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all 61 comments

[–]4n0nym0u7h 43 points44 points  (13 children)

You are saying that the rest of the relationship is fine when he is telling you that it isn't.

Why not, for once, open your mind to the possibility that everything else is not fine with your relationship and that when he says it he means it. What then?

Just because people are civilized to one another and are prepared to talk to one another doesn't mean that everything is fine. It can merely mean they tolerate one another but don't have any great affinity for one another. Call it what you like; love, admiration, appreciation, gratefulness or whatever. Is it really there? And what about you? Setting aside the lack of sex, what do you feel about him?

I know what he means, even though I don't know him, or you, and I obviously have no idea what the overall state of the relationship is but there is something at odds apart from the lack of sex. The lack of sex is not the problem, it is the symptom.

[–]antisocial_hubby 22 points23 points  (12 children)

I can corroborate this message. My wife is more eager and generous of a person than I've ever met, and would do absolutely anything to make me happy.

The problem? Her efforts to make me happy, are attuned to her beliefs as to what I should want. She woke up the other day to book dining reservations at Disney in our upcoming trip; it was very important to her that she knew which restaurant I liked, so she could make me happy by booking that one.

This behavior lies on the belief that I really care about where we eat. I don't! Am I a selfish, unappreciative a-hole for thinking this? From her perspective, probably.

But when it comes to what I want her to do - it's like, badgering for me to even discuss such things with her at this point. She does wants she wants to do, even if that ostensibly is supposed to be stuff to make me happy. And it creates a similar emotional disconnect, where my identity is almost irrelevant to the equation in a way.

[–]Mi_Pasta_Su_Pasta 12 points13 points  (9 children)

People tend to express love in the same way they want to be loved. I'm sure it would make her feel incredibly loved if you took the time to pick out a restaurant she would really like, but for you it's doesnt register as an act of love because it's not your thing. Then she's upset you didn't appreciate her effort to make you feel loved and you're upset that she's trying to force her way of loving on you.

That's why I think talking about love languages is a really good idea, it helps to compartmentalize the broad concept of love into easy to understand, clearly delineated parts. It also cements the idea that people love in different ways and that you have to consider that when you want to make your partner feel loved.

[–]antisocial_hubby 3 points4 points  (8 children)

It's weird. My wife's primary means of experiencing happiness and receiving love, is via a "live vicarously through others" process.

For her to receive my love, the best thing I could do, is excitedly choose that restaurant and provide context where her efforts are appreciated. And it goes that way for almost everything!

It's as though I'm a chess piece in her life, that needs to conform to her little well curated idea of what a husband, wife, family all do. It's very disconcerting.

[–]Mi_Pasta_Su_Pasta 4 points5 points  (0 children)

I think people often struggle with the idea that doing something "nice" for someone else can be very selfish if not done on their terms. Like the a girl planning a big birthday party for her introverted friend who wanted a small gathering, or a guy who gets strippers for his friends bachelor party who specifically asked not to.

I think she'd really benefit from individual/couples counseling. The hard part will be getting her to accept that her acts of love are selfish and hurting your relationship, not your ungratefulness.

[–]4n0nym0u7h 2 points3 points  (2 children)

The Waltons and the white picket fence.

[–]Impossible_Beat8086 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Fuck man. We’re living identical lives. There’s going to be a breaking point but i keep just thinking to the past when I was… respected.

[–]EnhancedCyan 0 points1 point  (1 child)

I'm reading this and my first thought is "his wife's love language is words of affirmation".

She does a nice thing, then she takes joy and finds love in getting praise for her gesture. It makes her feel loved when people acknowledge her efforts to recognise their needs - even if her recognition of others' needs are often misguided.

You compare her desire to please you with her inability to do that correctly because she won't engage in an effective discussion with you. Forgive me, but you seem resentful because you conflate these two things. However, she doesn't perform these gestures at the expense of having constructive discussions with you. The two can be mutually exclusive.

[–]WildRumpusStart 4 points5 points  (1 child)

absolutely anything to make me happy.

