hope

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Submitted by Tortoise on
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My mind tells me it is ok while my ego is struggling..

This may not seem a story for a Karezza forum at first but it will become evident it is very pertinent.

My wife who I have been separated from for over a year has been very honest with me recently. Part of me wishes she would just keep it to herself.

We are best friends still. She says I am the best friend she has ever had and I am the only person she can truly be herself around. She says she wants to grow old with me and she loves me to her soul. She tells me I am the smartest most beautiful person she has ever known and just loves being around me.

Obviously this is wonderful and warms my heart. We have been to a few couples counseling sessions and they are going well.

As you may have guessed from my run up there is the other shoe that I will drop.

She doesn't think she could ever be sexually intimate with me. She wants to be with me but doesn't know if she can sacrifice her sexuality for her love.

Well I know I can't and won't. This is why we separated in the first place.

Her lover for the past 8 months that she has reluctantly broken up to try to work it out with me with was so amazing and they had such intimacy she is sad and angry at times. He is so in love with her it breaks her heart to hurt him and lose what they had.

He "healed" her sexually from all the damage our sexual relationship did and she knows that even if we ever have sex again it could never approach what they had.

However. She elaborates she really doesn't like him as a person and I am a much better person... smarter.. kinder to her.. opening doors .. more able to have deep conversations .. know her favorite things and do loving things without her asking .. buy little thoughtful gifts for her .. I provide a shoulder to cry on and vent to .. I am always there for her when needed. etc etc. She said all this is why she gave him up.

Of course I am the father of her children and provide very well. There is also the added fact she related that he is a drinker and has a gambling problem .. and is kind of angry a lot and very jealous when they would be around other people as a couple. But hey .. what's not to love?

One other thing she mentioned cut to my core though. Seems kind of a ridiculous detail. She said she just loved his natural scent and even asked him not to wear cologne or deodorant when they made love. This is coming from my wife who has always insisted I shower before any intimate encounter with her.. and I shower at least once a day anyway. She had always requested I wear cologne too.Obviously I always wear deodorant. Conversely I always told her I love her natural scent and honestly do.. it is some kind of aphrodisiac to me.

So her telling me about this little fact with this other man and how it seems to relate to my thought process about mates etc. has broken me inside. It didn't when she was telling me this. I was very logical and explained to her how obvious all this was to me because of what I have been researching. And I explained how her biological body is screaming to be inseminated by him while my sperm is yesterdays news .. "you have already had multiple children with me..". etc. I explained about sex for reproduction as opposed to bonding. She listened.

I dont know if she bought it. My brain does...It is obvious to my intellect. It is my loving soul that is crushed.

Honeymoon sex is a powerful thing and at first is an incredible bonding experience that according to CPA can last a good couple of years or until babies are made and raised up a little.

We are not living together. Recently we went on a family vacation together with our kids. For five days I would massage her neck and back and legs and feet every night to help her fall asleep and every morning as I felt her stir awake next to me. She loves my massages and says I have the best hands. No exchange really took place. She did pet my back for a few seconds one time. I havent asked for any exchange and I am happy she enjoys my massage. I honestly expect nothing in return.

In fact I am no longer one sidedly lustful for her. I used to get somewhat sexually charged when I would massage her. Now I just feel like I am giving a friend a massage. I don't know if this is good or bad.

Along these lines I am also in general losing much sexual attraction for her. I'm not sure if this is resentment because of her giving herself so freely to a man who I feel is undeserving .. while I gave her 12 years and a good home and children and really unconditional love. But there was that one condition I guess.. I pressured her for sex. That killed us. I don't know if we can recover.

Maybe she has never had any natural chemistry for me. Mine for her was overwhelming most of the time.. that is what destroyed us I think.

My question to myself and you is this. With time and patience.. assuming she will ever exchange anything.. can this be salvaged by Karezza?

I know this is impossible to answer given the convolution of the story I tell. But I am just looking for some hope. A broken battered ego reaching out. Trying not to give up on love.

Topic:

Comments

There is always hope.

There is always hope. Nothing is definitive. Yes, you have a long road ahead of you but it absolutely can be healed.

