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scaredhubby

ACEs..do you love your spouse?

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anisotrophic
1 hour ago, ryn2 said:

My understanding is that someone who initially identifies as one sexuality and later discovers they’re another isn’t really changing sexualities... “just” identification.  

There's a phenomenon of sexual orientation change upon gender transition, it seems to be fairly common. Interpretation on what is happening is diverse, but ... it's not obvious that someone was "really" the orientation they later identify with, all along (and suppressing it). It may be safer to just say something like ... sexual orientation is an enduring trait that cannot be deliberately changed.

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Marlow1

I agree with you guys about how the orientation cannot change. In my case though there was no way to know that I was demisexual until I met my wife. And even then the sexual attraction did not occur until after a few years of knowing her.

 

After the brain hemhorrage I could not remember our relationship and so because I need the emotional connection and the romantic experiences etc to feel sexual attraction I simply could not feel the attraction. So basically I was back to my default state of asexual

 

We have had to do a tonne of work to re-establish that bond again, and once again I am now sexually attracted to her

 

Had my wife not been bothered and had she just accepted that I was not atttacted to her, I, at that time, would have been happy to stay not attracted, because not being sexually attracted feels normal to me, at the times when I am not feeling attracted???

 

It was only when I did become attracted once again that I fully appreciated what the sexual attraction brings to the relationship

 

I know that my situation is pretty unique with both the Aphantasia from birth and then the brain hemhorrage later, but my point is that at any stage of my story I could have accepted what felt normal at that time and not known that things would change later. Hence why I say 'the Asexual state', 'the Demisexual state'

 

It is hard to word things???? I am thinking maybe I should say something like 'because I did not experience sexual attraction until my late 30s I thought I was asexual' but even this is misleading, since I never new there was term for asexuality at that time. And it gets hard to describe what happened later when I lost the attraction again. I did think, feel and behave in an asexual manner after the brain hemhorrage and at that time there was nothing in me motivating me to change. I changed after we kind of relived our courtship, and a few other things

 

My post is getting long again. Any suggestions as to how to word these shifts in state would be helpful?????

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Dryad

Being and living in close quarters with someone naturally comes with "love", aka affection. There are many types of love. 

 

If your wife is romantic, she most likely has romantic inclinations towards you, if not, she probably has deep platonic feelings for you.

 

Being sexual doesn't mean you automatically love your partner(s), then why should an asexual be without feelings of love? Things aren't so black and white.

 

Asking an asexual audience these types of questions may be helpful for you in general, but no two asexuals are exactly the same, nor do we have the same outlook, so it's probably best that you ask your wife these questions, since she's the only one who feels and perceives the way she does. :)

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ryn2
3 hours ago, anisotropic said:

There's a phenomenon of sexual orientation change upon gender transition, it seems to be fairly common.

Interesting!  I’ll have to read up on that.  My two closest trans friends are both MTF and were/are attracted to women before and after their transitions.

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Sweet Potato

I did love my husband. He honestly meant the world to me, wouldn't have married him otherwise.

sexual incompatibility was a huge part of what eventually destroyed our relationship. He complained that my disinterest in sex meant I didn't love him, and trying to prove that wasn't the case exhausted me, nothing was ever good enough. The argument was so constant that I started to prefer it when he wasn't around, that's about when I realized I no longer loved him. I left about a year after, when attempts to salvage the relationship proved to be a futile effort.
 

successful relationships with a sexual incompatibility takes understanding, communication, compromise and a lot of work from both partners.  It's not easy, no relationship is easy but with a mismatch like that it's twice as hard.

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Salmiakki

No, I just like to play around with his heart 😊

 

jk I have no spouse  

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starweb

Yes. Of course, I do or I would not have married him. 

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Guest Jetsun Milarepa

I love my daughter far more than I could ever have loved my husband, it was love at first sight with her, as I guess it is with most mums. With my husband, he had to work on me for some time because he had an agenda not related to love or marriage and I eventually got tired fighting him off , so relented. Different things altogether!

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ponz

I love my partner dearly, even with his every other day libido.  I would be devastated if he left.  He means so much to me in so many ways that not having him be a part of my life would be like ripping my soul right in half.

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gaogao
On 9/25/2018 at 12:11 AM, scaredhubby said:

Coming to terms with it all, I'm doubting that my wife loves me. that's natural. So just curious..how many of you ACE folks genuinely love your sexual spouse or couldn't care less if they left?

