Broken and cynical

CTF

Member
A lot of you know my story. For those of you who don't, we can touch on that later. But I came upon a realization over the last couple of weeks that I'm just not the same person anymore. Things have changed for the foreseeable future, and not in a way I would classify as better.

We've been to a couple of weddings recently. And it was there when it hit me. I look around & see all of these smiling faces in the seats, and some tears. I assume are tears of joy. It's a wedding after all. But I found myself feeling more sad then happy. Don't get me wrong, it's nothing against either of the couples. I've known them for years and they're all great people. But a part of me wanted to stand up & warn them not to do it.

It saddened me because even though I love my wife, I know that nothing is the same. She lied to me, she emotionally abandoned me, and she crushed my spirit. I have no desire to leave the marriage, but at this point, it's only because I feel guilty about not taking care of her. But I have definitely realized that if I could have gone back to do it over again, I would have never married her. I love my kids of course, but that's unrelated to this as far as I'm concerned.

I'm not devastated or depressed by this feeling, but I do feel a sense of disappointment over realizing that I've accepted it.

I've mentioned before about my sense of privacy concerning things in the bedroom, so no extreme detail here, but it's been very infrequent. Like 2 or 3 times since May. And the weird part is, I don't even miss it. It's not that I don't find her physically attractive, but on an emotional level, I just don't have any interest. Before all of this, I felt like I needed it daily. If we hit a dry spell of a week or so, I would get antsy. I wonder if my having to retrain my brain into the whole "sex is no big deal" mindset, caused me to lose interest in it almost completely.

Long story short ( I know, too late), the spark feels like it's gone for good. I don't look at her in the same way as I used to. It doesn't feel the least bit romantic on my end.
 

FallenAngelina

Well-known member
She lied to me, she emotionally abandoned me, and she crushed my spirit. ...I wonder if my having to retrain my brain into the whole "sex is no big deal" mindset, caused me to lose interest in it almost completely.

Having followed your story, I'd say that your feeling as though she crushed your spirit, that's what killed the spark. There's no "re-training the brain" in all of creation that can create or kill that of desire. Also, I don't recall "sex is no big deal" as being part of your story. Perhaps refresh my memory?



I encourage you to "re-train your brain" about the very powerful and persistent guilt that has run your life because staying in this marriage is clearly eating away at your soul.
I feel guilty about not taking care of her.
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
I hope you feel better for airing that out.

Weddings can be a mixed thing when you yourself are reevaluating you own marriage. You feel happy for the couple, but meh about you experience of marriage in general. I think that is all normal to feel at the stage you are at.

I think you are still in a process. Further along then before when you first started posting, but the process is just a long one. Emotional changes take time. You seem to be letting go emotionally and still grieving some things. Totally ok to be at that place. Just don't go resigned.

http://finding-marbles.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/7_stages_emotion_change1.png

It saddened me because even though I love my wife, I know that nothing is the same. She lied to me, she emotionally abandoned me, and she crushed my spirit.

That is the center of it. It's not so much the poly stuff (though that was a stunner for you at the start). It's centered around someone you love and care for, who in turn treats you less than lovingly.

I wonder if my having to retrain my brain into the whole "sex is no big deal" mindset, caused me to lose interest in it almost completely.

I wonder if for you, sex is still a big deal, something sacred. And you were trying to change that value so you could stay married to her. Rather than consider keeping that value, and change the marriage status.

It's going to be hard to feel sexy about/with someone who has hurt you deeply. I sure wouldn't be sexually attracted to someone who has hurt me in a big way. It's a huge turn OFF, not a turn on.

I have no desire to leave the marriage, but at this point, it's only because I feel guilty about not taking care of her.

That to me is not love. That is duty/obligation.

I wonder if right now you are slowly updating your opinion on whether or not you actually love your wife... but maybe aren't ready to say it "out loud" to yourself yet.

I wonder if over time you might find you don't wish her ill, but you just aren't in love with her any more. And you feel more comfortable saying that to yourself at that point in time. "I used to be in love with her, now I am just not."

I wonder if over time you may come to terms with divorce and alimony still being "you taking care of her." But just NOT at the expense of your daily well being/mental health. Because you might want to live on your own doing your own thing and not living with someone you don't love any more who caused you a lot of pain. You might not want to be with the reminders day in and day out any more because that's holding back your healing rather than helping it.

But I have definitely realized that if I could have gone back to do it over again, I would have never married her.

