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#65536 - 03/08/05 03:28 PM Re: Madonna-Whore Syndrome? **TRIGGERS**
beautifuldisaster Offline
Member

Registered: 01/03/05
Posts: 85
Loc: usa
Thought I would share a link that seems to explain this M/W deal fairly well.

http://divorcesupport.about.com/od/sexualproblems/a/madonna.htm

_________________________
I AM THE MASTER OF MY DREAMS,
I AM THE CAPTAIN OF MY SOUL-

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#65537 - 03/08/05 06:17 PM Re: Madonna-Whore Syndrome? **TRIGGERS**
stride Offline
Member

Registered: 03/07/03
Posts: 202
Loc: B.C. Canada
Lloydy et al,

I have to leave for work here shortly, but couldn't let Lloydy's post go without a quick "I know this one!"

Quote:
My wife is smart, and although not supermodel slim is exceptionally pretty and young looking. She's actually older than me.
I think this choice was something to do with me being able to negate all my responsibilities from that point on. Which is what I did.
She handled all our money, paid bills, arranged everything and generally spoon fed me, and this went on for over 25 years!
Quote:
This is another aspect of my relationship that I've tried to address in various ways since our early days together, though w/o much success. As far as looks go, we're both quite fit, slim, and physically attractive individuals...the kind quite used to the attentions and invitations of the opposite sex. But beyond that, I am far better educated than he is; make more money than he does; am financially responsible (while he is anything but) and so, manage all of our bills and money (if for no other reason than to leave his end of things with that with him has proven, repeatedly, to get us both into much hot water financially); am the one with good rental references, etc; my friends have mostly been academics and professionals who own their own homes and are financially secure, while most of his are uneducated, chronically broke, often in financial trouble, and many are cocaine addicts and alcoholics living the "sex, drugs, and rock n' roll lifestyle," etc. The apartment, phone, utilities bills, etc, we have are all in my name (he can't get a phone acct, etc, due to his poor track record w/ those companies); the furniture is mine; etc. You get the picture.

This does not, in my view, make me "superior" to him, but it certainly makes for a glaring disparity of power between us...one which likely only furthers any sense of inadequacy he may have buried within himself. I would prefer that we were on much more equal footing as far as such fundamental matters go. If nothing else, it only reinforces the subtextual dynamic of "mother/son." Not attractive to me at all, and while he says he's most happy to let me "manage things," freely admitting that he's "not very good at it," I have always worried that it puts me into a role that's rather maternal and thus, anything but sexy. I also have remained hopeful that, with time, this dynamic will change and in some ways he seems to have "stepped up to the plate" with that since our reunion last fall.

And yes, the women he seems most turned on by around here, including the one he had the fling with last May/June after we split, are generally not very bright or at least, not very together/stable, but have reputations as coming on strong sexually...fast n' easy. They're almost all quite attractive though.

Anyway, must run, but if the shoe fits here too, I figured I'd best admit as much.

Stride

_________________________
In the right formation,
the lifting power of many wings can
achieve twice the distance of any bird flying alone.

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#65538 - 03/08/05 11:07 PM Re: Madonna-Whore Syndrome? **TRIGGERS**
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Stride

Quote:
This does not, in my view, make me "superior" to him, but it certainly makes for a glaring disparity of power between us...one which likely only furthers any sense of inadequacy he may have buried within himself.
I don't use 'superior & inferior' in any kind of nasty way, I use those terms to describe what you describe far more eloquently as a "glaring disparity of power".
That was a powerful thing for me nearly 36 years ago. I'd just failed a load of exams, well failed 4 and got thrown out of 2 courses I was taking, I couldn't find work, and was living a life of drink, drugs and illegal cars. Suddenly this intelligent and pretty girl was going out with me, and that suited me just fine.

Here was someone who looked after me, made me get a legal car, stopped me driving it when stoned, read the job adverts and sent off for application forms on my behalf. Al I had to do was sit there and lap it up.

