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I Finally Shared My Marriage Troubles With Mom.....

I finally sat down yesterday and spoke with my mother about my marital situation. I confessed to her that there are issues within my marriage that we may not get past. I had been putting this off for some time, and I felt like it finally needed to come out. And, because of our relationship, I knew that whether I liked it or not I would give her the whole story. I wasn't prepared to find her so supportive because sometimes I feel she adores my husband far more than me.

Her response was, “Wow, you two are really good at faking it.” I chuckled because I knew that was the case. Then I began telling her about some of the things that we are having difficulty with. (Yes, I even shared my own ugly side.) She just kept saying, “Wow.” She was surprised to learn that much was hidden behind our vail of happiness. She also said she couldn't believe how together I was and that she'd be terribly upset. I told her that I have had 6 years of this and a year of counseling. I told her that I was done crying. Then I told her we are giving it a one last-ditch effort to make it work by going back to counseling in January.

Things went well until I got to the part about sex. I told her how I am blamed for being too demanding and too kinky, and how I am never satisfied in his eyes, etc. (Yes, I shared my ugly here, too.) She said, “Well, sex doesn't make the marriage.” I told her, “It is an important part.” Her response, “Yes, but not THAT important. Your father and I do fine.” I was thinking to myself, “Let's just ask Dad.”

I knew that she was not going to take the unhappiness of my sex life with much merit because of how she spoke to me on my wedding day. “ A..L..., women don't need to like sex. They have sex because their husband demands it.”

This conversation with Mom was a classic example of how many people miss the point when it comes to sex. No matter how much I told her that sex enables people to trust completely, she wasn't having it. She understood many of the other factors, but the sex part, well, let's just say, I feel sorry for Dad...and Mom, too.
ohgal01 ohgal01 41-45, F 20 Responses Nov 25, 2012

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This is a great post which explains your difficulties not just with your marriage,but also trying to explain to your mother,I like the part were you say-Lets just ask dad-,good luck with this,you have done your part well.

I wish I could fix your problems because its awful that anyone has to go thru pain.

I agree You maybe like Your Dad, has anyone ever tried pheromones and increase the sex drive as we age solution ?

We have pills for headaches, but less attention to hormone imbalance in couples ? Why not solve this sexless issue via maintaining a hormone balance ? Is it because shrinks, divorce lawyers would be LOSING TONS OF MONEY ?

I bet this could be a Big Factor WHY ?
Water has a PH LEVEL, Why DO HORMONE Levels in people get little to NO ATTENTION ? I say follow the money and who loses the most by FIXING THIS PROBLEM ?

Are we solvers of Problems or just put problems aside HOPING a solution shows up ?

What is Your Thoughts ?

You mother's comments to you reminded me of a woman I dated 10 years ago when I was 49 and she was 59. J had never felt any pleasure from sex, her view of sex was lie back and wait for it to be over. Her husband stayed until the last child went off to college and promptly filed for divorce. The first time we had sex I went to go down on her and she squeezed her legs together and said no. I lied and said that I was just adding some moisture to make penetration easier. I stayed down there and she started to find that this was pleasurable and to her surprise had the first ****** of her life. She was almost in shock and, literally, told me that she always thought this kind of pleasure for women was a hollywood invention and only existed in the movies.

A number of weeks later she got up the courage to touch me and stroke me to ******. I still remember having my ****** just as she burst into tears saying "why could I never do that for (ex-husband's name)?"

I suspect that she grew up being told that sex was the price of marriage for a woman, something to, at most, be tolerated. The sadness she felt as she realized that it wasn't a mid-life crisis that led her husband to leave but rather his refusal to spend the rest of his life in a sexless marriage was crushing for her.

You discovered your sexuality despite your mother, good for you. I wish J had been as fortunate. I wonder how many emotionally crippled women suffer from your mother's message?

Ok, I fully respect what you say,but please keep those genes in mind,and I am glad he came round to your husband.

I am going to try to say this and make it make sense, but I am not certain that I can...

I know that in many ways I am very much like my dad. And, in others, very much like my mom. Dad has always taken life by the horns. That is who I have become. I have never feared the world around me, unlike my mother. Dad likes fun and adventure. So do I. But, I want to be taken care of like Mom. And, I want to place the responsibility of sex on my partner as my mom does. The difference, I embrace it. I don't fear my own sexuality. I don't fear that side of me that craves to defer to my partner for the joy it brings, not the obligation.

