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am I being assertive or unreasonable(295 Posts)
After a tough couple of years have decided to make ago of my relationship (of 12 years) but realised for my sanity I needed to be more assertive with what I want from the relationship.
There have been positive changes with house work (he can do some without being asked!) And a few other things too.
The sticking point is now sex. The has been a bit of a drout whist things were settling down but the last few times we have started we always stop as I want him to spend some time caressing me and turning me on, without just grabbing my breasts or putting his hand between my legs... Not saying he can't do these or I don't like them, just don't want him to start there. I have spoken to him, explained this, but he doesn't seem to get it, the other night I tried moving his hand on to my stomach (which I have said I like been stroked), another time I asked him to kiss my neck.... These are met with a blunt end to proceedings... He says I'm been unreasonable, those things don't turn him on so he shouldn't have to do them. I should just be turned on or be happy with where/how he wants to touch me. If I say please can you do x, the reply will be "well what are you going to do to turn me on? " but he is obviously already more turned on then me...He says I can only ask for things that are mutually enjoyable (I pointed out sex with both of us turned on would be mutually enjoyable)
I think he is obviously turned on enough for PIV sex from much less then I am. Is it unreasonable for me to expect him to spend some time getting me turned on too?)
There is apparently a good book about assertiveness recommended on here - 'fraid I don't know what it is.
More helpfully, have you read Lundy Bancroft's book, subtitled "inside the minds of angry and controlling men"? If you have, take another look at the section which tells you if he's really changing or not. If you haven't, it's a very good book and might give you a clearer idea of the unreasonable things he does.
I've just agreed to give my marriage another go after a year in which I was preparing to leave, so I do empathise with your question 'When am I being assertive and when does it go too far?" I don't have any easy answers as yet!
I'd do some sex therapy with Relate tbh.
I'm not sure an assertive book would help, until you can both find a way forward that you are both happy with iyswim.
Having just read your most recent comment though, I think your issues are far deeper than just sex.
This marriage isn't fixable OP, and it's his fault. Basically, this man doesn't consider you as a human being - to him you are a 'woman', not a person. That means something that exists for his benefit, somewhere between a pet and a domestic appliance, so he really hates the idea of you asserting yourself and asking for things and wanting him to put himself out in any way at all for your benefit.
He may well claim that he loves you but, as someone else once posted on a similar thread, men like this see their wives as something like dogs. If you have a dog and you 'love' your dog, you see that it's fed, has a comfortable home, medical care when it's ill, etc, and you don't beat it or tie it up outside. But you don't discuss your decisions with it. You don't consult it about what's going to happen eg about moving house, going out on Friday night, needing to wait for its walk or its dinner because you're busy. It's just a dog.
Oh dear, I've just read your previous thread and see that the issues in the marriage were all to do with sex and his unfaithfulness. You poor, poor thing to have him once more convincing you that what you see with your own eyes is not really wrong at all.
I also see that you stopped posting on the thread once you'd told him it was over. I guess he "fought" to get you back (probably with "I'm so sad" manipulation"). My big mistake in "ending" my marriage was doing it while I was away from the support of MN! Sounds crazy, but true. I didn't see how manipulative it was for your P to be telling you how upset he is after those incidents in the bedroom (just thought he was a bit naive) - I needed to be told. We have a very skewed idea of normal.
Thank you all for the replys.
I find it hard to accept that he is controlling as I like to think I would have noticed sooner. Have certainly noticed a few instances more recently and have always picked him up on these (although of course it always comes back to it been my fault).
Yesterday followed the same pattern, nice day, apologies for behavior, row. he compares what I have asked for with him along for a blow job every time before sex... obviously I have to a agree it would be unreasonable for him to ask for that every time, so by default what I'm asking him to do is to. He days he shouldn't have to go through steps to have sex. Surely this isn't unusual though, and shouldn't he enjoy turning me on? I don't have enough experience to put up a decent side of my argument.
(Guess my previous post is connected to this and explains why I am trying to change the relationship, I left but then agreed to give things another go, on the agreement that things were different, one of the changes he wanted was I was more open about what I wanted from our sex life, looks like he doesn't like the answers he got)
I left but then agreed to give things another go, on the agreement that things were different, one of the changes he wanted was I was more open about what I wanted from our sex life, looks like he doesn't like the answers he got
It looks like you have your answer from him.
His way or...
OP this man is a mysogynist and an emotional abuser who belives "women dont or shouldnt really like sex anyway"
"He believes that he shouldnt have to take "steps" to have sex.
What hes telling you is that he doesnt believe in foreplay.
