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Am I Considered A Refuser Too?

So I have been married for 20 years, of which we have RARELY had s**. Consistently, it was only within the first year of our marriage that we had what I would consider "normal" intimate relations. Since then its been years. I have spoken to him about this numerous times, of which he says he would like to have s** more too, although it never happens. I am the one that always brings up the problem, I have also told him several times that I prefer he initiates s** (because 1. I have just never felt comfortable within our relationship to initiate it myself--except when I was trying to get pregnant--to which he would comply but acted like it was a sense of duty instead of any enthusiasm & 2. Because outside the bedroom I manage EVERYTHING in our lives--where we go on vacation, who our doctors are, the bank we use, the restaurants we eat at, the food/brand we buy....etc.....he doesn't want to be involved in any decisions---so in ONE area I would like to be taken care of & have him initiate SOMETHING---he says ok, but then never initiates).
On a side note, I have found out that he watches p*** (of which I suspect may have been going on for awhile), watches s**cam websites (no idea what all goes on there), & has visited a "happy ending" massage parlor "on accident" (even though everyone in our town I've came into contact with knows whats up with the place, & the fact that he was born & raised here makes it hard to believe he didn't know what that place actually was. He works out of town a lot so he has opportunity if he wishes to cheat.
My question, among anything else you might wish to comment on here about:
Am I considered a refuser because I've told him I want him to initiate? The few times he has initiated I responded with enthusiasm & have NEVER refused him?
drpinkangel drpinkangel 36-40, F 8 Responses Jan 27, 2013

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Although it is not your intention to do so, you could be emasculating him with the "controlling "behaviour.
These things make you too much like his mother , and make him feel less like a man ( with you )
I found myself doing too much of these type of things myself, and my husband finally told me that he hated it 24 years later ?????
The thing is , if you are an organised person and you don't mind doing these things , and you think that your spouse can't be bothered,doesn't wants to , or has no time too, you just do it. You actually think that you are doing them a favour , and that it's the right thing to do. The down side is, they feel like you control all the decision making in their life. I don't think there would be any man that likes this. They start to resent you doing all this , and it can drive them away, sexually or otherwise.
It can end up where even the smallest gesture , such as making their lunch for work, or washing their clothes offends them. I'm a big boy , i can do that myself , kind of thing.
Your husband doesn't seem to have an issue with sex , he has an issue with you.
Even if you wanted it everyday, he may not want to connect with you.
I'm not sure that who initiates, has anything to do with it.

Wow, did your response hit the nail on the head! Far too many people pointing fingers and feeling sorry for themselves. So many caught up in their own story, not realizing that they are the root of the problem. Change starts within. YOU (and only you) are in charge of your own happiness. Again, kudos to your candor!

Thanks Tabitha....we all hold some of the blame , none of us are innocent.

If you are seeking asymmetry, consider who is on ILIASM and who is not.

A counter point.

There are items in your post that catch my attention. First could it be true that you do everything because you are more comfortable in control of the world around you? Not saying he is perfect or that you are a control freak - but control is corrosive to men. So if there is truth your man could simply check out - let you do it rather than not do it the way you wish it done.

You may not have meant it but "he must initiate" why? Your reasons seem to be 1) because I do not like to and 2) because he owes me. Why shoudl he like to any more than you? He owes you nothing as to sex IMO and to feel that way certainly bleeds in to your M.

So he may be a real slug or turned in to one, but your story has parts that you own in this it seems to me.

Your hubby appears to be well checked out. Could be all on him - could be all on you - likely some of both right? I will also say the women he is with on line, in parlors, and on video make no demands of him except possibly cash -- and that is a no brainier for him I'd guess.

Beyond that all the excellent advice before applies- it does not matter so much who owns what - where you go from here is what matters. From the sounds of things my input here may be very well worth pondering - for your next partner. You have a long road it seems to me.

