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On Love

I think I have made this observation here before, but now that I'm out of my SM and in love with someone amazing, it keeps popping into my mind.

I wonder how much of love is our desire to GIVE love---not just to receive it. We all have so much love to give, but the reality is that our partners don't always want it---why they don't is irrelevant. When we meet someone who actually lets us love them, we are so excited that we don't quite realize they aren't capable of loving us back in the way we want.

Being able to really love is not a bad thing---just because your SM might make it seem that way. If you are a person with a lot of love to give, you are very special. The world needs more people who are loving. So just because your partner can't enjoy it or return it doesn't mean there is anything wrong with you, or them. It just means you need to be with someone who deserves the love you have to give, and can enjoy it and return it in the way you need.

The trick is not to love less, to restrain your desire to give in order to make your spouse comfortable. The trick is to love freely, deeply, passionately, sincerely. If your partner can't accept that, you are with the wrong partner.
nyartgal nyartgal 36-40, F 26 Responses Jan 13, 2013

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So often, love and desire are seemingly bound together. I have learned recently that sometimes you must give up desire and move on if you truly love. Yes, you are with the wrong person if they don't love you back.

I have been in a sexless marriage for several years and the pain has been excruciating? I have had therapy for depression but only recently linked the two. It has always seemed shallow to link deep emotional pain to sex, but incredibly I now realise that for me sex and love have always been intimately entwined. I do actually make love. The fact that sex and love are so linked is an odd surprise to me. I never thought they were very linked. I have felt shallow and 'typically male' because I felt such anguish over not having sex with my wife. But then I reached the point of deciding I would look elsewhere for sex and when I actually genuinely decided that was the solution and indeed justifiable I realised that was not what I wanted. I want sex with my wife. And then I realised that the anguish I have been feeling for so many years is the anguish of unrequited love, of rejection and of jealousy - the feelings are the same as the feelings of being desperate to have a relationship with someone and for thm to not be interested. It is agony of a teenage unrequited love drawn out over years. There is no solution except for my wife to fall back in love with me or for me to accept my heart has been broken and to move on. How extraordinary to have to re-learn this lesson in my forties.

I think all of us here have experienced that feeling of unrequited love. And maybe that\'s what keeps us trapped as well. There i something intoxicating about trying to get someone to love you. Even though IT NEVER WORKS. Love should be felt naturally, voluntarily. If someone needs to be convinced to fall in love with you, they will never truly love you.

Amen.. Love, be loved or move on..

Love should be given without question or conditions and hopefully returned the same way and if so its amazing agree?smile

I love this, everyone has such great ways of looking at things, very good prospectives and great questions well worth pondering. the thing wrong with our society is that there are more people who put personal status in the employment world above everything else, Yes I agree it is important, but there are studies which show that those who are in happy relationships with a significant other tend to live longer. Now, all I know is what that means to me, love is more important. It is only my opinion but what I believe is that when are love someone, who in turn loves us back, everything else will follow. being in love with someone means that you want them to be their best, so you tend to give little pep-talks, help them obtain their goals, while at the same time accepting our lovers at their worst as well. Anyway, what I am trying to say is that love seems to have taken a back burner in societies "things-to-do" list.

Bravo! Well done. Thought provoking.

I have had similar thoughts on a completely different topic and your story resonated with me. What I've been pondering is being polite and holding doors open for the person behind you - man OR woman, vs. being sexist for daring to hold a door open for a woman/feminist). My take on it all is that we should all strive to improve this world and make a positive impact. Don't stop being nice for fear of repercussions. Be polite! Love freely! This is the world I want to live in. Thank you!

Thank you!!! This was incredibly on point and what I needed to hear tonight:)

Well put.

While you are right unfortunately most people build walls to protect themselves. If we chose wrong before, we fear doing it again.

I think that is the initial reaction and fear. In the long run though hopefully we learn who to trust and how to trust vulnerably and honestly. And how to bounce back from when things don't go well in the trust department and take care of ourselves.

I have always been able to take care of myself. Trust is hard to find anymore.

What I mean is when trust is broken or damaged, that I will be ok anyway. Once I believe that then it becomes easier to trust because the consequences and the outcome aren't so brutal.

