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Treesarepretty

Blowing off some steam

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Treesarepretty

Thank you for reading any of this wall of text. You don't have to, and you don't have to respond. No, really: it IS A WALL AND I WOULD BE HAPPY WITH 0 REPLIES. 

 

My wife and I did not try to have sex for the first 5 years that we were together. This was hard for me because I have what I recently discovered is a libido 2-3 times the cutoff for "hypersexuality" in males. TMI/ During that time, although she would let me touch her in some sexual ways, she would never do the same for me, even through several layers of clothing. /TMI After 5 years, there was a reason why we genuinly couldn't have sex, and with 6 months of her apparently not in a hurry for us to get through that but still wanting to get engaged soon I came to the conclusion that we wanted very different relationships. I went to see her to break up, but she convinced me that she was anxious for the same kind of relationship that I was. It took me another few months to finish getting the money for the ring, and after 6 years of dating we were engaged and finally having sex. 

 

Years later, after we were married and had finally moved in together, she told me that she had been so surprised that sex was that important to me that she didn't feel secure in our relationship anymore and had only had sex with me to keep me from leaving her. She said that I had fallen completely out of love with her all of a sudden, without warning, and despite the fact that she had done everything right and been the perfect girlfriend. She didn't say that she "thought" that; she said that there was no other way to interpret our relationship. We have argued about this quite a bit, and she doesn't accept that sex is a need for me; she keeps insisting that sex is something that we can "take or leave" and that my willingness to leave her over it must mean that I don't love her, or that my love is fickle and may leave with no warning and for no reason. In her opinion, she carried us to where we are now and she alone is responsible for us getting married. In my opinion, her unwillingness to compromise on anything for so long nearly led to a disaster for our relationship and it was only my love for her cute ways and her playfullness that kept us together through most of it. 

 

It is because of her reaction to us nearly breaking up, the way she describes sex as boring and empty, the fact that she says she did want to have sex with me at one point, and because a lot of the things she has said to me about it are similar to questions from asexual to sexual members of the AVEN forums that I think she is demisexual. In my own defense, this is my first really serious relationship and I thought that she was just traditional and would come to want sex as I do because I hadn't known about human asexuality. Further in my defense, at the time that that I went to break up with her I had not been sleeping well or eating well: I was in grad school and was saving money for the ring by eating only spam and instant noodles for nearly every meal and sleeping--when I did sleep--in my boss' office to save on gas money. In my wife's defense, neither of us knew anything about human asexuality at that time, and her parents had told her that if she had sex before marriage then I would definitely leave her because they said that Americans thought "why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?" (I had never heard that expression before she accused me of it, and I have always detested it.) 

 

When we finally moved in together after 6 months of marriage--she would have made it longer because she liked that her parents cleaned and cooked for her and she really didn't care what my living conditions were, but eventually her parents made her move out--she started yelling at me for hours every time we would have sex, and also at random times throughout the day. This was because she expected that living with me would be like adopting a kid, but eventually she calmed down when she saw that I was taking care of my chores (all of the cleaning and most of the grocery shopping) very well and without complaint. Sex-wise, she had the rule that TMI/ porn was cheating and masturbation meant that I didn't need her and that she could therefore divorce me. /TMI I only very recently got her to agree not to divorce me for the latter, but she still hasn't agreed not to get angry if she catches me doing it. Since marriage, we have averaged once per month, with times when it was once every two weeks and times when we went several months between, but the yelling at me that I don't love her is pretty consistant after every time that we have sex. 

 

Early on, I wasn't always prompt about returning phone calls and after we moved in together it took me a few weeks to figure out how long before I needed to leave I would have to stop working and start cleaning up, so I didn't always get home on time. I have steadily improved in all areas, though. Now, I do all of the cooking and cleaning, I have a good job, I take her out to nice restaurants a couple of times per week, I am almost always home before her, I take her out for a special date every week, I massage her feet every night, I comb and brush her hair and put in her dandruff medication every night, we always watch what she wants, we do whatever activities she wants, and I help her with her insomnia by going through a going-to-bed ritual every night. I have also cut my calorie intake and started exercising so that I lost 10lbs in the past 6 months and now have more obvious muscles to look better for her. I thought that all that and the fact that we have now been married 4.5 years would make her happy enough to not worry about us and maybe even desire me sexually, but after reading the FAQ's on AVEN and the testimonies from asexuals and spouses of asexuals I understand that that will likely never happen. 

