Aftermath

11/18/2005

Friday

Oops! I had no idea but I left you all hanging loose, didn’t I? So let’s see if I can wrap things up.

After I asked her what she expected me to do, I did give her a hug and a kiss and told her that I loved her. She said, “I don’t feel like it, sometimes.”

I told her that love was not just some simple thing that worked like gravity. Leave it alone and stuff still happens. Actually, now that I think of it, apathy is like gravity. That is where things will decay to if left unattended and without investing any energy. I told her that it involved a willful choice, something we choose to do and work towards. Just sitting around and waiting for things to happen was unacceptable. I invited suggestions from her what I might do, and she didn’t really offer any. She merely complained that I didn’t spend any time with the kids and that we didn’t like to do the same things. I told her that preferences in hobbies and pastimes was acceptable. It’s okay not to like the same things.

But now it comes to me that she considers sex a hobby or pastime. Not something that needs to be done and certainly not if she doesn’t feel like it.

As far as the children and spending time with them, I told her that it was difficult to get too excited about it. Now that I’ve had a chance to think about it, it isn’t as much about them as it is about her. I’m much less inclined to spend time with her. I’d do stuff with them but not if it means having to do so on her terms which it always seems to be. So I’ve been inclined to let her go her own way.

I had to get going to work, and was late already. I gave her a hug and a kiss and left. We left on okay terms, I think. At least we had a better idea where the other person stood.

Last night I got home and had some short stuff to do on the computer, including grabbing as many posts by you all as possible. I then played with the kids, made a sandwich to eat while she gave them their baths. They had already eaten before I got home. One of the deals with working extra hours is that I get home later and the kids don’t do well eating later.

Next, I checked phone messages and we did miss one phone call so I went to tell Arwyn about it (it was from one of our friends) and gave her the phone. She was already in bed with the lights out. One of her chief complaints is that she never gats enough sleep. The kids’ sleep disturbances and my snoring being a primary culprit. Seems me going to bed much later would be in her interest as she could at least get *some* sleep uninterrupted. But she never told me she was going to bed. She was just there. There was no invitation to come in and talk or anything. So that was that. I finished reading various posts, did some other writing and then went to bed at around 11 which is somewhat early for me. This morning, the boys were up early so there was no opportunity to talk. The youngest had a serious meltdown as he wanted to ride the bus but it was not his morning to do so. I’m sitting naked, after my shower, trying to take a dump and I hear Arwyn “I NEED YOUR HELP RIGHT NOW!” Elmo is screaming his lungs out, fighting to get on the bus. I quickly threw some stuff on and went out to get him and had to do a bit of an intervention on him and then it was time to go to work.

So the short answer is, nothing much happened as a result of it. Nothing changed much. Not much of a resolution but I figure Arwyn and I need some time and space to digest this stuff. Then we will clash again. My take is that if we’re not making love then maybe we can make war. The War for Intimacy continues. It is a different kind of war, more like a war of attrition rather than one of conquest. The War on Debt is a war of conquest. The two struggles are intimately linked. The longer the former goes on, the more the latter becomes a war for independence and freedom. We need to be free from debt so that if I want to move out and set up an independent household, I can be free to do so. Right now, Visa and assorted other creditors own us. I wonder if I could convince them to sell one of us off?

Standing firm and strong is not an easy thing. Ever. I wonder sometimes about those who are forever urging me to leave. Is it really because it would be in my best interest? Or it because me sticking it out makes others less strong for choosing a different path? I don’t blame others who leave or even those having affairs. It’s only by God’s grace that I’ve been able to hold on. If I get His blessing for leaving, then I’ll do that. But falling off and slipping away to temptation is all too easy. I’ve fallen for enough temptations in the past I’m not throwing stones at others for whatever they get weighed down with.

D.

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8 Responses to Aftermath

  1. Square1 says:

    Your commitment to your wife is what keeps me coming back. It seems the intimacy in your marriage is almost completely gone but you are unwilling to give up. That takes courage. With so many others cutting their losses over less serious circumstances it’s hard to keep one’s backbone up when tough times coming knocking on my own door… but I see you and what you are fighting, and I tell myself if you can have the strength and conviction to stick it out and fight in the face of what seems like a hopeless situation… then surely I am strong enough for one more day to stand and fight my own battle. Cubed and I are a long way from the lack of intimacy… but we have our deal breaking problems that we are trying to overcome too. One day the marriage seems healthy… the next it seems a stone’s throw from calling it quits. Obviously we have some kinks to work out. Unmet needs on the other side of the equation. I do feel a sense of comraudery with you.

    You guys need a weekend away… a place where you have no choice but to sit and confront, and hash these things out. It is too easy to hide behind the daily routine to avoid discussion… for her and you both. I know because… we do it too.

    The difference is eventually Cubed and I end up having some sort of melt down… and it’s never very pretty.

