Frustrated with Double Standards. No Sex = No love

Low or no sex drive?
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Re: Frustrated with Double Standards. No Sex = No love

Postby Job29Man » Mon Nov 21, 2016 1:13 pm

sunny-dee wrote:The only quibble is that I agree with some of the other comments -- there are a million different kinds of love, and many of them lack a sexual component.

Your spouse may truly love you, but not in the way you want or that you love them or that matches what we would typically think of in a marriage. But there may still be love there of a kind.


And of course I was referring to "married love," not friendship love, brother-sister love, buddy-love, love for a pet, etc. (This should go without saying, but... whatever).

The kind of love that is unique to marriage, exclusively for marriage. If he/she deliberately and obstinately refuses to have sex with you (without the extremely rare legitimate excuse) then he/she doesn't really love you.
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Re: Frustrated with Double Standards. No Sex = No love

Postby Unfulfilled » Mon Nov 21, 2016 2:12 pm

Just like communication, it is in the translation that is paramount.

If say the wife is speaking perfectly in Spanish to her husband, but her husband only knows and understands German. Then all the communication she does is completely useless. There is no communication. Furthermore, like language, the tone of voice, the body language, the volume, the eyes and all sorts of things contribute greatly to the totality of the communication.

The same thing with love. If she is loving in her own way (language) or even if both speak the same language, but she is rolling her eyes or other tones used that display something that is inconsistent with her words. It comes across completely with zero credibility or believability.

With sex. If she is not providing it at all, or is doing so and every indication outside of the physical tab A into slot B communicates she would rather be doing the dishes instead of wasting time having sex. Well how is he going to believe that she loves him. At least not loving him as a husband and not just a Friend or a brother?

Conversely, if a woman really needs quality time or to go shopping something he doesn't really like to do. If he goes shopping and it is clear that even though his words say he is having a good time, and he is physically in the store with you. But every body language and his not listening to you but watching the ball game on the TV behind you, would she feel loved? Heck no! Nor should she.

But somehow the general societal expectation and especially of women is that the man has to toughen up and learn to enjoy going shopping. He is expected to work on it and over time and hang out with her because it is the right and honorable thing to do. Yet the opposite of when the wife just gives up sex reluctantly it seems acceptable for her to remain in that state and doesn't have to, nor is expected to learn to enjoy sex. If a husband expresses his lack of feeling loved due to their poor sexual relationship, he is called a horn dog, told to go take a cold shower, told to get his little head and his hormones under control. That i;, it is all his fault.

Again this forum is different and is the exception not the rule.

The problem JT77 and others like myself has is that many have wives who at best go through the motions or refuse/gatekeep. They may even say they want to change and improve. But then do not read a book, or talk about it, or go or to counseling, or quit counseling after a fairly short time or she. It appears that they may be at fault. So again their actions do not match their words. They "say" they are working on things. But if you watch their actions, their actions do NOT follow their words.

It seems like a wife who's needs are not met over time repeatedly. The expectation is that the husband needs to follow through with action or that the weight or propomderance of the problem is his. Yet if a husbands sexual needs are left unmet, the wife claims he is a pervert sex crazed nut and the problem is his. And this position is accepted. Because only a sexual purpetrator would continue to press about unwanted sex. That is sexual bullying and is totally unacceptable and there is something mean and vindictive about the husband.

The problem NT77 is having is that he knows the truth. And many/most know here that the sexual relationship in marriage is of key importance. But Outside of this forum, he is not getting that same message at all. In fact just the opposite. His wife is probably getting strong and vocal support that she does not have to "give in" or "give up" sex and that it is Her husbands problem, NOT hers. So he can talk to her until he is blue in the face but she asks 10 people what they think and all 10 agree with her and it is only JT77 who is in disagreement. So she believes the 10 over JT77.

That is what JT is up against.

A similar and opposite scenario plays out when the wife is the high drive. She feels like an outcast because all her married wives have to beat their husbands off with a stick and seem like all their husbands want is nothing but sex seemingly 24/7. When she tells them that she has to beg her husband for sex the other wives look at her like she is from outer space. Similarly she gets little or no support.

