the struggle to be true

    As I struggle to honor my DW’s wishes to be more straight forward and honest with her about my feelings and desires in a more timely manner, I seem to keep hitting what seems like catch 22 situations that I don’t know how to handle. Though I have had some recent successes, and really good outcomes, I still hit these traps. So what else to do but ask the group? After all, Pro 15:22  “Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed.”

    Case in point: I got up this morning in a great mood, goat horney and confident. We had a good night before and I saw no barriers other than I thought it wise enough to allow DW some time to wake up and get some of her initial routine done before I said anything because history has taught that she is driven if nothing else. I watched the clock and saw there was sufficient time. So I moved in with a plan and a line in mind. When I reached out to hug her and make my move, I could tell something wasn’t right. So I just asked “something bothering you?” She denied it at first, but then said she was just mopey because of having to go into work on a dreary Saturday, she’d rather still be rolling around in bed.” I almost took that and ran with it, but her dour mood kept me from it. I just hugged her and said “I’m sorry.”  From that point on I was frustrated and torn. On the whole, I think I did the right thing. But I also know I wasn’t fully open with her nor did I share my desires in a timely manner (which was right then.) So I felt I was sensitive and yet failed at the same time. I was quiet for a few minutes as I wrangled with this in my mind. Kinda gritting my teeth, but she was getting dressed and didn’t notice. I gathered myself and changed the subject to move forward. As far as I know, she never knew the difference. She left still in her dour mood and now I am trying to figure out how to not let this hang around in the negative column. I guess I am mostly over that part. But what I struggle with is I feel like I was not true to her or myself, but I was trying to be the best I could be at the same time.

    Any suggestions to how I might have handled it differently?

    I also want it to be known I don’t hold anything against her in this situation. Fact is we had sex last night, and that is part of the reason I felt so amourous this morning. That is often the situation with me when we have sex after a few days off (three I think in this case), especially at night, the next morning I am energized and wanting more. So I thought I would embrace that feeling this morning and make something happen on my terms – but, alas, not to be. It does sadden me a little, and frustrated me at the moment. But I’m not angry at or complaining about her at all. This is about me.

    Thank you –

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    8 Answer(s)

      Brother I actually think you handled it quite well. With her mood being what it was, I think an advance for sex might have felt burdensome towards her and only furthered her struggle. I am all about being honest, but I also know there are times when we need to use wisdom to read our spouse and not create any undue stress. Maybe at some point tonight or later you can express how you felt when you woke up and see what her thoughts were/are. Have a great day!

      King bed Answered on September 26, 2020.

      Thanks! I intend to 🙂

      on September 26, 2020.
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        I think what you did was loving.

        Had my wife said that Id have likely just immediately held out the Hitachi wand and said “can I make you feel better?”

        Queen bed Answered on September 26, 2020.

        well…that won’t work around here with her, but I understand your point.

        On the other hand, If I were the one in the dumps….nothing beats a BJ 😉

        on September 26, 2020.
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          Been there, done that and totally understand.

          You asked for suggestions? How about acknowledge and empathize with her feelings…and then tell her your feelings and ask if she’d be open for something? Or open for a quickie?

          If she says no, at least you got your answer and you’d still have to deal with the “no” but if she says, “yes”, you’ve got your connection time with her and felt loved by her.

          Under the stars Answered on September 26, 2020.

          I was sooooo close to taking a similar tack, but I felt the wind to strong the other direction. I could have been reading it all wrong (not the first time.) Overcoming that trepidation is probably my biggest internal hurdle right now. My mind goes to all the reasons why not instead of all the ways possible.

