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Wife doesn't orgasm


hub49
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She's moving into the age where she'll need prescription estradiol cream, used twice weekly on days there is no sex (it's not edible. It's absorbed into the tissue and has to   be used regularly, to replace the drying effects of lowering estrogen levels). Regular, over the counter lubricant no longer cuts it, used solely, for aging women. Both are normally needed.

What has been her reason for not wanting you to perform oral sex? Many women prefer that, and get far stronger orgasms with that rather than penetration. 

If you two can't even discuss that, it's really sad. 

That's why I previously recommended a professional therapist who will both help you two as far as communication, and who might also have better skills at getting your wife to open up about anything she fears, emotional baggage, and what she desires but doesn't know how to go about it. Good luck and let us know how it goes.

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The mentions of her reluctance to communicate and him figuring 'why bother?' and not trying as well:

My bf would rather have a root canal then have a challenging conversation, but I pursue it anyway.  Why?  Because I was in an 18 yr marriage where I didn't communicate, felt unheard if I tried, so I didn't bother.  I was resentful and completely shut down. For every unresolved conflict became a brick and when enough bricks became insurmountable, the wall was too high to bring down.  

Not to say that I didn't try. There was nothing more important to me than keeping my family together.  I went to counseling initially alone and learned to own my part in the dynamic.  We went to marriage counseling together.  Couples counseling only works if both parties are equally invested in healthy change.  Unfortunately, my ex was invested in keeping things the way they were.  Where his wife didn't have voice and acquiesced to all his demands. Unfortunately, she grew up and grew out of this and left.

I have no regrets that I didn't try everything. I was an enthusiastic student in therapy and took all the advice to heart.  I learned to have a voice and learned there is really no-other-way-around-it. 

Conflicts are still not my thing and though it doesn't come easy for me, I sure as heck speak up now.  From where I sit there absolutely no other way to have an emotionally close connected relationship with someone without it.  Sex really doesn't happen or at least work well minus an emotional connection.

So, pity my bf who'd rather not talk about the tough stuff.  <I say jokingly>

Edited by reinventmyself
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33 minutes ago, Andrina said:

What has been her reason for not wanting you to perform oral sex? Many women prefer that, and get far stronger orgasms with that rather than penetration. 

She wants to kiss me during intercourse and doesn't want to smell herself on my face. 

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3 hours ago, JoyfulCompany said:

OP, thank you for clarifying. I get it now.

I'm sorry that you have abandonment trauma. And, as fantastic as it may be if you seek solo help for it, I think such issues could greatly improve from being worked on in a relationship. To learn to be vulnerable enough to ask for certain validation and for your partner, knowing how important it is to you, to give you such in a loving way could help tremendously.

Hard part is recognising your triggers before it all escalates and one or both of you get continuously hurt. Most of the time the other party has their own issues and situations can get cloudy and disconnected. Would help if you're aware of each other's triggers. But there should be an open channel for communication or at least some sort of eagerness to open it and work from there.
 

Thank you so much for the kind comments.  I have a hard time processing things without reverting to the abandonment/deficit lens.  Here's a good example and it's not even sex-related.  This evening, I almost flipped my lid because my wife had to work late and took a long time to meet me at the park to play tennis.  You read that right.  I wasn't upset about something in the bedroom this time.  It was about playing tennis.

It's like the 49-year-old man with a kid of his own reverted back to being a 9-year-old kid sitting on the steps of his home in NYC waiting for his dad to come home to play some ball.  But dad worked a lot so it didn't happen much.  I remember like yesterday a time when he got off work early to play ball and he went running and I rode my bike alongside him.  Why do I remember it so vividly?  Because it hardly ever happened.  Do he and I have much of a relationship today?  I went five years without calling him and only reached out on his 75th birthday at the insistence of my own son, who is a kinder person than I've ever met before.  I digress...

But to those who would ask why I would leave the marriage relationship... if I see myself in the role of someone emotionally abandoned, I also see that - at nearly 50 - I'm not a little kid anymore, and I have choice and I can exit a situation where I feel "less than."  That's a context surrounding all of this.  If you don't understand where I'm coming from, it's fine, no hard feelings.  It means you had a very different existence than I had. If so, please consider yourself blessed in that respect.

 

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5 hours ago, hub49 said:

The fear of making myself vulnerable; the fear of disappointing someone; the fear that I may be with the wrong person.

You call yourself Lost but I feel lost. 

