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An Amazing, Empowered, Awakened Moment

Something happened to me last night. Last week, I decided to tell my H about this site and told him he should go on and read some of the stories here. My purpose was two-fold: 1) I’ve been on the computer more than usual, and I wanted him to know why since we have a “no more secrets” policy, and 2) I thought he could benefit from hearing the pain that living in a SM inflicts on the soul of the refused.

So last night, he told me that he’d been on the site and had read MY stories and no one else’s. I guess that’s not particularly shocking. Everything I’ve written here, I’ve told him so there were no surprises. However, the gravity of my writings weighed heavily on him. I suppose seeing my feelings in writing was different than hearing them.

Prior to his arriving home last night, I had spoken with our daughter who is away at college. She called with some disappointment over not being selected for an activity in which she desperately wanted to participate. During the conversation, she shared with me that she had been in a class where the professor had asked them to imagine their childhood bedroom and reflect upon it. She told me she couldn’t do it and started to cry in class. She said, “Mom, I realized my entire childhood was a lie because of the problems between you and dad.”

There is nothing harder for me than the pain of my children especially if I feel some responsibility in its origin.

So I mustered up my strength and said, “Sweetheart, your childhood was most definitely not a lie. Your father lied to me, not to you. We have loved you from the moment you were conceived; we have savored raising you; your father loves you and so do I; and the experiences we had/have as a family, we really had/have. It was not a dream or something conjured up just to fill the space.” She listened and understood. She is trying to reconcile what her father did to me, and as with most daughters, she has idolized her father. She’s having a hard time letting that tin soldier fall off the shelf. I can’t blame her especially since my H is a truly fantastic father.

So during the discussion with my H, I suggested he open up the dialogue with our daughter. She is our emotional one, and she is processing a potential change in the future of her family. For her benefit I suggested he explain what happened from his perspective and be honest. He said he would. Then he started to reflect upon our lives together. “Haven’t I been here for you? Haven’t I been a good father? Haven’t I contributed equally to our life together?”

And I said in a truly awakened moment…

“Of course you have and so have I. But I will no longer allow you to separate out our physical relationship as if it doesn’t matter compared to all the other things in our life. It’s not a separate part of something. My relationship with you is my relationship with you – all together, integrated. One part cannot be missing. It’s all or nothing. You have totally controlled our sexual relationship without any regard for me. Your withholding has made me feel unloved, unattractive and diminished.”

And I heard Baz’s voice, “We have a great relationship, except for the sex”, and I now see how little sense that makes and how dismissing it is to me.

They are not separate. That is the refuser’s litany. It is not mine

An amazing, empowered, awakened moment. I hope I have many more.
morningteatime morningteatime 56-60, F 18 Responses Sep 14, 2011

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Some people need to read to understand
Some people need to hear to understand
All people need to feel understood to be LOVED
Appreciate Your point of view Thank You !
Would Enjoy If You want to chat !

Beautifully written.

You are so brave, I read your story and think could I tell my husband about this site and I am afraid the answer is no. I have only been on here a few days but I think I already know where I am going to end up.<br />
Well done you

Beautifully said to him - what a moment of clarification.

I agree the marriage or relationship has to work on all levels, its like everything else, like a car with 3 wheels or a building with 1 wall missing, it all needs to be complete on all facets to work properly.<br />
To deny intimacy is just plain selfish and arrogant, it is pure torture for the person left wanting, and extremely difficult to tell others, I still have'nt explained to anyone why I left my ex, it's too embarassing.

rozee - It is embarrassing. But I also think it's important to tell the truth for your own sake. You didn't do anything wrong. Your spouse had a problem, and it was/is not yours to hold anymore. I suggest you find one friend to whom to tell your story and see what happens. I'll bet your load will be lightened a bit. Secrets like this can only be disarmed by the truth. Blessings to you.

I just wanted to say this was a good one for me. I'm a resident lurker but don't have much to say usually, which is me in real life, also, unless I know people really well. Anyway, it was good for me because I've had the thought of turning my wife toward this site hoping she (and the marriage) is young enough to pull through. Im not ready to let go of my super secret alter ego yet, but I'm just thinking it might be worth a shot because she isn't completely heartless and you guys and gals explain the thoughts and emotions behind this issue far better than I. So, this gives me more to digest so thank you.

I was brought he by My husband ..I refused him sex..kisses touching even him giving me a back rub...This right here helped open my eyes to how I was making this strong 6 foot 3 man feel as small as a mouse and as worthless of as a speck of dust... I was appalied when I actually took a step back and peired into the window of our relationship as an outsider.. I can only say I will spend all I can of my time to try to make up for the way I treated him and the forms of neglect I put on our realtionship amd owning the damage it caused in our marraige..