So what is JT77 supposed to do?

He has already said that whenever he talks to her about it she withdraws and won't talk about it. And that Nothing changes. If she won't talk about it, then what chance does he have of having we join and read about sex on this or other forums? If she won't talk about it in the privacy of their own marrow she, what is the realistic chance she will come to a foreign World Wide Web forum to talk about sex and then get an earful of "you are wrong "? How long will she be able to take that? No one wants to be told they are in the wrong. Even when we need it.

It still comes down to the duty is to not just sacrifice to do the unnatural thing. But to actually do more than just go through the motions. The duty is to actively engage and learn to enjoy the specific thing or things that your spouse wants and makes them FEEL loved.

Loving a husband like a brother just doesn't cut it. Yes it is love. But it is not proper. It i not about whether you know that you love your spouse. It isn't even about whether your spouse logically knows you love them. The important thing, the key ingredient, the coup de gra is whether your spouse FEELS loved by you. If you love them with all your heart, but they cannot feel that love, it is all for naught.

I'm sure JT77 could or probably LOGICALLY knows his wife loves him. But I can clearly feel the pain that he clearly does not FEEL loved by her.

Now it is possible the opposite is also true. That possibly JT77 wife also "knows logically" that he loves her. But maybe she too does not FEEL loved by him. And similarly him telling her that he loves her all day long means nothing if she doesn't feel or believe him. Just as his wife telling him that she loves him. But without her showing and attraction or sexual desire for him, he simply is unable to connect the words with the actions.

Love is not only an action. It truly is a language. A very complex language. And if two spouses know their own native but completely different language. Then the translation does not occur. No effective communication takes place. And one and most likely both husband and wife feel unloved and frustrated.

The contributing factor is the double standard kicks in and allows the miscommunication to continue.

I wonder how many divorces occur because of this double standard regarding the sexual dysfunction in marriage? I bet it is a sizable percentage!

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Re: Frustrated with Double Standards. No Sex = No love

Postby doug-h » Mon Nov 21, 2016 2:37 pm

I have a few observations, and maybe they are valid, and maybe they arent. I have held off on mentioning one of them, because I know what you are going thru hurts.

The first observation is simply that it is very early in your marriage to be so defeated and hopeless. It is very early in your marriage to make any assumptions whatsoever about what lies ahead. That is not meant to dismiss or diminish your hurt, but rather to encourage you to think long term. A lot of that is simply a matter of how you frame your thoughts.

I am the world's worst pessimist (I used to believe I was a realist). It is very easy for me to be overwhelmed by the worst case scenarios that come to mind. One way I have started managing that is to take each disappointment as an individual event, rather than as part of a whole. I'm still disappointed but much less likely to slip deeper into negativity than warranted by the circumstance. Sometimes I do ok, sometimes not so good. Overall it has been a success. You are only a few years into your marriage, and you don't want to let difficulty now, create worse difficulty later.

As for who loves who more, I have an observation there as well.

My wife and I have had a longstanding joke as to who loves who more.

In the past, it something like this......

Spouse 1. I Love you.

Spouse 2. I love you more.

Spouse 1. No, I love you more so I did X, Y, or Z.

It was never harmful per se, but it was never really uplifting either.

Over the last year or so, it has changed and now goes something like....

Spouse 1. I love you.

Spouse 2. I love you more.

Spouse 1. Yeah maybe, because you did X,Y, or Z.

That might seem silly and minor, but there is a totally different feel to it now, and it really is uplifting. It doesn't matter who starts it, or which way it goes, it ends with recognition that you are loved, and someone did something for you because of it. It doesn't take into account who actually did what on a given day, but rather recognizies and appreciates whatever was done, and acknowledging it. I don't know how the switch took place, or who was first to make the change, but it just naturally took on a life of it's own.

That doesn't mean we don't have difficulties. Everyone does. There have been times over the years that neither of us were the spouse we should have been, but there was enough love between us to get us to this point, and in the grand scheme that was enough to see us thru the failures.

