Show Stoppers 

Had therapy tonight. It went well. We talked only a little about Meredith. He wanted to know how the conversation went, and how I feel about it. But mainly we went over the homework assignment and things between my wife and me. 

I divided up my ideal life into four categories. Family, fun, work and sex. Yes there are more than that, but those four are pretty important. At one point we were talking about Fun, and he asked if we spent a bunch of time on that in therapy but the sex still wasn’t working, would that be enough? The answer was no. 

As it turns out sex is a show stopper for me. He then asked what we can do about that. Honestly I don’t know. My wife is ready to talk about some things now, but she’s not ready for that. I explained to him how our conversation last week went. I had 24 hours of no talking she was so upset, and after I calmed her down there was still no way to follow up on those conversations. We just can’t bring them up. 

In response to that we talked about the need to perhaps focus on some of the smaller things and get some wins before we discuss the big topic. Fair enough. 

That moved us into “What works in your marriage?” I explained that we actually function very well together as long as we don’t discuss certain topics. We are great at planning and talking about tasks or our shared past (in a positive light only). He said we should look at how we can use the things that work to help us with the parts that are not working. Fair enough. In many ways we work very well together. Even overcoming normal marriage problems. 

One of the smaller problems we have is that she doesn’t support me on things that are important to me but not her. For example fishing. She knows it’s really important to me. When was the last time she asked about it or helped me get out on the water? It’s been years. She doesn’t think about things for me like that. She never pushes me to do things for me. Maybe I’m asking too much, but that was something Meredith was phenomenal at doing. She couple read me and anticipate things to help me. 

Another was board games. Yes this may sound lame, but I’m going to run the risk. I LOVE board games!!! With a passion. It would mean so much to play board games with my spouse. We could play one all the time and slowly work through it like my best friend in high school would do. My wife hates board games. She cannot play them. I’ve played maybe 3 board games with her in 18 years that weren’t just an excuse for a party game. All three times we ended in a fight. She gets SO ANGRY. So now I don’t play them. It’s hard to find friends with the time to play now that we have kiddos, and before that my buddies were more interested in chasing tail. (Being the first married in your peer group has drawbacks). 

Anyway with all of these he suggested that I look at ways to bring them up during our planning sessions. Whether we have a family board meeting or during our weekly kanban. I’m going to add an element for a checklist to watch out for things for each other. It’s a small step in a bigger plan. 

At the end of the day we need all these to work so that we can have the real discussion we need about sex. Because if we can’t make that work then none of this is going to work. 

Lastly he recommended a book by Gottman. Seven principles of marriage or something like that. It has a lot of sections where you work through them together. That may help us to ask the hard questions in a non threatening way. 


18 thoughts on “Show Stoppers 

  1. I tend to work backwards when commenting on people’s post so bear with me.
    The Gottman method is interesting and it seems like it could be helpful if both parties are willing to participate. You’ll have to let us know how that goes. I have to say that many times when you describe your marriage I feel like you’ve got a pretty great one. You have conquered many things lots of married people struggle with. This is a big positive. I’m not sure you could find this so easily in another person. I know you speak of Meredith as being a perfect fit but you have no idea how she’d function with normal days stressors….bills, children, and all the other mundane tasks of taking care of a family and household. She represents the sex life you desire and the attention you want. She would never be able to hold up that type of behavior constantly in a marriage. I think if that would have worked out you would be disappointed and regret breaking up your family. The fact that that relationship isn’t working out may be a blessing for you and a second chance to repair your marriage (which I think you’re trying to do). My main question is, why is your desire for BDSM more important than the rest of it? In my opinion, this way may be fun but it lacks intimate connection. It’s just straight up dirty fucking (sorry there was no other way to describe it). It may be hot and a major turn on for you but maintaining that lifestyle without any of the other stuff you and your wife have already conquered doesn’t seem realistic. I’d look really deeply inside yourself to figure out *why* this is so important to you. I’m not saying it’s wrong to desire this, I’m just saying I think it’s too important to you for a reason I don’t think you’ve discovered yet. Again, just my opinion.

    Regarding the fishing. I feel like you need to make this a priority on your own. I don’t think this one is your wife’s responsibility. She probably has no idea that you feel that it is. If you need to go fishing, make it work and go. I think you’ll be happy about it. The board game thing….maybe you need a new game. Maybe let her pick one. Is she a sore loser? Are you a terrible winner…you know the, “ahhhaaaa you lost” kind of winner? Maybe she feels like she can’t stop doing stuff around the house to sit and play a board game. Like laundry or other house responsibilities. Idk just thinking. I mean who hates board games. There’s a reason.
    Sorry this was so long. A couple of things just stood out when I read your post and I feel we all need to try to help each other if we can. Totally not trying to offend you. I’m just trying to see if you change your perspective could you change your mind. You are the only one who controls your mind and moods. Totally all you 🙂.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Yes I keep hearing about gottman. Worth a try.

