♥ How I will avoid being needy and still get what I want

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I'd become very needy and demanding since I quit masturbating and porn and started bonding behaviors with my wife.

I think the reason is that I want something.

That's always what it is, bottom line. You want something. So you try to get it.

I mean, it's kinda understandable. Surprisingly I'm not as eternally horny as I would have thought. We are doing a lot of daily bonding and that satiates my horniness to a great degree.

But there is something far deeper that I yearn for.

I feel very different than ever before and much more focused on my wife and my loving feelings for her which are far more intense, almost physical.

It isn't really lust. Although I can easily get an erection thinking of her (which wouldn't have happened before for a long time, since we met really.)

My feelings are like a very focused high energy beam and it is hard for her to take.

From her point of view, I've changed the relationship without consulting her. And pretty quickly too!

I think she feels that it will be better but she feels a lot of pressure from me.

Like I said, I want something. I want her to want me a lot more.

I'm afraid that she won't reciprocate my feelings of affection and that she won't want me the way I want her.

So I push myself on her, and she of course responds predictably by pulling away.

I had proposed a "your day/my day" strategy that I read about here, originally in a post by Sood and then recently in a comment by Freedom. Each person gets their day (Sood and his wife had done this week by week if I remember correctly) to initiate whatever they want with the other person, or nothing.

Today she proposed it back to me. It's her day today. She initiates, she does or doesn't do. Her idea. This put a big smile on her face and was her idea and I was delighted to see that. I don't care what she does or doesn't want to do. I am thrilled.

If I understand correctly, Darryl has said that I need to find a center and work on that myself and by changing my energy she'll change hers. I think this is true.

It is most important to me that I feel wanted and a connection with her. I'm not interested in pushing myself on her. It's a lonely place to be and I don't want to be there. In fact that's where we've been during much of our sexual relationship and that is no longer acceptable to me.

I am glad that I insisted on daily morning and evening bonding with her. That has made a huge difference. And I think we'll both be incredibly happy with this arrangement once we work out the kinks and get more in sync. This takes time and is a lot to absorb.

But because I'm wanting change so badly, I'm therefore creating a space where that won't happen.

So Darryl is right. And I'm returning to my center.

This is really about trust.

Trusting that if I move to the center she will change. That's the only way for me now. And I think we've bonded enough at my insistence and it's time to see what she wants and what she feels like and just be okay with that.

We haven't had intercourse in some days now which is cool with me. I want her full attention next time I'm inside her. That's all I've ever wanted. And you know what? I think we'll be there for each other that way. When it's time again.

I do have to say that the passion cycle I think has a lot of validity for her and probably for me.

She is on day 15 and almost a different person than she was a few days ago.

Day 13 was a real bummer. Of course we are always tempted to attribute external circumstances but her behavior was strikingly similar to many times in the past and I'm putting two and two together.

I'm not sure if she'll remain non-orgasmic (as I am) but I think she might. I think she is becoming attracted to this Karezza stuff so long as I don't push her away by pushing myself and my agenda.

I think she got very low expectations around sex and I believe that her libido will wake up through this and we'll both get a lot out of things.

She is the only woman I've ever had intercourse with and I didn't know better. I think I've been a lousy lover, quite frankly.

I also think that in a way, much of my occasional ED in the past was a result of my not getting her full presence during intercourse.

I'm no longer worrying about that at all.

My penis will know what to do (and has all along.) I expect to gain a lot of sensitivity and to really get the fact that she is there with me rather than sex being a "me fucking her" activity or even a "me putting it in" activity that's it been even over the past month.

I told her that the only way I want to have PIV intercourse is when she's fully there with me and that's how I feel about it. So now I am trusting that this space opening up will work out well and I'm going to see what happens.

Today is her day. Yea!

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Try the Gestalt prayer

I do my thing and you do your thing.
I am not in this world to live up to your expectations,
And you are not in this world to live up to mine.
You are you, and I am I,
and if by chance we find each other, it's beautiful.
If not, it can't be helped.

I have felt the same way

with relationships. I'm seeing a girl now which started out as physical - and then suddenly I feel overwhelmed with emotion for her. I want her to want me. But it's unclear to me if this is sincere, or just my brain being weird during my recovery. I'm concerned they might not be sincere, and I might jeopardize our arrangement - or she might reciprocate and be hurt later on.