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Re: Frustrated with Double Standards. No Sex = No love

Postby Job29Man » Mon Nov 21, 2016 7:54 pm

Doug-h,

You make sense. I've been known to say "Loving is as loving does."
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Re: Frustrated with Double Standards. No Sex = No love

Postby ViggoDK » Tue Nov 22, 2016 6:27 am

SeekingChange wrote:There's a big difference between, NOT having sex, and not ENJOYING sex.


There is indeed! To be honest, it is not clear to me to which extent the OP is refused, starved or just doesn't like his wife's attitude during sex. My comments earlier in the thread have been given under the assumption that we are talking about refusal or serious gatekeeping.
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want; (Psalm 23)

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Re: Frustrated with Double Standards. No Sex = No love

Postby sunny-dee » Tue Nov 22, 2016 11:05 am

I actually went back and re-read the original post, and it sounds a lot more like he doesn't like her attitude vs her actually refusing or gatekeeping. Even the "double standard" he keeps harping on has more to do with attitude than action.

With that in mind, assuming she's not refusing, I'd alter a little of what I was saying.

1. It is completely unfair and unreasonable to demand that someone like something exactly the way you do or they are unloving and their actions don't count. I will never like Marvel movies the way my husband does. I am still there with him on opening day, and I enjoy myself. If your wife isn't that into sex for sex itself but does it willingly and gladly because of you, then be grateful and get over yourself.

2. Frankly, you don't sound like you have a great attitude about talking to your wife or spending time with her. At the least, this should help you approach her attitude with a lot more grace, because it's a lot like yours. Alternatively, you may not be quite as "on board" as you think when you're talking with her or spending quality time, and if you come off demanding, bored, or resentful when you're actually with her (and that's kind of the attitude I'm reading here), then you are doing way more harm than good to your sex life. And also relationship.

3. People gave some reasons why she may not be enjoying sex, and you immediately rejected them by saying, "nope, can't be any of those things because if she really loved me, she would tell me, and this is yet more evidence that she doesn't really love me." There are any number of reasons why she may not tell you -- she may not fully have thought those reasons through herself, she may not want to hurt your feelings (this is especially true if she isn't enjoying what you're doing in bed), she may think that this is all her fault but doesn't know how to fix it, she may not think she's supposed to enjoy sex, or she may think she's enjoying herself just fine and doesn't understand what you're complaining about. Or you may not have made it a safe environment for her to express herself. I am hoping that your demeanor with her is different than this board (anonymity and openness are the plus-sides to message boards!), but your responses here have been to attack and get defensive. If you do that to her in real life, especially around a subject as vulnerable and emotional as sex, she will just shut down.

4. It's exhausting for everything to be a litmus test of love. EXHAUSTING. If everything is "well, if you really loved me, you'd do this..." it could just be wearing her down emotionally. Look at sex as the emotional equivalent of playing a tennis match. You can do a lot through willpower, experience, and adrenaline, but there comes a point where if your mind is off the game or you're physically exhausted, you are just going to give out. The same with sex. If she is emotionally exhausted trying to convince you that yes, she really loves you, she's already tapping resources before you ever get to sex. Demanding more from her -- and, worse, devaluing the effort she's making -- is completely counter-productive.

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Re: Frustrated with Double Standards. No Sex = No love

Postby poetess » Tue Nov 22, 2016 1:10 pm

Thanks, Sunny-Dee. That's why in my first post I asked the OP if he was just looking for men to say "yeah, brother, I hear you" or if he wanted to hear from women, too. Because as a woman I was hearing "if my wife doesn't have the same tear-my-clothes-off drive that I do, it means she doesn't love me." And I was trying to say "reset, reset. She's a woman, not a man. One can't 'will' desire. One can choose actions, not desire." And I've been trying to say "If your resentment is coming through to your wife as strongly as it is coming through to me as a woman, then you're unlikely to be seeing that desire anytime soon, because the relationship itself is hurting."

