Jump to content
Sinking_In

How do YOU compromise in a mixed relationship?

Recommended Posts

Dodoa
13 minutes ago, uhtred said:

If you don't mind my asking, I'm curious how you can both enjoy something and not want it.   I ask because that is how my brain works- for me "enjoying" and "wanting"  seem completely tied together, unless there is some reason the "thing" is bad for me or immoral (say an addictive drug) 

 

It might help if people in my situation could understand how that works for people who feel the way you do. 

I think one possible analogy could be the way I feel about popcorn. It's definitely not my favourite salty treat. I never think oh, I'd really like some popcorn right now. When I go shopping I will walk right past it without giving it a second thought and never consider buying any at the cinema. If I never had popcorn again I wouldn't miss it at all, I probably wouldn't even notice that I hadn't had any in a long time. But if my friends have popcorn and offer me some I will gladly take it and I will enjoy it.  

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Lin345
2 hours ago, anisotrophic said:

@Lindsag345 another framework for understanding sexuality, especially in women, is the idea of "responsive desire" – there seems to be a pattern, especially in women, of experiencing desire only in response to being desired. This can lead to patterns (esp. in heterosexual couples and female partners) where someone will almost never initiate, but is interested in sex when their partner initiates. The territory here between sex-indifferent/favorable asexuality and responsive desire is a confusing one IMHO.

 

Ideas that might favor identifying with responsive desire – interest in sex in response to flirting and hints of sex, desiring to be flirted with and have a partner initiate, enjoys spontaneous sex, potentially strong desire in response to a partner initiating.

 

Ideas that might favor identifying with sex-indifferent/favorable asexuality – more responsive to explicit requests for sex rather than flirting, finds being flirted with stressful, ambivalent response to a partner initiating, wants sex to be predictable/scheduled, would be just as happy to have a partner not initiate and never have any sex.

That's just my stab at distinctions and definitions. One's own identity is ultimately an act of introspection and communication with partners.

My spouse identifies as asexual and had sex with both genders, he now considers that history as "going along with others desires". He does have sex with me (maybe once or twice a month; I initiate with an emphasis on it being OK for him to say no) – because he loves me, I'm sexual & experience sexual attraction/desire, and he values giving me the affirmation and love I experience with sex. But he does find it a positive experience. So I could also see him identifying himself as experiencing responsive desire that wants low pressure & has very low libido/interest in sex (perfectly happy without it). Ultimately, it's his identity and I think I appreciate the forthright framing of asexuality, it sets my expectations.

Hiya, 

 

I appreciate the breakdown as this is kind of a hard thing for me to decide on myself. I’ve only heard of Asexuality the past couple of years and was always like huh, that kind of sounds like me... but seemed pretty absolute, like zero desire or attraction, which doesn’t fit me. I definitely fall into the second category you mentioned, looking back I was never that interested and only had sex because I was supposed to (nothing rapey tho). I just chalked it up to being prude-like or self-conscious or inexperienced. I don’t enjoy flirting, don’t like spontaneous suggestions for sex, and I am also not very affectionate or romantic. We certainly have loving moments though, just not as often as we should. My poor, romantic, sexual husband...  I want to give him those things and I do enjoy sex when we have it, but then also try to avoid sex most of the time in those little ways. It’s so dumb. We’ve been together for almost 20 yrs, we have a 6 yr old... so it’s been easy to blame it being worse on the busy lives of working parents... but reading into this more, it seems to fit. It’s a wonder he still loves me and wants to be with me... It sounds like you and your husband have good communication about this, I don’t know if I can’t discuss this with my husband. I think I’ll just try to try harder.. 

Edited by Lindsag345
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Lin345
56 minutes ago, uhtred said:

If you don't mind my asking, I'm curious how you can both enjoy something and not want it.   I ask because that is how my brain works- for me "enjoying" and "wanting"  seem completely tied together, unless there is some reason the "thing" is bad for me or immoral (say an addictive drug) 

 

It might help if people in my situation could understand how that works for people who feel the way you do. 