That's ok to feel. Looking back at things you may have done differently knowing what you know now is part of healing.

So long as you keep moving it forward and continue healing. Not like keeping this hurt/grudge thing alive to keep stirring up forever. YKWIM? That's festering to me, not healing.

GL!
Galagirl
 
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CTF

Member
Having followed your story, I'd say that your feeling as though she crushed your spirit, that's what killed the spark. There's no "re-training the brain" in all of creation that can create or kill that of desire. Also, I don't recall "sex is no big deal" as being part of your story. Perhaps refresh my memory?



I encourage you to "re-train your brain" about the very powerful and persistent guilt that has run your life because staying in this marriage is clearly eating away at your soul.


You might be right. As for the remark about sex, maybe I didn't word it right. It's always been a sacred thing to me. It's one of the reasons I couldn't handle poly in the first place. I would physically ill when I thought about her having sex with someone else. I no longer feel that now, but I almost feel as though it's because I don't seem to have a desire for sex at all.


I honestly sometimes don't feel like I have a soul anymore (figuratively speaking that it... I never believed in real souls like in the religious context)
 

CTF

Member
I hope you feel better for airing that out.

Weddings can be a mixed thing when you yourself are reevaluating you own marriage. You feel happy for the couple, but meh about you experience of marriage in general. I think that is all normal to feel at the stage you are at.

I think you are still in a process. Further along then before when you first started posting, but the process is just a long one. Emotional changes take time. You seem to be letting go emotionally and still grieving some things. Totally ok to be at that place. Just don't go resigned.

http://finding-marbles.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/7_stages_emotion_change1.png



That is the center of it. It's not so much the poly stuff (though that was a stunner for you at the start). It's centered around someone you love and care for, who in turn treats you less than lovingly.



I wonder if for you, sex is still a big deal, something sacred. And you were trying to change that value so you could stay married to her. Rather than consider keeping that value, and change the marriage status.

It's going to be hard to feel sexy about/with someone who has hurt you deeply. I sure wouldn't be sexually attracted to someone who has hurt me in a big way. It's a huge turn OFF, not a turn on.



That to me is not love. That is duty/obligation.

I wonder if right now you are slowly updating your opinion on whether or not you actually love your wife... but maybe aren't ready to say it "out loud" to yourself yet.

I wonder if over time you might find you don't wish her ill, but you just aren't in love with her any more. And you feel more comfortable saying that to yourself at that point in time. "I used to be in love with her, now I am just not."

I wonder if over time you may come to terms with divorce and alimony still being "you taking care of her." But just NOT at the expense of your daily well being/mental health. Because you might want to live on your own doing your own thing and not living with someone you don't love any more who caused you a lot of pain. You might not want to be with the reminders day in and day out any more because that's holding back your healing rather than helping it.



That's ok to feel. Looking back at things you may have done differently knowing what you know now is part of healing.

So long as you keep moving it forward and continue healing. Not like keeping this hurt/grudge thing alive to keep stirring up forever. YKWIM? That's festering to me, not healing.

GL!
Galagirl


Very true. I mean, I want my friends & family to be happy, and I know that not every couple goes through what we did... I guess that's just me bring cynical when I have that urge to "warn" them.

I get the process... It makes sense. I feel like I'm bouncing between the euphoria & the acceptance/grief... In some ways, I do experience the resigning. But the euphoria seems to come when I'm doing my own thing. I go up to the lake & kayak once a week, and feel like there's not a thing in the world that can bother me. When I go out & socialize at the bar, I enjoy spending time with the other regulars. At the same time, I'm not exactly in a rush to get home to my wife like I used to be.


I agree with you... It's not so much the poly. The poly was really just the icing on the cake. I was already being ignored while grieving my dad (can't believe it's almost 2 years since he passed btw), and her quitting her job. And of course, in the past I had mentioned being adamantly against sex with others, and so forth. What they all added up to, was this perception that what I had said didn't matter. If I asked for help, I wasn't treated like I deserved it. I just flat out didn't feel respected.

And maybe that's it... The hurt might be a driving factor behind my lack of drive or desire.

Maybe it is just duty/obligation. I don't know... I mean, I still care greatly for her. I still enjoy talking to her (as long as it has nothing to do with sex/love/relationships), but I certainly don't see it as romantic love.

I honestly don't feel like it's grudge related. In fact, I almost feel that I don't hold a grudge anymore... I just don't have any romantic energy.

