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-   -   Reasonable Request or Coercion? (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=18081)

KeyLimePie 11-30-2011 08:27 PM

Reasonable Request or Coercion?
 
I've been ill for a few weeks. Not up to any sort of sexual activity. My husband has been with me all that time, taking care of me. Because of being ill and not being able to travel, I did not see my boyfriend very much.

I'm not quite better yet. I'm about 90%, sexual activity would still be a hardship. But I can get around and function in daily life just fine.

Last night, I did get to spend an evening with the boyfriend for some nice snuggling and kissing time.

My husband, who is not interested in snuggling and kissing that does not lead to sexual gratification, has decided that I should not see the boyfriend again for any purposes until I'm able to be sexual with him again. He claims that he wants "intimacy" but he does not mean that in any emotional sense, nor in alternative sexual contact.

Am I wrong to feel hurt and manipulated by this? I feel like I deal with enough heartache by the fact that he just either wants sex or not to touch me at all (he'll typically get mopey or whiny or angry if I initiate snuggling type stuff and don't follow through). I don't feel like I need him to change who he is, but I don't think who he is means that he gets to make unreasonable demands regarding who I am, too.

MonoVCPHG 11-30-2011 09:16 PM

Coercion.

If you were having sex with your boyfriend and not him then I could see his point.

AnnabelMore 11-30-2011 10:16 PM

That is absolutely ridiculous. I would be deeply offended if you were my gf and you agreed to cut off all contact with me just because your husband wants something you're not ready to give him. What sense does that make? He says he wants intimacy, aka sex, ok, how is forcing you to be sad because you're missing your bf supposed to make that come faster if NOT through coercion?? Just, ew.

Maybe he's jealous that you guys have something physical you can share that you both find fulfilling while you and he don't have that right now and he just doesn't know how to express it? Maybe he figures that the sexual tension that you could be putting into contact with him is being "wasted" on snuggling instead (which is not how these things work but perhaps he doesn't get that)? Does he have any better explanation for *how* this request is supposed to bring you guys greater intimacy/sex? Does he care about the damage it could do to your relationship with the bf?

Goimir 11-30-2011 11:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AnnabelMore (Post 113723)
That is absolutely ridiculous. I would be deeply offended if you were my gf and you agreed to cut off all contact with me just because your husband wants something you're not ready to give him. What sense does that make? He says he wants intimacy, aka sex, ok, how is forcing you to be sad because you're missing your bf supposed to make that come faster if NOT through coercion?? Just, ew.

Maybe he's jealous that you guys have something physical you can share that you both find fulfilling while you and he don't have that right now and he just doesn't know how to express it? Maybe he figures that the sexual tension that you could be putting into contact with him is being "wasted" on snuggling instead (which is not how these things work but perhaps he doesn't get that)? Does he have any better explanation for *how* this request is supposed to bring you guys greater intimacy/sex? Does he care about the damage it could do to your relationship with the bf?

I care about all those things. I tried to kiss her on the mouth last week and got pushed away and yelled at. She has not tried to kiss me on the mouth since then.

KLP's made some pretty dire statements as far as things are concerned which I will not reveal at this point with regards to what I can expect in the future. I enjoy snuggling, and would enjoy it more if I were truthfully told beforehand that it was not going to lead to other things. I'd be OK with that. Instead I get no communication about sex at all, and must infer everything.


Am I jealous? She wants to go and visit her boyfriend a second time this week. She specifically wants to be alone with him. I'm probably not looking at having sex again until February. You tell me what you think now.

AnnabelMore 12-01-2011 12:22 AM

Wow, these are some dramatically contradictory posts!

I'm not sure how any of us are supposed to give advice without clarity from the two of you (hubs isn't interested in snuggling vs I enjoy snuggling, hubs isn't interested in kissing vs I tried to kiss her and she yelled at me?? what's a poor uninvolved observer to believe!) or at least a lot more context.

Like, whose idea was it to open the relationship? How long has it been? Does Goimir have/want a gf? How far away does the bf live? Are there other major boundaries and sore spots here? All very pertinent info.

Also, why not reveal anyone's "dire statements" to an anonymous web group? It's not like we know you, all we can do is try to offer helpful suggestions and we can't exactly do that if we don't know the real situation.

Goimir, to answer your question to me of what I think? Well, hell yeah, you sound jealous, but I think the problems here probably have very little to do fundamentally with her spending a little time cuddling on the couch with the bf and everything to do with lack of communication and trust between the two of you, specifically as relates to how you each communicate your desires and share physical contact. Let me ask very simply: what is the point, for you, of her staying away from him? What do you hope to gain?

As I said above, I don't feel like I can really respond as to what's best here without knowing a lot more at this point. But I can say that, as someone dating a married woman myself, I would be shocked and terribly wounded if her husband said I couldn't see her until they'd had sex again, which would probably not be for months, even though she and I were not ourselves having sex. That level of jealousy and insecurity and controlling, hurtful behavior from him to her would clearly indicate to me that their marriage was having serious problems and I would urge them to talk it out at length, maybe seek counseling.