My first thought is that you both need to clarify what it is you want and what it is you are doing. What are the expectations and boundaries? Personally, an expectation I would set is living in the same house and a boundary I would set is no other lovers. I would also ask her to not compare you to her last lover aloud. From what you are saying, it sounds damaging all the way around. It does not sound like that conversation is fostering healing.

In my short experience, karezza has not been about changing sex but has been about changing myself. In that regard, I do think karezza can be one piece of salvaging your marriage. I just think you need to continually question your perspective on sex. What I found was that sex was not our issue, it was simply where our issues were manifested. The more I retrained my brain away from the conventional ideas of sex and towards karezza, the more the root of the issues became clear, the more I could take ownership of them and the more I felt empowered to address them.

It is funny to write that because it has been entirely an internal journey for me to this point. My wife is not on board and we have not had karezza intercourse. I am, however, a changed man simply because of the internal work I have done on my thought life. I am sensing that she notices the changes and is responding positively. But... none of it is about the sex.

My encouragement is to never give up. I have been there and felt like it would never end year after year after year, and now I am not there and it did end. Work on one or two things at a time, and pick the biggest most important issues. From what you have written, it seems like living together again and reestablishing the trust of an exclusive relationship are big ones. Don't try to rush ahead and manufacture a great sex life, it does not sound like you are ready yet. That will come in good time. Lastly, don't try to do it alone. It takes more than positive thoughts and a supportive forum to heal marriages. Stay committed to professional help.

Hang in there!

Thank you both,

Thank you both,

bwh your words really are helping and giving me hope. I am trying to just be with my feelings and not approach all this with a sex oriented outlook. Trying to manifest a long term love and intimacy perspective. Trying not to get too ego oriented.

And thank you Marnia.. I ordered the book. Seems like it could fit. The nice guy / bad boy story definitely fits here. :)

It just popped into my mind

so I hope you get something out of it. Pardon

However, I still think the best bet for overcoming the visceral aversion she's feeling is daily bonding behaviors. They absolutely DO change perception. (Whether they're poweful enough to turn this situation around...who knows?)

But you would need her to agree to a month of daily contact with at least a few minutes of genuine mutual affectionate touch to test the efficacy of the bonding behaviors. And you may need to put your foot down on that. If you wait for her to feel differently, it's doubtful she will. She wired her nervous system to someone else in the interrim. I'm guessing it's time to re-wire...or give up.

Could you perhaps say, "This is a deal breaker for me. Try this by __ date. If it doesn't work, then we part." Anyone can engage in a few minutes of affectionate touch per day for a month. It isn't going to kill her...though it may feel surprisingly aversive at first. (Don't take it personally. It's not about you. It's about her nervous system.)

Otherwise, I'm afraid things will drift indefinitely.

If you don't mind me asking...what is so wonderful about this woman that you would make yourself a complete doormat? I know you want to save your family, which I totally understand, but you sound infatuated with her in a way that may not be entirely healthy, and therefore leaves you easy to manipulate in a way that may be hard for her to respect. But I might be entirely wrong. I'm not in your shoes...just reading words on a screen. If I'm right, then you're going to have to show some self-respecting leadership to change the dynamic between you.

I have been asked the doormat

I have been asked the doormat question before. She treats me with respect. We are separated and when she was with this other man we had no explicit agreement to not date. Since counceling started we have an explicit agreement not to date or be with others. We are both keeping this agreement as far as I can tell. I do trust her word and she has never given me reason not to.

As for why I don't give up. Well it is complex for me. But I will relate some of what our love means. Also my reasons for not just finding another fish in the vast sea of amazing and beautiful women out there.

Yes there are many negative aspects in every relationship. Yes it might be easier to just start over with a clean slate as it were. But I feel I will grow more as a person if I just stay true to what my soul seems to be telling me.

I have had a major role in the demise of this relationship. As has she. I would chase.. she would run. The more I chased the more she would shut down or run.

This is our pattern. It is also my pattern.

Not to be egotistical but I am a attractive well built professional man who gets various very beautiful and intelligent women fluttering my way all the time.. especially with news of my separation in the pipeline. But I know in my heart if I take the bait I will just start over again with my pattern.