 

 

hub,

I have read all of your words and as this threads goes on I can see that this really isn't about your wife having an orgasm or not, it is about you looking for happiness from other than within.

I would bet if your wife had intense orgasms you would still be feeling this way.  It is a symptom, not the actual illness. 

What has been your recent experience with therapy?

I was Lost and Hurt when I landed here and I am neither now but it is what I call myself here.

Lost

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12 minutes ago, lostandhurt said:

I have read all of your words and as this threads goes on I can see that this really isn't about your wife having an orgasm or not, it is about you looking for happiness from other than within.

I would bet if your wife had intense orgasms you would still be feeling this way.  It is a symptom, not the actual illness.

^ This.  I didn't want to enter this thread at all, but have been following it with great interest.  Had to specifically log in to rep this post.

I agree with therapy to help you dig deeper to what is really going on. Look within.

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OP, I'm "blessed" with similar issues, so I get it. Also similar to lostandhurt, when I came to this forum, I was a mess. But it also somewhat coincided with the start of my therapy, in which I have been ever since. It's been about 8 years now and I'm at a much better place inside.

When we've craved something our whole lives, since we didn't get it from a caregiver, we tend to look for it in the Other, the Partner, the SO. I'm referring to "The Eden Project: In Search of the Magical Other" by James Hollis here, look it up if you'd like. We want to have the relationship we feel we were robbed off back then.

The problem is this emptiness inside, this feeling of less than is something we carry in ourselves and we play it over and over again in relationships, trying to compensate and confront it. So, yes, you have every right to leave a relationship you're not happy in, but sooner or later it will come up in the next one. You may find another partner who you completely click with in the bedroom, and then they'll trigger you in some other way. Heck, I feel triggered even by my therapist sometimes and she's there with the sole purpose of helping me.

One of the many ways therapy helped me in, was to start forming me as the parent I needed towards myself and my wounded child inside. I didn't have the ability to sooth myself when I was hurt or scared, to show, stand and speak up for myself, to encourage myself but now it happens more times than it doesn't.

In the situation you describe in your last post you're waiting for your wife to show to an arrangement, she's working late but she eventually comes. So she reminds you of your dad but is not abandoning you like your dad. Similarly, in the bedroom, she's not orgasming and is refusing certain stuff, but she is regularly there for you.

I'm not saying save your marriage at all cost. I'm saying - evaluate the presence of love, trust and compassions in your current relationship and see if it's a base you two will be willing to work on.

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14 hours ago, hub49 said:

And she's modest so she may not want to draw much attention to having cum. I'm trying to see all sides of it here.

I think you should probably just try talking to her.  We can't know what she's really thinking, but you're in the situation, so you should hopefully be able to get some answers ❤️ .  

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, JoyfulCompany said:

The problem is this emptiness inside, this feeling of less than is something we carry in ourselves and we play it over and over again in relationships, trying to compensate and confront it. So, yes, you have every right to leave a relationship you're not happy in, but sooner or later it will come up in the next one. You may find another partner who you completely click with in the bedroom, and then they'll trigger you in some other way. Heck, I feel triggered even by my therapist sometimes and she's there with the sole purpose of helping me.

One of the many ways therapy helped me in, was to start forming me as the parent I needed towards myself and my wounded child inside. I didn't have the ability to sooth myself when I was hurt or scared, to show, stand and speak up for myself, to encourage myself but now it happens more times than it doesn't.

In the situation you describe in your last post you're waiting for your wife to show to an arrangement, she's working late but she eventually comes. So she reminds you of your dad but is not abandoning you like your dad. Similarly, in the bedroom, she's not orgasming and is refusing certain stuff, but she is regularly there for you.
 

I had been seeing a therapist off and on since 2013 (and even some off and on periods long before that).  It wasn't because of my wife not orgasming.  There were other issues in the relationship, plus I was not feeling great about work and other things.  The therapist was a great guy and helpful in his own right, but the sessions were being a predictable auto-loop on both sides, and I thought a change in energy was needed.  

When I started with the new therapist in November, the lack of orgasm was at the forefront of what I wanted to talk about, but there were other things on my mind.  I was at a place of teetering back and forth between: do I stay in this relationship or do I leave when my son graduates high school?  I was hoping to come out of this experience with a definitive answer in either direction.