That's my old perception of it.
My new one is slightly different.

This situation didn't just allow me to sit back, it also allowed me to sink further into my already huge sense of inadequacy.
It's certainly not my wifes fault, I would never lay any kind of blame at her feet. Because she didn't know anything, I knew nothing about 'why' I was the way I was, I hadn't got that far back then.
So together we mudddled along, both thinking that I just couldn't do responsible things.

It's impossible to say how I would have fared with a bimbo for a wife, or maybe someone with similar problems. I just can't begin to imagine it.

I wouldn't change my wife for the world, not even a new Range Rover ;\) and I know I can't change the past we've shared together.
But the future's different, "WE" can change that, as equals.

Dave

_________________________
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

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#65539 - 03/09/05 12:45 AM Re: Madonna-Whore Syndrome? **TRIGGERS**
beautifuldisaster Offline
Member

Registered: 01/03/05
Posts: 85
Loc: usa
Dave,
Out of curiosity.....what helped you most in seeing this and deciding to work on resolving these issues?

Thanks,

_________________________
I AM THE MASTER OF MY DREAMS,
I AM THE CAPTAIN OF MY SOUL-

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#65540 - 03/09/05 05:07 AM Re: Madonna-Whore Syndrome? **TRIGGERS**
stride Offline
Member

Registered: 03/07/03
Posts: 202
Loc: B.C. Canada
Dave,

1) What bfd said? ;-)
2) Any suggestions for me with regard to the power stuff?

Stride

_________________________
In the right formation,
the lifting power of many wings can
achieve twice the distance of any bird flying alone.

Top
#65541 - 03/09/05 12:54 PM Re: Madonna-Whore Syndrome? **TRIGGERS**
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Quote:
Dave,
Out of curiosity.....what helped you most in seeing this and deciding to work on resolving these issues?
Well, the truth is it was this whole topic that got me thinking about this.

When Stride wrote this -

Quote:
Men with the M-W Syndrome generally feel very emotionally connected and devoted to their significant other, but do not find her of much interest sexually; at least, not once the relationship was become a committed, emotionally close one for them. And this is something that creates much confusion, hurt, and loss of esteem for their significant other.
I thought "ooohhh shit!"
It looked like a duck, quacked like a duck, yes, it was the duck!

The loss of intimacy is the biggest problem I still face. I can deal with the occassional use of porn, the fact that fantasy will almost certainly remain as a part of any sex life I have and all these other issues.
I no longer feel guilty about what happened to me as a boy, and I don't feel guilty about using porn on an occassional basis either. I've had a belly-full of guilt and shame in my life so I don't want any more. I'm quite prepared to live my life as it is now and enjoy it.
But I know I'd enjoy it more with my - our - sex life back.

I knew that the process of healing had altered the way I think about and relate to my wife, and that was probably the basis for the change in my desire for sex with her. But nothing else made sense.
I couldn't figure out the WAY our relationship had altered, I knew it had though.

So I have to say 'thanks' to you ladies, this discussion has allowed me to think outside my usual box. And you have provided the perfect place to bounce some ideas around.
It's only by being challenged that we come up with new ideas, and this topic has certainly thrown down some challenges.

The next one is to do something about these new ideas. Share them with my wife for a start.

Dave

_________________________
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

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#65542 - 03/09/05 05:12 PM Re: Madonna-Whore Syndrome? **TRIGGERS**
stride Offline
Member

Registered: 03/07/03
Posts: 202
Loc: B.C. Canada
Hey Dave,

If something we have written here opens new doors for you and your wife--or anyone --I'm all for that! This invaluable forum has certainly given me much to chew on over the past coupl'a years and I can only hope that perhaps someday my guy will get to where you are, with or without me.

Cheers,

Stride

_________________________
In the right formation,
the lifting power of many wings can
achieve twice the distance of any bird flying alone.

