Feel Like It's Not Worth The Effort Anymore

Candlelight

New Here
I've been having a really tough time the last few weeks with being triggered, until therapy last week where I began to feel peaceful again. It was a great, productive week and I felt so happy. The issue started on Friday night, with me wanting some initiate time with my partner. I said I was going to bed around midnight and he decided to stay up until 3am playing something. I was bothered, by figured he might just need to unwind after work. He's not really a sexual person at all, so unless the conditions are just right I know not to ask. Usually, I don't outright ask because it stresses him out, and we've slept together once this month.

So Saturday morning, I woke up earlier than him, still a bit irritated, because I knew he wouldn't be up for hours and I ended up having to clean the kitchen myself. I calmed myself down, called some friends, them we went for a nice walk in the afternoon. I finally felt like my serenity was coming back. Then he took a nap and I was supposed to be doing yet another Zoom call. He'd woken up and I was deciding if I wanted to go. Suddenly I got hit with the feeling of not being able to breathe, or swallow, or speak. I managed to ground myself before it spiralled, and normally would try analyse what caused it but let it go. I thought it was over.
He asked if I wanted to just watch a film together, so I made dinner and we did. We also drunk some alcohol which I don't often do. It was about 9pm once it finished, and I was feeling a bit uninhibited, so decided to try initiate sex again. I thought I was doing it out wanting to be close, not as a result of the irritation and being triggered, but it's hard to tell when I'm drinking. He turned me down and I just ended up having a meltdown. I feel awful today, because I feel like I've ruined the weekend, and I've ruined the good week, and that he only sees me as this unstable person who cannot control an urge he never feels.

I've known for years that he doesn't need sex. He doesn't appreciate what (healthy) sex means to me. Yet I can't get over the rejection. Not even an offer to take of me, just an outright no. It hurts anyway, but to have all the negative thoughts of "not being enough, not doing my job properly" from my trauma, I can't deal with it. I got angry, which I rarely do, and tried to self harm which I've not done for a while. I'm scared that he's associated me wanting sex with me being triggered and he uses it as a reason not to meet my needs just because he doesn't have the same ones. I'm so tired of trying to lean into the trauma therapy and experience all this to get better, just for it not to make one bit of difference in my relationship. I hate feeling like I'm always trying to win people's affection, that it can't just be freely given to me. I can't keep looking after someone else and putting my needs aside, and being judged for having them. I'm just fed up and don't know where to go from here. I'm upset at the situation, upset that I've used up my weekend on this, upset that he never seems to get it.
 

Rani G2

MyPTSD Pro
hate feeling like I'm always trying to win people's affection,

Just wanted to tell you that I can relate to these feelings.. wanting other people’s affection, that I’m finally being seen and validated through other people’s eyes. This reminds me that there was no one I could turn to as a child for safety and emotional support. Sorry candlelight you are going through such painful moments.
 

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
I'm sorry @Candlelight , it's a really hard situation.

I understand the feeling. Due to my trauma if my partner (or any previous partner or potential partner) rejects my suggestion of sex, I take it to the level of "I'm unworthy, I have no value" etc due to previous trauma. I can't just take it to mean: no sex in that moment just because. It makes me jittery and emotionally heightened , which is really hard to come down from.

Is this something you and he can talk about at a time when neither of you want sex? When it isn't as emotionally charged?
You haven't ruined anything. Whether it was the weekend or the week. It is just feelings playing their irritating game of getting too much. It's all repairable.

How are things now?
 

Friday

Moderator
Matching up libidos is one of the first things that happens in my relationships because it’s one of the things that’s wicked important to me IN a (romantic) relationship. Sure, that’s looked different with different people, but regardless of what’s in play? It’s all fallen in my happy-happy-okay realm... or it doesn’t work.

