Marriage Builders®
Hello. I'm not going to repost MY whole story (I actually thank the Lord that mine was one of those erased- though I miss the great advice I was given), but here is something I found online the other day. It's the only -and I mean only- thing I've found that gives hope for a marriage where one spouse was never attracted to the other. I feel bad for this guy's dad that women keep marriying him when they weren't attracted to him, but I am comforted to know that in at least one case, attraction developed over time.

Quote:
When I asked my Mom why she divorced my Dad, she wouldn't give me a straight answer. I questioned my Dad to know why, and he wouldn't tell me for a few days, but I kept asking him, and he finally admitted that my mother divorced him because she never had wanted to marry him in the first place, and because she was never attracted to him, so after 11 years of marriage, she finally decided to divorce him, thinking she'd be happier if she could marry someone she was attracted to. Well, I asked my Mom if this was true, and she cried as she admitted it. I was and still am so mad at her for her selfishness which has stolen my life that I deserve from me! Why would she marry my Dad in the first place if she wasn't even attracted to him!

Quote:
My Dad is not exactly a model or anything, but he is handsome. And when I was 18, I was worried about how I looked to girls, and about how my real mom had left my Dad, because she was not attracted to him, so I asked my step-mom to honestly tell me if she felt attracted to my Dad. She paused for a while, and said something that shocked me. She said that for a while (like the first few years of their marriage) she was not very attracted to my Dad, but that she kept choosing to do things to show love to him, and after a few years of consistently focusing on what she loved about him, she gradually began to be attracted to him, to the point that, now, she is very attracted to him. She made me promise to not tell my Dad. I didn't tell him. I'm glad that she was honest with me. It still hurts me though, because why did my real mom and my step-mom, even marry my Dad if they weren't attracted to him? It makes me think that a lot of women are like that. That's why I'll never get married, because I don't want to ever bring kids into the world with a wife who probably isn't attracted to me anyway. I wish my real mom would have worked at her marriage, like my step-mom does. My real mom is a loser. She's always been so focused on herself, that she never sees how much she hurts others. I wish I could go back in time and wake her up from her twisted thinking. It's like she thinks happiness comes from other people or other things or something, but she's never happy. She's searched and tried all sorts of hobbies, interests, and everything, and she's never found happiness. My step-mom however is the happiest person I know, and it's not like my Dad is Mr. Perfect. He is such a loser in so many ways, but my step-mom shows so much love and affection for him, that he wants to be a better man, and he has changed in many good ways over the years, which I attribute a lot to my step-mom's unselfish ways that she serves him and loves him, even when he doesn't deserve it. I just wish my real mom would have learned from someone like my step-mom, about how to truly love your husband with unconditional love.


I know Dr Harley doesn't teach unconditional love, but I thought the post offered hope to those of you who feel stuck in a crummy marriage b/c you aren't attracted to your spouse. The attraction actually CAN grow.

**edited link

DTC
I came to a totally different conclusion reading that story.

To me it's sad that the guy wishes his mom would learn to be caring and thoughtful, but not his dad. He feels mad today, so he thinks about calling his mom to chew her out, and decides instead to look to see if there is someone is his mom's position. Instead of looking at what he can do for himself in his own life. His dad "wants to be a better man," but he is still "such a loser in so many ways." Daisy, I like you, but I am *so* at a loss as to how this woman's life would have been better off by staying, how this would encourage someone who found the spouse unattractive to begin with. The moral I get from this story is that it's better to cut your losses, because even if this man were married to a saint, he'd still be "such a loser in so many ways."
Sorry to be such a Bah Humbug.
Originally Posted By: NewEveryDay
I came to a totally different conclusion reading that story.

To me it's sad that the guy wishes his mom would learn to be caring and thoughtful, but not his dad.


Maybe his dad is already caring and thoughtful, or at least more so than his mom.

It is pretty selfish to say I didn't really find you attractive, so I'm going to leave you now.

Originally Posted By: NewEveryDay


He feels mad today, so he thinks about calling his mom to chew her out, and decides instead to look to see if there is someone is his mom's position. Instead of looking at what he can do for himself in his own life. His dad "wants to be a better man," but he is still "such a loser in so many ways."


But you are leaving out a key part

Quote:

and he has changed in many good ways over the years, which I attribute a lot to my step-mom's unselfish ways that she serves him and loves him, even when he doesn't deserve it.


So it's more than just wanting to be better, he is actually accomplishing it.

Meanwhile mom is still "wanting to be happy" but is looking externally for that, instead of changing her approach.

Why discount what a young man who probably lived every day with his mom has to say about her? He likely knows her very well.

She quit, his step mom did the work.

No spouse is perfect, so why expect them to be?
Originally Posted By: NewEveryDay


Daisy, I like you, but I am *so* at a loss as to how this woman's life would have been better off by staying, how this would encourage someone who found the spouse unattractive to begin with. The moral I get from this story is that it's better to cut your losses, because even if this man were married to a saint, he'd still be "such a loser in so many ways."


Your life isn't better because of the other person. Your life is better because of your personal approach. If you take responsibility for your own happiness, instead of expecting another to hand it to you, like they owe you happiness, then you'll likely have a healthy approach to marriage.

Mom certainly wasn't marriage building. By leaving, she said she had zero concern for her husband's happiness. There's no POJA, no meeting needs, no avoiding LB in a decision like that.

So even if dad had faults, her approach did nothing to make for a happy marriage for either herself or her husband.
I think if you read the whole thing at the Yahoo! questions site, you may have a different take on the matter.
I think this excerpt shows that the stepmom practiced some very MB techniques and they worked for her. She showed him how she loved him and "love grew over time". She filled his ENs; hopefully he filled hers as well. There are probably other parts to the story that were behind the mother leaving: maybe AS was her #1 need. Maybe the Dad didn't practice MB techniques with his first wife and maybe the only reason he did so with wife #2 was because she modeled them for him.

It's a classic case of how 'fake it 'til you make it' *can* work!
I think this step mom also demonstrates something that has somehow become a dirty word in our society - commitment. I have always been a embarassingly emotion-based person, so I get the whole butterflies in the stomach, fireworks thing. But to say 11 years later, "Wanted butterflies, never had 'em, tired of it, b'bye!"

Statistics show that the rate of divorce among arranged marriages is much lower than among those of us who used the "fuzzy in your tummy" method. Now understand that I am atrracted to my husband. But there have been times I didn't feel that. At our lowest point, I would have sworn up and down that I never felt that. When I was raging in my yet undiagnosed bi=polarness, I am sure that isn't wasn't wild passion that kepy my husband around. It was commitment. I don't know where that fits into MB, but at some point we just have to make a decision, don't we? Like til death do us part?
Daisy, I came back this morning to delete my post, because it brought you happiness, so who am I to "Bah Humbug" that. But it's already quoted, so I'll leave it, along with an apology. I'm sorry that I didn't keep my negative thoughts to myself. OH, I like your take much better than my own. You filled in the blanks in a more positive way than my mind did yesterday.

EE, I had clicked the link to read the whole story, because the excerpt itself was nice, but the whole story left me with such a bad taste in my mouth. I lived many years telling myself to appreciate what I did have *instead of* being thankful today *and* looking at what I actually do want in my life and what actions I was enthusiastic about taking in order to get there. Now this stepmom may have done both, but this young man doesn't speak of that, only of being a giver alone. Whereas MB is about finding a sustainable balance between the Giver and Taker in each of us.

I didn't think the guy's mother was talking physical attraction, AS. The guy said his dad was handsome. Attractive is the whole thing, how do I feel when I'm with this person. Dr. H goes into great detail in HNHN for Parents how parents with young kids lose this attraction for each other, because the time they once spent together and the things they used to do for each other to meet their intimate ENs (Affection, Conversation, SF, and RC) gets replaced by stepping up the time spent on DS, FS, and FC, without finding the POJA. With the small kids being cared for by the real mom, the stepmom has lots more time to focus on Affection.

Fortunately there are books like HNHN for Parents to help folks who do want to make it work.
L, that's exactly what I was getting at. This woman didn't leave because of AS. Like the guys on the board who have a "dirty windshield" because of lack of SF, for women, too, LBs and neglect make any ENs met hard to see. In Why Women Leave Men, it talks about how more women than men leave in these power-struggle no-win situations. I think it's because women and men rank FS and FC differently. On that link, there were other stories where the parents had stayed together for the sake of the kids, and the kids said *that* was awful, and advised to OP not to go down that route.

I'm glad that there are alternatives like MB to help parents show kids what a healthy marriage and family look like.
Originally Posted By: NewEveryDay
Daisy, I came back this morning to delete my post, because it brought you happiness, so who am I to "Bah Humbug" that. But it's already quoted, so I'll leave it, along with an apology. I'm sorry that I didn't keep my negative thoughts to myself. OH, I like your take much better than my own. You filled in the blanks in a more positive way than my mind did yesterday.

EE, I had clicked the link to read the whole story, because the excerpt itself was nice, but the whole story left me with such a bad taste in my mouth. I lived many years telling myself to appreciate what I did have *instead of* being thankful today *and* looking at what I actually do want in my life and what actions I was enthusiastic about taking in order to get there. Now this stepmom may have done both, but this young man doesn't speak of that, only of being a giver alone. Whereas MB is about finding a sustainable balance between the Giver and Taker in each of us.