Maybe one day I'll come to terms with divorce. I'm not 100% ruling it out, but I also don't have the energy to really consider it right now. I'm okay with us seeming as roommates, or friends... But like I said, the spark is not there right now.
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
That's ok that there's no spark. Be odd to expect one after everything you have been through.

But the euphoria seems to come when I'm doing my own thing. I go up to the lake & kayak once a week, and feel like there's not a thing in the world that can bother me. When I go out & socialize at the bar, I enjoy spending time with the other regulars. At the same time, I'm not exactly in a rush to get home to my wife like I used to be.

Sounds like you enjoy being on your own more than being around at home with her at this time. It might not be fighting or anything, but neither is it enjoyable fun like the other activities.


Maybe it is just duty/obligation. I don't know... I mean, I still care greatly for her. I still enjoy talking to her (as long as it has nothing to do with sex/love/relationships), but I certainly don't see it as romantic love.

Well, maybe being friendly exes isn't a terrible thing. You can still enjoy talking to her, but you free up more of your days/weeks to be doing the things for just you that you enjoy -- the nature time, kayaking, socializing at the bar, etc. And you don't have to dread or feel meh about going home because home's just you there.

Maybe one day I'll come to terms with divorce. I'm not 100% ruling it out, but I also don't have the energy to really consider it right now.

Sure. The divorce process is another process that takes up a lot of energy. If your batteries are really run down from grief process, it makes sense to take a time out before jumping into a new process.

Is a nature vacation for just you possible? Maybe you would benefit from some time like that to recharge your batteries?

Galagirl
 

Tinwen

Active member
I honestly sometimes don't feel like I have a soul anymore (figuratively speaking that it... I never believed in real souls like in the religious context)
I sorry, but from both this quote and your original post you (still?) sound very depressed. I hope you continue getting help.
Although it's hard to have patience with the process and the work you have to keep up: It will pass.
I don't seem to have a desire for sex at all.
This is understandable, if your overall mood is down.
Do you experience joy on other things? Can you be spontaneous or playful?

Also, as others have said, not having sexual desire for a partner who neglected you is natural :(

edit: I now read you enjoy things on your own. That's certainly a good sign.
 
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kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Hi CTF,

I don't have any particular advice, I just wanted to add my condolences for what you've been through and what you're going through. Feeling broken and cynical is no small thing. Your whole life has been turned around (even if it looks the same to people on the outside).

I think that someday, if you leave your wife and find someone else who you can count on in a monogamous relationship, you may just find your libido returning. I'm thinking it's not sex itself that you've lost interest in, it's whom you're having sex with. She betrayed you, man. That's no small thing.

I hope you get feeling better as time goes on, I hope your situation improves. Whatever we can do to help on this forum, we'll try to do.

Hang in there ...
Sincerely,
Kevin T.
 

Leetah

Member
I'm sorry you are feeling so sad about your marriage, I know you have invested a lot into keeping it going.

Just to present the other option, people do go through betrayal in marriage and manage to find their way back to trust. It seems to only be at all possible if both are willing to put the effort in, the betrayer seeking to make amends and the betrayed to forgive. A betrayal changes the relationship, it cannot be put back the way it was but if it was the result of something in the relationship that can be fixed then the new relationship can work.

I don't know if her health issues, mental and physical, have been dealt with. If she is sincerely working on solving those with the aim of trying to repair the marriage then you could continue to let things resolve themselves in your mind. Perhaps after a time of mourning what was, you will find her efforts could allow something new to grow.

If she is indeed not making efforts to get better, understand you (and herself), make amends, and try for a new relationship with you, then, as has been said, life is not long enough to lose your own self out of duty to someone who can not appreciate it. You each could be free to search for what satisfies you in life.

I have felt things akin to what you describe and am sorry you are going through it.

Leetah
 

FallenAngelina

Well-known member
Maybe one day I'll come to terms with divorce. I'm not 100% ruling it out, but I also don't have the energy to really consider it right now. I'm okay with us seeming as roommates, or friends... But like I said, the spark is not there right now.

My husband and I sat with this for about a year and in retrospect, it was beneficial for us to take a reprieve from the urgency and emotional upheaval. We each found our kayaks, so to speak. I think you're wise to just hang out for now if you're not feeling inspired toward either divorce or rebuilding. It's good sometimes to step back from action, just let things be and allow life to work its way along. You'll find fruitful inspiration again and likely it will come during your kayaking moments, when you are at peace.