  2. Rob says:

    Digger, I agree with Square1. As I read your words, telling us how events transpired between you and your wife, a few thoughts came to mind. Taking the tact that a good defense is a good offense, in reading what she replied to you, it looked like she was again putting you on the defensive (eg. “I invited suggestions from her what I might do, and she didn’t really offer any. She merely complained that I didn’t spend any time with the kids and that we didn’t like to do the same things.”) Don’t you see it? YOU were defending yourself; whereas, SHE was not owning up to accepting ANY responsibility in ANY way whatsoever in the problems affecting your marriage. Having the boys around (granted) causes stress and distractions, making it very hard for you two to have a prolonged discussion about these issues. Look, this has been caused by a long time of neglect and you can’t expect to even get to first base to resolve this and even slightly change things for the better by having only a short conversation with her. Noted, you can’t afford counseling but if you (in any way) could ever afford it then even then you guys would requires a lengthy period of reconciling. So, if you hope to make any gains whatsoever on your own then you somehow need to get some “quality” alone-time with her, without worrying about your boys, having someone take care of them – even if only for a weekend, as Square1 suggests.

    I personally can fully relate to your wishes to stick it out with your marriage. Divorce, especially in your case, is a non-starter as nothing would be gained (your wife wouldn’t change, the boys would be all the worse off from your reduced presence in their lives, your financial situation would be much worse, and I expect you personally would be feeling much worse).

    Your only strategy then is simply this: communication, communication, communication – not just to us here each day, but to your wife – as bluntly, as creatively, as constructively, as effectively as you can do it. The time and the place for this is very important. Try to get away together for a day or two, try very hard. Good luck to you.

  3. Satan says:

    “Is it really because it would be in my best interest?”

    That is where my intention lies, anyway. Taking nothing away from your noble struggle, Arwyn simply won’t take any responsibility or make any smidgen of effort towards anything positive – and I hate seeing you live like that.

  4. Wenchy says:

    “The War for Intimacy continues.”

    This is SUCH a powerful statement.

  5. C-Marie says:

    I think your commitment to your wife, your children and to your marriage as a whole is the most important fight you’ve chosen to battle with. I believe in your struggle even tho’ at times it is heartbreaking. I really don’t think we must throw in the towel, so to speak, when some things have disappeared out of the equation. Your time invested fighting the good fight, is time well spent.
    You are an inspiration to many others who deal with similar issues.

  6. kissy says:

    I applaud your committment.

    and as a wife twice, I’ve been where she is. ie no interest.

    1. women are all about feelings.
    she doesn’t feel sexy.
    mother hood takes feeling sexy right out of you. ditto work.
    don’t feel sexy, don’t feel horney don’t feel intimiate,
    definitely don’t feel like sex.
    it’s just another chore.
    someone ELSE needing her.
    do the chore, and get it over with.

    no way to live for either of you.

    Time to start the romance all over again. She wanted you once,
    she can want you again.

    Do yourself a favor, go read my summary of the “5 love languages”. Figure out how she ticks and how you tick. It’s all about what makes her/you feel loved, and how we express love in return. It’s a real eye opener sometimes…

    Then you might have a better idea about how to reach her, if anything it would give you something to talk about.

    Have you thought about a marriage encounter weekend? (catholic church runs these). It’s mostly a weekend of learning to communicate from the heart. Talking and listening tools. Not the things they teach in business school. And it would give you HOURS alone with each other. Something you both obviously desperately need.

    She’s built a wall around herself. and you my friend are currently on the outside.

    http://www.affairsofheart.blogspot.com

  7. BroccoliEater says:

    One thing that does concern me in reading this, and the last few, is the imagery of this as a war.

    I know it must feel that way, sometimes. But to think of this all as a campaign *against* her, with plans to *get* something (“get some,” really) – might work against you in the long run, I think. Wars are all-or-nothing, winner-takes-all sort of things, usually.

    It sounds like you’ve read a lot of relationship and psych books. You’ve probably tried this in the past, but I wonder what might happen if you communicated more in *I* statements. Not “what you are doing or not doing is unacceptable to me.” but “I cannot live without intimacy. I want and need that in my life.” Positive statements about yourself, rather than negative statements about her. Might that make this less of a “War” between you over access to her body, and more about the two of you trying to work towards a consensus?

  8. I’m a lurker who’s never commented. I feel your pain, Digger, as I have been there. My husband and I stayed together because of money (and the lack, thereof), and eventually we separated IN the house, his moving to another room.

    He never confronted me the way you did Arwyn, and sometimes I wish he had. (Just like children crave rules!) I never felt he had an opinion about what was happening or cared for that matter. Long story short, we did get back together and just celebrated 25 years. It’s never been easy. Old habits die hard and more cliches like that.

    But we went (Are you sitting?) 4 years without sex, and it’s always about intimacy. And once you build up the wall (whichever wall it is), it is easier to keep up the wall than start to chip away at it. Start chipping away now before the wall is too high or too thick to break through!

    Hang in there. It sounds as if you really care. Apathy has not taken over your soul.

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