Intimacy and Resentment - Page 7 - 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 #91 of 147 (permalink) Old 05-19-2017, 07:26 AM
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Re: Intimacy and Resentment

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Originally Posted by astral.wheats View Post
I primarily want to feel connected and intimate through sexual touch.
Yes, because nothing spells 'intimacy' and being 'connected' better than getting a blow job or hand job to tide you over til you get your full sex session.

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It's not that she never does things for me, though. I should be clear of that. We typically have penetrative sex every week or two. Honestly, that would be fine if she were willing to do other things more regularly. Maybe that's something I need to emphasize with her.
Stop playing the 'intimacy' card and call it for what it is. You just want to get off more and not have to jerk off to porn. Jesus, call a spade spade and stop with the 'intimacy' nonsense.
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post #92 of 147 (permalink) Old 05-19-2017, 08:22 AM
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Re: Intimacy and Resentment

@She'sStillGotIt take it easy on the guy.

I hate to tell ya, but majority of men feel more connected to their partner when they get blow jobs and hand jobs.

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post #93 of 147 (permalink) Old 05-19-2017, 08:38 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Intimacy and Resentment

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astral-wheats;

I strongly suggest that you read some of David Schnarch's books. The classic is the Passionate Marriage, but his newer books are much easier to read. He has sections in his book abut how to attain intimacy. What he has found is that most people can't handle real intimacy as to get there you have to be completely vulnerable. Most people are too afraid to be truly mentally, emotionally intimate.

Scharch believes that marriage is the hardest thing that two people can do, if done correctly. Specifically, two people come together and become a single family unit. The grow and mature at different rates. As such they are constantly pushing and pulling at each other emotionally throughout the life of the marriage.

Schnarch points out that every aspect of marriage is about compromise and that there is no right or wrong answer. There is only what compromise will work for the couple at this point in time and may need to be renegotiated later. That means that the amount of sex you want versus what your wife wants is neither right, wrong, or normal. You describe your definition of intimacy and you define hers. Schnarch would say neither of those are really intimacy and he has exercises for the brave of heart on how to gain intimacy.

To bare you soul sufficiently to be really emotionally intimate will require you and your wife to self -soothe. This is a technique to quite you mind and keep from panicking that he teaches in his books. True intimacy is gained when you and your spouse mature or self-differentiate, push your boundaries through self-soothing to do specific acts that are way beyond your and your spouse comfort zone. It is an OMG I will do anything for her and she will do just about anything for me moment. It is about emotionally connection and being on the same page or state of development. It is not about orgasms or cuddling.

Good luck. I hope you find what you are looking for.
Wow, that is a really interesting and powerful way to think about intimacy. It reminds me of the work of Emmanuel Levinas, a French philosopher. I think I will look into this, it sounds like something that would be good to try with the wife.
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post #94 of 147 (permalink) Old 05-19-2017, 08:47 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Intimacy and Resentment

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You can't change her. You can only change what you're willing to tolerate. So, understand that the bandaid that needs to be ripped off is actually on your own skin. And therefore, you can cause yourself fleeting severe pain or prolonged pain, depending on your approach.

Optimism is fine in the abstract. Strive for realism.

What do you want?

How long do you imagine you will want it?

What will you do when your needs are irrelevant? Can you recover from that? Do you know you already have acquiesced to being there?
Good points. I can only change my attitude, tolerance, and my own behavior. But, I do believe that partners can help each other be better people. People are dynamic. We've already done that for each other in a number of ways. Part of why I love her so much, and am willing to work through this stuff.

On a philosophical level, I don't think realism and optimism are incompatible, but that's probably semantic. Realism to me means having a good factual, descriptive account of the situation and its probabilities. Optimism and pessimism are about the hopes we're willing to take on. So, for me, while knowing that I'm in for a long, maybe bumpy ride here, I still have hope that we can work through things.
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post #95 of 147 (permalink) Old 05-19-2017, 08:56 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Intimacy and Resentment

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Now you're getting it.

If you avoid conflict it also means you're passive. A passive conflict avoidant man is NOT sexy. He makes a great husband/life partner because he actively works to create a peaceful home. But...... Peaceful isn't exciting.

I get that you being fully responsible to bring the sexy, in the dynamic that your wife isn't joyfully responding, is a LOT to put on you. But just as you are now just learning that your sexuality is completely healthy and normal and you should not down play or apologize for wanting to get laid, your wife also has to learn that she will eventually get into it every damn time.

Let me repeat that: your wife has to learn that even if she isn't "in the mood" you can get her there so long as she is open to being turned on. And that's what you should be expecting from your wife. "Be open and willing to be turned on whenever I approach you."

