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April 3, 2020 10:06 pm  #11

Re: I'm lost and don't know what to do or think.

Dear OutofHisCloset,
Thank you so much for all that you have written. It means so much to me that all of you have taken time out of your day to help me. I expected kindness from this board but the level of kindness and understanding has been a blessing in a time of questioning for me. Throughout this time I have noticed that I’m brought to tears anytime anyone asks me how I am doing and listens with interest or shows me extreme compassion. I wonder how strangers or people that don’t even know me can have more interest in my thoughts and feelings than my own husband does. When I went to see my therapist for the first time, the first question that I asked her was, what do you do when you meet someone who loves you more than your husband? Of course, I was referring to my friend at work and I honestly believe he does love me more than my husband. I’ve never experienced love like this. He calls me baby. My husband has never called me by a pet name even though I’ve always called him Sweetie. He’s always called me by my first name. He’s just not affectionate to me in that way. I thought I could live without those things, but I can’t. I want those things for myself.
A lot of the things you said, are things that I really needed to hear. Things like “you're going to have to pronounce the verdict and apply and carry out the consequence stemming from that verdict”. The gaslighting, minimizing, and denying is accurate and is what I have experienced. It’s difficult because in so many ways, he is a nice person and we are good friends. It’s only the areas of showing genuine love/concern/empathy/affection that we hit a wall. That’s also difficult and why I feel so selfish. If I could forgo what i feel like I need, we would have a very successful relationship. What I do t understand is that he still wants sex from me. How can he be gay if he still wants sex? He told me one time that he needs to have sex with me at least every 2 weeks. I can always tell when he wants to have sex because the day of, he night awkwardly try to spontaneously hug me or sit by me, when ordinarily he wouldn’t. It’s like he suddenly remembers, oh yeah, I have to be close to her if I want sex later. This seriously only happens the day of, he will expect sex that night. Every time we have sex, I feel like a timer is counting down until I have to relent again. The sex feels more like a relief that he needs and is robotic in a way. He will do things like kiss my breasts but it feels like he does that because he knows he supposed to do something. Also when he does kiss my breasts he likes to be coddled almost like a baby-which isn’t a huge turn on. Sorry if that’s tmi.

You are also right in what you said about everything being about him. When you said “There is no reciprocity in our marriages”. It was as if that sentence jumped off the page to me. Nothing could be more true. I read one time about a women who was married to a gay man and after he came out, she explained it as there being love but no passion. That was also a time that a sentence really hit home for me. I love him and I know he loves me but there is something fundamentally missing.

I also think you are right in saying that my husband is not going to end the marriage. I don’t even know if he will ever fully act in his thoughts/feelings. My husband and I use the same hairdresser. He is a gay man and a good friend to both of us. I asked him one time in confidence if he thought my husband was gay and he said, if he is, he will never act on it. Our hairdresser also comments on how immaculate C is. He is always extremely clean. Our hairdresser remarks, a lot of people remark, about how neat (no hair in his ears, etc) and clean he always is. 

Everything you said, I really needed to hear. The part about “He is not, that is, going to give you that "concrete reason" to leave.  He is counting on your guilt and your uncertainty to keep you tethered to him and to keep his closeted self safe”. I know you are right. I don’t know what to do. Do I sacrifice my needs for the sake of our children?

I haven’t checked out Kel’s posts yet but i definitely will. Thank you for the suggestion, and thank you for everything. For your response and kindness and understanding.


April 3, 2020 10:11 pm  #12

Re: I'm lost and don't know what to do or think.

When you said “ The conclusion I reached was that I had been always giving him the benefit of the doubt, now I was giving it to me. ” -this is very accurate to me. I have always given him the benefit of the doubt and seemed to explain away times when he said or done something a little off or when he has narcissistic behavior. I’m always making excuses for him. I need to remember what you said about giving myself the benefit of the doubt.

I’m so sorry for what you have gone through and the things that have been said to you.

I don’t know why I am so defensive of him. He is not of me.

     Thread Starter

April 4, 2020 9:32 am  #13

Re: I'm lost and don't know what to do or think.