Anyway, that's what I keep saying forget the theoretical. There is no point at all in saying does our culture have a double standard, and do men get the short end of the stick? That isn't the issue here. The issue is how can this man and this woman understand each other better?
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Re: Frustrated with Double Standards. No Sex = No love

Postby Unfulfilled » Tue Nov 22, 2016 1:51 pm

Since the OP wife is not here posting we won't know for sure if she feels loved by JT77.

I understand there is a difference in how a man "sees" sex and desire compared to his wife.

So I understand what you are saying Poetess. However, what if the roles are reversed?

What if when he spends time with his wife he is looking at his watch/phone and appears distracted and remote? What if he is just going through the motions? What if his wife's love language is gifts but she knows he puts no thought or effort behind a gift and just picks up something at the 7 Eleven on the way home from work on their anniversary or her birthday?

In those cases she would feel unloved. And any description in popular culture would frown upon his actions, probably call him an oaf at best or a jerk or far worse. There would be tremendous pressure on him to change, his wife who told of his behavior would obtain universal support for her position because of his half hearted attempts.

So again he would be EXPECTED to work at and honestly change his ways.

But because his needs are different and because they relate to sex, his expectations are unrealistic and he is a male chauvinist out, pervert or has a sex addiction. She is NOT expected to change because it is HIM who has a problem. And if his wife tells her tale of his expectations, she will receive nearly 100% support for the position that he is wrong and she doesn't need to change.

So yes the double standard IS a fair part of the problem.

Have you seen many prime time TV sitcoms etc? The husband is shown as a screw up good who only makes a mess of things. And he gets put down by his wife and even the kids and he doesn't get sex until he fixes things. Marriage is shown negatively, fatherhood is shown negatively, and sex has to be earned and it is lost in a millisecond if he does something wrong.

Where other than someplace like this forum will most woman get anything but the idea that men only want sex. And that sex is used as something to control men?

The OP (JT77) stated that his wife "shuts down" whenever he tries to deal or talk about their sex life. And you wonder why he is frustrated, defensive and venting?

I think JT77 has only recently joined here. I think he needs some time to read and learn here. I completely understand his defensiveness because he has been "trained" that whenever he brings up his feelings and his side of the story, he is brutally attacked. I'm NOT saying he has been attacked here. I'm just saying that in the real world, he has been attacked so it has become an instinctual response. An analogy would be: Right now I think he feels like a beaten and cornered dog. And like an abused dog, his natural response is to lash out at even people who are trying to rescue and help the dog. (No I am NOT calling him a dog! It was only a metaphorical analogy)

I don't want to put words in JT77 mouth. All I know is that's how I felt that way when I first found this forum. And I still struggle with it now as you can probably tell. It is hard to "undo" decades of conditioned response.

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Re: Frustrated with Double Standards. No Sex = No love

Postby Job29Man » Wed Nov 23, 2016 7:23 am

Rabbit Trail ... Exception:

I just returned home from a two week business trip. My Sarah was fighting a cold and not feeling romantic or enthusiastic for sex. I understood. I waited a few days. Finally in a lull from her coughing I asked about sex. She responded that it's a possibility but not to expect much. I said "Duty sex is just fine with me for now. I'll take it." She laughed and gave duty sex. I was content.

There's a time and circumstance where distraction and "not into it" are OK. Just sayin' :lol:

(OK, now back to our topic)
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Frustrated with Double Standards. No Sex = No love

Postby bigloop » Wed Nov 23, 2016 10:27 pm

JT77 wrote:Conclusion: I don't think my wife loves me as much as I love her. And I don't think the wives who don't enjoy sex love their husbands as much as they should.


I was having these very same doubts myself recently. I've considered giving up. After all, that's all that seems to have any hope of peace.
It's beyond frustrating.
Builds character they say....

Also builds resentment, bitterness, anger, fuels pride, kills love and quenches grace.

I've come to the conclusion thus far that some things are not meant to be what we hope for. I've also come to the conclusion that it was likely our hope that was amiss.
"I have learned to be content...." Paul said. Learned is the operative word. I think sometimes we withhold this simple power from ourselves in order to fuel our own pride. I'm still learning.
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Re: Frustrated with Double Standards. No Sex = No love

Postby bigloop » Wed Nov 23, 2016 10:44 pm

poetess wrote:Are you just looking to vent and get "I hear you, brother" feedback from other men?

