We’ve been discussing sexual desire in all it’s variant forms from extreme high sexual desire spouses who can’t seem to notice anything else in the world (here, here and here), to extreme low sexual desire spouses who wish that sex would just go away like a bad dream (here and here). We’ve also looked at more normal situations and how even in the best of couples there can be some hurt feelings around the topic (here). Sometimes we use sex as a weapon (here) and sometimes we let it deteriorate (here). Neither of those options is very helpful. Today we’ll look at some of the common ways people use to suck all the meaning and mutuality out of marital sexuality and end up taking sexuality, which is supposed to be an expression of love and life between a married male and female, and turn it into an instrument of hurt.
Hurt feelings around sex? What’s that about? Here’s the most wonderful feeling in the world, at least for a moment, and it becomes, for too many, an instrument of pain? Dang. What a bummer. Anyone can have a robust sex life in their teens and twenties. Anyone. Try keeping that up until you’re 80 and let’s see how that goes. Turns out sexuality is pretty sensitive and it needs the protection of marriage between a husband and wife to protect it. Do it any other way with any other person or thing, or by yourself, for that matter, and you invite chaos into your life and you let the air out of your sexual life. One of life’s cruel ironies. Turns out abstinence wasn’t such a dumb idea after all!
Here’s how to completely destroy any meaningful, mutual, marital (husband and wife) sexual desire and turn it into an instrument of hurt:
Surefire Ways For Husbands:
Be promiscuous when you are young.Sleep around without regard.The more the merrier.Who cares what gender?It’s just sex, right?It feels good, right?You can do all things without consequence, because you are invincible.A lifetime of vigor for you!Do the masturbation and porn thing for hours and years on end while you are single.Live with your future spouse before you get married and rip each other’s clothes off everyday until you get bored with that (Which will eventually occur.Crap.How am I supposed to be excited about getting married when sex is boring?), then break up with that person and start the adrenaline-newness cycle all over again with somebody fresh and different and unexplored and once again have great sex, but for a shorter period of time this time, or get married someday and rip each other’s clothes off for a while until you get bored with that or she gets bored with that and then go back to porn (let me guess: you stopped porn for 6 months after you got married ‘cuz you were bound and determined to be faithful, but, no, you’d been masturbating and pornifying your mind for, what?, 10-20 years before you got married?, and how are you supposed to stop a habit like that, just because you walked down an aisle all decked out and everything and signed a paper and smiled for the camera one too many times?) and here was porn and masturbation waiting in the closet as a long-lost friend and he was so glad you discovered him again and pretty soon you are doing really weird stuff on Craigslist or Yahoo Personals or in one of those totally creepy chat rooms where people talk about stuff that would normally burn your ears if you had any sense at all, but you need excitement, baby, and you are gonna get what you want when you want it ‘cuz you are concerned about you, right?And this is all really fun and everything until your wife happens on your internet history or your phone buzzes with a text and your wife is sitting right there and she asks who the text if from and you lie to her straight to her face that it’s whatever than what it is, ‘cuz it’s some prostitute or whore posing as your friend and she’s asking you about your private member and if it needs a little attention, if you know-what-I-mean, and hopefully your conscience kicks in ‘cuz you’ve been lying to the wife of your youth waaaaay too many times, and she doesn’t deserve to be treated like that, and you admit to violating your marriage vow, but probably not.More likely she grabs the phone, because she can see the embarrassment in you eyes and your word didn’t match your facial expression and the incongruity of it all didn’t match and she’s been wondering how come you didn’t want to be sexual with her much lately and she’s not stupid and she wonders what all this secrecy and hiding of your phone is about, and she reads the text from your internet friend on the other end masquerading as an angel of light and you can bet she’s not as turned on as you when she reads what she reads.
Or you can nag your wife how sexless she is.Point it out.Over and over.Train her that sex is about making you happy and if she’s not sexual with you, pout a lot.Or lecture her about what a prude she is and she’s denying you and purposely refraining from sex because she doesn’t love you or she’s trying to hurt you.Tell her she was a bait and switch: Sexual with you like crazy before you got married and then after she won you, she completely shut it off.Tell her she’s frigid.Frown and scoff.When she’s not sexual with you ignore her.Only show her attention when you are sexual.This way you will convey to her that you are very self absorbed and only thinking about sex, not her.That’s it.Don’t treat sex as a way of connecting with your wife.Use it as a way to get off, to feel good, just like you trained yourself from your youth using porn and masturbation.That way, when you are sexual with her, you won’t connect with her soul or her spirit or her personhood at all.Nope.It’s orgasm for you and too bad for her.
Or when you are sexual don’t bring her along. Don’t romance her at all. No I love you’s, no surprise gifts, no cute little notes, no surprises at all. Just do the same ol’, same ol’. Don’t touch her anywhere else. Don’t talk to her about how pretty she is or how you like this curve or that curve or how this connects to this and look at this curl in your hair. Don’t mention anything. Don’t talk at all. Just get off. Don’t look her in the eye. Convey to her that you are just using her to masturbate. Make it as impersonal as you can. Suck the life out of sex. This way you can train her to hate it. Over time, she may even hate you, too.
Or don’t help around the house or be a servant in any way.Don’t pick up after yourself.Or help with the kids.Make sure, if you do “help” that it’s “help.”Convey it’s her responsibility and you are just helping.Be gone all the time doing all your hobbies and missions and work and that’s just who you are and if you don’t love me for me than you know where to go.Show her by your words and actions that she is not important to you.Don’t tell her about your day.Don’t call her up and ask her about hers.Don’t ask her out.Don’t plan anything for the two of you…ever.Just veg on the couch.Put on all kinds of weight and drink beer.A lot.A ton.Oh, you just love beer.Make beer your new mistress.Or whatever.Just not your wife.She’s a nag anyway.
Surefire Ways For Wives:
Or, if you are of the fairer gender, you can literally ruin your sexual drive in your later years by sleeping around in your younger years when the waters run fresh and clear and cool and then when your husband starts to bore you with his arrogance or indifference or his obsession with fishing lures or computer pixels you can start your own exploration of excitement again, because that’s what you used to do before you ever got married and go on-line to that eternal fountain of bliss and find a guy out there who will tell you you are wonderful and sexy and godIcan’twaittoripyourclothesoff and your husband never talks to you that way any more and it’s just so nice to be attractive and have someone notice, but, speaking of notice, you notice your experience of sex is dropping off, not gradual like a long road off of a mountain, by like falling off a cliff, and you could care less about sex.Hmmm.Oh, well.I can always go to Target and get a buzz.
Or maybe I’m gay? That’s it! Ha! I’ll just try that! Oh, the joy. Tell yourself the reason your desire for your husband dropped off is ‘cuz you were never heterosexual in the first place! Woohoo! Tell yourself whatever you want. It’s about you, right? Forget this marriage crap, and commitment and giving and reaching out to your husband. It’s all a ruse. Some cruel, male joke. Same song, second verse. You seek sex as a god it don’t deliver. Heartache and pain and sorrow are the cousins of SEXASGOD. You pursue sex for it’s own sake and that’s what you get …. For a while. Sex as a drug don’t deliver for very long and then there’s a bill to pay.
