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Bezoyo

Question for Sexual in a relationship with an Ace

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Bezoyo

Hey, i'm kind of back. Kinda.

So, as i was busy, i continued to have all my thoughts on everything, as always.

I realized a hypothesis, that i'd like other sexuals to discuss with me.

It look to me there is 2 kind of sexuals.

- Those who need sex to feel intimacy.

- Those who don't need sex to feel intimacy.

 

I read quite a few people here in the first category, though some go trough with the "power of love", sadly not without paying a price.

I would like to know more, to understand, how you can cope(not sure it's the right word) with it.

 

The second category seem scarcer, or maybe it's just a impression. And i would like to know more how you find intimacy with your SO(Significant Other).

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JMichael

Great conversation, so much laughing, cuddling, hugs, travel together, cooking for each other, holding hands, walks together, partnering on community improvement projects.

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anamikanon

I don't know what category I'm in, but I don't want to make love with a reluctant partner, I don't like to be forever waiting kind of a feeling that is there during sex. These are the opposite of "turn on" and I stopped feeling attracted to my ace once I realized there was no point.

 

If things had gone to plan, I'd have preferred to continue with sex in whatever modified way we could. He wanted the same too and was agreeable. This is because I see sex as an important part of closeness and expected discontinuing sex to have a negative impact on the relationship, given that I don't like being around people much overall. I had expected that I would no longer want him in my bedroom, and so on.

 

When I lost interest, some things are definitely boundaries - I now expect him to knock before entering the bedroom like everyone else. He used to be exempt. Now he isn't. He is now "friendzoned" so to say. We are close friends, we sleep in the same bed, we aren't fussed about being nude around each other, but definitely there is a downgrading in how I see him. I like him and respect him and all that continues. We have great communication. But a lot of the behaviors that were also about our role with each other are gone on my end. I no longer feel an urge for physical intimacy, small shared jokes kind of space, I am an overall aloof person, so I don't really kiss or hug my friends and so on, and I feel no need to do it with him either. But I'm fine with him initiating affectionate contact and will usually participate/reciprocate unless I'm busy with something and then it irriates, but he never did that before either.

 

It is like he doesn't see sex necessary to express love, I don't see physical caresses necessary to express camaraderie. Won't kill me to hug, but with that wish to be all tangled up in him gone, it isn't something that holds a lot of meaning for me as a repeated/frequent thing in a relationship. Not averse either. If he feels a need, I don't mind. Then there are some contacts that continue. We still often sleep hugging each other. Now that he alone seems to see the need for physical affection, he's losing interest in that, I think, because it has definitely decreased to a much more tolerable level. I used to find it suffocating earlier, but didn't say anything and remained receptive mostly because we were already in a difficult transition without piling my eccentricities on top of it. Now it is ... nice. Or at least not a problem. I suspect he'd like more physical affection but would rather take things at a level both of us can enjoy for similar reasons.

 

We joke sometimes that we are like an old couple. A lot of profound, meaningful relationship that is a very superb companionship, but the zing is definitely behind us and not coming back.

 

Do I love him? Yes. Am I in love with him? Nope. I am not able to see a relationship where I can't spontaneously act on the closeness I feel as an intimate one. We have a fantastic relationship, so we are still together. In fact, we married after this. But my sex/love life - if it happens - will be with someone else. Or perhaps the long awaited menopause will torpedo my libido and we'll be on the same page in terms of intimate needs again at some point.

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SG100084
8 hours ago, Bezoyo said:

It look to me there is 2 kind of sexuals.

- Those who need sex to feel intimacy.

- Those who don't need sex to feel intimacy. 

There are a lot more kinds than that.

I need intimacy to have good sex. That's not on the list.
I don't need sex to feel intimacy - but I do need sex to be able to feel secure that my relationship is working.
I need to feel desired before I feel I can bring my best game to the relationship table and sex is a part of that. And as my own recent experience shows, I don't necessarily need that desire to come from my main partner, just as long as I'm feeling it from someone and it's genuine.



