The last of the vacation updates

June 28, 2007

date: 06/21/2007



Sad, funny and pathetic.



This is how I would describe the intimacy Arwyn and I have.



When we go on vacation to our families, our sleeping arrangements are a bit altered e.g. NORMAL. The inverted position less common, although she did resort to that here at the cabin on the lake. We tend to go to bed closer to the same time and get up at the same time or closer to it.



The upside is that I do get more sleep. The downside is that it is all too easy to highlight the pathetic nature of our physical intimacies or lack thereof. I like to snuggle, especially in the morning. Plus I’m not against groping around even if naked fooling around isn’t possible or on the menu. A host of intimacies can be shared just by caressing, touching and exploring surreptitiously under blankets even with kids or parents close by.



But not with Arwyn. As I move my hand around, she is deftly blocking and redirecting my hands. This morning I decided to be much more aggressive than usual since I’ll be heading back to Iowa for a few days and will meet up with her and the boys later for the final leg of the vacation back to Georgia.


I walked up her shorts and explored a bit with my hand. She was fairly tolerant of me being around her backside as long as I didn’t get around her crack at all. But I would occasionally push things a bit and the slapping/pushing/redirecting of my hands would commence.



But her breasts are definitely the most guarded and precious area of all. Getting anywhere near a breast resulted in some almost wild gyrations and pushing. I persisted a bit more than usual and it was an almost comical display of her defensiveness. Almost comical. Almost. If it weren’t so sad and pathetic how doggedly and viciously the woman defends her breasts against the touches of her husband. That’s not the attitude of one who is in love or really has anything less than contempt and distrust.


In all fairness, my advances were more in jest than love. I was in the mood for some fun and it was at her expense. I knew she was not up for this sort of thing, but I pushed anyway. This is probably not going to make her more open to my touch anytime soon. But probably not less, either. I basically took a more confrontational approach, or as much of one as the time and space allowed. We weren’t going to have a knock-down drag-out on the hide-a-bed in this little cabin with her dad and the boys right there. So basically we had this silent little pathetic half-fight going on.



I finally tired of this and got up and dressed and packed. After saying good bye to Arwyn, the boys and my father-in-law, I made the 5 hour drive south.






That’s how I felt, anyway. I even bought a pack of smokes. Okay, not good, but I had already bought a pack just before we left during the pretrip hostilities.







I’m back. We (me) drove straight through and made it back in 19.5 hours, which included potty stops too numerous to mention and only one such accident. I’ll take a potty accident any day to one with traffic. At least my insurance rates won’t go up!


The trip back was fairly uneventful. Not a lot of talking, mainly because the kids were right there. There were times I wished we had some sort of plexiglass shield to lower between us and them. The boys do get along well, and most of the noise was the two of them playing happily with each other but it was still loud-ish. I can discuss many things with Arwyn, with religion being the favorite and politics being slightly less so as she doesn’t keep up. We can discuss relationships as long as they are other people’s.


And so it was we were able to talk a bit more about her dad.



I had a chance to briefly meet her 72 year-old dad’s girlfriend who happens to be all of 43. Arwyn is 45. This did not at all go over well with her. At all.



This girl is very attractive and built! I found myself sort of rooting for him. He is still waiting for his second divorce to be final, but says he is not at all interested in getting remarried. Famous last words.



We talked about how Arwyn felt her dad was being taken advantage of. I pointed out that he was most probably getting something out of this relationship and Arwyn said she didn’t think it was a fair trade. And therein lies the problem.



Arwyn doesn’t understand or appreciate the value of what this younger woman is giving her dad. At 43, she’s no spring chicken but she still looked very good. Arwyn attaches little or no value to sex, so she doesn’t see how her dad would be silling to spend some money towards wining and dining this gal for that. Arwyn also underestimates the validation the younger gal offers her dad in the way of looking up to him, respecting him and simply acting like she is attracted to him. This is the thing a lot of older women do not get. They devalue admiration and affection and then wonder why their men leave or why they can’t find one.



So I pointed out that I couldn’t blame her dad for not wanting to be with the blue hairs his own age. The ones who want to complain about their various ailments, who want to gossip and who simply don’t want to have fun have nothing to offer him. She agreed to that, and I’m sure she made no connection between herself and the blue hairs. Fact is, Arwyn likes to do some things, but she constantly complains about some physical ailment and her sexless attitude is decidedly post-menopausal.



