Did MMSL Propel You Into A Divorce?

I’m getting tired of being labeled as always having my finger hovering over the divorce button. Divorce is nasty but a required item in your tool set, but it’s not like I’m in a rush to just throw a marriage on the ground. One of the things that those who have only read parts of the blog and not The Primer seem to misunderstand, is just how long it takes to work through The MAP successfully. It’s more like a marathon than a sprint.
The Timeline spelled out Chapter 16 covers seven distinct phases of action in running The MAP. Each of the first three phases can take anywhere from three months to a year to work through depending on how you are in comparison to her Sex Rank. The fifth phase can take just as long as well. The ultimatum doesn’t even happen until the sixth phase… assuming you even need to get that far.
By controlling the approach to fixing your intolerable problem, and slowly changing yourself / turning up the heat, the other spouse usually changes for the better well in advance of ever needing a divorce ultimatum.
In fact, I’m not sure I even remember getting a reader email that said they had gotten as far as the divorce ultimatum. Most all reader email tells me that it worked quickly and the wives were responsive by Phase Three or Four. A small percentage did have wives that filed for divorce or left for the other man, but they were usually in a very rough starting place to begin with.
So I’m curious. Has anyone that has run The MAP ever gotten as far as needing the divorce ultimatum to wake his wife up to the seriousness of the the situation? How far did you need to get to in the Timeline before seeing real results?
(And no I’m not going to spell out the Timeline on the blog. Not ever. I have a crap ton of free content and I have to hold something back. Buy the damn book.)

Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    Even though I wouldn't advise every marriage use the same set time-phase regardless of their individual problems, Athol, I very highly doubt anyone ever got a divorce based on your blog alone. The blog as a whole offers mostly useful advice. Even if the MAP phase and ultimatum phase were blanket strategies, though, the responsibility to determine their usefulness or harmfulness would belong to the strangers who email you for instructions, not to you for simply making the suggestions.

    Jennifer 6

  2. Anonymous says:

    "The fifth phase can take just as long as well. The ultimatum doesn't even happen until the sixth phase… assuming you even need to get that far"

    Athol, it looks here like you mean a divorce doesn't need to be mentioned until phase six; but in the post when you spoke to the woman who was trying to get her husband to work again, you told her to bring up the divorce ultimatum at phase 3. Well, I thought the MAP and the divorce ultimatum were separate occurences: that spouses did the MAP first, then if nothing changed, they brought up divorce, gave an ultimatum and then had phases to go through with that before finally filing for divorce. But with that lady, you told her to bring up the ultimatum while she was in phase 3 of her MAP (or FAP) process.

    jennifer 6

  3. Looking Glass says:

    In the Job-Less Husband situation, I think she sort of was at phase 4 or 5 when she found the blog and emailed Athol.

    The MAP from point 1 is more for when things aren't bad but you're not getting any. Most people don't find it until they're pretty far in, seems to be the thing.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I have read the book, which has so much tremendously helpful stuff I can't begin to praise it highly enough.

    Here's a question I have.

    Athol, even though you don't advise going for the "divorce button" quickly (and you are right to point this out), you do in fact do it, and obviously, the reason for this is a lack of sex.

    So here's some questions that occurred to me? Isn't a "lack of sex" somewhat subjective. What is a minimum amount of sexual activity to justify a divorce? It makes sense to say that this will be different for each person/couple, but if that is the case, I suppose it is up to the partner considering the divorce how much is enough, correct?

    I hate to make it all about numbers, but as I read it, I could not help but start thinking this way. You might want to address questions like these in MMSL 2012

  5. Anonymous says:

    "you do in fact do it, and obviously, the reason for this is a lack of sex."

    I mean you advise doing it at some pt, if necessary

  6. Anonymous says:

    Thank you Looking Glass, that explains things. But does the ultimatum itself have different phases then? Seems like that would make sense.

    Funny how I missed at first how MAP was mainly for guys not getting sex. No wonder those situations worked out with MAP's help! Still a shame that a woman would treat her husband that way.

    Jennifer 6

  7. The threat of divorce that you don't follow through on is just a weapon of abuse. It's a transparent ploy to get power in the relationship when you can't get what you want through positive, attractive methods. It's a tactic for people who have failed in every other way.

    I think that's why divorce ultimatums have such a bad reputation.

    But divorce is real. It's a last resort, and only very rarely necessary. When used, it should be expressed either one time, or a number very close to one, lest you fall into the habit of using it as a threat.

  8. I don't think you are causing divorces. I think you are helping husbands get sex in their marriages. I was reading that 23% of marriages are sexless.

    There are going to be times in a marriage when there is little sex, and often it is when you have babies and little ones. I know sex was pretty infrequent here when I was breastfeeding, had a lot of littles, and exhausted. I'm pretty sure you make exceptions for those times.

    I agree that a long time without sex for no reason isn't acceptable. So following your advice and encouraging wife to visit doctor to see if anything is keeping her from it is a good idea.