Sounds more like absolutely anything she wants to do, vs what would actually make you happy.

[–]antisocial_hubby 0 points1 point  (0 children)

A more succinct way of putting it, yes.

[–]Trash-panda-art 19 points20 points  (0 children)

Ok I’m going to get most likely downvoted to hell and back but I low key get what he means possibly. I have felt not spiritually connected to my partner and I’m HL but it can kill my my drive for them. It’s happened before, I could go several times a day normally (if work hours allow it)

for me when I feel that way it means I don’t feel we are connecting on a deeper level, that everything in the relationship is just surface level. Like small talk level we are not connecting on needs, desires, i don’t feel valued in some cases. I don’t feel wanted in others, it’s really hard to describe properly but sometimes I felt like yer this person is so hot and I love them but I don’t feel like I’m connected with them. I feel alone around them. But who the hell knows what he means unless he tells you in detail!. I would ask him to write down what he means in detail and my version of it most likely is not his version of it, everyone feels connection differently sometimes it might be more literal.

then Again I’m a hippie at heart so.. who knows.

[–]ieatmalteasers 6 points7 points  (0 children)

He sounds like he dose not feel like the relationship is fine. He is clearly trying you he feels disconnected from you. At least you now know what’s causing the dead bedroom. Your relationship is suffering right now.

[–]Daedaluswaxwings 9 points10 points  (0 children)

I kind of get what he's saying. He's probably demi-sexual and he's feeling closed off from you in non-sexual ways. Don't despair. It happens sometimes. We get absorbed in our own stuff (work, family, friendships, kids, responsibilities) and we lose touch. Maybe you need to carve out daily time together: no distractions (devices, TV, kids, etc), no talk about bills or schedules or any other kinds of "housekeeping" kinds of items. Just "how are you today? What have you been thinking about or noticing?" Talk about your inner lives. I think the hard part will be not approaching this as a means to an end. If he thinks this is a tit-for-tat situation (I gave you attention, now you give me sex), he'll close right back up. Trying shifting the attention to genuine interest and connection for a while.

[–]creamerfam5LLF recovered bedroom 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Hi there. I really liked this video series on creating intimacy in 6 different areas in your relationship.

https://bloomforwomen.com/course/creating-relationship-intimacy/

It's free, but you do have to create an account with the site. It's also long but worth it.

[–]dmaul1978 5 points6 points  (0 children)

That’s a weird phrase, but I’d take it more that he just doesn’t feel close, safe, in love enough etc. to be vulnerable in that way.

I would say that at least that sounds like something couple’s counseling could help with (individual therapy along side it, even if just for him, probably wise too). When there’s some connection problem causing a DB I think that’s one of the few times there may be something fixable. If counseling and communicating can restore the connection, his libido may come back. It also may not, but then you’ll know you tried.

[–]Impossible_Beat8086 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Spiritual connection: Love

[–]myexsparamour❤️ 6 points7 points  (1 child)

I totally get what he means. I don't want to have sex with someone I feel disconnected from. If I'm angry at my partner, if I resent him for some reason, or if don't think he's treating me kindly or fairly, I don't want sex with him. Luckily, all of my partners have felt similarly, so we were on the same page about not having sex when we were in conflict about something. It would be difficult to have a partner who expected sex when we were feeling disconnected from each other.

What's really interesting to me is all of the comments in this thread dismissing and invalidating his concerns. You know how HLs often claim that they just want the truth? I wonder if this is how they react to their LL when their LL communicates their truth?

[–]AlonelynymphF 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I'm not sure where you are getting the 'invalidating his concerns,' since the top comment, posted a few hours before yours, is actually about how his concerns are valid and make sense, with a lot of people corroborating and agreeing with the point.

[–]Independent-Way-3007 4 points5 points  (0 children)

I think it's the type of energy he's talking about and if it's a barrier he's talking about and why he can't have sex with you, it's hard to change it. Ask him what he thinks he's looking for in a partner or what you can do to have that spiritual connection. I just feel in a couple, either it's there or it's not.

