The Low Fuel Light Is blinking

How did we get here? It was one small battle at a time, losing became
normal, and eventually one day you realize that this person does not have
your best interests in mind. They swear up and down that they do, but when
it comes down to action they always think of themselves first. They
cannot anticipate your needs, even when they are given the answers to the
test, somehow they can’t apply them. They can’t bring themselves to act,
and if they do something (even half-heartedly) they act like you should
give them a medal.

They try not to make their selfishness so obvious, and to us who have been
slowly dying through the process we don’t notice it every day. They would
ardently deny the fact that they are completely focused on
themselves…”WHAT?, my spouses needs aren’t the same as mine? Weird? I
guess that’s his problem”……….To us It just seems like things have slipped
away….who we were has slipped away….the things we wanted slipped away……The
things we want must be crazy talk.

……UNTIL, for some miraculous reason it starts to come back. We come out of
our coma, we realize that we are not crazy and we start to fight for the
little things. We may even win once in a while giving us the false hope
that we are going to be able to turn things around, but those are just loss
leaders…we don’t win the majority of battles…we definitely lose the
important battles….power struggles ensue because we are desperately trying
to win our life back, trying to gain control of our own destiny and they
act like we are asking for the impossible…to them a 50/50 relationship is a
loss, they wouldn’t admit that, they just can’t think outside of their own
needs….. When we do win we win at a high cost….We have to give something
else up, we have to pay with pride, we have to make it up with double the
cost, we are littered with guilt, and subjection…So pretty soon we don’t
want to win anymore, that just doesn’t seem right either….Something is
broken…..We are left with two options.

1) They need to change on their own and fight like there is no tomorrow to
win us back….because we don’t have any fight left in us. So we put the
ball in their court, and wait, and wait, and wait. …maybe I need to remind
them that I put the ball in their court, they must not have heard us.
Repeat until completely crazy.


2) We need to accept that they won’t change and move on…..

Our soul is dying and somewhere there is a voice deep down that says…”YOU

Then the pit in your stomach doubles, and the tightness in your chest
deepens. It really is in your court, you’ve put in in their court so many
times. You believed their BS, you jumped through their hoops only to find
that when you closed one objection another opened up. You have turned into
a master at giving and they have turned into a master at taking…. The
perfect couple, until the giver has nothing left to give, the tank is
empty, the low fuel light has been blinking for years but when the car
stalls on the side of the road, they will kick the car… will still
somehow not be their fault. This is the kind of mindset you are dealing
with… do you reason with that? You can’t.
31-35, M
6 Responses May 25, 2012

The part about reminding them that the ball is in their court had me in stitches because I have done that soooooooo many times, I should be the one labeled insane. I have waited for my spouse to play the ball, and after 18months of waiting I now realize IT in itself has become a power struggle. In other words, spouse now needs to prove that they WILL NOT be forced play this ball, and that i can wait till the cows come home because they will not be forced to do anything INCLUDING saving the relationship for YOU.<br />
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I read over 35books over 4years trying to figure out why a spouse would sabotage the relationship so much especially when they themselves are not benefitting. Reason they don't care that it hurts them too, is because their primary concern is that YOU don't get what you want!! Can you believe that? It has taken me 4 years to accept that. Hurts like hell. <br />
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I found a very good article by Thomas Forgarty that by far has the best explanation of the distancer/pursuer madness that we find ourselves in. He says that people like this WILL NOT CHANGE if they perceive such change to be driven by anything or anyone outside of THEIR will/minds. So when the spouse does eventually "play the ball" they do so thinking that it is THEIR idea and decision, and one which you had nothing to do with. Which means that the more you remind them, the more they will resist! <br />
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The author says we have to completely surrender to the emptiness of not receiving the love we WANT from this type of person and accept that whenever or if ever it comes, it will be coming on what THEY perceive to be their terms, and not in response to you. They despise the very thought of being "obligated" to you. Bear in mind that the author is assuming that you want to stay with this person. He is not writing about how to change them. He is saying that if you want to continue drawing blood from this stone, this is the best way to get a few drops at a time. <br />
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Now back to us poor souls who continue to wait.....I say wait while you devise your exit. This is what I am doing. I am done reminding. First week of March spouse said he would get counseling and see where he is in a month! In fact he said he even called around and found one. Really?? Well that day was the last we spoke of it. I have heard NO WORD since that day. Should I remind him, what he promised, that AGAIN he lied, AGAIN he didn't do as he said he would yada yada yada. No way!! He still continues like everything is hunky-dory, meanwhile i am dying a slow death inside. We have not touched in 18 months and he continues like nothing is out of the ordinary. Mind you our issues are not related to sex, but more about communication and absolutely no emotional connection. Sex has gone rather as a result of the lack of those things. <br />
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In summary, expect that as long as she thinks it's for YOU that she has to do something, she most likely will resist and pretend to need reminding. She is wired to treat your desires and wishes with contempt. Stop reminding them, continue waiting for them to play the ball while AT THE SAME working on your exit strategy- detach detach detach. If they play, it will be up ton you to decide whether it's too late or not. If they don't play, it don't matter coz you're leaving soon (about 18 months for me to save and plan etc).

