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Originally Posted By: Retread
The danger in getting enough self-control over denial of SF to not express anger or resentment is that this is a behavior of distancing. It cannot help restore romantic love, unless the wife realizes what is going on, ceases her LBs, and expresses affection through conversation, UA time and recreation with her husband in order to send signals to him that she wants to connect and restore the relationship. Otherwise, he will just be harboring and building resentment, or shutting down the rest of his feelings for her.


I just think there is no place for resentment in Plan A. And I can't see plan A working if it is present. I thought that if there is anger and resentment over lack of SF then this should be expressed as a thoughtful request. Continuing to walk around emanating bitterness and resentment to my mind is a 'selfish demand'.

What helps me drop the "resentful" mindset is something that I read which goes "Harboring resentment is like ME taking poison every day hoping the other person will die" - LOL - KWIM?

Saying that dropping resentment is an act of 'distancing' ....no. I don't agree with that. If you've expressed your disappointment/anger and asked for the need to be met - that should be it. done. The resentment shouldn't continue. Maybe I'm getting confused but - no, for me, there's something wrong with your logic here Retread. Just can't put my finger on it!

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And I do remember Hold saying that he's been round and round with his wife on this issue and doesn't feel the need or the wisdom in reminding her repeatedly why he is in withdrawal due to the fear of divorce and losing custody, but I am always finding myself wondering if it would work...

Maybe I'm too idealistic. Could be. But I think, Hold, that your wife deserves to know how this whole SF issue has affected your view of life and your feelings about yourself, especially. I think she should be told. Perhaps she doesn't truly realize how much her actions have affected your self esteem.

I believe you're relying too much on her ability (or inability) to read into your state of mind. People get used to how others act and stop feeling responsible at a certain point. They learn to forgive themselves so that they can adapt to their surroundings and function adequately in life, so the unhappiness then stops being an accusation to them and evolves into the responsibility of the other.


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Soolee:

I know I am DJing her by predicting how she will react. In large part, I am predicting that if I placed my unhappiness squarely in front of her on a continual basis she would divorce me rather than work on the issues between us. I understand that it is possible she would react differently today than she did during 8 years of marriage counselling. But I am not willing to risk my time with my kids on that chance.

She knows how it has affected my self esteem. When we were talking with friends on New Year's Day she said "that is how the rejection affects you and your self esteem, it does not affect all men that way". She knows. She holds it against me. Thinks less of me for it. She does not react with compassion. She reacts with disdain.

I understand why. Understanding why does not make it hurt any less.


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Hold, she will NEVER divorce you. She'd have to get a job.

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She knows how it has affected my self esteem. When we were talking with friends on New Year's Day she said "that is how the rejection affects you and your self esteem, it does not affect all men that way". She knows. She holds it against me. Thinks less of me for it. She does not react with compassion. She reacts with disdain.

What, exactly, was she referring to? The Noassatol Diet? Did she account for being on said diet for years on end?


Sooly

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Hold, does your wife blame you for her aversion to SF or does she accept it as her own issue. Or does she even admit she has an aversion to sf?

Sorry, you are going throught this. My heart goes out to you.

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Are you saying that your personal sex life was a topic of conversation amongst friends?


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Originally Posted By: veejay
I just think there is no place for resentment in Plan A. And I can't see plan A working if it is present. I thought that if there is anger and resentment over lack of SF then this should be expressed as a thoughtful request. Continuing to walk around emanating bitterness and resentment to my mind is a 'selfish demand'.


Agreed. That is why I have no hjope for my marriage. My patience and ability to resist resentment has reached its limit.

Quote:
If you've expressed your disappointment/anger and asked for the need to be met - that should be it. done. The resentment shouldn't continue.


Maybe that would be the case for other needs. But the requirement of monogamy makes this difficult as regards sex. On other issues, we can agree to disagree. She votes Democrat, I vote Republican. We can go to the sushi place and I can order chicken tempura and not eat raw fish. Or she can go to the sushi restaurant with a friend while I go to Buffalo Wild Wings. But for sex, if we disagree, then my need for sex goes unmet.

For me, for the resentment to end, I would need to end the marriage and be free to seek sex elsewhere. However, that requires me to pay a price as regards time with my children that I am not willing to pay.