With the new therapist, it was evident we had to fix some other things first before we could really address the whole lack of orgasm issue.  I learned that I had unresolved grief from previous relationships (romantic, friendships) which had never really been processed.  One of those was a close friend from my high school days.  We spent tons of time together, had the same interests, continued to talk and hang out even after I went away to college.  Then suddenly he ghosts me in the summer of my sophomore year.  We later reconnected on Facebook, but it was never anything close to the same.  I never knew what I did to upset him (and I never asked).  He died of COVID three days before Christmas last year and that really hit me hard.  

It may not seem like it from what I write here, and how I interact with the world around me, but the therapy with the new person has given me a new energy and approach.  Not long after I started seeing him, I found that I was more confident in the bedroom.  It was similar to when I stopped doing my job and being obsessed with pleasing my bosses, I did much better work and enjoyed it more.  I stopped worrying so much about 'am I pleasing my wife?' that she seemed to respond more and I was having more fun.  

Her making the comment about reaching a peak with pleasure/excitement/etc was huge because she normally doesn't say anything.  Do I expect her to hit that every time?  I don't think that's realistic or even necessary.  The idea of giving her a "peak" excites me.  If I was with someone I didn't care about, I'd be like, whatever, I got mine.

My earlier therapist would always tell me, "You are where you are supposed to be."  Expressed by him another way, "If this relationship was completely intolerable, you wouldn't stay.  We wouldn't be having this conversation.  You would've been gone already."  

With the new therapist, I've realized it's an either-and for me, not an either-or.  Some days I will feel good about the relationship and want to stay, while others I'll feel like, get me out of here.  A decision about whether to stay or go isn't going to be like putting marbles on a balance scale and seeing which side tips more.  If I don't need to make a decision right in this moment, then don't ruminate over it.  When it's time to make a move, you'll know.  

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1 hour ago, hub49 said:

With the new therapist, I've realized it's an either-and for me, not an either-or.  Some days I will feel good about the relationship and want to stay, while others I'll feel like, get me out of here. 

That's excellent. Keep up the good work and explore what's going on before making live-changing decisions.

There's two types of people who won't see physicians or therapists. Those who don't need it and those who need it most. Of course the latter group thinks they're in the former group.

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This is all very true Hub,

 

Our issues in life normally stem deeper. Sometimes they are straight forward but often, not.

 

Also just to note. On a purely technical front! I have slept with quite a few women, and I am one myself. I have never used lube or needed too but I understand lube after a certain age does play a bit of a vital part in a lot of women’s sex lives and there is absolutely no shame in that.

 

In my experience, women’s appetites sexually, vary so differently, you have to explore what will be niche too them, and learn about them to make it work for both you and her.

 

Some women, being pounded is going to be heavenly, other women, this is their idea of bad sex! Some women are inbetween. Some women like slow and gentle, some women want to start soft and tender and then build up to more. Some women are more on the kinky side. Some women will prefer a certain position to others. Some women will want the majority of sex to be foreplay. Some women have no time for foreplay and enjoy just getting too it! Some women like more of a dominant role in bed, some women want to be submissive, some women like a mish mash of both. Some women, the atmosphere and mood of where they are matters - candles, maybe some wine before. Maybe they like to get dressed up. Some women, their ideal would be spontaneous and cheeky, an outdoor sex situation or, spur of the moment.

 

It really is so vastly different from woman to woman. I know women who mostly always used toys and some who would never. You can go on. You could give 50 women the same sex toy and they will all use it slightly differently. 
 

Also to note, women’s, I hate to use this word, it is so clinical and unglamorous but, every woman’s vagina is shaped differently. Some are naturally bigger and deeper. Everyone’s is angled differently. The ones who have shallow vaginas will be unlikely to want lots of deep and hard sex. Women who have longer vaginas will be more likely to like deep, hard sex. 
 

Also, whether a woman has had children does play a part. Generally, if you have never had children, you are tighter, and will need a slower start. The more children you have, the “looser” everything gets, unless you are doing daily pelvic floor exercises to an Olympic level! 🤣 More children often actually aid women’s sex lives which I find, the opposite is often touted! It will destroy you! Sometimes a bi-product of lots of babies is, a faster warm up 🥴
 

Some women would be happy with twice a week. Others daily. Some twice or more a day. Others once a month would do them happily. You can see where I’m going with this!

 

I have worked in the sex industry, been to swingers clubs, I have seen it all. All it has taught me is, everyone is different, especially women! They are little little Pandora boxes! Sex for women starts in the mind. Sex for men starts visually and physically. In general. You can see why there is often a clash! 
 

