Is it possible to have a happy married life without any intimacy?

February 11, 2018

A couple of things have lead to me making a post here.  One was a fellow who commented on this post from April 2007 (yeah, almost 10 years ago!).   The other was another online forum where the title if this article was the question.  Below is how I answered that question.

I haven’t had any physical intimacy with my wife since 2009. I quit initiating and that was that. For 13 years I had begged, struggled and tried to alter all manners of my own behaviors and attitudes in order to make her want me. None of it worked. We went through 2 separate rounds of marriage counselling and her attitude did not change. She might want intimacy, but it’s not with me.

It’s very difficult being married to someone who treats you as if you are undesirable, unattractive and generally unappealing. I went through all the stages of grief from being hurt, to being angry to finally some semblance of acceptance. We now sleep in separate rooms and lead parallel lives, more or less.

So while I would never describe what we have as a “happy married life” that doesn’t mean I’m never happy. There are a couple of keys that have helped me be okay with this arrangement that I would never have chosen 20 years ago if I knew then what I know now. But honestly it isn’t all bad.

First I asked myself this: why would I want to be intimate with someone who seems to find me repulsive? My answer to this helped shut down all the begging and mental contortions I was putting myself through in some sort of vain attempt to get her to put out. I set out to reclaim myself and my own self-respect. I found other interests. Frankly the world is over pre-occupied with sex and guys are too willing to do stupid, ignorant and dangerously offensive things to get it. It isn’t worth it. And I can have intimacy with other people that don’t involve sex.

Secondly is this maxim: Just because you aren’t making each other happy does not give you license to make each other miserable. I still do things to take care of my wife and go out of my way to not cause her unnecessary grief. She’s not a bad person for not desiring me. In my most candid of moments, I’m not always keen on myself either! She’s allowed to have a preference. I don’t really desire her much anymore, either. But we can still function as a parental team and as just decent human beings. We don’t really argue and fight at all. But if we do, I am in a better position because I’m not as prone to emotional games and blackmail as I was 10 years ago. I stand on my own two feet and demand respect and am just as happy to give it back to her.

I’m a stronger person for all of this. I appreciate the life I have instead of pining for the life I could have had or should have had. We put up with each others faults. But the only intimacy we really share is our past and our history which isn’t all that great. No hugging, kissing, touching — but we’re also not unkind. It’s a rather odd and rather autistic relationship but we’ve somehow made it work longer than most other couples we know.


MGTOW 2 – The Party Line: Replying to Tim’s comment

September 19, 2015

Two posts in less than 2 days — something I haven’t done in about 5 or 6 years!  Thank you so much, Tim who commented on my last post and inspired me to come back to what could be an enlightening discussion.  Or just me looking foolish.

You can read Tim’s unabridged, complete and comprehensive treatment of MGTOW in the comment, but I’m going to put it below with my own responses here.  Others who have an interest can feel free to chime in the comments.  This is why I began blogging in the first place was because I wanted to have conversations about topics like this without being censored.  I’ll admit to being relatively new to MGTOW (or the singular version- MGHOW) but so are a lot of folks reading this.  Let’s get on with it:

Tim says:

Many people deride MGTOW because, in a gynocentric society, women are given priority in all things. Because of our heavily gynocentric system, women walking away from their traditional roles is equated with empowerment – while men walking away from their traditional roles is equated with misogyny, insecurity, immaturity and fear of women. See how that works? Shame men for being strong and independent – but praise women for the same. Likewise, women speaking of their freedom from the slavery of marriage is considered empowerment – while men freeing themselves from women’s destructive power is considered misogyny, insecurity, immaturity and fear of women. Again – men releasing themselves from women’s destructive power is derided – while women doing the same is hailed as liberation.

I think this is one of the best, most cohesive descriptions of why MGTOW (and other groups like it) exist.

Much of media and religion is setup to brainwash men into gynocentric robots that can’t be happy unless they’ve been validated by women. MGTOW is a direct threat to this power over men; hence MGTOW will be frowned upon by most women and a sizable portion of men. MGTOW isn’t a movement. We don’t have leaders to be attacked. MGTOW is a mindset.