When I fall in love .. I am all in.. I adore and give everything I have. I always thought that is the way it is supposed to be. But I am finding out that women.. people need space.. they can't be smothered. They have to be allowed to be themselves too. In the real world it is unhealthy to think somebody completes you to the point where you need over validation. I kind cringe when I hear or see pop culture.. music.. movies.. books reinforcing day after day the codependent image of true love and soul mates.. one country song goes so far as to say if her love ever leaves her he better dig three graves for all of them. Yeah that is true love. What do kids think love means. I know pop culture fucked up my perceptions.

That is my pattern. I give everything I have.. but I am over needy for everything they have as a result. This is scary for anyone on the pressurized receiving end. This is not what a healthy relationship is. I realize this now.. after doing a lot of damage.

Some potential mates out there could totally meld with me and maybe validate me all day and night .. spread their legs any time I felt insecure. But it would probably never be enough for my dopamine addicted brain.

I know I will have to be aware of this addiction my whole life. At least it is my only real addiction so far. I feel this separation allowed me to see myself. I feel I chose my wife or we chose each other for the very purpose of developing our loving souls. The universe put us together for some reason.

My damage combined with hers is moving both of us closer to self realization than jumping from honeymoon relationship to honeymoon relationship and wondering why the same pattern shows up each time after a while.

I want to resolve or at least amiably manage the neurosis that is in both of us ..together. rather than starting over in another fantasy honeymoon where the sex is so amazing and even their farts don't stink.

She seems open to this work too. We had couples counseling today and it went well. I mentioned exactly what was just suggested. I said I want to get to the point where we can have physical loving non sexual contact daily. She said she is open to this soon.. but not yet. I understand this and will give it a while. Ultimatums are not my style and never will be.

One interesting thing the counselor asked her. "Have you ever felt loved by a man just for who you are without being a sexual object?". She said no. So obviously we both have a lot of work to do.

Lovely~

If she read this she might realize what a gem she has in you~~I love that you are wise enough to realize what you have in each other. I hope you can get her to start with the bonding behaviors so that she might learn to love your scent and your skin again and want to be close to you. And if she doesn't at least you know you tried your best. Good luck!

Thank you :) I am trying my

Thank you :) I am trying my best. There are so many nice people out there.

I would say that most people are gems underneath all the fear. Most are just trying to find happiness but can't figure out how. They have failed to find anything that keeps them happy for any length of time. Fear of failing again and again.. because we simply can't be happy all the time. The duality in out heads won't allow it anyway.. If it was sunny all the time there would never be a contrast in weather.. no good or bad weather.. just weather. Which is really the way it is anyway. If I were enlightened I could buy that completely.. but I am not.

The only difference in me is that I know everything changes all the time and I have little control in making myself happy by trying to control anything. So I just try to recognize change and grow with the realities that show up rather than trying to bend reality to meet a stagnating human ego.

My ego finally realizes one thing that is the most important thing in the universe to accept. We are not supposed to be happy all the time. The contrast is necessary. There is always going to be a background of uneasiness in life .. I don't always need to be seeking something outside me to make it better. I just need to sit in the anxiety a little while and be with it. Be with the cloudy day. I don't need to buy something or smoke something or have an orgasm to make the clouds go away. They will go away.. they always do. I embrace the lonely feelings now and just sooth myself. I don't have to have someone else do this work for me. What a selfish way to live if I did continue to put my own insecurities on another. Make it their responsibility.

Wow I am really philosophical tonight :). Gee I was just going to thank you for the compliment ... but then I go off and dive deep into my head.

What I mean to say is that I have little control of the weather other than to adapt myself.. not get too attached to the ego shell I am wearing so I can change into nice breezy linen clothes when it is hot and a snow suit when it is cold....all by myself. And I don't stress about the temperature not staying at room temperature all the time. Life is supposed to be uneasy and uncomfortable.. I never expect the weather to stay the same .. that way I am less dissapointed when things don't go according to the plan. They will on occasion. How awesome is that?

OK so that wasn't a much better way to say it... but it was fun.

Thanks again for the complement.