    I don't necessarily agree with divorce being on the table once there are kids in the picture. If you are both good parents why tear your kids' world apart? Divorce is damaging. Unless there is abuse I don't see the advantage for the kids, and being a parent is about caring for the kids. Sorry, once kids enter the picture that is just the way it is.

    If someone isn't happy, wife or husband, they have to figure out how to work it out. I know some people don't believe that anymore but I do. Marriage is hard even when it is good. There will be times when you look at your spouse and don't feel satisfied. Then you have to be a grown-up count your blessings, communicate, and keep working at it. The rewards are great when you get back into a more loving mode again. Then it is all worth it, and the no one has been damaged in the process.

  9. Anonymous says:

    "I don't necessarily agree with divorce being on the table once there are kids in the picture. If you are both good parents why tear your kids' world apart? Divorce is damaging. Unless there is abuse I don't see the advantage for the kids, and being a parent is about caring for the kids. Sorry, once kids enter the picture that is just the way it is."

    That's a "I'm a mommy now and you don't count anymore" attitude.

    I was here first. I'm a man first, husband second, dad third. You seem to see men as dad first, and husband if the wife feels like it since he just has to suck it up for the kids.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I don't think that's what she means, Anon; considering kids is major for many.

    Jennifer 6

  11. No, anonymous. I don't think that at all. I love my husband and I do put him first. We all have to suck things up for the kids sometimes. It's called being an adult, not a selfish schmuck.

  12. Thanks, Jennifer.

    One of the reasons kids are so messed up and our society is screwed up is that people throw their marriages away at the drop of the hat (I don't think Athol is encouraging this).

    If you don't have kids then divorce once a year. I don't care. If you decide your needs come before your kids – then you have to reap the consequences of that.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Lainey said, "I don't necessarily agree with divorce being on the table once there are kids in the picture."

    Then she said, "If someone isn't happy, wife or husband, they have to figure out how to work it out."

    Anon said in response to quoting the first Lainey quote, "That's a "I'm a mommy now and you don't count anymore" attitude."

    Anon, you would be right if is wasn't for the second thing she said. You have to BOTH be willing to work it out and come together.

    Lainey, sometimes divorce MUST be on the table to bring the other partner to the bargaining table. I know that I used the divorce threat way too much. It was when I was done with the marriage and it was divorce or stay that change became an option for my wife. Nothing else was worth changing for. I was willing to rip apart our kids lives (and I am a child of divorce) because I wasn't willing to live in a sexless marriage. I was willing to show my children what a marriage is not. I was willing to change. We saved our marriage. Only when we were both DONE could we save it. We had nothing left to lose.

    ANON446 (yes, that one)

  14. Strong Man says:

    Lainey–A period without sex for any reason can be extremely damaging, perhaps permanently damaging to the relationship, and to the kids for that reason. Having young children at home, pregnant, nursing–are all very important times to keep having sex regularly.

    Sex is the central reason for marriage and the glue that keeps it together. Your post sounds like you don't understand the importance of this issue.

    However, I do wish we could suggest more strategies for having sex with young children, and also some real and solid bargaining moves for men who aren't getting their needs met that clearly communicate the importance of the issue without actually moving to divorce.

  15. "Lainey, sometimes divorce MUST be on the table to bring the other partner to the bargaining table. I know that I used the divorce threat way too much. It was when I was done with the marriage and it was divorce or stay that change became an option for my wife. Nothing else was worth changing for. I was willing to rip apart our kids lives (and I am a child of divorce) because I wasn't willing to live in a sexless marriage. I was willing to show my children what a marriage is not. I was willing to change. We saved our marriage. Only when we were both DONE could we save it. We had nothing left to lose."

    It only takes one person to tear a marriage a part. If one won't work towards fixing the marriage then there probably isn't much hope. I will be honest and say I don't understand having a sexless marriage (except under the example I gave and experienced or illness).

    I would be lying if the word divorce hadn't come up in our marriage. It scared the daylights out of us and put us into crisis mode. After a struggle, we came out of that time stronger and happier.

    Even though divorce did come up, I would not have divorced him, and I know he wouldn't divorce me. After being married 20+ years I'd probably stay with him even if I found out he strayed (I won't be telling him that. LOL)

    We are partners in something bigger than us. Yes, we love each other. Sex is fun and we are enjoying a renewed and stronger desire for each other. It's only going to get better after the kids are gone, but right now that is our main mission, our kids. :)

    I am so glad you made it through your marriage crisis. That is what really matters. It may not be the tack I would take, but it worked for you.

    I am very traditional. I am also the child of 5 messy divorces, so yes, I am very anti-divorce. That is unlikely to change.

  16. "Sex is the central reason for marriage and the glue that keeps it together. Your post sounds like you don't understand the importance of this issue."

    No, Strongman. I don't think you are reading my posts correctly. I do think sex is important.

    The other night my husband came home from boy scout camp and I was really excited. I was in the mood. He was utterly exhausted. I was very disappointed, but he obviously needed sleep more.

