Context

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Last night she offered nothing in bed. We read, and I took her into my arms ("taking" is the operative word) before leaving. Today I wake up horny and full of sex fantasies. I want to lay out a sex/karezza scenario for us to play out. This is a problem because, for her, there is no context. This is true too when I look at porn and get all jacked up. I can spend an hour/s thinking about sex. What she gets, apparently out of the blue, is "Whammo! Baby let's ball!" This is my greatest gift and compliment. How can she refuse? What's wrong with her? Well there's no context of loving and giving. It's about my fantasy and my pleasure.

I'll keep you posted. Sorry, I got distracted and forgot that really witty thing I was going to say

Comments

*giggle*

Never mind the wit. Glad you're on task. Remember, subtle pleasures don't "do it" for someone while s/he's hooked on porn and post-binge, because the brain is desensitized. Similarly, bonding behaviors won't "do it" for Izzy during the days after orgasm. Her brain is also temporarily desensitized. You want to catch her before she gets back into "WHAM!" mode and see if you can modulate her arousal. Bonding behaviors are the key to this, but finding the right moment to start is an art. Smile

Remember, even when she's not totally into them, bonding behaviors soothe the defensive part of her brain. Eventually they can melt even the hardest heart. But they need to be daily, giving (vs. taking), and so short as to not be found overly "draining" by her desensitized brain in the meanwhile. Good luck!

On Strike!

What the hell, it got me laid last week
I've been nice today, made breakfast, lunch, did the program for her recital, some nice hugs....then whamo! I nail her. I ask her if she'll fulfill my shower fantasy. She gets that I-just-stepped-in-dog-shit look and says, "Don't hassle me". I lost it and declared a strike.
We've moved on to pleasant. I'm still hurt, so going to go tap. But if she wants anything, she's gotta say, "pretty please".
Yup, hangin' in there

Bad Behavior

Tapping cooled me down. We were civil the rest of the night, but not one Morita from me!
Saturday night bed sharing, I sneaked over for some contact while reading, and went to full cuddle (damn near karezza) when she put out the light. "What do you expect?" she asks. "To mold my body to yours, kiss you as often as I can, move as you move until I start snoring or you take my face in your hands and kiss me good night." 20 minutes! boys and girls....I am healed!.....well almost. "I can't sleep like this" so I kissed her and left.

Do I continue the strike?

What is holding me back or causing me pain?
FAILURE TO USE YOUR TALENTS
My talents? My #1 talent is sex....WTF? She really did get some good stuff last night. It was easy and loving, cherishing.....AND I completely (well 90%) unhooked from her not responding . Even when I did go to "where the fuck is she?" it was just a flash, let it go, and marveled at the evil in the world. #2 talent, head tripping, I'm using that shit all the time. I dunno...

Is there something I need to be alert to in my situation?
SETTLING FOR 'ADEQUATE'
Uh oh....the strike continues. I intend to be kind, I'll make a fire and breakfast as she sleeps BUT if she wants help with her project, she's gotta ask. When she said no to sex, I enumerated all the things I had done for her. I told her I felt the relationship was unbalanced, I feel unappreciated, etc. I told her she needed to start saying "yes". She, "I didn't know there were strings attached to your gifts?" "I didn't know either, until you said 'no'". "If I have to give you sex to pay for what you do, then I'm just a prostitute." Me, "hmmmm....I don't mean to disrespect you." "I'll pay somebody else to do it." She knows me, I'm a erally cheap guy. "OK"

What insight will help me at this time?
TENDERNESS
I think I can be tender while not settling....we'll see

The karezza was really nice. I've just got to keep out of my own way and not worry about her lack of response.
Inverted Shamuing on down the road

Unfortunately...

There you go getting in my head again. Please note that in saying this, I am very well aware that I'm "guilty", for lack of a better word, of varying levels/means of going on strike, as you put it. There's about to be a lot of quotes in this because I don't like the words I'm finding myself stuck using to try to make a point in spite of myself.

