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I Try Only To Be Verbally Attacked

Every once in a while I try for various reasons to show a little tenderness. Maybe I believe it'll get better. Something happened yesterday that I need to just tell someone or I'll go crazy. While it's my side of the story I am truly trying to be fair.

We were watching a little TV. I was just coming back from the kitchen I bent down before sitting on the sofa and kissed my wife on the neck then moved to the other side when her arm came up and literally pushed me aside. "Stop that" she said. I sat in my spot trying to act unconcerned as she was saying "Now you're going to mope for the next 24 hours hours" and went into the kitchen herself.

I was thinking why do I even try to show any affection while looking as though the TV show intrigued me. A few minutes later my wife came back in and just unloaded on me. "I hate it when you kiss me like that!, You only care about yourself and don't even think about how I feel"!

Her face was so intense, she was really mad not just upset. Honestly, I was caught very off guard while she continued for another minute blast away at me. She wanted me to say something. I found myself apologizing in order to just make peace.  Finally I had the courage to speak up and say what was really on my mind. "I cant believe you said that to me, that was just very cruel. I was just trying to show you a little affection"! 

"Have I ever liked to be kissed like that?  You don't appreciate how much I try to please you!" etc..   things got quiet as we watched the rest of the TV show. Maybe what I said made her think. Later that evening as we got ready for bed she unloaded again. Basically, she was thinking I wanted sex earlier. Last weekend, she offered because so many weeks had gone by and I refused her advances. Role reversal!  She was really made about that. Who wants sex with someone that doesn't invest themselves into the act? Not me, not any more. My wife doesn't have a clue that sex is so much more than the physical. get it over with asap is her motto.  Foreplay is timed because I see her watching the clock. Back to last night.

She expanded her views saying I didn't think about care about how she felt. This wasn't a new concept to me. Since I already know she can't or won't respond to me I'm not suppose to show any physical affection. Why? because it makes her feel bad.  Tonight she didn't feel bad, she just just mad. Huge difference!  Mad enough that she jumped out of bed and slept in the guest room. All I could think was what the F*** was going on!  The thing she said was "Why don't you go out and find yourself who wants sex all the time"!

At 4:45 am this morning I noticed she got back into our bed. That didn't last long. She got up and went downstairs to read or something. At 5:30 the alarm sounded and I got up and went downstairs as if nothing really happened. I poured myself a cup of coffee and saw her watch some TV. She turned it off and I sat down next to her. The first thing she said was she was wrong . (This never happens so I was a bit surprised).

Then she immediately goes back to this past weekend. She told me she was still upset. Sunday morning after my refusal we were actually cuddling a little and she said I could have made a move then and she probably would have joined in.  My reply was why?  I've learned to protect myself from rejection by never making a true overture.  Her face showed anger and held her temper almost in check. I'll give her credit for that.

So we're sort of right back where we were before. My wife is right about one thing. Discussions about sex is a minefield for us. To me its not about sex, its about physical intimacy and personal connection. There is no middle ground for her, no willingness for compromise. She's waiting for me to change. I'm waiting for her to change.  Please don't simply say I should just leave her. There's too much history. I'm exposing myself here so please keep any comments to the kinder side.
PC2629 PC2629 56-60, M 18 Responses Aug 22, 2012

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Poor guy sounds though as this is very common place!!! Seems there are two types of people in every marriage one who does want sex and one who doesn't. why don't the people who want love and sex swap partners with those people who have no desire for sex or intimacy!!! Oh slight problem there because as soon as you get married one of you turns into the doesnn't want sex or intimacy person!!! Good luck I'm in the same boat!!!!!

Here's a new twist on all this just make things a bit more complicated. Saturday we leave on a week long vacation to the Seattle and Vancouver area. There wont be much distance between us allowing either of us to find our comfort zone. I seriously thought of canceling the entire trip but thought it would just push us to make decisions we might not want to make. Following through with the trip might be a good thing. We'll find out soon enough.

It's simple, just cheat on her. I've been in miserable relationships where even the slightest approach at affection was greeted with disgust and revulsion. Fine I disgust you that much I'll find someone who isn't repulsed by my advances and I did. I'm not sorry for what I did and I'm not making excuses. It happened it's history and so is she.