    There was also a time in our marriage when he was so stressed out about work that he rarely wanted sex. We rode that storm out together. I felt so bad for him, and eventually we were able to make a plan and switch companies. He was so much happier. He got his libido back very quickly.

    I didn't blame him for the 6 months that he had a hard time wanting it. He was stressed. It's okay to be human. Should I have told him that I was not feeling desirable? I wasn't feeling desirable. I feel desirable when my husband desires me. But he really didn't need that baggage on top of everything else, did he?

  17. Dave in the cave says:

    Marriage isn't just a sexual relationship–it's also a calculated strategy to make sure one's offspring have the best chance possible. Legally binding mom and dad together means guaranteed support for children, whereas unattached parents are more easily separated.

    I agree wholeheartedly with Lainey–if there's kids, try everything you can think of before you even consider divorce.

    That whole "refusing to be in a sexless marriage to show the kids a good example of marriage" is bullshit. (You talk to your kids about how much you have sex with your wife?). What the kids see is their parents fighting and giving up on each other instead of trying to solve their problems. That just reinforces the idea of quitting when it doesn't go your way. That's not how to raise well-adjusted adults.

  18. Thanks, Dave. I am opinionated on this matter and that is unlikely to change. Women do think a lot about the kids, and I know dads do, too. It is nice though to read it here. :)

  19. Anonymous says:

    Good thoughts, everyone. Yes, two must repair a marriage. No problem Lainey :)

    Jennifer 6

  20. Anonymous says:

    If she won't go for the sex, how is that fixed? The answer is, it can't be as long as she has that attitude. In a case like this, if divorce is off the table, he is condemned to the hell of a sexless marriage. Yes that's harsh, but it's true: it is absolute hell for a man to live in a sexless marriage. To sleep every night that close to your wife and not be able to touch her. That is hell on earth, I've been there, saw no change and I had no choice but to go through with divorce. Only when I went beyond the threat and actually had her served with papers did she finally realize the impact on me stemming from her treatment of me, but by then it was too late.

    If MMSL or something like it had been available then, it's possible I could have turned it around before getting to the divorce. At least now I have at least one toolbox to help me next time I am in an LTR.

  21. Orig. Anon. says:

    Original anon here. I won't be staying together for the kids. Ever.

    I've been happily married for >15 years with two wonderful kids. And I'll still be married when they are out of the house. Because they come second. My wife and I sacrifice all sorts of time/energy/money for them and we will continue to be the adult types.

    My mother in law always put the kids ahead of my father in law and that's crap. Saying divorce is off the table except for abuse is fine if you consider being considered a second class drone abuse. I already have a mom who loves me. I don't want another.

    Maybe children of divorce are more emotionally invested in making sure their kids don't go through a divorce. But women need to realize that you can't be loyal to your kids by not caring about your spouse. You want your kids to live in an intact marriage, keep your loyalty to your marriage. The attitude matters.

  22. Orig. Anon. says:

    If others get to be children of divorce, I get to be a child of the matriarchy. The more a woman talks about how important her kids are, the more I doubt she respects/loves her husband. That's my world. I think you live here too but don't want to admit it.

  23. Samuel Solomon says:

    "Staying together for the kids" is always a noble intention, but not always the actual best option for the kids.

    Divorce is ALWAYS on the table, for everyone, all the time. All someone has to do is walk.

    If a guy using Athol's approach has to use the D word… its probably because his wife has cuckolded him so long that she cannot imagine a situation where she can't bring him into submission and get her way, and she needs a bucket of reality that she, in fact, is not the only one with power, and also, that her man is not the only one who must be accountable.

  24. "If others get to be children of divorce, I get to be a child of the matriarchy. The more a woman talks about how important her kids are, the more I doubt she respects/loves her husband. That's my world. I think you live here too but don't want to admit it."

    You think I wasn't also the child of matriarchy? Why do you think there were all the divorces?

    In the end it really doesn't matter what you think about my life. It matters what my husband and I think. A lot of you guys aren't thoroughly reading what I wrote. You are quick though to jump to excuses that defy working it out first. Why on earth would a woman want to stay with a man so angry about being in a sexless marriage?

    I could leave at any time to do my own thing. I love my husband. I love my life. It's not all peachy. What keeps me doing the right thing when it's not all that? My morals towards my husband and kids. I love them. I do sacrifice for them, and my husband does the same for me and our kids.

    Too many guys are screaming,"Me! Me! Me! I was here first." You need to have more dimension to you if you want to have a good marriage and happy life actually living in the same house with your kids.

    If you choose yourself every time, then you'll have to reap what you sow. There will be consequences. Kids that act up, problems for them at school, angry kids, wife remarries and moves kids away, etc.

  25. Orig. Anon. says:

    Lainey,
    Me me me is all I control. I'm here to improve my my my marriage. The one and only marriage I've had. Happily for 15+ years.

    I I I have actual self worth and know that if my marriage were to no longer work for me, my kids don't give my wife control over my life for all time. "You don't own me…"

    I'm truly glad you have a great marriage, just know that even guys with great marriages don't trust "stay together for the kids". It's self-serving BS if it's from a person who is getting what they want. You should be able to easily imagine a guy using it as an excuse. Even the "except abuse" thing is an excuse since most women assume only a guy can be abusive.

