Lying and Power

An interesting discussion from the previous version of this blog.

(November 14, 2003)

“Ricky” writes:

I feel Familyman’s pain. I am in the exact same situation. My wife of almost 17 years, who has always denied that she masturbates, seems to do just that with her vibrator about twice a month. I too am crushed. Even though I know that she masturbates, she continues to deny it! (I notice her vibrator moved and cleaned in the bathroom vanity, and I have caught her once when I inadvertently left an audio recorder running in a dresser drawer. She at first denied that she masturbates and then finally said it was the first and only time.) She explained that she was embarassed, that she feels masturbation is cheating. However, she continues to masturbate and lie about it. I am more crushed that she lies about the masturbation, than the fact that she does it. Also, even though we continue to have sex, she never cums and it is always vaginal. I cannot rub her clitoris, nibble her breasts nor perform oral on her. Will her masturbation lead to cheating? Why does she continue to lie? Why won’t she let me help her reach orgasm? She seems to prefer masturbation. The deceit is the most painful.

Hello, Ricky? You “inadvertently” left a tape recorder running in your dresser drawer?

Riiiiiiight.

I think the major problem here is that your wife DOES NOT TRUST YOU. She doesn’t want to let you “do things” to her body, or have any “control” over her erotically, or let you “make” her come. She doesn’t want to open herself to you or “confess” anything about her inner life and responses because she knows you put a tape recorder in a dresser drawer to catch her masturbating. Even before you did that, she probably knew you were the kind of person who would stoop to looking for “evidence” to confront her with (and thus further destroy your sexual life together).

I’m sorry to be so blunt, but you need to be told the truth about this situation. That was really, REALLY dumb.

I can understand why you feel so desperate. You feel unloved. You feel that she is witholding her sexuality from you for purely mean and selfish reasons, and not because she’s desperate, too. But you really need to ask yourself why it is so enormously important to you that she admit her masturbation to you. Why do you seem to think she has to “confess” and “permit” and “allow” certain things to you?

Is it because you want to exert some kind of POWER?

Ricky, Ricky, Ricky. Use your head!

Your wife will never feel all sweet and sexy and willing toward you if your real goal in life is to Get Over on her.

Comments in response to this post:
Ricky and his wife are BOTH a mess: him for trying to record her actions; her for leaving a vibrator out in the open and insisting that she doesn’t use it (not to mention for masturbating AND thinking that it’s cheating); and both for (apparently) not trying to work this out together.

Raging Bee • 11/14/03; 8:45:55 AM

her for leaving a vibrator out in the open and insisting that she doesn’t use it

Yes. Subconsciously at least, she wants him to know. Psychobabble might say she’s trying to punish him. Or maybe she wants to be punished herself because she feels guilty about it?

(not to mention for masturbating AND thinking that it’s cheating)

This might be just something she’s SAYING to excuse her hiding it from him. She understands his concerns…he even thinks masturbation “might lead to cheating.”

I agree she’s got problems, too. But given Ricky’s apparent focus on Controlling her, I can see why she’s ducking and hiding and attempting to fight back passively (“forgetting and not letting”).

Julia Grey • 11/14/03; 9:13:09 AM

I guess there’s a bit of a chicken-and-egg argument here: which came first, her masturbating and being evasive about it, or him trying to control things?

Of course, both of them seem to have sexual hangups that predate both behaviors, which makes the chicken-and-egg bit irrelevant.

Raging Bee • 11/14/03; 9:56:45 AM

<snerk>The purpose of gaining intelligence is to assess the situation. It MIGHT be turned to negotiating advantage; but this is an engineering problem, not a negotiating one. If she has hang-ups (and it appears that she does), then you need to create a comfort level for her to shed them. This means conditioning the ambiant environment as sex-positively as possible.

Note: “sex-positive” is not exactly the same as “romantic”. If she is conditioned to look at sex negatively, then no amount of romance will turn her on. It may make her friendly, but it won’t make her horny.

Roy Kay • 11/14/03; 10:02:17 AM

I guess there’s a bit of a chicken-and-egg argument here: which came first, her masturbating and being evasive about it, or him trying to control things?

Does a husband have a RIGHT to know about his wife’s masturbatory activities? There’s a bit too much of a pejorative slant to the word “evasive.”

Then again, it’s also evocative. It shows you DO see the genesis of the problem. If you are trying to escape another person’s attempts at control you become….”evasive.”

Julia Grey • 11/14/03; 11:00:36 AM

Roy: I am curious as to what you mean by “conditioning the ambient environment as sex-positively as possible.” I think my wife tends to look at sex negatively, and I wonder if you could give me some concrete examples of this “sex-positive conditioning.”

Harry • 11/14/03; 11:18:33 AM

Good call Harry. Like many other guys here, I stumbled across Julia’s blog here about 5 months ago and really enjoy here insight. Married for 8+ years, 2 young children and a wife with no sex drive … sound familiar? That being said I’d like to here this theory on sex-positive atmosphere. Anytime we (guys) bring up sexual comments, we’re just being sex starved pigs and suffer from the habitual one track mind (which has truth to it but also subconscious).

Steve • 11/14/03; 11:52:37 AM

Stay away from religion? >:>

Harald • 11/14/03; 11:59:54 AM

No, the husband does not necessarily have a “right” to know about his wife’s jilling; but it’s one of the things they NEED to discuss, at least in a general outline, if he is to do his part to mend the relationship – assuming, of course, that he wants to help mend it, and that she wants to help too. It’s not so much about his “right to know” as about their need to be honest with each other.

Of course, one can shut the other out – as long as he/she is willing to deal with the likely consequences of such a decision.

Raging Bee • 11/14/03; 12:56:55 PM

Ricky, other guys are complaining that their wives have no sex drive. Your wife does. Why are you whining? I wouldn’t be this hard, but a tape recorder in a drawer? Even accepting the “accident” part, you could have just turned it off without listening. Sounds like: “Honest officer, I only had one drink.”In the context of many posts here, you should be celebrating. Why look to make yourself unhappy?

I have to disagree with some of the comments about communicating, openness and honesty. Many people have private lives even with their most intimate partners. There are levels of communication, levels of honesty and comfort zones. Not every person can be honest and open about their sexual selves – or other issues in their lives/minds/hearts. That doesn’t make them worse people or less happy and doesn’t mean their relationships aren’t fulfilling.

Also, the answer to the chicken and the egg is that the egg came first because the bird had to born a chicken to be a chicken. That’s evolution. The reverse (chicken first) implies that a characteristic developed during life is inherited and that is a form of Lamarck’s theory.

jonathank • 11/14/03; 1:16:48 PM

Sex occurs within two arenas: 1) Love and 2) everywhere else. As “love” has never been mentioned here, it’s safe to assume we’re in the “everywhere else” arena. (Lots of good, healthy, rewarding sex occurs in both arenas.)

In the everywhere else arena, sex can be directed toward 1) self-satisfaction, your partner’s satisfaction, 3) mutual satisfaction. As Familyman never talks about sincerely satisfying his partner (he talks about “getting his” a lot) or both of them mutually (there’s nothing mutual at all here), he must be out for his own satisfaction.

Like I said a lot earlier, he ain’t gettin’ any and he’s pissed/his ego’s bruised. His mate understands he’s out for what he can get and she’s not interested. (Good for her… but I’m sorry she’s so damn frustrated with their relationship she only allows him to screw her, not make love to her.)

