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Advice needed from Asexuals

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Traveler40
5 hours ago, FictoCannibal. said:

.....I just wanted to clarify that when three people are involved it's polyamoury not monogamy. And certainly not innate monogamy.

Thank you for the very earnest explanation and attempts at clarity, but Lucinda is correct.  I fully understand what innate monogamy is.  The confusion here is that, at the end of the day, three people aren’t actually involved. 

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ryn2
10 minutes ago, Traveler40 said:

The confusion here is that, at the end of the day, three people aren’t actually involved. 

Doesn’t that ultimately reinforce the monoamorous person’s concern I tried to post above (before we all wandered off to talk about why I was quote-impaired)?

 

I.e., that:



1. Compromise

2. Celibacy

3. Open the relationship

4. Leave

is really:

1. Compromise

2. Celibacy

3. Leave when I find someone who suits me better

4. Leave now

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Lucinda

It may depend on the reasons number 4 is in the last position.

 

Lucinda

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Traveler40

I had forgotten you’d said that and was thinking about it. Theoretically, you may have a point.  Practically, it may not work that way.  My asexual husband is an incredible man and partner in so many ways. We have an otherwise great life that’s fully entwined and generally fulfilling.  If only he were sexual...

 

And we are back to the importance of sex and intimacy in a relationship for a sexual....

 

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ryn2
1 minute ago, Lucinda said:

It may depend on the reasons number 4 is in the last position.

When I read/quoted it, I was not assuming the option were in any sort of priority order.  I can’t speak to others’ intent.

 

Most people would probably prefer “leave now” to “leave once I locate a better replacement,” at least in situations where there isn’t some complicating factor (young kids, one income, etc.), but I wasn’t attempting to list them in priority order... just doing a one-for-one replacement of “what you say” with “what a lot of monoamorous people hear.”

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ryn2
1 minute ago, Traveler40 said:

 

I had forgotten you’d said that and was thinking about it.

 

Understandable, given I obscured it with my tantrumette about quoting from my phone.  :)

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anisotrophic
2 hours ago, ryn2 said:

When I read/quoted it, I was not assuming the option were in any sort of priority order.  I can’t speak to others’ intent.

Agreed with not intending any priority ordering whenever I list these. The relative weights -- risks, rewards, investments -- are going to vary. In particular, breaking up (#4) is a lot less costly when there aren't kids and/or large shared investments & savings with a partner.

On reflection, I think it's plausible to argue that 3 may be preferred by both partners over 4, even if it's reduced to "leave when someone better is found" -- if leaving is disruptive for people's stability (maybe kids in particular), in which case a "very slow break-up" might be generally preferred. (This is meant in abstract, not referring to a particular situation.)

But with the OP, I didn't see anything about kids or financial investments that would make #4 harder.

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ryn2
9 minutes ago, anisotropic said:

I think it's plausible to argue that 3 may be preferred by both partners over 4, even if it's reduced to "leave when someone better is found" -- if leaving is disruptive for people's stability (maybe kids in particular), in which case a "very slow break-up" might be generally preferred. (This is meant in abstract, not referring to a particular situation.)

Agreed, assuming all parties have discussed it and understand where one another come from.  The general concern I was referencing comes into play when the sexual partner asks to open the relationship with the assurance it’s to save the primary relationship... but it’s really to buy time before ending the primary relationship.

 

There’s nothing wrong with buying time to break up at a more appropriate point as long as everyone is upfront about it.  It’s when one person knows that’s the plan and the other enters into the change thinking it’s a genuine attempt to stay together ad infinitum that things get ugly.

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Traveler40
6 hours ago, ryn2 said:

...It’s when one person knows that’s the plan and the other enters into the change thinking it’s a genuine attempt to stay together ad infinitum that things get ugly.

I’d hope big decisions don’t unfold in such a deceptive way, but if they should, it’s ultimately good for the partner being left.  They deserve better. 

 

I choose to believe that most people try to make the best decisions they can with what they know at the time along with what they aim to reasonably achieve. Deception may be part of the plan for some, but that depends on character and hopefully isn’t the norm.

 

Anyhow, this can be said for most any major relationship decision and shouldn’t be earth shattering to expect honesty, clarity, candor and care.  

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NickJ
On 10/17/2018 at 5:03 PM, ryn2 said:

There’s nothing wrong with buying time to break up at a more appropriate point as long as everyone is upfront about it.  It’s when one person knows that’s the plan and the other enters into the change thinking it’s a genuine attempt to stay together ad infinitum that things get ugly.

I can’t speak for anyone else, but my decision to open up my marriage was motivated by a desire to maintain it, not end it. Obviously I can’t predict how that will play out, and so far nothing has been what I expected, but I guess intent and results are two completely different things.

 

That said, I can’t conceive of why anyone would open up their marriage as a stalling tactic ion the road to ending it. I guess that one just doesn’t make sense to me personally.

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ryn2
1 hour ago, NickJ said:

That said, I can’t conceive of why anyone would open up their marriage as a stalling tactic ion the road to ending it. I guess that one just doesn’t make sense to me personally.

