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Ok, would you quit?


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Please, you guys that have grown tired with my whining can skip over this thread with my personal blessing.

I value a lot of the opinions here. Some of you guys have come to terms with our little (ha,ha) disability, some have given up and others are still fighting the good fight.

Some of you might remember I agreed to see a therapist about 6 months ago. It didn't start well. I had one visit with the first and immediately switched. I've seen this second one 5 times now.

I made it clear from the beginning I wanted to work on some anger management when it came to my wife's old boyfriends. (Well, bed mates) I had no desire to get into why I stopped having sex. The therapist on the first visit immediately went there.

The first thing she wanted cleared up was if I was having medical, physical problems. I said "No, the plumbing works just fine.....what little of it there is." Her face lit up like she'd just solved my whole life in just 5 minutes.

My wife has attended when ever she has been asked. When there, she and the therapist immediately start to delve into me shunning sex, not my anger.

The fourth visit I said fine. I spent the whole time explaining exactly why I became self conscious and why things became so awkward I eventually decided it just wasn't worth it.

I've been back once since. I'm starting to get short tempered with this. I kind of got onto my wife this last visit when she played innocent. A little bit of my anger showed through, but evidently not enough to change the direction of the discussions.

I made it clear from the start I wasn't trying to restart or rekindle anything. I even point blank told the therapist "If we talk about my sex life, it's for discussion only. This is a post-mortem, not an attempt at restarting."

I'm ready to tell Sarah I'm done. As far as I can see, absolutely nothing has been about my primary reason for going to begin with. Yes, now I understand why I was doing certain other things the way I was, but this is all secondary to my problem.

If I bumped into that same guy today, I'd still want to kill him. (The next time I might not be stunned into inaction.)

So.......what do you think? I'm a big boy, be honest. Should I quit going? Or keep going and listening to the same rattling about stupid shit that runs counter to common sense?

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"absolutely nothing has been about my primary reason for going to begin with." Your primary reason for going is to have your wife be truthful about her sexual dissatisfaction? I'm unclear.

Sorry, I didn't make myself very clear. I agreed to go to a therapist because of my anger issues. At my wife's dad's funeral one of her old flames came through the receiving line. I was out of control for a couple minutes. I said I wanted to talk to someone because I was afraid of 'flipping out' on someone. My anger issues haven't been addressed or talked about yet.

Maybe find a different therapist. Ultimately it depends on if you want to stay married. If you can't find another therapist yet want to stay married then maybe you should do it to make your wife happy.

Yeah, I'd kinda mulled the thought over that she won't be happy at all if I tell her I'm stopping. She's been very pleasant to be around these past few months.

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@ retroJohn - thanks for the clarification, I'm not the sharpest knife in the drawer. Just for my 2 cents it seems like your wife is open to work through this w you so I would make a real effort. But obviously you know better than me.

@ Irma - I think it is getting hard to finder a good therapist because so many people are going into it these days causing the quality to dilute. The one I went to kept giving me a 'to do' list instead of helping get past negative emotional hang ups. She was a very nice person but there was no budging her on style.

Sending everyone positive vibes!

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My anger issues haven't been addressed or talked about yet.

Gotta say sorry again, I'm still not being clear. I'm not thinking with any clarity about this.

Both my wife and therapist think my anger at her old guys are deep rooted in my sexual inferiority complex. That's probably so. That's why they keep concentrating on the sex side of all this. They think they ARE addressing my issue.

I don't think my whole sex life is 'curable', back to normal (whatever normal is). I want to focus solely on the anger side of this.

That's why I said in a previous post I just want to put the pin back into the hand grenade. I just want to make me so's I don't go off and do something really, really stupid. I'm quite capable of it. (Yeah, going off AND being stupid)

They want to put the pin back in, dismantle the grenade, tear down the factory, clean up the 'trash heap' and make a nice place like there was before. They want to turn me back into the old me of 25 years ago.

That's simply not possible. I've told them that. I tried to make that crystal clear to Sarah before we had that first session.

They're not listening.

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Anger is a hell of a thing, especially for guys, because often those who think they have gotten over it have often just turned it against themselves. The trick is to harness that anger energy and direct it to something positive for yourself.

I hope the therapy helps you do that. At a certain point you are going to have to decide what your priorities are, what would a positive outcome for you. Not saying it's easy.

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Approach in therapy can depend on what your goals are too. You may, for instance, be more interested in managing your anger when it surfaces than understanding its roots. You could try a different therapist too if this one doesn't feel like a good match. Whatever you decide to do, I wish you well.

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Thanks I.J. I WOULD really like to manage my anger. I do understand it's roots, but the roots aren't going to change. That's what I keep trying to tell them. I 'suck' in bed. ( I mean figuratively, not literally.) I'm not as hung or talented as any of her past guys and all the talk in the world isn't going to change that.

All I ever had going for me was the love we had between us. I'd add, two other guys asked for her hand before I did, so it's not like there wasn't guys in her past that cared for her deeply.

