Uneven Relationships


It’s never good when someone says, “We need to talk”. It wasn’t good when my husband said it last night and it’s even worse because his complaints were completely legitimate.

You see the title of this post is about uneven relationships but the problem is me, not someone else. He had several areas that he wanted to discuss and while I disagree with his assessment in one area, the other two were pretty much dead on. One thing that pissed me off though was that he started by saying that my work in therapy is damaging our relationship. That is not ok and that’s not the problem but I didn’t get into it because I was more thrown by the abrupt way he started the conversation (I was hiding in the bathroom and he told me to come out because we needed to talk).

First he brought up that we need to spend more time together (shouldn’t that be my line as the woman?). I told him that I thought we had done so this weekend but since it was a obligitory event he disagreed. I reminded him that I’ve been trying to at least put myself in the same room as him instead of staying upstairs while he’s downstairs. The bedroom can be a very comfortable place for me when he comes home; he’s downstairs, typically watching something on tv, and I go upstairs to do something else. After talking to my therapist about ways to be closer without using sex, I started going downstairs to sit with him even if I was reading a book while he watched tv. It was supposed to be a compromise so that we were at least near each other, sharing the same space. This isn’t enough though and he says we’re living separate lives because I’m in one area of the house and he’s in another.

I asked him if this was really about sex. He said no but that sex was another issue. Of course it is! Great…

I told him that I haven’t been feeling physically sexually at all and I was more honest than usual by saying that I don’t really enjoy it. I clarified that I can feel physical pleasure (he has no idea that I have to use terrible fantasies to do it though), but I told him that I don’t enjoy the touching or talking or anything. This of course did not make him happy. I told him that if he needs sex, he’s going to have to initiate it for the time being. He said things like “You need to work this out in therapy” and so forth and it really irritated me that he thinks I can just go in and talk about it about for a little while and be “fixed”.

He wants me to want to do it and he wants me to initiate it and he wants me to enjoy it and he wants it at least once a week…well I told him that he can’t just demand what he wants and that if he wants sex once a week, he’s going to have to carry the responsibility of asking for it for a while.

But my knowing that he wants sex at least once a week and that he’s not happy with the lack of sex is making me feel immense amounts of pressure. I mean A LOT of pressure. The problem is that he’s also right though, because we’re married and sex is a part of our relationship, especially since he’s not the typical guy who just wants the release and that’s it. He needs all the factors: the touching, the words, the emotions, all of that.

Another complaint he had was that he’s doing everything as far as housework, cooking, shopping, and gardening, besides working full-time. He is 100% correct. I’ve noticed it and been perplexed by my inability to get past my lack of motivation.

Usually if I see that something needs to be cleaned up or whatever, I can make myself get up and do something about it, unless I’m just really having a bad time and can only stay in bed. But these days? No matter what, I just sit there. And going to the grocery store is out of the question because I find it overwhelming with anxiety to step into that place. In the more recent past (a few months ago?) I may have been able to put some meals together using the crock pot to do most of the work. Now? I haven’t cooked in ages and that’s not like me.

We started a garden because I wanted to, and it ended up being more work than we’d expected. I did help in the beginning by clearing out tons of dirt and digging and getting rid of weeds and cleaning up a large area in the middle of our backyard so that we could plant flowers. But my stamina wasn’t up to the challenge of the physical upkeep. I can water the garden because my husband put up a watering system but I haven’t been able to get out and do a lot of the physical work needed. When I go out there and try to work I end up having a flare up and being in pain for days.

The point though, is that he is doing everything. I don’t know how to help myself to at least do more housework and cooking. I have to do something because this is really unfair to him.

This led me to a very sad place mentally because our relationship is uneven. It’s uneven in more than this way though. I realized that he was able to express his needs to me but I can’t do that with him.

I think I have needs. I know that when he brought up therapy and mentioned that I’m talking about things with my therapist and that no, he didn’t expect me to talk about it…I felt very, very alone. I felt like he could tell me all the things I’m doing wrong and what he needs me to do but that I’m on my own when it comes to what I’m dealing with. I don’t feel like I can share that with him for many complicated reasons. One of those reasons is my own inability to “complain”.

So you see, our relationship is uneven because 1) I’m not doing my part when it comes to giving him attention, having sex, and doing the housework and 2) because I can’t talk to him about anything I’m feeling which leaves me feeling alone and overwhelmed.

I had a thought last night after our conversation, that if I just killed myself, then neither of us would have to deal with this. That’s always lovely.

About CimmarianInk

Abuse Survivor Diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder PTSD and Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) also known as Multiple Personalities
This entry was posted in dissociative identity disorder, Incest, Intimacy, Mental Health, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD, Sexual Abuse and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Uneven Relationships

  1. Karen says:

    We are living the same life on opposite sides of the Atlantic. What you’ve written here almost exactly mirrors my own situation, except that the man and I usually do spend our time together. Well, except when he’s doing the housework :-/

    I only wish I could send you some advice, lovely, but I only have empathy :-( One thing I would say is that, whilst I understand he has his own needs, your therapy has to come first. You can’t help having a mental ‘illness’, and you can’t help the bike things that were done to you when you were a child. It’s so important that you move at your own pace – not doing so won’t help either of you.

    Killing yourself won’t either…and I’m certain it’s not just your husband that would miss you. I know I’m only a name on a screen, but I certainly would.

