I made a comment in another site, that I would like to get some replies to it here, as this site is more marriage focused. Here it is (small changes to reflect site lingo):
There's a current theme (or meme) that when stated in gender free terms is "nobody owes anybody anything".
It can be stated various ways such as a woman does not owe a man anything, or a man does not owe a woman ****, and these types of statements then get questioned as to whether this should be part of a healthy relationship.
Owe is about obligation, and to save typing, this 2010 article gets into it:
It is about obligations as external or internal. I don't steal because it is against the law is external (the law gets me not to steal). I don't steal because it is wrong is internal (I decide not to steal).
I have sex with my spouse because it is part of marriage is external. I have sex with my spouse because we want to is internal.
The "my body and my partner had no right to it" is 100% correct and is the external. The "my body and I don't want to share it" is internal.
If the refuser does not have the internal, no amount of talk about the external will do any good. Saying things such "we are married, we need to have sex" is just an external statement. It's like saying we have a bank loan, pay up.
"if the refuser recognizes that sharing yourself with your partner is intrinsic ..."
this is the key here, intrinsic, if they know it internally, then
"perhaps your SM stands a chance to recover"
something2talkabout something2talkabout
51-55, M
12 Responses Aug 21, 2014

I feel things are often overcomplicated and overanalyzed so that we lose sight of common sense. In marriage, I suppose we could all decide we don't "owe" and are not "obligated" in any way to our partner. My husband didn't owe it to me to be honest before marriage and tell me he is opposed to sex and it's the reason every relationship he's ever had has ended. I suppose I don't owe it to him for me to cook his meals, clean the house, do his laundry. In fact, I don't owe it to him to be thoughtful, speak kindly, or even speak at all. But I can't help that logic enters my mind. Marriage implies two people are going to have an intimate relationship, they are both going to treat each other with respect and kindness, they are going to do their part in all areas - financial, raising children, doing chores, etc. If one has no intention of doing these things he shouldn't enter in to marriage or he should be honest about what his version of marriage is. How far should we carry this idea? Do we owe it to our family to be loving? Do we owe it to our employer to put effort in to our work? If the refuser does not have the internal? I'm sorry but common sense tells me if I didn't care to have an intimate relationship I should be honest about it before I married. If I didn't plan on being thoughtful, having concern for his feelings, cooking and cleaning, keeping my job, doing whatever I can to meet his emotional needs and on and on then I have no right to enter the marriage. I don't believe people should get married and then have an attitude of I don't owe you anything and I'm not obligated to do anything. Oh, and I find the article ridiculous.

That's right .
Not just marriage , any relationship .
That's why we were able to recover . The real us wanted it to .

It's simple really. Marriage is a contract. You make your promises and get some in return. No one is under any obligation to fulfill their promises. But if you constantly feel like the other party isn't keeping their promises, you have every right to abrogate that contract and move on. You will likely find someone else who is interested in you, desires you, wants you, and is willing to make a contract they can keep. Even if you don't find anyone, you may decide you will be happier to be alone without being constantly rejected. Your partner has the right to say they don't owe you anything and you can go F yourself. Similarly, you have every right to say you don't owe them anything, you're terminating the contract, and they can go F themselves.

that's a way of looking at the external view

I do not see the distinction the author is making. I felt committed to my marriage, did everything I could to save it. Kept on giving despite years of no sex and my ex treating me like a roommate. She saw no obligation to the marriage. Eventually, I lost any feeling that I had a marriage. We were roommates, no more, no less. That is a different type of relationship that required a different dynamic. Once I changed my point of view of her, our whole dynamic changed. The things I lovingly did for someone I considered to be my wife suddenly became too much once I viewed her as a roommate. The things I put up with from a wife also suddenly became unacceptable from a roommate. Internally, I reevaluated the relationship and changed my level of commitment after realizing her absence of commitment.

I read the artical now for the first time.
The writer Elizabeth whoever enraged me!
Wanting sex from your partner is compared from physical abuser to mass killer.

Interestingly, I was trying to read the article to H, went to his room. it is 6 am here, he was awake reading a book. He protested that he is not interested 'in this ****'.... He knows about 'the spreadsheet'.
He even repeated the main subject being around 'gross'. So obviously he knows well.
His reaction was to walk out. He left his room with anger claiming he is not even left alone in his room.
End of discussion.

I want my partner to want me, but I also want my partner to respond to my needs. So sometimes maybe he doesn't really 'feel like it' but unless I'm initiating at incredibly inappropriate times I expect him to give it the old college try. And vice versa. If my partner wants me, then I will try to satisfy that - gladly. If my partner is consistently making sexual demands on me that are selfish or inappropriate (e.g. using sex as a way to dissuade me from participating in other fulfilling activities) - then that is something that needs to be addressed.

On the other hand, I don't 'owe' anybody access to my body. But I do have a mutual responsibility to support my partner in meeting his needs.

The best estimate of ILIASM deals that have "recovered" in here is one in 8,333.
Six "recovered" deals out of 50,000 members.
Tread your own path.

Thanks for doing the math for us. That's what it comes down to.

Well, I've suffered quite a lot with those attitudes, and had to refute them and change them in W to achieve a worthwhile marriage.