I have felt intensely needy during this time as well. I want to hold and be held. Caressed. Cared for and looked after. I've never experienced these things. In the past, I decided I didn't need these things. But I want them now. The way I see it, the only way I can make sense of this is to wait for the re-boot to complete, whenever that is.

Annoying as it is,

this longing can, if carefully managed, be the glue for a delightful, playful sense of attachment...without needy clingyness. At first, though, it's an annoyance to realize that connection would feel good. Wink

This is a really heavy, hard to read translation of an article about sex addiction, which just came out: http://www.socioaffectiveneuroscipsychol.net/index.php/snp/article/view/... There's a part of it that summarizes this challenge:

The danger being that external images come little by little to replace fantasies (produced from within). The subject, thus, passes from an active role (implied in fantasmatic production or in the imagination) to passivity, in the act of consuming images (magazines, films). Progressively, sexual excitement is increasingly distanced from the loving feelings associated with a relationship. The fact of loving implies both an encounter and sharing, loving someone else has the particular power of being able to tear a person away from a regressive position of narcissic omnipotence in which he believes himself to be self-sufficient, capable of everything, all alone. If ‘I can do everything all on my own’, I don't need anyone else. Yet, when I am attracted by another, I recognize that I am lacking, and in a certain passive manner, in expectation of and dependent on another. Loving, thus, implies an acceptation – by the other – of something of one's own deficiencies. And that other, come to that, can never fully satisfy these deficiencies … And yet, in the affective splitting of the sex-addict, not being completely satisfied is equal to not being satisfied at all. Here, there are no half-measure. As soon as there is any frustration, one must, therefore, do away with this ‘other’, to be replaced by a new one, and so on … If desire, which can be fantasized without necessarily being accomplished, is also born from the frustration associated with absence and a sense of missing, it would seem that this regresses to the quality of a need in addictive sexuality.

Makes sense. I've experienced

Makes sense. I've experienced some of that.

It doesn't help that just about all advice says one has to feel complete on their own. Objects, food, alcohol, porn, casual sex, pets, travel, etc. are chased down in search of completion. I'd rather be missing another human than these other externalities.

Maybe better wisdom is that we are never complete, even with a partner. We were born incomplete and will die incomplete. Now, one can go about life merrily incomplete at which point much of one’s needs will probably start being met.

A random thought

Your post reminded me that for some reason the other day my brain was wondering if it is PIV (penis in vagina) or PVI (penile-vaginal intercourse). Anyway, the point is we focus on intromission and insertion. That filters through our language such as "putting a key in a lock" or "threading a needle." And yet other times, we take a different approach such as the "lock and key" model in biology. Overall our expression is male dominant which seems a little strange to me. Why wouldn't women take ownership of soft entry as a way to level the field? Women might want to be fucked suggesting disempowerment. It seems it would be harder for the female brain to rewire than the male brain given all the biases against their ability to really have an equal say. Perhaps that is why it can take significant time for women to thaw.

PVI is the sexologist

term I've seen, but it doesn't really matter.

What woman has even heard of soft entry? Or even had the pleasure of feeling a penis become erect inside of her? Many women today are as desensitized as any other addict...and desperate for sensation in the form of rape fantasies or anal sex. Sad to see them close off their options for subtler, more effortless stimulation. But they know no different.

I can't know what women think

I can't know what women think. That makes little sense to me. They don't need a name for it. I wonder if it is easier for a men to understand because we have a deeper understanding of the penis. Some of the suggestions in the Richardsons' books are things I've wondered about for years...maybe even before porn came into my world. I'm naturally experimental. I even remember wondering if a female would be receptive to my creations. I don't recall as much curiosity about kissing, going though the bases, or whatever else kids think about. Maybe I had strange hunches or am somehow a natural at the ideas level. I don't recall reading or learning of it anywhere. The obsession with hardness always seemed a bit strange given whatever knowledge I had at the time. I guess it's no surprise I stayed here when I came. I suspect a lot of this clicks more readily when one isn't in casual sex seeking mode.

Choices

Emerson - I wrote this reply to your other thread but couldn't post it for some reason. Since them you've changed your approach, so maybe what I have to say is redundant, but here it is, anyway.

I'm certainly not qualified to offer any advice, as our 'Karezza journey', which began more than four years ago, and has spluttered its way down many bylines and dead ends since then, is not something anyone would want to emulate; but one of our experiences might be worth recounting.

