Intimacy and Resentment - Page 2 - 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 #16 of 147 (permalink) Old 05-18-2017, 11:16 AM
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You may benefit from reading No More Mr Nice Guy by Robert Glover. It's a quick read and free online.
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post #17 of 147 (permalink) Old 05-18-2017, 11:19 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Intimacy and Resentment

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Originally Posted by Bananapeel View Post
You need to stand up for yourself and take charge. Telling her there is a problem and discussing it is not the same thing as taking action and letting her know that what she wants is unacceptable if she wants to stay married to you. What you really need to do is think whether you are willing to live this way for the remainder of your marriage and then choose a course of action.

My advice to you is:
#1 - Do NOT consider having children with her until you resolve this issue.
#2 - Do your part and make sure you are meeting her needs. If she isn't feeling listened to and taken care of then don't expect her to take care of your needs. If you are doing those things then make sure you are still dating her like you did before you got married.
#3 - Be willing to walk away if she doesn't meet your needs. If she knows you are willing to walk over this, then she'll have to decide if she's willing to end her marriage to you over her not wanting to have sex with the man she claims to love and wants to spend the rest of her life with. If she is willing to let your marriage end of it, then show her the door and wish her well.
I agree about the children part. The last thing I would want to do is end up separating, and my parents divorced when I was young. Awful, no child should have to see that.

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Marriage should be a renewable agreement every couple of years, where if the terms are broken by either party they should be able to leave the marriage without penalty or be responsible for any monetary obligation.
I took my vows willingly, and I meant them to be unconditional, so that's not a road I want to travel. I'll do what I can within the bounds of my vows.

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But before you go down that route - have there been any major changes in you? Has your appearance changed (ie - weight gain), has your job status changed? Do you still hang out with your guy friends and engage yourself in your hobbies? That is all important stuff, and relevant to this discussion.
Thanks. I think I'm all good on these points, but I have to wonder if I'm not meeting my end of the bargain in some way. I actually ask her often if there's anything more I can do for her as a partner, and I feel like I'm pretty responsive.

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How much time are you spending together meeting eachother's emotional needs? How often are you two having sex a week, and how often are you meeting her needs for intimate conversation, non-sexual affection, and companionship (doing fun things together)?

For women to desire sex, they need 2 things:

1. An emotional connection
2. The prospect of enjoyment

You may think you're doing enough to make her feel connected enough to desire sex, and it may be true that you do a ton for her, but if you're not spending enough time meeting her emotional intimate needs (listed above), she's simply not going to desire sex.

Dr. Harley in His Needs, Her Needs recommends at least 15 hours a week of dating your spouse. He says that almost all sexual issues in a marriage disappear once a couple is willing to do this. He found the best way to restore intimacy in marriage was to devote the same time you did when you were dating. Helping with the chores, kids, and providing financially are certainly needs spouses have, but they won't cause feelings of emotional attachment as much as meeting the intimate needs listed above.
These are great points. My wife has been very clear that she feels more willing to be sexually intimate when she feels emotionally connected, and I'm not sure I've done my part, nor do I know exactly what she needs in terms of this connection. We have a lot of conversations (and I've done some work to make sure I'm communicating in a way that meets her needs), and I treat her to her favorite meals regularly. Maybe I need to do more to figure out how we can build a stronger emotional connection...It's certainly true that we do less 'fun stuff' than we used to, given our finances and the stress of our jobs. I will talk to her more about this. Thank you!
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post #18 of 147 (permalink) Old 05-18-2017, 11:24 AM
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Re: Intimacy and Resentment

AW - one of your vows probably went along the lines of "to have and to hold" - which translates to reasonable expectations of a sex life. Your W is violating that vow when you she tells you to get yourself off.

The way she bluntly stated this is pretty close to mental cruelty.