Top
#65543 - 03/09/05 11:57 PM Re: Madonna-Whore Syndrome? **TRIGGERS**
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Stride
I came here first in early 2002, and this place never ceases to amaze me.
There is so much we can all gain from each others experiences, it really is the best Survivors site I've seen. And I keep a close eye on the competition as well.

I don't think there's any subject we haven't touched here, and that's a sure sign that MS is a place where trust between the members is fostered, and maintained.
Sure, we get people who have abused that trust and we always will. But there's a core of regular users who stick around and rebuild it every time it gets knocked down. That way new people join the core, and learn that trust is what makes the difference.

I also hope your guy makes it here, because in a partnership it does take both people to do the work. And that's all about trust as well.
I hope he finds the level of trust in himself to come to a place like this.

Dave

_________________________
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

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#65544 - 03/10/05 03:49 AM Re: Madonna-Whore Syndrome? **TRIGGERS**
Emerald Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/26/04
Posts: 21
Loc: here
I don't have much to add to this discussion, but I think it's deserves some more thought. There are a lot of different strands here that go off in various directions.

About the superior/inferior thing. I called it a one up or one down feeling. It really had little to do with status. It was more about how I was made to feel by my SO. Around him I felt one up at the beginning and one down at the end. I didn't really feel like there was a time we were equals. This was very subtle and I don't think I iniated these feelings ... well, maybe the one down at the end feeling.

My SO was emotionally incested and possibly physically incested, as well, by his mother. Sex was great. Then it stopped.

Emerald


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#65545 - 03/10/05 07:20 AM Re: Madonna-Whore Syndrome? **TRIGGERS**
SAR Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/07/03
Posts: 3310
Loc: USA
exploding thread! \:D

What Dave said:
Quote:
I don't use 'superior & inferior' in any kind of nasty way, I use those terms to describe what you describe far more eloquently as a "glaring disparity of power".
Disparity of power is certainly a better term for what I was getting at, if only because "superior/inferior" is unclear-- I don't think most of us "more functional" partners actually believe ourselves to be superior to our scruffy, party animal, unregistered car driving ( :rolleyes: ) partners-- but I do think that the whole situation is as Dave described it:
Quote:
it also allowed me to sink further into my already huge sense of inadequacy.
It's another way for a survivor to reinforce the feelings of inadequacy and inferiority that are already there.

I think this kind of relationship can read as "familiar" or "affirming" too-- it's vicious because caring actions get twisted by hidden meanings-- If my boyfriend says, "Will you do "X" for me," and he's silently adding, "...because I am not good at that/smart enough for that/trustworthy enough for that"-- There is no way for me to say "Yes" to the request without him also hearing "yes" to all of what he's not saying."

Does this mean I should say "no" instead? For me, it did. When I could see the submission through the request, I said no, and I said why. This kind of message, the "You need me to do this for you" message, is really about saying "You need me." It got put into my boyfriend's head in the first place by people who NEEDED HIM TO NEED THEM. It's a false message; it's to make him believe that his being there filling THEIR needs is really all about him and what HE needs. His needs have nothing to do with it; he can meet his needs without them, but if he figures that out the game is up.

Not every partner wants to be needed this way; some of us just say yes to those requests, thinking of ourselves as giving while really we are grabbing huge chunks of power in the relationship every time we do for our partners what they believe they can't do for themselves.

But once we see this going on, I believe we have a responsibility to ourselves and to our partners to put a stop to it. That means say no... which is really saying "yes"... yes I trust you, yes you are smart enough, yes you can do this.. and Yes I will still love you even if you try and fail.

I have done this twice with "big things" since my boyfriend really started healing... the first was right at the beginning, we had to move and he picked out our new place. The second was his therapy. I wanted him to feel that he'd done it for himself. It took him months to go to therapy on his own, some of those months I wanted to jump in and take control of his recovery, set deadlines, make him read articles, find docs for him, etc... but I never did any of that, and he worked it out in his own time, better than if I'd been involved in it I'm sure.


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