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My major hang-up in life, right now, is my marriage. Specifically my lack of intimacy with My Wife.
We have made love exactly 3 times in 2014. Once in January, twice in June. That is not a complaint, it is a statement of fact.
My Wife has repeatedly stated that she fears it will never return. I share that fear. Sometimes it is a very real fear while other times o believe it to be a non-existent problem. She is on a stage of trauma and/or healing. Lack of intimacy is a standard part of that. Right?
For some it is.
For some, like her, this lack of desire for intimacy is perfectly natural and explainable.
The way I perceive the situation is that she is scared. By scared I mean petrified. By petrified I mean scared shitless that I’m going to do something to devastate her so much (again) she will never be able to recover from it.
My Wife is an unbelievably remarkable woman. The word strong does not do her justice. More to the point, I do not believe the words even exist that can describe the depth and breadth of her resiliency. With that knowledge in place, one must then attempt to understand just how deeply I have hurt her.
Over the past 3 weeks, My Wife has allowed me to begin snuggling her again. This has ONLY taken place early in the morning and, unbeknownst to me, as I sleep. There have been zero instances of closeness during the day or evening. There are random hugs and/pecks, but no snuggles.
EAAAAAARLY this morning, as I was leaving for school, I snuck into her room to kiss her goodbye. I gave her a very long kiss on her forehead and rubbed her butt. She was out cold, but she didn’t kick my ass like she normally would. This evening, I was leaving to go to a game. I gave her the prescribed peck (that I always try to extend and turn into something else and get denied) and rubbed her butt. She suddenly “had to go sit down.” That was a new one.
I’m assuming I went too far. I just don’t know. She has to know I’m going to make attempts though. I AM a human male. It has been over 5 months since we were last intimate. I AM missing her company. I REALLY do like/love/need her bunches. Our lack of intimacy is not healthy. There is NO person that would recommend a husband and wife abstain from sex for months at a time and expect to see a healthy relationship. I will repeat what I have said/written many times before: marriage without intimacy is not a marriage, it is a financial arrangement.
I do not want to live as part of a financial arrangement. I really, Really, REALLY want a healthy marriage and I really, Really, REALLY want My Wife to want that as well. I truly don’t believe I want very much in that.
I also really, Really, REALLY want to be able to discuss this stuff without it becoming a fight or a day killer. Does that have to happen? So far, it always has. Every time we’ve tried to discuss it, our day/weekend/month has been wrecked. Lately, we’ve come to the bloody edge of divorce over it the last two times.
Why is that?
Two reasons as far as I can tell.
My Wife and me.
My Wife seems to be scared to death.
Scared I’m going to hurt her. Not just as her husband, but more importantly, whenever we have an important discussion, I end up losing my mind.
That has to stop.
Eventually we have to address the situation. It’s the 800 pound gorilla in the room. I want to talk about him and she doesn’t want to acknowledge he exists yet.
This post is from my
crazy Borderline daily diary thing I have to keep. I had previously had a habit of posting these, but I learned that some things are best kept private. And yes, it DID take me right at 11 months to realize that.
I debated whether or not I was going to share this little nugget or not. I don’t speak/think negatively of anyone. My worry is that I’ll be viewed as someone that is offended by EVERYTHING that is said to me.
That’s nowhere near the case.
What I AM is a person that feels like he is dismissed by virtually everyone he comes in contact with. Family, friends, acquaintances, therapists, my children and even my spouse.
One could say I’ve had a lifetime of experience when it comes to being dismissed. It’s like art. I can’t explain it, but I sure as hell know it when I see it.
But I digress…
Behold! The post I intended on putting up earlier. May it richly bless you 😋
It was a half and half day. School was tremendous. At our son’s game, I had several issues. Loud mommas were triggering me right and left. As halftime was ending, I looked to My Wife and told her I wanted to move.
Why do you always want to move!?
I sat there for a moment, REALLY surprised she had said that. First- she knows exactly why I want to move. Second- her father has the exact issue.
I sat a moment longer and finally addressed her.
“Would you ask that of your father?”
No, if he wanted to move, he would just move. But if you want to move you expect me to move too. I don’t want to move.
I sat another moment or two, got up and moved. I no longer had to listen to loud, invalidating mommas and I wasn’t getting pissed off at My Wife.
I wasn’t asking her to move necessarily. I suppose I WAS hinting at it. There was a time on our past that she would have jumped up and moved with me. But I know that time is long gone.
I wasn’t really upset by the part that she didn’t want to move. I understand that. I guess. I’d understand more had she been socializing with the people around us, I guess she was comfortable.