Moma, you rock! People like you make m believe that some sexless marriages CAN be saved!! You go girl! That big hunk you love will be forever grateful for your efforts!

I am proud of you, Moma! I have also found it very helpful to read the responses to my marriage - it does make you see it a little more objectively. Good luck!

Wow! More power to you Mona!

1 More Response

I have little sympathy. I love my wife dearly, but I dislike sex: I don't enjoy it and I don't want it. I will, however, do what i have to do once in a while because I recognise she has needs - but it's as infrequent as I can make it. I have been a good husband - a faithful and loving carer and provider, not just of material support, but emotional support, too. OK, I have no interest in sex - I find it strenuous, embarrassing and generally unpleasant, and would rather just read a book or take a nap, but there is no way I am going to apologise for that. <br />
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For generations we have heard women griping about "having a headache" or "lying back and thinking of England" etc, and they expected some sympathy for their lack of libido, but when this happens to a man, he is castigated as a bad husband, and accused of making excuses.<br />
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Well, I'm not making any excuses. I like sex quite a bit less than I like going to the dentist - and that's how it is. So she is lucky that I manage it with about the same frequency as I go for a check up. If I had my way, I would never have sex again.

nuisverige
This is not about right or wrong. If you and your wife are happy with your situation, then there is no need for you to participate in this group. Your SM is perfectly fine.

The difficulty faced by those of us in this group is, it's not fine. It's not about being male or female and stereotypes associated with each; it's about real people struggling with real issues.

I'm glad you're happy. It is good to know that you have found a situation that works for you.

IF your wife is content with the frequency and the passion and intimacy you bring to the sexual side of marriage, then you are happily married. If not, then you have a dysfunctional marriage. The fact that you are a "good" husband in other ways does not excuse you from being a loving and intimate partner for your wife. Your description of sex sounds awfully cold hearted and very lacking in intimacy.

but, has it changed anything?

Yes. I can tell you things have changed a lot. We can communicate so much better because the elephant in the room isn't taking up so much space. He may never be able to overcome his issues, but no matter what our decision moving forward, we have gained a tremendous amount of respect for one another. I respect him for really struggling with and admitting his culpability and he admires me for creating a path that could lead to healing for him and for me. I don't focus on whether we're going to stay together. I focus instead on creating a relationship for us that works regardless of what the future holds.

Wow truely amazing! Made me cry!

My wonder is...........after reading your stories and seeing the responses does he see what hurt he has caused you?? Is there even a remote possibility that he may change? I hope it will make a difference for you and your children. It's a 1st step he took to be honest about his past so I hope it will continue. Please let us know.

J
My H is in a 12 step program and going to counseling. Changing a pattern of behavior that's been in place for 50 years isn't easy. I fully recognize this. He is doing what he's able to do, and yes, he has begun to see the hurt his behavior caused me, our children and our marriage. I am facing a difficult truth which may be no matter how hard he tries, he cannot overcome his emotional and psychological barriers.

The day after this conversation we went to our weekly therapy session. And he relfected to the counselor our discussion and he heard the words very clearly that I had said and understood as I did, for the first time, that our sex life was not separate from everything else and I can't be in the relationship without it. At some point, I have to accept who he is and not expect what he can't give me. He's actually a great person with a good heart, but what some who come on to this forum to criticize us can't understand is no matter how much I love him, he may never be whole. Then the choice and burden is mine, and we all know it.

I'm so glad to see he is trying. I know that's all anyone can ask from our So.I wish you both the best in whatever may happen in the future. I hope that through this process he can learn and that you both can go on to have the relationship you want. Take care.

Excellent response MTT. And another VERY difficult aspect is the possibility that even if he CAN (and will) change, you may no longer have the same feelings for him.

It is one of the saddest ironies of this board that the many years we spend wishing, hoping and trying to effect change often actually end up changing OURSELVES! We find that we can no longer muster the love, the faith or the willingness to try any longer . . . .

I wonder if it were he, who, after a bit of a read, opened up that "Jackjohnson" profile (see forum topic) and had a dash at posting !!!!!!<br />
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morningteatime, the rest of your life will be filled with these moments of clarity. When you adopt a policy of challenging your thinking, it is inevitable. And such a good thing.<br />
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Tread your own path.

He is right once your mind has opened up to a new dimension it can never go back to the size it was before. Your mind has now been expanded.

He's not the dash type! It would be exciting if he was!

Very proud of your insight. I am amazed!

