As you can see, the post below was written over a month ago. But I figured it was time to start releasing a few of these things (old unpublished posts) otherwise they might never see the light of day. And this may yet be an important bit of backstory for anything that happens down the line. But don’t hold your breath. This process has been glacial, at best.
Yesterday, we went to our perspective churches. While I was rocking the boat with the Reveal video, Arwyn was listening to a sermon on envy. When we got home, she was keen to talk about envy. It was a pleasant discussion, namely because I don’t have typical envy issues. I’ve never wanted the big houses cars and possessions others might have. Arwyn, OTOH, has struggled with these exact issues. My weight loss and financial plans have been driven by a desire to live better but not in comparison to anyone else.
However, I do have one very deep envy issue. It didn’t come up right then, but it did later.
This morning, I had the boys set up with a video and I brushed my teeth while Arwyn was in the shower. She, in typical fashion, got defensive by cutting her shower short and grabbed her towel as fast as she could. I undressed and got in while she was toweling off and we did embrace and kiss for a bit. But her body betrayed her physical defensiveness. My erection was at half mast as we hugged, her being carefull not to get close to it or touch it. And then I brought up the envy discussion and disclosed my deepest envy.
I envy the physical intimacy other couples seem to have. I don’t fault other couples for having it, but I want it in my own marriage. She listened for a bit and then offered some of the same things I hear every time I try to discuss where we are. She brings up all the past hurt, and that she has a lot of healing to do. I tried to convey to her that she was engaged in hurting me now and I’d like to move on from the past. Yeah, we’ve each done our share of hurting each other.
While this discussion is taking place, she is in the process of getting dressed while I’m standing there buck naked. That earlier erection was long gone. I finally put my underwear back on. She asked, “Aren’t you going to take a shower?”
“We need to talk about this.” was my reply. So talk we did. Or we tried to. The boys began banging on our bedroom door and that put an end to it.
So I’ll see if I can hit the main points…
-She complained that I didn’t seem to want to do things with her and the boys. I told her that it was difficult to spend time with someone who found me so physically repulsive. This is borrowed from 2Amsomewhere. I thought it was very poignant when I read it and still do. She had no real reply to this. Fact is, I’m not turning her on.
– She wants me to go to her church meeting/recovery group to begin working on myself. I told her we would be better served going to see a counselor. Her church does, in fact, have two they have hired one of whom is a Christian sex therapist. BUT, I told her we need to get off the idea of curing one another. Fact is, I have made dramatic changes in my life that have positively impacted my life and hers. However when it comes to marital intimacy, I haven’t been able to make a dent. Her recovery group thing has made zero impact on us as a married couple. She has yet to show up. I’m not keen to join her little cult group. Maybe if I saw some results.
– After some time, she was throwing everything into the conversation. An inability to hold an erection (the result of being psychologically neutered) the fact she had some history of painful sex, the fact that she would never, ever, ever want to have oral sex of any kind, and how she felt like she had been somehow sexually abused by me.
Yeah, there’s a buttload of issues there.
Not very detailed is it? But this is what happens when we have a direct confrontation. It quickly devolves into blaming one another and comparing who hurt who the most. I would like to move on, but Arwyn is stuck, stuck, stuck. Subsequent entries after this confrontation illustrate that I have been trying to get unstuck. Without much success, though. Holiday/year-end madness has reigned. The problem with therapy is that it seems to be process driven, meaning that it has to be done regularly and over a period of time. Like weight training, diet and exercise. However, unlike those other things, it involves regular interactions with a professional making it more like seeing a doctor or lawyer. Or chiropractor. That means an appointment and finding a convenient time. Egad, I can’t even fit in or find time for a 15 minute phone conversation with a therapist! It’s been frustrating, but I’ve been coping. Having Schnarch’s book to read has been helpful but I’ve struggled to find time for that, as well. That thing takes a degree of mental effort which isn’t conducive to late night reading marathons. It’s not like a story that reads itself.
Okay, enough of my commentary. Let Fly.