It just boils down to communication. I think! In all aspects of a relationship, not just the sexual dynamic. Being a good lover and a good partner is, open communication and in the bedroom, an unselfish and highly patient attitude. Also, knowing your wife or husband inside out is so valuable, because you know what they like and don’t and also, they will feel comfortable with you to whisper hey; I wanna try this or that out. They feel like they won’t be judged, and you will accommodate.
 

During good sex this is obviously none verbal but, since you and your wife are having this clash of needs and communication, I do support the idea others have said of, couples therapy, and then your single therapy working through your other problems that you are unhappy with.

 

I really do wish you all the best.
 

Happiness and peace personally and that ultimately, you and your wife can openly work through this because, I think everyone would rather a long term marriage get over a hurdle than end in divorce. If this has to be so, it has to be so, but I think you and your wife deserve that platform to talk and try to work through this together in the open, acknowledge problems where problems are, and also acknowledge the good stuff too!

 

I think we all feel for you and wish you the best! 
 

x

 

 

Edited by mylolita
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16 hours ago, mylolita said:

The ones who have shallow vaginas will be unlikely to want lots of deep and hard sex. Women who have longer vaginas will be more likely to like deep, hard sex. 

So to be nerdy 😉  I took an upper level class in college about sex, taught by an amazing woman who ended up becoming our Dean of Sciences and had been an Ob-gyn Dr.  She was just incredible, and was So so honest.  My husband sat in on the lectures... which was a fun, sexy activity by itself!

We learned that any vagina, by it's design, when a woman is properly turned on, lengthens to any size of any penis (within reason I'm sure - natural things, not fake stuff women may try).  The uterus pulls back, and the vagina, when extremely turned on, lengthens, even the shortest ones.  

I'm sure everyone is still different in the design, but most can accommodate deep penetration.  Some of the women that believe they can't, may not have ever truly been turned on properly due to a partner not knowing how or her herself not understanding her own sexuality.

16 hours ago, mylolita said:

All it has taught me is, everyone is different, especially women! They are little little Pandora boxes!

I think part of this is because so many women really are sexually repressed.  They don't know it, they may *think* that because they're been having sex for years or decades, that they really understand it and how their body will respond.  But I think many women out there have various sexual hangups and problems and inhibitions that never really get worked out for the most part... which is sad 😕 .  So I don't know if it's really just as simple as, "Well, everyone is just different."  Or if it's more like, "probably most don't really understand their own sexual biology, to even know or understand it can be better."  

Like the woman that Lost was with... she didn't regularly orgasm until him.  How many other women are out there like that?  I think there are *a lot*.

Edited by maritalbliss86
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51 minutes ago, maritalbliss86 said:

So to be nerdy 😉  I took an upper level class in college about sex, taught by an amazing woman who ended up becoming our Dean of Sciences and had been an Ob-gyn Dr.  She was just incredible, and was So so honest.  My husband sat in on the lectures... which was a fun, sexy activity by itself!

We learned that any vagina, by it's design, when a woman is properly turned on, lengthens to any size of any penis (within reason I'm sure - natural things, not fake stuff women may try).  The uterus pulls back, and the vagina, when extremely turned on, lengthens, even the shortest ones.  

I'm sure everyone is still different in the design, but most can accommodate deep penetration.  Some of the women that believe they can't, may not have ever truly been turned on properly due to a partner not knowing how or her herself not understanding her own sexuality.

I think part of this is because so many women really are sexually repressed.  They don't know it, they may *think* that because they're been having sex for years or decades, that they really understand it and how their body will respond.  But I think many women out there have various sexual hangups and problems and inhibitions that never really get worked out for the most part... which is sad 😕 .  So I don't know if it's really just as simple as, "Well, everyone is just different."  Or if it's more like, "probably most don't really understand their own sexual biology, to even know or understand it can be better."  

Like the woman that Lost was with... she didn't regularly orgasm until him.  How many other women are out there like that?  I think there are *a lot*.

Of course Marital,

 

But being able to accommodate deeper does not automatically means likes it like that.

 

I realise all women of nations are built differently as well. As you will know; Asian women have the “smallest” most “petite” vaginas and the men on average have the smallest penises. The opposite end of the scale is true for Africans. The men on average are bigger and the women’s vaginas are bigger to accommodate this through evolution.

 

I still think it is so varied. Varied also in the mood, what type of mood a woman is in even. One night she might want something fast paced and another night, not so much. One thing doesn’t fit generally I don’t think.

