Survival Mode



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.


15 Responses to Survival Mode

  1. Square1 says:

    I have a theory about that last bit. Security. Unfortunately I am somewhat the same way with my hubs though I never really intend to be. I think perhaps we get secure in knowing that you’ll always be there, but those stranger’s … those people we don’t know… well they might think ill of us… they might reject us, so we work harder to please them than the people in our lives because the people in our lives seem like a permanent fixture already. It’s a matter of getting too comfortable and lazy. I’m definitely guilty of it, though now that I’m aware of the problem I try to pay attention to it, albeit most of the time with little success.

  2. aphron says:

    I wonder…is she depressed? Clincally?
    Like I said in an earlier post, Wife had a much lower libido, when our kids were younger. Although she states differently, hers is still lower than mine. You might read this blog. It might shed some insight.

  3. Dewdrop says:

    Again, I think Square has put her finger on exactly what I was thinking a little, especially when you say how your wife will make effort for others, but not for you basically. Friends and colleagues for example aren’t necessarily alway going to be there, so we make extra efforts for them – because they could just go, if we ‘displease’ them, whereas that person we married, we married for life – so in a way it can let in apathy and …. what’s that saying? “familiarity breeds contempt” I think we are all maybe guilty of treating our friends better than our spouses – we always hurt the ones we love. I know I’m guilty of that, definitely. Sorry for the cliches!!!! :S

  4. Dewdrop says:

    …sorry not articulate as normal – I meant sometimes we are maybe all guilty (at times) of not treating our spouses as well as we often treat our friends, arrghhh…my brain hurts :S

  5. Digger Jones says:

    The Security Theory rings true, altho it seems like a very cruel thing to do . I suppose I might have dropped a notch or two from my dating days but could easily recover much of that with a minimum of encouragement.

    Maybe that’s why my wife doesn’t want to encourage me to be a better person because that would make her look even worse by comparison!

    I used to link to Julia Grey’s site, but she doesn’t update enough to be a regular read. Still some good stuff, there.

    I have thought of the depression angle, Aphron, but with our youngest being 3 1/2, it’s a bit far to be post-partum depression. In anycase, we’re both stonewalling. Her wall is just higher, thicker and stronger.

  6. Is your wife still angry at you and mistrustful because of your ‘legal problems’? If my husband jeopardized my family’s security by committing criminal acts, I would not feel like having sex with him until he had fully made ammends and then probably not for a long time after that…

  7. I agree with both Square and Dewdrop about why she is there for friends and not you. The ones who love us are much more forgiving than others are.

    I wouldn’t dismiss the depression thing… post partum or otherwise. Some woman suffer post partum depression for years after a birth, especially when it is not diagnosed and treated.

    Has she ever been to counseling? Do you think she would be willing to go? Either alone or as a couple? Stress plays on all of us differently, many people draw into themselves as a way to cope.

    Thinking about you and hoping your situation improves.

  8. Square1 says:

    Senora… that seems a quick conclusion to draw, considering we do not know the nature, the circumstances, or whether or not the legal trouble is a direct consequence of anything D. did. Sometimes people are wrongly accused. Sometimes people make genuine mistakes. Just food for thought.

  9. Digger Jones says:

    I actually agree with Senora…I don’t know how anxious I would be to sleep with someone who jeapardized my family’s security by committing a criminal act.

    In fact, even a legal version of putting our security in jeopardy (i.e. exhorbitant debt, not paying debts on time, etc.) might give one cause for pause. At this point considering our poor finances, even a speeding ticket would jeopardize our security.

    If the legal stuff was at issue, it would be a consideration. Just being investigated is a serious matter.

  10. So Digger, then what are you doing to make ammends to her?

  11. Digger Jones says:

    How can I make amends for something I’m accused of but didn’t do?

  12. If you didn’t do it, why did you say on your old blog that you might spend time in jail? I should hope that conviction and incarceration of innocent people remains rare in our great country.

  13. Tajalude says:

    Good grief. Is that the issue?

  14. It could be… Digger’s wife is obviously not wanting him to get close to her. ‘Why?’ is a very good question for him to consider.

  15. Digger Jones says:

    There aren’t even any charges. I over reacted then, much like you’re doing now. Just an investigation that is irksome but groundless. I’ve known folks who did spend time in jail without charges filed, or any evidence or anything whatsoever.

    Look up Richard Jewel from the 1996 Olympic bombing and you get some idea of how it works in reality. Our system looks good on paper and is ideal in theory.

    Not that it has to do with anything. Obviously Senorajoselina never spent much time reading my old blog otherwise she’d see that this behavior spans *years*, not months. In 2003, we had sex exactly 5 times.

    Read a few other blogs on the blogroll and you see that this is an epidemic. Always has been. Women who are aloof from their husbands. It happens.

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