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Telecaster68

To talk or not to talk

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Sally

I suppose Telecaster expects something similar from his wife, which IMO isn't too much to ask.

It isn't too much to want, but Telecaster's wife is an individual, and Telecaster is an individual, and the two of them together means three actual entities. Your anecdote just doesn't mean anything in relation to those entities, and relating it probably makes Telecaster feel even worse.

And I (and everyone who's heard what he's been saying) is very clear about what he wants. What we're not understanding is why he keeps worrying away at it, when it's clear he's not going to get it.

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Mysticus Insanus

I hate to say it Telecaster, but I really don't think you're going to get any advice on what you're wanting to achieve here on AVEN. . . . If I end up having a brilliant idea or something, I'll tell you, but your situation, as well as what you're wanting, is definitely tough. No one seems to have been able to give you a good idea yet, and most people (on here) aren't trying to figure out what you could do, anyway.

I'm just baffled that Telecaster is consistently expecting things from his wife that obviously she's not going to do. I mean, it's perfectly fine to wish that your partner would talk to you about this stuff, but once it becomes clear they're not interested, what's the point? Whether or not you "click" with someone and are able to communicate about issues that can be hurtful, is something you should establish way before marriage, IMO. So unfortunately, my only advice to Telecaster is that he either stick with a situation he's not content in, or that he seek someone who matches his desire for communication, asexual or otherwise.

Yup. It's like someone consistently trying to buy his groceries at a shoe store, and when obviously not getting food there, starting to picket the shoe store with "sell me food, or at least pity my hunger" signs... while there are dozens of supermarkets and grocery stores in the town.

"Baffling" is putting it mildly.

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Tarfeather

I suppose Telecaster expects something similar from his wife, which IMO isn't too much to ask.

It isn't too much to want, but Telecaster's wife is an individual, and Telecaster is an individual, and the two of them together means three actual entities. Your anecdote just doesn't mean anything in relation to those entities, and relating it probably makes Telecaster feel even worse.

And I (and everyone who's heard what he's been saying) is very clear about what he wants. What we're not understanding is why he keeps worrying away at it, when it's clear he's not going to get it.

No, I think Telecaster is also confused by a perceived general vibe of "leave the asexual alone" or some such. There might be no such vibe here, but you'd have to explain that to him.

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Sally

I suppose Telecaster expects something similar from his wife, which IMO isn't too much to ask.

It isn't too much to want, but Telecaster's wife is an individual, and Telecaster is an individual, and the two of them together means three actual entities. Your anecdote just doesn't mean anything in relation to those entities, and relating it probably makes Telecaster feel even worse.

And I (and everyone who's heard what he's been saying) is very clear about what he wants. What we're not understanding is why he keeps worrying away at it, when it's clear he's not going to get it.

No, I think Telecaster is also confused by a perceived general vibe of "leave the asexual alone" or some such. There might be no such vibe here, but you'd have to explain that to him.

I'd say the same thing to someone who was in a sexual/sexual relationship, no matter the reason they wanted specific words from their partner.

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Mysticus Insanus

I'd say the same thing to someone who was in a sexual/sexual relationship, no matter the reason they wanted specific words from their partner.

Yup, this. I've said it for months - the problem is down to Tele's general attitude. The sexual incompatibility is mainly just an inducing issue/occasion to "act out" that attitude.

So, yeah, in this specific case, I do say it very much is about "leave your asexual partner alone already", because she's just not the root cause of the problem in any way, shape, or form, and shouldn't be expected to solve Tele's problem for him. It's his problem, and that makes it his responsibility to take care of it, not hers

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Telecaster68

So in essence, you both fine think one partner has no right to expect their partner to want to be supportive and emotionally generous?

I find that attitude baffling and not one I've seen outside AVEN.

So in essence, you both think one partner has no right to expect their partner to want to be supportive and emotionally generous?

I find that attitude baffling and not one I've seen outside AVEN.

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Tarfeather

So in essence, you both fine think one partner has no right to expect their partner to want to be supportive and emotionally generous?

I find that attitude baffling and not one I've seen outside AVEN.

