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confused about my husbands orientation

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Telecaster68
5 minutes ago, anamikanon said:

Because this can be a trigger word, want to clarify that sociopathy is basically characterized by a lack of empathy for others and a narcissistic approach to finding solutions. It often can mean fake emotional responses or being unmoved by the plight of another and so on.

 

This is not an accusation or insult, but a description. If it helps, my ace and I have often had discussions on whether I am a sociopath - do I actually have a very high EQ or has my high IQ simply allowed me to "game" emotional engagement successfully? The discussion was inconclusive, though leaning toward not, because if you have a high EQ and IQ AND are often dealing with a lot of emotion, things tend to blur, where you have emotional responses on "autopilot" without actually feeling what you "should" be feeling in the moment, but you also have an alertness to seeing when being more engaged is necessary and can switch immediately. I can be brutally rational and am almost impossible to provoke into saying something I'll regret. Things like that. Can be high ability to process emotion and discard what isn't about me (provocation) or a high functioning sociopath. And so on.

 

In the sense that the comment was genuinely in terms of adding to the conversation and not a personal judgment.

 

Thought it important to say explicitly.

You're disregarding context for actions. 

 

Based on my own reactions (and analysis of them in therapy), and a lot of other partner's posts, I do think that a lot partners of people like that have had histories that make them prone to privileging pleasing others over their own needs as way to get validated, and in a relationship where pleasing your partner involves suppressing your own needs, doing it to breaking point. The lack of reciprocation (by at least addressing the fact of you having needs) gets to the point of being an existential threat: if our concerns don't matter to the person they should matter most to, then we don't matter to them, and if we don't matter to spouses, do we matter at all? I don't think you've ever come close to that frame of mind, going by your posts. So infidelity would become emotional resusc - a kind of emotional transfusion - and it would take that level of desperation to get us there, rather than it being down to a lack of empathy.  

 

I'm not claiming sainthood for someone in that situation or even that it's not fucked up. Just that sociopathy or lack of empathy isn't the only explanation.

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anamikanon
37 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

Marriage contains a commitment, for example, not to assault the spouse. It also contains a commitment to work as team. If one spouse breaks the no-hitting commitment, the other reacts by not co-operating, most people wouldn't assume the second spouse couldn't be relied on to co-operate on a work project.

I find this very interesting, how you flip the "action-reaction" ethicality. In this instance, assault is illegal, unethical and direct, deliberate harm. Marriage is not slave labour, just like it isn't forced sex. Non cooperation on sex being responded to by a deliberate action of infidelity would find a better equivalent in an abuser deliberately assaulting their spouse for lack of cooperation and yep. Most people would fire assaulters straight off. No one wants to be on the same team as an abuser. Passive inaction or inability beats deliberate harm anyday on most people's sense of priorities.

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Pan Ficto. (on hiatus?)
4 hours ago, Telecaster68 said:

You don't know that...

I busted him at least 3 times a month and he was getting sex from me twice every single day as well as having another girlfriend who lived with us who got nights with him (I got days). If he was cheating (edit: with girls who weren't me or his other gf) more than the times I caught him then honestly all I can say is I'm impressed lol, most humans couldn't keep up with that much sex I don't think :P

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Telecaster68
17 minutes ago, anamikanon said:

I am not even pretending this is about lack of communication by aces overall.

There's the problem then. I'm saying lack of communication is a pervasive part of the problem, and I've said it repeatedly

 

Have a scan through the first couple of pages of the Partners And Allies section (I haven't, I'm just going on experience).I'll bet  asubstantial part of most sexual posters' distress is about the way their asexual partner won't engage/communicate.

 

20 minutes ago, anamikanon said:

What you are describing as "precautionary defensive measures" when applied to such a situation would basically amount to getting another partner lined up before dumping this one. You wouldn't see it as honest if it was done to you, right? Ditto when you do it.

Firstly, I was pointing out the principle that pulling back from a commitment doesn't make someone unreliable in all contexts forever over everything.

 

Secondly, it wouldn't necessarily involve lining someone else up. The context is lack of emotional engagement from a partner, so defensive measures are more likely to be things like closing down any emotional expectations from them, and looking elsewhere for emotional (not necessarily

sexual) connection.

 

24 minutes ago, anamikanon said:

A deliberate deception as a response to inadequacy is neither ethical nor proportionate.