It was the in your face, immediate questioning that took me off guard.
Why do you always want to move!?
My feelings and triggers that come along with these women yelling aren’t a secret. My Wife and I have had several chats about the situation.
My mind, being what it is, goes to work (read- overdrive).
Is this response due to her stress?
Is she upset with me?
Have I wronged her somehow?
Was I rude to her?
Did I dismiss her somehow?
On and on it goes.
“In this moment, I’m ok” was repeated in my mind as nauseam. It settled me down some.
I still have some thoughts though.
I have work to do.
Recently, My Wife has been allowing me to snuggle her in bed. This has caused a few problems I was unaware of. Well, I kind of knew about one.
First of all, she’s uncomfortable with it. She’s still not cool with me touching her but is in a “taking one for the team” mode. That’s the way I perceive things at least. I’m fairly confident of my viewpoint due to the evidence at hand.
• Her migraines have returned
• She is suddenly sick a lot
• She gets a “here we go” look on her face when o come in for a kiss.
My assumption was confirmed yesterday when I went for a kiss.
I went in for another, more meaningful kiss. She turned her head and it went to a hug. I don’t know that it’s ever coming back. It makes me feel like a failure every time you come in for a kiss because I know you want more.
As we went to bed, she conjured up the courage to talk with me.
Ever since I started letting you snuggle me in bed things have changed. Whenever you get up, to pee at night or for the day, I have to get up. You don’t just put your arm on me, you put like half of your body on me and I can’t get back to sleep. The only times I get a good night’s sleep is when you fall asleep watching TV on the couch. The thing is, I deny you so many things, I don’t want to deny you this too; but I have to have my sleep so I can workI just don’t want that to hurt you or cause any problems.
It DID hurt. I was incredibly sad. This was a major problem that had to be dealt with immediately. A couple of weeks ago this would probably have been the end of me. I was in an incredibly bad place and something like this would have likely pushed me over the edge. Things are, thankfully, different now.
My last therapy session covered this exact situation. I was now put in the position to utilize skills with witch I had just been armed.
Use them or lose them
An interesting result of conversations is they provide you with information- if you listen. Just the other day My Wife and I discussed how close we had come to the end of our relationship during my last “episode.” Armed with that knowledge, I have a really good idea of what I need to do in order to keep my family together.
Use my flipping skills or I lose my privilege to be in my family.
• Describe the emotion
• Ride the wave of the emotion
• Be non-judgmental of the emotion
Describe the emotion
Express how you feel about it
Ask for what you want
Reinforce the other person
be willing to Negotiate
My therapist also provided me with a tool that, at the time, I thought might never use. “Unless you’re actually dying or being physically tortured, you are going to be alright. Using Mindfulness, you have to remind yourself that ‘In this moment, I’m alright.’ You do it over and over until you calm down.”
I did all of those things in the span of 2-3 minutes.
I could feel the negative emotions building within me. I was moving from my “Wise Mind” I to my “Emotional Mind,” which is danger territory for a borderline. I had to stop that process and get back to “Wise Mind.”
“I’m this moment, I’m alright.” I said it over and over. Surprisingly, I calmed quickly. I was then able to proceed into the DEARMAN skill. I described the emotion, expressed how I felt, asked for what I wanted, reinforced My Wife, mindfully reinforced My Wife, and confidently negotiated with her.
There were a couple of tears but they didn’t even trickle down my face.
THAT was new.
I have no CLUE how she reacted to the situation. We haven’t discussed it. There have been a few bugs and pecks today. She even came to me and kissed my forehead just now. I do know I’m feeling confident and proud of myself.
That alone is a victory.
She let me hold her.
At first I thought it was because our room was chilly and maybe that’s true. But it happened.
Sometime during the night, I snuggled up to her and wrapped her up with my arms. That’s how I woke up this morning.
I got up to take care of my daily urinary duties and came back to bed. She was still there. In weeks past, when I had tried to snuggle up, she shot out of the bed like a rocket when I went to pee. I’m probably reading into that, but my mind says she was trying to get away so she wouldn’t have to tell me she didn’t want to be snuggled.
That wasn’t the case this morning.
I climbed back into bed and wrapped my arms around her again. In fact, I rubbed on her back UNDER HER SHIRT!!!
My mind was racing.
I was so happy and so excited.
I kept thinking back to our marriage therapist when she would tell us to have Non Sexual Affection (NSA). “Have contact with no expectations. If there is no sex, great. If sex happens, great. The point is you are initiating contact without the expectation of sexual intimacy.”
That happened this morning!!!
