?? for HLs - Are You Capable of Love?

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-17-2007
?? for HLs - Are You Capable of Love?
Sat, 06-14-2008 - 11:20am


I wonder....how many of you HLs have ever questioned whether you were capable of love? I'm not saying after the bitterness set in about the ML and poisoned what you felt. I'm saying during the first phases of the incompatibility, when it first began to rear its ugly head and you were trying to get your spouse to respond. I'm not asking did you question if THEY loved YOU. I'm not asking, did you ever question your ability to love your spouse during difficult times or when it seemed like their unwillingness to have sex was a hint that you were unloveable. I'm asking, in general, did you ever question your own ability to love?

I suspect that this might be an issue that many LLs have to deal with that most HLs do not. HLs have to wonder whether they are UNLOVEABLE. I don't think HLs question their actual ABILITY to love.

HLs are capable of having those consistent feelings of sexual desire for their loved one, which "proves" to them that they can love. They are secure in knowing that whatever the other problems are, it's got little to do with the fact that they themselves are capable of love; if they left their spouse and found another, they could love deeply and feel consistent, long-term sexual desire for their next partner. I sincerely believe that many HLs subconsciously believe that much responsibility for the issue of ML is absolved within their hearts because they believe that whatever they did or didn't do, it was never a question of an inherent lack in their own nature; their capability to love.

For LLs, this question lingers as the root of many of their outward bursts of anger and resentment and coldness and bitterness. We DO question our ability to love because we CAN'T feel that consistent sexual longing. It is very hard to go through your daily life looking in the face of the person that is the representation of all that you lack and something you can never be. The person that has the high ground and makes you feel off balance and inadequate and the person whose needs consistently remind you that you lack those same needs. You know it's not fair to think of them that way but you can't help it, you feel like they're judging you for your lack even if they never say it out loud. What's worse, you want to change it but you can't. You simply DON'T feel the sexual desire that they do and you're angry and ashamed at yourself for that. So you let it simmer under the surface and slowly but surely you grow angry, just like anyone does when they feel they're being unfairly measured.

Discuss. :)

Edited 6/14/2008 11:24 am ET by locogirlp

Edited 6/14/2008 11:28 am ET by locogirlp



Avatar for holdingontoit
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Registered: 02-02-2004
Sat, 06-14-2008 - 12:46pm

I do question my ability to love someone romantically. If I am romantically involved with someone, and there is little or no sex, the love disappears. Does that mean the love was never there at all? Why should the lack of sex kill off the positive feelings if those feelings were love. If I loved my wife, wouldn't I be able to accept that she is not motivated to have sex with me very often.

I think HLs do wonder whether they are capable of love. I also think that most of us don't care. That is, we are not looking to learn how to love if doing so means learning how to not desire sex so obsessively. Instead, we are looking for ways to get more sex.

Good question. Gets HLs to look inside themselves.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 05-21-2008
Sat, 06-14-2008 - 1:36pm

That's an intriguing question. Yes, I think at times I thought how shallow I was to want more sex with my husband and not get it, that all the other things that made our relationship good should be sufficient for me to sustain my love for him, "for better or for worse," right? I mean, many people view a big drop off in sexual desire and sexual activity as a marriage goes on and people age as normal. A lot of people no longer expect grandma and grandpa to still be doing it. Before I found this board (very recently), I thought sometimes that I was a horrible person for having such thoughts.

By the same token, I often felt unloved by hubby because what I was asking from my husband was simply a once-a-week date, and for him to initiate the date every other time, and I couldn't even get him to compromise to that. That made me feel very undesirable and unloved, that I couldn't even get him to go that far for me. I thought that if I was loving enough to him to "settle" for that, in an effort to go halfway (I would really like 3-4 times a week), that he could try to do that much for me. BTW, I'm not fat or ugly, so it wasn't that.