Or you can ruin your sex life the subtle way by neglect. Refuse to take care of your body. Refuse to dress up and look feminine….ever. You are too mature to play that game right? Besides, you have a poor self-image. You’ve put on too much weight and don’t feel sexy any more. What a relief!!!! Too bad your husband doesn’t feel the same way. Ahhhhhh, he’s supposed to have a vote here, sweetie. Not just you. Just ‘cuz you’ve turned off the spigot doesn’t mean he doesn’t need a drink. Too bad for him. You are in charge of you and you ain’t gonna let no male chauvinist sex fiend influence you. No, sir. You are your own person, right? Stupid one-track-mind males. Drive me crazy.
Or keep yourself busy. Always have something else on your list. Convey to your husband that he is NOT on the list and that you don’t WANT him on the list and you will do whatever you can to keep him OFF of the list and everything else you do is your mission. Everything in life is your mission except your husband. Give your heart to your children. Make them your number one priority. Convey to your children and your husband that your children are number one. Your husband is only a nuisance. All he does is make a mess and resent him for that and nag him about that and point out his faults and drive him away, drive him away, drive him away. Whew!!! I can drive sex away, too! All by myself! Very easily. What a relief! I don’t have to worry about sex any more. Done, done, done, done, done, done, done.
Or, if you are the wife and you happen to want sex more than your husband (which, by the way, is a pretty common, though little known pattern), chide him for not wanting it with you.Accuse him of being gay.Suck the manhood out of him.Point out his lack of virility.If you make an advance and he pulls away, scoff and scold him.Or get mean or pull away yourself.Make him feel guilty about not meeting your needs.Shut your heart to him.It feels like he’s shut you out so treat him the same way.That’s it.Make sure that NEITHER of you is reaching out.That way your marriage can crash and burn and you don’t have to even feel guilty about it.Why’d you divorce?Oh, he wouldn’t have sex with me.Really?Of all the….Start sleeping on the couch or going out with your friends or look for comfort on the Internet.Find comfort somewhere, just not in your marriage vow or in your fidelity.Let your heart wander.You deserve to be happy.Search for happiness by looking for it.Forget patience and tenderness and love and caring.You’ve had enough of that.You’ve given enough.You tried (you think) and failed.Oh, well.
Surefire Ways For Either Husbands or Wives:
You can destroy sexual desire for either you or your spouse without hardly trying.Here’s a couple of surefire ways for either gender:
Have an affair. You weren’t looking, right? It just happened. You were just friends. Imagine how the brain works, the largest sex organ. Now you are spending all your time thinking of your affairee! How are you gonna be sexual with your spouse now? You can fake it. That’ll be fun. How long can you keep that up? How long before your spouse starts to put two and two together. Better hide your phone. Watch your back. Change your passwords. You need another mailbox now? A different bank account? One of those traceless cell phones from the Wal-Mart electronics aisle? Funny how you are paranoid all the time. This is REALLY fun. How you gonna hide all that? Look at you. How come you’re mad all the time and pissy about nothin’? You make a great liar. Who’d a thought? Just wait til your affairee gives you an STD! Then you can give it to your spouse and he/she will never know the difference! I didn’t mean to. HA! No consequences for you! You can do whatever you want. You can run your car without oil, too. Forget seatbelts and parachutes. It’s just you and excitement, Baby. A walking miracle. You can walk on water, too. And calm the waves. Just like that. Mr. or Mrs. No Consequences. You could start your own religion. You may as well. You are already worshipping you.
Or quit sleeping together. No cuddling. No affection. Just you and your private blanket or pillow or dog or kid. Anybody and anything, except your spouse. You don’t want to convey to your spouse that you are married or that you care or that the two of you are special or anything. Or have a kid or two in bed with you and your spouse. Insist as a badge of honor that your child MUST be in your bed because Johnney or Sally can’t ever cry. Can’t have that. Let your spouse bellyache, but not your kid! We are nothing but fair in our family! Let the kid determine if you are going to be sexual or not. That’s a plan. Let the kids run the family. Use every excuse you can think of to not have to sleep with your spouse and then tell yourselves you love each other and you are just being caring by not sleeping together. He snores too loud. Her leg shakes. She keeps me up. He keeps waking me up. I need my sleep. We go to bed at different times. Whatever. If you need more excuses, make them up. Sound believable. Convince your spouse the two of you don’t have to sleep together to be married. You don’t have to have sex either. If you are sexual in this environment (good luck) you will resolutely, completely annihilate any meaning in it at all because the two of you won’t be warm enough to start any friction, let alone a fire. Do this for years. You won’t notice it at first. This is a very subtle way. It usually ends with somebody serving someone with papers. What happened, Honey? We had such a nice arrangement? Arrangement, yes. Marriage? In name, maybe.
Or, if your spouse tries to be affectionate, turn away, turn away, turn away. You don’t want to be sexual, right? And if you are affectionate, he/she will start taking it to the next level? YIKES! Can’t have that. So we’ll just have affectionless sex every once in a while. Do your duty, so to speak. You aren’t the affectionate type, anyway. Or the sexual type. Or the loving type. Or the married type. You are the selfish type and that’s fine with you. Giving isn’t all it’s cracked up to be anyway.
Or if your spouse quits pursuing sex with you, make sure you DON’T pursue sex with your spouse.Treat him how he treat treats you.Treat her how she treats you.Don’t treat him or her how you want to be treated.No.That would keep the embers burning, right?Don’t want that.Treat your spouse how your spouse treats you.Don’t pick up the ball.Drop the ball.Drop everything.He doesn’t try anymore.Neither will you.Indifference is our new mantra.This way the relationship will deteriorate to the lowest common denominator, which, in your case, is as roommates.Roommates make poor lovers.They may even worse husbands and wives.
And then the divorce will just be this mutual agreement.No biggie.We didn’t have any fire left in us.The fire went out years ago.It’s hard to make a flame with only one stick.The two sticks have to rub together to make a fire.Oh, well.We tried.
Right. You call that trying?
And then you can live in your tiny one bedroom apartment, because your spouse took half your retirement and half of everything else. Somehow you ended up with more of the debt. How’d that happen? Stupid rip-off lawyer. I’m still making payments to his sorry butt. At least you got the kitty. Couldn’t divide the kitty in half.
Here, kitty, kitty, kitty.
Don’t you wanna come sit on my lap?
Way too many people are having affairs.The opposite of excitement is boredom.Careful now: Way too many married people are bored with their sex lives.Exciting sexual encounters feed sexual affairs.It’s a cautionary note to all of us who intend to be faithful to our spouses.It can happen to the best of us.None of us is immune.Let him who thinks he stands, take heed, lest he fall.
Now I don’t think that excitement is a justification for having an affair. I’m sure murder and stealing are exciting and we’d never cut any thief or murderer any slack if he told us he did it cuz it was so fun. Hand me the handcuffs please. What a selfish jerk. Hello. Adultery stands smack in the middle between murder and stealing in the Ten Commandments. Look it up. Exodus 20. The big three. The big selfish three. Excitement ain’t no excuse for any of them no matter how BORING your life is. There ain’t no other excuse, either. EVER.
