Missed opportunities and regrets
As I’ve turned the corner into the later stages of my life, I have a lot of regrets for missed opportunities. I could have tried with my wife to build our sex life into something truly wonderful. Instead, I assumed that it was as good as it was ever going to get and just lost interest for a number of years.
Early last year, my libido came back with a vengeance. My wife’s did not. And now I profoundly regret each and every opportunity I squandered.
Has anyone else here ever felt this way?
Lost opportunities? Well yes, but we all make mistakes that we may regret at some level. Some mistakes were bigger than others. We can only affect today and the events around us moving forward. We can’t live in that tumbler of despair that is skewed by hormones and feelings of unworthiness, and a culture of lies that wants us to believe that “marital fulfillment” is out there for us to grasp if we are willing. Don’t believe the lie that tell us we somehow missed the boat. I’ve been there. God is sovereign, even in my sexual life, even in that of my wife. Many couples are there, and not just men. I know both men and women who’s spouses are gatekeepers. The immense drain on their relationships is overwhelming to them. The felt distraught is difficult for each and I have seen the reaction of several to this syndrome.
I recall reading about a woman on the old TMB boards that had an awakening at about 55 years old. Wow, she had a story to tell of her past, her transformation and new attitudes and practices. She was the original gatekeeper, the one they wrote the book about. I’m not saying, “if God will change that person that He will change, say your wife”, my wife, other wives. I’m saying that God does change hearts and minds. That is the power of the Christian message, of His efficacious care that rolls from the power of His Resurrection from His love and plan for you and me.
The first three years of our marriage I was a refuser/gatekeeper (hormonal birth control and lack of biblical teaching did a number on me). After we had children and I’d been off birth control for a while my libido finally came into its own only to coincide with my husband’s taking a nose dive due to low testosterone. I have a lot of regrets that we didn’t take advantage of the time we had pre-kids with more free time, younger bodies etc. Dh has forgiven me and thankfully we figured out what was causing his low drive and he is getting testosterone so I try not to dwell on the past. It seems like our drives are never matched in terms of who has the higher drive at what point but I guess that’s part of marriage, learning to meet the other person’s needs regardless of if you “feel” like it.
I just want to tell you all how much I appreciate this conversation. DW and I have been married 8 years and she has been the LD spouse and gate keeper for most of that time (I’ve shared in other posts, so no need to elaborate and belabor that point on every post or thread). As we’re both still generally young and still in the earlier phases of life, I have foreseen some of what y’all have shared being our story in 20 years. I don’t want that. I don’t think she wants that either. I want to be fully known by my bride, and I want my bride to feel the same. It might be helpful to share some of your stories with her, so I thank each of you for your transparency and honesty. Thank you.
Definitely. I was the low libido, refuser, and general blockhead for too long in our marriage. We are now at a different season of life, my libido has re-awakened due to that fact and also to a renewed relationship with my wife. She does not refuse sex, but I also worry that we may never be able to get back to the level of passion we may have had in the past,
On the other hand, I always am hopeful, and believe the fires could come roaring back to life, so to speak, and our marriage bed could become hotter than ever !!!!!
Of course I have some regrets. A few of them are major league. I don’t think anyone gets thru life without at least some.
On the other hand, I have experienced a life that has been filled with blessings. Often I couldn’t see them or recognize that was what they were, but looking back they are too many to count. I have loved the same woman for almost 49 years, despite the ups and downs. I watched my son grow i to a man, and watched him fall, then get back up, knock the dust off, and come back stronger than others. I have walked with true heroes, many of the names would be recognized by some of you. I have had an extraordinary life, and while I can’t say there is nothing I regret, nothing I would change, I wouldn’t trade it with anyone.
I regret not being more aware of Wifey’s struggles with depression and anxiety and not being more forceful in getting her the help she needed. Although, it may not have been received well at the time and could have made things worse. I regret the way I handled our MB early on. I made it my mission to awaken her sexually, but just ended up dumping the full weight of my desire on her without thinking about her heart. We’re on a much better path now and I pray we can continue to grow together. God’s timing is perfect!
Yes, I wish we had talked about sex from the very beginning of our marriage. It is a piece of advice I have already given my daughter. It is so hard for us to talk about sex and we rarely do. I would love, love love to talk about sex, but I fear after 29 years it is way too late.
@P_K: Even when you are a high drive wife, it is still way too easy to let the minutiae of daily life–as well as things that are somewhat bigger–push aside the follow-through. Despite our best intentions, bad habits form, good habits fall away, it’s easy to say to oneself, “I’m just tired tonight. We’ll skip it and go to sleep tonight and have that much more energy tomorrow…” Only we don’t. It’s easy to assume, “It hasn’t happened in so long, (s)he’s never up for it, why would tonight be any different?” While the other one is over there thinking, “Why doesn’t (s)he ever bring up sex anymore? Must not want it.” and feel dejected. (That happened to us for a while: I had a pain the doctors couldn’t figure out that lasted about 5 years. I was so often in pain and not in the mood for it that he started assuming I was ALWAYS in pain and not up for it and then when he thought he was being considerate by not asking, I thought he didn’t want me. This is why at least one answer to almost every single question on TMB includes the word “communicate”.)
Anyway, my regret is that we didn’t solve that last miscommunication earlier and let more of the minutiae go and spend a lot more time on our sexual Renaissance before I find myself at least three weeks away from permission to Anything-IV and wondering if and how it will all work. (I very much appreciate the reassurance offered by those who have had hysterectomies, but I admit the only thing that will truly reassure me is a successful effort. Right now, I can’t even snuggle, and nor can he, injured ribs and all, so we are feeling even more distant than if we were “just” prohibited actual PIV. Pretty much everything else is off the table too because our bodies are just too damaged! Another regret–all those times we were perfectly able to cuddle and didn’t.)
When we are both healed, we may lock ourselves in the bedroom and not come out for weeks!
Like Tentsofpurple, with a refuser/gatekeeper past, I have had some regrets. I have had devastating realizations. But thanks to the grace of God, I don’t stay in those pits of regret. I am able to view my/our past through God’s goodness and faithfulness. I see the Refining Fire, the pruner, and the Potter’s hands… conforming me to look more like Christ….and He still is working to bring me to completion! God’s grace is all the more than any regret. He is the lifter of our heads.
What would be far more tragic, is if anyone lets their past (regrets) rob them of their future (hopes).