Not the parallel. I'm just saying that context matters - not paying a dodgy contractor wouldn't mean you're less likely to pay contractors who are legit.

 

14 minutes ago, ryn2 said:

It’s pretty hard to engage in stealth domestic violence (maybe beating the kids and lying to the partner about it??) so I’m not sure there’s a parallel there.

Trust has already been broken by the act, just as trust has already been broken by dismissing a partner's emotional needs. Trust can get broken in other ways than by deceit.

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ryn2
9 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

Based on my own reactions (and analysis of them in therapy), and a lot of other partner's posts, I do think that a lot partners of people like that have had histories that make them prone to privileging pleasing others over their own needs as way to get validated, and in a relationship where pleasing your partner involves suppressing your own needs, doing it to breaking point.

I definitely fall in this category, and was even more solidly there years ago.  This isn’t something for which my partner is to blame, though, nor is it my partner’s responsibility to fix (or even honor).

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Telecaster68
3 minutes ago, anamikanon said:

I find this very interesting, how you flip the "action-reaction" ethicality. In this instance, assault is illegal, unethical and direct, deliberate harm. Marriage is not slave labour, just like it isn't forced sex. Non cooperation on sex being responded to by a deliberate action of infidelity would find a better equivalent in an abuser deliberately assaulting their spouse for lack of cooperation and yep. Most people would fire assaulters straight off. No one wants to be on the same team as an abuser. Passive inaction or inability beats deliberate harm anyday on most people's sense of priorities.

I'm making a point about context, not directly comparing the morality of two different situations.

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ryn2
1 minute ago, Telecaster68 said:

I'll bet  asubstantial part of most sexual posters' distress is about the way their asexual partner won't engage/communicate.

Well, yeah, the ones with effective two-way relationship communication are out there talking to their partners.

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Telecaster68
1 minute ago, ryn2 said:

Well, yeah, the ones with effective two-way relationship communication are out there talking to their partners.

And yet there are so many still posting in Friends and Allies.

 

But my point was to anamikon.

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ryn2
3 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

Trust can get broken in other ways than by deceit.

Indeed, but that wasn’t what you asked.  You asked me if I thought deceit was automatically worse than all other wrongs.

 

When I said I wasn’t sure there was a parallel (with domestic violence), I meant I wasn’t sure there was a parallel example of with deceit v. without deceit.

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anamikanon
8 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

Based on my own reactions (and analysis of them in therapy), and a lot of other partner's posts, I do think that a lot partners of people like that have had histories that make them prone to privileging pleasing others over their own needs as way to get validated, and in a relationship where pleasing your partner involves suppressing your own needs, doing it to breaking point.

Sure, but balance isn't found by falling over to the opposite side. Yes, you sacrificed yourself and were in a lot of pain, but this is also a result of your own issues where you privileged others to feel validated. The answer does not lie in being dishonest with her, but being true to yourself. You will have to learn to deal with your issues - which is beyond the scope of this discussion. And you will have to learn to put yourself first without being sneaky about it. 

 

Do you see how the choice of cheating over a confrontation also falls into the pattern of "privileging others"? It basically amounts to a difficulty asserting your needs when they vary from the status quo. Where you'd rather get your needs met without having a confrontation? It isn't healthier than your pattern so far and in fact, plays into it. Just because it is easier and enables your dysfunctional pattern doesn't mean it is rational or a bright idea.

 

8 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

The lack of reciprocation (by at least addressing the fact of you having needs) gets to the point of being an existential threat: if our concerns don't matter to the person they should matter most to, then we don't matter to them, and if we don't matter to spouses, do we matter at all?

We do matter and it is important to learn to not seek approval outside ourselves to the point we can't be ourselves for fear of lack of approval.

 

8 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

I don't think you've ever come close to that frame of mind, going by your posts. So infidelity would become emotional resusc - a kind of emotional transfusion - and it would take that level of desperation to get us there, rather than it being down to a lack of empathy.  

I have been down many many rabbit holes and dark places. I sound like this now, because I've crawled out of them over and over, till I now know that I CAN count on myself. The part where I say I'm probably not a sociopath? Yeah, I do have a lot of compassion for what you went through, but I'm not the type to agree to nonsense just because I sympathize.

 

8 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

I'm not claiming sainthood for someone in that situation or even that it's not fucked up. Just that sociopathy or lack of empathy isn't the only explanation.

