PDA

View Full Version : "Meh. Whatever." about it all, after rejection


intrepidess
02-22-2012, 08:45 AM
This is a little twisty-turny strange and convoluted, but I think I need to just talk about it for a little while.

Hubby and I have always had a fairly lovely physical relationship. We've been together for eight plus years, married for five. Though I've always been heavy, he's never treated me with anything but utmost respect, and my body with sweetness, tenderness and love.

I embarked on a weight loss quest about a year ago, and in the process found out I had a binge-eating disorder. I immediately began tackling the issues behind that, realizing that the overeating and binging were just symptoms of something much more important. I have been vocal and straightforward with him about it the entire time (roughly six months now), and have made a lot of progress in that time.

I began to feel a LOT friskier after slimming down a bit (and stopping a prescription when my insurance ran out). Almost to the point of insatiability. I constantly craved him, and initiated sex a lot more than I used to. He seemed delighted and to have no qualms about participating.

We had a pretty intense argument about a month ago. Our relationship has never been a fairy tale, and we both know our fights are fiery but short-lived. We went to bed still upset and not really speaking-- more depressed and distant than angry with each other any more-- and he tossed and turned for HOURS. That's unusual for a man who can fall asleep before he even manages to get horizontal.

I tried at that point to reach out to him physically. It was late, I didn't want marathon sex, I just wanted to give him a little physical release to help him sleep AND to let him know I am there for him. Always. He stayed turned around and didn't respond to my gentle touches, so I left him alone. I felt incredibly hurt-- and even though I know his emotional condition has nothing to do with my physical appearance, I felt like the most undesirable, unattractive thing crawling the earth's crust.

Fast forward a few hours and he finally turned back to me, still not asleep and obviously randy. I was still awake of course, and greeted his advance warmly even though I had essentially given up after suffering through the whole night rejected and alone. Without a word, I got him off orally, then lay awake until morning feeling even worse than before.

Since then, I've noticed I'm less and less interested in sex at all. I'll stay up later to avoid getting involved, and my desire for him is pretty switched off. I could take it or leave it, but I really don't feel like bothering. I feel used, dirty and unloved the whole time-- and I have NEVER felt like that before. Sex has always been joyful, intimate, fun and adventurous... but now I feel like there's nothing worthwhile in it. It feels like part of me is dead, and I'm in mourning. I love my husband so much, and I want our sex lives to be rich and full and fascinating, not oatmeal-bland with habit and duty.

I did speak with him the next day about that incident, and told him I was really hurt and rejected by his actions. He apologized and explained that he was "just so depressed"... and I understand, at least my brain does. My heart and my soul just cry out in anger, disappointment and betrayal. "How could you reject me??"

Rationally, I understand it's not about me.
Emotionally, I'm wrecked. I don't want to become a bitter, sexless woman who submits grudgingly to maritals and makes herself and her husband miserable in the process... I want the hungry, licentious, tempestuous side of me back. How can I reconnect with myself, my saucy side, again? How can I reconnect with him in a meaningful, passionate way instead of a lackadaisical, lackluster one?

bellydancer
02-22-2012, 09:39 AM
Hi intrepidess,

I can't explain your husband's actions, I can just tell you what I've found to be common in relationships.

Sex can be wonderful, joyful and intimate, but sometimes it's not always the best way to initiate intimacy and understanding. I've found that when there's conflict in a relationship that sex can be a barrier to intimacy, and can lead to resentment and even feelings of objectification. I think there are non-sex ways to build reassurance and trust in a relationship and that can create as much or more intimacy than sex at times, such as just reaching out and saying "Even though we had a rough day, I love you."

I think the way to keep sex the passionate, hungry thing that it can be and not lackluster is to not use it as a problem-solving tool. Once you do that, it becomes something that's utilitarian. It's not a red Jaguar that makes you feel sexy and gets all the attention as you drive it down the road. It's a Ford station wagon--sure it gets you to the next place, but no one's going to turn their heads for it. Sex is wonderful and should be special, and sometimes that means knowing when it's not the best time for sex.

But the best way to reconnect with him is to talk to him about reconnecting with him.

sflathinker
02-22-2012, 09:42 AM
Most people cannot always turn off and compartmentalize. And while you may have been doing a nice thing, sex is about love and if my predominant feeling is sadness or anger, I'm not going to switch on sex mode. (and I'm almost always in sex mode). He didn't reject you, he rejected the idea of being close to you in favor of processing his own feelings about the fight. If you reach for him and he can't be fully present, then he might still want/need time to cool off. Sex isn't just when one person is ready, even if you felt you were doing him a favor. And now, withholding is, is punishing him for one incident when he wanted and needed distance. But prolonging the distance is going to to push you both into corners away from one another. Have you used other ways to express your love (other than sex) which will make you sexier? Have you ever read the love languages? Not everyone expresses or receives love the same way and we all need to understand how our partners need to know how to love us and feel close to us.

intrepidess
02-22-2012, 11:55 AM
bellydancer--

I've found that when there's conflict in a relationship that sex can be a barrier to intimacy, and can lead to resentment and even feelings of objectification. I think there are non-sex ways to build reassurance and trust in a relationship and that can create as much or more intimacy than sex at times, such as just reaching out and saying "Even though we had a rough day, I love you." I think the way to keep sex the passionate, hungry thing that it can be and not lackluster is to not use it as a problem-solving tool.