Dear Karis,
   Wanting "love/concern/empathy/affection" in your marriage is not selfish.  It is the foundation of marriage.  It is necessary for reciprocity.  Our ideas and concern about "the marriage" sometimes overshadow our considering the more basic reality of the love and commitment between the two people in the marriage.. That is, the idea of Marriage predominates over the reality of our marriage. The institution comes to matter more than the two people in it, and we begin to confuse the two.  I think something like this tends to happen when considering "what's best for the children."  We think in terms of "intact" or "broken" homes, rather than in terms of healthy or unhealthy environments.  One of the more eye-opening phrases I heard was "you don't stay for the children, you leave for the children."  You leave so your children don't grow up in a home in which unhealthy patterns become normalized; you leave to model self respect and honesty; you leave to show your children how to go about seeking fulfillment and not "settling" because somehow the semblance of a marriage is better than the real thing.   

 I am currently re-reading Rebecca Solnit's "The Faraway Nearby," which I first read before my now-ex's revelation to me, and just yesterday the following jumped out at me as a perfect description of the evolution of a closeted personality and its effects on others: 

    "Not to know yourself is dangerous, to that self and to others.  Those...who cause great suffering, kill off some portion of themselves first, or hide from the knowledge of their acts and from their own emotion, and their internal landscape fills with partitions, caves, minefields, blank spots, pit traps, and more, a landscape turned against itself, a landscape that does not know itself, a landscape through which they may not travel....
   You see it...in the small acts of everyday life, of the person who feels perfectly justified, of the person who doesn't know he's just committed harm...of the person who comes up with intricate rationales or just remains oblivious....Elaborate are the means to hide from yourself, the disassociations, projections, deceptions, forgettings, justifications, and other tools to detour around the obstruction of unbearable reality..."   [my emphasis]

 It took me a long time to realize that my now-ex simply was never able to love me the way two partners in a marriage need to love each other--and he never would or could, even if he wanted to (or said he wanted to).  Whatever else we had built, whatever else we had, the fundamental building block was missing.  Once I understood that, I realized that no effort of mine, past, present, or future, was going to "fix" what was missing in our marriage, and that allowed me to begin to let go of my feeling that I was somehow obligated to stay or selfish for wanting to leave.  My efforts, based on a hope for a better relationship in the future, were never going to bear fruit. 
   I never knew what he knew or suspected about himself or when he knew it.  I only know that before he made his announcement he always acted as if it were my job to care for and about him, and any problems in our marriage were the result of either my actions (my failure) or my personality (my being).  After he did make his declaration, he expected me to remake myself and our marriage along the lines he wanted.  (Many women who've posted here tell a story about that: their husbands want to "open the marriage" but stay married.)  He felt no empathy for me, and there was no reciprocity.  Nor had there ever been.  Throughout our marriage, I was the caretaker, even of his emotional state.  I'd perceive through his actions or facial expressions or movements that something was amiss, and say to him, "You seem upset by something."  One time he even said to me that I read his emotional temperature better than he did.  He expected me to maintain a focus on him and his feelings, because he couldn't even do this for himself, which I now believe was a consequence of living as long as he did having shut himself off from himself in order not to feel the intolerable truth about himself.  Yet I had somehow convinced myself for over 30 years that we had "a good marriage."  

  You're at the beginning of a very long process of coming to terms with yourself, with him, and with your marriage--and with your ideas about all of these.  It's difficult and painful, as are the actions you take as a result.   Be kind to yourself.  Give yourself, as Lily said, "the benefit of the doubt."  

Last edited by OutofHisCloset (April 4, 2020 1:13 pm)


April 4, 2020 11:16 am  #14

Re: I'm lost and don't know what to do or think.

    Your story is so much on my mind that I hope you won't mind my writing more, and coming at what you said in your first post from a different perspective other than the judicial metaphor implied by "building a case" and "weighing evidence" and "pronouncing and carrying out a sentence."