There are two possible solutions for the person who calls himself Familyman: 1) Fall in love with his wife and reap all the rewards of loving and being loved (probably too late for that) or 2) move on (to the extent that other than selfsex is important to him, that could mean either lots of long showers or finding another mate).

There may be a third solution but it’s gonna be unbearably painful to Familyman (who is so self-centered he should be called “MeMan”) that he won’t even understand it: Grow up and learn what “supportive,” loving” and “being an adult” means.

An observation: People who cannot share with another, that is, share within a cocoon of mutual trust, cannot love fully… the connection between them may be okay but it is never quite complete. Indeed, sharing is not instinctive for most of us–being animals that hunt for food, carry guns and are often afraid of the dark and all–but it can be nurtured. To the extent one can share, one can love and be loved more. Love and respect foments trust and sharing and both thrive where trust abounds.

Ron • 11/14/03; 2:53:11 PM

>Roy: I am curious as to what you mean by “conditioning the ambient environment as sex-positively as possible.” I think my wife tends to look at sex negatively, and I wonder if you could give me some concrete examples of this “sex-positive conditioning.”

Okay. That IS a fair question, and it varies from person to person. The key thing is to project an easy acceptance and interest in a lot of aspects of sex. Options:

1) Don’t hide your own masturbation. If she isn’t into it and you are in bed, then do it yourself, unintimidated by her presence. If she says something negative, respond “Well, I’m horny and this is one approach to enjoying that.”

2) Vist sex sites, and treat that as normal. If you usually respond to interesting things on the net “Hmmm. Interesting.” carry the same pattern into the sexual sites. Don’t be excessively forceful about it, but treat it as a normal interested responce.

3) Develop relationships with women (on-line/off-line/both) who are fun flirts (and that may indeed lead to cyber-sex). You purpose is NOT to make adverse comparisons with your wife. The purpose is to create a normative pro-sex social millieu to counter the anti-sex milieu you are in now. Sooooooooo, be prepared to be assuring on that.

If she comments negatively on any of this, just look at her blankly and bemused. Convey that you simply don’t comprehend the sex-negativity. Operate on the parity principle that you don’t have to be sex-negative unless you want to, and she doesn’t have to be sex-positive unless she wants to. (You may need varied phrasings on this to avoid seeming preachy.)

Roy Kay • 11/14/03; 2:55:28 PM

Julia, you seem to be really quick to blame Ricky here, to an overloaded degree. You’re all about saying that Ricky wants to control his wife, but you negelect to mention any problems the wife clearly has and you squarely place all the blame on Ricky.

I mean the wife is blatantly, obviously lying to him. Of course he’s going become distraught and start putting tape recorders in dresser drawers! Could Ricky have handled it better? of course. He didn’t mention anything about attempting to talk to her about and he should. But is he truly trying to control her? or is he simply confused about why he can’t fully express his sexuality with his wife.

That couple REALLY needs to talk and talk long and hard about what’s going. Giving Ricky the once over for “wanting to control” her isn’t really helping them.

Brandon Blatcher • 11/15/03; 5:00:17 AM

i’m seriously disagreeing with brandon’s comment, “Of course he’s going become distraught and start putting tape recorders in dresser drawers!”

seriously, does anyone have the right to do this? it’s one thing if you think your wife is having an affair… but she’s masturbating. it’s normal, it’s natural, it’s part of her sexual life.

personally, i think ricky is threatened by the fact that his wife can satisfy herself. after all, if she can do that why would she need him? i’m not a shrink, but it seems fairly obvious.

alyssa • 11/15/03; 7:13:16 AM

Brandon, it might help them if Ricky can acknowledge what’s going on below the surface.

WHY is he so “crushed” and distraught by his wife’s perfectly normal resort to masturbation that he resorts to such sordid behavior? Especially given that he says they’re still having sex.

It’s because he is feeling unloved, and because he is feeling unloved he becomes concerned with power issues. He has to acknowledge that he is ON THE WRONG TRACK by making this issue adversarial and making demands for information that he (and you, apparently) believe he has a right to.

This entire matter reminds me of a letter I received back in March, regarding a woman’s attempts to find out about/put a stop to her HUSBAND’S private pleasures (he was masturbating to porno magazines and she was having conniptions). In both cases, the spouse is attempting to exert control, and the other spouse understandably resents it and resists.

Yes, this couple needs to talk. However, being confrontational about it and DEMANDING certain kinds of communication is going to do no good at all. Since this is a blog advising men what THEY can do to overcome their problems in this realm, Ricky needs to know that taking the attitude that he’s taking is not only be useless, but might actually precipitate a worsening of his sexual situation.

If a guy is driving himself over a cliff, I’m going to yell at him to put on the brakes, not distract him by politely pointing out that his passenger might have tampered with the engine back at the last rest stop. He can deal with the passenger’s possible malfeasance once he’s hauled himself back from the brink.

Julia Grey • 11/15/03; 3:30:36 PM

Roy, I think many women would take most of your prescribed actions (masturbate in front of her if she turns you down, openly visit sex sites, chat up women sexually online and then pretend you see nothing whatsoever wrong with it if she reacts negatively) as big, fat slaps in the face. Most women will read these gestures as expressions of contempt.

If a man wants to kiss his marriage good-bye, though, or precipitate a total screaming crisis, they’d be ideal. Not saying screaming crises aren’t useful in a few extremely fargled circumstances, but as general advice to normal men who are already confused and angry and who might already be tempted to lash out blindly and stupidly because of that anger? No.

Julia Grey• 11/15/03; 3:40:27 PM

I have said this once and I am going to say it again and again. If he put the tape recorder in the drawer because he suspected an affair, then yes, he should have tried to talk to her about it.

But if she is masturbating, you can bet that it is more than just once in every two weeks. If she doesn’t want to talk to him then it is a done deal and the sex has become a “power issue.”

Has anyone stopped to think that she is trying to control him by withholding sex?

Lynn • 11/15/03; 5:05:03 PM

Okay, then. If someone has had anti-sex culutral conditioning hammered into their heads all their life, what’s your prescription for counter conditioning? One thing for sure. Acceptance and semi-internallization of the adverse culture by the guy (or gal as the case may be) will NOT work. So, how do you set up a strong pro-sex culture in an anti-sex household.

Roy Kay • 11/15/03; 5:06:49 PM

Has anyone stopped to think that she is trying to control him by withholding sex?

She is NOT withholding sex. Ricky says they’re still having sex. He’s dissatisfied because she is not responding the way he wants her to. She’s not coming, and she’s not letting him do things that might make her come. He’s unhappy because she won’t let him do the things to her body that he wants to do or fondle the parts he wants to fondle.

I don’t understand why people are not able to see why his fixation on what he is not getting from her (including her confession) isn’t a major attitudinal problem, one that he should be working on. What good will it do for us to say, “Yes, Ricky, you poor thing, you’re so misused, your wife is just a bad, bad woman.”

Even if it was true, how would that help him? It will only cause him to get more angry and feel more resentful and make more demands and feel more unloved.

On the other hand, re-examining his own contributions to her insecurity and distrust, looking at the way his feelings toward her have become distorted by his own insecurity and power-seeking CAN help him — and her, too, eventually.

Being encouraged by random internet personalities to see the problem as “Poor Ricky” tells him he essentially, ultimately has little responsibility for it, and the corollary is that it’s also something he can’t do much about.