I'm not sorry I had this therapy. I understand my wife and where she's coming from more than ever. I've also had a couple eye opening revelations about myself that helps me understand. But none of this enhanced understanding has changed the roots of the problem(s) I've grown into.

I just want to pull the fuse out of the powder keg. Usually I couldn't care less about others and their opinion of me. If I wear something comfortable and she 'tisks' and says what will others think, I shrug and say They can damn well turn their heads and look the other way.

These guys, just these few guys produce emotions (fury, basically) like I haven't had for a looooong time.

They make me feel petty, inferior, small, incompetent, inept and about a dozen other things. I can't equal them in bed, so my first response is to hurt them. Really whip their ass good.

But I'd still be inferior where it counts.

Maybe this is just something that can't be fixed. Avoidance worked for a long time.

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John, let me ask what might seem an odd question. You say that the roots of the problem aren't changeable; I won't argue, even if I disagree. My question is, when you met your wife's ex, who or what were you angry at?

You said that "they" (her ex's) make you feel a certain way. Letting people make you feel a particular way is giving them an awful lot of power. But that aside, I don't think you've said (did you?) that they in any way know about your size. All they know is that you got the girl and they didn't. If they know about your size, it could be even worse for them. Isn't it possible that they might be angry at you, or even feel inferior to you, because whatever you do have, they don't?

What if you're the only one (at least in the anger situation) who believes that this is "where it counts"?

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Hi Malign.

I was angry with him, specifically.

This one particular guy is of course the exact one I really don't like, so this had to be the one I've actually met and been physically in reach of.

He is from her area. They'd known each other before leaving for collage. They hit it off in collage, she fell for him. He had the gift of her virginity and squandered it.

She caught him cheating on her. He said something to the effect that if he'd have known she'd be like having sex with a 14 year old, he'd never have even given her a second look.

(Sarah is very petite. She's not tall. Although she's.....ummmm developed some curves since then, she still to this day wears clothes off the Juniors rack at Sears or JC Penneys.)

She pulled herself together and said she got over him. (But I've pondered if you only get one true love. I've always wondered if she ((or anyone)) can really open up completely and unconditionally after being so hurt and burnt by your first true love.)

I think for her, any guys after him were just great sex with no emotional entanglements. I do think a couple of the guys got a little too close emotionally. She's a very pleasant person to be around.

I've wandered off topic again. Anyway this is the one guy I'd REALLY like to f**k up. I was stunned he would actually come through the funeral line, and I was taken aback by his physical appearance. He hasn't had an easy life, and has had health problems.

But if I ever get blessed with another chance, I don't know he'll just walk off again.

I don't like the others just because she's been intimate with them, and they were able to please her physically in ways I'm just not able to.

I don't think they're particularly jealous or envious of me.

Malign, we live in a small, rural area. Everyone knows everyone else. These guys (and my friends and my friends wives) know how big (or small) I really am. It's no secret. I've never cared before, it's never been an issue. And with the exception of my wife, it's still not an issue.

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Okay, so he's an a-hole. It seems pretty obvious why she would choose you over him.

The "one true love" thing is a perennial question. Personally, I think the emphasis would have to be on the "true", in there. He may have been her first love, to the point of being her first sexual partner, but in what way was he a "true" love? He certainly wasn't true to her ... What if some of us have to love several different people, over time, before we learn what "true love" means? Then it wouldn't be our first love that was "true", it would be the one we care about most.

Sounds to me like the guy has had the life he deserved? Could be that that's punishment enough.

You said that you think that for her, guys after him were just sex without emotions. Does that include you? It seems to me that maybe something about you caused her to try again (either that, or you too were great sex without emotional entanglement, and that doesn't seem to fit what you're saying.)

You said you don't think they're particularly jealous of you for your having won your wife. Does that say anything about where you are in your feelings for her? Relationships definitely change over time ... but I can't tell if the difficulty is that your relationship has changed, or your feelings about yourself.

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Damn, you're gonna make me light up a good cigar, pop open a cold Sam Adams Black and have a good long think.

Maybe, just maybe we DO have to love several people for us to mature? Dunno

Maybe he IS living out his worst nightmare. Now that she's a mature woman he complemented her several times on how great she looked. He said life had really been good to her. He just might be having regrets. Dunno

No, I don't think I'm sex with out emotions. Honestly, I think it's just the opposite. I think it's emotions (love) without the (great) sex.

This is going to be a bit long, bear with me.

The therapist asked along the same lines. What do you thinks changed? How has it changed? Is your feelings different?

I asked her for a sheet of paper, a pair of scissors and a bit of tape. She had all three handy.

I cut two strips long ways off the paper. They were about 1" by 11" I then said "OK, this piece of paper is her whole being, her whole currant life. This is her. Lets cut the sex out of it." I cut a small piece about 1/4" wide and taped the two ends back together. Now the strip is 1" by 10 3/4" long. Almost exactly the same.

