when man’ing up doesn’t measure up

My struggle with intimacy with my spouse has been over 25 years and so different things I write about may be distant history. I do want to clarify something though: I am ‘rarely’ upset by our disparaging sex drives any longer. I have moments just like anyone else, but it really is a flare up that dissipates after writing about it and very rarely do I actually show my frustration to him or for any length of time, unless it is something relatively big on an issue I have made clear I do not want breached.

I learned over the years that he has a right to his sexual identity and appetites, the same as I do. I learned that he has the right to expect to live in a house with someone who does not make sexual demands of him and not hold his lack of a sex drive against him. His need to show the world he is a married man with a family is all he wants. His sex drive dictates release every 3 months or so and his preference is to use a woman’s body for this without the exchange of reciprocation.

Our sex drives are not now, nor have they ever been compatible. His inability to pleasure me stems from much more than his small penis. I have told him many times over the years that if he simply used what he had, then everything would have been fine. I have even said things like “it’s not fair the kids think I have mood swings when in reality it’s just that I am sexually frustrated from you neglecting me and my deciding to stay faithful to you and accept your lack of sexual attention”.

After 15 years of trying to ‘fix’ things and be supporting, it’s only been the last 5 where I have started to take responsibility for my own body and have my needs met. It has been the most complicated journey I have ever had to take. In my core, I value and believe in monogamy yet it simply does not work in a relationship where sex drives are so greatly different that when you compromise all you can, you still fall far short of where you can live in acceptance of where you are.

I am not okay with laying under a man for 30 seconds to 3 minutes, 3-4 times a year and call that a sexually fulfilling life. I am not okay with never being kissed or touched sexually except when my body is being used during those brief moments he needs to ejaculate. This is his sex drive and this is his sexual needs being completely met inside of a marriage. This is all he wants or needs and to ask him for more makes him upset or angry. Yet, this is the sex life he expects me to remain faithful to.

Demanding he give me more than he is capable of sexually, is no different than asking me to be happy to accept less than I need. He will not compromise on this. I can not force him to get hard or stay hard, I can not force him to last, I can not force him to give me sexual attention. I can not make him pleasure me until I orgasm. It falls on me to make the sacrifice of my sexuality if I choose to stay married to him.

When I speak disparagingly about his penis size, it is because I am completely frustrated; not just by his small penis but by his small attitude. I DO judge him for it. Just like I judge ALL men who are selfish in bed and fail to appreciate a sexually open and viable woman who is sensual and receptive to anything and everything he could ever want or imagine as a sexually healthy partner.

I am a fucking Goddess of earthy delights who adores the male form in ALL its amazing shapes and sizes and he could care less what he has. He is using this priceless vessel as a chamber pot to shit in and it both horrifies and disgusts me in my bad moments. I have had to struggle to realize that MY worth to him is not as a sexual partner and therefore he simply does not see or care to see the sexual aspect of our marriage.

I resented that for a very long time. It took me years to work through the damage that rejection creates in a woman’s heart. I had to accept his choices as his own and not as something that diminished me. If he could not live up to his ‘manly duties’ as I saw them and he would not accept the inclusion of another man in my life who could stand as a sexual surrogate to him, then what choice was I left with? Divorce; so I could include sex in my life or taking a lover, so I could keep the marriage, give my spouse the sexual life HE wanted AND provide for my own sexual needs.

Who would have thought that cheating on your partner would have been the solution to giving him exactly what he wanted? The ONLY downfall is that he EXPECTS me to live with his diminished sex drive and remain faithful without my needs being met. He expects that I compromise and accommodate his sex drive. Well, I compromised for 22 years, remained faithful and accepted no physical or sexual relationship. So now it’s MY turn. He either accepts it or he can divorce me over it. This is exactly the choice he gave me and I hand the decision back to him.

And YES, I have said it to him exactly like that. I have no rage at him or the situation any longer though I do still struggle with my personal need for monogamy. I thrive when I can sexually focus on a single man. As my comfort level and trust deepens so does my ability to be sexually expressive with him. I do not require multiple partners; I get no sense of sexual excitement from including new persons into my sexual life. For me, that surge of lust comes from knowing someone and remembering what they do to me and what I will do to them.