Yeah, she might be trying a power play, Lynn, but in an intimate relationship, what’s the smartest way to answer a power play? More power? A bigger emotional gun? A nastier escalation? Bzzzt.

Julia Grey • 11/15/03; 7:18:47 PM

Okay, then. If someone has had anti-sex culutral conditioning hammered into their heads all their life, what’s your prescription for counter conditioning?

Sure as hell not by going straight at it, hammering “casual” hardcore at them like a bull in a sex shop! All that sets up is resistance and disgust and anger. Sheesh. I don’t think you’ve ever tried this at home, Roy.

One thing for sure. Acceptance and semi-internallization of the adverse culture by the guy (or gal as the case may be) will NOT work. So, how do you set up a strong pro-sex culture in an anti-sex household.

Gradually. Little by little. Sensual before sexual. Get your partner to accept one small erotic pleasure freely, then another one. Have her look at another woman’s pretty naked body briefly, don’t stick a beaver shot in her face first thing. You CAN seduce an anti-sex person over to the Sweet side, as long as you take your time and OBSERVE and EMPATHIZE and have patience.

And as long as you are really doing it for them and not primarily just for yourself, which is a hard thing to get hold of sometimes.

You know what the real secret is? PAY ATTENTION. Really believe that your partner is important and beautiful and worthy of pleasure as a person.

Oh, and be sure to laugh a little, too. Very relaxing.

Julia Grey • 11/15/03; 7:31:03 PM

My answer to 90% percent of the women being talked about in this thread, if they are acting is accurate is

See you later….

Simply because I don’t believe that what you are telling these men is either accurate or true based on my having talked to men that are going thru this. From watching the relationships linger when the man should have just given her two words…those two words being “See Ya”.

I have watched several male friends go thru the councillng, the trying to talk, one even went so far as to openly having an affair to try to get his wife’s attention. He ended up divorced when he realized that the problem wasn’t him but her.

I have another friend who is now divorced. His wife, flat out told him that she would not allow him to do things that would cause her to orgasm. At one point, (this is out of her mouth) she was on top, riding him, digging around in her purse because she wanted to be distracted so that she would not have a orgasm from him. She would tease, do strips in front of him, was actually masturbating both offline and online in front of him.

He finally got his divorce, but he will be years trusting another woman. He will be years getting over what SHE did to his self esteem.

He was paying attention, he went to the councilling, he tried to talk with her. She withheld sex, used sex to control.

Now, my advice to most of the men here is to get while the getting is good. There is no reason to beat a dead horse.

Lynn • 11/15/03; 7:48:59 PM

alyssa ettinge wrote: seriously, does anyone have the right to do this? it’s one thing if you think your wife is having an affair… but she’s masturbating. it’s normal, it’s natural, it’s part of her sexual life.personally, i think ricky is threatened by the fact that his wife can satisfy herself. after all, if she can do that why would she need him? i’m not a shrink, but it seems fairly obvious. **

no ricky doesn’t have the right to do that, but he’s clearly desperate for information. it doesn’t make it right but i can see where he’s coming from.

i would agree that masturbating is normal. so would ricky. BUT THE WIFE IS LYING ABOUT IT. BLATANTLY. she’s not saying “i don’t want to talk about it” or “back off” or “later” but out and out lying. seriously, is THAT ok?

Brandon Blatcher• 11/15/03; 8:47:08 PM

Brandon, it might help them if Ricky can acknowledge what’s going on below the surface.WHY is he so “crushed” and distraught by his wife’s perfectly normal resort to masturbation that he resorts to such sordid behavior? Especially given that he says they’re still having sex.

It’s because he is feeling unloved, and because he is feeling unloved he becomes concerned with power issues. He has to acknowledge that he is ON THE WRONG TRACK by making this issue adversarial and making demands for information that he (and you, apparently) believe he has a right to.

This entire matter reminds me of a letter I received back in March, regarding a woman’s attempts to find out about/put a stop to her HUSBAND’S private pleasures (he was masturbating to porno magazines and she was having conniptions). In both cases, the spouse is attempting to exert control, and the other spouse understandably resents it and resists.

Yes, this couple needs to talk. However, being confrontational about it and DEMANDING certain kinds of communication is going to do no good at all. Since this is a blog advising men what THEY can do to overcome their problems in this realm, Ricky needs to know that taking the attitude that he’s taking is not only be useless, but might actually precipitate a worsening of his sexual situation.

If a guy is driving himself over a cliff, I’m going to yell at him to put on the brakes, not distract him by politely pointing out that his passenger might also have tampered with the engine back at the last rest stop. He can deal with the passenger’s possible malfeasance once he’s hauled himself back from the brink.

Brandon Blatcher • 11/15/03; 8:54:24 PM

Ooops, sorry for the repost of your reply Julia. it’s late and the commenting system is suddenly confusing to me!>Brandon, it might help them if Ricky can acknowledge what’s going on below the surface.

> WHY is he so “crushed” and distraught by his wife’s perfectly normal resort to masturbation that he resorts to such sordid behavior? Especially given that he says they’re still having sex.

Maybe because she’s lying about it? Maybe because even though they have sex, she is clearly trying to control him? Maybe because even though they have sex, she doesn’t share her sexuality with him? Hey, some of this might indeed by Ricky’s fault. But her response is extremely childish

> It’s because he is feeling unloved, and because he is feeling unloved he becomes concerned with power issues. He has to acknowledge that he is ON THE WRONG TRACK by making this issue adversarial and making demands for information that he (and you, apparently) believe he has a right to.

ah, so lying is perfectly ok?

>Yes, this couple needs to talk. However, being confrontational about it and DEMANDING certain kinds of communication is going to do no good at all.

where doe sit say that he is demanding?

>Since this is a blog advising men what THEY can do to overcome their problems in this realm, Ricky needs to know that taking the attitude that he’s taking is not only be useless, but might actually precipitate a worsening of his sexual situation.

I see your point here, but rather than blaming him, you might want to encourage him to talk to his wife.

>She is NOT withholding sex.

she most certainly is!

>Ricky says they’re still having sex.

under her conditions and control.

>He’s dissatisfied because she is not responding the way he wants her to.

ricky himself said the deceit is most painful. and christ all he wants to do is give his wife an orgasm. is that so wrong? i’ll cheerfully admit he seems to be going about it in the wrong way, but ultimately it just sounds like he wants to have sex with wife and wants to help her enjoy it.

>She’s not coming, and she’s not letting him do things that might make her come. He’s unhappy because she won’t let him do the things to her body that he wants to do or fondle the parts he wants to fondle.

>I don’t understand why people are not able to see why his fixation on what he is not getting from her (including her confession) isn’t a major attitudinal problem, one that he should be working on. What good will it do him for us to say, “Yes, Ricky, you poor thing, you’re so misused, your wife is just a bad, bad woman.”

nobody said that. ricky clearly has issue and i can agree that he should focus on himself a bit. but to condemn the guy for waiting to sexually please his wife is…insane and dismiss his despair about his wife lying to him is extremely narrow minded.

>On the other hand, re-examining his own contributions to her insecurity and distrust, looking at the way his feelings toward her have become distorted by his own insecurity and power-seeking CAN help him — and her, too, eventually.

he contribute to her insecuity and distrust? if so, how?