I know. You can't be a sociopath after being that much of a doormat for 20 years. I was just giving an example of the road that leads to for it to be a "rational" choice. My understanding is that you are hurt and bitter and feel betrayed that your partner didn't stand up for you either when you didn't stand up for yourself. It sucks, but letting it warp your perception of what is appropriate will suck the future too.

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ryn2
1 minute ago, Telecaster68 said:

And yet there are so many still posting in Friends and Allies.

Hardly enough to account for all mixed ace/sexual relationships, I’m sure.

 

2 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

But my point was to anamikon.

Sorry, didn’t realize I was butting in on a private discussion.

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Telecaster68
Just now, ryn2 said:

Indeed, but that wasn’t what you asked.  You asked me if I thought deceit was automatically worse than all other wrongs.

 

When I said I wasn’t sure there was a parallel (with domestic violence), I meant I wasn’t sure there was a parallel example of with deceit v. without deceit.

Breach of trust through deceit was the reason you and anamikon were consistently citing for why infidelity was worse than dismissing your partner. Deceit in itself isn't necessarily bad (it's involved in organising surprises and buying birthday presents....), so obviously breach of trust is the point, because it means the person isn't sure their partner has their best interest at heart. And dismissing a partner's problems also indicates you don't have their best interest at heart. So I'm trying to elucidate what the differences are here.

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anamikanon
9 minutes ago, anamikanon said:

Do you see how the choice of cheating over a confrontation also falls into the pattern of "privileging others"? It basically amounts to a difficulty asserting your needs when they vary from the status quo. Where you'd rather get your needs met without having a confrontation? It isn't healthier than your pattern so far and in fact, plays into it. Just because it is easier and enables your dysfunctional pattern doesn't mean it is rational or a bright idea.

By this, I don't mean you are cheating or considering cheating, but why you see the appeal in it and are going through considerable effort to justify it. In the sense of it following your pattern of avoiding asserting your needs in the face of a difficult status quo. So it seems like "of course! simple fix. If they don't know, no harm, no foul and the need is real!" to the point of missing the larger picture.

 

Edit: Or, for that matter why you see a need for "precautionary defensive measures" in the face of a potential disagreement. Because the overall conflict avoidant nature of this sort of a pattern will make disagreement a psychological threat.

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Telecaster68
4 minutes ago, anamikanon said:

Sure, but balance isn't found by falling over to the opposite side. Yes, you sacrificed yourself and were in a lot of pain, but this is also a result of your own issues where you privileged others to feel validated. The answer does not lie in being dishonest with her, but being true to yourself. You will have to learn to deal with your issues - which is beyond the scope of this discussion. And you will have to learn to put yourself first without being sneaky about it. 

 

Do you see how the choice of cheating over a confrontation also falls into the pattern of "privileging others"? It basically amounts to a difficulty asserting your needs when they vary from the status quo. Where you'd rather get your needs met without having a confrontation? It isn't healthier than your pattern so far and in fact, plays into it. Just because it is easier and enables your dysfunctional pattern doesn't mean it is rational or a bright idea.

 

We do matter and it is important to learn to not seek approval outside ourselves to the point we can't be ourselves for fear of lack of approval.

 

I have been down many many rabbit holes and dark places. I sound like this now, because I've crawled out of them over and over, till I now know that I CAN count on myself. The part where I say I'm probably not a sociopath? Yeah, I do have a lot of compassion for what you went through, but I'm not the type to agree to nonsense just because I sympathize.

 

I know. You can't be a sociopath after being that much of a doormat for 20 years. I was just giving an example of the road that leads to for it to be a "rational" choice. My understanding is that you are hurt and bitter and feel betrayed that your partner didn't stand up for you either when you didn't stand up for yourself. It sucks, but letting it warp your perception of what is appropriate will suck the future too.

But in summary after that magisterially patronising lecture, you accept my point that finding infidelity not necessarily worse than other actions in a relationship isn't down to a narcissism and lack of empathy.

 

Quote

Just because it is easier and enables your dysfunctional pattern doesn't mean it is rational or a bright idea.

Yes, thanks, I got that, hence the 'it's fucked up' line. 

 

Quote

I'm not the type to agree to nonsense just because I sympathize.

Or even sound sympathetic. Learning points for us all, clearly.