 

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Telecaster68

People seldom stick neatly in categories, even if they fit at one time or another (and they don't, often). Trying to understand the world as though they do, doesn't work. 

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ryn2
7 hours ago, anamikanon said:

It is like he doesn't see sex necessary to express love[....]

For some aces, too, it goes beyond that:  not only do they not need sex to express love, they don’t see/experience sex as an expression of love at all.

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Telecaster68
6 minutes ago, ryn2 said:

they don’t see/experience sex as an expression of love at all.

I think that's the case even with sex-favourable aces. It's more like sex is an inconvenient method of masturbating.

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Bviscuit

I guess I would put myself in the second category! I have a low libido and while certainly foreplay and sex could be an act of intimacy in my relationship if my partner also desired it, intimacy is when both partners are feeling it. In discussing boundaries my gf said she could handle me touching her in more intimate areas if I gave her prior warning, but the idea of my beloved partner bracing herself for me to stick my hand on her boob isn't something even worth thinking about. I feel like our relationship is so ripe with intimacy in other ways. We trust each other so much and go to each other for emotional support, we talk about our hopes for the future and our fears and insecurities. Our emotional intimacy is really important to me, and every time I open up to her I just feel like the relationship is growing stronger. We take trips, go on dates, cook together, cuddle, hold hands, explore bookstores together... I love laying in her lap and having her run her fingers through my hair.

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ChainReact

Those are interesting questions Bezoyo. I suspect the other commenters are right in saying that dividing sexuals into two different categories is too simple to account for everyone. I personally, absolutely need sexual intimacy, but I don’t need sex in order to have intimacy. But for the sexual intimacy to be truly meaningful to me, my partner has to really want it. 

 

 I’ve been married to my wife for nearly eight years and we have formed a very close bond. After nearly seven years of a very sparse sex life between the two of us and a lot of tension because of the sparseness, my wife realized that she is somewhere in the ace spectrum. She’s not sex averse. In fact, she sometimes finds it enjoyable. But the fact that it is something she never really wants for herself kind of takes away the real sexual intimacy because it’s not really the shared experience that I crave. I think it’s like when someone watches a tv show that they don’t really care much for, a show they would never choose to watch on their own but they do so because their partner really wants to watch it. The partner that doesn’t care much for the show may enjoy it sometimes, but that doesn’t mean that it wouldn’t be sooo much better to watch it with someone else who really gets it. With the other person, it’s really a shared experience - you feel like equals.

 

Now, the fact that my wife does not much care for the show doesn’t mean that we can’t enjoy cuddling on the couch. But it does mean that I don’t really want to watch the show with her anymore. We still catch an episode now and again, but it just makes me feel like an idiot to watch a show with somebody who just doesn’t see why it’s as good as I think it is (even if they chuckled at few of the jokes). I’d much, much rather find a friend who really does want to watch the show with me and save the episodes to watch with that person. I can’t not watch the show without going crazy, I feel like an idiot watching it with my wife, and it’s a show that I have to watch with another person. 

 

As for coping, I’m not sure. I’m not doing too well. I’ve been trying so hard, but I’ve slowly come to realize that I am going to need to find someone new. The question is: will my wife ever trust me to watch my show with someone else and still come home for dinner? Will I need to secretly watch the show with someone else? Or will I have to completely leave her behind to actually enjoy the show. 

 

Anyway, my point is that I cannot cope without the real intimacy, so if our marriage is going to work, I’m going to have to find a third party for what I cannot get at home and focus on all the things in our relationship that we do have. 

 

And I realize that the tv show analogy may make it seem trivial, but take the analogy for what it is - a metaphor for the dynamic, but not the depth of the problem. It truly is heart wrenching to the point that I feel physically ill. 

 

Also, this is my very first time posting here, so if I’ve said something terrible, please go easy on me. This is a really hard thing to come to terms with, let alone share with others. 

