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!

 

 

 

 


Intimacy vs Sex and Strange Pussy

December 31, 2012

SOMEBODY really found a way to push my buttons!

*grumbles*

The questions (and there are a couple of them here) deal with what is intimacy, and how sex relates to it, if at all.  Oddly enough, my SL GF and I have had this exact discussion.  Since she has a RL BF, she decided to close up shop on the pixel grinding.  In a way, I can kind of respect that.  However her insistence on trying to still hold on to me in a sexless (even a virtually sexless one) gins up resentment that only readers here could possibly understand.

The central gist of this question is to somehow attempt to divorce sex from intimacy.  Our low libido folks will happily and readily chime in “YES!  There are all sorts of ways to have intimacy without having to be naked!”  And they are right.  You can cuddle, hold hands, kiss, go to movies, look into each others eyes, hug, talk about your feelings, and even talk about your problems.  All of these are ways to be intimate.  You can share hobbies and dance and wine and dine your way right into someones heart.

Can sex be divorced from intimacy?  Oh yes!  The entire porn and sex industry is built upon this proposition that you can get a sexual buzz without the bothersome baggage of intimacy.  There was an interesting TED talk on condoms in Africa where they were trying to get guys to wear them to prevent the spread of HIV.  What do you think about before getting a condom?

So there CAN and absolutely is a disconnect between sex and intimacy in the world today.  But is it right?  It probably often is a matter of circumstances.  For spouses separated because of war, or health issues there is a challenge here.  I might propose SL might be a possible solution for some.  Just a thought.  But let’s put the extreme circumstance to the side and let’s look at a more typical situation where there are two relatively healthy people living in the same house and possibly even sharing the same bed.  They can certainly live without sexual intimacy.  And if they BOTH agree, they can be pretty happy.

The problem comes when one person unilaterally decides that this is not going to happen, and the other person simply has a choice.  Live with it.  Or not.  “Or not” is the loaded minefield.

Arwyn made a similar unilateral decision recently.  She made the decision to get another cat.  She has adopted one from her mother previously and I didn’t make a huge deal about it since her mother was not able to care for her and the cat was well-mannered.  It was okay.  I was in on and went along with that decision.  But one day I saw her cleaning the oversized dog kennel and I asked her what she was doing.  “Oh…just cleaning it up.”  I thought maybe she was going to give it away or something.  But a couple days later she had a kitten.  She not only did not consult me, she actively hid and deceived me about the whole thing.  I was pissed.  Of course I would have vetoed the idea and Arwyn knows why.  She had two cats when we got married and in both cases *I* was the one who had to take them somewhere where they would have to be killed.  I flat out told her I was not killing anymore animals.  But now we have two.  The boys adore those cats and I am not mad at them.  I’m as affectionate with them, and its not THEIR fault they were brought in to the house.  But when Arwyn asked me to hold this kitten so she could trim her nails without getting bitten, I totally refused and reminded her that she brought this animal in the house without me. SHE was going to take responsibility.

Intimacy is that two-way street where two people care for each other and look out for each others well-being and interest.  It absolutely takes two people to have intimacy.  you can’t have intimacy between two people if only one person is committed.  I might even argue that you can actually have better intimacy if NEITHER person is committed!  At least there is some agreement.  But that is a rarity.  Usually in a relationship at least one person has some sort of commitment.  Commitment and devotion are the hallmarks of intimacy.  Even if you are both committed to being uncommitted!

So what about sex?  When Arwyn committed herself to making the house as sexless as possible, it was akin to me taking her cat out and shooting it.  No warning, no consultation.  Just take the pussy out of it.  No more pussy.

Now unlike my wife, my SL GF gave me permission to pixelate with other women in SL.  She mistakenly believes that strange pussy is somehow a substitute.  The same mistake is being made here that our friend Strom Dweller makes: That sex is simply some interesting and nonessential little thing  that involves the real or virtual substitution and insertion of parts in order to meet a physical or mental need.  And perhaps this is a distinctly female way of thinking.  That’s not to say men can not separate the two because we do it all the time.  But surely I’m not the only guy that would rather have the intimacy and the sex wrapped into one package deal.  The second one of the partners makes this a nonessential option is the moment when you start breaking down intimacy.  You diminish the other person’s worth and relegate their needs into something nonessential.  And then we run into “OH!  All I am to you is someone who you can have sex with!”  Again, usually it is the female making this assertion to the bewilderment of the guy.  He wants the package deal and indeed thought he was getting the package deal.  But her accusation has just divorced the sex from the intimacy and makes him feel like some sort of lecherous perv for wanting to get naked with his own wife.

That’s not to say that guys can not be lecherous pervs, even with their own wives.  We all now this and I have seen the stories, including Storm Dweller’s, where there were times when she was simply used by her ex.  It’s not usually so simple.  If you feel like you are being used, it’s okay to talk about it.  Negotiate.  Those discussions can actually lead to MORE intimacy.  But most of those who are closing up shop absolutely refuse to even talk about it.  They like talking about sex even less than they like doing it.  At least when they do it, they somehow get it over with and avoid the talking parts.  I mean, what can you possibly complain about if she is actually putting out?  If you have the guts to address the lack of intimacy in the act, you’re going to get your balls handed to you in bits because now she will simply say you aren’t going to be satisfied unless she becomes some sort of porn star.

