198.4

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Yep, that’s what the scale read last weekend when I stepped on it. I knew that my weight had crept up over the summer and could feel tightness in the waist and my knees were starting to protest. It is high time to get back on the program.

There are several reasons for the weight gain. One is the gain associated with travel and eating junk on the road and then relatives being alarmed at my new skinniness and determined to fatten me up. After we got back, the bad habits sort of continued on as the quality of my foods declined while the quanity increased. Arwyn’s home made carrot cake actually has a decent amount of fiber in it but the cup of sugar and cup of fat kind of negate most of that. And the ice cream we put on top of it definitely didn’t help my cause.

Ah, Arwyn’s birthday! I’ll take a pit stop on the weight treadmill and get into that for a minute. I did not give her my 20 list, and opted for a sentimental card and handwrote some sentimental thoughts in my own screechy-scrawly handwriting. I also got her a $25 gift card for iTunes so she could get songs for her mp3 player. Unfortunately I had no idea Apple’s DRM would make getting the songs from her computer to her non-over-priced iPod player more difficult. I found a way to do it after much frustration. APPLE, YOU SUCK! I used to be a Mac person and didn’t have a lot against Apple until this crap. If I hadn’t found a way around it, it would have rendered the iTunes card worthless! Next time we get online music, it will be through Amazon, ThankYouVeryMuch!

We also went out to her favorite restaurant for lunch where she could get her favorite streak.

After all this (Cake, cards, gift card, defeating the evil DRM) and making it as restful of a day as possiblr for Arwyn, she was angling for some more stuff. There were a couple of CD’s she wanted, but I was trying to make sure we had enough money to get through payday. I was a bit put off by her angling for more. Yeah, I know what she really wanted was a new digital camera, but I couldn’t afford to buy one without going into more debt. We just finished a 3,000 mile 3 week vacation! That plus the car insurance was due…we did real good staying totally afloat this month. So I was not keen to buy more stuff. While she sort of seemed to understand she also seemed a bit pouty. Sorry.

Back to the weight treadmill…

A year ago, I was determined to lose a bunch of weight and I did it. But there was a bit of cheating going on in that I was smoking regularly the whole entire time. So while I was eating healthy and exercising and shedding pounds, I was also feeding my addiction. Part of my big weight was from trying to quit the year before. I was successful for quite a while (about 10 months or so) but gained on top of being already overweight until I was obese! So this time, I went down to my pre-nonsmoking weight of 220, and then kept on going. In the back of my mind I knew I wanted to make another run at getting rid of the addiction. I was sick and tired of behaving like an addict, hiding my habit from my wife and kids. Arwyn knew and made it known that she didn’t like it one bit. But she didn’t nag me terribly about it, she might just make coughing noises from across the house when she heard me come in from the garage or make a production of turning on all the fans when I came in from outside after a smoke.

So, the vacation was prime time to quit smoking. I made great strides until we got to my parents’ house and then was at it for a few days, but lighter. But once we got back, I’ve been smoke free. I have this $50 gum that I chew after meals when I’m really jonesing, but otherwise it has been cold turkey. It has not been easy at all. I miss those bloody things, believe it or not. Going back would be easier than gravity. But I’m making a real go of it. And I’m going to try to keep my weight from blowing up while I’m at it. So I’m back to the step mat, and some controlled eating (although not quite as radical as before) and this time without the smokes. And without substantial support from Arwyn. It was that way with the weight loss, too, even though she has expressed some appreciation of being able to wrap her legs all the way around me when we’re in the missionary position. I quite like that, too! But it has not happened since the night we got back from vacation. It’s not all on her, as I’ve been busy and not made it easy to initiate with me. And our joint therapy appointment was cancelled this week because we couldn’t get the childcare thing arranged.

But I wouldn’t say we’re doing badly as much as we are in a holding pattern while life starts to take over. We really could use a date night away from the house and kids.

Would my 20 things list be better suited to an anniversary card? That’s coming up pretty soon.

D.

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9 Responses to 198.4

  1. So Gone says:

    I think the 20 List that you posted last should stay in therapy. I keep thinking that maybe you want to say these things to her sooner than later, and that’s why you keep wanting to give it to her? Or maybe you think that the list will be ‘lost’ in therapy and she won’t really hear what you think?

  2. FTN says:

    “she has expressed some appreciation of being able to wrap her legs all the way around me when we’re in the missionary position.”

    Hey, I think that would be all the encouragement you’d need!

    “our joint therapy appointment was cancelled this week because we couldn’t get the childcare thing arranged.”

    If I lived a bit closer, I’d be happy to help out. Surely you have a reader or two in the area that could lend a hand? 🙂

  3. Schweeney says:

    I’m not sure how much cigarettes cost where you live but in my neighborhood they are well over $4/pack. That alone should make the gum affordable depending upon your smoking habit. Then once you are done with the gum you can start saving for the camera ;).
    Good luck. I quit over eight years ago and have no regrets – except that I didn’t do it sooner.
    Oh and what restaurant serves her favorite “streak?” That made me giggle on a couple of levels too juvenile to share.

  4. MP says:

    Save the 20 List for therapy, whenever more of those items are actually happening again. Until then, it’s going to read like a ‘Things You’re NOT Doing’ Nag List no matter when you give it to her.