      I’m glad you see a good marriage. That’s a positive thing. In many ways it is. But that’s the thing about a marriage these days. It has to be everything! Early on I looked at things that cause marriage failures and we worked on them. Well I worked on them. Listening to my wife; being financially sound; shared chores. But we never tackled a couple of big ones that are turning out to be problems now. Communication around things that are hard to talk about and sex. We suck at both. But you are right. We are good at many other things that generally break up marriages.

      With Meredith I actually do know quite a bit about her as we worked very close daily for 3.5 years and became family friends. It’s not a complete shot in the dark. I do know many of the ways she handles daily stress. I have spent a few days with her parenting our children together and we’ve talked about it ad naseum. I know about bills and money management as we worked on those together as well. Setting up systems together and discussing division of labor. We also setup the same kanban methods for managing our household. I’ve worked with her on her evening routine of making dinner and putting the kids to bed.

      Are there things I still don’t know? Oh yes absolutely. But it’s less than some random unknown person. It’s less than even just a friend. We were good friends first and in each other’s lives. She gave me a really good idea of what life would be like and I did for her as well. We are a really good team far beyond just sex. But there is one big stressor that would hit both of us if we were together: the effects of divorce.

      From the sex life perspective we are a perfect fit. Would it hold up for the course of a marriage. Honestly I hope not! I’m not sure I have that much energy. But she has a much higher libido which means it would in general be more intense and satisfying. Plus we enjoy the same kinds of sex. I don’t think in any way would I be disappointed with a sex life with Meredith. Her minimum is so much higher than my wife’s maximum.

      You ask about BDSM. That’s a very difficult question to navigate. It’s not just “fun” and it defiantly does not lack an intimate connection. I’ve never felt so close during sex as when with Meredith. Sex with my wife feels very detached and lacking intimacy. BDSM sex is not just dirty fucking. I’m sorry, but it’s not. It’s something that’s very important to me. It always has been, but I didn’t know how to express it. Honestly the best way for you to short hand think about it is if someone figured out they were gay. Would you ask all these questions of that person? “It’s just a turn on and you should go back to your wife.” I doubt it. In fact my friend at work is getting married next month for the second time. Last time he married a woman and was married for 10 years. This time he’s marrying a man. Sometimes it takes us awhile to figure these things out about ourselves. If you want to talk more about this we can, but it’s much more than just dirty fucking and I could send you more info if you would like to learn about it.

      Fishing, yes. This IS on me. Absolutely. I had a really hard time trying to put words around what was really bothering me here. Because it’s not really about fishing. You said she has no idea I feel this way and that, my friend, is the problem. She is not curious about me. She does not inquire about me or how I’m doing or following up on anything going on with me. If it isn’t something for her as well then it’s gone. She lacks the curiosity to learn about me. That hurts. A lot.

      With board games it had to do with 2 things. 1. She is a sore loser. 2. She is from a family who never played board games.

      I am a very gracious winner. Honestly I don’t give a shit about who wins and loses so I don’t gloat. Well I will with my buddy because it drives him nuts but no one else. My wife’s aversion to board games is purely her. We’ve tried so many games. The ONLY ones she will play are stupid card games kids play where you don’t keep score or social games like cranium where you act and do stupid shit. She will not play a normal board game like I can play with nearly anyone else on the planet. In fact we had friends over for several occasions to play one specific board game kind of like monopoly that they liked. My wife would bake cookies and talk to us or go work, but she would not join us. Ever. This is her. Even during scheduled social time she won’t do it. And she knows it’s important to me.

      This board game problem is up there with communication. She can’t have a hard conversation or discuss ideas and she can’t play board games. Both push her over her limit and she lashes out. Her anger shows. It’s too much for me. I have amazing board games in our cupboard shrink wrapped for years.

      I really appreciate your feedback. It’s always interesting what other people see. You are right. If you take our sex and anything that is important to me personally, we have a great marriage that functions like clockwork. Like the therapist said we need to learn to leverage those area that work. I will work on improving my mood and perspectives to the extent that I see new ways of looking at the world. I have been very good at doing that my whole marriage, but that hasn’t exactly worked out. I also need to stand up for what I need.

      Liked by 5 people

      1. “If you take out sex and anything that is important to me personally, we have a great marriage that functions like clockwork. Like the therapist said we need to learn to leverage those area that work.”