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ryn2

That seems like a reasonable analogy, @ChainReact, although I’m both fannish and grey-ace somewhere so I can’t really speak to whether non-fandom sexuals will find it overly trivialized.

 

Have you and your wife spoken about any of these options, even in the abstract?  It’s of course hard to know they will play out in reality - will your wife end up not able to cope with your taking a secondary partner even though she thought she could, will you find yourself no longer able to love your wife once you love your new partner - but general discussion upfront might at least uncover any guaranteed problems (e.g., your wife is naturally monogamous and will flatly not accept any of your partner options)... at which point you have a hard decision to make.

 

Welcome to AVEN!  🍰

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MrDane
On 8/9/2018 at 3:33 AM, Bezoyo said:

Hey, i'm kind of back. Kinda.

So, as i was busy, i continued to have all my thoughts on everything, as always.

I realized a hypothesis, that i'd like other sexuals to discuss with me.

It look to me there is 2 kind of sexuals.

- Those who need sex to feel intimacy.

- Those who don't need sex to feel intimacy.

 

I read quite a few people here in the first category, though some go trough with the "power of love", sadly not without paying a price.

I would like to know more, to understand, how you can cope(not sure it's the right word) with it.

 

The second category seem scarcer, or maybe it's just a impression. And i would like to know more how you find intimacy with your SO(Significant Other).

I dont really know which category I fit into, 

sex feels very intimate for me. It is like top level of love connection. ...or so it was, I thougth. Today it is intimacy, nice, and necessary to keep the demons of depression away. I can feel loved, appreciated, seen, valued in many other ways, but as touch, kiss and sweet words are not free flowing either, then the scheduled sexual intercourse is a substitute. 

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CBC

I'm not sure it's that straightforward.

 

At any rate, I've made it to 33 with absolutely no clue as to which category I'm in. My life experiences thus far are not ones that have been particularly conducive to figuring such things out.

 

Can't answer the question about intimacy really either, because although I have a spouse who is asexual, my situation is a little different due to my own orientation (he's straight and ace, I'm gay and sexual). It was kind of romantic and very occasionally sexual in the past, but is more or less a platonic/familial thing now. As such, I've no desire to create romantic intimacy or otherwise make it feel "coupley". Given the past we've shared, having been together about nine and a half years now, we're very close (probably give off that "old married couple" vibe haha) despite a complete lack of romance and sex. Also due to that past, there are still elements to our connection that would probably seem coupley others, I guess. For example, on bad days (and I have a lot of 'em), he'll still give me hugs or occasionally curl up next to me when I lie down. That's about all the intimacy I desire within this particular relationship, so I'm not missing anything.

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ChainReact

I’m glad that my analogy wasn’t complete nonsense. I’ve tried to think of something that better captures the depth of the problem, but the best I can do is to say this: for some sexual, the need for sexual intimacy is every bit as much a need as sleep - want of sleep withers the body, want of sexual intimacy withers the soul and lack of either will drive one mad. 

 

My wife and I have talked about solutions in the abstract a few times. The first time was after she developed a crush on a friend of ours, about five years ago. She saw him during a trip she took to Paris and the crush intensified (I mean, how could it not under those circumstances?). She felt pretty bad about how she really wanted to start a romantic relationship with the guy and told be about the whole thing. 

 

I think I must be poly by nature because I experienced a sense of compersion over the whole thing and kind of wished she had been able to take things further. I let her know then and there (this is before I knew that the reason sex was so rare for us was because she really had no need for sex) that if she wanted to explore with other people, I would be happy for her to do so, just don’t leave me for the other person and be safe. She said she had no real interest in sex (which, looking back was probably much more true than I had thought), but seemed intrigued at the time by the prospect of having romantic flings with other people. 

 

The fact that extra-marital flings might intrigue her does not mean that she is not a jealous, kind of possessive person. For instance, I cannot talk about past relationships with women without her getting upset. I think she’s gotten less jealous over time (we got married really young, so we’ve both grown a lot since then) but I still think she’d have a hard time with knowing that I was with another woman. A while back she seemingly indicated that she wouldn’t want to know if it was happening, but she has certainly never said anything like “it’s okay as long as I don’t know about it”. I’d like to broach the topic directly and honestly, but I’m terrified that she’ll freak out and that it would damage our relationship. 