I love my partner very much, but if she chooses to leave because of the sex issue then I won't mind because it means she needs something I can't give her and I want her to have everything she wants and to be happy.

 

A lot of people here have said that in opposition to the way sex enhances a sexual person's love, it erodes an asexual person's love. I definitely feel this applies to me. My partner and I understand this. I have sex with her because she wants it, but it makes me feel sad and further away from her - whereas it makes her feel happy and closer to me. On the other hand, when we go without for a long time, I feel a sense of ease while she feels neglected. We therefore have a routine so neither of us feels overly neglected or scorned - she goes without for a longer time than she'd like, and I compromise every once and a while.

 

If it turns out to be too much for either one of us, I think it's best of we just part ways and I say that because I love her and want her to be happy.

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ryn2
1 hour ago, gaogao said:

If it turns out to be too much for either one of us, I think it's best of we just part ways and I say that because I love her and want her to be happy.

I feel like this approach is (very admirable, but) easier to take earlier in a relationship.  Once you have a lot of personal and/or financial entanglements (children, property ownership, business ownership, retirement funds, etc.), or even just a long shared history (mutual friends, “your family is my family,” etc.), the decision to end it or keep going gets quite complicated.

 

I suppose that doesn’t have to be the case if both/all partners have and maintain the same clear priority (“more than anything, we want to be - and want our partners to be - happy”), but that may be because of the way  priorities shape our major life decisions.

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gaogao
45 minutes ago, ryn2 said:

I feel like this approach is (very admirable, but) easier to take earlier in a relationship.  Once you have a lot of personal and/or financial entanglements (children, property ownership, business ownership, retirement funds, etc.), or even just a long shared history (mutual friends, “your family is my family,” etc.), the decision to end it or keep going gets quite complicated.

I understand what you mean about it being a complicated decision but I still think it's the right approach because once staying together becomes so much of a chore that you're miserable, it's always going to be worth getting out of the situation and making your life the way you want it. It's 100% a choice, though, and I don't blame anyone for not choosing that - but it's still a weighing up of whether you are happy enough where you are to make staying worth it.

 

I mean, my relationship is definitely not in its early stages. My gf moved her entire life and career to a different country for me. We lease a flat together, and since we live in one of the most expensive cities in the world, we're pretty dependent on sharing financial costs. We also have a whole network mutual friends - especially since she left all of hers behind in her home country and I fell out with the majority of my original group shortly after getting together with her.

 

It's definitely not exactly easy for us to disentangle our lives at this stage either. Yes, it makes us more motivated to make it work, but I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing. Despite all that, if she's totally miserable, I'd much rather have both of us start from scratch than ruin her life over something I can't give her. 

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ryn2
6 minutes ago, gaogao said:

It's 100% a choice, though, and I don't blame anyone for not choosing that - but it's still a weighing up of whether you are happy enough where you are to make staying worth it.

Yeah, I think it’s that weighing that’s key.

 

It’s probably more about life stages than about “relationship age,” now that I think about it more.  Past a certain point it can be pretty hard to start completely over without running out of runway.  Even if you’re mentally okay with working forever and are able to find work as an older worker, not everyone’s health allows that.

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Serran
3 hours ago, ryn2 said:

Yeah, I think it’s that weighing that’s key.

 

It’s probably more about life stages than about “relationship age,” now that I think about it more.  Past a certain point it can be pretty hard to start completely over without running out of runway.  Even if you’re mentally okay with working forever and are able to find work as an older worker, not everyone’s health allows that.

Starting over doesnt have to mean new job. Unless you are currently unemployed. And for sharing costs there are room mates. For older folks there are low income apartments for 55+. There are always ways to make it without being with someone. 

 

 

I left my spouse with no job, no money, a broken down car I wasnt sure would make the trip. And im certainly glad I did. 

 

Now, prioritizing money/whatever over happiness socially is of course valid. But, its never impossible to leave and get life going alone. 

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ryn2
1 minute ago, Serran said:

Now, prioritizing money/whatever over happiness socially is of course valid. But, its never impossible to leave and get life going alone. 