A few scenarios come to mind... e.g., the couple has young children and the sexual partner wants to maintain an intact family unit until the children are past a certain age/independent; one partner is financially dependent on the other (in college/uni, houseparenting, out of work, ill) and the sexual partner does not want to end the  relationship until that is no longer true and/or other arrangement can be put in place.  There are probably others.

 

I’m only “picking on” the sexual partner in these examples because I’m thinking it’s less likely the ace partner is the one pushing to take on a secondary partner.

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NickJ

Well like I said, that doesn’t make much sense to me personally. Others’ mileage may vary I guess, but I’d rather be honest with my partner. That said, I realise honesty isn’t always easy, and my current situation is far more complex and challenging than I ever expected it to be. 

 

Anyway, I find myself agreeing with @Traveler40, I think most people are just trying to make the best choices they can for all parties, regardless of what the end result may be. Life is rarely black and white and I know I personally just try and muddle through and do the least harm I can. 

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anisotrophic
23 minutes ago, NickJ said:

my current situation is far more complex and challenging than I ever expected it to be

The attempted point is that it's likely to be less "simple" or "ideal" than people think before going down this path. That people who bring this up as a solution really should be aware of how often it turns into something a lot more complicated than was envisioned. That they'd do well to be more skeptical about the potential outcomes. That a cautious partner may have a very valid reason for caution.

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ryn2
4 hours ago, NickJ said:

Well like I said, that doesn’t make much sense to me personally. Others’ mileage may vary I guess, but I’d rather be honest with my partner. That said, I realise honesty isn’t always easy, and my current situation is far more complex and challenging than I ever expected it to be. 

Oh, agreed, I would encourage honesty as well.

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NickJ
20 hours ago, anisotropic said:

The attempted point is that it's likely to be less "simple" or "ideal" than people think before going down this path. That people who bring this up as a solution really should be aware of how often it turns into something a lot more complicated than was envisioned. That they'd do well to be more skeptical about the potential outcomes. That a cautious partner may have a very valid reason for caution.

Well none of us expected it to be simple or ideal. It is simply very different, and even more complicated than we expected. But that’s life, and relationships, in a nutshell. :)

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anamikanon

@RBP Personally, I think you should dump the guy. He does not appear to care about your sexual preferences at all. Worse, he does not appear to care how he discourages you from seeking sex. It is particularly brutal to term your attempts to be intimate as a "huge turn off". He isn't interested in a compromise. He is unwilling to allow you relationships with anyone else. He is not interested in talking about it, because the status quo suits him just fine. Essentially, he expects you to stop having a sexual life, because he is asexual and what you want has no place in this relationship.

 

In my mind, this is an emotionally abusive relationship and you need to RUNNNNNN.

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RAZS

Asexual seem to think it's perfectly fine to demand celibacy as the price of a relationship with them.  There isn't even an acknowledgement that the sexual person has valid feelings.  Compromise doesn't mean that one person gets everything they want while the other is required to suffer in silence.  

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ryn2
10 minutes ago, RAZS said:

Asexual seem to think it's perfectly fine to demand celibacy as the price of a relationship with them. 

If the price is too high, just like anything else in a relationship (e.g., some people will not be in a relationship with anyone who drinks or does recreational drugs; while others may think this is a ridiculous rule, for those who feel that way the price of any substance use is too high), the partner who does not want to pay it gets to choose to leave.

 

They can first try to compromise, but ultimately leaving is the option if the price is too high.

 

Those who choose to stay are saying the price is *not* too high by their choices, no matter how much they complain/claim otherwise.  If it was really too high they would stop paying (leave).

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RAZS

Unfortunately not everyone is in a position to be able to just leave.  Not always that simple

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ryn2
7 minutes ago, RAZS said:

Unfortunately not everyone is in a position to be able to just leave.  Not always that simple

It’s still a choice and matter of prioritization.  By staying you are choosing those other factors, whatever they happen to be (maintaining an intact family unit, continuing to live in a place that requires two salaries, continuing to share an otherwise happy life with a sexually-mismatched partner, etc.), over having a sexually-fulfilling relationship.

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anisotrophic

I think there can be some ugly reasons to stay, the world can suck. Citizenship/residency kept someone I knew in a bad relationship longer than she would've otherwise endured (until she felt she had sufficient alternative support). It's not simple but "learned helplessness" is also real.

 

@RAZS "a-hole isn't on the ace spectrum"... implies a couple things... one is that communicating when something hurts matters (it might be a lot harder for an asexual to guess it). But when communication is ignored I think we're not talking about asexuality anymore, but about people that are being a-holes. Plenty of ace folks care a lot about their partner, sometimes to the point of suppressing their own needs.

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ryn2
33 minutes ago, anisotropic said:

It's not simple but "learned helplessness" is also real.

Agreed, and agreed that there are better and worse reasons to stay or go (which vary to a degree by person)... but in the end it’s still an individual’s choice.  Tempting as it is, raging against the one who “did it to you” doesn’t gain anyone anything.  We - for right or wrong, good or bad - ultimately do it to ourselves.