That is a good positive outlook. And very good advice to give. I find communication to be the single biggest down fall of any relationship.

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Very true friend, GOD BLESS YOU

My W's first analyst recommended 'Hold Me Tight' by Sue Johnson. I thought it characterised the issue of assymetric intimacy and the behaviours this produces quite well. In particular the anger, rages and tantrums that you can find yourself experiencing when denied intimacy and affection over prolonged periods.

I agree with NYartgal so much and I am a man!

It is interesting to compare my feelings as a man with yours as a woman. I have found that by not being able to give and express my love to my partner that my own needs have become greater. It is as though I begin to regress into a needy child by restraining the love that I have to give!

It sometimes feels as though something once refined and beautiful becomes crude and empty. Instead of being loving and caring I become withdrawn and irritable. I become afraid to let feelings flow into my body lest I reach out and touch her and stroke her hair or give her a warm hug and once again a failed kiss as she turns away.
It is hard for me to cuddle anymore (but I still do anyway) because I start feeling a deep, sad pain in my chest.

Maybe this is wrong but I have always felt that my own pleasure and happiness has a foundation in being able to give pleasure and share as much happiness as I am able! When love and sharing with each other becomes conditional by one partner then the whole environment seems to degrade into one of unnecessary tension and absence of true feeling in both directions.

I don't know if leaving is really the answer. I am sure there is someone for me as you have found in your current partner who can reciprocate your love and sharing. The world we live in so carelessly is much like the relationships we keep. It is falling apart. I somehow feel there is some kind of economy in trying to heal both the parts of the Earth that we have damaged. So too there must be reason to repair the crumbling love and dreams in a relationship? Where will we go when all the Earth is used up? Where will we find love when it has been spent so that there are none left to join with in hopes of building a new life? Why is it that we think that there is an infinite resource for relationships that have true love? Perhaps we are just as wasteful in our relationships as we are with the Earth's resources?!

Sorry, I don't mean to get so sad and heavy in all of this. Perhaps this is also one reason that I come here to share...only it seems that what wants to get out is like a volcano...Getting back to where my response to "I live in a sexless marriage" began is the tug-a-war between desire and rejection where love is unrequited and tenderness shameful!

You are so right.
It's not about you just wanting it , it's about giving as much back.
Having the love to give, that is not wanted, is a very deep hole to find yourself in.

I think you have to be open to letting the other person in the relationship have space in the relationship. Many of us are overgivers. But sometimes we give so much that there's no room for someone else in the relationship. We carry the relationship single-handed by giving and giving and giving and don't really leave room for them to give, for them to exist as a whole person in the relationship. So it's all about balance. Or we carry it all because they don't feel competent (or whatever) and then we are surprised when we are basically in a relationship with ourselves. Again, no room for someone else when we are doing all the work. But if there's no room for someone else to exist as a whole person in relationship with you, then it's not a full relationship.

Thanks, very good insight! :)

rated up.
all the best

What I read about the Coolidge Effect suggests refuser spouses may find joy in giving and receiving love from someone new.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coolidge_effect

The refuser will discover the same joy you did and either wonder why he didn't feel this way with you, or blame you for something he/she is convinced you lack.

Our bodies are built to sabotage monogamy in order to diversify our gene pool. Some of us are more vulnerable to its control than others and some of us may simply start getting refused before we meet that level of satiation where we would instead refuse THEM. The craving to offer and receive physical validation is linked to emotional states.

So true.

Rated Up

Stay Strong & Good Luck

I find your proposition very very interesting.
Will put a bit of thought into that, but my gut feel is that you have hit on something very valid.

Rated up.

Tread your own path.

I'm not in a sexless marriage but a loveless relationship. My man says he cannot say he cannot say the words "I love you" to me but he can say it to his children. I'm tired of just "knowing" he loves me by the things he does. I want to feel it, wrap myself in it when we are apart. I want to experience the feeling I did when he once and only once wrote a text saying he loved me. I'm looking to move on from this relationship. I have so much love to give and I want to find someone who is willing to reciprocate.