I have found a number of times in the past that there seems to be this bizarre grey area, enormously wide, between the going on strike thing ,and cutting my own nose off to spite my face. Granted, I think that's because in my case, there is an equally enormous void between what degree of "effort" we each put into varying aspects, from domestic things to paying bills to sex. For me, by instinct, I've always gladly done whatever whenever to make life easier on someone else. The doormat my mother raised me to be, under the guise of "turning the other cheek" or "smile, it'll leave 'em wondering". But ultimately, whether you call it codependent or enabling or nurturing/supportive or doormat, it results in the same thing. You lower your needs/expectations a little lower each time, and realize that you'd be deliriously happy with any return. Fuck the whole 50/50 meet halfway bullshit - I realize that most things in life are 60/40 or 75/25 or 95/5, but there should be some sort of overall balance. I don't like having recently learned to be someone who inwardly asks himself "how far am I willing to go, knowing that I may or may not get any sort of "return" out of this. And I ain't even talking sexual return. Doormat tho I am, any token return would have me dancing in the aisles.

But that conflicts with what I was hammered with in couples counseling - I was told it amounts to throwing yourself at someone, at "chasing" them, which only makes them run farther away. That it looks desperate or needy/clingy, and needy equals unappealing on emotional and by extension sexual levels. So I don't really know the answer - how much is too much, how much being fundamentally me paints me as unappealing, versus being uncharacteristically distant when someone is so used to me throwing myself at her that when she notices a slight withdrawal, when I gently pull my own leash to keep me from diving in headlong as I usually would by instinct - that whole "thank you, Mistress, may i have another" thing. If I in the least try to be less "needy", then I"m being distant or alledgedly upset about something and not talking about it, which makes me look like a hypocrite when I"m the one that tries to communicate. Going on strike here is a double whammy, no win, catch 22 - and I still haven't found the answer - which means I am incapable of being able to distinguish what is fighting for what I fairly deserve as an individual/human being, versus trying to find a balance of the instinctive me surviving in a world that has little evolutionary niche for me. Like the quotes posting - love is easy, sex makes it hard. Another reason I find impotence and my camel back being blissfully broken when it comes to sex.

The only answer

I've found is for both partners to stay balanced. Then it seems the "give and take" just sorts itself out naturally.

What's different in my marriage compared to past relationships is that we both actually *want* to spoil each other, so there are more hands than tasks...well almost. By that I mean, we both have plenty of energy for helping the other when there's a need...and somehow the household/bill-paying stuff gets done pretty effortlessly, too.

Think about it...if either or both partners are feeling depleted and sluggish...they're gonna let the other one take up the slack...or they're gonna feel like a martyr (to some degree) if they're the ones taking up the slack. This is not a recipe for contentment. And you can negotiate about fairness until the cows come home, and it won't fix the underlying dynamic of everyone "coming up short."

Dude!

Did AC write that?...quotes....damn! LA you're in my head, living my life.....doormat to doormat *sigh*
I just had an orgasm 3 hours ago, so I'm stoned. Marnia, Hotspring, Sue Monk Kidd, and everybody who's anybody says, "stillness". So true. I don't want to be anybody else or try to make her any different (bullshit). It just goes in circles, if we're lucky, spirals. It's of this world. Robert Bly says, "Do not deny any of your desires."
Here's how it went this morning. I peeked into her room. She was awake. I went to her bed, 'cause that's where I wanted to be. As I held her tenderly I noticed that where I put my hand generated different feelings in me. Of course, she was passive and I have no idea how she feels about this. My palm on the crest of her pelvic bone (ASIS) fingers across her soft, breath moving belly. I start to get hard. "Is this what I want right now?" No, I'm going for chaste tenderness. I move my hand to her shoulder, and feel the shift. I pull my pelvis back to break contact. As far as she knows I don't have a dick. I start to massage her shoulders and get to that spot between her shoulder blades. I blend with her energy and apply MFR techniques. Now I'm really hard. This blending with her always brings me up. I keep it to myself and my intention is to meld. It's cool and I am in the moment, focused on what I am doing, and here is the important part, without worrying where she is or where we are going. She moves into me, settling my penis between her cheeks. The slicknesss of my readiness inspires her to say, "You're going to get me wet and sticky". The sex hits like a bomb....well, ok, that's what's happening. "Let me put it where it'll do some good." I roll on top of her and let the head rest between her lips....still, stillness, without agenda. But she asks, "What's your intent?" Well hell, she's asking, "To rest inside you for 20 minutes." "That ain't gonna happen, " as I easily, slowly, slid into her. She shifted, I shifted, she said, "That's uncomfortable." As started to pull out, I came. I wasn't all that hot, slowly all the way in, and 1/4 inch on the way out....amazing! So day 13 became day 1. We seem to be ok.