In my heart and mind, I believe that if you love someone you want what’s best for them and that you are willing to do anything possible to ensure their needs are being met. I know that if I was left sexually unable to give myself to him and he needed sexual gratification, I would happily have given him the permission to find sexual release elsewhere. Communication is the most important thing in any relationship and we do not have it in our marriage.

I provide lectures and make statements, as any conversation we have is completely one sided up to the point he can get away from me so he doesn’t have to hear it. For years I allowed it, respecting his need to digest what I said. But as the years went on, I learned that’s not what he was doing. He used running away as an avoidance technique. He never had any intent on listening or implementing anything I talked about as something that was important to me at all. That was a bitter pill to swallow.

Then I chased him to make him listen and we would have heated arguments where he would refuse to stay on topic. He did not fight fair and many times would make me feel like I was crazy and it made me doubt myself and what had actually happened. It got to the point that I became confrontational on anything he said that was a misrepresentation of fact, just so I could point out to him how often he actually lied. Of course he denied it all and I could not make him see what he was doing.

The only saving grace was that I had been keeping a journal for years and so I had something to look at to verify the truth of what I was saying. It gave me a platform to stand on in realizing that he was more troubled than I had ever imagined him to be. THIS was the moment that things started to change in the relationship and I started my journey to discover what exactly his issues were as opposed to trying to get him to acknowledge that there were issues with the marriage.

Years of counselling and therapy occurred and after 1-2sessions he would bail and I would continue. I went back to University and took classes: psychology, women’s studies, religious studies, family studies. Some of the most effective classes that I took in managing my marriage were business classes and Human Resource practices on how to effectively deal with difficult employees.

Once I accepted his sexual issues were HIS and that there was nothing I could say, do or learn that would possible change his ideas or practices it gave me the freedom to discover what I needed to do to make MY life more fulfilling. So I had an affair. So what. I am fully prepared to lose the marriage because in my mind it was lost 5 years ago. I accepted his need to not be sexually called upon to service my needs without divorcing him and so now he has to accept my need to have someone replace him as a man who can satisfy his wife sexually to meet MY needs. I would prefer he give me 22 years as well…just to even things up.

If he decides his pride can not accept this arrangement and the the way he wants to handle my sexually claiming responsibility for my needs is by including a man who can take care of me sexually, then I will happily share with anyone who wants to know, that we are divorcing over his sexual inability to perform. If his choice is divorce then my choice is disclosure. And yes, I have told him this as well. I know it’s a threat and I don’t care. I am done playing by his rules and living with his choices.

I lived my sexual prime and my entire adult life in an almost celibate marriage filled with traumas and issues. I am being authentic from now on, even if my spouse refuses to believe the things I continue to say, just as he refused to listen in the past. The only real issue I have now is inside of my own mind because I do not enjoy the fact I need a lover. I do not want to actively look for one as it seems premeditated. The thrill for me is not in a search to find a new sexual partner but to give all I am to a man who is IN my life. This is at complete odds with ‘finding’ a lover.

I need emotional, spiritual and physical connectivity because it’s lacking in my marriage. I am absolutely terrified of bringing someone else into my life because I was burned by doing so in the past and I am positive that it destroyed part of my soul in a way my marriage never did. It’s left me in a very uncomfortable stasis knowing I have to move but fearful of the direction to choose.

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50 Responses to when man’ing up doesn’t measure up

  1. mckismeisreallyme says:

    it’s funny how as women, we have to accept the sex drives of our husbands. for me, with my body image issues and low self esteem when it comes to said issues, for 22+ years I accepted our diminished sex life as all that I was worthy of. About three years ago, in my mid-40’s I began to accept my body as it is and that my sexual wants and desires were indeed normal. Thank you for sharing your journey.

    • rougedmount says:

      we shouldered the blame that was not ours to carry and accepted the limitations of our partners, revoking our own needs in support of theirs. acceptance of who we are and of who they are enables us to see beyond the traditional view of marriage. one day it would be nice to have others see it as well.