Eventually, the cold treatment I got from my husband did cause me to no longer love him. It was like living with my brother. I became very lonely for the type of male companionship that you can only get from your husband, and I decided to leave. For us HLs, sex is a way of expressing love and staying intimate with that most important person in your life. If I'm ever to have another relationship like that again, I will have to be free. I left about three months ago. Of course, I feel guilty about that, what a shallow reason to leave someone! For not "getting enough sex!" I certainly haven't told anyone except my one closest girlfriend that that's the real reason for the split. I feel that society would think I was a horrible person for leaving my marriage for such a "ridiculous" reason, so if anyone asks, I always give horribly vague answers for the split.

I know that STBXH misses me. I'm sure in a way, he still loves me. I don't know how or what happened to his libido (all this happened in the last 10 years or so, I think a hidden porn addiction may have been part of the problem), but I finally just got tired of trying to work on this. It takes 2 people, and it was always me because he never even saw the problem. I'm sad that we couldn't work things out. I think he'd actually still like to try to work things out, but it's too late. I don't love him anymore. So I would hope that a LL person reading this might gather from it that if they truly love their partner, they will try to compromise. A little goes a long way if you truly love someone. I know from reading some of the posts on this board, that some of the HL men are really going a long way to get little drips of love from their LL ladies. I know that had my STBXH simply initiated sex every other week and participated the other week, that I could have been happy for life. But that's life. Thanks for the question.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-30-2007
Sat, 06-14-2008 - 2:24pm

Great question. In my situation I believe we both are capable of love but it is where each of us falls on the pyramid of importance. What I mean, is there is only so much love to go around so it has to be "distributed" I my case I have moved from number one, right after we were married to about number 13. Three girls first, three dogs, three cats and three horses. So by the time my wife gets to me the is no love left. She is tied on my pyramid for first with all my daughters. There is no time or energy for me. It's her conscience desision. The therapist actually said after the children leave she will probably became more loving again. Since my youngest is 11 I have some time to wait. It's so obvious that during the last therapy session she had to admit to this being right. For example, when we got a Labrador puppy she slept with that puppy in her arms all night but she cannot even give me 5 minutes of cuddle time. Says she cannot sleep being touched. Sure she can just not being touched by me.

You say it hard being the LL and watching this person you are supposed to love. What's stopping you? As I 've told my wife , walk a mile in my shoes. Try to be the romantic one, write the nice notes, bring home flowers, say you look nice and in shape all the time, always give a hug and a kiss, call on the phone to check on your day, on and on. Just to have all that effort be taken for granted or ignored. The other day she was getting out of the shower and I said how great she looked. She goes on about how men just want to see any naked body, that women are not turned on by naked men. So I said I guess I can stop working out and I can eat chocolate and drink beer all day? What a put down! I work so hard. I'm 50 but I have a six pack and about 6% body fat. I'm just as fast on my bike as I was when I was 25. I don't drink, smoke or eat bad food. Now my body isn't sexy? Great. Typical LL behavior. Do anything to put out any brewing sexual fire. Just like living with my sister.

So, yes I can love. I still love her like the first time I saw her. That's because she's still on the top of my love food chain and I'm at the bottom of hers

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-24-2007
Sat, 06-14-2008 - 2:36pm

before I read the responses, my initial reaction was ofcourse we can love because for us sex is part of love, thats a dumb question!

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-04-2006
Sat, 06-14-2008 - 2:39pm

"I'm asking, in general, did you ever question your own ability to love? "

What average person who wants to have sex with their partner wouldn't.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-17-2007
Sat, 06-14-2008 - 10:17pm

Italy, what you say here....


Well, a lot of the effort you make is actually defeating your purpose. Why? Because it looks agenda-driven. It's very difficult for us LLs to see past the agendas that we know you HLs have. Rather -- let me rephrase that -- the agendas we have been conditioned to THINK you HLs have.

