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Verylongdryspell

Been with my Asexual partner for 18 years since high school.

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Telecaster68
4 hours ago, ryn2 said:

This is nearly word-for-word what my former partner described... right up until he suddenly couldn’t stand it.  For some, at least, it’s not infinitely sustainable.

The 'more honesty' bit is what the OP (and by the sound of it your former partner) was saying clearly needed to change and didn't.

 

4 hours ago, ryn2 said:

f she’s reasonably happy and comfortable, unlikely.  Splitting up has clear, appealing, tangible benefits for you whereas for her - especially if the relationship is pretty good except for the secual mismatch - it’s probably largely negative. 

I absolutely understand this, but it does look to the sexual partner like 'I'm all right Jack. Live with it', which is not a loving attitude.

 

4 hours ago, ryn2 said:

 It’s asking a lot of someone to willingly, even happily offer up something that’s quite bad for them because it’s good for you.

She's put him in a situation where he's having to give up sex (and presumably to at least give the appearance of being happy about it) because it's good for her. 

 

I'm  not having a go, but asexuals seem to have a really hard time grasping these two points, and they come up frequently, and maybe highlighting it one more time in this particular situation will help someone's understanding sometime.

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ryn2

I’m not defending the partner, just warning that a goal of “let’s get to a point where we both genuinely and pleasantly agree that splitting up is the best option” is probably not achievable.  Spending time trying to get there once one partner has decided leaving is best (and the other has decided it’s not) will just delay the inevitable and result in more hard feelings.

 

Being more honest (“I don’t want to be married anymore”) while doing things that look contradictory (going to counseling “with an open mind,” sticking around rather than working together on how to best exit and then... exiting) is confusing and tends to erode the potential of staying friends.

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ryn2
13 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

She's put him in a situation where he's having to give up sex (and presumably to at least give the appearance of being happy about it) because it's good for her. 

...which, assuming his honest goal is to make things easier for everyone rather than to punish her for this, should make understanding why doing this with genuine happiness is often impossible.

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Telecaster68
4 minutes ago, ryn2 said:

I’m not defending the partner

Okay. It came across as you considering his expectations unreasonable and hers not.

 

I don't think OP wants anyone punished, just an acknowledgement from his partner that to all appearances she's fine with the situation, and he's not. 

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ryn2
7 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

Okay. It came across as you considering his expectations unreasonable and hers not.

 

I don't think OP wants anyone punished, just an acknowledgement from his partner that to all appearances she's fine with the situation, and he's not. 

I’m not advocating staying.  Whether or not it’s working for her, it’s clearly not working for him.  But just like it’s not reasonable for her to think he is fine like this (especially since he’s told her he isn’t), it’s not reasonable for him to think she’s ultimately going to come around and think “breaking up will be great for both of us!” in any positive way.

 

The idea (for either unreasonable hope) is certainly appealing but the reality is that it’s best to just get it done.

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anisotrophic

Sometimes I think about the difference between being "nice" and being "kind". With the latter as a deeper caring that sometimes involves doing something the other person isn't going to be happy about. Cruel to be kind, as the bard wrote. It's easier to be "nice", but not always the best thing.

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ryn2
35 minutes ago, anisotropic said:

Sometimes I think about the difference between being "nice" and being "kind". With the latter as a deeper caring that sometimes involves doing something the other person isn't going to be happy about. Cruel to be kind, as the bard wrote. It's easier to be "nice", but not always the best thing.

Very true.

 

There’s another piece of the whole thing I should probably call out more explicitly.  There are two parts to “surviving” the dissolution of a longstanding marriage or other long-term, committed partnership:  working through the emotional pain of discovering that the person you intended to spend the rest of your life with isn’t going to be there after all (as the dumpee, because that person expressly *doesn’t want to be with you*), and recovering from a more practical perspective (learning/relearning to live alone, sorting out housing, establishing financial security, etc.).