   I'm a professor of literature, and when I read your post I thought about what you were relating as "the story of my marriage."  There's a distinction in literary studies between "plot" and "story," with "plot" being the events of what happens in the narrative: the "this happened, then this."  "Story" is what the events add up to or indicate; we often call this the meaning or significance of a story.  We talk, too, about "text" and "subtext," the spoken versus the unspoken (and then there's the silences in a text, or what's not there, as in studiously avoided).  So, for example, in the novel "Towelhead," an older man who is grooming a young teenager for a sexual relationship, and has previously crossed one boundary with her, asks her out to dinner; she agrees, and when he picks her up, he offers her a knife, ostensibly so she can feel safe with him because she can protect herself.  The offer of the knife, and his telling her it's so she can feel safe because she can protect yourself, would be "the text."  The subtext, of course, is that he seems to be equalizing the power dynamic between them, even making himself vulnerable to her, and acknowledging that he earlier crossed a boundary with her--having a knife will keep her "safe."  He means: "I'm safe, and my willingness to give you the knife and make myself vulnerable to you if I cross a line proves it."  When she accepts the offer of the knife, however, she is torn by wanting to believe she really is safe and that he has offered it as a gesture of apology--she perceives, that is, the "subtext" of equalizing the power.  But she also analyzes this gesture, questions this "subtext," thinking to herself that although he has offered her the knife, if she tried to use it he could easily overpower her, and that he, not she, knows how to use it. She realizes, that is, that the gesture is not a sincere desire on his part to equalize the power dynamic, and that she is not at all safe.  At the same time, she is flattered by his attention and wants to believe he means her no harm.  She both doubts him and is confused about his motives.  His grooming of her encourages her doubts and confusion, and takes advantage of her desire to believe in him and to be flattered by his attention.

  This all might sound beside the point to you, but in reading your narrative, I kept thinking of these two distinctions, between "plot" and "story, and between "text" and "subtext."  You are looking at the details and events of your marriage, the "plot" of it, and are trying very hard to extract the meaning and significance, to see what details of the plot add up to a particular interpretation--what it seems to you is the underlying "story" of your marriage. 
   One thing I as a reader of your narrative can say is that the story that emerges for me of what you tell is of many years in an unsatisfying marriage with a man who although he may say he loves you often fails to give you any indication through his actions that he does.  His actions don't match his words, although he tries to convince you they do.  And when he is acting in ways that are supposed to indicate love, his actions seems motivated not by love, but by something else.  There's a subtext, that is, to the text: he takes you to bed, which ought to indicate his love and desire and commitment, but in bed his actions reveal that there's a different motivation: he believes sex with you is required of him as a husband, or he has discovered that he needs physical release every two weeks (or that he can tolerate sex with you if he puts it on a schedule and steels himself to the effort).  Or he understands that having sex with you will convince you that he's straight--it confuses you, which serves his purpose of keeping you secured as a beard, and his secret and his closet safe.
   I thought about that specific example I cited above, from the novel "Towelhead," because the duplicitous behavior exhibited by the man, with its underlying motive of disarming his victim, to me resembles what you've described in your husband's actions, and that many of us have experienced.  It's a kind of gaslighting, wherein they offer one explanation for their actions, but their real motives are something other than what they say they are.  They try to keep those motives from us (and sometimes from having to admit them to themselves), and in order to continue to live in their closet and keep their secret, they need us to accept what they tell us as if it were legitimate.  They learn from living with us just what the most effective ways to do that are; they learn our weak spots and our triggers, and our values and what's important to us, and they play on those.  The years of gaslighting take their toll on us, too, and we begin to doubt ourselves and our ability to read our own lives, and we learn to explain away our reasonable reactions and desires as "selfishness."
   What I think happens for us to come here and start questioning and looking for support is that something occurs that allows us to read the subtext, like the girl in "Towelhead."  But we also, like the girl in "Towelhead," are torn: we want to believe what we're being told.  We want to believe in our husbands' love and we don't want to have to leave our marriages and dismantle our worlds, with all the disruptions that will cause for ourselves and others.  And all along, our husbands are telling us that they're sincere.  
   What makes this board so valuable is not that any single poster might be right about your situation or not (and this includes me).  What makes it valuable is that this is a place where our feelings and intuitions, our observations and analyses, are not dismissed, invalidated, minimized, or attacked (or seen as attacks).  They, and we, are taken seriously.  I think each of us has learned form the stories, observations, and insights of others here.

