Don't ask if you don't want to hear it.

Discussion in 'Sex and Relationships' started by Barbwire, Aug 19, 2009.

  1. Barbwire

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    I've been having a tough couple of weeks and I can't seem to get a break. I won't list all the things that have happened, but here are some of the highlights: someone hacked into one of our accounts and took enough money to make us have to cancel our family trip. My horse went lame and at the same time I found a pretty scary tumour growing near his jugular vein. My truck got a cracked windshield, the AC crapped out and I've been sick, most likely due to all the stress.

    Normally, stress makes me horny, but this time it's sapped my libido down to withered iota of what it usually is. I haven't felt like doing anything or dealing with anyone. I just want to crawl into a ball and suck my thumb.

    OK, enough whining, now onto the meat of my thread...The other night, my husband was in the mood for some sex and asked me if I wanted to. Seeing a comet and having my husband initiate sex happen at about the same frequency, so I gave him the go ahead.

    I took a quick shower and when I went into the bedroom he'd dimmed the lights and layed out some toys, lubes and towels. I lay down on the bed and closed my eyes and let out an audible sigh. Looking back, I should not have allowed myself to take such a deep breath and exhale so loudly because that small mistake lead to disaster.

    My husband, having heard the sigh said, "What's wrong?"

    I made the mistake of telling him how upset I was by all the things going on, and told him how worried I was about my horse. (He is having surgery today to remove the tumour IF the vets can get at it easily.)

    He listened to me go through the list of woes and rolled over away from me and pulled the sheet up around his chin, giving me the cold shoulder. I lay there for a few minutes, letting it sink in that he was actually angry with me and I started a slow burn. I gave it a couple more minutes, expecting him to say something or roll over but he didn't.

    Finally I said, "If you didn't care about what was bothering me, then why did you ask?" I added, "You know, it would be nice if you tried to comfort me instead of turning your back to me and pouting because you thought you weren't going to get any sex."

    He offered some words, but it was too late and we ended up arguing. I got up and left the room to watch TV. I heard him throwing things around for a while, then silence. When I came back to bed he'd put the toys away and turned off the lights.

    Now, I know I made some mistakes that night but I still feel if he didn't want to know what was on my mind he shouldn't have asked. I dunno, if the shoe was on the other foot, I would have tried to comfort him in any way I could. Isn't that was a loving spouse is supposed to do?
     
    #1 Barbwire, Aug 19, 2009
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2009
  2. Northside

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    Well, for what it's worth here's my take. Men feel they have to fix problems when they hear about them. Women don't expect us to fix anything usually, they just need to vent and want us to listen. That's hard for us, and when you have so many things going wrong, we can feel a bit inadequate. I think the guy was just overwhelmed, so he withdrew. You posted recently that he went down on you and expected nothing in return, just wanted you to feel better. That was easy, he tried to solve your problem. He doesn't sound selfish to me or disinterested. It's hard to see those we care about unhappy and be powerless to do anything about it.
     
  3. igor

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    I kinda feel the same way you do, CL. A comforting word would be nice. It's kind of like if I ask "how are you?" People say that all the time and don't really mean they REALLY want to know. So if I am asked "how are you?" then don't get pissed if I tell you. I don't think you made any mistakes.
     
  4. Dreama

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    That sounds like a bitch move on you husband's part. You guys are going through some tough times-you need one another, and for him to ignore you like that is really sad. When I'm going through some shit-I don't expect hubby to fix it all, or even to propose a solution or anything. I just want to be held or comforted, etc. I'm sorry, CL.
     
  5. heelfetish

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    Seconded. Well said, Dreama.

    CL, please accept my virtual hug. :(
     
  6. vizzle

    vizzle New Member

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    There really isn't an excuse for how he treated you. Sounds like he wanted a prostitute more then a loving wife. Then he wouldn't have to hear anything was wrong, if there was something wrong. He should have loved you. Put his arm around you and hugged you. And then slowly made love to you after giving you a nice back rub to relieve some of the pressure you were going through. Maybe follow up tha back rub with some nice oral pleasure or something.
    I am really sorry he isn't there for you emotionally. You've been missed! Hope your feelin better! As for your problems, all together your burdon is alot, but it will pass! Hang in there!
     
  7. Barbwire

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    Hey everyone, thanks for your replies. I appreciate your advice and concern, but this will blow over as it always does. I have to stop having unrealistic expectations as far as my husband is concerned. He is what he is and he's never going to be the man I fantasize about in my dreams. I doubt I'm the woman he fantasizes about, so that makes us even, I guess. Anyways, life goes on.
     
