An Iliasm Sub Group?

Hl42 said, in a forum comment, "having a big problem in a marriage is not, of itself, a sign of dysfunction. I think it's how we deal with it - or not, and mutually, that makes the difference". As happens so often for me when I read what he says, this provoked an "aha" moment.  Because this can be expanded to us in this group too - how WE deal with the problems people bring us each day is also something we need to consider carefully. . . .

I am also seriously thinking about the issues raised by Apocryopha.  Although I believe there is likely only a small percentage of people for whom this applies, I think we (as a group) owe it to them to be open and aware of how their situations may vary from the norm. And if there are routes to saving these marriages, then we as a group need to (a) be aware of them, and (b) ensure the information is available to those who need it.

(To understand these comments, check out Apocrypha’s comments on the stories “Hope for those we want it” and “Bacon scented candles”.)

Having read Apocrypha, I now think this small portion of people are in fact neither "typical sexless marriage" NOR "jaded". They may deserve a specific category of their own.  I have come "kicking and screaming" to this position - but this is not new for me on ILIASM! Ask Baz and Lao how long it took me to really understand that the "why" was largely irrelevant!! However, if I am genuinely committed to the progress of people on ILIASM it behoves me to approach these exceptions with an open mind and be willing to listen to others who know more about a situation than I do.  I hope others here will join with me in this attitude.

In the interests of authenticity, justice and genuine support, I would like to see this small sub-group's options further explored. I think some other ILIASM members will remain sceptical of their having unique issues, but I nevertheless believe we owe it to them - and ourselves - to get clarity on this.

I am hoping Apocrypha will post in more detail the information he has garnered. It has been hard won and obtained with pain and long term patience on his part. I believe it could be invaluable to some members of ILIASM. And for the rest of us, it can be a worthwhile reason to pause in our judgements and reflect on exactly "where" people lie on the spectrum.

A couple of years ago (some of the oldies may remember) the "flavour of the month" advice was "your spouse does not love you" - and this was certainly true for many here. As such it became a sort of "catch cry" that was adopted by many. But there were people like me who KNEW this did not apply - and we felt marginalised and ignored by those who insisted it was true . . . .

I do not want to fall into the category of persons who cannot recognise that there are many variations on the theme! Altho' I do believe we have many characteristics in common as a group, and that for the largest majority of us, divorce or separation is the only way forward to a truly happy existence, I also recognise that there ARE exceptions.

People like hl42, are a prime example.  He has created a new environment through his own tenacity, hard work and commitment. This might be possible, in different ways, for others - if they feel sufficiently supported by ILIASM to stay and "find their way".

This is my NEW journey! I hope others will join me. Let us make ILIASM as accepting and supportive as possible, whilst remaining with our feet firmly on the ground!!!


enna30 enna30
56-60, F
9 Responses Jan 11, 2013

Enna, I sense that you honor yourself for thinking these things through and adding value - rather than the anodyne triggers I'd provide!

I've found the range of expressions here very valuable, and Apochrypha's especially worthwhile and challenging. I know part of the change process for me was associated with challenging comfortable rules or standards about beliefs and behaviors, and A's perspective is one of the more challenging!

So I'd greatly regret balkanisation happening.

I suppose there is a conflict in terms of peoples' perceptions of the purpose of the group (or even if there could be said to be a group?!):

- whether it's an expression of experience and opinion;
- or whether it's a vehicle for change and influence.

What I'm unsure about is whether it is doing a poster any favors (and implicitly honoring them to be able to "tread their own path") - if they are confronted with other posters spreading opinions that they might not - in their beaten-down SM state - be well equipped to resist. After all, they're getting that bile fresh at home (and possibly from toxic internal messages).

So I do want to be able to challenge those opinions that I believe are unhelpful to that poster - and I'd expect others to do that to me too.

Which leaves the danger of groupthink and ad-hominem attacks to see people off. But there is a collective wisdom in this board, borne of experience and desperation. I'd only hope that posters use their judgement to weigh those who have worked through their own issues, and are attentive to the poster's needs.

Over the years (yes, it's been that long) I have come to accept the real expansion of ILIASM as "I am looking for emotional and moral support to terminate my marriage", for most people. "I live in ..." gives you an impression of stasis, but ILIASM is anything but stasis. It's an assembly line of sorts. Some are scared to jump on to the belt, because "everything but the sex is good". Others coast along to recovering their selves. Some are inspected farther along the line and sent back to fill in skipped stages (think reset sex). On the way, one collects self-esteem, clear assessment, courage, etc., and when you a re done, you leave ILIASM, almost always because you dissolve your marriage and do not need ILIASM any more. This I feel is the most common trajectory through ILIASM, call it what you will.

Brother LaoTzu said a while back that most people in sexless marriages DON'T leave. And a bit of rudimentary research I've done seems to confirm that. So I doubt that the assembly line spits people out the other end as "left". I rather think people leap off the assembly line once it gets to their tolerance level, and return to their lives of quiet desparation.

That said, it is a great analogy you came up with Brother U.