 

I have suggested that we go to marital counselling, but she said that that is for white people and so the counsellor would always agree with me because I am white and therefore it is pointless for us to go. She has sometimes suggested that we make a compromise sex schedule, but the only times she suggests that have been when she was especially worried that I was about to leave her. When I bring up sex and she doesn't think I am about to leave, she just laughs at me and mocks me as though she has forgotten that this is a big deal to me. She also talks wistfully about when we were dating and not sexual and how "wonderful" and "passionate" and "romantic" that was and how great it will be when we have kids and "don't have to worry about sex anymore" because we can "cut sex out of our relationship to remove our only source of problems." 

 

The first problem with that statement is that it is our differences in sexual desire that cause this problem, not the fact of the sex; the second problem is that we have other differences that are trouble in their own right. One of these problems is that she is racist, which didn't seem to be that big of a deal at first because I thought that at worst it would just lead to some arguments between us when our kids start dating, but her racism has now gotten more extreme and expanded to comments about my ethnic group and my family. The other problem is that she doesn't like or respect my family aside from my eldest brother and his wife, which didn't come up until we had been married a while. This came to a head when she ruined Thanksgiving dinner last year by yelling at my dad, saying that he was a terrible father because he and I had a difference of opinion on the proper time to get some of my college paperwork signed by the professors. Yet another problem is that she seems to be under the impression that I never go out of my way for her, so that whenever I do something nice for anyone other than her or a family member she gets angry. Once, when one of our Indian friends went home because his mother was dying and subsequently got stuck there for several months, my wife got screaming mad at me for talking to him a couple of times on the phone and helping him find a lawyer; she still cites that as an example of me caring more about him than her. It isn't even that she dislikes him; he needed help from us again recently and she helped him after scolding me for thinking of talking with him. The problem with all of these cases from the perspective of having a good relationship is not what her opinions are, but the fact that our opinions are so very different and that we hold them so strongly--if we both didn't like my dad, for example, it wouldn't be something that hurts our relationship. While I think my dad is getting weird in his old age, he was good to me and I love him. What bothers me the most about my relationship with my wife is that she seems to keep forgetting that our opinions are different and is constantly surprised when I take issue with her saying that her parents were better parents than mine, that racial stereotypes which help her come from truths, that any time I help someone I am treating them better than her, or that we can solve all of our problems by agreeing that sex doesn't matter and that we should just stop trying it (but that I shouldn't stop trying to improve as a spouse). 

 

I started looking into asexuality recently because I have now reached the point where I am reasonably certain that just pampering my wife and fighting with her periodically about things that are important to me will not solve anything. We started trying to get pregnant a year and a half ago, which means that TMI/ I have cut my masturbation schedule down to almost nothing, and in doing so have found out that I feel sick--I get nausia and a pain in my abdomen--when I go 3 or more days without climaxing. I think this is psychosomatic because it starts on the second day if I also cannot cuddle frequently with my wife and caress her. /TMI After about a week the discomfort gets to the point that it is worse than the time that I broke my arm while playing paintball. I usually only manage 2 weeks before I start begging for sex, which either gets me an exaspirated "okay" or a yelling fit about how I never loved her. Now that I have read the stories on AVEN, I find that I am also questioning the idea that sex is only mildly uncomfortable for her, as she says, and I feel like a real asshole any time I beg for it from her. I have made a pledge to myself that I won't do that anymore, and that I wouldn't touch or hold her unless she holds me first or specifically asks for it. I failed at the no begging thing after a little over a month. Still, she seems happier with the new arrangement and hasn't fought with me about it at all in a couple of weeks. 

 

Through our relationship I have been happy with her most of the time because we spend most of our time on shared activities, and she is very fun to be with. Lately, though, I have felt very alone when we are not in the same room, and even sometimes when we are. She has become very ticklish in the past few months so that I have to be very careful how I touch her--even just on the arm or shoulder--to avoid the contact being too intense for her to stand; I keep wondering if this is a reaction to something I have done. She suggested that I could try being more romantic to make her fall in love with me all over again, and I think that is the only way forward because I don't know if she will follow through with any sexual compromise if just my touch causes her so much ticklish discomfort, and I don't want her to force herself through sex anyway if it is that uncomfortable. 

 

I have written this over the course of 5 days and I realize that I am bitter at a lot of things that I was expecting to go away or that I was expecting hot sex would make me happy enough to not care about. To be fair to her: the Indian friend is a handful who needs help way more often than an adult should, I did sometimes forget to call her back when we were dating, and my dad didn't ingratiate himself to her very well when he talked about the best places for a gold-digger to pick up a well-off man in our hometown RIGHT in front of her about 3 or 4 years ago (we happened to be sitting in a cafe in that part of town). Like I said, most of the time these things don't come up--sex is the most common argument. Even now, I am usually happy when we are in the same room, it's just that when these things do come up, they can be bad. 

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Music & Lyrics

I wouldn't say asexuality is a good explanation for any of this.  Maybe her views about sex are sort of consistent with being asexual, but the rest of the context more implies that it's something she uses as a means for control.  What I'm getting is that she craves control more than she craves sex - it becomes a card she can play.