People with strong sex drives want sex frequently because they are always a little bit aroused, or become aroused very quickly. They spontaneously become aroused just by thinking about naked bodies.

People with weak sex drives are rarely spontaneously aroused. They do not become aroused until they have been sexually touched in a pattern that works for them. They can also inhibit their sexual arousal and repress it.

So the husband, sometimes a wife but usually a husband here at TAM, wants his wife to want sex more and she can't, physically can't accommodate this. She can't make herself want sex more often. But she can make herself be open to being turned on and aroused by a pattern of sexual touching that works for her.

This is what you tell/ask/demand/beg your wife: "could you be open to being turned on even if your not in the mood?"

This is what you ask yourself: "can I turn my wife on and get her aroused? Why kind of response do I need from her in order to feel validated?"


Give your wife a lady boner and then ask if she wants sex? "Aha, see? Once you're turned on you want sex, so just let me play with your body and I'll get you there."

Damn, turned myself on with that last line. But I'm easy.
Yes, this is the pattern that works well for us. I do things that turn her on, and that's when we have the best sex. I know it's when I'm assertive and confident that she responds with the most excitement, but she also doesn't want me to come on too strong. It's a tricky balance, and I'm not sure what exactly turns her on. We've had that conversation, but it wasn't super fruitful. I think she could be more explicit about what turns her on and what she likes. She generally doesn't want to be touched sensually unless she's aroused, and I think she needs to be touched sensually to become aroused. There's a circular impossibility to that. Maybe we can shift it.
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post #96 of 147 (permalink) Old 05-19-2017, 08:57 AM
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Re: Intimacy and Resentment

Alex,
If you read what Mary35 wrote, the OP may be hovering and smothering.

And when I tell HD folk that they are doing so, I often get the ultimate level of resistance - which is blatant dismissal. What I mean is - they completely ignore all points related to their own smothering behavior.

And this is right here - is the 100th plus thread where: HD man meets LD woman. He wants to marry her non existent HD twin sister. He actually marries her - you know - the LD woman who actually exists. And proceeds to demand she turn into the HD woman he wanted. And he acts surprised and indignant that she isn't molding like clay beneath his fingers.




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Originally Posted by alexm View Post
That may very well be the case, but why isn't she doing something about her needs getting met? It seems that it's always the partner who is having less sex than they desire who is expected to meet the others needs first, with the "promise" of more sex as a result.

Why not the other way around? OP will desire more non-sexual intimacy with his wife, if his needs are more closely being met, no?

Yet the default response to the person who's needs are sexual, and not being met, is that they have to ensure their partner (who is withholding sex) is getting their needs met first. It's never the other way around.
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post #97 of 147 (permalink) Old 05-19-2017, 09:12 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Intimacy and Resentment

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Astral,
I apologize. Usually I avoid making value judgements. I should not have said - double talk - as it implies intentionality.

I should have said: seemingly contradictory statements.

And I recognize that we all do so. Often unintentionally.

But if you hear only one thing I say - hear this.

It is very, very rare that someone is able to force more sex - through guilt or pressure.

A2 likely has responsive desire - and you can google that - learn how to work with it. Both of you can.

But you also need to create more passion. If you can.

Treating her like she is fragile - when most likely A2 is emotionally stronger than you are - is actually harming the marriage.

This does not mean - being cruel or hateful. It means just saying what is true without anger or malice.

If it was me - I'd switch to a combo barrier - condom plus diaphragm. And I would tell her that there is absolutely no chance of even considering a child without resolving this.

But but but. Resolving this - means - you fixing this conflict avoidant style AND figuring out how to be playful in a physical manner that works for her.

And - likely - you can't read her very well and she thinks it's ok to reject you as much as she likes. The no child thing will force some real honesty. But the hormonal birth control is plain insanity given your issues in this area.
Yes, I think you're right about a lot here. Part of what's difficult about this situation for me is that there are multiple values, desires, beliefs that come together in a confusing way. I'm starting to get some clarity, and all the comments on this thread have helped me to do that, even if it means realizing that I'm being somewhat contradictory.

I definitely don't want to guilt her or pressure her. I've done that before unintentionally, and she shuts down hard, to the point where the conversation is pointless. I think the 'responsive desire' idea is one we've researched a bit. I think she recognizes that this is her arousal pattern--she even pointed me to articles to read. We still need to do the follow through and work on practically changing our habits with this information in mind. Maybe changing up birth control can make that a little more realistic. We're not considering children anytime soon, so we've got some time to make some changes.