  26. Oh, I fully include women in the abuse factor. There's not much more I can say, anon.

    In the end, you are right, you have to make those decisions or yourself, but every decision has a consequence. You have to make sure you can with the consequences of your actions. We all do. Life is very, very long when we make bad choices.

  27. Oops, *live* with the the consequences of your actions.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Lainey- It sounds a bit like you are basing your advice of "stay together for the kids" on the fact that you and your husband had some rough sexless times but made it through, all the better. That's wonderful. But your situations were temporary and you resumed meeting each others' needs in the needs. You were both willing to work together and sacrifice to make it through.

    What do you say to a spouse who makes it clear that there will be no more sex in the marriage, period, based on their actions? Your situation does not apply to everyone. There are many spouses who have no desire to meet their spouse's needs, who are not willing to work with their partner. You managed to make it through 6 months of feeling undesirable. Would you have been okay with going through 15 years of it "for the kids"? Or would it end up taking a personal toll on you and your marriage in the long run?

    My own personal belief is that the marriage should always come first, the kids second. I'm a woman, btw. I am absolutely pro-marriage and believe that all options should be thoroughly exhausted before bringing up divorce, but when all the options are used up and you're left with a spouse who is uninterested in making the marriage work, is staying together "for the kids" really the best option? I personally don't think so.

  29. Well, I wouldn't like it. Anon 7:02. I would be unhappy I am sure. What kind of marriage is that? I'd have to find my happiness in other ways. It would be a sham of a marriage unless there was a legitimate medical reason like paralysis or life saving meds that eliminated libido.

    But, yes, I'd stay at least until the kids were out of the house. Not a popular answer I know.

  30. Stephenie Rowling says:

    "But, yes, I'd stay at least until the kids were out of the house. Not a popular answer I know."

    I actually support your view. I am very happy but if I had children and became unhappily suddenly I will find any human way to cope with it, till they youngest one at least leaves for college. Of course I will always look for solutions to my marriage issues and hopefully I will find them, but even so I will stay. There are plenty of types of marriages and I know that I can find ways to be happy regardless of the circumstances surrounding me. I had several very bad situations when I was growing up and I managed to survive in them, I can do it again, but hopefully I won't have to,YMMV.

  31. I agree, Stephanie.

    Guys, the women who want to keep an intact home for their kids are exactly the ones that will sit up and take notice when you say you are unhappy and thinking about divorce. If a woman doesn't have the commitment to sticking it out, why would she?

    She doesn't want to have sex with her husband, he's being difficult, society tells her that if she's not happy then she should leave. Happens all the time.

    I would hope a committed woman would figure out that sex is important, but why isn't she having sex with her husband to begin with?

  32. Shawn (female) says:

    No, MMSL didn't propel me to divorce. But, I'd like to weigh in on the subject in the comments.

    I was married more than 20 yrs. Ex cheated in yr 8. We got through it. Ex diagnosed with MS in yr 9 which made intercourse nearly impossible until the ED drugs came out. We got through it. Ex put himself first, his job second, our son third, his parents fourth, his friends fifth, me somewhere down the line because I kept his life running smoothly for him – groceries, kept the house, raised the child, worked a fulltime job outside the home that provided our medical insurance blah blah blah.

    I'd tried to get him to go to counseling a few times over the years. His response "you're the one with the problem."

    As a child of a really ugly divorce, I tried to stay together 'for our son' and because marriage is supposed to be for life. There wasn't a problem with drug/alcohol/gambling/sex addiction. There wasn't physical abuse. From the outside our marriage looked good. It was hard for me to say 'this is bad enough that I'm better off alone' or 'this is bad enough our son is better off with us apart'.

    Til one night the words "I want a divorce" just came out of my mouth. I had no intention of saying that. I was probably as surprised as he was.It finally woke him up that I was serious about change and he volunteered for counseling. But it was too late. I realized once the words were out of my mouth that I really wanted away from him.

    After the divorce someone was saying about how kids are always hoping their parents would get back together. I didn't believe that because there was no way in hell I ever wanted my parents to get back together. But, my ex and I are fairly friendly so I wondered what our son thought so I asked him. His answer "No way! I like that you're not fighting."

    Bottomline FOR ME based on my personal experience as a child of divorce and a parent in divorce is to do whatever you can to make the marriage work, but when it doesn't, then staying together 'for the kids' is not always the best choice.

    To Lainey,
    She's not having sex with her husband because she's exhausted and feeling taken for granted. When she was having sex with him she just felt used. As in, one more thing she does for him that he doesn't notice unless it stops.

  33. Athol Kay says:

    3000 visitors/feed followers today so far, 31 comments and as yet zero people saying they did The MAP and finished up divorcing.

    So we can knock off the endless complaint that MMSL encourages fast tracking divorce ultimatums.

    Thanks.

  34. Stephenie Rowling says:

    Athol didn't you know the Whining in the internet is American # 1 Sport?

