442

 

The past 24 hours have seen major developments in a couple of the major themes of my blog.  But I’ll have to catch you up a bit.

 

A while back, I was grousing quite a lot about Arwyn’s unilateral decision to go to a new church.  She has continued to go and take the boys with her.  Her involvement has deepened and increased and now she goes maybe 3 times a week plus once or twice on Sundays.  She is scheduled to get baptized this Sunday.

 

It has been painful for me to contemplate and make my choice.  I have enjoyed my time and involvement in the Methodist church.  I’ve enjoyed teaching and have enjoyed the people I was with.  I was able to feel included in their community.  However, Arwyn did not feel included and was spiritually withering on the vine.  She hasn’t had the more orthodox, fundamental experiences that I have had.  Her thinking is not quit in the frame as mine, which is grow where you’re planted.  But that isn’t to say I’ve retained my own spiritual vigor over time.

 

In the grand scheme of things, this church experience is the sort that I’d have hoped for her years ago.  I thought at the time a more Biblical orthodox experience would benefit her.  In the meantime, even as her level of discontent with the Methodist church increased, I adjusted and got more comfortable with it.  So when she was finally ready to make a move, I absolutely was not ready.   And I became less ready the more she pushed.

 

However, I began to come to terms with my choices and where we were headed and where I wanted to be headed.  It was obvious she wasn’t changing her mind and the more I thought about it, the more it made more sense for me to switch.  So I decided to make the move.  This last Sunday, I taught my last class at the Methodist church.  Those that were there were sorry to see me go, but understood why I was doing it.

 

I also went to the membership class in the afternoon for the new church.  The pastor is a bit of an ex-hippie and his background told why this church is so big on a contemporary music format.  I listened to him explain where he came from and why he thought another church was needed amongst the 8 other churches within a 4 mile radius.  Much of what is happening here is based on Rick Warren’s model of a Purpose Driven Church.  The model used at this church is grounded exclusively in the Bible, rather than history or tradition or dogma. 

 

Generally I could get on board with this outfit without reservation outside of the fact that I’ll have to start out at the bottom.  When it comes to using spiritual gifts, they want everyone to move through the entry-level services.  Usher, greeter, parking lot  attendant…those kinds of things.  I’ve tried the greeter bit and it isn’t my thing.  I can do it and whatever else without much complaint but its not necessarily using my gifts.  I believe every Christian is called upon to pray, evangelize, teach, show mercy, minister and have a basic set of skills but we each have one or two of these in abundance.  Teaching is obviously where I feel God’s pleasure the most, but few churches will allow someone to just walk in and do that. 

 

Anyway, after this class, Arwyn was keen to talk.  And we did for a few hours.  I basically went after her and challenged her, “Are you sure you want to join this church?  You know they are going to expect a higher level of commitment and a higher standard of behavior.”

 

She said she understood, but I don’t think she was quite getting my point.  So I just drove it home.

 

“These folks will expect you to adhere to a Biblical standard which includes submitting to your husband.  And by going off on your own apart from me, you’ve violated the belief system you’ve just joined!”

 

I know I’ll catch some flack for the above statement.  I’m all about the other side; my responsibility of making sure she feels loved.  But I really felt the need to drive home that particular point because it has been a point of contention between us.  She has been in a state of rebellion for a long time and it has caused serious problems for us.  Not because I’m being a tyrant, but because she repeatedly comes out from what is supposed to be a protective place to do her own thing and disaster visits us all, most notably in the area of finances. 

 

I don’t expect non evangelicals to get this idea of men submitting to God while women submit to their husbands.  But it should be fairly easy to understand that you don’t join a church or other group with the intention of going against that group’s norms.  Would you join a group devoted to cats and bring your dog?  Would you bring a grill and some steaks to a PETA picnic?  Do you regularly go to the local Macintosh User’s Group and go on about how great Windows XP is?  It’s up to each person to know about their particular group before joining.   The problem with Methodists is that they no longer adhere to any standard.  

 

This took Arwyn by surprise a bit and she had to think about this for awhile.  We got the kids in bed and asleep and she wanted to talk more.  She apologized for going outside of my input and pushing for this new church.  I told her that God was able to use anything, and this might just be the best thing for us, no matter how it came about.  She assured me that this is what she wanted.  She wanted to lived more consistently within the Bible’s teachings. 

