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I understood you weren't interested due to fear. I got that. I was thinking about how you guys regularly have spiritual intimacy...and wondered how that might ripple into other intimacies. To me, it's the most intimate of all...doesn't mean it's that way for you guys.

The past is the past...there are tiny changes...what was may not happen again...you don't know. When was the last time you talked about her getting a part-time job to pay off her share of the debt?

I ask because I know her running the kids around takes a lot of time...didn't know if there were work-from-home things she could do, train for, or something local, 20-hours a week (like 8am to 12noon, M-F)?

She can find a way to bring in an income without costing more to work...she's intelligent, creative and when she sets her mind to it, she can do it. Your job is to state this and to ask...here's what I want most...

So that FS is worked on, and then my hope will be, SF will follow (my optimistic dyslexia speaking, of course).

Inches by inches, Hold. Not too much at once.

Also, I'm thinking your DS15 could be asked, also, to work at the nearest market for 10 hours a week...and I suggest this because my two oldest boys began work at 14 and 15 (got the underage work permit) and have greatly benefited from it...while my youngest, well, didn't. Your DS15's money would be his own to pay for his clothes, extras...which does reduce what you pay for him...and your DD can babysit.

If you and the two kids bring in income, then MrsHold may want to join that club...I can't tell you how different your children's work ethic evolves from this...let's them grow into their own consumer power, understand their limitations, influence. Super important, not perfect...yet without experiencing early, most likely they will struggle long and hard.

What kind of fiscal experience did MrsHold have growing up?

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Both her parents worked. She was in day care when young. later a latchkey. Got into much trouble. Grounded often. She worked as a teenager to earn spending money. She promised herself at that time she would be home for her kids. And she intends to keep that promise to herself no matter how much it harms her, me or the kids. I understand. I live with many promises I made to myself to my own detriment. Like choosing to stay married "no matter what".

S15 is working as a CIT this summer. I have encouraged D13 to baby sit. Will push that again.

I think me pushing Mrs. Hold to work is counter productive. She will resist my suggestion even if it is in her interest to agree. I am not the only spiteful self-sabotaging person in this marriage. She feels that if I were more productive at my job, she wouldn't need to work, and she is not going to reward me for failure. Last night one of the women mentioned "if you want a job, tell everyone you know you are looking. That is the only way to get a job these days." Mrs. Hold said she needs to be home at 3:00 to watch the kids and drive them around. The woman replied "my job is a 25 hour per week job. I get paid for only half time, but it is what it is." I think her hearing it from 3rd parties is better than hearing it from me.

As you say, Mrs. Hold is very successful in whatever she attempts. I occassionally tell her "we should have done this the other way. You should have worked and I should have stayed home with the kids. You had the drive to succeed full time. I would have found a way to be productive part time. And I would have probably enjoyed the time with the kids when they were small more than you did." Needless to say, she is not amused.

Hmmm. You say we have lots of spiritual intimacy. Not sure it works the way you imagine. We do not share spiritual thoughts or feelings with one another. It is true we share the same religion. But she is basically non-practicing. For the big holidays she occassionally joins me. The "eating" ones at people's homes. Not the religious services at the temple. I go to those alone. Or with the kids. Or with another guy whose wife also generally refuses to attend. To the extent I feel we share spiritual intimacy, it is her support for the kids receiving a religious education. And her support for my being involved at the temple. She does not share my faith. She has serious questions about God's existence. So it is, unlike several other areas, not something that drives us apart. But it does not draw us together personally, either.


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I wasn't asking you to push her...

Re-opening the dialogue in a new way...one which says, "I am so sorry for standing in the way of your amends. I've been resenting you from my belief that you don't want to repair the damage you did years ago to our marital debt, that you only want me to earn more. I am so sorry that in not speaking up, supporting you more to earn back, feel great about yourself, I wasn't loving you well. I know you can do both, keep your promise for no latch-key kids and bring in an income for our family. Also, I do realize that there is an amount you've already paid back from saving, not spending, which I hope you also count towards your amends."

Way too long and not nearly as funny as you, Hold. Nonetheless, owning your half is important to who you are...and your choices of what you believe and act from count as much as hers.

Not two dire opposites...an inch taken in real support of the marriage. Whether you feel like it or not.

I'm not saying that MrsHold doesn't self-sabotage, self-hate...because she does...and part of what you see is you in her...does it hurt you to know she hates herself, the wife you love?

Do you tell her you believe in her? (That's what I got from your occasional sharing with her in your post.)