What's a guy to do??

That's why *daily* bonding behaviors are so important, otherwise we're all "het up" when we *do* get some contact.

There's so much POTENTIAL in your relationship, AC. You gotta admit. Wink

Ok...not a doormat

I'm more like a pair of comfortable shoes. Available when needed. Not too shabby and very supportive. Something reliable to put on for a walk, to run errands and to wear dancing. I like that. It works well for me too. I'm just not very good at sitting on the shelf. Hotspring speaks of memory. I remember all too well when I was new and cherished, cared for and cleaned.
I'm not a pair of shoes. I am a loving, supportive man filled with desire

The porn incident really

The porn incident really seems to have done a number on you. It seemed like you were making headway before that. Go inside, learn to self regulate, leave her alone, stay far from porn, reset the Context.

You're so wonderful, Aphrodites, and I want you to receive love and have great sex. But the woman in me also really likes her responses. I like your Izzy, she's not a pushover. I'm rooting for her too.

You've gotta meet somewhere. Meeting is not the same as bargaining. When two people meet, its because of mutual curiosity. Don't settle for bargains: If I'm nice to her, I deserve some. This will only make her more closed off, as you noticed.

With so many years of accumulated residue, it can be hard to reset to neutral. Eventhough my relationship is young, I watch the phenomenon of accumulated associations and residues, and can see how wrong moves anywhere can lead to very destructive patterns. We must be impeccable, always.

The problem is with memory. We build associations from past events and in our memory of them cannot see each other anew. She has muscle memory of you and what the context of your touch is that don't allow her to experience you anew. It's like a force-field, a field of information that has a certain frequency that you are both attuned to. There are other frequencies available but the elctromagnetic charge of your interactions is governed right now by a field that has been reinforced over years and years.

It seems to me that it would be impossible to "clear the slate" or "reorient" to a new field if both people were not on board. Maybe the next step would be to have a conversation with her about both of your levels of happiness operating in that field. Clearly she's often irritated and feels hassled, which can't be fun for her. And her response has been to resonate more with her own solitude, her own indipendence. Can you start to have a dialogue with her not about sex but about what a healthy and happy form of union would look like for you both, one that didn't involve sexual demand or retreat? It's like you have to revision your whole relationship. "Before you can be reborn, you must be reconceived." That takes two people. You're just treading water until you find the angle that will get her interested in mutually working not towards a partnership of relative harmony based on best coping methods, but on actual interest in one another.

It's a charge. What you're feeling is an accumulated electromagnetic charge. She's just balancing out the intensity of your charge. It's like you both need to be swiped down and cleaned off in your energetic field. Brush off the static. Get down to the core, the place where there is love. Where love is, there is no memory and no expectation. There is a waiting watching and wondering what will unfold. The stillpoint where everything juicy and good emerges.

May you both find that neutral, that dynamic stillness, where the charge can be cleaned and reset.

Sheer Poetry, HS

Well said, HS. And when both people are on board, slate cleaning can be like spontaneous combustion . . . umm . . . sorry . . . I mean dynamic stillness. *grin*

P.

I always treasure

what HS has to say. She challenges me on a deeper level.
Sue Monk Kidd "When the Heart Waits"[quote]I came home from the redwoods of California ready to learn the art of spinning a chrysalis. But where would I begin? What do we know about creating a cocoon for spiritual transformation? How do we fashion an environment in which we become stripped and stilled, in which the ego patterns of a lifetime begin to move away from the center and our innermost spiritual life is reconstillated? How do we create the threads that hold us in the painful, uncertain, solitary darkness of waiting-and hold us not only in the waiting but through the waiting?[/quote]Stillness
My Isadora is not on board
Thanks P

Stunning quote, thanks for

Stunning quote, thanks for sharing it!