  2. larryarcher says:

    First sorry what what you’ve had to live through. I’m assuming that you love the guy as you’ve put up with this for a long time. The tough thing I see is that you’re not that interested in “one night stands” which sounds like your alternatives are stick it out, divorce, or possibly take a lover(s). If you’ve decided to pull the plug on your marriage then possibly what about simply telling him up front that you need more than 3 or 4 times a year of a couple of minutes and have decided to have someone help with his homework. Then you will find out if he wants out of the game or maybe will be turned on like many guys who enjoy their wives sleeping with other guys. I know from the standpoint of swinging, screwing other people typically turns you into a bunch of horny rabbits which is not the expected result. With a good group of people, possibly he would enjoy going to parties where you could have your needs taken care of and you would go home together so he would hopefully realize that you don’t want someone else, just sex. If you did something like that, you would have to accept the fact that your sex is just that, sex. I don’t know a lot about polyamory but that might also be a suggestion. But your hubby is going to have to buy in to this.

    • rougedmount says:

      you are right, one night stands are not an option for me personally. i have not loved him in a very long time even though he is generally a nice man. i have told him in every way possible his idea of a sexual relationship comes no where close to meeting any remote need i have. he is indifferent.
      at this point, the cuckold thing is seeming to work with a modicum of success. while i have been honest about what i have done, i think he is pretending that it is simply my fantasy. i personally think he DOES believes me but by pretending its not real it allows him the deniability i think he needs to remain un-involved in a sexual life with me. he does not want to see/hear or know about when i go out though he speaks of what i may have said, during the rare times he IS sexual with me. which means he heard me and has simply not acknowledged it when i want to talk openly with him about it.
      if he asks me a question, i answer honestly…but he rarely if ever asks anything and when he does it is only when he is sexually aroused. this way it stays in the shadows of acceptance. remember, this is very, very fledgling for me. i am not even sure i want to pursue any type of relationship with my spouse, there is far too much history and hurt there. i do not trust that he will not do the same cycles he has repeated for 25 years.

      • larryarcher says:

        His ignoring or not listening is possibly his way of trying to deal with it because then he can pretend to himself that it didn’t happen. As one who always tries to find a way out of a mess, I think your options are limited and you may only have one choice and that’s to make a break but take your time and move slowly, you’ve waited this long and you need to be sure of your decision. You probably should seek legal counsel to determine your financial decisions if you haven’t already.

      • rougedmount says:

        i will leave in a few years…once my oldest son, who has issues, has his feet under him. until then i am just enjoying the time i have with my kids as they yoyo back and forth out into the world and back. i know i have precious little time left with them in this particular role.

  3. IS he aware of your affair? Has it changed him at all? I have similar issues in my marriage with my husband at times and I can completely understand your frustration. You live once and I hope you don’t spend another minute sexually frustrated. I hope you find a great lover who can understand you needs and meet them in a way you have never dreamed possible. Have you tried a dating website catering to those with similar needs?

    What do you do though if this lover you find or have found wants more from you? It seems to be a difficult task to have sex be just sex without someone falling for the other person. I’m not saying it’s impossible.
    I just want you to find your happiness. You deserve it.

    • rougedmount says:

      during the affair i would go away overnight about 3-4 times a month and be away for 2 days. i would say i am going out and i will be back in 3 days. he would say have fun. i would say, don’t worry i will. i would come home and clean the house and make dinner for everyone. he never asked where i went or who i was with. after a few years he might make a comment occasionally about ‘who i was talking to’ and i would say ‘my boyfriend’ and he would say ‘oh, tell him i said hi’. the odd time he may have been a little off, but in no way was he ever ‘upset’ nor did he ever seek any further information. i think he was quite content with the don’t ask, don’t tell policy. he benefited by having a wife who was happy and by not having me press him for sexual service.
      over the years i think he came to ‘like’ the idea i was being serviced elsewhere, though he was very careful to avoid talking about it in an open manner, even as he started to include it in the occasional time we did become intimate. talking about what i allow another man to do to me has inspired him to be more sexual…so he engages about every 5-8 weeks now. plus, i initiated major rules in september that he did not like at all, but now they seem to be working.
      he is not allowed to enter me until he brings me to at least one orgasm with a toy first. i remind him it takes another cock to make me cum and he can have sloppy seconds if “IF” I still feel like allowing it after my needs are taken care of. it’s worked far better than i could have ever imagined though i miss the feel of a man inside of my body more than i could have ever imagined. it’s not just about the orgasm but the experience of sexually giving yourself up to someone that i miss.
      i had it in a lover and i will forever miss it as i ended the relationship. i miss his cock and skill but not the drama the man had as his life story.

