So What?

It has been a little while since I updated as there has not been a lot to talk about. While it has been relatively drama free it has also been relatively thrill-free, if you catch my meaning. We’ve been doing the counseling bit about every other week and the “accountability” factor of that has faded away. Arwyn went on a 4 week “Daniel Fast” and I guess sex was on the list of forbidden things. And now we’re into lent, so I’m pretty sure she’s going off sex for that, too.

There was one interlude/incident in there. It was around Valentine’s Day, of all times. V-Day itself wasn’t much to talk about. I did get Arwyn a card and a new computer moniter, which she should have gotten around Christmas but someone from UPS stole it. She did nothing for the day…not even a card. But I wasn’t expecting much at all and so the day passed in typical fashion for us, which s to say not much romance in the air. But early the next morning, I woke up to her rummaging around…locking the door and basically getting naked. Then she climbed into bed and actually got under the covers with me and snuggled right up on me wrapping her arms and legs around me.. It was a really nice way to wake up! I can not remember the last time she woke me up that way, but I was sure to express my appreciation and again during the next counseling session.

Our counseling sessions typically begin with him asking us to name anything the that we noticed that one spouse did to strengthen the relationship. So Arwyn typically names something that I did and I name something she did. Sometimes I have a really, really hard time coming up with anything even when we haven’t met for 2 weeks. I know he is going to ask this question so I am constantly looking for stuff. And I find I am having to dig really really deep to come up with anything. Last session, I was reduced to praising her for doing all the laundry. It was the only thing I could find! If she had made even one meal for me, I would have had something better. It sounded lame, no matter how good of a spin I tried to put on it. “Well, it just helps me to have the week started off right by having all of my clothes clean and not having to worry about it.” It was hard even sounding half way enthusiastic. That’s not necessarily all about it being her fault for not doing anything as it is me not seeing and appreciating it so much. After we exchanged ideas of how the other one strengthened our relationship, we moved on to how we might have done something harmful or when we screwed up. This was a lot easier for me and seemed more difficult for Arwyn.

Arwyn did buy the DVD of Fireproof over a month ago. She watched it as soon as she bought it and then I watched it later. I believe the movie might have been panned by some other neighborhood critics and there is some justification for that, especially if you are looking for a Hollywood movie. However, this thing was shot and made in Albany, Georgia with a cast of total amateurs. Kirk Cameron was the sole Hollywood actor, and I’m probably not the only one who thought the rest of the cast probably out-acted him. His leading lady, who also doubled as a make-up artist, did a fine job as well as the rest of his co-stars. But one spin-off from the movie is the book The Love Dare which Arwyn also bought at the same time as she bought the movie. This did get a mention (by me) in a counseling session as a positive move, but that was it. She either hasn’t read the book or read it and hasn’t decided to do anything in it. I haven’t read it, but then I’m also not the one who spent money on it. I suppose I could read it and do all the stuff in there, which is what I’m sure Arwyn would very much like. I’ve ran into a lot of people (mostly women) who have bought the book hoping that their spouses would read it! IMHO, that totally defeats the purpose and the spirit of the exercise. If you don’t want to do it, fine. But don’t waste money buying a program for someone else that you aren’t willing to do. And this is pretty consistent with Arwyn’s M.O., where she knows what she wants ME to do while not necessarily investing a lot in our relationship or at least as far as I can see.

Sounds pretty negative, doesn’t it? Thing is, the counseling has taken us to a certain point and now we’re just sort of hanging out there and not moving forward. We’re pretty close to not doing it any more as we’re stalled and childcare is about to be an issue again.

What else?

I’m still smoke free and haven’t thought about it much for a few months. But I could pick one up today and totally enjoy it.

The weight is a big battle, still. I’m at 207, give or take a pound so those skinny pants I bought last year are pretty snug. I’m not sure how I’m going to get back on track with that.

Money-wise, we are in great shape or in the best shape we’ve ever been in. Job is decent, the kids seem healthy so things are okay. I’m not complaining, which is probably why I’m not posting so much!

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11 Responses to So What?

  1. Rosie says:

    Interesting or odd — that you didn’t mention here some of the things you named that she had done for you to strengthen the relationship.

    Really wonderful about the smoking, the finances, the kids, and you know you can do the weight loss thing. Congratulations on all the positiveness, though there is still the very large VOID. And that is sad.

  2. Dave says:

    It’s too bad that you have to look so hard, to find things to notice- that’s hard, when it’s so misbalanced.

    Good for you on the smoking, and the money- and good luck with the weight, hang in there.