All is not so fresh and lovely in her dad’s dealings, tho. He picked up this girl at the same place he picked up his 2nd wife; at his AA meetings. This is known as “13 stepping” where the recovering drunks pick each other up. On one hand, I can understand his point about being with someone else in recovery. It helps to have a common background and a common experience. Everyone has some form of dysfunction they are either doing or recovering from. My problem with AA is that they are so fixed on the alcohol they lose sight of the rest of their psychopathologies at times. So while this younger woman shares a history of alcohol abuse with Arwyn’s dad, there’s 40 years of other experiences and histories that she does NOT share. There’s a lot of other things surrounding that one behavioral topography of drinking.



Arwyn has some issues surrounding the concept of this younger gal becoming her step-mom. And that does sound like a ridiculous concept. Whoever heard of a stepmom being younger than the kids? At that point, the whole “step mom” concept just doesn’t work, even in a paradigm like Cinderella where she is evil. When the kids are adults and themselves parents, the whole stepmom concept doesn’t work. The woman simply becomes “Dad’s 3rd wife” or something similarly nonthreatening or loaded. I also would not recommend “Daddy’s Little Golddigger” at least in front of him.





Remote Blog Update

June 24, 2007

Still out for a few more days but am able to update at the moment:




I’m updating remotely via my PDA from somewhere in the Minnesota northwoods on one of those 10,000 lakes.  It’s quite a bit cooler here than what we are used to in Georgia!  And cool weather means good snuggling weather, right?


One would think.


To summarize our vacation so far: the boys had a blast on the farm in Iowa with the grandparents.  I got to see some friends that I haven’t seen in 25 years or so.  And there has been no vacation sex.  Not even a hand job, which I wouldn’t think would be too much trouble.  But that’s just me.


This is Arwyn’s native country, where she grew up.  The last time we were on this lake was almost 11 years ago during our honeymoon.  I think we only spent 3 or 4 days here before heading back to Georgia.  There were a few unspeakable things that happened in this cabin.  There were a few things that happened here that would never happen again here or anywhere else.


On our wedding night, Arwyn gave me a brief fashion show of the various lingerie pieces she had gotten during the various wedding showers.  She looked absolutely fabulous in everyone one.  But she would never wear most of them ever again.  Ever.


There was one she would wear once or twice again.  It was a lovely lacey little number with a snap crotch.  I remember unsnapping that and going at her pussy with my tongue with gusto and enthusiasm.  I’m certainly glad I have that distant memory because it would be the very last time I would ever get to taste the fruits in Arwyn’s garden of delights.


So last night after the boys were tucked into beds set up in the room where we had consummated our marriage, I thought we could at least try to be physically affectionate to each other for a bit before her father came back from working at a store.  I did not expect sex, but hugging and kissing would be nice.


That went over like a lead duck.


I find my patience with this evasiveness growing thin. 






Much less windy and cool on the lake today.  The boys are having a grand time swimming and fishing and taking boat rides out on the lake.  But relationship wise, we seem to be in the middle of a deep freeze.  Arwyn has been moody and distant today.  She has a lot of animosity built up around her dad for all his years of alcoholism.  He’s been in recovery for about 30 years, and did have a relapse 8 years ago.  Arwyn is still pissed about the 8 year-old transgression.  That’s how long this woman can hold a grudge.  But she is cordial with her dad and gladly accepts his money and other guilt offerings.  But she’s still upset about it.


Her dad is now in his 70’s, have had a couple of heart attacks and could go at any time.  I think she really could do well to let his past transgressions go and appreciate the time they have left.  Neither of her parents is in good health.  They seem to have made some piece with each other these past few years and they do talk to each other once in awhile.


This vacation has been pleasant for the most part.  Aside from Arwyn pushing me away when I have tried to be affectionate at night when we’re together, it’s been okay.  On the way up we talked some, but not near enough about the things we really and truly needed to talk about.  Talking did make the trip seem a lot shorter and less tiring, so perhaps we can do more of that on the way home.






Off for a couple of weeks

June 12, 2007


We’re off to the Midwest early in the morning, and it has been a tense time around here with the preparations and stuff.  Some rather nasty exchanges have taken place along the way, so I’ll have to keep a running journal for the next couple of weeks just to keep track of things.


It’s going to be a hoot.  The kids are seriously looking forward to this vacation.  If I really had my way, I’d take them myself but that’s not happening.  I’d probably have to get a court order to do that as Arwyn wouldn’t let them go.  I did it once before when my oldest was about 3 and not potty trained yet.  It really was a fun trip with just the two of us.  I’d like to have times like that again with the boys.


So I thank you all for the comments and now you’ll have free reign in the discussion forums until I get back.  I may get a chance to check in a time or two but wouldn’t bet on it.


You all stay cool, stay dry (or wet, depending on your preference) and I’ll catch you on the flipside!



I should have known…

June 9, 2007

And probably did but hope springs eternal, you know?