      • Are you seeking another lover at the time?
        I’m glad your husband has been more advancing sexually with you. Even if it is so sparingly. My pussy aches for you. I don’t know if I could last that long.

      • rougedmount says:

        i ‘need’ another lover…because without one my mood is volatile and i am surly…lol. i resent having to stay celibate and i blame my spouse for his low sex drive. when i HAVE a lover then I can accept whatever type of relationship my spouse wants to have with no ill will towards him. looking back, i have no idea how i lasted like i did…

      • I have no idea how you lasted. Why do you stay with your husband if it seems so miserable to do so? Sex is extremely important in a relationship, or maybe thats just my point of view.

      • rougedmount says:

        sex is extremely important ..but it is not everything. and those other things held more value to me for a very long time..i put my sexual needs last.

      • “Held more value to me for a very long time…” Have they lost some of their value now that you know what it is like to be often satisfied?

      • rougedmount says:

        not at all..its just that the needs of my kids out weighted my need for a sexual relationship. i understood what i was giving up when i did so. i just did not realize that 20 years was such a long time to live without sexual contact.

      • I can’t fathom living that long without a true partner. You’ve had a room mate you occasionally share mundane sex with and that my dear is never enough. I hope you find whatever it is you are looking for. I really do.
        Do you think that your unhappiness may have affected your children in some way? I hate saying this but most of the time I didn’t leave my husband it had to do with financials instead of my daughter. Why would I want my daughter brought up in a house filled with such misery?

      • rougedmount says:

        that is one area i am positive that i made the right choices. the kids have had 2 parents who acted like siblings…their lives were ‘normal’ and they did not see the conflict that occurred in the bedroom.

      • Then that my friend is a blessing.

      • rougedmount says:

        which is why i was able to stay since it was basically just me who was impacted.

      • You are a very strong woman rougedmount

      • Do you regret all those years of no pleasure?

      • rougedmount says:

        when i see the stability of my kids? see them making the right choices? seeing the proof that my decision was the best one for ‘them’? i can not regret anything.
        besides i was given the gift of a lover who healed me and made all those lonely years worthwhile…even if it ended in pain for me..it did not take away the healing i had because of it

      • That is great. I always fear regret. I wonder all the time if I do leave him will I regret it? I’m not so sure I would but I will never know until I go.

      • rougedmount says:

        we each come to our own truth in the way we have to, to truly understand what we have to do. i hope the choice becomes clearer for you and that when you are ready you will not regret a thing.

      • I must be getting annoying but would it bother you if you found out that your husband was finding pleasure elsewhere?

      • rougedmount says:

        he has – it did – i got over it – and now i could care less. my primary goal was to have the kids suffer no impact and they haven’t. my secondary goal was to find a real relationship for me. that won’t happen until i leave.

      • So let me get this straight. Instead of giving the goods at home he went else where? I’m honestly surprised considering how he seems to not be sexually inclined at all. I’m sorry you went through that. I’m glad your over it. And maybe if you could care less that’s telling you something?

      • rougedmount says:

        i emotionally divorced him as a husband 5 years ago. it was as clear and absolute. eventually the paperwork will catch up.