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ryn2
7 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

Deceit in itself isn't necessarily bad (it's involved in organising surprises and buying birthday presents....), so obviously breach of trust is the point, because it means the person isn't sure their partner has their best interest at heart.

Personally I think deceit is always worse than the alternative, even if the goal is benign.

 

I agree that it’s the breach of trust that makes deceit the particular issue in infidelity.

 

I don’t agree that refusing to confront/discuss an issue is a breach of trust, unless it’s indirectly accomplished by lying.

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Telecaster68
1 minute ago, anamikanon said:

why you see the appeal in it and are going through considerable effort to justify it

Yes,  I got you weren't accusing me.

 

But also by way of clarification: I'm not justifying infidelity. I'm saying it's not intrinsically worse than a bunch of other things people do in relationships, and one of them is consistently dismissing a partner's response to a fundamental change in the relationship which you've instigated. It's not deceitful, but it's selfish, uncaring, unkind and will ultimately kill the relationship.

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anamikanon
2 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

But in summary after that magisterially patronising lecture, you accept my point that finding infidelity not necessarily worse than other actions in a relationship isn't down to a narcissism and lack of empathy.

Sure.

 

I am sorry you find it patronizing. I suppose it must have been to some extent, though I was simply attempting to offer a perspective into how it links.

 

2 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

Or even sound sympathetic. Learning points for us all, clearly.

Sounding sympathetic about finding infidelity a bright idea? Nope. Beyond my superpowers.

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Telecaster68
Just now, ryn2 said:

 

I don’t agree that refusing to confront/discuss an issue is a breach of trust, unless it’s indirectly accomplished by lying.

Would you trust someone to look after you when you were vulnerable if they kept telling you your feelings didn't matter?

 

And seriously, you'd take umbrage at someone lying to you about a birthday surprise?

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Telecaster68
Just now, anamikanon said:

Sounding sympathetic about finding infidelity a bright idea? Nope. Beyond my superpowers.

And still you think I'm promoting infidelity.

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Telecaster68
2 minutes ago, anamikanon said:

I am sorry you find it patronizing. I suppose it must have been to some extent, though I was simply attempting to offer a perspective into how it links.

 

I know, and I didn't mean to sound quite so snotty. But honestly, I've lived this and I've been in therapy for two years. I know the patterns. Breaking them is harder.

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anamikanon
2 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

Yes,  I got you weren't accusing me.

 

But also by way of clarification: I'm not justifying infidelity. I'm saying it's not intrinsically worse than a bunch of other things people do in relationships, and one of them is consistently dismissing a partner's response to a fundamental change in the relationship which you've instigated. It's not deceitful, but it's selfish, uncaring, unkind and will ultimately kill the relationship.

I have not called infidelity "worse" than other deliberate things like domestic abuse, for example. I have merely made a distinction between a deliberate act (and particularly presented as a justified response to grievance) and an inadvertent one.

 

You are saying you aren't justifying infidelity, but it does come across as justification when it is presented as comparable to unintended hurt as though a purposeful action that violates an important agreement is the same as an inability to meet the requirements of a partner.

 

Which is also where I described that the only way it would be comparable is if infidelity is a result of the cheater's inability as well - if not sociopathy, it could be say.... also autism or alexythimia, for example that causes the cheater to simply not realize the potential impact of their actions. Otherwise it cannot be compared.

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NapoliGirl
2 hours ago, Telecaster68 said:

True. I slightly misread, and I'm not saying conscious gaslighting. It's more like boiling a frog.

 

The common pattern seems to be this:

 

1. NRE. Asexual fine/enthusiastic about sex, probably hoping 'this time it'll be okay'.

2. Relationship beds in. Sex tapers off way faster than in non-mixed relationships. Asexual doesn't notice or feels relieved (it transpires later). Sexual starts to wonder what's going on.

3. A pattern emerges: sexual initiates and gets declined, on an ad hoc basis, but nearly every time. Sexual rejections are now hugely the norm. Asexual doesn't notice this pattern, or has vague qualms but doesn't think about it too much beyond hoping their partner isn't getting too pissed off. Sexual meanwhile is desperately trying to figure out what's going on (affair? some other discontent? no longer attractive? some other left field thing?), and feeling the absence of connection intensely.

4. Sexual finally raises the subject. Asexual says they're blindsided, says sexual only wants them for sex, sex isn't important, thinks they have sex far more than they do. Eventually realises this is potentially a dealbreaker and says they'll 'try'.