This whole ENQ exercise can now officially be added to that scrap heap; things that I’ve tried that she didn’t bother with.


I was on the spare computer and was in the process of shutting it down when she started getting ready for bed.  I asked her if she had completed the questionnaire.  She sat down on the bed with a rather sad expression and said,I really didn’t know how to answer the questions.




“What do you mean by that?”

“I don’t know.  I just didn’t know how to answer them.

“You mean you don’t know your own needs?”

“No, I didn’t say that.

“You don’t think it’s important?”

“No, I didn’t say that, either.

“So are you going to try?”

“I don’t know.


This is the way theseconfrontationsgo.  I am truly married to the emperor of all that is avoidance.  I am just the junior sith, here.  I have much to learn.



She then walked out of the bedroom just like that.  I was dumbfounded.  Angry but not out of control.  It really is just more sauce for the goose that represents our marriage just stewing and cooking in the fire.


She came it just a bit ago and said she didn’t even know where it was.  It was on the table but I saw she moved it days ago.  She then complained of a sinus headache.  She finally quit looking and looked to be really ready to retire to the couch.



Physical ailments are good avoidant tools.  I’m still working on learning how to employ thebroken wingruse in order to distract from confrontations.  Even if it isn’t a ruse, it sure is the most convenient thing going.  Last week it was her back.  



Thing is, I really am getting more and more comfortable with the idea of a separation of an undetermined sort.  It may be temporary in order to wake her ass up.  Or it may become longer.  We have a place down south GA that is going to require some attention in order to rent or sell.  The last renter stiffed us for about $5,000 before we finally ejected her.  I could have the place paid for in a couple years or so, and could live there fairly comfortable.  



I hate the thought of being away from the boys like that, but things have steadily deteriorated to where I’ve gradually more and more disengaged.



This isn’t just about a stupid questionnaire or survey.  It’s about investment and engagement in the marriage itself, and it is something I have not seen her do, at all.  



What is it about this questionnaire that is so difficult?  Obviously if you don’t know your emotional needs, it could be a problem.  Lack of introspection could slow things down.  I mean you all read my answers and how I thought about them.  Was I too glib about it?  Should it be harder than I made it look?  I know some of the questions and topics were a bit confusing, but we’re not dealing in normative scores, here.  It’s not even on a curve!



This is where that whole openness and honesty bit has so totally broken down.  Or even just the conversation part.  I thought this would be a way to at least start a meaningful conversation or dialog.



Oh well.  



And now you might get some indication of why I think the counseling thing would be such a loser.  Arwyn would simply not disclose anything or participate.  She would get sick, or have an old injury flare up or have some other competing demand.  This is doubly true if it is my idea and my suggestion because she has rejected, foiled and otherwise escaped from every single thing I’ve ever suggested.  Every single one, without fail and without exception.  And I’ve tried a boat load of things.



So this isn’t exactly the high drama I built it up to be.  It’s anti-drama.  



Suddenly I’m not looking forward to a 2 week vacation with this woman.







Emotional Needs: Admiration

June 8, 2007

Finally!  The conclusion of this series on the completed Emotional Needs Questionnaire.  Stay tuned for some drama on this thing.  I’ve been avoiding it but can do so no more.


Unless I can find a way to confront while also avoiding.  Maybe a letter or an email…



Harley defines admiration as respecting, valuing and appreciating you clearly and often.  I rate my need for admiration on the 0-6 scale at a 4, which is somewhat of a great need.  Not as high as affection or sex, but it is a definite emotional need of mine.  When thinking about how often, I think! 1x a day shouldn’t be asking too much.  Is it?  If my indicated frequency is not met, it makes me feel somewhat unhappy.  Certainly unappreciated.


When I rate Arwyn’s level of admiration for me, I give it a -1 on the -3 to +3 scale.  I’m a little dissatisfied and this is because there is more contempt that comes across than anything.  I’ve been using my blogger version of this site to talk a bit about one of my other self-growth endeavors which is weight loss and exercise.  Instead of supporting and admiring my efforts at losing weight, eating better, quitting smoking and working out, she has been negative and complaining.  She hates the DDR music because it is oriented towards the fast dance genre with a severely heavy beat.  So she complains about the music being too loud or will stay on the computer longer or put the boys on it so I can’t use it to work out.  She’s been a scoffer since I ordered the dance pad.


She spent years complaining about my smoking and cited that as the reason she didn’t want any deep kissing and a turn-off from sex.  Both patent lies. 


So my self-improvement gains have been despite Arwyn’s attitude and not because of her support or admiration.


I think I’m ready for another Stepmania update where I’ll extend this just a bit more.