      • Eventually…. oh how i hateee this word =)

      • rougedmount says:

        oh and i really Do want to be clear…’most’ days life for me is normal. life is not miserable if you are living with a sibling… a sibling relationship is basically what my spouse needs and wants 99.9% of the time. things are only ‘bad’ when i get frustrated by that. i wanted a husband and not a roommate. my spouse is very attractive and it is hard for me to accept him as a platonic relationship most of the time…especially since i am a very sexual woman.

      • tlcoles says:

        Woman, please! You already have a success story under your belt!

        Relationships are about risk. Most won’t last more than a few months, but you’ve got 22 years in this one but no need to make that “success” the measuring stick right?

        Get back in the game. And make it YOUR game again.

        P.S. Don’t go dissing one-night stands. Some last longer. Some planned for longer don’t. I personally consider it a wee bit of slut shaming and, pshaw!, who needs that noise!

      • rougedmount says:

        i see nothing wrong with one night stands at all..they just aren’t personally for me

  4. jayne says:

    I don’t know about you but so many things are familiar to what I’ve been through. I’ve found as I think I read in your words that going through this and understanding slowly brings acceptance or visibility of your options but for me, understanding and acceptance also meant changing some of my own beliefs of what I wanted and needed. It’s just a difficult set of circumstances like you already know. You’re not alone in these circumstances and I have a feeling you’ll end up where you want to be. xo, Jayne

    • rougedmount says:

      i agree – my beliefs have dramatically shifted through this entire process as did my understanding about how we love each other and what our expectations are of a marriage and sexuality.

      • jayne says:

        It’s daunting to me when I look at the process in hindsight. But it’s also incredibly freeing to realize where I am because of what I have learned. I would have never thought things would look this way to me because my beliefs were so entrenched in how I thought about love and marriage…if you know what I mean.

      • rougedmount says:

        i would never do it again. this is a ‘one of’ type of journey. i would never be as forgiving to another person or give as many chances again. i have truly learned how much i am capable of enduring and i have no desire to ever come close to those edges again. i have grown beyond anything i ever thought possible and i truly try to live in acceptance and not just talk about it.

      • jayne says:

        Yes – I am in total agreement on all of that. I don’t know though, having to be so incredibly accepting and giving to one man who has actually clarified what I don’t want. Sometimes I’m so surprised at how quickly I can cut ties as compared to before – 1How I was, maybe 5-10 years ago. Hopefully that means I have clearer boundaries than before. I only hope but can’t bet on it because each person is unique. I just know better where certain limitations of mine end. you know, what you will allow yourself to put up with. I know you have written about that aspect before.

      • rougedmount says:

        like yourself my ability to cut ties now is absolute and immediate. i know how much time i invested in this relationship and will never do it again. my boundary is now crystal clear.

      • jayne says:

        that’s a good thing we got ; )

  5. frankly1900 says:

    Good for you. Being brought up in a Christian environment, guilt is a constant shadow. If taking a lover works for you, then don’t give it a second thought. The only thing we have to do in life is honestly express ourselves. You seem like a very sexual person, infact I love reading your posts because of that quality. Your sexuality is to be celebrated, life has a way of giving you what you need, in your case it looks like a cool other guy. Don’t worry about right or wrong, normal or abnormal. Monogamy only works if it works for you. You are starting on a new journey into yourself. Don’t hold onto past resentments or disappointments, as they might block you from where you are supposed to be going. I try to be playful in life, it is my default world perspective. We chose how to see the world and our circumstances, if there are things to be thankful to your husband for then thank him, the rest is up to you. Love, luck and laughter 🙂

    • rougedmount says:

      thank you for the comments. i very much have tried to let things from the past go and learning to ‘really’ appreciate the things i have in my life. it is certainly a process. perhaps one day i will be in a place where everything makes sense.

      • Ron says:

        You’ll get to where you want to go – one day at a time. It really looks like you’ve learned to appreciate everything you have in spite of (or because of?) what you are missing now. You’re an amazing woman, and you will surely find a man who appreciates every bit of you.