Do you ever try creative visualization? You could do a nightly exercise in autonomous perception: See a cocoon. See yourself inside it. See your woman inside it. You are like newborns, gestating, sleeping, unconscious but growing. You are each breathing, focused inwards. You orient to your body, to the feelings in your body. As your awareness extends out to her, let your desire show itself, let yourself get the biggest hardon! Feel the pulsing of the energy moving up your central channel, into your heart. Open your eyes and look at her. Look at first only at her eyes. Some part of you begins to orient automatically to her body, but you hold that urge in your greater sense that you want to look into her eyes. The tension of doing this is hard for your body to contain, so you bring your awareness further out into the container of the cocoon, dispelling the charge, causing you to relax and have a wider view, until you are looking at her body, seeing her eyes, seeing the cocoon, and feeling your body. A surge of love and joy moves from the deepest root of your balls up into your chest, causing you to take a deep breath, opening your chest and heart. For a split second you do not know who you are, who she is, even while you feel a deep spark of recognition reignite. You see her. You let yourself be seen by her. You do not touch her, she does not touch you. And you go back to sleep.

Next visualize the next step in the unfolding of your relationship. It's like building a new charge. The whole time that you see it, you feel your body. The new context for the relationship becomes this basic willingness to pause enough to feel a new story as you get into her "sphere." This happens through giving yourself permission to relax into whatever feeling you are having. Witnessing the sensation and staying with it without acting.

I have a question for you: When do you make or break eye contact? When does she make or break eye contact?

Yep, Yep, Yep

[quote]giving yourself permission to relax into whatever feeling you are having[/quote]
I'll study on that visualization. Thank you for continuing to share your interest and creativity.
In conversation and sex, I seek eye contact and she avoids it. Sometimes, if I ask, she'll let me gaze into her beautiful green/golden eyes.
te amo

Tried It Twice

Not easy. I'm good with the cocoon, gestation, newborns, inward oriented, but getting to the hardon is weird. It's a really big jump. I start seeing her in her exquisite mature form. Where I have to go to get hard is a long deviant road. So I imagine it, but is still quite a jump. Opening the heart is good, and looking onto her eyes. I love those eyes. I melt under her regard, so it's difficult to find/create the tension in my body. Moving out, balls to chest joy is good. I love the deep breath opening.
The new context is mature bodies standing side by side holding hands.

Leave her alone,

"staying with it without acting"...Yikes! You leave your luscious man alone! See how you like them apples, deary....oops been channeling the Wicked Witch of the West, sorry.
Mutuality
She's content, I am not. What she keeps asking for is to be left alone. I started the task in October and got lost somewhere in March. Was it that she started coming around? Spring time? Me wandering off the path?

But I want more!

Embracing the stillpoint got me a one stroke orgasm. Some would lament, but what the hell, worse things have happened.

Here's the meat of the matter...

And this may not be easy, but you have to love her, do things for her, without expecting anything in return.

It may take a while, but when it sinks in to her that you really do something for her because you love her, and not because you're expecting something in return, then she will be able to more freely give of herself to you.

Love is a two way street, and eventually she needs to return the affection, and not necessarily in sex as such. But that two-way love sharing appears to be damaged at this point. She wants to feel you pay attention to her, and do things for her because you love her, but right now she thinks you are only doing those things to get sex. You're feeling you need her affections and displays that she genuinely desires you, loves you, and wants to please you. So you're feeling deprived of that.

You're both depriving each other of what each other wants. In either case, it will take one of you giving without expecting anything in return for a period of time to get back to a state of shared love instead of feeling used. Since you can't control what she decides to do, and discussing it may have little affect, it may be that you consign yourself for however long it takes to give, give, and give in the hopes that at some point she begins to feel you really do love her by doing things to her and for her simply because you love her, and from no other motivations. Once that sinks in, and I have no idea how many months that might take, she may feel freer to open up and fulfill your need. It all depends on what you are willing to do to make this relationship work. But, it may take a while, especially since you just reinforced to her that you were only doing those things in hopes of getting sex.

I had to go through some of that myself, so I know how hard that is on the guys end of things. But it did eventually give her the space to gain some balance in her outlook as well, and things are much better on that front than they used to be. We don't have sex real frequently, but she is usually willing and wants to on a regular basis, which I count as a blessing given she reacted more like your wife several years ago, and I felt I had to plead and beg, and she did it, if she did it, reluctantly.

