Wednesday, March 19, 2008

"What Husbands Wish Their Wives Knew", otherwise known as "What Wives are Afraid to Find Out"

I know this has been said before but--- Take care of your marriage bed before someone else will.

This should be obvious for married couples. Truly, for years it wasn't obvious for me. After finding out, I didn't blame GR one bit. In fact, I thanked him for telling me and told him that I was at least partially responsible for him falling into this temptation. Before I forget to mention this--- Since my awakening 15 months ago, this has been a non-issue in our marriage because during all those years he just wanted *me*... and now he has as much of me as he wants.

Because of my years of refusing sex, my very faithful dh fell into the temptation of looking at other women. Porn was never GR's vice but when he would be anywhere away from home, he developed wandering eyes for other females. While engaging in this habit he wasn't without guilt over what he was doing. It's just that I kept him so sex-starved for so long that watching other females gave him a small sense of sexual normalcy that he should have been able to get from me only... I refused to give it.

When I was refusing, GR tried to tell me about this temptation but I did not listen. When I would think about him possibly doing something like this, I would imagine it away because if I knew I was causing him temptation, it would mean that I would have had to "straighten up and fly right" with my refusing and I didn't have the desire or the know-how to be the dw he needed.

This is why the Bible tell us that our bodies do not belong to us. Rather, they belong to our spouse. When we withhold that which is not ours, negative consequences WILL SURELY RESULT. It's not "if" they will, but "when". I had to thank God and thank GR that nothing went any further.

Anyone reading this who is low sex drive or no-SD or if your spouse is this way.... I hope you very soon find answers to your marital issues before this or some other temptation claims affections that should only belong in your marriage bed.

It's a funny thing. Back when GR confessed this to me, our sex life had long since been reclaimed so I just had such a peace about it knowing that what was done was in the past. He took full responsibility for the "wandering eyes". However, my POV was that his looking at other women was no worse than my refusing sex. In fact, my refusing was the cause of it all and his habit of roaming eyes was only a natural result.

So take care of your marriage bed before someone else will!

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Gemma,

I'm using an ANON because I blog under a few different names, and was signed in under my homeschooling blog account. LOL

I'm a member of TMB (Wifey1974) and after reading one of your posts, I followed your link here. You're my hero. :-)

I'm not the refuser, my husband is. I am praying for an awakening in both of us. You'd think I was still a timid newlywed... even after 10 years. But when someone says "no" enough times, ya get shy again... and the sad thing was that I had started to come out of my shell, and enjoyed LMing. I'm trying to get over that.

Anyway, thank you so much for blogging. I am looking forward to learning a lot here. And I'll see you on TMB. :-)

Gemma said...

Hi Wifey1974!

I, too, am a homeschool mom, presently working myself out of the job. Dd2, our youngest dc, is a high school senior and has already completed a semester of college credits. Both kids homeschooled since they were babies.

You said: "I had started to come out of my shell, and enjoyed LMing. I'm trying to get over that."

Can you elaborate on your comment? Were you a refuser earlier in your marriage or just shy or.... what? How long has your dh been the refuser? ... if I'm not being too nosy asking all this. I'm assuming you've been married 10 years, correct?

Anonymous said...

Hi Gemma,

Yeah I guess I should elaborate... In the very beginning, he wanted it all the time, and at ungodly hours of the night. I would work a long day at work, and then come home and cook and clean, and was no where near in any type of mood to do anything but sleep. So there would be days that I would refuse, not always, but sometimes I thought he was being extremely selfish, so I would say "no".

I was also very shy. He was my first and only experience even though we did not wait until we were married. After the birth of our only child, I finally began to become comfortable with my body. I was never a small woman, and I had only gotten larger with the pregnancy and afterwards. Just as I was "ok" with me, things started to go downhill with our LMing.

I would initiate, and he'd turn me down. It got to the point where once a month was too frequent for him. He even told me that he could go the rest of his life without ever having sex again. Needless to say that type of comment would cause a shy woman to go back into their shell and wonder why she married him. LOL I love him, but I am not the type who could eliminate LMing for the rest of my life. So that is why I am praying for an awakening in both of us. I need to come back out of the shell again.