  3. aphron says:

    Digger,

    Something I’ve been noodling around has to do with control. Control of others to be exact. I’ll be posting on it more in a while, but what I’ve come to realize is that expecting someone to change or even meet in the middle is not going to happen. Eventually, things boil down to either I learn to live with it and try to make the best of an imperfect situation, or I get up and leave. Personally, I believe that is one the main reason for the high rate of divorce. It is unfair to expect the other person to do what we want. It would be nice and all but expecting becomes demanding which leads to resentment which leads to break up.

    I’m not sure I’m any help. Your marriage is almost the opposite. Sex, or physical intimacy, isn’t our main problem. We definitely are not lacking in drama.

  4. Desmond Jones says:

    Eh, what the heck, Digger. . . What does it hurt for you to pick up The Love Dare and start doing some of the stuff? Even if she bought the book with the specific idea that she’d like to see you take up on it, doesn’t that communicate something worthwhile, if you actually go ahead and take her up on it? One of you has to ‘go first’, and there’s really no point to playing the ‘why should I go first?’ game. Or am I missing something?

  5. Digger Jones says:

    Hey, Rosie! Well, I did mention a couple of things but I’ll re-list here things Arwyn did to strengthen our relationship:
    1. Picking up the movie and the book were nice gestures that let me know she was at least thinking about us.
    2. That swell post-V-day sex, and I specifically pointed to the enthusiasm she seemed to show for it.
    3. Laundry
    4. Letting me sleep in
    5. Being on board with the finances and helping us save

    I don’t know how unbalanced it is, Dave, but it does *seem* pretty lopsided to me.

    I do think control (and submission) are components of it, Aphron. I agree that relying on the other person to change is going to lead to disappointment and resentment. That doesn’t mean they won’t change, but sitting around and waiting for it is a mighty frustrating exercise. My more recent tack is to try to change my own head around. Not easy at all. It’s almost easier waiting for the other person to change!

    Desmond, I’ve picked up an entire library of books and gone through them all. I have actually gone through a couple others SHE bought and never finished. I’ve thought of picking this one up and being the one to start things (yet again) but I’m not in that headspace at the moment. And it’s only been 5 or 6 weeks, so I’ll give her a chance. If she ever did decide to do it, I’d rather not have read it beforehand so I could respond to her in a more natural and nonjudgmental way.

    And thanks all for the encouragement on the positives.

  6. Xavier says:

    Try as you might, you can only cause a change in yourself. Regardless of your efforts, she has to choose for herself whether to respond and how to respond. My advice (that you’re gonna hate)? Do the right things and expect nothing in return. Do mor ethan you think she expects from you and do it freely. While this hasn’t resulted in me getting what I want, it has transformed our marriage into far more than it was before.

    Hey, that’s greta news on the smoking, finances, kids, and work!

  7. So Gone says:

    I gotta agree with Xavier… I’m reading “The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands” and it advocates such behavior. Regardless of how you feel about the author (or the message she writes about), it’s a good thing to think about. Positive things bring about more positive things, right?

  8. Cat says:

    Well in this economy having the finances and the job ok is a huge plus. I am sorry to hear about the lack of progress though. I always feel like I am bringing a cup of coffee or something when I comment. Nothing helpful to add just the whole “I am sorry to hear” but at any rate I am.

  9. Digger Jones says:

    I’m not surprised at what you’re saying, Xavier, given your latest series of posts. And there are days when I do better with that than others. You might be doing the right things but you also are gettin’ somethin’ on the side…don’t act shocked! You and that new Deere…I see you gushing all over her!

    Thank you for reading my book, So Gone! I wrote that, actually. Okay, I wrote IN it…just my copy of it. Dr. Laura captured SO many of my recurring themes in there so perfectly. I annotated it and gave it to Arwyn. She skimmed it and never touched it again. The only people who read books like that are gals like you who probably don’t really need it. But you might consider reading her “Stupid things women do….” book. I mean, her target audience there is women, not that you’re stupid or anything.

    Thanks for bringing the java, Cat! I’m thankful that the things that are going good are doing as well as they are. There is always something. It’s probably good that other areas (like finances) are stable which makes the intimacy deficit easier to live with.

  10. Xavier says:

    Hey, one must get satisfaction where one can find it …. jealous much? 🙂

  11. So Gone says:

    I am actually more interested in Dr. Laura’s thoughts (and other books) after reading “Proper Care…” It opened my eyes to alot of things that I honestly never really thought about before. In my mind, Arwyn could benefit greatly (as could your marriage, and thus, your kids) from reading the book and taking some of it to heart, and to task.

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