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Thu Jul 27 10:15 am  #21


Re: Really Starting to Wonder.....

Josie,

Unless your husband gives the therapist permission to share what he says with her, she cannot and will not give you any feedback on her session with him.  Saying "it went well" is about all she MIGHT say.  Just so you don't get your hopes up that she'll be able to uncover something that you could not.  It sucks, but it's patient-doctor confidentiality.  The good news is that you have the same rights.

When I said that he couldn't refute your feelings, I didn't mean that he wouldn't ATTEMPT to.  Lol.  I meant that he cannot refute them in the truest sense of the word.  He cannot talk you out of your feelings.  You may think that you thinking he's gay is a feeling, but it's not - it's a conclusion.  So it can be refuted - even if he's lying.  But he cannot tell you that you're not having the feelings you're having.

Speaking of, when it comes to feelings, we often think that we're not "allowed" to have them unless there is a valid basis for them.  And that makes sense - that's logical, and it's good to self-check ourselves to make sure we're not all feelings and no reality.  HOWEVER..... in reality, that philosophy just.isn't.true.  We have feelings even if they're baseless.  And those feelings affect our relationship - even if they're not true or valid.  There are millions of people who have left relationships because they've felt unloved, even if their spouse loved them.  It could be that they're not a good match for how they show each other love.  It could be because one person has serious issues over feeling loved, no matter what's happening in the relationship.  But regardless, if they're not getting what they need from the relationship (even if they never WILL get that from ANYone), they want to move on.  And that is better, in a way.  I mean, why would anyone spend decades feeling unloved in a relationship - even if the problem is them?  They wouldn't - they shouldn't.  They're not doing their spouse any favors, either; their spouse will be left trying harder and harder to give their partner something that will never be good enough.  THAT's not good either - to be feeding love into a bottomless pit, with no return.

My point here is that if you feel unloved, discarded, not important or desired in your marriage, you do not have to PROOVE why.  You can give the other person feedback so they understand and can make corrections if they are capable and wanting to.  But if you feel like crap when you're with this person and it's not gotten better in years and you see no likelihood that it will, then you don't leave because he was gay or incapable of loving you.  You leave because you're unhappy and you see no reasonable chance that things will change.  That's why I left.  I didn't know if he was gay (I suspected, but had VERY little proof, and he denied being gay).  I didn't leave because I thought he didn't love me.  I didn't love because he was awful to me.  I left because I was nowhere near happy, and it didn't look likely that it was ever going to change enough to make me happy.  And I realized that while leaving left me with no guarantee of finding happiness, staying guaranteed me of never having it.  I left because I wanted to be happy and I didn't think I'd ever be within that relationship.  I also didn't think HE was truly happy, despite him saying so.  And I didn't think it was a good example for my kids of what to expect from their own marriages one day.

Kel

Last edited by Kel (Thu Jul 27 10:17 am)


You are not required to set yourself on fire to keep other people warm.
 

Thu Jul 27 9:58 pm  #22


Re: Really Starting to Wonder.....

We went to therapy today (he first then me) and the good thing is that our therapist said she does not keep secrets between spouses so she would tell me anything he said, but the bad thing is he is sticking to his story about the work paranoia being part of the secret.  So....I didn't get any clarity, but she said we would explore all of the questions I have in therapy (not directly accusing him of being homosexual, but asking questions about sex and other issues in the marriage to gain a better understanding).  She said (like my personal therapist) to stop trying to figure it out and just take it one day at a time.  She also gave me some exercises to help me calm down. (I am highly anxious around all this).  So I will try to do that.   Take it one day at a time and hope that I figure out what is best for me.  

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Thu Jul 27 10:08 pm  #23


Re: Really Starting to Wonder.....

Also again Kel, thank you for your response.  All of that is true and good for me to hear.  Your story is similar to mine in that you didn't know when you left if he was gay or not and the fact that you left without proof gives me some courage.  I'll keep you posted!

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Fri Jul 28 10:34 am  #24


Re: Really Starting to Wonder.....