I didn't think the guy's mother was talking physical attraction, AS. The guy said his dad was handsome. Attractive is the whole thing, how do I feel when I'm with this person. Dr. H goes into great detail in HNHN for Parents how parents with young kids lose this attraction for each other, because the time they once spent together and the things they used to do for each other to meet their intimate ENs (Affection, Conversation, SF, and RC) gets replaced by stepping up the time spent on DS, FS, and FC, without finding the POJA. With the small kids being cared for by the real mom, the stepmom has lots more time to focus on Affection.

Fortunately there are books like HNHN for Parents to help folks who do want to make it work.


But notice he describes his dad as a giver, as loving, caring, etc.

So I don't think you can say he wasn't.

Why not take him at his word. He knows all three parents. If he says his mom was selfish, his mom is likely selfish. If he says his dad is loving and caring, but flawed, or a loser, then that's probably what his dad is.

Remember, if this guy is a teenager, early 20's, loser could just mean his dad is not cool. It could mean he can't keep a job, was a drop out, etc as well. It's pretty vague. It appears you've taken the most extreme definition of loser and applied it to dad. Really, we don't know what he means by this term.

But since he describes his dad largely as good, I suspect he is more good than bad, more willing to try than the mother he described, etc.
I just reread the article, and I do see now rereading it that he says his Dad was loving and affectionate with his mom. You may be right.
Well, NED, I'm glad you didn't delete your post b/c I never would have looked at it from that perspective if you hadn't commented.

I did not stay in my marriage (left for other reasons, not having to deal every day with the attractiveness issue for me is a huge side-benefit that makes me feel better when I get to feeling lonely).

His post also showed the difference between two women- the boy's real mom, who didn't want to work on things, and his step-mom, who worked on the marriage til attraction developed, but it also showed a guy who married not one but two women who weren't attracted to him.

I had postulated that if xH had made an effort to improve physically and take care of things that were important to me maybe I wouldn't get all lustful, but at least be more enjoyable. But so many sources told us there was no hope- you couldn't develop attraction, he didn't try, b/c he didn't want to waste his time (so he said).

This will probably sound dumb, but there are a lot of really nice guys out there. And a few are interested in me. It's just very, very, rare that I get "butterflies" for anyone... and I was feeling quite hopeless of ever re-marrying til I came across that post. I don't care about butterflies (you can't miss what you've never had) but I *do* enjoy male companionship, and would like to re-marry someday.

But who wants to marry someone not attracted to them in *that* way?

So I guess I read into the post differently than everyone else- I read into it, there's hope for me to develop attraction for someone and also hope that someone would overlook that fault in me.

:-)
Daisy, I've heard a lot of folks say that they've never felt those butterflies. I've had the opposite problem, many times I've felt butterflies when it was inappropriate, and had to step back from spending time with the person. In the course of a week, do you do anything that puts you in close proximity with a man you're interested in? The example I've seen in the movies a lot is when a man is showing a woman how to swing a golf club or a tennis racket. Maybe if you're dating someone you would like to have butterflies for, trying an activity like that?
Well, there have been a few times (7, according to my journal, LOL!) that I have felt butterflies for someone- and I've always stayed far away from them when it's happened b/c I was afraid that if we got too close (emotionally or physically) that I would do something dumb. Almost like a pre-emptive no-contact. I guess the problem for me is that it happens so rarely.

I'm not currently dating anyone, but will keep that idea in mind.
How can you really tell if someone's attracted to you anyway? Especially if they ACT like they are, and you're blinded by YOUR feelings for THEM?

Many women marry men they have no attraction for, simply because the guy's halfway decent and they feel they "should" marry him; he's the "safe" choice. And as mentioned above, many women who lose that "loving feeling" for their husbands come to rewrite history in their minds to fool themselves into thinking they never had it in he first place (especially if they develop those feelings for someone else!).
Hi everyone. I stumbled across a site today that I wish I had found 15 years ago.

If you (or your spouse) are never really attracted to anyone sexually, check out: **edit**

For those who didn't read my story before it got deleted, I'm one of those unique individuals who never experienced attraction to my husband, even while dating. I've rarely experienced attraction to anyone but it has happened on occasion. The longest stretch between occurrences is 7 years (yes, I track such things in my journals, lol!).

You don't know HOW many times I've been told by well meaning counselors, clergy, parents, etc that it's impossible to not experience sexual attraction on a normal basis. I must be lying, having an affair, or be mentally unstable.

While the site appears to be a homegrown effort, it is certainly nice to find a group of people who feel the same way about sex. There’s even a section for “normal” folks married to asexuals.
Daisy, I don't get it.
Two posts ago, you talked about "getting butterflies" for other men.

The very next post is about asexuality, having no sexual feelings for anyone.
Good question, Retread. The butterflies aren't connected to the sexual act itself but the thought of cuddling, kissing, being held. Hope that's not TMI, but I don't know how to make people with a normal sex life understand.

What I found comforting about the asexuality site, is there are a lot of people there who've only felt attracted to people a handful of times. There's also those who enjoy affection, who even feel giddy around people they're attracted to, but at the same time they are not interested in sex itself. Finally, there are quite a few folks (demisexuals) who do not experience physical attraction upon sight, but rather attraction develops after getting to know someone. All 3 of these conditions *describe* me! I suspect that the "butterflies" I felt for those guys were not the same "butterflies" that my ex used to feel for me.

Reading their conversations with their spouses was like sitting in my house while we discussed these issues over and over, where I tried to understand why sex was so important to him and he try to understand why it wasn't to me.

Why did I even go searching for such a thing?

Well, I took a business trip and ran into an old acquaintance (who happened to be one of those 7 guys). I accepted his invitation to catch up somewhere public, and I told him all that happened over the last two years. I will be honest and admit I was kind of hoping something would happen because he was something of a player when I'd previously known him.

Well something did happen: He held me, and kissed me (first time I'd been kissed on the lips in 15 years), and he wanted more. But even though I'd felt attraction to him, and really enjoyed being held, there was no desire to "go there."

I've never felt more crazy in my life. Or disappointed. How can I have feelings for someone, and not want what the feelings are supposed to stand for? I could understand if it was a moral or religious issue, ie I physically want it, but I don't want to disappoint God or do something I know is morally wrong. But I didn't want sex. All I wanted was to be held.

And I was not expecting that. Here is this gorgeous, fun, financially independent guy. Every bone in my body should have been fighting to resist him. But it wasn't.

I was comforted to read about the sexuality model and the various flavors of sexuality and actually meet (electronically) people who have the same problems I had and experienced the same struggles I had. People who were ridiculed by their parents about not having an SO in high school. People who were continually told "Why can't you just be normal?" Like I was.

I know I'm probably crazy and seriously need counseling. On the other hand, maybe –just maybe- it's actually possible to be born with an extremely low libido and not be crazy.
This gets back to the, "I don't feel like it" school. These people think they should do what they feel like doing. They don't believe. or don't understand, that emotions can follow actions.

When enough people don't feel like wanting a sexual relationship, psychologists, professional and amateur, are ready to cook up a medical-sounding term and then describe it as normal. Accepting that is a dead end.

Of course some women, and men, are born with lower sex drives. Some lose their libido with aging. Some women experience decreased libido after a childbirth, and assume it means they must not really love their husband any more.

Some men experience loss of libido after an injury, or treatment for prostate cancer. Other men may become less capable, or incapable of having sex after such treatments, but still feel a hire desire for their wives.

The same opposite results may follow a woman after surgery or other treatments for cervical cancer, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, or a hysterectomy.

Personally, I believe a lot of the final direction things take is entirely mental. Go read the testimony of the survivors of these extreme medical treatments, and you will see the entire gamut I describe, but some will begin in one place and end in another. A lot of men and women will find that the powerful sex drive, or lust, may be gone, but it no longer overpowers the feelings of affection and appreciation they have for their mates. For them, a door closed, but a new door opened to a deeper sexual bond in their marriages.

Those who did not move to that new level of sexuality may have other negative influences in their lives that they did not overcome. But they may have just taken the shallow feelings they had as a sign, or proof, or an excuse, that they did not need to try. That's the mental difference.
I suppose it's one thing if you "lose" a libido...or if I was talking about something that was once there, but now is gone.

But what if you never really had one to begin with? I mean, my ex and I didn't even kiss while dating. He tried to do things and I didn't enjoy it and wasn't interested in figuring out why I didn't enjoy it.

It's like beer. Or smoking. Tried each, didn't like it, and saw no reason to develop the "acquired taste" that everyone said it would be.

I will bring this up with my new counselor: though I can't think of any negative events contributing to this, I will certainly ask her opinion. If I can’t find some “trigger” that, once removed makes me “normal,” then I shall work with the counselor to come up with some sort of way to overcome it so that I can participate in a mutually fulfilling relationship with a partner.
Warning- this is long.

Below I've cut-and-pasted some comments on Holdingontoit's thread that I think are relevant for people who are either in my position or who have a spouse with extremely low libido:


Originally Posted By: Telly
Hi Hold.

So I read your "either/or" statement. And, of course, I certainly am of the opinion that your wife's history of sexual abuse affects your sexual relationship today...

I often think in the same way of my husband's disinterest... Either he's simply not attracted to the real-life me (and only was in the early months when it was new), or he doesn't really love me, or living with a violent brother made his guard so thick that it's hard to be vulnerable with sex.

HOWEVER...