Because as a woman, I can't see what is complicated about this. I don't understand why any person would not want long conversations with someone they love--and I guess I'm fortunate in that the men in my life all enjoy long conversations, too. (Not just my husband but the men in my family, my husband's family, our church, etc.) And no, they're not just tolerating them, because they have long conversations with one another, too, not just with the women. I can understand that some people are more talkative by nature than others, but not at all how you can "like it because she likes it" (sort of), but not really enjoy engaging with your spouse. And why on earth would you want to have sex with someone you didn't really "enjoy" engaging with otherwise? I don't get it.

On the other hand, men are saying (paraphrased): I tolerate conversations and time spent with my life, and in fact I even enjoy it that she enjoys it, though given my own preferences, I'd pass. But she says the same thing about sex, and that's unpardonable!


This is the only argument that I have ever found that resonates with women, my wife included. But even the poet doesn't seem to get it. But it's simple.....
Why do you want to talk to someone? Is it because you get to share your thoughts with them and when they converse with you it means they care about what you are saying, in fact they care about you? YES! It's what we've all told our children from the time they could understand - "listen when someone talks to you, talk back - it shows respect and makes them feel good as well as appreciate you..."

The way I fell when my wife doesn't want me sexually is how she feels when I ignore her stories. And no, me just pretending to listen and say the few "key listening words" to make it seem I'm paying attention is not sufficient to make her feel valued and appreciated by me. The equivalent is duty sex....

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Re: Frustrated with Double Standards. No Sex = No love

Postby poetess » Thu Nov 24, 2016 7:26 am

Bigloop, I am not arguing for only passive toleration of sex. But there is something in between that and "she has to like it as much as I do, want it for her own self, desire it as much as I do!" The second is an impossible, potentially libido-killing demand. And to say "she doesn't love me as much as I do if she doesn't want sex as much as I do" is a misunderstanding of how women operate . . . and it also is likely to build resentment in the husband's heart.

I don't think it's profitable to a marriage to start down the trail of "she doesn't love me as much as I love her." Start with the understanding, "She loves me . . . but she doesn't understand how important this is to me" and a husband just may find it easier to keep his own heart in the marriage.

I don't know if this will help or not. Neither my husband nor I is a rah-rah person; we're quieter and more analytical by nature. (We're both word people, and we talk a lot. We just don't wear our feelings on our sleeves.) So he understands me, and I him. But years ago I had a friend who had apparently been trained in childhood (or it was a natural part of her personality) that when someone gives you a gift, you enthuse. So, we'd exchange gifts and she'd open something from me and get all giddy and say, "Wow, Poetess, the color of this top is just spectacular! And it's so soft!! Where did you buy such a thing?!" And I hadn't the slightest idea whether she actually liked it, or how to judge her taste in gifts, because she gave the same over-the-top display to everything. One boyfriend even responded to her enthusiasm for gifts by buying her multiple teddy bears (which she considered a juvenile gift), but I know exactly what happened--she raved so enthusiastically over the first one that he thought he had chosen a great, repeatable gift, and she raved just as heartily over each one and he never learned differently. Problem is, she expected the same level of enthusiasm from me, and I'm not a good actress. So I'd open a book by my favorite author, and find she'd gotten his autograph in it when she went to a conference where he spoke last month, and I'd say, "Wow, I don't have that one! How did you get his signature? That's cool--I look forward to reading it!" And she'd say, "You don't like it, do you? I second-guessed myself, and I thought maybe I shouldn't get it." And I'd say, "Yes, I really do like it. It's a creative and thoughtful gift, and I love it." One time she got me a gemstone and a necklace to wear it on, and I made the mistake of raving about the wrong part of the gift--she told me later that she had looked all over town for that necklace, but the way she told it at the time, the gem was the important gift and the necklace just something to wear it on. But she told me later how "hurt" she was that I hadn't made much of the chain. Our gift exchange was a no-win situation.

