makes a big deal over it, even though I've told him not to.

He really thinks if he was more _____ (fill in the blank here: in shape, did more chores, made more money, took me on more vacations, was a completely different person) that it would completely change my innate desire level. Despite me telling him otherwise. There is a point where you just can't convince the person what they don't want to believe.

I've actually spent about 2 years now pursuing my sex drive with various doctors just desperately trying to find a way to make it increase. I have some health problems and take medications that complicate the matter. Have not found any solutions. I've even had doctors laugh in my face that I wanted to increase my sex drive. Crazy.



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post #390 of 1499 (permalink) Old 04-12-2017, 11:31 AM
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Re: Thoughts on this

@kag123: I did not mean to suggest that YOU trapped your husband.

I feel for you. Very much. Lately, my wife feels as you do. She had cancer and a double mastectomy. She tells me all the time "you did not sign up for this". I tell her "yes, I did".

But remember, in this marriage at this point in time I am the evil one. Yes, she was dishonest before and early in our marriage. But she eventually came clean. She does not enjoy sex with me or get anything out of it. Took me a long time to accept that and stop fighting it. Now we don't have any sex at all. But I have not forgiven her. I am the one keeping her trapped. By being pleasant and supportive. Even though I don't feel about her the way I used to. I justify my behavior by saying "she started it" but I realize how juvenile that is. I am doing exactly what I accuse LDs of doing. Shading the truth so my partner won't be motivated to leave. And I am getting exactly what I warn LDs they will get. A tortured existence. That is why I argue so strongly not to do it.

If you were honest with your H before marriage and the LD arose as a result of medical circumstances after you had been married a while, then I agree that you did not mislead your H. And I agree with him that this is exactly what "in sickness and in health" entails. I admire him for staying. I admire you for the depth of your feeling for him.

I am not trying to tar all LDs. Plenty have ample justification for not desiring their current partner.

I am only addressing my tirade toward those LDs who know before marriage that they do not enjoy sex with their partner, or desire it often, but who pretend they do. THAT to me is evil and abhorrent behavior. No more evil than lying about one's intention "to get into their pants". But no less.

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