I appreciate your taking the time to respond to my post. You are correct, I am a control freak. I do like things my way & I do criticize, more so than I believe I normally would because I am so frustrated with our situation (SM). I do think we are in a circle of me being a control freak, him shutting down, no intimacy, me being a control freak, etc..... The fact that I want him to initiate it I think stems from the fact that I have never felt confident enough with him to initiate it myself. It has always (even @ the start of our marriage) seemed obligatory on his part. My resentment, anger, & harsh attitude/words towards him has increased each passing year with the lack of intimacy. I have tried to communicate with him....nothing. I have tried to bite my tongue & curb my anger.....nothing. Maybe it's just too far gone. I truly believe he is passive aggressive & often tries to do things he knows will annoy me. I'm sure it is no picnic for him, & I've been verbal in my communication it is no picnic for me (having a "friendship" marriage). Again I appreciate your response, you really saw my part to blame in all of this & called me out on it. I appreciate it. :)

Thank you for our kindnesses. Being controlled to far is bad news for men - and it can sneak up like alcoholism. You turn around and realize you do not need an alarm clock or a check book, may have forgotten how to write a check - not even sure how to put gas in the car or how to use those F'n swipe card things at the grocery store. And it hits you; "I am not a man, I am not her hero." - and then you face that and work with your wife, or you run and hide in your mind - if so intimacy goes and sex along with it.

It is simply wrong to do things to irritate your spouse. Us men are super great at acting like children. Truth is he may be wondering "what else do I have to do for her to make this decision too?" - that is "I want a divorce", or "we need a divorce."

Do you want to save the M at this point? Do you have the stomach for a battle that likely can not be won? Baz will be the one to say, once this far gone the chances of saving the M are very low at best.

If you want to make a run at this - remember, real men are bears. Let him be your man, your hero, let him protect his bear cave.

Recognizing it likely will not work and expecting nothing. I suggest initiating sex for the next three months. Attack the **** head on, - watch it with him - do new things fully acceptable to you, force him back to you and only you.

Suggest you Do not make any decision for him that do not directly involve you - don't schedule doctor's apts, get his prescriptions - wake him up "when it is time to get up" - don't; remind him of things he is supposed to do -- let him fail, let him do for himself even if it drives you nut ball for a bit.

First, you think he wants a divorce too but just waiting for me to make the decision & take it off him? Truth is, if he asked, I really wouldn't be all that upset...more mad about ALL the years I've wasted...a failed marriage would feel like wasted time to me.
As for the bedroom, he is very mechanical, in the past when I suggested things he looked @ me like I had 3 heads, so don't really think that would work.
Thanks., because I've been emotionally letting go (& I think he senses that because he's seemed more needy--holding my hand, calling me, etc) I have stepped back from controlling everything (although my kitchen that is still not done after 2 1/2 yrs & the office that has no light fixtures for 6mos because he doesn't call & schedule appointments is getting to be a little irritating...but deep breath....I will survive...lol).
Goodness, how do you see a guy as a man that you've had to take care of for the last 20 years? Do you know what's sexy to me now? A "man" who takes care of himself, I find myself attracted (no I am not a cheater, just what I prefer as the years go on) to dominant men. I know there is usually an alpha male in a room with other men, I think its also that way with women. If I am in the room with a take charge man I am happy... perhaps my H can learn how to be dominant? It is not sexy to be around a man who can't take care of basic day-to-day living activities. But you're probably right, over the years I have probably emasculated him with my remarks & dominant attitude. Still, if he has taken the intimacy to someone else that is a breaking point for me....I have stayed faithful & tried to communicate....if he had a problem & instead of communicating he has cheated on me....then the decisions made.
Finally, the question of to work it out (as it stands right now) or not is a hard one. We have a lot of history & a child together...but you are right...things are so far gone I don't know if I have it in me to pull myself & him through trying to save this marriage. If he was carrying his own weight...maybe?

The problem, with email is it is hard to convey things - To the extent he is in his heart doing "pay back/hurtful" things - I suggest he may be doing hurtful things and hoping the result will be you making the decision to say "divorce time." Maybe not --but could be.

Based on what you have written I'd say it is certain he is getting sexual gratification from others/elsewhere -- real or on-line - what does it matter? you are not his lover.

With respect you seem to write from a position of being in pain, hurt, "it is all on my shoulders, I have given and given." I believe that.

An interesting question is , does he care? Are the things important to you that you have given important to him? And you'll say "yes" -- but he has to answer that honestly. My wife picked up dog scat every week in advance of the mower guys showing up. Every week without fail she did this. And every week without fail she woudl refuse me in the bed room, or sneak of to bed, or sleep on the couch watching TV.

To me this snippet of my life is a perfect sexless M example. Folks can read that and say "you lazy bastard, why did you not help her? I'd not want to sleep with you either" - but fairly you could see how dog poop and 100's of other tasks that I walked away from created a person who did not want to be my lover or was "too tired."