        I’m happy that you are talking about this with the therapist. I have a huge issue with cheating, but setting that aside, I understand it would be hard to stay in a marriage where you are sexually mismatched only because the issues preventing your wife’s desire for sex can’t be brought out into the light and discussed. I could not stay in a sexless marriage. (I’m not talking about if a spouse has physical issues that cause pain, complications, or leave them unable to have sex, that’s a different story.)

        Liked by 1 person

      2. And yes, you need to stand up for what you need. I think you’ll get where you need to be one way or another. Please don’t cheat again. It isn’t the answer. Your wife would be crushed and I don’t think you’d really want to hurt her like that. It is more painful than anything I’ve experienced and I’ve been through a lot of painful things.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Cheating is not something I ever plan to do again! In fact I didn’t plan on it this time, but I certainly learned how easy it can be. I’m trying really hard to focus now on my marriage. If it were to come to cheating again I would just tell my wife we need to end the marriage. Because I don’t want to hurt her. Ironically that is why I didn’t push her on things that were important to me for so long. I don’t want to hurt her and then I ended up doing one of the most painful things.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m not on board with a sexless marriage. No one wants that and I don’t have right now to comment on the rest but I would ask someone who was in a straight marriage and left his/her wife/husband for someone of the same sex, as in being gay, tons of questions like I’m asking you. I’m not trying to offend anyone. I just ask questions. If someone played straight for 20 years and then decides they’re gay, I’d have a hell of a lot of questions. I’d assume they were afraid but I’d have questions for sure. Sorry if I offended you but BDSM has never meant romance to me. Don’t get me wrong, hit sex is great but it’s not sensual and soft and loving.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I don’t personally know much about BDSM and I previously had very similar views to what I think yours are – views such as why would you want to do such a thing, why willingly accept pain? There are obviously varying things that those who enjoy these ‘kinks’ do and don’t do individually, so it’s not all about roughness and pain.
      I have recently come to understand the loving aspects of domination and why one may enjoy being submissive. A blog I recently discovered describes this well here: and here I can see how those who enjoy being a submissive find it therapeutic to be dominated, to not have to think about what they want or what to do next, because their dominant is doing everything out of wanting to bring them pleasure, spoiling them, knowing what their submissive wants and needs. I can’t seem to articulate what I’m wanting to say in finishing at this early hour, so this will have to do for now 🙂

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Thanks magenta. Yes there is so much. Honestly I didn’t know all that much either until Meredith came around. It was so natural and loving for us. Neither of us had ever felt as cared for as we did in our relationship. I’ll have to read those posts.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh I get it. I understand that it’s not all pain but for me (and I haven’t looked at your link yet) it’s about trust and surrendering. For me I need more working together scenario to feel love. It doesn’t mean that’s the only way I want it. It’s just the way I need to feel loved. I was just saying if it dominated everything then there could be a reason why. Maybe he it needs his wife to be open to it.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. My wife is more like you. She does not want a BDSM relationship. At all. We’ve talked about it. I understand. I cannot force her to be someone she is not.


    2. It’s ok. You didn’t offend me, it just made me feel like perhaps you didn’t understand. It’s hard to put into words actually. It does mean romance to me. It’s so very natural. But I understand it’s different and not for everyone.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I’m not sure what you consider ‘BDSM sex’ or vanilla but what I do know is what you seem to ‘like’ from what I write and what seems to be the missing link in your own writing. It feels to me that you are looking for a connection more so than a style of sex or play.

    To what ifonlymommy was getting at I’m not entirely sure that BSDM is the question or the solution, plenty of people out there practice BDSM and really have a limited relationship. BDSM doesn’t even need to involve sex TBH ….

    No matter what type of relationship you choose if the connection is not there it will feel lacking and hallow. The reason BDSM or TPE relationships work is because of the complete honesty and communication that comes from both sides accompanied with a willingness to be open. Without that any relationship feels ‘vanilla’ IMO. Vanilla to me is two people in the same house but living two very different lives, and I think *THAT* is what you really want/need to change.

    You have mentioned in the past that you like and want things that I write about, but none of them have ever been sex based. Just a thought ….

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Once again you seem to get me. And yes BDSM does not need to include sex for everyone but it does for me. However it is not exclusively sex. As you mention it is about the connection, the understanding and the communication. But there is a bit more to it. If my wife completely understood me and then said “I understand that is what you want but you can’t have it.” There would still be an issue. There must also be shared desires. From a living arrangement to sex as well. I will think about this more. Perhaps another post 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Looking forward to it.

        When we started ‘playing’ things were considerably different than they are now. Things tend to change and evolve as you get more comfortable and you/she might become open to new things that wouldn’t have been considered initially. Do keep that in mind …

        Liked by 1 person

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