Last edited by OutofHisCloset (April 4, 2020 1:08 pm)


April 4, 2020 5:43 pm  #15

Re: I'm lost and don't know what to do or think.

Thank you for having me and my story on your mind. I am grateful for anything that you would like to share!  I am not surprised to discover that you are a professor of literature. Your posts are very insightful and intellectual. I appreciate the use of plot and story. I was an English major a long time ago. I love the fact that you chose a story to give me a better understanding. It gave me a vivid picture of what you were trying to say.
I read what you wrote this morning and it hit me so hard, and I felt it so deeply that I took a long walk (almost 3 miles) just to think about what you said and to mull it over in my mind. 

My personality is such that I am easily manipulated and I know he has gaslighted me on several occasions. Sometimes if feels like he is rewriting our history, in a way in which he is the hero, and I don't always remember things accurately but I know that I would've noticed his heroic actions (had there been any) and I would have felt guilty (its what I do). 

Sometimes, I want to blame his behavior as just his personality. I don't know if you have heard of or follow the Enneagram but he's a 3w4 and Im a 2. Which basically means that he is concerned with success/status/appearances and that I am eager to please and help and accommodate in any way I can, even at the risk of losing myself or not having my needs met. Which is what I have done for 22 years. Then when this man from work came into my life, I suddenly had all these questions. Its as if everything came a crisis moment-a climax in the story maybe? My daughter was also leaving for college and my son is only 2 years behind her. I pictured what my life would look like without my children being at home and it just being me and my husband. I know what it will look like and I don't want that. It will all be about him and I will be following him, always in his shadow. I wonder if maybe he is just a narcissist because I am confident his Dad is and why I look up NPD traits, he fits so many of them. But personality doesn't explain a lot of things. Why did he never wonder or ask if I was fulfilled after sex, when I asked him all the time. Why has there never in our entire married life, been a time where he grabbed me, and just had to have me right then and there. He's never wanted me to sit on his lap. He's never looked down my shirt. He's never put his hand up my skirt. He barely touches my legs even when Im siting next to him and if he does, its a pat on the leg like you would give a child or a dog. I have long blonde hair and he never touches it. He never says admiring things to me. He will say I look nice or pretty but nothing more than that. He's never told me that I was amazing. He's definitely not amazed by me. He treats me like a child most of the time. 
When I mentioned to him after counseling that I wanted him to touch me more, he started trying to give me these weird and uncomfortable shoulder massages during the day. They would only last for about minute but I think he thought that those were considered affectionate/playful touches. 
I wish so badly he would just tell me, but I'm not even sure he has admitted that to himself. I'm still not sure that he has ever cheated on me. I don't know. He's a good man. A good father. We used to be best friends until this year when I looked back at my life and put so many things together. My therapist has described it as "my cups" being empty. I had spent all my years filling his emotional/mental/physical/spiritual "cups" and now mine are empty and no one is filling them, except for this man at my work. Now that I feel this way, I resent my husband for how I've been treated, ignored, and for how he has allowed me to give him everything without giving me anything in return. I love him so much and I feel guilty for thinking that he is capable of feeling this way and not telling me. He's so convincing and I want to believe him, but there are things that can't be denied.
When I read what you wrote, I feel a swirl of emotions. There is a part of me that wants to tell you that you are wrong about him and that he's not like that and wouldn't do that to me, but the other part of me feels like you understand my marriage better than I do. As if you have walked in my shoes for 22 years. You are right that we want to believe what we are being told and yes, thank God for this board, where we can be listened to without being dismissed or laughed at. Thank you for having me on your heart and mind. I devour each word because there is so much truth there. I feel like I'm finding answers to a lifetime of questions. Thank you.

     Thread Starter

April 4, 2020 5:48 pm  #16

Re: I'm lost and don't know what to do or think.

