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LuSo

confused about my husbands orientation

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ryn2
7 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

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.

No, it’s telling me they’re not comfortable discussing it.

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anamikanon
2 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

@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.

Ok. You win.

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Telecaster68
Just now, ryn2 said:

No, it’s telling me they’re not comfortable discussing it.

... and that they think their comfort is more important than their partner's, and the good of the relationship.

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NapoliGirl

@LuSo, you can really overthink this thing. When I considered opening up the marriage, for me it boiled down to this:  I really, really had to be brutally honest with myself.  Here I am, middle aged, been with my spouse for 33 years now, married for 27.  Desperately desperately in need of physical affection in and out of the bedroom, or just to be noticed for God's sake, literally shrinking before his very eyes (lost a crazy amount of weight in this process), and he had absolutely nothing to say to me.  Easy thing for me to do is to just go out and get a man already.  Make the pain go away, be touched, connect with someone.  Oh, goodness, I am like the Sahara desert, starved.  However, honestly, as awful as it is, I simply can't do the one night stand thing; and, furthermore, I can't guarantee that I wouldn't become attached to whomever would be that man, and that is the decision maker for me.  So, it is entirely my choice, and because I probably would develop some type of dependence or emotional attachment to a man with whom I am having an affair, I've decided to not complicate things any further.  But, when the divorce is final, well, now, that's a different (and happier, I hope) story!!

 

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ryn2
10 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

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.

It could also tell me, and this is probably closer to your opinion, that they aren’t valuing my feelings above their own (which is actually healthy... but doesn’t sit well with those of us who do value others’ feelings above our own).

 

It’s then up to me to decide whether to permit that or stand up for myself.

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Telecaster68
1 minute ago, ryn2 said:

It could also tell me, and this is probably closer to your opinion, that they aren’t valuing my feelings above their own (which is actually healthy... but doesn’t sit well with those of us who do value others’ feelings above our own).

 

It’s then up to me to decide whether to permit that or stand up for myself.

Shouldn't both people be valuing finding a solution over their individual discomfort? It's not exactly a fun conversation for the sexual, either.

 

I'm not saying they should act on the other person's feelings to their own detriment, but listening to the person you're sharing your life with describe how they feel about your relationship, and engaging with those feelings, is absolutely not asking too much of anyone. 

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ryn2
10 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

... and that they think their comfort is more important than their partner's, and the good of the relationship.

This can be true, or it can be a reach (they don’t know you’re so hurt by it).  Either way, you get to tolerate it or not.  If you won’t tolerate it, they can’t keep doing it.

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Telecaster68
1 minute ago, ryn2 said:

This can be true, or it can be a reach (they don’t know you’re so hurt by it).  Either way, you get to tolerate it or not.  If you won’t tolerate it, they can’t keep doing it.

If they won't have a conversation, they're never going to know, are they? They have to listen to find out in the first place.

 

By the same token they get to figure out whether they'll tolerate a string of partners leaving them because they feel dismissed.

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ryn2
5 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

I'm not saying they should act on the other person's feelings to their own detriment, but listening to the person you're sharing your life with describe how they feel about your relationship, and engaging with those feelings, is absolutely not asking too much of anyone. 

If you’ve been pouring your heart out to your partner and they’re dismissing you, not tolerating it further makes perfect sense.

 

In a lot of the discussions on here, the sense I get is that people think their feelings are clear to their partners (and thus feel disregarded) when in actuality they’ve never successfully communicated them in a way their partners understood.  That’s still something they can stop tolerating, but they have more options for improvement beyond  ending the relationship.

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ryn2
4 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

If they won't have a conversation, they're never going to know, are they? They have to listen to find out in the first place.

They aren’t really prioritizing their feelings over their partner’s if they don’t even know what their partner’s feelings are.

 

Same conclusion, though... partner can continue to accept refusal to discuss or not.

 

6 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

By the same token they get to figure out whether they'll tolerate a string of partners leaving them because they feel dismissed.

Sure, if they find a string of breakups (or even just one) troubling they’ll have to do the work to get to why.

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Telecaster68

 

8 minutes ago, ryn2 said:

They aren’t really prioritizing their feelings over their partner’s if they don’t even know what their partner’s feelings are.

Wouldn't you expect them to have some interest (in both senses) in wanting to know? It seems breathtakingly solipsistic to have no idea what your partner's feelings are, then when they offer to communicate them, refuse to listen just in case it's uncomfortable.