If you are Christian, you should show her the bible verses in the NT that pertain to SIM....
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post #19 of 147 (permalink) Old 05-18-2017, 11:29 AM
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Re: Intimacy and Resentment

[/QUOTE]
These are great points. My wife has been very clear that she feels more willing to be sexually intimate when she feels emotionally connected, and I'm not sure I've done my part, nor do I know exactly what she needs in terms of this connection. We have a lot of conversations (and I've done some work to make sure I'm communicating in a way that meets her needs), and I treat her to her favorite meals regularly. Maybe I need to do more to figure out how we can build a stronger emotional connection...It's certainly true that we do less 'fun stuff' than we used to, given our finances and the stress of our jobs. I will talk to her more about this. Thank you![/QUOTE]

It sounds like you're on the right track- you just need to make more time to do more of it. Like I said above, in His Needs, Her Needs, the magic formula is 15 hours a week:

The question of the ages: How can a husband receive the sex he needs in marriage? by Dr. Willard F. Harley, Jr.

It's pretty interesting to hear Dr. Harley say that in his clinical practice, he found that this one change solves the issue for most couples.
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post #20 of 147 (permalink) Old 05-18-2017, 11:33 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Intimacy and Resentment

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AW - one of your vows probably went along the lines of "to have and to hold" - which translates to reasonable expectations of a sex life. Your W is violating that vow when you she tells you to get yourself off.

The way she bluntly stated this is pretty close to mental cruelty.

If you are Christian, you should show her the bible verses in the NT that pertain to SIM....
We wrote our own vows, and we're not Christian. However, we agreed to "demonstrate our love through action, and to do so freely..." Now, she might not be living up to that. But, after reading some earlier comments, I'm honestly thinking I might be falling short too.
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post #21 of 147 (permalink) Old 05-18-2017, 11:35 AM
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Re: Intimacy and Resentment

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Accept it or find someone else... That's some cold logic. I'm still banking on getting through to her, but I hear your point.
It is the same cold logic your W is demonstrating with you.

“You're painfully alive in a drugged and dying culture.”
― Richard Yates, Revolutionary Road
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post #22 of 147 (permalink) Old 05-18-2017, 11:36 AM
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Re: Intimacy and Resentment

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Accept it or find someone else... That's some cold logic. I'm still banking on getting through to her, but I hear your point.
It sure is. Sadly though so many people have posted about these issues and at the end of the day they almost always end up having to make this decision. I think that is why it is said so often and so harshly. This stuff follows the same pattern.

Unless she really understands how important this is to your feeling of intimacy with her she will have no motivation to change. I think people who don't feel this way never really understand it.

This is assuming your are attempting to meet her need for intimacy as well not matter what that is. Also she is not to busy that she is exhausted, meaning you step up around the house and she in not required to be your mother.

Last edited by sokillme; 05-18-2017 at 11:47 AM.
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post #23 of 147 (permalink) Old 05-18-2017, 11:38 AM
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Re: Intimacy and Resentment

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We wrote our own vows, and we're not Christian. However, we agreed to "demonstrate our love through action, and to do so freely..." Now, she might not be living up to that. But, after reading some earlier comments, I'm honestly thinking I might be falling short too.
Read His needs her needs and adjust. But as young and newly married, sex should be 5+/week.

Based on what you wrote and how you wrote it, I really don't think it is what you are or are not doing, though I could be wrong...
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post #24 of 147 (permalink) Old 05-18-2017, 11:53 AM
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Re: Intimacy and Resentment

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Originally Posted by Livvie View Post
If she's "not responsible" for your sexual needs, will she let you open the marriage so someone else can be?

I agree that's a cold and shunning statement from her, very telling.
Nuances. Life is made up of nuances. She is responsible for his sexual needs within reason. I think this poster is well within the zone of reasonableness. If she digs in and sex is not satisfactory than likely other parts of the marriage follow or will shortly. The options are:

1) Counseling
2) Open Marriage
3) Divorce - even though there was a vow
4) Go deep into meditation and redirect sexual frustration into mental health
5) Let it Go
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post #25 of 147 (permalink) Old 05-18-2017, 11:54 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Intimacy and Resentment

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It sure is. Sadly though so many people have posted about these issues and at the end of the day they almost always end up having to make this decision. I think that is why it is said so often and so harshly. This stuff follows the same pattern.