That's often what I think of when I read on this site that a wife doesn't show enough enthusiasm during sex: I think that it's hard enough being judged on one's reaction to Christmas presents; I'm really glad my husband doesn't judge my love for him by my ability to express delight at a certain decibel level. I am NOT saying that is what the OP is doing here. But I know how tiring it is to be judged by that standard. And so I keep saying, "Start with the baseline understanding that she does love you and wants to please you." Accept thankfully that she has sex willingly, and go on from there. Accept it grudgingly and it makes it harder for her, not easier. It's possible that she does have a heart hardened to her husband--but we don't know that. And believing someone else doesn't love you is a good way to begin to harden one's own heart toward the person; I don't recommend it unless there's very strong evidence.
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Frustrated with Double Standards. No Sex = No love

Postby bigloop » Thu Nov 24, 2016 8:30 am

Those are better thoughts, or better explanations P. I do totally get the gift enthusiasm analogy. I've lived that one as well. And that fact only goes to emphasize the fact that many can't cross-apply such principles - the definition of a double standard.
My wife is like your friend with gifts and gratitude expectations in general. Yet she has a hard time applying that to how she does sex. She can't seem to get how her lack of enthusiasm there affects me and causes me to struggle with self judgment. How it makes me wonder just how much she cares for that part of me - which is an integral part.
Another fact - some people can never understand some things. Not because they are daft or insensitive, just because some things have to be lived to be understood. My wife says she can do more than one thing at a time. I can never understand that. I can try to accept it, but never truly understand it. How could I? I have limited ability in that realm. I can never understand the feeling a painter gets from the canvas. They probably can't understand the peace I get from sitting in a tree stand for hours.

So what does one do? Ignore how you feel? Ignore how you make others feel? Or try to learn how to love someone in a way they understand and thereby more adequately convey your true feelings for them rather than making them guess?

One common problem is how we use the word love. But if you endeavor to understand it in the biblical sense that love is an action, which I think is right, then that can make such situations even worse. Because sex is an action, and men do equate the two. Women generally don't. Who's right? Who's wrong?
Neither.
But both can be wrong as guilty of being "unloving" if neither try to understand the other nor try to modify their actions accordingly.
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Re: Frustrated with Double Standards. No Sex = No love

Postby farmer1 » Fri Nov 25, 2016 8:06 am

poetess wrote:Bigloop, I am not arguing for only passive toleration of sex. But there is something in between that and "she has to like it as much as I do, want it for her own self, desire it as much as I do!" The second is an impossible, potentially libido-killing demand.

That's often what I think of when I read on this site that a wife doesn't show enough enthusiasm during sex: I think that it's hard enough being judged on one's reaction to Christmas presents; I'm really glad my husband doesn't judge my love for him by my ability to express delight at a certain decibel level. I am NOT saying that is what the OP is doing here. But I know how tiring it is to be judged by that standard. And so I keep saying, "Start with the baseline understanding that she does love you and wants to please you." Accept thankfully that she has sex willingly, and go on from there.


Some great points here Poetess. As a HD/touch love language spouse it is very hard to know when to push/ask for more from your ld/low enthusiasm spouse and when to just accept/appreciate it as the best that they can do. I have talked to my wife about it several times over the last couple of years. Like the OP's wife mine is usually left feeling hurt or that "she is not enough for me." I'm not trying to hurt her, I just want her to understand how I've been hurting and for us to grow some in this area. My wife has virtually no drive but is very accommodating. In the past she rarely pursued sex or seemed to have any interest in it on her own. As many here have alluded to this pattern can result in a feeling of being unloved at worst and lead to a loss of confidence at best. Interestingly, she has told me she wants me to be confident and just go for it like the romance novel type. :roll: Its hard to know what to do. We should all want to fight/push/encourage for our marriages to be the best they can be and as strong as possible. To me that should include at least some passionate sex with some desire at least occasionally exhibited from both sides. On one hand I feel guilty for pushing my wife/us to grow in this area. The old grass is always greener thing popping up. It can be very hard to appreciate what you do have when you read, see, hear about all of these examples of passionate marriages and you are left feeling a bit chilly/undesired.

side note to all accommodating spouses:
I venture to guess that many of us would greatfully sacrifice some of the accommodating sex in exchange for the occasional enthusiastic rah rah I really need you and you rock my world sex. Its amazing how far just getting that every now and then would go towards feeling fulfilled and confident.

