Survival Mode

July 12, 2005



This morning, I woke up to find my wife had moved to the couch. So O went out and decided to engage in some hugging and kissing. She got annoyed with me, of course. She said she came out there to get extra sleep and that her nose was stuffed up.

I, of course, was feeling SO frustrated. I asked her how she could do it. “How can I do what?” she asked. I asked how she can possibly go days, weeks and months without any sort of touching at all.

“Well, I’ve been under a lot of stress and am in survival mode.”

Survival mode? Stress?

When I asked her whether or not that her aloofness might be a cause of stress, she didn’t have an answer.

Thanks for the comments on the last entry which is related to this one in many ways. Dewdrop is right, in that a good deal of cuddling and kissing is going to rev me up sexually. A stiff wind makes me hard, nowadays.

I’m still trying to get my mind around the idea of physical withdrawal in relation to being around kids all day or being under stress or whatever. I think this is a hallmark clashing libido issue.

Basically, a typical LL person will withdraw in the face of any small adversity, tiff, problem or difficulty. Physical intimacy is the first thing to get thrown overboard when the seas get choppy. There is no problem too small, no illness too minor or no excuse too petty to pre-empt any physical closeness that might possibly result in sex.

The HL, OTOH, sees sex as the cure all and elixir for any and all ills, stresses and problems. The risk here, is that sex actually becomes something that glosses over many of these problems and can actually become a vehicle of its own that inhibits other kinds of intimacy. A HL person, such as myself, will often demand even more once access to a little is obtained. Once a week is certainly not enough to satiate desire and does not really satisfy.

Sexual frequency remains among the top causes of marital discord in marriages today. I think the answer might be in both partners being open to negotiation. The LL partner frequently feels pressured and this is one of many dampening influences on desire. The HL person feels rejected which increases their desperation and decreases all the things a LL claims they need for a meaningful sexual experience such as compassion, understanding and patience. If both could at least be open to negotiation, it might buffer some of the negativity.

In my case, Arwyn frequently will beg off and defer to the next day/night. Unfortunately, getting stood up the next day is an all-too-common experience. Now we’re in an even worse spot because in addition to the desperation and rejection we add betrayal, anger, lack of trust and resentment on top of it. I siimply have a lack of faith in anything she says or promises.

If she promises to do something for anyone else, she makes sure she is there. And even though she might later wish she hadn’t made the committment, she still shows up and acts like she wants to be there. Another one of those deals where a stranger merits better treatment than a spouse.