I’m going to have some things to say later on in a future post about the role of religion in this, because modern day churches have set themselves up into gynocentric institutions, despite protestations that it’s supposedly a patriarchy.  There could be some debate about whether this is because women took it over or men simply abdicated but it’s safe to say that most houses of worship are hostile places for men.  I also alluded to the establishment of monasteries as perhaps the earliest roots of men going a different way from what society might otherwise want for men as self-sustaining communities that were able to exist and thrive apart from women.

The MGTOW mindset reverses the gynocentric brainwashing of men and introduces men to a lifestyle not dependent on female validation, freeing men from the all too frequent life destruction that accompanies giving women power over their lives – particularly through the most gynocentric of institutions – marriage.

90% of men’s life problems evaporate if they do but one thing – never give a woman psychical, psychological, emotional, legal, financial or spiritual power over your life. Nevertheless – media and religion push men to do just that – put their balls on the chopping block for women to destroy. Funny how that works. What would life be like for men if most didn’t give women this life destroying power over themselves?

Can you be married and be a MGHOW simultaneously? Can you be a smoker and a non-smoker simultaneously?

Hehe…well if there is a way to be a smoker and non-smoker simultaneously, I’m doing exactly that.  I’ve been vaping for a couple of years.  No fire, no smoke.  So maybe the analogy works better than I would have first thought.  Sure, I’m still getting nominal amounts of nicotine and possibly a few other foreign substances (I mix my own juice so I know exactly what is going into my tank) but it is not nearly as destructive as what I was doing before.  I LIKED smoking, even though it was bad for me.  But there was such an enormous overhead with the analog cigs that I was no longer willing to pay.  Burning the house down– that helped too.  But the bottom line is that I’m still engaged in part of the addiction but at the same time not as much and am in a better position to control my own habit.  I decide hoow much nicotine I get and have been decreasing it gradually to the point where it’s less than a third of where I started.  I’m working on it.

So I suppose as someone who is looking at being a MGHOW, I’m a recovering blue pill addict and doing it in the same purposeful, deliberate manner.  Weaning myself out where the emotional devastation that usually accompanies a man who gets blind-sided with divorce will be minimized.  The financial fall-out might take a bit more preparation but it’s the same.   The ‘nicotine’ of most married guys (or those seeking relationships with women) is sex.  That is the hook that women can use to catch and reel most guys in, and then they keep him strung out like a junkie, giving just enough to keep him hooked but not enough to keep him satiated.  In this way, I’m already ahead of most MGTOW fellows because I have been without for 5 years.  I quit begging for my fix and have learned to live without.  The overhead of sex just isn’t worth it.

MGTOW aren’t here to shame men that got married – we’re here to enlighten men on the increasingly destructive nature of relationships with women. Many MGTOW are divorced men or men that have otherwise been badly burned.  In the past 50 years, in the US alone, tens upon tens of millions of men’s lives have been destroyed by women through divorce. Every year, in the US alone, tens upon tens of thousands of men commit suicide. A man’s suicide rate skyrockets as a result of divorce – while women’s suicide rate following divorce remains static. 95+% of alimony and child support go from men to women – yet women are strong and independent. This massive, forced transfer of wealth (legalized theft and destruction of the patriarchy) has been going on for decades.

It’s right here where the voice of the presently married guys need to be heard.  MGTOW is dominated by 2 groups; the guys who have never been married and woken up before they got hitched and those who got burned.  In both cases, it’s people who have been disengaged by choice or by circumstance.  Those of us still in the kettle have a seat at this table because while the case is masterfully made about how divorce destroys the lives of men, there is also the effects it has on children.  And about half of these children are going to grow up to be men.  There is something to be said for trying to reverse some of the brainwashing and trying to raise boys who are more independent thinkers.  Guys capable of going their own way.  The guys who have no children can’t do that.  The divorced guys can, although part of the tyranny of family law is that often the role a father plays in the child’s life is marginalized after divorce, and the mother is then able to complete the indoctrination process unhindered.  Think about it: they spend an entire day in public schools where 95% of the teachers are women.  They go to church where women run the show and then go home to mom.  There’s no counter-balance except for those of us who are still in the mix.