  8. fireweed

    fireweed New Member

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    Sorry to hear about all the crap that's been happening to you CL. I basically agree with the others that your husband could have had a better reaction, and could have been more sensitive to your needs. I'm sure he doesn't do a lot of things he should and sometimes does stuff he shouldn't, as do we all.

    BUT...

    Lovers' quarrels are almost never one sided, and almost never told of without some bias by an involved party. So I always try to keep that in the top of my mind whenever I'm only getting one side of the story, and especially when that story primarily places blame on the other party.

    You did mention that you made some mistakes, which is heartening, as it's far more productive to be concerned with our own mistakes and "shoulds" than it is to be judgmental about our partner's or anyone else's for that matter.

    You didn't mention what the mistakes were. I know you probably posted this wanting some sympathy and for everyone to agree how crappy your hubby behaved, but I think it could help to take a closer look at the things you might have done differently, which as no one else wants to go there, I guess I will.

    As for being insensitive, I might think the same of your behavior looking at it from his perspective (if I had the luxury of having it). You said he hardly ever initiates sex, and so he could have been trying to make a production out of it hoping to make you happy and trying to do a nice thing for you. A lot can be communicated with a sigh and body language. He probably was disappointed when he asked "what's wrong". He probably wasn't burning with curiosity about all of your random troubles. He probably didn't feel comfortable proceeding with intimacy when clearly you were troubled and in no mood. He probably was disappointed when you chose to elaborate in such depths about your issues right at that time, even in spite of the fact that technically he did ask you. What about his needs? Were you in the best space to be understanding and sensitive to them, or focused exclusively on your own?

    You said he "offered words", but that it was "too late". That's a very vague statement. My gut interpretation of it went something like this... he tried to be consoling in some way, but you were on a roll and didn't want to let go of your anger and judgment (which is normal, it's not something that anyone should be expected to let go of without due time). Pardon me if my gut was off in this, but that's just what it sounded like to me. Seems it was only "too late" because you decided it was.

    If the shoe were on the other foot, how you might react probably varies drastically depending on your mood at the time, unless you're some kind of monk or saint or something. We all like to think we would be sensitive and comforting when our partner needs it, but human nature is that even the best of us think and act selfishly at times, and I'd go so far as to say it's necessary and healthy to prioritize one's own needs at appropriate times. After all what can you really offer to others when you are a mess yourself? There are times when we just don't have it in us to help others with their needs, and that's perfectly normal in my opinion.

    In short, it's not fair for us to expect or demand that someone comfort us or meet any other of our needs, nor that they necessarily do anything wrong in failing that on occasion.

    Another aspect of this story we don't know is how stressful his life has been and what kind of space he's in. I suspect there is sub-optimal communication going on about what kind of space each of you are in as it doesn't sound like you understood where each other were coming from very well.

    Anyway, it sounds to me like you both were just on different planes and needing different things, neither of you did anything terribly wrong, you just were not in a space to meet each others needs. He needed sex and/or to make you happy. You needed to vent, receive sympathy and be comforted. As much as we would like to be, we can't always be there to be sensitive to our partner's needs and vice versa. So my advice is when such times happen, just take some space, try to see things from the other person's perspective, cut each other some slack, come back to the situation when you can do so with understanding rather than anger, and hopefully your partner will do the same!
     
  9. fireweed

    fireweed New Member

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    There is lot of wisdom in that remark, and it's sad to see that so many women seem to be disappointed by the realization that their man (or any man) never meets up to their fantastical expectations.

    Relationships work so much better when we discover and appreciate who a person actually is instead of holding them up to our ideal of what they should be for comparison and judgment. Yes, your man is an actual human being who is going to fuck up and even hurt you on occasion, as you will do the same to him I'm sure. Love each other anyway, and don't for one second allow yourself to undervalue your relationship because of that.
     
  10. Barbwire

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    I did mention what the mistakes were in my intial post, Fireweed. Look again. ;)

    Thank you for putting so much effort into replying to this thread. You made some valid points and are, for the most part, on the mark. There are still things that puzzle me about my husband and why he does the things he does. I have looked into my own behaviour and am almost as equally puzzled.

    I guess what it all boils down to is that we, as a couple, need to work on communication, compassion, and acceptence of each other's faults. Those three things to seem to be the root of much of our marital strife.

    I wish my husband would agree to getting some professional help with me, but, as I've stated here on SF in the past, he doesn't want to pay anyone for such a service.

