It’s an overcast fall day.
I’m sitting in my truck, spiced-chai eggnog latte steaming in the cupholder, typing this entry while my son gears up for a soccer game.
I’m alone in the quiet…the only sounds the tapping of keys, the whoosh of passing cars behind me, and the yells of kids and coaches in preparation.
These are my Saturdays.
On the surface, my plaid/jeans/scrunchy winter socks/ankle boots/cable-knit hat facade is calm and smiling. A supportive soccer mom just waiting for the game to begin.
Happy with my lot.
And honestly, I mostly am.
But my marriage is a mess, friends, and being here, as the rain begins to tap against my windshield and the wind begins to kick up, is a respite from the black cloud that seems to be ever present in my home.
I know I carry my share of the blame for where we are. We haven’t had sex since June, which I suppose is all my issue. My libido took a dive and just never came back. But, I guess I want to write it out just to share my side, because I think he blames me for more than I should fairly be blamed for.
I’m not going to go back to the beginning, but I’ll summarize for those who are new to our story.
We met late in our 20s. Our beginnings were passionate, and we connected quickly and tightly, marrying within a year and having a child soon after. Childbirth was difficult and left me unable to concieve again. It took me some time to heal both physically and emotionally. I guess I’m still a bit bitter that he ever really gave me what I felt was enough time to do either. But, understandably, he felt neglected and wanted his passionate marriage back. Like most new moms, though, I was tired all the time, and while he helped, it was never what I would have described as “enough,” whether that is fair of me or not. But, because he felt neglected and yearned for renewed intimacy and sexual adventure, we embarked on a journey into swinging. There were good times, surely, but I mainly did what I did for him, not for me, and, expectedly, it didn’t last. Years later, when I admitted this in marriage counseling, he added it to his arsenal of reasons for feeling betrayed by me. Not only had he been duped into marrying a woman who was not as sexual as she had once been, but she also lied about wanting the things he wanted. It was during this time that we first tried D/s. Shortly, thereafter, he encouraged me to allow him to have a second sub…and that woman (though lovely) created a rather deep rift between us. I tried hard to allow him his sexual freedom, but I was unable to do so and still retain my own happiness. Eventually, she is the one he would run to when our marriage nearly ended a few years ago. That infidelity didn’t come to light until sometime later. At the same time, I found out about his ‘visit’ with a couple we had once engaged with during our swinging years. It was my turn to feel betrayed.
All he has ever wanted is to feel desired…wanted by his wife.
All I have ever wanted is to feel loved and secure.
We love eachother, but it is clear that love is not enough.
The pandemic couldn’t have hit at a worse time. It left me feeling stressed, exhausted, and emotionally listless. I did my work from home, and we never lost our jobs or our home. None of our family became sick. We were better off than most.
I imagined that summer would give me the time I needed to recoup, and it looked like that was possible in the beginning. I started taking supplements to revive my libido, but nothing worked fast enough or had a deep enough impact on my sex drive, which left him feeling frustrated and me feeling both guilty and resentful.
While in theory, I can understand his emotional distress over my lack of sexual interest…that this hurts him and and makes him feel unwanted, I am also left feeling angry because my sex drive isn’t all about him, and this constant pressure to go fix myself is a heavy weight…because I’m not fixing myself for me…I’m fixing myself for him. My childish side basically cries out – what about me?!! It’s not like I’m sexually dead because I want to be. It’s not like I’m doing this TO him. And yet, he sinks deeper and deeper into a depression because ‘his wife doesn’t want him’ – and it’s my fault.
He drinks…too much…and sinks deeper.
To make things worse, he broke his foot early in August, and has been on bed rest since, unable to go to work or do much of anything besides sit on the couch and play video games…which has left me to do everything. I don’t resent him for that. I know he can’t do a thing about it, but it’s certainly not helping me in the libido department, because I’m tired and stressed the majority of the time. And I’m frustrated, because he does nothing. He just lays there and stews in his own juices and becomes angrier and angrier.
Now he won’t even sleep in the same bed with me.
He wants to talk it out. But what new thing would we say? What he wants is for me to go fix it. And even if I could, he’s the kind of person who carries a grudge to the grave. He won’t let go of or forgive past wrongs.
I’m all for going back to marriage counseling, but right now, we can’t afford it financially. We also can’t afford not to.
And honestly, I’m not sure it would help right now. He’s an angry, depressed man.
An angry, depressed man that I love. Even though the night before last he spat under his breath as he walked out of the bedroom, “I don’t think you even love me anymore.” And when I responded with, “I do,” he flung “I don’t believe you” into the air behind him.
Nowadays, he often doesn’t remember what he says to me at night when I remind him in the morning. But, I’m smart enough to know that these alcohol-induced, one-sided conversations are probably more truthful than anything he holds back when he is sober.
He is hurt.
He is angry.
He is in a dark place, partially because of me, but, in my opinion, largely because of himself.
Depression is an ugly monster. I know. Even with good medication, good support, and healthy habits, it is not always possible to keep it at bay.
I want to fix things. I want us to be healthy and happy and find a way to be intimate and close again. But, I have no idea what steps to take. Even if I were able to find a miracle cure for my libido, and I ventured to initiate sex, I have a very really belief that he would reject my efforts, calling them too little too late. I don’t discount his feelings. And I do believe he truly feels that most of this is my fault. I, however, do not. I don’t deny my part in it. But I also know that his weaknesses with forgiveness and his inability to accept my physiology for what it is (no matter how unfair it seems to both of us) are just as big a part of the problem.
We are sexually incompatible. That is simply the truth. Compromise is not possible because he feels as if I’ve given up and failed him, and I feel as if he will never accept the amount I can give.
He has made it clear that what he thinks he will have to do to make me happy is give up his sexuality. He describes our sex life much like the bipolar roller coaster I have been on most of my adult life. It used to be there were drastic ups and downs, stacked close together. But, as I learned to cope and started medication, those ups and downs were less drastic and more spread out. Our passion has leveled out, much like my mania. I feel stable now. Calm. But there has been a deep cost in that I no longer feel the kind of passion that I used to.
I yearn for comfort and shared intimacy. Date nights. Laughter. Romance. Softness.
He yearns for desire, passion, adventure.
He flings at me…like an accusation… “You want what you want when you want it.”
What else am I going to do? Want what he wants when he wants it?
I know what he would prefer is that I want what he wants because I want it, too. I’d prefer the same from him. But that’s not where we are right now.
Right now, we are miles apart, hanging on by a thread, both of us…scissors in hand, holding our breath.
This week’s quote from LSB’s Quote Quest is:
“Just living is not enough… one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.” –Hans Christian Andersen
It may not be completely evident how this quote led me to this post, but it did.
I’m having some image uploading issues. I will get the badge up as soon as I am able.