          I was also really bummed I was not getting to use my line I thought was so masterful… 🙂  Kind of a “one trick pony” I guess 😆

          on September 26, 2020.

          honestly, I probably had at least a 50/50 shot, had I taken it.

          on September 26, 2020.
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            I think you did the loving and mature thing…you put her feelings above your own. No shame in that. I wasn’t there so please take my idea with a huge grain of salt. 😊
            As a wife, here is how I would have wanted it to play out:
            While your holding her in your arms, tell her how deeply you love her. What a wonderful employee she is. How much you will miss her today while she’s gone. Rub her back and hold her tight and long.
            Then ask her if there is anything you could do to help her. Can I tick something off the to-do list for you or make you breakfast or dinner tonight? I’d be happy to take you back to bed and kiss away all your stress, if you want! 😉 Just name it!
            I know I would not have been easily persuaded when I was a gatekeeper so perhaps nothing you said or did would ease her mood, but I think all women (and men) love to be cherished and appreciated. You can’t go wrong lavishing love on her, the way God the Father does!

            California King Answered on September 26, 2020.

            Thanks- all good thoughts you share. I agree with them. And I try to do just that. I won’t waste time sharing all those here, but I do. Today I started with coffee and breakfast in bed and a back-rub for her. Now I am taking charge of getting the house/meal ready for guests that should arrive in an hour or so – among other things with regularity. I don’t plan to stop any of that. I suppose I could have run to town and gotten that printer ink for her, but she said it wasn’t important and I got bogged down here. Now I gotta go start the meal. We serve each other pretty consistently actually.

            And – she is the owner and boss….so that changes things a little in the job arena. 🙂


            on September 26, 2020.


            If my wife heard me say all those things in the poetic way you describe, she would either assume aliens abducted the real me or I had a sex change and she missed it.

            on September 27, 2020.
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              And that’s fine too how you handled it if you felt it was in the best interest of your relationship today as KFunk & MoreBlessed mentioned.

              At the same time, sometimes changing the relational dynamic means at least one of us or even both my wife and I, have to feel uncomfortable and that isn’t bad if it helps a situation change. Dr. Corey Allen asks, if a child or spouse is acting immaturely, why shouldn’t they be allowed to feel uncomfortable? Isn’t that how we can grow? We tear our muscles down via exercise in order to build muscle. It’s the same principle relationally but sometimes we try to keep the peace so badly with our children or spouse, we don’t allow a lack of comfort or even pain to get their attention of them.

              I’m not saying what you should or shouldn’t have done in this situation, I’m just walking through the issue for us all to keep in mind.

              Under the stars Answered on September 26, 2020.

              that balance is indeed where I find my struggle right now. I just didn’t feel this morning was the right time…but then I also thought “I just missed an opportunity, like I keep missing.”

              there will be more

              on September 26, 2020.

              @NWNL, I totally agree with this idea. If people aren’t willing to face discomfort, the chance they’ll experience change is slim… and I am speaking generally like you, not necessarily to @LBD’s experience this morning.

              on September 26, 2020.
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                We don’t always have to share something – in this case sharing would have been a burden to her already hard morning.  One can take the leadership road by recognizing this and moving forward accordingly.

                Had the morning been different, your plan may have been a blessing, but this was the morning you had to work with.  I think you sacrificed and did well.

                I don’t see how you weren’t true to yourself – it is the difference between being afraid to share your feelings -vs- being able to at the right moment which may include also not at the right moment.

                I would have done the same thing – adapt to the morning – and see what can develop later in the day.

                On the floor Answered on September 26, 2020.
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                  Last night worked out none better. After our guests departed and we both had a little time to ourselves piddling around the house, evening came and things started to relax. I was on the couch with her and decided it was time to go to town. So I made a made physical contact and immediately got “STOP! Don’t roust me. I was about to go to sleep. I’m going to bed!”
                  And that was it. She just unceremoniously walked out.

                  She had a bad day all around I guess. While our guests were there she had gotten into a little squabble with her OVER-sensitive mom over text. She had to leave to call her. I think that got to her more than she let on. I thought letting her alone for a few hours would de-compress her…..apparently not. (This incident also illustrates a characteristic of my DW – she wants everyone to be sensitive to her, but despises “over-sensitivity” in others. Basically she gets to do and say what’s she wants and no one is supposed to be offended  because you’re supposed to already know she’s perfect and means no offense. This is where her narcissistic tendencies come out.)