It is possible that none of our conclusions are correct... And then what do we do? What if our spouses are simply not really interested in sex? What if it actually has NOTHING TO DO WITH US?! What if it's nothing that can ever be fixed?! What if they really and truly do love us, and are as healthy as they can be--only they do not really care to have sex?

I think that is a far scarier reality to live with. I mean, if it's because of how I look, or something that I'm doing, at least there is a chance that one day, our sex life will improve. If there's something wrong with him, well, there is also a chance that one day he will find peace/healing and be more free to explore a positive sex life.

But if he is simply not interested. I mean, if this is all he's got, and I have no carrot big enough to dangle to interest him in engaging in SF... then what do we do?

That's more painful than whether or not she is rejecting you. SHe is NOT rejecting you, Hold. She knows you want sex, but she simply cannot compute how deeply her disinterest hurts you. She can't relate, because she does not think that way, feel that way, and even if you can communicate in a way so that she DOES understand, she will probably never change.

She could love you fiercely, and never have any more interest in sex than she does now. SHe could love you more than she has ever loved anyone in her life, and it simply never stimulate her sexually. Ever. And that doesn't necessarily have anything to do with you.

When we first got married, my husband was excited about sex. For about 3 months. Then I saw the decline--and I soon realized how he was able to stay celibate for so long. He simply doesn't feel desire with anything near the frequency that I do. I mean it can be months and months and months (we are, after all, averaging 1 time of intercourse every 2 1/2 years) before he is aroused. And he has no interest in arousing me in any way other than sex, and only when he is interested which, as I said is seldom.

I have spent years thinking that it was me. That I had done something to kill his interest in this area. Or there was some way he was wounded that inhibits him.

I didn't. There isn't.

He just isn't interested.

How do we live with that? How do we make our lives full and complete and wonderful when we are living with someone who chooses not to engage us sexually? I have a vivid and active imagination. I have so many ideas for things that would be fun and interesting... But even without doing anything extra, I am just happy to touch and be touched, and have it culminate in SF!

I do love my husband. But sometimes I hate him. And sometimes I deeply resent that I am in this kind of marriage--one where an important EN and aspect of our relationship is never going to be fulfilled. One that I was so looking forward to for so long.

However, you and I have a choice, my friend. And it isn't about pulling yourself up by your bootstraps. It's getting to the point where our life is full enough and happy enough so that we can live well without SF--at least until you (we?) have ended our marriages.

Does this make sense? I think I'm rambling. ANd daughter's bus will be here in a few minutes.


Originally Posted By: Bubbles4U
I would like to weigh in here. I had the low libido husband. He insisted it was "just the way he was" and had nothing to do with me.

1. It took me three years to believe him
2. Another few years to work the problem out
3. We had to both LOVE each other enough to fight thru it.

I feel that if a person marries you and claims to love you, they will and should do everything, whatever is needed....to try and make you happy.

If that thing that you need,, (which most married people need and expect) is SEX, then whatever they believe about it or whatever they hate about it, they must find a way to meet YOUR sexual needs. If they love you they will pleasure you, learn to pleasure you, take care of you in the sex department, and set aside what they want or do not want.

In addition, I know that a grown man who wants or has very little sex MUST KNOW HE IS NOT THE NORM> He must know from teaching marriage classes, or how other men talk about sex....or from being in the WORLD, that HE IS ABNORMAL for wanting sex only once every few years. He has to know this. If he does not know how abnormal he is then he is crazy.

So, this man, who is outside the norm, also HAS TO KNOW THAT HIS WIFE HAS NORMAL MARITAL SEXUAL NEEDS. He has to know it and he HAS TO ACTIVELY IGNORE HER in order to justify his extreme sexual neglect.

Our solution was this. My husband asks to make love whenever he wants "it" (and since we talked about having differing desires) then, he told me to ask WHENEVER I want sex and he will honor my request and respect and love me by giving me the pleasure and physical closeness I want right when I ask or very soon after, like the same day I ask.

I have learned new ways of asking for sex that allow some flexibility:

1. Honey how bout some loving? Tonight or tomorrow morning (gives him a choice)
2. Lets go upstairs and cuddle (can lead to sex or the cuddling is nice too)
3. Want some sex tomorrow morning? (specific time is good sometimes)
4. Feel like some sex? (now)
5. Feel like some sex? (now but could agree to postpone it)
6. We get to bed and sometimes we choose what we want to do there.

There are so many ways to ask for sex, also some non verbal ways. Once you start getting regular sex again, you can relax the schedule and rules and allow flexibility. Getting used to asking for sex is half of it. Having a loving spouse is the main thing.

It is only fair if one partner wants a huge plate of food and the other partner only wants a tiny plate of food, that both get to eat whatever they want. If one wants to paint the room blue and the other one wants to paint it red, then a compromise is in order.

Yet, sex is not food, sex is way more important than who paints what.... a certain color....and it takes a LOVING spouse to help the other spouse have the sex they want. So, both spouses have to determine what is going on and work together to solve the problem.

1. Both spouses, the High libido and Low libido spouse, must sit down and figure out exactly what is happening or not happening in the sexual area.

2. Then, both must tell the other one thier needs.

3. Then, both must sit down and honor the other one's needs

4. Then, a schedule must be worked out or another solution derived in order to meet BOTH PEOPLE"S NEEDS.

5. If one partner is asexual, this can be dealt with but must be faced.

6. IF both people do not face this issue, it will never get better.

7. These steps HAVE TO BE CONTINUED until the PROBLEM IS SOLVED OR A WORKOUT IS COMPLETED.


Can you, will you, be brave and persisitant enough to face this issue head on? Or will you continue to back down and live with constant sexual neglect?

Hello everyone... it's been awhile since I posted, but another thread really caught my emotion on this issue, and I just had to comment.

The main gist of the convo was when people say they were never in love with their spouse, it's typically what wayward spouses say as justification for their affair.

I commented as follows:

Quote:
Originally Posted By: stillhere8126
I am sorry but the usual quote from a wayward spouse is "I was never in love with BS" ILYBINILWY.....Please in order for poster to help you more please admit if you have had an affair


Originally Posted By: Tabby1
So tell us about your boyfriend. Because this:
Quote:
I'm not in love with him and not attracted to him. I

is code for "I'm cheating on him".


I've been away from the boards for awhile, catching up, and am a little late to this convo...

I just want to say two things:
1. The above is not always true. May be true in this case, but not always.
2. The above explains the reaction I got when I first came to this board (hundreds of posts lost when the board crashed).

I say this because I married for 12 years a man I was never attracted to after 3 years of quasi-dating but basically being best friends. I never felt sexual attraction for my ex. I have been divorced for over a year, and separated two years. Even being single there are extremely few men I am actually attracted to. Again, not saying this is the case with tbmc but just for posterity I want to note that, yes, there are indeed some people married to folks they are not attracted to. Some they stopped being attracted to (affair, got fat, not meeting needs, etc) and some they just never were. Some of us just aren't wired normally, I guess.

DTC


I'm glad to understand that now, because I got quite a lot of 2x4s when I first got here (all those posts were lost when the server crashed) and couldn't figure out why my story upset so many people. I'm not complaining, though, because I got a LOT of help, and I learned a lot about how I contributed to my marriages demise.
So Love is sex in your book...to me it is so much more than just sexual attraction....
No. I don’t equate love with sex. I absolutely loved my ex (until he became a threat to me and our son). I just wasn’t sexually attracted to him, and didn’t realize how horribly that would affect him because (trying to be a good Christian wife) I offered myself to him (almost) every night (one thing I’m glad I don’t have to do anymore!). I just didn’t get anything out of it for myself, but I knew it was something he liked. And I just didn’t realize there is another “dimension” to the intimate relationship between a husband and wife.

An interesting turn in all this is that after reading the asexual website for awhile, I began to feel like many of the folks on the site were dealing with after-effects of serious childhood issues- abuse, molestation, etc. So I went back to counseling.

My counselor celebrated my progress: I had started back seeing the guy who gave me my first kiss in 15 years (see below excerpt for what happened). I really enjoyed his company. Even though he’d always been a player, he was charming and respectful of my boundaries. We casually saw each other once a week for a few months.

On our last date, I felt so much sexual desire for him I almost couldn’t contain it! We didn’t “do much,” but I couldn’t even concentrate at work for the next few days. I had never experienced anything like that in my life! I had a short notice military move out of state so I haven’t seen him for a couple months, though he does call/text/facebook me once a week.

No one here in my new home elicits that kind of reaction from me, but because of this experience I am confident that a respectful relationship built over time can generate those feelings. I guess I will just have to take things slow and find the right man.

Originally Posted By: DaisyTheCat2


Well, I took a business trip and ran into an old acquaintance (who happened to be one of those 7 guys).
....
He held me, and kissed me (first time I'd been kissed on the lips in 15 years), and he wanted more. But even though I'd felt attraction to him, and really enjoyed being held, there was no desire to "go there."

I've never felt more crazy in my life. Or disappointed. How can I have feelings for someone, and not want what the feelings are supposed to stand for? ... But I didn't want sex. All I wanted was to be held.

And I was not expecting that. Here is this gorgeous, fun, financially independent guy. Every bone in my body should have been fighting to resist him. But it wasn't.
...
I know I'm probably crazy and seriously need counseling.
I am really glad to have found this thread. I posted a thread about intimacy on the surviving an affair thread but have had little response....probably because I am a FWW and not many people like to make responses to us. Maybe I can find some answers and support here.

