Need help with setting Boundaries.

Discussion in 'Rebooting in a Relationship' started by Faceplanter, Sep 13, 2019.

  1. Faceplanter

    Faceplanter Fapstronaut

    Hi everyone. This is partly in my journal in the 40+ section but I know it will attract more input over here.

    "Journal of a Marriage Reboot" is the title, and it's apt because my marriage was facing both a PMO issue and a sexless marriage / low libido issue.

    I'm not going to get into the specifics here, but suffice to say that I think at this point I need some boundaries set for me (as the PA) to deal with the pain and rejection that can come with my wife's low/no libido. I realize this is not the typical situation for the SO's on here and some of the resources I have seen posted.

    I am thinking my boundaries might be:

    1) Scheduled sexual time has to happen within the night it was scheduled (ie night or early morning) or have an agreed upon rescheduled time.

    2) Topics of conversation that might become adversarial cannot be discussed 4 hours before scheduled sexual time. If it is, and immediately we agreed to defer the conversation, that is not a boundary violation.

    Number one is an issue because my wife is tired and will often fall asleep when we have time scheduled with each other. I love my wife, care about her and I want her to rest. It's when the time together isn't thought of again later, acted on in the morning after rest or rescheduled firmly that hurts more than her just falling asleep.

    Number two is sort of avoiding a setup to intimacy anorexia of a sort.

    Both of these are a little less of an issue than they once were but they have both become triggers for me as I have a lack of trust that my wife isn't doing either issue without knowing it will avoid sexual time together (consciously or unconsciously). These will be longer term issues. A further short term boundary might be:

    3) Follow through trying estrogen as a possible treatment to raise her libido.

    From what I learned about boundaries here, the issues and the consequences should be aimed at preventing hurt and not as punishment. The above all seem to fit that but I'm not sure if I should have any boundaries that relate to her level of interest in: sex (in interest), her pleasure (no interest), or enthusiasm (varies, but high levels of enthusiasm are typically just poorly faked).

    And I further have no idea of consequences. Anything that separates us...sleeping apart for example.....doesn't seem to really help the situation. But, I think, that to work the consequences have to be more what I can do to avoid the situations above from hurting more than set steps to correct the hurt......or am I off on that thought?

    For example, I can think of a few consequences for the first boundary. 1) is that I sleep apart the following evening 2) I don't do some chore around the house that I normally do or 3) we both agree to sleep naked in bed the following evening (not the norm). Option number 3 seems the best but it's forcing my wife to do something and I don't like that aspect.

    I don't know, this is the part I am having trouble with, and would love some suggestions.

    During this might get my wife to make some boundaries of her own, and I can't help but think that would be a good step for her too.
     
  2. Faceplanter

    Faceplanter Fapstronaut

    I guess my wife's unofficial boundary list would be:
    • No P or Psubs for me.
    • Cleanliness (of me and our private space)
    • Explicit permission for touching of breasts
    • Explicit permission for touching of genital area.
    • Regular date nights.
    • (edit) No spontaneous initiation of of signals for sex
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2019
  3. IamOlive

    IamOlive Fapstronaut

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    So, you are going to have consequences for your wife if she doesn’t have sex with you during your scheduled time? I wouldn’t want to have time with my husband if he did that. That’s not connection or intimacy, in my opinion, that’s I don’t even know what to call it. I would be so turned off as an SO.
     
    odie likes this.
  4. rah2790

    rah2790 Fapstronaut

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    In the past me and my wife have had issues with her libido as well. It was got me into P to start with. This started a series of long conversations with my wife about this issue, meaning I felt like she had just dropped off sexually after our first kid, my resentment of it ect....some of that was unfair bit it did open up the conversation. In the end to make a long story short...my wife needed more from me as far as telling her she was wanted ect...(PA harmed me here) and she ended up getting off of birth control (I've had a vasectomy). I think after intense talk we both realized we both wanted more from our sex life...and found a way to fix it. I can tell u that since then my motivation to kill PMO has been high as I want that perfect intimate life back with my wife.
     
    IbrahimViking likes this.
  5. IamOlive

    IamOlive Fapstronaut

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    You say “ Option number 3 seems the best but it's forcing my wife to do something and I don't like that aspect”....isn’t this whole concept of consequences for time forcing your wife to do something she might not always want to do?
     