I guess this hits a nerve because it represents the conscious and deliberate peeling away of sex from intimacy.  As if these were meant to be two separate things.  Sometimes they are, yes.  They aren’t always inclusive all the time.  But my opinion is that these should be the exceptions and not the rule.  There might be circumstances, yes.  But making this “peeling-off” a standard and deliberate practice is like a steady diet of cardboard.  It’s not going to fill or satisfy or even be pleasant to any but the most starved souls.  It CREATES a starved soul!

Hehe…Digger is BACK!


Happy Valentines Day 2011

February 15, 2011

It has been a LOOooong time since I updated. Kudos to you for checking on me…whenever it is that you do.

Seriously, I have really not had anything happen that I found terribly blog-worthy. Perhaps my standards have gone too high, but more than likely I have settled into the dull futility that so many other guys (and women too) settle into after fighting and struggling for years and years.

But tonight it IS blogworthy because it is V-day. Everyone wants to talk about love and romance. My coworkers got onto me because I had not made a big deal out of it. I had bought a card already that was funny and entertaining and witty that our kids I knew would enjoy. Not too sentimental, but cute and sweet. But one of my coworkers convinced to also buy a card that WAS more sentimental.

My wife teaches at a preschool where they hold a huge V-day party every year. She goes to a church where the love of men and women is preached resoundingly every year, altho it becomes more of an admonition toward men then a message of love for both. But in anycase, the message is out there and the airwaves are saturated.

So she was keenly aware of what day it was and the expectations involves. And she also knew how low mine were, but she did make a pre-emptive move just in case. For when I got home from work, she made sure that I knew that she has had a headache for the past two days. Funny she never mentioned it yesterday, but oh well.

And I gave her the first card, the funny one. “Oh…didn’t get you anything” she said as she took it. Byt she opened it and we all had a good laugh as she opened it and the funny cartoon voices told about o’s and x’s being hugs and kisses and not ox, altho you could hug and kiss an ox if you wanted.

But I knew then that she would never see that second card. It would simply induce more guilt and grief on her. The reason why I waited until late in the evening was that if I gave her the card in the morning she would have run out to get one just to keep up…not because she was feeling any particular sentiments toward me.

This used to be a holiday when I thought I could look forward to some romance and yes…sex. It took about 10 years to absolve that notion from me.

I’ll be drinking some wine and be in-world in my second life tonight, definitely.

Hope you all have abetter vday than me!


October Update: New Series on the New Old Blog Edition

October 24, 2009

I’ll try to get to comments before posting this, but the most universal reaction was to Arwyn’s testimony, especially about her marrying me because she thought that is what God wanted her to do.

We have not discussed this, but perhaps we need to. But I’m not sure exactly what there is to discuss. While earlier in our relationship Arwyn did claim that she thought we were together because God intended it to be so, I was under the impression that there was also some underlying attraction toward me. But this seems to be a mistaken belief. Or if there was some sort of attraction, it was very tenuous, at best. Whatever attraction there was, it’s pretty safe to say that it was not a physical attraction. Lots of women have been attracted to me for my mind, my morals, or my sense of humor. But my looks? My body? Not too many, although there seemed to be a few who enjoyed me. At least I have those memories and I have no regrets about them. Being wanted just for my body might get old after awhile, but being stuck in a state of body-lessness gets old in a hurry too. I’m glad I have had times when I could share physical enjoyment for the joy of it instead of for some other agenda. For most of the life of this blog, that agenda was basically her doing me because she wanted me off her back or because was feeling guilty. Either way, not a lot of room for enjoyment there.

As for me, I was trying to get what I thought I had coming, or deserved or just trying to satisfy the proverbial itch. Not a ton of room for enjoyment there, either, as I was always left wondering how long it would be until we would have sex again. Counting and keeping score were all symptoms of that mindset. How long could a body play that game until they drove themselves nuts?
So the result is, is that my sex drive has decreased markedly over the past year. I don’t want to have sex with someone who would rather clean the cat litter box than be naked with me. That’s not to say it has disappeared altogether, but it’s a lot easier to scratch my own itch rather than bother with someone who is so reluctant to do it for me. If it’s that much of a chore, I’m not going to bother.

So I found another outlet, and have been blogging it, but not publishing it. I was wondering where and how, and now I know. Sensual Dementia rides again! Warning: it won’t be safe for work. Bad news for a lot of you, but my long suffering fans of kink are about to hit the jackpot.


August/September Update

September 7, 2009

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.


What does “working on it” look like?