>Being encouraged by random internet personalities to see the problem as “Poor Ricky” tells him he essentially, ultimately has little responsibility for it, and the corollary is that it’s also something he can’t do much about.

again, nobody said “poor ricky” everyone seems to agree that they both have problems. My issue is with blatant fact of her lying, his recording of her, and her insistance on controlling what happens during sex and your condeming of him for the way he feels. Julia, the guy’s wife is lying to him and playing with his head (and not in a good way). His feeling are understandable, as are his actions in taping her.

Brandon Blatcher • 11/15/03; 9:12:34 PM

His feeling are understandable, as are his actions in taping her.

Understandable, yes, but not right. And, as I said, those actions also illustrate what the main problem is.

ricky himself said the deceit is most painful. and christ all he wants to do is give his wife an orgasm. is that so wrong?

WHY does he want to give her an orgasm? So that he can say to himself, “I DID IT! I made her come!”

Many men see sex as conquest and the woman’s orgasm as “proof” that they succeeded in getting control over her. That is one reason why they are so obsessed with “making her come,” “making her lose control,” “driving her out of her mind,” and so on.

Many women, especially when they are angry at a man, see sex as being conquered, and they will resist men’s efforts to gain “proof of manhood” or “proof of conquest” from their orgasms. They’ll try instead to maintain autonomy, to hold their sexual feelings and reactions out of their husbands’ reach.

Yes, these are bad attitudes. Terrible attitudes. They’re sick and neurotic.

But they excuse nothing. Ricky doesn’t get a pass because his wife doesn’t want to give in to his need for conquest. She feels that she is defending herself by keeping him at arm’s length physically and emotionally. It may not be conscious, but that is what she is doing.

Are there women who try their own conquest games?

Yes. When they are insecure in a relationship, everyone, male and female, looks for power wherever and however they can.

Should men respond to overt power plays from their wives as Ricky’s wife is responding to his? (She’s abandoning the relationship, as Lynn advises, without actually walking out the door.)

NO.

Once a relationship has gotten into power struggle mode, there’s only one way to get out of the death spiral: somebody has to stop. Somebody has to be an adult and admit some very painful things to themselves.

One of the things people have to admit to themselves is that when they’re scared and feeling unloved, their minds go into power mode at warp drive. But the only response power mode gets from other people is DEFENSE. Defense looks for any possible advantage, hiding place, or push back.

Hence a woman’s unwillingness to permit anything that would “invade” her emotional or social space. Letting a man have the triumphant pleasure of “making her come” is NOT what a woman wants to do under those circumstances. Maintaining her privacy and retaining orgasmic autonomy prevents that.

Ricky doesn’t like being “deceived” because it’s another illustration of his powerlessness over his wife. When she lies it tells him he not only can’t make her love him, he can’t make her accept an orgasm from him, and he can’t even make her tell him the truth.

He needs to face the fact that he won’t EVER get those powers over other human beings if they are not willing to give them to him. Sure, by putting a tape recorder in a drawer he can make her admit that she masturbated one time, but he can’t make her be HONEST with him in the broader sense, as one loving adult has to be with another. That’s what he really wants, not just her admission that she’s masturbating regularly.

So how DO you get another human being to be honest with you? How do you induce them to even WANT to be honest?

Julia Grey • 11/16/03; 12:12:45 PM

I just realized that my attempt to link the blog post in March that concerned the letter I received about a woman’s attempt to stop her HUSBAND’S masturbation to pornography didn’t go through.

I think everyone reading this discussion will find it interesting, so here’s another try:

Insecurity

Julia Grey • 11/16/03; 3:37:04 PM

It is late so please forgive any typos in advance.

To me, and this is my personal opinion, any woman that would do what Ricky’s wife is doing is the same as cheating. I am not going to apologize for this remark. She, in her whatever you want to call this relationship with her vibrator, is deprieving her husband of the very thing that we are being told is a woman’s right to have.
The right to feel loved, wanted, safe, and secure. So either way, the male is the one that is suffering.

What say you all?

Lynn • 11/16/03; 9:19:13 PM

[BLOGGER’S NOTE: This is the point at which I finally decided that Lynn was NOT a woman.

I’d had sincere doubts about “her” many times earlier (especially with that “go ahead and back me up against a wall if I don’t put out” business), but this comment definitively revealed the masquerade. Not even a woman wanting to be deliberately provocative would say that masturbating deprived her husband of his rightful orgasms.

I repeat: Not. Even.]

Julia asks

>So how DO you get another human being to be honest with you? How do you induce them to even WANT to be honest?

Ok, Julia, I’ll bite. How? I expect you’ll tell me that the best way to get them to be honest is to BE honest. (Reminds me of telling my child that “The best way to have a friend is to BE a friend). Okay, I’m honest with my wife. I tell her things like, “I got a massage the other day and it made me feel profoundly sad because I realized that I haven’t been touched by you in months.” To which she responded with a blank stare and no change in her behavior toward me. My honesty is met by her indifference. Not by honesty in return. Was I being manipulative in telling her that? To the extent that I wanted SOME sort of reaction, yes. I’m thinking that Roy’s idea about masturbating in bed next to her is not that misguided. I don’t think I’ll do the online pornography thing, however, as my wife thinks that there’s fewer things more evil than the objectification of women.

Harry • 11/17/03; 5:49:12 AM

My two cents worth to you Harry, and the other men here….Be honest, be brutually honest. Because if that doesn’t shake the foundation then nothing will and you have basically three options left.

Get a divorce.

Stay and be miserable the rest of your lives.

Stay and take a lover on the side to get what you are not getting at home.

Lynn • 11/17/03; 6:59:08 AM

I expect you’ll tell me that the best way to get them to be honest is to BE honest.Why, yes. But the person you need to be honest with first is YOURSELF.

You are obsessed, Harry. Whenever you think of your wife, you think only of what you are not getting from her, what she’s holding back. She’s not really a person to you any more, she’s your enemy, the Keeper of the Pussy. Her very presence in a room leads you to think only of your resentments, your anger, your deprivation and her selfishness. You don’t love her; you don’t even like her. And she knows that, believe me. She can’t trust you with her body or her emotions as a result.

Was I being manipulative in telling her that? To the extent that I wanted SOME sort of reaction, yes.

She’s gone into a defensive mode so guarded she won’t even let herself react to your reproaches. (Notice that this is still about what you want from her. You want REACTIONS if you can’t get anything else.)

I’m thinking that Roy’s idea about masturbating in bed next to her is not that misguided.

She probably won’t outwardly react when you do that, either. Except maybe by packing her bag. Maybe that’s what you really want?

And you are WALLOWING in your suffering, Harry. You seem to almost enjoy this position of being the righteous man downtrodden by his cruel, cruel wife. Why?

It’s my judgment (but remember, this isn’t the Church of Julia) that you’re depressed and fixated and overwhelmed with hostility and unhappiness. Ultimately, your wife does not want to have sex with you because, frankly, you are not attractive to her when you are in that mood.

Get help.

Julia Grey • 11/17/03; 7:40:57 AM

Julia: you wrote: ‘Many men see sex as conquest and the woman’s orgasm as “proof” that they succeeded in getting control over her. That is one reason why they are so obsessed with “making her come,” “making her lose control,” “driving her out of her mind,” and so on.’

I have no doubt that this is true. But this is not an attitude that is wholly invented by men. Women play a role in the development of this attitude, especially in the last few decades, when women have been overtly demanding that men make extra efforts to satisfy women, as well as themselves, in bed.

