At http://www.reuniting.info/comment/90134#comment-90134 Sender said:
He can't choose to treat you differently if you're not giving him enough information about what your needs and feelings are; when you want sex, when you don't; how you like to be touched, made love to, etc. So I invite you to own your side of his "respect problem". It's vitally important for you to speak up. That will take courage. Courage is not the absence of fear, but action in the face of it. Take a risk!
The way to get the love you want is to be unwilling to settle for anything less.
And in a later post:
Why is this so important to you? If you tell him that, I bet he will understand. Taking a risk is hard because, well...it's taking a risk! If you display your feelings without hiding; tell him what's really going on inside you, are you afraid he'll mock you? Reject you? Whatever it is, you need to take some deep breaths and forge ahead anyway. The only way he'll understand how important it is to you and why is if you tell him. If you don't, all you can expect is resistance.
I also think he needs to know you're not satisfied with the sex. That's a tough one because no man wants to hear that he's bad in bed. But he can't change that without the information; otherwise he'll think things are just peachy and keep doing the same things. It's your responsibility to get the message across; you can't expect him to read your mind!
This is why I continue to read Reuniting - to pick up gems of wisdom and inspiration like these.
My wife hasn't been feeling well recently, and we haven't made love for a couple weeks. Saturday she told me we could make love Sunday morning. Sunday I woke up around 9AM and she was still fast asleep, so I got up and did other stuff, checking back occasionally to see if she had woken up yet. About 12:30 I found she was up and watching YouTube. I asked if she wanted to make love and she said, rather scornfully, as if it was ridiculous for me to ask, "It's afternoon already!"
That's a typical reaction from her, when she's not in the mood. She'll make up bizarre excuses that have nothing to do with the real reasons, and she'll often act as if I'm an inconsiderate jerk for asking. It tends to annoy me because of the implication that I'm a jerk, because she's essentially lying about the real reasons, because discussing the false reasons is a waste of time, and because hiding the real reasons makes it difficult to discuss and resolve the real reasons.
Trying to continue such a conversation rarely does any good, so Sunday I walked away, as I usually would. But just that morning, I had read Sender's first post, and got inspired to try to do something about that annoying communication pattern. I thought a few minutes about what I wanted to say, then went back to talk to my wife.
I asked her to pause the YouTube, which she did and I thanked her. Then I reviewed the situation that had happened earlier. She has a habit of interrupting and taking control of discussions, so it took a while to get through it. Finally I said, "Would you please just let me speak for a minute? I have a request. When I ask you if you want to make love, and you don't feel like it, would you please just say 'I'm tired' or 'I don't feel well'? I'll understand and won't bother you any more about it." There was a lot more discussion where she vented about the usual stuff she likes to vent about. I went away not knowing if I had accomplished anything useful.
Last night I asked her if she would like to make love this morning. She said "I don't think so." But her manner was mild, perhaps even a bit apologetic. Certainly not aggressive like she was before. I shrugged my shoulders, put on a slightly sad face, and went to bed. Later she came to bed, and she cuddled up with me throughout the night, which is unusual. She feels very little need to cuddle, but she knows that I like it a lot. I guess the cuddling was her way to compromise and show me some consideration.
So I guess that conversation helped. She probably had never realized that giving silly and false excuses was annoying to me and not a good way to get me off her back.
I should thank her and tell her I enjoyed the cuddling. Positive reinforcement and all that.