Where does it end?

March 31, 2008

This week is going to be a busy one, but every week is busy.  That’s just the way life is working out, and that’s okay.  I like being busy with stuff as long as it’s stuff I like to do.

I’ve seriously been thinking about my blogging and my presence in web 2.0.  It’s sort of an expanding universe which has been cool, but also has taken some work to hold together and keep straight.  I’m into a lot of things and am interested in getting into even more things.

I’ve finally caught up on all the episodes of Ichannel, which has led me to thinking about this blog.  In some ways, it has resembled what’s taken place with ‘I’ only not quite so instantaneously.  At times I get all sorts of advice, some of it useful, some witty and some preachy and some snarky.  But it has generally been helpful and therapeutic.  It has enabled me to process and work a lot of things out.  I’m still a long way from having it all figured out or having it all worked out.  Not by a long shot.  Spending more time with my wife and talking and spending time together means spending a lot less time with YOU!  I think most of you get that, on some level, and you’re a pretty understanding bunch that way.  Afterall, it has been a story that has gotten some people sort of addicted to it!

And then it sort of popped into my head: when does it end?  I suppose I can just keep putting stuff up here as long as I have stuff to say (and it seems like I’ll always have to have this sort of outlet).  But I’m wondering how much longer my story lines can keep dragging on.   If my marriage gets half the distance I wanted when I started blogging, it will seriously cut down on the drama ’round here.  Like I say, I’ve miles to go but I’ve just wondered what a good ending for a blog like mine would be.  Would I just mysteriously go doark?  Say a few goodbyes and walk away?   Have a countdown and a party?

There’s no telling how it ends.

Which leads me to one more piece of unfinished business: Xi’s obnoxious meme.  I think the above sentence meets the 6 word criteria, but I’m too lazy to tag anyone else.

Back to the topic: I’m just musing here and there are still things that need to be played out around here as far as my own life/storyline.  I just started thinking about it after watching i:episode 34 and wondering how he was going to get out of the television/alternate universe.  Or maybe he wouldn’t want to leave.  In anycase, he’s finally got some good drama to make it a good story for his audience/participants.

Something may yet happen around here to make it worth reading.  It’s hard to believe some of you have been sticking ’round here as long as you have!

Anyway, thanks for watching/reading!

D.

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Talk Night

March 27, 2008

Yesterday, Arwyn had her next individual session. She had done some work on the ENQ and shared it with the therapist, but didn’t quite finish it completely so brought it home to do more work on it. We had designated last night as a sort of “talk night” where we would talk. Much of this was thwarted by the appearance of an HBO special on autism, which we watched. It was interesting, but really dug into our time as it was two hours long!

When it was finally over, she was ready to talk. Her opener was to suggest that she review her ENQ with me. I was a bit ambivalent about that, since I didn’t have my own copy on hand and thought it might be something we did together in therapy. But she was somewhat insistent and got her paper and read her comments that she had written. I listened as she read the entire thing before making any comments.

  1. Affection: she described her need for affection as being moderate and that she liked and need nonsexual affection on a regular basis. I can’t remember how often she said she needed that, but it seemed higher than what she was offering.
  2. Sexual fulfillment: She described her need for this as being moderate and that she would like sexual fulfillment once per week. This was kind of a stunner, because she has not been giving any indications of that at all. When I mentioned that, she emphasized fulfillment and that without that, she more less figured “What’s the use?” I told her that while it was possible to have sex without fulfillment, it was not possible to have sexual fulfillment without actually having sex.
  3. Conversation: she mentioned that she had a high need for conversation. No surprises there, but again she hasn’t been offering as much as she seemed to be wanting. We do have differing conversation styles, which do sort of interfere with god conversation as I have in the past been known to be a bit argumentative. She did mention that I had gotten better about that in the past few months.

  4. Recreational companionship: she said she had a high need for recreational companionship, and wanted us to do more things as a family. No surprise there, as I’m prone to wanting to veg out when I’m not working. However, this is another area that we’ve making some improvement in past months.

  5. Honesty and openness: she said she had a moderate for honesty and openness, but admitted that she hasn’t always been so good about this herself, specifically mentioning her handling of our credit card crisis. Again, we could point to improvements in this area in past months.

  6. Attractive spouse: She described her need for an attractive spouse to be moderate. She described her past partner/dates as being tall, thin, and neat. I later described them as being somewhat metrosexual sounding, which she didn’t appreciate too much. But my weight loss has helped my score in that area. But I’ve still got quite a lot of the farm boy in me, and I work outside and get dirty and do so without making a big deal about it and am not particularly fazed by it as much as she would like. Oh well. She did specifically mention my farm background being a factor against her suburban semi-sterile lifestyle as being a factor in this, so I got the impression that she was willing to make allowances here.