I will try to be brief but feel you need an overview of my history. I am a FBS (my husband had an A with my best friend about 11 years ago). We moved past this and tried to rebuild the marriage (didn't use MB principals but our counselor was very close to MB principals. Then about 5 years ago I had a PA with someone I met thru work. We didn't actually work together on a daily basis. H found out, NC was established and we moved from the city and NC has not been broken. Obviously we tried to recover but I was unhappy. Since then I have had several EA with people over the internet. There has been no PA at all. H found out about these. Each time, I was remorseful and I myself could not really understand why I did it (other than poor boundaries). There has been NC with anyone and I have established to be sure I do not fall back into the pattern. It has been 7 months. My H and I are trying very hard to make our marriage work. We have been married 20 years. The problem we have is this......I am struggling with sex. I have never had a huge sex drive....it is my H #1 need. We have spent LOTS of time discussing this as being his need. I feel unworthy of even asking for my needs to be met. Its not that I deny him sex, but I'm sure he can tell that I'm not in to it. He has started saying that he would rather not if I am not going to be totally into it. I wish I could just flip a switch and make this better. I am struggling and really do need some advice. Please help!
Hi Itsamess. I sure wish I had some advice for you. I never was into sex with my ex for the act itself, but for the enjoyment he got out of it and (yeah, this is selfish) for how much better he was to me when he got it regularly. If you don't have a drive, you don't have a drive.

Since you had a PA in the past, that gives me hope that your husband can generate the desire in you. But it must be extremely extremely hurtful for him to know this man aroused in ways he cannot. Even if he's contributing to the fact you aren't interested in sex with him.

Have you looked into what about these EAs was so appealing? How can your husband turn himself into a guy like those EA men, or is it based on too much fantasy for him to be able to do so?

I'm not a counselor though, so these are my novice thoughts...
Posted By: DaisyTheCat2 Some People Just Have a Low Libido - 03/01/11 03:22 PM
Originally Posted By: DaisyTheCat2
No one here in my new home elicits that kind of reaction from me, but because of this experience I am confident that a respectful relationship built over time can generate those feelings. I guess I will just have to take things slow and find the right man.


ok, you're not going to believe what happened...last month I went out with a guy who I was attracted to from the first moment he approached me and asked my number. Very strong attraction. We've gone out 6-7 times, and it's only my religious conviction that keeps me off of him!

This is really strange because just a week before I went out with him, when I was really missing the guy I went out for a couple months (who eventually generated those feelings within me) I was was actually considering trying to reconcile with my ex, who said he had made a lot of changes. If my ex’s changes hold, the only real issue would have been the attraction one. And I figured it was so rare I should stop trying to chase it, especially since I don’t want to be alone for the rest of my life. But then my ex disappeared again, and this new guy showed up. I doubt it will last, but I’m going to enjoy it while it does!!!
Posted By: HoldHerHand Re: Some People Just Have a Low Libido - 03/01/11 05:13 PM
So, what you are saying, is that in contrast to the entire rest of this thread, you are actually seeing the dart board now?

Think about this; how is it that this other guy "eventually generated those feelings within" you?

What is it about this new one that you are "attracted to from the first moment he approached" you?

What would happen if you could combine whatever it is about the new guy that has immediate attraction with the actions of the former fling who built the attraction over time?
Posted By: DaisyTheCat2 Re: Some People Just Have a Low Libido - 03/01/11 07:40 PM
If I could combine the two guys that would be so awesome. That is, if the new combo-man actually liked me :-) Actually, the new guy is very much like the other guy, just in a different line of work, and a bit younger so not as financially secure as the other.

I don't know what it is about this guy. He caught my eye when my friends and I had gone out to dinner. I like a certain type of look- nice guy, teddy bear yet still very strong. He asked if I would take his number, and I said no because I would never call it.

Usually when I say this, the guys shrink away. Which is fine because they usually want sex and I already know I won’t be able to satisfy them given my history. But he said well, well... will you give me your number so I can call you. and when he said that, it was all over. I was hooked. I wish I could explain it, but I can’t. And I really wish something like this would have happened back in college, not NOW that I’m a single mom with a lot of baggage ;-)

Being around him I feel very feminine. He is very tall, very broad, hands bigger than mine (my ex used to call them amazon hands b/c they're bigger than most mens hands!) and I feel very feminine when he holds me. I'm in great shape, awesome figure, but I'm very broad. Most people who only see me in pictures are shocked to see how broad I am in person. He can wrap his one arm all the way around my linebacker shoulders. And he can pick me up with ease. As if I was a size 0. He also does sweet little stuff for you, making sure things are right (like if the meal is wrong, asking the waitress fix it rather than tell me to just eat it and don’t make a scene like my ex and other guys have). He also disarmed me emotionally because when I told him we needed to take things very slow physically, he said he’d been single now for 2 years and waiting another year wasn’t gonna hurt him. But it’s not even been a month, so this could all be a front he’s putting up. And there are a few things I don’t care for about him, but they’re not big deals (right now).

Even if it’s a front and if I’m not seeing him next month :-) I’m glad for this experience. I NEVER felt anything like this while in high school, college, or marriage. Even with the handful of guys I was attracted to, I never felt anything as strong as this. So now I feel a little bad that I told people I had felt attraction before, because this is totally different.
Posted By: PHOEN1X Re: Some People Just Have a Low Libido - 03/01/11 08:49 PM

I am of the Low Libido group myself. It's very difficult and I hate it. I wish I was more attracted and aroused by my H, he's a VERY attractive man and I really want him to feel like he's desirable and sexy to me. I love him more than anything in my entire world but for me, Brad Pitt could walk through a room and while, I would definitely stare, I wouldn't need to go change afterwards, if you know what I mean. Now, it might be my medications that are killing my attraction for my H, but what if it's not? I can watch steamy scenes in movies, I read romance novels with some great sex scenes, nothing triggers that funny feeling in my stomach that takes my breath away. I know what it feels like, I have felt it before but it's rare. I've tried to explain that it's not H, that he's incredibly attractive and I love him but it's difficult for him to understand. We're still working on SF since it is one of his EN but luckily for me it's not #1 or even #2, so I have a bit of leeway and flexibility.
Posted By: DaisyTheCat2 Re: Some People Just Have a Low Libido - 03/01/11 09:19 PM
PHOEN1X, I SO understand where you are coming from!!! Attractive doesn’t always equal arousal. And people don’t get that. I’ve been around some VERY handsome men, but nothing “down there”! Glad you and hubby are working on it.
Posted By: SmilingWoman Re: Some People Just Have a Low Libido - 03/02/11 12:38 AM
Originally Posted By: DaisyTheCat2
PHOEN1X, I SO understand where you are coming from!!! Attractive doesn’t always equal arousal. And people don’t get that. I’ve been around some VERY handsome men, but nothing “down there”! Glad you and hubby are working on it.


It is an awesome feeling to be so attracted to a man. I married at 18 and didn't really realize how I didn't have it with my now X. The tricky part, that I stumbled on, once I was divorced, was not letting that attraction get in the way of good sense....attraction does NOT equal good relationship.

Your comment about 'down there' reminds me of what I tell my dh....that it is as if there is an invisible string connected between my mouth and 'down there' because when he is kissing me it is like WOW!

Combine that with him being on the same page as me regarding all the important issues in my life...yeah, a dream come true.

It happens DTC.
Posted By: HoldHerHand Re: Some People Just Have a Low Libido - 03/02/11 01:29 AM
Daisy, what your "down there" comment tells me, is that you should find a book, video, or performance of The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler.

I think if more women were honest about "down there," the would have less anxiety, better relationships, and - God forbid - better sex lives.

I didn't care for the feminist forwards in the book - but the monologues themselves are everything from heart-wrenching to liberating, to hold-your-belly hilarious.
Posted By: Fred_in_VA Re: Some People Just Have a Low Libido - 03/02/11 02:20 AM
Originally Posted By: DaisyTheCat2
I doubt it will last, but I’m going to enjoy it while it does!!!

Stop it, Daisy!

Stop it right now!

You are dealing yourself a bad hand off the top of the deck.

You don't have to do this, you know.
Posted By: PHOEN1X Re: Some People Just Have a Low Libido - 03/06/11 04:58 PM

I'll have to look those up, they sound interesting.

I have noticed that my "down there" plumbing works better in the morning. I think it's completely mental though. It's really nice to wake up to SF and it puts a great spin on my day. I also think that it's mental because I don't have anything running through my head from a day of work and all the other stresses and worries that accumulate. My brain is blank and so my attention goes immediately to the warm body pressed behind me and whatever it is that he's doing that woke me up.

A lot of my desire I think is killed by my own self consciousness (sp?). I am very aware of my H preference for women with flat stomachs and I do not have one of those yet. The women in my family are all apples so that is a trait I will have to work harder for than normal diet and exercise can accomplish. I'll need to add things that target that area for me and cardio is really important because of my slower metabolism. I've only been slim like that twice since we've met. The first was a result of the 3 hour difference in the time we got off work and nothing to go home to. The gym a block from work became a haven. The second was when I was living in my apartment after the A and spending an hour at the gym every day to take up all the new time I had alone. My desire stems strongly from BEING desired.

So it's a work in progress again. ^_^
Posted By: Delta_ Re: Some People Just Have a Low Libido - 03/06/11 06:12 PM
Originally Posted By: PHOEN1X
I am very aware of my H preference for women with flat stomachs and I do not have one of those yet. The women in my family are all apples so that is a trait I will have to work harder for than normal diet and exercise can accomplish. I'll need to add things that target that area for me and cardio is really important because of my slower metabolism.


