Monday, January 23, 2012

Keep your fingers crossed

I went out on a limb - it was really not an easy thing to do - but I was frustrated and that frustration was creeping into the rest of my life.  I told my husband that I wasn't happy with our sex life and that although I at first thought it was mostly on me - I am now convinced it is both of us.

It isn't easy to talk to my husband because he is absolutely not capable of having a conversation where he reveals anything about himself.  He will just sit there and hope the conversation ends and life returns to normal.  He doesn't know how to argue or really express himself at all.  The kicker is that he is a counselor - when he is working he is brilliant - can really reach people and get to the root of a problem.   He absolutely cannot do that in his own life.

Now I knew this when I married him and 95% of the time it doesn't matter - 5% of the time it is really frustrating.  I know this won't change and that is sad - but I also know that it is part of who he is - it is deeply rooted in him from his childhood.  Part of marriage is accepting the other person completely and I accept that.

He promised to try harder at everything - at communication, at the little things I need, and at not getting lazy in our marriage.

I am hopeful that now that we talked (although I did the talking) things will really improve.  I am glad that I found the courage to express myself and my concerns.  I didn't realize how rejected I felt by the lack of intimacy.  Now I need to make sure that I am delivering on my end of the bargain and not keeping things in until they reach a boiling point - I need to express my needs and also be the best wife I can.



  1. I'm impressed, Mrs Yes. You have ovaries! Keep up the awesome work--communication is a bonus, and I'm so excited that you've seen progress and epiphanies already, less than a month into your project.

    I'm determined to be a regular reader and see how this plays out (wish you had an RSS feed!). I'm rooting for you. :)

  2. "He will just sit there and hope the conversation ends"

    This is how men approach most conversations with women that aren't about how awesome we are, or how you're going to do that thing we always wanted you to do but you never would.

    It's hardwired into the male brain.

    "He doesn't know how to argue or really express himself at all."

    Well, he probably does, given his career, but has no incentive to do so. He has no visceral sense of why it would be good if he did, so he does what seems the most likely to have the highest degree of benefit, at least intuitively.

    "Part of marriage is accepting the other person completely and I accept that."

    Part of marriage is also, like you are doing, changing yourself and seeing what comes up . . . but not expecting your partner to do a 180 overnight. But if you make positive changes and ask for what you want, and explain what you would prefer, without a lot of judgement or too much expectation, you can accept the other person while seeing what else might come out of the relationship, even after having been married so long. I've been taking this tact with my wife (and we've been married 20 years), and it's been turning out well. And if changes didn't show up . . . I wouldn't worry about it. And when I see positive changes one day and they are gone the next . . . I don't worry about it. I just make sure the doors are open, so if the winds of change do happen to blow, I get to feel a cool breeze. ;)

    "Now I need to make sure that I am delivering on my end of the bargain and not keeping things in until they reach a boiling point"

    Indeed, that's counter productive. If you want to make sure that you don't get what you want, the "boiling point" approach is the one to take. ;)

  3. Yea! You began getting more comments. I find it interesting and not at all surprising that they are from men. Many of us are interested in improving the way we relate to our wives. To be part of this process watching you develop is very intruiging and educative. All us guys seem to be rooting for you.

    I am of like opinions with KW. He is capable of doing anything he damn well pleases. We are shaped by our history, but do not have to be controlled by it. If we continue to function in a dysfunctional way, it is because there is a payoff for doing so. DH is a counselor and knows that. He also knows his problems and knows no one can effect a permanent change in his behavior but him. I am willing to bet as I read further that the two of you reach a point where you will have to create a desire in him to change.

    Accepting a person does not mean approving of them as they are in every way. Your three choices are to accept, tolerate or reject his behavior. In reality, toleration is really not a choice. It is a non-choice when we are not willing to make one of the other two necessary ones. So my money here is on a short period of toleration by you while waiting for him to respond, like the last twenty years haven't been enough, followed my your laying it out as either/or for him, not as an utltimatum, just as the reality that there are only those two choices. You can accept things as they are, which is a willing, resigned choice in which he will continue as he wants with no resistance or disapproval from you or, you will reject his behavior as unacceptable and he will have to renegotiate your relationship with him.

    I am sorry for the difficut times that seem to be ahead, but I feel certain you are up to the challenge and he will rise to the ocassion too. We shall see.

    Good choice about not being a simmering pot. Much easier to deal with issues as they come up.