why did I stay?

Why has my spouse refused to listen to me about the decline of our marriage and our horribly negligent sex life? The answer is simple. Because I have stayed, it means I was not serious. Some men actually need to have you leave; to file for and proceed with a divorce, for them to understand that there was a problem in a marriage. As you can imagine, this can create problems, if your intent was to actually ‘stay’ married.

You can not force someone to believe you, even if you are clear in what you say. Your ability to speak does not ensure their ability to understand you. Unfortunately, some people are geared to learn the hard way and only when looking at relationships post mortem as opposed to being flexible enough to listen and adapt while in them. My spouse is one of these men. And I was too stubborn to believe he couldn’t learn, if I just explained a different way.

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19 Responses to why did I stay?

  1. Jayne says:

    I was just as stubborn as you…thinking I could find the right words. xo, J

  2. The Woman Invisible says:

    I stayed for 20 years and only recently (a year after separation) has he admitted he now understands what I must have felt like.

    • rougedmount says:

      some people only get lessons the hard way..it may actually make them better partners for future people if they did learn the importance of communication.

      • The Woman Invisible says:

        I know I did – I didn’t realize for so many years how much lack of communication was damaging – now all I want to do is learn how to communicate properly! I hope for his sake, that he does as well.

  3. kdaddy23 says:

    Maybe it’s just me but I would have thought that you stayed, not for him, but because of your convictions about being married and even out of a sense of duty – and even that was why you’ve been so determined to make him see the light and the truth of what’s been wrong in your marriage as well as what you’ve have to resort to doing because he couldn’t face the problems he caused.

    I asked myself if I, in that situation, would want to just divorce you so you’d stop fucking with me about this… and I thought, no, I wouldn’t – not if I still believed that I loved you despite my, um, issues – but, of course, that’s me and assuming that I was in some severe denial about my issues… which, in real life, I wouldn’t be. I’ve told you that if you were married to me and not getting enough, I’d insist that you take a lover… but I still wouldn’t divorce you and simply because I would still be very much in love with you – and that means more than sex.

    Your hubby is a very different animal and, yes, when you confessed to having affairs because of his issues, he could have kicked you to the curb – but not without a lot of legal difficulties – but he didn’t do that; you could have left him and just taken your chances… but you didn’t so, no, I don’t “believe” that you stayed because you weren’t serious because unless there’s something else to this statement, if you weren’t serious, you wouldn’t still be there and we wouldn’t be having this conversation at all.

    Just my three cents worth – and I just might be wrong.

    • rougedmount says:

      he used to say ‘i love you’ in a sarcastic and mocking way, when i was fighting with him, trying to get him to listen, to talk, to be anything other than neutral…it was meant as a way to piss me off and get me to stop talking ‘at’ him. so it’s meaning became twisted and warped. after our conversation the other day, he stopped, he looked at me for the first time in a very long time, he spoke slowly and clearly and he said with quiet simplicity…i love you, and i want to stay married to you and be with you for our entire lives…and i believed him.
      i haven’t said it back to him ..i haven’t said it to him…in well over 7 years. and i’ve told him i am not sure if i will be able to love him again. i don’t trust him or believe anything he says. and it might take him years to try and repair damage he caused…i simply don’t know. i am not averse to falling in love with him..i’m just not sure how much i ability i have left to invest in him. It makes me sad in a way…but I am done covering for him or pretending things are not as they are.

  4. Jayne says:

    I have known your blog for well over a year , maybe 2. Time has been warped for me in the last 2 years dealing with other things. I have always thought that you have been a staunch advocate for marriage. You are one that admits the need for a relationship to truly open sexually. I get that and I believe I need the same foundation. I also think that’s why you fought so hard to understand and be understood. That and you value marriage, as I did mine…sort of. The Village idiot on your Cialis post gave me more peace because he is in the same boat. Asexual spouses and all. It was the hardest thing to understand and separate myself from the issue in our marriage. I won’t even get into that rat’s nest but what hit me to comment was seeing V.I’s completely impersonal, logical response to you. He’s so right and only after getting that it had nothing to do with marriage or me, could I see my ex-spouse as a person I couldn’t be married to anymore. I must tell you that I believe people with this issue – my husband – to be on the autistic spectrum because of other traits that always were withi him and never changed. Staying within the house meant that we were married and that met his needs – period. Straying meant that I was and did accept his behavior. Wriggling in anger, tears, distance or words meant nothing because I stayed. Presence meant acceptance. Nothing else was on his radar except his needs. The only answer was putting my needs first and, for myself, that meant to divorce. I hope you find your own answers. You do deserve to be loved as you need. xo, J

    • Village Idiot says:

      Dear Jayne:

      Thank you so much for sharing. How can our hearts not go out to those in such circumstances as we share? May you continue to find more peace and healing.