Since nobody can spot reduce without surgery, you might consider increasing your metabolism at a higher rate by lifting weights in targeted areas (not mid section in your case) plus eating the right foods to fuel the muscle gain. It'll give you much more bang for your metabolism buck than cardio alone.

No matter the misconceptions, lifting will not make women bulky. It will help you shed fat and keep your mid section lean and trim, without the need for crunches, etc.
Posted By: HoldHerHand Re: Some People Just Have a Low Libido - 03/07/11 03:22 AM
Good groups to to target with resistance exercise are large muscle groups, as they respond the most quickly - notably butt and thighs. Think squats and dead-lifts.

As far as The Vagina Monologues, there are performances of it all over youtube.
Posted By: DaisyTheCat2 Re: Some People Just Have a Low Libido - 03/07/11 07:03 PM
Tee hee, I will have to check out "The Vagina Monologues"
Posted By: DaisyTheCat2 Re: Some People Just Have a Low Libido - 04/20/11 06:26 PM
This is SO true for me as well!

I've noticed that a guy I wouldn’t have paid attention to before ends up getting a second look when I find out he thinks I’m beautiful or desirable. Weird.

I'm still getting to know the guy who is super physically attractive. But there's another guy from Sunday School who has surprised me by somehow becoming just as sexy. I don't get it, since he's not quite as good-looking as the other guy (great smile, average body, but still looks nice). But we've been hanging out for a few months as part of a group, and best I can figure out, my attraction to him is based on a combination of how nice he is to me, and how obviously he's into me.

It’s events like this that make me want to go back to school for a psych degree- I feel like I just don’t understand human behavior, especially when it comes to sexuality, not even my own!
Posted By: HoldHerHand Re: Some People Just Have a Low Libido - 04/20/11 06:44 PM
Originally Posted By: DaisyTheCat2
This is SO true for me as well!

I've noticed that a guy I wouldn’t have paid attention to before ends up getting a second look when I find out he thinks I’m beautiful or desirable. Weird.

I'm still getting to know the guy who is super physically attractive. But there's another guy from Sunday School who has surprised me by somehow becoming just as sexy. I don't get it, since he's not quite as good-looking as the other guy (great smile, average body, but still looks nice). But we've been hanging out for a few months as part of a group, and best I can figure out, my attraction to him is based on a combination of how nice he is to me, and how obviously he's into me.

It’s events like this that make me want to go back to school for a psych degree- I feel like I just don’t understand human behavior, especially when it comes to sexuality, not even my own!


YOu are talking Harley concepts here, Daisy. He's meeting your emotional needs, which makes him more attractive to you.

Strange thing here; FWW is/was attracted to my arrogance. Over the course of our marriage, my confidence, and thus my arrogance had been eroded. While I maintained that, it was attractive to her from me, but the arrogance of other men was a total turn off. When I lost my confidence, it removed that block.

Weird, eh?

Anyway, you are echoing the story of thousands of women. Again, I really suggest you pick up TVM and listen to the stories of those women. There are quite a few that would likely resonate with you.
I am not speaking to this couple directly, but it raises another lesson:

Be sure about who you are marrying and why you are marrying them.

* Not because you are both nice people, so why not?

* Not because everyone else is getting married and you feel like time is running out.

* Not because they are so good looking and such a prize.

* Not because you are on the rebound from a relationship.

* Not because you are lost and confused and this looks like a way out.

* Not because you said, "Yes", and now want to show commitment by not backing out.

Marry because you find someone who shares your values, who understands you, listens to you, cares about you and wants to care for you. Marry them for purely positive reasons, without any doubt, misgivings, or remorse.
Wow, Retread. That’s so needed these days. I wonder if the problem is that few of us have hope that the conditions in your last paragraph will ever be met, that we’ll “find someone who shares your values, who understands you, listens to you, cares about you and wants to care for you. “ so we take what we can get. I remember very poignantly reluctantly letting my mom talk me into marrying my ex because he was the only guy in college who was interested in dating me. You don’t want to end up old and alone she said. But look what happened 12 years later.
Posted By: DaisyTheCat2 Attraction is a Funny Thing, Ain't It? - 05/09/11 03:58 PM
This weekend I've been thinking about attraction and what causes it. The super hot guy I've been getting to know has a lot of habits i don't want to live with. Yet I can't get my mind off him, unless it's to think about the church guy, lol, who would seems he would be pleasant to live with but who I don't think will ever settle down.

I've been asking myself, what is it about Guy#1 that makes me feel head-over-heels for him even though he has certain habits I don't want in my house. We're not talking anything abusive here, but for example, he smokes and I am sensitive to smoke so I can't handle staying at his place too long unless it's been freshly cleaned. In the past, if a man who smoked approached me, I wouldn't have given him the time of day. In this case, I didn't know he smoked until we'd been going out for a couple months. And what is it about Guy #2 (the church guy) who isn't nearly as hot but is such a fantastic guy that I find him just as sexy.

I know part of it is my own personal healing (prayer, counseling). And yesterday two more pieces of the puzzle fell into place: I feel very feminine with them. I also feel safe and protected, like either of them would take good care of me.

Now feeling feminine around him is just body shape and genetics, but it makes SUCH a difference! I'm *in* great shape I (run races), and I *have* a great shape (hourglass figure), but it's a broad shape. People are usually suprised when they see me in person if all they've seen is pictures, because you typically don't find someone with my figure being my size. I rarely feel feminine around guys because my shoulders are typically broader than theirs. The kids in high-school used to tease me about being a football player. But this guy is so broad and tall that just being around him I feel feminine and petite. When I sit next to me, he's taller and I can look up into his eyes. His legs are longer and wider than mine. Do you know how hard it is to feel sexy when the guy you're hugging feels like a little kid? It's not their fault most guys are thinner than me. It's genetics. But it's only part of the libido issue.

But the next part, feeling protected, can help a lot of guys on this board.

Guy #1 is a big dude, 6'4", and no one ever messes with him. And they don't mess with me when I'm around him. When they say something he knows hurts me, such as making fun of the Lord, he makes them stop. Now, he doesn't do that with every single thing that annoys me (and I don't expect him to) but I really appreciate how he does that when it gets to the most sensitive things in my life. I've been out with guys who didn't stand up for me when the waitress/waiter makes fun of my drink selection (I don't drink, and I don't understand why servers think they have to crack a joke about you not drinking? What, are you the driver? well, actually yes I am. What? Why do you want cranberry juice? Do you have a UTI or something?). The last time me and this guy were out, his friend's girl made fun of miss goody-two shoes ordering a coke rather than real drink, and he put her in her place. I've never had that before. Even my own parents didn't stand up for us. As an example, some kids were beating us up and my dad, rather than helping us, decided he was going to play with the kids who were beating us because, as he said that day, they're better than you because you're letting them beat you up. My mom regularly went out drinking with the "mean girls" in school who were always making fun of me and trying to cheat off my papers. So here is this guy, who is a lot of fun to be around, looks good, and by his very nature meets one of the deepest needs I didn't even realize I had. And it makes me crazy for him. Even though I doubt it would work (I just couldn't marry a smoker, I get sick).

Now Guy#2 is financially secure, a ton of fun, and his personality is much like mine. Even though he teases me a lot, he's the first one to stand up for me if I get lost in conversation and someone tries to cut me down. He's very confident, which plays into the feeling of protection, and he's the kind of guy that will make sure your order is right in the restaurant and have the waitress smiling as he does so (as opposed to the kind of guy that wants you to just eat what was brought rather than risk making a scene or, just as bad, the guy who will fix it but make everyone upset in the process).

But there's something that does bother me about him, and it really speaks to that core issue of protection. One thing that disturbs me about Guy#2 is that he tends to want to make everyone happy. My ex was like that. He wanted to make everyone happy and keep everyone liking him but because he couldn't do that 100% of the time, he'd use me as a sacrificial lamb. He often ignored my needs (because he already had me, it wasn't important to make me happy, I was bound to him for life- he told me this) and would tell people "yes" and then, behind closed doors, tell me not to let whatever he had just promised happen. That's probably why he is still very successful in ministry- everyone just likes his public persona. I guess that doesn't make sense, so here's an example: After birth of my son, while I was on home-rest, the ladies from church wanted to come help me clean. He told them sure, come on over this weekend. Then came home to tell me don't you let those women inside this house. I got angry but his rationale was that his reputation was too important. So to the outside world he looked like a great guy and I looked like a mean shrew. I know some of you are thinking, why did you let him do that? but I took that "wives obey your husbands" thing too far, and even though I hated it, I never would tell people the truth.

So as I'm getting to know church guy, I'm looking for indicators that he will be the same way as my ex. I dont' think so, because he doesn't seem to care what other people think of him like my ex does, but still: If I ever remarry, it will have to be someone who I can depend on being right by my side, sticking up for me, and taking care of me. Not just turning a blind eye as other people do me wrong. And yeah, I know sometimes we read too much into things and we think people are slighting us when they aren't but I'm talking on big issues.

I'm hoping that some of the guys on here who are upset about their wives low libido will consider my words and search out whether there's some deeper need (whether it's protection or something else) they can meet for their wife that, once they do so, will help increase her libido.
Posted By: Puzzle Re: Attraction is a Funny Thing, Ain't It? - 05/09/11 10:12 PM
Good evening everyone!