So we can stop with the excuses.
But that doesn’t mean we should relax and think it’s Okay to go on with boredom in the bedroom. Maybe it would be good to shake it up a bit. And no, I don’t mean pornography and having your wife dress like a whore and solicit sex from you at a bar. Who thinks of this stuff? Great. We’re going to enhance our sex lives by looking at somebody else, while we try to be intimate with each other or you try to imagine your wife is somebody else while you make love to her? How creepy is that? We’re not going to enhance our sex lives together by making it dirty and taking your spouse’s personhood away or getting rid of her altogether. This is the stuff of perversion and sexual abuse, treating your victim as an object. No, let’s stay away from that. That’s NOT what I mean.
But creativity wouldn’t be bad.Shaking it up a little wouldn’t be bad.
One thing you have to say about affairees…they are creative. I’ve heard waaaay too many stories. Earlier in my career, I used to ask about these things. Thankfully, I wised up and don’t ask about that any more. Whew. I still hear enough: They did it at work, in the car, at every city, county and state park you can imagine and in hotels spread throughout the land. And did I mention the car?
Well, ahhh. Hmmmm.Ahh.
Now this really isn’t fair, because your affairee doesn’t wash your underwear or nurse your babies or clean your toilet, or pay your bills or change your oil or buy your groceries or fry your potatoes or contribute to your retirement next egg or pay off your debts.She won’t visit you in the nursing home either.It’s easy to have excitement with somebody you don’t have all these obligations and expectations of and commitments with or you don’t know well enough to recognize his faults or shortcomings or proclivities and tendencies.It’s easy to be exciting when you don’t have a care in the world.So it’s really unfair to say that sex with a near stranger or with someone you have no shared cares with would be exciting.
But between you and your wife or husband excitement would be good.Shaking it up would be good.Variety would be good.A different place in the house would be good.A different place altogether would be good.New lingerie would be good.A new look would be good.Unexpected would be good.More often would be good.More inventive would be good.More involved would be good.When’s the last time the two of you dolled up and went out on the town lookin’ good?When’s the last time you flirted with each other.Gave each other a pat on the butt?Winked knowingly and secretly to each other?Stole a kiss?You know.A real kiss.One of those holymoly kisses.Between you two.You two lovebirds.When and where?When’s the last time?
And ladies, I hope you don’t ever become so busy, so preoccupied, so prissy, so unapproachable, so self-righteous that you can’t just laugh and enjoy a good ol’ surreptitious pat on the butt.Maybe even give one.Yeah, you.
Oh, I couldn’t do that?Why not?Everything with you has to be predictable?Do you really, absolutely NOT want him to think about you in that way, ever?How many guys do you know that can go, oh, the next 40 years and never do that, let alone the next 40 minutes?He ain’t a sex perv, more than likely.Are you a conversation perv?All you wanna do is talk?Come on.You are mmmmmmaaaaaaarrrrrrriiiiiiieeeeeeedddddd.Your participation is required.It’s time to play ball and if you are going to play ball you have to get up to bat once in a while.Otherwise, the game is over.
Have you developed your own secret language? Your own knowing looks? It’s just between you two. No, your spouse isn’t going to write a biography about you and put all these scandalous things in it. It’s private. Just between you two. Secret. Your own private, meaningful, flirtatious secret. I’d give you some ideas, but it’s none of your business, knowwhatImean?
If you are the low-sexual drive partner, when’s the last time you initiated sex?Huh?When?How would you feel if you were the only one that initiated conversation?The only time your spouse talked to you is when you initiated the conversation?The rest of the time he’d never give you any attention?He’d only look you in the eye and give you attention if you initiated the conversation?How well would that work for you?
Is it any wonder men have ED problems in later life?Here’s my unscientific, clinical opinion on causes of ED:25% poor circulation and health, 25% fatigue and stress, 25% porn, 25% boredom and repeated rejection.
You can work on your health and diet and weight (Mostly. Sadly, there are health causes of ED you can’t do much about. You might see your doc about that.), you can work on reducing stress, you can quit the porn and fantasizing about sex with others, but to work on the boredom and rejection part you’ll need a spouse. Hello. Anybody home?
How many times can you get rejected until you say, Okay, I get it?
It’s time for both of you to kick it up.
It’s time for both of you to take this seriously instead of taking each other for granted.
Don’t just assume that everything in your marriage is fine and you don’t ever have to do anything to make your relationship meaningful.
And please don’t wait until the kids grow up or use the excuse that we have kids, therefore we can’t rip each other’s clothes off.By the time the kids grow up you’ll be out of practice or you won’t even care.Or somebody will have dumped somebody.Or somebody will have found somebody else.What?You don’t have time to have a little rejuvenated sex, but you have time to sneak around and lie and have an affair?You know how hard that is?Haven’t you heard of a quickie?How about a lock on the bedroom door?Or lock the bathroom door.The bathroom?Just a minute, sweetie.Mommy will be out in a minute.
Here’s a sex killer.Sure-fire way.Just suck the life out of your sex life without even trying.That’s it.Don’t try.Just lay there.Time after time.Tell him it’s Okay, but look and act bored.Or put out.Or uninvolved.That’ll kill his desire.For you at least.Desire won’t go away, just because you went on strike.Who are you trying to kid?
Here’s a sex enhancer:Mutuality.We both try.Two sticks rubbing together can make a fire.Two sticks.Two sticks.
Meaningful would be good. Shaking it up would be good. Initiating things would be good. Talking about it would be good. Flirting about it would be good.
Don’t wait until your spouse tells you he or she, ah, had an affair. There’s a lot easier and healthier ways to add excitement to your sex life than that.
I’m just not all that interested in sex.
I’m just not the communicating type.
Choose your gender. Choose your excuse. Better have your divorce lawyer on speed dial.
I like to be cautious about making generalizations about women do this and men do that, because there are always exceptions. So in the generalization that I’m going to make today, if you are the opposite, the dynamic still applies. I’m not so concerned on the gender as the pattern.
Here’s an observation: In marriage wives tend to be strong on communication; husbands tend to be strong on initiating sex. We won’t have much of a marriage if we don’t have both communication and sex. If your spouse won’t talk to you, you won’t feel connected. If your spouse won’t be sexual with you won’t feel connected. This isn’t a matter of either/or. It’s a both/and.
So here’s a very curious thing: Sometimes wives tell me they just aren’t the sexual type, that sex doesn’t do anything for them, they don’t think about sex and frankly, if they had their preference they wouldn’t ever have sex again with anybody, not their spouse or anybody else. They wear this as a badge of pride. They also insinuate by saying this that since this is who they are, it would be cruel and downright dastardly if their husbands has the gall to suggest sex with them. Can’t you see this is who I am? Can’t you accept me for who I am? If this is who I am and you want sex with me then you must not love me!! Furthermore, these same women make it apparent to their horny-toad husbands that if their husbands want to be sexual with these wives that these wives find that burdensome. You are just being a pest. Leave me alone. All you think about is sex. Sex is just disgusting and so are you.