Actually there might be one more entry on this series, as I do have to rate my top 5 emotional needs.  And there’s one that I have that didn’t even make Harley’s list.  But I’ll let y’all guess on that for awhile.  Plus that gives me another excuse to avoid some confrontation.





Emotional Needs: Family Commitment

June 7, 2007

Are we there yet?


Just getting ready for our long road trip next week.  You all get a feel for it by having to endure this little trip with me.  Yeah, I know I don’t usually post this often but with several bloggers quitting or taking it slower or being lazy, I’m just taking up some extra slack, here!


This is one area of the Emotional Needs Questionnaire that Arwyn could potentially clobber me on and it is one area where she does fairly well. 

Harley defines family commitment thus:

Scheduling sufficient time and energy for the moral and educational development of your children; reading to them , taking them on frequent outings, developing the skill in appropriate child-training methods and discussing those methods with you; avoiding any child-training methods or disciplinary action that does not have your enthusiastic support.


Geez, what if you don’t have children?  What if they are grown and out of the house?  What if they are in college?


My need for family commitment is a solid 3 on the 0-6 scale, indicating a moderate need for family commitment.  I would certainly have much to say if Arwyn wasn’t doing the above as it is sort of her primary job.  So how much time would I like her to spend engaged in family commitment?  I have no idea.  I figured 10 hours per week, but she spends far, far more hours on that than anything else.  If anything, I’d rather she spend more time on marriage commitment or maybe picking up the house or even teaching the kids to help maintain the house.  Or maybe affection and sexual satisfaction, but we already talked about those things!


Because she spends more time on family commitment, I don’t have to answer the next question as to how I feel when she doesn’t, because she always does.


On a -3 to +3 scale, my level of satisfaction with her level of family commitment rates a +2.  It’s a real strength for her; however I wish she would spend less of that time running all over Georgia and more of it just at home.  We could save a buck or two and just learn to get along as a family group instead of amongst crowds and traffic all the time.


As I said, Arwyn could definitely clobber me on this one.  I do spend some time with the kids but not nearly enough to suit her emotional needs.  The boys are interested in spending time with me, and I do like spending time with them, but not necessarily them and Arwyn at the same time.  She can be a killjoy sometimes when we boys just want to have some unstructured fun times.  She’d like every activity to align with an IEP or curricular goal or something.


And then there is the year 2020, when both are graduated.  I want both kids to be as independent as possible but she would like to keep them dependent it seems.  She doesn’t want to lose her primary job. And what will we have to talk about?  What will she do then? 


Family commitment is great and important but like everything else there needs to be a balance.



Emotional Need: Domestic Support

June 6, 2007

Hey!  I’m getting close to the end of my Emotional Needs Questionnaire!  Which is good because then perhaps I’ll be able to write about some drama and conversation related to going over it with Arwyn.  Or not going over it.


Domestic support is defined by Harley as creation of a home environment for you that offers a refuge from the stresses of life; management of the home and care of the children – if any are at home – including but not limited to cooking meals, washing dishes, washing and ironing clothes, housecleaning.


I’ve actually written about Arwyn’s domestic skills (or lack thereof) before.  My need for domestic support is a modest 3 on a 0-6 scale.  I can do all of those above mentioned things myself and I often do them in addition to working full time.  I do most of the cooking, all of the grocery shopping and everything outside the house with lawn and garden.  I do dishes and will do my own laundry if I’m out of clothes and Arwyn hasn’t gotten around to washing them.  The problem is when I don’t have time to maintain things, and the place goes to hell as Arwyn and the kids continue to pile dishes up and clutter the house until it is a pig sty. 


As for amount of time devoted to domestic support, I really wasn’t sure what would be fair.  20-30 hours per week, maybe?  I’m not sure, as my needs really are modest.  I just like a kitchen clean enough to eat and cook in and a house I can walk through without tripping over stuff.


When I come home to a house that looks like shit, I do feel somewhat unhappy and will eventually just start cleaning the place myself.  This is a problem with having Arwyn as a room mate: she’s not good at it at all.  She doesn’t pay rent, she doesn’t cook, she doesn’t clean and she messes the place up.  So I’m probably being overly generous on scoring her a -1 in her domestic support.  She does take care of the boys and does do an awful lot of laundry and does the dishes most of the time.  She can and does make a sandwich or put a pizza in the oven for the boys.


So she does not provide enough domestic support but when she does, I’m okay with the way she does it.  She really can clean the place up when she gets the urge.  In fact, when we first got married I was a little worried that I’d married some sort of clean freak! 


I would gladly overlook the lack of clean freakiness if there was even a moderate amount of sex freakiness.  But since there’s none of that going on, it makes living with her all the more pointless.