For some people sex just isn’t that important to them / isn’t even high up -much less near the top- of their priorities. They can have a lot, they can have a little, whatever. They’re flexible. Daily with one person, weekly with another, monthly/quarterly/annually, whatever. These kinds of people can be in a relationship with almost anyone. These people? Are fairly rare. Most people have a more discreet range of what they need & want sexually, wih very little wiggle room past the 1/5th rule. ((The whole, most people have sex 5x more often in the beginning of their relationships, than will long term. Multiple times a day shifts to daily, daily to weekly, weekly to monthly, etc.))

For the rest of us? Matching up libidos matters. How much it matters depends on the person. For some -like me, and it sounds like your partner- it matters a whole lot. If in opposite directions. I want to be having sex daily, he wants sex almost not at all but can handle once a month or so.

What about you? How often do YOU want to be having sex? & How important is it to your overall happiness in a relationship?
 
I've been having a really tough time the last few weeks with being triggered, until therapy last week where I began to feel peaceful again. It was a great, productive week and I felt so happy. The issue started on Friday night, with me wanting some initiate time with my partner. I said I was going to bed around midnight and he decided to stay up until 3am playing something. I was bothered, by figured he might just need to unwind after work. He's not really a sexual person at all, so unless the conditions are just right I know not to ask. Usually, I don't outright ask because it stresses him out, and we've slept together once this month.

So Saturday morning, I woke up earlier than him, still a bit irritated, because I knew he wouldn't be up for hours and I ended up having to clean the kitchen myself. I calmed myself down, called some friends, them we went for a nice walk in the afternoon. I finally felt like my serenity was coming back. Then he took a nap and I was supposed to be doing yet another Zoom call. He'd woken up and I was deciding if I wanted to go. Suddenly I got hit with the feeling of not being able to breathe, or swallow, or speak. I managed to ground myself before it spiralled, and normally would try analyse what caused it but let it go. I thought it was over.
He asked if I wanted to just watch a film together, so I made dinner and we did. We also drunk some alcohol which I don't often do. It was about 9pm once it finished, and I was feeling a bit uninhibited, so decided to try initiate sex again. I thought I was doing it out wanting to be close, not as a result of the irritation and being triggered, but it's hard to tell when I'm drinking. He turned me down and I just ended up having a meltdown. I feel awful today, because I feel like I've ruined the weekend, and I've ruined the good week, and that he only sees me as this unstable person who cannot control an urge he never feels.

I've known for years that he doesn't need sex. He doesn't appreciate what (healthy) sex means to me. Yet I can't get over the rejection. Not even an offer to take of me, just an outright no. It hurts anyway, but to have all the negative thoughts of "not being enough, not doing my job properly" from my trauma, I can't deal with it. I got angry, which I rarely do, and tried to self harm which I've not done for a while. I'm scared that he's associated me wanting sex with me being triggered and he uses it as a reason not to meet my needs just because he doesn't have the same ones. I'm so tired of trying to lean into the trauma therapy and experience all this to get better, just for it not to make one bit of difference in my relationship. I hate feeling like I'm always trying to win people's affection, that it can't just be freely given to me. I can't keep looking after someone else and putting my needs aside, and being judged for having them. I'm just fed up and don't know where to go from here. I'm upset at the situation, upset that I've used up my weekend on this, upset that he never seems to get it.
I know this isn’t the advice you want, but it really seems like you two are incompatible...you want (and need) VERY different things, and if you’re going through therapy to address trauma, you NEED your closest support person to be someone who makes you feel loved, safe and appreciated. It doesn’t mean he’s a bad person or necessarily doing anything wrong (although it doesn’t sound like he’s exactly dealing with it in a super healthy way either), but it does speak to some pretty intense incompatibilities that ARE only going to continue triggering you. And there are lots of people out there who would be perfectly happy to be sexual with you, and even happier that you initiate it...and there are people like that who are extremely supportive of partners dealing with trauma as well. So if it’s not something you’re willing to consider, ignore me, but it really seems like you would be able to heal a lot better in a relationship that was actually meeting your needs. Your relationship shouldn’t cause you to backslide in your progress just because you’re seeking affection.
 

grit

MyPTSD Pro
I wonder how is the relationship otherwise?
I often feel when we focus on one thing too much it may be that there is a real needlacking (that honestly no one can provide 100% externally) or there is a real relationship issue?
An example, how do we know the validation I need from others versus validation I need to give myself?
So again how is your relationship without reading his mind, are you happy with him, respected, supported, laughing etc?
If all these things are missing perhaps sex is not really the issue, it is just a symptom of a bad relationship?
If not, maybe sex is triggering a need that he or anyone else cannot fulfil for us.
I do not know...just asking and wondering.