    I really doubt this will soothes your detractors.

    My advice is answer one or twice as as long as you patience allows you and if they are still in "la la la you are a divorce apologist" mode there is a nice spam button that can be used as much as needed.
    Hope that helps! :)

  35. Athol Kay says:

    Stephenie – it's an option that I may have to adopt.

    I'm happy to have an open debate, but after a certain point it just becomes me allowing people to misrepesent my viewpoint on my own blog.

  36. I'm confused. Has someone claimed that you are causing divorces?

  37. Stephenie Rowling says:

    "I'm happy to have an open debate, but after a certain point it just becomes me allowing people to misrepesent my viewpoint on my own blog."

    Moderation in everything, including moderation.

    You shouldn't think that being open to debate should be allowing everyone to use this as their public forum to criticize your methods without adding any useful to the discussion. I will say that as a rule more than 3 times of meaningless whining is enough to call it quits and you can always tell them that there many free platforms for blogs if they care so much about your POV to debate it endlessly.

    You are doing a great work here, don't let other people that are not doing anything productive with their time to actually solve the marriage crisis tell you otherwise.

  38. Athol Kay says:

    Lainey – over the last couple of weeks I have been patiently and politely answering several dozen comments that have framed my approach as not much more than a quick draw divorce ultimatum. These have been spread through much of the blog rather than just recent posts.

    I've just lost patience with having to rebutt that when very clearly I have an enormous committment to making marriages work.

    As it is, I'm just relying on my results rather than talking anymore.

  39. Anonymous says:

    "zero people saying they did The MAP and finished up divorcing"

    You said some emailers confirmed it didn't work, but that was because there were deeper problems. If the general problem the MAP addresses is lack of sex, there's no reason why it shouldn't work unless something bigger's snagged in the works. I never thought you went quickly to divorce, but some of the one-fits-all timed approaches and attitudes a few of your readers presented were cause for concern. Still, like I said, if they use advice regarding ultimatums irresponsibly, it's on their own heads.

    Jennifer 6

  40. Anonymous says:

    I've done the MAP and am now separated. Divorce is completely on the table but she has finally stepped up and is going through therapy now, (as am I).
    The kids are much happier with us separated than they were with us together.
    Her issues are very deep seated and well hidden. It took the stress of parenting, economy and various other factors to bring them out but once exposed the dynamics destroyed our relationship, (this is before MAP).
    However, even with all that I was able to see incremental gains via MAP and the process helped me to see more clearly that the issues were both very real and beyond my ability to deal with.
    In the event that we actually do end up back together I believe Athol's work here will help us to build a stronger relationship.

  41. Anonymous says:

    Good for you, Anon. God bless.

    Jennifer 6

  42. Anonymous says:

    Dave in the Cave said, "That whole "refusing to be in a sexless marriage to show the kids a good example of marriage" is bullshit. (You talk to your kids about how much you have sex with your wife?)."

    No, Dave, I don't talk to my kids about my sex life. They can tell when there are issues in the marriage. They can see their parents fighting.

    Dave, how long would you advise your son to stay in a sexless marriage? How long can your daughter-in-law hold out on your son before he walks? 2 years? 4 years? 8 years? There are 15 year sexless marriages out there. Is that OK for your kids?

    Try everything to preserve a good marriage for your children. Walk away from a bad one. It's not a choice between divorce and a good marriage. It's a choice between divorce and an intolerable marriage.

    Anon446, not a bullshitter

  43. Anonymous says:

    Sorry, last comment a bit sexist. Should also say daughter and son-in-law. Just as painful if not more so for a husband to hold out on his wife.

    Anon446

  44. Dave in the cave says:

    OK, let me try to summarize here. When I got married, it was to be with the woman I loved and raise a family together–whatever that might take. I was prepared to sacrifice, if need be.

    I am 35 years old now, and we have 5 kids together. We have lots less sex than we used to when there were only 4…or 3…or 2…or 1…or none. Do I miss her? Yes, sometimes. But I don't whine about not getting laid because I see how happy my family is. Could I take my wife out for "date night" more often? Sure, but every time we're out, all we can talk about is which of the kids would enjoy what we're doing/seeing/eating, etc. We prefer to go out as a family.

    I do believe couples can thrive without sex (and maybe I won't be saying that in 10+ years, but I'll let you know). If you're a person who can't be happy unless you're having tons of sex, then I guess you'd feel differently about not getting laid than I do.

    I've been there–I've been denied sex by an exhausted wife for a long time. And that's just the way it was. What would I tell my sons? I'd tell them that so long as your wife loves you and your children are happy, then you must be doing something right. Yes, even if that means you aren't getting laid as often as you'd like.

  45. Dave in the cave says:

    I will say, however, that if one spouse is denying the other sex as a power play…that's just disrespecting each other and being in a relationship for the wrong reason.

  46. Anonymous says:

    Amen, cave.

    Jennifer 6

  47. Athol Kay says:

    Dave – you're advancing a very heavily Beta weighed strategy. That has risks too.