 

There was actually one time (before the topic of asexuality was ever broached) when I let her know that there was a part of me that wanted to leave our relationship because I felt so sexually unfulfilled. She was extremely hurt and just didn’t understand what was so damn important about sex that I would in any way want to throw our everything else we had. I told her I did not want to do that, but that there was a deep sense of dissatisfaction in my life. She still sometimes holds that conversation over me as “that time I said I wanted to get a divorce so I could sleep with other women”. 

 

Since then, she tried to improve things by addressing things she thought might be causing a lack of libido, she has tried to initiate sex from time to time and be more receptive to my needs, but the end result was that we were having sex maybe once a month. Eventually the topic of asexuality came up after a character on the show BoJack Horseman realized he was ace. She looked into it and feels as though grey-ace is about what she is. It made a lot of things about our relationship better to have this understanding, but it made sex worse. I feel kind of belittled when she says things because she thinks I want to hear them or does things because she thinks I want to do them. But the understanding has made it easier to see that the rest of the relationship is really good since the lack of sexual intimacy doesn’t stem from fundamental problems in our relationship. 

 

I don’t want to throw out what we have, I love her too much. But I feel like I’ve lost my 20’s and I’m terrified I’ll do the same to my 30’s and my sexual prime will have vanished and I will harbor deep resentment toward my wife. Part of me feels like the kindest thing to do is to privately and carefully take care of what I need. Another part of me would love to be direct and tell her what I need and that the need is an absolute need, but I don’t want to hurt her. Either with or without her consent, it’s only a matter of time before the dam bursts (I’m not a bad looking guy and I take good care of myself, so the opportunity will present itself and I will not be able to resist forever [just as sleep can only be fended off for so long]).  I feel like a shitty person though...

 

Sorry for the crazy long comment - I guess I have a lot to unload!

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ryn2

It sounds like in the long run she would be more upset if you cheat and get caught than she will if you tell her... but you know her better than we do.

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shoshi coast
1 hour ago, ChainReact said:

Part of me feels like the kindest thing to do is to privately and carefully take care of what I need. Another part of me would love to be direct and tell her what I need and that the need is an absolute need, but I don’t want to hurt her.

Dude. You can take my advice or leave it, it's your life and your relationship. But as a woman who experienced infidelity in her marriage before it ended, I can tell you that it has the potential to break a woman's heart and spirit into a billion pieces. I would much rather my ex-husband had come to me and asked for a divorce to my face. Although it still would have been painful, the long-term deception was so much more hurtful. Broken trust is incredibly painful. I think you have to man up and make a difficult choice here- if she isn't willing to have an open relationship, you have to choose whether you want to stay faithful and compromise on your sexual needs, or choose to end the relationship to pursue your sexual needs elsewhere. Neither choice is simple or easy, but deception is never a good answer to a marital/relationship problem. It is not "the kindest thing to do". It's not fair to your wife to tell her you've decided to compromise your own needs and stay faithful, and then go behind her back with another woman.

 

Just my two cents.

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ChainReact
30 minutes ago, shoshi coast said:

Dude. You can take my advice or leave it, it's your life and your relationship. But as a woman who experienced infidelity in her marriage before it ended, I can tell you that it has the potential to break a woman's heart and spirit into a billion pieces. I would much rather my ex-husband had come to me and asked for a divorce to my face. Although it still would have been painful, the long-term deception was so much more hurtful. Broken trust is incredibly painful. I think you have to man up and make a difficult choice here- if she isn't willing to have an open relationship, you have to choose whether you want to stay faithful and compromise on your sexual needs, or choose to end the relationship to pursue your sexual needs elsewhere. Neither choice is simple or easy, but deception is never a good answer to a marital/relationship problem. It is not "the kindest thing to do". It's not fair to your wife to tell her you've decided to compromise your own needs and stay faithful, and then go behind her back with another woman.