I literally have no idea. I always thought something was wrong with me. I don’t think I’ll ever get to a place where I accept it’s a natural thing and not some kind of deficit. I like the idea of sex, romantic comedies and romance novels are my favorite genres... but I am not romantic or sexual in real life, it’s certainly confusing. I’m pretty convinced it’s me and not my relationship with my husband... I can find people attractive, but would never want to have sex with anyone else. I guess that’s not normal. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Lin345
41 minutes ago, Dodoa said:

I think one possible analogy could be the way I feel about popcorn. It's definitely not my favourite salty treat. I never think oh, I'd really like some popcorn right now. When I go shopping I will walk right past it without giving it a second thought and never consider buying any at the cinema. If I never had popcorn again I wouldn't miss it at all, I probably wouldn't even notice that I hadn't had any in a long time. But if my friends have popcorn and offer me some I will gladly take it and I will enjoy it.  

That is an excellent analogy. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sinking_In
1 hour ago, uhtred said:

If you don't mind my asking, I'm curious how you can both enjoy something and not want it. 

I'd like to know how that works, too! Seriously!

ME: "Look, fresh baked cookies! I love the taste of fresh baked cookies, and I haven't had any cookies since yesterday, so Hell yes I want to eat a cookie!"

MY WIFE: "Look, fresh baked cookies! I'm sure I like the taste of fresh baked cookies......" (end of thought regarding fresh baked cookies, which go uneaten)

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
anisotrophic
2 hours ago, Lindsag345 said:

I don’t know if I can’t discuss this with my husband. I think I’ll just try to try harder.. 

Maybe dangerous to start with the topic of asexuality... I can say it was devastating for me to realize my partner would never desire me... and never did, really (oof). I'd always thought he was just shy, not admitting to his desires. I felt tons of emotions... relief was one (having an explanation) but also a lot of hard ones.

Something that really helped us was to think about the idea of "love languages". Not sure if you've seen it – it's a bit of pop psychology (not "scientific") that seems to help a lot of folks. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Five_Love_Languages

For me, sexuality is a love language... it's how I communicate love to my partner and it makes me feel loved. (I can experience non-loving sex too, but setting that aside.) But... sex isn't "love" for him. (He's actually pretty indifferent about whether sex is loving or not, provided it's respectful of his own lack of interest.)

So my first reaction to realizing his asexuality was... to feel unloved. I had to unlearn that instinctive feeling. But that's true for all love languages: if your language involves saying "I love you" and a partner never says it back, you feel unloved. Etc.

For him to realize sex/love were connected for me was important: he could see that I get something important out of it, even if it's not his own experience. Conversely, for me to realize that it didn't make him feel loved was also very important! I realized I shouldn't expect him to feel loved by sex (indeed, it's a minor chore for him done out of love), and to communicate in other ways that do make him feel loved.

I'd still like to experience being desired someday. But the most important improvement was communicating love.

And yeah it seems silly figuring this out after being together a long time (for us it's 15+ years).

Best of luck & welcome to AVEN! I hope you stick around. :) :cake:

 

-----

 

Regarding @uhtred's question "why not want something you enjoy" – I'm sure he's seen this analogy from me before, but I think of it like taking our kids to the playground. I like doing it because I like seeing how happy they are, I enjoy that. But I'm only doing it because they want to – it's not because I want to go to the playground, it's because they want to go. I enjoy it, I guess it's nice to go outside and such, but I'm enjoying it mainly because they're enjoying it.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Lin345
1 hour ago, anisotrophic said:

Maybe dangerous to start with the topic of asexuality... I can say it was devastating for me to realize my partner would never desire me... and never did, really (oof). I'd always thought he was just shy, not admitting to his desires. I felt tons of emotions... relief was one (having an explanation) but also a lot of hard ones.

Something that really helped us was to think about the idea of "love languages". Not sure if you've seen it – it's a bit of pop psychology (not "scientific") that seems to help a lot of folks. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Five_Love_Languages

For me, sexuality is a love language... it's how I communicate love to my partner and it makes me feel loved. (I can experience non-loving sex too, but setting that aside.) But... sex isn't "love" for him. (He's actually pretty indifferent about whether sex is loving or not, provided it's respectful of his own lack of interest.)