Two Way Street

Thanks Cole. I apologize for my tardiness in response. It's been a strange, but all too familiar, ride these past couple of weeks.
Doing things for her really feeds into my co-dependency. Figure out what she wants. Focus on her needs. It doesn't feel safe. I think it's without expectation, but it ain't a two way street, and I'm shot after 3 days. I've got no stamina for more.
What I'm doing now, that feels healthy but doesn't make me smile, is to do those things of common benefit, cook, clean, fetch, but check myself on "doing for her". I just gotta check. After 35 years I read her pretty good. I can figure out what to do to not disappoint her (ain't that some shit). Either I'm really bad at it (certainly when I am in need) or I don't get adequate feedback or I just can't read her, as to what pleases her. Most often, it is to be left alone from analysis and whining.
I've chosen sex for the dope and for that moment that comes when she's heated up and seems to want me, ME (well O, but I'm good at pretending). That blessed moment.....
Her refusal of sex, (now after more than a year on this path) is easy. She just doesn't want sex. If she doesn't respond to my affection or refuses my request for BB's, it's ME she's rejecting. It's a rejection of caring and mutual support. It hurts a hell of lot more.
"give, give, give....months" Fuck dude, I'm a 3 day man, how the hell am I gonna do that? I dunno, I feel defeated. I haven't kept up with your posts. Ya wanna steer me to some relevant ones?
Day 6 post orgasm, I guess I have a glimmer. It looks like this: Give what I can, when I feel like it, without strings. Really check on the strings for they are long and deeply entwined. She might not get so much. Work on stillness. Stop jacking myself up with negative and wishful thinking. Stand before her, and more importantly, within myself, with honesty. If I am in need, state it clearly, and early, before it gets out of hand. If she wants to help, good. If not, develop other means. Maybe even try other means before I tell her. Even better, see her as the last resort to meeting my needs.
Your support is greatly appreciated

Context is critical here

Hi AC. Thanks for the thoughts.

There's a balance here. For sure, it's a two-way street, and eventually you should get something back for the investment. The problem is, at least as best I can read if from this side of the screen, is it will take some time before she sees your bonding behaviors as simply bonding behaviors. What she sees when you show some affection is a lead in to sex.

My wife felt the same way earlier on. If I even hugged her, at times, she'd pull away because she didn't want to send me down the path of expecting her to have sex. Yes, it felt like rejection of me. In my mind, I knew what was going on, but it did feel like a rejection. I've mentioned on another post somewhere on this site the night I came home from work and struggled with the thought that maybe she no longer loved me. I cried and prayed over that. I got out of the car after pleading with God to show me some sign that she still loved me, that all hope wasn't gone. When I slipped into bed that night, around 2 am, she woke up.

Now to understand this, she loves to sleep. She doesn't wake up much in the middle of the night unless the bladder is calling. She never did this before that night, and she's never done it since. But for some reason, she became excited and right then, at 2 in the morning, we had sex. I said, "Thank you, God." That was my sign.

But that didn't solve anything, it simply gave me courage to work it out. What I ended up doing is coming to the point, with great difficulty, that I simply wouldn't expect to have sex with her. I wouldn't push for it, wouldn't ask, just wait for her. Meanwhile, I would be content with masturbation to take care of things. I figured if over a period of time I did bonding type behaviors (though I didn't call them that then, just signs of affection) and they consistently didn't lead to me acting like I wanted sex, was needing sex, or expecting sex, that over time it would eventually sink in to her brain that I was being affectionate because I loved her, not because I was hoping it would lead to sex. Depending on how deep that goes, it may take a while. Doesn't mean you stop trying to be affectionate. You may need to back off, offer it on occasion, more at other times. It isn't so much you trying to do what pleases her, as you are simply demonstrating that you are content. That is, if sex were to come from it, you'd take it. But if not, that was okay too. When she finally senses within herself that this is the real state of things, it will allow her to change how she views sex with you.

I have no idea how long that would take for her. With my wife, it took a while. I didn't even really keep track. I just decided I was no longer going to struggle over if and when we had sex. If she wanted to, great. If not, great. I'll take care of myself, then. Meanwhile, all other aspects of the relationship continued as well. At some point she did see sex in a whole 'nother way. She'd seen it as shameful and dirty before, and that kept her at arms length from sex. If I hadn't pulled back, relaxed, and given her space, she may have missed that realization when it came along.

As it was, her whole attitude about sex changed and from that time on, I've never felt I had to pull her into sex. Before if I said something like, "Oh, the kids are asleep and we have an hour before you go to bed. Let's have sex!" She'd say something like, "Is that all you ever think about? I think I want to go to bed early."