I very rarely initiate anymore. We have been married for 10 years, but have known each other since I was 4 and he was 6. So we basically grew up together, but didn't really like each other until we were adults. LOL We were friends when we were younger and that was it. I knew his girlfriends and I knew that I was not his type back in high school. So I was shocked myself when we started dating. LOL

I want to come back out of my shell, but every refusal only sends me further inside. Especially if our encounters only average 2-3 times a month.

I would love to be my DH's whore. :-)


Wifey1974

Gemma said...

Awe, Wifey1974, it sounds like you guys have lots of hurt feelings on both ends. Have you tried counseling? If things aren't improving on their own without outside help, I'd move on to counseling. Even if dh won't go with you right now, I'd go alone so your emotions can begin to heal as you start to see things more clearly. Dh may join you later on if he sees your sincerity in wanting to fix the marriage issues.

The Aestheticist said...

I certainly hope I am not barred from asking any questions (as my situation is undoubtedly different, and I could understand why you - or anyone giving answers on this particular topic - might not answer it).

I was curious as to whether you thought the situation would be drastically different in such a marriage as mine, or how it might be different?

Gemma said...

TA, are you addressing your question to Wifey1974 or me? I'm not quite sure I understand what you are asking about your marriage. Can you be more specific with your question, if you are comfortable doing so?

The Aestheticist said...

I address my question to you, Gemma.

"Can you be more specific with your question, if you are comfortable doing so?"

I can and I am not.

Your entry speaks of men whos' eyes may wander in times when they are neglected (so to speak) by their wives.

However, this comes from the perspective of a marriage involving love and some established want of intimacy.

My question, then, is: what do you think the differences are for a marriage such as mine, where neither party holds any love for the other?

If you have no answer, it does not concern me. I ask only because I'd never actually considered what, if any, issues may arise from refusal in a marriage such as mine (aside from a blatant breach of our agreed upon terms, of course).

The Aestheticist said...

It seems I mistyped something in my last comment:

"'Can you be more specific with your question, if you are comfortable doing so?'

I can and I am not."

That is to say, I am not uncomfortable in doing so. I cannot expect a decent answer if I am not willing to clarify, after all.

Gemma said...

Hi, TA. I read your question a number of times before I felt comfortable enough to attempt a reply. Please, feel free to clarify if I'm totally missing the mark. If you don't already have David Schnarch's book, you might want to check it out at amazon: "Passionate Marriage", ISBN: 0-8050-5826-5 . Recently I read this in Schnarch's book:

"The misguided message of "save the beauty of sex for marriage" also contains an element of truth: humans have evolved the capacity for love; it's wired into our sexuality. It's a feeling that contributes to your overall arousal-- and thus to your sexual functioning and satisfaction. Passion and desire for your partner contribute to your total stimulation in the same way...... the deeper and more meaningful the level of connection-- and the more emotional energy you bring to your encounter-- the greater the contribution to total stimulation."

In a following passage, he goes on to say:

"Emotional connection is a powerful contributor to high total stimulation. When it's missing, its absence can have a correspondingly devastating impact. That's why I help couples make a deeper emotional connection during sex. This often involves changing their basic sexual strategy."

My own thoughts---

A married couple can have all the agreed upon terms in the world but individuals can and do change. If/when the emotional needs of one spouse change where the couple becomes emotionally mismatched, the change cannot help but affect the sexual dynamics of the relationship. It's the same if the sexual needs of one spouse change in that it will affect the emotional ties between them.

Take two couples----

"Couple A" purposely agrees upon and is content, we assume, to live in a loveless marriage. The sex becomes too mechanical for one of them. Neither of them have a love "well" to dip into that will carry them through the rough patches so, what then? I would think that one spouse either ends up being offered "mercy fucks", a term used in Schnarch's book, or the sex quantity and quality gradually dwindles down to little or nothing or the sexually dissatisfied spouse begins looking elsewhere. Is there anything besides the sex that can pull such a couple back together again? A marriage vow or oath is little comfort in a loveless bed of bad sex or no sex.

"Couple B" cultivates deep and tender love for each other. The love is felt spiritually, emotionally and physically. One of them finds that the sex becomes too mechanical but they have a love "well" secured in place. The sex may slow down for a season but the love prevents them from falling into habits of "mercy fucks" or having nothing on the sex table or having one spouse looking to others for satisfaction. As soon as they sense the physical hitch, the spiritual and emotional aspects of the marriage kick into place to begin mending the damaged physical intimacy. Because of the commitment to love each other, they are more than eager to work together for the good of the cause.