Passion is somewhat of a mystery to me at this point. I'm not reading her well--in fact, it feels like I'm trying to read Mandarin or Klingon. I think some earlier comments from other members (that we need to have more conversation and shared recreational experience, in order to spark some passion) have given me some concrete ideas, and I'm going to put on my big-boy pants and do my part. Playfulness is a good direction too. That's something which was present more in better days.
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post #98 of 147 (permalink) Old 05-19-2017, 09:14 AM
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Re: Intimacy and Resentment

Accepting one way sex - when it is freely offered - is fine. I do so without hesitation.

But asking for it - is a very bad idea. Sorry.



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@She'sStillGotIt take it easy on the guy.

I hate to tell ya, but majority of men feel more connected to their partner when they get blow jobs and hand jobs.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G935A using Tapatalk
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post #99 of 147 (permalink) Old 05-19-2017, 09:17 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Intimacy and Resentment

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Originally Posted by She'sStillGotIt View Post
Yes, because nothing spells 'intimacy' and being 'connected' better than getting a blow job or hand job to tide you over til you get your full sex session.



Stop playing the 'intimacy' card and call it for what it is. You just want to get off more and not have to jerk off to porn. Jesus, call a spade spade and stop with the 'intimacy' nonsense.
I actually feel really connected to my partner when I can give her pleasure, without expecting any reward. From what she's expressed, she actually feels the same way, it's just that she needs to feel aroused before she can get into it.

I categorically reject your point, and I wouldn't be surprised if most men would too.
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post #100 of 147 (permalink) Old 05-19-2017, 09:19 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Intimacy and Resentment

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I am going to save you some time and give you the gold from Neuklas's thread.

"Here's what I do know - sitting around the house with a pissy attitude, eating a bunch of crap, putting on 20 pounds, being lazy, and staying up really late playing Call of Duty Ghosts is not a great way to get unsolicited BJs from the wife.

On the other hand, being a bit unavailable because you are out pursuing your passions, being fit, being happy, being cheerful, working to achieve your goals and take care of your family - AND really doing those things because they are important to you, as opposed to just being passively aggressively silent and gone like a little whiny b!tch, seems to result in almost more married sex than you want . . ."

Pay special attention to the 2nd paragraph!
Yes! That is absolute gold! I know this intuitively. No one wants to make love with a sad man-child. When I'm being the best version of myself, the possibility of her arousal opens up quite a bit.
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post #101 of 147 (permalink) Old 05-19-2017, 09:29 AM
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Re: Intimacy and Resentment

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Originally Posted by astral.wheats View Post
Yes, this is the pattern that works well for us. I do things that turn her on, and that's when we have the best sex. I know it's when I'm assertive and confident that she responds with the most excitement, but she also doesn't want me to come on too strong. It's a tricky balance, and I'm not sure what exactly turns her on. We've had that conversation, but it wasn't super fruitful. I think she could be more explicit about what turns her on and what she likes. She generally doesn't want to be touched sensually unless she's aroused, and I think she needs to be touched sensually to become aroused. There's a circular impossibility to that. Maybe we can shift it.

She is reacting to your intentions because she knows you are touching her that way to turn her on and for some reason this makes her feel manipulated. In truth, she is being manipulated. Manipulated into being aroused. Yes...and....?

The shift needs to be in the attitude toward sex. Does she think sex should be some organic unplanned spontaneous event? If she allows herself to be intentionally aroused what does that mean? Ask her?

Attitudes about sex are multilayered but it's been my experience that young(er) women seem to think they are giving it up. They are not giving it up to their husbands. This is the confusing messaging girls and women struggle with. Don't give it up, make him work for it, make him put a ring on it, make him prove his worth. Okay but now you're married so....he has done all of that and you can ditch the attitude that you're giving something up.

You have your emotional stuff to unpack, passive, avoidant and maybe a tad emotionally dependent. She has her emotional stuff to unpack, attitudes toward married sex vs singlehood sex, and her coyness (or possibly not really knowing exactly what does turn her on, or maybe she knows but can't admit it) all need fresh air.

As others have pointed out, the sex issue has to be something you both work on together because you can do all sorts of mental gymnastics to get regular sex but the moment you wish to relax it all ends. As neuklas has admitted, he resents the level of efffort he has to put into getting laid. None of this makes for a happy marriage.


Can she relax and let you turn her on? Can she enjoy you learning her body and allow herself to respond? Can she rethink her attitudes about sex and see sex as a shared enjoyment no matter how messy the home is, or whatever kind of stress present that inhibits her from "wanting" sex?

