Dealing with rejection

johnny52February 18, 2009

Ever since our Valentine's Day missed adventure I have made several overtures toward my wife with complete rejection or a simple no.

Well, this morning I tried again because men are stupid it seems. After her quick "no" spending me away to get ready for work I respobded with it doesm't matter anyway. It was the only thing that popped into my head trying not to show my dissapointment.

Right before I left the house she asked why I do that and that I created all the tension in our marriage. Trying to be undetanding but to share my feelings I told her that it was only that my ego got bruised and i'm dealing with that.

Her response was "I guess you don't care about my feelings". How quickly she can turn (180 degress) whatever I said into what about her. She added the fact tht we wee intimate just last week so what's the problem with you (meaning me).

How do you justify your feelings? Or how do you just make yourself just brush off these comments without trying to place blame somewhere?

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You two have gotten into a vicious circle situation. If she says 'no', you perceive that she's rejected you and you pout or sulk or mutter something unpleasant. If she doesn't want you to pout or sulk, that means she has to say 'yes' -- even if she doesn't want to. Which means she really doesn't have free choice in the matter and is constantly feeling pressured, which makes her want to say 'no'... A vicious circle.

Honest communication will help - acknowledging the problem and really listening to her thoughts and feelings on the matter. I suspect you don't really want to have sex with her if she doesn't want to -- So ASK her outright what you can do to make her feel wanted and feel like she wants to have sex with you.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2009 at 10:53AM
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It's sad, but I can pretty much relate to your situation. My husband a year ago basically shut me down and told me he can't do the intimacy thing anymore. We've only been married four years and I'm only 51. He has no desire and no intentions of seeking help from anywhere and he certainly doesn't want to talk about it. I told myself I can live with this because I love him, but it is hard. You feel rejected in everything you do and feel like you can't make them happy. It has me second guessing my attractivness all the time. You can't talk about it to family and friends because the last thing you want is to make them look bad or yourself to look like some sex maniac, you feel trapped, but not really because you love them. It is a vicious circle if you press the issue, other wise you learn to live and love without. Sorry to hear you are going through this. Hang in there. On a good note August 26th was a good day.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2009 at 11:54AM
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Speaking from my own personal experience there are a couple of things that I would try and rule out first before thinking that your situation was a lack of your wife loving you.

Premenopausal or menopausal symptoms can include a lack of interest in sex. Hormone levels change....sexual desire changes. Seeing a doctor on her part could help.

If she is taking any medications that could be a contributing factor. I was on an anti depressant that just killed my sex drive. I got off of the meds. It depressed me that I wasn't interested in sex!!! LOL....I figured that I hadn't waited 12 years after my divorce to finally get married again and then not to have that in my life was something I was not willing to live through.

I would begin by courting your wife. Have you seen the movie "Fire Proof?"...if not I suggest it. There is a book that goes with it. I believe that it is called "The Love Challenge." This is a Christian centered movie and book but even if you are not a believer marriage is a relationship that must be nurtured and the movie and book show you how and show you what you may be doing to harm your relationship without even knowing it.

We womens are funny creatures. Some of us tend to think that every nice thing you do for us has an ulterior Just try doing things for her without expecting anything in return and perhaps she will relax.

Best of luck to you.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2009 at 3:54PM
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"Some of us tend to think that every nice thing you do for us has an ulterior"

Doesn't it?
only half kidding...

    Bookmark   February 18, 2009 at 4:40PM
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Laughing 100%!!! I tell my DH "If you think you're going to get sex for that....forget about it." We joke about it all of the time. He'll do something that I don't like and I'll say..."And I'm suppose to be attracted to that?".

We also joke that his idea of being romantic is replacing the light bulb when it's burnt out. Poor guy....he is just not romantic. I did get red roses for Valentine's day but he worked all day so that was the roses though.

Our love life is sooo much better when the kids are not around.....each one has a different schedule.....doors opening and closing at all hours.....He says it will be better when they are all out on their own. The youngest is 10! I tell him I plan on being dead by then so we'd better work something out before that time comes.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2009 at 5:18PM
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Every couple gets out of synche once in a while. However, if you're out of synche all the time then someone's either sick or playing games. From your post, I think you've got a game-player there with a hidden agenda you know nothing about.

Could be wrong. Just sounds familiar.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2009 at 6:09PM
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There is one view that seems to rise to the surface from a lot of the readers "Every nice thing you do for us has an ulterior". While it would nice to say honestly that isn't true there is able truth to that concept.

I MUST take this as constructive criticism and use this insight to our benefit. Now on the other hand I do so much for her without any agenda other than she's like it. Little things like I bring her coffee every morning so it'll be waiting for her when she steps out of the shower every morning.

For the last few years I am literally afraid to instigate any intimate actities. Sure, I try to hid my disspointment but she knows... then she gets made at me for acting that way. I know she loves me. And I love her. We've talked about it but I get the old "it's time to grow up" lecture.