So my first reaction to realizing his asexuality was... to feel unloved. I had to unlearn that instinctive feeling. But that's true for all love languages: if your language involves saying "I love you" and a partner never says it back, you feel unloved. Etc.

For him to realize sex/love were connected for me was important: he could see that I get something important out of it, even if it's not his own experience. Conversely, for me to realize that it didn't make him feel loved was also very important! I realized I shouldn't expect him to feel loved by sex (indeed, it's a minor chore for him done out of love), and to communicate in other ways that do make him feel loved.

I'd still like to experience being desired someday. But the most important improvement was communicating love.

And yeah it seems silly figuring this out after being together a long time (for us it's 15+ years).

Best of luck & welcome to AVEN! I hope you stick around. :) :cake:

 

-----

 

Regarding @uhtred's question "why not want something you enjoy" – I'm sure he's seen this analogy from me before, but I think of it like taking our kids to the playground. I like doing it because I like seeing how happy they are, I enjoy that. But I'm only doing it because they want to – it's not because I want to go to the playground, it's because they want to go. I enjoy it, I guess it's nice to go outside and such, but I'm enjoying it mainly because they're enjoying it.

Hiya. Yes, I’ve heard of the love languages and I think my husband and I chatted about it a long time ago. Thanks for sharing how that works for you, I think we should revisit it. I do want him to be happy, I need to show it more... And thanks for the welcome, I’ve never done this sort of chat board or whatever it’s called. It’s been helpful reading through other people’s thoughts, feelings, and struggles. I finally think I have an explanation for why I have always felt differently than others about sex. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
uhtred
5 hours ago, anisotrophic said:

snip

 

Regarding @uhtred's question "why not want something you enjoy" – I'm sure he's seen this analogy from me before, but I think of it like taking our kids to the playground. I like doing it because I like seeing how happy they are, I enjoy that. But I'm only doing it because they want to – it's not because I want to go to the playground, it's because they want to go. I enjoy it, I guess it's nice to go outside and such, but I'm enjoying it mainly because they're enjoying it.

I guess in my language that is doing something for someone else, not because you enjoy it.   Is that the equivalent for sex?  Maybe some asexuals say that they "enjoy" sex but mean that they like to make their spouses happy, but don't actually enjoy it themselves? That would be consistent. 

 

Language is very fuzzy on these sorts of things

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sally

After years of thinking about it, and having sex in order to please my husband and then my partner, I've finally decided that there really is no such thing as "compromise".   Compromise means neither person is content with what's happening.  Both sexuals AND asexuals feel deprived.  For someone who doesn't understand that an asexual could feel deprived, think about the fact that what the asexual wants is to not have to have sex, without anyone getting upset or unhappy.  They are deprived of the absence of sex, just as much as the sexual is deprived of the presence of sex.  

  • Like 8

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest

I don't compromise.

 

I present my hard boundaries right from the start, and decline anything beyond platonic friendship with people who can't/won't agree to these conditions.

 

If "we are not going to have sex - the utmost I am going to offer is cybering with very strict limits on what will be done, to the point that many people would rate it as 'merely one-sided foreplay'; we will also not have any closed/mono/exclusive arrangement" is any problem at all for someone, the result is that they simply get taken off the list of folks who are eligible for being in a partnership with me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Davida
On 10/25/2019 at 5:11 PM, uhtred said:

If you don't mind my asking, I'm curious how you can both enjoy something and not want it.   I ask because that is how my brain works- for me "enjoying" and "wanting"  seem completely tied together, unless there is some reason the "thing" is bad for me or immoral (say an addictive drug) 

 

It might help if people in my situation could understand how that works for people who feel the way you do. 

Regarding "wanting" and "enjoying" I neither want nor enjoy sex, so I can only speculate. 