I'm really glad to see you when you post, CTF. Your perspective is interesting and helpful. I appreciate that you share your life with us.
 

CTF

Member
I appreciate all of you responses & kind words.

Fallenangelena, I'm glad you see my posts as insightful. I do try to say something with substance, even if many fundamentally disagree with where I'm coming from. But I do think that under the surface, we're not so different. We all want the same things, love, compassion, respect, etc...

It's been a rough go for over a year now. Some days are better than others obviously, but I really am much more at peace with things despite not being thrilled with the direction some parts have gone. My self care is what I seem to dive deep into when I feel the anxiety coming on. I took an 8 week session of cognitive behavioral therapy that really seemed to help. I had a little mental boost from a waitress at the bar that I frequent who seemed to have a little crush on me (and no, nothing happened lol), and most of all, I found the activities that help me get out & clear my head.

To be fair, my wife is doing a much better job with her own mental care. She's actually weened herself off of most of the meds, and seems to be in much better spirits. I'm happy for her, but as far as I'm concerned, it's not what's going to fix things. I remember when things seemed at their worst, there was all the talk of blaming the meds... The problem with that, is that things got bad before she began taking them, so I can't just justify blaming everything on the pills. She's a grown woman, and still made the choices.

I think I definitely am at a place where I'm just kind of riding this out to see if I have the energy for one direction or the other. We're not at each other's throats, so I think we can afford a little bit of time here. At the same time, I don't want to seem unfair to her, by keeping her from exploring what/who could make her happy if it turns out we must part ways. I don't know... There are so many things to think about.

And as if that weren't enough, there was mention of sex this morning. She's been talking of being in the mood lately, but I am not. She asked if we could tonight, and I begrudgingly said "sure", but still don't feel like it. Maybe tonight is when I'll have to bring up my lack of libido.
 

nycindie

Active member
And as if that weren't enough, there was mention of sex this morning. She's been talking of being in the mood lately, but I am not. She asked if we could tonight, and I begrudgingly said "sure", but still don't feel like it. Maybe tonight is when I'll have to bring up my lack of libido.
Oh dear. I know you are smart enough to realize that begrudgingly acquiescing to anything will only make things worse for you, and in my opinion, especially when it comes to sex. You could wind up feeling quite shitty and disappointed in her and yourself if you just go along with what she wants at the expense of your own needs or emotional equilibrium. I encourage you to speak your truth and not let yourself feel pressured to perform.
 

CTF

Member
Oh dear. I know you are smart enough to realize that begrudgingly acquiescing to anything will only make things worse for you, and in my opinion, especially when it comes to sex. You could wind up feeling quite shitty and disappointed in her and yourself if you just go along with what she wants at the expense of your own needs or emotional equilibrium. I encourage you to speak your truth and not let yourself feel pressured to perform.

That's good advice. Like I said earlier, I think it's time we had the talk about it. About how it's changed my perception, etc... In the beginning, we were constantly talking it from every angle, but there was never a time where I spoke about not wanting her, or about how my feelings have changed in a possibly permanent way. Maybe I assumed that things would eventually settle back in to normal. I think she really does think that things are back to normal. We haven't spoken about the whole situation in over 3 months, and I appear to be in a better mood. Which, overall, I am, but not as it applies to her & I.

As for the sex, it's interesting, because I was always the one who seemed to want it more. She was perfectly fine, in most cases to let it go a couple of weeks, or longer. So I figured that by me just letting it alone & not asking for it when it's been a few days, then neither one of us would be burdened with it. And I've been perfectly content with the "dry spells".
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
She asked if we could tonight, and I begrudgingly said "sure", but still don't feel like it. Maybe tonight is when I'll have to bring up my lack of libido.

That's not being honest. It's also not giving joyful enthusiastic consent. Never say "yes" to sex if you really do not want to be there. Nobody is entitled to sex share from you.

I think you could say "No, thank you" and leave it at that if you are not ready to talk about the loss of interest/libido where she's concerned.

If you are ready to talk about it, then tell her "No, thank you." And tell her what you said here. That on an emotional level, you just don't have any interest. You have lost interest in sharing sex almost completely and the spark feels like it's gone for good.

Galagirl
 

CTF

Member
That's not being honest. It's also not giving joyful enthusiastic consent. Never say "yes" to sex if you really do not want to be there. Nobody is entitled to sex share from you.

I think you could say "No, thank you" and leave it at that if you are not ready to talk about the loss of interest/libido where she's concerned.