"right" is a pretty strong word. Generally, no, nobody has a right to anything beyond basic human rights.

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Telecaster68

But this is a partnership in which both sides have publicly committed to a lot, lot more than that. And even without a marriage, saying a relationship brings no more expectations to reach other than someone you stand next to in a coffee shop queue denied the entire point of any human relationship

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Tarfeather

But this is a partnership in which both sides have publicly committed to a lot, lot more than that. And even without a marriage, saying a relationship brings no more expectations to reach other than someone you stand next to in a coffee shop queue denied the entire point of any human relationship

So is the relationship police going to break into your house and force your wife to talk to you?

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Telecaster68

No. My point is that it's for us both to work on, and expecting her to contribute equally, for instance by acknowledging my pain as I do hers.

Honestly, outside of the AVEN echo chamber, this is not in any way a controversial idea.

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Tarfeather

No. My point is that it's for us both to work on, and expecting her to contribute equally, for instance by acknowledging my pain as I do hers.

What does "expecting" mean? What do you do when she doesn't comply?

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Mysticus Insanus

But this is a partnership in which both sides have publicly committed to a lot, lot more than that. And even without a marriage, saying a relationship brings no more expectations to reach other than someone you stand next to in a coffee shop queue denied the entire point of any human relationship

You already know I see it the exact opposite way... if you're showing the random person in the coffee shop queue more respect than the partner you're with, your relationship is in deep, deep trouble, and probably doomed - so best to call it quits rather today than tomorrow.

When both are handled with the same slightly aloof, polite respect for the inviolability of their autonomy, then I'd consider that the best possible foundation for a worthwhile human relationship. I would always do my utmost best to make sure to remain separate individuals, especially within a partnership.

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Telecaster68

"What does "expecting" mean? What do you do when she doesn't comply?"

Expecting in the sense of both the sun coming up and turning up for work. The other person has made a promise that they will do this stuff, it's not some kind of invented entitlement.

And if it doesn't happen, work on it till you can't bear it any more. If you read my OP, ideas for doing that is where I started.

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Tarfeather

If I don't turn up for work, it's on my boss to fire me, not to go on a forum and ask other people to confirm that I'm not doing my job.

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Telecaster68

Mysti

Being emotionally supportive and autonomous aren't mutually exclusive, and aloofness is the opposite of most relationships for most people. They're about warmth, closeness, intimacy, equality. Expecting your partner contribute to the emotional maintenance isn't disrespectful.

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Tarfeather

Hah, ironically, on that particular discussion I think I agree with both of you equally. A relationship is about warmth, proximity, intimacy. But the best way to achieve that is to constantly remind yourself that the other person is an autonomous individual, and that every drop of affection from them has to be earned by being respectful and avoiding any sense of entitlement or expectations, "reasonable" though those expectations may seem.

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Mysticus Insanus

Hah, ironically, on that particular discussion I think I agree with both of you equally. A relationship is about warmth, proximity, intimacy. But the best way to achieve that is to constantly remind yourself that the other person is an autonomous individual, and that every drop of affection from them has to be earned by being respectful and avoiding any sense of entitlement or expectations, "reasonable" though those expectations may seem.

I'd wince at the use of "earned" there. :p Even in the case where you give your perfect behavior, the affection you receive still is a gift, not a payment you earned - a privilege, not a right.

But yeah, I certainly have found to be the "hands-off approach" to be the most reliable way to intimacy. Make sure the partner knows you don't need them, that you're an autonomous individual who will get by fine without them, that you trust them to be equally grwon-up, and that don't expect anything of them... and by doing so, you set them free to choose to spend quality time with you and show you affection out of their own choice and desire. And if they consistently choose not to do so... well, then you didn't have a loving relationship in the first place, just a prison constructed out of dutiful commitments, so be grateful if you made it crash and burn sooner rather than later, opening up space in both of your lives for something superior.