 

Just my two cents.

You’re right, and thank you for sharing your experience. I am so sorry to hear about the heartache you went through. It might seem kinder in the short term, but if she found out, she would be devastated. I know that how I would feel if the shoe were on the other foot (I’d much rather have her get what she needs elsewhere and continue her life with me in all other regards, even if I she did so in secret) is irrelevant. It’s her feelings in the balance, not my hypothetical feelings if the roles were reversed. Also, I think my deep desire to avoid confrontation and causing pain makes the easy way out seem more appealing than it actually is. I guess it’s like vaccinating a child who is terrified of needles. You may not like the pain you have to put the child through, but it’s way better than the possibility for illness later. 

 

I guess what I need to do is to find the best way to talk honestly about it. The last thing in the world I want is for us to part, but living with this hole in my spirit is untenable. I just am not strong enough to do it forever. And even if I were, I would resent her over the compromise. 

 

This would be easier if we had more problems in our relationship, but I have always been extremely kind and patient to her and she absolutely adores me. So how do I talk about it? How do I tell her that no matter how much we love each other, I am going to need to have sex with someone else to be truly happy? How do I come clean to the fact that this need is so deep that it could destroy the most important thing in my life? How can I do that without making her feel completely inadequate or making me seem like a terrible person? Maybe I am just a terrible person for this. 

 

I sometimes wish we loved each other less. It would make things so much simpler. I would gladly take any advice on how to approach this - it’s breaking my heart and I just can’t think through it clearly. 

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SG100084

Going through something similar right now, where my wife is only now starting to make some kind of an effort after years and years of ignoring my sexuality completely.

Main regret I have is precisely NOT presenting her with some kind of an ultimatum before. We are in a much better place now, as she she finally realises that there are "better offers" out there that she has to compete with, that I am a guy that other women are into and that the only reason I'm even willing to give it a go now is because I am finally in a position to make demands. 

I wasted half of my thirties and early all of my forties with this woman - luckily I am still in good shape and potent, and expect to be so for at least another decade - but don't make the same mistake I did.

Way I did this was just to put it on the table…. three options. Choose one. 1) We get our sex life working 2) You give me carte blanche to see other women but we still live together and I love you but will stop harassing you 3) We split up, on the rationale that non-option 4) We stay as we are is leading to resentment and will probably put me in an early grave and is a bad role model for our kids.

She went with 2) but as soon as I started an affair and I got my confidence and self-respect back, suddenly 1) was on the table, which we are giving a go but (based on advice in this excellent group) I am still keeping the other lady on simmer - she's in no rush and actually wants my wife and I to figure out 1). 

 

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ChainReact
1 hour ago, SG100084 said:

Going through something similar right now, where my wife is only now starting to make some kind of an effort after years and years of ignoring my sexuality completely.

Main regret I have is precisely NOT presenting her with some kind of an ultimatum before. We are in a much better place now, as she she finally realises that there are "better offers" out there that she has to compete with, that I am a guy that other women are into and that the only reason I'm even willing to give it a go now is because I am finally in a position to make demands. 

I wasted half of my thirties and early all of my forties with this woman - luckily I am still in good shape and potent, and expect to be so for at least another decade - but don't make the same mistake I did.

Way I did this was just to put it on the table…. three options. Choose one. 1) We get our sex life working 2) You give me carte blanche to see other women but we still live together and I love you but will stop harassing you 3) We split up, on the rationale that non-option 4) We stay as we are is leading to resentment and will probably put me in an early grave and is a bad role model for our kids.

She went with 2) but as soon as I started an affair and I got my confidence and self-respect back, suddenly 1) was on the table, which we are giving a go but (based on advice in this excellent group) I am still keeping the other lady on simmer - she's in no rush and actually wants my wife and I to figure out 1). 