And hes cheated on you in the past. This man has no respect for you or for women in general.
He sees them as a receptacle to have sex ON rather than WITH.
Your post made me feel so sad and so angry. To me sex is one of the greatest pleasures in life. I have had many partners who love to give pleasure and they get so much pleasure from it themselves. I have also attended many Tantra workshops and in the tantric tradition, the woman always receives pleasure first as her sexual arousal is much slower than men. I did have a partner once who said, when I want to fuck, I don't want to fuck around..! I could never bring myself to have sex with him after that.
You have every right to ask for what you want in bed but unfortunately I don't think it's really about that, it's just a symptom of the power imbalance in your relationship and it doesn't sound like it's going to change...
"I don't have enough experience to put up a decent side of my argument. "
In a loving relationship, good sex is achieved through unspoken and spoken 'nudges' in the right direction, everyone listening, learning, experimenting and motivated by achieving mutual pleasure.
Your sex life seems to be a point-scoring and rather acrimonious negotiation. In what universe is (and I paraphrase) 'I'm only going to stroke your neck if you suck my cock' even remotely acceptable? He's not interested in your happiness and I think that is the bottom-line problem with your relationship.
Think he is feeling entitled with regard to sex. This weekend he changed his background picture on his phone to a picture of me in a bikini, I asked him to change it as I didn't want people he worked with or our friends to see it. Is the second time this had happened so he knew my views on it. He eventually changed it but was not happy. Also as I was going to bed last night he said he was going to post pictures of me on an Internet forum (you can imagine what type of pics) I told him not to. These probably are not isolated examples.
So how do I get him to see things from my point of view. He just thinks I'm being boring and can't see it from my side.
Why is he still there? Are you mad? He needs binning.
You'll never get him to see things from your point of view because he doesn't care about your point of view. You're not a human being with feelings and opinions, you're just a screen saver to pimp round his mates.. Can't you see that?
Cogito, if I could see that I would be gone....
I don't want to start defending him but I don't think he's doing anything on purpose to upset me, it's just a difference of opinion and taste I guess. Things were not like this for 10 years so there is a much longer period where things were good, I just wish things were back to that.If I try and talk to him I just get that I'm boring, I'm acting old, I'm uptight, I'm always looking out for myself and don't care what he wants etc etc
I can start a discussion with good intentions and believe I can hold my own in an argument but I always get taped in a corner where I have to admit he had a point therefore invalidating my own point.
If he thinks you're boring tell him to get himself a blow up doll and find yourself a normal decent man who enjoys having sex with you.
He's punishing you. It's not that he doesn't understand your point of view about pictures of you in a bikini, he knows you don't want them on the Internet, but he's actively trying to hurt your feelings, because you have been disobedient. You really need to get rid of him.
Take the screen-saver. You had to ask him to change it twice before he did it and, even then, he did it reluctantly. You're not old, uptight or boring, you're just a decent human being expecting a little respect and privacy.
You say he hasn't been like this for the last 10 years so what's changed? My feeling is that he probably hasn't changed but that you've grown up and you want better.
He doesn't 'have a point'
You're not boring or uptight. Just because he says it doesn't make it true.
Fact is he's shit in bed. He's using you as a masturbation aid. If he cared about you he should want to please you in bed. Out of interest has he ever gone down on you or is that purely a one way blowjob thing?
Yes he is doing these things on purpose to upset you. Most women would have binned him a long time ago. What happened in your life to make you think these irrational thoughts about him being a good bloke really? What damaged your radar so badly?
So why can't you see that he does not actually give a toss about you?.
Or do you not want to because you've already invested years in this power and control imbalance of a relationship already and to walk away now would to you be a massive fail in your eyes?.
If you have children what are the two of you teaching them about relationships here?. Two words here suffice; damaging lessons.
You are not the massive fail, he is. Its always been about him and such types actually hate women. They objectify them and never see them as real people in their own right.
What did you learn about relationships when growing up?.
Sorry. What everyone else says. the sex thing is just the tip of a very nasty iceberg.
I can't believe that you even have to ask whether or not you are being 'unreasonable' or a 'bitch' because you want your partner to kiss and stroke you before putting his penis in your vagina.
He has successfully messed with your understanding of what is loving and healthy in a relationship.
He sounds selfish. That's a turn off in itself!
Growing up, that's an interesting angle. Learnt that men are in charge and should be obeyed. Also used to wish my parents would split up as they weren't suited to each other, lots of rows and bad mouthing and put downs. Don't really have a relationship with either now.
Anon - Yes but not that great so...
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