 

In an established relationship the first part (emotional) is going to be roughly the same whenever a breakup occurs.  It’s going to suck, no way around it, but the vast majority of people get through it okay.  This is typically the part that the “dumper” witnesses, at least in its ugliest early stages, and is trying to minimize by being nice/foot-dragging/hoping the other partner will fall out of love too/etc.  The thing is, there is no minimizing it.  It would have sucked a decade ago.  It would have sucked last year.  It will suck now.  It will suck next year.  It will suck twenty years into the future.

 

The practical part, though, actually gets *worse* as time goes on.  The longer two people share a life, plan for a combined financial future, make career and love life decisions under the assumption both will be around (or they’ll be separated by death), and so forth, the *less* well-positioned they are to go on - from a practical standpoint, under the laws of many countries - as two separate entities.  The later a start at being single someone gets, the harder it is to save for retirement, choose a career path that pays the bills, establish a support system of friends, establish credit, find a new partner if desired, etc.

 

So, the reality of it is... if you break things off as soon as you realize you want to, you’re being the most kind (to your soon-to-be-ex-partner, and yourself).  Waiting for time to soften the emotional blow is typically futile, and that same waiting only makes the practical blow all the harder.

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Mandie

You really, really need to let your wife get on with her life. She's depressed, and you have been parenting her for a long time. Make sure she is set up with someone (a professional therapist and someone in her life) so that she has help when you leave.

 

I know you don't want to be the bad guy, and you want to keep saving her. But, you can't save her. She needs professional treatment for her depression, and she needs someone who can give her support while she gets that treatment. And you, intentionally or not, are keeping her from getting to a better situation down the road.

 

You've already decided to leave her. You just don't want to feel bad about it. So, stay until she's safe, and let her go be happy. She can do it without you.

 

(This advice comes from experience. My partner left me while I was disabled. I had no savings, no place to stay, and no job (being unable to work). It was horrible and took me years to recover, but it was the best thing he ever did.)

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Verylongdryspell

I've got to be careful listening to other people's advise.  Yesterday I took off my ring and told my wife about how I don't want to be married and all this stuff.  She was like, "yeah, you already told me.  I know all about it.". 

 

It didn't really phase her and after that we ended up having a great time as friends.  So maybe she is a lot more prepared for this than I expected.  

 

Somehow everyone on here had me convinced that I hadn't been clear with her even though I have.  This must be a common theme in mixed relationships, people dragging everything out.  

 

After this, I think it's going to be be much easier moving forward because it seemed like it's now possible for us to talk about things without her shutting down.  For example we talked about my other relationship and it wasn't a problem.  Something has definitely changed.  

 

My guess is that I gave her a chance, over the last six months to come to terms with all of this and she was heartbroken and has mostly moved through that.  

 

She told me that she really appreciates that I didn't tell her I want a divorce and then just abandon her.  Now that I really think about it, she was super depressed after I told her and she was like that for months but now she's definitely much better, I just think I didn't really notice and I was still feeling trapped but some of that was just self inflicted.  

 

Obviously, this is not a conclusion because I'm still living with her and I don't have my own place but I feel a great sense of relief that she does know what is happening and she is moving on with her life at least in her mind.  

 

I needed the push from you all to bring this up again with her so that I could realize that I am actually making progress in the direction that I would like, but I'm going to sign off of this thread.  Seems like we are just not on the same page and that's probably my fault entirely.  

 

Feel free to message me about this individually if you want to talk more about it but I think I've said everything I have to say for now.  

 

Thank you all for listening to me and giving me your perspectives on my stuff.  This was much more support than I was expecting.

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Telecaster68
5 hours ago, Kyoshiro said:

No, they don't. I don't know why you keep beating that dead horse.

I think you need to read more posts.

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ryn2
13 minutes ago, Kyoshiro said:

At a glance it seems to be  more of the same: sexual partner meets someone else, feels guilty, ace partner expects no sex despite sexual partner feeling miserable. That's not asexuality, it's manipulation, and it's an embarrassment to anyone who is really ace because most of those who do that sort of thing are not.

