killing desire and the guy "Fix It" mindset

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Submitted by emerson on
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I can sense that I'm killing desire. 

And I'm coming to a conclusion about the whole thing.

I'm trying to get her turned on, worrying about my erections, all this nonsense that I thought I got over a long time ago. I'm stressing out about it. So what I need to work on is not working on this.

I feel clearly that I've been very dopamine driven over the past few weeks. It's from months and months of wanting to be desired, pressing myself on her, and her pushing back quietly in her feminine way.

And further, what I see is that a marriage in this type of situation needs the opposite of what was happening previously. I was a source of pressure, so now I let go. I really, really saw today clearly how terrible this state of affairs is when I run this thing with my guy "fix it" mindset. I've said that lots of times in this journey of course, and it is the obvious truth that needs reinforcement.

I think this "opposites" thing is helpful. Louie is right, a man needs to figure out how NOT to make his sexual life the reason for his happiness or non-happiness.

 

My wife is quite willing to have sex with me and is trying hard to relax, if that makes sense. But I'm making way too big a deal out of the whole thing. How awful for her and for me.

So I'll stop.

 

 

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A fine line~

Emerson, it sounds like you are doing some soul-searching and that is so good.

May I add something here? Just be sure you realize there is a fine line between stopping the pressure and yet still showing your wife how beautiful she is and how much you desire her.

I think it would be a mistake to just leave her alone and work on yourself (I know you didn't say that was what you planned to do, but just in case!)...please be sure to continue with the sweet caresses, beautiful words to her, etc. But do those things while still letting her have space to come to you when she is ready. I hope that makes sense? When a man can show interest and desire and then let it go and let it be just that~~it gives a woman the space to finally relax and not feel something is *wanted* from her...and then she can start to kindle her own desire (which is where you want to be ultimately).

That is what Louie is doing and I think his wife is starting to respond in a way that lets her feel it is *her* sexuality coming to the surface (not faked and not being forced because she thinks he expects it).

It's not a game (so one should be careful of saying, "what I'm doing is working")~~it's a new way to be in your relationship so that even though you are still the male, still the "giver," you have a partner who is receptive and open because she trusts you, she wants you and she desires you.

Dopamine

You mentioned being 'very dopamine driven' recently. As it happened, I chanced on this website a while ago:

http://dopamineproject.org

The author suggests keeping a dopamine diary!

http://dopamineproject.org/2013/01/keeping-a-dopamine-diary-can-make-you...

From my brief perusal, it looks like it would require ruthless self scrutiny; but you're clearly not afraid of that.

Personally, I wouldn't venture down this path, as I'm increasingly coming to believe that over analysis of what underlies a relationship leads to a certain detachment from it that is detrimental, overall. I would favour an emphasis on direct connection, which just means 'being there', no matter what, leaving the steering for whoever's at the wheel.

I would also consider the relevance of "wanting to be desired", and whether it actively prevents you 'being desired' - that is, enjoying the contact (sexual and otherwise) your wife seems quite happy to have with you. I would give her the benefit of the doubt, and assume she does desire you, but in a way that is uniquely hers, rather than yours.

yep

Rachel, thank you. This is my natural inclination and good point.

Sood, thank you. Yes, I'm not planning on a self analysis expedition. I was thinking really about it in terms of just getting into a more self contained less dependent mode by focusing on all the stuff I do and have going and not so much on sex with my wife. It's simple really. Like I'm going to Yoga class tomorrow very early instead of cuddling or worrying about sex. Like that, really simple, just living my life. 

And also, great point about re-framing "wanting to be desired." I hadn't thought of it that way but this is precisely what makes sense. It is her way. 

And the truth is she IS working on it and IS doing better herself, and rightfully resents my pressure. So this will work out just fine. We had sex today and it was much better if not for my intensity. She is practicing relaxing and focusing, and it makes a real difference. 

I'm a lucky man. I feel very grateful to be with my wife.  And lucky also to have you all to help me.

Thank you.

Emerson

I think its natural for a guy to be direction/action driven, its often how we get things done. Sex can be a funny thing as so many emotions get stirred into the mix which make good judgement difficult. I use this line "am I serving myself or the relationship with this thought or action" as a guide. If, when I check inside, its serves me, I wait. If I feel its really serving the relationship, or better yet, is this serving the feminine, then I move forward, rechecking my motives as I go. Even if I discover self serving motives while doing this its easier to get back on track when I keep the self awareness. A good pilot requires the compass of true service, in my opinion. Who and what am I serving. I believe the man's true masculine place is in service to the feminine, not the other way around as our culture has taught us.

