ML issues don't age like fine wine

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-25-2006
ML issues don't age like fine wine
2
Mon, 07-13-2009 - 4:36pm
I posted here for a brief period 3 years ago. I poured out my heart for a while, and it was cathartic to express my innermost feelings. I also got some good advice, some of which I should have followed but didn't. At the time I was really quite depressed and at the point of giving up on my marriage. Unfortunately, as I think too many of us do, I stayed in the marriage, but I also gave up on it. At the time, in mid-2006, I was lamenting our sex life, which had always been bad(for me anyway) over the then 20 year marriage, and even prior to marriage(we lived together for 1 1/2 years). At that time, our frequency was every few weeks to 2 months, and only if she initiated and only if I wasn't in a funk(a 50/50 chance at best). I won't go into the entire history of how this state of affairs came to be, but it was a step I had taken over the preceding 2 years to preserve my sanity and self-respect after nearly two decades of rejection. My wife was unhappy with this arrangement at first but eventually settled into it. In the three years since then the frequency continued to decrease until we stopped having sex altogether nearly 2 years ago. We didn't discuss it, that's just the point at which she also stopped initiating. If you read enough of these ML histories you'll find that this sort of progression is not atypical, in fact it's almost a cliche.


Why am I here again? Not sure really. Perhaps looking for renewed motivation. Perhaps as a warning to others not to do as I've done.


My eldest, now in high school, has been seeing a therapist for behavioral issues we're experiencing. Recently, in talking to the therapist we brought up the fact that we believed problems in our marriage have had a very negative impact on our kids. She asked if we wanted a marriage counselor referral and we agreed. I expect this is finally going to force us either to face our problems or finally decide to divorce. I think both are equally likely at this point. There's just been so much damage for so long that it's hard to be optimistic.


A warning for those in early stages of ML relationships. Do something about it early when the things that need fixing are relatively few, and mutual faith and trust between partners is still present. I would love to be able to go back to the times when we were only frustrated and angry with one another, and expressing it openly. This is the time to address these issues, not after you develop unhealthy coping mechanisms so you can move on and pretend they no longer matter. Then you have to deal with peeling away all of these second order effects before you can even deal with the original issues.

Frustration due to ML gives rise to low self-esteem, anger and depression, and later contempt. That's not where it ends, however. If you hang on through all of this for whatever reason(kids, finances, religion, or what have you) you end up emotionally numb in the relationship, because it's the only way to survive without really dealing with the problems. Unfortunately, that's where I've allowed myself to get to today.

By the way, here is my original thread from back then if anyone is interested. I give you fair warning however that then, as now, I had a tendency to be long-winded.

http://messageboards.ivillage.com/iv-rlclashing/?msg=7602.1
Avatar for holdingontoit
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-02-2004
Mon, 07-13-2009 - 4:52pm

Sorry to hear you have not resolved the ML.

When you see it coming, duck!

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-25-2006
Mon, 07-13-2009 - 5:46pm


Agreed. Wonderful as it is, young love can also be a sort of mental impairment. I think that a moderate disparity in libido can be dealt with given good communication and compromise by both parties. The problem is that it takes well into the first year of marriage at least before the fog of being in love lifts enough to recognize a problem to begin with. Also, if the disparity is severe enough, I'm not sure a working compromise will be realistically achievable no matter how willing and well meaning, or in love the parties are. This becomes more apparent as the fog lifts even further, though the couple will likely remain in denial about it for some time. It's a basic compatibility issue and will eventually catch up with them in my opinion.

I remember reading some of these ML accounts here and elsewhere many years ago and thinking, "man, I know things suck for me only getting it every few weeks, but that couple haven't had sex in years!! How does that happen!?!? At least I know it'll never be that bad since I'd never put up with living that way." Famous last words. I also wasn't ever going to be anything like my dad, lol.