I read a few of Kel's posts and also OnMyOwnTwoFeet's posts. I resonate with a lot that they say. I struggle with the fact that so many on here have found such undeniable evidence, which I feel like I don't have. I honestly don't believe he has acted on anything. I think he finds comfort in his gay friendships/relationships but I dont think they have had sex or even talked explicitly to each other but I am naive and easily duped so I don't know. He has always maintained this image of being so perfect in every way, so infallible, that it seems incomprehensible that he would allow himself to appease this gratification.

     Thread Starter

April 5, 2020 12:18 am  #17

Re: I'm lost and don't know what to do or think.

maybe we want undeniable evidence that they are gay because we just know they will deny it.  If it were a friendly or in good faith relationship then you know it would be different wouldn't it - you'd ask are you gay and he'd say oh funny you should say that I have been wondering the same thing myself.  or he'd say oh right I know why you might think that, I am a bit effeminate but really I fancy the hell out of you.  I just completely adore you and please can we etc etc etc.

Robotic sex and no affection.  sometimes the evidence is in what isn't happening.

self doubt is a good thing but the way I saw it I needed to give myself a break, give myself the luxury, give myself the support of not rolling around in it any more - I had done enough already.

It's not that being ready to doubt your own perceptions isn't a good thing in an honest relationship but when you are faced with gay in denial you need to protect yourself from the act of denial.

I gave myself a break from self doubt and I gave myself a break from trying to get an answer from my ex.  I simply accepted he was gay in denial and moved on to what comes next.  I was fortunate enough to be in a position where divorce was achievable and so for me the next thing was to attempt to talk with him about separation - I learned a whole lot more about him that I didn't know beforehand through that process too.

thank you for your kind remarks,  much appreciated.  

ps I thought my ex hadn't been acting on it either.  But looking back now I can identify times where he very likely was.  I never went looking on his phone or computer but don't think I would have found anything if I had.  Yes the perfect husband but always felt aloof from me.  I didn't notice it at the time but he only ever put his arms round me in front of others.

Last edited by lily (April 5, 2020 12:20 am)


April 5, 2020 11:04 am  #18

Re: I'm lost and don't know what to do or think.