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Re: Frustrated with Double Standards. No Sex = No love

Postby bigloop » Fri Nov 25, 2016 8:12 am

Amen farmer! Peach it!
Well said and it is all mutually felt by many, myself included.

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Re: Frustrated with Double Standards. No Sex = No love

Postby Hiswifeagain » Fri Nov 25, 2016 8:43 am

Would it be fulfilling if you knew she was feigning an enthusiasm she didn't really feel, but she did it to try to make you happy? If so, then that's a reasonable request to make. That just wouldn't do much for me and it would be a turn off for my dh.

It's very disappointing when someone you care about doesn't share your enthusiasm about something you really enjoy, but it's good to appreciate their willingness to engage anyway. It's easy to do things you're excited about. I think doing what's not as easy or enjoyable demonstrates a more mature love than doing what's easy and fun. It would be great if it was the same for both, but that's not reality sometimes.


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Re: Frustrated with Double Standards. No Sex = No love

Postby bigloop » Fri Nov 25, 2016 10:57 am

Would it be fully gratifying - no. But that need not be the goal. Part of my loving my wife must be my better understanding of her and my issuance of grace over things that she struggles with. To mimic God in my own actions and expectations. I know God does not expect perfection from me because I know He knows that is impossible. He does expect a perfect(complete) effort however - and that is possible. I can respect and be thankful for my wife exhibiting a complete effort. She is capable of that. In response I must issue grace for any shortcomings. And if a complete honest effort is being given, then that is gratifying in itself and it also leads to less and less "shortcomings." I think many past refusers here would concur that it is the feelings that follow the intentional actions and efforts, not the other way around.

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Re: Frustrated with Double Standards. No Sex = No love

Postby farmer1 » Sat Nov 26, 2016 5:57 am

Hiswifeagain wrote:Would it be fulfilling if you knew she was feigning an enthusiasm she didn't really feel, but she did it to try to make you happy? If so, then that's a reasonable request to make.

I think there is a wide gulf between faking enthusiasm and trying to show a little legitimate interest. I cant speak for all of the others dealing with a low drive/low interest spouse. But after 20 years of being married to a no drive spouse my needs are pretty limited - just show me a little bit of interest in the subject from inside of you. For example: read something and start a discussion, do or act on something to trigger thoughts within yourself, ask me something, tell me what you want me to do, suggest something to make it better. Really anything that shows some little piece of desire or effort to try and find it on your side. Even tell me to help get you to the desire level. That would demonstrate that it is actually on your radar. We would all love it if the one we love displays a case of "gotta have you now because you rock my world." But many of us just have to let go of that and be happy with some level of interest shown.

Dealing with a spouse who rarely if ever shows any desire/interest can be all kinds of negative if you let it. Dwelt upon, it kills your self esteem, drives your sexual confidence levels into the ground, and can eventually lead to negative outward behaviors. I let it really bother me in the past. My wife is virtually perfect with just this one area of exception. She is a Sunday school teaching, homeschooling, cook every meal from scratch, real life supermom/wife/Christian. I have buddies that think I have it made-and I do. However, I let this one area really get me down. She was/is very accommodating. She had basically given me the go ahead at any time. On her end she is fine with sex every couple of weeks and has said she can go that long without ever thinking about it. So even with a free pass at any time with my willing wife I still got down about it. Why? The desire/interest was all one sided. It took us years to discover it, but that was a long-term problem for us.

