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Old 07-18-2013, 11:09 AM   #11 (permalink)
myq
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I was often at the table with five other women. I feel like I got a pretty steady dose of the female perspective. My aunt was a very outspoken woman and very funny. (Side note: she died a year ago after having Alzheimers for many years. Very sad seeing this vivacious woman turn into nothing. In many ways death was a blessing. She was in her early 60s.)
I am sorry to hear about that. Glad she isn't suffering anymore, but sorry she had to suffer as much as she did. And you. (But also glad you had the time you did with her.)

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So I've always related to women more than men. In fact, throughout my life I've only had a handful of close male friends. To this day I'm very comfortable sitting around with my wife's friends.
I felt that way as well for a lot of my life, and still do somewhat though now I don't differentiate as much. Growing up, I had mostly close female friends, and very few male ones. Now I have a lot of friends of all genders. I think being a comedian, I've been lucky to get to meet the type of guy who is obviously comfortable talking about lots of things that many people wouldn't. Women are certainly socialized to be more open, I would say, but it doesn't have to only be that way. There are certainly a lot of men out there like yourself, and myself, and some good friends, who are also happy being open and emotive and sharing and things that men "aren't supposed to do," according to whatever dumb societal thing put that into effect. (You brought up the fact that the men in your life weren't around as much, but even if they were, they might not have had as large an effect, if they were conditioned not to share as much. Who knows!)


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When I got engaged a guy in my office congratulated me and said, "welcome to the club!" A coworker of mine said to me, "there is no club." And he was right. Men don't really talk about being married. Sure, they jokingly complain about their wives. But no one discusses what it feels like, the emotions, the pains, the struggles of being married. Women may discuss it with other women, but men don't discuss it with other men. And sexuality becomes more secretive. It's just between your wife and you. Talking about it outside of that feels a little like cheating, emotionally cheating.
This is very interesting. I understand what you're saying, and it certainly makes sense on a level, but let me ask you this... do you think that it actually IS emotionally cheating? Is it a betrayal of your relationship's privacy to discuss your issues with, say, one trusted good friend who is not a part of the relationship?

I've been married, not for as long as you certainly, and I've cohabitated and had long-term relationships (again not mega-long-term), but I've always been comfortable sharing the ups and downs with a good friend or two. Or three. Usually just not all at once. Not like at the bar or a diner or after a show when it's the whole gang, and I'm like "here's a sincere relationship issue to discuss," or "what do you think about this sexual thing with my wife?" But certainly on an individual level, I've found that being able to talk about private things with people who will keep them private, supremely helpful.

It doesn't really make sense to me that if you have a problem in your relationship, you are required to only deal with it and discuss it and solve it within the confines of that relationship. I understand the desire to do so, but sometimes the outside perspective of a caring, trusted friend can be super valuable. True? (Not saying that you don't have this... you allude to something like it later in your post, I think.)

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Several years later, after my daughter was born, that same coworker was adopting a baby. I told him he was right, there was no marriage club. But there is a parents club! People don't talk about their marriages. That's why others are often so surprised when people get divorced. They didn't see it coming. But people do talk about their children. All parents want to know that their kid is at least on track. "Is it okay that my child isn't walking yet at one?" "My baby hasn't rolled over yet, is that okay?" "Oh, your child throws everything all over the room too? Whew, good to know!" I wrote down and counted my daughter's first 100 words! Did she have a 100 word vocabulary before others her age? I wanted to know.

As for all questions being answered, is that ever possible?
That makes a lot of sense as well. You make a lot of sense, Brian!

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Back to divorce. It's remarkable how much I hear about their marriage after they get divorced!

So it's not that I'm unwilling to have these conversations after I got married. In fact I found certain outlets to have these conversations. It's just not as readily accessible, or comfortable, or to a certain degree acceptable.

Thanks for giving me an outlet to express these things.
Of course. You're welcome to share any and all of your private matters here. Your secret is safe with the internet.

Sincerely, really interested to hear this stuff, and any more that you want to share.
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Old 07-18-2013, 11:29 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by myq View Post
do you think that it actually IS emotionally cheating? Is it a betrayal of your relationship's privacy to discuss your issues with, say, one trusted good friend who is not a part of the relationship?
It depends on the person I'm discussing it with. One good friend? Probably not. A therapist? I'd say no. Another woman? Probably. At least in my wife's opinion. And hers counts a lot here.

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I've been married, not for as long as you certainly, and I've cohabitated and had long-term relationships (again not mega-long-term), but I've always been comfortable sharing the ups and downs with a good friend or two. Or three. Usually just not all at once. Not like at the bar or a diner or after a show when it's the whole gang, and I'm like "here's a sincere relationship issue to discuss," or "what do you think about this sexual thing with my wife?" But certainly on an individual level, I've found that being able to talk about private things with people who will keep them private, supremely helpful.
By the way, I've been married 22 years. I don't say that to prove I know more. It's so you can say congratulations to me.

My best friend is single and never married. I have discussed certain sexual aspects with him, but not many. Few guy friends I've had have been comfortable on that level. Women seem more open to it, but I point back to my answer above.

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It doesn't really make sense to me that if you have a problem in your relationship, you are required to only deal with it and discuss it and solve it within the confines of that relationship. I understand the desire to do so, but sometimes the outside perspective of a caring, trusted friend can be super valuable. True? (Not saying that you don't have this... you allude to something like it later in your post, I think.)
I believe that to be very true. And I agree that I did allude to it. And that's all I'm going to do...because...