And one more thing before I go....

Another book recommendation: The Proper Care & Feeding of Marriage, by Dr. Laura Schlessinger, ISBN: 0-06-114284-0 . Dr Laura's philosophy on how to treat each other in marriage sure turned my life around.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Certainly sex can be "I will do that for you if you will do this for me," but what a lonely arrangement. A caress should say "I love you," not pay off a debt. An embrace should fill the heart as well as the arms.

-Hugh & Gail Prather,
Notes to Each Other

The Aestheticist said...

It is an interesting bit of information to think on.

However, my query wasn't really sex-centric. You see, most of my "claim" (for lack of a better word) on my wife's body is not sexually based - or, at least, that wasn't my focus in marrying her. She is aesthetically pleasing and well suited to photography, which is a form of art that I greatly enjoy. The sex is merely an afterthought.

My query was mostly centered around the emotional aspect in itself. To explain, I disconnect sex and emotional connections. Andreas Capellanus - whom I do not respect for his advocation of adultery and the presumptions in his rules and definitions of love - calls this Pure and Mixed love, that is - chaste love, and love involving the aspect of Venus, as he puts it.

Ibn Hazm - whom some Christians may not agree with on point of principles, as he was Muslim - calls this al-hawa al-'udri.

Myself, I find the emotional and spiritual as separate from, and not requiring, the sexual aspect.

This being so, I find it difficult to understand the concept of a "mercy fuck" in a relationship. I do not see how it can slake the differing desire of an emotional nature.

Gemma said...

::: I find it difficult to understand the concept of a "mercy fuck" in a relationship. I do not see how it can slake the differing desire of an emotional nature.

TA, I already knew that sex and emotions were not connected for you in any way but I still had a feeling that my reply to you would be "missing the mark". My bad!

Regarding "mercy fucks", Schnarch states:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Couples intuitively recognize that it refers to, "I'll so you a BIG favor. I really don't want sex or you. But if you insist, I'll accommodate you. You can use my body--- and you'd better appreciate it!"

Normal marital sadism surfaces in gifts given or received that are never quite right. Mercy fucking withholds the sweetness of sex, breaks your partner's heart (if he or she catches on), and leaves little recourse. You let your partner climb on top of you to get him off your back. The goal isn't doing your partner--- it's getting done with it so you don't have to do it tomorrow.

People who accept mercy fucks can rationalize that it's better than no sex at all, but is it really? If you accept mercy fucks "until the good stuff comes along," it never does and it never will. Your partner knows you'll settle for lousy sex, so there's no reason to deal with the problems blocking better sex.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

And he goes on with this topic in his book.

The Aestheticist said...

It seems to me that the idea of a "mercy fuck" is somehow reliant on a desire for affection within one's own marriage that is not reciprocated. If such is the case, I needn't worry about it in my own.

There is little to no chance of my wife ever bearing affection for me. Myself, I doubt that - on the equally unlikely circumstance of my bearing an affection for my wife in the future - it would pose any difference to me. I am experienced in loving someone with no affectionate sexual contact.

Gemma said...

For one to consider his/her spouse's contribution to the sex to be as "mercy fucks", he would need to have desire for a more enthusiastic bed partner than what he already has. The enthusiasm is always sexual but I think it could be emotional as well.

TA, I used to be more like you with all the "I'll never's" sprinkled in my conversation. After having too many "I'll never's" become "I did's" (bad grammar, I know), no longer do I attempt to predict my future. Assuming you won't ever change, what if your wife did? What if one day she decides that she would like or would need love in the marriage? What would be the game plan at that point? I'm just curious...

:::I am experienced in loving someone with no affectionate sexual contact.

Is keeping love and sex separate, more comfortable and/or safe for you? A genuine question... I'm trying to understand what is the attraction? For about 6 years in my "other life", I only wanted sex and got as much as I desired and then some. Honestly, I thought my life would always continue that way but it didn't; it took a turn. Later on, I could share more on this from personal experience, if you're interested, but I'm running out the door as I speak.

BTW--- And this is for anyone here--- I haven't yet set up "gmail" account the way I need it to be. After that's done, I'd be happy to email with folks who have anything they want to discuss more privately.