Well you had your talk and if you do no not mind me saying,I think you would have been better of talking with you dad,you where open and honest with you mum,I,with respect,wonder where you take your dominant genes from.best wishes to you.

My dad? Now, that is funny. Yeah, Dad and I may be alike in many ways, but this conversation would never be tolerated. He is more of an, "I told you so" kind of guy. He didn't want me to marry in the first place. (Even thought he has come to love and respect my husband.)

OMG!!!! You could have been reciting my conversation about sex with my mother when I told her that my ex-wife and I were ending our marriage!!!

I admire your strength to be so honest with yourself first and then to share those feelings with your mother. I have been on the rollercoaster for about 7 years or so and I have just recently started to open up to a friend of mine. Maybe in another 7 years i'll be strong enough to finally do something to make myself happy.

Good for you, you go girl!

if i may please add....
and you go for it too...animals are trapped...
not people.....
justsayin....

well if nothing else...you should really appreciate your fathers devotion to his family...it is sad that people think like your mother...in todays times...they would have divorced ...i dont know how one determines too kinky or too demanding...good for you ...you will make some lucky man very happy...but for your own sake...do it the right way...and dont up it too soon...

Yes, my father has been wonderfully devoted, but he also worked on the road so one can never be certain. He looked forward to retirement, but now that it has happened, I am not quite so sure he is enjoying as much as he hoped.

I believe that my mother not working is what kept my father home all these years. Basically, I think he feels/felt that she could not survive without him. (I think he is right.)

Might I interject that couples of your and my parents generation viewed sex with a different lense than we do. Not saying all, but most. Part of it was curtural & part experiential. Our culture puts so much emphasis on "sex" that we do tend to forget the other aspects.
I'm six years into a sexless marriage, 31 total. My Rib is the perfect wife in every way, but in the bedroom. I have a good life with no complaints except the lack of physical and sexual intimacy is killing me. I've decided to stay and try to love her for as long as I can. Starting over or being single would be emotionally gut wrenching and create many, many more problems than I have now.
But you definitely took the right step in confiding in our Mom, even though she wasn't sympathetic with your lack of sex. I do hope things get better for you soon. HD

I believe that you are doing what is right for you if generally you are happy within your marriage. I have a good friend who told me that living in his sexless marriage would be easier if he and she were best friends. I think he has something there. The lack of sex doesn't mean as much when you are with your best friend.

Good point. But it still hurts.

Best friends still doesn’t make up for a lack of sex. Yes, it helps, and I believe it helps to make the relationship last longer (can’t decide if that is good or bad right now actually), but in the end the lack of intimacy will leave most of us searching for that intimacy someplace else, and in most cases probably infidelity to some degree or another. One could argue that they might have been able to stay friends if the person got out before the infidelity. But then you wouldn’t have had the last 10 years with your family. These choices stink!

Agree rolledover. Good analysis.

1 More Response

Sounds like your mom is being supportive. She just doesn't get the sex part, so she can't empathize with you. You are right; your dad might feel differently. I would love to tell my mom, but she has a lot to deal with. My dad has MS, and almost died. She just had to put him in a nursing home. Shoot, she may totally understand as I'm sure my dad has been unable to do anything for quite some time.

Yes, I think she is doing her best. Actually, it went better than I ever expected.

Leave- this will never get better- divorced my 1st b/c of this

Thank you for your input.

If I've read this right, your mother has basically taken a position of supporting you in this situation. That is a pretty good result. Her views on sex obviously do not co-incide with yours - and that's one of those things you agree to disagree on - but she is supporting you is she not ??
What the hell else do you want from her ? She can't give you empathy for a subject she just doesn't "get".

Tread your own path.

No need to defend her. I wasn't trying to insult her. It was a statement of how many people will poo-poo the desire of a person who believes sex is important.