 

EDIT: although that's exactly what my wife did.

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ryn2
Just now, Telecaster68 said:

 

Wouldn't you expect them to have some interest (in both senses) in wanting to know? It seems breathtakingly solipsistic to have no idea what your partner's feelings are, then when they offer to communicate them, refuse to listen just in case it's uncomfortable.

Having not been present when you and your soon-to-be-ex have  attempted, together or in a one-sided manner to discuss things, I can’t comment on communication in your personal situation.

 

I’m guessing a lot of people think they know what their partners’ feelings are.  Some of them are incorrect.

 

Again, a partner can only refuse to confront and make decisions regarding your feelings as long as you allow them to do so.

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Telecaster68
4 minutes ago, ryn2 said:

Having not been present when you and your soon-to-be-ex have  attempted, together or in a one-sided manner to discuss things, I can’t comment on communication in your personal situation.

 

I’m guessing a lot of people think they know what their partners’ feelings are.  Some of them are incorrect.

 

Again, a partner can only refuse to confront and make decisions regarding your feelings as long as you allow them to do so.

I'm struggling to get my head round this.

 

This person feels no need to agree to have a conversation about their partner's feelings because they don't already know what they are. They don't know what they are because they've never had a conversation about them. They've never had a conversation with them because they don't already know what they are. They don't know what they are because they've never had a conversation about them. They've never had a conversation with them because they don't already know what they are. 

 

Etc

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ryn2

Does the person know you want to communicate your feelings?  Have you succeeded in communicating them?  Is the person still hurting them?  Your feelings are being disregarded.

 

If the person doesn’t know, they’re not disregarding your feelings.

 

Either way, the power to put a stop to it is yours.

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Telecaster68

To slightly caricature what I'm envisioning here:

 

'I'm feeling really alone here, and like I'm just not on your radar'

'We need to get more cat food later'

 

Then later:

'You just don't seem even aware I'm not happy'

'I'm not a mind reader.'

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ryn2

It’s potentially more likely to go like this, though:

 

‘I'm feeling really alone here'

’Sorry to hear that.  Anything I can do?

’I feel like I’m not even on your radar.”

’Oh, no, you definitely are!’

 

Then (much, not just a few hours) later:

'I don’t think things can go on like this.'

‘huh?’

’We’re like roommates.  We hardly ever have sex anymore.’

'I'm not a mind reader.'

 

After the first convo, which may repeat over and over as time goes on, the ace probably feels like things are fine (or at least that they’re not the issue) but the sexual probably feels disregarded and unheard.

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Telecaster68
1 minute ago, ryn2 said:

‘I'm feeling really alone here'

’Sorry to hear that.  Anything I can do?

’I feel like I’m not even on your radar.”

’Oh, no, you definitely are!’

Well, neither should let it drop there...

 

Either 'well you say that, but you do/don't do xyz, which doesn't really feel like I'm on your radar', or 'You are, but I don't want you to feel bad. What kind of stuff would make you feel like you're on my radar?' - which would lead to something more constructive.

 

Quote

 

'I don’t think things can go on like this.'

‘huh?’

’We’re like roommates.  We hardly ever have sex anymore.’

'I'm not a mind reader.'

 

Noticing you're not having sex doesn't require anyone to be a mindreader, and the whole 'not on your radar' issue has been raised. For most sexual people, the link would  at least suggest itself as a possibility.

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ryn2
2 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

Well, neither should let it drop there...

 

Either 'well you say that, but you do/don't do xyz, which doesn't really feel like I'm on your radar', or 'You are, but I don't want you to feel bad. What kind of stuff would make you feel like you're on my radar?' - which would lead to something more constructive.

Agreed, but I think people do let it drop there.

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Telecaster68
2 minutes ago, ryn2 said:

Agreed, but I think people do let it drop there.

Maybe. More data is needed.

 

I think a thread of these annotated conversations would be useful, for both sexuals and asexuals.

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ryn2
4 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

Noticing you're not having sex doesn't require anyone to be a mindreader, and the whole 'not on your radar' issue has been raised. For most sexual people, the link would  at least suggest itself as a possibility.

Hence why I said conversations in mixed relationships have to be more direct.  An ace partner would not instantly (or in some cases ever) think you were hinting at sex by saying “not on your radar.”

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Telecaster68
Just now, ryn2 said:

An ace partner would not instantly (or in some cases ever) think you were hinting at sex by saying “not on your radar.”