  6. Pingback: This. | My Batty Life!

  7. Chris says:

    I appreciate the ball and bundle of emotions that you hold in your hands and heart. It’s rarely one thing. No woman ever broke off a relationship or its sexual component solely because my penis is small. When it was a factor, it was one factor. Things I did, said, or failed to say or do had more to do with it, even if they became less distinct or clear over time as life moved on. We often are left with negative feelings, and not specific individual memories of incidents that occurred, although there were many incidents. My small penis became a catch-all of sorts, something tangible and physical that a woman could point to, and say: “not enough to satisfy me,” even if the physical sensation had little to do with our deteriorating or sexually-dead relationship. It was a point I couldn’t argue, a fact I had lived with since age six, a point of contention and sexual insufficiency in other relationships. It was never as significant a factor as was said, or as I thought, but there it was, the more biting the comment, the smaller I got, as if to hide. Now, I realize that much of the fault really was mine and not physical at all.

    • rougedmount says:

      I understand your comment, so very much. In my marriage, there has been ‘many’ issues. So many in fact, that I can safely catch all the phrase ‘almost everything’ and stand behind it with memories of events to support more than I can believe I went through. The problem is, I was never listened to ~ never ~ and as a result I admit to using my husband’s small size against him. I did it for the exact reason you said, “It was a point (he) couldn’t argue”. And argue or deny every other single thing is what he did, so this was my ‘only’ thing I could use to try and get his attention and make him listen to me.
      Of course, it didn’t work and yes, I had tried every single other thing first over a period of 20 years. For me, it truly was a last resort and to be honest it felt dishonest for me to say it was a major issue, when in reality; it had never been an issue at all for me. It was the 753 other things that were wrong, that mattered. So his penis size DID become something I could focus on, because we weren’t having sex anyway because of HIS issues and not because it had anything to do with me.

      • ooooof!

        Well, I hope you told all of that to him with a sincere apology. Belittling him for a genetic can’t-do-anything-about-it issue is a truly low blow. That would be like someone telling me they didn’t find me attractive because I am this skin color and not another … after they’d already married me. o_0

        The way this messed up society works for me, of all the 753 other things you mentioned that comment is likely to be the one he holds on to. Again, oooof!

      • rougedmount says:

        when you are at war with someone and purposefully trying to damage each other…you do not pull punches…especially not after being together 27 years. it’s not quite ‘belittling when taken in context to the entire situation and his denial about who and what he is sexually. i can fully appreciate your reaction though, even though in his instance it triggered an awareness of acceptance that he has never had or been secure enough to express.’ it is not just a complicated situation but a very convoluted one as well…

      • Chris says:

        It’s borne out in the comments from women on your posting, and your exchanges with them. It’s about the emotional connection, and his lack of effort to create or maintain a strong one with you. Of course it hurt when my first wife or a longtime girlfriend would lash out in anger about the size of my penis in an argument that was really about something else, and those relationships were probably doomed by then anyway, because the connection was already broken and we didn’t repair it. Hearing the truth of it though, and learning to accept that it was a point of some dissatisfaction for them, did help me to become a better friend and lover in subsequent relationships.

        I didn’t want to be like a man short of stature who has bad posture and makes himself look even shorter than he is. I didn’t want to be like a bald man with a bad comb-over who called attention to the fact that he was bald and still not accepting of the fact that he’s bald. I understand completely your frustration about him and your relationship measuring up: manhood isn’t measured in years, and it isn’t measured in inches. It’s mostly about accepting and embracing adult responsibilities, including those of husband, lover, and friend to you. When he doesn’t do that, as when I haven’t in my life, then the fact of a small penis ends up matching the fact that he’s a small man. He has an obligation to himself and to you not to be a small man, and he hasn’t met that obligation.

      • rougedmount says:

        this is exactly, exactly right..and that is the single source of frustration i have with him. he just wont even try. its like sitting with the keys to the most fabulous sports car in your hand, then bitching because you can;t go anywhere, all the while everyone around you shouting at you to just put the key in the ignition and turn it on!!! it doesn;t matter you are given the instruction manual when you refuse to read the book, it doesn;t matter that you keep your eyes closed and the music loud to do all you can to prevent any information from reaching you like a stubborn child. all that had to happen was just open your eyes and ears and you would have been given everything…

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