Watch the debate on the Safe Campus Act. It will be extremely telling if it fails. If it does fail, with nothing similar to replace it, women will have won carte blanche to have men expelled from college after they have regret-sex or get dumped by their college boyfriends. Soon after that, women will push to have the same removal of men’s rights to presumption of innocence and due process enshrined in the criminal justice system – just as they’ve done with the VAWA. [Links add by me – DJ]

In the case of the Safe Campus Act, women won’t gain anything by the defeat of the bill that they don’t already have.  But both pieces of legislation cited above do point out the hazardous nature of being a man in our country today.  But they came about because of the hazardous nature of being a woman.   One of the unique things about MGTOW, compared to those who have advocated turning the clock back as traditionalists, is that it is moving forward in an assertive and non-violent way.  One would think that feminists who oppose violence against women and the objectification of women would jump on board and get behind this.  MGTOW is an anti-female objectification mindset.  It could be nicknamed the “Stop-thinking-with-your-dick” mindset.  It’s guys thinking with the wrong head that mostly gets them in trouble in the first place when it comes to women and often the violence comes when they aren’t getting what they want from the person they want.

Thanks for commenting and contributing, Tim!


MGTOW – Where was I when this party started?

September 19, 2015

Howdy ho!  To whomever is still around…

I knew I would be back here at some point because I keep seeing articles and news stories that catch my eye and I think “Gosh, these would make some good blogging topics!”  But the rest of my life would get in the way or I would get busy binge-watching old episodes of Survivor.  For the past few days I’ve been watching videos and visiting sites relating to this idea of MGTOW.  Men Going Their Own Way.  It’s a very interesting movement and the most serious adherents would probably claim that I have no legitimate business being part of it.  But I beg to differ.

First off, following the above link might not provide a very succinct description of what the movement is about.  Basically, it is men withdrawing from the dating game in a realization that society has stacked the deck against them in the social, economic and political arenas when it comes to relationships and marriage thanks largely to a feminist agenda.  I’m sure I have had a feminist reader or two (but prolly not much after today) but the MGTOW movement, while recognizing that men are victims of a rigged system, do not necessarily hate women.  They simply distrust them.  And instead of having an agenda that seeks to turn the clock back (like many traditionalists would do) they simply come to the realization that the entire game is simply not worth it.  And so they go their own way.  Which is to say, they aren’t interested in marriage or relationships with women.

It’s not really a new thing at all, now that it comes to me.  Monasteries and Convents have espoused a similar view for centuries, except instead of individuals going their own way, they decided to go God’s way.  I visited a local monastery a couple of times during the past year and bought a book on the subject and have to admit that there was some appeal to the concept of withdrawing from the fight altogether.  heaven knows my life over the past few years has become more and more monastic in the way it looks.  Other than the occasional porn.   But even right down to spending more time outside, with my newest hobby: beekeeping.  A body can learn a lot about about females when you are spending time with about 60,000 of them.

MGTOW is a movement that would seem tailor-made for a person like me except for one thing: I’m married.  The fundamental tenet of the movement (and the monastic movement) is that you eschew marriage and relationships in order to devote yourself too other things.  The secular version seems to be about devoting oneself to oneself.  But regardless, the focus is on investing oneself into other things besides the modern practice of constantly chasing and seeking after female approval and validation.

Before I go a lot further, I’m well aware that women suffer from similar conditions: seeking after male validation and approval.  However I don’t believe it is as acute as it is for men and I’ll explain why that is presently.

When I look at my present circumstances, and any sort of quest for freedom, happiness or contentment, I find myself staring down a very deep abyss that has kept me from making any sort of move since starting this blog.  Basically, the one suggestion that I have never taken but has been suggested over and over and over again is the route of divorce.   Family law takes a dim view of a guy walking away just for the hell of it.  While sexual inertness could be a just cause in some eyes, the law doesn’t see it on the same terms as infidelity.  Walking away would be a case of economic and familial Armageddon.  It would be mean putting the kids through a lot of turmoil, it would mean a terrible drop in our standard of living, which already rests right on the poverty line.  This does not mean I could never exercise that option, but what we have going now is probably the best option.  Basically, I have my space and she has hers.  And we share the kids while I pay for pretty much all the necessities and she pays for what she wants.