Daisy, good luck with those two guys, I wouldn't want to be in your shoes though. smile

I've come to the conclusion that physical attractiveness is one of my husbands most important emotional needs. I have a few of the MB books and I asked him to fill out the EN questionaire but he listed O&H as #1. I'm not sure that's right.

It took 3 years of dating, a year and a half of marriage, an affair and almost a year of marriage counseling for him to admit that physical attractiveness was important to him. He is attracted to thin petite women with toned stomachs and small breasts. He likes the low jeans and short tanks that only go down to cover the ribs with no bra underneath.

I come from a family that tends to be on the heavy side. We all gain around our middles. I'm kind of short at 5'3" and since high school I'd been around 125lb, still was when I met my H. I've been down to 115lb when I was starting college living on a bottle of Mountain Dew all day until I'd go to my sisters for dinner. (I don't recommend it.)

I enjoy recreational exercise, biking or hiking with friends or my furbaby (puppy). I'm trying to get more activity in my days but it's hard. When I limit my diet I'm always hungry and I feel resentful that H can binge junk food. I think Dr. Harley said that's my lot in life, to be hungry, which is extremely hard to accept.

I resent H a little for not admitting this EN to himself much earlier. I knew his "type" but not that it was so important to him. After all, I wasn't that type when we met or married.

So, how do I keep those negative feelings at bay?

This has become a major love buster for him. Last night H actually rejected me, freshly washed, shaved, and presented. It wasn't fun at all.

Thoughts? Comments? Advice?

PUZZLE
Puzzle, I wish I knew what to tell you. It seems unreasonable to me that your H would hold you to a standard you didn't carry while dating. It almost seems like he's making excuses for dishonorable behavior. Or trying to set you up for emotional abuse. but that's probably me over-reacting. My ex used to tell me how fat I was and how ugly my clothes were. Weird thing was, after the divorce, since we attended the same church for awhile, I purposely wore the clothes he told me made me look the fattest and ugliest. One day he came up to me after service mad at me for wearing all those clothes that looked good and what was I trying to do to him, distracting him from the ministry like that. So I wasn’t really fat and ugly. He just wanted to make me feel that way. Sigh. I hope someone here has some good suggestions for you.

In my case, I married someone I wasn’t attracted to, but I never held it against him that he wasn’t more attractive. I did take issue with the fact that he stopped working out and lost a lot of weight, and would remind him of that when he would make comments about my being too big.
Originally Posted By: Puzzle
G
Thoughts? Comments? Advice?



Puzzle, just because he is attracted to a certain look does not mean he can't fall in love in with you. He was in love with you at one time, after all. I would start up a new thread so others can help you with this.
Originally Posted By: MelodyLane
Puzzle, just because he is attracted to a certain look does not mean he can't fall in love in with you.

ITA with the first part of this… I’m probably the least qualified to comment on this given my “attraction history” but even without sexual attraction I’ve always liked a particular “look.” Big Dude has that look. The guy I liked before him was blonde, which is my least favorite “look.” But something about the way he treated me totally won me over. The guy I dated between these two had my favorite look, but he was a real jerk so definitely no feelings there.

Originally Posted By: MelodyLane
He was in love with you at one time, after all. I would start up a new thread so others can help you with this.

But what if a guy marries a woman for reasons other than love? Probably does not apply in Puzzle’s case, but there was a lady on here whose husband married her as a caretaker for his kids. My ex is now looking for a wife, and he gave me the list of qualifications. Seemed to me that love had nothing to do with it. My impression of the list is he was looking for someone to play a particular role alongside his ministry.

If you marry someone who doesn’t love you, isn’t attracted to you and you feel religiously bound to remain in the marriage, how can you fix it?
This was posted to me on another thread:

Originally Posted By: HoldHerHand
So, you wrote page after page trying to normalize yourself - because we all want to be "normal" right - and extend branches to those who you think will appreciate your "unique perspective," which according to your own recent developments, has largely been based upon you not even understanding yourself.


What I wouldn't give to be "normal." I'm really tired of being so odd. I go in these circles where I think I'm finally healed enough to live life like everyone else appears to. I go along fine for weeks, months at a time. Then something happens to make me realize I'm still the same mess with still the same messed-up thinking.

I won't give up, but these setbacks are tough.
Originally Posted By: DaisyTheCat2
What I wouldn't give to be "normal." I'm really tired of being so odd. I go in these circles where I think I'm finally healed enough to live life like everyone else appears to. I go along fine for weeks, months at a time. Then something happens to make me realize I'm still the same mess with still the same messed-up thinking.

I won't give up, but these setbacks are tough.

Daisy,

I have come to believe that "normal" is a setting on a washing machine.

For years I bounced between extremes: egoism/inferiority complex, uncaring/sensitive, high and low. I could never achieve a sense of balance in my life and in my head.

Through nearly twenty years of A.A. meetings, working the Steps, having and being a sponsor, I have come to realize that no one is truly "normal" in any sense of the word as I understand it. Thus, I have worked for many years to achieve the status of "ordinary."

The most exceptional man I know is my 83 year-old sponsor, who this year will recognize 51 years of continuous sobriety! One of the reasons I find him so exceptional is because he is the most "ordinary" man I know.

Everyone has quirks, character defects, flaws and problems. What's "normal" is that each of us is different in so many ways, but alike in that we have these less-than-perfect qualities.

Learning to accept our imperfections and be "comfortable in our own skin" is a major step on the road to "ordinary."

At least that's been my experience.
Thanks, Fred, for the kind words. I guess I was just really pinging last week because I still have a hard time when people try to tell me, as they did here on the forum, that I’m lying about what I felt or did not feel growing up. I really need to learn how to let such things go and just accept that some people don’t understand. You are right, we all have things we struggle with, but somehow if your struggles are slightly different from others, that makes you some kind of lying weirdo.

I’m feeling even worse about myself today because I tried to get a little (just a little, lol) intimate with Big Dude and it went horribly.

Background: I found out one of my girlfriends really, really, liked Church Guy (causing me to back off getting to know him) and since Big Dude (who I’ve been getting to know for 6 months) wanted to take our relationship to the next level, and I wasn’t interested in anyone else, I decided, “I like him, he’s hot, so why not go exclusive?”

Well…

I had flashbacks to my ex telling me he didn’t want to take time out for me which totally killed the moment. And when Big Dude tried to encourage me to let it go and relax, he also asked “When was the last time you had this much fun with a guy.” Well, guess what? “Never” was the honest answer, but not the right one. He totally backed up, wanted more details, and after hearing them concluded I was some sort of freak weirdo.

I should have known better! I’ve actually had a guy tell me I’m a weirdo because I waited for marriage and was only with one guy within the confines of that marriage. So I should have KNOWN this guy wouldn’t truly honest answers about my sexual past. Why did I tell him? I felt comfortable with him and trusted him, and thought he would be patient with me. After all, it’s been 5-6 months! But I was wrong.
I realize my thread is kinda annoying for some folks, but I'd like to get some opinions on what I should have told the guy in my previous post- what would have been the "honest enough" answer that might not have scared him off?

There's someone in the "other topics" thread who is transgendered...his/her situation makes me wonder: when it comes to sexuality outside the norm, how honest do you be and when?
There is no one perfect line that will inform but not scare off every guy. Just like there is no perfect way for a guy to say "I dumped my ex-wife because she wouldn't have enough sex with me". Some people are going to be put off by the concept no matter how you say it. Some are going to challenge whether it is true.

If you scare a guy off, that just means you didn't waste any more time with the wrong guy. The right guy won't be scared off.
Daisy

I'm that transgendered person.

There is no 'normal'. People fall into many places on many spectrums. Worldly, self actualized people know this. But most people we meet, struggling with fear and self esteem issues, will not move from their version of 'normal'.

Dishonesty makes love very difficult. If someone is not interested in you, they would not have made a good mate.

On the first date I want them to know me as a person. So being in a place where talking is easy, is important. I tell them my background at the beginning of the second date. I have no expectations about the outcome of telling them. I don't let myself fantasize about the future potentials until after the second date.

Sex is a major EN for guys. I thought about sex at every opportunity when I was a guy. But I have less testosterone in my system now than most women. I rarely think about it, unless I meet a really attractive guy. For me now sex is a way to express and enhance love.

So I'm wondering, could asexuality be caused by a hormonal imbalance? I've heard some women take a small amount of Viagra before sex. Others try a testosterone patch. Women's bodies do make a small amount of testosterone naturally.
Daisy, I think if you're deadset in waiting until you get married again to have sex, you'll want to give a heads up to a guy that you're getting serious in your dating life. Some guys will wait; some guys won't want to wait.
Originally Posted By: Cypress
There is no 'normal'.


Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa?

TG isn't "abnormal."

AS isn't "abnormal."

Both of those things actually have measurable physiological causes.

"Uncommon."

People and your people terms.
Originally Posted By: DaisyTheCat2
I realize my thread is kinda annoying for some folks, but I'd like to get some opinions on what I should have told the guy in my previous post- what would have been the "honest enough" answer that might not have scared him off?


If I'm understanding right, the issue is that he told you you were not normal for not having relations with anyone until your husband?

If it were me, my response would be: "I can do better than you."

(Prisca is standing here suggesting another more pointed response, but I don't want to get moderated, so I'll leave it to your imagination. smile )

Seriously, dating is an employment interview for a relationship. Anyone who is disrespectfully judging you like that during the dating stage has FAILED the test!

