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Mind Games

Just as I was getting my head around the fact that my H wanted to lead a completely sexless life, he throws me a zinger.
He decides to come hot and heavy and blow my mind. 
So there I am, thinking things are looking up...
A few days later, he makes romantic suggestions and seems to hint that he may be up for some action that night!!
YES..things were definitely changing..
So there I was, waiting for him all ready, and he comes up, turns over and starts SNORING!!!
Instead of crying silently, as is my usual response, I leave the room and go to watch TV.
Guess what, H comes looking for me and tells me he can't sleep because I'm not in bed with him!!!
So hope flares in my breast and I go back to bed for...a re-run!!!
H starts snoring, AGAIN!!!
Please excuse the bad language but, WTF?????

So now, I'm coming to the conclusion that, sex might be a weapon for him. He uses it to completely control my responses and is now ******* me on a string like a puppet.
My feelings of course, never come into it.

What do you all think of this? Any suggestions on how I should react?

My solution is to take a vow of celibacy. The last go-around was IT! 

If you  wonder why I'm still here, I have a young son who is devoted to the father and I WILL NOT do anything that might hurt him.

eternalhope eternalhope 36-40, F 9 Responses Jul 4, 2010

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Thank you @bad. Yes, this is a form of abuse. I have come to realise it but, for now, for various reasons, I choose to stay. However, I don't plan to do this FOREVER! I am sorry that you are suffering this as well.

Please don’t dismiss this, but this sounds like a form of domestic violence, using sex a control. I am at this very moment going through a similar thing, sex being withheld for 18 years, but for the occasional time that he wants it (without fulfilling anybody else’s needs). Don’t put up with this as everyone will suffer in the end.

I feel bad saying this but, even as I agreed to the 'appointment sex' it was with scepticism. I was already anticipating the excuses he's going to give. However, I have nothing much to lose at this point! I've had my hopes dashed so many times, I don't expect anything else!

Thanks for the heads up on the distance issue CUMBERSOME! H really has a problem with intimacy. Didn't realize my 'encouraging' was making it worse!

Etaernal I forgot to check this one today. Glad to see you had the talk. I hope it is the beginning of something good for you & life gets better.

Thank you all for your advice. I did what you all suggested about confrontation and had a very logical, honest talk with H. Being more aware of his passive aggressive techniques helped immensely. There was a lot of waffling and ignoring but, I was finally able to release the guilt from within me and told him that since it was his problem, he had to come up with the solution.

Current situation is at 'Appointment Sex' a la CUMBERSOME.

I hear you MadamR and the voice in my head. I guess I'm doing what I can to last the next few years for the sake of my son.

So, here I go again!!!

Sounds like he may have sensed that your unhappyness could lead to your leaving or getting with somebody that would fulfill your needs. So he either A) Tried to actually change or B) did just enough to make you temporarily happy then stopped as soon as he became comfortable that you wouldn't leave. It seems to be a common thing that many spouses do to address any problem, sexual or not. I am like you in that I hate confrontation but also know when I have to tackle a problem head on. But that can be a good thing. It means you can address the problem with him in a non threatining & non confrontational way. But address it you must. Unless you are willing to live with it long term. Best of luck :-)

I am really sorry to hear about this situation. I somewhat agree with what came before, but I am going to talk to you about a different angle.



You say you stay because you don't want to hurt your child. Don't use your children as an excuse. For one thing, it will lead to resentment later on. I know this from experinience as the child in just such a relationship.



Also, studies, and personal experience, shows that you will hurt your child more by staying in a relationship that you are not happy with than by making a clean break. You will leave them confused about what a relationship should be like, and they will go out into the world with a negative view of something that should be the best thing in your life.



Now, you need to make a choice, but it is also not all up to you. It takes 2 people working together to make any relationship work. if only one of you tries, you are doomed to fail. IF you want to stay in your marriage, you need to get your feelings out. You are affraid of confrontation, which I understand. I have been there myself. However, I learned that courage is not about facing life's challenges without fear. Rather, it is about doing what is right, in spite of your fear.



one of the most critical keys to making any relationship work is open and honest communication. Passion is also critical to keeping your marriage alive. From what you are sayiing, it seems that you are missing both of these.