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Your secret is safe with the internet.
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You could be a terrorist and I would still continue to love you very, very much.
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Old 07-18-2013, 11:39 AM   #13 (permalink)
myq
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It depends on the person I'm discussing it with. One good friend? Probably not. A therapist? I'd say no. Another woman? Probably. At least in my wife's opinion. And hers counts a lot here.
That makes sense. Do you agree with your wife's opinion? (If you feel comfortable answering.)
Obviously I can imagine a scenario in which a straight man is discussing his sexual relationship with another woman who is not his wife, and having that be inappropriate if the other woman is interested in the man, say (and/or the man in the woman).
But what about a situation wherein neither the man nor the other woman are interested at all, she is otherwise involved, or a member of another sexual orientation, whatever the case, absolutely no threat to the relationship, only interested in helping... I can understand the wife (or husband, for that matter, were the roles reversed) wanting rules in place that err on the side of keeping that potential threat at bay, but what if that threat is entirely absent? Are those rules still important because she (or he) feels they are? Do you think (a la When Harry Met Sally) that the threat is never entirely absent?

Again, no need to answer specifically if you don't want to.

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By the way, I've been married 22 years. I don't say that to prove I know more. It's so you can say congratulations to me.
Congratulations!
And I'll say, you certainly know more about YOUR marriage than I do. And if you're happy in it, then you win. Or more happy than unhappy, certainly.

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My best friend is single and never married. I have discussed certain sexual aspects with him, but not many. Few guy friends I've had have been comfortable on that level. Women seem more open to it, but I point back to my answer above.
When you say the guy friends aren't comfortable, can I ask what that means? You start to talk about something sexual and they say "ew, gross, that's your wife?"

Curiosity!
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Old 07-18-2013, 11:54 AM   #14 (permalink)
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That makes sense. Do you agree with your wife's opinion? (If you feel comfortable answering.)
Not explicitly, no. Hmmm. Bad word choice there? But I do fully understand where she is coming from and I respect that.

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Obviously I can imagine a scenario in which a straight man is discussing his sexual relationship with another woman who is not his wife, and having that be inappropriate if the other woman is interested in the man, say (and/or the man in the woman).
But what about a situation wherein neither the man nor the other woman are interested at all, she is otherwise involved, or a member of another sexual orientation, whatever the case, absolutely no threat to the relationship, only interested in helping... I can understand the wife (or husband, for that matter, were the roles reversed) wanting rules in place that err on the side of keeping that potential threat at bay, but what if that threat is entirely absent? Are those rules still important because she (or he) feels they are? Do you think (a la When Harry Met Sally) that the threat is never entirely absent?
She thinks that threat is never entirely absent. I might be a little clueless in seeing signs of the "threat". Meaning the woman probably does have some other feelings, but I'm content with the level of the relationship. As I get older I do find it harder to believe anyone is interested. Not impossible, but harder.

By the way, this happened the last time I saw you. I was talking to a woman and I don't feel this woman had any interest in me other than our discussion. However, when the conversation was over a got "a look" from my wife. And I gave her a "huh? " look back. (If that woman reads this, no need to answer either way.)

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Congratulations!
And I'll say, you certainly know more about YOUR marriage than I do. And if you're happy in it, then you win. Or more happy than unhappy, certainly.
Thanks! And, yes, I'm happy. Can't say I've been completely happy for 22 years, but right now I'm very happy!

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When you say the guy friends aren't comfortable, can I ask what that means? You start to talk about something sexual and they say "ew, gross, that's your wife?"
I think you make a good point here. How do I really know? I guess I just don't feel like the relationship is on that level. I guess I could test those waters.
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Old 07-18-2013, 03:43 PM   #15 (permalink)
myq
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She thinks that threat is never entirely absent. I might be a little clueless in seeing signs of the "threat". Meaning the woman probably does have some other feelings, but I'm content with the level of the relationship. As I get older I do find it harder to believe anyone is interested. Not impossible, but harder.
So what you're saying is that your wife thinks that every woman who speaks to you is attracted to you on some level? Or any woman that you have any degree of closeness with?
It's nice to have a wife that thinks so highly of you. Not saying that you aren't attractive, but no one can be attractive to EVERYONE.
And that's not even to mention the fact that you are happy and not interested in any of these people, so even if someone WANTED to act on their feelings with you, they couldn't because you wouldn't.
Which means there is no threat, pretty much ever.
I'm not trying to talk you into having sexual conversations with every female friend you have, but I feel like it's much safer than your wife imagines (if the situation is being fairly characterized here).

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By the way, this happened the last time I saw you. I was talking to a woman and I don't feel this woman had any interest in me other than our discussion. However, when the conversation was over a got "a look" from my wife. And I gave her a "huh? " look back.
And your interpretation is that your wife believes that woman wanted you? And that you, in your relationship obligation to her, should have NOT had that conversation?

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I think you make a good point here. How do I really know? I guess I just don't feel like the relationship is on that level. I guess I could test those waters.
I think you could!
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Old 07-18-2013, 03:52 PM   #16 (permalink)
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So what you're saying is that your wife thinks that every woman who speaks to you is attracted to you on some level? Or any woman that you have any degree of closeness with?
That's an exaggeration, but probably true to some extent.

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And your interpretation is that your wife believes that woman wanted you? And that you, in your relationship obligation to her, should have NOT had that conversation?
Not really sure. Later my wife asked me what we were talking about and I told her the woman was venting about her job. "Hey, I'm a good listener." And it was dropped.
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Old 07-19-2013, 11:32 AM   #17 (permalink)
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That's an exaggeration, but probably true to some extent.
All right! Well, I hope you find man friends to chat with whenever you need or want. Man friends who aren't attracted to you. Unless that's okay.
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