      Village Idiot

      • Jayne says:

        Your approach – and I only read the one on the Cialis post – was not blaming or pitying. It cleared the behavior from so many feelings that I have about a situation as Rougedmounts, mine and yours in their variations. It is/was a a very confusing and yet defining issue so I usually do not talk about it, but as you said, How could I not? I may be off on my own tangent here because R’s husband is not- was not mine, but the confusion and the fight to understand sounds exactly the same and as painful. I’ve never heard of anyone having this type of sexuality in marriage – well, except for the “wives that don’t want to have sex with their husband’s” perspective. I’ve never heard of a man in that way. I wish you the same peace and healing. xo, Jayne

      • rougedmount says:

        you know, if nothing else, it’s taught me to not assume anything and not presume to understand things I have no personal knowledge of. I am ~so~ grateful to discover the online world of blogs which enabled me to find so many variations of lifes experiences..it’s helped me more than i can speak of without effusive and excessive praise, waxing poetic..lol.. I’ve had people attack me, blame me, be horribly verbally violent. but i also found support and understanding…and it helped me to understand the anger from the others…so really, it’s a priceless gift.

      • Jayne says:

        I agree and feel exactly the same about blogging. The real stories and variations of sexuality widened my perspective of possibilities and acceptance because it also made it clear that people just want to love and be loved, whatever the style. That theme in all that I have read in blogs actually made our differences seem natural. Moving beyond that stage was still difficult but seeing so many differences helped to diffuse some of my anger over having to deal with this for so long. You do have a direct and strong voice but blaming you? To me, that’s just plain ignorance to your actual day to day circumstances. I take it for granted that there are factors in every relationship that I can’t fully understand because I’m not in it. Moving in a healthier direction was all I could think to do. It seems that you’re doing that too, more out in the open than I dared. I can and do appreciate that kind of fervor – heart. To me, it validates life. I wish there was an easier way but I know the only way is through it. Others have done it and lived!

    • rougedmount says:

      -thank you-
      and as warped as it may seem to others who are ‘not’ in the same boat…i do believe in marriage. often times i wish i didn’t. my reality is complex and has many sides..we all share a complexity of reasons why we do things.. i was stubborn, yes. i simply could not imagine a person so dramatically different than i was. time and life has taught me so very much. ‘presence meant acceptance’ is something hard to understand by many and hard to accept when you live with it and finally figure out what that exactly means.

      • Jayne says:

        Yes. Personally, I see the complexities. He didn’t. Stubborn isn’t really the right word. Perseverance ( why do I know see SEVERE? ) in trying to solve the problem is more like it. I took it to another level because I believed it was possible. It just wasn’t. It was important to know that I did everything I possibly could before ending the marriage. I think that’s why I always related to your posts of telling it like it is on this subject.

  5. Jayne says:

    Not Straying but STAYING meant that I was and did accept his behavior.

  6. DoesItEvenMatterWhoIAm? says:

    I have been with my husband for 13.5 years now. At just shy of the 7 year mark, I cut and. I left him, we separated, split custody 50/50 of our one child and I filed for divorce. When he was served divorce papers after 6 months of separation, he finally realized how badly he had screwed things up. I knew where I had gone wrong; however, he had not quite realized it until he got those papers from the Sheriff’s Dept. He panicked and called me. He begged, pleaded and cried and asked for another chance. I allowed him to woo me, and date me. We reconciled, called off the divorce and Have an entirely different relationship than the one we had before the separation.

    I strongly believe that those changes would not have come, had I not take the steps that I did, to make my point.

    Those are my two cents, for what they are worth.

    • rougedmount says:

      …and those 2 cents are the most valuable thing there are, if someone else reads it and understands that not all women will be like you or I and come back. The fact is what you did took courage, conviction and came at great emotional risk because you took a chance on him, knowing what his failings were and exactly how things could go wrong. It’s hard letting go, yes…it’s harder to stay and fight for a marriage you don’t want to be in, hoping it grows into one that you hoped it would be. I’m glad you did and it worked.

      • DoesItEvenMatterWhoIAm? says:

        Thanks. Sometimes you don’t know that something is worth fighting for, until you actually fight for it.

  7. ismeisreallyme says:

    It’s an interesting situation, to say the least. As you have always eloquently stated, each relationship is personal and unique for so many reasons, both obvious and not so obvious. To stay or not to stay is never as simple or as black and white as many would like to believe. Thank you, for sharing so openly and authentically as you always do.

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