 

Personally, I'm a little worried about the way this relationship has been going.  Especially the way her tone when she's angry makes you so uncomfortable, she blames you for everything and tries to get you to change all the time, and tries to pick away at your other relationships.

 

I know it's hard to acknowledge when the good times are good and relatively frequent, but I think what you're going through is serious.  I think you need to encourage your wife to get some help, although it maybe doesn't sound like she would be open to it.

 

Please keep posting and/or inbox me!  Good luck!!!

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roland.o

Wow... what a story. Just two thoughts:

1. You must love her really much to put up with this.

2. Do you really think it would be a good idea to bring kids into this relationship?

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Music & Lyrics
15 minutes ago, roland.o said:

2. Do you really think it would be a good idea to bring kids into this relationship?

Yeah...not sure it's my place to say, but I was thinking the same.  I'm sorry :(

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Treesarepretty

Thank you for replying. 

 

On 8/24/2017 at 1:50 PM, roland.o said:

Do you really think it would be a good idea to bring kids into this relationship?

 

I am rethinking that. At the very least, I want to put it off. 

 

On 8/24/2017 at 10:58 AM, Music & Lyrics said:

I wouldn't say asexuality is a good explanation for any of this.  

I agree that sexual differences aren't the only problem here, but that is the most frequent fight we have and the reason I came to AVEN in the first place. The rest just kind of came out after I saw how understanding some of the SO's can be in the compromise thread and the good partner thread. If I even breath deeply, my wife tells me not to sigh because that makes her think I am stressed and that makes HER stressed in turn. 

 

On 8/24/2017 at 10:58 AM, Music & Lyrics said:

Maybe her views about sex are sort of consistent with being asexual, but the rest of the context more implies that it's something she uses as a means for control.  What I'm getting is that she craves control more than she craves sex - it becomes a card she can play.

 

A lot of the things I do for her are either things that I came up with, like the foot massages or the exercising, or are things she asked me to do once, or a couple of times and I have just continued with, like planning dates or putting on the dandruff medication. It isn't like she is constantly saying "if you really loved me, you would do this." The times that I have asked her "what more can I do?" she says, "I don't know."

 

When we were dating she, jokingly, said that she would withhold sex if she didn't get what she wanted. That made me angry, despite the fact that it was a joke, because you have to give something before you can take it away. At the time I was all over her all of the time because I was so horny; she acted like she liked the attention, and said that she liked the attention. I think that she was just flattered and honestly doesn't desire sex nearly as much as me and so couldn't see my point of view; any actual control through that today is probably unintentional. 

 

I DO think that the fact that she doesn't like us spending time with single friends is because she doesn't want that to seem normal. 

 

On 8/24/2017 at 10:58 AM, Music & Lyrics said:

I know it's hard to acknowledge when the good times are good and relatively frequent, but I think what you're going through is serious.  I think you need to encourage your wife to get some help, although it maybe doesn't sound like she would be open to it.

I know that this is serious, but--like you said--it is hard to really force the issue when I am still happy most of the time I'm around her. 

 

I have suggested counselling, but she says that is for white people, so the counsellor will just agree with me even when I am wrong. I also tried to get her onto AVEN because there are a lot of couples here that have massively different desires for sex, but she told me to "stop looking up stupid things on the internet" the first time I talked about it, and she accused me of calling her "broken" the second time. The counselling suggestion was awhile ago, though. I suppose I could give it another try. 

 

For the non-sex stuff here: we just fight about it. 

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roland.o
8 hours ago, Treesarepretty said:

I have suggested counselling, but she says that is for white people, so the counsellor will just agree with me even when I am wrong.

Maybe you can look up some non-white counsellors in your area?

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Telecaster68
Quote

I have suggested counselling, but she says that is for white people

If someone said 'counselling is for black people', would you consider that racist?

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roland.o
23 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

If someone said 'counselling is for black people', would you consider that racist?

I'm sure he would...

On 8/24/2017 at 4:45 PM, Treesarepretty said:

One of these problems is that she is racist

 

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Telecaster68

Oops, missed that.

 

I'm sure I'm not the only one holding back on pointing out the many, many ways in which this relationship just seems extremely toxic. 

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Treesarepretty

Thank you, again, for reading.

 

We had a big fight last night. It started out with her trying to get me to agree that our time as a romantic couple in any sense should end when we have kids. Basically, it would be "selfish" of us to go anywhere, including on dates, without bringing the kid along, even if we have a sitter or they are in daycare or something. It would also be selfish against the kids to do anything for each other. I thought that was inaccurate because kids don't like lots of things that adults do like, and anyway we would need to show them how a loving couple treats each other so they would know what to expect and how to behave later in life. 