 

And then something happened that has not happened in a very long time.  Something that had not happened in over 440 days, in fact.

 

We were laying in the dark on the bed and there was a long period of silence.  Then I turned towards her and we just hugged for awhile.  Then Arwyn said, “You wanna get naked?”  I was stunned.  “Before I change my mind.” she added.  I decided to ignore that last bit as she was truly making an effort and that’s really all I wanted.  And, after all, it had been almost a year and a half. 

 

What followed was a fairly drawn-out and somewhat unexpectedly relaxed love making session.  I was just thoroughly enjoying the sensations of two naked bodies next to each other and then becoming one.  I could have went for a second round, but did not.  There was plenty of after-play cuddling and kissing throughout.  Arwyn said she wanted this to be a new start for us.  She also said she wanted to know my heart and felt like I was always distancing myself from her.  I said I felt the same way.

 

In many ways, Arwyn and I are a lot alike in temperament.  Anger and resentment can linger for long periods of time and we both have issues with forgiveness.  The avoider mentality is a natural function of us both being somewhat introverted.  We both tend to live mostly within our own heads.  But with her deciding that she really wants to submit puts the weight of the relationship more squarely on me.  I can’t just let things slide off the deep end as when she refused to listen to what I was telling her.  She could still rebel and I could still screw up.  But the fact is, we have both decided to shift over to this new page and a different sort of relationship.

 

I’ve experimented with trying on a more submissive role, and this just isn’t for Arwyn (me being submissive).  And my last little experiment sort of illustrated why it’s not exactly fitting me properly, either.  The difference in the Christian paradigm is that while a wife is called to submit to her husband, the husband is not called to dominate.  I just thought I’d clarify for those thinking this might turn into me totally flipping the script.

 

So for the first time in my recent memory, Arwyn has stated a more emphatic desire to see our marriage work.  She’s trying to set things straight and wants to start out new.

 

I do want to thank those of you who have been with me throughout the entire 442 day sexual drought and those who came in the middle of it.  It made the journey slightly less lonely.  I’m sincerely hoping that none of us have to suffer through anymore of these.  

 

D.

 

 

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21 Responses to 442

  1. Anonymous says:

    Digger,

    I have followed your story since the ivillage days and wanted to say how happy I am for you. I hope this is the beginning of a commitment to sustained mutuality for you both.

    J.

  2. Trueself says:

    Digger,

    I am so happy for you. I do hope that this is the beginning of a much better relationship for you and Arwyn.

  3. Tom Allen says:

    So, I’m leaning back in my chair, catching up on the blogs that I missed over the weekend, and you almost make me fall out of my chair.
    “What the hell are you doing over there?” asks Mrs. Edge.
    “Jeez, Digger just got laid!” I respond.
    She snorted and went back to watching Six Feet Under, mumbling how she doesn’t understand why I read these drama-filled blog things.

    Best wishes to both of you, D.

  4. Holy Visile says:

    Congrats: and be happy for not having to explain how you gave the cage key to another sex blogger to make for reader entertainment and some weird internet sub/dom thing. Again, congrats.

  5. therese says:

    I am so happy for you, Digger. I hope this is only the beginning of a better situation between you two.

  6. Hazel says:

    I’m so pleased for you both :).

  7. So Gone says:

    I’m so happy for you. I’m really hoping that this is the start of a wonderful change for you both. 🙂

  8. Emily says:

    Okay, so the femmo-nazi in me wants to just MENTION that she bloody well hates that patriarchal crap, but…

    I’m really pleased for you 🙂

    The part about wanting to know your heart, I think, is extremely promising.

  9. Satan says:

    How perfect – finally! Please let this be a fabulous new beginning for your marriage.

  10. Desmond Jones says:

    Good for you both! And here’s hoping for better days to come for your marriage.

    It can be maddeningly abstract to know what ‘letting her into your heart’ means, but the effort is absolutely worth it. . .

  11. Val says:

    Applause, applause! I just surfed by on a whim, but I’m thrilled at what just happened…
    I am so so SO very happy for you Digger!