Actually, to be serious, my asexual wife put up with doing something she found disgusting with me for a long time to try to keep me.<br />
I do think she loved me quite a bit.<br />
She just could neither understand nor empathize with me, ever.<br />
I think this is because she is an obvious, if undiagnosed, Asperger's person, so that makes the whole thing rather tragic.<br />
...I loved her so much, once...

Wow, when you said an ILIASM "Sub" group, I, I must not have realized how many other ILIASM members are into being tied up and spanked.
...Just keepin' it classy, y'all...


Reminds me of a time some years ago when after a night on the **** with a few mates we were staggering to the cab rank when we came past this joint called "The Hellfire Club". Went in for a drink. It was a bondage joint. Hilariously funny night.

My two cents - and I will admit to not having thought it out completely - the "How" does not matter. What is important is that sexual intimacy and desire are rekindled. Currently posts reporting a resumption of sexual intimacy draw both well wishes and caution (i.e. hope its not reset s e x, etc.). I reckon that what most ILIASM members are leery of are posts lauding a one size fits all solution - mainly because it comes across as a sales gimmick. I can think of a few recent examples. Posts on individual paths of discovery will garner questions - it would be only natural to ask questions about trust, respect and authenticity in an effort to understand, depending on how far outside of one's comfort zone it is. I don't think a defined sub-group is necessary as this is all part of the evolution of this forum.

What occurs to me straight up is that the ILIASM family has new adoptees coming to the front door on a daily basis.

If there were two (or more) options, say door #1 "Enter here those who's marriages are salvagable", and door #2 "Enter here those who's marriages are ******", then you might as well board up door #2.
Door #2 will never be used as "my marriage is great bar the sex".

ILIASM is here. It is what it is, and what it has evolved into since "Stinkcat" started it, and the assorted generations since have carried it on.
And THIS generation of ILIASM, OUR generation carrying the banner, are no better or smarter or more intuitive than any of the generations who preceded us, or the generation(s) yet to take their turn at the wheel of ILIASM.

If there had been a need and purpose for trying to cover everything, to be "all things to all people" generations past, I figure, would have done so. If ILIASM in it's present format ain't doing the job, then it will wither and die. And so it should if that is the case.

Tread your own path.

<p>Just to clarify and expand: the purpose of developing a sub-group is NOT to put these people into a separate category - or to "name" them or "out" them in some way. It is for the REST of us to be aware that "one size fits all" advice is NOT going to be helpful in some situations.</p>

There is much truth in what you write - I know that my husband loves me - I am absolutely sure of this. The dysfunction in our marriage is that I probably no longer love him as he does me (as you know for a variety of reasons) and yet our marriage continues. There are degrees of SLM - and we all live within that. After a few years on this forum I have learnt so much about me, my spouse and the varying degrees of SLM and what one can live with. I do not think it is 'wrong' to stay for the children. But I will agree that it behoves us to look at ourselves and agree what we really want.

As alway enna - an excellent coherent post!

I'm a little confused about what defines this new sub-group, even though I have read Apocrypha's comments with great interest. Can you give an example? Thanks!

Excellent point! To be honest, I'm not sure myself! I think it is possibly those people who feel they do NOT fit the general classification - so perhaps it is easier to define the NON-members!
These would be:
1) the peope who have literally tried everything they are willing to do (and possibly more!) to stimulate their spouses into having sex with them
2) the people who have genuinely communicated (hopefully without threat or criticism) their genuine NEED for sex in their relationships (The Talk!)
3) the people who (like me) know for a fact that suggesting alternatives (such as suggested by 1HotCouple or Apocrypha) would result in that "deer in the headlights look" and shock and horror! I can imagine my Ex (for example) preferring to be hung upside down naked in the Town Square than agreeing to exploring BDSM!!

I am tentaively thinking that the people who "might" belong in a sub-grouplike this are those with spouses who adamantly say they WANT a sex life with their spouse but feel thy cannot - for some reason - achieve this. Is this because they would feel more sexy with a dominant partner? Would they like to introduce BDSM into their marriage? Are they an abused person who has difficulty accessing their sexual feelings?

I admit to floundering here because I really am not at ALL sure who might feel they belong in such a group. AND it is important to realise that this sub-group is NOT a way of marginalising those people from the main group. Rather it is that the main group be more INCLUSIVE of those who are "outside the square" . . . .

Hmmm. Well my STBX adamantly said he wanted to a sex life with me but never did anything to really make that happen. The problem is determining whether it's just talk or if they actually mean it. For me it comes down to actions vs words. In that sense I think that is common to the majority of SM's. I think the most interesting sub-group is the people who have spouses who ADMIT they don't want sex and actually stay!!

I think yoursituation is common. There are many people on this board whose spouses "say" they want sex but do nothing about it. And many who try to portray a happy sex life to the outside world (PDAs for example) but revert to sexlessness in the home. Personally, my guess is that you two are among the mainstream here on ILIASM.

And the "mainstream" is going to be the majority. But it is for those who feel/think/believe they are outside of that mainstream that such a sub-group may be useful.