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!!!