More power to you! Well handled! I too asked my wife to come here so she could understand what I apparently couldn't explain for her. I suggested the same thing to our "counselor". Counselor never visited and the wife came back with "everyone seems so angry" and never visited again. I would take your husband's acceptance of your position as a major concession on his part. Good for him, and better for you for sticking to your position. I envy you.

A side note ... bravo on the superb manner in which you handled the reaction of your daughter. Well done!

“Haven’t I been faithful? Haven’t I contributed equally to our life together?”<br />
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The above is the standard answer I get from my H. These and all other “haven’t I been a wonderful spouse” statements are just more defensive/avoidant refuser b u l l s h i t. These statements are designed to avoid the real issue, dismiss our needs and feelings and, generally label us as whining/ungrateful partners.<br />
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Good for you, morningteatime, for seeing this BS for what it really is. Bravo!

Those who say haven't I added to this relationship? Don't know what they haven't yet. With kind guidance some of you can get them back if you want them. Please remember men and women DO NOT THINK ALIKE in any way shape or form. To think they should automatically know is your first mistake and I bet they are stack up to the point he now has less of an idea what is wrong than you might think. He or she can't be all of the blame. Everyone knows there is a lot that was never said when it should have. The one thing you can know is that the other doesn't. Not every attempt to talk works or is understood. By either.

From what I can tell from my own experience and from reading other stories on this forum, we don't end up on here until we have tried explaining to our spouses over and over for years and years. This site is not a first response forum, but rather a last resort forum. I came here when I found that talks, repeated talks, friends, counselors, blaming myself and trying to be 'better', God, prayers, books, husband, medications - nothing was working. The people on this forum have provided more insite to my situation than I was able to understand after YEARS of grappling with this. How many attempts at talk and action are enough? That really is what we grapple with here.

louise: good response. Within the context of this forum, those who end up here do so normally late one night, after years of trying out every solution under the sun, and normally after googling "sexless marriages". Then the real journey starts. Each person has a tipping point, iwthin the context of thier life -when they are out of solutions or don't feel working on the issue will reap any benefits, over the long haul. That tipping point is unique to each person, some try a short time, others, for decades. In my case, I tried for four years (and taken into context, my husband came to be with three marriages and 32 years of marital experience under his belt - me: only 24 months of marital experience that happened two decades ago). So based on that particular context, I wasn't about to troubleshoot for decades. I threw in the towel after 4 frustrating years and hindsight, the marriage should have been annulled not long after the nupitals. It ain't goona change and one has to know when to fold them. Course corrections are always in order and you don't have to jump through a bunch of hoops if you don't want to. I won't.

Morning, how are your children doing with this? What all do they know? That is the part I am most concerned about at the present time, as my train is pulling in to the station!

Louise
My H is 11 years older than I and he as a brother who is 10 years older than he along with a couple of sisters. So we have seen the effect of systemic abuse in his family play out with subsequent generations now. So, we decided to be fully honest with our children about his sexual abuse and his addiction. I had so much anxiety leading up to that talk, but my kids 20 and 17 are amazing people who love both of us. What has happened since then has been remarkable because no one is keeping secrets anymore. And my children will hold us to the "no more secrets" place. Both kids have therapists to whom they discuss their issues. An addictive cycle is so damaging to a family and the only way to change it is to deal with it head on. I didn't want my children to suffer the same way their cousins hav suffered, and I can already see our communication pattern changing. I give my H all kinds of credit for this because he told them his story. We didn't go into gory details, but he told them he had an addiction to po&amp;n and that this behavior replaced me and was done in secret. My kids are smart so they get the picture without having it graphically drawn out. Kids know so much more today than I ever did. Now I sound REALLY old!

We may be older but we are still goodies.

Morning, you are handling this from a position of strength. I commend you for that! And great job handling your daughter!

-----" You have totally controlled our sexual relationship without any regard for me. Your withholding has made me feel unloved, unattractive and diminished.”<br />
<br />
This is GOLD.<br />
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Superbly articulated.

That does cover it very nicely. But not the whole story. Many things go into making this statement come to life. A death of sorts had to happen first.

mtt, OMG! What an intense revelation. Thank you for articulating those thoughts that spin in my head but do not coalesce. I often struggle with linking my experiences, insights, thoughts and feelings into concise statements.<br />
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This is profound: { “We have a great relationship, except for the sex”, and I now see how little sense that makes and how dismissing it is to me. They are not separate. That is the refuser’s litany. It is not mine }.<br />
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I have read and re-read it several times and it crystalizes the bogus excuse of the refuser and exposes that comment for the lie it is.