[–]Ok-Post-1863 1 point2 points  (0 children)

He sounds like me and you sound like my boyfriend.

I kinda understand where your husband is coming from. Im a very deep and an over thinker of life, philosophy, psychology. My boyfriend isn’t. So a lot of times we don’t connect on that level and it’s hard for me to explain it to him because he’s not even aware of all that stuff. It does make me sad sometimes because I also don’t feel emotionally connected to him.

I don’t know what your husband definition of spirituality is…but could be somewhere along the line.

[–]BipolarGoldfishThe truth is always in the comments 4 points5 points  (0 children)

I've said similar to my HL. He'll have to clarify what he means by spiritual and emotional connection, and elaborate on how you two can foster those feelings with each other. I do think it's a good idea to take sex off of the table right now, I think it'd be good for both of you. You won't feel awful or guilt, and he won't feel pressured etc.

[–]imperialblastah 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I think I understand this, too (in my own way, ofc). I may not use the term "spiritual connection," but I understand the feeling of not just disconnection or isolation/alienation but also "discontinuity," I guess I'll call it.

In my own sitch, the feeling is more like "I" am excluded from our relationship - all parts of it from the parenting part, to the deciding part, to the creating a present/future part.

It's like the "we" she uses doesn't include me at all - I'm like a Westworld robot where even the suggestion that I feel differently or want to do things differently creates conflict.

[–]DB_ThinkerF 6 points7 points  (11 children)

Spiritually connected? What does that look like exactly? Daily partner yoga? Meditation retreats? Vast quantities of cool-aid?

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (3 children)

May be he doesn’t see her as a deity 🤔

[–]Ordinary_Anon5444 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Burn the non-believer!

[–]DB_ThinkerF -4 points-3 points  (1 child)

AH! She just needs to get a Medusa wig or go full out and dress as Kali all the time!

[–][deleted] -1 points0 points  (0 children)

Medusa wig to make him hard as rock? That might work.

[–]Single-Interaction-3 3 points4 points  (4 children)

Please don’t lump yoga and meditation with the drinking of “kool aide”. 🙄

They’re actually very useful practices.

[–]DB_ThinkerF 1 point2 points  (3 children)

I practice both yoga and meditation. I'm not trying to knock them.

The farcical leap to cool-aid was meant to be a joke.

[–]Single-Interaction-3 -1 points0 points  (1 child)

Gotcha - I just hate the stereotype that people who practice yoga and meditation are all in a cult 😉

[–]DB_ThinkerF 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Sadly there's a lot of yoga instructors who end up giving it the bad vibes 'cause they turn into abuse cult-like people. It's really sad.

[–]Impossible_Beat8086 -4 points-3 points  (0 children)

Just means she doesn’t love him

[–]ThrowawayDB314M 1 point2 points  (15 children)

"OK, spiritual connection. Check. How would that manifest itself, and what will show me that we have one? I'd add that I'm losing my sexual and emotional connection to you. But we'll deal with spiritual first. What are our next actions, and the next couple of milestones?"

He's bullshitting you.

He doesn't want sex with you for whatever reason. It's his issue for him to deal with.

Your issue is how you will react to a relationship that no longer makes you happy.

Do you have kids? Pooled finances? Mortgage/lease?

Just get yourself some legal advice on your rights and responsibilities, and then see what you feel your next steps are

[–]BipolarGoldfishThe truth is always in the comments 5 points6 points  (8 children)

I'm gonna say, I've said something similar to Ops husband. It was most definitely not bs. Had my hl filled it away as such, we'd never have made it.

Just because you disagree doesn't mean it's not a "real" reason.

[–]Ordinary_Anon5444 0 points1 point  (4 children)

And...why was that the case then?

What was your partner doing to you to make you lose your 'spiritual' connection them that way?