Unless she really understands how important this is to your feeling of intimacy with her she will have no motivation to change. I think people who don't feel this way never really understand it.

This is assuming your are attempting to meet her need for intimacy as well not matter what that is. Also she is not to busy that she is exhausted, meaning you step up around the house and she in not required to be your mother.
Yeah, I think your last point is where I go from here. I am independent and pull more than my fair share around the house. I need to figure out her intimacy needs a little better.
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post #26 of 147 (permalink) Old 05-18-2017, 11:54 AM
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Re: Intimacy and Resentment

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Originally Posted by astral.wheats View Post
We wrote our own vows, and we're not Christian. However, we agreed to "demonstrate our love through action, and to do so freely..." Now, she might not be living up to that. But, after reading some earlier comments, I'm honestly thinking I might be falling short too.
It seems to me that you're not willing to understand that SHE is the one at fault here. Where you may be guilty of a few minor things, she is the main violator of the marriage contract. I do recommend that you read No More Mr. Nice Guy, otherwise you are in for a life of no sex. Women have an uncanny ability to shift blame. Ok, you have to get her in the mood, however, the responsibility of fulfilling you sexually squarely rests on her shoulders...where else can it or should it be? For you to accept her blame shift is your decision and misfortune.

"I've paid double for every transgression I've ever made and that motel and that boat are little to ask for"
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post #27 of 147 (permalink) Old 05-18-2017, 12:01 PM
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Re: Intimacy and Resentment

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Yeah, I think your last point is where I go from here. I am independent and pull more than my fair share around the house. I need to figure out her intimacy needs a little better.
I think you need to make sure your needs are plain as well. Then the two of you should commit to reinforcing both your needs.
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post #28 of 147 (permalink) Old 05-18-2017, 12:11 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Intimacy and Resentment

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It seems to me that you're not willing to understand that SHE is the one at fault here. Where you may be guilty of a few minor things, she is the main violator of the marriage contract. I do recommend that you read No More Mr. Nice Guy, otherwise you are in for a life of no sex. Women have an uncanny ability to shift blame. Ok, you have to get her in the mood, however, the responsibility of fulfilling you sexually squarely rests on her shoulders...where else can it or should it be? For you to accept her blame shift is your decision and misfortune.
Yeah, I hear your point, and one voice in my head goes there quickly (ready to blame her and step back into resentment-land). These things are always more complex. I'm not interested in taking the blame for how she's acted, that's on her. The only productive thing I can do, if I want to stay sane and happy in this relationship, is to be the best possible partner and fulfill my side of things.

Not sure I agree with you about women shifting blame. I think that's a universal human tendency--blame's uncomfortable and it's hard to accept one's own failings. That's why I love hearing from people on forums. They tend to be objective and call you on your BS.

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I think you need to make sure your needs are plain as well. Then the two of you should commit to reinforcing both your needs.
Right! I haven't been super-explicit with her about what I need and how often.
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post #29 of 147 (permalink) Old 05-18-2017, 12:18 PM
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Re: Intimacy and Resentment

If her lack of drive is so upsetting to her what has she done about it? Physical exam? Hormone check? It's easy to say she's bothered, but the proof is in her actions.

I've been married 14 years. If sex dropped to once every week or two AND my H said he wasn't responsible for meeting my sexual needs, I'd tell him his choices are A) accept that, as my husband, he is responsible for my needs and he has to fix his issues B) I Have a permanent hall pass to seek sex elsewhere or C) we divorce.

Follow the evidence where it leads and question everything.
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post #30 of 147 (permalink) Old 05-18-2017, 12:32 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Intimacy and Resentment

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If her lack of drive is so upsetting to her what has she done about it? Physical exam? Hormone check? It's easy to say she's bothered, but the proof is in her actions.

I've been married 14 years. If sex dropped to once every week or two AND my H said he wasn't responsible for meeting my sexual needs, I'd tell him his choices are A) accept that, as my husband, he is responsible for my needs and he has to fix his issues B) I Have a permanent hall pass to seek sex elsewhere or C) we divorce.
Yeah, this is the part that's on her. She has some patterns that need to change if we're going to have a healthy relationship.
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