Do say you, too, still seek the Lord, have lots of questions, cannot bring yourself to rely, let go (resentments, fears, reactivity)? Just your half...not to get her to think/believe anything...to know and be known.

Tiny bits...not asking you to leap into rejection...to share because that's your responsibility.

She does reward you for your failures...I read you often to see yourself as if failure were a place on earth where you lived...and she stays, listens, shares your life, anyway. She is the reward...

as are you.

Until you can see yourself as the gift God made you...you will not see her as one.

You don't know her today, right now. You choose not to...and she doesn't know you, right now, either. You do not allow her the opportunity.

Yes, I agree about third parties having clean slates where you do not with her. Doesn't mean you don't own your stuff, too. Not to get her to do anything...to inform.

To stay married "no matter what"...even if you discover you are tearing another human soul to pieces? Would you stay married? If you found yourself unfaithful, having a mistress of Resentment and Fear?

And if you share, ask...and she responds "I've told you enough that I won't"...respond truthfully, "I know what you said in the past. You're new today and I want to know you today."

I don't believe you could say that truthfully...I think you examine yourself new today and something cracks open a bit, a dawn breaks...and then you counsel it closed by seeing all that you didn't like in yourself before, there again. Not gone. Not cured. Still you.

She doesn't get in your spiritual way, nor walk alongside you on the path...do you think financially, you get in the way of her path, consequences, redemption, growth?

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Originally Posted By: LovingAnyway
I'm not saying that MrsHold doesn't self-sabotage, self-hate...because she does...and part of what you see is you in her...does it hurt you to know she hates herself, the wife you love?


I tell Mrs. Hold that all the time. The parts of her mother she hates are the parts of herself she sees in her mother. Does it hurt me that Mrs. Hold hates herself? Hard to say. It did earlier in our marriage. Today?

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Do you tell her you believe in her? (That's what I got from your occasional sharing with her in your post.)


Yes. As to her against the world. I believe it. And I tell her. As to her and her friends. I believe it. And I tell her. As to her with me. I don't believe it. And I doubt I have to tell her.

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Do say you, too, still seek the Lord, have lots of questions, cannot bring yourself to rely, let go (resentments, fears, reactivity)? Just your half...not to get her to think/believe anything...to know and be known.


No. I tell her of course I believe in God. Because he sent her to me. Wow, that must hurt to hear. Just like when she tells me she finds me attractive. Makes me feel like puking. I wonder how she feels when she hears me tell her she is my gift from God.

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She is the reward ... as are you.


I used to feel that way. Before we got married. Now I feel we are each the other's punishment.

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Until you can see yourself as the gift God made you...you will not see her as one.


Correct. See me as a gift to her? Nah.

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You don't know her today, right now. You choose not to...and she doesn't know you, right now, either. You do not allow her the opportunity.


Correct.

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To stay married "no matter what"...even if you discover you are tearing another human soul to pieces? Would you stay married? If you found yourself unfaithful, having a mistress of Resentment and Fear?


Of course. I am tearing both our souls to pieces. As is she. Both knowingly. Both feeling we have no other choice. I can't say I know whether she feels she deserves this. I know I do.

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I don't believe you could say that truthfully...I think you examine yourself new today and something cracks open a bit, a dawn breaks...and then you counsel it closed by seeing all that you didn't like in yourself before, there again. Not gone. Not cured. Still you.


I'm confused. Are you saying I don't want to know her, or myself? I definitely don't want to know me. I am ashamed of me. I want to run and hide form me. Hence the video games. To turn me off and tune me out.

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She doesn't get in your spiritual way, nor walk alongside you on the path...do you think financially, you get in the way of her path, consequences, redemption, growth?


Hmmm. Do I shield her from the consequences of her actions? Yes, I guess I do. Then again, I won't take responsibility for mine. So it would be darn hypocritical of me to hold her accountable for hers.


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I am such a drama queen and attention ho. I can't believe no one has commented on my "breeding technique" line in bronterose's thread. We are giving her good advice. But we could lighten up a little!


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I didn't read it, but I always like when people comment on my "good lines" too... I mean, I can't believe more people haven't commented on my April Fool's thread!!

I think I'm so funny.

:-)

But I KNOW you are funny.


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Had a nice talk with Mrs. Hold today. I made a joke about how skinny she is and how she is now so bony and there is no soft pillow to squeeze anymore. Her thighs are firm from all the spinning she does. She said "you wanted this." I said "I support you in this, I am proud of what you have accomplished, but you signed up for this yourself."