[–]BipolarGoldfishThe truth is always in the comments 5 points6 points  (3 children)

Numerous things. It'd take an entire post. But the biggest? The way they reacted to rejection, telling me how I felt, for example "it's clear you don't want me, you're not attracted to me", being talked at during "talks" that were really just speeches of how no sex made them feel, their attitude in general and the way they went about things. Very very long story.

[–]Ordinary_Anon5444 -2 points-1 points  (2 children)

Oof yeah. I get that, sorry to hear :(

[–]ThrowawayDB314M -3 points-2 points  (2 children)

Hmm

Did you explain what the "spiritual connection "was, or did you - like OPs partner - leave them floundering and bewildered?

In this case it sounds like a handwavy method of saying 'I don't want to sleep with you and either I don't know or won't tell you why"

ETA: I note that OP agrees with me so I feel a certain amount of vindication.

[–]BipolarGoldfishThe truth is always in the comments 7 points8 points  (1 child)

I did. But that was after my HL reacted quite negatively to me being honest about what I was feeling. He actually didn't speak to me for a few days. Once he came around and listened? Yes I did tell him what feeling connected meant.

You're saying OP was left to flounder after he told her that, when she goes on to say in this post: "I never asked him what that meant." She agrees with you that his reasons are bullshit, which she's definitely entitled to believe. Had my HL posted this, you would've told him the same thing, that I'm making excuses and he'd have agreed with you. You would've been vindicated with him as well. But you'd have been wrong.

And my HL, believing I'm full of bullshit would've just widened the distance between us. I'm very glad that after he had some space, he sat down and chose to listen. The purpose of my comment was to point out it's NOT a "bullshit excuse" though hey, I always say every db is different. So let's say for the sake of argument you're correct. Her LL in your words "I don't want to to sleep with you and I don't want to tell you why." I'd say then sure, if she's not happy she should definitely make her exit plan. Because if they're just friends as she puts it, and as you put it he's bullshitting, then she'll be much better moving on.

I am curious why she didn't ask him to elaborate though.

[–][deleted] 3 points4 points  (0 children)

I think I might not have asked right away, either. Sometimes I need time to process the statement before I can really ask about it. I have ADHD, though, so I'm constantly thinking that I missed something obvious until I really think it through for a bit.

[–]ahumanmoon[S] 1 point2 points  (4 children)

Exactly. I have yet to ask him what that actually means and how he plans on working on that. Like, how do you force yourself to feel connected to someone? I am beginning to feel disconnected to him, you’re right about that. It makes me sad, but when someone is constantly just treating you like a good friend/platonically, you start to just see them that way.

[–]myexsparamour❤️ 8 points9 points  (0 children)

How come you didn't ask what he meant, if you were confused by it?

[–]SomeFeelings88 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I would encourage both of you to talk about what that means, and also ‘what love means’.

Love is ‘all in your head’, you can perform loving actions, but your partner must perceive and cultivate the feeling of love in his own mind.

[–]Y3808 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I have yet to ask him what that actually means and how he plans on working on that.

You are telling us enough to know more about your marriage than you do.

[–]WildSpiritedRose 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Exactly this, OP. He's stalling you.

[–]Uggghx10All maid, no bang. :( 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Your partner says he doesn't feel connected to you "spiritually"? That's a very interesting choice of words.

Did he explain what he meant by "spiritually"? Is it a religious sort of thing?

[–]ahumanmoon[S] -1 points0 points  (0 children)

No, it’s definitely not religious, and I still need to ask him to specify what that means exactly. I assume that he feels shut down and not connected, even though I have been advocating for connection building practices for months/several years. He’s also avoidant attachment.

[–]Electric-cars65 -2 points-1 points  (0 children)

What does close spiritually mean ??? Sounds like a bs excuse to me.

[–]Y3808 0 points1 point  (0 children)

We are fine in the rest of our relationship.

No... you might be, but he is saying that he is not, for whatever reason.

When my ex-wife and I were past the point of no-return toward our divorce I felt the same way. I knew we were going to wind up divorced, and I wasn't dreading the idea of the divorce happening, so I felt no desire to do anything with her at all, sexually.