 

I think that indeed "wanting" must precede "enjoying" to some degree. Say I'm offered ice cream for the first time. Maybe I've heard ice cream is the best, or maybe it seems gross but I'll try it if only to please the person offering it because they're so excited about me having ice cream. I have the ice cream and I enjoy it. It is want for continuation of that enjoyment that compels me to take each successive spoonful until I've finished the ice cream. Maybe I now want ice cream almost all the time. But maybe I don't think about ice cream again until the next time it's offered to me at which point I might say, "ooh ice cream, yes please!" or "nah, I had a big dinner maybe next time". 

 

In order to want something, the lack thereof must be evident. One cannot continue to want while one has at the present moment. Even in the example of eating ice cream - say I haven't even swallowed the first bite and I already want more, but what I really want is to repeat the experience of first tasting the ice cream, a moment that has passed and is now lacking. As an asexual, I am not aware of any lack of sexual activity on my part (apart from a parter's or society's expectations of me) because it's just not how I operate. I suppose for some sex-favorable asexuals it may be more like it wouldn't occur to them to buy ice cream from the grocery for themselves, but if it were being served by someone else and they hadn't had too much dinner, they may agree to enjoy some. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Davida
On 10/23/2019 at 6:02 PM, Davida said:

I am benefitting from this conversation and I thank you all so much for sharing. ❤️

 

@Sinking_In, I hope you'll keep sharing your reflections on this new chapter of your life. Many of us will benefit hearing how the new agreement with your spouse goes, especially because it is unfolding as we speak.

 

I began talking with my husband about how I truly feel regarding sex only very recently. For all my life, I believed I was broken, and I had to fix myself to have a normal life. I didn't understand what asexuality as an orientation meant until even more recently. I didn't have the context or vocabulary of asexuality as an orientation when I began to be able to articulate how I truly feel to my husband. All I knew was that I had to stop trying to force myself to be different; I had to let go of the belief that I'm not good enough. I told him I chose him and still choose him above all others to be my partner for life. But, I would set him free if that's what he needed. I told him although it made me uncomfortable, I would devote energy to learning to adjust to an open marriage if that's what he wanted. He wants to stay with me, and only wants me. I am relieved, but the issue of where do we go from here remains. I need to speak with him regarding what I've learned about asexuality and how strongly it resonates with me. I can't believe how scary that seems... 

I came out as asexual to my husband three nights ago. Here are the highlights of what we've learned so far. (The whole story is considerably lengthier and I didn't want to take up too much real estate here.)

1. He was not at all surprised.

2. The five stages of grief are denial/isolation; anger; bargaining; depression; acceptance. While at first he met this news with relative equanimity, the next day he was suffering from a a perfect storm of denial+isolation+bargaining+depression. He asked me several questions all of which were along the lines of attempting to make me the villain. I answered all his questions in a calm and informative manner (as far from defensive as I could muster). He later apologized for any disrespect and confessed that he had been dangerously depressed all day.

3. Besides answering his questions, I talked. Giving myself permission to be this truthful about who I am is brand new to me. Therefore, my talking was all thinking out loud. What occurred to me and what I told my husband was (with the explicit caveat that in no way was I trying to lure or hook him) that it seems theoretically possible that we will be able to experience MORE intimacy now that I'm out because previously we were attempting intimacy in the context of "what's wrong with her?" "why is she so weird?" "she must not really love him", but if we understand and accept our true selves, then things will necessarily be different.

4. By the next day (yesterday) my husband was accepting, and we spent a long time snuggling that morning and kissing our two puppies. He and I are both spiritual seekers. I am completely certain that the speed with which he arrived at acceptance, and the sense of empowerment I experienced which prompted me to let go of the identity of a broken heterosexual were phenomenal occurrences. (His top spiritual guides are David Hawkins and A Course in Miracles. I also benefit from those sources, but am magnetically inclined towards Hinduism.)

5. He offered to me as a gift complete control over sexual boundaries. He told me I was brave. He said he believes that all experiences in life are ultimately for our benefit. We discussed our understanding of sensual vs sexual, and he stated that as long as we did sensual he would be happy. I told him I could do sensual all day long - it's just that previously I was terribly anxious about his believing that sensual is necessarily a gateway to sexual. I trust that he understands me better now. My goodness, I understand myself better now! I trust we will both find joy in getting to know each other better.

