Monday, August 07, 2006

Sex, Sex, Sex

Thank you to all that commented on my last post.

FTN wondered why I was bringing up this subject, when Sybil and I seem to argue about everything else but sex. That is a good question. Actually, she and I argue quite a bit about sex. I like to give oral sex; she doesn't; I feel like I'm more adventuresome; she isn't; I like to make sure she has at least one (preferably more) orgasm; she doesn't (one of our recent fights that I chose not to post about). Granted, we don't have the same issues as some (sorry, Digger), but we still have some.

Sybil likes to play this game:
Yesterday, I arose to get ready for church, make sure the boys were ready, and to make sure Daughter got her 8:00am dose of antibiotics. As I'm leaving to go to church, Sybil (still in bed) says, "why didn't you start something?"
What am I supposed to say? I don't enjoy necrophilia? Let me get this straight: I'm not only supposed to do all of the above, but also wake you up and "get it on?" Maybe I'm not in the mood. Maybe your morning breathe could stop a raging rhino? Maybe I've TOO much to do? Probably it's because I've heard about not trying things unless your in the mood? See the post about mood rings.

Are we doomed to be with those that have differing libidos?
Yes. We don't marry ourselves, so it only stands to reason that our partner would be different. Does that mean our partner shouldn't be a little more accommodating? I guess that depends upon who one asks. It is possible that my raging libido has been turned down a few notches due to work, kids, Sybil, etc. Although Sybil may instigate it more, that's because I've kind of given up trying to figure out when is a good time. After taking so many figurative body blows, there a lot of times I just want to be alone. In our marriage, Sybil probably has a higher libido but too

Why does this happen?
In the beginning there was sex, and it was good. Everyone is carefree. Everyone is adventuresome. Throw kids, mortgage, career, living with the same person for 13 (THIRTEEN!) years into the mix, and sex gets shorted. I love chocolate cake, but I can't eat it for every meal. In my case, living with Sybil is kind of like cleaning the Augean Stables (she might say the same about me, but this MY blog). All of this can take its toll.

What are we to do about it?
The choices are endless (not really but I wanted to write that).
We can:
  1. Divorce- risk screwing up kids. Poverty. Since kids are involved, we are still connected. Also, seems to be kind of like throwing the baby out with the bath water.
  2. Endeavor to persevere-that is what most of us do. We try to live out our lives day by day in the best way possible. We try to inject small joys to break up the maddening monotony.
  3. Try to find distractions- we play computer games, blog, go to bonko every first Tuesday no matter what the family's schedule. See #2.
  4. Affairs- it seems such an innocent little thing. See #1.
  5. Talk it out- easier said than done. Where does one stop wanting to respect the other person and start wanting their needs met? Where does that fine line come from? Shouldn't there be some sort of sign to tell their spouse that it's time to make love versus time to screw like wild, midget monkeys? See mood ring post.
In the end there are no easy answers. Like the gracious people that commented, I, too, am stumbling through life trying to figure this relationship thing out. My hope is that I can pass on the wisdom I have gleaned through the school of hard knocks to my children. I hope they can learn from it.


Anonymous said...

You always have a line that makes me laugh my ass off:

What am I supposed to say? I don't enjoy necrophilia?

Average Girl said...

Does it at help to know that you are not alone in "trying this relationship thing out". I look at my grandparents, who have been married more than 50 years, and wonder...How in the HELL did they do it? Is it just that they met the right person at age 18 and lived happily ever after? Is it that in their time, divorce was simply not an option? Is it that they loved each other enough to just "never give up"? As you said, no easy answers. You say you love Sybil, and I believe you. Hopefully, you two will be able to get pasts your differences and find more commonalities. People change with time. Maybe you will grow together instead of further apart. At any rate, don't stop writing. Its therapeutic not only for you but for us readers, too.

Anonymous said...

Not every couple is mismatched libido-wise. My husband and I have never once had a difference in opinion about when to have sex. We've been together for 10 years. Those of us who are honest with ourselves and others about sex can find a partner that is suited to us rather than not even talking about something as important as sex before we get married.

Anteros said...

The ultimate problem with marriage and having children is that that single choice in your life is a gamble with your happiness. If people would take their time in chosing who they want to spend the rest of their lives with there may very well be less divorce.

Sex is a completely played down topic with concern to committed relationships and even worse most religions frown on sex before marriage. Sexual relations are one of the most foundational and primative ways to share love and yet it is swept under the carpet as a shallow subject.

Christian Husband said...

I'd say there are plenty more options than just those five. I know that, with my relationship, what finally started getting things on the right track was I did a pre-emptive surrender. We fought about a lot of stuff -- especially sex. So I just let her win. I stopped (mostly) fighting for my rights or what I wanted, and, instead, focused on making her happy. (And not what I think she should want and need, but what she actually wants and needs)

YMMV, but you might try it. So your wife wants you to work 10 hours a day and then do most if not all the housework. It's certainly not fair. Why not do it anyway? Let her win.

From what you've written (I read your entire blog over the last few days), she makes unfair and somewhat unreasonable demands about insignificant details of what you say or do and you feel it's a bit too much. It goes too far. She should meet you half-way. Well, yes, but what if you did it the way she wants you to anyway?

Instead of focusing on making the work in a marrige a 50/50 split, try a 75/25 split or even a 90/10. It's not easy, but if you can get past the whole "it's not fair" thing and instead find a way to enjoy simply making her happy, you might be surprised by the results. And you might find she'll move towards giving back to you as well.

