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It Is Not Just About You

I left my sexless marriage a year ago, and so it is a year since my divorce is final. And I tell people here at EP, that sadly I lost a lifetime to this sexless marriage. But what people here are unable to grasp in that statement, is that I was not the only one in this relationship that lost a lifetime. So did my spouse.

My spouse settled for very little in his life. He missed out on a fabulous life. He could have had a very loving and caring life, and instead, lived a life alone. He isolated himself from love, laughter, companionship. I never did learn why, he was so determined to live a life of isolation. I honestly have no idea.

Perhaps, if I had been able to understand what he was about, that information would have opened a window to some sort of understanding or awareness of what he was dealing with? It may not have made any difference for the outcome in my marriage, but just perhaps that information, would have helped someone else here in our group, and could have been a saving grace.

And perhaps me pointing out, that you are not the only one in the relationship, isolated from intimacy, you both are, will offer a different way of trying to reach out to your spouse.

You are both cut off. you are not alone in this.
neuilly neuilly 61-65, F 13 Responses Oct 27, 2012

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thanks you for your compassion

If there is anyone experiencing this check out the book called "the 5 love languages". It's very helpful !

My spouse and I read it years ago and it was not helpful. Almost made it worse knowing that she knew what my language was and still refused to "speak" it.

There for the book was helpful. It was her that wasn't willing to flex. The book is there to learn each other you have to put in the work in to better the relationship

FaithfullyBlue - it's not about them speaking yours it's about you speaking theirs. If they do not respond to skillful love you little choice but to meet your needs elsewhere. If they are not responding to unskillful and selfish love then you just getting a predictable response.

I know exactly what you are saying. I'm there now.

Thank you for this - true and makes me sad as I now contribute so much to her misery.
She just does not get what I am saying and it makes her so low- she cooks waffles like demon cleans the house ever more-- I only want her to slap my arse and demand I come to bed. Just once.

You said that very well.

The isolation from the lack of intimacy is soul killing. I finally told my ex that now he would not have me to bother him about intimacy anymore. I still do not think he gets it, there is just nothing to connect with.

the one thing i would have liked to have had, was some sort of undertanding of what was going on in the heart and head of the spouse. But you see,for what ever reason,he was not comfortable sharing that. That he was determined to keep his reasons to himself, was the final thread that snapped.Because as long as the spouse was not willing to be truly open about what was gong on, anything we did, was only superficial. We were connecting, but I was not able to trust that connection. I felt that thin thread could anap at any time.I was no longer willing to commit too much more of myself to this realtionship. I felt, that once your laying your cards on the table, showing my hand, at that point my hand is an open book. I expect the same openess, the same honesty, the same disclosure. And meanwhile, the spouse is only sharing half the cards he is holding. It is not possible to play the game that way, let alone win. at that point we both lost.

I feel very sad for my EX that he was never able to fully embrace and enjoy the depth of love and caring I had for him. I suspect he had glimpses of that depth - and maybe even wanted to share it - but for whatever reason he simply could NOT.

OTOH, I also agree with mvc. I do wonder if the Refuser spouse experiences the same depth of desire for intimacy and communication as we do. I suspect it may not be as deep. It certainly isn't strong enough for most of them to actually DO anything about it . . .

And Neui, I totally "get" how the mismatch is the cause of unnecessary grinding against each other - whereas when two people are wanting the same things from life, EVERYTHING is easier. I sometimes say to Baz that I cannot believe how EASY it is living with him . . . there is an absence of conflict, of disagreement, of secrecy., of guilt (self imposed!) etc. We want and need the same things, so we rub along very smoothly together . . . .!!!

i know....

Empathy and intimacy are skills that some ppl never develop. You can teach intimacy but you can't teach empathy. When spouse does not care about the needs of the partner, it is over. And yes, life without empathy is lonely and you can feel pity for them but one should recognize things you cannot possibly change. Some ppl recognize this early and some late in life. Do you really think your spouse would have had a full and lasting sex life with another woman? I read your stories and I doubt that.
I believe that the difference between those who are dable to break SM spell and those who can't comes down to empathy.

my spouse is with another woman. He was with her within days of the divorce, and so he re-connected with a person he used to work with .Wheather he and she will be at a more intimate level, and for long term, I have no idea. But that is her problem now.
I wish them well.
I would like to think that he will appraoch life differently..but..i expect he will be the same.
I havehad mentioned to a friend how secretive my spouse was. They just thought I was exagerating. But they have since corresponded with him, and he has been here etc, and they just keep mentioning, how secretive he is. And that he is secretive about trivail things that don't matter. I don't say anything, i just shrug my shoulders, because, that is not new information. it is just the same ole crap..oh well. You can't be secretive, and have a sharing life. you have to be an open person. In a relationship....Secrets and honesty are at odds.