And why do you voice such suspicion of men who want to satisfy their partners? Is this not a visible improvement over the days when women who wanted and enjoyed sex were looked down on as sluts?

If I want to satisfy a woman in bed, much of my motives will be purely selfish: I find female orgasms to be a major turn-on; I want to feel like this woman, whom I would at least like very much if I’m even considering getting naked with her, is really getting something out of it; I make an effort for her in the hope that she will return the favor; and I don’t want the experience to be ruined by a lot of complaints that I didn’t “hold up my end.” Sure, I’m selfish, but since when was sexual desire totally devoid of selfish needs or motives?

Raging Bee • 11/17/03; 10:15:04 AM

Seems like the Comments section is acting up…I made a reply and it didn’t show up. I’ll try again. Julia: I’ll admit I’m depressed and yes, probably obsessed, but I think if you sat me and my wife down, you’d find out that maybe she intentionally misled me to commit, by masquerading as a woman with a normal libido, then showing me how wrong I was after it was too late. I may be wallowing in my suffering but I do not enjoy this…I would prefer to have a normal, even a couple of times a month, sex-life, but will probably never get that, unless, as Lynn suggests, I find a lover on the side. Still, life is not so bad as to subject my children to divorce. Yes, always the stoic martyr, I will stay where I am, hope for the best, and expect the worst. Still, I do enjoy your writing, Julia, and the ever volatile comments section.

By the way, exactly what kind of help do you think I need?

Harry • 11/17/03; 11:33:11 AM

Ok there it is again. Harry mentions— subjecting my children to divorce —. Both men and women seem to stick it out through thick and thin for the children. How do you weigh in on this approach Julia? Fellow commenters? Is it a selfish excuse? Or a nobel cause?

Familyman • 11/17/03; 1:25:18 PM

It is a excuse. The adults are not showing the children a normal relationship. The children also feel the tension and the upset and this can affect them in many ways.I come from a divorced home, and I made it very plain to my father that I wish he had done it way before he did.

Children will be affected by divorce, but that can be worked thru. A lifetime of growing up in a non loving household is a different matter.

Lynn • 11/17/03; 2:09:53 PM

So Julia, I think we are in need of some of your profound wisdom here.You have told Harry all the things that he is doing wrong. I have been in Harry’s shoes before. We were not married, it in fact happened some time after we moved in together, so it was a similar situation to some of the married people on here in any case.

It got to the point that I really did resent her. I resented the fact that she wouldn’t let me please her, I resented the fact that she would not respond to my sexual overtures the way that she had in the past. I felt Exactly the way Harry did, that she had masqueraded as a woman with a normal libido in the beginning just to lure me in, and then shut it off when she was comfortable. It was more than about sex, she would not respond to my attempts to be intimate anymore. When I say “intimate”, I mean mentally, emotionally, and physically.

I was damn well secure in my belief that I was the downtrodden, abused, deceived man. I had no idea what I had done wrong, it seemed to me that I had treated her great throughout the relationship.

That relationship is long over, and now I find myself in another long term relationship that may indeed go far. What can I do if this one gets to that point, if resentment is the norm? What can I do when I start to see the tide moving in that direction to reverse it?

What can Harry do?

Maybe it’ll be painful, but it doesn’t matter, it can’t hurt more, it can’t be more exasperating, it can’t be more frustrating, than to have to go through the agonizing process of watching the woman you love go cold and distant.

Jason • 11/17/03; 4:26:18 PM

Actually, I don’t care if one or both masturbate. I do know that if you go through life fearful that every misstep will alienate other people, you might as well give it up now. It looks like a perpetual lose/lose deal here, which is why – however dull Ricky seems – it looks like he will be wrong for a couple of years at best. So the question is does he want to hang and MAYBE things will get better or does he want to split and write this off as a bad match. It IS a bad match.

Roy Kay • 11/17/03; 5:49:54 PM

Thanks, Jason, for asking some of the questions I didn’t get around to asking. And Lynn, it’s not that the kids are growing up in a “non-loving household.” My wife and I are upbeat and energetic people. I keep the bedroom problems in the bedroom. Sure, we don’t kiss and hug as much as the average couple, perhaps, but we do kiss and hug in their presence. The resentment I have for her is kept buried. I dig it up for purposes of discussion on this list, when I’m doing laundry (I’ve always been particularly insightful and philosophical during laundry-time, for some odd reason), and when I’m talking to two very close friends. It used to come out during discussions with my wife, but I realized quickly that it was not helping matters. The face I show my wife is one of patient understanding, non-demanding, non-sexual me. It seems to work okay for both of us. Hey, she even gave me an unsolicited hug last night. Woo hoo!

Harry • 11/18/03; 4:54:24 AM

Harry, if you think for one minute that your children don’t feel the tension, you are deluding yourself.It doesn’t matter what face you show your wife, they know. Believe me. They might not know what to call it, but they are very highly aware that it is there.

Lynn • 11/18/03; 5:14:01 AM

Divorce IS an option, certainly. Sometimes things are just too Fido Uniform to fix.But I also believe too many people give up on situations like this too quickly, and go straight from “not knowing what to do” to “busting out” because it seems easier and quicker, and appeals to our desire for “freedom,” not because it’s the right thing to do.

Children adapt to divorce, yes. But they also adapt to “tense” households. As long as there is not outright violence or screaming neglect, they manage. Conventional wisdom on this point tends to be a bit overdramatic and caters very much to troubled adults’ wish to believe that they don’t have to work things out.

But I’m going to have to put off talking about specific suggestions for overcoming the Resentment Rodeo for the time being because I’m on a massive project with a Friday deadline and I’m STUCK. Sometimes sticking places like this suddenly unfreeze and “write themselves,” but I’m not going to count on it. If I end up have to slog it out inch by inch, I may not be back until Friday afternoon.

Meanwhile, though, you might want to take a look at a book by Peter D. Kramer called Should You Leave? Very interesting even if you aren’t in a relationship dilemma!

Confidential to Harry: the help I (a non-medico, remember) think you need is a course of anti-depressants and some brief, forward-looking, action-oriented individual therapy. Try not to sign on with a therapist who will encourage you to look backward and feel sorry for yourself. No “in depth” psychotherapy, I beg you! (The hug is a good sign. Hang in there.)

See you on the front page Friday.

Julia Grey • 11/18/03; 7:43:11 AM

Lynn, I think you’re overgeneralizing from your experience as a child of divorce. Mine was different. I was that selfish and self-centered child who really didn’t have a clue that anyone was unhappy with the marriage until my parents separated. And when they separated, I didn’t want my father released from an unhappy marriage; I wanted him back. And even though they did their best to have a civil divorce, I found their conflict more visible to me when they were in separate households having to still work out issues of child support and kids than when they were in the same house trying to keep us out of it.

Mind you, I’m not saying my life was ruined by divorce, or that there’s nothing more terrible than a broken home. I adjusted, still have a good relationship with both my parents, etc. And, among my friends whose parents have divorced, I’ve known a lot of different reactions: relief at the divorce, taking it for granted because of being too young to remember anything different, unhappiness at the divorce. But, I feel as if we’ve moved from a time when people were told to stay together for the sake of the kids to a time when people are told to break up for the sake of the kids, and that’s too glib. Julia’s right that kids can adjust to tension as well as to divorce, and that sometime’s it’s easy when you’re in a situation like this to give up too quickly.

