Taking A Step

May 11, 2013

“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out of your door,” he used to say. “You step into the Road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there is no knowing where you might be swept off to.
J.R.R. Tolkien


All journeys begin with a first step of one sort or another.  And tonight, we took one, Arwyn and I.  At least this is how the therapist put it; taking a significant step.

We had not met with our therapist for several weeks, not since the session right before the movie.  You DO remember “Date Night” right?

I had honestly been thinking about our little homework assignment since that time, but we have both been so busy, it would have been such a contrived thing.  But I went back and forth on it.  Arwyn is who she is, which means she is not really a sexual creature, at least with me.  I honestly could not see how I could do anything meaningful to change anything.  The 3 weeks passed and in that amount of time, Arwyn and I did have a few battles about money as we are in full-blown house reconstruction mode.  And there are ooodles and oodles of decisions to be made and all of them involve money.  My opinion of Arwyn’s handling of money is not very high at all.  In my mind, giving her a large pile of cash is like giving a teenager a bottle of whiskey and the keys to the car.

These money squabbles were discussed some and it was amazing how she claimed to have discussions that we didn’t have.  Arwyn has demonstrated before that she is willing to engage in deception, if not outright lying, but sometimes my brain CAN get addled.  But not about money.

We moved from the money and got into a discussion about our sleeping arrangements in the new house.  Here in our temp house, I have been in my room/office and she has been upstairs in the master bedroom.  This is similar to what it was before the fire.  So for quite some time, we have kept our own spaces.  Even before that, you might recall that she slept in the inverted sleeping position for years and years.  Here’s an old post from the old blog in order give you a little idea as to what those days were like.  I look at a few of the comments from back then, and see the truth I could not see then.

I stated that I really could not see Arwyn and I sharing space, much less a bed together.

At this point, I think our therapist went back to parsing out what was happening.   This was not something that was just a year or two or three in the making.  She started asking when and how long this business of seperating and the lousy/sparse sex had been going on.  Let’s see…our youngest is 11…so a good long while.  So she asked Arwyn how long she has been sexually disengaged.  Arwyn went back to about 1999.  When the therapist asked her if she could envision sharing a bed or having a real sexual relationwhip with me again, Arwyn stated she could not.

So how did I feel about that?  This happened to be the therapists question and I had to think a bit.  Honestly, I felt slightly relieved.  It was a truth I had been feeling for a very long time.  It was actually some relief to have it right out there.  And that answered the question about sleeping arrangements.  We were each keen to have our own space and this new house would enable that as we had closed off an area to make an office about the size of the master bedroom.  That would be my space.

“You do realize this is the first step to you no longer being a couple, right?”  Our therapist was making sure we understood.

I pointed out this had been a matter of fact and truth for a very long time.  At least now we were being explicit about it.  It was now an honest move, and perhaps one of the first real and genuine ones Arwyn and I have made in years and one that we both agreed on.

Many of you saw it coming a long time ago.  Some did back in 2005, but I felt like I had to give it my best.  And I really think I did.  But Arwyn had already checked out years earlier.  Whatever I did was too little or too late and nothing I did could dent that wall.  This does not mean there is no caring between us.  Or even a love of a sort.  But we are definitely not in IN love.  Not as what I would construe as husband and wife.

Our therapist seemed to resign at this point.  Neither of us were fighting or contending for this marriage.  I suppose as long as one of us was willing to try there was always some hope.  But I’m spent and have not the energy for a campaign or long siege.

I readily admit that the first few years of our marriage I fucked up.  I was pretty horrid and useless and Arwyn suffered for it.  But I did spend time trying to atone for those early sins.  And I did suffering of my own, long and mightily.  At some point, the suffering ceases to be instructive and is simply pointless.  That doesn’t mean I won’t continue to suffer.  But at least it will be in my own space.  And maybe…perhaps…it will lessen slightly.  We can finally be honest without the pretense and the charade.  I just don’t have the energy or time for that.

Ain’t nobody got time for that!





Just some New Year’s Thoughts…

January 1, 2009

I saw a question on the christian Nympos blog that really perked my ears up where a guy asked how he can tell whether or not his future wife will be a Christian nympho:

Since I’m not supposed to have premarital sex, how can I tell if a woman will be responsive on a regular basis after marriage?

How does one find out if a girl is sexually healthy, active and willing to experiment with out sleeping with her?

Of course I did comment and you can read the edited version of it on their website. It was edited, because I included a link to my own site weighing in on the topic with considerably more detail.