I’m sure I have mentioned it before, but Arwyn is not very good at managing resources of any sort.  So my presence does at least provide some financial stability for the boys as they grow up and hopefully get to a spot where they might be able to fend for themselves.  There’s mitigating circumstances on that as well, relating to disabilities but I’m thinking I’ll end up taking that on eventually on my own.  At least I’m prepared to do that if/when necessary.

One thing about the MGTOW movement is that there has not really been much of a conversation about guys like me: guys who discovered the “Red Pill” only after already being married.  Most f the movement’s energy is directed toward preventing guys from making the mistakes we’ve already made.  Which is all fine and good, but I think there is a place for us married guys at the table.  Afterall, we have inside knowledge of what the danger signs are and what awaits the unwary and hapless fellow who happens to get involved to the point where he’s looking at all of the liabilities and none of the benefits of marriage.

I’m certain Arwyn has weighed the pros and cons of divorce in her own mind.  If I were making more money to be able to afford lots of child support and alimony, she would have either kicked me out or moved out a long time ago as she isn’t much happier than I am with where we are in the marriage.  We haven’t acknowledged our wedding anniversary for about 5 years and it’s been about that long since I made any effort towards valentines day.  I do help the boys pick out stuff for her for Christmas and her birthday.  In a lot of ways, we have sort of gone our own way.   But there is still expectations that I pay for everything, take care of the house and the food while not having a lot of say in what happens within the house.  I can;t leave my little office without her rushing at me to fix or solve some problem that she has with her stuff or with the boys.  I’m expected to continue to be her utility while she gets to be…I suppose a baby sitter?

The kicker is that I haven’t really seen any indication that this condition would be substantially improved living with a different woman.  In fact it could be a lot worse if I was living with someone who screamed and yelled all the time.  Sure, there hasn’t been any sex in over 5 years but it’s not like the sex was that great before that.  Basically I’ve arrived at the dominant conclusion within the MGTOW movement: The pussy just isn’t worth it.

To be fair, I have absolutely no doubt that there are women who have arrived at a similar conclusion when it comes to men, except that a premium has never really been placed on male sexuality as much as his ability to provide.  However the women who gravitated here were ones who had the misfortune of seeing their own sexual values minimized, which given all of the sexual stereotypes amounted to a sort of wild blind-side.   I’ve seen pics of a few and these were not ugly women either.  They simply ended up with guys who checked out of the typical sexual game far earlier than expected.  I’m not dismissing these ladies at all, but I can only relate best to my own experience.

If I decide to, I might expound more on the topic as I think more on it.  It’s what has been resonating with me lately, although I’m not as much onto disliking women as much as many of the folks in the MGTOW universe.  Women are people and aren’t inherently better or worse than men, although in the modern climate I’m not sure that women and men are necessarily good for each other.  Arwyn is not necessarily a bad person, but I don’t think she has ever really and truly valued me in the same way I valued her.  At some point I became a utility and a non-person except when she had some need.  I might have been going about things in a similar fashion in going after her to meet my sexual needs, but I was at least willing to look for some common ground and willing to try to negotiate.  Now that the sexual shop is closed, I find I’m still doling out the utility but get zero in return.  I find over time I’m less willing to simply go along with her crap just because.



Amiable but…

June 24, 2013

Less than fulfilling.  At least that is how this article from CNN put it.

The comments on this article are closed as apparently so many commenters reacted with hostility toward the ideas presented there.  Which isn’t TOO surprising considering the sort of feedback I’ve gotten over the years by people stumbling on to my page.  Those few souls who are regulars ( and you know who you are) already know the stuff I’ve tried over the years.  My blog has survived the test of time.  But like my marriage, it has seen its better days.

Of course *I* liked the article because it is a good and accurate description of my reality.  We’re in this trying to do right by our kids.  The research is very definitive on the fact that kids do better when living with both parents.  And mine are no exception.  They do not live in a house of exceptional violence or really even conflict.  We are basically amiable but not fulfilled.  It’s not the happiest of circumstances but it is what is and we’re trying to make the best of it.  We haven’t had a couples counseling session since the last blog update but not sure what the counselor could do for us except perhaps negotiate forward somehow.  The road ahead won’t be easy but it isn’t easy for anyone.  Suffering and hardship are just part of life and no one escapes. In the grand scheme of things, I’m not going to complain …much.