If you are ready to talk about it, then tell her "No, thank you." And tell her what you said here. That on an emotional level, you just don't have any interest. You have lost interest in sharing sex almost completely and the spark feels like it's gone for good.

Galagirl


That's true. But I also wasn't looking to get into a discussion about it minutes before I had to leave for work. Nor did I want to open the possibility of discussing it over the phone. I hate talking about it on the phone. I prefer it in person.

You're right. It should be joyful. I guess though, I was just thinking in terms that when you've been married for so long, each partner is going to have sex when they may not be 100% into it because they want to do it for their partners' sake. I'm sure she's done it too when I wanted it & she was less than enthusiastic.

Either way... Nothing happened last night. I just ended up falling asleep at about 8:30 after getting back from walking the dog. And I actually felt relieved of this, so I think it's definitely time to have the talk. I don't want to keep hoping for a "lucky" situation where circumstances just keep preventing it.
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
I can understand not wanting to have a thing on the phone or right before work. What stops you from saying "I hear you. Let's talk later in person" instead?

I was just thinking in terms that when you've been married for so long, each partner is going to have sex when they may not be 100% into it because they want to do it for their partners' sake.

My mother was taught and still has that attitude -- that sex is a wife's duty.

I do not. NOBODY is entitled to sex with me. I have been married more than 20 years. I never share sex with spouse unless I really want to be there.

And my spouse? He would find it gross if I was sharing sex when I don't really want to be there because I think it will somehow please him or I was doing it for his sake. He doesn't want to be treated like an obligation or chore. It is not a turn on.

You might want to examine that belief.


Either way... Nothing happened last night. I just ended up falling asleep at about 8:30 after getting back from walking the dog. And I actually felt relieved of this, so I think it's definitely time to have the talk.

I hope the talk goes as well as can be then.

Galagirl
 
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breathemusic

Active member
I actually don't have an objection to the idea of being open to engaging in sexual activity even if you're not completely in the mood. There are ways to please a partner and make sure that they are satisfied without full on intercourse. You can do things for your partner to get her off without fully engaging in penetrative sex on your end of things, use toys with her, etc. I think that sort of healthy compromise when you have differing libidos is just part of being a GGG partner.

Of course.... I think your situation is probably a bit different because while it may in some ways be a libido issue, it sounds to me like this is more of an issue specific to you not having any romantic attraction to your wife at this point, in which case no, you probably shouldn't just put out for her sake. There's a huge difference between being into your partner but just not being up for PIV sex as often, and actually just no longer feeling a sexual interest in your partner at all. Either way, a conversation is warranted. But you can only blame it on a libido change for so long before you're going to have to decide if this is a permanent thing that warrants a change to the relationship itself. Sounds to me like you already recognize that though, so good for you.
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
There's a huge difference between being into your partner but just not being up for PIV sex as often, and actually just no longer feeling a sexual interest in your partner at all.

I agree. If I didn't want PIV but still want to be there and eagerly want to share sex of some kind? I would suggest other activities I AM up for. That to me is clarifying preferences.

But putting out when I don't really feel like it? Forget it.

Galagirl
 

Magdlyn

Moderator
Staff member
I agree. If I didn't want PIV but still want to be there and eagerly want to share sex of some kind? I would suggest other activities I AM up for. That to me is clarifying preferences.

But putting out when I don't really feel like it? Forget it.

Galagirl

Well. I am in a FF relationship. Obviously no PIV going on. I have a much higher libido than my gf. She is good with once, maybe twice a week. I'd love it every day.

(We are not having relationship difficulties, so we don't have the emotional distance CTF has. So this is off topic. But I just wanted to voice my opinion on "sex sharing when you're not ragingly horny yourself.")

Sometimes, if I am horny and gf isn't, she will let me masturbate while holding her while she is naked. I do not have her consent to touch her breasts or genitals, but I can hug her and that helps me get off much better than I would alone. Sometimes just holding her ankle helps me!

Other times she will actually finger me while still not needing or wanting to be sexually touched herself.

It's a loving act, and it doesn't hurt her or put her out in any way.
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
I do that as well. It's part of the "clarifying preferences" to me. I still want to be there and am up for sharing sex in the form of watching my lover get off. That is a turn on to me. My point is that I WANT to be there. If I didn't want to be there I wouldn't be.

It's a loving act, and it doesn't hurt her or put her out in any way.

Exactly. She shares a loving act with you because she wants to share it with you.

Galagirl
 
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