August/September Update

Where the heck did August go?

I’m glad I set myself up last post, as there were blog-worthy things that happened. I actually did rough one out, but never posted it. Maybe I’ll post it on one of my other blogs, just to hold those places open.

Let’s start with the counseling. I’ve been on the fence about continuing that for quite awhile and was seriously considering ditching it altogether. However, I was willing to go as long as Arwyn was willing, even though we weren’t able to go at the same time very often due to childcare issues. As it turns out, I didn’t have to quit at all. The therapist did! He is actually taking a job somewhere in Alabama, and Lord knows those people need the help over there. So we signed a release that allows him to talk to one of two replacements if we should decide to continue later on. But Arwyn and I agreed on taking a break. Once school started, things got hectic and busy in a hurry and counseling was just one more stressor. I think we did make some good headway, and I think we still might have things to work through but it was time to let this guy go and so it worked out just right.

Arwyn’s birthday was a bit of an event that inspired a blog post . But there was a little drama involved in that she annually chooses to shoot for the moon as far as gifts. She usually asks for something that seems outlandishly expensive. Sometimes I can work on a bit of a compromise, but this time it was just a no go all around. I had already gotten her something that she really needed (but didn’t know she wanted it until she got it) before she put in her request. It just seems a bit tacky to make a birthday into some sort of gambit to get more stuff. Maybe I should employ the same ethic only employ it toward more sexual adventures for my birthday! Otherwise, it went over pretty well, I think. It’s always hard because I feel like I’m not measuring up to expectations. And that’s why I don’t use the pressure tactic because I know what it feels like.

The wedding anniversary was a very low-key thing as it also coincided with the first day of school and there was a ton of business around that. Somewhere during that time, Arwyn also gave a testimony at her church for the 12-step type of recovery service they have there. I went in order to be supportive, even though her church is not my usual gig. And I got quite an earful. Of course a lot of it was stuff we had talked about in counseling but this was all her presenting it from her perspective.

Basically, she said that she did not marry me because she had any deep abiding love for me. Rather she believed that this was something God wanted her to do. So while it’s nice to know that she is willing to follow the Lord and all, I’m the equivalent of being sent to Ninevah, Ethipopia or Calcutta. I have no idea what she expected, but as time went on she became more and more angry and bitter. She also shared that she had lustful feelings toward others. I have no idea who that might be, but that was new and novel knowledge. So it was not surprising that while I was kicking around the idea of divorce or escape, so was she. However, she knew she was in no financial position to leave, so she hunkered down. She credits being part of teh church and the recovery group as being key in her turning herself around.

While she has made some great strides, I wouldn’t call it a regeneration by any stretch. But maybe it’s something that can happen more gradually. We’re all works in progress!

And the sex: well, we did have sex once since I last posted. It had been quite a while and it was late on a Friday night and we began getting amorous. Then she said, “Do you think we could have some time tomorrow night?”

“Sure, if you want to.”

She took some exception to that statement, “Well I would ask if I didn’t!”

But of course whatever is said on Friday with the best of intentions can be very, very easily undone by anything happening on Saturday. For instance when she wakes up and begins complaining about a sore back. Or something else happens and can kill the mood. But to her credit she did come around, albeit after quite a long wait on my part. But I was prepared to have it happen or not happen. Whatever. Anticipation can be wonderful but it can also be awful when expectations are dashed so often. It’s a lot easier to NOT get hopes up and be willing to let it happen or not happen. And once it did happen, it was really great.

But let’s be honest: this is not a sex life. These are nice sexual events. I enjoy them when they happen. I’ve found other things to occupy my time and thoughts. Sex just isn’t such a huge deal anymore. That’s not to say it will never be, but at the moment I’m not begging.

Here’s just one more thought rustling through my mind at the moment:

It has been abundantly clear that Arwyn has not had anywhere near the sexual attraction toward me that I have had for her in the past. I still think she is stunningly attractive. But me? Not so much. Part of my lack of sex drive is the fact that it’s pretty certain no one else is thinking of me in a sexual way. We can all imagine we’re God’s gift to womanhood, but once you get into middle aged that becomes even more of a delusion that can only be sustained with a considerable amount of cash and flash. And so, I’m thinking that I’m pretty lucky that Arwyn wants to have sex with me at all. But I’m not convinced that she really ever wants to, really. I think she can enjoy it once she’s in the moment, but it isn’t something she has ever looked forward to or anticipated. Not with me, anyway. So I look forward to gardening, reading, Farmtown or watching reruns on Hulu. It’s not very exciting blogging material, but that’s where i am right now.

11 Responses to August/September Update

  1. Dave says:

    A lot happening for you, even if it seems from your writing tone that you’re feeling it’s pretty low-key. Hope you keep working things, whether or not you decide to use another therapist or not; and, as always, still wishing she’d start showing some interest for you.

