Hope and Denial

This is going to take a long time.

I can only simply hold my head in my hands and grieve. And then it comes to me; Good grief! I have no idea how to grieve properly! I've always done it improperly, teetering on the edge of self-destruction. My smoking was borne, not out of peer pressure, but of grief. It was with the understanding that while I wouldn't exactly kill myself, I wasn't going to prolong things more than necessary either.

There is such a fine line between hope and denial. Of course, many of you dear readers have been trying to drive that point home for a long time. Part of the popularity of this blog stems from the dogged struggle and the tenacity with which I have held on. I keep trying new and novel things, attempting to change my marriage and change Arwyn. I keep thinking, if only….maybe if….all we need is….I only wish…

These are delusional thoughts. That wishful thinking is denial, pushing reality off and away. But only for a time. Putting reality off with a bunch of wishful thinking has made for some good blogging but hasn't done much for dealing with things as they really are. Shedding these false beliefs has involved letting go of some much cherished fantasies. But I've also been able to see that things could always be worse.

While reading Walter's Blog I appreciated how little real fighting Arwyn and I do. I never have to worry about her starting something in public. When reading Desperate Husband, I realize the Arwyn does do the majority of the stuff with the kids and she at least washes and folds most of the laundry. And she does most of the dishes. And she generally does what she does without a lot of complaint. Yes, she is always tired and is sick a lot of the time and complains about that. But not about what she does. She endures a considerable amount of drudgery without complaining about it.

A lot of women would drive me up the wall with their constant prying and questioning and trying to dig into my head. Arwyn does not do this, and it is silly of me to complain and make out like she doesn't care about me when this was a major attraction of hers.

Arwyn is not a passionate person. She can be devoted and loyal, but not being hot headed makes her as stable as she is which is good for the kids and me. She does not scream and yell, as a rule. She does not slam doors or throw stuff. She keeps a lot in and seems to hold on to it forever. No wonder she is always tired.

She is not a sexual person. This is a huge area of grief for me, because I am. Or at least I thought I was. She'll give me a handjob if I ask for one but it's not the warmest, most intimate of experiences. Basically I'm being milked like a cow. As one who grew up milking cows, I don't equate this chore with anything good. It was a chore. It was a bothersome chore and I tried everything I could to get out of it. Which is how a lot of women feel about sex.

Just because Arwyn doesn't love me the way I want to be loved, does not mean it is not there. It's just in a different way. Some of you are wondering if I'm being loved as I need to be loved. What about my own needs? I'm still trying to figure out what those are. I like stability and security as much as anyone. The price I pay is the absence of volatile, sexual passion.

This sure as hell makes the whole Valentine's thing a major pain in the ass! I don't feel terribly motivated to spend a lot of money or go to a lot of trouble over it. There's no religious or personal significance attached to this day for us. It just comes every year with all of the attendant pressures. And let's face it, whatever it is that I do, I'm hoping that she'll be sufficiently touched and moved that she'll let me get into her pants. Which rarely ever, ever happens on V-day. There's no soft music, candles or lingerie around here. The Victoria Secret gift card remains the last of the Christmas gifts to be unused.

I don't know what to do about that. I think ignoring it altogether would be kind of hurtful, but making too much of a whoop-dee-doo puts more pressure on her to put out. That isn't bad except it never works.


13 Responses to Hope and Denial

  1. Wow. That is a huge step away from the Digger that I’m used to reading. Everyone has there own ways of showing another how much they love them. maybe a nice gift for her would be to just give her the day off. Let her relax and do whatever floats her boat. While you do the thins that she normally does. Just to let her know that what she does don’t go unoticed. I actually think that would carry a lot more meaning in women than jewelery or flowers. Flowers die. Most jewelery goes out of style. Being appreciated last forever.
    Now if only I thought of that last week we wouldn’t be in such a bind right now.