  7. Financial support: she said she was satisfied with this, although she did say that was not always the case, which led to the credit card crisis. But she does feel her needs are being met.

  8. Domestic support: I thought I was going to get it here, but she did not harp on that very much. She mentioned that we did sort of have an agreement about this early in our marriage that she would clean if I cooked and was okay with that arrangement. She talked a bit about the clutter that gets out of control at times on her own end. Her own mother was somewhat compulsive about keeping a clean house, and she tried for awhile to hold that standard but decided she was driving herself crazy trying to do that and I agreed that it was not worth all the stress that standard caused.

  9. Family commitment: she had a high need for family commitment (no surprise) and admitted that things had gotten better here, but she did want more in this area. The fact that I was with the boys while she did her church meetings and step studies did score points here.

  10. Admiration: she had a high need for affirming words, and this was probably a big weakness for me where I need to work harder. I can be overly critical and stingy with affirming words, so this is an area that I definitely have room to grow. While there have been some improvements, I know I need to do better.

After a discussion of the ENQ, we talked a bit more and then got into some hugging and kissing. It was getting late, thanks to the whole HBO special, but she seemed game. We really needed to get over this next hurdle, and so we worked on it. She shut the bedroom door and we both got naked. She kneeled up in bed, waiting for me to lay down so she could get on top of me but I was not having that. I wanted it to be different than the standard script. So I sat up and she got up in my lap, facing me and we just hugged and kissed like that for awhile. Not a lot of genital contact there, but that was not the idea here. T was intimacy and connection, and we seemed to have that. It was just two naked bodies connecting and it was very nice. She did comment after awhile that her knees were getting sore so I laid down and she got on top. There was some grinding around and she mentioned that all the antihistamines were probably making her dry, which has been another chronic problem. But I don’t see her going for any real solutions to that, such as lube of any sort, but we’ll see.

She was grinding around on me and I was getting over heated and holding an erection was challenging. Much of it as just psychological pressure (and a hideous lack of practice) but it was also that this position was a bit too submissive to maintain for the whole time. I told her this, so she let me mount her from the missionary position, and this did work a lot better for me as I was able to get inside of her, with a bit of work.

Love-making/sex has always been a pretty silent/solitary/serious type of thing for us, but we did talk a lot more this time, the two of us. I really did like that, as it did change the dynamic and made the experience a more intimate one for us. I don’t think she had an orgasm, but she did say it felt pretty good because she could better feel me inside of her. She thought it might be because she had tightened up since we hadn’t had sex for so long. I didn’t comment a lot on that, but was thinking that we never did have sex all that much to stretch her out. She tried squeezing and asked if I felt she was tighter and I said that I honestly really had no memory of that, but it did feel good.

No money shot in this scene. Sorry!

Afterwards, we did cuddle and talk a bit more, but it was getting late. She went to the bathroom and took a quick shower and I slept the best I had in months. If we could get more practice, I can see there being a lot less pressure and tension and maybe more fun. As it was, it was a good experience, which is more than I can say for other encounters I’ve had with her and she would likely say the same.

Of 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 around that we didn’t last time, but it is going to still require a lot of focused effort. Maybe this is where the counseling effort can kick in, as it at least looks like we are getting some where with it. It might be akin to Dumbo’s magic feather.

Thanks to all who commented on the last post. I especially appreciate the women who stepped up, having had similar-type experiences. Yeah, Hazel, I did think a lot of you. That’s why you always made my blogroll, because I figured your views were the closest to my wife’s! To be honest, I nearly disabled comments there, because I knew I was blowing off a lot of steam, which is what I do here. I’m going to talk about all sorts of vile things, like separation and divorce because writing allows me to process my thoughts and experiences. It’s a far cry from actually doing it, tho. How long did I contemplate counseling before actually doing it? There’s no rush to do anything, here, but I’m also not going to skulk around, and hide. I want to square off on the issues, not retreat. Not talking honestly about it in my own online forum would be silly and just an exercise in self-avoidance. And I’m tired of being an avoider.

D.


My Two Choice Dilemma

March 22, 2008

When I got home from work last night, I had worked out and was physically tired.  However, getting in better shape and working out does help me mentally and emotionally and I find I’m more resilient under pressure.   I’m going to need every bit of it.