                  What I am left with now, and this seems to be the case the majority of the time, is to wait on her to re-engage. She’s smart enough to know that I am over here waiting – IF she were paying attention. But usually she isn’t. That’s where the whole “Be more open and timely sharing your desires” thing started (she realizes her own blindness) and the constant dilemma I find myself in. If I have to constantly be hitting her up, then I appear needy. If I say nothing, I start feeling needy. If I wait for her, I get resentful.

                  Do I go now and share with her what’s been going on in my head? Do I tell her “I don’t know if you realize, but I’ve been trying to get close to you since yesterday morning. I was having sexual thoughts ALL day yesterday. I tried again last night, after I knew you needed time to work out the mom situation, then I got cut off at my first contact.” – that all just sounds whiny. But it is also along the lines of what she has asked me to do.

                  Somewhere between NWNL and sd595 is where I think I need to land. I will readily admit one of the problems I have is not wanting to upset her or make her uncomfortable. So I tend to let her have her way. After all, I’m a “pleaser”, it’s what we do. But I also know it is not the most healthy. I also know she is much like SC’s #4 illogical trait of women – says she wants to be led yet balks at every attempt.

                  BUT – you know, it’s hard to get hard knowing you’re gonna get rebuffed in some fashion, and maybe even in harsh fashion. Certainly so after it’s just happened. So it’s hard to ‘take the bull by the horns’ and force the issue. I mean, literally, what am I gonna force it with? A wet noodle!? I’m sitting here at this moment thinking I could go in there right now, inform her we’re going to have sex, insist she stop whatever she’s doing (sipping coffee and tablet playing) and comply. I’m not scared of her.  Maybe that’s what’s needed – but I’ve got no heart for it, and therefore no erection for it either. But sitting here getting frustrated ain’t the answer. I can see no good answer. But I know if I do nothing, the same tired, frustrating cycle of me waiting on her will continue. Do I go in there and assert myself anyway, hoping I can rise to the occasion? What if it doesn’t? Then I gotta ask for some help….poor little me, can’t get a woody…. @##$&!

                  How do I extricate myself from this trap?

                  Blanket on a secluded beach! Answered on September 27, 2020.

                  A rabbit trail to the characteristic of your wife…. Avoiders learn to deal with things on their own. I wouldn’t call it her desiring “sensitivity”, she just wants to be left alone and the space to work through her issues, she’s not dumping her emotions on others. And the “lack of sensitivity” can be her wishing others would work through their own stuff, just like she can. — just an observation, no need to comment.

                  on September 27, 2020.

                  Basically she gets to do and say what’s she wants and no one is supposed to be offended because you’re supposed to already know she’s perfect and means no offense.

                  LBD, this is the issue.  She shouldn’t think she can do anything she likes and you (and everyone else) just has to deal with it.

                  One thought I had, am I not sure how much it will help, but instead of waiting until the last minute to say “I’ve been thinking of sex all day, we need to have sex now.”, it is better to say, “Baby, [I’ve been thinking about you all day and] we need to get together tonight before bed.”.  This gives her a chance to be prepared and lets her know where you are, what you need without you appearing to be needy.  If she comes back with a we’ll see of something like that, then you have to handle it by saying, “it is important that we make time for this tonight.”.  If there is a good reason to reconsider then fine, but don’t be easy to a dismissal unless it has merit and you are convinced to change your mind.  Even then, make an alternative plan.  I pray for blessing for you and her.

                  on September 27, 2020.