Now if I say something like that, her eyes bright up and she says, "Um, yes. We could do it now." And we usually do unless there is some real reason we can't, like she's on her period or she's had a rough day. Even then, I'm doing good that we have sex once a week. Usually it ends up being around a couple times a week. And we hug and kiss all the time, and even if I give her a particularly passionate kiss, she doesn't interpret it as "Let's get in bed and have sex!" And even if she does on occasion, then she's for it.

IOW, I was willing to work around it. I decided in our marriage at least, my initial expectations of sex nearly every night was unrealistic and it would never be like that. And except for one glorious month, it never has been that way.

So I guess I'm saying I didn't think of what I was doing as being anything but myself. I didn't do things for her in the hopes of getting something in return. I didn't keep track of all the things I'd done for her, or the affections I tried to give her but she felt cold to it. Yes, at some point she'll need to give as well. But, you can't coerce her to give and call it love. The bottom line is it might take a while to convince her that what you are giving her is simply given to her because you love her. Whatever that ends up being, you give expecting nothing in return (I think Jesus said that, didn't he?)

Another way to look at this is being "trapped." People don't like to feel trapped. Manipulated. They don't like expectations put upon them. One of the things I've always hated is when I'm going to do something, but right before I do it, someone tells me I need to do it. I guess I hate it because now instead of it being perceived as me deciding to do something, it looks as if I'm doing it because so-and-so told me to. When you act needy, you're trapping her into now doing something not because she loves you, but because you want it. If people are pulled, they tend out of natural reaction to pull back. If they perceive you can take it or leave it, then they are more inclined to offer it because now it is their decision, and will be perceived as such, in this case, as an expression of her love for you instead of she's doing it because you need it so bad.

Maybe an alternate situation would make it clearer. Let's say you've gone into business with a partner. The business needs an infusion of cash. You think, "I have an extra fifty grand in my savings, I think I'll invest it in the business." Then your partner comes along and says, "Hey, you have some money. Time you pulled your fair share. Pony up some investment money." Your initial reaction at that point might end up being, "I do my bit. We're partners, remember? I shouldn't have to foot all this bill." You were ready to give some money, but now your partner is demanding it. He's trapping you, backing you into a corner. So what do you do? You jerk the chain back. It no longer feels like a generous gift on your part, but now is an expected duty to preform as a partner.

But I'll end this long post by saying I don't know everything you do. I don't know your circumstances as you do. I do my best to pick up what the situation is from what you've said, but I could be way off the mark. So take what I say and what you can apply, apply. What you think doesn't really fit, ignore.

And one other thing. Where you find she does respond, acknowledge that and hold onto that. They may be far and few in between before she thaws out. But there are likely ways she's telling you that she loves you, and it is best to focus on those instead of perceived rejection. Because I can bet that even though you are wanting to rub her back simply to rub her back, with no intention of having sex or getting her to do anything, what she is perceiving when you do that is, "He wants to have sex, and is hoping he can get me in bed." So I'd wager that it is about sex, and not wanting it, whatever her hangups are about it, whatever reasons she doesn't care for it, she's afraid if she's affectionate, it will only lead to sex, and for whatever reason she wants to avoid that. Maybe for different reasons than what my wife had.

But, things can change. My wife is proof of that.

Wow

Thank you for your thoughtful response. You have taken a lot of time to make yourself very clear.
Day 7 post orgasm, I'm mellowing. Can I move to sainthood? Suffer in silence? Cut off my lower chakra?
Unlike your spouse, my Isadora liked sex for a long time. I'm sure she would like it with another man if she weren't married. She likes her orgasm too. It's totally weird for her that I don't seek the O. or to heat her up.
My issue with her is what I call the AAA's: Affection, Appreciation, Adoration. And you are so right, she is under the gun. "None today, none yesterday...why should I keep doing for you?" So I guess I'll look for ways to Triple A Masterbate.....'cause you're right, she will resist coercion and my expectations. Problem is, if I act poorly enough, she eventually relents, sees the error of her ways, and gives me some. She will respond to my morose painful need (excuse me while I wretch). She does have some compassion for the ill. AND her medicine is soooo good. If I can get just a little, I am so mellow, kind, generous, tender, considerate.....BUT we all know it's only good for a few days and the baby needs to be fed and have his diapers changed.....so the sword dangles.
Your words are true and wise. I am afraid of so much. If I stop asking, will she ever......?
My plan is to be as cool and loving as I can for as long as I can (today, a little loving, a little cool) and speak my truth. Her back hurts. She's been hinting for a massage. I'm feeling horny and vulnerable. I am afraid it will stimulate me and throw me into dangerous territory. I could fake a performance, but fear a backlash of need. If not today, soon. I acknowledge it is my fear. So I told her, "Somebody's going to pay a price for this massage." She went to sleep. We'll I've got to keep it up front. The internal dialogue is crazy making.
I'll give what I can if its free. I am looking for my generous self. I am not responding to hints for favors. She has to ask, and I must assess the cost. If there is a price to pay, the terms must be clear. I am doing my share of housekeeping (washing dishes is not a Morita).
Thanks for being here.

