Post
Experience Project iOS Android Apps | Download EP for your Mobile Device

The Nature Of My Reality

Yesterday was an interesting day.

My first two posts generated a lot of responses - I am very grateful to all the folks who took the time to share their thoughts.

Generally speaking, most of the posts were thoughtful and supportive; several were critical; and a few were harsh. Interestingly, the harshest of them generated a flurry of support from a small group of members who were concerned I might be dissuaded from continuing to post - special thanks to those who rallied around me - much appreciated.

One post - the most recent, in fact - was especially unique. This individual came forward with the theory that since everything is an illusion anyway, I can create my own reality by imagining how I want things to be. He suggested I "make love to my wife in my mind" - and by doing so, I will set her free, bring myself peace, and cause her to relax.

"Make love to her in my mind." Well that's something I'm already good at!

So what IS the nature of my reality anyway?

A few things became very clear to me yesterday. First off: I seem to have fallen into some patterns in my life that are not serving me well. For example, I'm attracted to women who have "refuser" traits, which probably has something to do with my childhood. Great.

Another thing that became clear is that I probably have some intimacy issues, which I am clearly trying to work out inside of my primary relationships. Got it.

And finally, it became painfully obvious that none of this self-knowledge is worth a rat's A** unless it leads to some kind of action. If I would like a healthy, happy and most importantly REGULAR sex-life to be a part of my reality, I'm going to have to do something about it.

Welcome to ILIASM 101. My name is AMM and all I do is whine.

So if my reality is something I can change by imagining it, what would my new reality look like?

Well...the first thing I would change is that my primary partner (or whatever we call those around here) would have a sex-drive that is compatible with my own. That's what originally brought us all here, after all - right?

But I don't just want sex. I want physical intimacy. I want my primary partner to WANT to make love to me - to look at me and really SEE me. To feel passionately about who I am, not just because I'm kind, or helpful, or a good provider - but because of who I AM , essentially. I want sex NOT to be tied to what I do or don't do - at the end of the day, I want my primary partner to want to make love to me just because of who I am. At least occasionally. Is that too much to ask?

The truth is, I'm pretty fortunate in that my wife is as committed to a loving, compassionate, honest, adult relationship as I am. The problem for me is that she seems to have real limitations in an area that feels like a deal-breaker to me (i.e. around sex). And despite her goodwill and good intentions, she doesn't seem to be able to change anything about it - at least she hasn't been able to thus far. And while I want all that other relationship stuff as well, the sex thing is simply too important for me to ignore. That's why this is so hard for me.

I'm a "sex person" and she isn't. Is my reality really just as simple as that?
AMusicalMind AMusicalMind 46-50, M 5 Responses Feb 5, 2013

Your Response

Cancel

Personally, I don't think the lack of intimacy is what first brings us to this board. I think it is the last. Folks on this board are quite resourceful and have tried just about everything they can already think of on their own before doing the internet search that lands them (us) here.

While intimacy is seldom the only issue in a relationship, it is generally the most visible. S3x is one of the two great dumping grounds for any type of friction. So maybe better questions for the two of you to ask each other are these: what are we individually doing to take care of ourselves? Do we separately or together engage in activities that invigorate the mind, fuel the spirit, and strengthen our health? Do we have any specific shared short- or long-term goals? Are we actively and overtly working towards anything together? Is any area of our lives outside of intimacy angering us, either in our relationship or in something unrelated?

. . . and take a look at Apocrypha's reply to Smithy under Enna's recent post about self-care. It's an excellent description of what happens to the relationship system when one starts to make changes.

Are you looking for approval to divorce her?
Are you looking for an instruction manual on how to give and/receive love?
Do you know what love is? Do you know what love means to her?
She has issues. Yes. You do too. We all do. Otherwise there'd be no need for interaction at any level. We are all just human. And so we are all flawed.
Are you looking for perfection? What is your idea of the perfect marriage? Perfect relationship?
It would be a shame to throw away love which is an awesome foundation because of sexual gratification which is attenuable if the participants desire it.
Have you asked her if she wants or desires a sex life with you? And could she describe it? Can she describe your desires? Can you describe hers?
It's funny how secret lovers can share these secrets within an hour but not partners who've witnessed life together. I think it comes from all the advice and scripts we get before marriage and even during marriage. We forget to be real and instead become role-models and/or trophies.
Make it a goal to treat her like a lover and not a wife. Tell her that's what you need. Visit a sex therapist. Do couples yoga. Go do some acro-yoga together. Get on a roller coaster. But don't even mention the word divorce or think about it until you have poured your heart and soul into your marriage without any consideration of pride.
Do you know what happiness is? Research it. Truly happy people lead authentic lives that have nothing to do with money or lovers. Spontaneous right action...look it up. One thing for sure there are plenty of catfish around.

While I appreciate your time and advice, I have to be honest - I find some of your assumptions about me to be a little mean-spirited.