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Telecaster68

In theory, yes. In practice, not expecting that your partner will do anything at all to contribute to the relationship and taking each thing as a delightful surprise, will make for an incredibly unstable life. 'wouldn't it be nice if they paid the mortgage this month, but I shouldn't expect it, even though we agreed they would' for instance. Emotional support is similar. There's an underlying expectation that relationships include it, because it's part of creating a stable life with someone.

This is what commitment us - committing to doing these things unless there's a good reason not to.

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Mysticus Insanus

Okay Tele, let me be perfectly blunt:

If you see your sex life with other people as comparable to paying a mortgage, you're far better off with prostitutes than with a wife. They'll give you a far more honest business transaction than a spouse, every single time, and they'll rarely ever turn you down as long as you keep up your end of the contract.


And AFAIK, it's legal in Britain, so, what's keeping you? (serious question, not a snark, bait or anything else)




This is what commitment us - committing to doing these things unless there's a good reason not to.

Sounds toxic to me - on these grounds, I'd say you'll have to choose between either a loving relationship or a committed one. You can't really have both.

Obviously, it means that I'll avoid this "commitment" stuff like a plague. *shrug*

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Tarfeather

Hah, ironically, on that particular discussion I think I agree with both of you equally. A relationship is about warmth, proximity, intimacy. But the best way to achieve that is to constantly remind yourself that the other person is an autonomous individual, and that every drop of affection from them has to be earned by being respectful and avoiding any sense of entitlement or expectations, "reasonable" though those expectations may seem.

I'd wince at the use of "earned" there. :P Even in the case where you give your perfect behavior, the affection you receive still is a gift, not a payment you earned - a privilege, not a right.

It's one thing to do something and expect a certain response, it's quite another to act a certain way, get a response, and recognize that the response was as a result of what you did. I've indeed earned every bit of affection my partner has shown me, even if I'd never expect her to show me that affection.

But yeah, I certainly have found to be the "hands-off approach" to be the most reliable way to intimacy. Make sure the partner knows you don't need them, that you're an autonomous individual who will get by fine without them, that you trust them to be equally grwon-up, and that don't expect anything of them... and by doing so, you set them free to choose to spend quality time with you and show you affection out of their own choice and desire. And if they consistently choose not to do so... well, then you didn't have a loving relationship in the first place, just a prison constructed out of dutiful commitments, so be grateful if you made it crash and burn sooner rather than later, opening up space in both of your lives for something superior.

I somewhat disagree. The "getting by fine without them" part is not something I really can do. It's not in my nature. What I can do is, to in your words "humbly" accept the fact, that no matter how hard it is for me, no matter how much being alone hurts me, I still have no right to tell anyone else to give me that affection. I can honestly explain my situation, I can tell them what they mean to me, and then I must accept their decision, without trying to push them one way or another. That's honestly pretty hard for me, and I haven't always managed, but I try. I think I've gotten slightly better at it, lately.

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Mysticus Insanus

It's one thing to do something and expect a certain response, it's quite another to act a certain way, get a response, and recognize that the response was as a result of what you did. I've indeed earned every bit of affection my partner has shown me, even if I'd never expect her to show me that affection.

I guess we'll have to ag-to-dis there. I'd see the result as always way too dependent on the "black box" (if you forgive use of that behavioristic term ;)) that is the partner's autonomous, individual personality. To think that anything I did caused me to "earn a reward" won't sit right with me - the only thing I think I'd really earn would be a roasting if I acted disrespectfully (and I'd be pretty taken aback if I notice that I did, and no negative sanction occurs; would look to me like the other person not standing up for themselves enough. It's not easy for me to accept forgiveness, unless it's led in by "you royally fucked up, but...").

I somewhat disagree. The "getting by fine without them" part is not something I really can do. It's not in my nature. What I can do is, to in your words "humbly" accept the fact, that no matter how hard it is for me, no matter how much being alone hurts me, I still have no right to tell anyone else to give me that affection. I can honestly explain my situation, I can tell them what they mean to me, and then I must accept their decision, without trying to push them one way or another. That's honestly pretty hard for me, and I haven't always managed, but I try. I think I've gotten slightly better at it, lately.

