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Arukei

Why are you here?

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susieblue
almost completely off topic--
I know what gift I should get him, I know what makes him happy and what he likes.

He always had a hard time doing the same for me. He gave me a Kitchen Aid for my 30th Birthday!!!! He never surprised me with anything romantic, like a weekend get-a-way or a picnic ect. Never...... in all these years.

Aww. That may have been very well-meant--a lot of the women I know actually strongly associate KitchenAids with marriage (bridal registries, setting up a household, etc). We were even chatting about them in one of my classes today, because a student just married and is in love with her new KitchenAid, whereas our instructor is unmarried and wants one. Heck, I want one.

So, it probably wasn't completely thoughtless on his part. He may just have gotten good gift advice that didn't apply to you specifically.

I know the gift was very well meant. My husband means only well. He did not give me the KitchenAid to be unromantic on purpose or that he is completely thoughtless. That is how I perceived it then, though. I am going through a process right now. I am looking at the most hurtful situations in my life, and I am looking at it with the eyes of an asexual (my husband), so to say.

I was having the original question from Arukei in mind when I relied. I wanted him to look at his life with his wife and put 1 and 1 together. I wanted to help him see things clearer. It was not that off topic. I can not realte to the asexual discussions that are going on at the same time in this thread. I am afraid I say something wrong.

Arukei needs some help, and that's why I posted here. I feel like him, and wanted to share some of my own revelations I had concerning my asexual husband.

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Orbit
I can't imagine how anyone could not feel animosity about something that causes pain and bad feelings. If your husband wanted to smash your hand with a hammer or give you a pill that made you feel sick to your stomach every week, how many weeks would that continue before you started dreading it?
I can tell you that I've had YEARS of counseling, anti-depressants, whatever, that have failed to make any dent in my sexual disinterest. Every new shrink thinks they're going to be the one to solve the problem, and every one of them winds up listening to me chat about something stupid, like a person at my job who gets on my nerves, after they fail to uncover the big mystery.

If all this is true, and you are convinced that you are completely incapable of warming up to the sex thing under any circumstances, why do you stay with someone who you feel is abusing you? I don't get it - if it's this big of a problem, why not just tell him you have to stop having sex or the marriage is over?

If you love him and want to stay, tell him how you feel and see how he deals with it. It is cruel to yourself to endure this torture, and to him to allow him to do it to you when I'm sure he wouldn't want you to be feeling so much pain.

I really don't understand your rationalization at all... :(

I still don't think you'll really know if you can work on sex with your husband until you are honest with him about how you feel and why and work WITH him on it. Fixing a major issue in a marriage from only one side of the equation doesn't work, no matter WHAT the issue is...

I'm really surprised that in all of those years of counseling nobody ever brought that up.

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Chiaroscuro

I am not Starrysky, but I have a response to this. Take it as me, 43-year-old-sexual-man imagining life as Starrysky.

I don't get it - if it's this big of a problem, why not just tell him you have to stop having sex or the marriage is over?

Because I'm afraid of losing my husband. Because I love him and am fearful about living on my own. Because (if I have children), I don't want to threaten their future. Because, until recently, I've thought there was something terribly wrong with me. Because all of the therapists I've seen have reinforced the idea that I'm broken in some way.

Everyone handles their problems in their own way, Orbit. Sometimes it takes time to work up the courage to act, or even acknowledge that action is called for. That seems to frustrate you. For my part, I'm glad Starrysky's here, trying to find her way forward.

-Chiaroscuro

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Orbit
Everyone handles their problems in their own way, Orbit. Sometimes it takes time to work up the courage to act, or even acknowledge that action is called for. That seems to frustrate you. For my part, I'm glad Starrysky's here, trying to find her way forward.

-Chiaroscuro

The only thing that frustrated me was the implication that we should offer sympathy to someone's suffering and not discuss their options. Here again it seems as if I'm being told to just shut up and let her suffer because I couldn't possibly understand and there is no solution.

So yes, that is frustrating because I don't buy it.

Other than that, I'm just trying to understand the mentality and situation.

Of course everyone needs to make their decisions at their own pace, but as I said above, I thought this was a forum for discussion of our problems, and how others overcame them... so that those who need to make a decision can see things they may not have thought of before.

We choose our own path and more importantly, we choose what attitude we are going to have about it. If the decision to stay is the only viable option, than attempting to work through it so that it doesn't feel like torture seems to be a valid one to suggest.