Agreed on all points.  I just meant past a certain spot in life you can’t always get back to where you were/planned to be in terms of retirement... I’ve been thinking about it a lot as I’m likely facing that situation.  I’m only two years younger than my mom when she retired, and only three years younger than my dad.  He had maybe two good years after that before his health problems really started to take over his life, and by his late 60’s he was dead.

 

I had planned to retire early based on that and would have been able to... but now I won’t.  Hopefully my luck will be better than his was.

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anisotrophic

 

24 minutes ago, Serran said:

But, its never impossible to leave and get life going alone. 

It's... not alone when there's kids. (The OP mentioned a baby in another thread.)

It's still possible to separate, and might be for the better for everyone involved, but ... it's a lot more complicated.

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Serran
1 hour ago, anisotropic said:

 

It's... not alone when there's kids. (The OP mentioned a baby in another thread.)

It's still possible to separate, and might be for the better for everyone involved, but ... it's a lot more complicated.

Separating is always complicated. But, people do it with kids every day. My mom did it with two kids, after 20 years of marriage. And her kids (me and my brother) were glad she did, because they were both miserable in the marriage. There really isn't any good reason to stay other than you, personally, want to. You can always come up with an excuse why it's too hard. Don't have to though.  If you truly want to, you can leave. 

 

Both from personal experience and now working with kids, I can tell ya, fighting in front of your kids or being miserable around them is probably going to be a lot worse long-term than separating and going off to be happy separately, at least for them. And kids don't keep it quiet when they go to school and mommy and daddy aren't being loving to each other - kids get off the bus at school and tell their friends, teachers, etc that mommy is sad or daddy and mommy were fighting and they got told to go upstairs because of it. That's not a healthy environment for a kid. That alone throws them off for the entire day and makes teaching them nearly impossible, because they're too focused on mommy/daddy was sad to focus. 

 

And it's hard to keep from snipping, fighting or otherwise being unhappy if you're miserable and depressed about your marriage. 

 

If overall you decide whatever reason is more important to your happiness than a good, compatible marriage...  that's fine, valid, good.Whatever makes people happy. But, it bothers me to no end when people are like "I'm staying for the kids" and then the poor kid is sitting there dealing with screaming matches, or their parents crying, or "why doesn't daddy ever hug mommy anymore?" etc. Or worse, being sent away (either to a grandparent or upstairs to their room) so the parents can be unhappy off alone - cause the kid is then just confused and notices parents aren't happy and thinks its their own fault and that's why they were sent away. And then parents are confused when you tell them what their kid said and ask them if everything is OK at home. <_<

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ryn2
6 minutes ago, Serran said:

There really isn't any good reason to stay other than you, personally, want to. You can always come up with an excuse why it's too hard. Don't have to though.  If you truly want to, you can leave. 

That ultimately is what prioritization comes down to... if you stay, something is higher on your priority list than the things you would gain from leaving.

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Serran
1 minute ago, ryn2 said:

That ultimately is what prioritization comes down to... if you stay, something is higher on your priority list than the things you would gain from leaving.

Which, then it's not really a good mind set to go "I'm trapped! I can't leave even though I'm miserable!" which, so many people do. You can leave. You are choosing not to because you decided your life, or someone else's (who means more to you than your own) will be better if you stay. So, you're going to be a whole lot less miserable if you just accept that is your choice in that case and own that you chose to stay, vs leave. Because leaving is always an option, if you actually want to do it. You are never trapped, no matter the circumstances. And as long as you feel trapped, you're not going to be happy. 

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ryn2

Agreed, it’s typically (I’m not going to say “always” because there’s probably some disproving case out there) a choice to be “trapped.”  Not choosing is itself a choice, after all.

 

I feel that way about the “victim mindset” (the idea of being personally, completely powerless) in general but I know many folks disagree.  I understand that circumstances, privilege, etc., vary but - whatever the circumstance - letting yourself feel completely powerless only makes things worse.

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anisotrophic

Yes, it's choosing. People can manage (choose?) to endure a lot of unhappiness for the sake of, say, children. The presence of children changes the equation.

 

I think, broadly and globally speaking, this burden of endurance tends to fall on women, between the social expectations of maternal sacrifice and the manifold ways in which they are less empowered. Which is why I'm dissatisfied with a narrative that seems oversimplified: "you have the power to leave if you want" - this seems very unsympathetic to what many women have chosen to endure.

