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uhtred

What is typical and does it matter

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Telecaster68

Wouldn't it behove her to do some reflecting on the situation and approach it with a bit more self knowledge? 

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uhtred
14 hours ago, ryn2 said:

I’m not blaming anyone... just pointing out that it’s human nature that things which read as “crying wolf” are taken less and less seriously over time.

 

If broken promises are at least as bad as no sex, and you see there’s a history of that, why keep asking for promises to start with?  Seems like it never gets the desired result and instead makes it worse for at least one (and potentially both) person(s).

At least in my case, I never ask for promises, but she gives them.   Since she claims to not understand why I'm unhappy, I don't know why she does this. Maybe she thinks my sexual interests are unreasonable, but she wants to satisfy them anyway, but the finds she is unable to do so?

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uhtred
13 hours ago, James121 said:

Absolutely correct.

Equally love is about addressing the issues that hurt your partner when said issues have been made known. What issues were addressed during your latest sexless vacation? I don’t mean to be aggressive or personal in the way I write, I’m just trying not to beat around the bush.

Its all well and good that we have the right attitude towards our spouses who we love, but at what point do we stand our ground and ask for a level playing ground?

Or maybe we can just completely capitulate as we don’t want to hurt them.

 

After the vacation we had sex twice in a row (unheard of).  Much as I want to believe its "better" I know from experience that it will quickly go back to normal.

 

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Telecaster68
2 minutes ago, uhtred said:

there were brief bursts of activity that kept my hopes up

This is called 'intermittent reinforcement' by psychologists and it's a really good way to train animals. They're more likely to repeat an action (say, buying presents, taking the rubbish out, being romantic) if they get a reward sometimes, than if it happens every time, because of scarcity value. 

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uhtred
Just now, Telecaster68 said:

This is called 'intermittent reinforcement' by psychologists and it's a really good way to train animals. They're more likely to repeat an action (say, buying presents, taking the rubbish out, being romantic) if they get a reward sometimes, than if it happens every time, because of scarcity value. 

Yes, unfortunately her behavior is also completely consistent with being evil and controlling. 

 

I'm aware of it - I don't want to believe it, but I know it could be true. 

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ryn2
42 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

Wouldn't it behove her to do some reflecting on the situation and approach it with a bit more self knowledge? 

She may think she has?  It’s hard to tell, as it sounds like she and uhtred discuss it as little as possible.

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ryn2
38 minutes ago, uhtred said:

Yes, unfortunately her behavior is also completely consistent with being evil and controlling. 

 

I'm aware of it - I don't want to believe it, but I know it could be true. 

It really only matters if it would change your choices... which, since you’re aware of the potential, it sounds like it wouldn’t.

 

In the end you have to live with yourself.  If that means loving her and taking her actions in good faith, so be it.

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uhtred
2 minutes ago, ryn2 said:

It really only matters if it would change your choices... which, since you’re aware of the potential, it sounds like it wouldn’t.

 

In the end you have to live with yourself.  If that means loving her and taking her actions in good faith, so be it.

If I *knew* she was being intentionally manipulative, I'd leave immediately.  There is just no way to know for sure.  I don't believe she is though.  

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ryn2
7 minutes ago, uhtred said:

If I *knew* she was being intentionally manipulative, I'd leave immediately.  There is just no way to know for sure.  I don't believe she is though.  

I probably should have worded it a little differently.  If you found out today that she’s been manipulating you intentionally all along, would you regret having acted in good faith given what you knew at the time?  I’m sure you would be upset about having been suckered, but that’s different.  It never sounds like you’ve made the choices you have grudgingly/not in good faith.

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James121
1 hour ago, uhtred said:

After the vacation we had sex twice in a row (unheard of).  Much as I want to believe its "better" I know from experience that it will quickly go back to normal.

 

Here’s the crunch question(s)

 

1) During those 2 occasions, did your wife show any signs of being distressed about having sex?

 

2)  During those 2 occasions did your wife show any indication that she physically enjoyed having sex?

 

3)  How much of her time (as a rough estimate) would you say was invested by her in have sex twice?

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nanogretchen4

Uhtred, I think your wife does not want sex, and also does not want you to leave. So she is going to give you whatever she believes is the absolute minimum amount of sex she can give you without you leaving. I doubt that she has a fully conscious plan to manipulate you with intermittent reinforcement and so forth. It's more that you are both training and manipulating each other. You probably reward her by being nicer and more committed to the relationship when she tells you what you want to hear. By now she realizes that you want her to say that she looks forward to having sex with you at some point in the future. It doesn't cost her much to say that as long as she doesn't have to actually do it. On some level you want to keep living on false hope, which is why you reward her for saying things you can't rationally believe. But then sometimes you get upset enough that your wife realizes that oops, she's pushed the sex avoidance a little further than she can get away with, so now she really does have to either bite the bullet and have sex with you or else let you go. You reward her lavishly for this with extreme optimism that now the sexual incompatibility is all fixed. Maybe her sexual orientation will just wear off or something, and you'll have that active, happy sex life you've always dreamed of at some point. Now that you are back in false hope mode she can enjoy a long interval of sex free marriage before she has to briefly do that disgusting thing she hates again. She is probably living in false hope of a day when she can retire and enjoy sex free marriage for the rest of her life.

