Cross posted from other thread...
Originally Posted by luckymamato2
My dh has been bugging me for months about lots of different things. He honestly just wants to go away for the night or weekend to in his words, "hump all night." I get totally turned off by him saying that. I am completely satisfied with the occasional quickie. He is not.
He has suggested I wean my dd, and that it's my fault she's so "high needs." That I should be able to put her down and walk away. That she should be put in the playyard when she is screaming for me to hold her. That I should put her in a dark closet and let her scream... I know he is frustrated with her, and so am I, but I hide it better and cope better. She is rarely consolable by anyone but me.
We have been out to dinner twice since her birth (alone). Both times my mother was involved and they bullied me together. I did enjoy the time away, I will admit that. I am not interested in going away for the night or even a movie (unless it's a matinee).
Please help! He used to be really supportive of co-sleeping, and I think he is still somewhat a fan. He can get REALLY stressed out and doesn't cope well. I want to help him without making him more stressed. He places all the blame on me and suggests I am stingy with sex. I am, in a way, but him being so stressed and nasty does not make me feel sexy. Why does he think it is all my fault? How can I get him to see it another way - all he does is hear about mainstream dads or dinks that get to have sex, go on dates, go away for the weekend, etc. all the time. Do you think he has too high of a sex drive? Maybe there is something I'm doing to exacerbate dd's behavior. I can't even put her down to sleep with her brother or alone - I have to hold her while she sleeps too.
Thanks in advance for your help - I look forward to reading everyone's response.
From a Dad and Husband...
Firstly, communicate. Communication is established with a foundation of trust. By sharing things that your husband has said, which I interpret to be in the privacy of your relationship, you are opening him up to condemnation, criticism and judgement from a multitude of people who are only hearing one side of the story--yours.
Ultimately, men (and I include myself in their number) are a massive bundle of insecurities, wrapped in sexual frustration, protected by bravado and unleashed upon the world with urges to dominate, control and defend whatever meager (or mighty) territories we can claim.
I read through many of the responses and while I can understand their stances and feelings, I have to ultimately wonder if they are trying to help you through the situation or just trying to drive your husband into stubborn defiance. He will retreat into himself, put up defensive walls that bar communication and ultimately sever his heart from you if you respond to him full of your own selfish demands. (I am in no way justifying his
selfish demands with this statement.)
Is he being selfish? Of course he is. He feels deprived. He feels hurt. He feels unloved. He feels marginalized. He feels relegated to 2nd fiddle. He was once #1 in your life, now he isn't. C'mon, you're much more accustomed to dealing with emotions than he is, don't you see this?
It's not right. It's not wrong. Feelings never are. That is how you feel
. Usually there's no logic to it. Most of the time you can't explain it away. I've seen so many people respond with sensitivity and gentleness when people express their hurt feelings here, why the anger, negativity and downright viciousness of the responses when it's a man who feels hurt and deprived?
Your husband needs to know he can trust what he shares in confidence with you. Do you think he'd really want to lock your child in a dark closet while she screamed in agony for your comfort? No, I don't either. But I can understand him using that metaphor to express his feelings
. Have you ever been cut off in traffic and said, "Oh, I could just kill
that guy!"? Should I expect that in your emotional outburst to express the strength and depth of your feelings that you should be castigated for such a cruel comment? Reported to the police for your threat? Taken into custody for verbal assault?
So, trust. The foundation of communication.
Secondly, you both have needs that are not being met. A previous poster make a very good point that when needs are not met, it is human nature to find another source to meet them. It's fuel for an affair. It's salting the earth of your "love garden".
Another poster pointed out that men equate love with sex. Yes, this is quite true for many, but there's another element. Men equate sex as acceptance--and more than anything else, they want to be accepted by their partner. As I said, we are a bundle of insecurity wrapped with bravado to keep anyone from piercing the veil. It's not macho or manly to feel
(the world screams at us from every possible source). If we can't feel accepted by out partner, we will need to find a source to soothe that emotional ache.
Should he use his right hand? That's quite a viable option for some. And if your issue was strictly sexual release, it might work for you--you have said that it is something else, however. I have a friend for whom that option is completely unacceptable. When he doesn't get a regular supply from his SO, he finds someone else to provide it. He makes no bones about it. She knows he does it. I think it's atrocious, but who am I to judge the choices they have made in their lives?
The bottom line, however, is that your husband has expressed more than just a desire for sexual release: He's asking to reconnect on a deeply personal, passionate and emotional level with the love of his life, the woman for whom he abandoned his previous emotional support and acceptance cheerleader (his mom) to be with. He wants you
. He wants to be reassured of your love and your acceptance. He wants to pour out all that he is into you and receive your eager responses and encouragement. There is only one place for him to find that emotional, spiritual and passionate reassurance--his right hand won't help. And if you push him away, he will feel less and less like you are the source for the acceptance and love that he needs.
I can remember feeling many of the same things you've mentioned about your husband. Hearing my friends talk about their weekends away, their evenings out, "...man, and then she hooked her leg around me like this and...". Then comparing those details to my own life--a worn out and bedraggled wife who oozed into bed like a jellyfish, weak from weariness, aching, sore, tired, feeling like a used, discarded dishrag, meeting the endless demands of an insecure child who needed to nurse (what felt like) constantly. And then here I was, wanting to her to dress up, feel sexy, be eager and anxious for my advances like the young co-ed she was when we married.
Yes, he's going to have to realize the reality of life. You don't have the energy to be that warm and willing co-ed. You both have life and responsibilities. You aren't just sex machines anymore--you're parents.
But you can't share these things with each other if you're both coming at it from the perspective of "what have you done for me lately?"
Remember that part of your responsibilities are to be responsible to each other
, "to have and to hold". If you are Christian, you also have the mandate that your bodies are not your own, but are owned by your partner. You are mandated not to deprive one another sexually.
Where to from here?
Sit down and talk to each other. Tell each other what you want, what you need, what you feel is missing. Avoid accusations. If you have to use a thinking pattern, talk about things you used to do that you miss or things you always wanted to do but haven't. Discuss what is keeping you from doing them. Look for solutions
, not excuses or justifications.
Him: "Honey, I want to have sex 5 times a week."
Her: "Okay, to do that, I need to have an hour for a hot bath --alone
--and 8 hours of sleep the night before. Are you willing to hold our baby while I take the bath and willing to let me rest so I'm ready for you?"
Her: "I need you to give me more romance, pay more attention to me, wash the dishes so that I don't have that hanging over my head."
Him: "If I do that, will you give me [insert desire here]?"
Communicate (TRUST!) Compromise. Work together. Find solutions.
A lot of people say that marriage is 50%/50%. Those marriages fail because each party is only giving 50%.Successful marriages are 100%/100%.
I hope what I've said has helped you.