mvcmvc....well yes and no. becase when your mismatched like that, the wear and tear affects your whole life, not just your life in the bed room.If a couple is that dissjointed, that different from the other, that unconnected, your going to have a topsy turvy realtionship.Your not going to be interacting like you could have. Grudges show, anger piles up. There are always exceptions to the rule, but there are lot of posts here about dissasterous vacations, weekends at the beach, family get togethers etc , etc. and so I am relating to that. I am reaching out to people that are very aware of the tension in the house hold. And maybe approaching it from a couple's loss, not just a personal loss, they would be able to reach the ear and heart of the spouse.

The other point I want to share is this. I never really saw this, from this perspective, while i was in the marriage. it was not until I left the marriage, and was in a different realtionship, that i acquired this viewpoint. Being in the marriage, i think most people here are so overwhelmed, and so unable to grasp any understanding about why, they are so unloved..they are stuck..they are very hurt. And so i was trying to point out, that as years go by, and start to add up, you are not the only one living half a life. It is happening to both of you.

I have a different take here.

Everything is relative, and those who prefer not to have - relative to another one who does - robust intimate interaction - might not be suffering as much as you imagine they are.

I tend to think that those who need other people's interactions a bit LESS, relative to those who do need that long term intimate interaction, might not be any worse for wear over the long term.

Some satisfy that need in other ways, without the spouse. The isolation is less wearing on them relative to those who need interaction.

I would also say, that for some folks - continuous intimate interaction is actually corrosive for them. They cannot tolerate it and need huge amounts of space.

Of course, in the context of this forum, the pairing of the one who needs much less with the one who needs more can be a long term problem, in particular for the one who needs the intimate interaction.

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I need a fair bit of space. My husband needs even more. But I know he's suffering now because when he loved me he enjoyed my company. Now I'm just an audience. I'm sure he misses the company. He still has needs for affection (a fair bit) and sex (not that much...), but now that I've withdrawn he's not getting those needs met. Of course, he's not reaching out, not trying to solve the problem and not trying to understand my needs.

Know exactly what you mean elkclan.

I salute your thoughtfulness, N.
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<p>Oddjob...Thank you. All I know is when i stumbled in the door way of EP, I was very crushed. I just did not understand someone being so determined to be unloving, for so many years. And when your heart and being are so hurt, your stuck dealing with your own hurt. Your not at a place to look at things from a different perspective. It takes time for you to get on your feet. It takes time to get you balance back. And that is when, now you can start to see things a little differently. And so that is when perhaps, you can start to approach the problem differently, and just maybe make a difference in you life, and the life of your spouse.. Most that come here, all they want is to repair the relationship. And i understand that, and I respect that. So i want to offer any help that I can that will allow them an opportinity to try to do that. And in the process, i want them and their hearts to heal and be able to have the life they should have.</P><br />
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You write from the heart, and thats open and honest. Many of us can relate to the things you say, and many of us will feel comfort in the wisdom therein. I for one am pleased to have met you on EP.

<p>What I am trying to say is with this post is , if you look back over the years in your empty marriage.Look back at the miserable vacations,or situations that could have been so different, had just a little more love had entered the picture. Both of you,would have had an entirely different life...not just YOU...Both of you would have laughed and shared and loved more...and so,my sugestion is: approach your spouse from that perspective .It is not just about you.it is about you as a couple. It is as much about him/her as you.</P>

You are so right. Let them go so they can be who they are wholeheartedly !

Exactly..because, it isn't just you, it is about every interaction between the both of you. It is about going to the grocery store together, or to a birthday party. it is about the awkwardness and the tension that is there..The fact that instead of enjoying being together, your both just going through the motions of just being there together. Your really just tollerating each other. and some days, well some are worse than others.

Yea when I divorced my first wife I told her that to live a lie and act like I am in love with you is being unfaithful . I let you go so you can find someone that will love you like deserved.

I agree 100...your statement..is very wise and right to the point.
"I told her that to live a lie and act like I am in love with you is being unfaithful ."

AMEN!! Just a little sad that I have it, and he does NOT....

A relationship is, at best, a tough arrangement to keep going. Personality differences, and hidden agendas will creep into a marriage, if they were not present from the beginning. Some spouses may not tell untruths, instead, they will not reveal information if not asked pointedly. I refer to this as calculated avoidance. A sort of a Machiavellian approach to relationships, not uncommon with some European cultures, where the cards are held very close to the chest. In American parlance, a cat and mouse game that is circular and without the ability to resolve a problem. One just can't win in these situations.

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