Are you saying most mixed relationships are actually two sexuals where sexual 1 falls for someone outside the relationship and sexual 2 then withholds sex (claiming to be ace) as punishment/to get sexual 1 to not pursue the outside party?

 

Not trying to put words in your mouth; I just don’t understand your post.

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ryn2
28 minutes ago, Kyoshiro said:

That's not asexuality, it's manipulation, and it's an embarrassment to anyone who is really ace because most of those who do that sort of thing are not.

What did you mean by the above quote?  I’m not sure what you meant was manipulation/something actual ace people usually don’t do.

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Thea2
2 hours ago, Kyoshiro said:

... I don't have the time or the patience for that. ...

🧐

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IronHamster

If one partner does not want to have sex, they should not have to, but if they truly love the other partner they should encourage them or perhaps even help them to find a third that can satisfy their needs.  

 

Love is not finite.  When my first child was born I loved her with all my heart.  When my second was born, I loved her just as much.  I didn't tell her I had given all my love to her sister and there was nothing left for her.  

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ryn2

For monoamorous people romantic love is finite.  For poly people, it isn’t.  Neither approach is right or wrong but you can’t magically turn one into the other.

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Tothesplendour

Verylongdryspell....I'm actually in a very similar situation. You're right that it's very hard to talk to other people about, because they almost all assume that a true asexual person isn't possible, or that multiple relationships as a solution is a bad thing......

 

I've been living with someone i love dearly for 12 years, we have a friendship connection that's rare in the quality of the compatibility & trust & love that we have for each other, but absolutely no sexual connection. Love is a precious thing with another person, and neither of us wants to loose our relationship, but i'm also adamant that i now want sex in my life, and it's going to have to involve a third person. 

Like you, we also own a house together & much loved pets but no kids [He didn't want kids, I've sat on the fence as so busy building career]

 

In the first year, we had a few attempts at sex, but they were mutually unsatisfying & we both gave up trying. [I was also very busy with my career at that point so not so worried about the lack of sex because all my energy was going on career].

It took me years to work out what the problem was - that i was actually living with someone asexual who just doesn't register sex. When i've expressed my frustration over the years, at being starved of sex, he has offered to take testosterone/ drugs to give him a sex drive, but i don't feel like this is fair as he doesn't really want to and is perfectly happy with himself as he is. It's me who has the issue of wanting sex. He now identifies as asexual, but i don't think he was so clear when i met him . The idea of him forcing himself to have charity sex is a complete turn-off for me, so also not a solution. The chemistry that makes it fun just isn't present. However i'm very aware i don't want him starved of 'skin sense' and physical connection with another human just because sex doesn't register in his universe, so i try to make sure i regularly give him non-sexual touch

 

I've also had a lot more sexual relationships than he has [not surprisingly] and have always had a very high sex drive if i'm not sublimating it in work or physical activity. 

Like you, i stumbled into a very hot sexual affair 5 years ago [with a much younger guy]. It was the best sex of my life and made me realize how much i'm missing out on. For 6 months the three of us lived between two houses, ate & socialized a lot together and even went on holiday together. I thought the two guys got on really well, and that i'd found an elegant [if unusual] working solution to my problem....then it blew up badly. Turns out neither of them could handle sharing. The younger guy really liked my partner & felt very guilty. He was wired in such a way that polyamory wasn't an option for him & he couldn't understand how an asexual person changes the equation. He blamed me & left in a way that really hurt me. My partner also got extremely jealous of the sexual bond that we had and very upset. So all three of us ended up hurt, despite me trying to be open in communicating with everyone. 

Since then, i've had an explicit agreement with my partner that i'll tell him if i'm having sex with someone, however those years also involved a lot of trauma for me and it's only this past year where my life has been stable and happy again.

 

So now i'm at the same point as you, of not wanting to go through another 10 years with no sex [or even 1 year :) ], but also not wanting to hurt this person i love, or jeopardize our relationship that i still value highly. It's a very tricky equation that not many people understand....