Now you're talking.

Tortoise, my heart goes out to you.

I'm coming at this from the perspective of a married lady. At times, my reptilian brain goes into overdrive to sabotage the lifetime of love with my best friend that I really, truly want.

I think you've got the right idea in the thoughts above. There are a hundred ways that you could numb your pain or distract yourself. But, as you know, that wouldn't get the work done.

I admire your courage. If you can treat this pain as a gift, if you're willing to walk right down the middle of it instead of hiding from it, it will make you keener, stronger, freer.

Your neediness will absolutely chase her away. But maybe one day soon you'll be able to thank her and say, something to the effect that the pain she gave you has made you a better man. Then smile and walk away.

(The best way to get a horse to come to you is to turn your back on it. I think it's similar with women.)

I think there's hope if she can sense that you have no fear. No fear of death, no fear of the worst she can do to you (which has basically already been done), no fear of her wildest and most irrational tantrums, no fear of a sexual drought, no fear, even, of losing her forever.

She wants to see that you're solid in who you are, and you don't need her sex to prove something to yourself.

clarification

I don't mean to take the spotlight off karezza or be off topic. I was trying to speak to tortoise and others who need to gain cooperation so that exchanges can begin. The terrible link I provided does have valuable things to offer regarding establishing yourself as a credible, trustworthy leader so that your woman can follow you into karezza. Take with a bucketful of salt, naturally.

I like the Daoist concept

that creation is like a vast river, ever-changing.

What might be sound strategy in a situation that needs a big course correction is not the same as sound strategy once balance has been restored...but both may have their place and time. Personally, I hate manipulation, but with loving intention I suppose that even it may have a place.

Great caveat

That's a very important point that different situations call for different strategies.

I do share your discomfort with manipulation. It is always ugly to see the masculine attitudes I'm talking about used with manipulative intent. In my missive for tortoise, I would hope he can come to sincerely hold the attitudes I'm talking about; whether he wins her back or has to move on, it's the same work that has to be done: shedding neediness, accepting reality, looking mortality in the eyes.

The thing is, I'm SICK of seeing good men lose their women because they lack "command presence", a sincerely unshakeable, confident attitude. Women relax and have more fun when there's a good, trustworthy leader around. Women get anxious, bossy, and unfaithful with a man who's permissive and placating.

All of that sounds dreadful to modern ears. But it's basic herd dynamics and ancient social history. A nomadic woman's best bet was to get with an alpha male who was going to bring home plenty of meat and fight off intruders. Maybe that's one aspect of lizard-brain that we have to work WITH a little bit to get anywhere. I'm interested in your thoughts.

I'm thrilled

to see the young men who recover from porn by quitting it completely begin to wear their "alpha" mantles as naturally as hoodies. Wink And women love it.

'Course I don't think trying to learn manipulative alpha tricks is the way to go about it. I think it's an inside job. As they get their brains in balance they naturally exude that balanced command talent that we women always knew was there and love so much. And they confront what needs to be confronted without looking for trouble, so to speak.

If you'd like to read some of the rebooting accounts on www.yourbrainonporn.com let me know. It's remarkable, and makes you realize why the world is so out of balance with much of that gorgeous male energy "under water" for the moment.

Oops my bias or something

Oops my bias or something needs corrected. The country song was "better dig two"implying that if her man went first she would commit suicide.. still very disturbing but you get the point.. at least she is not a murderer.. But seriously this is the depths of commitment we are supposed to admire? That and sitting outside your cheating partners bedroom window in your pick up with headlights shining throwing empty beer cans at the house .. ready for a fight. . Basis for another hit country song. I shouldn't pick on country music though.. I'm not a hater. Other music genre's ether portray ideal love or one night stands as their ideal too. And don't get me started on romance movies. I think some get it right.. like Bridges of Madison County. Real... not idealized or hypersexualized.. maybe a littlle idealized.. but we are romantic at heart.

I guess my thinking is in a different universe than some. After much searching in spite of the incessant onslaught of what others say love is supposed to look like.

Thanks for explaining

It takes a lot of courage to clean up an old pattern rather than just running away from it. I respect you for that and I'm sorry I misjudged the situation.