The example that you used....saying your wife looked great when she was climbing out of the shower and her response to you. Perfect example. Now you may have been honestly appreciating her but to her, it's a statement with an agenda behind it. You have an angle. Her reaction is understandable when you take into account she is attempting to deflect what she perceives as the "real" reason behind the complement; how you, and only you alone, intends to benefit from your statement. And is she wrong...really? Can you honestly say that you are NOT hoping -- even the smallest, tiniest hope -- to benefit from it or to inspire even the smallest sexual flame? Aren't you trying to elicit a response? I don't think you could say you weren't, and she knows this, she's had experience. No doubt you've attempted to persuade her in this manner in the past. So she deflects, and vehemently. All shields are up, and they go up harder and higher in response to how thick you lay on the seduction techniques. The thicker the techniques, the more obvious the apparent agenda behind them.

I have no doubts that on many occasions the HL does NOT have an agenda, and (believe it or not) there are an equal number of occasions where LLs do not. Unfortunately for all of us, both LLs and HLs HAVE had agendas often enough to cause their partner to expect and respond to a predictable, familiar pattern of behavior. It can be next to impossible for either of us to determine when that agenda exists and when it doesn't. It becomes a personal attack and after a certain period of time, we automatically assume that pattern will commence and we respond proactively to it as well as reactively. We project our own conclusions as to the "why" of the behavior upon our partner and we refuse to believe that they could or would react in any other manner at any time whatsoever. For HLs, the LL becomes a uncaring deflection and avoidance machine. For LLs, the HL becomes a needy, demanding sexual addict. Neither one of these is correct.

Edited 6/14/2008 10:21 pm ET by locogirlp


iVillage Member
Registered: 09-20-2007
Sun, 06-15-2008 - 10:22pm
In previous relationships where I was the LL, I always felt like I was loved more than I loved. Now that I'm HL, I feel unloved compared to how much I'm loving. When I was the LL, I never thought that I equated sex with love but I guess on some level the fact that he desired me more than I desired him meant that he loved me more than I loved him. And now, the opposite.
Avatar for xploziv1
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 06-16-2008 - 9:16pm
I've never questioned my ability to love, but I have questioned my ability to find someone that loves me in the way that I deserve and need (and thankfully I've finally achieved that).



iVillage Member
Registered: 09-09-2003
Tue, 06-17-2008 - 11:37pm

I really have to question the idea of whether its HL or LL, or whether its a simple question of really loving that person as a partner, or just wanting "the life" of being married, kids, house etc..

Because we all LOVE people in our lives nonsexually, children, parents, friends, etc. But spouses/sexual partners, there SHOULD be a flame between them. If there isn't, that is a HUGE problem.

The whole basis of sexual desire and love is between two people and I just have to say, if the chemistry isn't there, it isn't there. NO matter how much your education, job expectations and family expectations compare. If the spark isn't there, it never will be, and you just can't manufacture it, no matter how much you try.

Too many people these days are trying to have the "perfect family", the "perfect house" and they don't pay attention to their intermost feelings. And they end up with someone at total opposite ends than they are. ,And at first they think they can live with it, but eventually they realize they are cheating themselves and their partners, and they can't live that way. I am quickly approaching that realization. I've already done the cheating, I'm just starting to approach the realization part. A work in progress..

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-09-2003
Tue, 06-17-2008 - 11:48pm

HELLO, there is nothing wrong with you!! Just because that man was not interested in sex with you (or anyone else), doesn't mean you are HL or abnormal or anything!! Any normal person would want a sexual, affectionate and loving relationship with their significant other.

And I am a woman, its not only the men that are "horny". Its women too, and nothing to be ashamed of. We are who we are. If they can't accept it, so be it, but maybe we shouldn't be marrying them, they just can't give us what we want (which is a normal thing we want). We should hold out for more, and not just give in, and then made to feel guilty, and dirty and sex addicts or whatever they want to tell us.

My H says that plenty of times, like yeah, we only have sex maybe 2x a year, and he wants to call me a sex addict?? Jusst because he is an ALCHOLIC, he has to blame me for things.

Yeah, we have plenty of problems betweeen the two of us, including me having an affair (which he doesnt know, its been 6 years now).

Life is a bitch. You do what you have to. I am capable of love. But you beat me down one time too often, and its going to turn to hate or indifference, which I think its at now with H.