Your wife is displaying traits of a CLUSTER B PERSONALITY DISORDER.<br />
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I can't believe this hasn't been mentioned, but these are all textbook behaviors. The all-or-nothing mentality (called "black-and-white thinking" in the psych lingo), the sudden disproportionate emotional responses, the withholding of intimacy as punishment (emotional abuse)...<br />
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There are many types of Cluster B disorders, but they share in common a tendency to be dramatic/erratic (http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/healthlibrary/conditions/mental_health_disorders/personality_disorders_85,P00760/). The downside of Cluster B's is that, because they involved acting out against others, they create the most collateral damage.<br />
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Because you are male, I will recommend that you visit Shrink4Men (dot com) to learn more about these behaviors and how to cope with them. Do NOT discuss this topic with her, as the likely response will be another rage, and you'll never convince her to change anything. But you can take actions that will minimize her negative impact on your life (and the life of your children, if you have any), and help you determine if there's any hope for a better future. <br />
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If there isn't, then you can do what you need to do to take care of YOURSELF. That is the basic responsibility of every human being on the planet.

I've quickly read the J Hopkins page. I'm not about these traits but I'll definitely study them a bit more later.

Excellent point!

An acquaintance of mine calls Rogerian listening (or active listening) "Kabuki Conversation." As far as he is concerned, the formalized act of listening to your partner, then paraphrasing using specific carrier sentences, then allowing your partner to either tell you if you got it right, or trying to say it a different way if you got it wrong, then making "I" statements about how you feel about it, has all of the intricacy of Japanese formal theatre. It drives him crazy, even though he can see the usefulness of it and that it can work.<br />
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Why say that? Because each and everyone of those exchanges you describe would be candidates for Kabuki Conversation. And each of those conversations would be very difficult because of the minefield of emotions both of you have on every single topic. Not to mention any anger about having to use a process that can feel awfully contrived. It would take a lot of time-a *lot* of time- to sort them out and find a way to mutual empathy. You would both have to be committed to the process. You might kill each other in the process. You might seriously maim a therapist who was helping with the process (ok, tongue in cheek right now.) <br />
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Maybe you could make a pact with her to take just one topic each, maybe the "kiss on the neck" thing for her, maybe the personal connection thing for you, and Kabuki it out and see how it goes. Maybe you've been through all this before, and it's time to pay attention to all the other comments.

I think she's not happy in the marriage at this time. Meaning things that's happening in every day life is upsetting her with you and is making her not wanting to be touched by you. This just might be way out in left field but you might just think of how you talk to her in everyday life stuff and just spend a little time out with her making her feel good and happy. This could help and trickle down to the bed room. It sounds like she doses love you and probably wants to have sex and make love to you.

Your way off the mark here. He can perform saint like miracles and he still aint getting some.

Most people here living in sexless marriages will tell that

You might be right or not. I know it can be part of the problem or she just might not be happy in life and just taking it out on him. I know that's what my husband tells me but it's not what I say but what I do worng.

I think your reply is closer to hitting the target. She's just plain unhappy. I should work on that first. But it not like I haven't in the past. I just need to refocus a little more and hopefully the complete negativity will subside.

She has you well trained hasn't she? You should not be apologising to her. Any excuse will do to prevent you from being close to her.<br />
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These assortment of stories she comes up with, you should of made you move the other week etc, are nothing but stories that have generated out of her a..ss.<br />
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For some reason your missus is intimately adverse to you. You have choices here and none of them good however one needs to be made.<br />
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You can either keep on suffering the way you have sexless and in limbo or you can address the situation. By this i mean confronting her about it and laying your cards on the table and seeking advice on how a divorce will pan out for you.<br />
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Both choices suc...k but one needs to be made.<br />
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That decision is soley yours.<br />
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Stay Strong &amp; Good Luck

Choices certainly will make themselves present in due time. You're right. It won't pleasant either way.

I could have written this a year ago. All that anger directed at you, while you just gasp in amazement at the response to affection. It's not cool. You, my friend, should work on your exit plan. Good wishes to you.

Refusal and counterrefusal. As bazzar will tell you -- it's the "death knell."

This has to be like living on the outer banks of hell. Love to her is not showing affection. Love to you is showing affection. She is angry that you do not understand. This is a big divide to both of you. I think that she needs to be on her own so that she can have friends and not have to engage in such a disgusting act of intimacy. There is no love there, at least not any kind that you can relate to. I am so sorry.

I will say living this way has been hard. Funny, my wife Would say the same thing for completely different reasons. Tonight when she got home from work she said she was still mad at me. She says it my passive aggressive behavior.

When I get mad I will mope instead of fighting back. Last night I stood my ground saying what she said was cruel and did that make an impact. It only raised a stronger response.

The OP is way too hurt to heal. He needs solo therapy from a sensitive and kind practitioner.

Wow, you still love her and have a lot invested in your world together, i was where you are about 6 months ago. I am in a little better place now because of this site and the thing that helped me the most was finding a link to these talks on love by a Professor from Stamford U. Google Leo Buscoglia Love and watch the 6 segments. Heal thyself first is now my motto.