  48. Anonymous says:

    Ah..didn't see your entire first post, Dave. But I'm guessing you know your wife hasn't been playing games and everyone has a different sexual threshold. If a husband did divorce his wife for witholding, though, it wouldn't just be because of physical lust, but because she cut off one of the most fundamental forms of love and connection between them.

    Jennifer 6

  49. Anonymous says:

    "Well, I wouldn't like it. Anon 7:02. I would be unhappy I am sure. What kind of marriage is that? I'd have to find my happiness in other ways. It would be a sham of a marriage unless there was a legitimate medical reason like paralysis or life saving meds that eliminated libido.

    But, yes, I'd stay at least until the kids were out of the house. Not a popular answer I know."

    I don't think that would really work in the long run Lainey(as noble as it may sound)

    Reality is a whole lot different.

    People are human beings that need love and affection.

    Sex is an integral part of a good marriage.

    My husband and I have a very good relationship.. Sex is a very important part.

    If there was not that bond.. that deep affection.. that mind blowing sex.. well, then, I don't think that I WOULD be able to stick it out for the sake of the kids.

    Sex, eases tension, makes you feel good, relaxes you, gives you a good nights sleep.. I can put up with almost anything after I've had a good root.. :)

    Now, I cannot think of any substitute that could replace it..

    Call me selfish, but I am very much aware of my own shortcomings..

    Incidentally, I married for love and sex not to have children.. As much as I love my kids, I could not endure a loveless and sexless marriage if push came to shove.

    Kathy

  50. I understand, Kathy. I know I probably sound like Pollyanna and self righteous. I do think sex is important. Gosh, I'm going to sound unreal but I really do think I would stay in a sexless marriage.

    I am a mommabear when it comes to my kids. I don't think I'm that unusual. My husband knows that if we were all drowning and he was the only one that could rescue us he'd better damn well save our babies first.

    On the other hand I also don't tolerate anyone putting down my husband. I don't think people should even complain about their own spouse because it makes them look like a fool. What kind of person complains about the person they specifically picked to marry and try to look like a victim of circumstance?

    We probably won't agree on this, and that is okay. You have your husband and kids, and I have mine. We all have to live with the choices we make and the consequences. I don't really worry that much about other people and what they choose to do. You're a grownup and know what you can tolerate. I'm way too busy leading my own life to want to change anyone else's mind.

  51. Anonymous says:

    "My husband knows that if we were all drowning and he was the only one that could rescue us he'd better damn well save our babies first. "

    Funny you should mention that, Lainey, because my husband and I have discussed that sort of a situation before. We both agreed that it would be the kids we would try and save first.

    Not each other… Lol.. I think those feelings are inherent in all parents who love their children.

    This of course has no bearing on whether one could tolerate a sexless marriage for years…for the sake of the kids.

    As anon 7.02pm said it would take a huge personal toll on the marriage.

    Everyone is different of course, but what puts me in a good frame of mind.. a good mood..is, regular sex. That's it in a nutshell.

    No I don't want to do lunch with the girls, no I don't want a huge plasma tv, no I don't want to shop till I drop(I hate shopping, btw) etc..

    I like nothing better than spending an afternoon in bed with hubby while the kids are not home. (Have an autistic son 10 and a daughter nearly 15)

    Now, if I did not have such a release, if for instance my husband suddenly refused to have sex with me, I could not cope with the everyday things in life. I am a very passionate and affectionate person anyway. (hey my Dad's an Italian. ;) ) An angry bitter and frustrated woman, would not make for a very good parent..This is something that one cannot control. Taking up knitting or skydiving just ain't gonna do it, FOR ME..

    This is why I can so readily sympathize with men not getting sex in a marriage, and the reason why they seek it outside of the marriage in the end..

    Lol, I just thought of something my husband told me years ago.It happened before we met. He went on a skydiving course. There were a couple of women in the group too..

    One day after a jump, one woman excitedly exlaimed "Wow this is better than sex!"

    "Well, you haven't had sex with me yet! was hubby's cheeky reply. :D

    Kathy

  52. "Well, you haven't had sex with me yet! was hubby's cheeky reply. :D"

    LOL! Your husband sounds hysterical.

    I do sympathize with men not getting sex. I just know that for my marriage divorce is not an option. I know others feel differently. I have 6 kids, two with adhd and we think one of those may have aspergers to boot. Parenting is hard work I know. :)

  53. Stephenie Rowling says:

    "I do sympathize with men not getting sex. I just know that for my marriage divorce is not an option. I know others feel differently. I have 6 kids, two with adhd and we think one of those may have aspergers to boot. Parenting is hard work I know. :)"

    I sympathize with the men too. But like you for me is also a for better or worse situation, unless something HUGE happens but I have no idea what can that be. I mean my husband would never hurt me physically and I'm pretty sure he wouldn't cheat on me and then the cheating and the beating are also things that I would be willing to seek help to fix (including removing myself from the house and appointing a therapist pronto!) if that ever happens and trust me if you had asked me before getting married I would had said that I could cut his hand if he ever touched me, but… I can't think as a single women anymore I'm married now. Of course if you ask my husband he will say that I will cut his hand he ever laid a hand on me so Shhh ;)

    …I don't see us tolerating a bad situation without fixing it though if he refused to have sex with me I will probably try to sleep somewhere else to avoid feeling worse about the situation and I'm pretty sure that the empty bed would be more than enough for him to try and see how to get me back and me saying not wanting to have sex with him?! Yeah right that'll happen and the flying pigs will bring me vanilla ice cream from hell.