However, if at this point anything I have to say is unwanted, I will stop responding.

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Chiaroscuro
Other than that, I'm just trying to understand the mentality and situation.

With respect Orbit, I don't hear "I'm trying to understand you" in these posts, I hear "You should be more like me." You're minimizing what Starrysky's experiencing, suggesting that she get over it. If she says sex is difficult, you suggest that that she needs to "warm up". If she says she can't compromise, you tell her to set an ultimatum with her husband or divorce him.

None of us are experts here. All we can do is share our stories and experiences. If somebody gets something of value from that, great. If not, maybe they'll get it from someone whose experiences have been closer to theirs. Advice is cheap, so here's my 2ยข... show some humility.

-Chiaroscuro

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Orbit

Yes, I suppose I do have the perspective that we choose our own paths as well as the attitudes we have. I minimize nothing about suffering, but only suggest that pity is not compassion.

Since my posts are coming off in a way I don't mean them to, I am not being helpful at all and I will refrain from offering advice on this matter any further.

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walrus

What a great, great thread. A warm welcome to our newest friend, Arukei. I've been in Shanghai for the past couple of weeks and am now back in USA.

Arukei, I am a 63 year old highly charged sexual Causian male married to a wonderful 53 year old Asexual Asian female. We are deeply in love and I would do anything for her to make her happy. She reciprocates in every way except physically. When we were first married we had a sexlife that kept my toes curled up backwards. But immediately after we started living together, I noticed that my appetite was growing, but she seemed to be pulling away and the frequency diminished to a degree that I felt constantly rejected. Neither of us had ever heard of Asexuality.

Eventually I searched for answers and just for kicks started looking for answers on the internet and stumbled across the AVEN site. WOW, words can't describe how I felt when I discovered that our greatest point of contention was a matter of sexual orientation. My very dear friend Orbit and her husband became sterling examples of how a mixed marriage can work. Unfortunately, their manner of coping just will not work for us, but it was a starting point and we have made our own methods of coping. For instance, I just do not attempt sexual relations and she comes across with some of the hugging, kissing and touching that I crave. My wife and I began discussing the situation. I had been feeling rejected and she was feeling broken. Both of those have changed with communication.

That seems the key to making a sexual/Asexual relationship work .... talking and finding some middle grounds that will work for both of you. If your beloved is truly Asexual, that just ain't gonna change. If the goal is an acceptable sex life, your situation would be like wanting to go from Chicago to Miami on an airplace and going out to Ohare and getting on a flight to Los Angeles. You will be most dissapointed with the result of the trip. The area of change can only come in your perception of the situation and adapting to it. You will find someone on these threads that will say something that rings a bell for you and it can open the door to a much more enjoyable future.

There are a surfeit of acceptable potential scenarios for you. An extreme is one my wife suggested ... go outside the marriage for sex. I haven't done that yet because for me, having sex with someone for whom I had anything less than very strong feelings would simply be mutual masterbation at best. I get more out of a good vibrator ... LOLOL.

Again, welcome and the best of luck to you and yours.

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MaraKarina
For some (like my wife), aversion to sex is rooted in past abuse. Sex brings up all of the awfulness that the abuse did. For others, it seems to be something wired-in since birth. Some can compromise, some can't.

But an asexual behaviour because of past abuse wouldn't be asexuality, would it? Though, obviously the life-style would be similar, except, that sex wouldn't simply not matter but is much more likely avoided. That's a very understandable and normal psychological way of how to deal with these issues, at least until the time when such an abuse has been fully "healed" if that's ever possible.

Coming from a dysfunctional family myself and having suffered several forms of abuse as a child (no sexual abuse though) I know that the effects range from complete unconscious repression to conscious repression to avoidance to seeking information on similar, related matters, and sometimes - in my case approx. 30 years later only! - eventually resulting in very easy understanding and dealing with the situation and with only little traces of what happened (in my case at least within the scope of what I consciously know, knowing that things may be dormant in the subconscious for centuries - I was really surprised at what did come up over time).

I guess writing about the subject as a whole, on AVEN, could be a very good beginning for such persons to move towards healing (= well-being).

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Chiaroscuro
That's a very understandable and normal psychological way of how to deal with these issues, at least until the time when such an abuse has been fully "healed" if that's ever possible.