I'll second that

Once in a restaurant in Minnesota I heard a man talking about training hunting dogs: "You can train a Golden (retriever) by raising your voice, but to train a Lab(rador retriever), you need a two-by-four!"

Izzy may be a Lab. Smile (By the way, I'm generally a Lab, too. *chuckle*)

It's kind of gnarly

'round here. She's gettin' whacked pretty good. Barely talking, don't want to look at her, don't want anything, no compassion (she's gotta ask).....just waitin' it out. Let my control freak go and not try to fix anything/everything. My work is to not think about it. Imaginary conversations suck.
Day 8

It occurred to me

That maybe you are under the impression that you love and adore this woman, but perhaps she rightly perceives that your vision may be sufficiently clouded by your own neediness that you don't really see or appreciate her for who she actually is and therefore don't truly love her. I think it is possible to worship someone without actually loving them, because true love requires that you are able to understand the person for their true self rather than projecting your own desires onto them. I know that when my own partner seems enraptured by me in a physical sense, it's often when I feel most detached because it can really seem as though he is off in his own fantasy world, completely oblivious to what I am really like and to what I am feeling, experiencing, and needing in the moment. It can be kind of cute when men get delirious over a woman and her beauty, but it's kind of like the cuteness of a puppy that acts happy to see you because it knows you have a biscuit in your pocket; you know the display of rapture and affection is actually self-interested. I really don't know, but maybe one of your challenges in this is to love your wife for who she *actually is,* rather than for who you wish or imagine her to be, or what you want from her, or what feelings she stirs in you. It's hard, because I think she's been your drug of choice, and it's hard to see that any other way. But I guarantee that although you may have a hard time figuring out who you are aside from her, she knows *exactly* who and what she is aside from you. How do you feel about that? The next time you're in a situation of trying to extract some affection out of her, are you able to experiment with shifting your focus to trying to discover what it is that she is thinking, feeling, and wanting most in that moment, not as a way to get your own agenda, nor even as a way of finding out what she wants and doing it, but simply as a way of establishing an understanding and connection?

As an aside, I don't think there's anything wrong with trying to push your own agenda, to a point. But I think for a true connection to happen it does usually need to be let go of for a time.