 

I think most men feel like, getting a woman to climax is like being in a cockpit of plane that is about to crash land and all the red buttons are flashing on and off and they have to stop it before it plummets to the ground 🤣

 

I mean, I am all for experts some of the time, but when it comes to sex? In my experience, it’s a natural thing that is organic and unprocessed, and you can read all you want but there is nothing like just doing it and trying a million things to get the real experience!

 

For example, you can read all the techniques on kissing; all the different types, and read romance novels; and talk to a sex therapist about what it is like to kiss someone and how to do it “correctly”. You could even Google techniques. But nothing is going to come close to real life time in the field here 🤣 A natural feel for it shall we say and just, sorry but, especially in the case for men, experience! 
 

I don’t think books and lectures on sex even come close. Well, not when you find yourself on a Saturday night in an orgy LOL! These things just happen and you have had a cocktail and Y’know, that text book can go down where the filter lays in the tub for me! 
 

I mean; I personally change all the time.  I have a very adventurous sex life and have done especially in the past. But I realise this is a niche and not most women’s preference. I never have needed lube or anything like tha, but I don’t think women should be ashamed if they do. I have gone through phases of using toys with my husband but, it just depends. I have some fetishes. But I don’t need to indulge them at all. Not even once a year. Other more “mild and tame” kinks can be facilitated monthly or whatever but, I’m all about the mood! I think the majority of women are. We are controlled by our moods. Men seem to have a bit of a flatline for this kinda thing. Some nights you feel passionate and romantic, other nights really wild, some nights you want a lustful quickie, it’s just one of them. Some nights you’re not in the mood. Go figure! 

 

With regards to the OPs wife - it could be so many different things. Probably stems also from their relationship and a lack of communication and openness and I know how you have said Hub, you are wrestling with abandonment issues and your mood being either all or nothing, if I understand rightly?

 

I think this is bigger than sexual technique or sexual positions.

 

I mean, I may not have a biology degree and I may not have read the books but, I could tell you some tales and let’s say I have lived my life when I was young(!) and through experience, I really do think women vary on likes and dislikes so much. There doesn’t seem to be a cookie cutter rule book for any of them. Definitely not me anyway! I could maybe write my own book! It would be by a certified and professional minx! So there‘s my ten penny 🤣
 

But anyway, if the OPs wife is timid regarding sex I would advise tender slow and gentle to be on the safe side. But of course; communication first.

 

Wow this has took a tail spin! 
 

I’m dipping out because I think an ex-stripper, ex-lapdancer, sex party goer, swinger, bisexual, ex-sex industry worker and web can girls opinion has been had enough here! I’m gonna let others interject - I don’t want to repeat myself! 

 

x

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On 6/28/2022 at 2:26 AM, JoyfulCompany said:

When we've craved something our whole lives, since we didn't get it from a caregiver, we tend to look for it in the Other, the Partner, the SO. I'm referring to "The Eden Project: In Search of the Magical Other" by James Hollis here, look it up if you'd like. We want to have the relationship we feel we were robbed off back then.
 

I wanted to let you know that I got this book from the library yesterday and started to read it.  I found it interesting to see how the pattern applied to my relationship.  Not only that, but the universality of it.  Each of us in a relationship goes through the same battles, but we choose a different hill that we're willing to die on.  For me, it's the physical intimacy.  For others, it will be something else.  I've had a previous therapist tell me that if I left the marriage, I'd be likely to repeat the same dysfunctional behavior with the next person.  Now I see the underlying reason for that.  We pigeonhole new partners into our dream persona not seeing the real person underneath, and when we do see it, we're turned off.

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hub,

It is time to be vulnerable and really open up to your wife with your struggles.  Scary stuff to be sure but when you actually say the words out loud it lifts a huge weight off your shoulders.  After all she is in this predicament with you right? I am not saying dump all this on her all at once but let her know what is going on with you and how you are working towards answers and a healthy place.  If you were psychically ill you would tell her wouldn't you? No difference here so clue her in so she can know and understand.  I am sure she will be relieved as she can tell something is not right and is probably worried. 

We are all broken in some way shape or form.  Sometimes we don't even know it but you are now discovering things about yourself because you are looking within instead of expecting someone else (your wife) to distract, placate or otherwise satisfy your emotional needs.  Many times a partner thinks "I am not happy and it cannot be our children or home and it certainly isn't me so it must be my partner"  Then they start looking for reasons and if you look hard enough you will find what you think is the problem when in reality it isn't them, it is you.

I think you are doing great!