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anisotrophic
9 minutes ago, ryn2 said:

in the end it’s still an individual’s choice

I still disagree with the way this seems to be handed to people in a simple manner. Suicide is a "choice". I would not respond to someone that's suicidal with something like "okay, but if you kill yourself that's a choice you made" and expect it to be helpful.

From what @RAZS says it sure sounds like the relationship is bad for them. And I agree it's good to encourage someone to think along lines of what can be done to change a bad situation.

But I see a difference between flatly stating "it's your choice" (which, to me, is coming off as unsympathetic and judgmental) vs. asking "why do you choose to stay in this situation?" (which challenges someone to think about whether changes are possible).

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ryn2
36 minutes ago, anisotropic said:

I still disagree with the way this seems to be handed to people in a simple manner.

I don’t think it’s simple.  I just don’t feel like conversations about “this is what my partner has done to me against my will” are helpful, beyond venting.

 

I was responding to RAZS’ statement about asexuals demanding celibacy as the price of a relationship and being required to suffer in silence.

 

Ultimately, everyone has the right to demand conditions for remaining in a relationship with them... and their partner has the right to weigh those conditions against the relationship’s other pros and cons and to decide whether or not to continue.

 

The solution, as nice as it might be for some, is never going to be “you’re right, it’s not fair that your partner is laying down those conditions and this is how to make them stop.”

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Sally
4 hours ago, RAZS said:

Asexual seem to think it's perfectly fine to demand celibacy as the price of a relationship with them.  There isn't even an acknowledgement that the sexual person has valid feelings.  Compromise doesn't mean that one person gets everything they want while the other is required to suffer in silence.  

If you mean that ALL asexuals think it's fine, no, we don't.  However, if you're in a relationship with an asexual who states that they won't have a relationship that includes sex, nor will they be in a relationship where their partner has another sexual partner, then again, it  will be your choice to be in that relationship or not.  And compromise  means whatever the two  partners think it means; there's no one  compromise that fits all, because compromise actually implies choice.  Each partner chooses to compromise.  

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anisotrophic
13 minutes ago, ryn2 said:

 

I was responding to RAZS’ statement about asexuals demanding celibacy as the price of a relationship and being required to suffer in silence

Yeah I didn't like that attitude either. To me the more important point is that this situation is specific to their partner. What's posted was so little it's unclear to me whether @RAZS has made much effort to discuss unhappiness or what the hell is going on.

 

But... I also don't feel motivated enough to get sympathetic and ask "why don't you leave" when someone's attitude is causing them to make statements about "asexuals" as a category. >:-/

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ryn2

Yeah, I wasn’t suggesting leaving (and I certainly get how unpleasant relationship problems can be)... just noting that no partner can lay down laws unilaterally without at least the grudging acceptance of the other party.

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anamikanon
5 hours ago, RAZS said:

Asexual seem to think it's perfectly fine to demand celibacy as the price of a relationship with them.  There isn't even an acknowledgement that the sexual person has valid feelings.  Compromise doesn't mean that one person gets everything they want while the other is required to suffer in silence.  

Relationships fail for many reasons. Mismatched sexuality is often one, even with no asexuals involved. Every person can set their boundaries and everyone can call it off if the situation is not acceptable.

 

Sometimes I think we get so caught up with the sexual-asexual thing that we forget that it is possible that people are simply not a good fit and it may not necessarily be about solutions to sexual incompatibility.

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MrDane
On 10/15/2018 at 12:30 AM, Telecaster68 said:

There are way, way more where one or both are miserable, or who split up eventually. The stars have to align and keep aligning for it to work, and when a basic component such as sexuality is different, that's hard.

 

Nobody owes anyone else sex, but people in relationships owe each other communication. The relatsionhip might survive the lack of sex - maybe - but it won't survive the lack of communication.

...and I think, that the ones on AVEN are either struggling or at least trying to cope with a mismatch. Mostly because there is a wish to be able to find a good way to cope with this.  I dont think so many “happy to be in a mixed marriage” is lurking around. Or that many sexuals, who are no longer in a sexually mismatched relationship and has broken up.  They are probably on other sites, spending their time, discussing mondane stuff, like ‘annoying in-laws’, ‘how to build a garage’, ‘what to pack for the camino’...

 

This site is not specially interesting for most sexuals, and if the mixed couple just works fine, then perhaps the asexual isnt that asexual or the sexual isnt that sexual, because otherwise the dealing would be important.

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NickJ
On 11/3/2018 at 2:48 PM, RAZS said:

Asexual seem to think it's perfectly fine to demand celibacy as the price of a relationship with them.  There isn't even an acknowledgement that the sexual person has valid feelings.  Compromise doesn't mean that one person gets everything they want while the other is required to suffer in silence.  

My wife is an ace, and she has never treated me like that. In fact she’s probably done more to compromise her own comfort for my benefit, up to and including allowing me to open our marriage and spend 2-3 days a week with another partner. 

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