June 16, 2009

We are rapidly approaching the end of therapy, at least for the summer.  Last night, Arwyn and I had a rather  intense exchange about where we are at.  We’ve had these before, of course, and sometimes they get somewhere for awhile and then fizzle out.  Sort of like Farmwife’s garden analogy where the weeds keep coming back if the place isn’t tended regularly.  And the garden of our marriage is pretty lush with noxious weeds.

One of the questions that came out of a recent 1:1 therapy session was this: What would it look like if Arwyn made our relationship a priority?  If she was to really commit to working on it, what would it look like?  I had no idea, so last night I asked her.

A bit of background: for the past few years she’s been working part-time at a church preschool as a teacher.  She’s good at it and everyone tells her so.  She’s just gifted in this area.  She works 3 hours/day for 3 days a week, plus whatever time she puts into planning for it and putting stuff together.  She’s quite thorough and a bit of a perfectionist sometimes.  The preschool follows the school calendar, so sh gets all the breaks the kids get and summer off.  It doesn’t pay a lot, though.  This past spring many of our counseling sessions revolved around the idea of Arwyn considering quitting her job in order to concentrate on our family and especially our marriage.  While I was willing to support her in whatever decision, I had a few misgivings about the idea as in she’d get bored being at home alone and would simply find other things to fill her time.  The financial hit, while small, would involve us sacrificing some of the comforts we’ve started to enjoy since getting out of debt.  In the end, she decided she would stay with her job.

So I brought this up last night, and pointed out that she’s been off for nearly a month and I hadn’t seen any real work on  our relationship or marriage.  I brought up a few things I had tried.  So I asked what she had done.  Every time we have a joint couple’s session, the therapists asks us what we think the other has done to help strengthen our relationship.  And more often than not, I find myself grasping for anything.  ANYTHING.  I’ve come up with her doing laundry, taking care of the kids, sometimes cooking for me and having sex a time or two.  And the domestic chores truly look lame to me.  I mean they are important, but these are not reasons to get married and poor reasons to stay married.  She has a much easier time answering that, because I do step in help with domestic things and occasionally buy little things for her or make things for her or whatever.

But without getting real confrontational, I asked her to help me out.  I could be just really obstinate and blind and missing all the things she is doing for our relationship.  So what has she done?  She had to think awhile and she did come up with one thing.  Back when she bought Fire Proof and The Love Dare.  That was one thing and I definitely used that as an example in one of our counseling sessions back in February.  But she had to really dial back a long way.  She admitted that she hasn’t done much since then and hadn’t picked up the love dare book since she bought it.

We then had an exchange about how hard I can be to please, sometimes.  I didn’t really see this, but I’m more than game to hear here out.  She wanted to me to name stuff she could do to make me feel appreciated and valued as she said she had no idea. I should have just given her (another) copy of my top 20 list.  And perhaps I still will.

Throughout the discussion, she did occasionally venture into “I’m sorry but you seem to want me to be someone who I’m not.”  I’ve heard of other guys getting caught with that one, but I really wasn’t accepting it.  I asked her, “Well, are you happy with who you are?  Are you satisfied with the way things are?”  She said no.  So basically, I’d like to see her be whoever she’s going to be and would be happy to help her get there, but staying the same is not a happy option for either of us.

There was lots of other content here, but sex was not a major part of it, as that just pushes her too far.  And she was on the edge of leaving the room crying as it was.  She does feel a lot of guilt from that so I didn’t feel like pushing it at the moment.  What did come out was that my interest has waned over time.  A lot of the hope has drained away for anything resembling a lovely, regular and fulfilling sex life. I’d still like it, but I don’t see Arwyn ever turning into someone who could want or enjoy that.  I’m just looking for something more basic that says she values our relationship beyond the money and lifestyle I provide.  Then perhaps we can build on that.


Media Free Night

June 8, 2009

In a comment to my last post, MP suggested that we have a computer-free night.  And frankly, that is a wonderful suggestion, except our therapist suggested it first.

And so it was, that we designated Thursday nights as our official media-free night.  That means no TV, no computer or any of that.  Once the kids were in bed, it was just us.  And the first week, it was very, very nice.  There was talking, affection and sex.  It was a nice experience that I was keen to repeat.  But when I came home form work a week later, Arwyn was on the computer.  I figured she would finish whatever she was doing and once the kids were in bed, we would have our media-free night.  But this did not happen as she stated she had a lot of work to complete in preparation for her teaching class the next day for her preschool job.  The next week there was some sort of special event at school for one of the kids that derailed everything and exhausted us both and that was the end of that.  Arwyn just was never able to commit to it just like every other time we have tried to do some sort of date night, special night, couples prayer time or any routine that involves us connecting without the kids.  We do manage to spend a fair amount of time during the week to talk about the kids and schedules and logistics.  But apart from being parents, there isn’t much else going on with and for each other.

My feeling is that Arwyn wants me to just be lying about doing nothing but waiting on her.  And she really could have that but it would take more work commitment than she’s willing to put into it.  So the real story is that she doesn’t want me for herself and doesn’t want me to have a life of my own.