    Until he changes his mind, I will just keep venting here on SF and listening to the good advice I have been getting since I joined this forum 2+ years ago. Thank you everyone, keep it coming.
     
  11. fireweed

    fireweed New Member

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    You're telling me! Deciphering the why of human behavior is frequently no easy task, even when it's ourselves. And with others, you never really know.

    Yours and everyone's.

    Yeah, it can be expensive. We found a counselor we liked, but she was $60/hr. I ended up doing work trade, but at $15 an hour for labor, so I had to do 4 hours of labor for every hour of counseling, and I found that difficult to keep up. Even just a few sessions can be helpful though. Well.. we ended up separating in the long run, but I still think the counseling was helpful.

    Thanks for sharing too!
     
  12. Slowdance

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    That's a down right shame, as we say around here. If I as an average person with no more personal stock in your well being that general requested advice can be genuinely concerned for the well being of you and your horse can indeed be so concerned, then I think you have more than every right to be irritated. I would hafta knock someone into next week. And as I am concerned, how are you feeling about all this now? How is your horse? How did that go?
     
  13. Barbwire

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    Thanks for asking, Slowdance. My horse's health is a question mark right now. He will have further testing and an ultra-sound next month. The thing I thought was a tumour on his throat was actually an enlarged thyroid gland. He is no longer lame, at least.

    Now, as for my relationship with my husband. The other night after I'd gotten out of the shower and hopped into bed for some nookie, he asked, "Are you happy?" Now, the last time he asked me that was 3 years ago and when I told him I wasn't he said we should just sell the house, split everything 50/50 and go our separate ways. At the time, I was devastated hearing him say that. I was shocked he didn't try to work with me to fix things and just jumped at the chance to split up.

    Flash forward 3 years and he asks me if I'm happy again. I thought about lying to him, remembering how bad I felt the last time I answered that question honestly, but I told him the truth just the same. We ended up talking it out for a while and then going to sleep.

    Right now things are OK but the issues that keep coming up haven't really been dealt with. He's really busy as work and I have a lot on my plate right now, so I guess things will have to coast for a while.
     
  14. Buffalo204

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    This may sound weird but when I was a boy I worked for a time for a farmer that used mules. He had two teams, one a good looking matched set and the team I drove. I had never drove mules before but I got on to it pretty fast. No matter how hard I tried he got way more done then I did. One day he had some other things to do and I drove his team. It was like night and day. So much easier I couldn't believe it. I think marriage is like that. Some people are a matched set but most of us aren't. So we have to try harder and forgive our partners more. They have the discomfort of working with a partner that is not a perfect match also.
     
  15. HardRocker

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    I like that. Good analogy, Buffalo.
     
  16. Logger

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    Love and Respect recommends that couples spend some 15 minutes per way with the woman "Spiderwebbing" which is mentioning random concerns, without really seeking solutions. Can you ask him to find time in the day to take at least 5 or ten minutes, to let you verbalize the issues of your day?

    Any way for you to give him recognition for the effort his is making at work?




    ..
     
  17. Logger

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    Love and Respect recommends that couples spend some 15 minutes per day with the woman "Spiderwebbing" which is mentioning random concerns, without really seeking solutions. Can you ask him to find time in the day to take at least 5 or ten minutes, to let you verbalize the issues of your day?

    Any way for you to give him recognition for the effort his is making at work?

    Your husband may have turned over, in your first post, because he thought you were looking for solutions to all the problems you mentioned. Men are more generally problem solvers and we have to be taught how to listen with empathy.


    ..
     
  18. Barbwire

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    Thank you for your input, Logger, you brought up some good ideas.

    I need to work on separating everything else that goes on in our lives and leaving it outside the bedroom door when we are about to make love or, if I can't do that, to just not start the process at all.
     
  19. Logger

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    You could make the marital bedroom a place where you express appreciation for your husband's leadership, beliefs and efforts at work.

    My wife will often wait till I approach her for loving, and then bring up some issue for which she wants to make a power-play. I am trying to give her more time to talk about issues outside the bedroom, so that time inside the bedroom, is more about Love.

    Your husband asking you if you are happy, during beroom time, seems like an inappropriate timing of an invitation for you to vent. It's nice that he gave you the invitation, but you can maybe coach him on his timing. There is a free video on Love and Respect for Spiderwebbing. A lot of Eggerich's free videos on his website would crack you up.



    ..
     
  20. Barbwire

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    Have no fear, Logger, I do let my husband know how much I appreciate, admire, and adore him for all the does for me and our family. That isn't an issue at all.