We are now in our new house.  As devastating as the fire was, it really was the only real way we were ever going to be able to do some of the things needing to get done.  There was no other way we were ever going to get a new house with new appliances.  Or a new car for Arwyn whose 16 year-old car died 2 weeks after the fire.  Through insurance, we rebuilt and provided quite a few jobs for people. We also enabled quite a few people to get rid of their own gently used stuff and feel pretty good about it.  I quit soking, moving on to vaping which is at least safer and healthier for those around me, if not myself.

Like one suggestion in that article, is my having my own room, which doubles as my office.  I do enjoy having my own space and my own bed.  I actually got a loft bed, and now my youngest wants one too.  It’s his perch of choice when he comes into my room.  There is a little concern that as I get older it might get harder and harder to climb the ladder into the thing or that I might fall down while getting out.  I just have to be careful about it and make sure I have the coordination slightly greater than a drunken college student while getting in and out. But got shelves, a little light and a small fan up there making it a nice cozy little space.  I got a bucket hung to slip in my laptop and another one at the foot to use as a sort of chamber pot so I don’t have to bother climbing down during the night.  Underneath I got closet rails to hang my clothes up.  A little pricey but well worth it, I think to create more space.

My main laptop just died so am currently looking at new ones, using my work one to write this post.  The CNN article was just too good to pass on or save as it has so much relevance to the theme of this blog.    At least this part:

If it’s possible, consider separate bedrooms. You’d be surprised how the creation of privacy and nonmarital spaces in a marriage might help. Already one in four Americans sleep in separate bedrooms or beds from their spouses. The National Association of Homebuilders predicts that by 2015, 60% of new homes will be designed with “dual master bedrooms.”

I’m not going to say Arwyn and I will never divorce, but right now this situation seems to be the most amiable one for us and our kids.

More Marital Progress

October 16, 2008

I’ll let others continue the argument. We are not going to settle the reformation here. I reread my comment on RS and saw it read a lot snarkier than I meant, so I knew it’s time to move on to other matters that are more immediate.

I’ve discovered that this blog is a lot less important to me, as far as processing and hashing things out than it was a year ago. Now that Arwyn and I are communicating a bit better, plus we have a therapist, the blog therapy is a lot less critical. In fact, it is sometimes just a bother. To be sure, there are still things I like about it and I do enjoy the folks who I swap linky love with. Even those who vex me.

Arwyn and I had another joint therapy day, and we spent a lot of time discussing how far we have come. The topic of initiation was the major theme, as that was an assignment given about a month ago (around the same time we did the 20 things post) which I did and she didn’t. But as he explained the assignment and how historically there is a sort of pursuit-avoidance dynamic between men and women it became apparent that we had traveled through this and over it and past it.

Basically, I used to pursue Arwyn all the time. I kept accurate records of how many initiations I made and how many times I was turned down and how many times I was rejected. I was playing the odds. Arwyn always felt pressured and she always felt that no matter what she did, it wasn’t enough. And she was turned off.

The therapist brought up another dynamic and theme, which was her perfectionistic attitude paired with the both of us needing and wanting approval. We are both the oldest of 2 other siblings, and so both felt the pressure of responsibility. We both felt judged by our parents and we both suffered from near constant insecurities. In my case, this translated into only feeling secure and loved in direct proportion to the amount of sex and affection I was getting from my wife. This wasn’t exactly unconditional love.

The therapist ended the session by asking a rather surprising (but timely) question. He asked us what our views of God were. Afterall, he is a Christian sex therapist, so this isn’t all that far out of line. He said the reason why he asked is because often our view of God is influenced by our own fathers, and the expectations they put on us. Arwyn had serious issues with hers (including sexual abuse that she’s never talked to me about) and I had some issues with mine. For both of us, there was a lot of expectations based on us being the oldest. There were also mistakes our parents made as they were learning to be parents. Basically, we both felt like we were judged on what we did. For Arwyn, this translated into a bent toward perfection. For me, there was actually a sort of rebellion against perfectionist expectations. But for both of us, there have been some real control issues.