SNeacail 12-01-2011 12:42 AM

Goimir & KeyLimePie, you guys need to seriously work on your communication skills.

Goimir, have YOU offered to cuddle without expecting or even pushing for sex in return (not tried to cuddle then explained what your intentions were)? You get pushed away based on past experiences when her boundaries about sex have been crossed. I speak from my personal experience, when I just can't do the sex and my husband wants to cuddle, kiss and touch, I go stiff and into borderline anxiety unless he has made it CRYSTAL CLEAR before hand that he won't try to cross the line, because in the past he was out to change my mind on the subject and did cross the line. This requires communication and she probably won't be completely comfortable until you guys have successfully done it a couple times. It might be going to a park and just holding hands or just spending some time together.

KeyLimePie, you will have to verbalize what you are comfortable with, even if it's just holding hands or touching feet. This was a good place for me and my husband to start and now we make a point of somehow touching every night and we have done more "just" cuddling as a result than in our 20 year marriage. It could also help if you can verbalize why and what you are afraid of before hand. If Goimir is aware of your fears and insecurities (they don't have to be logical or rational), then he can make adjustments to make you feel more at ease, but he can't do that if you don't communicate.

You guys may also have to frequently ask for clarification on what the other understood or how they see the situation. You may think you made something clear, but when asked what he/she heard, you'd be surprised at how your words were interpreted.

Check out the book "The Five Love Languages". What are your love languages, what are your partner's? Have you been making your partner feel loved by actions thought was expressing your love or have you been pushing them further away because it wasn't their love language?

Goimir 12-01-2011 12:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AnnabelMore (Post 113742)
Wow, these are some dramatically contradictory posts!

I'm not sure how any of us are supposed to give advice without clarity from the two of you (hubs isn't interested in snuggling vs I enjoy snuggling, hubs isn't interested in kissing vs I tried to kiss her and she yelled at me?? what's a poor uninvolved observer to believe!) or at least a lot more context.

Like, whose idea was it to open the relationship? How long has it been? Does Goimir have/want a gf? How far away does the bf live? Are there other major boundaries and sore spots here? All very pertinent info.

Also, why not reveal anyone's "dire statements" to an anonymous web group? It's not like we know you, all we can do is try to offer helpful suggestions and we can't exactly do that if we don't know the real situation.

Goimir, to answer your question to me of what I think? Well, hell yeah, you sound jealous, but I think the problems here probably have very little to do fundamentally with her spending a little time cuddling on the couch with the bf and everything to do with lack of communication and trust between the two of you, specifically as relates to how you each communicate your desires and share physical contact. Let me ask very simply: what is the point, for you, of her staying away from him? What do you hope to gain?

As I said above, I don't feel like I can really respond as to what's best here without knowing a lot more at this point. But I can say that, as someone dating a married woman myself, I would be shocked and terribly wounded if her husband said I couldn't see her until they'd had sex again, which would probably not be for months, even though she and I were not ourselves having sex. That level of jealousy and insecurity and controlling, hurtful behavior from him to her would clearly indicate to me that their marriage was having serious problems and I would urge them to talk it out at length, maybe seek counseling.


We've been married forever, and poly for more than half our marriage. I have a girlfriend and she's hundreds of miles away and that's the next time I'm having sex, when she comes out to visit in February. KLP has told me she's never having sex with me again.

Now re-read that last sentence.

I asked her if it's going to be the same with her boyfriend, she won't answer me.

ray 12-01-2011 01:01 AM

Again, you two are telling completely different stories. In her first post, KLP made it sound like she simply wasn't ready to have sex yet. And now you say, she's said never. Until you two can present a remotely united story, I'm not sure how expect us to give you any advice other than to improve your communication skills.

It sounds like this is a highly charged emotional situation so many presenting your perspectives (both of them) in great detail, on here, so you can each see where you are coming from would be helpful. Allow you to vent and see the other side in more removed, fixed way.

nycindie 12-01-2011 01:25 AM

Okay, Goimir and KeyLimePie, just be careful here not to start slinging mud at each other and fighting on this forum. It's a good place for people in relationships to express what's going on with each other, and explain their differing viewpoints in order for other members to have a more rounded picture before giving advice, but if it starts getting into nastiness and fighting, the Moderators will lock the thread. It's good that you're both here if you try to have a productive conversation toward reaching some resolution that both of you will be happy with. So...

KLP tells us she's been very sick and Goimir has been taking care of her, while she's been unable to see her bf. I am sure, Goimir, that KLP appreciates all the attention and care you gave her while she was sick.