I feel for you ....and envy you .....
I lost my mum 4 years ago ...and would give anything to be able to have that discussion with her.
Before she was gone I couldn't have imagined the topics that I now wish I could discuss with her.
Back then I was concerned about many things , especially her health. ( only 66 )
If I could ask her questions now, about her life with my dad , I could benefit from her knowledge. ( my dad is useless in this department.)
They divorced when I married .My mum thought the world of my husband. As do I .
My mum always said , "A man needs to feel loved " ."A man can died from a broken heart "
My mum was a wise women . She was not religious in ANY way , she was pro-choice , she was approachable on any subject . She never judged us, or made us feel less than perfect.
I doubt that she had sex only to service my dad , and maybe that contributed to his affair and their divorce.
I doubt that i would have got the same response that you got from your mother. Mum wasn't one to put up with **** , unless it was for the benefit of us kids.
I'm sure that mum would have supported me when i told her about my problems in my marriage . It's a cruel thing to lose the only person on earth that you feel safe talking to about such things.
Does your husband think you are too kinky or demanding just because you wish to have more sex ? I gather that you are not getting what you need from him and he blames you ...
I am working hard to improve my situation , and i think my husband would say that he is too.
What got to me, was the fact that I wish I could have this discussion with my mum , so I feel validated, and supported. Maybe this is why I feel like I'm not alone when I can connect with other people on E.P.....
I wish you all the best..............

"Does your husband think you are too kinky or demanding just because you wish to have more sex ? I gather that you are not getting what you need from him and he blames you ..." You nailed this, Happiness. You nailed it.

I am very sorry about your mother. I do love my mother very much. She made mistakes with me, and I, unfortunately, make mistakes with my own children. I wish there was a way to avoid it, but being as open and honest, as much as one knows how, has helped my mother and I overcome much. I feel fortunate that she has finally decided to treat me like a grown-up. It was always, "A...L...., why are you doing that? Why would you want to do that?" Even into my 30s. BUT, when things got bad, even though I knew her response, I would share much with her, too. It was always that way. I couldn't keep secrets from Mom. It has been my worst nightmare and my greatest blessing.

Sending you hugs....

No, my husband doesn't think I'm kinky ( 26 years together ) . Things are now better than they were , but I think he would say he feels I'm demanding for sure. And maybe too needy, in this context .
On the subject of blame ...it tends to happen when they feel that you have pushed them into a corner. At times , they seem to turn into someone else, and blame you for everything that has ever gone wrong...Best form of defence is attack !
Rather than discuss it like adults, it turns into a screaming match ,and the more you cry , the worse or madder they get....( think it stresses them out when they don't have the answer, or can't "fix "it. You know what i mean ..when you just want to be heard and they always want to fix , not just validate what you want to say )
I am glad that you can talk to your mother , i'm sure you will educate her on some things that she probably never considered.I'm sure i would have taught my mum some things too. Not having her ,may be the reason i found this site. It is lovely to be able to chat with like minds..
I must mention (as I have so, elsewhere on this site ) that my situation was reversed up until about 3 years ago. Yet it doesn't make me any better at handling it.I am sure that I am wiser and more understanding, but we will always be 2 people who are on opposite ends of the issue . Sometimes it feels like payback.....
I wish you all the luck in finding a happy place for you both . I am always happy to chat . Bye.

The "women don't have to enjoy sex" idea is terrifying to me. Honestly, if that were the attitude of all women, I would live as an asexual. Being merely tolerated in sex is horrible, awful, and gross and makes me feel like used garbage.

Thank goodness it is not the attitude of all women!

My good friend says the worst that can happen is his wife giving him 'obligation' sex. He said he'd rather not have it at all.

That is so true. I feel the same exact way. In fact, alone I could have a better sex life. I just can't figure how to kiss myself.

Your mum obviously meant to create no hurt in what she said but she did nevertheless. By saying that sex wasn't that important she was effectively denying you your feelings and diminished your personal values. I don't know whether that would be something she would have been prepared to consciously achieve or not.

If instead she had said "Wow, I didn't realise that sex was that important to you" or "How does the lack of sex affect you" she could have been a lot more supportive by not implicitly criticizing you. But your mum, unfortunately, couldn't do that. It simply isn't in her psyche to achieve that sort of thing and in a way your "Poor mum" observation is all too appropriate.

At least in principle you get an opportunity to halt the possible repetition of history now. A poor consolation prize I am sure.

Yes, I will work to allow my daughter to not live with the guilt that enjoying sex has brought me. That is, when she is old enough...

I'll do a progressive/liberal thing. I'd say that the earliest bits of sex education start young. A dispassionate and non-judgmental approach from the youngest years, isn't a bad idea. "Where babies come from" is something kids ask from the youngest age - I think we should tell them.