I know it is my choice to stay. I know I would be healthier and more mature if I could accept my choice more graciously and not resent her for the lack of sex. But I am not that healthy or mature. I am paying a price for choosing to stay with my kids. A price she does not have to pay because she could choose divorce and keep predominate custody of the kids. I am determined that she pay a price for forcing me to make this choice. No matter what it costs me.

I am taking all the poison I can get my hands on. Unfortunately, I haven't died yet.


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veejay,

It is a noble goal to suddenly not feel any resentment for not having your ENs met, or for LBs coming your way. How do you do that without distancing yourself from the source of your pain?

The way I see is for the spouse who is committing the LBs and not serving the ENs to at least recognize they are not doing what they should, try to understand why they are failing, make some efforts to improve, and communicate all this to their spouse. Otherwise, it appears that they don't care.

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Originally Posted By: Soolee
What, exactly, was she referring to?


One woman who is tall and very thin mentioned that she felt heavy and thought she had a few pounds to lose. I was surprised and asked her if these thoughts had been present throughout her life. She said they had. I was again surprised, since she is, as I said, tall and thin with a flat stomach and a small butt and I could not imagine that she was worried about her weight. In fact, on occassion I have heard her make self-deprecating comments about the small size of her chest, and I would have thought her concerns, if any, would have been in the opposite direction.

I then mentioned an article I read in which an avowedly feminist woman wrote something like "how can women be expected to compete with men at the workplace when women are constantly distracted by worrying about their weight". I suggested this was one of the most anti-feminist statements I had ever read. Not just because of what it says about women's fragility. But also because, no matter how debilitating it is for women to constantly be worried about the size of their butts, men are just as distracted and deterred by thinking about each of the women they pass in the hallway, what she would be like in bed, whether she would consent to having sex with him, and the humbling realization for most men that in the overwhelming majority of cases, the answer would be no.

The women were shocked to think that men are this easily distracted. One of the other husbands confirmed that he was distracted, but not as easily deterred as me. This merely confirmed his wife's opinion that he is a sexist oaf, with an overly inflated sense of his attractiveness to women. The other women asked me if I really found it so hurtful and depressing to think that most women would not want me. I said I did. And Mrs. Hold said what I quoted previously.

Originally Posted By: Soolee
Are you saying that your personal sex life was a topic of conversation amongst friends?


No. Are you nuts?!?! Talk about our sex life with friends? We don't even talk about our sex life with each other any more. I got tired of complaining. She got tired of hearing me complain. So now I just take whatever hugs and eag squeezes she offers and keep my disappointment to myself.

Last night she asked why I have seemed so cheerful lately. Do any of you think that my posts over the past few weeks indicate I am FEELING cheerful? I am apparently a VERY good actor. That, and I leveled up and unlocked a new gun and a new perk on Modern Warfare 2 last night.


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Hold, I think I'll have to go back and read your description of how you implemented plan A. (maybe I can learn from your experience. From the small amount I've read it looks like your wife is not following the MB program at all?

The way I understood it Plan A is dependent on Plan B - i.e. you leaving. But that's easier said than done. If you choose to live in the same house then I suppose the best you can do is completely and totally mentally 'disengage' from her. A sort of plan b?) i.e. leave her in all aspects except physically removing yourself from the house. This can be achieved - I did it myself the whole of last year (which if I'm wrong and plan A works for me and my H and therefore he is NOT iredeemably abusive - I am going to feel really bad about). But anywho, in my experience complete detachment and disengagement, (whilst still being couteous and respectful)IS possible if you are still living with someone. It's not ideal but sometimes the choices in life are between crap and crappier.

I'm sorry hold. You sound very upset and down.

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Originally Posted By: holdingontoit
Soolee:

I know I am DJing her by predicting how she will react. In large part, I am predicting that if I placed my unhappiness squarely in front of her on a continual basis she would divorce me rather than work on the issues between us.


I have the same fear, hold. But I do it anyway. SF isn't our problem (interesting, to me, sidenote: I put on the ENQ that I want sex 3x a week and am happy with the fulfillment of this need, H put that he wants SF 1x a week, and chose the option that when it happens, it is how he likes it, but it is not given as often as he likes...ummm...whiteboard, check-mark time! Or let Steve handle it...), but how can anything be resolved if the problems aren't brought forth???