Yet - Rain or shine, head ache or back ache or toothache she does this task. She values a self made promise to the lawn guy to keep dog poop off his mower blades above our bed and our intimacy. In 25 years my wife has initiated sex through overt sexually suggestive actions - perhaps 5 times. Dog poop has been picked up at least 1,000 times. I ask myself - what is important to her? And I do not like the answer. So I checked out.

NWFLMan,
Appreciate your insight and honesty in speaking this
"First could it be true that you do everything because you are more comfortable in control of the world around you? Not saying he is perfect or that you are a control freak - but control is corrosive to men. So if there is truth your man could simply check out - let you do it rather than not do it the way you wish it done".
As per people on thsi forum, i will be labeled as one of the Refuser just like "DrPinkangle's" H. I can totally correlate with you and that's what has exactly happened in our SM. No i am not gay or asexual or a cheater having affairs. And yes i do dearly love my wife (hope she is reading this as she is always checking ut this forum). But yes our marriage is SM and it's not SM because i do not want to have sex with her or trying to punsih her. How can i punish her when i am in love with her. She has amazing qualities and she is really very good person in heart. But the fact is also that she is a control freak and has anger issues (similar to DrPinkangle. When you get yelled and screamed at every incident, your normal eating habbits are cridiculed at every instance, your views are abusively challanged at every instance, you stop being a man. And yes, i do everything in house including having a stable, high paying job, take care of all the bills and do a lot of household work including vacuuming, occassionall dishwashing etc.

I feel like and act like a man everywhere except when i am with her. When you are forced to change (mind it not influenced but forced), you start resenting her. Your dormant anger takes over. You van never get emotionally intimate with a control freak person. As a result, i got hooked to **** and lost the desire to have sex with her. It was not inteional nor it was to hurt her but that's what happens when you do not feel like a man. **** addiction is just like Alcohol or drug addiction. After few years, even when i desire, i have a hard time getting emothionally and physicall connected with her.
I am not writing to sya that i am not at fault. Yes i am passive with her and that's never good in relationship. I am not proud of my **** addiction. I have veen in therapy for 5 months and **** free for 45 days and trying to redeem myslef.

However, it is importnat that the people on this site also hear the story of the other side. I rarely find a refuser's view heard here. Most of the refused are so angry and hurt that they have not desire or inclination to get the root of the problem. Mostly i hear only suggestions how to get out of this relationship instead of how to fix it.

Thank you to both NWFLMan & Darlene 1973. I appreciate hearing from both a man's perspective & the refuser/refused. As my H is not here to fairly tell his side /perception of our marriage it is appreciated that you have stepped in with your own personal stories. You have definitely given me a whole new perspective to think about when dealing with my husband. Thanks again. :)

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With the added information about neither of you following through with counseling I have got to say, labels aside, it doesn't seem like either of you think this marriage is worth any effort. If something is important to you, you invest time and energy in it. It seems pretty obvious where both of you stand.

I have suggested counseling, he's mumbled incoherent/stiff sentences....that's it. I have talked about our relationship numerous times over the years, to which he's reassured me he loves me...but then nothing changes. I have been the one to initiate (taking my time & energy) every one of those conversations. However, I don't have the will or the energy to make an appt., drag him there, & have him mumble his way through it.

Let me see . . . .

1) sex was only at normal levels for Year One of a twenty year marriage

2) you have spoken to him numerous times and he agrees he wants "more sex" - but it never happens

3) he had sex with you when you were trying to get pregnant - but it was a "duty" for him rather than something he did with enthusiasm

4) he says he will initiate - but NEVER does

5) he watches ****

6) he participates in webcam sex

7) he visited (possibly visitS) a massage parlour for sex

8) he lies about cheating (the ridiculous story about the massage parlour!)

9) he expects you to take care of EVERY aspect of your joint life together

10) on the rare occasions he HAS initiated, you have never refused him.

Well, the evidence is in. You are definitely a TERRIBLE wife! This man is a paragon of a husband - any woman on ILIASM would be thrilled to have him as a spouse!! It is up to YOU to :

a) turn yourself inside out and upside down to keep all aspects of your marriage - including any sex - going!

b) take responsibility for making bookings for him at the local massage parlour

c) go out to work to earn more money and buy him a HUGE screen for his **** watching

d) provide an array of tasty snacks and drinks for him whilst he is web-camming

e) not to let your child OR yourself EVER interfere with his self-sex time - not even if one of you needs hospitalisation - or a meteor hits the house.

