It was rather serendipitous that we had a
fight *uncomfortable conversation* on Friday night in which the very seed of our marital problems had a bit of a grow.
See, our marriage is pretty perfect in every way but one. Even our sex life is good, except when it comes to our fantasies and proclivities.
We mesh well, chemically, spiritually, and physically. He fits me perfectly, the size of Him hitting exactly the right spot just about every. damn. time.
But lying there in bed, in a piece of lingerie that I didn’t find particularly sexy (but He did, which is all that really matters sometimes…and I’m okay with that), His fingers inside me, He referenced me being fucked by Him and another man…”You’d like that, wouldn’t you?”
It was dirty talk, and maybe I shouldn’t have reacted at all, but it seemed I was expected to respond in the positive (which I really couldn’t, because I’m honestly not sure how I feel about receiving a double-dicking), and so my face (which is always a fucking open book, especially to Him) showed my muddled emotions about it.
Now, to be fair…we had been drinking, and our emotions about things are always heightened when we do that (we haven’t been doing that for some time…which is good). Our reactions are also much more dramatic than they often need to be. However, alcohol is sort of a truth serum that brings the real issues to the surface, and so in this instance, I think it was for the best, especially right before a therapy session.
He pulled His fingers out of me, and the heated conversation was on.
Basically, it comes down to this: it’s not that He has fantasies and needs more adventure, but I don’t (which has been, I think, the appearance of things…even to us); we just have different (not opposing) fantasies and different levels of need for them.
We were wise, and managed to put our conversation away for the night, knowing we’d be able to talk it through with a guide the following day. (We even found each other in the middle of the night and had some rather angrified sex.)
On our way to counseling, in the car, we talked through our final exercises from The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work (our homework). It was one we had put off, because we hadn’t had a “row” for some time and didn’t have anything to apply the analysis to. In our discussion, we determined that we both felt defensive, hurt, sad, misunderstood and a bit unimportant and rejected by the other. We realized that these conversations erupt because the remind us, deep down of previous relationships, past injuries, our basic fears and insecurities about relationships (especially our own), things we haven’t yet resolved or put aside, and some of our unrealized hopes. When we got to the follow up questions, we were grateful to be heading to a therapist.
“Overall, my contribution to this mess was:”
“How can I make this better in the future?”
“What one thing could my partner do next time to avoid this problem?”
We both agreed, that if we knew the answers to these questions, we wouldn’t need a therapist. And so we stopped there.
When we got to the therapist, rather than saying everything was pretty good, like we’d done the previous two times, we actually had something to talk about – and it was the whole fucking point! Which was perfect. Really.
We had the opportunity to explain our sides, and the therapist got a better picture of where we are both coming from and what the needlepoint-specific problem is for us.
His solution was this: that we both need to work on fulfilling each other’s fantasies more. For me, that is D/s. For Him, that is variety, adventure, and involving others in our sex life. That might seem like a big, fat, fucking “duh.” But the thing is, for the longest time, it’s been this – I need more romance and He needs more sex. But that’s not it. I do need more romance. But comparing romance needs and sexual needs is apples and oranges. It’s not a fair comparison. Fulfilling my need for romance doesn’t push His boundaries any. It just requires work and creativity.
I think my aha! was realizing that we both have sexual fantasies that are different (apples and apples), and that fulfilling these for each other pushes both of us to move outside of our boxes. This puts us on even playing ground (not to say that it’s a competition).
So we walked away with a plan – to list out all the things we could/would/should do for each other, trade those and add/delete/change, then review. This way, we both have a specific list of things the other needs/wants, not just a vague idea (which may very well be wrong).
It feels disappointing to admit that I’ve been married nearly 15 years, and I still don’t really have a handle on my Husband’s fantasies. In one way, it feels like a failure on my part, but on the other, it feels like an opportunity and a gift. Long-term relationships are malleable things. We are constantly changing and should always be striving to make the other person happy. I’m ashamed to admit that I have not done that – at least in the ways that He needs and wants the most. I’ve spoken my own love language and pushed His aside, numerous times. But it is possible to be bilingual – with work and commitment.
So…I’m working on my list. And tomorrow is our mid-week marriage talk – I’m sure it will be the topic of conversation.