That said...some of your suggestions struck me as very sound advice, particularly those concerning revitalizing a sexual relationship that has become stuck. The thing is...a person can't do that work alone. I have invited my wife to become interested and involved in that type of dialogue many times - and we have even tried some physical exercises that were supposed to help create space for physical intimacy (we have a great therapist who helps us with everything to do with our relationship, including our sexual issues). My wife hasn't been able to - or particularly wanted to - stick with any of them.

I will address one point you made - because I disagree with it. While I do believe that SOME "truly happy people lead authentic lives that have nothing to do with money or lovers" in my case it would be IN-authentic of me to try to live without physical love. I'm sure there are many Buddhist monks who are deliriously happy, but that kind of life would not interest me. I'm not asexual, and I didn't sign up to be celibate.

Thanks again for your comments - as always, I'm interested to know what you think.

I'm sorry. I don't mean to hurt you. I'm not making any assumptions about you. I'm strictly responding to an anonymous person who I don't know but who has communicated some details of his/her marriage. I am not in your life nor do I live in your home so I have no idea of who or what you are as a person or husband. I'm sorry if I offended you. You certainly don't need to feel offended as you strive for your happiness. It was not intentional. Peace.

earchres, i just re-read your comment. and then a third time.

frankly, i found your questions and observations to be thought-provoking, and i didn't see any assumptions inherent therein.

AMM, giving you the benefit of the doubt here. no doubt you're at a highly sensitive, emotional, gut-wrenching time in your life right now. as you said above, welcome to ILIASM.

what we say here comes from hard won, gut wrenching personal journeys. as such, IMO, 99.9 percent of what you'll read is genuinely offered advice and seeking to help. NOT jabs.

<<<<

aaaaand 50 percent of my reply is lost. thank you EP!

AMM, look deep. please don't take offense or search for hidden meanings. we are all here to help each other. and that is the spirit in which you should read.

please don't "read between the lines" of other people's words. search internally instead of externally. it will benefit you far more.

Thanks smithy, that sounds like good advice - and earchres, perhaps I just misunderstood - or maybe something you said just hit too close to home. In any case, no offense taken - and as always, I really appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts. After all, that's exactly what I asked for...!

2 More Responses

I get that you want "this" & "that" etc from a relationship.

That's achievable. But not in THIS relationship.

The relationship you desire is out there, but whilst you are ******* about in THIS one, daylight is burning.

Tread your own path.

If you truly believe your wife wants to change, you may need to elicit that by taking drastic action. You need to communicate to her that her current behaviour (or lack thereof) is a deal breaker for your marriage. IF she truly wants to change, this should act as the necessary catalyst. . . . .

Having heard from her that she will do everything possible to change, the two of you need to work out an "action plan". You can support her and assist her - but you can NOT do her work for her. If appropriate, you can reorganise your daily schedule to give her a little space for these changes.

There needs to be definite ACTIONS (not just words)in the plan. And a timetable for them to be accomplished. And do not, under any circumstances, promise to stay just because she is "working on it". She might take twenty years to work through her psychological issues - and if you have promised to stay whilst she "works on it", then you are STUCK.

The BIG drawback about this is that, if she fails to follow through (either because she cannot or will not) YOU will need to leave the marriage. Are you prepared to do this? If not, do not take this action.

In preparing yourself to leave you need to see a lawyer and also develop your own Exit Plan. These are your "insurance" against things not orking out. Rather like flood insurance, you take it out hoping you never have to use it - but it is there if things come to the crunch.

Thanks enna - I understand what you're saying. By the way, I just read your story "It Isn't All Bad" - definitely saw a lot of myself in that one - many thanks for your good and thoughtful advice.

I'm glad you had some self awareness. :)
Do you believe your wife can change? Or WANTS to change? Really think about that. If it came down to you leaving or her working on herself and the marriage, which do you think she would choose?
Or do you think she would become more loving and affectionate for x amount of time just to keep you hoping?
My first story on here talks about how I went all in with my husband. Granted, not everyone gets the reaction I do and sometimes going all in can seal the divorce deal. So be ready for that.

Just went back and read your first post, the comments, etc. Wow - thanks so much for sharing that - very inspirational. I wish you both all the best - I hope the changes last, and everything turns out the way you want it to. :)

To answer your question: yes, I do think my wife wants to change - but I really don't know if she can. She has so much going on emotionally - sometimes I think it's all she can do just to get through her day - so I don't really know whether there will ever be enough left for her to focus on our physical relationship. She seems to have enough energy for the other relationship work, though - and I'm grateful for that and have learned a lot in the process.

If it came down to my leaving or her working on herself and the marriage? I don't know the answer to that either. I think she would try - but I'm not sure she would succeed.

No, I don't think she would change for x amount of time just to keep me hoping - I don't think she could do that even if she wanted to.

Curious...how can "going all-in" seal the divorce deal?

Well, it can seal it for you more than anything. If the realization hits that youre going to continue to be neglected... or if she doesn't react the way you want her to, wouldn't you be ready to leave?

That's a good question, isn't it - but now I understand what you meant - many thanks.