I don't advocate for taking pity S, but if an advance by you is accepted, MILK IT. Enjoy. Remove the thoughts of the pityF from your head, and LOVE. Love her, with your whole being. This may sound odd to some folk, but I want to tell you this. When H and I got together, I felt a full spiritual connection to him. And I felt it when his spirit pulled away. And I persisted. I'd never felt that before, and I wanted to feel it again. Throw in kids, demands, etc...it's understandable, right? And then, one night well into our marriage, kids, demands, I wasn't really 'feeling it' as far as horndog goes, and we had S.

Not SF, just S, for me, at the start (I get in the mood pretty quickly).

And HE felt it. He finally felt what I'd felt. He said, "I felt you INSIDE me. You inhabited me."

(fwiw, I wasn't physically INSIDE him in any way, lol)

THAT's the sf I wish everyone had every time. But omg, once in a lifetime...I deem that quite special.

Hold, make advances, and TAKE the ones that are accepted. MAKE love. Give of your spirit, not your body.


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Originally Posted By: veejay
Hold, I think I'll have to go back and read your description of how you implemented plan A. (maybe I can learn from your experience. From the small amount I've read it looks like your wife is not following the MB program at all?


Do not in any way shape or form use me as an example of how to rebuild your marriage. I am probably the poster child for long term failure. I choose to wallow in bitterness and resentment rather than create a happy life for myself, with or without Mrs. Hold.

And don't worry about me sounding down. I am known around here as eeyore. I always sound down here. Funny thing is, last night my wife asked me why I have been so cheerful lately.

Quote:
Does she accept that it is her and not you?


No. Because that isn't true. it is partly her. She was raped. More than once. Left scars. She wasn't aware of them until after we got married. She still claims they aren't there. I know it is a huge DJ, but I feel they are there but she refuses to acknowledge them because she is unprepared to deal with the fallout fo admitting they exist.

But that is not the whole truth. There is also the part that I am not physically attractive, not well endowed, not good in bed, so sex with me has probably never been very good for her. She told one of our sex counsellors that sex with me was wonderful, but I find that impossible to believe. To me it indicates how far into self-denial she is.

And then there is the financial issue. My family has much less money than she thougth we had. And I earn much less than she expected I would earn. She is bitterly disappointed by our lack of social and economic statute, and while she would say this has nothing to do with the lack of sex, I know it does.

I know I am speaking for her and that is frowned on at MB. MB would tell me to accept her explanations. But her statements do not line up with the facts. They do not line up with the lack of sex on our honeymoon or during our first year of marriage before the kids arrived. They do not line up with the tremendously irresponsible behavior on her part thaty started PRECISELY when I first seriously complained about the lack of sex after our 5th anniversary.

If the problem was truly my poor behavior from expressing my resentment, then there would have been more sex when I behaved in the ways she requested. Took her on fancy vacations. Behaved cheerfully. Even romantically. But none of that worked. Because the mechanism is not what she claims it to be.


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hold, you WERE talking about your sex life with your friends, if you told those women you were fantasizing about every woman you passed in the hallway, and feeling dejected because they have no interest in you.

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Originally Posted By: Retread
veejay,

It is a noble goal to suddenly not feel any resentment for not having your ENs met, or for LBs coming your way. How do you do that without distancing yourself from the source of your pain?

The way I see is for the spouse who is committing the LBs and not serving the ENs to at least recognize they are not doing what they should, try to understand why they are failing, make some efforts to improve, and communicate all this to their spouse. Otherwise, it appears that they don't care.


Well I thought that's what Plan A was all about? completely suspending the need for your own EN's to be met and to concentrate on eliminating your own LB's. i.e. temporary unconditional love? Or are we talking at cross purposes?

To me your question seems to be "How is Plan A even possible?". Unless I am totally understanding Plan A wrong?

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I'll bet it crossed your mind how satisfying it could have been to clue your friends in on a few things, huh?

I'll bet you would have liked to say: "I think repetition will do that to any man in time."


Sooly

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Originally Posted By: Retread
veejay,

It is a noble goal to suddenly not feel any resentment for not having your ENs met, or for LBs coming your way. How do you do that without distancing yourself from the source of your pain?

The way I see is for the spouse who is committing the LBs and not serving the ENs to at least recognize they are not doing what they should, try to understand why they are failing, make some efforts to improve, and communicate all this to their spouse. Otherwise, it appears that they don't care.


Well, that thinking falls in the "entitlement" and I used to think that.

I began living this belief instead: "I am the only person in the world responsible for meeting my needs." When I started going in that reality, I became less "needy" of that ENs I felt entitled to, or expected from my M.

