A vent after last night's argument

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-22-2010
A vent after last night's argument
303
Wed, 07-13-2011 - 9:29am

So no real movement on the "open marriage" thing..I'm reading Opening Up by Triastan Taromino, which is an OK book, but it's mainly a list and discussion of the different types of non-monogamous relationships. Any advice in the book suffers from the same problem as books about mismatched libidos--Everything is based on the concept that this is an issue that everyone involved wants to work on fixing. However, the problem with MY relationship is that the LL partner doesn't really see a problem (beyond me not simply being happy with what I have.)

I don't actually want an open relationship, I still desire my wife more than anyone. Also I'm sure it wouldn't work because my wife is unwilling/unable to have frank, open-minded discussions of sex.

I found out something interesting last night, though. My wife was kind of giving me a hard time about my friendship with my good friend's ex-girlfriend. My wife isn't really the jealous type, so I found her discomfort somewhat amusing. I jokingly mentioned that I thought our relationship was open now so I'm free to pursue sex with other women. She didn't find that at all funny, which isn't surprising. The surprising thing that came out was that if we did open our relationship, she would also expect to be able to date other men. Even

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iVillage Member
Registered: 05-04-2006
Wed, 07-13-2011 - 9:41am
fakename,

Wow, last night must have been the night for fighting...see my post! I am the one here in an open relationship....I think I'm the only one. I am the LL, and no, I don't date other men, but honestly, it's not a good and equitable solution for most folks to do it that way. If your wife wants it open all the way, there's not much to do but either abandon non-monogamy or let her date. It's too unfair, imo. I am not bothered much by it, but it does stick in my craw sometimes that he can date and I can't, esp in the larger scope of how unfair things can be in my life.

It may not be that she wants more or better sex, but DIFFERENT sex. And that you cannot give. You are who you are, she is who she is. I know that is hard to wrap your head around, as you don't really want different sex, but she might....something to consider there.

I'm sorry you're in this position. Don't know what else to say about it. If you have any questions about non-monogamy, I'd be happy to answer them for you (to the best of my ability.)
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-22-2010
Wed, 07-13-2011 - 11:47am


"It may not be that she wants more or better sex, but DIFFERENT sex. And that you cannot give. You are who you are, she is who she is. I know that is hard to wrap your head around, as you don't really want different sex, but she might...Something to consider there."

I don't know about this--I am the one asking for different sex. She is the one who insists things are pretty good the way they are, tells me I have unrealistic expectations, wants to know who I'm comparing us to, etcetera.

You have given me something to think about..She might be able to convince me that she should also see other people, but first I would require to know what "different sex" she wants. If she is being honest to me (and were she to be honest to potential sex partners) I can't see many men being interested. I mean, she is beautiful, but I'm not sure that would be enough for a man interested in dating a woman in an open relationship once he heard what she is looking for.

If my wife were to write an honest personal ad, it would be something like this:

"Sex three to four times a month. Nearly always missionary position with you on top. You will be expected to go down on me each time, but don't expect reciprocation. You can try to withhold oral in order to create some kind of equity, but be warned: that's my favorite thing, and If I'm not getting that, you're not getting anything. You will get a BJ on your birthday, father's day, and one sometime during the winter holiday season. There will be potential for as many as two other occasions for fellatio annually, but please expect several days of argument, begging, and negotiation leading up to it--I will make sure you feel weirdly creepy and resentful even as I go down on you, if I eventually do. Good luck enjoying that! If you don't remind me that BJs are your absolute favorite and ask specifically for them, I might even skip the guaranteed holiday ones."

"I want someone who is interested in me. I don't like movies other than romantic comedies, chick flicks, and silly/screwball comedies. I rarely watch even these types of movies. I used to read, but between kids and television, I don't have much time for that anymore. I hope that you're able to find someone who watches several hours a night of reality television along the lines of Real Housewives of _______ interesting, because that's what I'm into."

"You can try all the standard things--Make sure the house is clean, the kids are taken care of, I get plenty of non-sexual affection, all that stuff. Doing those things won't do anything to ramp up my enthusiasm for sex, but not doing those things will certainly make me feel like not putting out."

"I am very attractive and in good shape. I have never dealt with sexual/romantic rejection, so expect no sympathy when my constant rejection of your advances crush your self-esteem and self confidence. Seriously, I had men almost literally fighting over me in college, so I really haven't the slightest clue what it's like for you."


iVillage Member
Registered: 05-04-2006
Wed, 07-13-2011 - 12:05pm
You are missing my point. It may be, that for her, once the newness of a relationship wears off, what you describe is where she settles in. She may be perfectly happy to stay right in that zone to be with you. However, in a NEW relationship, she might feel much differently. I know I do.

In order for me to muster up enthusiasm to do the types of things you are implying you want....passion, oral, etc, I have to be in the throes of new relationship energy. Once I have a history and baggage with a person, well, that just isn't happening. It sucks. I'm aware of that, but I can't change it. I don't know if your wife is that way or not, but it's worth considering.

Also she may not be looking for a sexual partner per se, but wants to not create the type of inequality that a one sided non-monogamy creates. Or she may be thinking that by drawing this line in the sand it will dissuade you from pursuing non-monogamy entirely. It's hard to say for certain, since I don't know much about her.
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-04-2007
Wed, 07-13-2011 - 12:10pm

but first I would require to know what "different sex" she wants.

Good distraction frees us from emotional pain, bad distraction gives you a mouth full of whizz. ~~~ Guru Tugginmypudha
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-04-2006
Wed, 07-13-2011 - 12:11pm
>>Maybe, misses the chase & being pursued. You're already caught<<

THIS...yes yes yes, so much this...
Avatar for holdingontoit
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-02-2004
Wed, 07-13-2011 - 1:23pm
Sorry to be the one to deliver the ugly truth. She may be into sex in general, just not into sex with you. It may be, as Miranda said, that your wife is only into sex with any particular guy during the initial infatuation phase. Once that is over, she isn't into sex with that guy. In that case, it isn't you, its is her.

