Thoughts of attraction and rejection (and forcing yourself)

Submitted by Kioavito on
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I am not naturally attracted to my wife. I know that's a weird thing to say, but it's true. Animal attraction isn't the basis of our relationship: I love her, and I want to be with her, because she's a wonderful person, very intelligent, loyal, and honest.

That said, I need to work at this sex thing. I mean, it's not that I have a low drive, but that feeling attraction to my wife requires intentional action on my part... which makes rejection even more discouraging.

A few days ago we had sex. Regular sex, and yes, I did orgasm. But then I decided I want to really try to make thing work with Karezza, which means two things for me: (1) Have sex more often, and (2) don't orgasm.

So yesterday I decided I want to have sex again. We actually discussed it right after the last time we had sex. She said sure, but that I would have to be the one to initiate. So, I did. I started with a relaxing massage -- with lots of love, and it wasn't a brush-off. It was around ten minutes of massaging her, both fully clothed, the way she likes it.

I then took off her shirt and started gently stroking her back, which is another thing she likes. She was very passive (relaxed from the massage, I guess, which is fine). She just lay there quietly as I did this.

A few moments later, I wanted to take things farther and wanted her to turn over so that we could have sex. That's when she expressed reluctance -- she simply didn't want to. I mean, I tried gently turning her over, and she made sounds that basically said "no." She understood what I wanted, and didn't want the same thing. So, rather than force the issue (very counter productive, obviously), I decided to stop.

At this point, I wasn't particularly aroused. I was feeling like I'm giving and giving, and there's no reciprocation. So, I just gently covered her with the blanket and let her rest while I lay beside her. I was feeling rejected and discouraged, but I wasn't angry with her.

A few moments later she got dressed and we both started reading, which is what we generally do before going to sleep. She then turned in and I kept reading, until she complained about the light and I turned in as well. I really didn't feel like touching her at all, but she put her hand on me.

This morning I woke up feeling kind of sad, which is something that happens when there's too little karezza (I think that's why, at least). I didn't pay too much mind to it, though, not wanting to make it into a big deal. I was then standing by the kitchen holding some food, telling her a story of something nice that happened (pretty upbeat)... and then I dropped the food on the floor, making a mess.

Of course I went to clean it, but she didn't like the way I was doing it, saying I was "lazy" for not getting the vaccum out. She wasn't mad or anything, but it wasn't a great feeling for me.

I finished cleaning up and went reading (we both didn't have to leave for work right away). She then asked, "if we have sex now, will you stop being sad?" -- I didn't know what to say to that. Yes, I was (am?) a bit sad, but that's definitely not what should be driving our sex. I said no, and she asked what happened.

I really didn't want to make it into a big deal, so I said nothing happened and I'm fine. Starting to blame her for things wasn't going to solve anything. However, turns out that telling her everything's okay wasn't going to cut it, either: She sensed I was introverted or sad, and started feeling guitly about it. Then she got mad at me, blaming me for not telling her what was wrong, etc. etc. By that time she had to leave home for work, so she just left in a huff, mad at me.

This is pretty frustrating. What am I supposed to do? Tell her, yes, I'm sad because yesterday you didn't want to have sex? That's not going to be productive. Or keep forcing myself, just like I force myself to initiate? So, force myself to act happy? That feels fake, and a lie.




I can understand

because I went through something in my life that was similar.

I think it's a matter of getting "in sync" with her. That takes time. A number of months. But it happens if you do bonding, preferably daily. If you hug and cuddle and connect physically without sex every day. 

Because in our relationship I'm the initiator, the doer, and she's almost always in the more passive receptive role. That's how it is. And it always has been. And I suppose that's why we get along so well.

Sometimes it's fun to take a passive role and have her do to in that, I direct her. I will lay on my back and have her stroke me, for instance. She wouldn't do this if I didn't ask. So I ask. Sometimes this helps her get more in the mood. I am not asking her for sexual stroking but for what I call sensual stroking, so that can include caresses of me unit, or not, but not with the intention of getting me aroused (although it does have that effect sometimes.)

Point being, you have to switch things up, do a lot of cuddling and stroking of each other. And this over time will make both of you more in sync with each other so these types of issues that you're going through just stop being a problem.

It works, it really does.

Self image

You may not like this response, but I will give it anyway. All of this comes from personal experience. I am not picking on you. I am just sharing what I have learned (the hard way).

Why does it make you sad that your wife said no to sex? Was it really a rejection of you, or could it be that the honest answer is that she simply did not feel like having sex at that particular time? There is this myth that in a perfectly happy relationship the partners will always want to make love with each other. That is just a myth. Even in the happiest relationship on earth there will be times when one partner does not feel like making love. It is not a judgment on the other partner. It is just a choice about whether or not to have sex right now. You are not the only factor that she considers when deciding whether or not to make love. Her health, fatigue, the weather, the kids, her current level of stress ... all of these things play into it too.