  I think I bought the same shoes for myself, and I wore them long after they were worn down and worn out.  I actually do this with real shoes, too.  I currently have two pair I've been promising myself I would throw out as soon as we get through winter...mud season in spring...etc.  And I bought a replacement pair for one of them that is exactly the same shoe but I don't want to damage them.  Just goes to show you that I am not yet fully successful at deciding I deserve something new.  Or maybe it's that I finally bought myself something new, and I want to protect them and not sully them--for years I wore hand me down coats as my son grew out of them.
    I made my needs in the marriage smaller and smaller over time, in response to my ex's disapproval.  When I look back now it seems as if anything I wanted in the marriage, even it was to eat the dinner I cooked every night at the table instead of in front of the tv, and anything I convinced him to do with me, like traveling in summer back to the university town where we'd gone to grad school, and my volunteering to teach summer session there so we could afford it, he found unacceptable or just steamrolled right over me.  He certainly made me feel as if anything I wanted that he didn't was an imposition on him, even if he agreed to do it. 
     I even took to sleeping on a mattress on the floor of my study, with about a foot of space on three sides of it, after he masturbated in the bed next to me, knowing I am a light sleeper.  In fact, when I brought his actions up after he broadsided me in counseling with news our son had commented on how unaffectionate we were, he minimized it, saying "I only did it once."  I thought surely he'd see how unfair it was for me to be sleeping on the floor with no room to even walk around the mattress, and waited for him to show me that concern.  But it went on for years and he never did apologize or even say, "Come back in our bedroom."  I finally moved back into the bedroom when he went away on sabbatical, and on my first night in there I lay there looking around, feeling the spaciousness of the bed and room, and thought:  "Wow.  He's so comfortable here.  No wonder he hasn't come to ask me to return to our bed.  He's got things exactly how he wants, and he has no incentive to get me back in the bedroom."  At that point I vowed to sleep in that bed no matter what.  Lesson partially learned: don't wait for him to acknowledge the problem and act.  Act yourself.  I had to learn it fully when it came to ending the marriage.
    I often felt as you do, that you'd be better off if you were one of his parishioners, only in my case I thought if I were simply one of his colleagues or his students he'd think more highly of me.  I'd hear him talking with a woman research student, and think "We used to talk like this in grad school," or bantering with a female colleague, and think "he never talks to me with that fond tone."  And why not?  He wasn't bound to them, and resenting me for wanting him to act like a husband, or resenting what he believed was the necessity of pretending he wanted to be one.  He made it seem as if I was difficult to live with, and in my resentment at having to carry the entire load at home I would sometimes point out to him he needed to do more, which made me feel as if this difference in his attitude was a result of my own actions and failings as a person.  And, of course, his students and all our colleagues thought he was wonderful--I even had a female colleague tell me, when she found out I was married to him, "You're so lucky!"  I knew the truth of what life with him was like, and by that time I knew the larger Truth of his sexuality, but I had to assert that to myself--"You know the truth!"--while still confronting and pushing back against the public narrative of his wonderfulness.  It's part of the gaslighting--the denial of the truth, the assertion of an alternative truth, and they are very good at managing the public impression.  They compartmentalize aspects of their lives and split themselves in two--or even three, if they have an active or alternative partner or love interest on the side. 
   I did revolt--I decided that as he was like a boarding house guest for nine months of the year while we were teaching, and everything at home fell on me to do, I would claim summer, and went away in the summers. He never suggested we go out for dinner, just the two of us.  We couldn't take vacations, because he "couldn't go away."  He hated Christmas because it came at the end of the semester and he "didn't have time."  I had to push to get him to commit to go out and buy a Christmas tree, and to decorate it.  I had knocked my head against the wall of his refusal to admit there was life--and chores to be done--outside of work so long that I repaid him by taking two months in summer for myself. 
     For years he made as if I were abandoning him, but the one year I said I thought I would stay home, he urged me to go.  After I moved out I saw how he began refusing extra committee work and leaving his office (our offices were in the same building and I had to pass his to get in and out of the building) at 4 instead of at 6.  About that time I read somewhere that a closeted man buried himself in work so as not to have to engage with his wife, and a lightbulb lit up.  It wasn't that there was work to be done; there was a wife to be avoided.
    The time he spent on work, and his insistence that doing a good job required the hours and hours he put in had been a bone of contention for years, because I had the exact same job he did, and managed to do my job and do it well, while also managing a house.  He made me feel as if I weren't a good teacher, and would never be, because I didn't put in the time, even while relying on me to do the work at home he wasn't.  Yet I had evidence that I was.  The undermining was relentless. 
   I also used to think it was "just my husband's personality" or his upbringing.  I said things like "he's self absorbed" rather than "he's selfish."  I said things like "he grew up with an alcoholic mother who sat him down and railed at him at night and a father who abandoned his children to an alcoholic mother to run off with a graduate student."  I told myself that I had problems of my own, because I grew up in a violent household with a mentally ill and narcissistic father who was emotionally and physically abusive to my mother, and who molested me. I thought I had chosen a man who was nothing like my father, one who was gentle, and believed in equality.  Turns out he was very like my father, but he had a different style.  He's a passive-aggressive covert narcissist.  I had to learn that passive aggressive behavior looks like an absence of behavior: but choosing not to act is still an act.  I had to learn that covert narcissists operated by stealth rather than in the open.  
   I've had to teach myself about boundaries, and explore why I was so bad at setting them (it had to do with childhood experiences, training, and expectations).  I found Adelyn Birch's "Boundaries: After a Pathological Relationship," as well as Lundy Bancroft's "Why Does He Do That?" helpful.  You might, too, if you don't already know them.

   This is a hard road to travel, but so very worth it.  The months after I left my now-ex were lonely and painful; on Easter Sunday two years ago I roamed the nearly empty rooms of my new apartment crying so hard I had to prop myself up against the wall.  But now I am over the hurt--at least it came in one painful dose, unlike the decades of devaluing that came with living with him--and I am so very glad that I am not stuck in our house with him during this period of social distancing.  I may be alone in my place now, and pine for the comfort of my friends, but I can reach for the keyboard or the phone, and reach out to people who reciprocate my affection and my care.   As many here have said, there is nothing lonelier than feeling alone while married.