Thank you for that truth. I definitely definitely definitely understand that sex isn't the only way to connect/communicate-- I didn't mean to make it sound like sex is the only way I know how to relate to my husband. We talk very frequently, share non-sexual touches often, express our love in many different healthy ways. From my post, I can see why it might appear that sex is the only solution I can think of. And quite possibly that was how I was approaching it in my own mind, as well... so thank you for the reminder! "The way to keep sex the passionate hungry thing... is to not use it as a problem-solving tool." <-- that especially really struck a note with me, and I appreciate it.

But the best way to reconnect with him is to talk to him about reconnecting with him.

I just did precisely that. I have arranged for us to both get out of work early tonight and take a walk to the park to talk and reconnect. He said he totally understands how I've been feeling and feels the same way, that we're misfiring instead of communicating.

sflathinker--

He didn't reject you, he rejected the idea of being close to you in favor of processing his own feelings about the fight.

You're right, thank you for putting it that way. I don't know why, but I didn't think about him needing some time to PROCESS things. I think a lot of the time I don't allow myself that time for processing, either, and just try to snap back to attention-- business as usual, keep calm and carry on, sort of thing. I need to be a lot more understanding and not so pushy. My head screams "FIX IT, FIX IT NOW!" but I should learn to let things be, sometimes.

Sex isn't just when one person is ready, even if you felt you were doing him a favor.

I felt this was a little unfair... it wasn't that I felt like I was doing him a favor-- that makes it sound like letting a roommate borrow the car or putting extra paper in the copier at work! And it wasn't that I wanted sex in that moment particularly-- I was desperate to ease his emotional pain by sharing it, sharing myself with him, and trying to communicate that I am available for him emotionally by being available physically. He wouldn't talk to me, and I thought perhaps actions could speak louder than words. His initial rejection of my physical advances I interpreted as EMOTIONAL rejection. I understand now that I pushed too fast in the wrong direction and took offense where I need not have, but saying I felt like I was doing him a favor just seems so cheap and hurtful. "Hey bro, do me a solid and grab me a pack of smokes, could ya?" "Hey hon, roll over so I can bust a nut, would ya?"

I do understand that sex isn't an automatic when one person is ready for it. Healthy sex, at least! And I want a mutual, loving, open physical and emotional relationship with my husband. I will work harder at remembering to give him some time to work things through in his own head, and not demand instant effective communication.

Have you used other ways to express your love (other than sex) which will make you sexier?

Can you be a little more specific? As I mentioned in response to bellydancer's post, the two of us express our love in constant little ways throughout the day/week-- it's not just either graphic physical penetration OR opposite corners of the earth, lol. Do you have any suggestions for expressing love in a sexy way that isn't sex? Things like a longer-than-usual lingering kiss, a cute note on the bathroom mirror, that sort of thing is what I'm thinking you mean, but if I'm wrong please correct me!

Have you ever read the love languages?

No, I haven't! I will look it up. Thank you for the suggestion and for the perspective. I really appreciate the responses-- and like I said, I have already arranged for a walking date this evening that I hope will help us start down the path of reconnection... and hopefully help turn me back on again.

sflathinker
02-22-2012, 12:19 PM
Look up the **** love languages. Both of you should take the test. It will tell you how you like to receive "love( on a scale. My bf score high on physical touch, communication, acts of service and low on gifts. When I want to express love I show him in a way he absorbs it, which isnt necessarily the way i would want it. However when he's mad, he likes physical space (i know this by knowing him) and irs not a rejection but he doesn't want to sweep the fight under the rug.

Sex can be a tool for closeness but its a distraction too. Better to solve the problem when there is one after a good nights rest or time to think and have make up sex as opposed to a fight that never goes unsolved.

intrepidess
02-22-2012, 12:56 PM
Thank you so much. That's given me a lot to go forward with, and some real tools to start using immediately. It's already renewed my hope and helped me start an action plan. I really felt when I started this thread like I was broken, there was something seriously wrong and just... failing about me, I was a terrible worthless person somehow-- I didn't have the answers so therefore I'm bad and wrong and stupid. I know that isn't rational or healthy, but that's where I was stuck.

Thank you!

intrepidess
02-24-2012, 08:04 AM
Update-- the quiz was helpful for me, but he said it was "stupid". :-P Pssh, men. ;-) But we opened up a lot in other ways, and just indicating the desire to be reconnected and acknowledging that there was something wrong was a huge step in the right direction.

Learning to not use sex as a problem-solving tool in a relationship, however, was the most important lesson for me to embrace here. Thanks for helping me, fishies!