Let me start by saying that I am confident my wife loves me. She wishes we could be happily married. She wants to grow old together. She feels sad at the thought that our marriage is and has been unsatisfying for me.

The problem is, for me, that is not enough. If she cannot interact with me sexually in a way that is subjectively satisfying to me, then I am unhappy with our marriage no matter what else she does.

I understand that is my issue. My problem. My burden to work through. But if I have no intention of changing, then I have to deal with the reality that my marriage will continue to be unsatisfying for as long as it lasts.

Originally Posted by LovingAnyway
I believe it's healthy for you to embrace that you can be cruel and mean with intent. It's knowing you have that in you and not acting from it which helps you experience yourself as a whole person, Hold.

I don't experience being a whole person, because I don't refrain from acting on it. When I do, I'll post about it here.

I'm not sure I've seen you justify it as you have above, though, which concerns me. I imagined your response to her thoughtful request would have been higher honesty...

No, not more honesty. That might go over the "edge". Hence my statement that I am bring more honest "to a point".

She's correct that your expectation of her displeasure (which she clearly stated was being WITHOUT you in the bedroom) is one of your ANTS...and that you didn't say, "I love my ANTS", again, leaves me wondering.

Are you saying that I should embrace my ANTS the way I embrace my resentment? I do love my resentment. But the ANTS? I hate the ANTS. They are just about my least favorite part of myself. I am resigned to never doing anything about my ANTS. That doesn't meant I love them. Seems to me if I loved the ANTS I wouldn't feel so much resentment. If I loved myself, I wouldn't mind if Mrs. Hold rejected me. It is only because I have so much self-loathing - that Mrs. Hold was supposed to cure by accepting me unconditionally (and yes, I see the irony as regards what Mrs. Hold expected from me) - that her rejection bothers me so much.

How will you know when you've chosen to play games instead of stay true to your code, if you justify? Isn't that what you hated most about her LBs? Her justifying the spending, the rejection of affection, the distancing and discounting she justified doing for so many years?

But dear LA, I am not staying true to my code. That is why I hate myself so much. I have never been true to my code. Early on I refrained from complaining. Hid my needs. Built up resentment. At myself as much (or more) than at Mrs. Hold. Then I started complaining and being honest. But she continued to reject me. And added other misbehaviors to the mix. Honesty and staying true to my code because too painful / costly (because it would require me to leave her). As long as I prioritize staying over all else, I can NOT be true to my code.

Or to put it differently, my code does not prioritize honesty as much as it prioritizes staying married to Mrs. Hold while the kids live with us. So if I have to jettison honesty to increase the odds (as I perceive them) that Mrs. Hold will choose to remain married to me, so be it. I don't like it. I don't like myself for doing it. But I will continue to do it nonetheless. Hence my discontent. I see my higher goal (stay married for 5.5 years) at odds with lesser goals (honesty, intimacy).

You don't allow your expectations of her displeasure to control your actions? Or just your speech? What does her continued, non-infectious cough have to do with your assumption she doesn't appreciate you beside her in the marital bed?

I know she wants me there. I just wanted to hear her say it. She knows what I wanted. Which is why she did NOT say it.

The difference is WHY she wants me in her bed. Which she also refused to say. I suspect she wants me there because that is an outward sign I am still under her thumb. She says she wants to interact, but she doesn't. She doesn't want be to speak while we are in bed (she constantly tells me to be quiet if I comment on the show she is watching, even if my comment is positive or expresses interest in her viewpoint). She certainly doesn't want to me touch her while we are in bed. She doesn't want me too near her. She just wants me safely lying there about 1.5 feet away. Her pet.

Would you be more honest in saying you won't move back into the bedroom until she agrees to a SF and FS contract?

But I will move back in without any agreement on her part. We all know that. I do not have the guts to trigger a confrontation. That is why, as you said, this is all game playing. I will not live up to my code. Living up to my code would require me to stay away until she agreed to a contract and performed it. Which she will not do. Which is why my living to my code requires me to leave. Which I will not do. So this is all a game.

You see her as making no efforts, using you, being an unhealthy, unchanging spouse...projection, maybe?

Yes, of course it is projection. I have given up trying. Have given up hope for improvement. Am making no efforts. Have given up on either of us changing. I am determined to remain unhealthy.

I don't see your honesty. You fear your presence interrupts what she wants...nice way to kick yourself in the groin, Hold and blame her.

I don't really believe she dislikes my being in bed with her. My presence does not interfere with what she wants. My presence IS what she wants. On the other hand, I massively DJ her as to WHY she wants me there. That does not mean I am wrong. Just means I should ask her to confirm it.

Of course, she would never confirm it. That would require honesty. Which neither of us is willing to contribute to our marriage.

When you can see it coming, duck!