    So I really think we are probably not going to be having that specific problem, but even if in the rare case that will happen I will find a way to go back to my celibate self, painfully but I would. "for good or bad" were my vows and like the Muslim people say "my word is worth a contract"
    Also I'm pretty sure Athol would give me a nice advice so I'm cover on that aspect too ;).

    So yeah divorcing my husband is as possible as divorcing my parents, not gonna happen, YMMV.
    So we can do a yahoo support group "forever married… for better or worse" or something like it, it seems like we are in the minority. :)

  54. Anonymous says:

    I am a practicing Catholic, so divorce is off the table, obviously.

    I said that I could not tolerate a sexless marriage, and that's the truth. I said nothing of divorce.

    You are off on a tangent here, Stephenie.

    You have not been married very long, you have no kids.. You have idea what the future holds..

    Would you stay with your husband, if he was infertile? If he could not give you children?

    I did, with my first husband.. Yep for better or worse. He had a gambling problem(which I did not know about when I married him at 19)it got worse when he discovered he was infertile shortly after our marriage.

    Then he started to drink.. Still I stayed with him. I loved him so.

    .. He kept telling me to find a man who could give me children. He was in such pain and torment..Still I would not leave.. Finally he cheated on me and that was the straw that broke the camels back.

    My marriage was annuled by the Catholic church. I was fortunate enough to meet my (now) wonderful husband before the annulment..

    We met and married within twelve months and I fell pregnant to him on our honeymoon. He dearly wanted a girl, and he got her.(the apple of his eye) We also have a wonderful little boy who is autistic.. Sure he is hard work.. He has wrecked the house, we have locks on every door. He needs constant supervision. We very rarely go out as a result..It's hard on our daughter at times.(Yeah, parenting is hard, as Lainey, says..)

    But…We wouldn't swap our son for the world, though.. He has a cheeky smile and we both love him to bits..

    Because hubby and I have a good solid and loving marriage with frequent sex, and because we function like a team, it's all good..

    But, like I said, I do not believe that I could function as well.. as a parent in a loveless and sexless marriage..I JUST could not live like that..

    I'm a realist, is all.

    Having said that though, I don't really see hubby giving me a knock back anytime soon! :D

    Kathy

  55. Miserable in SK says:

    I do not see how a divorce ultimatum solves anything. If you get to the end of the MAP and have not built attraction, how is an ultimatum going to make her suddenly want you? (I am only half way through your book, so forgive me if this is explained.) I am a year into my own MAP and have gotten almost nowhere. Oh, I get lots of smiles and giggles during the day, but bedtime is still ice time. I have five kids who need a full time father, so I too feel that divorce is not an option for me.

  56. Athol Kay says:

    Miserable in SK – a divorce ultimatum will not suddenly "make her want you". It's the final step in a long process of showing by your actions that you find having an under-sexed marriage intolerable and won't just continue to suffer on with it forever.

    If divorce is not an option for you for whatever reason, and she knows that, then a divorce ultimatum will automatically fail.

    Your kids have a higher priority in your life than your sex life by your choice. Because of your choice, she has total control over the amount of sex you have. You could have sex daily, once a week, or never again, and you would still stay with her.

    As it is, you place yourself 7th in line for getting what you want in your family.

  57. Dave in the cave says:

    "As it is, you place yourself 7th in line for getting what you want in your family."

    I think this is the fundamental point of the debate that's going on there in the comments…I guess some of us believe that having the captainship means you steer your family in the direction that's best for them, whatever the toll on yourself. Others of us seem to believe that being the captain means you get the best perks and spoils.

  58. Athol Kay says:

    If you run yourself into the ground "for your family", your family loses whatever is vital and alive about you anyway.

    You are a scarce resource, and part of being a good Captain is husbanding that resource for everyone's benefit including your own.

    In an emergency situation, the Captain is required to do his duty and save the family. But you cannot sustain an emergency situation constantly without risking the loss of the Captain.

    There's a balance you need to seek.

  59. Stephenie Rowling says:

    "You are off on a tangent here, Stephenie."

    ???
    I'm showing my support to Laney, that is not going off a tangent

    "You have not been married very long, you have no kids.. You have idea what the future holds.."

    But I know myself enough and you don't.

    "Would you stay with your husband, if he was infertile? If he could not give you children?"