If you are the type that likes to sucker punch your husband, this is a surefire way to do it.
But they are hypocrites. These same wives would NEVER accept their husbands telling them that they are just not the communication type, they never grew up with talking, they don’t have much to say, they don’t have feelings either, and the last thing they want to do when they come home from work is talk.
There’s not a wife in the world that would accept that as an excuse and be Okay with it. So why should any husband anywhere be Okay with hearing his wife say that he’s some sort of perv because he wants to be sexual with his wife? Why is communication fine and dandy and sexuality is dirty, Merty?
Think about this: How women feel about communication with their husbands is the same way husbands feel about sex. WE NEED BOTH OF THESE THINGS. We are both bringing our strengths to the table.
We need regular times of sex and regular times of communication.
Imagine going weeks without talking? How close would a couple feel? Why go home, just to feel rejected? So what does she do? She starts nagging him. Getting on his case. How come you never talk to me? Don’t you love me? You just never express your feelings. You are all locked up. You need to tell me your feelings. How do you feel? What’s the matter with me? You are just like your father. I can’t go on like this. You never tell me anything that’s going on.
Can you see where this is heading?
Ladies: If you were a guy and your wife talked to you this way would you talk to her? Hello.
I’ve tried for years to get him to talk and he won’t so I’m just done, I’m done, I’m done, I’m done. I’ll find someone who will talk to me.
If a couple does this on a regular basis, it won’t be long before she files for divorce.
Now, I don’t think she should file for divorce.Don’t get me wrong.I’m just saying I’ve heard a ton of wives use that an excuse.Sad, yes, but true.They are pretty stubborn about it, too, and will not be dissuaded:
Imagine going weeks (Months? Years?) without being sexual with your spouse? How close would a couple feel? If a couple has NO sex on a regular basis, it won’t be long before he files for divorce. Why go home, just to feel rejected? She won’t be sexual with me so she must not love me. So what does he do? He starts nagging her, getting on her case. How come you’ll never be sexual with me? Don’t you love me? You never express yourself sexually. You are all locked up. You need to show me that you are a sexual being. How come you’re not sexual? What’s the matter with me? You are just like your mother. I can’t go on like this. You never initiate sex.
Can you see where this is heading?
Men: If you were a gal and your husband talked to you this way, would you want to be sexual with him? Hello.
I’ve tried for years to initiate sex with her and all I do is get turned down. Over and over and over. I’m done initiating sex. Alright. I get it. She doesn’t love me. Why be married to someone who doesn’t love me? I know there is a wife out there who would be sexual with me, who would love me. I’m done, I’m done, I’m done.
Now I don’t think he should divorce over this. A better way to think would be to try to figure out what makes his wife tick, what he needs to do to bring this mystery out of her so she can ACTUALLY enjoy her WHOLE life, including this illusive sexual part. As the Song of Solomon says she’s a garden locked up. Where’s the key? That might be a cool thing to figure out. Maybe they could figure it out together?
All divorce does is institutionalize your personal pain and spread it around all of society, to stink up the rest of us.Okay, YOU’ve made it perfectly clear that YOU cannot be trifled with and if YOU don’t get YOUr way YOU will dump YOUr spouse and it’s YOUr spouse’s fault for not auntying up and doing everything the way that YOU wanted and if YOU don’t get what YOU want then YOU are going to withhold kindness, love, tenderness and anything meaningful because YOU don’t feel love anymore after all because I love you I’m just not in love with you and YOU are going to wallow in self-pity and forlornness and woeismeism and everyone can feel so sorry for YOU because YOU were married to a sex fiend or a creep that would never talk to you.
A wise wife knows her husband has a more difficult time sharing his inner thoughts than her. She’ll see this as a challenge. What can I do to bring this mysterious man out of his shell? She’ll discover that he will talk in certain circumstances, like when they are watching sports together or on a trip in the car together or when they go for a walk or after she teases him or encourages him or after the two of them are sexual! What? Sexual? He’ll talk to me after sex? It’s supposed to be the other way around. I want him to talk to me before sex!
Welcome to marriage: Give and take. Sometimes we have sex and then talk. Sometimes we talk and then have sex. Sometimes we just talk. Sometimes we just have sex.
This would be like, ahhh, normal.
A wise husband knows his wife needs a little coaxing to be sexual. He discovers by trial and error that just being sexual isn’t enough. She’ll tell him she needs some face-to-face time, that she’ll need to chat, that it would be helpful if he’s helpful. If he’s wise he’ll take her cues and learn what makes her tick. She’s different from him after all. She’s a mystery to him, a garden locked up. He has to figure out how to unlock the garden. It isn’t easy. It takes at least 25 years just to get the hang of it. That’s when it starts getting fun. The average divorce is 7.2 years. In dog years, we’re hardly even to first base. Patience, people! It takes a lifetime to figure this out. If you are smart, YOU WILL EVEN ENJOY IT!!!
Here’s a sure-fire way to have hell on earth using the direct route. You won’t even have to use the side streets. Just go there directly: If your spouse won’t talk to you like you want (your needs are most important, right?), then go on strike and test your spouse and quit talking and see how long it’ll take for him to say anything! Nurse your resentments while you do this. Take the key to your heart and throw it away.
If your spouse won’t be sexual with you enough or she never initiates? Put up the old test. Don’t pursue sex at all and see how long it takes her to try to get your motor running. Put a chip on your shoulder while you’re at it and just dare her to try. Be sure to not tell her she’s being tested.
And then the longer it goes without you getting the communication or sex you need, just feed those resentments. Build up that wall. Close off your heart. Shut down your love. That’s it. Then tell him or her you don’t love him or her anymore and make it clear that it is his or her fault.
And then tell yourself that you have done nothing wrong, that your spouse doesn’t love you and that you married the wrong person and life’s too short and you deserve to be married to someone who will talk to you or be sexual with you.
Tell yourself this and never learn a thing.
This whole man-women thing is a mystery, a challenge, a quest. Quit being so offended by it. Buck up. Take up the challenge. Don’t give up. Learn from your mistakes.
We’re a nation of wooses.No one has any patience.No one has any fortitude.Nor perseverance.No wooing.No courting after the I-dos.No flirting or gentle teasing.No rising to the occasion.No hanging in there, figuring things out, learning from our mistakes.If you aren’t what I want when I want it, then I’m done.That’s it.Done, done, done.
Your husband won’t talk to you? It must be his fault. Your wife won’t be sexual with you? You must have picked the wrong person. Too bad for you.
He won’t talk to you for a reason. She won’t be sexual with you for a reason. It’s your job to figure that out. Yelling and putdowns and anger and chastising and threats and pouting and being mean and demanding and needy and clingy and smothering and withdrawal and shutting down and testing are NOT the instruments used to warm hearts. These push spouses away. Way, way away. And for heaven sakes, it’s hard to want to talk to someone or be sexual with someone who is locked up in the bedroom or on the computer or in the garage or with the kids all the time or at work all the time or drinking yourself into a stupor or hanging out with your immature friends all the time because you are so frickin’ resentful that your spouse won’t be sexual or talk to you.