A Hard One To Read

11 days to get to where I can respond, 3 days post orgasm.
Adoration and Sex: You are so right about the "not seeing" to object of one's worship. When she takes her clothes off, I am all about the package. We've agreed that's ok. She's naked, there is no depth to our connection. It gets infinitely more complicated when we touch. For years (my years of porn) she said she could only get my attention/adoration through sex. My practice here has gotten me to a place where I am able to feel and express my love in a variety of ways that acknowledge her deeper self....unless I'm being pissy. There is always work to be done at the loving level. It's good work.
She's been asking me to do a lot of work for her. I've been making her ask by ignoring her hints. I want her to feel (one of the most dangerous phrases in a relationship) what it's like to ask for what she wants. I'm feeling wounded, unappreciated, and hungry for affection. She says it's not in her nature. I say I understand, so I have to ask for what I want.
Monday, I was home for a couple of hours, asked if there was anything I could do, vacuumed the stairs, and cleaned the hearth. I asked for 5 minutes of bonding behavior or a promise. She made a promise to come to my bed that night. She did, but left me hungry.
At this point in my recovery (a great phrase for building boundaries, or making excuses for bad behavior) I need to state clearly my intention. I've too long tried to figure out what I needed to do (what she wants) to manipulate her to give me what I want. She knows this, and is a master a calling me out. I can only indulge in that kind of subterfuge when I am clean of expectation and we can laugh about it.[quote]when my own partner seems enraptured by me in a physical sense, it's often when I feel most detached[/quote]My side of that is: when I feel my beloved slipping away and my efforts of kindness and caring don't bring her back, I go for the sex. My amygdala (or some other lizard part of me) thinks it's a good idea. If it works, I feel better, but you're right, we've done nothing to address the issue of why she is pulling away.
I think I do love her for who she actually is. She is not a generous or affectionate woman (yet moreso than her parents) and she is my beloved. Stepping back from the orgasm quest (she was indeed my drug of choice for that one) certainly has cleared my vision to see her. And to see my need for affection. I've learned too, that when I'm feeling needy, it's really good to ask, "What can I do for you?" It gets me out of myself and back up into my heart.
But the truth is: I am a 3 day man. At that point I need something back. I'm really easy. Saying "thanks" in response is ok, but one day she came to me, sought me out, put her hand on my shoulder and thanked me. I was happy for 2 days.....puppy shit, watch your step.
I know who I am, and I do really well in the world. It's when I am within her sphere that things go batty. I watched our 11 month old granddaughter play and eat, and be fully content with herself, change into a whining needy baby when her mother came home. Her entire world narrowed to the focus of her mother's breast. I know exactly what's going on. I've got 58 years on her and not much has changed. I've just stretched out my cool to 3 days.
Thank you Amari, your words are helpful to us all

Thanks

Good stuff folks
I'm digesting....hope I don't produce too much crap
Well actually I'm chewing, gnawing on your words, Amari, Cole and Hotspring. I have scanned them but I can't focus. You all put a lot of thought and effort into your posts. They deserve deep consideration. I think I can only answer in little bits. Please have patience with me.

I asked if

there was a clue for you, via the oracle. It said:

TENDERNESS

I thought that was interesting, because it's one of the qualities you "do" best, AC. Keep on working from your strength. The oracle also said, "desire for a meaningless triumph" would hold you back in easing the "tension in your relationship."

Hope it helps.

*big hug*

Boob Man

I asked for some prophylactic Hubby Healing. I've been 4 days without a PIDA I was sensing trouble brewing. She came to my bed wearing bra and Tshirt. I held her tenderly, without hunger....and no erection! truly amazing. Was it the armored breasts? my desire to be tender? Most likely both and about 6-7 other things I'm not aware of.
The porn use was a symptom of my laziness and wandering off the path. My goal was to become a more loving man....I forgot, just forgot. I stopped doing my morning Feldenkrais and brushing and got dope hungry. It hasn't been an issue since (well....except when she stands naked before me, wet from the shower).
Your nudges and Sue Monk Kidd have helped me get back on track. But I really don't want to be somebody else, or try to figure out how to do it right. I want to practice being still with myself.
nos amo mucho

Great Article

Thanks
I forwarded it to her and excerpted a piece 'cause I doubt she'll read it
[quote]the temporary neurochemical (or receptor) drop-off (after orgasm Sunday) soon makes us feel like we are missing some essential ingredient for our happiness (me by Wednesday)

The resulting angst strongly motivates us to seek relief now. Due to this "mini withdrawal," we may feel anxious and emotionally distant—and want to ease our tension with another orgasm as soon as possible. Or perhaps we are needier than usual, craving additional proofs of our mate's love—on our terms. Both these strategies are attempts to stimulate feelings of pleasure in a now-sluggish reward circuitry.

Unfortunately, unless you both happen to choose the same "meds" for your discomfort, your love life can go out of sync. If your mate rebuffs your advances, it may seem like your mate doesn't care enough to ease your obvious distress. Or it may seem to your mate like all you care about is "getting some." Now, you could be seeing the worst in each other, and, perhaps, doubting each other's devotion—all because your mindless, primitive reward circuitry is giving you imperfectly matched impulses as your brains return to equilibrium.[/quote]te amo

I'm goofy about you, too

I know it's a long shot, but I really think we'd all do a better job if we framed the issue better.

Feel free to suggest changes to the article, too. I haven't put it up on my PT blog yet - in case you folks have suggestions for me.