 

It’s great to know that I am not the only one who feels so trapped by this situation. It’s encouraging to hear you talk about getting your needs acknowledged. I’m contemplating all the things I need to consider before opening a very candid talk with my wife. The difficulty comes from how much I really do care about her, and I know that no matter how delicately I talk about the subject, she will be hurt. 

 

Ultimately, I don’t think option one would work for me in the end. Having sex more often definitely will not make her want it any more, and that’s what I really need - someone to passionately want me that way. Even when she tells me that I’m handsome or “sexy” it’s an evaluation or something she’s saying to be nice, not a statement of desire. 

 

If if my wife were to agree to open the relationship, I will have to remember to emphatically express my gratitude on a regular basis and to put all the energy I can into all the other aspects of our relationship. It seems like keeping the jealousy of such an arrangement at bay will be a ton of work, but if I think I will need it if I am going to make our marriage work without sliding into an insidious amount of resentment. 

 

As much as I love her, I sometimes deeply regret falling for someone that I am simply not compatible with. 

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ryn2
6 hours ago, ChainReact said:

Also, I think my deep desire to avoid confrontation and causing pain makes the easy way out seem more appealing than it actually is.

Yeah, it’s only the easy way out until you get caught/found out...

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ryn2
24 minutes ago, ChainReact said:

The difficulty comes from how much I really do care about her, and I know that no matter how delicately I talk about the subject, she will be hurt. 

This is doubtless true, but keep in mind as well that it isn’t going to hurt less as more and more time goes by and she learns that you’ve felt this way for ages without mentioning it...

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anisotrophic

So... I'd meant to give @ChainReact my own two cents & personal experience. The TLDR is this:

I think you should try harder to pursue a sex life with your partner that you enjoy.

 

The TV show analogy isn't silly; we have to come up with odd analogies like these. My partner (of ~15 years) has no sexual attraction to me (or others). But he's also amenable to sex (fairly frequently, IMHO) – provided I initiate and do all the "driving" (ask him to do what I want). And he finds it pleasurable, but his enjoyment doesn't translate to desire/attraction, he could go without it indefinitely.

 

On 8/11/2018 at 4:04 AM, ChainReact said:

She’s not sex averse. In fact, she sometimes finds it enjoyable. But the fact that it is something she never really wants for herself kind of takes away the real sexual intimacy because it’s not really the shared experience that I crave.

When we had long discussions and I came to understand that my partner never experienced attraction, it shattered my ability to be intimate. I hit the same aversion, and it seems to be very common among sexuals discovering a partner is ace – even if the partner is sex-indifferent (or sex-amenable).
 

6 hours ago, ChainReact said:

I am going to need to have sex with someone else to be truly happy

Is this true? I think you owe it to your partner to challenge this belief. You're not going to have a partner that is attracted to you. But what you might have is a partner that cares a lot for you – and wants you to be happy.

My partner said he didn't want me to stop having sex with him. It was confusing. But I came to understood it with my own imperfect analogy – we have young children, and they love to go to the playground (or park, children's museum, etc.). I have no attraction or desire to play in a playground. But I love my children, and I love seeing them happy, and so I like to take them to these places, and playing with them in these places. And if my child said they no longer want to go, because I'm not personally excited about playgrounds, I would be sad – because they will have lost something important, because I can't make them happy.

Fortunately children aren't particularly interested in how their adults feel about playgrounds! But it gets at an asymmetry, one which is natural between children and adults. And for adults and sex, we naturally crave symmetry. We desire to be desired.

You cannot be desired, but your partner may want to give you happiness. You might be loved. @SG100084's partner did not choose option 1. If your partner is interested in option 1, I strongly recommend you try to rediscover sexual intimacy with your partner, in this new light.

My partner gave me permission to pursue others. (And I did fall in love with another, before I knew he was (mostly?) ace, which I couldn't pursue – so I've experienced the double vision of loving two at once, it's very disconcerting.) But everything I've read and observed about open/poly comes with this caution: it's dangerous to use this to "solve" a current relationship. Open will have the danger of becoming poly (you fall in love), and poly has the potential of becoming a bigger mess than you already had.
 