I feel kind of bad about that link being stripped out, but I also sort of know why they did it, since many of those things can not be known until after one actually has sex, and having sex outside of marriage is wrong. But with just a bit more investigation, it is apparent that while their site may be a great help to many, they really are not too interested in being an open community. No trackbacks or even links to commentors own blogs. And that makes me feel a bit bad for the guys who are asking questions over there, because those women are mostly there to help and support other women. Oh well. Keeping folks like that on the RSS is just an act of frustration. Good resource but women like my wife have absolutely no interest in a site like that.

I’m rereading the Schnarch book, as the insights gained there were so key to the progress Arwyn and I made last year. It enabled me to not be so defensive and handle the rejection better which eventually began to help her move in a more positive direction. While the therapy sort of jumpstarted things and brought some accountability to bear, we have not managed to get to any real depth in almost a year.

This past year, I did manage to meet some important goals:
1. We did break the 2 year sex drought and intimacy went forward before it slid back.
2. I got my weight down to a low of 187 before gaining back to 207 Still working on it.
3. The weight gain was largely caused by quitting smoking. Smoke free since July.
4. Other than the house, we are Debt Free!
5. I’m playing solidly in the standard level in Stepmania
6. Still on Supaeasy on FoF (which will work with any PC compatible guitar controller)

So, much progress has been made over the last 12 months, it will still take a lot of work to maintain these things. I could light a cigarette today and still enjoy it. And the weight creep and debt creep are constant threats. But the intimacy battle is the big one.
2009? Who knows? I like the idea of continuing to reinvent myself in new ways and become a better me. None of these things would have happened without God providing the means, the strength and the grace to follow through. Only God knows the plans He has for me and it is going to be an adventure no matter what.

Hoping the best for all of you in 2009!

Fun Things to Do

October 11, 2008

Arwyn and the boys were out of town, and I had the place to myself for almost the whole week, Monday-Friday. They got back Friday afternoon and I was really glad to see them. But it was also nice to have a week where I could do whatever I wanted. And I really did have fun.

– 1 bottle of wine (That took a coule of days)
– 1 6 pack of beer (As a tribute to the first Republican VP candidate…also took 2 days)
– 1 gallon of ice cream. Butter Pecan + chocolate almond. That took less time than either of the alcoholic beverages
– 1 pound dark chocolate M&Ms
– 1/2 pound cashews
– 3 rented DVDs (American Pie Wedding, Jurassic Park 3, 300)
– Catching up on other’s blogs and commenting – while buck naked
– Getting my blog traffic back up by starting a flame war
– NOT smoking
-Rode a couple miles on the bike

Looking at this list, it’s pretty clear that I tend toward being self-destructive and excess when she and the kids are away. But I also did do some bike riding and didn’t smoke, which is good. The smoking bit was actually really, really hard which is probably why I indulged in other various vices. But Arwyn does help me be a better person and want to be a better person. By the end of the third day, I was ready for her and the boys to come home. It was a nice break, but I’m glad its over too. It was like a mini-vacation which made me appreciate what I have even more.

And you can only imagine the weight gain this week. Egad, I have some serious work to do right through the holidays to make up for this one!


July 31, 2008

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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.


Okay, okay, okay

February 11, 2008

Alright already!


Nothing like telling the entire internet that you’re going to do something to put pressure on a body to actually do it, is there? And then the comments that dug it in, I was feeling like my back was against the wall!

But that’s sort of why I did it that way. I needed to corner myself in order to make escape futile. And it turns out that things just might fall together just right in order to make this happen in a profitable way. We’ll see.

I just happened to have some real loose time on my hands this afternoon where I couldn’t get any work done or already had done what it is I was trying to get done. I made that call and got right through to the fellow that I needed to talk to. He seemed nice enough over the phone. He sort of outlined his schedule and then we sort of got things together where I have an appointment next week. And it just so happens that Arwyn’s mother will be in town so I’m hoping she’ll be able to watch the boys for us if I can get her to go in for that initial consultation. Arwyn’s probably going to be feeling some king-sized pressure but this does put the ball squarely in her court. When I tell her about this, she’ll have to decide to go or not to go which will give me a more definitive answer as to her commitment one way or another. I suppose she could agree to go and still not be committed, but it would at least show a willingness to go through some motions which we haven’t even done that much up until now.