5. Nothing changes. Sexual tries to figure out what 'trying' means. When they ask the asexual, they can't explain, and feel pressured. Sexual backs off.

6. Nothing changes.

7. Repeat from stage 3, a few times until the threat of the relationship ending becomes real and immediate, or the sexual discovers asexuality is a thing. 

8. The asexual finally takes on board avoiding the issue won't make it go away, and implicitly or explicitly embraces asexuality, and expects the sexual partner to be fine with this.

9. The sexual has no idea what to do, and finds AVEN.

 

Yes, amen, right on, exactly.  

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anamikanon
7 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

Would you trust someone to look after you when you were vulnerable if they kept telling you your feelings didn't matter?

Nope. I wouldn't trust them. BUT I WOULDN'T DEPEND ON THEM EITHER. Depending on them to do it while not trusting them to do it makes no sense.

 

7 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

And seriously, you'd take umbrage at someone lying to you about a birthday surprise?

Depends on the surprise. 

 

Back massage - full marks

Romantic dinner - better be secluded and uncomplicated and good food and much fun

Hate mob chanting slogans against me - um... whatever as long as not violent

Letting me see their sext with a partner I didn't know they had? - doghouse

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Telecaster68

I'm saying there is no inablity to meet the requirements of a partner when that requirement is simply to accept that there is a problem and try to engage with the partner in finding a resolution, like acceptable activities, counselling, opening the relationship. That's why I've repeated, over and over, that the issue is engagement, not sex.

 

The only people who don't have that ability are people on the spectrum, Cluster Bs, etc. Apart from that, yep, they're choosing a course of action which does every bit as much damage to the relationship and the person who chooses to cheat.

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ryn2
9 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

Would you trust someone to look after you when you were vulnerable if they kept telling you your feelings didn't matter?

If they kept telling me my feelings didn’t matter, and/or gaslighting me about them, no.

 

Avoiding discussion for reasons of their own?  That affects me but isn’t about me/a breach of trust.

 

11 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

And seriously, you'd take umbrage at someone lying to you about a birthday surprise?

Yes, because anyone who knows me well enough to be gifting me also knows I do not and will not like this.

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Telecaster68
1 minute ago, anamikanon said:

Depends on the surprise. 

 

Back massage - full marks

Romantic dinner - better be secluded and uncomplicated and good food and much fun

Hate mob chanting slogans against me - um... whatever as long as not violent

Letting me see their sext with a partner I didn't know they had? - doghouse

I'm assuming a birthday surprise would be something pleasant.


 

Quote

 

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Telecaster68
1 minute ago, ryn2 said:

f they kept telling me my feelings didn’t matter, and/or gaslighting me about them, no.

 

Avoiding discussion for reasons of their own?  That affects me but isn’t about me/a breach of trust.

Persistently avoiding discussion about something you clearly want to talk about is effectively telling you that your feelings don't matter - what you want doesn't matter to them.

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anamikanon
3 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

I'm saying there is no inablity to meet the requirements of a partner when that requirement is simply to accept that there is a problem and try to engage with the partner in finding a resolution, like acceptable activities, counselling, opening the relationship. That's why I've repeated, over and over, that the issue is engagement, not sex.

I repeat for the nth time. If you believe a partner is deliberately acting in a manner that hurts you, that partner should be dumped. Not your personal credibility offered to them as another tool to humiliate you with if caught. Think of it like this, if the ethics don't matter. Why in the world would you even want to be vulnerable like this to a partner you don't believe cares for your feelings? Is it not more upright and dignified to refuse them the power over you and assert your own needs?

 

Now you will say yes, but it is hard to do. So freaking don't keep looking at detours. That won't make it easier.

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anamikanon
3 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

I'm assuming a birthday surprise would be something pleasant.

Then I suppose the lie also will be an inconsequential and non hurtful one? Like "I have my office friends coming over, so don't schedule anything for tomorrow night" to make sure I'm free to watch a film? (Assuming that I'm that kind of a woman - I'm not, just example)

 

Sure. No harm, no foul.

 

This doesn't really count as deceit. Like you pointed out, it is about trust. 

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Telecaster68

@anamikanon

 

You probably know this, but every time you lose an argument over a general point, you shift to tough-talking-therapist mode as a way to avoid having to concede it.

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