A Quiet, Vulnerable Moment

I haven't shared much in the way of stories, but many of you know a bit of my tale through my history of long comments. Part of what I have expressed about the pain of an SM is not just the issue about the lack of sex, although that alone can detonate the smoldering mess of a relationship. The real, visceral pain that chases us no matter what we do is the continuing realization that the spouse we loved, and continue to love, simply shut down on us. There is no eye contact, no nonverbal communication, no trust, no gratuitous giggles, no touch, no wonder, no play, no sense that you are wanted, no eyes that brighten up when you walk into the room, no sense of unconditional love, no joy, nothing spontaneous, nothing to look forward to, no reason to go home, no reason to stay home, no reason to listen when she speaks, no reason to wake up in the morning, you have 3/4 of the bed to yourself because your spouse clings to the far edge, and oh, right - you never agreed to be a broken down, celibate heart attack candidate either. This is  why I find myself contemplating the social utility of murder by successive paper cuts whenever I hear some addle headed, doe-eyed woman pipe up and chirp "Oh, sex is all you males think about. Typical male!!" as she rolls her slightly glazed eyes.

And so I'm sharing with you my friends, that the ice is showing a few cracks. We had another blowout over the weekend, comparatively small as they go, the result of a buildup in pain and frustration. But somehow we both found an alternative to that slice and dice approach we all know and love so well,  in pulling it back together. That led to a couple hours of quiet, intimate cuddling where we actually connected and spoke with each other of things that matter so much we usually fear to speak of them. It sounds tiny and pathetic, but to me is significant because it comes from the place inside that all the things I crave and have been denied come from. It felt as if she was making herself vulnerable to me, without the wall, without the blame, without the self loathing that has so often poisoned our attempts to regain our moments. It was honest. 

And today as I'm thinking about this, it occurs to me that I really want to wrap up this work stuff and get the hell home early. It's 4:45 in the afternoon in my office and you know what? I'm the hell outta here. I want to be at home instead.  Haven't felt like that in 20 years.
GenteelAnimal GenteelAnimal
51-55, M
26 Responses May 7, 2012

Ok if all is well...then why waste your time to sit&tell your fall out!who cares you made up so why are you complaining for crying out loud?

You're that new kid, aren't you?

You gotta wonder!! Is it the wekend yet??!

Baby steps are better than no steps. Just keep trying and being patient. I know it is not easy. You have given so much and held on to such hope. You are truly worthy of the life you wish for. Celebrate those little moments. I pray that, for you, they come more often now that the door has been opened.......God Bless

Can you imagine the total opposite? I am FEMALE. I have begged and begged, to the point of being called a nympho. I no longer even ask. I gave up 8 years ago. Now that things have changed he wants it all the time. BUT the BIG M has arrived and I no longer have to desire nor care to be with him in a wifely way. But not because I feel it is an eye for an eye, but because I feel I can no longer 'give it up' to someone who does not care about me emotionally. I don't feel special, I don't feel loved. There are no quiet moments because he would rather put his ear phones on AND watch TV at the same time while working a word search book. Trying to communicate is impossible. To put it simply my needs are not met even though I very delicately have explained he would not DREAM of starting his truck (his baby) and pulling it directly out of the garage as soon as the engine caught and was running. OH no THAT would be a sin! It has to be warmed and primed before engaging the gears. Well I have used that as an analygy of what I need in this marriage. For me the intimate parts of a relationship are important, those things are what gets MY engine running, primed and ready for 'action'. Is this hard to understand?? I was raised up well, learned to read and have read all my life. I have read every book on relationships, including, John Gray, Dr. Phil and many others. I simply do not know how to get him to understand. Any suggestions.? Kissing, touching, and all the others things you wrote is exactly what I am lacking as well. I feel as though our marriage roles are reversed. Maybe if I were to feel like a woman instead of a hooker, the way he talks, and the verbal assaults be makes towards me, demeaning me, putting me down suggesting I am stupid because I no longer work outside the home, things might be different. Idk......

It sounds like you are dealing with abuse, not lack of attraction. Consider that possibility, and perhaps read in these threads with that in mind. Remember that it is all too easy for you to justify his behavior, because it is the nature of an abused person to make excuses like that. The news is: HE has a problem and your problem is that you have to endure him. Put this where it belongs. YOU do not own his abuse - he owns it..

