I have been following and contributing to the brave post by Samchik regarding sex and love in marriage.
One poster went on slightly apprehensive that she would be shot down in flames for stating that in her belief sex was an important part of a relationship and could make you smile all day.
I agree with what she said.
I have been a poster on this site now for 3 years and it has taken me this long (I used to post as Pipsqueakthefirst) to begin to come clean about my feelings about sex and love in a relationship and also that long for me to begin to realise that I blamed myself way too much and didn''t understand either my motivation or my husbands motivation regarding either sex or love.
Like so many on here who have had contentious (and maybe bad marriages) I now suffer from a huge dose of mistrust not just in myself (that has never changed) but also in the motives of others.
At the moment I have a man who is chasing me like made and telling me that this is the first time he has ever been in love.
So, bearing in mind what everyone on here has posted and also that he has been very truthful to me (and to a certain extent me to him - I don''t feel totally besoted like he does) I have decided to trust him as I always had a very fulfilling sex life before I met my husband and I would like to get back to some sort of good sex (from someone who loves me).
I have come to the conclusion that if you can never trust again then the other person who has abused you and your trust will ultimately have "won".
May I congratulate you on being frank and honest with yourself and with all of us on Wiki.
What you are going through is not unique and yet we all have a tendency to hide this aspect of life as it it were perhaps shameful.
There is nothing remotely wrong in thinking that sex is an important part of a relationship (er, with the other person in the relationship). We all have needs and wants, not just emotional but also physical and mental and not necessarily in that order of importance.
In my opinion, the Graduate summed sex up when Dustin Hoffman said that having sex with Mrs Robinson was like shaking hands. He didn''t love her, he loved the daughter.
Sex as an expression of love is that last link, a physical union conjoined with the mental and emotional, that gives rise to a beautiful and explosive unity of two souls. It is the most powerful sensation on earth and I think that is why it can only reach its most powerful effects with someone we trust.
I wish everyone the same courage Soulruler is showing, to venture down the road of trust, not just because the sex is good, but because mutual trust and unity of purpose will outlast physical sex, which after all is just one level of union.
Please do let us know Soulruler and perhaps your discoveries and experience will give hope to those who would otherwise waver.
This is an interesting post soulruler. You said one thing that really resonated with me; that you didn''t understand your husband''s/your own motivation toward sex or love. That hits home for me. My wife and I from the start did not understand or try to understand what the other wanted from sex or love. I see now that we each came at these things from very different angles. Rather than communicate fully, we simply battled on in a fog...growing more and more resentful of each other.
I guess to some extent new relationships with other people will require you to take a leap of faith in relation to many things. Sex being one of them.
I see now that my sexual relationship became about my needs and not hers. We both had our part to play in that though. I see other aspects of our relationship became about her needs (for example i would have loved a big family - but she made it clear she did not really enjoy motherhood and did not want that - subject closed) and I for some reason chose not to express my wishes in some areas. I have to ask myself why neither of us did express ourselves in various areas. I''m just rambling here.
Like soulruler (hi pip ), I''ve been reading your thread with interest. When we''re in any relationship we want to be in, we often tolerate and accept things that aren''t necessarily healthy for us, in a bid to keep the relationship going. I''m a couple of years into a new relationship and there have been many trust issues (on my side) to battle with. What has come out of all of this, for me, as the things of paramount importance, are communication and understanding.
I''ve been married twice before - and both marriages ended the same way. In neither case did we understand each other and, though we tried, in neither case were we properly able to communicate about it. Obviously then, understanding was impaired. I had to do some serious work to at least understand why I would put myself in those situations... why I chose to marry those men. Why I thought I loved them, what it was I thought I loved, why it didn''t work for me.. and somehow try to work out what it is that I need.
I''m pretty good at tending the needs of others and putting my own on a back-burn, but it breeds dis-satisfaction in me. Unaddressed, this becomes resentment and so on.