                  I would add also with that approach (which is fine) that PLEASE do not complain if she isn’t into it but complies. There’s nothing worse to a wife then that. We sacrifice to do the loving thing (just as you men do when you listen compassionately but don’t really “feel” it) and then you go complain that we weren’t everything you wanted in bed.  Just adopt an attitude of thankfulness. Not gratefulness as in a whipped pup, but thankfulness and appreciation.

                  on September 27, 2020.

                  The mom incident tore her up more than I realized. She’s still angry and now we’ve had two tearful discussions over it. Sex is not on the list of to dos right now…  so I am just assuming the role of supportive spouse for now. She’s working on banking stuff now to try to get her mind on something else. That may take a while. I’m not pushing for anything at this point. Sex will be up to her move next, and that’s fine.

                  But we did get down to the core of the issue – she is hurt that her mom would “think that little of her” to be offended at what was indeed an innocuous text. So we are working through that. It also speaks a little to what SOA mentioned – self-esteem and acceptance, assuming the best in someone else. She says she always does, but that’s not always really the case. I chose not to remind her of how she speaks to me sometimes when I ask her a simple question. But she does expect everyone to assume the best of her regardless, and gets either angry, hurt, or in this case both, if she thinks someone isn’t. Truthfully, I can see how her mom got offended. It was a little petty on mom’s end and she was being oversensitive. AND she is a blue-hair who is not text savvy so there was also a simple text misunderstanding that caused an over-reaction and an reciprocal over-reaction. Real cluster….  And I can’t really do anything about it but listen. So I listen and hug.  One problem at a time….

                  on September 27, 2020.

                  Great points SoA – if she isn’t feeling real desire (though a heads up may (or may not) build it), sometimes a quickie is just the thing to have connection with thankfulness as you mentioned.

                  LBD -Is this type of thing, her spinning out of control and throwing your plans off something that occurs rarely or all the time?  If it is rarely, then sure, we’ve all had those moments where we let things bother us, even more than we should.  On the other hand, if it is a constant thing where an entire evening is focused on this frustration or that frustration, then some work should be done to try to address that.  We can’t help what others do (if in fact they were in the wrong), but we can control how we react to them, bringing it into alignment.  It is better to let something go than to stew about it all evening, etc.  I’m not saying that is easy.  Listen to her when she is frustrated, hear how she feels, and have a reasonable time for her to be frustrated about it, but at some point you have to say darling, don’t let this frustrate you all evening.  Often the other person who did whatever it was is going about their evening unaware while she (and you) are paying the price!  Sometimes you have to just take the high road and let it go.  I’m not talking about being dismissive here, I’m talking about having a limit to how long something unhealthy is going on.

                  on September 27, 2020.

                  It’s not a recurring thing, not in this way. What I do think is beneficial is how I handled it after lunch in encouraging her to open up to me and talk about it. She’d much rather avoid the emotions. So I think it will be ok, given time. I can already tell she’s more relaxed.

                  on September 27, 2020.

                  That’s good – good to hear things are getting better on it.

                  on September 28, 2020.
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                    This is one of those “(sex please) hint* wink, wink” moments, when we husbands want to have sex and think she wants it too, but reality is that she is fatigued or her mind is full of other thoughts, etc

                    Thankfully you are not in sex-starvation like I am with a week or more between sexual releases.

                    I stopped hinting and pawing a few years ago and just came out and asked (100% failure rate) and now she is often repulsed by me and uses many excuses especially the one “your hands are so hot, can you cool them in ice or something?”

                    California King Answered on September 27, 2020.

                    I wonder if that’s a menopausal thing – I get the “hot hands” comment Very often. I lay my hand on her, whether clothes or not, and after a short bit, she’ll push it off saying something along those lines. So you eventually just avoid putting your hands on them.
                    But I have changed tactics somewhat and will occasionally put my hands on her when they are cold, or ill make them cold first in cool water. This has actually worked a few times, especially if I put them on her back or neck area.

                    Now with winter on the way, I’ll more often get the “EEEK” from cold hands. :-). no winning…

                    on September 27, 2020.
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