De-Lurking for Feedback
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|Mon, 08-24-2009 - 11:51am|
Been lurking here about six months and have read through pretty much every thread.
It has been both enlightening and sobering and I have learned much about myself and my partner. I have gone round and round mostly with myself, but also with him about our issues, and hopefully getting some outside perspective will help.
Some background: I’m female, 42, never married and no kids; he’s 48, divorced and no kids - one adult step-son, but he has little contact with him. Have known each other almost 3 years and been together a little over a year. Neither one or us wants to get married or live together. We work together, but that isn’t an issue. I would prefer to be intimate about every 3-5 days (I am open to more.) but am satisfied with once a week.
To be fair, part of the problem is scheduling. Our work schedules are different: I work M-F - 7:30AM-4:30PM; he works T-S - 3:00PM-Midnight. Part of his job duties require him to be on the road and out of town, often on short notice. He has to maintain 24/7 readiness. Since I got a promotion in March, my schedule isn’t as flexible so I’m not able to accommodate his schedule as easily.
He says that when he is really busy, sex, or even spending time together, takes a back burner. He has to focus on the tasks at hand. And when that happens, most sexual energy from him just stops. And that causes me even more frustration because not only are we not having sex, I’m not feeling desire from him. Then I begin to have doubts that he wants me. He has assured that is not the case, that he does have the desire - lack of time is the issue. He explained that he just tries not to think about sex or being with me when he knows it can’t happen because that frustrates him, and he can’t lose focus on what he has to do.
But, then, when things do slow down, he needs time to himself. I understand the need for alone time. I need it too. It’s just that, for me, when we haven’t even seen each other, much less had sex in a week or more, that’s what I want more than anything else. I’m working on accepting that’s not the case for him. He would rather kick back, drink a few beers and listen to music first. He explained that he becomes more sexual only when he has had some free time and is feeling relaxed. I get that, but we usually have such limited time together and we never know when he may get a call-out. So I want to make the most of what time we do have together.
He said that sometimes, he would just rather snuggle than have sex. I have no inherent problem with that. I love snuggling and cuddling.
It’s just that when we are laying in bed naked, touching, I get aroused - pleasantly - if we’ve recently made love. When it has been a week or more, laying naked in his arms without making love can feel like torture. He said that sometimes he is just tired, but does want to spend time with me. I want to spend time with him too and I love touching him and being touched by him with or without sex. Though I do struggle to understand how a man who hasn’t had sex in a week or more, and with no guarantee of another opportunity in the near future, can be in bed with a naked, willing woman and still not want sex.
He has mentioned that sex sometimes feels like one more chore. This happens when he has been very busy, hasn’t had much free time and he knows I want sex. He feels pressured, says I have expectations. Sometimes, when we are together, he says he feels like I’m on a mission: to have sex.
This is what I explained to him: “I like you, am sexually attracted to you so when we spend time together, I do want to make love with you, but it’s not a requirement. Maybe you’re picking up on my desire and in turn think that I am on a “mission” or have expectations, when that isn't so.” He admitted he could feel my desire and thought I expected him to act on it. I told him that the only time I expect sex when we get together is when we have expressly said we’re getting together for sex.
With that said, I am always open to making love. He is not. He has preconditions that must be met before he'll have sex. My only precondition is that we both want it. In fact, he has said that at our age, how often we have sex shouldn’t be an issue as there are lots of other things going on in life. I don’t think 42 and 48 is too old to want and enjoy an active sex life.
I know that he does like and want to have sex, just not as often as me. I know he enjoys it when we are together. It’s usually quite intense for both of us, so I have no complaints about the quality. We are both open and willing to explore new ways to express our sexuality. I just have to accept that the quantity is never going to be what I desire. And then I have to decide if I can live with that. Guess it is ultimately the decision every person in a ML relationship has to make.
We’re not married, don’t live together and have no children, so technically, it should be very easy to walk away. It’s not. I do care about him and we are friends. Since I'm not looking to get married or even live with someone and I can't have children, I don't want to toss this relationship aside. And when he is less busy, we spend more time together and have sex more frequently.
Sometimes, though, I do feel like he did a bait and switch. Before we ever had sex the first time, he told me he had a high libido and had always been that way. For the first few months, even though it was only about twice a week, we did have sex as often as we could, given our conflicting schedules. And we flirted and teased a lot. Then, it all slowed down. And I have been afraid that it will stop completely. ( I have some abandonment issues from a previous relationship.)
I’ve been concerned that if I don’t mention it, weeks or months will go by and we won’t have had sex or even spent time together. The worst part is the fear that he wouldn’t even notice if that happened. I know these are my insecurities. If I believed he would do something like that, I wouldn’t be with him.
We’ve talked about these issues several times and most of those conversations ended in complete frustration and annoyance both on my part and his. It truly felt like we were speaking different languages. We both said that same things over and over, but I don’t think either of us really heard what the other person was saying. He still felt pressured and I still felt unwanted. At least, we have been able to joke about the role reversal!
Since reading through the boards, I have a better understanding of not only myself, but him.
So, we have come up with a plan: When he is extremely busy, I’ll back off (won’t ask for sex). We will still talk, text, email and spend time together (as time permits). He has assured me that weeks or months won‘t pass without us being together. As I read this, it sounds like I’m making all the concessions. Maybe I am. But I am willing to try this and if it doesn’t work, come up with something else.
I know this was long and maybe rambling in places, but I thank everyone who read it and I am interested in any insights.