  6. IamOlive

    IamOlive Fapstronaut

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    I can also say as an SO that had extremely low libido and major pain that nothing was physically wrong with me. It was mostly mindset and feeling like an object for an O.
     
  7. rah2790

    rah2790 Fapstronaut

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    This right here is a good example of what I was doing to my wife during her period of low libido...I never made her feel wanted...cause I could just PMO....this is the type of thing u need to talk about and change
     
    IbrahimViking likes this.
  8. IamOlive

    IamOlive Fapstronaut

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    I’m going to be straight up as I’ve been reading your posts for awhile now. I would challenge you to stop worrying about sex with your wife. You don’t have to have it. You are not going to die without it. Stop putting that pressure on her.

    I remember thinking when I had such low libido and pain “what would happen if I got hit by a bus and there wasn’t a V to have sex with anymore?” Would I be worth anything in my marriage, would he even stay, would he take care of me.

    If you are putting they much pressure on her about time, I’m afraid her libido and desire to have time with you will never get better.

    I went through so much hormone cream and even did internal physical therapy. I felt so broken and worthless.

    It wasn’t until my husband changed and I didn’t feel all I was good for was an O, did my symptoms go away.

    There was nothing physically wrong with me.
     
  9. Faceplanter

    Faceplanter Fapstronaut

    Uhm,

    That's the whole point of scheduling intimate time. Why would my expectation to have sexual time as sexual be a huge turn off?

    I have been told that spontaneous initiation is NOT ok (I'll add that to her list).

    But, to use my wife's favorite type of scheduled time, Date nights....would it be ok if I regularly fell asleep instead of going out, despite our plans or brought up negative conversation to ruin the evening? Even if this was not consciously on purpose, this would NOT be ok.

    After it becomes a trend, and it has for over the last few years, it hurts. This is my side/version of betrayal trauma.
     
  10. MisterDirection

    MisterDirection Fapstronaut

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    FP

    I have great comfort and interest in reading your story. I know that you are capable of logical thoughts and ideas that make me say wow I didnt realize that or I am doing that too.

    Please do not take this as me judging you negatively. I want to see you reconcile with your wife.

    This path you are on now with boundaries around scheduled time with your SO. These WILL be interpreted as petty vindictive and hurtful. It implies a right that she service you. To me this is a condition that would be demeaning to my wife when I envision boundaries like the ones proposed. In case you missed it or forgot @IamOlive is my wife.

    Please get professional advise on this before you make a move that can not be unmade. I dont know your wife or her emotional state...but I fear for your relationship if these are put in place without careful thought to the consequences, not from breaking them, but to your relationship.

    I pray for you to get better advice than I am capable of writing. And I am rooting for you and her, understand that please.
     
    odie and EyesWideOpen like this.
  11. Faceplanter

    Faceplanter Fapstronaut

    Not the first time I have read this. I've done the 90 day reboot. I've of course taken the pressure off at times with PMO too. I guess at the end of the day I would prefer to be honest with my needs rather than pretend I don't have the needs and hope that lack of pressure leads to success in the end. That seems to me a form of deception.
     
  12. Faceplanter

    Faceplanter Fapstronaut

    Can you explain this more?

    I do see that I might be implying a right that she service me.....that's not really my intention. I don't want our sexual time together to be uncomfortable for her. If she said that I'm only comfortable cuddling.....that would be ok IF we had the conversation. It's the conscious or unconscious avoidance that hurts. I should make that clear.

    Not really, I'm not dictating the schedule, we have mutually agreed to this (times, frequentcy).

    Yes, the very nature of sex (well, when done normally) doesn't work great with the rigidity of a fixed schedule...but spontaneous doesn't work for her so this is the other option.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2019
  13. Faceplanter

    Faceplanter Fapstronaut

    This isn't the issue. I do make her feel wanted.....she doesn't really want to be wanted though.....her appreciation of my attention is more intellectual than anything else.
     
  14. IamOlive

    IamOlive Fapstronaut

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    Respectfully, comparing a date night to “time” is not the same. “Time” is one of the most personal things two people can share with each other. It’s her body, it is not there to fill a want of yours or service you. Water, air, food is a need. “Time” is not a need that’s a want. O is not a need it’s a want.