I said "She gets along great without sex. Removing sex from her life didn't change much of anything. She's still the same old her. She's told me before sex wasn't as important to her as it is to me, but that was ok because it was normal for guys to have a higher sex drive." LATER EDIT: I really never bought that sex wasn't important to her. I think sex was very important to her in her early 20s. I think when she went into husband hunting mode, sex was moved way down the importance list.

Then I said "This strip is me." I cut about 4" out of the middle and taped the two ends back together. I said "This is what's left when you remove sex from my life. Does it look like I've changed? Of course I've changed. I'm a normal guy with a normal sex drive I've been suppressing for years. I want her so bad it's not funny. But I know sex is like mental poison to me. I'm not going back to where I was before, I can't."

So I suppose yeah, our relationship has changed. We're not intimate anymore. I miss the closeness, but this is the way it simply has to be.

Sorry for the long post.

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"Damn, you're gonna make me ... have a good long think."

Sorry. {Not.} :-)

"I think when she went into husband hunting mode, sex was moved way down the importance list."

Maybe. Or maybe it assumed its proper proportion to the rest of a relationship?

I'm not sure people have "modes". It could just be that their priorities change over time. Heck, maybe yours did, too?

Sex sounds like it is "mental poison" to you -- now. Why are you convinced it always will be?

It would be an interesting question to ask, whether your wife would construct the same pair of graphs as you did. Would you be able to accept her saying that her life is missing the same amount from lack of sex, meaning that she would like to start having sex with you again? Or would you assume that meant she wasn't satisfied with you and wanted someone else?

See, she might be stuck: if she seems interested in more sex, you might assume it's because you don't satisfy her, and if she seems interested in less sex, as she has said, I think you're assuming, again, that you don't satisfy her. So I guess my question is, how would you expect her to behave if you're exactly the guy she wants?

"Good or bad, I've thought and decided what I'm going to do."

I wish I knew what it was, but I guess I'm used to suspense on the site, by now.

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Malign, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to keep you in suspense. There's probably no suspense at all. I'm doing one more visit. I'm telling both of them if we can't get a little more focused I'm done. Her spirits have picked up a lot since we started, this is probably going to piss her off.

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It might be interesting to wonder what it is she is hoping to get from these visits. It comes back to the question of how you would expect her to behave, if you're exactly the guy she wants. Personally, I think she would want to help you through the things that are "mental poison" to you, just as I believe you would do for her.

That doesn't mean the sessions have to continue to focus on subjects other than anger, if you don't want to. But it might be valuable to ask yourself whether you weren't seeing your wife as an adversary? Now that, in my personal experience anyway, is marital poison.

I love your paper graph idea; I just like twisting it to my own purposes. {Again, sorry. Not.} :-)

How much of the paper would you cut out if you lost your wife? How much of the paper do you think she would cut out, if she lost you? {And it couldn't hurt to ask her opinion of that second one, as well.} It's better to have some idea of the size of the investment if you're risking cashing it in.

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Malign, I do still love her, and I know she still loves me. She would have bailed years ago if she didn't have deep feelings for me, and I wouldn't have any worries sexually if I didn't care about how she was feeling and her opinion of me.

Seems like the most foolish paradox ever to me. If I didn't love her, I could just 'screw' her, get dressed and walk away carefree. But because I have deep feelings for her, I can't bring myself to be intimate with her.

I wouldn't like loosing her, but I'm trying to be realistic about it. She's still good looking, it wouldn't take her long at all to find a guy that would be better for her than me.

I'm almost sorry I started these visits. Things seemed smooth with the status quo before the funeral. She wasn't nearly as.....I dunno...animated? Lively? Perky....yeah perky these past few years as she has been these past months.

I don't know what she's expecting. I'm afraid if I can get this anger issue in hand and we're done, she'll think it's time to move on.

We'll be empty nesters in a month and a half. I've read some married couples 'refind' their relationship. I've also read empty nest has caused breakups if the marriage wasn't stable going in.

I just don't know. At least I'll soon have these pesky therapist visits cleared up. :)

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"But because I have deep feelings for her, I can't bring myself to be intimate with her."

Maybe that's all she's hoping to change? Probably she wants to be intimate with you because she has deep feelings for you.

An "alive" relationship often results in the couple feeling more alive, as well.

An empty nest may cause changes, sure. But "refinding" a relationship takes all kinds of forms, even therapy, sometimes. Depends on whether the people want to refind it or not. If they do, probably almost anything (different from what they've been doing) can work.

I get that you care for her, and that in some bass-ackward way, not having sex with her is an expression of that.

But if she says she wants sex and doesn't have a problem with you or your size, is it possible that you're actually putting your feelings about your penis ahead of your feelings for her?

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Malign, thanks for sticking with me through this. We had our appointment earlier this evening. It didn't go at all like I thought. If I accept everything she said as truthful, I've been wrong on a lot of things. She's been hurting bad inside for years. I need a couple days to sort this all out. Thanks again.

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