 

The fight escalated and eventually it devolved into her saying that I don't ever do anything for her and that she feels taken for granted and that just pissed me right the fuck off. I took off my wedding ring and am not wearing it now. I went through the laundry list of things that I do for her and pointed out that this isn't the first time she has completely forgotten everything I do, that she does it frequently. Then I got into the stuff about my parents. She denighed some of it and doubled down on some of it. 

 

Eventually, she suggested that we live apart, and I said yes to that for the first time. That seems to always be her go-to suggestion for our problems. Either that or we buy a big house and live in different ends. 

 

She couldn't go to sleep until early in the morning, when she asked to come back into bed. She did a lot of crying. I still feel so angry that I ended up turning down sex today several times. I think I might kick her out if we have one more fight about something like this. She seems very willing to compromise now, but I think that will change once she gets comfortable again, and I told her as much. 

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Sally

Good heavens.   Do you really think that you can live with this behavior?   I can't imagine why anyone could.  

 

Do not have a child together.  No child needs to have to deal with this.   

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Jackninja5

I suggest not having a child with her. It's your choice but it's my personal opinion.

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Music & Lyrics
2 hours ago, Sally said:

Good heavens.   Do you really think that you can live with this behavior?   I can't imagine why anyone could.  

 

People can.  Because when the good times are good, you look at her and think 'how can she possibly be an abuser?  I must be making it up!' and you feel guilty and question your reality.  But it's like that in almost all abusive relationships.  It doesn't mean you're not seeing what you're seeing.

 

From everything you've written, I still don't see any reason to think that she is asexual.  She makes you beg for sexual pleasure and forbids you from getting it in other ways because it degrades you and gives her control, not because she doesn't experience sexual attraction herself.  And now, here she is getting ready to make you beg for romantic pleasure as well.  But I'm glad you found AVEN as a place to talk this out!

 

When I said she needs some help, I wasn't necessarily talking about couples therapy.  She needs to change her behaviour to make this a healthy relationship, but I don't think she can do so without a therapist's guidance as she seems to have no awareness of what she is doing wrong.

 

I think it's very possible she has a personality disorder.  You could use that as a starting point to raise the subject with her.  Or you could call an abuse helpline and ask how to introduce it and encourage her to get help.  I really think that getting her some help is the only way to make this healthy (or for her to have a healthy relationship with anyone!).

 

Once again, good luck and keep posting!  You are in my thoughts

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Treesarepretty
On 8/26/2017 at 2:19 AM, Telecaster68 said:

I'm sure I'm not the only one holding back on pointing out the many, many ways in which this relationship just seems extremely toxic. 

"Toxic relationships" don't seem to me to be very useful as an idea because the definitions I find are vague and seem to be from people selling self-help books. For the most part, we lack the majority of the "warning signs" that I find when I google it, but I don't know how many "warning signs" you need for a conclusion, so that's no help either. 

 

On 8/27/2017 at 2:22 AM, Music & Lyrics said:

People can.  Because when the good times are good, you look at her and think 'how can she possibly be an abuser?  I must be making it up!' and you feel guilty and question your reality.  But it's like that in almost all abusive relationships.  It doesn't mean you're not seeing what you're seeing.

 

From everything you've written, I still don't see any reason to think that she is asexual.  She makes you beg for sexual pleasure and forbids you from getting it in other ways because it degrades you and gives her control, not because she doesn't experience sexual attraction herself.  And now, here she is getting ready to make you beg for romantic pleasure as well.  But I'm glad you found AVEN as a place to talk this out!

 

When I said she needs some help, I wasn't necessarily talking about couples therapy.  She needs to change her behaviour to make this a healthy relationship, but I don't think she can do so without a therapist's guidance as she seems to have no awareness of what she is doing wrong.

 

I think it's very possible she has a personality disorder.  You could use that as a starting point to raise the subject with her.  Or you could call an abuse helpline and ask how to introduce it and encourage her to get help.  I really think that getting her some help is the only way to make this healthy (or for her to have a healthy relationship with anyone!).

 

Once again, good luck and keep posting!  You are in my thoughts

I think that "abuse" is inaccurate. She doesn't cheat on me or try to beat me up; I have 11 inches and about 50 lbs on her, so that isn't even possible anyway. 

 

Last night she admitted for the first time that sex is a need for me. She also became more open to sexual stimulation for me beyond traditional sex, and she admitted fault in leading to our fights. We both cried for a while, and afterwards went to sleep together. It is small and may not last, but it is something. At the same time, though, sleeping next to her felt uncomfortable. 

