Middle Age LL woes and other life stuff

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2007
Middle Age LL woes and other life stuff
19
Wed, 07-11-2007 - 8:35am

Good Morning

I am new here. I have been reading some of these posts and see some similarities to our situation, but the one big difference I seem to see is that most of you are fairly young with young children , already battling these issues of LL or mismatched drive.

My story is a bit different, so please bear with me while I spill my tear filled guts this morning

My husband and I had another blow up yesterday, that as usual was triggered by something small (in my opinion) and unrelated to the whole sex drive issue, but somehow it always comes back to that.

So, a lil history. I am almost 57 years old. Married to my husband for almost 30 years, we dated for 5 years before that. When we were dating, and even into the early years, of our marriage our sex life was super. I wanted it all the time. There were even times I was ready and he was tired, but oh well, it was ok, the next time was just around the corner. Before we actually lived together, he would spend weekends in my apartment and we would litterally go at it all day long on Sunday. He was never a really good affectionate person outside of our bedroom. Not alot of kissing, handholding , hugging, or other offerings of affection in public places. It was somewhat of an issue even then, but I dealt with it best I could, as he was a good person, and a good man , and I loved him dearly.

We got married, had a son a few years later. Our son is now almost 21 years old, so the children at home issue is not an issue for me.

But life did happen. His lack of affection other than sex times, for years was somewhat of a source of unhappiness for me, but I dealt with it.

I dont know exactly when, or how, or what transpired, but I guess so many years of wanting affection, and not just sex, but only getting sex, seemed to have maybe calloused me. The tables have now turned in some ways and I really have lost about all desire for sex. Now, there are times where he begins to get affectionate, but I pull away, because he cant seem to offer (still) affection that does not assume culmination with sex. I do love him, I do still love to hug and hold, but feel I have to pull away, because I dont want the sex.

Or current sex life consists of me taking care of him, either manually or orally maybe twice a month, and maybe once a month me joining in. When I do join in, I mostly do enjoy it, but I sorta chuckled by one poster on the floralie thread talking about faking it, purring , moaning, and eventually feeling into it herself. I find that true for me too. Its not that our sex is bad, or that he is a bad lover, its just that after soooo many years, I guess its just not something I yearn for anymore. Is this because of boredom, or other life issues? I just dont know sometimes,.

But here is the kicker/life issue stuff. We, like all couples have our share of personality differences and while he sometimes feels he can have moods, or be bent out of shape over work, or whatever, but when I have that kind of reaction, I guess he doesnt feel my actions are justified. He wants us to be more affectionate, but he seems to critisize me, over (IMO)little stuff, that in the big picture of life is not important, but it hurts me, and makes me not happy, and when Im not happy, its hard to flip that switch and be affectionate, even if its 2 days later.

His isssues are lack of being able to kindly, and pleasantly discuss any of this. When we have one of these non sex realated blow ups, he turns inward and just stops talking, adn walks around sulking. Then when he does talk, it ALWAYS comes back to how neglected he is and how I dont appreciate him. From MY point of view, that sure doesnt bode well for his case of wanting more affection. He passes it off as it gets too emotional so he shuts down. And I am supposed to just accept that? So what happens, is I feel I am always the one to try to make nice, work things out, get us back on a talking basis. But it seems each time its getting harder and harder.

He just left for work, and while I tried to talk and act nicely, and pleasantly, he left saying HE is feeling unsettled? He is even hinting at not knowing what to do, as if he is thinking he wants to split? leave? just dont know.

Im sorry if this note seems to be rambling, but Im sitting here crying, and upset and just not knowing what to do to make this better.

Thanks for indulging me and reading this..

~d.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 01-04-2006
Wed, 07-11-2007 - 12:03pm

I'm so sorry you feeling so upset.

"My husband and I had another blow up yesterday, that as usual was triggered by something small (in my opinion) and unrelated to the whole sex drive issue, but somehow it always comes back to that."