Is it possible we are coming back together?
Is healing taking place?
Is the 2ish weeks of mental calm what she needed to get to a place where she can possibly trust me?
I DO know she’s far more relaxed around me. She doesn’t seem to tense up whenever I walk into the room now. At least I can’t see it if she does. She doesn’t bail out or try to get away from me whenever I try to embrace or kiss her.
Things are working out.
All I have to do is to remain steadfast in my efforts. I cannot give up or fall into the feeling sorry for myself trap.
I find myself going through the same situation time after time. The result is never changing. It’s as if I’m being tested and I fail every time, only to be sent around again and again until I learn the lesson. I see this as a message from God.
LEARN FROM YOUR MISTAKES AND FAILURES. USE YOUR BRAIN.
There’s the obligatory cycle imagery I must refer to now. People like me that are stuck in the cycle must find a way OUT of said torturous cycle. No other person on earth can do it for us. There are some who can provide guidance or assistance, maybe even point the way, but it’s up to
us me to actually bust out of the cycle.
That’s where I find myself now.
I’m looking for the way out of the cycle. My Wife has provided me with hope today. Wether intentionally or not, be it easy or difficult for her, she did it. I can NEVER repay her for that. My Wife, My Beautiful Bride, put herself out on that uncomfortable limb this morning.
My prayer is that I can stay on this relatively level track and keep her happy that she went out on that limb. I want her courage to be rewarded this time. She deserves that.
Today was a great day.
What a tremendous day yesterday! It was the first day of fall break and I slept to the crack of 8 AM.
Later on, I had a disagreement with My Wife and made it through un-triggered.
There were some incredibly tense times at the football game. Some lady kept yelling and screaming at our team, her own SON’S team. Great, supportive comments like:
“What’s wrong with you guys?”
“Why can’t you guys score!?”
“You get the ball RIGHT THERE and can’t score!? COME ON!!!!”
When you add that to Loud Cowbell Lady (it hurts my already messed up ear), it puts a LOT of stress on me. I’ve got Jerk-Wad Mom several rows directly behind me, Loud Cowbell Lady behind and to my left. My mental state was on edge. My Father-In-Law was in a similar state as me; highly stressed and on edge. We talked about it all night.
“I think I may need to drink tonight.”
‘Drinking might not get it.’
“I have great pain meds, we can both check out for a few days if you’d like.”
We had a good laugh.
The great thing about it, somehow I was able to stay focused on my enjoyment of the game. I’d do a quick breathing exercise or a non-judge mental observation exercise. Whatever it took to stay present and mindful of the situation.
Jerk-Wad and Cowbell Lady ended up being annoyances and not the focus of my evening. Make mo mistake, it was a major struggle. I had to work my ass off to keep my head straight, but I did it.
Several times I’d bitch about it to My Wife. She would tell me it was bugging her too, but she wasn’t making a deal out of it. I didn’t know if she was rebuking me or telling me to just deal with it or both. I took it as both. There was no offense taken. I just dealt with it.
After the game, I asked her if I did ok.
“Was I am asshole or a jerk?”
No, why do you always ask me that?
“Because I want to know. I’m trying to be a good guy.”
I really appreciate you making conversation with my family. Usually you don’t do that.
That was it.
No true argument. No negativity.
A disagreement, a solution and annoyances at a game.
I made it through, unscathed.
It was a successful day!!
I have to say it has been a very positive week. I’ve been busting my rear to maintain a positive outlook on life and to be vigilant in practicing my mindful activities.
This afternoon I received a random text from My Wife, I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the peace we’ve had this last week and more.
It’s the small things in life that make it worth living. A random praise here or an affirmation there. Things I do for myself everyday, but when it comes from someone else, far, far more powerful and much more meaningful.
I put a self-imposed ultimatum upon myself at the end of last month (September). If I were to see no improvement by the end of Rocktober, I would remove myself from my family. That meant moving away and staying away; from everyone. My plan was to move out of state so I couldn’t mess with anyone anymore. THAT plan looks to be moving to File 13.
Than You God!!!
THAT was a plan I did NOT want to implement. Who knows what life would have held for me should that have gone forth?
Thankfully a few things were shown to me. I received a bit of direction and assistance that was unbelievably constructive and beneficial. From my therapist, blog commenters, a tweet here and there and a “chance” encounter with some kid I mentor at school. Funny how mentoring someone probably teaches you more than the person you mentor.
Being a former baseball coach (read: superstitious), I won’t fully describe my feelings concerning the past week. Just know I’m exceedingly pleased with the progress of the past week.