I would agree with you, there. I am talking about the sex that comes from the freedom to love so thoroughly. The one that allows us to give ourselves away without guilt.

I'll suggest one leads from the other - not always - just that I'd gamble that a fair number of 'refusers' (I've got trouble with that word - can't we have a better one?), come from backgrounds where sex was an uncomfortable subject.

I believe you are correct there, too.

2 More Responses

I also find many in my generation in the same boat. Many of my female aquaintances are stay at home moms in their 40's. Many had professional degrees right out of college but our society encouraged them to be homemakers. The base their worth on the cleanliness of their homes, size of their homes, successes of their children ect. I don't think it just belongs to the older generation.

Interesting. I am in my 40s. My parents are in their 60s. The 20 years apart does not seem too far at times. Other times, it is extremely. My mother never took steps to stand on her own. There is also a stigma for women who work instead of starting that family.

My parents are technically alive. In fact, they are visiting now. I need to shout quite loudly to make them hear anything. Making them understand is another hurdle. They do not notice, or pretend not to notice, that I go to work after dinner, return after 3am, and sleep in a separate room. I have outgrown my parents for a while. They are kind of done. That was wrenching, giving up on their fading wisdom and counsel.

It's actually a natural process in my mind. Don't you think so? Eventually, you become their carers. It could be anything from helping them cope with the modern world that they increasingly struggle with eg. dealing with the Internet, on-line ordering, on-line banking. At other times it might well be helping them deal with real hard core issues like mental or physical frailty. It seems to me to be a natural phase in the inter-generational process as one generation effectively hands over to another and it will probably happen between you and your off-spring, if you have them. It seems to me to be an integral part of human evolution, at least in societal terms. And they are relying on you, even if it is unspoken.

Despite realising this I find it nevertheless hard, moment to moment, to keep my frustration and exasperation under control. Maybe much of that is inevitable too. Just don't be too hard on yourself over it, life's hard enough as it is.

Yes, hardly unexpected. Having a bad marriage of course makes it harder. Especially if you actually like your parents (unfashionable?) even though you don't depend on them.

This may sound awful...
but i am so glad
neither of my folks are alive
to see the hotmess
my marriage/family/and I
have become....
whew...would add such
weight to an
already weighty
heart...
joyinthejourney, clg

I just wanted to send you a hug.....

I guess you will not get much sympathy about sexless part from your mum...unfortunately...

I thought that old formula of marriage (Men marry to have sex, women tolerate sex to have marriage) died before I was born, but it seems not...

I think you have nailed her philosophy. Both of my parents are lovely, albeit human. I thought being taken care of was the way to go, so I married at a young age, too. The difference, I went to school, got a great job, and learned that I am more than the scared girl he married. She is still the same scared little girl.

Now, don't think I am judging her for this. It works for her, and in some ways, it must work for Dad, too. It is just that I can't...

OMG ... My mum use to say that her mother ( who went on to have 6 kids and live to 87 ) married my grandfather but never grew up . She was always a little girl , who could not connect with her daughters when they became teens , but always mothered her sons . My mum could never have an adult conversation with her mother . My mum could talk to us about anything . My other grandmother who lived to 90 , would discuss anything with us , including sex . All our friends thought she was the best . Age isn't always indicative of how women view sex .

That is a shame about your mother, and it seems she learned something from her own relationship with her mother. I am working hard to make certain that I have a good, growing into adulthood, relationship with both my daughter and son. I want to progress and grow with them. I don't want to 'mother' them their whole lives. I want them to feel free to trust me as they hit life's twists and turns, and not be afraid to tell me anything or turn to me.

<p>I have found that so many of the older generation(s) - are not in any way, shape, or form any happier in their marriages than anyone else. All it was was an exercise in longevity. That seemed to be the only benchmark that was deemed worthy.</P><br />
<p>They didn't have the options to divorce - relative to today so they stayed. I never found much inspiration in their marital longevity stories - so many seem miserable.</P>

Actually, you are correct about the divorce issue. One thing that I said to my mother was that I had an advantage because I work full time, so I am able to walk away without huge financial worries. (Yes, financial worries are still there.) She was a stay at home mom...by choice....she is still a stay at home mom.... I'm in my 40s. She made her choices, and I am now making mine.