Although my wife has always enjoyed sex, and shown a lot of enthusiasm for it, I had been aware that some of the time she simply wasn't 'there' when lovemaking. At least, not in the 100% way I was. When we started experimenting with Karezza, the main issue between us was not that we didn't both enjoy conventional sex, but that we felt - or I felt and my wife agreed - that I pretty much 'ran the show'. I decided what was going to happen, when it was going to happen, and how frequently it was going to happen. 

Wondering why this was - why my wife was interested enough to respond to my advances (even if she was occasionally 'distant') but not interested enough to make them herself - I began to suspect she had developed over the years such a strong habit of being uninvolved in the 'management' of sex - formulating the intention to have it, keeping that intention in mind, and then carrying out that intention - she had more or less forgotten she had sexual feelings of her own. 

I didn't think there was anything particularly sinister about this, any more than it was 'wrong' for her to have ended up being in charge of the domestic, child rearing side of things. It's how our relationship unfolded.

So, just as I initially learned to share kitchen duties by adhering to a rota, we introduced the idea of taking turns at running our sex life. That is, organising the entire process, from thinking about it, initiating it, right through to doing it. We've tried many versions of this - every other day, every third day, etc - but by far the simplest and easisest to stick with has been 'every other week'. Last week, for example, was my wife's. Anything we did that could be called intimate, she decided on, and intiated. Obviously, this excludes ordinary, everyday kisses, touches, asides, etc, which either of us can, and do, do at any time; but all the big things - extended kissing, cuddling, fondling, intercourse; location, duration - are for her to decide about.

This has had marvellous results. It allows my wife to spent an entire week doing exactly as she likes - while still having to do something, every day, even if it's only holding hands for five minutes. It also enables her to be much more assertive. She was never a shrinking violet; but I think she felt bowed beneath my weight a bit. It also ensures that whatever I may choose, during my week, It no longer feels like I'm nagging at her, and it's done away with any sense I used to have that she'd rather be doing something else. I also find it very relaxing to be able to abandon all thought of initiating intimacy or lovemaking for a week at a time, knowing the ball is in my wife's court.

The relevence of this to your situation is that the sharing process seems to have allowed my wife to become not only more sexual, but much more 'present' when she is being sexual, because, half the time, she is 'in charge'.

Hopefully, we can drop the rota in due course.

this is really helpful

thank you.

I could see my wife light up this morning when she suggested it. And I think it's wonderful and relaxing and it gives me a guideline that means I won't be needy and demanding.

You gave me the idea originally in an older post of yours I read.

Sood, your observations that

Sood, your observations that your wife, by not being the initiator of your sexual life, 'had more or less forgotten she had sexual feelings of her own' seems very astute. I can completely relate to that dynamic in my former marriage. I was stuck in that dynamic for many years with him and I can see how doing what you're doing (the one week thing) might have helped us, at least on the sexual level. I wonder how this might have even played a role in a couple of sexual relationships after we separated, where I found those feelings again. It felt so powerful to have those feelings again that I forgot about the other person. I hadn't initiated in so long. I also felt a lot of insecurities around initiating sex that I wasn't ever aware of in the past. It was intensely invigorating to initiate and seduce, but when that wasn't received the way I wanted it to be, I felt a a powerful sense of shame and rejection. Of course there are a lot of reasons for this so I'm not trying to narrow it down to only this one, but it seems important. The balance you seem to have found sounds so good to me, I hope I can make that happen in my next relationship. Thank-you.

Emerson, you said "My

Emerson, you said "My feelings are like a very focused high energy beam and it is hard for her to take." I'm curious if you're actually asking her, verbally or physically, for something. I can see in your previous posts the 'neediness' you are talking about here, and agreed (didn't comment though) with Darryl's advice for your sake, but I'm curious if you are expressing of this neediness to your wife or if she's picking up on it energetically. Either way, it sounds like you're pretty clear on a good direction for yourself.

I'm asking because this is what I'm working on myself - that is, when I switched from the conventional sex mindset of wanting sex to wanting a karrezza type relationship in my life, my strong loving feelings towards Q (who, unlike your situation, is not in an intimate/committed relationship with me) became even more intense. In the past, he used similar language that you're using to talk about my sexual energy - that I had a strong energy force in me that was directed at wanting a sexual relationship with him - and he was resisting that. Now that's gone and I'm more aligned with what I think he was saying he wanted before, but I notice him still resisting my energy, even though I can honestly say it's not an energy that's pursing sex.