Unless a marriage puts one spouse or the kids in physical danger, unless it involves violence or addiction or criminal activity, no one outside that marriage has any business telling either spouse to leave. There are other reasons, of course, that the people who are actually in the marriage may decide to go, but not other reasons someone else should say that to them. Whether it’s conservatives dumping on Hilary Clinton for putting up with infidelity (which she’d be entitled to divorce over, but is also entitled to not find worthy of divorce), or you telling Harry divorce is better than the tension in his marriage, it’s wrong. A marriage can have things seriously wrong with it (no sex, infidelity, various kinds of lousy treatment of each other), and still be worth saving, as long as the people actually in the marriage want to save it, and aren’t endangering anyone’s physical safety by trying.

Lynn Gazis-Sax • 11/21/03; 7:59:38 AM

Both parties in this scenario are acting badly and are manipulating each other. They both need to admit this to themselves and each other, or they’re not getting anywhere. A sad state but perhaps much to common.Julia writes:

> (but remember, this isn’t the Church of Julia)

I’ve found reading this blog very helpful, as it presents a brutally frank point of view that doesn’t get around much on the ‘net (more Barely Legal Teens, anyone?). However, today was the first time that I’ve delved into the comments section, and I have to say that this section at least does appear to be the Church of Julia – this is the way it is, and if you present a differing opinion, you’re most likely wrong.

For example, consider “Most men see sex as conquest and the woman’s orgasm as “proof” that they succeeded in getting control over her.” How do you know that it’s this way for “most men”? There are plenty of men who act poorly like this, but there are also plenty of us who view sex in a very different way, one that is more about love and surrender than control (yes, surrender to your partner, rather than controling them). Female orgasms aren’t about power and control to me. Maybe they are from a Marxist viewpoint, but then everything is about power from a Marxist viewpoint.

I started reading your blog because it was an excellent subject with a refreshing point of view. I suggest that your blog would be even better if you kept a more open mind in the comments section. Education by presenting your argument is usualy more successful than by refuting differing points of view. Opening people’s eyes is, IMHO, more important and effective than convincing them that you’re right.

That said, I still very much appreciate your efforts and your blog; many thanks. Kudos for taking on such an issue.

Doug • 1/4/04; 8:41:04 AM

I came here to try to find advice on helping my wife work through her issues about oral sex. And I wont be back for any of this ill advice.Julia – you need to NOT advise people to take pshyco-active drugs you know nothing about. Period. This is irresponsible and foolish on your part. Further more – your comment: “Most men see sex as conquest and the woman’s orgasm as “proof” that they succeeded in getting control over her.” is short-siighted and offensive. This is the type of comment one would expect to hear from a ‘man-hater’. Lumping all men (or most at least) into a single category, and then painting them all with the ‘selfish jerk even if they don’t know it themselves’ brush. You clearly have very little insight into the true male psyche, and have garnered your wisdom from outdated, woman-power, books from the 60′s. For shame. Why don’t you try to walk a mile in a man’s shoes one day and see how it feels? Because you wouldn’t be able to expouse your flawed logic and misunderstanding of why men do the things we do. Most men, in fact, want nothing more than (as Doug said) to surrender their machismo to the woman they love. This idea of conquest and making a woman come so you can say or think “I did it!” is a woman’s idea of how the world works; not a man’s. No man who is being honest with you feels that way except rapists and guys with serious masculinity problems. My assumption is that you think this way because you have never learned any different. Well, now you have, so please, I implore you, try to open your mind, expand your understanding, stop being prejudiced, and update your thinking on men, women, and sexuality. Get out of the 60′s. You can no more label ‘most men’ as conquesting dick-heads, than I can label ‘most women’ as controlling bitches.

-Z

Check yourself before you wreck yourself.

Zark • 8/2/04; 5:49:10 PM

You can no more label ‘most men’ as conquesting dick-heads, than I can label ‘most women’ as controlling bitches.

Okay, I have to reply because this misquote is getting out of hand. I said “MANY” men, NOT “most,” derive sexual satisfaction from a sense of control/conquest over their partners’ responses.

And if you think it is only “rapists” who have a visceral need for dominance, control or power, YOU are the one who’s out of touch, not only with men but with human beings in general.

I have been amazed, not so much by the instant assumption that my reference to “many” actually meant “most” (or even “all”!) — that’s par for this course — but by the complete refusal of some to acknowledge this normal and natural truth of many men’s internal lives. The FEELING is not immoral or “bad” (and as an enhancement to a couple’s love life can be really good) only what it might drive a man to DO against his own best interests.

Witness the desperation of Ricky.

Alternatively, if you just can’t accept it AS a truth, especially for yourself, perhaps you could accept it as something your wife might be thinking about you. How can you convince her that she’s wrong about you, that you really DON’T lust after sexual power and control? By insisting it’s Your Way or The Highway?

Yeah, that’ll work.

Julia Grey • 8/6/04; 9:04:51 AM

Many/Most your intention was clear. Paint all men with the broadest brush possible to argue your ignorant opinion. I assume Julia is a woman’s name? Ad yet you routinely ignore and deride the comments of the real men who post. You simply don’t know, you have to point of reference, and you have little insight into the motivations of men. Of course “MANY” people have many different approaches to dealing with life’s problems. You made a sweeping statement about what motivates men sexually, and I am simply telling you – Julia – you are mistaken. It is a giant gray area, no blacks and whites, and you just said for all intents and purposes: “If you all assume all men use sex for dominance and power, you’ll be right much of the time”. You are perpetuating the sterotype, and I implore you to knock it off.

Also, stop telling people to take psychoactive drugs. As I said, that is beyond foolish. I would no sooner tell you to go smoke a joint or drink a 1/2 of whiskey than go take an anti-depresent. The correct advice you should be imparting, for your future reference, is “Talk to a professional”. Maybe you could then let them do their jobs, and be the ones to suggest drugs.

zark • 9/2/04; 8:42:42 AM #

I’m going to be very blunt here, Zark.

You are reading supposedly “clear” intentions in my words through your own troubled filter. You are making assumptions and jumping to conclusions that are fueled entirely by your own preoccupations, worries and personal obsessions, just as husbands and wives often do with each other.

We can sometimes find out a lot about ourselves by looking at why we’re angered or upset by things that aren’t really there. Maybe you’ll want to consider that.

You made a sweeping statement about what motivates men sexually,

I most certainly did. not. ascribe anything to “men.”

The fact that you cannot or will not see the difference between “many men” and “men” — which I have already carefully pointed out to you — is LITERALLY your problem, not mine.

It is a giant gray area, no blacks and white

Yes. Yet you are insisting that I cannot say anything about SOME men without saying it about ALL. No room for gray there.

As to whether I “simply don’t know, have no point of reference and little insight into the motivations of men,” I leave that to my other readers (both male and female) to decide.

Also, stop telling people to take psychoactive drugs.

I haven’t told anyone to take psychoactive drugs. You once again seem to be reading what you’re afraid I wrote, not what the writing actually says.