Yes I know you are right, but I have not choice, I have no where else to go. I am unable to work. He carries the insurance. I were an insulin pump because I am diabetic that alone is over 2100 every 90 days. I would never be able to afford that. I can't change my situation, and that is mostly why I am on here. I want to go to counseling, like I advise others, but he doesn't respond to my requests.

I have very poor eyesight. I can on be on here because of a special software program the department of the blind helped get for me. I was working up until July 2010, I had a heart attack, then in Aug 2010 5 weeks later I hs a 2nd one. I am now disabled. I wish everyday I could get away, I did it on my own for 7 years with my sons. I was stronger then. I have been emotionally neglected since day one. Because he didn't represent his true self to me. Once we were married, the real person came out. I wish I had done something then. But I believed that what I was enduring was caused by his EX. It took me a very short time to realize that it was not what SHE did to him, it was what HE did to her, and everything she did was a direct result of what he did to her. If I had known then what I know now, I would not have married him. He has lied to and deceived again and again. I don't stay because I want to. There is no love here.

I enjoyed your story and in some parts it sounds like my life lately- not wanting to go home and when I am home I'm isolated. However, we don't even sleep in the same room. My husband doesn't show any interest in sleeping with me, talking to me or having any interaction with me, unless it is very superficial. My observation about this subject is more men write about having a SM. Why is that? Am I a minority that I am married to a man who shows no interest in me? How do I get to the point that you got to the other night, getting him to open up, to really talk to me? At this point I'm not sure if I want any physical intimacy because I don't trust it is sincere. Too many times I trusted him and thought everything was going to work out and he pulled the rug out from under me. I really want to be able to trust again, but not sure how to do it, not sure if the pain is too much for me to overcome. <br />
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I really wish you the best and hope you can find the happiness I wish I could have.

Someone here did a study of the apparent numbers and concluded that it's almost half men and half women, or something like 60% men / 40% women reporting a SM. Who knows, but it seems the biggest issue isn't what drives us to react - the absence of sex - but is instead the absence of everything we need in an intimate relationship (such as ... relationship!) . So its not just gender / libido mismatches, I think. I believe the problem can run much, much deeper than that. Maybe its one reason the whole FWB thing never seems to be a long term solution; it addresses a symptom and not a cause. OTOH, I could use a little symptom addressing at the moment.

GA, you are a good man. I am consistently impressed by the depth and vulnerability of your posts. If we were closer geographically I'd address some of your symptoms.

I am glad that you wrote this, and that I read it. Am I doing to my husband what your wife has done to you? I must take the time to re-examine my own actions..Thank you for your honesty.

There is absolutely no downside to challenging yourself about this. The worst that can happen is that you have nothing to worry about. The best that can happen is that you find him again while you still have a chance. We don't live forever; a friend of mine had a heart attack last week and his wife dropped dead the same day. So live tonight as if it's your last one together, because one of these nights that will have been true.

Thanks one and all for your support! <br />
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And you are right; this involves baby steps. Yesterday with all the stuff happening here it was still after 6 PM before I got home, and I found all kinds of things that needed doing - keeping us apart. That time it was me. I thought a lot about this during the night and I think it's my own fear at work. I don't trust this feeling and I don't trust opening up. The pain when it all goes wrong is too much and even as I said I wanted to go forward, and did, the rest of me found excuses not to. Guess I have to get past my own defenses.<br />
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OK, so now I know that's at work... one more thing to kick aside.

Trust has taken me a long while to develop - be kind to yourself, it's there to protect you. And in the meantime, believe in action!

You decide what you want and then go after it. In reading your post, when you were just laying down and talking - thats a great beginning and you should keep it up and don't force anything, try holding her hand while you are talking.

My husband and I still have that. But after a while, I want to go further and he pulls away coz he can't deliver. Then I just avoid having those moments so I don't end up laying and crying alone at night while he snores away. I miss the physical connection.

Just love and protect her? I didnt even read all your long winded story just skimmed it. Lets be MEN and take care and charge of our Beautiful wonderful Girls! Come on Friend take your wife back and be her best mate. That's what they NEED us to do. Good luck Matey. Cheers Pez

It would be better for you to read before commenting, but we don't necessarily disagree. That's been part of my difficulty over the last 30 years.