At this point we are still a long way from where I would like to be. But we can occasionally talk about it without her breaking down in tears or getting angry. While I'm not the confident take it whenever you want it man she would like me to be, I'm feeling a little better about myself. I so wish it just came naturally from her. I have long felt it would make me feel like a much better man. In the end we both want the easy way out. She wants me to be happy with just taking it whenever I want it so that she feels no pressure to come up with her own desire or think/worry about sex. I want her to want it all on her own so that I feel better about myself and have an easier time being the husband she needs. In the end we all need a good dose of James 1:2-6. I don't like that I have to apply that passage to sex, but there it is.

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Re: Frustrated with Double Standards. No Sex = No love

Postby ledgemoor » Sat Nov 26, 2016 10:46 am

JT77 wrote:My wife, like many wives, is very ambivalent about sex. She doesn't "need it" as often, or as much, as I do. She knows that it's not that I want sex, period. It's that I want her to want to have sex with me. But she says that she just doesn't want it very often, but that I shouldn't let that be an indication of her love for me.

...

So now, let's look at sex. Why can't she do the same with sex? In fact, why hasn't it come naturally? The only conclusion I can draw is that she doesn't really love me the way I love her. And I think that's true of EVERY wife who doesn't ENJOY having sex with her husband. When you love someone, you naturally begin to enjoy the things that he/she enjoys--because you enjoy making them happy. I've experienced that for my wife in numerous areas. Many husbands do as well. But it is rarely reciprocated. Conclusion: I don't think my wife loves me as much as I love her. And I don't think the wives who don't enjoy sex love their husbands as much as they should.
Hi JT & Farmer1--

The fact of the matter is that women generally do not want sex as often as we do. That in itself doesn't mean that they love us any less than we love them. Male and female sexuality is quite different. I have heard Christian marriage Gurus state that women are less sexual than men. I disagree. You can't measure sexuality by counting the number of sexual encounters someone desires. My DW is fine with once a week or sometimes even less. She is generally pretty good about providing charity sex for me, but has said things like "all you ever think about is sex" to me -- not meaning it as a compliment. Yet, when she needs it, she needs it BAD. And she has gotten multi-orgasmic in her old age. So how is that any less sexual? Different, yes. Less sexual, arguably not.

Men and women are so different that we probably do love each other in different ways. We'll never know, but if they do, it is the way God made them, so it has to be a good thing.

I do understand your dilemma. If, in a premarital discussion about sex with a prospective wife, she had said "Look, I don't have any hangups about sex. I understand it is important to you, so I will gladly do anything you want anytime you want it. But I don't have any sexual desires of my own", I would not marry her. My need to be needed sexually is very strong, and it is a kick in the gut whenever DW is ambivalent about it. I do think that DW could put more effort into sex, and she is making improvement in that area.

If a wife is ambivalent about sex some of the time but does have a sex drive that can be built upon, I recommend this video.
http://www.healthyrelationshipsrx.com/s ... y=11019070
It is about two hours of things women can do to increase their libido. A lot of it is health and hormone related. Jennifer Degler is a great public speaker, and presents this material in a humorous and interesting way. What I especially like about her is how sex-positive she is. It is obvious she loves sex. In her encouraging other women to be more sexual, her focus isn't "do this for your husband". It's do it for you. I'm obsessed with sex, but I think she's got me beat :lol:.

So much of our sex drives is hormonal. A woman's not desiring sex is often no fault of her own. That, coupled with negative attitudes towards sex that permeate our culture, both in and out of the Church, you really can't blame her in many cases. I have had low testosterone. We were still good friends, had sex as best as we could, but the deep love feelings just weren't there.

Here's where the double standard is. If a guy has low sex drive, we tell him to get off his fat [rear] and get his testosterone checked. A low-drive woman, we assume it's anything but hormones. True, women's sexuality is more dependent on outside influences. Not every low-drive woman needs hormone therapy obviously. But a lot do. There's no risk and not a lot of expense in getting it checked.
Everything you ever wanted in life is just outside your comfort zone (Jamie Lee Curtis)

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Re: Frustrated with Double Standards. No Sex = No love

Postby bigloop » Sat Nov 26, 2016 3:30 pm

Yeah....but some have had it checked and found to be in normal ranges for age. What do you say then?


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