'tis the Bearded One

Withholding Sex in Marriage

30 posts in this topic

5 hours ago, Naturally said:

What you've described here is a man stuck between a rock and a hard place.

Either he admits he's wrong (when he's not) = she loses respect for him = no sex

or he stands his ground (because he's right) = she continues to hold out on him = no sex  (and while her "weapon" may lose some of its power because he doesn't immediately submit, he's still not getting any sex from her and her belief that he will only get more desperate with time is what makes her confident in her "weapon's" power - that he will eventually give in and give her what she wants)

What I have described here is a reality that many married men actually face.

That is exactly what I think that most modern women raised with the post-feminist mentality would do. Society's pressure on destroying marriage has been constant since the late '60s...

A lot of these juvenile mind games that women seem to play have no winning option for the man. The only thing he can do is refuse to play and hope for the best...

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45 minutes ago, Dave1985 said:

A lot of these juvenile mind games that women seem to play have no winning option for the man.

"Juvenile mind games" are not exclusive to women, Dave...

8 hours ago, Naturally said:

I guess this is my response to having read countless reddit posts on the issue with men saying how they'd deal with the issue through "alpha male" behaviour such as ignoring her, going out to clubs with mates to make her jealous, overtly watching porn to show her he doesn't need her.

 

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12 hours ago, Naturally said:

I must be pretty naive, In total honesty, I never thought married men had insecurities.

Oh they definitely do. If anything, the insecurities may get worse in marriage for some men than before marriage. We have just as many insecurities as women, they just come in different forms. Many wives don't realize this, but their words and actions have the power to either build their man up to reach his full potential or she could absolutely destroy his very sense of self. Seriously, women have that power. I can tell you as a man, the one person I would be most afraid of letting down would be my wife. I'm just being real here. I would be worried whether or not I am a good enough provider, whether she feels safe around me or not, whether she thinks I'm a good father to me kids etc. I am certain these are but just a few of the many insecurities that husbands have.

The article that TTBO linked to is pretty on point. We have serious emotional needs too. I think the biggest emotional we need is respect, in contrast to a woman's biggest need being loved. The difference I think is that love is more of an action, whereas respect is more of an attitude of high esteem. We as men need to be admired for the man that we are. We need to be affirmed that we are appreciated for what we are providing whether it is materially or emotionally. We need the woman in our lives to be proud of our accomplishments. When we aren't getting that, we shut down. I hear so many husbands who dread going home to their wives because they do nothing but just nag and complain even after he had a hard day's work. But if, for example, a wife welcomed him home with a warm smile and big embrace, then that is the kind of wife that a man can't wait to come home to.

 

11 hours ago, Naturally said:

I guess this is my response to having read countless reddit posts on the issue with men saying how they'd deal with the issue through "alpha male" behaviour such as ignoring her, going out to clubs with mates to make her jealous, overtly watching porn to show her he doesn't need her. I find all this absolutely absurd and believe it would only perpetuate her behaviour only this time with intense fervour.  Although they defend this behaviour by claiming appealing to her about his needs and his hurt feelings would make her lose respect for him and treating her like garbage is how to make her realise the error of her ways.

Ah, that makes sense. We'll there's the problem right there, reddit :P It is a cesspool of bitter, cynical and misogynistic men who think women are the devil simply because they were hurt by one or two women over the course of their life. Rather than owning up to their part of the conflict, they'd rather just complain and moan online about how women suck or, as you say, engage in "alpha male" behavior. It's rather childish really.

 

11 hours ago, Naturally said:

This is exactly what wouldn't work on me and what would is actually what they describe not to do. Him having an earnest heartfelt conversation with me about his desire to connect, how our physical unity is what fortifies him in life, revealing his vulnerability. THAT would work on me. THAT would make me respect the hell out of him.

You're right in that he has all the right to be upset that his physical needs aren't being met, but how he expresses those feelings could make all the difference to the situation.

Honestly, this is exactly what I would do. In fact, I wouldn't know how to go about it any other way. I am "naturally" (hehe, get it?) very expressive in my emotions. I actually quite enjoy talking about my feelings and am one of the few guys I know who craves emotional intimacy almost as much as sex. I have to admit that expressing one's feelings is something most men have trouble doing. Maybe that's just how we are by design or maybe we're just conditioned to believe being open with our emotions makes us unmanly. I don't think it is. I just think of it as being human.

 

10 hours ago, Naturally said:

I personally would like my husband to tell me his true feelings even if it would upset me. I wan't him to argue my ideas, question my statements, debate my beliefs, tell me when I'm wrong, open my mind to what I reject, challenge my opinions, reveal my ignorance, that is exactly what I want and it's how I'm happiest. But it needs to be done with sincerity, humility, and respect. My issue is not with his message, my issue is how he delivers the message. If he communicates with anger and aggression It will amount to nothing, I will simply close down emotionally and walk away. 

