learn to like it

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-07-2003
learn to like it
55
Fri, 02-23-2007 - 9:58am

I had one thing I wanted to address/ask a question about that I have seen in a few threads. LLs tend to say they cannot learn to like it, as it is like anything else that you don't like, chocolate cake was one example I remember. The way I have always seen this, and I will admit I am HL, so it might not be the same way, that's why I am asking, is you are not learning to like sex itself, but learning to like and crave the pleasure you are giving your SO. I used this example a long time ago, but with so many new people on the board, I thought I would throw it out there again.

My DH LOVES football. I have never cared much for football. I am more of a baseball kind of girl. Well when we were first together he would watch football, I would go do something else. Then one Sunday out of some odd bf/gf commitment I sat down and watched a game with him and acted like I wanted to be there watching the game with him, even though I could think of a million other places I would rather be. He seemed so happy and so excited that I was asking questions and participating in his favorite hobby, that I started to actually get into it. No I have never learned to love football. If we were to divorce or something happened to my DH, I doubt I would watch football again. However, I have over the years learned to love watching football with him, because of the closeness it brings to him. Isn't this what marriage is all about? Sharing in what brings the other partner joy?

So is sex different than this example? how?

Jen

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iVillage Member
Registered: 05-04-2006
Fri, 02-23-2007 - 11:33am

Here's the problem I see with your thoughts on this. It is not enough for the HLs I have seen posting here, and probably my own DH that I just "learn to like and crave the pleasure I am giving the SO." I also must be "into it", I must initiate, I must be more creative, and I need to have an orgasm at least some of the time. Oh, and on top of it, I cannot "fake it" on any of these accounts.

This would be more akin to you not only sitting in the house watching the game with DH, but taking it upon yourself to go out into the neighborhood and organize a pickup game with the locals, playing your heart out, and winning (maybe). And not only that but doing so once or twice a week!! Let me put it this way, feeling as you do about football, do you ever say to DH...oh look there's a game on, let's watch it? Do you watch ESPN when he's not home to get ideas for during the game next weekend?

It's apples and oranges if you ask me

Randa

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-21-2003
Fri, 02-23-2007 - 11:37am

Hi MSL,

Yes, I do think sex is somewhat different, and here's why. As I've stated many times before on this board, HLs don't just want a receptacle for sex, they (understandably) want an engaged, enthusiastic and aroused partner. Most LLs realize this intuitively. Which means that, if they don't actually get much arousal/pleasure from sex, they know they have to fake it. If nothing else, they feel compelled fake some interest and some pleasure while doing the deed. It's something LLs are so accustomed to doing it becomes second nature. The problem is, any kind of faking (and especially such intimate faking as sexual faking) exacts a steep psychological toll. At some point, LLs yearn for the authenticity of behaving the way they feel.

In your football example, I imagine you can cuddle up to your DH while he's watching football and let your mind drift as it pleases. If LLs could do the same during sex, it would be easy to provide a higher frequency. But LLs don't want a partner who'll "lie back and think of England" (or produce a stiff one and think of the stock exchange). That's the tragedy of ML relationships -- that what the HL wants is something the LL CANNOT provide.

F.

Avatar for cl_elyse449
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-20-2006
Fri, 02-23-2007 - 1:52pm

Hi MSL,


Those are all excellent points. They do sound reasonable and understandable. I just wanted to add that as a HL I have learned to accept LESS sex. I understand it isn't something my dh enjoys as much as I do, I understand that my happiness IS important to him so he has tried to reach out and compromise (the trying is what I truly appreciate) so in return, I have helped myself to learn to accept less sex. I don't think it means I like sex less because were I to divorce and move on with another man there is little doubt in my mind I'd revert back to my HL status--but I have altered to suit the situation I'm in. I think that's a fair expectation barring situations where physical pain is involved or what not.


Elyse

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-07-2003
Fri, 02-23-2007 - 2:25pm

>>>Let me put it this way, feeling as you do about football, do you ever say to DH...oh look there's a game on, let's watch it? Do you watch ESPN when he's not home to get ideas for during the game next weekend? <<<<

Yes. Maybe not those exact examples, but I do pay attention when they are talking about games. I do try to pick up things so I can have conversations with him about football. I do say, let's watch the game, because I know he really wants to, and whatever else we are doing at that time is not as important and I know he would never ask to watch the game because of what we are doing. I am not a good faker either, so I decided a long time ago, I really had to have an interest in some of this stuff, to make him happy. I just wish he would do the same for me.