The Aestheticist said...

"TA, I used to be more like you with all the "I'll never's" sprinkled in my conversation."

Don't take offense when I say this, as I mean none, but I don't think my situation is entirely comparable with yours, so I would be hesitant to compare ourselves as such.

"Assuming you won't ever change, what if your wife did? What if one day she decides that she would like or would need love in the marriage? What would be the game plan at that point? I'm just curious..."

As callous as it may sound, her changing affections don't concern me. It would only involve me if she intentionally breached our contract to spite me, or sought divorce - even then, my only concern is my art. If she ever wants affection from me, that's her problem.

"Is keeping love and sex separate, more comfortable and/or safe for you? A genuine question... I'm trying to understand what is the attraction?"

It's philosophical. Sex is a largely overrated, physical act that does not require love to take place. Logically, if one can have sex without love or fond emotion - and it can, I've done so with two different women I don't love and have never loved - then it cannot be said to be truly connected to love. It can be involved in love, certainly, but love does not require sex any more than sex requires love.

The two may often combine themselves, but they can exist independantly.

Gemma said...

I'm not taking offense, TA, and I realize that your situation and mine are world's apart. It was only that one thing that you said (ie, I'll never ------- ) that reminded me of my past; that's all.

::::As callous as it may sound, her changing affections don't concern me. It would only involve me if she intentionally breached our contract to spite me, or sought divorce - even then, my only concern is my art. If she ever wants affection from me, that's her problem.

Within your marriage contract, I suppose that you and wife each have separate commitments and also some that you share? It's pretty common knowledge that the act of sex does not require love. Why would one marry without love or affections when one could easily enjoy sex without the "hassles" of marriage? Sorry if I've asked this already. I'm still not fully understanding.

The Aestheticist said...

"Within your marriage contract, I suppose that you and wife each have separate commitments and also some that you share?"

We mostly have separate commitments. Off the top of my head, I can't recall a specific one we share.

"Why would one marry without love or affections when one could easily enjoy sex without the "hassles" of marriage? Sorry if I've asked this already. I'm still not fully understanding."

It's not for sex, either. It's not for love, it's not for sex.

On my end, and partly on hers, it's art. She is my subject for photography. Now, why could I not simply remain unmarried to have a photography subject such as her?

Well, I worked under the notion that marriage and sex would offer a few advantages: access to my photography subject at all hours, an utter lack of need for modesty - which may hinder photography - and a more secure level of familiarity, which can breed a kind of comfort. There are other, minor, reasons, but those are the big ones.

I don't mean to say it was the best decision I could have made. I will admit that, though I have no real regrets, that I am not certain I'd make this decision again, if given the chance. I might not, but that comes from influences from my mother, who did not want me to marry for reasons other than love.

She is meant for photography, though.

If it would be information of use to you, the first woman I was ever with introduced me to the combination of relationships and art. She was a woman meant to be sculpted. The woman I love, however, is only meant for the most refined styles of painting.

My wife, for all her beauty, is not meant for sculpting. She is certainly not meant for painting. She is meant for photography.

She, and my marriage, are for art's sake.

Gemma said...

Interesting marriage arrangement you have there, TA. OK, I have to ask and I realize you can refuse to answer. Do you and wife enjoy each others company at all when not involved in art or sex, like going places together, entertaining or doing things together around the house?

The Aestheticist said...

We do not. We used to have some amount of social interaction outside of those activities, but those have slowly stopped and she's content to isolate herself from me.

Gemma said...

But TA, don't you and dw isolate yourselves from each other? I mean, if you both clearly state that there are no love ties, one to the other, aren't both of you isolating? I'm assuming that this is the mutual agreement that you each desired for the marriage, correct?

So what do you do with your time? Is it all devoted to art? Do you do art for a living, too, or is it mainly a hobby? You are a man of mystery, TA. On a guess, I'm thinking you might be a 30-something year old guy?... or perhaps I aged you too much?

The Aestheticist said...

You've over-aged me by at least five years. I'm twenty-five.

My art is mostly for myself, but it is incorporated into my work (and that is all I will say about my profession, because I am an odd man and I do not like to discuss business). I found that being an artist, professionally, was more difficult than I anticipated - in that I am not altogether eager to have it taken from me. I am covetous this way.