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James121
1 hour ago, Telecaster68 said:

This is called 'intermittent reinforcement' by psychologists and it's a really good way to train animals. They're more likely to repeat an action (say, buying presents, taking the rubbish out, being romantic) if they get a reward sometimes, than if it happens every time, because of scarcity value. 

Also known as psychological manipulation for personal gain

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ryn2
19 minutes ago, James121 said:

Also known as psychological manipulation for personal gain

Not really.  What nano is describing is more of an unconscious two-person feedback loop where both people have (unintentionally) trained one another how to interact... rather than raising their concerns to a conscious level and actively discussing and acting upon them.

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Telecaster68

So, per Nano's take, the way to break that pattern is when she makes those promises, uhtred has to kindly but assertively point out they're meaningless words because they both know she won't follow through. That would at least remove one layer of misinformation. 

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James121
4 minutes ago, ryn2 said:

Not really.  What nano is describing is more of an unconscious two-person feedback loop where both people have (unintentionally) trained one another how to interact... rather than raising their concerns to a conscious level and actively discussing and acting upon them.

You don’t think it’s a conscious decision to have sex twice (baring in mind he has mentioned that this never usually happens) following the sex free romantic holiday. If that’s not a conscious decision to ‘reward’ her husband, I don’t know what is.

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Telecaster68
Just now, James121 said:

You don’t think it’s a conscious decision to have sex twice (baring in mind he has mentioned that this never usually happens) following the sex free romantic holiday. If that’s not a conscious decision to ‘reward’ her husband, I don’t know what is.

It's conscious but not necessarily a calculated reward. It might be out of genuine guilt. 

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nanogretchen4

Well, the truth is that the incompatibility is real and permanent. There are only two real choices, which are to separate or to continue to put up with the current state of affairs, which can't get much better for either of the partners without getting worse for the other

 

If uhted wants to keep putting up with it he should not call his wife on the polite lies that he has trained her to tell. These utterances should not be interpreted as having informational content at all. They are part of the established etiquette that has kept the marriage tolerable enough to avoid divorce all this time. 

 

If, on the other hand, uhtred ever gets ready to leave, he could demand the truth from his wife, but how likely is he to get it? If his wife tells him the truth, which is that she never has wanted sex and never will, uhtred will punish her by leaving. If she continues to tell him what he wants to hear he will reward her by staying. The unvarnished truth about sex has never been a feature of this marriage and would be fatal to the marriage. If uhtred ever gets ready to leave it's fine to let it be a no fault divorce over an incompatibility that can't be resolved.

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ryn2
15 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

So, per Nano's take, the way to break that pattern is when she makes those promises, uhtred has to kindly but assertively point out they're meaningless words because they both know she won't follow through. That would at least remove one layer of misinformation. 

Agreed, assuming he also wants to risk breaking the cycle of intermittent sex.  If he wants to keep that and the associated hope alive, maybe the cycle they’ve built does work best for them.

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ryn2
22 minutes ago, James121 said:

You don’t think it’s a conscious decision to have sex twice (baring in mind he has mentioned that this never usually happens) following the sex free romantic holiday. If that’s not a conscious decision to ‘reward’ her husband, I don’t know what is.

Agreed with tele; obviously she made a decision to do it based on what he said, but it’s in line with the reward system he and his wife have (likely unconsciously) built over the years.

 

As nano said, as long as they stay within the system they’ve built uhtred has hope and occasional, enjoyable sex.  His wife has a continued relationship (which uhtred seems to value as well).  If  either of them breaks the pattern, they will lose what they have.

 

Is losing what they have in favor of being free to pursue a new life worth giving this up, for either of them individually?  That’s a question only the two of them can answer as everyone’s priorities and preferences are a little different.

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uhtred
3 hours ago, ryn2 said:

I probably should have worded it a little differently.  If you found out today that she’s been manipulating you intentionally all along, would you regret having acted in good faith given what you knew at the time?  I’m sure you would be upset about having been suckered, but that’s different.  It never sounds like you’ve made the choices you have grudgingly/not in good faith.

No, the way my brain is wired, I don't feel regret for choices that I've made based on what I knew at the time - even if those choices happened to have turned out badly later.  

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uhtred
2 hours ago, James121 said:

Here’s the crunch question(s)

 

1) During those 2 occasions, did your wife show any signs of being distressed about having sex?