And the absolutely LEAST effective way to get your spouse to be sexual with you or to talk to you is to nag at him or her.Telling your spouse he or she doesn’t measure up will just make them feel worse.Feeling you don’t measure up isn’t going to help you open up or loosen your inhibitions.
You might try the Golden Rule. Treat your spouse the way you want to be treated. Generously. Graciously. Gratefully. Gleefully. It’s stood the test of time. It’s much easier to be sexual or conversational with a spouse who is NICE, FRIENDLY, APPROACHABLE AND ENGAGING!!!!!!
Here’s hoping if you treat your wife or husband like you are a 13-year old, instead of being mature about it, that he or she is not a 13-year old, also, and can rise to the occasion and infuse some maturity and perseverance and patience and creativity and inventiveness into the situation. Then, maybe, over time and through your thick skull, some of that wisdom can filter over into your brain.
Otherwise, if you are both 13 in maturity, you will self-destruct.
Most marriages between 13 year olds, I would guess, end in divorce.
Thirteen year olds refuse to grow up.
Divorce stops your maturation and freezes your selfishness into an institution.
You’ll be in Junior High emotionally the rest of your life:A real party on wheels.
What a catch you’ll be.
In this series of blogs on sexual desire, I’ve looked at the two extremes: A spouse who says they are not sexual at all and could care less if he or she ever is again (here and here) and a spouse who is so preoccupied with sex as to not have anything else on his mind…ever (porn here and swinging here and here). Thankfully, these two extremes are the exception. Today we’ll examine the normal pattern.
The normal pattern of sexual desire is one partner wants sexual contact more and one wants it less.
There you go. Normal.
Normal means that one of you will have some concern that the two of you are not sexual enough and one of you will be concerned that we’re too concerned about sex and we need to think about other things.
I have these clients who chide me and say, no, this isn’t normal.This disparity hurts too much to be normal.They tell me there must be someone out there who would be closer to where they are.I call this a “veiled threat,” meaning that if you don’t kick it up, I’m out of here and I’ll find someone that will WANT to be sexual with me.There must be someone out there.
This is a sure-fire way to make your spouse feel insecure and insecurity does NOT make the heart grow fonder. Insecure people protect themselves from the source of the threat. Sexuality thrives in the security of the certainty and predictability and dependability of marriage. This is why cohabiting couples struggle with sexuality. Cohabiting couples struggle with security issues because they don’t know if they’re coming or going. Married people have already figured that out. So don’t go calling your commitment into question. It’s sacred ground. Protect it: No threats to divorce over any issue. Period. We’re a done deal.
If you are making threats to divorce because you don’t “get” enough sex, if you are thinking this way, you need to chill. You could very well divorce, marry someone that wants sex all the time and after the newness wears off you start to think she doesn’t love you for anything else and what kind of deal is that, I’m just a sex object, and now you are the low desire partner! HA! Watch out. Sexual desire tends to ebb and flow over time. Wouldn’t that just be a kicker if you wanted to ebb and she wanted to flow? A little lesson in irony? Be careful what you wish for.
Or you marry your second wife (or husband) because she keeps ripping your clothes off and the sex is so hot and then two years latter she’s wearing sweats and pretending to be asleep so she doesn’t have to deal you’re your advances and you’re right back to where you were in your first marriage, only this time you are less patient, less understanding, less tolerant, less agreeable and more irritable, more frustrated, and more demanding because your divorce froze your maturity in time.These characteristics are not too becoming to a spouse wanting to be sexual, so the more angry you get about not being sexual the more unattractive you are as a sexual partner and you train your spouse to avoid you like the plague.Of course, you’ll blame her.
Maybe learning to cooperate would be good.Maybe learning a little patience and tenderness and the art of pursuing would be good.Demands and threats don’t make much of an aphrodisiac.
If you are the low desire partner, you need to be careful, too. Some are tempted to think that sexuality is this total burden and it would just be nice to not ever have to worry about it and by that they mean, never do it. We could just be married and not be sexual. That’d be fine. The only problem with this approach is that you won’t find a partner that will be willing to cooperate with that:
Wanted: A marital partner who is one in name only. We’ll put on a great show for all our relies and friends. No one will know that we’re never sexual. You and I will be great roommates and we’ll love each other. We’ll just not desire each other, long for each other, pine for each other. We’ll nod to each other in the hallway. Might as well not tease or flirt with each other either. What’s the point? Nodding. Yeah, I like nodding. Are the two of you ever sexual? No, but we nod.
Now there’s a relationship waiting to implode.
So…we can’t be sexual all the time and we can’t be not sexual all the time.
So…someone’s not going to get his or her way all the time.Hmm.Who’s it gonna be?
If you really try, both of you can be hurt and mad about it all the time! That’s not a plan.
The tension between the one that wants it more and the one that wants is less is normal. In marriage, we work together for the common good and we give and take and we sacrifice and and and we receive and we cut each other slack and we forgive and compromise and we, yes, we, us, our, yours and mine, we ebb and flow. And sometimes we’re sexual like rabbits and sometimes we chill and over time it feels ever so much like we’re in this together and that nobody’s “winning” because it’s NOT a competition.
If both of us are not sacrificing, something’s out of kilter here.
Some couples work this out in such a way that there is hurt whether they are sexual or not.Even if they are sexual there is something wrong about it; and if they aren’t sexual they need to be.This would, by definition, make you a sour puss, which, if you haven’t figured out, is NOT much of a turn on.Who wants to make love to the grade school principle with his grimace and furrowed brow and pursed lips and folded arms standing in judgment at the end of the hall?Yeah, that’ll get the blood flowing.
And who’d want to make love to someone standing there pounding his fists in frustration, making demands and guilt-tripping you into this or that? Isn’t sexuality supposed to be, like, you know…mutual?
But on the other hand, who can survive indifference? Who can survive being a burden? What’s it like to see your spouse, who, whenever you touch her, sighs a sigh of disgust? Who pushes you away or turns her head when you try to kiss her, or rolls her back to you, night after night after night after night afternightafternightafter. How many times can you be rejected and rejected and rejected and rejected until you just shut down, just give up, just withdraw into indifference yourself?
If you are indifferent to your spouse about sex and he pursues and pursues and pursues and you are indifferent, indifferent, indifferent, and all of a sudden he becomes indifferent, be very afraid. Be very, very afraid. If you are the husband who’s rejected your wife’s advances time and time again and she finally quits initiating? You need to be frickin’, monumentally afraid.
Hey, a little sacrificing here.Both.You and me.I give a little.You give a little.It’s no biggie.Nobody’s keeping score.
Here’s a better plan. Both of us figure out how neither of us has to be hurt around sexuality. We find an equilibrium. The one who wants it all the time realizes that we can’t be sexual all the time and doesn’t have to be hurt about it if we are not sexual all the time. The one who wants it less realizes that we can’t go through married life and not be sexual and isn’t upset if we are and finds a way to be involved in the process when we are.
We’d get rid of both demanding and indifference.