My free-time is often spent devoted either to a form of art (listening to music, reading, attending some type of theatre production when possible, painting, sculpting, photography, dancing on occasion) or with friends and family.

"But TA, don't you and dw isolate yourselves from each other? I mean, if you both clearly state that there are no love ties, one to the other, aren't both of you isolating? I'm assuming that this is the mutual agreement that you each desired for the marriage, correct?"

A lack of love does not mean that we must be isolated. I did not initially think that had to be so. As I've said, I couldn't think, off the top of my head, of any mutual agreement we had. I had my terms that she would abide by, and she had hers that I would abide in return.

Love used in context as I write now to be the romantic form of love (as I believe in different kinds of love) is not the only reason people would interact in a friendly fashion - or interact at all, as I am not adverse to heated debates.

I offered genuine social interaction between the two of us, in the beginning. She isolated herself. Isolation was not inherently bound into our agreement.

Gemma said...

OK, so I was a bit off on your age but I was close ;-). And I see that you have a variety of interests that you enjoy in your free time, some of which lend themselves well to shared times with others. It seems odd to me that your dw would isolate herself from you in everything you love to do but then, I don't claim to understand the dynamics of this part of your marriage. Did she ever express why she began isolating from you? Have you ever attempted to join her in one of her interest? Does she even leave that door open for you or do you have no desire to join her?

GR and I have some separate interests that neither of us share. However, we also have things that we love to do together. On work nights we enjoy cooking dinner together over a glass of wine while we share the day's happenings along with what the kids did that day. We read marriage and other books together, listen to music together, attend "open houses" together, decorate our home together, of course- parent together, go on dates together (movie, theatre, museums, dinner, mini-golf, bocce ball, etc.).

We both love being on the water but we're currently and temporarily without a boat since we sold ours during our last move. GR loves to fish. I don't like fishing much and the fish seem to sense my boredom with them and stay away from me. I do love being in boats. One of my first jobs as a teenager was to work in a lighthouse/marina. Since then I've always gravitated towards water and boats. Oh, and my latest interest--- GR rode a motorbike in his BG (before Gemma) years. I've asked him if we could purchase a bike that we can enjoy riding together so that is in the plans.

So you see, TA, GR and I enjoy several, shared interests which help keep married life pleasurable for us.

::::I offered genuine social interaction between the two of us, in the beginning. She isolated herself. Isolation was not inherently bound into our agreement.

I see. Obviously though, it is bound in her personality, from the way she is reacting to the agreement, don't you think? Or if not, what do you perceive to be her reason(s) for isolating?

The Aestheticist said...

"Did she ever express why she began isolating from you? Have you ever attempted to join her in one of her interest? Does she even leave that door open for you or do you have no desire to join her?"

I stopped trying after a year, but, no, she never expressed any reasons and I never asked. At this point, I don't really care. We occasionally discuss things - though, they're more akin to debates. In fact, a couple of weeks ago, we had a rousing discussion (argument) that started because she said I was abusive for listening to my music loudly. I haven't been too keen to actually talk to her after that. I went back to painting in the meanwhile.

Her interests are focused in writing, and this is not an interest that she openly shares aside from one of her friends.

"Obviously though, it is bound in her personality, from the way she is reacting to the agreement, don't you think? Or if not, what do you perceive to be her reason(s) for isolating?"

I think she's a passive-aggressive coward who reacts to people not wanting to be converted by ignoring them. That's all I'll say without volunteering information that may be too personal. She is, however, social enough with her friends.

Gemma said...

The Aesticist, would you be willing to drop me an email? Thank you.

Gemma said...

:::I stopped trying after a year, but, no, she never expressed any reasons and I never asked. At this point, I don't really care.

Forgive my confusion but if you don't care and neither does she and she decides to walk away from the agreement, in what condition does that leave you in regards to your photography? ... I mean, since you stated that a huge part of your reasoning for marrying her was for your art.

:::I think she's a passive-aggressive coward who reacts to people not wanting to be converted by ignoring them.

That's a strong, negative word (coward) for someone to describe their wife but I suppose you have some strong, negative feelings about her behavior to cause you to think that of her. I have to give you credit here for being honest with your feelings. Exactly to 'what' does she want to convert you?

If you're open to it, drop me an email. I wanted to mention something to you in private.