    To get some of those things happening again, I’d suggest complimenting her on whatever she DOES do during sex, even if it’s minor and timid. Maybe she doesn’t realize that some things make you feel more valued as a man or person, and that it’s not just physical. If she’s sensitive about such things, DON’T make a big production out of your compliments – just simply say, “that felt nice – it made me feel X” to acknowledge her efforts, and hopefully it will encourage her to try more next time. After a couple months, maybe you’ll be able to sneak in ONE of the things on your list (whichever would likely be most agreeable to her), as “you know what I was thinking about”, matter-of-fact pillow talk after sex, when it doesn’t put her on the spot or seem like an immediate request.

    Have you ASKED HER if she would mind if YOU joined her upside-down on the bed? Even if it feels weird at first (what difference does it really make which end your heads are at), you’d get something you claim to want (sleeping in the same direction), without HER having to change something that makes her more comfortable. Maybe she’d be touched by your efforts/request.

  5. C-Marie says:

    HEY – I’m suppose to be in GA towards the end of the month – you can hook me up with the chitlin’s. No Sweat!

    Yeah – what SoGone said; the list should stay with the therapy sessions.

    Good Luck on the weight loss – I know it isn’t easy.

  6. Dave says:

    Good for you, for the weight control and the quitting! Two of the hardest things we do to ourselves, is get into positions where you need to change your eating/exercise, and quit a useless habit.

    Kudos to you man!

    I’ll just echo the other comments, about the list- keep it to therapy.

  7. Mu Ling says:

    Great job on quitting smoking! I did it a few years ago and I know how hard it is. You will feel unspeakably good about yourself once you’ve done it. I’d never go back.

  8. diggerjones says:

    Well, So Gone, part of it is about not being an avoider. Part of it is about being able to say what I really want to say without the feeling that I have to censor myself. I guess we’re not quite there on the intimacy bit. But we’re closer.

    Yes, FTN, the leg wrapping is a pretty huge turn on for me. That’s big incentive to keep the ice cream at arm’s length…mostly. Blogger babysitting? Perhaps, but if we lived closer and you babysat my kids, you’d probably expect me to babysit yours. And I don’t think I have the stamina for that!

    I think I’ll leave “streak” in there, as it is kind of funny, Schweeney. Yeah, I got 170 pieces for $50, an dI’ve still got quite a few left. I find that I’m into them mostly after I eat or when the craving hits particularly hard.

    MP, the list was supposed to be things she *used* to do that I liked or does do or I’d like for her to do. The therapist gave the assignment, I didn’t! But I thought the sentiments were warm (some sort of steamy) but not particularly disagreeable. They are sentiments I WANT to express. Not being able to express them is incredibly sad. Are you saying that if you’re spouse had similar sentiments to express you’d rather just not hear them at all or very sparingly? Where’s the open communication in that? I’ve tried the switching thing. She uses a blanket too small for both of us, gets annoyed, switches back around…avoidance. It’s just something I deal with and I’m getting better about not getting resentful over it.

    C-Marie, you *really* want chitlin’s? Go to Yatesville, GA during the last week in October when they consume 2 tons of the stuff.

    Yeah, you know I’ve struggle with both of those things for quite awhile, Dave. And I’m just going to have to keep struggling.

    Good for you, Mu Ling! I’m still at a one-day-at-a-time phase with this. I really like the smoking but I don’t like what they make me become– an addict.

    D.

  9. MP says:

    No, I’m saying (again), “Save the 20 List for therapy”. If “Stuff I Wish You Still Did, etc.” is an assignment FROM the therapist, use it as tool FOR therapy, as intended. She probably EXPECTS to hear and discuss deficiencies and ways to improve the relationship there.

    Most people would consider an anniversary a celebration of what you HAVE together as a couple, not of what you DON’T HAVE. If my spouse gave me a laundry list of primarily sexual things that I was failing to do on a ‘special occasion’, I would feel ambushed and pressured and wonder WHAT, if anything, he/she thought was worth celebrating.

    The IDEA of the List isn’t the problem – the RESULTS are – ONLY 2-3 items out of 20 are currently applicable. Think about it: if SHE gave YOU an approval rating of only 10-15%, would YOU feel appreciated or loved or valued?

    I understand that you are trying to tell her how much you appreciated her doing all those things in the past, and that it seems like a positive thing from YOUR point-of-view, but I don’t think that is how it will read from HER point-of-view. If SHE thought the other 17-18 sentiments were warm and steamy and not disagreeable, wouldn’t she still be DOING more of them?

    You can still communicate openly without defeating the PURPOSE of the occasion. A list of IMPROVEMENTS in the marriage during the last year – POSITIVE things that ARE happening or she IS doing that you enjoy – would be much more appropriate on an anniversary, IMO. Tell her how much it means to you that she has been willing to go to therapy; that you are enjoying spending that extra time with her each week, focusing on your life as a couple; that you appreciate her efforts to rekindle the passion, and that you feel the two of you are making progress; that you look forward to spending the next year working together as a team towards an even stronger marriage. Try to make your anniversary about your love for her, rather than about sex with her (or lack thereof).

    In regards to the sleeping situation, it sounds like you are making the same kinds of excuses that she is. Try taking it in baby steps: Turn around, but use separate blankets for several days or weeks. Then, once she is comfy with that, try getting a blanket big enough for the both of you. After awhile, try sleeping with your arm around her, or spooning, if she likes that kind of thing. Don’t attempt to add sex into the equation until the rest of it is comfortable. If she feels like she gets pawed at everytime you sleep in the same direction (and she doesn’t like that kind of thing), then no wonder she turns in the other direction.

    Really, I applaud you (and Arwyn) for making a sincere attempt to improve and save your marriage when so many other people are having affairs and just giving up. Hang in there.

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