    If she agrees to scheduled times, cool, but putting a consequence on it if she isn’t in the mood is asking her to be of service with her body.

    Does not keeping promises for going on date night stink, sure, but it’s no where near the same.
     
  15. IamOlive

    IamOlive Fapstronaut

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    Have you flat out asked her how she feels when you get upset about not having your scheduled time?
     
  16. Faceplanter

    Faceplanter Fapstronaut

    Uhm, yeah I agree it's not the same. I agree that it's a big deal. That's why it hurts. That's why I am considering boundaries and asking for help.

    Again, these are totally agreed to times and frequencies and I have options to cover not in the mood, unable, etc. And, my boundary isn't "I don't get a O from my wife 2x a week, consequence", it's just about actually respecting time we have agreed to.

    My wife might be closer to your view on this but she just doesn't ever tell me (or tell herself) what is really happening. We've been scheduling sexual time (I use this phrase because it's not usually intercourse and often she has zero intention that it could include intercourse) on a weekly basis for years and failing, sometimes for month long stretches.

    I'm long past getting upset. That didn't work. (edit: Probably made things worse). Have I asked? Yes. She is usually sorry. She is often sorry in words only. I can quite literally express my hurt and frustration at a later time when we are alone and could "correct" the problem but she does not ask if we should make up the time, does not reach out in touch, does nothing. That's why setting up a rescheduled time is part of my boundary. I can let her lead that, but to protect myself, there has to be a plan.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2019
  17. Faceplanter

    Faceplanter Fapstronaut

    (LOL, I am on the west coast, might be writing this to myself for the moment, I sort of am anyways)

    Ok, I have an option 4 for the consequences. Agree to sit down and watch a sex-positive video of my choice that helps explain why sex is important in a relationship. Ted talk or similar, that sort of thing. That's actually probably a good consequence (for other boundaries, with other types of vidoes) for a lot of SO's here too.

    I particularly like this for the second boundary about adversarial conversation.

    Other suggestions welcome. I know setting up proper consequences are VERY important for this and this is why I am asking for help. I may very well delay this until we are working with a counselor again so the process can be done for her needs too.

    I would really like to emphasize that my boundaries are less about sex and more about respecting times we have agreed to set aside to feed how I feel love (touch). This is a source of deep hurt for me. It makes me feel unworthy of my wife's time and affection. If it continues it will END our marriage.
     
  18. IamOlive

    IamOlive Fapstronaut

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    Just something to consider - she might have agreed to schedule a time, but doesn’t mean she is doing that because she wants to or is comfortable. Me a year ago probably would have agreed as well because I felt like that was my duty.
     
  19. Faceplanter

    Faceplanter Fapstronaut

    True. A year ago she asked me "what I wanted" and I suggested 3x a week. The next day that was rejected as she said that would be like agreeing to be raped every week. Just what every husband wants to hear, right? Although, I have to say I was somewhat relieved that she just told me the truth the next day rather than pretend 3x a week was going to happen. Stuff like that was why owning my own recovery was the key to success.....I had been relying on false promises to be my motivation for dropping PMO and approaching the problem without her support made all the difference. It was like having an accountability partner that says to call anytime and all you get is voicemail that isn't returned.

    So, yes, maybe (just maybe) I should have that conversation with her as well. I agree the truth for her is worth understanding too. I know she will get defensive though, so a real conversation might not be possible.

    And if we get to the truth that she is uncomfortable with scheduled time and uncomfortable with unscheduled time, that leaves us with nothing and I'm not ok with that. Part of this whole "owning porn" thing is honestly with oneself and one's spouse and that includes me not being ok in a sexless marriage. Part of what might work best for us might just be what is least uncomfortable for her....and maybe (the other side of the maybe above) I have to let her decide that.
     
  20. Psalm27:1my light

    Psalm27:1my light Fapstronaut

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    As the so of a pa who rejected me in every way I get what you are saying! Lol never thought I’d side with a pa! Sex is part of the agreement when getting married . Not sex on demand or degrading sex etc. but mutual expression of love. If there is a “ problem” either physically or mentally then as a couple you must address it. I wonder about someone who thinks sex with her husband is just getting “ raped”. I think there is more going on with your wife than you know. Deeper trauma, if not from you then perhaps in her past?
     

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