I concluded it was very important to try my best to be happy with what I had. So, here's my own story – take from it what you will.

It was not easy. At first, when I tried to be intimate with my partner, I failed midway through, broke down, and cried. And he comforted me. Eventually, I would get through it, but become upset immediately after. And he would comfort me. As more time passed, I became upset in the hours that followed, or the next day. And he would comfort me.

Over time – in a sort of exposure therapy – I've grown able to enjoy intimacy with my partner again, but in a new way. One in which I accept that I initiate and lead. He wants me to be happy, and reassures me that I can no more change my orientation than he his own. And I feel very loved. More than I ever did before. It's akin to feeling loved when sick or suffering pain, when my partner cares for me in that state of helplessness. For desire will render me helpless, or irrational – and I am allowed my desires, and I feel very loved.

It cannot be a symmetric experience. If you're going to come to enjoy sexual intimacy with your partner, you must accept that. But you may find happiness in asymmetry.

For me, the door is still "open" for me to be intimate with another. It's not one I pursue, but having this option does help. So, in your conversations, I think it is still worth asking about this – in part because it helps describe the severity of your suffering, which you do need to communicate – carefully, avoiding blame, but your partner can't know your pain unless you say it. Having the door open removes the bleakness, it leaves me hope that I can experience someone desiring me – someday. But it might never happen, or never satisfy me. So I hold a prerequisite that must come first: to be happy with what I have (which is a lot).

So. My two cents. If your partner is willing to improve your sex life, I think you should try to learn to rediscover happiness there. Even if you receive permission to look elsewhere! Try to do this first.

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SG100084
1 hour ago, ChainReact said:

Ultimately, I don’t think option one would work for me in the end. Having sex more often definitely will not make her want it any more, and that’s what I really need - someone to passionately want me that way. Even when she tells me that I’m handsome or “sexy” it’s an evaluation or something she’s saying to be nice, not a statement of desire. 

And this is the can of worms. And you may need this to come from someone else. My "other lady" has totally given me this and it's made me much more attractive. Even customers in my business have noticed that I look healthier, more confident and am even getting flirted with. This hasn't happened for years. 

But maybe this new self-confidence and aura I am putting out is affecting my wife too, as having greater empowerment is maybe attractive to her at some subconscious level that she vehemently denies. For sure, she still has a very very low sex drive and little sense of adventure, but she (still) doesn't actually self-identify as non-sexual.

We're seeing where this goes for the next month or so and if we can make any proper progress. I still don't really believe my wife and I can make this work in a way that I can live with as I'd already taken the leap - she just grabbed me by the collar and is hanging on for dear life, but she's given me 2 great kids and 20 years of her life, so we have to try. If it doesn't work, she seems to now accept that there will just have to be other people in my life.

Problem is that we have now opened another can of worms and that is that I seem to have poly leanings; which she might not be able to live with.

Some people might call what I'm doing "gaslighting". Maybe it is...  but I've only been honest. But I've tried to present the win-win option. I've made it perfectly clear to my new lady that my wife is my number one lady, that we only do this if my wife accepts that it has to be, to my wife that any extra-marital activity is a "second-best" option compared to what I really want with her and that the whole idea is for me  to be a better, happier husband who is easier to live with. Nobody has had the wool pulled over their eyes.


 

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SG100084

I'd also like to add that I was extremely lucky to meet an amazing second lady (who is herself in a very similar situation to my own - living with her ex-husband and their kids and not willing to break up the family home at this point in time) very soon after finding clarification about what I needed to do. Not everyone is this lucky.
That this lady is fussy in her choice of men, would rather have no sex than bad sex and seems to be totally on board with everything I want has given me the ability to reassess my own self-worth. That my wife knows that this lady is smart, independent, a looker, sexually adventurous yet still not a challenge to how I feel about my wife has shown her that I'm desirable to others and she has upped her game no end.