She wants me to hold her every night before falling a sleep. But if I even make a single move toward anything else she'll immediately move away and say good night. It's like I'm not sure when I'm "allowed" to persue her so It's easier to just not try for fear of being scolded.

She is very submerged in menopause, can not take any meds for fear of cancer. My wife is a physician so she knows the facts. But she'll twist other facts to her benefit to fit the need. She claims most of her friends rarely have sex more than once a month so I should feel lucky. Women talk to each other about these things I suppose.

The best whopper of a tale is she say most couples in the 50's just don't have sex anymore. Where I the world did she get this story. I've come very close to saying so me the documents on that one.

The bottom line is she doesn't doesn't need or desire that type of closeness anymore. She expects me to respect her wishes but still be close in every other way. To bring this subject full circle remember that thought "Every nice thing you do for us has an ulterior".

Meanwhile I find the rejection feeling smothering other aspects of our wonderful life.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2009 at 10:44AM
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"She is very submerged in menopause,"

Johnny - This is a CRITICAL piece of information, and probably explains 85-90% of the problem. Seriously. The fact that you're only mentioning it now suggests to me that you don't realize quite how MAJOR menopause can be for many, many women. I'd suspect that's the main underlying issue for her, and that everything else is details. Menopause affects a woman's hormones -- so her sex drive, moods, energy levels -- not to mention her physical comfort (yes, pain!), appearance and self-imange.

"She claims most of her friends rarely have sex more than once a month so I should feel lucky. Women talk to each other about these things I suppose.
The best whopper of a tale is she say most couples in the 50's just don't have sex anymore. Where I the world did she get this story. I've come very close to saying so me the documents on that one."

Honestly, from what I hear from my friends, I don't think she's that wrong. Seriously. DO ASK HER to show you some studies. Or Google them yourself. Now it's not all *women* that are not wanting sex in their 50's either. I know that for my friends at least, often it's their husbands who are having difficulties (high blood pressure or high blood sugar-induced ED, prostate issues), and their sex lives are dwindling for those reasons. But for what it's worth, we *don't* talk about it that often, or that directly, so we're all kind of going on innuendo, occasional vents and wisecracks.

"The bottom line is she doesn't doesn't need or desire that type of closeness anymore. She expects me to respect her wishes but still be close in every other way. "

A very wise counselor once told me this:
- Women crave intimacy, and give sex to get intimacy.
- Men crave sex, and give intimacy to get sex.
Why don't you ask your wife if that statement is true for her, and tell her how true it is (or isn't) for you. It sounds like a good jumping off point for an honest discussion.

Now I'm going to be really blunt.
It sounds to me like she's talking, but that you're not really listening.
Your posts have been all from your perspective -- how her lack of interest makes YOU feel.
Even to the point that her 'excuses' aren't really true (her reasons aren't valid) and that she's twisting the facts.
You're being selfish here.

Now imagine an alternate scenario. She wants regular sex but you're having difficulties.
Years of red meat and inactivity have clogged your arteries and raised your blood pressure, and now 'little Johnny' isn't behaving reliably anymore.
It's gotten to the point that whenever she starts to get intimate, you start to worry, which messes up your head and makes it even harder for little Johnny to perform.
She thinks you're making up excuses, that you find her unattractive, old -- maybe that you're seeing other women.
You try to let her know what's going on without going into too much embarassing detail -- but she's not buying it.
And she's constantly trying to spark your interest - lingerie, massages, rubbing up against you...
The pressure! Why can't she just leave you alone!?
And when you don't respond the way she wants, she cries, pouts, sulks or stomps off.

Gee - If she'd only listen.

Johnny - Listen to her. Believe her.
Tell her you LOVE her and don't want to be part of that 55% (or whatever) it is of couples in their 50's who don't have sex.
Tell her she's so wonderful and magical and that you love her too much to let that special part of your life go without a fight.
Tell her you will wait for her, and work WITH her to rebuild that intimacy.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2009 at 12:12PM
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Wow, that is the best advice I have ever seen on here Sweetby!!
And yes, menopause really does make things uncomfortable.
Johnny, what she said.
Karen L

    Bookmark   February 21, 2009 at 8:54PM
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Yes, I have to second that comment from Karen.

Thanks Sweeby your insight into these matters is amazing and the way you express yourself - you deserve and A++.


    Bookmark   February 22, 2009 at 10:24PM
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Sweeby - Maybe I should just hire you as our marriage counslor!

Your insight really hit home which didn't make the situation anymore comfortable but you've painted a picture that's much easier to understand. Your reverse "what if" story delivered the goods right at my feet so I might feel what she's been feeling all this time.

But I get the idea that she's also using menopause as a crutch or barrier to shield her from wantinmg to be involved. Please don't blast me for saying this. Consider that as just thinking outloud for a moment.

However, I find myself making a passive overture that only begs for her to react so it creates the negative vibes over and over. Why can't I learn? When I give her lots more space (believe me I do all the time) my own personality sinks into a smaller world. This is very counter productive because I tend to pull away with even less contact.

This is so hard to overcome.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2009 at 10:11AM
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