"Honey, I just want to see how many orgasms you can have in 30 minutes so be quiet until the timer goes off."

"How many times can I bring you to the edge before you threaten me with death if I don't finish you off?"

"Some women are blessed with multi-orgasmic ability for a reason and I'm damn sure not going to waste a blessing" ~FrenchFry

"Vaginas are tricky creatures." ~Lucy999

Last edited by Anon Pink; 05-19-2017 at 09:33 AM.
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post #102 of 147 (permalink) Old 05-19-2017, 09:29 AM
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Re: Intimacy and Resentment

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Originally Posted by She'sStillGotIt View Post
Yes, because nothing spells 'intimacy' and being 'connected' better than getting a blow job or hand job to tide you over til you get your full sex session.



Stop playing the 'intimacy' card and call it for what it is. You just want to get off more and not have to jerk off to porn. Jesus, call a spade spade and stop with the 'intimacy' nonsense.
I never got the impression that the OP is only looking for bj's or hand jobs. Men who only want that are not typically men who would spend hours discussing his problem on a message board such as TAM.
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post #103 of 147 (permalink) Old 05-19-2017, 09:32 AM
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Re: Intimacy and Resentment

OP, resentment will destroy your marriage. It inverts love into hate. It is the catalyst to marital ruin. Be warned.

Here's a sample trajectory:

It starts with unfairness in the relationship. You care about your wife's needs and try to meet them, whereas she doesn't care about yours. (e.g. you want physical intimacy, she tells you to masturbate) Benefiting her gets old, when she could care less about benefiting you.

First response is becoming passive aggressive. Your wife doesn't meet your needs, so you cold shoulder her or deliberately refuse to meet her needs. Your marriage, where two people once tried to fulfill each others' needs, now degenerates into a transactional relationship. You do for her, insofar as she does for you. It's ugly, questionably devoid of love.

Second response is resentment. It develops over the initial unfairness, and possibly, over the first response not achieving fairness. The resentment begins to invert your healthy feelings for your wife, for as long as you choose to hold it inside. Your problem becomes worse. You care less and less about your wife and her needs.

Third response is the view of your marriage changing over the long-term. If you flip enough positive feelings for your wife into negative feelings, you'll start seeing her as enemy vs. friend. It then becomes difficult to imagine her in your ideal future, and your mind ventures from the reality of your relationship. Suddenly, it's difficult to live in the moment. Your day-to-day state will be detached and un-involved; you'll be occupied by hopes of your spouse's change, for different circumstances in your future. Or, you'll be occupied by fantasies of a life without her.

End state of resentment is that you'll hate your wife (and she'll hate you back), and you'll divorce over it or somehow stay together, wasting your entire lives in an unhappy marriage, just hoping it will get better. Resentment festers into hate and inverts love. Again, be warned.

Get to a marriage counselor to improve communication and conflict resolution in your relationship. Independent counseling, a different perspective on intimacy, or doing more with family and friends could help also, getting you to think differently (or less often) about sex. These are coping mechanisms, of course. If it was me and there were no kids involved in my marriage, I'd jet if counseling didn't help. But that's me.

Hope this helps. Good luck!

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post #104 of 147 (permalink) Old 05-19-2017, 09:35 AM
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Re: Intimacy and Resentment

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Originally Posted by astral.wheats View Post
I actually feel really connected to my partner when I can give her pleasure, without expecting any reward. From what she's expressed, she actually feels the same way, it's just that she needs to feel aroused before she can get into it.

I categorically reject your point, and I wouldn't be surprised if most men would too.
Correct, this however is an extremely common view among women. Even though your wife may well freely give one sided things from time to time, she likely DOES thing this sex thing has nothing to do with intimacy. Takes active verbal 'combat' repeatedly over years to make her understand that her assumptions are actually wrong.
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post #105 of 147 (permalink) Old 05-19-2017, 09:37 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Intimacy and Resentment

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It seems you are basically getting variations of two conflicting pieces of advice here from various posters (Actually you are getting 3 - but I 100% agree with Mem that you can not force someone to have sex with guilt or pressure i.e. threats without risking severe consequences for the relationship and the marriage.)(However IF not having more sex in their marriage is truly a deal breaker for a spouse - sharing that vital piece of information with their spouse is very important!!! And actually that piece of information should be stated at the very beginning of the marriage - or at the least when problems start to occur - or as soon as the HD realizes that he feels that way)

The 2 conflicting pieces of advice you have been given so far are based on totally different situations happening in the marriage. They are also based on the assumption that your wife does not want more sex because of something you are doing or not doing. Its possible that she would not want more sex with anyone no matter what. So keep that in mind. It may have NOTHING to do with you!!!!