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ryn2
16 minutes ago, SG100084 said:

Some people might call what I'm doing "gaslighting". Maybe it is...  but I've only been honest.

Isn’t gaslighting at its core about lying and denying the truth, with the end goal of shifting blame onto the (by that point very confused) victim?  Unless you’re falsely reporting your situation here it doesn’t sound like the term applies.

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SG100084

Must be the old self-loathing making a return....

It's been a strange journey so far. My other lady's biggest fantasy seems to be making me so happy that my wife can't resist me.

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ryn2

It’s hard to know in your situation what is/was really going on with your wife, too.  If we take what she says at face value - she’s not ace, she just found herself less (or not) interested in you sexually because of your anger management struggles - it’s certainly possible that your improved mood has genuinely made you more appealing to her.  It’s also possible she’s jealous.

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ChainReact

@anisotropic, I appreciate your two cents. I’m glad that you’ve found happiness in your situation. Your park analogy is excellent. The problem is, I’ve been going to the park with a parent when what I need is a playmate - someone who can play with me at my level and wants to be there for the same reason. The park can be a very lonely place when it’s just you and a parent. I need a lover, not sexual caregiver. I know the parent may be sad to let the kid go and play with friends, but I would hope the parent would want their kid to actually want their child to have the more fulfilling experience of playing with the kids that want to play with them. 

 

I think that even just having the door open would make me feel loads better. Knowing that she cared enough about my happiness to open our marriage would be at least alleviate some of the creeping resentment. Imagine the resentment a child would have if his mother told him he couldn’t play with other kids. If that attitude changed, the child might feel far happier spending time at the park with the parent. 

 

But my god, I want nothing more than play with the other kids. It doesn’t mean I want to replace the parent, but I want to actually play for once in my life without a feeling of condescension. I’ve been going to the park with the parent for years and it hasn’t been what I wanted yet and I doubt that’s gonna change. 

 

I think you and I may have very different needs. 

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anisotrophic
1 hour ago, ChainReact said:

I think you and I may have very different needs. 

I think you may be a bit quick to dismiss.

 

1 hour ago, ChainReact said:

I want to actually play for once in my life without a feeling of condescension

Having sex without feeling condescended to isn't exactly the same as needing someone that desires you. If that's what your issue is, can you confront that?

 

It doesn't feel like condescension when my partner allows me to engage in dom behavior. This is one way I've adapted. It is ground I tread carefully, but it works very well for me.

 

I still suggest you discuss your unhappiness more with your partner, and when you do that, give a really hard look at whether you can adapt to finding satisfaction in sex with them. You could commit to trying your damnedest to achieve that – and you can look into getting a therapist for yourself or both of you, to help you navigate that – while also asking about an open relationship.

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ryn2
9 hours ago, ChainReact said:

The last thing in the world I want is for us to part, but living with this hole in my spirit is untenable.

 

9 hours ago, ChainReact said:

How do I come clean to the fact that this need is so deep that it could destroy the most important thing in my life?

These are two pairs of things where both can’t really be 100% true.  Either the last thing you want is to part, or (that’s the second-to-last thing, and the actual last thing is) to live a sexless life.  Either the relationship is the most important thing in your life, or meeting your need for the right sort of sex is.

 

It’s important to know which is which because any solution will likely involve - to some degree - choosing between them.

 

Even if you don’t feel comfortable discussing the whole thing with your wife presently, you need to sort this part out for yourself as it will inform your subsequent choices.  

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InProgress
2 hours ago, ChainReact said:

The problem is, I’ve been going to the park with a parent when what I need is a playmate - someone who can play with me at my level and wants to be there for the same reason. The park can be a very lonely place when it’s just you and a parent. I need a lover, not sexual caregiver.

Well said. One quality that I've been able to put my finger on that has felt like it's missing is playfulness. I think that's why my husband's recent reciprocation of flirting has been so satisfying, whether it leads to sex or not.

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