The break through for both of us has been letting go of the performance/control issues. We are trying to stop judging the other for what they are or not doing for us. I learned how to take responsibility for my own emotional issues instead of blaming Arwyn for everything. I could guilt her into having sex with me, but the quality of the sex was so poor, it wasn’t even worth the trouble.

It isn’t her job to make me happy. Once I learned and accepted that, life became infinitely easier. It’s not my job to make her happy, either. But it is my responsibility to care for and cherish her. I do things for her because I really enjoy her pleasure. I enjoy her happiness. And we are starting to relearn how to have fun together, to laugh and to joke around. A year ago, that rarely happened.

So my answer to the therapist pretty much echoed my earlier posts on the subject. It is not about expectations and the guilt brought on by a failure to perform a certain way. The religion = guilt cliche exists for a very good reason, and one does not have to hang out with religious people for very long before it shows up. Someone will try to use it to shackle you to their own agenda whether or not it has anything to do with God. And that’s what I would do to Arwyn. I made her feel like a Bad Wife for not living up to her duties and for not submitting to her husband. Guilt is not a particularly big turn-on. Anything she did for me because of that was not authentic and not very pleasurable for her. And the fact that I could derive any pleasure at all from that tactic says more about my own depravity than her percieved shortcomings.

Last night, we had put the kids to bed and then we retired to our bedroom and talked a bit. And joked a bit. And wrestled a bit. And made out a bit. And then Arwyn said that she was really tired but said she wanted us to have some time the next night. I was rock hard wanted to have our time now! But I also wanted to see the PBS Frontline special on the presidential candidates. So I was content to give her a final kiss and pad off to the living room to watch PBS and do a bit of blogging.

Sex is great, but if it is not mutually enjoyable it isn’t worth the trouble. I have other things I can do.

One last thing relating to “mutually enjoyable.” Arwyn has been able to have orgasms on a more regular basis lately. And I learned a couple new things about my own orgasmic physiology along the way.

You might recall some hardness/lasting issues that I had. One common suggestion is to get off before the sexual encounter in order to last longer. I tried that, and it didn’t seem to help much. Somewhere along the line, I stumbled into exactly the opposite strategy.

Basically what has happened the last few times is that it looks like I’m getting off before I even get inside her. In fact it is true, and was like an “Oh no!” moment. However, with some conscious restraint and with Arwyn’s continued attention and enthusiasm, it is more like a mini-orgasm and I have almost a zero refractory period. I get hard again and this time I can last as long as I want. The trick is to go into the encounter with a full head of steam, so to speak. Psychology plays into it as much as physiology so anything can be derailed at anytime, of course. But I would never have thought of this on my own as it goes against conventional wisdom. And frankly, Arwyn used to be of the mind to get it over with as quickly as possible, so her newer attitude is just as crucial here. She could’ve gotten discouraged, disgusted, angry or whatever, but instead she stayed for the ride and is glad she did. So am I.


I have no idea what Olympic event this would be…

August 12, 2008

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Standing broad jump?

I’m way past due for an update, and some things have been moving along in my story. Mostly good things, but also enough angsty stuff to hold your interest, especially those prone to giving advice.

First off, as soon as I threw the last post up and shut the computer down, I proceeded to a sort of make-out session with my wife. While doing so, we contemplated when it was that we might be able to get together to get it on. After sort of agreeing on a time, kept making out and it escalated into probably the best sex we’ve had in years. At one point, Arwyn made it known that she was satisfied and that it was okay for me to proceed to finishing my steak. That’s one of the difficulties with her, in that she’s not terribly vocal. I can tell when she’s getting into it, but there’s no apparent big finish. And that is okay, seeing as we’re not auditioning for any movie deals except it doesn’t happen enough for me to get a good fix on her reactions. Truly, I’d like to know my wife better in the Biblical and carnal sense. But it really was enjoyable. As for the date that we made…that just came and went. And this illustrates on of the difficulties of a person who seems to devalue sex and sexuality; even if they do have a marvelous time it doesn’t necessarily translate into wanting to do it again. As a behaviorist, I find this quite maddening because the increased likelihood of repeating a behavior is what defines reinforcement. So if there’s not an increased likelihood of a repeat performance, just how reinforcing could it have been in the first place? Arwyn and her sexually minimized peers will often claim how much they like it, but it’s pretty hard for someone like me, who really likes it and responds in behaviorally significant and predictable ways, to understand how they can say that and behave so indifferently. They are either lying or repressing their desires or something else.