Her points:
  1. She missed her bf and was happy to be able to snuggle with him as soon as she was well enough.
  2. She's still not ready for sex and doesn't feel sexual yet with either her hubs or bf.
  3. She says Goimir only wants to snuggle and kiss if it leads to sex; otherwise, he doesn't want to.
  4. Goimir told her she cannot see her bf "for any purposes" until she has sex again with Goimir.
  5. She believes that Goimir's idea of intimacy conflicts with hers, and her needs around intimacy.
  6. She feels hurt and manipulated by Goimir saying she can't be with her bf yet.
  7. She feels "heartache" because it seems Goimir won't touch her unless he wants sex and gets angry/irritated if she cuddles with him but doesn't want to go all the way.
  8. KLP wants affectionate touch more often.
  9. She feels she has lived with this without asking him to change, but he wants her to change for him.
Goimir says he is jealous and feels the situation is unfair. He takes issue with some of what she's posted here.

His points:
  1. He attempted kissing KLP "on the mouth last week" [when she was feeling very ill?] and was rejected.
  2. KLP hasn't initiated any mouth-kissing with Goimir since rejecting him.
  3. Goimir enjoys snuggling, but doesn't like it not knowing in advance that it won't lead to sex. He wants some "warning."
  4. Goimir wishes KLP would talk more with him about sex.
  5. Goimir doesn't like trying to figure out what she wants.
  6. He envies the time she is planning to spend with the bf.
  7. It is unfair in Goimir's eyes that KLP wants to be with her bf, even if no sex takes place, because she hasn't been having sex with Goimir. He is angry about that.
First, I see communication issues, big time. I was also going to recommend the book "Five Love Languages." It seems you are either not communicating or on different wavelengths.

It sounds like you both have swallowed some upsetting feelings rather than expressing them, and so they come out in anger, perhaps misplaced. Goimir, you seem angry that you won't see your gf for a long time and are likely missing her very much, but you're taking it out on KLP. KLP, you've been disappointed by how Goimir expresses his desire for you, and you want more non-sexual intimacy, but have chosen to live with the "heartache," as you called it, and seek it with your bf instead of talking to Goimir about it.

Neither of you seem to have been working together to help each other through these hurts. And now you're both pissed off and saying regrettable things to each other.

Goimir, just because someone has multiple relationships does not mean that each partner always gets the same things, attention, and treatment as the other. I think it is a big mistake to always see things as tit-for-tat, ie., "she has to have sex/cuddle with me as many times as she does with him." You are different people and these are different relationships.

You seem to be missing your gf. Your wife was sick, so you've been giving her lots of attention. But you want attention too, and now that she's better you might feel like she owes you, or maybe you just don't want to feel alone. That is understandable. However, the way to ask for what you need is not to blow up when she wants to see her bf and forbid her from going. She missed him, just like you miss your gf. Tell your wife how much you're hurting (yes, it's okay to admit that it hurts) and how you want some attention from her. Realize that she's still not feeling tip-top yet, and though you seem to focus on sex more than she does, her wanting to cuddle without sex can give you the feeling of closeness and companionship you want.

KLP, you weren't feeling well, but maybe you didn't realize how much Goimir was aching for affection. He kissed you when you were sick, and often seems to you to only want sex. I think you both have lots of years of holding in your feelings, all bottled up inside you, which may have pushed you to lash out and reject him. You probably get exasperated every time he wants sex and you want intimacy. Maybe you feel used or unappreciated because of it, but you need to start communicating your deeper feelings with each other. Start by remembering all the good stuff that brought you together, and then get real. Talk honestly, and try not to let it escalate into a fight.

I think some therapy/counseling would help. You both seem to have a great deal of pent-up unresolved anger.

Goimir 12-01-2011 02:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nycindie (Post 113754)
His points:
  1. He attempted kissing KLP "on the mouth last week" [when she was feeling very ill?] and was rejected.
  2. KLP hasn't initiated any mouth-kissing with Goimir since rejecting him.
  3. Goimir enjoys snuggling, but doesn't like it not knowing in advance that it won't lead to sex. He wants some "warning."
  4. Goimir wishes KLP would talk more with him about sex.
  5. Goimir doesn't like trying to figure out what she wants.
  6. He envies the time she is planning to spend with the bf.
  7. It is unfair in Goimir's eyes that KLP wants to be with her bf, even if no sex takes place, because she hasn't been having sex with Goimir. He is angry about that.

You're spot on with the first 5. 6 is a little shaky, and 7 is way off.

I do envy the time, because we get a few hours over the course of the week where we don't have the kids pestering us. But at the same time I want her to be happy.

I understand that she doesn't want to have sex with me now, and I'm fine with that. I'm not fine with the "never having sex again". We're going through this crisis here, which he was largely absent for, while my girlfriend who was up at the time ended up doing a bunch of housework for us, cleaning the bathroom, playing with the kids, etc. We still had a good time. It didn't detract all that much from her visit, and probably helped our relationship advance quite a bit. I wouldn't ever suggest that KLP can't see someone else she loves because she didn't meet some arbitrary obligation.

I don't want a "tit for tat" relationship. Never have. The only time I get concerned about her going to see people is when we don't have the money or it's obviously having a negative effect on our lives (things like lack of sleep, groceries, things that need to be done that she is only able to do).


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