 

To be a little more clear on my initial story, it turned out that the thing that kept us from having sex during our sixth year together was more difficult for her than I thought and that she was trying hard to push through it, even though I had thought that she wasn't at the time. That was confirmed to me a couple of years ago by others involved. I don't want to go into specifics about it. 

 

@Music & Lyrics, are either of you studying to be a counselor? 

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Telecaster68

Trees 

 

Abuse doesn't have to be physical, in fact its mostly not. It's about annihilating the person's sense of agency and controlling them. 

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Music & Lyrics
3 hours ago, Telecaster68 said:

It's about annihilating the person's sense of agency and controlling them

Exactly.  In fact, we can put it even more succinctly: abuse is about an imbalance of power and control in the relationship.

 

And - this is not from someone trying to sell a self-help book - emotional abuse like what is happening to you now is the biggest risk factor for physical abuse arising in the relationship!  

8 hours ago, Treesarepretty said:

are either of you studying to be a counselor? 

I have messaged you!

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Telecaster68

I don't have a book to sell either. I just grew up in an abusive family. One of the abuser's main tactics will always be normalising what they're doing by convincing you that what you find unreasonable is in fact reasonable, and even after you're out of the situation, generally riddled with guilt because you still feel you're at fault for not being able to take it any more, it's hard to admit that they fooled you. That's why most abuse victims are quite resistant to the idea they're being abused. I know I was.

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Treesarepretty
16 hours ago, Telecaster68 said:

Abuse doesn't have to be physical, in fact its mostly not. It's about annihilating the person's sense of agency and controlling them. 

I get that. What I was complaining about before was that I can't find a clear definition to compare my relationship to. I am working in biotech and when you used the term "toxic" and @Music & Lyrics used the term "abuser" you implied something very serious. I started looking for definitions like in a medical textbook, but could only find stuff from people in Cosmo or Psychology Today which list some chriteria but don't say how serious it should be to qualify or how many of the chriteria are required to make a diagnosis. Cheating and the fear of physical violence definitely qualify and are enough to make a diagnosis on their own, which is why I mentioned those. 

 

13 hours ago, Music & Lyrics said:

And - this is not from someone trying to sell a self-help book - emotional abuse like what is happening to you now is the biggest risk factor for physical abuse arising in the relationship!  

Even if I am being emotionally abused, physical abuse is not possible due to the size and strength disparity. A few years ago, she punched me on the chest during two of our fights. It didn't hurt at all because it was my chest, but it did upset me that she could lose her temper enough to act out physically. The first time, I told her that it was disrespectful and not to do it again. The second time, I grabbed both of her wrists, pushed her onto the couch (to avoid hurting her) and shouted at her to never do that again. After that,  she has never come close to trying to hit me because she knows that it will not get her what she wants. Again, with our size disparity it is more a risk that I will accidentally cause her physical pain than that she will cause me physical pain, so it is more important for ME to be careful about hurting HER. 

 

12 hours ago, Telecaster68 said:

I don't have a book to sell either. I just grew up in an abusive family. One of the abuser's main tactics will always be normalising what they're doing by convincing you that what you find unreasonable is in fact reasonable, and even after you're out of the situation, generally riddled with guilt because you still feel you're at fault for not being able to take it any more, it's hard to admit that they fooled you. 

This gives me pause. It is the kind of specific characteristic that I was looking for. Thank you for sharing such personal information. This is something I must think about. 

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SlytherClaw23
On 8/30/2017 at 6:25 AM, Telecaster68 said:

I don't have a book to sell either. I just grew up in an abusive family. One of the abuser's main tactics will always be normalising what they're doing by convincing you that what you find unreasonable is in fact reasonable, and even after you're out of the situation, generally riddled with guilt because you still feel you're at fault for not being able to take it any more, it's hard to admit that they fooled you. That's why most abuse victims are quite resistant to the idea they're being abused. I know I was.

After a pretty special case of Shitty Childhood Syndrome, I believed that certain behaviors were acceptable and went through many many abusive relationships. They start like this. 

 

Please, please, please think hard about this, OP, before you have any kids with her. Not only will she likely manipulate them, expect her to use them as a weapon against you. 

 

Your children will learn what's acceptable based on the relationship you and she model for them.

 

Questions to consider:

°Do you want your kids to be in your shoes someday?

°Do you want them treating their partner/kids the way she treats you?

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SlytherClaw23

p.s. I'm like 1/2 white, 1/2 everything else.

 

I call B.S. on the "therapy/counciling is for white people." 

 

If you're in a large enough area, you will likely have therapists whose focus is communities of color; but that's not a requirement to help you. She may believe what she's saying, but I think it's an excuse - she doesn't want to be called out for her shit.