The 2 pieces of advice so far:

1. Meet her needs more, spend more time with her, help her feel loved and wanted and valued, date and court her more - and then she will want to have more sex with you. (This will work only if your wife needs or wants you to do all of this - if her perception or reality is that you are gone a lot either physically or emotionally - and often ignore her, her needs and wants - except when you want sex, or you make very little effort to make her feel loved and valued. Remember - it does not have to be the reality - but if it is her perception than that is her reality)

2. Create space, don't meet her needs so readily, concentrate more on yourself, be more manly, more assertive, more straightforward - less available - and then she will desire you more (This can work if in the past you have been around hoovering or smothering your wife too much - or again if this is her perception, that you are too needy, are too compliant, are too wishy washy about your opinions or your expressing your own needs and desires, and are way too attentive to her needs and wants.)

So which one fits your situation, fits with what you have been doing with your wife up till now or what her perception is?

I'll give you a hint of which one I am guessing it is - it's not the one that you have already been doing. More of the same is not going to get you anywhere. I'll also give you another hint - straight from your wife's behavior as you described it - "Cold-shouldering and general withholding. Not a good idea. I know it doesn't lead to any long term change or a better situation. Weirdly though, she seems to get my point after a couple days and then will seek out sex. Then we repeat the cycle."

While you are right that cold-shouldering and general withholding is not a good idea. The fact that when you withdraw - she seeks out sex says something very significant here.

Personally, from what you have written thus far - I think you may have a tendency to hoover and smoother a bit too much. I think you may come across as a bit needy to her. And I am willing to bet money that kind of behavior - or at least too much of it - turns your wife off and/or at the very least makes her smug in thinking she has you where she wants you no matter what. So why does SHE need to do anything different than what she is doing now? You are the one chasing her!!

So I think you might want to take a look at your personality and how you are with her and perhaps give advice #2 or a form of it a try for awhile.

But be aware - that any changes you make can't be fake and they can't be short term. Don't try to turn yourself into something you aren't. You still have to meet her basic needs and desires and there has to be a balance of alpha and beta behaviors on your part. Too much of one and not enough of the other will not work. Going from one spectrum to the other is not good either.

Always remember because this is very important: You have to be authentic to who you are.

Don't make any changes to your behavior or personality solely to get more sex from your wife. That never ever works!!! Look at yourself and evaluate where your weaknesses are and where your strengths are. Make changes to become a better person, a better husband, a better man - because it makes YOU feel better about yourself and makes you more confident and secure with yourself. Otherwise you will just create a situation that you will start to resent - the same as you have now. And nothing will have really changed - you will just move from one frustrating situation to another. Which is where I think Neuklas seems to have found himself. (Just the vibe I am picking up. Feel free to correct me Neuklas) Once you get to the point that you are not needy for sex from your wife - perhaps your offering sexual contact may be more appealing to her.

Authentic, confident, happy, emotionally self sufficient men are attractive. Needy, smothering, childish, moody, insecure are not!

Are you authentic with your wife? Or are you constantly trying to do, say, or act the right way to make her happy or thinking it will lead to more sex? Do you feel free to share what you really think with your wife without worrying about her reaction? Are you dependent or do you come across as dependent on your wife for your happiness, security, or self esteem?

Research reactive sexual desire in women. It may help you understand your wife a little more.
Ok, lots to interact with here. Thank you for that thoughtful post!

As far as the 2 conflicting pieces of advice, I'm of the mind that they're not necessarily conflicting. I think I could definitely be more assertive, confident, and authentic in our relationship. In fact, I need to, not just in our relationship, but in all facets of my life. While I need to work on my character, communication and attitude, I also see that we probably aren't connecting enough in the way that's ideal for her. I do need to court her , make her feel special and do romantic things for her more often. I think I've been actually trying to keep up with #2 more than anything, trying to be a good man, be successful in my work, be emotionally independent. I've sort of forgotten the need to be romantic with her. Balancing the alpha with the beta, I like that!

All that said, I think you have a good point about hovering/smothering and appearing needy. That was a strong pattern for a while, and in my conversations with the wife, she let me know that it really wasn't helping things. This has motivated me to be more independent, confident, and give her more space. What I haven't figured out perfectly is how to create passion and arousal from that more distant vantage point. Like you said, it might be something that she needs to work on--and maybe a fundamental part of her character. I still have much to learn about responsive/reactive arousal and desire.

Great advice, thank you.
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