The sexual element of a relationship can be a complex one. For some couples, it can flourish on its own, despite a lack of clarity in understanding. This is not the case for me. Sexual relationship without trust is unattractive to me. This was a huge sticking point in my marriages. In a balanced relationship, I think it''s important for both needs to be met (sexually and emotionally).. my ''ideal'' scenario is that we are clear about what our own needs are, and about the needs of the others. I will focus on his needs, he will focus on mine. That way, we can both give freely and trust that our own needs will also be met. Yes, I know, ideal. But at least I know what I''m working towards
I enjoy your honesty samchick. You are in grave danger of being happy and fulfilled one day...
I certainly agree that sex is important to me in a relationship.
You''ve also highlighted some of the ingredients to the magic recipe that makes this successful.
For me there has to be trust, respect, I have to feel special, cared for and desired. All the little things throughout the day lead towards bedroom activity .......... affection, touch, holding hands, cuddles, kisses.
Its hardly surprising that if some of the ingredients are removed, the recipe can''t be completed (OK its a terrible analogy, but bear with me!)
When things go wrong in the relationship, people point the finger at sex, but I think that when other stuff that disappears the sex also disappears. If you don''t want to have sex with someone is it because some of the ''ingredients'' are missing?
For me having a healthy relationship involves all of this and of course meaningful sex.
I also think that it helps if your partner is compatible - it can lead to resentment if one can take it or leave it and the other likes it a lot!
I love the candid views that posters are sharing and it has made me look at my own motivations regarding sex.
I love the intimacy, and I can tell the difference between making love and having sex (as I am sure many others can too).
I also know that I have withdrawn myself from sharing this aspect of a relationship as a ''penalty'' when something happened that I didn''t like. Obviously I am a ''bit'' more mature now and realise I don''t want to cut my nose off to spite my face so often
I love communication from my partner in all forms, touch, text, phone calls, letters, if I feel this is waning I find I have more of a need to get ''close'' so as to reignite the flames and make sure I''m at the forefront of his mind again. Is this an insecurity on my part?
I also know there have been times when I have felt more in love with my partner over things he has done for me (or my children) than I have felt between the sheets (not all the time, obviously).
There are so many variations of love and this can be displayed and received in so many different ways. What works for one may not work for another so it is important to communicate with your partner and work together to get the best results. In and out of bed.
For me, my ex was the sexually dominant party throughout our marriage. I was a bit naive & when he suggested "experimentation", I agreed. The only thing was that the experimentation began before we were married (& we were married very quickly) & because I wanted to keep him happy, I indulged his fantasies.
I still don''t know whether I got any enjoyment out of this type of sex but something didn''t sit right with me & after one evening where my ex crossed an agreed boundary, I subsequently said I didn''t want to take part in this type of thing anymore. That was pretty early on in our marriage.
I think looking back that those experiences & how he was with me afterwards, turned me off sex with him. I felt cheap & slutty which was exactly how he wanted me to behave in bed. He was a big talker & that, in addition to sex being all about him just turned me right off. Anyway, long story short, I gradually withdrew from him more and more to the point where we weren''t having sex at all or I "indulged" him but felt awful all the way through.
Eventually, he went looking for it elsewhere & by that point it was too late. We didn''t talk about it, I didn''t feel I could tell him how I was feeling because of his manipulative & dominant personality - I''m sure he just thought I was frigid. He would get angry about the lack of sex which just made me withdraw even more.
Happily though, sex with my current partner is really good. I can be myself & feel confident... which thinking back, I wasn''t with my ex. How sad that you can be married for so long & feel this way.
I think my ex just eroded my confidence on every level, I ended up resenting him & witheld sex... maybe it was the only way I felt I had some control. I wasn''t preapared to be his porn fuelled fantasy of what sex should be like.
I think we were just sexually incompatible & that was probably what contributed towards our demise. Perhaps why I find it hard to let go because we always got on so well outside sex.
For me sex has to be genuine, selfless, loving, trusting & I need to feel genuinely cared for. Sometimes, sex can be just plain lusty & that is fine too - so long as the basics are in place & you don''t end up feeling used.