I completely agree. It really isn't so much what is being said but rather how it is said. Body language, tone of voice and demeanor makes all the difference to whether your partner is receptive or defensive to what you are trying to communicate. I think this goes back to what we talked about elsewhere. Many married couples are too caught up in being right and gaining the upper hand rather than resolving the issue for the sake of both parties. I also think if both people can trust the other is always coming from a place of wanting what is best for the relationship itself then both will be more at ease in being in conflict.

 

9 hours ago, Naturally said:

I agree with you. If a woman were to complain to her girlfriends about her husband not engaging with her emotionally, the response of her friends won't be "it's because you're not sleeping with him enough, shame on you" it would be "what a selfish asshole, he doesn't care about you"

But for men it's the opposite, if he were complaining to his mates that his wife was not interested in sex, his mates would likely ask "are you being attentive to her emotional needs?" and not "she's a bitch who doesn't care about you"

When it comes to sex I think society sides with the woman because it can be such a vulnerable position for a woman that it's understandable that she should receive preferential treatment in order to put herself in that position and if she doesn't want to put herself in that position then the man must be doing something wrong.

Again, I'm not saying it's right, I just understand it. 

When complaints like these happen, I always try to be as objective as possible and I automatically assume there is more to the story. After all, I am only hearing one side of the story. Yet I can sometimes fall into the same trap of sympathizing more with a woman than a man is some cases. Particularly when it comes to abuse. In my head, I know abuse is equally wrong whether the victim is a man or a woman. But I would have a stronger knee-jerk reaction on an emotional level if I heard a woman was being abused. Maybe it's nature, maybe it's social conditioning. I honestly don't know.

To go along with what you are saying, I also think there is a societal perception that sex is somehow a "lesser" need in a relationship. Therefore, it is deemed more acceptable to refuse sex than to refuse emotional intimacy. Disclaimer: I am not in any way saying that to suggest people shouldn't be free to say no to sex because they do. I'm just saying I don't agree with the disjointed perception between sexual and emotional intimacy. Now I can sympathize in that I actually believe a woman is in a more vulnerable position during sex than a man is. Not just because sex is more emotionally charged for a woman than a man, but also because a woman has to bear the uneasy feeling that she could possibly get pregnant. So I get it. At the same time, I don't think sex should be viewed as a "lesser" need. I think it is very vital to a marriage. It just happens to be more important to most men than most women. Just like the inverse is true when it comes to emotional connection in most cases.

 

8 hours ago, Naturally said:

Communication is not in male territory or female territory. Some people equate communication to emotional intimacy which implies the wife gets her needs met first. But communication is not emotional intimacy, it comes before it. Communication is the train station and sexual intimacy and emotional intimacy are the trains. Both wife and husband need to get to the station first if they want to catch their train.

Communication is the middle ground where BOTH parties need to "give into" in order to reach a compromise. Therefore, no matter which side of the argument you're standing on, both sides require humility to conclude the argument.

Very well said, I agree 100%. I love the train station analogy. I think both people should just be open and honest about their needs and should always be made to feel safe to express them to each other. 

 

2 hours ago, redgrapes said:
3 hours ago, Dave1985 said:

A lot of these juvenile mind games that women seem to play have no winning option for the man.

"Juvenile mind games" are not exclusive to women, Dave...

11 hours ago, Naturally said:

I guess this is my response to having read countless reddit posts on the issue with men saying how they'd deal with the issue through "alpha male" behaviour such as ignoring her, going out to clubs with mates to make her jealous, overtly watching porn to show her he doesn't need her.

 

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On 21 October 2016 at 9:44 AM, Invincible said:

Only if you will be the guest on one ;)

I'm open to it :) I wouldn't be able to until later next week. Don't have the necessary equipment yet...We probably need someone from the opposing viewpoint too!....

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On 20 October 2016 at 3:16 AM, Naturally said:

But I also empathise with women - If we withhold sex for any reason (negative reinforcement) we're called manipulative, and if we give it abundantly (positive reinforcement) for any reason we're still called manipulative. Women simply have the power in sex. Deal with it.

and @Invincible

the problem here is that you are equating withholding or giving with reinforcement. This doesn't have to be the case and in a certain form I would be quite annoyed if any kind of reinforcement was executed without my consent. Negative reinforcement would actually be better here: i only don't have sex when I actively mess up - the baseline is I get sex. In positive reinforcement I have to be extra good to get any sex - baseline is I don't get sex. You can't really compare sex with the nice (but unhealthy) positive reinforcement of say a candy for doing a job well done. Candy isn't a natural "need". You don't need candy for a healthy marriage....

i've created another thread that links closely with this: http://forums.waitingtillmarriage.org/topic/5785-the-utility-of-sex-pavlov-conditioning-and-reinforcement/

 

well, technically whoever has the lower sex drive has the power. I suspect also that apart from that societies perception of the power being in women reflects their tendency to use that power manipulatively.....

simply because a spouse has more power in a certain area doesn't excuse the exertion of that power. I might have more economic power, more physical power, etc doesn't mean I'm justified in using it against my spouse. I don't want my marriage turn into a game theory type power play - I'd prefer to keep power play for the bedroom :D. Heck, as an INFJ I probably will have a greater capability for manipulation than my spouse, that's a dark road I don't want to exercise.

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