 

2)  During those 2 occasions did your wife show any indication that she physically enjoyed having sex?

 

3)  How much of her time (as a rough estimate) would you say was invested by her in have sex twice?

1). no.  2) yes - she almost always appears to enjoy sex when we have it - at least physically. She doesn't indicate any retroactive unhappiness afterwards - but of course she might feel that way.  She claims she really enjoyed the weekend (but good money says it doesn't happen again).

 

3). Two nice afternoons spend cuddling, sex and sleeping next to each other in bed .

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uhtred
2 hours ago, Telecaster68 said:

So, per Nano's take, the way to break that pattern is when she makes those promises, uhtred has to kindly but assertively point out they're meaningless words because they both know she won't follow through. That would at least remove one layer of misinformation. 

Tried that (in 30 years I've tried *everything*.).  She apologies for the previous times with some "local" explanation about how she wanted to but had been very tired / sick / busy / whatever.   (which I believe really means that in concept she wants to have sex, but finds the idea very distasteful when its actually about to happen - except on rare occasions when she is in the mood).

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ryn2
26 minutes ago, uhtred said:

Tried that (in 30 years I've tried *everything*.).  She apologies for the previous times with some "local" explanation about how she wanted to but had been very tired / sick / busy / whatever.   (which I believe really means that in concept she wants to have sex, but finds the idea very distasteful when its actually about to happen - except on rare occasions when she is in the mood).

Nano’s assessment that the situation has (long ago) settled into its most workable compromise is probably accurate, then.

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Telecaster68
35 minutes ago, ryn2 said:

Nano’s assessment that the situation has (long ago) settled into its most workable compromise is probably accurate, then.

It sounds to me more workable for Mrs Uhtred than for Mr Uhtred. All she has to do is mouth a few apologies now and then and she has the life she wants.

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ryn2
1 minute ago, Telecaster68 said:

It sounds to me more workable for Mrs Uhtred than for Mr Uhtred. All she has to do is mouth a few apologies now and then and she has the life she wants.

Not just apologize:  she also has to initiate periodic sex.

 

Whether the arrangement is still workable - relative to the alternatives - for uhtred is something only he can decide.

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Telecaster68
11 minutes ago, ryn2 said:

she also has to initiate periodic sex.

I'm not sure she has to initiate does she?

 

And when we say 'periodic', it seems the periods are several months apart.

 

And for that she gets very nearly the relationship she wants. 

 

Whereas Uhtred gets nothing close to that.

 

He could leave of course. As could she.

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ryn2
27 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

I'm not sure she has to initiate does she?

 

And when we say 'periodic', it seems the periods are several months apart.

 

And for that she gets very nearly the relationship she wants. 

 

Whereas Uhtred gets nothing close to that.

 

He could leave of course. As could she.

Yes, he’s said she always initiates.

 

Agreed on the timeframe.

 

I can’t comment on how much having sex each time “costs” Mrs. Uhtred v. how much waiting for sex “costs” Mr. Uhtred, not because I’m unwilling to but because I honestly have no idea.

 

Without that it’s hard to say who actually has achieved a relationship closer to his/her ideal one.

 

But, yes, either one could choose to leave.

 

Either one could also choose to insist upon a compromise closer to his/her ideal.  That could result in an improvement for one person, at the detriment of the other.  Again, I don’t think we can judge that relative cost (how many days without sex is equally damaging to uhtred as one episode of sex is to his wife, or vice versa).  If the cost gets too high for either one, that could cause a breakup.

 

That’s where it gets tricky.  If the present isn’t bad enough to leave over, whereas changing the equation could be... do you insist on a change at the risk of the relationship?  Not an easy decision, especially when it can take a while to see the full impact.

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Sally
21 hours ago, Telecaster68 said:

I mean, wtf are we actually meant to do? 

After being disappointed by the asexual time and time again, the sexual should make a decision as to what THEY, the sexual, should do for themselves.  If that means separation, so be it.   I think you have mentioned that you, yourself, have made such a decision.  Others will reach other types of decisions.  But for god's sake, DO something.

 

 

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Telecaster68
8 minutes ago, ryn2 said:

Either one could also choose to insist upon a compromise closer to his/her ideal.

How does Uhtred 'insist' on more sex, then?

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Telecaster68
Just now, Sally said:

After being disappointed by the asexual time and time again, the sexual should make a decision as to what THEY, the sexual, should do for themselves.  If that means separation, so be it.   I think you have mentioned that you, yourself, have made such a decision.  Others will reach other types of decisions.  But for god's sake, DO something.

In effect, it has to be 'leave'. That's the only course of action we have.

 

We've had this conversation many times Sally, and we'll get to the point of me saying it comes down to the asexual saying 'my way or the highway' and you somehow managing to disagree. 

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