I'm very glad to hear that she's open to trying the bonding behaviors. The key may be to keep 'em short and sweet at the beginning, so her nervous system has a chance to relax and not feel "devoured." The rest of your day, go on about your business. Smile

It's hard to put this into words, but for me, karezza has indeed been the key to a healthy dynamic. It actually puts an end to all the analysis and second-guessing that you're doing right now in therapy, so that spontaneity comes back into the relationship. (Without spontaneity I'd feel like blowing my brains out. Who wants to be processing and negotiating everything for the rest of their days together?? Dash 1)

But it works at a body/neurochemical level. By not leaving lovers with post-orgasmic neediness and/or aversion, life becomes sweeter and more playful. The man (or high libido partner) feels fed, not starving all the time. The other partner no longer feels like someone's only food, being devoured at will.

And the mysterious part is that both partners feel free to spoil each other as much as they like, without being perceived as manipulative or as doormats. Blush I think this is because both partners feel more whole inside, so they have energy (and loving feelings) to pamper each other, without that nagging feeling that they expect something in return. That is, they aren't giving out of their self-interest, but actually out of desire to benefit their partners.

When your marriage hits the "groove" I'm describing, things get much easier. Because giving, as you know, can also make the giver feel wonderful. (In that sense, giving is self-interest, but not in material plane terms.)

So I think there's hope here, but talking won't fix it if I'm right. Daily affection will. And the hot sex dynamic may end up toned way down, even though your relationship will leaving you feeling well fed...after some months of adjustment. I hope you get to experience this. It won't happen overnight. But it also won't happen via therapy. Did you listen to the Barry Long talk I posted? I think you might enjoy some aspects of it. It'll show that your giving instincts were right...just channeled through some faulty hype about conventional sex being everyone's best option.

Not for everyone, but...

for the lucky few, it could represent a fantastic jump-start.

http://theconsciousheart.com/the-making-love-retreat/

My wife and I want to do this, but it's logistically too difficult for us right now. But everyone's circumstances are unique. Maybe at some point you could enroll her in the idea that this would be a Good Thing for you to do together.

I haven't seen anything like it, except for the original taught by Diana and Michael Richardson in Germany, which, would also be an option.

I get that taking a week off and traveling that far to do something like this isn't for everyone. But if you can swing it, I think it would pay dividends much quicker than therapy. Just a thought.

tortoise you're a good man

And I can see it in what you wrote. I agree with you in falling in love with my wife, I fell all in, with great admiration and attraction.

I see a lot of similarity with my situation as in yours, in that my wife demand I clean before sex, does not reciprocate loving touch very much, etc. I'm confident that she has never cheated though, but still I see a lot of myself in what you wrote.

This is an interesting facet, the sexless marriage, which I believed I was in one for quite a while. I'll make no bones about it; I am in one. It's a vicious circle that creates sexless marriages, I believe, with lots of hurt feelings and wounded egos.

Like you, I am starting to have more loving touches, especially with the right attitude of just enjoying the touch for the touch's sake, to allow my inner self to connect with my wife's. And perhaps the next time I have an opportunity to have some bonding touch time, I am not going to think about how I feel, but how *we* feel, that is, how our union feels, because that's legitimate, isn't it? We're married, we're "one flesh", "two hearts beat as one" etc., I shouldn't think about *my* feelings, I should be focused on the union, the *our*, the little world we have created where it's only me and her.

So maybe this is a good approach for you as well. Think about the plane of existence where only you and your wife inhabit. Think about it like food, perhaps. Say you're wife's a vegetarian. When you go food shopping, you don't load up your cart with bacon, chicken, steak and pork chops. The meals are planned so that everyone at the table will be nourished and will enjoy the food. If you just plan to make steaks with a side of chicken every night, your wife will miss out. Think about everyone being satisfied. Does that make sense?

3 kinds of sex

And I would posit (and I did, on my own blog Biggrin ) that 2 would be a subset of 1.

Yes, let that sink in. Not 1 be a subset of 2. Horny sex would just be masturbation by vagina (MBV), a way to get off, with secondary focus on getting your partner off. Just my position.

ack!