Last edited by OutofHisCloset (April 5, 2020 11:30 am)


April 5, 2020 1:09 pm  #19

Re: I'm lost and don't know what to do or think.

Lily-thank you for your message. There are times in the past when I’ve wondered if he has acted on anything too. I don’t know. I agree with what you said about sometimes the evidence is in what isn’t happening. You are right about that.

OutofHisCloset-So much of what you and Lily write sounds just like my husband as if we are married to the same man. I’m sorry for what both of you have endured. My husband exhibits some of the same selfishness and narcissistic behavior and also controlling. I’m so sorry to hear about the childhood that both you and your ex experienced. I grew up being afraid of my father. I too thought I had married someone the opposite of him but in ways they are the same. My husband has never been abusive to me physically but yet I fear him in a way. I fear displeasing him. The emphasis that your ex put on his job being the priority is exactly how my husband is. Whatever he is doing at that particular moment is the most important for the entire family.

I have a question for both of you. I’m taking a walk while I write this so please forgive any typos. My 2 weeks was up last night and I knew it was time for us to have sex. I didn’t really want to. I never really want to but to give in is easier than dealing with emotional outbursts or arguments. I wanted to pay close attention also to what happens, why I’m so dissatisfied. It is very robotic. I get the feeling/impression that it’s not about being with me at all, that it could be anyone lying there, because there is no mutual connection there. It also feels very greedy. I don’t know how else to describe it. He knows that we are experiencing difficulties in our marriage and he is trying to keep me happy. I had told him in the past that we need to both be satisfied not just him. Now he acts like he wants to go down on me before sex every time but why? He wasn’t interested in doing that for 22 years?!? And now I’m just supposed to suddenly believe that he likes that? I told him no. I didn’t really explain why but I don’t want anyone doing that to me if they don’t enjoy it. He basically had ignored my vagina for years and now suddenly he acts like he loves it. He touched me w his fingers which he used to do only for a minute or two so that I would be lubricated enough for sex. Now he knows that I need to orgasm but immediately after that he jumps on top and goes. There’s no affection, no connection. It’s like, I have to do this so then I can get what I want. It’s do 1. and then do 2. and then it’s over. He goes from being this person who barely looks at me to this greedy grabbing person and I don’t know what to make of that. Does that mean he’s bisexual? I know he really wanted sex. I just don’t feel like it necessarily had to be with me. I feel like I identify with everyone on this board completely. I feel like I have finally found people that know what it’s like to be married to my husband-but with one exception. He still wants regular sex with me. Or I guess just regular sex. What does that mean? Today he is in an extremely good mood because he got what he wanted. I feel used. I don’t feel like I can say no. He seems gay in every way except when it comes to this every 2 weeks thing. What do you think that means?

     Thread Starter

April 5, 2020 4:27 pm  #20

Re: I'm lost and don't know what to do or think.

what do I think that means?  that he is highly manipulative and controlling.  The fact that you fear displeasing him is another strong indication of that.  

I didn't want to displease my ex either.  I think that is a natural state of affairs but he took advantage of it to make me shut up if he didn't like the way the conversation was going.  The way he did it was to act like oh you're upsetting me.  It was like he was threatening he might have a panic attack if I pushed him.  well I don't want to upset him, I don't want to hurt him so I would back off.

eventually comes the day, I want to talk about our separating and he is doing it again, but I just look at him and keep on talking, I know I am being gentle in tone and conversation, and guess what, when I didn't back off he just stopped acting upset on a dime and answered my question. And I had to realise he had been doing it deliberately to keep me in the dark all those years. 

Karis, it is great you have found us here and keep posting, but it will also help a lot if you can talk to some people who are there in your life.  Is there a friend or family member that you feel you can trust?   I hadn't realised I was reluctant to talk to people in my life about it, it was like I'd already been groomed to keep his secret before I knew there even was a secret to keep - it felt surprisingly good to talk, like it put the ground under my feet, a breath of fresh air.


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