We replace it with love and tenderness and compassion and we throw in a little flirting, some soft kissing now and again, maybe even spontaneously here and there and we surreptitiously pat the other’s butt once in a while and we don’t dress like the motel housekeeper or the Sam’s Club shopper and we look each other in the eye when we’re making love and we hold hands in the car and we laugh a little and have a private language and private jokes and we teach each other what feels good and we let the other know that there is longing and when love awakens we awake.
That’d be a better way.
This blog is part of a longer series of blogs on sexual desire (Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four) and Part Two on swingers and swinging. In the previous blog on swinging I suggested that swinging smacks of child sexual abuse for adults and that the spouse who talks the other spouse into doing swinging is the perpetrator, the one who gets talked into it is the victim. This is new language to describe swinging behavior, but you need this background to follow today’s comments.
Swingers don’t make very good marital therapy candidates. The one who wants to do it, the one who tries to talk the other into it, the one who advocates for it, chides about it, prods the other, grooms the other spouse, this person’s mind is so far removed from the protection and safety and sanctity and respect and dignity of marriage that the suggestion from a therapist like me that opening up the boundary of protection in marriage and driving a semi-truck of evil and selfishness and chaos and trouble through it isn’t a good idea, this client is only going to get mad: Frickin’, fundamentalist, legalistic, narrow-minded, unenlightened therapist. And I’m sorry, but I’m going to have a hard time helping you be a better couple while one of you advocates for swinging and one is devastated. You can’t use me to explain to your spouse that “Open Marriage” is just fine. And if you both tell me that you love swinging, but you have these other problems and we don’t want help with the swinging, the swinging is just fine, I’m not going to believe it. You’ll get irritated very quickly with my skepticism. This is one of those times I’d really have a hard time referring you out. We’ll probably just have to shake hands and say I’m sorry.
That’s not to say ALL perpetrator spouses in swinging couples are always unrepentant. Sometimes they are very sorry because the temptation that they’d feasted on in pornography for years – the doctor is doing it with the nurse, the nurse is doing it with the patient, the patient is doing it with the housekeeper, then they all do it together and everyone is so happy, happy, happy- turns out to be a nightmare instead and the perpetrator spouse wises up and realizes this ain’t the road to happiness after all.Crap.We gotta stop doin’ this.What am I gonna do with this stupid semi-truck?But then we end up with this sad irony.The victim spouse came into swinging kicking and screaming and protesting and against her will. In order to overcome the victim spouse’s objections, the perpetrator spouse had to convince and argue, sometimes for years, that the marriage boundary is only in their hearts and sexuality is only an amoral act.It does not matter who this act is done with.It only matters that you are having fun.We’ll protect the boundary of our marriage in our hearts by only truly loving each other, but we’ll use our bodies to express our latent sexual desire and enter nirvana through this secret gate.Comeonitllbefun.Don’t be such a prude.You never want to have any fun.
The victim spouse intuitively knows it’s wrong and evil and degenerate and out-there and freaky and wants nothing to do with it, but the perpetrator spouse is so convincing and such a salesman, goading and pounding it in and showing the victim porn and on and on and on and so the victim spouse finally relents.She’s been converted to the view that sex means nothing between them.It’s just an act.If sex means nothing between her and her swinging partner, then it means nothing between her and her husband.She can’t play mental games like this.Her sex with her husband hasn’t meant anything for some time now, because he’s told her it just an act:Dogs copulating in the field while staring off into space.That’s not what he said, but she wasn’t prepared to play the mental games he was suggesting she play.Sex either means something or it means nothing.It can’t mean something with her husband and nothing with everyone else.She’d dreamed as a child that sex was special.She even wore white at her wedding and got all dolled up to show it was worth the wait and that there is something unique about the wedding bed and all her friends and her mother cried when she walked down the isle.That was all a ruse?Now he’s telling her all her ideals were a sham. Over and over.Sweetie, you gotta loosen up.You are so uptight.Lose those inhibitions.They are binding you.Her dream.What happened to her dream?You mean it’s not making love and looking into each other’s eyes and heart and soul?Not connection in love?Not tenderness, mutuality, longings fulfilled, oneness?Nothing special about it all?Nothing worth protecting at all?Damsel in distress?Forget that.The prince will join the giant and let’s get the other soldiers in here, too, and any other damsels we can rustle up and we’ll all ravish the damsel.Group rape is fun.Why are you crying?Stop it.Just loosen up, already.
Well, after you’ve been preached at, hounded and scolded and manipulated and groomed by the perpetrator for so long, pretty soon it’s all going to take hold and the victim is no longer a victim, but a willing participant—sort of. Yeah. Now this is where it gets really weird.
The only way any sane victim can be victimized and not go crazy is to find a mental game to play. They have to leave the extreme hurtfulness of the situation.Victims of child sexual abuse talk about leaving their bodies.I’ve had clients tell me it was like they were on the ceiling looking down on their perpetrator violating their bodies.It’s sounds a little psychotic, but I think this type of coping is a God-given way to keep sexually abused children from going literally crazy.It’s hard enough witnessing your dignity stolen from a distance.
Another way they cope with it is to think of something else altogether, while the act is being forced upon them. Strippers and prostitutes do this in order to stay sane and stay at a distance from what they are doing. Don’t get me wrong. It still hurts like the dickens. You can only escape in your mind so far. This is why so many of them are on drugs or alcohol. They are only acting like they are enjoying it. That big smile you see on the stripper’s face? It’s part of the act to get you to give her your money. What they are thinking instead is that this guy or these men are pervs and I’m doing this because I hate them and I’m exploiting them (it’s really the other way around, remember?). Just because you “pay” a prostitute or a stripper, doesn’t mean you aren’t abusing her. She’s been abused all along by her daddy or Uncle Bob and those pervs unwittingly trained her years ago how to survive and not go crazy. The only way that she could go through Uncle Bob’s shenanigans is to hate his guts while he did his totally perv and unspeakable thing. Or they are paying their bills in their heads or reciting a poem or a favorite song, anything other than I am enjoying this and I’m really sexual and wow this is awesome. Those interviews with porn stars and strippers and prostitutes you see on TV where they say that they are just sexual and it’s just an act and they are actually self-actualized in their sexuality and she shouldn’t be discriminated against and women are sexual beings and she’s just exploring her sexuality and it’s a good job and look at all this money? Don’t believe any of it for a second. It’s all part of the act. She’s quoting Uncle Bob! She’s really just a broken little girl acting out a script she’s been brainwashed to do. She’s anything, but happy. It’s only a matter of time before she totally breaks. She’s aging before her eyes.
How do adults cope with sexual abuse by their spouses in the form of swinging, swapping, and same-sex experimentation? Swinging opens the door to every perversion. It’s just sex, remember? It doesn’t matter with whom. Gender don’t matter squat, either. The plumbing works. It’s meant to be utilized, right?
Every right thinking victim knows intuitively that it’s not just sex. It’s supposed to be special. It’s supposed to be about love and connection and tenderness. So in order to keep from going crazy, they fall in love with their partners. Male or female. It makes no difference. Pandora’s box has been opened. The marriage vow has been deflowered and debased and debunked. There must be some love here somewhere.