Its easy to get out ahead of where the feminine is residing. Back up to the point where you're getting those genuine "yes's" of her invitation and feminine expression. You can feel where that is.

Sailing with the wind

I think there is a good analogy that describes the difference between men and women when it comes to sexual energy.

Imagine that sex is a sail boat. The man's sex drive is the motor. Provided that it is in good repair, the motor will always start. You typically need the motor to get out of port into open water. However, you cannot sail with the motor. You can only putter around with it.

The woman's sexual energy is the wind. The wind is unpredicatable. Some days it is blowing hard and other days it is not blowing at all. The variables involved are complicated. You can predict it to some degree. However, you cannot force the wind to blow.

My approach used to be that I would decide I wanted to sail, get in the boat, start the motor and leave port. If I was lucky the wind would be blowing and I could go sailing. However, most days I returned to port grumpy and frustrated that there was no wind today.

I have gotten much smarter.

I am much better now at sensing what the wind is doing at any given time. If there is a good wind then I will happily get in the boat, fire up the motor and head out. If there is no wind then I will just stay home and find something else to do. I work with the reality of the moment.

And yes, there are some long stretches in which the wind is not blowing. More correctly, there are many days on which the wind is blowing hard at about 2:00PM but is gone by the time the kids are in bed :) It dies off as the evening passes.

I have a plan for that one. Next year both kids will be in full-day school and afternoon sailing becomes a workable option. I am all set up to work from home now. Thank God for flex hours :)

In any case, the key for me is to not be uspet when my wife is not in the mood. It is not a judgement on me or our relationship. It is just the reality of her sexual energy.

In your case I think the wind rarely blows strong. However, there will be some days that are better than others. You can learn how to discern what your wife's good days are and choose to be assertive on those days. Don't try to schedule it. Just feel it out for a while. It may turn out that there is a natural flow that the two of you can fall into.

Beautiful!

What a beautiful way to think of it, Louie!

I think I could use that analogy to also describe our individual "sessions" of lovemaking~~some days we are being pushed by a strong wind and other days we just sail along calmly~~fortunately, we always seem to be on the same course! I think that goes back to that innate "intelligence" the bodies (and genitals) have for each other over time as they learn to listen to each other.

everything I do...

to fix things, makes her feel worse. She is so shut down. That's why I used that subject for this post. Any attempt to fix things, improve things, do anything about things in my direct guy way, seems to backfire. I am not sure what to do. Just trying to hang out and see what happens without doing anything much or talking about anything either.

 

yes that is true

I'm just letting her be. We cuddle, spend time, have some sex that she kind of initiates. I say kind of, because I feel she is doing it just for me. Now the next step is to not want sex at all, not to flirt, not to do anything around sex. See how that works for awhile. The opposite of what I've been all about, basically.

 

The Dance

You could try flirting and teasing without any intention of having sex. I think that will work better than just stopping all intimacy. Meet her at her current comfort level, and over time her comfort level will expand.

we are having intimacy now

I am changing some of my behavior though so as not to "expect" this or that, and notice needy behaviors and stopping them. Thankfully we are still having a lot of intimacy though. It's mostly good, I am grateful for it.

Thanks Louie!

what I am thinking on this

is that we have to do things opposite to the dynamic that got us here. Let me give you some examples.

In my world our dynamic is me being a bit too controlling. So I have to back off on that a bit. And I am doing so. Without the resentment when she says no, with pure delight in whatever she says. And it is working. We are having very intimate moments and the sex is getting a lot better too. It hasn't been a long draught at all.

It turns out that if I can really be in the moment and unattached to any outcome except that she is happy, things work out quite nicely. I can't have a fix-it mentality or a goal focused approach. That is totally off the table, and getting rid of that is my challenge which I am meeting pretty well.

For other people I think they have to do what's opposite their dynamic. Some guys have a problem just being beta, nice guys. I have a buddy who hasn't had sex for two years in his marriage and he's very beta. If he is going to just hang out and wait for her to respond, he won't ever have sex again in this marriage.

So for him, he has to do things opposite of what he's been doing. Be more alpha, more controlling perhaps. I can't judge what others should or shouldn't do, but it has to be different from what he is doing.

In my case, my wife is very loving and wants to have more desire. She wants me to pull back and give her space, so I'm doing that. She is responding. All good. 

I also think that for my wife, having orgasms is important. I think she needs to explore her sexuality a lot more in this new light. For other women that wouldn't be so, but for her, as she is a low drive person anyway, I think it is.