Josie,

I had my suspicions.  But in the end, I knew I'd tried everything to get my husband's attention when it came to the bedroom.  Nothing helped.  When I say "everything", I mean EVERYthing - I lost weight, I got a tummy tuck and a breast reduction (and lift), I grew out my hair, I improved my shoe and lingerie (and overall) wardrobe.  I started doing some "down south" grooming.  I.felt.amazing.  And he.... didn't notice.  But every other man on the damned planet did.  And then suddenly, I started playing with body language.  I did little experiments where I'd walk down the street (I work in downtown Chicago) and instead of just glancing around at the people on the sidewalk, I'd look directly into men's eyes.  Then I started holding that gaze a bit longer.  Then I would kind of widen my eyes a touch and let a little grin lift the corners of my mouth.  "I could never do that", you say.  Yeah?  Well when I did this, I was 40, and I was 225 lbs.  It's amazing how much a little interest improves someone else's self-confidence - enough to have them walk right up to you without even realizing they're doing it.  They're just standing there, blurting out the words, "Hiiiii."  And I did nothing with that except have fun.

Then I told my husband that men were coming up to me on the street.  I neglected to tell him that I was causing it, but whatever.  His response wasn't the one I'd hoped for.  He LITERALLY said, "What's wrong with them?"  Here I was, a plus-sized Jessica Rabbit, and my husband was blind to it all.  I was begging him for sex, and.... nothing.  I was crying every 6 months about it for a good 10 years - WHAT is wrong? WHY don't you desire me?  WHY do you treat me like a leper if I come onto you?  HOW am I supposed to keep on in a marriage where I don't feel desired?  He also seemed highly annoyed by the personality traits that everyone else cherished in me - my goffiness, my sense of humor, my refreshing honest viewpoint, my openness - even my cooking.  (one day he said to me "Why do you keep baking goodies so much?  I've had enough!"  Now.... WHAT MAN says that?  I told him to ignore the cookies and cakes an pies if they weren't for him - the kids would definitely tackle it all themselves.)  He claimed to love me, but I hadn't gotten the feeling since the very beginning of the relationship that he actually LIKED me.  So here I was, striking out at home left and right, and men are attempting to pick me up in line at the cafeteria at my work building.  That's when I realized that the problem was not ME.  That I wasn't invisible, and I wasn't frumpy, and I wasn't unattractive.  And that I WASN'T out of options.

All along all I could do was look at the negatives of why a man would never want me if I were single at that stage of my life.  I was 40.  I was overweight.  I had bad knees (have since had one replaced).  I had THREE kids - one of whom was emotionally unstable and could make anyone run.  I had no savings, no assets, and some debt.  I have no college education.  I was BUSY.  I was loud, obnoxious, and am somewhat rough around the edges.  I'm outspoken and I wake up looking like Medusa.  I have a gay husband (because when I first started dating, we were still living together until he could get on his feet - which took years), and his MOTHER lived with us.  How's that for an attractive package?  ALL of that was real.  But you know what men mentioned about me?  Let me tell you......

I was "normal".  I was open - honest and not trying to take anyone for a ride.  I had a good figure, lustrous hair, and clear, youthful skin.  I held the same job (a good one, at a Fortune 500 company) for over 8 years.  I was clean and neat.  I kept a nice home, I could cook, and I liked sex and giving massages.  One man told me I had full lips.  Another told me I had gorgeous blue eyes.  My fat thighs suddenly became "thick" legs and my size 12 feet were seen as long and slender.  My fat ass was now a "phat" ass.  My personality was fun and refreshing.  My sarcasm was seen as witty.  The husband would be divorced, and it was assumed that his mother would go with.  Even after my husband left and my mother-in-law remained, that was seen as kind on my part.  Driving a mini van around was seen as me "not being afraid to be who I really am".  My insistence that I not be able to go out until after my kids were in bed (when my MIL watched them) was seen as good mothering.  NOTHING that I thought would be a deterrent wound up being that.  Everything I took for granted about myself (cooking, for instance) was a desired trait.  This unpopular girl in H.S. was somehow the most sought-after female to men in their 40's who'd been through life and knew the value of a good woman.