You can indeed do better and I encourage you not to settle for someone like that.
Originally Posted By: HoldHerHand
Originally Posted By: Cypress
There is no 'normal'.


Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa?

TG isn't "abnormal."

AS isn't "abnormal."

Both of those things actually have measurable physiological causes.

"Uncommon."

People and your people terms.


HHH,

Yes you are absolutely right. 'Normal' is a loaded word, that actually has no true meaning. My point was that no one has the right to define anyone else. We are all God's children doing the best that we can.

I don't consider myself to be much different from other women. Except, I got there later in life. cool
Originally Posted By: markos

If I'm understanding right, the issue is that he told you you were not normal for not having relations with anyone until your husband?


Well, Big Dude propbed deeper into what was bothering me, and it came out that I'd never had an orgasm. That's what HE was saying I was abnormal for. And if you look at my age group (almost 40) yeah, I guess it is "abnormal."

What two other guys told me was that I was a weirdo for having waited for marrige and only had sex within the confines of that marriage, even though I'm now divorced.

Which to me is a very, very sad reflection on society.

Originally Posted By: markos

If it were me, my response would be: "I can do better than you."


I felt that way for awhile. Back when I thought “the right guy” would appreciate my chastity. Now I’m beginning to realize that it’s the sexy girls who get guys and since I don’t want a man enough to dress extremely revealing or have sex by the third date I’m just going to have to accept being single. I get lots of male attention, since I do dress very figure flattering and even though I’m a size 16 I have a great hourglass figure. But I’m not “sexy” and not really interested in being sexy in public. I kinda feel that is reserved for inside the house ;-)
Daisy,

I am model and a few years ago my husband wanted me to dress very revealing out in public. I felt that my sexy dress should be reserved only for my husband. Now he agrees with me. Wait for a man that shares your view.

I applaud your chastity... Stick to your guns.
Originally Posted By: DaisyTheCat2
Originally Posted By: markos

If I'm understanding right, the issue is that he told you you were not normal for not having relations with anyone until your husband?


Well, Big Dude propbed deeper into what was bothering me, and it came out that I'd never had an orgasm. That's what HE was saying I was abnormal for. And if you look at my age group (almost 40) yeah, I guess it is "abnormal."


I see. I would still say that was a pretty disrespectful thing of him to say. And if he's DJ'ing this early in the relationship, when he's dating and ought to be putting his best foot forward ... I still tend toward suggesting the "throw him back and go fish for another one" response. smile

The idea of judging a woman because she hasn't experienced orgasm is one of the most disrespectful things I've ever heard, come to think of it. It really doesn't take a whole lot of reading to learn what an emotional thing that can be and what a complicated issue it can be.

Quote:
What two other guys told me was that I was a weirdo for having waited for marrige and only had sex within the confines of that marriage, even though I'm now divorced.

Which to me is a very, very sad reflection on society.


Agree. smirk

Quote:
Back when I thought “the right guy” would appreciate my chastity. Now I’m beginning to realize that it’s the sexy girls who get guys and since I don’t want a man enough to dress extremely revealing or have sex by the third date I’m just going to have to accept being single.


That sounds tough. It makes me sick to think that most men are that way. But I would strongly encourage you to keep looking. I know there are guys out there who feel that way, because I feel that way.

By the way, a woman can dress attractively without being slutty. And Prisca and I agree with you that dressing sexy is something to do AT HOME.
Markos, I'm not sure if that's a fair statement. I'm sure most of us lovebusted quite a bit when we were dating, we just had those wonderful new dating chemicals running around that certain things didn't bother us (think about those things that suddenly started bothering you after awhile that didn't in the beginning).

Most don't even know they're lovebusting because they have no idea about this program.

I think it's strange that a woman in her 40s has never had an orgasm. He's not juding her; he's making a comment on her experiences. Now the other guys talking about her sexual activities prior to marriage are disrespecting her.
Daisy, I'm not sure if it's a sad, sad reflection society that people aren't waiting to get married to have sex. My wife and I dated for years. While I don't want to date someone that's going to be 'putting out' in the first couple of dates, I wouldn't want to wait years either.

I don't think wanting to wait or not wanting to wait to have sex till marriage is wrong. I do think it's important to be open about this when dating about intimate expectations.
Originally Posted By: DaisyTheCat2
Originally Posted By: markos

If I'm understanding right, the issue is that he told you you were not normal for not having relations with anyone until your husband?


Well, Big Dude propbed deeper into what was bothering me, and it came out that I'd never had an orgasm. That's what HE was saying I was abnormal for. And if you look at my age group (almost 40) yeah, I guess it is "abnormal."

What two other guys told me was that I was a weirdo for having waited for marrige and only had sex within the confines of that marriage, even though I'm now divorced.

Which to me is a very, very sad reflection on society.


I think it's an oft-quoted (though I don't know if it's backed) thing that a lot of women DON'T experience orgasm until they are in their 30's. Considering your history, being 40 and not having experienced it isn't that strange considering that.

I don't think you are weird for holding out for marriage, either. In fact, giving up on that for almost any reason, particularly the WRONG reasons is NOT going to make SF any more comfortable or enjoyable for you.

You aren't weird, you just have solid beliefs and standards and some bad life experiences.
Agree with KT and HHH. I don't see holding out for marriage as weird or abnormal - on the other hand I don't see it as superior, either. It just is. Though I will admit that waiting avoids the risk of unwanted pregnancy.

If I was dating and the lady told me she was saving herself for marriage, I would respect her choice and not deride her for it, but I would also end the dating relationship in an honest and respectful manner.
Originally Posted By: bitbucket
Agree with KT and HHH. I don't see holding out for marriage as weird or abnormal - on the other hand I don't see it as superior, either. It just is. Though I will admit that waiting avoids the risk of unwanted pregnancy.

If I was dating and the lady told me she was saving herself for marriage, I would respect her choice and not deride her for it, but I would also end the dating relationship in an honest and respectful manner.


Eh, Daisy is just a strong Christian woman.

So... for the second time today, the rationalist is going to bolster Christian stance.

God created man, designed with... er, certain parts.

God created woman, with compatible parts.

God created marriage, and within marriage he said man and woman shall come together and be one flesh.

God loves what he creates. God created sex. God loves sex... WITHIN MARRIAGE. It was created to feel good so that man and woman could also enjoy God's creation.

Daisy, you are a faithful woman. When your flesh and your faith are both satisfied within marriage, I have (an outsider's) faith that you will, in fact, come to love and enjoy SF with the man whom you choose to marry.
Originally Posted By: bitbucket
If I was dating and the lady told me she was saving herself for marriage, I would respect her choice and not deride her for it, but I would also end the dating relationship in an honest and respectful manner.


That’s pretty much the common attitude right now. It causes me to try really hard not to divulge my feelings on this unless I have to, because I want to get to know the guy and I know as soon as this comes out the dating is over. The whole thing confuses me, because many dating advice books and websites actually say the best way to get married (vice be live-in forever) is to withhold sex. That’s not the reason I’m doing it, for me it’s religious, but I don’t see how these “gurus” can recommend that because once a guy figures out he’s not getting any, he disappears.

On the opposite side of the coin, I actually broke things off with another guy I had dated for about 7 months because it appeared things were heading toward dating for years but no marriage. I told him though I was in no rush to get remarried I would not be happy being in the situation like his previous relationship (8-year live-in). It just didn’t sit well with me to date a guy for a couple years and NOT get married.

I had not told him of my no sex before marriage conviction, but kept the physical to minor things like cuddling so he probably figured it out. I don’t feel bad about that relationship crumbling because I wasn’t really attracted to him anyway, the way I am now, but he was lots of fun and a very impressive man.
Many men equate sex with affection and admiration. If you don't divulge your commitment to no pre-marital sex, the man may think he is being strung along, till you find someone better.

I'd tell the guy after a month or two of dates. You will need to find other ways to meet the affection and admiration needs. You may also need to convince him that he is worthy of your love.

Its not that men are shallow, its that they are very afraid to have their hearts broken. They just don't show it. (Its the macho thing) I know I've been there.
Daisy, you should stick with what you believe is best for you. You shouldn't settle for less. I don't think you should be judged negatively for what you believe. But you still have to be honest with guys you're dating and not withhold that you're not going to have sex until marriage. I've stated before that I wouldn't want to date a woman that would just sleep with me on the first few dates. But I wouldn't want to wait until marriage to have sex either.

I think a lot of guys after dating for awhile and trying to have sexual intimacy and repeatedly getting the "I'm not ready yet" would start to take it personally, that you didn't like them that way, and look at it as rejection.

I think at some point if both you and the guy are going to wait until marriage that some sex talk should happen. Stuff like preferences, turn offs, definate nos, frequency expectations, etc.

So stick to your beliefs but always be honest.
I think that you owe it to these fellas that you date to let them know early in the relationship that you are not going to have pre-marital sex. Its not really fair to them to let them think its going to happen if its not.

I would feel duped (to use CWMI's term) if that happened to me after a couple months of dating.
Posted By: DaisyTheCat2 So how early is too early to tell him? - 06/01/11 01:43 PM
Originally Posted By: Happy2CU
I think that you owe it to these fellas that you date to let them know early in the relationship that you are not going to have pre-marital sex.