I had to become a whole person, capable of meeting my own needs.

This allows me to be not dependent on my spouse for my needs.

This does not contradict the EN philosophy of MB. Sure I have ENs, and when my W don't meet them, the Marriage and the Relationship suffers; but not my Self because I am capable of meeting my own needs.

So then, it becomes easy to discuss or express what I want from the M or R. But express them without the Love Busters (resentment, angry outburst, demands, judgementals, passive-aggressive behaviors) when the ENs are still not met.

You all know that there is a Plan A, and it leads to Plan B if ENs are not met.

It is when Plan A does not generate the results or positive progress, one needs to decide to proceed to Plan B.

I was at that point by the end of 2006. In my decisions to Plan B or Plan D, I had to work and change myself within to be able to proceed to such decisions.

In the process of changing me, the dynamics of my M also changes--and thus (so called rock the boat) and woke up my wife to the reality of the possibilities.

So she too decided to change. But for how much, depended on how she perceive my own changes are real, or if they are only temporary. So she continues and "tests" me; trigger buttons, provoking my old buttons and see if I revert to my own Love Busters.

Whatever habits / excuses / coping behaviors she used to interact with me, or to ignore my ENs does not work. I managed to improve on detaching myself from the fears of my ENs not being me which removed my dependence from her.

And so I began to "lead" my life the way I want, and I continue to invite her to be with me. But it is still her choice to follow my lead; or to discuss compromises.

However, the same way is true for her. She has her boundaries also, and I encourage her to speak up when there are unknown boundaries I cross. I do try to be more aware of these, and do put effort in accepting them, or disagree. She has flaws that I can learn to accept because it is part of her. Just as I have flaws that I need to learn to accept from myself; and her to accept that it is part of who I am.

My goal to get back to the "in love" feeling is no longer possible. What is possible is to create or change the Marriage to a state of mutual respect and acceptance. I think it is alright to be in the M because I choose to be married to her, and she also chooses to be married to me.

I fear less my emotional strength if she decides that she no longer wants to be married to me. Likewise, I feel emotionally comfortable to choose to not be married to her--but I am not emotionally ready for the risk of damage of such decision affecting my kids.


-- Still JM --

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Originally Posted By: Retread
hold, you WERE talking about your sex life with your friends, if you told those women you were fantasizing about every woman you passed in the hallway, and feeling dejected because they have no interest in you.


Then I guess I have no problem discussing that aspect of my sex life with friends. I don't discuss what Mrs. Hold and I do or don't do together. To me, that is a joint issue and not my place to disclose without her permission.

On the other hand, Mrs. Hold has made it clear that each of us is in total control of our own minds and our own bodies. Their is no sharing or becoming one between us. In that case, I feel I am free to discuss those aspects of my sex life inside my own head with whomever I choose.

I don't think she was upset that I shared my feelings. I think she wished I felt differently.

However, she did laugh when the guys came back from picking up some takeout food. As a goof, one of the guys counted how often he was distracted by a female on the walk to and from the takeout place 2 blocks away. We joked that he lost count when he ran out of fingers and toes. More confirmation that men are pigs.


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No, Still_JM, I do not think SF is an entitlement.
I do not even have an EN for SF. I have an EN to express my affection and love for my wife, which sometimes includes SF both of us. If she isn't interested, I am not interested.

The way I got past resentment and keeping score was by working on myself, for the institution of my marriage, instead of for my wife, or for my own wants and needs. It is like being a team player, or "getting with the program" in the military in that it is a DUTY. I have a duty to do certain things well and cheerfully, like provide financial security and domestic support. Both husband and wife have a duty to meet the SF EN of each other.

I can identify with your experience of changing and having your wife be skeptical, even testing you. That is why I come to this forum, because I am working a plan that my wife thinks is artificial, so she refuses to read HNHN or fill out the ENQ and LBQ. Your wife, like mine, changes only as a reaction, not proactively.


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Hold, you say that you don't want to divorce because of what it will do to you to be separated from your kids.

I'm not encouraging divorce by any means.

But have you asked yourself what it might mean to them someday to be products of this environment between you and Mrs. Hold?

Do you worry you are teaching your son how to duplicate what you have achieved (or failed to achieve) in life?

Do you worry that your daughter might be learning poor communication habits and transfer that over to her choice of a husband?

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