 Lost

 

Edited by lostandhurt
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Posted (edited)

I will definitely have to open up about how I'm feeling.  And, yes, I have to make this digestible rather than a brain-dump all at one time.

One thing I really struggle with is: why do I care so much?  If I've tried and she isn't willing/open, why do I care?  If I am contemplating leaving, why do I care?  I guess, as I've shared before, it feels like an abandonment or betrayal.   It goes against the grain of what you'd expect from a relationship.  My wife doesn't cum?  What the h--- is that?  It does feel like a failure on my part and that's hard to take.

I keep cycling through the question of should I stay or not, and I know nobody can answer that question for me.  Although I don't necessarily need to make that decision today, and probably don't have all the information at hand to make such a serious decision, I feel like the inclination is that I will leave at some point.  I think when you lose your faith in someone, it's just a hard thing to get back.  The defensiveness and inability to communicate around something so basic to the marriage, combined with whatever issues we'll face as we age, give me little reason to think there's any promise at all.  Expressed another way, do you want this relationship and its limitations and how lousy it makes you feel to be your "forever home?"

That may seem like an extreme reaction given some of the positive aspects of the relationship.  At some point, and it may be too late to salvage things by then, I'd have no problem saying to her, "If you were fine having not had an orgasm, it would've been so much smarter to keep your mouth shut.  You made me think there was a problem when there really wasn't.  You helped to destroy this relationship.  I hope it was worth it."

 

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21 minutes ago, hub49 said:

I'd have no problem saying to her, "If you were fine having not had an orgasm, it would've been so much smarter to keep your mouth shut.  You made me think there was a problem when there really wasn't.  You helped to destroy this relationship.  I hope it was worth it."

Perhaps ending this marriage is the best option. 

I say that because it seems the resentment will torpedo this as much as her lack of orgasms. The two issues are inter-related, I realize, but I am not sure this can be overcome anymore. It seems too far off in the ditch already. 

You are clearly very unhappy and angry at her. She doesn't sound particularly happy either, and does not seem to want to communicate about the problem. You would both probably be happier with different people. 

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Try to relax a bit. She's already told you she "peaks", and gets dry afterward.

You can't really base your happiness on her sexual response after all these years. Especially now with both of you having midlife psychological and physiological changes.

It seems this issue is sort of a symbol for other issues. Perhaps the tip of the iceberg, the part you can see.

After all this time and given the ages you can't dress her down for not being orgasmic enough. That would be kind of cruel. Her body works how it works.

Reflect on what's really bothering you. 

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5 hours ago, hub49 said:

I guess, as I've shared before, it feels like an abandonment or betrayal.   

I think the abandonment or betrayal feelings may stem because of how you've tried to communicate with her, and it sounds like she rejects it.  It isn't about her not orgasming (imo), it's probably about not feeling like she communicates with you or shuts it down when you try.

5 hours ago, hub49 said:

If I've tried

and she isn't willing/open,

why do I care? 

If she's rejected your past attempts to talk about things, like the above quote says, then that is a type of passive betrayal in my opinion.  

That's why you care.  Because that causes emotional pain.

You're not crazy or wrong to desire open communication regarding sex or anything else in a marriage.  When a spouse shuts communication down, isn't, 'willing or open,' as you're calling it, it is a refusal to get to know the deepest part of you, and what you have a fear/problem with, or wanting things to be different... and a refusal on her part to allow you to get that close.

My husband went through a phase where he did something like that, tried to shut down communication about an issue or not respond well when it was brought up.  You have a right to open, honest communication from her... that's the foundation marriage should be built upon. If she's closing that part of herself off, of course it feels like a betrayal, because it denies you that cohesive intimacy of true understanding.  The husband/wife relationship is supposed to be the closest relationship - she's supposed to know you better than you know yourself, and vice versa.

 So when my husband decided he wouldn't communicate about a certain issue, we had the worst fights because I refused to be silenced or shut down.  I decided we were going to have it out, for better or worse.  Finally... after a time, his eyes opened and he was able to, "see," the pain I was in and the validity of it all.  But it took time and lots of fighting because I'd try to bring up the issue and he'd respond terribly.  When a partner shuts something down, you don't have to just settle for it.  You can push the issue to that point of finally getting to open communication where someone finally, "hears," you.  If someone had told me it was all in my head, or that this was, "my issue," I was making up, and that since he was a great husband in every other way I should just shut up and be happy with him, instead of being honest and calling it what it was - something he was refusing to communicate about; I think I would have had a very hard time emotionally accepting that and would have felt even more depressed or hopeless about it.  Thankfully no one said anything like that to me, and I knew I was right 😉.  