6. One day later (today) all good. We keep checking in with each other in a loving way. We are enjoying a lot more affection than we have for a very long time. He is happy. I am happy. I feel safe.

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
AceMissBehaving
On 10/25/2019 at 4:11 PM, uhtred said:

If you don't mind my asking, I'm curious how you can both enjoy something and not want it.   I ask because that is how my brain works- for me "enjoying" and "wanting"  seem completely tied together, unless there is some reason the "thing" is bad for me or immoral (say an addictive drug) 

 

It might help if people in my situation could understand how that works for people who feel the way you do. 

It’s kind of like when you make a commitment to go to a party, but when the time comes to do the thing you’re happy at home watching TV, petting a cat etc, so you just want to stay doing that, but you have to go.
 

So you get dressed, get in the car and start heading to the party, but you have to drag yourself through every step because you just want to be comfy and home and not do this.

 

Then you get there, and after a while start to perk up, get talking to friends and have a great time, maybe even agree to this other party the next week because this was actually possibly even fun.

 

Then next week rolls around, and your really happy doing what you were doing, and really don’t want to go, but you have to.... repeat as before 

 

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Whore*of*Mensa
2 hours ago, AceMissBehaving said:

It’s kind of like when you make a commitment to go to a party, but when the time comes to do the thing you’re happy at home watching TV, petting a cat etc, so you just want to stay doing that, but you have to go.
 

So you get dressed, get in the car and start heading to the party, but you have to drag yourself through every step because you just want to be comfy and home and not do this.

 

Then you get there, and after a while start to perk up, get talking to friends and have a great time, maybe even agree to this other party the next week because this was actually possibly even fun.

 

Then next week rolls around, and your really happy doing what you were doing, and really don’t want to go, but you have to.... repeat as before 

 

I would compare to jogging or an exercise class?

 

Back in the day, I read stuff about how sex is a physical need, something about having a longer life, other stuff about how important it is for a relationship, stuff about oxytocin. So many half-baked things absorbed through various magazine articles; I ended up with a vague idea that it was a healthy and necessary thing to do, and pushed myself into doing it. As in an exercise class, after a while the endorphins kick in, the socialising/connection is nice, you are out of your comfort zone but also in a different head-space to the one you were in before.  Best of all, your partner is now looking at you in a happy, loving way...You're glad you did it. You can't wait to go for another run next Tuesday.

 

Then next Tuesday comes and...you don't really feel like going for a run...

 

* Edit: writing this has just led me to a moment of self discovery...

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
AceMissBehaving

@Davida that was very similar to how things went when I told my husband too, I’m glad things have been feeling better for you now too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Davida
1 hour ago, AceMissBehaving said:

@Davida that was very similar to how things went when I told my husband too, I’m glad things have been feeling better for you now too.

@AceMissBehaving, thank you so much for your support. ❤️

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
anisotrophic

@Davida um. It took me about six months to feel better than I did before. The "stages of grief" (as anyone who has grieved knows) are not ordered, and they come and go.

 

I don't think you should rest on laurels & assume your partner is as happy as he claims to feel.

 

Broadly speaking, a change like this takes a long time to reach new stability, if that's even possible; it's a long process and people sometimes decide to part ways -- slowly or quickly. I would consider it a foundational shift, as potentially disruptive as change in gender identity.

 

Sorry, I can't know about your particular relationship, but your update seemed a bit... unrealistically positive.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Davida
7 minutes ago, anisotrophic said:

@Davida um. It took me about six months to feel better than I did before. The "stages of grief" (as anyone who has grieved knows) are not ordered, and they come and go.

 

I don't think you should rest on laurels & assume your partner is as happy as he claims to feel.

 

Broadly speaking, a change like this takes a long time to reach new stability, if that's even possible; it's a long process and people sometimes decide to part ways -- slowly or quickly. I would consider it a foundational shift, as potentially disruptive as change in gender identity.

 

Sorry, I can't know about your particular relationship, but your update seemed a bit... unrealistically positive.