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Serran
15 hours ago, anisotropic said:

Yes, it's choosing. People can manage (choose?) to endure a lot of unhappiness for the sake of, say, children. The presence of children changes the equation.

 

I think, broadly and globally speaking, this burden of endurance tends to fall on women, between the social expectations of maternal sacrifice and the manifold ways in which they are less empowered. Which is why I'm dissatisfied with a narrative that seems oversimplified: "you have the power to leave if you want" - this seems very unsympathetic to what many women have chosen to endure.

 

The presence of children makes it even more vital that you set a good example. And aren't so miserable you end up letting your own feelings interfere with taking care of your kids. Which, a lot of the martyr parents end up doing. And they end up having "private conversations" that the kids end up hearing about - including that the reason mommy is miserable is she has kids (that's how they take "I can't leave cause of the kids"). Either they hear it, their friends hear it, a family member gossips about it and it gets back around to them, etc. And they set a horrible relationship role model for their kids - parents are the first basis for what a relationship should look like and sorting out the toxicity you have normalized from what is actually normal and healthy is very hard. 

 

My mom tried that "stay and be miserable in your marriage for the kids" nonsense for a while. Until she realized how much nonsense it was. Cause, her staying and being miserable for us - which we ended up hearing it was because of us - was not actually good for us. And wasn't good for her. And wasn't good for my dad. So, no one was benefiting from the martyr complex. And me and my brother have had a lot of issues to work out, even into adulthood, from her trying to martyr herself for some antiquated ideal of a two parent household. My brother went into therapy for years to sort it out. I figured it out myself from a lot of trial and error in toxic relationships, cause I honestly had no idea what "normal" looked like ... the only relationship I'd seen closely was my parents marriage and that was obviously not healthy, so I'd normalized a ton of toxic behaviors that shouldn't exist in a relationship. But, 20 years of marriage where a lot of those are miserable leads to resentment, which leads to toxic behavior between the two forming. Even if it started out with an OK friendship. And it's hard to avoid the negative emotions spilling out sometimes. My parents tried to get rid of it by work schedules being different after a while, so they made sure they basically never saw each other except on days off, never shared a bed. They claimed to us it was so we would have childcare all the time from a parent. But, we weren't stupid, we knew it was because they couldn't stomach being in the same room anymore. 

 

And, my example of it isn't that uncommon. I work with kids every day. I watch how their home life tension depresses them, sets them into a horrible mood, makes them lash out and act out, sometimes even violently because they aren't old enough to understand or handle the emotions they're feeling. I hear the stuff they say about their parents. And it's heartbreaking that parents think they are helping these kids by sticking it out, when they're actually hurting a lot by seeing mom and dad aren't happy together.

 

Yeah, divorce hurts them too, but they adjust eventually. You can't adjust to constant tension at home.. 

 

In the "divorce class" I had to take (forced by state where I live) when my parents got divorced, out of 20 or so kids, only one said he was sad about it. The rest were like "Finally. They aren't fighting and/or crying all the time anymore" 

 

So... I have sympathy for the kids in the situations where parents decide to be miserable and rail at the world for being trapped with no options. But, I guess you're right, I have little sympathy for the parents in those cases. They're too blinded by their own emotions to even notice what they're doing to their kids. If you can somehow find happiness elsewhere and not be a depressed ball of misery at all times, then you can maybe make it work. But, a lot of people can't do that when they come home to a spouse they don't want. 

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ryn2

I think it ultimately depends more on the people than it does on the specific choices made.  Some people are really good at owning and accepting their choices and at embracing the positive aspects thereof; others aren’t.

 

In the kids example it’s resentment (and potentially a compounding sense of hopelessness) that’s the biggest issue, not whether the parents stay together or split.  People do both and make both work; they also do both and make both a hotbed of miserable dysfunction.

 

I guess the key, beyond just knowing your priorities, is knowing yourself and what works best for you/what you’re capable of.

 

It’s also hard to point to one right way to model healthy relationships/one right way to live them, because what works beautifully for one set of partners may be another set of partners’ nightmare.

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Serran
41 minutes ago, ryn2 said:

I think it ultimately depends more on the people than it does on the specific choices made.  Some people are really good at owning and accepting their choices and at embracing the positive aspects thereof; others aren’t.