I hope you understand that in marriage the husband is ALWAYS in the right! The wife must do EVERYTHING (and MORE) to ensure he is never upset, disturbed or discombobulated in ANY way.

Got that? Good! Now, turn to the next chapter for "More on being a doormat" . . . .!

Still, most nickles have two sides. Dimes too.

If P0rn, or "the life" is his drug of choice then enabling its use is simply that.

To clarify, are you saying I am enabling him? If so, how? Thanks.

NWFL, huh? What is your point??????

Point number one is -- we do not see the other side of the story. and for everyone in here, there are two sides "to the coin that is our life." - deep huh ? LOL - sorry to be obtuse.

Ms Enna - your post seemed to take in her side as the full story, and your depth of emotion in this response was striking to me. Very much so in fact.

secondly I like to consider p0rn at the level described her as an addiction - it is not strictly speaking, but I think in context of saving a marriage perhaps it is a good model.

I do not know if pinkangle is an enabler - but your response was pointed to the folly of enabling. This relationship has been this way for some time -- lots of behavior patten to understand - and change if life is going to improve for either of them. Verdad?

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Lets say that you are a refuser then.
Your marriage is a dysfunctional shithole, in which you either stay, or vacate.

Alternatively, lets say you are the refused. In that case . . . . . well. pretty much the same. You either stay or you vacate.

What I am suggesting here is that you are wasting your time trying to apply the 'correct' label on you and him. It does not, has not, and will not, make a blind bit of difference to the facts on the ground.

Shithole marriage = stay or vacate.

Tread your own path.

Thanks Bazzar, love your honesty. I guess it matters to me in that I would be willing to seek counseling if I was the problem/refuser (although I'm sure I'm doing my fair share causing strife somewhere within the marriage). However, if he is the refuser then there's not much hope because I have suggested counseling before & although I didn't make the appointment, neither did he. If he had ever came to me & initiated the conversation about being a refuser, I would've taken steps to remedy it (especially if he said he'd thought about leaving, like I've told him before). I initiated counseling for myself when my frustration @ him & our marriage was causing anger management issues (no I am not an abuser, but can't tell you how many times I've had to sit on my hands to keep from smacking him upside the head over frustration with his lack of communication or initiation of anything). Does that make sense? If I am the refuser then there may be hope because I would seek help, if he's the refuser there is nothing I can do about it.

It makes sense but it is also wrong. Generally the refuser does not seek help, as they are content with how it is, and are in a blissful state of denial (and in another story Bazzar comments how the refuser misses most of the signs that something is really wrong in the marriage). Thus the refused needs to take action to get the refuser help, but this often fails. Seek counselling, hope for the best, plan for the worse, take care of yourself.

I can seek counseling for myself. Is it wrong that I don't really have a desire to bring up couples therapy again? I know if I want to make it work I will probably have to be the one to initiate therapy, but I don't know if it's just too far gone (hopefully individual counseling will shed light on that). I am so tired of being in a one-sided marriage & in my mind that would be the last of my dignity gone (to make appt. & drag him there--once again being the one who initiates). Guess @ this point I'm 50/50, one part is just done & wants to go through the motions of getting ready to leave...the other wants to stay. Thanks for the advice. It is very much appreciated.

Whether or not you are a refuser is probably for you to decide.

I would, however, say that your marriage is dysfunctional.

So who is refusing whom is irrelevant at this point. What is relevant is this:

What is your plan to get to living a higher quality of life?

Regardless of refuser vs. refused status.

Well, I want to make sure I've covered all the bases I can before I decide what to do (we do have a child together). I posted the topic because I really wanted to make sure that there wasn't a chance of miscommunication between us (me thinking he is a refuser & him thinking I'm the refuser). For my own piece of mind, if I decide to end the marriage, I want to make sure I did what I reasonably could to save it. I really don't know what else to do, even though I have told him I have seriously considered leaving at least 2 times before, it has not jolted any kind of reaction in him.

" I did what I reasonably could to save it"

Before ending the marriage most try some form of counselling, though with your passive-aggressive spouse you would have to arrange it, and then he might sabotage it by either not attending it and/or not really participating. It would not surprise me if you had already tried this.

Yes, I have brought it up, although I have never made the appointment. When I bring it up he just gives me a blank expression & mumbles I don't know what to get out of the conversation. Starting to feel like if he doesn't care then why should I.

Am I considered a refuser because I've told him I want him to initiate?

No, you are clearly the refused here

Thank you, I needed that reassurance.