She said "yes, but you always said you wanted a beautiful wife." I replied "yes, and I have one, and you are right that I would not have married you if you had been heavy when we first met." She said "but now that you know me ...". More on that comment later.

I said "Now it is different. Your being thin is not an unadulterated good thing. First of all it gives you more opportunities to find another man." She made a face. I said "I don't think you are looking to cheat. I don't. Even though there are things about sex with someone else that would be emotionally easier for you. Even though the sex would be better than the sex we have. I still don't think you have any intention of cheating." She said that is true, she doesn't.

I continued "nevertheless, your being thin isn't an unadulterated good thing. It was back before we got married. I liked having a beautiful thin partner. But now our sex life is lousy. And you being thin makes you more tempting. And my being hot for you is no longer a good thing. So while I like you being thin. It is not only good. Because it makes me want you more. And that is not a good thing for me."

I left to get ready to shower. She was on her way out to go spinning. I stopped her and said "that part about now that I know you, did you mean now that I know you and realize how wonderful you are I would want you even if you were heavy?" She hesitated to reply. She said "you overanalyze". I said "I just wanted to say that if that is what you meant, that shows healthy self esteem, kudos to you for having good self esteem." She said "oh". And seemed pleased. Then she left.


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Had another chat yesterday. Very depressing.

I told her i don't like being so separated. That I would like to be closer together. And that I withdraw out of sefl-protection. Since it hurts to spend alot of time with her.

Mrs. Hold said she is married to someone with a mental illness (me). And that it is hard for her to be with someone so depressed and down all the time. So she withdraws out of self-preservation. Same as I do.

She discussed how she wishes our house were nicer and our kithcen were redone. She said she wishes we could afford jewelry and vacations. That when we got married she expected I would be able to provide a higher standard of living by now. She said she doesn't complain often because "that would be mean, to keep tearing you down". She said she is happy with our life overall. But not the financial / material side.

She agreed our sex life is bad. She said something like "you think that is all because of one thing but it is several". She also said "you think your career and our finances are over but I think there is hope they could get better".

I of course pulled back from being fully honest. I did not want to crush her hope that our finances might some day improve. I know they won't. Because she is not working toward a better sex life. And I know that if our sex life never improves I will never be motivated to give my all to work.

I am torn. I want to tell her the bitter truth. That things will never improve. But I am afraid. That she will leave if I succeed in convincing her.

I am thinking about the following POJA. Every day I go to work and challenge myself "what is one thing I can do today that will improve my job performance". And she wakes up every day and challenges herself "what is one thing I can do today to be more in the mood to have sex with my husband". But I am afraid she will only have more contempt for me if I "remind" her how crucial our sex life is to my mental health and our financial future.


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She made it very clear that she intentionally holds back on complaining about my financial shortcomings because that would be mean. I wonder what she is holding back on the sex front. Can't be worse than what I imagine. But I doubt I will be able to convince her of that.


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Well, curious how the world works. I sorta got my answer. Yesterday was her annual gyn exam. Pap smear. Doc says "hmmm, the swab is bloody. That always happens with you. You must have a vein right on the surface of your cervix. I bet you bleed when you have sex." Mrs. Hold replied "no, I married a nice Jewish man, not a porn star, so it is not an issue."

I explained to her that my physical limitations may affect what kind of sex we have, but we still need to work together to make sure sex is physically pleasurable for her. She did not commit to anything. I didn't expect her to.

But at least we got confirmation that my sense of inadequacy is not totally imaginary. Then again, if I were a more optimistic and self-confident person, I would look on this as an advantage. At least I don't make her bleed every time!

Also, last night we saw a commercial for the new Tina Fey / Steve Carrell movie. Tina's character says "I think we are going to get whacked off". He replies "I think we might get bumped off, but I doubt we will get whacked off". I asked her if she whacks off. She said no and blushed and curled her chin into her neck in her "I am embarrassed" body position. I said in a laughing tone of voice "maybe you should". I should have thanked her for sharing.


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Oh Hold--seriously?

You think because you don't hit her cervix that you are inadequate?

That's nuts. The 8,000 nerve endings a woman has related to arousal are NOT in her cervix.

You know, I really would like to see you get some sort of intensive therapy help. You are SOOOOOO hard on yourself.

And for heaven's sake--her disinterst in sex has NOTHING to do with your performance/size/girth. I strongly suspect that there isn't much you wouldn't do for her, and there isn't any length you wouldn't go to satisfy her (no pun intended).

You are a catch Hold. I think if you started to believe that, it would be easy to be VERY angry, and perhaps it's safer just to feel sh*tty about yourself all the time.