We only went through that short phase and came out having a much deeper understanding of each other, and his compassion and love toward me exploded exponentially.  It was surprisingly actually, how it was only a short time and the benefits reaped were well worth it.  You'd never know from the outside that we ever had that issue/fighting, there are no signs, except for the deeper love it grew and understanding and closeness.

...

It's hard to get the full picture online to be honest.  But I think if this is your issue, your emotions are valid.

I mean I see how Lost and Wise and some others believe this is all *your* problem... or that it isn't an issue and you're making it all up in your head.  I'm not so sure about that.  If someone had told me those things when my own husband was shutting down communication, I could have become even more depressed or feel unheard or invalidated.  As your wife, she has a responsibility to hear you out and listen to you, if this is really her problem of shutting down communication when you do your part and try, then this isn't all in your head, you're feeling a natural reaction of emotional pain when a partner shuts you down (which is common for someone in that position).  

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5 hours ago, hub49 said:

I feel like the inclination is that I will leave at some point

I think when you're not being heard, that inclination is strong for most people.  A spouse who shuts communication down really is gambling with their partner eventually walking away.

 

5 hours ago, hub49 said:

I think when you lose your faith in someone, it's just a hard thing to get back. 

I think not being heard... for a long time... would be very very hard.  You would eventually lose faith in the relationship as a whole I'd imagine.  We didn't get there, but I can see how long-term, faith in the marriage would diminish. 

I do think you can work through this.  I think couples can fight it out possibly, within reason, push for the other to see their point of view.  Granted I understand for many it leads to divorce, but it's at least worth trying imo.

 

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3 hours ago, Wiseman2 said:

It seems this issue is sort of a symbol for other issues. Perhaps the tip of the iceberg, the part you can see.

I liked your entire message but this portion stuck out most. This issue is the lightning rod for past frustrations and for fears over the future. It's easy to pick on this than to dig for the really ugly stuff under the surface. Focusing only on the orgasms is just a shortcut on the psychological work that needs to be done. 

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2 hours ago, maritalbliss86 said:

I think the abandonment or betrayal feelings may stem because of how you've tried to communicate with her, and it sounds like she rejects it.  It isn't about her not orgasming (imo), it's probably about not feeling like she communicates with you or shuts it down when you try.

If she's rejected your past attempts to talk about things, like the above quote says, then that is a type of passive betrayal in my opinion.  

That's why you care.  Because that causes emotional pain.

You're not crazy or wrong to desire open communication regarding sex or anything else in a marriage.  When a spouse shuts communication down, isn't, 'willing or open,' as you're calling it, it is a refusal to get to know the deepest part of you, and what you have a fear/problem with, or wanting things to be different... and a refusal on her part to allow you to get that close.

My husband went through a phase where he did something like that, tried to shut down communication about an issue or not respond well when it was brought up.  You have a right to open, honest communication from her... that's the foundation marriage should be built upon. If she's closing that part of herself off, of course it feels like a betrayal, because it denies you that cohesive intimacy of true understanding.  The husband/wife relationship is supposed to be the closest relationship - she's supposed to know you better than you know yourself, and vice versa.

 So when my husband decided he wouldn't communicate about a certain issue, we had the worst fights because I refused to be silenced or shut down.  I decided we were going to have it out, for better or worse.  Finally... after a time, his eyes opened and he was able to, "see," the pain I was in and the validity of it all.  But it took time and lots of fighting because I'd try to bring up the issue and he'd respond terribly.  When a partner shuts something down, you don't have to just settle for it.  You can push the issue to that point of finally getting to open communication where someone finally, "hears," you.  If someone had told me it was all in my head, or that this was, "my issue," I was making up, and that since he was a great husband in every other way I should just shut up and be happy with him, instead of being honest and calling it what it was - something he was refusing to communicate about; I think I would have had a very hard time emotionally accepting that and would have felt even more depressed or hopeless about it.  Thankfully no one said anything like that to me, and I knew I was right 😉.  

We only went through that short phase and came out having a much deeper understanding of each other, and his compassion and love toward me exploded exponentially.  It was surprisingly actually, how it was only a short time and the benefits reaped were well worth it.  You'd never know from the outside that we ever had that issue/fighting, there are no signs, except for the deeper love it grew and understanding and closeness.

...

It's hard to get the full picture online to be honest.  But I think if this is your issue, your emotions are valid.