I'm watching that lecture now; awesome stuff.

I will google the professor tonorrowcand Wil report back what I heard.

Maybe when she came on to you you should have taken her up on her willingness to do the deed and afterwards talked to her about how much it meant to you that she did make such a advancement. It would have been a nice opportunity to talk. Turning her down in a means of punishing her got you worse results do you think?

counter refusal isn't punishment. After a while you really lose desire for your spouse. And you certainly lose the desire to be their puppet. She was feeling like he was pulling away, perhaps she was losing her foothold in control so she offered up some reset sex. Dance, puppet, dance. And the puppet refused. And the puppet became a real boy. Or man.

Damage control may be the case. To go to counseling and then end up having to post this sounds like counseling is a waste of time for the both. If thats the case a guy should skip the talk and walk.

I am not sure...
how you know
another person's
inner moyives....
justsayin

clg... were you referring to me or aju? And aju, I don't understand what you mean by 'damage control may be the case.' Can you explain that?

True desire for my wife is a distant memory. It would take much time before I could view her as an equal lover. Maybe never.

She Feels like the relationship is at risk so she offers up the needs he has to calm things down.

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You are putting yourself in an invidious position with someone who either is unwilling or unable to interpret other people's behaviour while accusing you of not understanding hers. That might be the pot calling the kettle black. It is actually okay to say, "I don't understand but I want to understand" rather than sitting on it seething and fulminating and then going off on one like a dormant volcano.<br />
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Despite your reticence I would be out the door asap because I doubt whether she is ever going to want to understand because she just somehow expects you to miraculously "get it" whatever "it" may be. As it is, you are both playing mighty awful mind-games with one another and I say that irrespective of the reasons why or how you have got to that point. That is what is happening right now.

"She's waiting for me to change. I'm waiting for her to change. " So, who's going to crack first in this game of chicken?<br />
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"There's too much history." Otherwise known as the sunk cost trap. Tell me about the future.<br />
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"no willingness for compromise" Um, this is a marriage?<br />
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You're being quite resilient in your responses btw, well done with that. Yet you do not yet seem sure enough about what you want and what you're going to do to get that. Or are you going to wait till you wind each other up sufficiently that the aforementioned crack will widen into a chasm?

Chasm... you are possibly dead on track. Thanks for your insight. I'll take the resilient comment as a positive.

"Last weekend, she offered because so many weeks had gone by and I refused her advances. Role reversal!"<br />
<br />
It sounds like her world is rocked by this.<br />
The words "Control Freak" are swirling up at me.<br />
Could it be??

We've been through so much counseling it seems like an endless circle. The counselor gets us to do more things together, spend more time together. We do all that. Genetically, I think she's lost all desire (not her fault) and she sees any physical gesture as an attack on her personal space.

Well then, nothing is going to change unless you take charge here and make a change to improve the overall quality of your life. Either that or else accept the status quo and live the remainder of your days in endless frustration and misery. Your choice. She ain't goona change and you know that. Your call obviously.

Something will have to change. Frustration.. I'm used to that. I won't leave but she might leave me at this pace. If she does that, at least I can look my kids straight in the eyes.

Been there. Done that! She's been on depressions meds forever, changed those and she turned into a ranging crazed person within weeks.

Maybe some individual therapy for a while would help you both understand yourselfs better and then resume couple therapy.

1 More Response

What do you think you can do about the situation then?<br />
<br />
Counselling to help you both talk about intimacy?

I'm a little surprised with all the comments. I appreciate everyone's inputs. This might sound a little crazy but maybe I was actually looking for empathy for myself. It never hurts to be introspective from time to time.

My wife looks to me to understand, to adjust which is very difficult to do. She says she's not rejecting me when she displays complete disinterest. Why does it feel like that to me and why can't I change my perception of her actions?

"Why does it feel like that to me and why can't I change my perception of her actions?" Because your perception is correct. Every time you convince yourself to see it differently your brain and heart know better. She can tell you all sorts of things, but actions are all that matter.

some thoughts...
you take it personally...
cuz it is...
witholding affection, intimacy,sex
is in essence placing you in a lose/lose situation...
if you stay, you will need to perform alll manner of
mental/physical calisthenics to survive...

If you make the decision to "see" the dynamics
in the marriage with eyes wide open,
you may find yourself making necessary, but unwanted, choices...
lose/lose...one of the most horrid places
to be.....tread carefully, thoughtfully, but tread you will
in one form or another...
joyinthejourney, clg