And then a swinging victim asks herself why would I want to be married any more to my perpetrator? Sex didn’t mean anything to my husband, right? Just an act and all that? But it meant something when she did it with this swinger guy or gal. Finally meant something, just like she thought it should. She’s been looking for love all along and she finally found it when she swung with this guy or gal. Imagine that. He was nice. He was gentle. She looked me in the eye and soothed me while I cried. Sort of a built in revenge deal against her perpetrator. It’s a cruel world.
If her perpetrator has groomed her this far and this well, she doesn’t make a very good marriage therapy client, either. Sadly, no. I gotta get out of this marriage to be protected. I gotta be safe somewhere. He just throws me to the wolves. My husband is a crazy sex perv and all he thinks about it himself. Getmeoutofhere!
Before leaving this subject, I must write about how some couples end up in this semi-truck load of evil seemingly unwittingly.I don’t really think that, because the naïve are still responsible for being in positions to be duped.They took the bait.Don’t take the bait.Don’t be in a position or situation where the bait even looks attractive.Be far, far away.These people are not your friends.It’s time to leave, Honey.
Sometimes you will meet a really outgoing and friendly couple.But you notice after a while, that they are just way-way too forward about sexuality.They talk about it with both of you there.They talk to you about it when your spouse isn’t there.It’s great fun.They brag about their sexual exploits.They make crude jokes.They look at each other in this knowing sort of way.They invite you to watch porn with them…as couples.They openly flirt with you.They talk about their sexual activities in front of you.They invite you over to their hot tub.Things happen.One of you enjoys it.The other is appalled.Maybe you are both appalled.But now we’re both in therapy because one of us thinks the other should have put a stop to it before it got this far.Or that one of you was too enthusiastic and if that’s what you want Okay fine, but my marriage means more to me than that.Yikes!
Okay.Look.There are perpetrator couples out there looking for innocent victim couples to exploit.Avoid friends like this like the plague.They are grooming you just like two child molesters might work in tandem.Team perpetrating.Run away.Run away.The only person you should be talking about your sex life with is with your spouse or your pastor or your therapist.
If any couple or single starts talking to you about sexuality in any provocative way, you need to get out of there and never go back.
Your soul and the protection of your spouse and your marriage and your integrity and your commitment are worth more than a hot tub and a semi-truck full of trouble.
In recent blogs we’re been looking at different aspects of sexual desire in marriage. The first two looked at the one extreme of spouses who aren’t interested in sex at all (here and here) and the last one with spouses that think about sex way too much (here). Today we’re looking at another variation of spouses who think about sex way too much: Swingers.
By “swinging” I mean couples, who have affairs with either gender with their spouses’ full knowledge and tacit approval.Sometimes both partners are involved in the sexual activity.Sometimes the swinging spouse is the only one doing it, but seek, plead and beg for their spouse’s approval.In either case we’ve “opened” the door to relationship chaos and relationship problems are right behind.
There are some people who think an affair is only an affair if a spouse does it in secret. If I do it with my spouse’s full knowledge, participation and blessing, then it’s not an affair and we will avoid the pitfalls of an affair. My clinical experience has been just the opposite. The brazen, in your face, fist-shaking-at-God-and-all-convention nature of swinging creates even more chaos and relationship destruction than an affair. It’s a complete disaster.
It’s too bad I have to discuss this topic today.Unfortunately, I’ve had a rash of clients in recent months that have had some horrendous problems with swinging, swapping and some other creepy things, so I thought I’d better address it.I fear, like the teacher who has to explain a position that’s the total opposite point of view of the teacher whose student develops an interest in advocating for this opposite point of view even though the teacher was critiquing it.The student never even thought of that point of view until the teacher brought up the subject.Likewise, I fear that just by my bringing the subject up, there might be some unwitting reader, who sees me addressing this issue and then thinking that it must be Okay if Dr. Wall discusses it.He brought it up after all.So why can’t we?
Our society today is touting the merits of so-called “sexual openness”.If you’ll look you’ll find it preached in porn.If you don’t you find it preached on TV and in the magazines at the grocery store that your 14-year old daughter or son could easily buy and read.Sex is just sex.Sex is fun.Sex is recreational.The more sex, the more variety, the more partners, the better.A boundary around your marriage?How unenlightened is that?
It’s open marriage, baby. Open marriage?Who comes up with these terms that absolutely take away anything meaningful?The whole idea of “marriage” is that there IS a boundary around a husband and a wife.This boundary is sacred and to be protected.“Open” implies that there is no boundary.These people MIGHT say they have a boundary in their heart:We’ll do sex with others, but NOT love them.We’ll save our love for each other.We’re just shaking it up a little.“Open marriage” is an oxymoron: “An open-closed” relationship.These two are contradictory and will play with your brain.There’s no such thing as an open-closed relationship.It’s one or the other.If you introduce “open” into your boundary-protected “closed” marital relationship, you invite problems into your lives.The boundary of marriage is there to protect you, like a ship’s hull protects it from sinking.Smash a hole in the side of a ship and the ship sinks.Smash a hole in the boundary of emotional and spiritual protection in your marriage and your marriage and you and your spouse will sink.
Open marriage?It used to be called perverted.You can call it what you will.It doesn’t clean it up at all.
I hope this subject doesn’t even come up as a lifestyle option in your marriage.Just the suggestion of it as a possibility can create havoc on you and your spouse’s psyche.It’ll cause her to wonder what other perverted crap is rattling around in your brain and if that’s how you really think about sex, then why would I want to be married to someone like that?
Unfortunately, way too many people, both male and female, are training their brains about sexuality in porn and in porn there are no boundaries around sexuality and anything goes.You don’t have to get into porn much before sexual with anyone and anyhow and any time is the norm.But it’s NOT normal for marriage.Successful marriages anyway.If you feast you mind on perversion and splash around in the gutter, something’s gonna get dirty, and it ain’t just your brain.Pretty soon you’ll be like the 2-year old toddler wanting to do everything daddy or mommy are doing.This isn’t the road to blessing, folks.
Remember when you said, “having thee only till death us do part”? Remember that? Did you mean that? Really? Cuz, ah, I’ve heard waaaaaay too many times where one partner says some of the following and it sure doesn’t sound like a spouse is committed for the long haul to just their husband or wife when he or she starts throwing these doubts into the mix. I also know how difficult it is to admit to these things to a therapist and I’m guessing that a lot more clients have done them, or said them, than have admitted them to me. Sadly, nearly all the folk, who I’ve heard say these things, are men highly steeped in the unrealistic and emotionally damaging world of pornography. The women, who I’ve heard say these things, were often sexually abused as youngsters. I wouldn’t think that neither porn nor sexual abuse would be models for marital bliss. The following are samples of the language of this degenerate life-style:
-You don’t seem to have much sexual desire. Maybe if we swapped partners with another couple, the variety would get your sexual juices jumped started again.
-(Husband to wife) You don’t seem to have much sexual desire. Maybe if you did it with another woman you’d awaken your sexual self. Bring her in. I can watch. Or we’ll all do it together. Cool. You’ll like it. It’d be fun.