Understandably, I've thought a lot about the stance and faux-morality implied, and it's my opinion that even entering the obligation frame is a bad mistake, you quickly get on a refuser-friendly battlefield where you're quickly in the mire, and being accused of coercion etc - all the tired old rubbish, which does apply in some cases, but I would suggest, rather rarely in the SM. In fact, through inaction, the coercion is in the reverse direction.

The basic problem is that there is a societal encouragement of autonomy-extremism and indefensible morality associated with that (they usually forget to mention the fidelity requirement which constrains another person's autonomy at great pain and cost). I would never again accept anything to do with your description of externality or the toxic "it's my body" shite. Yep, of course it is, now bvgger off, keep it to yourself, don't go round hurting people with those attitudes, it's infantile.

My advice is to side-step that frame and to focus on mutual possibility, growth and opportunity. My experience of marriage is that there's almost a shared 3rd party creation that belongs to both of us, when both are properly engaged.

If you have to talk duty, it's a duty of care, and a completely mutual one: I have a rule for my marriage which is that we bust a gut to help each other be satisfied with what's important to the other, in their own terms; no exceptions. The nice thing about that, apart from the mutuality, is that it encourages marital growth and exploration, and is a form of continual assessment of the marriage and where it can go from here.

Very well defined. It all boils down to they want to because they feel the desire or they dont.

Btw here's an example of the nobody owes anything meme:


Wow, what a ******* weirdo article, not satisfied with simply siding against Spreadsheet Guy, but implying he's basically a rape excuser. Holy ****.
That's probably one of the most insensitive, misandrist pieces of **** I've ever read. Really... Gonna go wash out my eyes with Lye now.

Regrettably, I've seen quite a few of those whack-job sites, and those misandrist diatribes are regrettably common; and unfortunately, those toxic memes had infected W to an extent.

I'm very much a live-and-let-live guy, but those kinds of ideologs really really need to not get married, and be completely upfront with any unfortunate males they encounter in any intimate sense, so that they can run and not look back.

Yes. There is a strong argument around here that the mutual exclusivity implicitly agreed upon in a marriage extrapolates to meeting each other's expectations for giving of themselves to each other as lovers with more or less the same attitude as before the wedding.
The Bait And Switch Refuser (if you can imagine this as a subcategory) reveals at this point they had no intention of keeping those implicit promises, they were only making them to secure their partner's commitment to them. As soon as they get what they want, a maid, a stud for breeding, sugar momma/daddy or whatever, they basically emit the emotional message "thanks, you're on your own now. But don't go thinking you can step out on me."
The Unreachable Lure Refuser secures the same commitment but cuts out on his/her partner much earlier, with a subliminal hint that deepening the commitment will "fix the problem." Somehow though, that never seems to happen, does it?
I like the fact that the author is really trying to work out the difference between "obligations" that are simply natural means of giving in a healthy relationship and the "obligations" that are apparent as "external" when the relationship becomes neglectful/abusive.
We the Refused struggle with this concept on a daily basis. Especially when the relationship reaches the Starfish or Reset phase. We want them not to just **** us. When they give that, it can often be even more hurtful than the barren wasteland of a relationship is. We want them to WANT to. We want them to DESIRE us, desire the intimacy, grow closer, and when they argue back that we're perverts or ***** or one-track-minded freaks for feeling so physically neglected all we can really articulate is "It isn't just about the sex, dammit!"

Can I star this like a thousand times??? So ridiculously articulate.

ROFL, thank you. I've been described this way before but more often than not, I'm not being complimented.

"We want them to WANT to. We want them to DESIRE us, desire the intimacy, grow closer, and when they argue back that we're perverts or ***** or one-track-minded freaks for feeling so physically neglected all we can really articulate is "It isn't just about the sex, dammit!""

THIS!!!! I need to print this and post it on my wall. "I want you to want to. Until you do, just skip it! And if you don't ever want to, let me know so I can find someone that does"

"I want you to want to. Until you do, just skip it! And if you don't ever want to, let me know so I can find someone that does"
I think I need to print this out and put it on my refridgerator!

Just, WOW You said it so very well

Naturally, that is, after all what the Refuser promised. And they are welching!

Thank you for expressing so well exactly how I feel.

4 More Responses

When you marry someone, unless you both have decided on a celibate marriage, sex with your partner is normal and expected.

What you're suggesting is like suggesting that if you make a doctor's appointment, the doctor doesn't have to see you, or if you go to a restaurant and get a table, you don't have to order and they don't have to serve you.

There's an implied contract in some situations. Marriage is one. Partners should not think they can unilaterally decide to have a celibate marriage.

That is a sterile concept that nobody owes anyone anything. I believe that I owe people certain things. My children a decent upbringing, my lover my time, my job a decent effort. But then, I am old fashioned and totally out of touch with the times!!

Whats interesting I guess is the concept of owing. Really, you owe those people certain things because you signed up for them because you WANTED to. Right? I wouldn't have kids, if I didn't want to give them my love and attention. I wouldn't get a job if I didn't want to work hard and earn a living and I certainly wouldn't marry or take a lover if I didn't want to share my life/time/love with them. So it's not that you owe it to them because of some external vow or agreement, its because its a choice you made. I guess my point is, I don't think of the word 'owe' when I think of doing something I want to. And the bottom line is our refusers don't want to...but when they do it, its because feel as if the owe it to us, so they do it out of obligation...