You write so eloquently! I love to read your writings, please don't assume it's at the expense of your pain! Definitely not. If you are not a writer, you missed your calling:).<br />
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Perhaps this is a new beginning for you two. If you are unhappy have you tried everything you can think of? Women need attention more than anything else, then all the intimacy follows.<br />
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My best days are when he touches me, softly, gently during the day, just in passing. Then again later with some compliment. And again with a joke. Then maybe another gentle touch or kiss on the neck. His gentleness with me when I'm hurting usually results in a very loving encounter where we can lose ourselves in each other for a while.<br />
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Most important, he expects nothing! Just waits until I'm ready to be intimate. He's told me, "don't think because I'm loving on you all I want is sex, it's not true. We can cuddle, talk or just sleep whatever you feel like." that , my friend freed me! You see, most women assume that's all men want! Not true. It took me a long time to realize that men need intimacy too and not always sexual. She needs to know that.<br />
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Seems like maybe that's happening now?

GA - This appears to be a step in the right direction. Many SMs deteriorate into a funk with both parties giving up and the marriage ultimately meets its demise. So you are lucky that there is progress. Good luck and keep us posted. Wish you well.

I loved your desc<x>ription of the visceral nature of the problem.<br />
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And your quietly desperate humor with the paper-cuts.<br />
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Enjoy your moments now, if you can keep the honesty and abandon expectations of whether this is workable, that helped I found..

A person's idea of love differs. Love in some ways works just like hypnosis it is voluntary and one must allow it to grow and progress. As a relationship goes on we change a little through different experiences we've gone through and our relationship is tried. Change things up and don't be afraid to communicate your feelings. Have Fun!

I wish you all the best GA, it's so great to hear this from you.

I'm going to sound unkind but this comes from personal experience. My husband can turn "it" on too. He's changed his tune and had those same moments....the moments that cause me to get sucked back inside the lonely hole. <br />
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Be careful with your heart my friend. You're suppose to trust your spouse but sometimes that trust is used as a weapon to disarm and confuse you. <br />
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I hope your story finds happiness.....I wish you well.

Turns out that my heart isn't as accessible as I thought it would be... I'm guarding it. Not good, but not surprising.

You've waited a long time...with all my heart I hope it's lasting. I certainly sounds like a positive step. She has a fairly large mountain to climb in order to restore trust. Make sure she climbs to the top so you can share the magnificent vue together. You can no longer accept less.

I commented on a similar story by Dolphin the other day when something similar happened.<br />
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What leaps out at me is the importance that 'we' ascribe to such an event, which, in a normal functional relationship is completely unremarkable.<br />
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Tread your own path.

I was thinking about that even as I was writing the story itself. It is a bit of a "WTF?" moment when you stop and think about what should be a reasonable way to live. But then, reasonable is for other people, right? We seem to be living in Salvador Dali's twisted, dripping imagination.

Aaahh......that intimate connection! That's what it's all about! Sex won't be fulfilling without it. Nothing else really matters but that intimate connectionl. Glad you found a sliver! Hope it goes on & on & on......

3:23 you posted I want to hear how it went down.

I hope that you guys built this bridge that had been non-existant for you for so long. I pray that your wife will continue to be close to you and that you will be happy for a long time. Let us know how you are doing in the next little while. The best of luck to you. You deserve it!!!

Can't tell you what I would give for that feeling right now.

GA, your story brought tears to my eyes. I know all too well that connection that you are seeking and that when it is denied the pain that takes over as a result. Good luck to you on your quest to have a reason to go home. May we all find that reason to go home early and stay home later to be with that person that makes our heart sing and makes us feel wanted and loved.

A rhetorical question really because I have my own preferred answer even if it is in a minority of one. What did you value most about the weekend, the opportunity to talk about intimacy or be intimate? If you can't talk about it freely and honestly can you expect to be able to do it freely and honestly? If you had to choose one or the other, would you talk about it or do it? Do you think it is easier to talk about it if there are no immediate expectations about actions?<br />
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Okay, that's actually four rhetorical questions. I didn't bother counting in advance.

It's an old quote, but the opposite of love isn't hate-it's apathy. <br />
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Touching story. I wish you the best...

GA, any time you can connect with the "real" person is a time of rejoicing. It is NOT at all pathetic IMO. You know that this is a "baby step" but it is in the right direction so it could be the beginning of something wonderful.<br />
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Maybe the time honoured sex therapy suggestion of "no sex, just cuddling" would work for you as a starting point? Perhaps she would feel more like cuddling if she knew there was to be no request for sex . . . ? Obviously this suggestion has a "shelf life" - lol - but it might be a way to encourage these positive new beginnings.

I hope your expectations are met when you get home....