So how early is too early? I used to tell guys on the first date. But then my friends told me that was why I was never getting a second date, I should keep shut and let the guy get to know me first. Honestly, few guys have lasted past 2 months of dating, because they tend to move too fast and I end up having to tell them I want to slow things down. Which leads to "when?" As one guy said, “I don't want to wait around for 6 months only to find out you're still not ready.” So then I end up telling them “no sex without commitment.” And then I never hear from them again.

Not all guys, of course. In my 2 years of divorced-hood, I’ve gone out with 3 guys beyond 2 months, but until Big Dude they were just “getting to know you” not exclusive dating.
Originally Posted By: DaisyTheCat2
Originally Posted By: Happy2CU
I think that you owe it to these fellas that you date to let them know early in the relationship that you are not going to have pre-marital sex.


So how early is too early? I used to tell guys on the first date. But then my friends told me that was why I was never getting a second date, I should keep shut and let the guy get to know me first. Honestly, few guys have lasted past 2 months of dating, because they tend to move too fast and I end up having to tell them I want to slow things down. Which leads to "when?" As one guy said, “I don't want to wait around for 6 months only to find out you're still not ready.” So then I end up telling them “no sex without commitment.” And then I never hear from them again.

Not all guys, of course. In my 2 years of divorced-hood, I’ve gone out with 3 guys beyond 2 months, but until Big Dude they were just “getting to know you” not exclusive dating.


First date is absolutely fine. If you don't get a second date, then you won't be wasting months on someone who doesn't share the same belief and commitment as you.

NOTHING wrong with that, Daisy.
I don't know about first date. I'm not even sure how that conversation would start since it's a first date. Guys don't typically expect sex on a first or second date. I think by the 3rd date you're okay to start approching the subject of intimacy. I'd assume by the 3rd date, the guy is going to try and start kissing you with a bit more energy than a peck on the cheek.

And then of course, it depends on if you and the guy are dating exclusively. I think at that point before things get exclusive then he should know so that he is free to pursue other women that are okay with sex before marrige and you can find a guy that is okay with waiting.
I'm with you on the exclusive point... I would never let a man commit to only me without making sure he understood my view on waiting.

And I definitely want to discuss all the likes/dislikes/etc before reaching the point of marriage because I don't want to end up with some so-called "great church guy" who will never explore any of these attraction feelings with me. If I get married again, I want orgasm, lol!

The only guy I've got to the point of "exclusivity" with was Big Dude, and he said he didn't have a problem with waiting. His reply to me when I told him was, it's been a few years one more won't kill me. I wonder now if he really meant it, though, because our relationship fell apart pretty quick after I told him about the no orgasm yet thing.
It's all in how you sell it.

Dating is testing the merchandise before "buying", however, you are also being evaluated at the same time. So while finding a guy you are physically attracted to is important to you...you also want a man that is physically attracted to you. Well, since your beliefs prohibit you from allowing him to actually sample the product (and there are many other "competitors" out there willing to let him sample)....you've got to get better at SELLING the illusion/fact that you are a passionate sexy woman (passionate for THAT particular man that is) that is bottling up a vixen.

When you tell the guy on second, third, er...tenth date you need to use your feminine smarts and matured self-confidence to deliver the message that you are waiting for a commitment before you "go there" again but that it's hard...particularly with [such date]. Tell them you have to take cold showers after your dates and/or that you "dream" about them. You have to over sell that you ARE sexual and, in particular, sexual for them...because your actions of withholding most likely communicate the wrong message in today's society. I'm not telling you to lie or be disingenuous, but as an adult it's not sinful to TALK about sex with the target of your affections.

Back in my dating years I had one girl/young lady that wouldn't even hardly kiss me goodnight at the end of a good date. Her friends convinced me she really liked me and I kept going out with her but eventually I stopped calling. It wasn't that she didn't go to bed with me...it's that she didn't seem to have any passion (for me and/or sex in general). To this day I don't know if she was "saving herself" or just, as they say, a cold fish. Communication is the key...verbal and non-verbal. What additional messages are you sending?

You can deliver many subtle and not so subtle messages that you want sex and are dying to have sex with that particular person while still NOT having sex.

Besides...many people wait until marriage for sex...how did those women find husbands? It's not completely unheard of and you need to become more adept at explaining the benefits of waiting to your boyfriends. I'd think, in particular, a divorce betrayed husband might find dating a woman that can control her sexual impulses (and thus not betray him like his ex-wife did) refreshing.

Confidence and salesmanship. The message is not something you have to apologize for or be ashamed of, but you may have to sell it.

Mr. Wondering
It's been a couple of years since my divorce. I just want to let everyone know that with developing new relationships (mostly FEMALE friendships, not male love interests), a good amount of counseling, and a whole lot of self reflection, I have become more "normal."

I know what it's like to feel attracted/lustful for a member of the opposite sex. Even recently discovered what it feels like now to have sexual pleasure, though as a “good little Christian girl, I’m kinda embarrassed to admit it. I consider this a sign of healing.

It goes FAR beyond any butterflies I may have felt up to the point where my marriage was falling apart.

I don't want to say that universally all people who are going through what I went through have mental issues, but I had had to overcome serious emotional abnormalities brought on by childhood sexual trauma (my father is a registered childhood sex offender) and my attempts to overcome my lack of sexual desire only resulted in the aversion Dr. Harley writes about.

If you or your spouse has bona fide problems experiencing sexual attraction, and by that I mean you’ve never felt sexual tension, lust, etc, there is still hope for you.
I would like to jump in and give my thoughts. I think telling on the first date that you will wait for marriage is fine. One of these days, you will meet a man that respects that, which shows he may even respect you! I know Dr. Harley says that usually within two years of dating a person you both know whether this is the one, and part of the desire to marry is to consummate the rest of the intimacy the two are feeling with each other. I think that if you wait until marriage, you have a solid foundation on which to make the marriage last a lifetime because you know you're with a man that respects you and your values.
Just popping back in for a quick update... Some things I've learned over the years:

- Some people have no (or low) libido. They might enjoy affection (cuddling, kissing, etc) but feel nothing "down there." This can be for a variety of reasons (trauma, genetics, overstressed life, spouse love busting, etc). That said, most people who say they were never attracted to their spouse are lying (perhaps because they're in an "affair fog") and just don't remember those days

- In some cases, people with low libido do not understand what someone of "normal" libido experiences when it comes to sexual arousal, and this lack of experience can cause problems in relationship because the low libido spouse doesn't understand why it's such a big deal and the higher libido spouse can't imagine not feeling sexual desire

- My case, and at least two others as evidenced by the posts in this thread, have shown that sexual attraction CAN grow, even if never experienced before, once the causes are dealt with (for example, clearing out the schedule so one is not so stressed/overworked at night, dealing with childhood trauma, or getting more emotional needs met)


I have been dating a wonderful man for about 8 months now, and we have been discussing long term plans. This scares me a little bit, but ONE thing that is great is that we are evenly matched sexually (and in many other areas). We are waiting for marriage to fully have sex, but we've had enough discussions and experienced enough of each other that I am confident that our relationship will not just have SEX but rather SEXUAL FULFILLMENT.

My libido is still kinda different in that a good looking man does not turn me on the way other women would be turned on. It's really more about how he treats me. Now that my SO has come into my life and proven himself to be amazing, just the thought of him drives me crazy "down there."

Being in love like this is a wonderful feeling, and I wish all of God's people can experience it.
Haven't been on this site in years. Really didn't feel welcome for awhile. Felt like I was too weird, and too many of my posts were getting censored (trying to stay in the MB guidelines, but somehow not succeeding).

But today I got a "happy birthday" email from the system and decided to check it out.

Update: The guy I mentioned in the above post is now my husband, 5 yrs. We have a miracle baby (he couldn't have kids with his ex, and she had one from a prior relationship, so they thought it was him). We are very well matched and even though pushing 50 have a very active sex life. I'm almost embarrassed to type that, but I'm hoping it gives someone hope. Sometimes I forgive him something just so I can get a good romp. Night and day from when I first came to this site.

He is very much like me- doesn't get stimulated sexually just by good looking body alone. It has to come with love, attention, and being nice to him. Same as me. But most of my life I never had anyone treat me like that. So I never knew it. I'm thankful for learning about the asexual group, because getting to know those folks showed me that (not for everyone, but for many) this kind of sexuality stems from abuse.

I've worked a lot on myself personally and professionally and I wish I could tell you more details about the great life I'm living now, but I'm not sure how to do that while remaining anonymous. People look at me and don't recognize me because I carry myself so differently now.

I will say that my ex still isn't involved with our son (talks to him or texts maybe 2 times a year, has an occasional visit funded by grandma). My husband is a great father to him. We are good partners. Not perfect, lol, still some little kinks here and there, but we've been together 8 years and married 5 and still very, very happy. Still goofy with each other and still very attracted to each other despite the effects of age starting to set in.

Thank you all for your support during those tumultuous times.

- DTC2
Hi Daisythecat! Thanks for the great update. Congrats to you on your new marriage and child! It is great to hear that your life has turned out so well. I wanted to comment on this statement in one of your previous posts:

Quote
My libido is still kinda different in that a good looking man does not turn me on the way other women would be turned on. It's really more about how he treats me. Now that my SO has come into my life and proven himself to be amazing, just the thought of him drives me crazy "down there."


You described the driving force for sexual desire in the typical woman. Sexual desire in women is created by meeting her intimate emotional needs in an effective way. Those needs are typically affection, conversation and recreational companionship. Men are motivated more by physical appearance.
© Marriage Builders® Forums