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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roland.o

Hello and welcome to the AVEN forums, @Tothesplendour! Have some cake... :cake::D

 

Thank you for sharing your story.

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Pan Ficto. (on hiatus?)
19 hours ago, IronHamster said:

If one partner does not want to have sex, they should not have to, but if they truly love the other partner they should encourage them or perhaps even help them to find a third that can satisfy their needs.  

 

Love is not finite.  When my first child was born I loved her with all my heart.  When my second was born, I loved her just as much.  I didn't tell her I had given all my love to her sister and there was nothing left for her.  

Not everyone is capable of innate polyamoury (the ability to love multiple people romantically). So yes for some people romantic love is most definitely finate.

 

It also seems very strange to compare romantic love to the kind of love one has for one's kids, because that's a *completely* different form of love that requires a lot less emotional investment (for me anyway). For me as a naturally monoamorous person, loving someone romantically takes a HUGE emotional toll and a lot of energy and I don't have the ability to be able to experience that for more than one person at a time. Whereas for my kids, the love just comes naturally and effortlessly no matter what. Loving them isn't this emotional rollercoaster or anything, it's just there and nothing can change it so it's effortless to have it for them both.

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IronHamster
1 minute ago, Ficto. said:

Not everyone is capable of innate polyamoury (the ability to love multiple people romantically). So yes for some people romantic love is most definitely finate.

 

It also seems very strange to compare romantic love to the kind of love one has for one's kids, because that's a *completely* different form of love that requires a lot less emotional investment (for me anyway). For me as a naturally monoamorous person, loving someone romantically takes a HUGE emotional toll and a lot of energy and I don't have the ability to be able to experience that for more than one person at a time. Whereas for my kids, the love just comes naturally and effortlessly no matter what. Loving them isn't this emotional rollercoaster or anything, it's just there and nothing can change it so it's effortless to have it for them both.

Perhaps, but, a naturally monoamorous person has limited options.  Denying the needs of a partner is not about love.  It is about control.  What are the options of an asexual that wants to maintain a relationship with a sexual?  

 

1) Do things you don't want to do, adding stress to your life.  

2) Prevent your partner from doing things they want to do, adding stress to their life.  

3) Allow or encourage or help your partner find suitable partners so that their needs are met.  

4) End the relationship, because it is causing you or your partner emotional pain and it is the honest thing to do.  

 

Feel free to add to this list.  It may not be a conclusive set of options, yet.  

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anisotrophic
2 hours ago, Ficto. said:

loving someone romantically takes a HUGE emotional toll and a lot of energy and I don't have the ability to be able to experience that for more than one person at a time.

I didn't think I could either! It was unintended (and an unreciprocating/unacceptable situation) but...

 

I wonder if there's something about my primary relationship being a long one. This emotional rollercoaster stuff feels like it refers to a new relationship, in its early years. (It was also what frustrated my partner, having my mood so affected by someone else.) ... I hadn't had this thought before! That maybe this manifested only now because the main relationship isn't in that early phase anymore.

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ryn2
3 hours ago, IronHamster said:

Allow or encourage or help your partner find suitable partners so that their needs are met.  

The problem is, as ficto said, whether you’re innately mono- or polyamorous is not something  you get to choose.  You can choose to behave a particular way, but not to be it.

 

If you are monoamorous, falling in love with someone means falling out of love with anyone you might have loved previously.  If the sexual partner is not innately poly, seeking a new partner outside the relationship is essentially the same as just ending the relationship, only slightly slower and more painful.

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Pan Ficto. (on hiatus?)
2 hours ago, ryn2 said:

If you are monoamorous, falling in love with someone means falling out of love with anyone you might have loved previously.  If the sexual partner is not innately poly, seeking a new partner outside the relationship is essentially the same as just ending the relationship, only slightly slower and more painful.

Yep, this x 100

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ryn2
3 hours ago, anisotropic said:

I didn't think I could either! It was unintended (and an unreciprocating/unacceptable situation) but...