But it is still, although certainly not entirely, (maybe more like 30% now:) ) a 'wanting' energy. I want to be closer than we are, I want to hold him, nurture him and I want his feelings to be mutual. I haven't said any of this to him, nor tried to be physically close, because I sense it will only stress him out and push him further away. But that energy is pretty intense. My brainworm this morning was imagining him telling me to 'quit making such an effort to attract me', and then me responding with 'but I'm not trying at all to attract you, I'm wanting to give you so much more, but am constantly holding back as much as possible so I don't overwhelm you...and I feel like I'm going to burst!'. But then when I think about it, even the holding back I'm doing is because I'm afraid that by fully expressing how I feel I'm destroying my chances of getting what I want. So even that is want driven. Grrrr...

But as I focus my energies elsewhere (friends, family, work, physical exercise), each day I feel a little more relaxed, a little less fixated on him, a little more patient, a little more ready to accept that he might not ever reciprocate those feelings, and even a little more able to find peace with the end of the Gestalt prayer "If not, it can't be helped." ...and then I see him and the feelings overwhelm me and I'm back to the wanting. It's so much work!

I'm not sure if everyone is

I'm not sure if everyone is the same. How have those with partners seen this play out?

I would be more comfortable and understanding if a potential partner owned her feelings and expressed them than if she made a wanting felt and I had little idea what was really going on for her. I see the main problem with wanting/desiring not as the expression of a need. Rather, it is the disguising of various needs as want/desire leaving the wanted with insufficient information to know what is safe to feel or how to respond. It triggers repulsion because of the lack of clarity in expression of a need. It’s much easier to respond comfortably to a partner saying I have a need to feel secure by being held than to someone expressing sexual wanting for that same underlying need that is obscured by the wanting.

My guess is the alternating weeks lets partners better express needs by offering them the unrestricted floor and so eliminates wanting as a decoy for needs. That would seem to be unnecessary when communication with the self and the partner evolves to be clearer.

[quote=mybrainoffdope]I'm

[quote=mybrainoffdope]I'm curious if you're actually asking her, verbally or physically, for something. I can see in your previous posts the 'neediness' you are talking about here, and agreed (didn't comment though) with Darryl's advice for your sake, but I'm curious if you are expressing of this neediness to your wife or if she's picking up on it energetically. [/quote]

I think it's more in the way I look at her, my prolonged looks into her eyes, my frequent hugs and caresses and desire for contact all the time.

Getting to the rest of your post, here's the thing and it ain't pretty. If you are in a committed relationship you can be more direct and let the chips fall where they may. But if you are pursuing someone and you haven't consummated your love through a meaningful commitment, then you are participating in a different game.

And it is a game.

Fact is, if you make the man chase after you it's far more satisfying for him and you are perceived as far more desirable. I don't know how you do that exactly, but I know that's what you should do. We can decry the need to play that game, but as a practical matter, there is no other way in the courtship process, IMHO.

Really? Cause I've been in

Really? Cause I've been in lots of relationships, committed and casual, and I don't recall ever playing the hard to get game. I don't know how to play it. Can I take classes:) but I get the point, thanks for the tip!

it's kinda inevitable I think

and the basics are push-pull. You do something to initiate and then you back off completely. Don't return a call or return it days late. You indicate interest and then show disinterest.

I know this sounds catty but it does get the other guy really roped in if he has any interest in you at all.

It isn't that you always have to do this. But sometimes you do.

I have been in a stable committed relationship with my wife now for 25 years but I can remember some of what I told her and what I did to "win" her and it isn't very nice. It involves lying and exaggerating. She went away during the early days of our courtship and that is when I lay awake at night thinking, what is she doing, who is she with, when will she be back, will she still want me when she is back, etc.

There is nothing more effective than push-pull in getting a guy who is interested to really focus on you and chasing you.

just to follow up on Sood's idea some more

As a man I have long ago ceded my non-business social calendar largely to my wife.

And I realized that this is very similar to the description of being the partner who always manages and initiates sex.

In my case, I don't manage or initiate social things and that's not great. I became aware of this just maybe 5 or 6 weeks ago and I decided to remedy it.

So I planned our entire trip that we just got back on, and included two "dates" with her, where I planned the entire day and evening.

It felt wonderful. I felt more centered in my masculinity because I was taking my girl on a date. It got me out of my rut.

And now I'm going to do this regularly. I think it's danged attractive to a woman when you take charge of the day or evening. And I like myself better for it.

I suddenly could see the connection there -- and how in various spheres we give up management to the partner and lose something of ourselves in the process.