The good news is that there is a partial cure for that. Trigger adrenaline. Go skydiving or hang gliding or bungee jumping or roller coasters. Anything that pumps up the excitement factor. That helps trigger sexual interest in those who are turned on by the "newness factor".

Or maybe she just isn't that sexually attracted to you, but married you for all your other good qualities. Kudos to you for having so many good qualities. bd on her for misleading you. Unfortuantely, if that is what you are dealing with, much more difficult to solve. If you can get her to admit the truth, you might get her to relax her prohibition on trying new things. Because that is probably the only chance you have of creating an acceptable sex life.

What you face is not easy to resolve. Best of luck in addressing it.

When you see it coming, duck!

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-22-2010
Wed, 07-13-2011 - 1:43pm

"In order for me to muster up enthusiasm to do the types of things you are implying you want...Passion, oral, etc, I have to be in the throes of new relationship energy. Once I have a history and baggage with a person, well, that just isn't happening. It sucks. I'm aware of that, but I can't change it. I don't know if your wife is that way or not, but it's worth considering."

I guess everyone has their own reasons for sticking around, but if you don't have kids why would you stay? Does the fact that you're LL mean that you don't miss all the feelings that you can only experience in a new relationship? (Or at least, you don't miss them enough to sacrifice the security you have in your current relationship.) Especially as a woman--For a heterosexual woman, sex of one kind or another will always be available, which isn't the case for a man who wants to have sex with women.

I remember just a few years ago standing in a club with a friend of mine talking about how great being married was. We looked around the place and talked about how awful it would be to not have a partner, to be out there at age 40 trying to make a connection with someone when by this point in life everyone comes with so much baggage...

What a load of sanctimonious crap, eh?

Now I look at my single peers with envy. The reality is they have less baggage than everyone else. They simply move on when things get stale or boring. There is no real payoff to sticking things out once the majority of your sexual advances start being rejected. There is no reward for being a sexual martyr. Statistically I might have sex more times than my friends who never settle down, but they already have had more good sex than I ever will.*

*KIDS CHANGE EVERYTHING. Studies show that childless people are happier. I am sure that is true, but children bring you something different and in some ways better than happiness. My kids are the cause of my problems--Before they came along my wife doled out quite a bit more sex over the years. Now she knows I won't leave, so she doesn't have to do anything to keep me around. My kids are also what keep me going. I can look at them and know with absolute certainty that my wife and I were meant to be together. They are SO good, SO beautiful, SO happy and perfect that I know that in spite of everything we are doing something right. In spite of EVERYTHING we seem to be really naturally good parents. When I compare my kids' behavior to others, I'd have to say that we are GREAT parents. It's my children that make me long for a connection with their mother. Hopefully they'll never invent a time machine in my lifetime, because if I had to go back before they were here and choose between personal fulfillment and creating these two wonderful human beings, I'm not sure what I would decide.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-04-2006
Wed, 07-13-2011 - 1:52pm
>>Does the fact that you're LL mean that you don't miss all the feelings that you can only experience in a new relationship? (Or at least, you don't miss them enough to sacrifice the security you have in your current relationship.) <<

I don't know if it is "security" that I am wanting to keep. I just don't want to spend the rest of my life chasing good sex. I want to be with someone, love them, be loved, share, grow old, etc. For me the point of having a relationship is not to have good sex, it's to BE with somebody, to be able to count on them, to know they have your back, and that they'll love you even in hard times. Besides, even if I was willing to chuck it all to chase good sex, I doubt that good sex would come falling out of the sky for me at this point in my life. I'm 44, I'm short, I'm dumpy, I just don't have that much to offer.
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-03-2009
Wed, 07-13-2011 - 1:54pm

...you desperately need to read this board...as many messges as you can...you are thinking about this from your standpoint...stop it...you can't read her mind, so you've got to go with her actions and listen to her words...here's what we know...she doesn't want to have sex with YOU very often...she's willing to compromise by scheduling sex with you, so that's good...she cannot, I repeat, cannot conjure feelings of desire for you if she doesn't feel them, the best she may be able or willing to do is to provide scheduled sex once a week (you can always renegotiate for two times a week if that doesn't work for you and see what she says)...she will not, however, be able to provide you with feeling desired...(you'll have to decide if having her be available to you an agreed amount of times a week is good enough...if not, then it's not...just as she can't feel desire she doesn't feel for you, you can't feel satisfaction with scheduled sex that is not given with desire...you can't feel what you can't feel)...she has told you that if you open the relationship up, she gets to screw other people too...so, there you...that is fair...she may not want to have sex with you, but she might enjoy it with new partners...when miranda said "different sex" she didn't mean different kinds of sex, she meant sex with different partners...maybe your wife wants that to...so, you've got some decisions to make...are you open to negotiating an agreeable amount of scheduled encounters a week and are you willing to "settle" for this sex and calling "good enough" if this is the woman that you want to live with and procreate with and save money with and grown old with....or, do you want to pursue sex with others while your wife does the same...or, do you want to end this relationship and seek a partner that MAY more closely match you and your libido?...as an LL, I would not open the relationship, I would compromise...if my compromise isn't good enough and my husband wants to open the relationship up, then I am going to go out and pursue different sex too...if I'm not good enough for him, then maybe I'll get my needs to be good enough for someone else met...

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-04-2006
Wed, 07-13-2011 - 2:00pm
>>maybe I'll get my needs to be good enough <<<

Ah....THIS is the need I'm not getting met. I wonder if it is a real and legitimate "need" or just a "want"......

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