So well put. I wish I could learn from the mistakes I made. I think my last mistake will be the one to push me forward and not blame myself. Thanks for the validation - even though I'm sure you didn't mean it to be :)

Exactly :-)

This is wonderful! Thank-you for sharing! I, too, have decided to live and love passionately- even though there have been people who've not been able to return it.

Rated up - very beautifully stated

I love this post so much. The start of my path out of my marriage was when I was standing in my kitchen 15 months ago and I swear to you I thought I had lightning coming out of my fingertips. I looked at my hands and thought, what on earth? From that point on, I realized I was so frustrated, not with the lack of ******* (I'm no dummy; I have a Hitachi Magic Wand), it was that I had love/the need to give and touch and lots of it to share, and it was building up and gumming me up and overflowing. And I was slathering it on my kids and the dog and the chickens and my aging father and anyone who would have it. But you know that's not the same as sharing it with a man. There is simply nothing like giving love to a man in whatever fashion that suits you in the moment. THAT is what lead me down the particular path that has me today months, maybe weeks, away from freedom. I also like your post because you differentiate between unrequited love and stupid giving, where you are rebuffed yet you still keep going/giving. Last time I saw my lover we were having fun all night long and I was bone tired, yet I found myself at 3 am giving him a full body massage with coconut oil (my instigation) and as hard work as it was, I could have gone on for hours I loved it so. And as great as the sex was that night, it's the massage I remember with fondness today. As Enna said, though I didn't have the awareness to say at the time, "Thank you for letting me touch you." It is that important.

Thanks for sharing your story and for your kind words. I'm glad my story was interesting to you! I totally agree that so much of the intense, painful LONGING most of us in SMs feel is as much (or more) a longing to give love as to receive it.

In general, I think any situation in life that requires you to restrain or disavow your true nature is harmful. It doesn't matter if your true nature is super ambitious but you're stuck at home, or you're gay but haven't come out, or you're super loving with a partner who doesn't want your love---there are a million examples. Basically, I'm referring to any situation that sets you up to be in conflict with YOURSELF.

If I'm living in tune with myself, I act nicer and treat people better and am more generous with my time, compassion, patience and love, and that brings joy into the world. If I'm miserable, then I create misery. And the world doesn't need more misery!! So I think of it as, how I can I add more joy to the world? I think we have a responsibility to the greater good to be the happiest or most in tune with yourself person you can be. Suffering is just suffering----it doesn't help anybody.

Pay attention to your body! I just wrote below how so many of the physical issues I had, like chronic (and sometimes crippling) insomnia have totally disappeared.

I had a moment like that too. When I was on my way back from the trip where I had the affair that blew my mind and relationship open, I remember almost having a panic attack at the airport after a couple days of extreme anxiety. I remember thinking over and over, "What if I never feel that way again? What if I never feel that way again?" My body was so filled with a adrenaline I could have flown home without the plane! But it really helped me understand how desperate I'd been feeling for so many years...

Even more to think about--thanks both of you. I absolutely get the panic feeling--as you both describe it. The worry that I may be stuck without love, intimacy, fun, laughter, and being myself, AND the later feeling, once I found it and knew how important it was, that I would never feel that way again. I really think your admonishment to pay attention to your body is key. Can't wait to be free. Can't wait. Can't wait. Can't wait!

TOTALLY agree. I found being unable to express my love immensely frustrating and depressing. I still often say to Baz "thank you for letting me touch you".

Agreed. The feeling of not having to ever restrain my passion or love to an "acceptable" level of intensity is so LIBERATING. With my H, I always got the message it was "too much" (and sometimes he actually said it). With my new guy, it's "gimme everything you got!!" :)

You go girl!! I cannot tell you how HAPPY you sound or how happy I am for you!!! {{{hugs}}}

Hugs back atcha, Enna!! I was walking around earlier, just feeling my own calm and relaxation and quiet happiness, and I noticed once again that the anxiety that permeated my life for so many years is gone! Not only do I just feel more relaxed, my digestion is great, I sleep like a baby, I never crave alcohol or anything else. The mind/body connection is amazing. I really FEEL great. Thanks so much for noticing!!! :)

You are going to have it!! I believe in you. :)

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