From what I've read (and I may be way off base here), your wife seems somewhat insecure. She feels she needs more emotional intimacy and security from you. She needs to be able to emotionally depend on you. She needs you, in a very deep sense, to be her big, strapping, knight-in-shining-armor. Almost a daddy-complex sort of thing. When she doesn't get it, she feels insecure and afraid (and angry) and lashes out. It's not a bad thing, as a husband, to be needed. It just takes a lot of work.

My two cents. Take it for what it's worth.

aphron said...

mr husbland-
I thought the line about wild, midget monkeys was funnier.

average girl-
My grandparents knew each about 2 months before getting married. They never fought (in public), and when grandma died, grandad has been adrift. Amazing. How is that possible?

I don't think we're really mismatched libido-wise. We're mismatched boundary-wise. That's the hurdle we have to overcome.

Maybe society puts too much emphasis on sex? I always thought sex was important in a marriage. It is one of the ways of sharing intimacy.

christian husband-
I'm not sure I am capable of total surrender. I have a basic problem of disliking authority. However, you are on to something, when it comes to my emotional detachment. That is something I have to work on everyday. That being said, I cannot be Sybil's authority figure and surrender to her. What a conundrum.

Christian Husband said...

I didn't mean surrender to her as in not be an authority figure. Part of my "surrender" to my wife has been taking more respnosibility (and authority) in a lot of areas. What I meant was just take away all the things you fight about. That seems to be you guys' biggest problem -- all the fighting. So, just take away all the stuff she wants to fight about. To show my total geekiness, this is Star Trek's Ferengi Rule of Acquisition #76: "Every once in a while, declare peace. It confuses the hell out of your enemies."

Wouldn't THAT just freak her out? Nothing to yell about? What would she do? Not doing it in a submissive sort of "yes, dear, whatever you say, dear" sort of way, and not doing it to get something out of her. Just calmly and confidently doing what you know will make her happy just for the sake of making her happy. In other words, doing the DEFINITION of "unconditional love." Showing love by making her happy without expectation of reward, and doing it because that is what a manly-man does for his gal. It's ALL ABOUT being that authority figure.

I know that with ME (and it seems like your case might be similar) my wife would fight because she was rejecting my authority and was doing so because she didn't think she could trust me, and that was because I used the authority is selfish ways. Have the authority, but have the selflessness to use it for her. Have the self-sufficiency to use your efforts to support her instead of needing it for yourself.

At least this is what I've found. Not that I've been able to live up to this in any complete way, but I've made a beginning and the results are awesome. Simply not fighting about things anymore -- in the absense of any of these other good things -- makes a massive difference. Without the fighting there aren't those barriers anymore between you and intimacy just sort of happens. It really lets you start to feel, as a couple, that the other one isn't the enemy but is your ally.

Satan said...

Christian Husband, I think I love you. Who knew the ROA were so applicable to this situation?!

FTN said...

I agree that sometimes learning to just NOT fight, even when our pride tells us to, is an important thing to learn. Many of us guys that don't fall into that stereotypical "Yes, Dear" husband have a difficult time with that. And doing things like Christian Husband mentioned are generally good.

However, I see a WHOLE LOT of pent-up hostility in Sybil from previous experiences. It sounds like she's got some serious history issues she's not letting go of in her mind. I would think some of that stuff needs sorted out. She's willing to fight about nearly anything, from what I can tell.

Again, just from what I've read, so apologies if I'm way off base.

Christian Husband said...

Satan, the ROA are applicable to ALL situations. Question that again and I'll have to report you to the Grand Nagus and the Board of Liquidators.

aphron said...

christian husband-
Swallowing pride and standing down the defenses is hard for me to do. I have improved over the last couple of years. However, I KNOW I'm right. Even when I'm wrong. Pride goeth before the fall.

Took me awhile to realize what ROA was. My attention span never let me a Trekie because I missed 80% of the episodes.

I'll have to a post about Grace (the state of being not George Burns' wife). Sybil is trying to let things go. She has a real hard time doing that. I like to think of her as persistant.

Satan said...

Brunt, is that you? The FCA won't let me be!

(Oh, we are such nerds.)

Christian Husband said...

Yes. Yes we are. Total nerds. (And compared to, say, Voyager, I don't even LIKE DS9 that much)

aphron: It's hard for EVERYONE. It's going against our fallen nature and joyfully embracing self-sacrifice. That's just, well, unnatural. It is effective, though. It's also not about being right or wrong. Know you're right. Believe you're right. Just let her have the fantasy that SHE'S right. If she's so hung up on "winning" then let her win -- because that's not the real important thing, is it?

Millie Rossman Kidd said...

I don't know about that theory, XH. Depending on how it's done, that could totally backfire and piss me off.

I don't like to hear that condescending, "yes, dear" response.

Though a few days ago when I checked in and read your "do more" advice I thought there might be something to that. That would work with me. I'd feel compassion (and maybe guilt) and see and effort being made, and make effort in return.

I don't like being told I'm right if that person doesn't believe it or feel it. I'd rather agree to disagree.

Emily said...

I think the general principle of letting things slide more, and looking for ways to make our partners happy is a sound one.

Ask not what our partner can do for us, but what we can do for our partner!

Anonymous said...

emily, let me tell you. In a functioning relationship that may very well work. But when a relationship has a power hunger member to begin with, this recipe does not work.

Why? Because somebody who wants to, can ALWAYS find that one thing they need to complain about that makes everything else "forgotten"

Anonymous said...

Christian Husband,

(am I allowed to address other commenters on someone else's blog?)

I personally got a lot out of your suggestions about the whole peace thing. I will probably apply a LOT of that philosophy at my job. (which is a much easier place to apply it than a marriage)

But if you have been reading FM's blog here, you might notice that at least in the telling, Sybil's issues seem to be contrive after the fact. In sort of a whatever he doesn't isn't good enough way. I am not sure how well your plan works in that situation.