Qrwyn started earlier in the week working on me and trying to talk me into going to her church with her and boys for Good Friday services.   I was very reluctant, but she voiced how this was important to her and I figured it wouldn’t be that big of a deal if I went.  I’m willing to sacrifice in order to make my wife happy and, even though I was tired, this would be a comparatively minor sacrifice.  It was a lovely service that included all the kids and it really did fit the mood and tone of the evening, where they showed some clips from the Mel Gibson movie set to music.  Pretty graphic for the youngsters and was probably the most violent thing MY kids have ever seen.  But they did really well, despite some yawning toward the end.  I don’t many people at this church, but I do like the ones I do know and the music they sang was from more traditional hymns that I actually knew the tune for and the words were on the big screen.  They did have the big wooden cross in front and had everyone take communion in front of it.  It suitably marked the occasion which I should probably blog about but will leave that for others more capable than me.

Which might be pretty much everyone.

We got home and it was past the boys’ bedtime so they were quickly put to bed.  I was sitting in a chair just thinking, and Arwyn sort of sidled up and said, “Are you just going to sit there all night?”

Hmm.  Okay…

I was tired in anycase, and got ready for bed.  Then Arwyn stated her intention to go to sleep.

Oh.

It wasn’t even 9:00 so I considered the possibility of going back to the computer for a bit as if I go to sleep before 10, I’ll be up at 4.  But I decided that we at least needed to talk.  My opener was to ask her how long it had been since she was baptized, “Almost exactly a year ago, right?”  She stated that it was.  Regular readers might remember that it was also around this time when we had sex for the first time in over a year and what would turn out to be the last time in over a year.  I also asked her about the ENQ and she said she intended to fill it out.  Hopeful sign there.

We were both lying in bed, holding hands and then embraced and kissed for a bit.  I was stroke=ing her back and hair and she was stroking my back.  This went on for quite awhile and I was feeling less tired and more aroused.  She said she wanted me to talk, but I was at a loss as to what she was after.  So we talked a bit about the church service and then she asked the question, “Do you ever feel like you’re at war with God?”

Funny question, but I was keen to answer.  Basically, yes.  At times, it seems like God is a very sadistic Being who seems to put an enormous premium on suffering.  The Bible is all about people who have suffered at the hands of other people, at their own hand or even at His hands.  Whether or not God causes suffering can be questioned, but unquestionably He allows it and uses for His own purposes.  So, yeah, I struggle and grapple with God on any number of fronts.  However, I also subscribe to the view that a lot of the suffering we endure is largely of our own making as our fight with God is more of a fight with our own selves.

She seemed satisfied with this and didn’t really follow up accept to stress the importance of trusting God.

There was more intermittent kissing and hugging and general making out.  I wanted to make love to my wife this night.  As my hands wandered under her shirt, one hand got into the forbidden zone which would be anywhere near a nipple.  She grabbed my arm and moved it away and I asked her why.  She said it made her feel uncomfortable.

There was a long period of silence interrupted when she announced she had to  turn off some lights and take a decongestant.  when she returned some minutes later we sort of resumed the kissing and then she said she was tired.  After some silence, I asked her, “How can you say that you’re interested in sex?  I don’t get it because you don’t seem to ever want it!”

She said she was interested in only having good sex.  Which led to the next burning question, “Just what exactly would good sex look like to you?”

“Well, I can’t go for an hour.  An hour would be too long.”

“Okay, an hour is too long for you.  That still doesn’t tell me what good sex looks like for you.”

“Well, I’d like to be satisfied>”

“Oh, you mean you’d like an orgasm!”

“Yes.”

“And that’s been a problem for pretty much most of our marriage.”

“Yes.”

“And you’ve gone on our entire marriage without mentioning this?”

“Yes.”

“Because you were afraid of hurting me?”

“Yes, that’s a big part of it.”

She was not telling me anything I didn’t already know or suspect, anyway.  I was past  being hurt by that.  But the next round did put me squarely in the two-choice dilemma.

“So you want to have more orgasm?” I asked, trying to reinforce the point.

“Yes, but I don’t want them through your hands, through your mouth pr through any mechanical means.”

“Which pretty much means only through intercourse.”

“Yes.”

“Only about 1 in 5 women have orgasms that way.” I countered.  I was pulling the statistic out of the air, or so I thought.  As it turns out, I was just about right. (that’s the youtube link, here’s one to the text.and here’s one byDr. Phil.

” I have had them in the past.”

“Well yeah, when you and your partner were  both younger and in better shape.  We’re both older now, and in different shape. ”  I did not point out that I was in better shape than I was when we got married or that the pubic bone she liked grinding up against was now more exposed for her enjoyment thanks to the weight loss.