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Cosign Telly!

And besides, speaking as a woman with very little real estate in that area, I often wish I could shorten my man by a head or two. If there's anything that can bring you crashing down to earth it's getting hit in the cervix.

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Originally Posted By: WolfDeca
Cosign Telly!

And besides, speaking as a woman with very little real estate in that area, I often wish I could shorten my man by a head or two. If there's anything that can bring you crashing down to earth it's getting hit in the cervix.


AMEN!!!

I think the "telling" part was the comment about marrying a "nice Jewish man, not a porn star." I have only dated one Jewish man before, and he was definitely the most sexually "kinky" guy I'd ever been involved with! Anyway, perhaps it's not your anatomy or the fact that you don't reach ther cervix that is the issue as much as it is your "style" which is probably a bit more reserved. And God kows you have reasons for that! I know that with my husband I tend to be VERY reserved, but I also know from past experience that with the right partner (or even at times with my husband if the right needs are bieng met) that Ican be very free and open with him.

Can't change anatomy. But can change our attitudes. Yes it would be awkward at first, but myabe a little male fantasy wouldn't be such a bad thing, at least to get the ball rolling.

Then again, I don't know squat about this stuff either. I struggle same as you smile

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Telly is correct. I would be willing to try whatever she would consent to. Some positions wouldn't work because of the physics, but I am more than willing to use tongue, fingers, toys, fruits, food items or props / costumes to enhance the experience. At this point, I'm just too gunshy having been shot down so often in the past.

If she wants me to be more aggressive or take charge, I am willing to do so. But not if it risks major rejection. I am happy to "surprise" her so long as she agrees that she will consent (assuming I stay within certain pre-arranged parameteres and we have a safe word as backup). But I am not interested in starting out by discovering her boundaries by trial and error. She has to tell me "anything within this area is basically OK." So far, there isn't anything, not even intercourse in the missionary position, where she is willing to give me pre-approval.

I have gotten some of those 101 Nights of Great Sex books. She wouldn't choose any entries for the gals. She wouldn't let me choose an entry. She basically rejected any attempt to "spice things up". Heck, she wouldn't do the hugging exercises when we went to a sex therapist. She wants me to do kinky stuff? If so, she hasn't done a very good job of communicating that desire.

I get that she wants a veto. But if she wants total control, she will have to do 100% of the initiating. And if she doesn't initiate, I will continue to resent her.


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Absolutely what Telly, Wolfie and thinking said! I was thinking MrsH probably was saying that in a thankful way, not a complaining way. Or, before I got to her comment, I was thinking that may explain part of her aversion to sex.

I think it's a good thing that y'all are having more frank discussions about sex. (And I really liked your "kudos on self-esteem" comment to her a few days ago.)


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I hear what you're saying Hold. It's a rough cycle to be in, but you two seem like you're talking about it a lot more openly, and that is great.

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Just had lunch with an old fraternity buddy. His wife drinks heavily and has gained 30+ pounds the past couple of years. She won't sleep with him either, and he is much better looking and much wealthier than me. So things could be worse.


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a-HA!!!!!!! See, it ISN'T due to your horrible inadequacies!!!


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I don't want this to sound bad, but after a long time and many questions to H, I have realized that his lack of interest in SF has nothing to do with me - not in the physical or "performance" sense. It really is him. It just isn't necessary to him. He could go without and not bat an eye. It has nothing to do with me being good enough or pretty enough or anything. Yes, I can possibly sway him in one direction or the other by meeting EN's and avoiding LB's. But I will never be able to MAKE SF be important to him. He may decide to meet my EN for SF enthusiastically because he wants to be the source of my happiness, but it won't be because he suddenly developed an innately high libido.

If your W is not wired to really really need SF, it may never be something she just thinks about a lot on her own. And I understand why you don't want to put yourself out there. But it might be the only way, at least for awhile.

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Lurioosi:

I agree. She is never going to want SF as much as I used to. Maybe never as much as I do (although my drive is dropping precipitously). Normally I would not expect her to initiate. I want SF more than her, so I should be the one asking. That would be fine with me if she consented a "reasonable" portion. But when I get shot down repeatedly. And we don't have sex for months. Then it hurts to much for me to keep asking. I know it is not helpful to my marriage, but I would rather refrain from asking and resent her than ask frequently and keep getting shot down. If she expressd more willingness to consent, I would consider going back to being the one who initiates. But as I said, if she wants 100% control over when we have sex, then she nees to take 100% responsibility as well.


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