  2. FTN says:

    First of all, the testimony at church? Wow. It’s great that she was able to get in front of people and do that, but geez, that’s some stuff towards you that just seems really… awful. The marrying-you-because-she-had-to? The “lustful feelings for other people”? How on earth are YOU supposed to react to stuff like that, shared in a group? Are you supposed to stand up and say, “But it’s all okay, because look how wonderful and happy our marriage is NOW!”

    Also… I’m impressed that you are able to keep your expectations tempered when it comes to sex. Like you said, anticipation is wonderful, but if history has shown that it often ends in a huge let-down, it is sometimes best to keep things low-key.

    “But let’s be honest: this is not a sex life. These are nice sexual events.”

    Hmm. Yeah. That is much too true, from how it sounds. But hey, there is something to be said for nice sexual events, right?

  3. Cat says:

    I agree with FTN on the testimony wow and how awful for you. It bugs me that you feel you are so unattractive and you seem to just be accepting Arwyn’s view of you as the gospel. But then I understand that you are in this marriage for the long haul and at some point you have to find peace with things as they are. I just wish there was a way to do that without thinking you don’t deserve a healthy sex life or should expect your wife to want you sexually.

  4. Desmond Jones says:

    Yeah, what the others said about the testimony. If it was me, I’d be inclined to follow up with her, “So – tell me more about how you didn’t love me, but married me because God wanted you to.” I’d partly want to know, “Why the hell would you do that? And why the hell would you think that’s what God wanted you to do?” I’m not positive, but in the Catholic church, that could be grounds for an anullment. . .

    That actually explains a lot, though, doesn’t it? I mean, it’s sorta the interpretive key to most of your married life. . .

    But you know, by this point, you’ve both got an awful lot of your lives invested in each other, to say nothing of a couple kids together. I wonder if some sort of Golde-Tevye ‘we’re in this together’ realization isn’t possible. . .

  5. 2amsomewhere says:

    Basically, she said that she did not marry me because she had any deep abiding love for me. Rather she believed that this was something God wanted her to do.

    It is often said that the defense “the devil made me do it” carries no water. Does the same standard apply to for claims pertaining to the Divine?


  6. farmwife says:

    I’m sorry, I find that totally disrespectful on her part. Church or not, that’s not the kind of thing you stand up in front of a group and talk about!

    Honestly….I don’t know how you deal with it every day.

  7. aphron says:

    Wow! What an admission. No wonder the latter half of your post sounds so depressing. It’s amazing how others can affect our self-esteem…if we let them. I would say that is a horrible reason to marry someone. In effect she is saying that she doesn’t love you, but you are an albatross to worn around her neck as some sort of penitence? How the boards did shrink!

    I think it may time to have a a serious dialogue about the state of your marriage vis-a-vis her statement. How can anyone be expected to put a 100% into working towards improving one’s marriage, when they know they are simply nothing more than God’s obligation. I applaud her honesty, but she should have told you years and kids ago.

    End of rant.

  8. Emily says:

    Well,personally Arwyn’s comments don’t surprise me because I am unpleasantly familiar with the “God told me to marry you” line from certain churches. They mean well, with this myth that God operates a personal marriage bureau…

    When I was 18, a guy who I actually was genuinely interested in told me God had told him we should be together and get married. Luckily for me, the relationship ultimately collapsed anyway, especially after I decided that I didn’t think God actually planned weddings between people who didn’t love each other and that I wouldn’t marry someone on that basis, anyway.

    But still, I would have found this hurtful – have you spoken about it since?

  9. Trueself says:

    I’m sorry, but hurtful is hurtful. I can’t believe she said that with you present in front of any group even if it was a 12-step type group at a church. If I were to pull a stunt like that it would be with one purpose only — to publicly humiliate the person about whom I spoke — and my guess is that was her purpose in it.

    I think you are being far too hard on yourself in the last part of your post. It sounds much too much like something I would say about myself in my martyr moments, and we all know I’m way too hard on myself.

  10. Val says:

    Wow… that public revelation was a bummer! (TS already beat me to the punch, so to speak, w/her insightful analysis)
    If I were forced up front to “confess” (I have to put in a minor plug – at least in the Catholic Church, we keep our confessions private!), at least I could admit to desperation coupled w/a generous percentage of True Lust (vs True Love) which motivated my remarriage – I freely admit I didn’t invest enough time & effort really getting to KNOW my 2nd husband (except in the Biblical sense, nudge nudge wink wink); that failure to communicate complicates things to this day…

  11. diggerjones says:

    AaaaaHHHHH! I left you all hanging!

    Well, I haven’t a lot to add, except I’m kind of with you as far as the universal admission she made about the “God told me to marry you” thing. Not so much that she told strangers (I’ve heard similar testimonies at this place before, so it isn’t too shocking. But the fact that there really was not much in the way of real genuine physical attraction helping God’s plan out. Or that He happened to leave that part out of His plan. I don’t remember that coming out quite that way in counseling.

    The result is that I’m not so game to do much with her, sexually. If she’s thinking “Oh God, no…” I’m not interested. And I really haven’t gotten many vibes to the contrary of that.

    Thank you all for reading and commenting!

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