But I went in a different (and perhaps predictable)  direction.  “Have you ever had an orgasm with me?”

“Yes.”

“Have you ever faked an orgasm?”

“I don’t think so.”

“So you want good sex, where you have orgasms, but if it isn’t just intercourse, you don’t want it. You don’t want me to use my hands because it makes you feel uncomfortable.”

“Yes.”

“So that’s why you’re uncomfortable using your hands on me.”

“Yeah, that’s a lot of it.”

“So if I ever got injured or paralized, sex would pretty much be over.”

“Yeah, I guess.”

It’s now midnight, she’s tired and I am frustrated beyond words.  Sex tonight is out.

As she falls asleep, I lie awake, wondering what the future holds for us.  It seems impossibly bleak to me beyond words.  Basically, I’m not going to have much of a sex life (if any) with this woman unless she decides to change.  She shows no signs of changing or maturing or developing sexually.  I’m changing the things I can within myself and I do try to do things she likes but she seems unwilling or unable to reciprocate.  She wants orgasms but is unwilling to to let me out of the procrustean bed in order to accomodate her.

So basically, I can

a. Stay with her, and totally sacrifice my sexuality and my integrity as a sexual person but my family remains somewhat intact

b. Leave her,  and sacrifice my family but keep remnants of my sexual integrity

Or wait around hoping that an option c becomes available.

D.


Another Year; 1:1 Counseling

March 19, 2008

It was my day to do the 1:1 session with the counselor.  For the past couple of weeks, the ENQ kept popping into my mind, so I decided that I needed to talk about it.  In fact, right be fore I left, I took my completed questionnaire with me.  I’m very glad that I did.

This session, like al the others, involved getting the counselor up to speed on things.  This time it was about some things I’ve tried (like Relationship Rescue, praying togeth and a few other things, but notably NOT the cage) as well as how our daily routine generally runs and why it’s hard to find time to talk.  The one hour whizzed by faster than about any other I’ve ever been through.  Next thing, he was saying “Well, we’ve only got a few minutes left of our time…”

 

Wha…??

So I took out the ENQ.  He said he was familiar with it, but with a little more questioning I discovered he had never laid eyes on one before.  He was keen to have it, so I gave it to him.  I can always do another one.  There was some discussion about how that was one more attempt by me to move things along and how Arwyn did not follow through.  He was keen for her to do one and I said that I would speak to her about it and he said that he would also put in a word, if she wouldn’t listen to me.  He said that he does have couples do a similar questionnaire but his wasn’t as in-depth as the one I had by Harley.  I got the distinct impression that I was going to have to keep goosing this guy to get things moving.  We talked about whether we should have a joint session next time or do another seperate round.  I opted for another separate round, in order that Arwyn could get a chance to do her own ENQ and that we might actually have something significant to discuss when we came together.  I voiced some concern about where we were headed and whether or not we were actually going anywhere.  I can’t remember his exact response, but he agreed that we could benefit from another separate round of counseling.  Maybe he was making more headway with her than me.

I’m thinking that perhaps next time I might go ahead and bring up the cage/chastity play as, if nothing else, it might make these sessions feel more interesting.  He’s the only Christian therapist around, and I’m thinking that he might benefit from broadening his horizons a little bit.  He might discover a new favorite kink;-)  I do like him, despite the feeling that we’re sort of dragging/drifting along.  He’s very skilled at active listening which may endear him more to Arwyn.  I’m just wondering aloud here if I might have had better luck with a female therapist since they are often better at confronting women than the men are.  Or maybe they might be better at confronting, in general.

Heck if I know.

In other news, our roof is fixed just in time for more weather.  Arwyn also had a few minor medical tests/procedures done and I’m glad everything went okay.  I never know how exactly to react to these health things, as she has always had several different things going on at any given time.  I try to act concerned because I am, and I’m equally relieved she was able to be treated so easily.  But empathy and emotionalism isn’t my strong suit  I know she doesn’t like it if I don’t act sufficiently concerned and I don’t think I made the grade this time around because we were so busy with other things (counseling being just one of them).  Oh well.

Happy anniversary; another year of involuntary celibacy.

D.

 


Blown Away

March 17, 2008

Just a short update on stuff around here.  For those of you that were hoping for something more profound in my podcast on my other blog, stay tuned.  I’m putting something a bit more significant together that better extends my own thoughts and feelings, but it might not be posted for a bit because life is busy.