I mean I see how Lost and Wise and some others believe this is all *your* problem... or that it isn't an issue and you're making it all up in your head.  I'm not so sure about that.  If someone had told me those things when my own husband was shutting down communication, I could have become even more depressed or feel unheard or invalidated.  As your wife, she has a responsibility to hear you out and listen to you, if this is really her problem of shutting down communication when you do your part and try, then this isn't all in your head, you're feeling a natural reaction of emotional pain when a partner shuts you down (which is common for someone in that position).  

We've been gaslit. Someone is dismissive of our feelings and trying to reframe our view of the situation to align with theirs. They want to re-define our reality for us. It's no big deal. It's in our heads. It's not real. Those are attempts to minimize and silence someone. 

A kid scraping their knee is no big deal. Leaving the light on after you've left the room is no big deal. Our feelings are a big deal; perception is the reality for us. 

If you cooked me a steak dinner and I told you I really like pasta, you'd probably feel that I didn't like the dinner you made even though I didn't say anything directly negative about it. The problem is in the way that the comment comes across. If I said that at a friend's dinner table, I'd be considered a lousy guest. 

That's why I was bothered in the past by her pointing out that she hadn't cum. She might have meant that she would like to have an orgasm but something in her body and mind can't get her there (a neutral statement), but she loves the togetherness time and it's not a problem (a positive statement). Instead it sounded like calling attention to the absence of something (comes off negative even if she's happy overall).

 

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OP, I don't know if it can be of any value to you, but in my case I say in advance that I'm rarely able to orgasm and I don't care much about it, because:

1. I want to take off the pressure of performing that most men have stuck in their heads and explain how I'm able to really enjoy the interaction nevertheless; it has nothing to do with my desire or initiative;

2. I wouldn't lie about it. I wouldn't fake it. I'm quite expressive when I'm having pleasure, so it can be mistaken to a peak. I've been asked if I've finished. I say the truth. I make sure to express how good something is or was;

3. I actually benefit from the inability to orgasm, because I can go longer or repeat - no problem, my appetite is there. When I finish I get very sleepy and I'm not up for more.

4. I rarely care about my orgasms but every now and again I do. I ask for assistance. A lot of the times roles get reversed and it's like I now need to perform. It's often after they've finished and to me they seem unmotivated, bored, sleepy or impatient and expecting it any moment. I'm almost there and then I get in my head aaand... we're at square one. Exhausting. That's why I rarely choose to do it.

5. I had a long term partner I loved to bits. Sex was 11/10. I would sometimes almost have an out of body experience because of how insanely good it was. But my ability to orgasm didn't change. So I was closer to real death than to the "little death" :);

 

In your metaphor above I would say I state I don't eat steak (btw, I really don't 🙂) before someone tries to cook one for me and we're in an awkward or hurtful situation.

 

Please, don't say to your wife she should have shut her mouth about it. It would have come up one way or another. Then she would've been blamed for putting you in a position of constant doubt and questioning yourself by not being upfront from the start or who knows what.

 

I'm thrilled you actually found the book, hope it will be of some value to you. To me it explained it simple and clear why I was so unhappy in my relationships and made me feel less lonely.

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1 hour ago, hub49 said:

We've been gaslit. Someone is dismissive of our feelings and trying to reframe our view of the situation to align with theirs. They want to re-define our reality for us. It's no big deal. It's in our heads. It's not real. Those are attempts to minimize and silence someone. 

A kid scraping their knee is no big deal. Leaving the light on after you've left the room is no big deal. Our feelings are a big deal; perception is the reality for us. 

If you cooked me a steak dinner and I told you I really like pasta, you'd probably feel that I didn't like the dinner you made even though I didn't say anything directly negative about it. The problem is in the way that the comment comes across. If I said that at a friend's dinner table, I'd be considered a lousy guest. 

That's why I was bothered in the past by her pointing out that she hadn't cum. She might have meant that she would like to have an orgasm but something in her body and mind can't get her there (a neutral statement), but she loves the togetherness time and it's not a problem (a positive statement). Instead it sounded like calling attention to the absence of something (comes off negative even if she's happy overall).

 

Gaslighting implies it's intentional though.  It never felt to me like he was purposefully and maliciously doing it. 

I think sometimes people just don't want to deal with things that are hard for them, so their not wanting conflict isn't as malicious as true gaslighting imo. It did feel awful, but not as bad when I understood he had issues that he had to work through. Your wife probably does too, which would give you compassion if she ever decides to talk about her why.

 

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