Try talking to you husband about what is going on. Try to find out WHY he isnt having sex with you. There may be a reason that has nothing to do with you. Listen to his side of the story, and once you understand what is going on from his point of view, then you will be able to tell your side in a way that he will understand.

The truth is a good starting point. And structural arguing describe to him how his actions make you feel. People can not hide from the truth. "When you x,y,z it makes me feel like this". No need to get angry, demand, play games. Be yourself, say the truth, always, about how you feel. What your partner does with this information is his choice, and in turn will dictate the dynamics of your relationship. Just don't criticise, be unfair, be spiteful or hurtful.

Do what YOU want to do that makes you feel comfortable. If he asks, in this case for example, for you to come to bed, kindly but firmly tell him why you are watching TV, tell him how it made you feel, ask him if he wants to ignore you in bed, fall asleep with his arms around you or make love to you? They are simple questions. "I don't know" and some turning twisting answers will probably be the response. But just say "Then I would rather watch TV alone thanks, I will see you in the morning". He will respond in many ways, different techniques. Just repeat how you feel and why you are watching TV. He then has a choice, he can answer you honestly, avoid you or lie, in which case you will be watching more TV shortly.

This kind of thing used to happen a lot here. My wife was not playing a game though, not intentionally, she needed me 'there' but had no desire for me. It is how it is. So now i do what I want when I want. She can join me, leave me, and do what she wants, The important thing is I am not controlled, and that freedom is liberating. She knows I will do as I please now, so there are no games.

You say you do not like confrontation. Read some books on 'How to argue'. If you are confident in your ability to argue, reason, put your point of view across with clarity, the partner is faced with their own internal dilemma. It is hard for them to get to grips with topics as they need to confront and challenge their own thought patterns. Maybe they can not, and will remain angry and bitter and riddled with whatever cyclical thoughts imprison them, maybe that sounded dramatic? They need to challenge their own lack of empathy for others is another way of saying it.

Remember. If they remain angry it is THEIRS, not yours. If you are sitting there watching TV on your own and you are happy while he is seething in the bedroom, or wallowing, or feels lonely - these feelings are HIS, not yours. It is easier said than done as you are looking to change your habits based on thought processes built up over years, but when you nail it, all power is yours. You will become YOU. You will be able to make choices, good choices, and he can join you or not.

The psychobabble speak for playing games is TA, or Transactional Analysis. Part of this is baiting you. It is called 'The Hook'. Once you take this you are in a cyclical game called a 'Drama Triangle' or 'The Karpman Drama Triangle'. Google it to see how it works. The only way to win is not to take the hook, and if you did take it by mistake, then STOP, breathe, leave the cycle / conversation. Using sex as a method of control can be part of what is called 'The Manipulators Triangle'. Playing on your empathy and good nature, switching between making you feel a victim (He fell asleep, never had any intent, misled you, only thinks of himself - The Bar**ard!), In turn you become the aggressor or bad guy (You go downstairs, watch TV - angry at him, with him), he comes down as the victim "But you abandoned me! Ohhh Woe is meeeee." You feel sorry for him and become the saviour "I'm sorry, Ill come back to bed" You have saved him, you feel good, validated (but cautious, anxious, will it happen again?) He falls asleep again - He is the aggressor (to you) You are pis**d off with him so leave or argue (you are the aggressor to him) He makes it known you are the aggressor (To him) He is suddenly the victim (To him) and you switch to saviour - and around and around and around.



Learn to deal with confrontation, learn to argue, learn to be yourself, be proud of yourself, be at one with yourself. Do not allow yourself to be manipulated. It takes time, but once the standard is set the games will stop. The truth ALWAYS wins if you do not play the game.

Thanks N. A shake up is needed sometimes! I hate confrontation and I'm being jerked around because of that.