    I don't know how old are you but infertile couples have a ton of options nowadays; IV treatments, artificial insemination…Really I'm not criticizing your POV like Laney I agree that divorce is very unlikely a route I would take and I would do everything within my power to remain married to my husband. I'm not afraid of bad times to come and I will fight for my marriage by any means necesary. So if you please stop acting like we are accusing you of something. You say what you don't tolerate and that is your right, we both think differently and that is our right too.

  60. Anonymous says:

    Good for you, Stephanie. You sound like a selfless woman. But, I couldn't blame anyone for ultimately legally ending a sexually (and therefore emotionally) dead marriage.

    Jennifer 6

  61. Stephenie Rowling says:

    Good for you, Stephanie. You sound like a selfless woman.

    Heh thanks but selfless is too much of a big word for me. I just have my word and like to keep. In fact there is nothing I hate more than breaking promises so I rather never promise anything I'm not willing to fulfill for good or bad. I took a long time to start considering marriage for this reason. But once I made up my mind I'm too stubborn to quit. This is for as long as I live or my husband wants me of course, I can't stay if he abandoned me or something like it. But again statistically speaking the continual survival and happiness of the marriage relies on me and I'm going to give my 1000 % and then some :).

    But I agree this is a very personal issue if the sex is lacking or if there is abuse or cheating.

  62. Anonymous says:

    "I don't know how old are you but infertile couples have a ton of options nowadays; IV treatments, artificial insemination…"

    Stephenie, you miss the point.He was infertile, he had little sperm and what he had was immotile.. Artificial insemination IVF were pointless. Success of IVF treatments(using normal sperm) is only around 30% anyway..

    Now, you did not answer the question would you stay with your husband if he could not give you children?

    In my own situation my husband refused to adopt and became inconsolable.. He felt like he wasn't a man.. It was very sad. Nothing I said or did could change how he felt… I stood by him…I loved him very much.. It wasn't enough for him, however..

    You are young and naive and you really cannot know what you will do in times of adversity until you are confronted with a serious situation. Not only that, you also have to consider how your partner feels. He may not want what you want.

    It's just not so cut and dried as you make out.

    "So we can do a yahoo support group "forever married… for better or worse" or something like it, it seems like we are in the minority. :) "

    You finish with a flippant and puerile comment like the above, which comes across as arrogant and smug..A comment I also believe to be quite untrue.
    There are many people who do indeed take their marriages very seriously and make every effort possible to sustain said marriages. Sometimes things do not work out, the way you want them to.

    I have a a friend who is twenty nine who is leaving his wife.They have two small children. He came around for dinner last night and poured his heart out to hubby and me.. His wife had cheated on him…AGAIN!.

    He took her back once, when she did this a few years ago, but this was the final straw.. He is not even sure if the littlest child who is two is his own. Not only that she had been cheating with two men, one a friend of his.

    He is devastated.. Do you expect him to stay with the feckless bitch and just suck it up for the sake of the kids??

    Maybe he could join your yahoo forever married group.. Yeah, that'd make him feel heaps better.

    I'm shaking my head here..

    Talk is cheap. Come back here in fifteen years and tell us all how things are then. Once you have walked the walk. ;)

    Kathy

  63. Anonymous says:

    "I don't know how old are you but infertile couples have a ton of options nowadays; IV treatments, artificial insemination…"

    Not to jump off on another tangent, but I just want to point out that for every Jon & Kate or Octomom example, there are a dozen more couples that go through years of the various treatments, including the incredibly expensive in-vitro process, and still don't have any luck.

    For all the science they throw at the problem, it's still a lot of crossing your fingers and hoping for the best, and the odds aren't in your favor for success.

  64. Stephenie Rowling says:

    Kathy You have any idea how many couples stay together with all those problems and them some? I'm not talking about an impossible standard ITS BEEN DONE!

    I don't know what do you think you are achieving if you still feel bad about your divorce is not my fault I didn't made your husband to be sterile and choosing not to adopt.Yet you act like I'm telling you that you should had stayed married. I don't care what you did with your marriage at all. This is a personal statement about ME (me, not you me)if you hate to be a divorcee and have to take it into someone, pick on God like normal people do.

    "Talk is cheap. Come back here in fifteen years and tell us all how things are then. Once you have walked the walk. ;)"

    Yeah right if I come back 15 years and I'm still married you will say "well you didn't had it as bad as I did, you were lucky…" I already deal with women that made a ton of choices that made them end with bad men or bad jobs that got all "you don't know my suffering. I couldn't posibly have done what you did… if you were in my position you would had done the same".

    And you are free to open a yahoo group. "Marriage is only forever for naive young smug people" I promise I won't ever visit it.

    PS
    What is wrong with American's is like the moment they seem someone with a different opinion they register "she is mocking my opinion" I don't care if every single other person in the world gets a divorce. This is my marriage I'm talking about MINE. No one, except my husband, gets to tell me if I can handle it or not. Sheesh

    "For all the science they throw at the problem, it's still a lot of crossing your fingers and hoping for the best, and the odds aren't in your favor for success. "

    And when they ran out of options they can decide if they want to stay together or not in spite this. Which was my point. Her husband handled sterility in a way that killed their relationship, but not every one does.

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