That's probably for lots of couple, the two are interwined. Have you ever heard someone say when the sex is good, it's 10% of the marriage but when it is bad, it becomes 90% of the marriage's problem. It's because of the deep down resentment and anger that doesn't get let out. Maybe an issue started outside the bedroom but is unresolved so it carried in to the bedroom, then the bedroom issues started and that compounds to the issues back outside the bedroom. It can get to a point where a couple has no idea on how to even deal with things or where to start as things are interwined to the resent and anger. Something seemly so inconsequential suddenly turns into a huge fight. It sounds like that is where the two of you are at.

Do you think your husband would be willing to go to counseling to try to unravel things enough so the two of you can try to focus on dealing and fixing some of the issues? You've been married for so long with things going on for so long, I think you need an independent third party to help the two of you out. Someone who can take a more objective look and make some suggestions.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2007
Wed, 07-11-2007 - 12:42pm

You are sooo correct, tryin.. it IS very complex! As for counseling, he is not open to the idea. And the basic reason why , I suspect, is that many years ago, we did try that route, when we had other issues. The issues 20 years ago, had to do with us BOTH working FULL time OUTSIDE the home. At that time most of the issues were dealing with his 1950's attitude about his god given rights to have a cooked meal every night. As well as other house hold type issues. We saw a counselor, and laid it all out for him, and bottom line was, the counselor (a man btw) pretty much took MY side, and H felt he was being picked on. Even back then, it was his poor me stuff.

The situation is different these days, and I work mostly from my home (yes, lucky me) tho I do travel for work a few weeks a year. EVEN with that, I do simple things like make sure he has a few pre made ready meals, for when Im gone. When I am home, I STILL am the one he relies on for roughly 5 dinners and 5 lunches a week. Yet, he doesnt feel appreciated??

I sometimes think, this really has to come to a head, and find a breaking point before it can be fixed. He has hinted at trial separation and while the thought terrifies me, it may be what has to happen. In all the years, thru good times and bad, I have NEVER been one to even hint at that. My values and belief systems are, that when 2 people love each other (and I never doubted that I love him, and he loves me) then, they just keep working at whatever the issues are. Sometimes you find reslove, sometimes you have to just keep looking, trying, whatever. I think marriage, even in the very best of situations requires alot of work...

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-04-2006
Wed, 07-11-2007 - 1:20pm

"I sometimes think, this really has to come to a head, and find a breaking point before it can be fixed. He has hinted at trial separation and while the thought terrifies me, it may be what has to happen. "

This could be a good thing, I mean to hit that breaking point. My wife and I had to hit it to turn things around. We came to the point are we staying together or not? Yes so we both make changes. Expect the ups and downs to go with making the changes happen and continue to do so after the biggest changes occur but work to keep moving ahead and not fall back on old ways. I should note that it was very much a timing thing. If we had hit the breaking point a few years early, it mostly likely would have ended in divorce. I think we were too far a part in our current thinking at that time to make it work.

"When I am home, I STILL am the one he relies on for roughly 5 dinners and 5 lunches a week. Yet, he doesnt feel appreciated??"

I think or hope he will learn something about appreciation. He's had 30 years of not doing this. It might be a good wake up call for him. He may also find that you can learn to live without him and that would even be a bigger shock for him.

"I think marriage, even in the very best of situations requires alot of work... "

That's something that has never been stress in all the years I have seen folks get married. I just heard and seen lots of folks smirk, rolleye, etc or mumble as someone walks away "you'll find out your relationship is no different from anyone else. You'll see how much work it is." When I heard that one, I didn't quite understand it as I was young and single at the time. I understand now. :-)

I guess you see what the next step may be when he gets back. Or are you willing to start forging ahead yourself to see if this can bring about the breaking the point? I'm sure you stating you're ready to do the seperation would throw him for a curve. Maybe he might even be open to counseling again? Probably low odds but when push comes to shove, who can say with 100% certainty?




Edited 7/11/2007 1:24 pm ET by tryinghard55
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2007
Thu, 07-12-2007 - 9:28am

I have a hard decision to make today. I was hopeing to get a little more input here, but I guess its just not to be.

I am terrified, but think some of the things tryinghard had to say had some interesting thoughts.