What does your therapy think about this?
 

Candlelight

New Here
I understand the feeling. Due to my trauma if my partner (or any previous partner or potential partner) rejects my suggestion of sex, I take it to the level of "I'm unworthy, I have no value" etc due to previous trauma. I can't just take it to mean: no sex in that moment just because. It makes me jittery and emotionally heightened , which is really hard to come down from.
This is exactly the problem for me, I keep coming up against the rejection triggering those thoughts. I'm even aware of it so think it won't happen, then it catches me out.

What about you? How often do YOU want to be having sex? & How important is it to your overall happiness in a relationship?
I think since we'd established that it's not something he wants as much then I knew I'd have to compromise, but it's gone from compromise to sacrifice and somehow I still blame myself. I'm not great at setting boundaries or being firm voicing my needs, so seem to assume it's because I've not done enough. Truthfully, I know he can do better, it's not like it's the first time. I was so focused on doing the thing of molding myself to someone else that I've out myself last again, and then get annoyed over it until it spills over. It's maddening!
It doesn’t mean he’s a bad person or necessarily doing anything wrong (although it doesn’t sound like he’s exactly dealing with it in a super healthy way either)
Yeah, it's hard because I know he has his own issues to deal with, and he isn't going through therapy which I think he ought to. Otherwise the relationship is good, he's supportive and tries to listen hut just lacks the understanding of why sex is important to me, what it represents.

If not, maybe sex is triggering a need that he or anyone else cannot fulfil for us.
I think about this a lot...I wonder if anyone could provide what I'm looking for, and while I certainly think I could have better sex more frequently, is that really what I need? It's so hard to tell, I feel like I can't really trust my own needs sometimes because they can be expressed in such an unhealthy way. I worry I expect too much from another person. Then again, I'm so sensitive to even the slightest feeling of rejection that I'm not sure it wouldn't be the same with anyone. At least without the sex drive, I manage to avoid the jealousy that he might look for someone else! I have to try measure what aspects of the relationship are good for me and not confuse them with things that I know just avoid my trauma. It's all a little complicated in my mind at the moment.
 

PreciousChild

MyPTSD Pro
I think that your amount of libido is perfectly normal and healthy. I think that no amount of discussion will make the mismatch between yours and his any less frustrating as hard as you try. I think other factors played a role in your frustration, like the fact that you seem to not be getting other things that you need, like help around the house. Growing up, my parents used me to get their needs met, but totally ignored or was upset by my having needs. I grew up into an adult who tried to get by without having my needs met, and feeling guilty when my needs erupted anyways (as natural needs will do). Although it does take two in a relationship, I wanted to give the feedback that your melt down was partly a result of not getting validation in several ways that weekend. I know that for me, getting recognized and validated for my needs whether my bf can actually meet them at the time or not makes a huge difference. I've never melted down or yelled at my current bf in over two years, whereas I would become highly reactive with my ex husband and ex bf. They both were covert narcissists who deep down resented having to meet anybody else's needs despite on the surface appearing to be nice guys.
 

WonderWriter

Confident
Ugh, the rejection is so painful. I feel you! For so long - and still - I never feel like I’m enough. But, I also ask myself, “Why would someone who claims to love me let me suffer repeated rejection? Especially, when that’s the very thing he is afraid of.” A person who truly loves in a healthy way would support your feelings and do what they could to let you know you are loved and appreciated, they wouldn’t blow you off because it isn’t what they need. Romantic relationships are supposed to be a partnership not one partner making the other feel inferior by using their needs against them. Good luck in finding your peace, be kind to yourself. 🤗
 
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