what does it take for a LL to accept regular sex?

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-24-2011
what does it take for a LL to accept regular sex?
12
Tue, 10-25-2011 - 2:30am
Magnaniman asked me a question in another thread and rather than hijack the thread I'll answer it here. He wanted to know how I went from being a LL woman who would gratefully go without sex with my H for months if I could to accepting sex twice a week.

Unsurprisingly, there is no one simple answer but I can think of at least six factors that contributed:

1. I realised that my H was seriously thinking about / planning life without me and that I could not keep taking his lifelong love and commitment for granted

2. I read many many posts here which articulated the pain and rejection a HL spouse feels after years of rejection. My H had hinted at some of those feelings but had never expressed them as strongly and clearly as this Board does

3. My H started to attract attention from other women which made me realise that as we get older (we are nearly 40) his stock will continue to go up in the relationship market whereas I can't imagine ever finding another partner who would be as good a H and father as he is

4. I accepted that many of my turnoffs (esp my H's obesity) were never going to change and that I could spend my life withholding sex and waiting for him to change or I could focus on loving him just the way he is

5. I came to understand that one of the most distressing aspects of our ML was the uncertainty. I was always on edge at night never knowing when he would ask for sex and he was on edge not knowing whether he would be rejected. By explicitly agreeing that we would have sex once during the week and once during the weekend - and that I would indicate which days were ok for me - we reduced the uncertainty and therefore the stress of the situation

6. My H identified a few of my favourite indulgences - receiving a cup of tea in bed in the morning or flowers from the market - and started to consistently provide them the morning after sex but not at any other time. So now even when I'm really, truly not in the mood I at least know I have something nice to look forward to.

I'm not sure if any of that helps Magnaniman? The things on my list probably make me sound like a total bit@h but as far as I can identify triggers for change those are what made a difference.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 09-16-2004
Tue, 10-25-2011 - 8:37am

You don't sound like a bitch at all. Thank you for your responses. I hope they can help other LLs reach the same level of grace and understanding that you did. Thankfully, it seems like my DW has as well, though for mostly different reasons.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-10-2009
Tue, 10-25-2011 - 8:44am

Thanks so much for posting - I'd never underestimate the difficulty or cost for the LL in generosity like this, and think there is quite a lot the HL can do to help.

If I can echo/add some things that have helped DW & me:

yes - realisation that this was a showstopper

yes - her understanding the depth of pain involved (and likewise, me understanding her reactions better, and accepting her lack of interest)

yes - her realisation that maybe I had some redeeming qualities, that I would be attractive to others,and that my weaknesses were livable.

yes - a semi-schedule at weekends and midweek; this allows her to be "safe" most of the time, and also to get her lust gland in operation in advance.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-24-2011
Tue, 10-25-2011 - 3:13pm
Wow MoL, what an AMAZING post!! OMG you actually "get" what it's like to be LL!!

Yes, I would LOVE to feel good enough. A huge barrier for me was the feeling that whether we did it twice a week a twice a year my H would still be dissatisfied and want more so why bother putting myself out.

Yes, it really helps when he accepts that sometimes this is just about him and that I neither want or need the expectation that I will have an O too.

Yes, my desire is almost entirely reactive and 6 times out of 10 once we've started I do actually feel some enjoyment.

Yes, I think intimacy is important in a M and I feel better about myself and about us when I know that I am doing my best to keep that part of our relationship alive.

The alternate weeks approach lasted for exactly one week and that was 'my week" of no sex. On day 1 of my H's week I freaked out and realised I better do some serious negotiating to get myself out of an agreement that terrified me. Hence the twice weekly semi-schedule :)

I am really glad things are working out well for you and Magnaniman and I really appreciate both.your efforts to understand the LL perspective.

Kat
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-31-2009
Tue, 10-25-2011 - 4:37pm
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-31-2005
Sat, 10-29-2011 - 4:29pm

"My H identified a few of my favourite indulgences - receiving a cup of tea in bed in the morning or flowers from the market - and started to consistently provide them the morning after sex but not at any other time. So now even when I'm really, truly not in the mood I at least know I have something nice to look forward to."

I really have to applaud your attentiveness to detail and your understanding of the problem, and for kickstarting a very good thread.

This is perhaps where I diverge from other HL's however...I would find the above to be just another slap in the face. Perhaps it is years of disinterest and rejection that put me in that frame of mind, but I want a partner that wants to participate, not someone who is waiting for it to be over.

If your DH provides this ONLY when you have sex, does it not kinda feel like, you know...

"...we are merely haggling over the price" - Winston Churchilll

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iVillage Member
Registered: 01-24-2011
Sat, 10-29-2011 - 5:40pm
Second Fiddle, I really appreciate your comments. You are quite right. I am willing to participate because it makes my H happy. I don't want to participate for my own benefit because I rarely feel any spontaneous desire, my H's obesity opresses me, and if it were just up to me I would usually prefer to spend the time in other ways.

I am however very, very open to ideas and suggestions for creating some desire because I'm sure the experience would be better for both my H and myself if I did want it.

Kat
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-24-2011
Sat, 10-29-2011 - 5:51pm
PS I should add that most of the time, once we start, I do feel pleasure and usually have an O so I am not simply "waiting for it to be over".
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-10-2009
Sat, 10-29-2011 - 6:43pm

"haggling about the price" - Oscar Wilde

"we shall fight them on the beaches" - Winston Churchill

"To be is to do" - Descartes

"To do is to be" - Satre

"Do be do be do" - Sinatra.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-24-2011
Sat, 10-29-2011 - 7:02pm
Thanks MoL - that made me smile :) Are you suggesting that I keeping "doing" and the "being" will follow?
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-10-2009
Sun, 10-30-2011 - 8:47am

I guess both can work!

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