We just don’t connect. When I say up, she says down. If I’m horny, she’s not, and if she is, I’m not. She says it’s because of my “period.” She says I have worse periods than she does.
SENSE OF HUMOR, TRAGEDY, VALUES IS COMPLETELY DIFFERENT
SENSE OF HUMOR, TRAGEDY, FAIRNESS, VALUES IS THE SAME FOR BOTH SPOUSES
TENDING TOWARD TENDING TOWARD
Do you laugh and cry with your spouse about the same things, reacting in the same fashion and intensity to life events (connection)? Or do you seem to be at different emotional levels, out of sync, with few examples of shared emotional response (disconnection)?
The dinner couple scored too far toward disconnection. Remember that some disconnection, a tolerance for different emotional levels at different times, is necessary in marriage, but this couple is out of balance, too out of sync. The wife felt a lonely sense of tragedy at her marital situation, surrender regarding the children, and compliance in sexual interactions. Her emotional reaction was unshared by her husband, who instead felt boredom, disregard, or lack of involvement with the children. He was invigorated by activities that had little to do directly with the marriage. While the wife cried alone at the dinner table and felt sad, the husband drove alone to the softball game and felt frustrated.
Disconnection was apparent in their sexual life. “I’d love it if she would do oral love more. You know. Suck on me down here. She does it, but it’s not like she wants to or anything. It’s kind of a gift or a trade-off. A little sucking for a little hugging.” The husband hoped for but did not find in his wife a connection, a shared sexual arousal in an important part of his sexual life.
The wife felt quite differently. She performed fellatio because she perceived them as a couple of “high order,” and things always seem to get done. The wife reported, “I don’t mind doing it, you know. Going down on him, I guess it is. But he makes it more of a prostitute thing. I like to be stroked and touched. It’s like he wants me to do it ‘to him’; we don’t do it together or anything. He just lies there, pushes my head down, and humps at me. I’m afraid I’ll gag or throw up. Just because he likes me to do it to him, he assumes I should like it when he does it to me. Well, I don’t. I can’t stand it.”
Our highly ordered couple is disconnected, going through the sexual motions, with both partners disappointed. Their dinner-table situation reflected the same pattern. The entire sexual system is out of balance, leaning first to too much order, then to too much disconnection.