I went through alllll the stages - rediscovering sex and what I really liked (and didn't).  I dated people who wanted more of a friends-with-benefits relationship than a girlfriend.  I dated men who insisted on the first date that they were going to marry me.  I met guys who treated me as a booty call.  I met nice men who just didn't have their shit together (sometimes due to going through a divorce recently).  I met guys we appeared normal but had sexual proclivities I wasn't willing to indulge in.  And then I met...... HIM.  The ONE.  And I fell head-over-heels in love and never looked back.  He was a gentleman, had the same good job for 20 years.  Had one child who was my oldest's age.  Lived in the area.  Was funny, sarcastic, kind, protective, wanted me ALL the time, and wasn't afraid to tell me and show me how he felt about me every day.  We were engaged within a year, and married 8 months after that - full wedding, honeymoon, the whole shebang.  We just passed our 4-year wedding anniversary last week.  He's not perfect, and neither am I.  But we are perfect for each other.  We have the best relationship I know of.  I still have that emotionally unstable kid - he put us through hell and back right after we got married.  And yet we're still standing strong, raising the kids together, dreaming together and planning for them to come true.  I appreciat ALL of it SO much more because of what I've gone through in my past.  If I had to go through it ALL a million times over to get to where I am today, I'd do it in a heartbeat.  None of it was easy.  But all of it was worth it.

I'm just your average woman who decided that although I didn't know exactly what was wrong with my marriage, I was unhappy, and at the pace things had been going, they were never going to get solved.  And I decided that while I wasn't assured I'd find happiness if I left, I was assured that I certainly wouldn't, if I stayed.  And so I jumped.  With no net.  GOD I'm thankful every day that I did that.  It wasn't courage that enabled me to do it.  It was fear of waking up 20 years later and realizing that I'd wasted another 20 years.  I stopped looking at the terrible ills of leaving and started looking at the terrible ills of staying.  That scared me worse than leaving.  And a new life was born.

Kel

Last edited by Kel (Fri Jul 28 10:41 am)


You are not required to set yourself on fire to keep other people warm.
 

Fri Jul 28 10:03 pm  #25


Re: Really Starting to Wonder.....

The thing is I don't have weight to lose or anything like that.  I said this in my first post, I'm size 2 and with large natural breasts.  I have big brown eyes and thick brown shiny hair that I do not have to color.  I work out and a very toned body.  I am 45, but I could pass for 35.  I know I look good.  I also know that it's not me that's the problem.  It's him and his lack of sex drive.  

I have been doing the same thing Kel.  I realized that men were staring at me all the time.  I literally get checked out all the time and by men much younger than me.  My husband told me that he told everyone in the treatment center that I am always the prettiest girl in the room and he has never deserved me.  They have said he has intimacy issues.  I think you can have intimacy issues, but still have sex!  That is what one night stands are!  I have at times thought well, maybe I can just cheat and then at least I'll be getting some sex, but that is not me at all.  I have wondered though if him not having sex with me is as bad as cheating.  Most would say no, but they aren't living it.....

The other problem is now I feel repulsed by him.  I'm so hurt and mad that I don't want him to touch me.  I'm sleeping in the guest room so even if he tried to initiate I wouldn't want to.  Besides when we do it's so mechanical and I'm so tired of that.  It's miserable!  

I also have the same exact fear.  I don't fear leaving as much as waking up (I say 10 years) from now and everything being exactly the same.  Our couples therapist said what do you fear the most?  What is the worst thing he could have a secret about.  I told her it is not finding out what the secret is, its that I'm worried that I never know what it is.  That is why I need to stop "trying to figure it out"  I am starting to feel more calm about ending my marriage.  I am getting more sure that nothing will change and that I deserve better.  It's one day at a time, but I am getting there.  And Ellexoh you are right, what Kel said that you posted is right on and should be read often!  Kel you may have missed your calling, you should be a therapist!  But if not I'm sure you make an incredible friend!

Last edited by Josie (Sat Jul 29 10:01 pm)

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Sat Jul 29 5:17 am  #26


Re: Really Starting to Wonder.....

You are right: a husband who doesn't desire you and who avoids sex doesn't just have "intimacy issues."  Listen to your intuition/gut on this.  Your sleeping in the guest room and your revulsion tells you everything you need to know.  You know this situation is both unacceptable and unhealthy for you, that it isn't being fixed, and he's not being pushed but enabled by a therapist who wants you to be understanding of his "intimacy issues." Has your husband been given any "assignments" to help him surmount these issues?  I'll bet not.  But while he's not desiring you he sure is busy managing his own image (and attempting thereby to manipulate you into thinking he's a good man who appreciates you and you should therefore stay in the marriage with him--as a beard or wife appliance) by complimenting you publicly to the staff!
    I'll bet dollars to doughnuts that if you think about it you'll also see how he devalues you in other ways in your marriage besides not having sex with you.  Mine, I realized, never walked alongside me on a sidewalk; he always walked several feet in front of me.  I always felt as if I were simply not on his radar, and would sometimes stop on the sidewalk to see how long it was before he would "come to his senses" and look around to see where I was.  It always bothered me, but I never read it in the context of other things. 
    