Why does it bother you that your wife did not like the way that you were cleaning the floor? My wife is like that too. She is very opinionated and she tends to voice her opinions. It used to REALLY bother me that she was always trying to correct me on things, even stupid little things like how to clean up a mess on the floor. It made me feel dissapproved of all the time. However, she was not judging me or disapproving of me in general. She was just commenting on how I chose to clean the floor. I have since figured out that my wife is harder on herself than she is on anyone else. If she makes a mistake she judges herself very harshly for it.

Honesty, my wife was not my real problem. My low self esteem was my problem. My wife was a just a trigger that set my low self esteem off. I think that you have the same issue.

You are allowing her behavior to influence how you feel about yourself too much. You are taking little things and passing them through a filter of low self esteem that blows them up into big emotional issues.

Once again, I am speaking from personal experience here. I used to do exactly the same thing.

I think that you should try this experiment:

The next time that your wife criticizes you for something, just say to yourself (in your own mind) "That is just her being her." Then let it go. She is probably not going to change. She will always have her opinions about how things should be done. There is no need to change her in that respect. You just need to change how you react to her. Don't let it bother you, and it won't bother you.

The next time that she says no to sex, just say to yourself (in your own mind) "That is just her being true to herself." When a spouse says no to sex there is a tendency to feel rejected. However, you need to be clear about what exactly is being rejected. Is it you or is it just that she does not feel like having sex right now? Most of the time it really is that she just does not want sex right now. Should she have sex when she does not wnat to? No, I think that she should be honest about whether or not she wants to do it. That is all that your wife is really doing. She is being honest. Accept it for what it is.

These exercises are important because they are a conscious way of deflecting your own mind away from worst case assumptions about why she is doing what she is doing. 99% of the time she is just being herself and giving her honest responses or opinions of the moment. If you start reading more into it, then you are just creating unnecessary suffering for yourself. Don't do that.

As for your low level of attraction, that will change as you get control of your own emotional responses to her. Nothing can screw up sexual attraction faster than a negative emotional vibe. As you practice deflecting your mind away from emotional ways of reacting to her, you will find that the whole vibe of the relationship improves, even though your wife may be exactly the same. As you become more skillful at managing your own inner state, that emotional energy that you currently have with respect to her will dissipate and you will start to see the good in her again.

Once upon a time you fell in love with her. She has qualities that you love and admire. When you get the emotional stuff out of the way, you will remember all of that.


hello I was interested to read what you wrote in this post, and seeing it from a man's point of view. There are many many times when I do not want to make love to my husband, but it does not mean that I do not desire him. I usually just want the cuddles, but I want the kind of cuddles which do not go any further and are very genuine. That makes me feel very safe, and I am really craving that feeling at this point in time more than sex. I think (speaking as a woman) that two people need to have that solid foundation of non sexual intimacy if they want to have a completely open and trusting sexual relationship with each other. Everything will open up from this starting point of safety and the sexual desire will have a chance to blossom in its own time with no pressure.

Communication is really important for me too, I have found that out through trial and error and it is often the hardest thing to do because we don't want to hurt our lover by telling them the truth but I think it is something we have to do if we want to progress.. Marnia's idea of having 'cuddle only' nights is a wonderfully safe environment for women (and men) to blossom in their own time. I think this safe environment is SO important in a relationship of mutual trust. So why don't you suggest that tonight (whenever it may be) will be a cuddle night and it will 100% go no further? If you spell it out to your wife right from the beginning then it will give you both the space to just relax and expect nothing else at all.

I think that if you are stuck and feel kind of paralysed by all this then that may be the best place to (re) start.

Lots of good advice

I can see why you were bummed, though. You've been asked to initiate, and then...nada. There's definitely some thawing needed there.

I like Emerson's idea. As "initiator," make a plan that calls for you two to take turns doing some kind of simple, sensual touch. When it's your night, you choose something she would like and deliver it selflessly. When it's her night, she can do the same. It doesn't have to be elaborate or exhausting, but it needs to be genuine (not resentful or mechanical). Many ideas can be found in the left-hand margin: Bonding Behaviors & Exchange of the Day

Sometimes it works to schedule sex in advance, with affectionate touch on nights in between. Think she would be open to that idea? That way, partners mentally prepare for it better. Make the rule that if you miss a scheduled night, the next night is The Night. If it's too soon for scheduling, maybe just stick with the exchange of bonding behaviors for a couple of weeks and then see about scheduling.

This may take a bit of negotiating, but you can solve this. Be optimistic. *big hug*