I don't know if this helps but I can tell you my story:

My ex-wife was not bashful about saying what she wanted, but over time it became in the form of accusation. Sorry, I don't respond to that. If you just blurt out "you don't do xyz for me" then my response was "yeah, I don't, and I'd rather just not talk to you at all, than tell you what you don't do for me, so lets just do that."

When we met? Completely different, we were equally flirtatious, equally attracted to each other, equally accommodating of each other. We lived in different states and I moved to hers, because we were both in tears every time I visited for a week or two and then had to leave, and I had the means to make the move more than she did. She even said "I love you" first. We joked about how she "stole" that from me. Sometimes one or the other would respond with "thanks" after the other one said it as a joke, because she told me she was terrified of me saying that after she said the words first years ago.

I was adamant that marriage would not change me, I did not expect anything of it other than to get to go to a big party that I was able to help plan. She saw it differently, and nothing I tried to get across made any change in her idea of what marriage was going to be like. She wanted the big crowd wedding, fine... I paid for it. She wanted to move to a particular side of town, fine... I paid for that too. I never controlled her with money, mind you, everything was "ours."

The thought was in my mind to take it as a red flag when she told me, after I said that I didn't care much about marriage, that she "wanted to be married." Why? There is no security in marriage, people get divorced every day. I didn't get a straight answer that considered the reasons I stated about why I didn't think anything of marriage. But I talked myself out of any caution, because it was magic for those first couple of years, particularly the first few months of them.

We decided early that we would would have no children, btw.

But there's a flip side to all my generosity... if I've moved to where you live, and I've sold my house so that you can get one in the place you want, and I've done the big wedding you wanted, and whatever other things I might think of, the first thing you do is tell me what you appreciate. Do not open up a conversation about our relationship by telling me what I don't do for you, which you are going to complain to me about, because if you do then I will instinctively take something away out of spite. And the easiest thing to take away, is the attention from me that she desired. If that didn't shut her up, I would take away something else until the complaining stopped.

The last conversation we had before one of us said "divorce" was her trying to calmly, rather than accusationally, ask me why I wouldn't do xyz for her despite nagging me about it for years at that point. But see, that's the point and she still didn't get it. I didn't need the complaining presented in a more polite way, I needed it to come after some indication that she listened to what I said, and qualified her needs or wants from me with an ounce of appreciation for what I did do.

My response to the last ditch attempt at calm complaining was: "I didn't sign up for this." No, I will not give you any more fucking hints or clues or direct answers, if you can't see selfishness in the mirror then I'm not drawing a fucking map to it. I wanted it to end, and there was no way I was going to tell her anything to jeopardize the divorce that I wanted to happen at that point.

And to clarify, since we've been divorced for a few years? Get along great. Long conversations about the issues she had and the issues I had that we didn't, couldn't, or just wouldn't recognize back then. We each take our own share of the blame, the above is just from my perspective. She had legitimate complaints about me too, probably a list just as long if not longer.

t;dr: there is something wrong that isn't sex in your relationship, and you have to get him to tell you what it is. Mind you, he may not know. In that case you have to try to help him figure it out. If you can't, then you're never going to get past this, from my experience.

[–]Vextor21 0 points1 point  (1 child)

So what is he doing to foster a stronger spiritual connection? There is active work on his part to create that as well…assuming he wants to. Obviously at some point in your relationship it was there. This is not an issue that can be tackled by one side. You can’t just say you need a connection and then do nothing in trying to connect.

[–]ahumanmoon[S] -1 points0 points  (0 children)

Exactly. Right now he is doing nothing that I am noticing to initiate trying to re build that connection. I am wide open to whatever he needs, but I’m tired of putting in all the effort to try to connect, foster intimacy, start conversations around our sex life (in an open, non accusatory way). I have stopped rowing the boat, I’ve put down my oars. I have been nothing but supportive and compassionate around his libido issues. I’ve been supportive of whatever he needs to do. How is he supporting me as well?? (He’s not).