Last edited by OutofHisCloset (Sat Jul 29 5:19 am)

 

Sat Jul 29 8:43 am  #27


Re: Really Starting to Wonder.....

Oohc,
"..Mine, I realized, never walked alongside me on a sidewalk; he always walked several feet in front of me.  I always felt as if I were simply not on his radar, and would sometimes stop on the sidewalk to see how long it was before he would "come to his senses" and look around to see where I was.  It always bothered me, but I never read it in the context of other things. .."

Yes..it was a devastating feeling when my ex was cheating...she suddenly discarded me and would not touch me, walk with me etc.  Its inhumane and cruel and it took me a long time to process that I was discarded despite all our years together, vows, friendship.

I don't think I could live in a relationship where demeaning treatment went on for years and years..if you and others here did than I tip my hat to you and your strong loyality and love.  Where can I meet such honest strong loving people?


"For we walk by faith, not by sight .."  2Corinthians 5:7
 

Sat Jul 29 10:14 pm  #28


Re: Really Starting to Wonder.....

Yes, OOHC he does devalue me in many ways in our marriage.  The thing is he has realized this and is trying to be better.  To answer Rob I have seen so many times on this site that those of us who find ourselves here are fiercely loyal and people pleasers.  That is why I have hung in here so long.  I got a completely calm feeling yesterday where I was so sure of all of this.  I knew in my heart that he has SSA and that was it.  I just needed to figure out how to proceed.  Then the little voice starts that says what if....what if he just has low testosterone or maybe it is intimacy issues.  If you google sexless marriage the articles that come up do not usually suggest they are gay.  They say its something physical or they are stressed or something like that.  That makes me start to question this.....What if I end this and ruin everyone's lives (mine, his and my kids....).   I keep having friends tell me marriage is hard.....That the therapy will help......  I haven't told any of my friends that I think he is gay because they are his friends too and I hate to put that out there if I am wrong, but I do say there is no sex and hasn't been from the beginning and they still tell me we can work on it..... That is why I always come back to wanting proof.  I am hoping that if I don't find out for sure that I have an experience like Kel when she realizes in therapy that she had done everything she could and knew it was time.  Thank you all for this support.

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Sun Jul 30 7:37 am  #29


Re: Really Starting to Wonder.....

Josie,
   I have done the same as you (but in a different situation--my husband declared he's trans): second guessing my perceptions, looking for other explanations, asking "what if we can fix this?", and seeing any encouraging signs of changed behavior as hope that he will do what he needs to to make it possible for us to fix the marriage.  I believe this is all part of the denial and bargaining stages of grief, when we are still unable to accept reality and/or act on it (because of our own psychology).  Over at Chump Lady, this is referred to as "hopium," and "untangling the skein of fuckedupedness."  It's also the case that when your husband does exhibit the signs, it's likely he's engaging in the "hoovering" aspect of "love bombing, devalue, discard," the three stages a narcissist or a gay person in denial who wants above all to keep that realization from him/herself employs to keep the partner anchored and in the relationship.  
   After two and half years, most of which I've agonized over all these things, and even now that I've decided I have to divorce, I still find myself hoping and looking for signs, and not wanting to act until "I'm sure he won't change," which I have decided is a move that we employ to keep ourselves stuck and in our own unhealthy psychological patterns.  Sometimes you have to act and let the psyche catch up with the action, because the psyche is afraid to act.  I'm not suggesting you're wrong or you have to act, just saying that from my experience I think you will go on a long, long time before you make the the move.  Lots of people here stayed in such marriages for years and years, even decades, and as Rob observed on the thread on the general discussion category on "things I wished I'd known or done differently" (or some similar title), many of those commenting said they wished they'd acted sooner.

 

Tue Aug 1 3:11 pm  #30


Re: Really Starting to Wonder.....

OutofHisCloset wrote:

"things I wished I'd known or done differently" (or some similar title), many of those commenting said they wished they'd acted sooner.

Thing is......none of us know we'll wish we'd acted sooner.....until we reach that point.
I've realised and accept this may hurt for awhile longer...until I 'do' reach it. I'm also 
aware and prepared...hopeful, apprehensive I'm not sure yet........that when I reach 
*the point*.....I will be strong enough


*....*
 

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