Peace and love to you, @anisotrophic

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sally
1 hour ago, Davida said:

Peace and love to you, @anisotrophic

I know that was a well-meant wish, but it doesn't really address what anisotrophic said.  Do you have a response?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Davida
8 hours ago, Sally said:

I know that was a well-meant wish, but it doesn't really address what anisotrophic said.  Do you have a response?

@Sally I literally was reading AVEN's policy on invalidation when the notification for anisotrophic's post came in. I would have been willing to discuss with them if they had come in the spirit of seeking understanding, sharing, and support. As it stands, I have zero interest in defending the authenticity of my experience. I would like to continue to share on this forum as things develop in my relationship. Assumptions that another member is inert or inauthentic are neither supportive nor conducive to educational discussion. 

 

If it helps to clarify, my husband and I have been dealing intimacy issues for many years, and only recently have had a breakthrough; and I am aware that our relationship, the process of grief, and my husband's and my emotional states are all dynamic and always changing and developing.

 

I spent most of my life without the tiniest shred of belief that I could ever experience peace, love, or happiness. I was in hell. Through relentless self-effort and divine grace, I experience life drastically differently now. The happiness my husband and I are enjoying is absolutely genuine and a precious gift that we cherish and nurture. To anyone who finds that unbelievable, truly my heart goes out to them because I know what that's like, and I do sincerely wish them peace and love.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Mike39
15 hours ago, Davida said:

5. He offered to me as a gift complete control over sexual boundaries. He told me I was brave. He said he believes that all experiences in life are ultimately for our benefit. We discussed our understanding of sensual vs sexual, and he stated that as long as we did sensual he would be happy. I told him I could do sensual all day long - it's just that previously I was terribly anxious about his believing that sensual is necessarily a gateway to sexual. I trust that he understands me better now. My goodness, I understand myself better now! I trust we will both find joy in getting to know each other better.
 

So great to see that you feel finally safe :)
Just short direct question about your partner. How it works for him? What about general urological need for sexual relief? You have found some way to do that together or he masturbates lonely in the bathroom? Sorry if this is a too direct question, but I was really looking for such answers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Whore*of*Mensa

@Davidait’s really brave of you to share on here. I hope your relationship continues in that loving vein and you both continue to feel happy as you work through this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Davida
40 minutes ago, Mike39 said:

So great to see that you feel finally safe :)
Just short direct question about your partner. How it works for him? What about general urological need for sexual relief? You have found some way to do that together or he masturbates lonely in the bathroom? Sorry if this is a too direct question, but I was really looking for such answers.

Thanks for your support, @Mike39 ❤️

 

During the process of me coming out to him, our conversations naturally led to an understanding of what we could both be comfortable with, which in a nutshell is sensual yes, sexual no. Just last night my husband said something affirming regarding compromise. Note that we had not even uttered this word in the course of our conversations. He brought it up. He said, this doesn't even feel like a compromise to me - it just feels right for us. He said that ironically he feels more confident and comfortable with his sexuality than ever before. He said that he realized that a major part of his drive is to please. He assumed that it meant to please me sexually. But he now understands that he has the ability and capacity to please me in different ways and he finds deep gratification in that. Something has fundamentally shifted for him, it seems. He is highly sexual and usually easy aroused. (Slight TMI next) But, last night we were engaged in sensual intimacy and he did not develop an erection. (End of TMI) This level of comfort is new for us. I am also curious to know how he will be able to handle the physical urge for sexual release, and feel much more comfortable talking with him about it. As this renaissance of our relationship continues, I will have more to share on this as I learn. 

 

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Davida
47 minutes ago, Whore*of*Mensa said:

@Davidait’s really brave of you to share on here. I hope your relationship continues in that loving vein and you both continue to feel happy as you work through this

@Whore*of*Mensa, thank so you so much, my dear! ❤️

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sinking_In
17 hours ago, AceMissBehaving said:

It’s kind of like when you make a commitment to go to a party, but when the time comes to do the thing you’re happy at home watching TV, petting a cat etc, so you just want to stay doing that, but you have to go.
 