Speaking of RL, we did have one of those tornadoes decide  to touch down in our backyard.  Maybe 60 seconds of terror and it was all over.  I felt it before I heard it, as the walls started shaking.  The power blinked but it was otherwise okay and by the time I tuned in to the TV, it was over for us.  We had some minor roof damage, but that will be fixed today thanks to a neighbor who has some roofing experience.  Our neighborhood seems to be the only one that was hit around the county, as most folks were grousing more about the hail.  We got that, too, but not quite as scary as a twister.  Everyone was shook up but okay.  The kids slept through the whole thing, lucky for them.  There were a few trees down and a carport and a porch was lost, but the houses all held up pretty well.  Georgia gets as many tornadoes as anyone else, but we tend to get them spread around the year as opposed the northern folks who get them in April and May.  Having lived in Ames, which is part of Tornado Alley, I’m no stranger to these things but it has been awhile since I’ve been that close to one.  It’s a lot scarier at night when you can not see when it’s coming.

Other news…

Last week, after Arwyn’s counseling session she was keen to talk, so we did for a bit.   I don’t feel like we really got anywhere, tho.  Her stance mirrors what a lot of you have said in that all this is going to take time and that the sex will just have to follow along behind trust, and closeness and other intimacy.  My stance is that one of the problems is that sex follows behind everything and therefore gets left behind every time.  It could help build trust, intimacy and closeness but she’s not on board with that.  This week is my week with the therapist and I’ve got a head of steam built up about it that maybe we can work on.  She did say that he did bring up the “sex stuff” so at least he’s not ignoring it altogether.  If his specialty was in any other area, avoiding would be a major issue.

Okay, time to get to work on the video!

D.


Multimedia

March 11, 2008

Yep, I’m getting ready to do it. Actually it’s almost finished, already. I just have to decide on what format will best work and where to put it. Right now it’s sort of looking like it will be on the Blogger site.

What is it?

It’s my first ever podcast!

So be on your toes, because it is coming soon.

D.


Connecting?

March 7, 2008

The counselor called in sick this week, so there’s no update there with that.  This has put us in a bit of a holding pattern, or so it seems. 

He did bring up one thing last session that we have not followed up on at all.  He said it might be a good idea to reconnect with some sort of “date night” type of activity without the kids.  It’s a good idea on the surface of it, but we’re having a hard time with it.  First off, there is an issue with childcare.  Arwyn is quite fussy about who can or can’t watch the kids so we don’t get out very often as a couple which is pretty typical of parents of children on the autism spectrum.  We haven’t had an overnight trip without them since they were born, unless you count when the second one was born.  The childcare issue makes for a pretty convenient excuse, but it’s not the only one.  In fact it might not be the main one.  Our kids are not bad kids at all.  In fact, they are better behaved than most kids that I know because Arwyn and I are nothing if not vigilant.  Other kids may be free to terrorize neighborhoods, restaurants, grocery stores, churches and the like, but not our kids.  They do have spastic periods of running around and acting like crazy kids and they have both had meltdowns.  But we’re always there and they do not do it while we are out as a family or we won’t be out.  They have firm boundaries and limits and when we had a babysitter last week (a friend of Arwyn’s from church) she commented on how well behaved they were and they really liked having her over.

No, it is not just about childcare.  It’s about US, and the fact that there isn’t a lot of US there.  Apart from the kids, we just don’t have a lot going on as a couple.  So the few times that we do end up going out sans kids, we always, always, always end up talking about them.  Even if they are not there, they are there.  So why pay someone to watch them when they might as well be there? 

Sometimes we can have conversations that do not include the kids.  Sometimes the conversations are about us, when WE were kids.  That’s one reason the last session was so boring, because Arwyn and I had been there many times before.  Yeah, I know the therapist hasn’t so I get why he needed to hear it. 

We talk about work, the neighbors, and lots of logistical things like we need to get our roof fixed and the lawn reseeded and what we want to eat for dinner all week.  But we are in need of experiences or interests that are ours and unique to us.  She doesn’t like movies or books very much.  I’m not much into Discovery Health or American Idol.  She’s not into LOST or Battlestar Galactica.  I’m not into Spider Solitaire or autism bulletin boards and she’s not into blogging or Age of Empires.  She’s not into politics much at all.  We do have some pretty good discussions on religion and spiritual things.  We can’t really talk about sex, which is a big part of the reason I blog about it.

With sex off the table for the moment, we are in need of quality time together.  We just aren’t quite sure how to do it.  So what are y’all doing to stay connected apart from kids and logistics?

D.