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Treesarepretty

 

Instead of looking for "toxic relationships," I have decided to look for "emotional abuse patterns." It looks like diagnosing requires a wholistic approach rather than a cluster of activities because individuals and relationships are so varied. Also, clinicians and researchers cannot agree on chriteria. What matters, though, is a pattern of behavior. 

 

On 8/30/2017 at 6:05 PM, Treesarepretty said:

I get that. What I was complaining about before was that I can't find a clear definition to compare my relationship to. 

From Andrea Matthews, LPC, NCC: 

Constant criticism or attempts to manipulate and control.

Shaming and blaming with hostile sarcasm or outright verbal assault.

The use of shaming and belittling language.

Verbal abuse—name-calling. 

Withholding affection.

Punishment and threats of punishment.

Refusal to accept her part in the dynamic.

Mind games, such as Gaslighting, when it comes to accepting personal responsibility for her own happiness.

Refusing to communicate at all.

Isolating him from supportive friends and family.

 

From Wikipedia: 

The study found that no matter what gender a person is, aggressive people share a cluster of traits, including high rates of suspicion and jealousy; sudden and drastic moods swings; poor self-control; and higher than average rates of approval of violence and aggression. 

 

These two seem to describe our relationship most of the time if you take out the violence. Also, I don't know what "verbal assault" means, and I wouldn't include name calling in there. She does frequently give me complements, which isn't on here. She calls me smart, hansome, sexy, and says that I am a much better chemist than she is an engineer. 

 

There are more definitions of emotional/psychological abuse out there that are even closer to our relationship, but those seem to be from lay people. 

 

On 8/30/2017 at 6:05 PM, Treesarepretty said:

Even if I am being emotionally abused, physical abuse is not possible due to the size and strength disparity. 

Also from Wikipedia: 

study of young adults by Giordano et al. found that females in intimate heterosexual relationships were more likely than males to threaten to use a knife or gun against their partner. 

 

I still am not worried about violence because she keeps saying that the important thing about marriage is the 2-income household, so I know she would never jeapardize that. Still, I feel fucking sick, like I did when I first found AVEN and realized how aweful sex would have been for her if she was ace. The difference is that now I don't want to go home to her anymore. I can't concentrate on work without listening to music, and even then I'm working slowly. I haven't felt hungry since Sunday. Last night, we played board games with some friends and we were happy again, but this morning I just feel like I want to cry or vomit all over again. 

 

Our time together this week has been a rollercoaster of emotions. Maybe I'll post about it later, but for now I just need to reconcile my desire for a devorce when I am away from her with my desire to grow old together when we are in the same room. 

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Telecaster68
Quote

I don't know what "verbal assault" means, and I wouldn't include name calling in there.

It could include name calling. Anything that's aimed at demeaning you - for instance angry tirades. This doesn't mean just losing your temper or having a row. It's a one sided verbal onslaught. I've heard it include (and experienced) a kind of furious rage in their eyes, and it doesn't have to include shouting or even swearing. Could be a long diatribe dissecting your faults in a really hurtful way, or an icey sarcastic description of how inadequate you are.

 

Some tests I've used: would I ever, ever speak to anyone like that, let alone my partner? How would you feel if you saw one friend or family member doing it to another? Would think they were completely beyond the pale?

 

Quote

She does frequently give me complements, which isn't on here. She calls me smart, hansome, sexy, and says that I am a much better chemist than she is an engineer. 

 

They could be real - I'm not instantly leaping to everything being abuse. But - one of the ways abusers operate is to make sure you never have secure enough ground under your feet to stand up for yourself, and one way of doing that is by being completely inconsistent. Sometimes this isn't a planned thing: abusers are often not in control of their own moods or thoughts and behave unpredictably, even to themselves. Also, she will know you might leave, so she's trying (possibly genuinely) to flatter you into staying.

 

The other thing you might want to research is 'gaslighting'. It means deceiving the victim so they doubt their own perceptions - again, this makes them way less likely to challenge the abuser's behaviour. The term comes from a 1930s film called Gaslight, in which a husband kept turning down the gas lighting in the house then denying he'd done it, so his wife ended up thinking she was insane because she couldn't trust her own eyes, and he had her committed. It can include things like insisting incidents didn't happen, or happened in a different way, or particular words were or weren't used. For example in this context, claiming it's less time since you had sex than you know it is.

 

They don't necessarily do it in a calculated way (although they often do). In the moment, they genuinely feel they're right, and their world view should take precedence over yours. As you say, it's a pattern over time, and the effect builds up over time from that pattern. Generally, those ways of behaving, over hemming you in from being who you really are, and there only being enough emotional room in the relationship for their needs, is how the damage is done.