True. But 'not on your radar' isn't just a code for sex. It's saying 'you don't see me, you don't consider me, and one of the most painfully clear ways is you never, ever remember I need the intimacy I get from sex, so maybe we could do something about that, or something else. Anything. I would basically just like you to be interested enough in what's going on in my head to want to ask'.

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ryn2
4 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

True. But 'not on your radar' isn't just a code for sex. It's saying 'you don't see me, you don't consider me, and one of the most painfully clear ways is you never, ever remember I need the intimacy I get from sex, so maybe we could do something about that, or something else. Anything. I would basically just like you to be interested enough in what's going on in my head to want to ask'.

The ace doesn’t speak that code, though.  They’re going to hear something more like “I’m feeling forgotten about and need reassuring,” and if you drop the conversation after they try to be reassuring they don’t know they haven’t succeeded.

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NapoliGirl
2 hours ago, ryn2 said:

If you’ve been pouring your heart out to your partner and they’re dismissing you, not tolerating it further makes perfect sense.

 

In a lot of the discussions on here, the sense I get is that people think their feelings are clear to their partners (and thus feel disregarded) when in actuality they’ve never successfully communicated them in a way their partners understood.  That’s still something they can stop tolerating, but they have more options for improvement beyond  ending the relationship.

In my case, "communication" doesn't equal "understand".  I have "communicated" my feelings, thoughts, desires, needs, etc. to him over the past 25 years.  He has verbally admitted that he doesn't "understand"; he is incapable, in his own words, of getting it. Over and over and over again , again and again.  I "communicate" for the 104th time, and at the end of the 104th time, he is unable to "understand".  We have "communicated" in therapy as well, over and over and over again. 

 

I am speaking a foreign language, he doesn't get it.

I don't get him either.  He is speaking a foreign language. 

 

End of my story.

Edited by NapoliGirl
Adding one other thought for clarity

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ryn2

There’s a difference between really understanding where you’re coming from and (not understanding that, but at least) understanding that the two of you see things very differently and the situation is very miserable for you.  The latter doesn’t solve the mismatch but for some it’s better than complete ignorance.

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Telecaster68
1 hour ago, ryn2 said:

The ace doesn’t speak that code, though.  They’re going to hear something more like “I’m feeling forgotten about and need reassuring,” and if you drop the conversation after they try to be reassuring they don’t know they haven’t succeeded.

So the real difference is actually that someone thinks saying 'you're on my radar' once then not changing their behaviour is going to make their partner feel reassured....

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ryn2
3 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

So the real difference is actually that someone thinks saying 'you're on my radar' once then not changing their behaviour is going to make their partner feel reassured....

How do they know what behavior to change... or even that behavior needs changing?

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ryn2

“When you X, I feel like I’m not even on your radar,” goes a lot farther in terms of helping with behavior/understanding.  The “I feel” part alone is internal to the speaker.

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Telecaster68
4 minutes ago, ryn2 said:

How do they know what behavior to change... or even that behavior needs changing?

Surely it's clear that not being on someone's radar isn't a good thing, therefore a change is needed? And just showing more interest, asking questions, actually holding up your end of conversations.... All the stuff that was clear earlier in the relationship, in other words. Not to the same extent, but more than before. 

 

Or just ask that question. Asking in itself shows you're not ignoring it. 

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ryn2
14 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

Surely it's clear that not being on someone's radar isn't a good thing, therefore a change is needed? And just showing more interest, asking questions, actually holding up your end of conversations.... All the stuff that was clear earlier in the relationship, in other words. Not to the same extent, but more than before. 

 

Or just ask that question. Asking in itself shows you're not ignoring it. 

Yeah, but if “on my radar” is sexually-related for the sexual and just general interaction for the ace it gets confusing.  The ace gives more general attention and the sexual gets no happier.

 

Also, your feelings are your own to address... so putting someone else in charge of “making” you happy, e.g., isn’t healthy or fair... 

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Telecaster68
4 minutes ago, ryn2 said:

Yeah, but if “on my radar” is sexually-related for the sexual and just general interaction for the ace it gets confusing.  The ace gives more general attention and the sexual gets no happier.

 

Also, your feelings are your own to address... so putting someone else in charge of “making” you happy, e.g., isn’t healthy or fair... 

It's both sexual and nonsexual. They're not separate things. 

 

You're right, I was putting too much reliance on someone else for happiness, but on the other hand, I don't think a relationship in which one partner can be fine for months while knowing the other is miserable as fuck over the relationship is particularly healthy either. 

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