I have to admit that I have a very small, very quiet hope that Sunset will "heal", at least partially, some day. I have a much larger sense that she won't. In that sense, you're right, abuse is not asexuality per se. But for years now, Sunset has been more asexual than a "real" asexual. Asexuality is a relief for her. It feels safe. And It's not something she can experiment with to see where we can reach accomodation. It's very cut and dried.

So I guess, for us, making a distinction between asexuality and "not wanting sex because of childhood sexual abuse" is pointless. The end result is the same.

-Chiaroscuro

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MaraKarina

Chiaroscuro,

Agree, when it comes to sex for the sexual partner, at first glance, it's possibly the same, regardless of reason, except, I believe that the majority of asexuals "by birth"/orientation whatever, not having had negative experiences, are generally much more opent to discuss the subject or initially at least, to compromise. It's probably as exciting for them to talk about sex and related matters as it is for me to talk about car engines. I wouldn't start such a subject and if someone tried to talk to me about it I might listen for a while but get bored easily and will escape sooner or later, and no way will we get together to take an engine apart, marvel at each tiny piece of it etc. But it wouldn't affect me negatively either, just doesn't interest/rather bore me.

When it comes to a set of really good quality kitchen knives, however, well, that's a different matter. I will never have that (at least I cannot see that now - who knows maybe in 10 or 20 years?). I know it makes cooking a lot easier, but I still insist on as few as possible and as small and awful as possible knives. Were my husband to buy a luxury set - or anyone else give them to us as a present - I'd feel uneasy throughout. Would see that I get them out of the house as soon as possible, wouldn't feel safe. Non desinterested in knives or bored - uneasy. Threatened! That's because my mother was stabbed when I was 13, and I've seen it.

And not interested or threatened to make it extremes, is something very different. Not interested, well sometimes you can interest a person by giving more information, by some sort of experience. But indifference often remains indifference towards something.

But being threatened - or whatever milder form that takes - you are anything but indifferent. It's just that you've got to detach hundreds of thousands of layers or nightmares in its monsterlike shapes - and starting out often feels like you're dealing with hydra heads, two growing for each you've dealt with - that it costs huge amounts of energy and effort and time, and support.

And even when it comes to us as sexuals married to an asexual, there is a difference, at least for me. For one, I thoroughly understand the needs of someone who's been abused and have a hint at what may happen (maybe not in sexual abuses because I've not experienced that one), though I know all too well that healing may take longer than a lifetime and the memory/experience will not vanish. And understanding something makes it easier for me.

And secondly, my partner would need a really different kind of approach depending on what's the reason.

Saying that, is Sunset - or are you, as you may very well read this message as well - in touch with any women with similar experiences? I used to come across many when dealing with my own issues, through discussions on the inner child, not in English though, otherwise I'd give you the link. I guess, IF you can talk about it, that may be an environment which is helpful for your personal well-being, and I found that the women who were sexually abused benefitted a lot from others really understanding how they felt, especially those who were married and remembered only at some point after they'd got married - with all the nightmarish consequences that held.

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Chiaroscuro

Thanks for your thoughtful post, Mara. Yes I see the distinction you're drawing. There are many asexuals on Aven who find sex threatening, but I don't assume they've been abused. Aven does draw in folks who find, for a whole variety of reasons, that sex isn't for them. We call it asexuality, but you're right, that term isn't precise.

-Chiaroscuro

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MaraKarina

Well, maybe I would develop a dislike for car engines were my husband trying to get me to work on them every week-end ...

But then, careful estimates of sexual child abuse say that 1 in 7 children is abused sexually in the western society, that boys are also abused frequently, and that such numbers are similar, irrespective of the social class of the family or of the religious orientation and of the devotion with which a religion is lived.

Many, many of these - simply don't remember ever. Others remember as adults, others always consciously know. Our psyche has so many tools to protect us from insanity, it's really difficult to say if what we know is really what we know. Regarding "forgetting" something to the extent that it's just not there at all, there were things in my live which were absolutely gone for approx 30 years - important things, life-changing after I remembered, but remembering them earlier would have been too painful for me.

But I agree, the group of asexuals is a group of many individuals, and it's as unlikely that one explanation will help as it is that headaches were to be caused by only one reason.

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starrysky
If all this is true, and you are convinced that you are completely incapable of warming up to the sex thing under any circumstances, why do you stay with someone who you feel is abusing you? I don't get it - if it's this big of a problem, why not just tell him you have to stop having sex or the marriage is over?

On the previous page I had replied to your post where you said you didn't understand why asexuals said no never ever again, and now you tell me I should say no sex ever again. So I will take that to mean you can now see the point of view of the never-again folks. That was the reason I brought it up. Compromise is not always as easy as it sounds.