I don't like this.

There is no such thing as MBV, it's a concept that really just depresses me, and I don't like being depressed Unknw

And it isn't even true. Scientifically speaking, partner sex is very different from masturbation sex.

Partner sex is usually nice. And getting off is nice too. Very nice.

There is a continuum where you can connect and feel one with your partner, or experience your love for your partner during sex. A lot more, or a lot less. Or if you don't love your partner, maybe you don't feel this much at all. But it's better to feel some of it, obviously. A continuum.

 

 

Wow. Some truly awesome

Wow. Some truly awesome input for me to chew on in all of these comments. I have started reading "No More Mr Nice Guy" .. It is so interesting and scary accurate to who I was before my separation. It will be yet another resourse for me on my path.

One aspect of "Mr Nice Guy" I should mention is his/my feelings of everything being black or white.. no in between.. again the middle path comes to mind.. I used to never walk the middle path.. I had to be perfect or at least appear so for everyone to like me. The nice guy would never think of his own needs.. or at least not appear to.. except through manipulation he wont even admit to himself. He thinks if he did anything openly for his needs he would be a selfish asshole.."like most men". It is realizing this is a fallacy that has taken me years.. I wish only that I had access to this book 3 years ago.

As to the alpha male role. I used to think an alpha male was an arrogant asshole. I now feel there is a dynamic in expressing alpha characteristics that is not well recognized. . At least not by Mr Nice Guy. It is the sliding scale between the immature alpha who defensively overcompensates and the mature alpha who is in a wise leader or king like space in his heart.. doing what is good for the kingdom and himself in the process. The mature king and warrior knows his strength.. doesn't need to manipulate or be validated. This who I seek in myself. I see him in me most of the time. But to maintain this mature masculine is my work.

At times I want my way and I want it now.. fuck the consequences or who or what I hurt.. luckily this damaging behavior is easily recogized by me and almost laughed at for how immature and short sighted it is. Like a little baby.

However the king will not jump through superficial hoops or make others do so to prove himself. If I am not being me or changing my colors to make others accept me then I have failed. I want to be recognized for the good man that I am.

I am kind and gentle and giving but I will not sell myself short. Not selfish but I have needs. It sounds like a cliché but it is fact. I am a man. I recognize this. I will take care of my realm.. I do take care of my realm and she knows this. . That is why she is still trying to be with me.

Despite the fireworks of honeymoon sex and the lust and love that she experienced anew.. again.. she recognizes my strength as a man and her king who has provided for her and our children and my employees and others. I am a strong man who became insecure for a while and needy but she recognizes I am back.

But she battles with her own path on levels I cannot perceive or try to fix for her. Biological clocks.. biological attraction or non attraction.. self worth.. sexuality.. sacrifice.. happiness.. all is in the mix.

All I can do is what I am doing. This will take time for her. But I love her and will do all in my power that I feel is right for me and her to try to rebound and salvage our love. I will not wait too long.. I just don't really know what too long is.. not forever though.. although that sounds very romantic doesn't it? Not very realistic though.

Next step. No manipulation. Continue couples therapy.. keep introducing basic bonding behaviors for short periods of time working up to daily.

I am patient. I have nothing to prove except maybe to myself. I am in love. This I don't need to prove to myself or her. I know she loves me too. I just don't know if we can overcome all the hurt and our love can become bonded and beautiful again. Can we win against our obnoxious overbearing biological bodies? Can we defy literally hundreds of thousands of years of evolution and allow our ethereal bodies to love deeper? Yes this sounds dramatic.. but this is truly the battle that is being fought by both of us. It is the battle that many lose.. hence the 70% divorce rate.

I love that strong

king in men, and I can definitely hear him. I hope she comes around. Biology is just so damned sneaky...and efficient. It urges us to throw our brains out of balance...and then our perceptions are off...and we screw up our lives just to get a little more genetic diversity for our genes. And later we wake up and say, "What the helll have I done in pursuit of an illusion (that was just neurochemically induced and faded away just like the previous one)???"

Hence the value of relying on bonding behaviors and their "rose colored spectacle" perception instead.