 

You might also want to look at the criteria for Borderline Personality Disorder, on page six of this document. It's the manual used by psychiatrists and other mental health professionals in diagnosing mental health conditions (primarily in the US, but it's very influential internationally):

 

http://www.psi.uba.ar/academica/carrerasdegrado/psicologia/sitios_catedras/practicas_profesionales/820_clinica_tr_personalidad_psicosis/material/dsm.pdf

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Zsareph

Hey, I'm sorry to hear about your situation. Regardless of her orientation, her treatment of you isn't justified.

 

Regarding toxicity and abuse: I am currently in an emotionally abusive relationship (parent - child). Some of the stuff in your post reminds me of my own situation. In fact, those excerpts you posted about emotional abuse patterns and aggressive people match my experience with my dad pretty much exactly.

 

For further detail, I found a particular similarity in things like the way she over-reacts to things that are either perfectly reasonable (like you helping your friend while his mother was dying and he needed legal help) or not that bad (so you forgot to call her back a couple of times). In a healthy relationship, she should not be shouting/screaming or accusing you of not loving her when things don't go her way. She assumes her point of view is the right/only one, to the point of not expecting you to have your own differing thoughts and opinions, and how she conveniently forgets the problems in your relationship and denies that there is/ever was a problem, and tries to insult, mock and/or blame you whenever you call her out on how she treats you. She's also overly controlling with regards to your friends and even how much you mastubate (with me, he tries to involve himself in everything I do, from what day I take a bath to when/how I make an important phone call, trying to take charge of something that's rightfully my decision and getting angry if I don't do it when/the way he tells me). The bit about her not recognising the things you do for her: many times I've spent the whole day cleaning the house up and he'll come home, ignore what I have done and complain about the one thing I forgot or didn't realise needed doing, then accuse me of doing absolutely nothing all day. It never matters what you do right because the minute you're not making them happy all of that is suddenly forgotten.

 

The biggest thing that feels familiar is the "I'm happy most of the time......but" thing, because it's the same for me. For some reason, I used to think that because my dad is absolutely fine most of the time, I didn't feel all that justified complaining about the times where he isn't, that it wasn't enough of a problem if he is only sometimes abusive. It took a long time for it to hit me that "sometimes" is too much, that if I just keep allowing the episodes to pass and for things to go on like nothing ever happened, it will just happen again and again and again. In fact, the more that it happens, the more it will normal for him to mistreat me and the more I'll start to feel like I'm being too sensitive/bitter/unjustified in feeling uncomfortable with it.

 

Even if you personally don't feel your relationship is toxic or abusive, it is not your responsibility to put so much effort into keeping her happy in the hopes that it fixes your relationship. That's because you're not the problem with the relationship, no matter what's she tells you. It is her. If she refuses to acknowledge her problems and make efforts towards change, then the only thing you can do to improve the situation is to leave. What made this clear for me in my situation was asking myself "how would I feel if nothing changed and it was this way for the rest of my life?"

 

Once again, I'm sorry that you're going through this and hope that, one way or another, your situation gets better.

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Sally

You seem to be living day-to-day, hoping that tomorrow she will be relatively content with you as she wasn't today, or she will be as content as she was today, meanwhile hoping something will change long-term.  One simple experiment:   Can you imagine five years from now with you experiencing the same degree of uncertainty  and discomfort in this relationship?  How about  10 years?  Is that what you want your life to be?     

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Treesarepretty
On 9/1/2017 at 9:06 AM, Telecaster68 said:

It could include name calling. Anything that's aimed at demeaning you - for instance angry tirades. This doesn't mean just losing your temper or having a row. It's a one sided verbal onslaught. I've heard it include (and experienced) a kind of furious rage in their eyes, and it doesn't have to include shouting or even swearing. Could be a long diatribe dissecting your faults in a really hurtful way, or an icey sarcastic description of how inadequate you are.

I meant that she doesn't call me names. We have pet names for each other, but that is it. She says hurtful things during our fights, but not a one sided, non-stop deluge like what you describe. 

 

On 9/1/2017 at 1:45 PM, Sally said:

You seem to be living day-to-day, hoping that tomorrow she will be relatively content with you as she wasn't today, or she will be as content as she was today, meanwhile hoping something will change long-term.  One simple experiment:   Can you imagine five years from now with you experiencing the same degree of uncertainty  and discomfort in this relationship?  How about  10 years?  Is that what you want your life to be?     

This week I have been going day by day. Normally I just say, "it'll get better when I've been better for a little while," and I forget about it. She has been a lot better since Sunday, but she has been better before and the thoughts you express here are what are causing me so much trouble. Also thoughts about potential kids. 

 

When I say she has been better, I mean a LOT better at noticing everything I do or have done for her and thanking me for them specifically. 

 

@Emanresu Yllisa do you have plans to leave? Your situation seems much more serious than mine. 