I hope you don't see me as saying humility was easy. It takes discipline and effort. While I see it as a neccessary trait for having meaningful, loving human contact, it did take me many years to really learn it and integrate it to my personality. Growing up in a dysfunctional family isn't really conducive to have a workable default of a realistically humble view of your place in the world, compared with a realistic view on other's places.

In my teens and twens, I've been a far less jolly and tolerant fellow than I am nowadays. *sigh*

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Tarfeather

It's one thing to do something and expect a certain response, it's quite another to act a certain way, get a response, and recognize that the response was as a result of what you did. I've indeed earned every bit of affection my partner has shown me, even if I'd never expect her to show me that affection.

I guess we'll have to ag-to-dis there. I'd see the result as always way too dependent on the "black box" (if you forgive use of that behavioristic term ;)) that is the partner's autonomous, individual personality. To think that anything I did caused me to "earn a reward" won't sit right with me - the only thing I think I'd really earn would be a roasting if I acted disrespectfully (and I'd be pretty taken aback if I notice that I did, and no negative sanction occurs; would look to me like the other person not standing up for themselves enough. It's not easy for me to accept forgiveness, unless it's led in by "you royally fucked up, but...").

If you want to go down to semantics rather than emotions here, you never "earn" a certain response, you only "earn" having put in the effort to open the door for the other person, whether they walk through it is entirely their choice and can not be influenced by you.

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Telecaster68
If you see your sex life with other people as comparable to paying a mortgage,

Yep, thought you'd interpret like that.

I don't. The analogy was this - as part of a relationship that both partners think is going to be indefinite, there have to be commitments to how each partner contributes, both practical - assuming they're living together - and emotional. The alternative is waking up each day wondering if you're still in a relationship with someone, which would drive most people insane. Some of that commitment is doing the stuff that makes them want to stay with you, and they're all entered into voluntarily because each side wants to have that person in their life.

My argument is that emotional support etc. is one of those, and it doesn't mean surrendering your autonomy. It just means you (gladly) undertake to be there for that person, and for most people having that as part of their network of support is vital for their own well being.

So the analogy is this: saying 'no, I can't guarantee you I'm not going emotionally support you over issue x despite us saying that in general we'd support each other', it's like saying 'no, I'm not paying the mortgage this month even though I said I would'.

Sounds toxic to me

Yeah, that commitment is what abusers manipulate. Not manipulating it and exploiting it is what defines a healthy relationship. Like you (apparently) I grew up in a shitty, dysfunctional, abusive family. Since then I've been in relationship that are healthy, and trusting the other person not to use that commitment in a toxic way is the difference between them.

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Mysticus Insanus

If you want to go down to semantics rather than emotions here, you never "earn" a certain response, you only "earn" having put in the effort to open the door for the other person, whether they walk through it is entirely their choice and can not be influenced by you.

Huh? How can that be called "earning" something then? That's just doing something... so the effort is spent, not earnt. :huh:

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Tarfeather

Well, if you make an investment, and the investment turns out generating profit for you, you earned that profit, right? You don't have a right to those profits, but if you do happen to make profits, you've earned them.

I love arguing semantics on here. :D

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Mysticus Insanus

The alternative is waking up each day wondering if you're still in a relationship with someone, which would drive most people insane.

As you can probably guess, I consider this exact question incredibly liberating. It makes me appreciate every day in which the answer to the question turns out to still be a genuine, enthusiastic "yes - for today, we still are in a relationship".

If the question is no longer worth asking, I'd feel trapped, and start doubting whether there's still any basis of genuine love. The natural default state between any two people always is not to be together, and it needs to be acknowledged that in every second of every day, returning to that default state is the natural right of everyone involved... at the drop of a hat, for any reason or none. Treating relationships like contracts you can be sued for dissolving is an absolutely horrible idea to me. Always remember where the door is, and that you and the other person are free to leave, at any time... without that, I really can't imagine how there can be any genuine love involved, instead of empty fulfillment of an enforceably duties (which, for me at least, would breed massive resentment in no time).

Well, if you make an investment, and the investment turns out generating profit for you, you earned that profit, right? You don't have a right to those profits, but if you do happen to make profits, you've earned them.