 

I wonder if there's something about my primary relationship being a long one. This emotional rollercoaster stuff feels like it refers to a new relationship, in its early years. (It was also what frustrated my partner, having my mood so affected by someone else.) ... I hadn't had this thought before! That maybe this manifested only now because the main relationship isn't in that early phase anymore.

Is it possible that your primary relationship has gradually transitioned - at least for you - into a more familial/platonic love or a QPR?  In that case you could potentially not be innately poly but still fall in love with someone new and not have it affect your (already no longer “in love”/romantically loving) feelings for your existing partner.

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anisotrophic
18 minutes ago, ryn2 said:

Is it possible that your primary relationship has gradually transitioned - at least for you - into a more familial/platonic love or a QPR?  In that case you could potentially not be innately poly but still fall in love with someone new and not have it affect your (already no longer “in love”/romantically loving) feelings for your existing partner.

No, it's definitely romantic love, and more steadfast than ever; among other things, it leads to me expressing it sexually. (And it's been great that we were able to recognize this.)

 

But the emotional rollercoaster stuff, being consumed with thoughts of a person... I think that's NRE type stuff. My theory is I don't have an emotional capacity for more than one NRE at once, and that was functionally monamorous.

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ryn2

Makes sense, and that’s pretty common for poly people.

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Verylongdryspell

What do you all think about my opinion here:

 

Sex creates a special kind of connection between two people.  This is not just NRE but a very real aspect of sexuality between people.  This connection can and often does occur between people who are not sexually involved but it will die off unless they reinforce it through a sexual relationship.  

 

More than that, as soon as sex becomes mechanical where at least one person is not paying attention, the connection dies off even if people are having sex.  Therefore, the connection is something that seems to be supported by connected sex or what people often refer to as "good sex" or even "great sex".  The quality of the sex is mostly about how connected the people are on various levels and has little to do with orgasms, though orgasms are usually part of the equation.

 

NRE supports connected sex even more than natural chemistry but it's very difficult to manage that kind of sex without either.  Sexual chemistry is absent or almost absent with asexual people.  

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ryn2
1 hour ago, Verylongdryspell said:

Sex creates a special kind of connection between two people. 

I’d say “sex can create” rather than “sex creates,” because (from what others have posted) for aces (and probably some sexual people) it doesn’t create a connection.  At least, it doesn’t create a special connection beyond what or different than other shared activities do.  I don’t know if that’s solely because some people don’t experience sexual chemistry, or is there’s more (or something different) to it.

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Verylongdryspell

@ryn2 So then it's true that Aces do not experience any kind of profound connection as a result or sex?  I assumed this already but I'm curious what Aces have to say about it.

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ryn2
17 minutes ago, Verylongdryspell said:

@ryn2 So then it's true that Aces do not experience any kind of profound connection as a result or sex?  I assumed this already but I'm curious what Aces have to say about it.

I’m some sort of confused ‘tweener so I won’t try to speak for the aces here, but others have mentioned it.  Personally, I don’t experience any particular connection - certainly not a profound one - as a result of sex.  I did find that having sex with someone to whom I was not attracted actually had a detrimental effect on bonding (i.e., I felt less connected rather than more so) but I don’t recall that being the case in situations where I *didn’t* have that total lack of attraction.

 

I rephrased my original post so it didn’t look like I was speaking for the aces.

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MrDane

I feel something special about sex. I think,my wife also feels a close connection, but on a completely different scale. Not much more special, than if we just shared a laugh, a naked cuddle and a feeling of only doing this with eachother + giving a special treat for me.   And sometimes it is even despite of the sex. In a mixed relationship, it makes less sense to focus on the mutual joy of sex and more sense to focus on 1.what the relationship has to offer without the sexual intimacy, 2 if there are ways to accomplish something, which the sexual will feel as a loving sex life without the asexual feeling used or worn out. 3. How to establish a close connection, that is more than just roommates/friends.

 

...and perhaps it is even more important to talk, since much isnt automaticly understood.  

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