 

In the kids example it’s resentment (and potentially a compounding sense of hopelessness) that’s the biggest issue, not whether the parents stay together or split.  People do both and make both work; they also do both and make both a hotbed of miserable dysfunction.

 

I guess the key, beyond just knowing your priorities, is knowing yourself and what works best for you/what you’re capable of.

 

It’s also hard to point to one right way to model healthy relationships/one right way to live them, because what works beautifully for one set of partners may be another set of partners’ nightmare.

A healthy relationship is just one where both people can be at least content. Doesn't matter what it looks like on paper. It's about the feelings of the two involved. 

 

My point was ... if you make a choice, own that it's your choice and don't play the silly "I'm trapped and miserable and I have no options" games people play and find a way to be happy. Or leave, cause you aren't actually trapped and you can if you actually want to. 

 

There isn't really a way to be sitting there every day hating your life and going "I am so miserable. I wish I could change things..." and actually be happy. And if you're blaming everything else in the world for your unhappiness, you're going to get resentful of something. Your partner, or even your kids, if you focus on "If I didn't have the kids, I could..."

 

If you can choose it and own it and be happy elsewhere, fine, have a miserable marriage (though, I still don't get why anyone would choose that, but to each their own). If you can't, then do everyone a favor and leave, cause if you're doing that "for the kids", you are doing your kids no favor staying if it's making you a very unhappy person. 

 

I see the people come through here sometimes going "I think about suicide, but I still can't leave, cause we have kids..." or a house, or shared finances, etc. Well, I can tell you, mom or dad committing suicide is probably going to hurt the kids a lot worse than mom & dad divorcing... and it's hard to fight that urge forever if you're having serious thoughts about it because of how much living with a person that is making you miserable is hurting you. 

 

Anyway, off my soap box. :P I just get frustrated with the whole topic, cause 1) I work with kids who are hurt all the time by parents like that 2) My own did it and it was ridiculous.. my friends parents have done it and it was ridiculous... 3) I know it's easy to come up with every excuse in the book why you can't leave your spouse, I did it with mine for 10 years. Then I finally stopped. And life is 100x better than it was. 

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ryn2
1 minute ago, Serran said:

My point was ... if you make a choice, own that it's your choice and don't play the silly "I'm trapped and miserable and I have no options" games people play and find a way to be happy. Or leave, cause you aren't actually trapped and you can if you actually want to. 

Agreed.

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ryn2
2 minutes ago, Serran said:

If you can choose it and own it and be happy elsewhere, fine, have a miserable marriage.

People who succeed at part I often don’t end up with part II - they look for the positive in their relationship and do their best to enjoy that.

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Serran
1 minute ago, ryn2 said:

People who succeed at part I often don’t end up with part II - they look for the positive in their relationship and do their best to enjoy that.

Well. That's "I'm missing something in my marriage, but I love my partner still, so we'll make it work"...

 

But, can still go "OK, my marriage will never fulfill me, I'm not happy with it - but I am choosing to keep it, for the other benefits" and focus on other things in life to be happy. Career, kids, family, friends. Some spouses stay socially together and end up with side relationships for romantic/sexual fulfillment, just keep the social contract of co-parenting and shared finances to maintain a stable household. Whatever works to keep both of them happy and working together and getting along, fine, I don't get it but as long as they're happy with it. 

 

Not everyone can do that though. A lot of people cannot. 

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ryn2
Just now, Serran said:

But, can still go "OK, my marriage will never fulfill me, I'm not happy with it - but I am choosing to keep it, for the other benefits" and focus on other things in life to be happy. Career, kids, family, friends. Some spouses stay socially together and end up with side relationships for romantic/sexual fulfillment, just keep the social contract of co-parenting and shared finances to maintain a stable household. Whatever works to keep both of them happy and working together and getting along, fine,

Completely agreed.  I just wouldn’t describe this as a miserable marriage.

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Serran
58 minutes ago, ryn2 said:

Completely agreed.  I just wouldn’t describe this as a miserable marriage.

I guess. I kinda would because your marriage isn't fulfilling or making you happy - you just opted to deal with being unfulfilled and not letting it destroy your life. But, the marriage itself is not a happy one, just decided you can have a happy life without a happy marriage. 

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ryn2

Also agreed.  I guess I see alternatives between  happy and miserable?  As in, those aren’t the only two options out there for (at least some people), and it’s possible to exist in between?

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