As for why I stay, why do any of the people here in this thread stay together? I like everything about being married except for the sex. He is not abusing me--I'm voluntarily participating in an activity I don't like. Don't you do the same thing?

I still don't think you'll really know if you can work on sex with your husband until you are honest with him about how you feel and why and work WITH him on it. Fixing a major issue in a marriage from only one side of the equation doesn't work, no matter WHAT the issue is...

I'm really surprised that in all of those years of counseling nobody ever brought that up.

We went to marriage counseling together for my lack of interest in sex. I said I have no interest in it, I've never been interested, it hurts and I just don't want to do it. After a few months of discussing the most embarrassing details of our life, they pretty much admitted they didn't have any advice for us (other than suggesting my husband help more around the house) and our relationship was fine.

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starrysky
I am not Starrysky, but I have a response to this. Take it as me, 43-year-old-sexual-man imagining life as Starrysky.
I don't get it - if it's this big of a problem, why not just tell him you have to stop having sex or the marriage is over?

Because I'm afraid of losing my husband. Because I love him and am fearful about living on my own. Because (if I have children), I don't want to threaten their future. Because, until recently, I've thought there was something terribly wrong with me. Because all of the therapists I've seen have reinforced the idea that I'm broken in some way.

Yes, thank you, that's pretty much what I'd have said. I like being married, I want to stay married. I can't say the marriage will be over if we keep having sex, because I don't want the marriage to be over and no action on my part is going to cause its end.

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starrysky
Yes, I suppose I do have the perspective that we choose our own paths as well as the attitudes we have. I minimize nothing about suffering, but only suggest that pity is not compassion.

Since my posts are coming off in a way I don't mean them to, I am not being helpful at all and I will refrain from offering advice on this matter any further.

I wasn't looking for advice initially, I was just looking to offer some insight on why some asexuals say 'no sex ever again,' because you said you didn't understand why so many of them said that.

That said, I don't think anyone should ever stop offering advice, because you don't know who's reading these messages. What doesn't work for me might be an eye-opener for someone else who's lurking without posting and reads all this 2 weeks from now.

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starrysky

Sorry for the huge flood of posts, I was busy over the weekend and didn't have much time to read.

FTR I don't have any specific memories of sexual abuse. I have seen many therapists and of course when I say I don't like sex, they want to know what happened, and I have nothing to tell them. I seem to have the symptoms, I've even been diagnosed with PTSD, but I don't remember a traumatic event. So am I asexual, am I just averse to sex because of something that happened--I really have no idea.

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sunset

MaraKarina,

Thanks for your understanding words. I agree with all you've said about trauma. I want to respond more, but reading all this, I am blocked. It's taking me forever to write each sentence. I literally cannot put my thoughts together and I feel unsafe. This is what happens when memories are triggered - I'm no longer able to think. This is why I hate sex. Okay, I'm going to stop reading this thread, but know that I feel supported. Thanks. Chiaroscoro, please do not bring this up to me in any way. REALLY.

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Placebo

Hope you feel better soon, sunset.

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MaraKarina
MaraKarina,

Thanks for your understanding words. I agree with all you've said about trauma. I want to respond more, but reading all this, I am blocked. It's taking me forever to write each sentence. I literally cannot put my thoughts together and I feel unsafe. This is what happens when memories are triggered - I'm no longer able to think. This is why I hate sex. Okay, I'm going to stop reading this thread, but know that I feel supported. Thanks. Chiaroscoro, please do not bring this up to me in any way. REALLY.

Chiaroscoro,

I understand why Sunset doesn't want to continue reading this thread. Still I got something for her, and maybe you can - carefully - check if you can give her the following message:

After the stabbing incident - and that was "embedded" in a load of abuse approx. 5 years before it and continuing for another approx 5 - 6 years afterwards:

- I would most of the time completely block it from my memory, and definitely not talk to anyone about it, made up some different story to tell people if I couldn't avoid answering their questions. That lasted for approx. 27/28 years.

- This was followed by a time of questioning and looking into the situation. Took approx 2 - 3 years.