Sounds like hell, I'm there too. Is there any redeaming qualities in your spouse? God I hope for your sake there is.

Very well expressed. It's easier to flip the blame than except it, but maybe sharing what you've written with your spouse will open her eyes.

The life of someone who was once "the bad guy" ain't too bad at all.<br />
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The life of someone who was "the wronged party" ain't necessarily too good at all.<br />
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Pick any failed marriage you know about from say 2 years ago.<br />
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Did you 'pick a side' back then ? Did you assign 'right' and 'wrong' to the pla<x>yers ? Did those actions make any difference to the reality at all ?<br />
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And now, 2 years down the track, does anyone give a **** about who was right and who was wrong ? <br />
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Tread your own path.

You are exactly right as well. Truth is, the outside barely looks at it at all.....kind of like the old saying "you wouldn't worry about what people thought if you truly knew how little they actually think about you.". Another thought....many cases we look at 5 years down the road and can't believe they were ever together in the first place. Thanks Bas

Sorry, I typed Baz and my phone changed it!

Your story articulates very clearly what happens in SO many sexless marriages. The reasons for the behaviour of our sexless spouses are myriad. They can be distilled down to the famous "Does not love you" if that makes most sense to you. They can be crystal clear, darkly shrouded or a complete mystery.<br />
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But it is NOT the reasons that count - except for those occasions where YOU can taker positive action to correct them. And these are rare for most SMs because the Refused has already tried their hardest to remedy anything and everything they can - without success.<br />
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As you so beautifully express - once the tank is empty, it remains up to them to refill it. You are now stuck to your seat and simply unable to refill it, as you have done for so long. The mystery for us is that they will usually refuse to refill it AND blame you for running the vehicle (the marriage) to a standstill.<br />
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If your teenager returns your car with an empty fuel tank, you rightfully take issue with this. Yet your spouse believes he/she can refuse to actively refuel and yet be exempt from the inevitable stalling that occurs.<br />
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Some spouses complain that they have regularly checked the air in the tyres and the water level in the radiator, and that should be sufficient to keep the car rolling along. What sort of car, they argue, really needs fuel to oprate? How unreasonable! Why are air and water not sufficient?<br />
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When such comparisons are made to these spouses however, they REFUSE to see the similarities or the relevance of the comparisons. "So you are comparing me to a car now, are you?" - said with disdain and contempt - is the most likely response!!<br />
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Your final sentences summarise this situation to perfection:<br />
"This is the kind of mindset you are dealing<br />
with… do you reason with that? You can’t."

Thank you Enna. Yup sometimes they bring up that some cars dont need fuel, or very little. ;) thanks for your words.

Stereotypes often have sound roots, but there are exceptions. I am more self-centered and asocial than my spouse. In matters other than sex, she does not do anything to specifically hurt me, and even tries to help when she can. She does not have much time or emotional bandwidth left for me, but then, neither do I for her. She does win almost every argument, but that's because she is frequently more logical and more right than I am!