So you get dressed, get in the car and start heading to the party, but you have to drag yourself through every step because you just want to be comfy and home and not do this.

 

Then you get there, and after a while start to perk up, get talking to friends and have a great time, maybe even agree to this other party the next week because this was actually possibly even fun.

 

Then next week rolls around, and your really happy doing what you were doing, and really don’t want to go, but you have to.... repeat as before 

I like the analogy, but all things being equal, what is healthier for the relationships (both the friends and SO), to sit at home with the cat, or to somewhat regularly commingle? Not that I'm pushing, but rather posing the question: is enough consideration given by the asexual to that fact that the overall health of relationships may be dependent on intimate interaction, be it physical or emotional, and to those (SO) for which the two are intertwined? Yes, consideration must be given to the asexual's dislike/ disinterest in sex. I hate to compare sex to chores, but since it really is one in the eyes of some (or most) asexual people, I dislike/ am disinterested in washing the dishes, but I regularly do a good job of it, because when they pile up....no one likes a mountain of dirty dishes in the sink. They get nasty and even harder to do the longer they sit. Again, not trying in invalidate asexuality, at all, but just trying to add a little validation to the benefit of sex in relationships. Also, this is in regards to already mixed relationships, for the sex indifferent, who have actively engaged in sex. I'd never suggest someone who is asexual (especially sex averse) actively pursue a mixed relationship and try to engage in sex to make it work. I think we can all agree that is not healthy for anyone. I also understand that "the compromise" is compromising for all, and never easy on either party, and my intent is never to offend. I appreciate everyone's input here, and it all is very helpful! Thank you!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sinking_In
On 10/26/2019 at 12:09 AM, Sally said:

After years of thinking about it, and having sex in order to please my husband and then my partner, I've finally decided that there really is no such thing as "compromise".   Compromise means neither person is content with what's happening.  Both sexuals AND asexuals feel deprived.  For someone who doesn't understand that an asexual could feel deprived, think about the fact that what the asexual wants is to not have to have sex, without anyone getting upset or unhappy.  They are deprived of the absence of sex, just as much as the sexual is deprived of the presence of sex.  

It seems the solution here is to avoid mixed relationships, entirely. I can agree with this, but there are many (probably millions) already in mixed relationships, with a lot invested in them. For them, someone will be compromising, either both will, or only one will, if they wish to stay in the relationship. Neither are great options, just the only options (aside from ending the relationship).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sinking_In
On 10/25/2019 at 2:35 PM, Dodoa said:

I think one possible analogy could be the way I feel about popcorn. It's definitely not my favourite salty treat. I never think oh, I'd really like some popcorn right now. When I go shopping I will walk right past it without giving it a second thought and never consider buying any at the cinema. If I never had popcorn again I wouldn't miss it at all, I probably wouldn't even notice that I hadn't had any in a long time. But if my friends have popcorn and offer me some I will gladly take it and I will enjoy it.

THIS is a good one, because I can relate. There are many foods/ treats that I will eat, but I make no effort to seek out. Pumpkin pie comes to mind (sorry for the pumpkin pie lovers!): I expect there will be pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving. I don't avoid Thanksgiving because it, but I will also have a slice when it comes around. I don't mind the taste, and if it's a good one, I will probably like it and get another piece. After that, I probably won't think about pumpkin pie, again, or if I do, I won'y go out and get a slice. Now, if I were to marry a baker who bakes an awful lot of pumpkin pies, I'd suspect I would be eating a lot more pumpkin pie, and yes, it would probably be a lot more often than I'd like, and some days I would not particularly enjoy it. In that regard, I sympathize. I will remember that sex to my wife is like eating pumpkin pie for myself. Oof! I just imagined gorging on pumpkin pie, and how sick it would make me feel :(

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
AceMissBehaving
25 minutes ago, Sinking_In said:

I like the analogy, but all things being equal, what is healthier for the relationships (both the friends and SO), to sit at home with the cat, or to somewhat regularly commingle? Not that I'm pushing, but rather posing the question: is enough consideration given by the asexual to that fact that the overall health of relationships may be dependent on intimate interaction, be it physical or emotional, and to those (SO) for which the two are intertwined? Yes, consideration must be given to the asexual's dislike/ disinterest in sex. I hate to compare sex to chores, but since it really is one in the eyes of some (or most) asexual people, I dislike/ am disinterested in washing the dishes, but I regularly do a good job of it, because when they pile up....no one likes a mountain of dirty dishes in the sink. They get nasty and even harder to do the longer they sit. Again, not trying in invalidate asexuality, at all, but just trying to add a little validation to the benefit of sex in relationships. Also, this is in regards to already mixed relationships, for the sex indifferent, who have actively engaged in sex. I'd never suggest someone who is asexual (especially sex averse) actively pursue a mixed relationship and try to engage in sex to make it work. I think we can all agree that is not healthy for anyone. I also understand that "the compromise" is compromising for all, and never easy on either party, and my intent is never to offend. I appreciate everyone's input here, and it all is very helpful! Thank you!

I very much understand the importance of that form of intimacy for most in a mixed relationship.

 

My post was in answer to @uhtred question of, “how can you enjoy something and not want it?” So I was just giving an example to illustrate how that might feel.

 

Though your analogy about dishes is a good one for how the more frustration builds up over time, the harder it is to make sex happen.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Memento1
6 minutes ago, Sinking_In said:

THIS is a good one, because I can relate. There are many foods/ treats that I will eat, but I make no effort to seek out. Pumpkin pie comes to mind (sorry for the pumpkin pie lovers!): I expect there will be pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving. I don't avoid Thanksgiving because it, but I will also have a slice when it comes around. I don't mind the taste, and if it's a good one, I will probably like it and get another piece. After that, I probably won't think about pumpkin pie, again, or if I do, I won't go out and get a slice. Now, if I were to marry a baker who bakes an awful lot of pumpkin pies, I'd suspect I would be eating a lot more pumpkin pie, and yes, it would probably be a lot more often than I'd like, and some days I would not particularly enjoy it. In that regard, I sympathize. I will remember that sex to my wife is like eating pumpkin pie for myself. Oof! I just imagined gorging on pumpkin pie, and how sick it would make me feel 

LOL.  This was an amusing story, and quite reflective of my feelings!  It's exactly why the cake symbol fits with my personal experience of demisexuality.  If I have cake, yay!  But only a small amount.  And I don't hanker for cake - I'd be content never having cake again.  And if I'm pressured into having cake, I can't enjoy it.

 

I think how a lot of unhappy mismatched relationships develop is basically exactly that: people who enjoyed the occasional cake ate so much cake for the sake of their partner now they never want another slice again.  It's incredibly hard to get back in touch with the feeling of ever enjoying cake when it's now tainted with years of frustration.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
anisotrophic
3 hours ago, Davida said:

@Sally I literally was reading AVEN's policy on invalidation when the notification for anisotrophic's post came in. I would have been willing to discuss with them if they had come in the spirit of seeking understanding, sharing, and support. As it stands, I have zero interest in defending the authenticity of my experience. I would like to continue to share on this forum as things develop in my relationship. Assumptions that another member is inert or inauthentic are neither supportive nor conducive to educational discussion. 

As @Snao van der Cone observed in one of the related threads regarding invalidation, there are members here who have been through paths of self-discovery (or such discoveries in their partner – or both, in my case, perhaps), and had experiences, and we share our lessons in hindsight. Mindful of that, I hope I framed my response as a note of caution based on my observations of broad patterns of how couples experience the process, as well as my own personal experience. When personal experiences and observations of patterns imply a contradiction with your own experience, they may seem invalidating.

I offer it for what it is, while being careful to recognize that I cannot know your particular relationship. My own relationship has probably been one of the happier stories. I think compromise is an ugly goal, but what uncompromising love for each other's sexualities means will vary for each couple. And when someone comes out in the course of a relationship, I think what happens after is almost always a complicated process.

Your ongoing lessons are certainly welcomed, and you're free to set aside my words of caution as inapplicable to your situation.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...