- Followed by a period of immense grief, of approx 6 - 9 months, during which I was able to do my job but where I spent several hours each day just crying, being miserable, the pain was so intense I could hardly bare it, and I had thought that life was really a very tough thing

- This was followed by searching, digging yet deeper, more therapy and eventually also a good 6 months of christian counseling (doesn't have to be christian of course, but this was the final step to being well again for me, so it has special importance for me). During this time I learnt many many things from my past which had been hidden, and I've finally found I'm safe enough to be the person I am which had not at all been possible before (and I'd blocked that out well enough so that I did not even notice it!!!!). This took another approx. 2 years.

Now I feel much better than ever before, and I feel that I've dealt with pretty much everything (never know for sure with such a thing because it's all hidden in the subconscious).

But it's been a nightmare to get there. Reason I've written is just to tell Sunset that I fully understand she needs to get away from the thread, and to show her the length of time it may take. I also believe that I did at no time really have a choice whether to deal with it or not, only to either deal with it via treatment or via more attempts to suppress it.

Someone once compared dealing with the many issues involved with many little balloons all filled with air which a person swimming in the water tries to hold underneath her/him. Quite a difficult thing and taking quite a lot of effort and energy as each of these balloons try to pop up. They said the therapy would help us stop trying to hold the baloons unterneath the water and be comfortable in letting them lose. - A scary thing at first, and a tough one, but eventually I found that life is really so much better now.

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Chiaroscuro

Thank you for that, Mara. It rings so true... the analogy of trying to hold balloons underwater is so perfect. I see Sunset struggling so hard, even in the little things, to keep herself safe. It exhausts her, it's so constant.

That's one of the reasons I resisted sleeping downstairs for so long. Getting me out of her bed helps her to keep the balloons submerged, but at what cost? And, even though it makes her life easier in the short term, it doesn't change the fact that she's still struggling, every day. It's hard to watch.

Thanks again for your wisdom. And thanks for your kind words Placebo. Sunset has triggers that come on her suddenly, and her response can be dramatic. But once she recovers, she's totally fine again (or at least in her normal state again).

-Chiaroscuro

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MaraKarina

Don't worry that Sunset will suppress things for too long, they will work their way up to the surface, when she's strong enough to handle them, one at the time.

Unless she'll use drugs to suppress them I wouldn't worry. Not that it's nice, but there's not really much we can do.

As a believer in God, I understand that He's our master therapist, using whatever material/information works best for us (don't ask me where he's been when the things back then happened to us though, the why and why didn't he prevent it will be my first questions to Him if I ever get a chance speaking to him in my next life!). And therefore I believe it may be a therapy, or books, for discussions, or much reflection, or a combination of everything. She'll be guided to whatever help she needs when she needs it, just-in-time.

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scorpion
I simply don't understand why more asexual people can't do this and instead seem to selfishly set down the law of 'NO SEX EVER AGAIN!' - when their partner is so willing to work at doing their part for loves sake.

I don't remember seeing this post before until someone replied to it, but I can easily understand why someone would say no sex ever again. Every day I think how long it's been since the last time, has it been too long, how long until it's been too long? I think we'll do it tonight, then I lose my nerve after dreading it half the day, then it all starts over the next day until we do it, which generally hurts so bad it feels like being stabbed in a most sensitive area. Then I feel queasy and disgusted with myself for a day, but thank goodness it's over and I can stop dreading it. Every time I tell myself I just can't do it again, that has to be the last time, until I get over it and work up my nerve again. It's a constant roller coaster I would love to get off of and it's been going on for years. If this is what other asexuals are experiencing I can completely understand why they'd say never again.

::jumping up and down shouting "me too, me too!!"::

I totally understand where you're coming from on this especially the feeling of disgust after. I finally had to stop after about 10 years of hell...and my H is NOT a very sexual guy-thank goodness. But I told him before we got married that sex was dropped down the well never to be found again on my list of priorities. I also let him know that if it was that important to him he was free to go get himself a different girlfriend.

Scorpion :)

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Daysleeper

The reazon I am here is that I was at a sexual/asexual relationship that hurted me deeply and I was looking for answers.

When I found Aven, it was shocking. I just couldnt relate at all with asexual people and trust me, I do understand straigth and gay cuz I am bisexual.

All the hope I had in my relationship just dissapeared after I read the storys of so many marriages that hadnt have sex in 10, 20, 30 years. And as a result of this new knowledge I ended that relationship.

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Wolf X Omega

I came to AVEN because there is just not enough asexy ass in my life =D, seryously tough, i haven't met ONE asexual personally in my whole life, so i rarelly had anyone to really talk to.

I am here now cus i finally got around this new pc, and finally had the time to come back

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