    I should stop rambling, I’m sorry. Please know that I’m thinking about you and hoping for way for you both to be able to handle the situations.

    Love and gentle (((hugs)))

    Karen <3 xxxxx

    • CimmarianInk says:

      We’re having one of those many Twilight Zone moments again huh Viv? You didn’t ramble, I appreciate knowing that it’s not just me even though it sucks that you have to deal with these issues too.

      Boo, I hate this crap!

      We worked it out sort of, but now I’m thinking it’s just until the next time. I know this will be an issue for a while. I hope you get the support you need, you deserve lots of care and love.

  2. Serenne says:

    I have no advice, but I’m very sorry you are going through this. Reading through it, I felt like it was something that I could have written. I totally understand. I’m sorry I don’t have the words to convey any more thought or feeling but I’m with you. ♥

  3. brandic32 says:

    This sounds so hard. And I can very much relate. My partner has made similar complaints – specifically that I don’t do enough around the house and that I shut her out as far as what’s going on with me. It’s so hard, because our significant others don’t seem to understand the daily emotional and psychological pressures that we deal with on a daily basis. They aren’t in our shoes. It’s a hard line to walk. I see him coming to you and sharing his concerns as a good thing though. It sounds like he could have worded things better and done it in a gentler way. But at least he’s expressing himself instead of keeping it all in.

    All we can do is the best we can. It sounds like you are really struggling with a lot right now. I’m sorry for that. Just remember that you are doing the best you can, and to try and be gentle with yourself if possible.

    Have you considered bringing him in to one of your therapy sessions? In that way, perhaps he might be able to see some of the stuff you are struggling with, and maybe he won’t feel so disconnected from you and your therapy process? Just a thought, I don’t know if this is something you’d feel would help or not.

    Know that it would be terribly, terribly hard on him if you took your own life. I’m sure you already know this though. I’m not saying this to make you feel bad for those thoughts, but rather to show you how much you are valued in your relationship and how much you mean to him. It sounds like you really mean a lot to him.

    Thinking of you and hoping it gets easier for you.

    • CimmarianInk says:

      Hi brandic32,

      You’re right that him coming to me was a good thing, I told him that as well because I’d rather he say something then stay silent and be unhappy. It is hard when they don’t get what the day to day living is like, but it’s also impossible for them to know without living it.

      He wouldn’t want to go to therapy with me I don’t think and I honestly wouldn’t be able to talk while he was there anyway. The one time he came in I dissociated until he left lol.

      Thanks for the supportive thoughts. :)

  4. G. says:

    I totally, totally get it. My husband and I are going through the exact same thing. He wants sex and I am not physically or emotionally up to it. I am feeling so much pressure and so guilty about this. The pressure only serves to my aversion more however. The longer an evening goes on, the more resistant I am to sex. I’m not sure what to do about this problem at present tense, the husband and I are just trying muddle through it. It’s a very difficult time in our marriage right now. I’m pretty sure the aversion is caused by the horrible fantasies I, like you, have to use and it just doesn’t feel right. We just have to keep going. One day at a time is how I have to think to get through it.

    • CimmarianInk says:

      Hi G.

      I’m really sorry you’re in a similar situation. It’s very difficult. It would be easier if we could just hit a switch to turn off their sex drive until we could get our stuff together. :)

      Keep talking to each other. I think that communicating honestly is really important especially when you can’t connect sexually. My husband and I talked about other ways to be physically close like a hand on the leg (with no sex afterwards) or sitting next to each other or an arm around the shoulders, but it would have to be something that feels nonthreatening.

      I hope you two can come to an understanding.

      • G. says:

        I do wish they had an off/on switch! Then we’d be golden. I do have a problem with contact (i.e. hugs, putting his arm around me, kissing, etc) because I do feel threatened. I feel he is doing these things, for lack of a better phrase, to get into my pants. This always involves more aversion and resistantance. Luckily, we have an extremely honest and open relationship that should be able to last out this storm. If I make it to happy someday, I want him right here beside me :)

      • CimmarianInk says:

        That’s great that you guys have open communication!

  5. curious212000 says:

    Hello,
    You have written a wonderful honest and personal account of your relationship, I can relate to your circumstances but can only offer the advice to Keep calm and Carry on you, at least you can acknowledge your problems which is half way to solving them.
    David.

  6. burtont73 says:

    Cimmarianink,
    I can understand how you are feeling. I have similar issues as you have described. I was in a marriage that failed because my partner refused to see things from my point of view. I tried for 5 years to make it work. After I had my son, my PTSD symptoms got way worse, and I could no longer function inside that marriage. I have been divorced for almost two years now, but I still can not seem to find my way back to my former self. Who knows if I ever will. Like you, I am in counseling. Things do not seem to progress as quickly as I need them to…I am not a very patient person. I too, have thought of killing myself at times…actually tried to once. It doesn’t do us any good though. We just have to do the best we can to deal with the situation as it presents itself. I hope things improve for you. I sure can relate to how you are feeling, though. Good luck and best wishes.

  7. Thank you for such an honest post and for writing about it. I am amazed by the comments you have received saying they can relate… I can relate too. I feel less alone now. Thank you everyone.

    My best wishes to you. Things will change. They always do. For years it was me with the non-existent sex drive. Now I’m interested again and my husband has no libido. Funny how that works.

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