I am in the thought process today, of deciding if I should maybe pack up a few things, and my dogs, and check into an extended stay hotel/suites place. The scenario in my mind, at least at this moment, is to write a note, as pleasant but meaningful as I can, and just go. It "seems" to be what he keeps hinting at, and I dont know if calling his bluff would make it easier for him, or if it would show him what a not good idea it is.

Last night, was our usual, silent night stuff. I think thats the part of these breakdowns hurts and bothers me the most. I did try to start the conversation yesterday morning, and he was talking in that angry condescending way, and just always excuses it, as he gets too emotional and gets tangled up in his words.. (which of course is just ONE more thing I am supposed to accept, but he does not feel he has to accept any of my shortcomings). He ended the discussion yesterday morning with, we'll discuss it later after work. Well afer work came and went, and there was no discussion. I did not want to be the one to bring it up again, for fear he would just come back at me with the "I need my space" line. So I let it be.

This morning, same, no discussion, he left for work, not even coming into my office where I was working to say (or like when things are ok, kiss me) goodbye, just called in from the kitchen, he was leaveing, see you later.

I can put up with shortcomings and lord knows he , as well as I have em, we ALL do, ya? I can put up with painful discussion. I can even put up moping and pouting to a degree. But I am just SOO SICK AND TIRED of, this every time, something throws him out of joint, is to deal with this X number of days of silent treatment. I just sooo do NOT deserve that.

Maybe not being here when he gets home will remind him of all the good I do, I just dont know.

Any input? Anyone think this is a good idea? A bad idea? Im just soo torn and confused about what the right thing to do is..

Avatar for holdingontoit
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-02-2004
Thu, 07-12-2007 - 9:31am

I would look into the divorcebusting web site.

When you see it coming, duck!

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2007
Thu, 07-12-2007 - 9:38am

I am really NOT wanting to throw in the towel, that was my whole point of my post yesterday. I understand and accept that marriage is not perfect, and that constant compromise and patience and acceptance and understanding are just some of the tools of struggle we have to constantly juggle.

My thoughts on leaving, for a short time, are soley based on some of his, hinting, about, maybe we should end it, or some such language, that he was hinting at, and has in the past

Where is this 180 website?

Thanks

Avatar for holdingontoit
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-02-2004
Thu, 07-12-2007 - 9:52am

When you see it coming, duck!

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-04-2006
Thu, 07-12-2007 - 10:02am

As for what to do, I was throwing out thoughts and ideas. Sometimes they seem to the negative because sometimes I want to see how much folks really want to remain in the relationship. I was hoping to see some good counterpointers.

I think you're looking to find out what your husband really wants to do with this relationship. He may have put out the idea of leaving just to see what you would do. He has no intention of leaving. Hard to say what he is expecting out of it.

As for the 180, I think Hold means check out the website to try a different set of tactics. What you both keep doing isn't working for the relationship so at least you try something else. The website would be for ideas.

Is there a particular reason why you have to make a decision today? The idea of a trial separation, if you decide to try it out, doesn't have to mean divorce though it seems lots of folks use it as the first step out to get the door. It can be used at time for each other, away from each other, to think about relationship and how you might go about changing this since you both know that is currently going on isn't working for the relationship. So not sure what the rush is for today. Take time to check out that link and see if you can find out resources out on the web for starters.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2007
Thu, 07-12-2007 - 10:15am

I did check out that website, some interesting stuff, tho most of it seems a commercial for those coaching services, which also may not be a bad idea.

The idea to do it today I guess just stems from the whole continued silent treatment stuff. That really gets me crazy, and its the recurring thing, that every time we have one of these events, thats his reaction..

The really silly thing, is the actual "incident" that sparked it off this time.. so totally STUPID from where I see it..

I have written a letter to him, and now I just have to see how the day goes, and how I feel. I have all day to stew on it I guess. If I decide to do it, I have the letter ready, if I dont, I can just destroy it, or maybe even give it to him, to tell him what I was considering.. hmmm just dont know...

Just know I have a massive headache now..

Avatar for holdingontoit
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-02-2004
Thu, 07-12-2007 - 11:29am

Do not move out.

When you see it coming, duck!

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