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Zsareph

@Treesarepretty Thank you for your concern. I'm actually starting to move out today, though the "official" reason is for university. I'm hoping that a bit of distance and independence will give me a bit more control over the situation and I'm starting counselling to work on myself. I'm almost certain his behaviour has been affected by his own childhood and I don't intend to end up the same way. Hopefully I might get the confidence to suggest he sees someone as well, but I'm not really expecting that to happen any time soon.

 

I agree with Sally with regards to living day-to-day and thinking about the future. It's good that this is something you're already considering.

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Music & Lyrics
On 9/3/2017 at 11:41 AM, Emanresu Yllisa said:

I'm starting counselling to work on myself. I'm almost certain his behaviour has been affected by his own childhood and I don't intend to end up the same way.

Wow, you're an inspiration!  We're with you 

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Music & Lyrics

Sorry I've had no internet for a few days, I'm back!

 

I agree with what everyone has said, that it's really no good to downplay the abuse just because it is not happening all/most of the time.

 

On 9/1/2017 at 4:33 PM, Treesarepretty said:

I can't concentrate on work without listening to music, and even then I'm working slowly. I haven't felt hungry since Sunday. Last night, we played board games with some friends and we were happy again, but this morning I just feel like I want to cry or vomit all over again. 

 

Our time together this week has been a rollercoaster of emotions. Maybe I'll post about it later, but for now I just need to reconcile my desire for a devorce when I am away from her with my desire to grow old together when we are in the same room. 

I totally feel you!  Would it help you feel more at ease to recognise that it doesn't have to be that dichotomy - divorce or accept the way things are.  Many abusers change with the right help and have very healthy relationships.  Instead of getting stuck in the dilemma to put up with it or leave, you could try thinking about how to approach the conversation with her in the right way so she seeks treatment.  Hope that helps!

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Treesarepretty

I haven't been posting in a while because a lot of things happened and I didn't want waste everybody's time by posting about them individually. 

 

She is trying to make me happy vis a vis sex now, and last night she told me that if there is anything I want to buy for myself, I can go and get it or I can tell her and she'll get it for me. She has never said this before. 

 

Last Sunday, the 27th, we had the big fights where I took off my ring and walked off in a fury but subsequently came back. On Tuesday she asked me, for the first time, how she could make me really happy. I was taken aback, but I asked for TMI/ her to touch my penis, /TMI and when she did it, it made me feel sick because she has always before acted like it was gross and said that it was gross and I couldn't help feeling like some shallow sexual predator. That has never happened  to me before. I ended up saying that I was very tired and going to sleep. Later, I woke up crying because I felt even more like a predator and I got it into my head that I needed to leave to protect her from me. I tried to head out, but she sat against the door and talked me down. 

 

This past week she has offered me sex every day and I don't know how to respond. I am wearing my ring again. She has also eased up on some of the rules like allowing me to relieve myself without fear of her getting angry, or offering to buy me some clothes she is okay with me wearing at home. The conversations we have now are the reverse of what we had before, with her saying things like, "I can't change the past," "I am doing what I can to make you happy now," "what more can I do?" Those are almost the exact things I used to say to her when we talked about me nearly leaving her over the lack of sex and not always calling her back when we were dating. I don't know if that means that she is genuinly trying to make me happy like I did for her, or if this is an act like when she pretended to want me during our engagement because she was afraid I would leave. If this is the first, then I should be more receptive because she is really trying; if it is the second, then I am in for a world of hurt when she changes back because she won't have to go back to before we were engaged to be mad about a time when I almost left her. Suddenly, she is also no longer ticklish and wants to meet with a gynocologist to talk about having kids. 

 

For the time being, I have said no to sex because I am wary of that second possibility. I also still feel like I need to either cry or vomit when I think about our relationship, but that could just be me being as unreasonable now as she was before. It worries me that, when I was hesitant to say that I still wanted kids, she told me that there is no point to having sex if not to have kids. 

 

I read through the dsm on personality disorders when @Telecaster68 sent it to me, and it didn't seem to describe my wife because one of the requirements is imparement in self identity or self direction. This basically requires an innaccurate or unstable self image for the first, and risk taking behavior or behavior driven by an obsession for gaining approval of others for the second. She doesn't seem to have either of those, although keeping her parents from lecturing her is a high priority. That being said, I should probably try to get her to agree to us seeing a therapist. Maybe I am wrong about her self image, or maybe I am the one with the problem, either way, thanks for pushing me to do this @Music & Lyrics. The main problem now is how I talk to her about a therapy when she seems to be trying hard already. 

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Telecaster68

You need seven out of nine to the extent they cause substantial distress for at least six months, @Treesarepretty. So missing a couple if she hits the others hard could still be an indication. It was only a thought anyhow. 

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