Julia Grey • 9/2/04; 10:16:23 AM

I feel compelled to suggest something practical for all the men out there whose wives are avoiding sex with them. If you can put the past, all the reasons you think she may be “doing this to you,” and the blame aside for a half hour or so, you can do something that helps bring me closer to my husband during periods when I don’t want to have sex with him (sometimes for reasons that have nothing to do with him UNTIL he starts acting like a martyr who married a cold-hearted, selfish bitch). Okay, here’s what you do: stroke her bare skin anywhere and everywhere she likes to be touched EXCEPT for sexual organs (back, legs, feet, arms, neck, earlobes) in a nonsexual way for 20-30 minutes, commenting on how beautiful her skin is, how smooth it feels, asking her how much pressure and which strokes feel the best where, etc. Do this with NO expectation for sex (and it may take several times before she can believe and trust that you will do this for her and not expect sex in return). Touch her, look her in the eye, talk to her about her day without making ANY sexual advances or expecting ANYTHING in return. This is one way to build intimacy…something you can create over time by following the instructions above with no expectations about what you’re going to get. It is something many women crave (in the same way many men crave sex) and almost never get from the men we love. You have to do it simply for the pleasure of being close to us or we’ll sense it’s not for us (just another ploy to guilt us into having sex with you tomorrow) and you’ll accomplish nothing. Good luck!

Michelle • 10/2/04; 7:14:53 AM #

Men really are from Idiotville. Just wanted to post a thank you to Ms Grey and all the comment’ers on this blog. I was actually searching the web for info on “How to get my wife to touch me again” which i think was one of the blog titles here and I’ve been shocked at the wealth of info and insight I’ve found here. For the first time in 9 months I understand the depths of what Passive Aggression mean and how childish and actually damaging it is. That many of my behaviors are causing the problems my behaviors are trying to fix. I know that sounded funny and there’s some fancy word out there to explain it better like Paradox or something but I dont want to confuse myself more. The blog about how a nice guy becomes a dickhead explained me best. I dont know where to go from here with my effort on improving my relationship with my wife so for now I’m continuing to read more of these blogs and comment sections till I find a path and until then try not to be a dickhead and push my needs and wants on my wife. Dr. Phil said “As long as there’s a relationship the negociation table is open” and it was then I realized I dont know what relationship negociation is but I do know my wife and I arn’t and havent been doing it.

Anyway, thanks again to those that are in this community for providing insight

-Mike

Mike • 9/10/06; 10:34:04 AM #


8 Responses to “Lying and Power”

  1. J Says:

    Every woman I’ve ever known, including family members have INSISTED that women do NOT masturbate! Am I now supposed to believe that they’re all liars?

  2. just me Says:

    Similar situation happened to me. No recorder involved. I bought some toys for my wife and I to use together about 5 years ago. Every once in a while I would ask if she ever did things by herself she would always tell me no. I finally got it out of her one day that yes she does. She would tell me a couple times she did it. She then said she was doing it aboutonce a month on her own. One day I came home from work and she was showing me pictures of my daughter on camera but time wasnt set on camera. I asked her who was playing with the camera. She acted funny I knew something was up. Later that night i asked if she had “RELAXED” herself while I was at work . She lied. I was going to use toys that night i hoped so i went to change batteries and found them all slimy. I asked her a few more times and she finally admitted it. I don’t like the fact that she lied most of all. Had problems with her lying in the past. I just want her to share her experiences with me. Maybe let me watch a little before we have sex. She doesn’t want to discuss it and still isnt telling me the whole truth. I just do not understand i want this to enhance our sex life and she acts like im asking to tie her up or something. What do I do?

    • LadyLibidoless Says:

      What I don’t understand about these situations is this idea that once you are married, all of your partner’s sexual satisfaction is YOUR domain and YOURS ALONE.

      If a partner wants to have a private life, with their own self-created satisfaction, people get SO ANGRY!

      I masturbate on my own. Sure, I’ve done it in front of my husband, but only when I was also interested in arousing him. The masturbation I do on my own is simply about me and my own orgasm and the good feelings I get all on my own.

      It’s almost an affirmation that I am still able to make myself happy – an affirmation of the fact that while I’m in a relationship, I’m still autonomous and have agency.

  3. Angellady Says:

    I masturbate on my own quite frequently both with and without my husband, more often than not we ended up having sex when he is around. True it ia all about making myself happy and he knows it.

    BTW I am 48 this year.

  4. Suretouch Says:

    I’m saddened by the dawning reality of which I’ve only recently become sufficiently aware to begin looking at some relationship ‘realities’ that evolve out of day-to-day interaction and shift almost imperceptibly such that individuals who initially offered to each other, much like gifts of self so much pleasure, love and joy together, find themselves living in poorly scripted, badly plotted and ultimately tragic and spirit robbing dramas.
    She not only hinted, but said that she needed him to be most intimately involved in her life, that he was the first man to have given her such pleasure, that he was the kindest, most generous man she’d ever come to know. That she wanted to spend the rest of her life devoted to creating a wonderful life. …Now substitute ‘he’ for ‘she’ and ‘she’ for ‘he’.
    Let’s toss in a little ‘virtual’ diddling (whether with another partner, one’s own hand or with a vibrator or toy or other stimuli, like erotica [or porn]. The relationship has ‘cooled’ a bit. The realities of children, in-laws, old friends, new friends, relocations perhaps, and the workaday world — all manner of things in intrude, sometimes egregiously into the more intimate lives of couples. Decisions are taken (or Defaults are accepted) and personal ‘deals’ with how to meet our needs in this evolving environment, wittingly or naively, begin to take shape. Those halcyon days filled with many moments of synchrony and simpatico are burdened with conflicts about matters completely unrelated to sexuality. It alters the tuning, tone and timbre of the emotional instruments we carry with us and play, sometimes giving rise to stress, depression; other times, creating desire and delight. Some of this is felt as individuals; some is experienced as a couple; and the ‘glow’ reaches our family and sometimes even friends.
    The world about us is neither inert nor wholly benign. Men and women ‘hit’ on women and men. Distractions arise and get telegraphed by or to those around us. A man or a woman goes out of town on business for several days or weeks and is isolated from the ‘cocoon’ and rediscovers some sensibilities that had gone to rest about aloneness and personhood. What is most striking, however, is that it appears in many instances that from among the first things that press forward, the most undeniable for a great many people have to do with our longings and sexuality. Whether we dissipate that energy in flirting, masturbation or more, if we do indulge ourselves it doesn’t simply fall to the list of “inactive ingredients” in our relationships. Layer time, more experience, great interactions, failed encounters and outside influences — even this thought piece — and we construct a framework of how things are or are not working as individuals and as a couple. The give and take may be less give and more taking for granted. The effort, once explicitly promised to bring joy and bliss, flags, and feelings are hurt. Fair or not. Useful or not. Accurate or not. Many begin comparative measuring by talking with friends and in so doing seek only self-affirming input. This is a tendency in humans and other primates linked to survival: we admit only those things to our ‘perception of reality’ that are consistent with what we observe (from relatively limited experience) and come to believe about ourselves, others, events, attitudes and so on. It is called, the “Consistency of Belief,” and it persists even in the face of extraordinary, contradictory evidence that our ‘subjective stance’ may be misinforming, misinterpreting or miss-assigning actual events. Displacement of our stress, anger and frustration and projection of our own fears and disappointments and the sources and jumbled, tangled mess of those feelings is part of setting the stage for the play, “How to contribute to things in a relationship NOT going well.”

