Is every relationship doomed to ML?

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-31-2005
Is every relationship doomed to ML?
12
Mon, 10-31-2011 - 3:32pm

I am sitting here thinking that I will explode soon. I simply cannot spend 99% of my life waiting for DW to be in the mood, and I do not have the resources (physical, emotional) to make the continued attempts to "set the right environment".

It will soon be time to have a frank discussion about going separate ways, which pains me because I really do think she is a wonderful woman. My health and career are starting to suffer, however, and I fear that the continuation of this path with bring my ruin.

So, my question is this - will this simply happen again with the next relationship? Is it always doomed to devolve to ML?

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iVillage Member
Registered: 05-04-2006
Mon, 10-31-2011 - 3:40pm
>>So, my question is this - will this simply happen again with the next relationship? Is it always doomed to devolve to ML?<<

Unless both parties are 100% committed to good negotiation to ensure that no stone is left unturned in the pursuit of a compromise position that will be good enough for everyone involved, the answer is "yes."

It's not ML that is the killer, it's the way the couple HANDLES it. If either of you is intractible in your need to have it precisely your way until the end of time, then that spells destruction. It isn't ML that has come damn close to destroying my 15+ year relationship, it's my DH's unwillingness to meet me 1/2 way and see it as "good enough." So you have to look hard at yourself, and your position on these things, then look hard at your partner and their position, then look really really hard at your communal negotiating skills.
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-31-2009
Mon, 10-31-2011 - 4:43pm
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-21-2003
Mon, 10-31-2011 - 11:47pm
I don't know if EVERY relationship is doomed to become ML, but I believe there are systemic forces in long-term relationships that push against sustained mutual passion. Typically what seems to happen is that the lower-drive partner gradually loses his/her interest in sex as new priorities (work, kids, building a home) take on added importance. Then the higher-drive partner pushes for more intimacy, which drives the lower-drive partner to seek more distance, etc., in an ever-widening spiral. Deborah Tannen of "You Just Don't Understand" renown calls the process "complementary schismogenesis."

F.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-21-2003
Mon, 10-31-2011 - 11:54pm

<< of not taking the other person for granted, and of trying to win the other person's heart on a daily basis>>

I agree with the first part of your premise, but not the second. I wouldn't WANT to be in a relationship where I was expected to focus so intensely on my partner, day in and day out. I have books to write, places to go, kids to raise, and a whole lot of other stuff on my to-do list.

I don't expect my DH to focus on me to the near-exclusion of all else, either. I agree with author St. Exupery's contention that "love is not two people gazing into each other's eyes, but two people gazing out at the world together." I see marriage as a launching pad for conquering the world, rather than an isolated bubble of mutual navel-gazing. I don't need a continuous stream of words and deeds that prove my DH's devotion to me -- knowing that he loves me is good enough for me.

Avatar for moondesert
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Tue, 11-01-2011 - 3:21am

Very little can be said to be true of all relationships, so no, not all relationships are doomed to ML.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-10-2009
Tue, 11-01-2011 - 6:07am

It's almost inevitable that ML will be part of any relationship, even ones where there is substantial compatibility.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-04-2006
Tue, 11-01-2011 - 8:59am
>>I don't need a continuous stream of words and deeds that prove my DH's devotion to me -- knowing that he loves me is good enough for me. Am I weird that way? I don't know<<

If you are weird that way, I am too. It's just not necessary for me to have the constant enmeshment that others describe. Oddly enough, DH and I are "joined at the hip" If I am not at work we are together. Not just in the same general vicinity together, but in the same ROOM together. The furthest apart we are is if I am making dinner and he's working on the computer down the hall, but if I am gone for more than about 15 mins, he's hollering through the house for me to "come look at this" or to ask me some question, or tell me some thought that occurred to him. If I am off work, we are together, end of sentence. Sometimes I find this odd, but I've gotten used to it over the years, and if for some reaons we're not together, it feels funny to me.
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-28-2009
Tue, 11-08-2011 - 5:35pm
secondfiddlecj wrote:

So, my question is this - will this simply happen again with the next relationship? Is it always doomed to devolve to ML?

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-04-2012
Sun, 01-08-2012 - 5:43pm

What's interesting to me about freelancemomma's reply is that I agree. I DO NOT want or need to be the focus of my H attention all day long. The problem is that's what he wants from me. Except it's only measured in sexual fulfillment. It doesn't matter the thousand other things I've done for him that day. The home cooked breakfast and dinner, clothes cleaned & ironed, working out at the gym for 90 minutes a day because he (and I) likes me to look great, the high heels HE likes, on and on. I don't mind any of that. I loved making my husband feel great, including in the bedroom. The issue became when it seemed the only thing he could ever focus on was what I did in the bedroom. I did everything he ever wanted. Sex EVERY SINGLE DAY, often more than once. I was enthusiastic even when I wasn't. I changed things up, whatever it was his latest complaint was. But I believe that sex in marriage is so intertwined with everything else that ML often manifests when there are other issues happening. As I've said on other posts.......I'm NOT LL. I'm actually very HL. It just has to be with someone who values all the other things I do for them.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-31-2009
Mon, 01-09-2012 - 3:22pm


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