These thoughts are occurring in hindsight, because for a good week I was a happy camper and didn’t think twice about Arwyn’s motives or the truthfulness of her statement in saying she was satisfied. Satisfied…now it comes to me that this is not a particularly strong endorsement. How much of a tip does a satisfied customer give a waitress versus one who is delighted and overjoyed? This would be a good conversation to have with a waitress at my neighborhood Hooters restaurant.

So I was fine with everything. And it was in that sort of mindset that we went to our first joint therapy in over a month. And that is when we went over our 20 things list. Actually we didn’t get all the way through it, and each of us only did ten. We’ll do the next ten the next time. This session went pretty well, I thought. At one point, Arwyn said that she thought our marriage was better than it had ever been, and I’m inclined to agree with her on that. Because let’s face it, those of you who have been reading these past many years know that our marriage has been pretty crappy most of the time. There have been epic episodes of crap and supercrap that we have subjected each other to. So much of that is being cleared away, and we are getting along a lot better. We’ve been on the brink of separation and divorce for years. So we are at a much better place. Yay! Wahoo!

Celebration’s over, it’s time to get back to work! As we went through the stuff on our lists, the therapists assisted us in classifying them according to which love language they belonged to.

  • Quality time

  • Receiving gifts/tasks

  • Nonsexual Physical touch

  • Sexual touch/erotic pleasure

  • Words of affirmation

Guess which one mine were pretty much all in? But the therapist did bring out the fact that many of those erotic/sexual things also were interlaced with deeper things, like quality time, acts of service/tasks and even some positive affirmations. It wasn’t just getting off physically it involved deeper emotional things.

Arwyn struggled a bit more in classifying her list, and she seemed pretty evenly scattered among them all except the sexual/erotic bit has yet to make an appearance. No surprise there. The thing is, is that I am presently doing most of the things that were on her top 10 list. Part of the reason is that early in our marriage I wasn’t doing much of anything, which one could argue that I am paying for dearly today. I am doing tons more now than I ever did before and pouring myself more into our marriage and relationship. I know her “love language” is more diverse and I try to hit multiple spots multiple times. I do need to make more of an effort, tho, in being more consistent. It’s been a lot of work.

I was pretty nervous reading that list out loud, as it really is pretty racy and lopsided. I voiced some concern about that, and the therapist said just go along with it. He was able to expand on it and make it so it wasn’t so purely one-dimensional. The earlier 1:1 session he and I did plus some feedback from you guys helped me find that deeper dimension beyond just feeling good and getting off. It really is about intimacy, and I was able to better describe what intimacy looks like to me. I know it doesn’t look like that for most of you, and definitely not for Arwyn, but that doesn’t make it any less.

It was a bit of an intense therapy but Arwyn and I didn’t really have a chance to debrief and decompress from that and that may be part of the problem. We needed to follow up that session by talking about it but never did. I think that would catch up to us a few days later.

Last weekend, we were busy doing various things and I was hoping we would find time to connect in a way that I might like. We spent family time in several ways that Arwyn likes, and I was feeling a bit left behind as it had been a couple of weeks. So I came on to her late in the evening, and she was not into it at all. She was more keen on watching the Olympics. I like the Olympics, too. Afterall, I was the one who had turned them on in the first place. But I had my own version of the breast stroke in mind that did not involve going to an exotic country or competing for a medal. However, Arwyn was glued to the tube. Later, she blamed me for turning the TV on, for not coming to her earlier in the evening, for not being more explicit in my intentions. We had a bit of a spat about it and I was not happy that she seemed to be okay with staying up so late watching TV more than being with me. It’s as if that last therapy session just never happened or she completely forgot everything I said. I suggested us going over the rest of our lists together later, but she didn’t seem too keen on that.

Oh well. It does give me extra energy to hit the stepmat, which I need to do. I’m working on some video of that, actually so stay tuned for that!



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.