I did ask him his approach and he told me all about how he uses family systems, and likes to go back a couple of generations on the family system. This is a red flag for me, because while I see it is useful to learn from the past, one can not live back there. This is one reason why the 12 step approach seems so impotent to me is because Arwyn is spending all of her time back there in the past while ignoring the clear and present threat where she is at. I asked him if he had heard of Schnarch and he said he had used some of Schnarch’s material in his training so there was at least a glimmer of hope there. Remember his specialty is Christian sex therapy, so it will be interesting to see how he applies his eclectic tool kit here.

I was nervous as hell making that call, but felt better after making the appointment. But now I’m nervous as hell telling Arwyn about it.

We’ll see. Hang on to your butts.


Happy Thanksgiving!

November 23, 2007

Up, down, up,
When I up, down, touch the ground
It puts me in the mood
Up, down, touch the ground
In the mood for food
I am stout round, and I have found
Speaking poundage wise
I improve my appetite
When I exercise

I am short, fat and proud of that
And so with all my might
I up, down, and up and down
To my appetite’s delight!

Lyrics and music by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman

Or Happy Thursday to those outside the U.S.!  The above is a tribute to a fictional character who I once thought had the right attitude towards weight loss and food.  It’s still cute, but not very healthy.

I’m thankful that I had to actually locate something that I hadn’t used in so long I had completely lost track of where it was.  After sitting in my thinking spot for a bit, I finally remembered where it was, and was able to find….my umbrella!  We actually got a nice rain today, here in Georgia.  We need about another week os showers just like that since we’re still at least 15 inches below on the year.

Forgive me if I don’t personally respond to the avalanche of comments below.  It really was useful to see the various comments and compare different reasons for staying one and not going dark.  I think I fall in the category of blogging as sort of therapeutic.  I would (and do) write anyway.  In fact, there are many time a post never even get published because I don’t have the time to properly edit or finish it out.  But I like the feedback, and even the snarky comments serve their purpose.

I think I have many themes that are fair enough game for blogging material that Arwyn could care less about.  But my relationship with her is the overarching one that has always been the pervasive and constant.  I would be interested to read her side of the story if she ever cared to write it, but she is not a writer.  She’s not much of a talker, either.

We have had a Talk about some issues, but I’m not sure it will result in anything.  That’s one of those unfinished posts that may not see the light of day.  And that is the frustrating thing because we do have these skirmishes but nothing decisive.  Even if it looks decisive, it really isn’t.

So anyone reading this for the past couple years has to be feeling a lot of frustration over that lack of movement.  There’s no plot development here!  As the principal character, I’m certainly feeling a lot of that, even though I have other parts of my life that never do get published.

So I’m going to continue to blog when the mood hits, but I’m really and truly looking to move things along somehow. That’s really what I want: some sort of resolution to this story!

So that’s what I’m going to be working on.  I am going to work on resolving this relationship story line to a point where it isn’t the biggest issue, anymore.  I suppose a disaster could come along and completely turn things upside down– That’s NOT what I’m looking for!  I just tire of the Talking and then Nothing.  That just isn’t working for me.   So I’m taking some small (but significant) steps to see if I can move things along.  I may end up dumping those unpublished posts here once I have some movement on that score, but until then they are just frustrated ventings.

Thanks to all of you for reading and contributing!  I’m thankful for  the dedicated folks who still stick around.



October 8, 2007

The number in the title does no justice to the twisted journey it took to get there.  I’m chomping at the bit to get below 200 and so have been breaking certain rules.  One of them is weighing myself more than once per week.

At one point,  was down to 201.8.  Hey, hey!  I was feeling pretty good at that point!

But then we went on an overnight road trip.  Which means no exercise and eating out.  I tried being good.  Really.  But a couple of fast food sandwiches and fries later (I thought the Diet Cokes would offset–no dice) I got home and step on the old scale and it reads 207.2!


I spent the day mowing the lawn AND stepping for at least an hour. And eating salad.

Fiber is my best friend.

There’s one other resolution that has been going, going gone, and that has been the whole smoking thing.  I’ve not been doing so well the past month, gradually getting back into it all over again.  So I’ll have to get out of it all over again.  I feel like I’m trying to fight a war on too many fronts at the moment.  I’m sticking to the weight/exercise thing because, well, there’s some cash on the line.  There is with smoking too, but that isn’t quite as direct.  It’s a slow, gradual thing so I’ll have to think about some way of keeping score with that and get motivated again.

But there’s just something about a good smoke after an intense workout, you know?


I guess that’s just me.   Or maybe if they had smoking areas at the gym they’d get a lot more members.