-Open marriage is fine. Lot’s of people do it and they are all fine with it. Look at this web site. See. These are normal married couples. See how happy they look.
-It’s just sex. You don’t love them. No, it’s just sex. WE love each OTHER. WE BOTH know that WE LOVE each other. We won’t love our swinging partners. We’ll both know that neither of us is emotionally involved with them. We’ll save our real love for each other. It’s just recreational sex. We’re doing it for variety. Sex is fun. Let’s have fun. Shake it up a little.
-He’s gay. It means nothing. As long as he’s not straight it’s Okay. He doesn’t even like sex with women. I could see why you’d be upset if he’s straight. But he’s not. We both know that.
-You don’t seem to have much desire for me. Maybe you are gay. You should check that out.
-It was a gay bar. As long as it’s not heterosexual it’s fine. You should only be jealous if I was dinking around with someone of the opposite sex who is actually interested.
-Just because I’m attracted to the same-sex doesn’t mean I don’t love you. You shouldn’t be jealous. It’s not the opposite sex. Don’t you know it’s only an affair if it’s the opposite sex? If it’s same-sex it’s totally fine. I can love you and still do same-sex things. It’s just sex and says nothing about our relationship. I can to both and still love you.
-If you don’t approve of me doing this (any of the above), this means you are a control freak and that you don’t accept me for who I am.You are mean and judgmental.You are the problem.I’m the one trying to improve our life here.
-I told you.It’s NOT in secret.It shouldn’t be a trust issue.I haven’t lied.I’ve been up front about it.You are such a fuddy-duddy.You are sooooo boring.We need to shake up our sexual life.I’ve had these fantasies for years and for you to deny them to me is for you to be casting judgment on me.
Hey, folks.I don’t care your moral stance.The above is the language of abuse.Sexual and emotional abuse.Yes, you can sexually abuse your spouse.Throw your spouse to the wolves and smile?That’s what you are doing.
Having thee only meant having thee only. You didn’t get a free pass to explore other avenues as long as your spouse KNOWS about it! What’s up with that? These people think that if both of them know, if they are “open” about it, that will take the guilt away, that will make it Okay, that will take the “wrongness” of it go away. If we both agree on a wrong thing being right, then our agreeing that it’s not wrong makes it not wrong. Wrongness is only socially constructed. There is no absolute evil. It’s only evil in your mind. If we both agree it’s not wrong, it’s not wrong.
Tell that to Bonnie and Clyde.
The language of a spouse who tries to talk his wife (or vice versa) into any variations on this theme of sharing his or her or both their bodies with anyone else, male or female, is the language of a sexual predator.Here, look at these pictures.See.All the people have their clothes off.See their happy faces.That’s what you should do.You’ll be happy, too.You’ll make daddy so happy.You like making daddy happy, don’t you?
But, of course, the child is not happy. Something cries out inside of the sexual abuse victim that all is not well, that something is wrong, that what daddy is doing is wrong, that daddy is a crazy person to be avoided at all costs and now I have these terrible secrets I dare not share with anyone. Now I feel like I’m going crazy. I hated every minute of it. I wanted to kill him. It felt good. It felt horrible. It felt wrong. I was scared. It felt good. There must be something the matter with me. I have no control over my body. I’m just here to make him happy. I am invisible. I feel so exposed. Sex is dirty. It makes me feel dirty. Everyone can see how dirty I am. I can’t look anyone in the eye anymore. They might see inside me. Hide. Hide. Hide. Secrets are the way to peace. Peace. That’s all I want. Peace. What is peace? I barely remember peace.
If you’ve ever worked with sexual abuse victims, then you’ll know what it sounds like to talk to someone whose spouse has used those earlier excuses I shared above.It doesn’t make it right for your victim to be 10 or 20 years older or that your victim is your spouse.You are sexually abusing your spouse and dressing it up with guilt and manipulation and control and making your spouse the problem if he or she doesn’t cooperate with you.It’s all about you.
If you tell these things to her you will plant seeds of doubt in her head about your integrity and the veracity of your marriage.
If you do these things or insist or persuade her to do them with you, you will convince her beyond all doubt that you are a selfish perv, out to throw her away to the dogs.
The number one complain I hear from clients whose spouses have insisted they try any variation of the swinging lifestyle is:
Why wouldn’t he protect me?Why would he throw the integrity of our marriage away?Why is his selfish desire more important than my emotional well-being and the dignity of our marriage?Why?Why?Why?Why won’t he protect me?Why won’t he protect me?I must not mean anything to him.
It’s pretty hard to be married to your perpetrator. There ain’t many people that are going to sit around and be Okay with that. Maybe if your spouse was sexually abused as a child she could tolerate it for a while, but only because some other abuser got there first and conditioned her to swallow her opinion or her conscience or her dignity and to just be the object of her abuser’s pleasure and she has no life and no say and her feelings don’t matter and that her job is to make you happy and do what you want. She’s been taught, maybe for years, that she needs to just roll over and die. She doesn’t exist.
I hope, instead, a little lightbulb goes on in her head that says, “this is the same thing that daddy told me when I was 10-years old! My frickin’ husband is doing the same thing! This is NUTS!”
I thought sex between a husband and wife was supposed to be special?I thought it was supposed to be protected.I thought it was supposed to be holy.I thought it was supposed to be about just us two?Nobody else.Tender.Longings fulfilled.Vulnerable.Naked and not ashamed.Looking into each other’s eyes.The connection of our souls.The joining of our spirits.The reminder of our oneness and our vows and our commitment.The germination of the next generation.
You mean sex means NOTHING?AT ALL?JUST A RAW ACT?With anyone?You tell me this over and over and over and over.You believe this?You mean I’m nothing to you?There’s nothing special about me?Why are we married, then?
If she tells you it’s Okay to swing?If she tells you she even enjoyed it?If she tells you let’s do it again?
Be careful.You’ve just taught her to lie, remember?She’s supposed to make you happy, even though her inner core is screaming in protest.She’s just supposed to be sexual with these people and NOT feel anything.You are teaching her to lie to herself.It doesn’t feel right to her and she does it anyway.You were so happy.You thought she was enjoying it, too!HA!So what’s going to keep her from lying to you?She’s already lying to you when she says it’s fine.You told her it’s fine.She knows better, but says it’s fine anyway?
Wow.Now we got a mess.Now you can’t trust her?She enjoyed sex with that guy?She fell in love with that woman?More than with me?You liked him?You weren’t supposed to like her.We were just going to have some fun.Sex is fun.Recreation.You love him?You aren’t supposed to love her.How can I ever trust you again?
Dr. Wall, she was just supposed to be sexual with him.She fell in love with her.I feel so violated.Tell her she done wrong by falling in love with the guy (or gal, as the case may be).
Welcome to chaos. Welcome to relationship Hades. Welcome to an emotional wasteland. Welcome to fear and dread and worry and anxiety and loneliness and feeling lost. Welcome.
It’s just sex, right?It doesn’t mean anything.
Tell that to your shrink. You’re going to need one.