A Husband's story (formerly "the husband's story")

A discussion area for anyone who loves a survivor and needs some support of their own.

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the husband
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Re: A Husband's story (formerly "the husband's story")

Post by the husband » Sun Dec 29, 2019 8:47 pm

I didn't expect to be posting again so soon.

As I have mentioned, my wife only wants to have sex on weekend mornings, roughly every 1-2 weeks (often every 2). This has worked well enough for some time.

She recently changed her work schedule to include every other weekend. She did check in with me first as some responsibilities would shift to me, and I agreed because it was a really good opportunity. We didn't discuss our intimacy schedule specifically, but the likely agreement would have been that we just go to every other week. Good enough. The problem is that if we skip a weekend due to illness, poor sleep, non-work early morning activity, etc, then it's a month or more between intimate contacts. Remember here that sex is our ONLY intimate contact. She's not a kisser save for a quick peck, and is not really much for touching outside of sex.

Yesterday morning she was off and we both got up early, showered, brushed, and returned to bed. There was some massaging and cuddling, and then she said "What do you think about breakfast?" This actually means, "What will you make us for breakfast?" and signals the end of the morning romp. I inquired as to what was happening with our alone time, and she stated that he menses had started early and she thought I knew based on the state of our bathroom. (Here I wonder if her casual attitude about cleaning up in there was communication?) I pointed out that we usually just put a towel down. She stated that was true. I stated that I thought we were in a place in our relationship where we could have a discussion, rather than going on assumptions. She asked if she could do anything to "help me out", but I declined due to previous experience where she has behaved in an unenthusiastic manner. I didn't see the point in repeating the discussion about the importance of intimacy, since we've already been down that road. I made breakfast and we went on with our day.

I was upset, but I wasn't sure why for awhile. I finally realized I felt small and embarrassed, something about asking for affection and being made to feel ashamed for asking. My wife has every right to turn down intimacy and feel just fine about it, but it was the experience of being on the right day, at the right time, doing all the usual things we do right up to something that would lead to orgasms - then stopping cold for a reason that had not been an obstacle before. I guess that's it too - it wasn't an obstacle before and suddenly it was without notice or condition. I guess I don't believe that was the reason, and so I'm making up stories, then conflating the stories with past experiences of withheld affection. ... This is why it's helpful to write - that hadn't occurred to me until just now.

Harmony
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Re: A Husband's story (formerly "the husband's story")

Post by Harmony » Sun Dec 29, 2019 10:09 pm

I am a big proponent of the 20 second hug. It is an amazing practice. I read somewhere that if you hug daily for 20 seconds with someone you care about it will expand your longevity. Perhaps that might be of interest to her. It is more of a mediation and an opportunity to slow down with one another. In my opinion: Sex is overrated. Intimacy is underrated. We don't do the hug "every" day just when we remember. It has brought us closer. It has been where I learned to accept comfort without expectation of something more. I relax to his touch now and he to mine to be honest.

Just my two cents worth likely worth only on one. Still I offer it as as a survivor who learning to be in healthy contact with my beloved husband of over 20 years.

with understanding,
Harmony

coconuts
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Re: A Husband's story (formerly "the husband's story")

Post by coconuts » Sun Dec 29, 2019 10:48 pm

It really sounds so similar to mine and my husband's situation. I have the hardest time with intimacy and even when it is okay and I think things are going fine I can end up in the middle and it not be okay or even afterwards. And there aren't always answers. Last time we were intimate after a long stretch of none I thought everything was okay until after. Then the thoughts started spiraling and I started thinking and wondering and then I ended up cranky for a couple days after. I don't know there is one specific reason. I just think I'm not ready for that.

I have a hard time with any touch at all. Though funny enough I have been doing the 20 second hug thing. It takes forever sometimes lol. You don't realize until you are in the middle of it counting and breathing. I've been doing it with a couple of my kids but maybe I need to do that with hubs

Husband is super physical. I asked for no sexual intimacy and told him why. I also had a long talk with him about how I still needed physical touch because I needed to train my brain to be okay with just simple physical touch that wasn't meant to be sexual. The idea being that he can give me a hug and I need to know it's safe and not meant to lead somewhere. I actually gave my husband a whole list of physical touch items he can do. None of which he actually does. And when I do them he pulls away. Which sends my thought patterns off a million directions.

Just saying I can't explain the mind of a woman, the kind of a survivor. I just know it doesn't always make sense even to us. And it's not meant to be targeted towards our spouses. Unfortunately they just end up as collateral damage.

the husband
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Re: A Husband's story (formerly "the husband's story")

Post by the husband » Mon Dec 30, 2019 6:43 pm

Thank you both, Harmony and coconuts. You've given me a lot to think about.

Leaving sex aside, the physical intimacy type is difficult. For my wife, hugging and especially kissing is difficult. There's sort of a suffocating aspect of having our heads that close for that long that creeps her out. I've tried turning my head away during hugs, not breathing for the duration, etc.. Kissing for any length is right out. We could probably make significant headway on safe, prolonged hugs. That would be nice.

Massaging doesn't have that suffocating contact, so that's been something pretty safe, but it is complicated by also being part of foreplay. It doesn't have to be, but in the situation I described it was in context with everything else leading up to sex. We could probably expand on the non-sexual aspect of massage with a clear agreement that it's not going to lead anywhere. SHe's a bit less generous a masseuse than I am in terms of time and effort as it is now, but perhaps she's just trying to move things along.

I could be okay with less frequent sex if we had more frequent intimacy. I seem to require less contact than the average person, but I do need some in order to feel connected. I'm still coming around to the idea that I am worthy of affection, and it is difficult to advocate for myself for it.

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