Introspection And Focused Communication Can Work!!

After feeling thoroughly neglected for such a long time I had taken an attitude of more introspection and acknowledgement of my actions (and inactions) that contribute to our increasingly sexless marriage. Going to a therapist has indeed helped both of us to better understand our proclivities and the issues that are contributors to our tensions. While it's been easy for me to simply point the finger at her for our SM - there's no doubt that we both are consciously (and unconsciously) contributing to our dilemma. While we haven't been living in a totally sexless marriage (15-20X per year) there was usually only 1 enthusiastic partner (me). In the last 6 months we've been in marriage hell (zero sex), considering seperation - but neither of us was willing to throw in the towel without a real attempt at therapy that had been highly reccomended to us.

In the last month or so, we have really focused on being able to communicate with each other, to ensure each of us are heard, understood and acknowledged in new and meaningful ways. We had engaged with an IMAGO therapist (a style of marriage counselling) and had also attended a rather intense 2-day weekend to work on our issues. For me - a major issue was our increasingly SM and her general tendency to be uncomfortable with sensuality and 'letting loose'. For her, it was her belief that I didn't care enough about her interests, or show much desire to 'just talk', or listen without being judgemental or dismissive. The truth is - we both acknowledged rather important issues that clearly contribute to a marriage drifting apart...neither of us was being 'a good friend' to the other.

So for the last few weeks we both have been feeling a bit better about 'being heard' and not having our feelings ignored or downplayed in what had been our usual 'dance of anger'. She apparently also thought quite a bit more about how I might be feeling rejected and 'unloved' due to her general lack of interest in sex - and her resistance for pleasing me in basic sexual ways .

Well, it's finally happened! this weekend my wife warmed up considerably and actually made an effort to show affection, give us a great big affectionate hug and surprised me (woke me up at 2a) with a lusty desire and great sex...

Clearly, how this plays out remains to be seen - but one night of wonderful, lusty sex will certainly encourage me to 'try to be a better man' and be the 'friend' she wants me to be more of...

I encourage all of you on this site to look in the mirror and double-check if you're really focused on being a better communicator (which is more about reflective listening) and how much that might contribute to our being here. Therapy CAN help - let's not dismiss it entirely.

lakeside4003 lakeside4003
51-55, M
8 Responses Jan 24, 2011

Doing imago work too... just me... she did the coupled w/e with me but doesn't want anything to do with it at the moment so I'm just working on my stuff doing the singles w/e soon.. Glad it was working out for you.. Hope it did... good luck

update as of 2/'s getting better - we've had some really good naked times together since the last posting, (new positions and even in the daylight!), my wife is clearly coming out of her shell quite a bit more. she credits all of this newfound willingness to my being more able to hear her, not being judgemental - and our focus on making time to fully listen and reflect on whatever issues each of us may be feeling strongly about.<br />
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at our last therapy session - she agreed that she consciously avoids me (and sex) by purposely keeping different hours than the rest of the house (we have a daughter and son still at home, and all of us are up at 6-6:30 - and in bed by 11). She feels that this is a way to 'not feel pressured to have sex' and she now realizes how obviously petty this can be and has promised to work towards changing this at least somewhat...<br />
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The funny thing is - I feel & act pretty much the same as I always have (maybe more focus on what she wants to talk about), she seems to be able to 'see' me in a new way - and who cares if just a perception on her part - we're boinking a bit more - and we both feel better about all of this!

Baz said: "If you have just had wonderful sex, who gives a **** if the toothpaste tube was squeezed in the middle ? If you have just been rebuffed, the toothpaste being squeezed in the middle can become an issue of epic proportions."<br />
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Ding! Ding! We have a winner! ... when I am getting laid regularIy I don't care about toothpaste tubes, clothes on the floor, whiskers in the sink ... you can be as slovenly as you wish and you won't hear a word about it from me, in fact I'll be smiling as I clean up after you ... all you have to do is fux me. Simple right? But no such luck ... ** sigh **.

How does this IMAGO therapy differ from others?

Therapy is certainly helpful.<br />
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It helped a lot with opening up communication. Unfortunately, in my case, that's ALL my H was willing to do. <br />
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So, the other side of it is, willing participants.<br />
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It's very nice to see your W responding positively. Good luck.

At some level, "confidence engenders confidence".<br />
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If you have just had wonderful sex, who gives a **** if the toothpaste tube was squeezed in the middle ?<br />
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If you have just been rebuffed, the toothpaste being squeezed in the middle can become an issue of epic proportions.<br />
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Glad to see your position appearing to consolidate. Hope even better outcomes await you. You sure have been putting in the work.<br />
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Tread your own path.

I'm delighted with your story! It shows that if you have two committed people, marriages CAN be saved! And I totally agree that therapy can be valuable. Even when you discover from therapy that you are too far apart to reconcile (as Nev says) it is valuable, because it allows you to plan your next moves.<br />
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But in your case, LS, you AND your wife have fully undertaken to see the other person's viewpoint; to take responsibility for your own actions; to recognise how you have contributed to the problems, AND to wholeheartedly address them. This suggests you are very likely to have a really good marriage again, provided you can both avoid slipping back into old patterns.<br />
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CONGRATULATIONS on your efforts and every best wish for your marriage to get better and better!!

Well it's certainly a step in the right direction. And just shows what is possible if both people want to work at it - good luck with it, hope it continues to improve xx