Social relationships aren't business transaction nor stock market speculations. Gnaggh.

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Tarfeather

Well, if you make an investment, and the investment turns out generating profit for you, you earned that profit, right? You don't have a right to those profits, but if you do happen to make profits, you've earned them.

Social relationships aren't business transaction nor stock market speculations. Gnaggh.

Of course not, but I fail to see the qualitative difference with regards to this particular example.

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Mysticus Insanus

Well, if you make an investment, and the investment turns out generating profit for you, you earned that profit, right? You don't have a right to those profits, but if you do happen to make profits, you've earned them.

Social relationships aren't business transaction nor stock market speculations. Gnaggh.

Of course not, but I fail to see the qualitative difference with regards to this particular example.

Then that's a point where our views drastically differ.

In love (and loving relationships), you just spend for spending's sake, because spending feels good and right. You might receive gifts in return; if so, that's awesome, but your choice of spending should remain independent from that. The more you forget about "investments" and "payoffs", the more liberating it feels, and the more tuned in with the flow of love you'll be. You don't invest; you give away.

Take the same approach with money... and yeah, well, you're basically gambling your livelihood away, and unless you win the lottery by infinitesimal chance, the likeliest outcome is that you'll end up penniless.

Love is totally not like money - in one case, you only have it in abundance when you squander it, in the other, squandering it means you'll have none of it anymore.

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Serran

I suppose Telecaster expects something similar from his wife, which IMO isn't too much to ask.

It isn't too much to want, but Telecaster's wife is an individual, and Telecaster is an individual, and the two of them together means three actual entities. Your anecdote just doesn't mean anything in relation to those entities, and relating it probably makes Telecaster feel even worse.

And I (and everyone who's heard what he's been saying) is very clear about what he wants. What we're not understanding is why he keeps worrying away at it, when it's clear he's not going to get it.

No, I think Telecaster is also confused by a perceived general vibe of "leave the asexual alone" or some such. There might be no such vibe here, but you'd have to explain that to him.

The general vibe is "you can't make someone do something they aren't comfortable/don't want to do" - regardless of orientation and regardless of what you're wanting them to do.

It's totally understandable to want to talk about something. It's also understandable to want a certain reply. However, we can't make people give us what we want. When they refuse, repeatedly, our only choice left is how we will handle it. Is it something we can deal with not having said? Is it a deal breaker? How much does this bother me?

Of course, trying to get them to talk is OK... but eventually, it's obvious they aren't going to.

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Blondebeard

I suppose Telecaster expects something similar from his wife, which IMO isn't too much to ask.

It isn't too much to want, but Telecaster's wife is an individual, and Telecaster is an individual, and the two of them together means three actual entities. Your anecdote just doesn't mean anything in relation to those entities, and relating it probably makes Telecaster feel even worse.

And I (and everyone who's heard what he's been saying) is very clear about what he wants. What we're not understanding is why he keeps worrying away at it, when it's clear he's not going to get it.

No, I think Telecaster is also confused by a perceived general vibe of "leave the asexual alone" or some such. There might be no such vibe here, but you'd have to explain that to him.

The general vibe is "you can't make someone do something they aren't comfortable/don't want to do" - regardless of orientation and regardless of what you're wanting them to do.

It's totally understandable to want to talk about something. It's also understandable to want a certain reply. However, we can't make people give us what we want. When they refuse, repeatedly, our only choice left is how we will handle it. Is it something we can deal with not having said? Is it a deal breaker? How much does this bother me?

Of course, trying to get them to talk is OK... but eventually, it's obvious they aren't going to.

I'm going to side the asexual point of view here. Telecaster is just trying to do something out of deseration and out of sadness but something that will not improve his situation. You cant do over and over again the same thing that aƱready didnt work. I do agree that as a partner you own some behaviour to your other side, but if that behaviour is not done the solution is breaking up, not constantly complaining. Her wife has the right to be not sexual, and she even has the right to avoid the topic if they already discussed it. Telecaster needs to decide either if he can live with that or if he should split or tell her wife that he is going to start having sex with other people and being open about it.

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