  2. FTN says:

    Yeah, for non-sexual wives, lingerie or naughty cards on Valentine’s Day aren’t going to magically make them sex-crazed. Thoughtful, creative, or practical gifts are more often the way to go.

    As I mentioned before, it can be good to understand the limits of your marriage — what it is and what it might never be. But that doesn’t mean giving up the possibility that Arwyn could change over time. Especially if some of it is due to depression, hormonal imbalance, kids, and/or diet and exercise. All of those things can change. Open communication in a marriage can be a huge help too.

    So don’t resign yourself to a passionless marriage too quickly. It may not be exactly what you expected, but that doesn’t mean you can’t continue to work towards something a little better. Most relationships are either moving forward or backward, and complacency will probably only move it backwards.

    And by the way, my Wife and I are planning *not* to have sex tonight (Valentine’s Day). We are planning on it for tomorrow though. No sexual pressure to go along with the gifts today.

  3. Sie says:

    What does she usually get you on Valentines day?

    It doesn’t have to cost alot… something silly to just bring a smile might work too.

  4. Sie says:

    And about the VS lingerie….

    That’s really not a present for us… it’s a present for you.

  5. Synergy says:

    It’s something that’s been said before, by someone you knew/know… “He who is content with little, possesses much.” Based on the scripture, “Godliness with contentment is great gain.”

    The trick is to be content, while retaining aspiration to better things. You aspire to better while still being able to enjoy the moment… sort of the “Life’s a journey not a destination.”

    Sorry to be so cliche.

  6. aphron says:

    Good point, Syngergy.

    Contentment is what we all should be striving for. It is difficult to obtain, but it is longer lasting than fleeting happiness. Maybe Arwyn shows love differently than you want. That doesn’t mean she doesn’t love you. As an emotionally stunted person, let me tell you that it isn’t easy to let the other person know exactly how one feels.

  7. Katie says:

    We can’t have it all I suppose. Good luck deciding what to do for Valentine’s Day. My husband is out of town and even if he was in town, we’d still probably do nothing.

  8. Summer Rose says:

    I’m with most of the commenters here. Is there anything she likes to do? or at least tries to show you that she does care? I take it she is a good mom or you wouldn’t be with her.

    As for the should haves, what if’s and the I wishes. You can’t change her I’ve learned that the hard way they have to change for themselves. You can only pray for her or at least write her a letter and tell her how you are feeling. Sometimes that does work, just not too angry.

    By the way Happy Valentines day to you;) Don’t ask me what Ch has gotten me I really don’t know I’ve guessed but it’s useless.

  9. Sorry, Digger. There’s a ton of sadness in that post, and I understand.

  10. JeN says:

    “I don’t feel terribly motivated to spend a lot of money or go to a lot of trouble over [Valentine’s Day].”

    Easy as pie. Just don’t celebrate it. A lot of people don’t. It’s a stupid Westernized tradition that makes no sense to me.
    If you love someone you’re supposed to show it to them every single day. When has the notion of enforced affection become romantic?

  11. ArtfulDodger says:

    So often when I read your posts Dig it sounds like me talking about five or six years ago when W and I were sticking it out and making a go and I didn’t realize how bad it really was and that if only I could hang in there a little longer things would get better. This post sounds like I wrote it back then, rationalizing the irrational, making it the “glass is half-full” instead of seeing it for what it really was, a situation that will not change of its own accord. Why should she change? What is the reason for change? True change requires a big motivating factor, loss of a loved one, a job, a move, a life changing event, otherwise they never do change. I fear for you my friend. I truly do.

  12. Leela Lamore says:

    Oh Digger, this sadens me so much. Something Phoenix said really rang true … “There are so many sad lonely people out there and most of them are in marriages”. Just remember, if you feel this way, perhaps Arwen does too?

    I don’t know what the answer to this is but I hope you find it.

  13. Rob says:

    Leela, let’s just say that your Phoenix is right and that Digger has plenty of company – from both genders. Happy (if belated) Valentine’s Day to you all.

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