  12. Cat says:

    I don’t want to make light of this but I have to admit I almost fell out of my chair too. And it would have been embarrassing with the crutches and all 🙂

    I am so very happy for you. I hope this is the beginning of good things for both of you…

  13. Xian Husband says:

    Good for you, brother! Change CAN happen. I’m living proof. And it was just about a year ago that me and my wife started down a much healthier path. It actually started on Easter, of all days. Great symbology there.

    It can happen. I think that finally (FINALLY!) realizing that you needed to go with her to this church and be united in your family in your faith was the big deal. It was dividing you on levels you don’t even know. Now you can come together.

    And, I wouldn’t be too hard on her about heading to that other church on her own. Yes, submission of a wife to a husband has always been a part of God’s plan, but then remember the story of David and Abigail and Nabal in I Sam 25. Agibail didn’t do what her husband said, either, but it was the right thing to do. It was the godly thing to do. We are all called to submit to all kinds of authority, but we are also to understand that this is all under the supreme authority of God. So, when following God directly comes between you and following other authority, always choose to follow God. And maybe God was calling her there.

    And maybe exactly for the reason you said — that many Methodist churches don’t seem to adhere to any standard. So, I would encourage you to do what Nabal DIDN’T do, and take a look at yourself long and hard and see if maybe you weren’t acting just a bit like him in some things. Because that’s the key to change: being honest with yourself about exactly who you are and where your faults are and where you need to change.

    Grace and Peace to you.

  14. John says:

    I’m very happy for you. And hopeful that this can mark a change to the better for your relationship.
    Good luck.

  15. aphron says:

    Firstly, I am hopeful that this is a new beginning. Arwyn, hopefully, will be there working too. When things get tough, I hope she doesn’t emotionally check-out. Dealing with resentment issues is tough. Since I tend to be an avoider also, I know from experience what you’re talking about.

    The Methodist church was never very dogmatic in its aim. The Wesleys focused a lot on forgiveness, charity, and evangelism. As a life long Methodist, there are times I wish we were more biblically based. The wife’s submission to her husband and God’s command for the husband to love his wife as Jesus loves the church will work. There is no domination. That’s what non-evangelicals and non-Christians don’t understand. With feminism teaching women that submitting to their husbands is wrong for over 2 generations, the thought of a wife submitting to her husband is almost abhorrent in today’s society. Also, men no longer have any clue what their role is in this new paradigm.

  16. cagedone says:

    Dude, good news I am glad for u, I remember my 18 month hiatus , I was not as strong as you were, but then I did not have a cage back then…lol

    Take care and remember its still going to be 2 steps forward and one step back. But the very fact that it has turned around is just fantastic.

    Very happy for u

    Interestingly I am coming to similar conclusions myself.

  17. I’m kind of the same voice as Emily in that I don’t see the whole “submit” thing (or have, honestly, never viewed it as such, so forgive me that), but truly I hope you both keep walking on this path and end up somewhere that makes you both happy as a pair. I think it’s wonderful, and am happy for you.

  18. FTN says:

    There shall be much rejoicing in blogland! Party-time!

    We seriously need to consider a parade or something for you, Digger. I’m picturing ticker-tape. You riding in the back of an old beat-up convertible, waving to the crowd.

    And this new church sounds like something I’d like. Hope it goes well. Don’t worry about getting “up the ladder” to quickly. I know it’s probably annoying to you, but take your time and get to know some people there.

    And enjoy that contemporary music format. Hope those drums and electric guitars don’t hurt your ears. 🙂

  19. DH says:

    OK…first the sincere part…I am VERY happy for you Digger. I really, truly hope this does represent a fresh start and will give you both what you want.

    I admire your commitment to her, I really do.

    I realize that I may lack your inner strength…but I have to say I’m happier than I’ve been in many years.

    OK…then there’s the less serious comment. I’m not sure how to break this to you, Digger…but I’m pretty confident that pretty much EVERYONE who reads your blog CAME in the middle of your sexual drought. I’m just sayin’. 🙂

  20. […] are coming up to a certain anniversary celibation I entitled last year 442.  That was the number of days we had gone without any sort of sexual encounter.  At this point we […]

  21. […] course, it will take more practice. I went through this whole script last year, too, where we thought we were starting a whole new beginning. We do have some advantages this time […]

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