Jen
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-07-2003
Fri, 02-23-2007 - 2:32pm

No, I cannot just cuddle up and let my mind drift. He wants to interact with me and the game. I have to pay attention to who has the ball. I have to know the players at least minimally. Ok, so I do try to find interest in some of the other things, such as knowing which actress the players are married to. Or knowing which commercials they are in, but it is still knowing about football. Had I not married him, I doubt I would know who Eli Manning even is. Yes I yearn to by myself when a game is on and flip right by it, and I do, when he is not home.

I think you are hitting at something here though, that sex is different because it is so personal to the person. But really why is it more so than other things. And on that same account, doesn't that make it even more important, as it is the thing that your partner cannot do without you?

I have heard you say that the LL cannot give what the HL wants. I think that is an oversimplification, that all HLs want a sex partner who is equally into as them. I know for me, I would like my DH to just recognize that it is important to me, and to try his hardest to let me know he sees it is important and he is willing to give me a little bit of himself every now and then. I don't expect him to be HL overnight What I expect is my interests in the marriage matter and for him to recognize in order for me to be fully happy, I need him to recognize when sex has been a while and for him to come up with a solution and not just sit back and wait for me to mandate one.

Jen
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-05-2006
Fri, 02-23-2007 - 3:30pm

I've always wondered about this honest approach that the LL might consider...

"I am going to try and do some of the things that I know you long for. Please know that I am open to my own pleasure in these acts growing over time, however, what changes you may see I do for your sake and totally independent of my own physical pleasure. I will do this because I love you. Please do not expect my motivation to be anything other than this. If you want to believe my actions reflect more personal desire that I actually feel, you are free to do just that. But if you ask, I will have to be honest to myself and to you and you may be disappointed with my response. What I am expecting in return is for you to receive graciously as I will attempt to give liberally."

Well, something to that effect? :)

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-04-2006
Fri, 02-23-2007 - 4:14pm

Glenn,

Thank you so much for hitting upon exactly what I as a LL NEED to hear/feel/understand from my HL. "What I am expecting in return is for you to receive graciously as I will attempt to give liberally." That means no snarky questions "where is all this coming from" or "why can't we do THAT more often" and no analysis of what I am feeling or experiencing and what is wrong with it (or different about it than it once was). No expecting me to proclaim "That was FANTASTIC!!" I think I will print this out and give it my honey in a love note telling him exactly what I am going to let him partake of tonight. (A 'Nipple Parfait' pudding and whipped cream, etc on my body, he's been pestering me for it for days, at innapropriate times)

Hope it goes well.

Randa

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-05-2006
Fri, 02-23-2007 - 4:30pm

Rhanda, best wishes both tonight and in the long term. "Give liberally and receive graciously" is actually a phrase my wife taught me in the context of our ML struggles. It sounded wonderful to me in theory and I wanted very much to try it. Unfortunately, DW spent over a year espousing the idea without ever acting on it. It has only been of late that DW has actually made any attempt to give me more of what I ask for and it has made it so wonderfully easy for me to be gracious. I think the motivation for change was two-fold. First, I threatened to leave and this caused her to reconsider her part in the conflict. We then both latched onto this new concept of honesty and individual growth...

http://messageboards.ivillage.com/n/mb/message.asp?webtag=iv-rlclashing&msg=8439.1&ctx=0

... gave it a try and things have been improving since.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-07-2003
Fri, 02-23-2007 - 4:58pm

>>>I think I will print this out and give it my honey in a love note telling him exactly what I am going to let him partake of tonight. (A 'Nipple Parfait' pudding and whipped cream, etc on my body, he's been pestering me for it for days, at innapropriate times)<<<<

See this is a difference that I see with LLs on the board v.the ones we have home. This is way outside the comfort zone of most our our spouses to ever even be considered.

Jen
Avatar for holdingontoit
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-02-2004
Fri, 02-23-2007 - 5:01pm

>>>>> What I am expecting in return is for you to receive graciously as I will attempt to give liberally. <<<<<

As a HL, I wholeheartedly agree. If your LL partner gives you a gift of love, accept it in the spirit is it offered. Don't think of it as "mercy sex". Think of it as a precious gift of a delivate treasure. Think of how vulnerable your partner is permitting themselves to be in sharing themselves with you.

Now, if the LL becomes passive-agressive and intentionally makes it "bad" so the HL won't be motivated to ask again, that is another story.

But if the LL is doing their best to give all they can sexually, then the least the HL can do in return is to give all they can in the way of gratitude and support and validation for the effort the LL is making. Hopefully, the LL's best is good enough, and the couple does not find themselves in that sad place that FLM frequently refers to. Which place, unfortunately, is all too real.

When you see it coming, duck!

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