    All of this leads to a rather important consideration in the foregoing discussion: how much we disclose, how many degrees of freedom (sexual and otherwise) females and males comfortably accept for/from one another begins with a growing set of disclosures, assumptions and explicit understandings about the nature of the relationship and the acceptability of behaviors — all kinds of behaviors — including anticipations and ideations of what the emotional and physical intimacies and acceptable models for telling (or withholding) those self- and relationship-stories may be. Who we tell; how much we tell; how much self-disclosure and ‘exposure’ of the others we provide to each other and others — all of this is filtered through our constructs about ourselves, and rarely are people inclined to paint truly negative or fully transparent pictures of themselves. Assigning or aggregating fault for whatever has gone wrong or right in a relationship to a bad guy or good guy is far easier (if misguided) than taking responsibility and being accountable for our individual and joint drift from the social or legal contracts into which we have entered and the commitments we have made about how we will comport ourselves and behave — whether others can see us or not. An earlier comment made about “defensiveness” is apropos. Challenging what appears to us to be a deviation from a framework of behavior and commitments we have constructed in forming a relationship is useful, but not without pitfalls. And when it comes to sex, particularly the matters of power, control, honesty, integrity, respect, validation and empowerment, feelings are particularly strong, and the worst of the misguided pap, that the media and movements press into consciousness as though they are fact and incontrovertible, is particularly potent in its ability to destroy trust and narrow the range of tolerance we have for perceived transgressions by another.
    To be specific. Masturbation is not ‘wrong.’ It is healthy and characteristically human behavior, both when engaged in an ongoing relationship and when going it solo. Wanting to touch one another, and engage in kissing and other forms of intimacy is also pretty much ‘the usual.’ Preserving one’s pleasure solely to oneself, by oneself, after having established a relationship in which that was not among the explicit assumptions and agreements requires an adjustment. Denying that a major shift in the sexual relationship is meaningful to the other person or insisting that they have no right to experience feelings of displacement or to react to finding out that the basis has been changed unilaterally is a significant and potentially destructive decision. If the other was previously ‘involved’ and finds that she or he is ‘cut out’ of the relationship, particularly when the frequency, quality and enthusiasm that was once shared by physical intimacy has changed noticeably, the relationship is in trouble. … And it is not necessarily the other’s “fault.” She/He didn’t have to DO SOMETHING to deserve it.
    If whatever the behavior is – masturbation, cheating, verbal or physical withholding of affection – diverges from the commitments made and the core tenets of the relationship, conversations have to be had. Perhaps counseling will help. When one is righteous enough to engage in and insist that either previously unknown or witting personal engagement in behaviors which have been uncloaked (no matter how) and are perceived as (or actually) having increasing impact (i.e., seen to be detracting from intensity, frequency, range of behaviors, etc., that had formerly been a part of the relationship) does not need to be addresses honestly with his/her partner, the relationship ‘balance’ shifts in ways that lead to attempts to “right it.” Assignment of ‘power and control’ issues in a relationship is somewhat paradoxical: reactive behaviors of the one who is least powerful are most often cited as being offensive, while those whose behavior dispenses with implicit or explicit understandings in the name of reclaiming some right of which they have been deprived are treated to the halo effect.

    To bring this down to the personal. I love and hold my wife in high regard. We have raised some really great kids and have been very good, and quite open friends. Our sexual intensity and frequency, as it does for most, has become more ‘comfortable’ and less dramatic over the 27 years we’ve been married. Until recently she always enjoyed arousal from touching, both all body and her erogenous zones, leading to other foreplay and often oral sex and eventually experiencing her most intense orgasms with a combination of penetration and a vibrator. The passion and joy we have shared has always been wonderful. It has never been a matter of ‘what I want to do to her’ or ‘what I want from her;’ it has always been – for both of us – giving pleasure. Oddly though, over the last several years, her use of the vibrator alone has intensified, along with her taking provisions to hide of the behavior. At the same time, I’ve been (if anything) more available to her, continue to support and encourage her interests, and have fulfilled my promises enthusiastically. Her interest in sex WITH me has waned, so much so, that weeks at a time go by in which my expressions of interest are ignored and her masturbation appears to be ongoing. It is not as blatant as some descriptions I’ve read here, but it is hurtful and has left me feeling betrayed. Her refusal to discuss it AT ALL is a marked shift.
    So, in a world where what is about her needs has become about her needs – no discussion necessary or allowed, I am left with the decision to live with it, do all I can to nurture our relationship and hope that eventually it will shift to a more positive place, OR to take care of my needs without respect (key word) to her feelings about it. At age 59 (me) and 51 (her), respectively, I may only be a little over halfway to 60% through what time I have in this life, and I don’t see or accept myself living like this indefinitely.
    Twist this as you wish, but I’m neither unenlightened nor uneducated, and I am certainly ‘tuned in’ to people in general and my wife in particular. I have a right to expect my needs to be respected as well and I am growing resentful. I need changes to take place or I to make changes.

  5. Anonymous Says:

    awnser his fukn question why does she lie.cause there all lieing bitches thats why cuz

  6. Spike Says:

    12 years of descent from sexual heaven down to the 9th ring of hell. That’s been my experience. Where did I screw up? My biggest mistake was in putting her on a pedestal. I did everything I could to make her happier, help with thisthatandtheotherthing, let her schedule vacations and social calendar, whatever I was madly in love and gave her 100% of all of me. I trusted that she would always do the same. I began to feel not good about the balance of affection probably about 7 years ago. Our sex life was frustrating and she complained about her life being so hard, our house being too small. This went from a trickle to a flood. Let me make it clear here that 1) her life has been SO NOT HARD (we’re healthy, 2 great healthy kids, awesome private school, I worked 2 miles away and was around to help more than any husband who ever had a job, she did not work, lots of help from her parents, and entire summers at the beach house), and 2) our house, while not large, is so nice and in a great area. So after feeling more and more over the years like a worthless person, I realized in year 11 that, holy crap, my wife had developed a serious mental disorder. Perhaps if I had not been blinded by love to any notion of her not being divine, I might have pushed back much sooner against her completely unjustifiable self pity and growing bitchiness. That might have prevented her distorted sense of things from getting so extreme. In any case, getting back to the matter of our horrible sexual dynamic, our sex life sucks because she WANTS it to be bad. She is/has become a punisher, and she punishes me for her unhappiness which, please believe me, is despite my having loved her completely.
    Now that she is no longer on that pedestal, I have been able to work on “us” (and her problem) in very real, practical ways, and this has given me hope and strength to keep trying to fix this as best it can be fixed.
    I, too, got stuck on Julia’s comment about men wanting to give a womn an orgasm because of power and control…huh? WHAT? Intimacy is what we all need for our emotional well being. Intimacy is not about power or control. It is about being loving to one another. It is about being open with each other. Julia, when a woman refuses to allow her partner to give her an orgasm, that is an overt act that is contrary to the what intimacy is, and it absolutely is a hurtful thing to do. It says “I do not love you”, loud and clear. Your idea that it is only the man’s pride that is bruised in this scenario is bewildering to me. My dear wife’s evolution ultimately turned our lovemaking into hatemaking. She would angrily insist that I have sex with her – but of course only until I came, and then it would be over, no more nothing, she’d gotten that done with.
    The other point I want to make here, if it wasn’t clear above, is that some people – some husbands and some wives – really do develop mental disorders which are hell on the spouse. For some, “the reason your wife won’t have sex with you” is because she’s become a crazy bitch. The only way to address these situations is to identify the mental disorder and attack it with intelligence. Massages, flowers, housework, affection, adoration, being fit, etc are not going to help. Not one bit.
    It’s too soon to tell, in my case, if things will get much better in time. I’m hopeful. Somehow I still love her.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 77 other followers

%d bloggers like this: