Marriage & Boundaries (part four)

Posted: June 27, 2014 in Essays
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Yes! – The Arrival

We did arrive in the woods after a long drive, excited to relax – we were going to go bicycling in the morning. The night sky was upon us when we pulled up, we did the usual, set up the cabin, open windows, start a wood fire – the temperature was in the 50’s so we needed to light the stove to take the edge off. Soon, everything was put away and we were in our nightclothes, me at my computer writing, and she on the couch reading – she had no idea what was about to occur. Either did I for the moment; however, all I could think about were how many occasions just like this had occurred in recent years, where no action was taken that could have been, but obstacles prevented them. Tonight, I thought has to be different. What I had begun a day or two ago had to continue.

What did happen then as the twilight stars began to bloom in the night sky, was quite beautiful – we did make love for several hours actually, exploring ourselves from room to room until we finally found ourselves in bed, laughing and chuckling about how pleasant this time was, and how long it had been, and how ridiculous the fact that we had let so much get in the way of making love to each other that we wouldn’t let it occur again, and in fact the rest of the week would be wonderful. Ah, such peace and relaxation, such absolute, ‘yes, this is okay’

… three days later …

Ah – The Reaction

This writing was, is a difficult one. I’m still in the woods. We are literally still in the woods. I bet you are thinking, what a perfect place to rediscover yourselves, with nature all around, no distractions from city life, just the two of you with a natural maple backdrop, birds singing, an occasional animal gracing the yard in a sort of pleasantry that knows no boundary, yet, only wants the couple to recognize how beautiful the world can be beyond that existent grind that will occur just beyond the next dell. One might imagine that with the wonderful start, the intimacy has just continued to blossom. On the other hand, one might think if there are questions to ask why not ask them now, no one is around – if the other begins to cry, you can just walk over and hold her until the sobbing subsides. What is preventing the questions, the difficult ones, those that really create the foundation of a ‘good partnership?’

Maybe fatigue. Perhaps it is a long journey that has removed some of that resilient strength that used to get me through these questionable times. It might be I just don’t have any faith in things changing. That’s a sad reality, almost sounds like I am giving up. It could be I am thinking the other option might be better. What is that option you ask? Well, it is that fantasy world that brought me here to this site in the first place. No, wait a second, I came here because I wanted to write about erotica, to get in touch with my steamier side, to help me better address the lack of intimacy in my marriage. Ah, will the circle ever be fucking broken.

Ok – The Reality

I have never had the will or resource to immediately address the issues that interfere with my marriage. Instead, I find I will easily withdraw. Take the morning that occurred. Around 4am, I got out of bed, and moved to the couch rather than continue to seethe in my waking and sleeping hours. I didn’t huff or create any dramatic moment, I just moved to another region of the cabin and went back to sleep. In the meantime, a few hours later, she got up and in vain tried to light a fire because she was cold. She was chilled because I wasn’t in bed with her to help keep her warm. She imagined it was because my back was bothering me, I imagined I was angry, and I kept it to myself. Instead of laying there watching her struggle, I got up off the couch and rousted the fire, receiving a thank you in the distance while she put on her morning face. I laid back on the couch, and stared off in the distance, one time, catching her attention when she asked, ‘are you alright?’ and I said, of course, ‘yes.’ And now you are asking, why didn’t you tell her right then and there?

Why don’t we ask the difficult questions at the proper time, rather than let them come out in a brash manner later on in the most predictable manner? Because, our cowardice kicks in right at the most inconvenient times. Maybe it has to do with past history. I recall years ago, an old relationship of mine, I think I’ve talked about her – the Europe girl – we were at the skirts of our time together, again our intimacy had waned, and the questions were not being asked. I remember sitting at our favorite breakfast spot, a comfortable staple in our lives, we were having the conversation. I at one point, while mixing my eggs with the hashbrowns, setting up the plate, turned to her and said, ‘what about sex?’ She paused, and rather than respond immediately I began to notice the red tint around her eyes, soon after her weeping became noticeable – enough for me to feel like a real asshole for putting her in such an uncomfortable position in a public venue. I felt terrible, and placed my hand on hers, and while she guarded her eyes from any possible onlookers, told her how sorry I was. She regained her composure, smiled, and breakfast continued. Our time together ended that day, it was only a matter of weeks before physically we parted ways forever.

The difference today, is our relationship is well established. That romantic interlude was a brief courtship of a couple of years in comparison to twenty five years. Therefore, I don’t believe the welling of eyes would indicate a soon parting of ways, but I do believe the fear still exists that somehow I would be breaking a vow by confronting the reality of our situation. And that is where the real rub lies. Trying to figure out a way to ask the difficult questions without having it sound confrontational. Human beings are so easily drawn into the blame game rather than take responsibility for our own actions. I could easily suggest that her lack of intimacy is driving me stir crazy and the reality is that certainly seems the case, but at the same time what is making her feel bad going to do to resolve the situation?

… only moments later …

somehow I made a comment about how lovely her breasts felt lately, and she joked back it had been a long time since I had touched them. I followed with it had been quite awhile since you … and the conversation slowly drifted away. What is important is that some conversation did occur, whether that is a benefit or not, time will tell. I do know one thing for certain, I have been preoccupied and analyzing this situation since day one, because rather than simply let nothing occur as has been the case now for quite some time, I need to figure out ways to move our relationship forward, specifically the intimacy or lack of.

Ah – The fix-it guy

Well, the week has passed and yes, we are heading home. We did enjoy the north-woods, the hiking and the bicycling, quiet meals, a few games of scrabble, late evening reading – you get the picture. Indeed! A few discoveries along the way:

  1. My spontaneity is real. If I want to have sex, I simply begin to make things happen. What happened the rest of the week was clearly control on my part; I waited to see if anything might happen from her end of things, her initiative. There were excuses, but generally nothing did. This has brought me to a conclusion I am not ready to speak of at this writing. Still working that part out. What it does tell me is that there are some hangups going on, from both sides – though I am not going to take complete responsibility, I do contribute to the confusion. And bottom line, allow a little bit of confusion, and it creates a large chaotic swath in the relationship.
  2. I do believe my lovely spouse is experiencing anxiety – an inability to fly xort of speak. Reminds me of Erica Jong’s first book, I read under my covers when I was 12 years old – maybe that is where the issues began – anyway her confidence is low, and the minute I give any indication that moves away from the idea of her actions, she will shut down in a heart beat. That is a pattern we have lived with for years.
  3. Here’s the real kicker. I believe when I make love to my wife, it has always been to bring her pleasure. Quite frankly the other night, though I think I did bring her the big O, with all the latest research I will never truly know, but I do believe I am a pretty good read of her reactions. I know for certain I did not climax, and really at the time it didn’t matter to me, because I knew I would have opportunity later in the week. I knew I would have opportunity later in the week …

So, tomorrow, we hit the road. I will post this sometime on Friday, as my fourth installment – this process is helpful, if for no other reason but to vent and perhaps get feedback from my listening and attentive readers. I do appreciate your commentary, and I more than anything appreciate your willingness to whine. My next poem begins now – it is titled, On Whining … A final note, I anticipate I will continue to write these installments, as this subject has become quite an evolving one for me, hopefully with no specific end result, but instead a constant growing catharsis.

Comments
  1. Veronica says:

    Here’s to moving forward and hoping things work out. I remember these times in my own marriage, I couldn’t talk about sex, for what reason I don’t know, but every time it came up I would be a quiet but sobbing mess. Horrible. We are still married and the sex is better than ever. Aside from talking, and maybe asking her what she wants – from you, the marriage, how she wants sex – I can’t offer anything. Good luck.

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    • thanks so much Veronica – more of a journal of what is happening but people’s thoughts are quite helpful … my hope is other people experience the same and can see similar roadblocks. 🙂

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  2. You are correct on several points. From a psychosexual point of view, she appears to doubt her ability to please you. For some reason she feels that she is not enough for you. You strongly desire her to initiate the sexual encounter in order to feel that she hungers for you and your touch. Perhaps viewing her inability to initiate as a lack of desire is in error. Something is holding her back, something is telling her not to reach out first. Perhaps, that is the core values with which she was raised. Perhaps she just assumes the man should make the first contact to let her know she is wanted. It is a dilemma, to be certain but the only way to get it out in the open so that it is safe for both of you to explore the topic is to drop all the defenses and just be with each other. Here is a suggestion, make your home the place where passions ignite not some distant cabin representing unbridled love. That is too much pressure for both of you. Instead, set a romantic scene in your home somewhere and get intimate, not sexual, intimate. Sit in front of one another on the floor perhaps, facing each other . Tell her that you would like to try mental/emotional exercise with her. The very idea that you are informing her that you intend on working on strengthening your relationship with her will be a driving force. All her doubts, all your doubts must be revealed, exposed and dealt with in order for the barriers to be removed. Both of you should have something light, transparent, and easily removable on while facing one another.
    Then begin. Muster the courage to endure tears because tears will happen as the pain and hurt is stripped away from both of you. Allow it, welcome it, endure it for it is cleansing. Protecting one another from each others negative emotions is what built the barriers you are both facing today. After you both have affirmed your love for one another and made declarations that nothing you ask or say is direct criticism of the other but only a way to better understand then begin by asking this,
    “My darling wife, help me understand what I can say or do that would make you desire me? I feel that I must initiate all of our sexual encounters and that makes me feel as if you do not want my body or my touch. Please, help me understand what I can do to help you show your desires. ” In order to start this conversation, you must own of the problem even though both of you have contributed to it. She will probably cry and start saying that it is all her and that she feels as if you do not like her body or that she is no longer beautiful to you, etc., etc, etc. but a flood gate you will open. This is the important part, SAY NOTHING until she has been spent. Record mental notes of what she has identified as the problem. This is where you will have to exercise great control because you will have to resist the gut instinct to have a knee-jerk reaction to any or all of her statements/questions. I guarantee you that she feels as if she has failed in some manner as a woman, as a wife, and certainly as a lover. In order for the sexual intimacy and fiery passion to return, much healing needs to begin in both of you. Once she is sitting there waiting for your reply, make certain that she knows that you heard her and felt her pain. Now, this is equally important, you MUST express yourself, your fears, doubts, concerns. It cannot wait until another time, when she is not so emotional. You will resent her more if you allow her to relieve herself of these burdens, adding them to your own, and then never giving voice to yours. Reveal your weakness, reveal your vulnerabilities, reveal to her your fantasies, without any hint of accusation or blame. Otherwise, it will explode into unproductive shrapnel. When two souls have become one, they hurt as one and they heal as one so you and she can do all the ‘self-help’ exercises and research you want but until you both face this problem together, as a team, it will never be resolved. Good luck, have courage, for nothing worth anything is ever easily obtained.

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    • Wow, thanks for the wonderful commentary – actually the cabin has been a romantic spot for us for many years, so an easy place to shore up a lot of positive energy that has been the basis for our relationship over the years. However, your ideas are fabulous and certainly heard. We will explore … 🙂

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  3. Wet Bliss says:

    Progress is progress in my book! What an interesting post with incredible highs and lows. I’m sorry you weren’t able to get the words out in the open. I encourage you to continue to make progress, but don’t be accusing or confrontational be conversational about needs, wants and desires…take on some of the blame with your probing I bet she wants more too. Good luck and loving. 🙂

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  4. I think it’s fantastic that you give a great deal of thought into this. It says you care very deeply for her and want things to improve between you. And I think tinablackledge wrote a powerful suggestion on a time to get it all out in the open. I’ve had a few talks like that with my wife. They’re scary and painful. But afterward, I’ve always been glad that they happened. It’s just taking that big step in making that happen, and both of you opening up like that.

    In addition to that, I would suggest increasing moments of intimacy. Along the lines of what tinablackledge wrote, intimacy and not sexual. Times when you simply touch her. A spontaneous shoulder rub. A touch on the arm. A kiss on the cheek. A saying “I appreciate you.” A compliment on how she looks. None of which is done with the hopes of it leading to sex. But instead done with increasing the intimacy. That, I think, helps you get closer. Sex is so very wonderful. But it’s not the whole thing.

    Well, just throwing a thought out there. I think you’re a caring husband to meditate on this and want to improve the energy between you and your wife. I wish you the best in your couple’s journey.

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    • Thanks for your comments – I do appreciate everyone’s feedback, so very helpful. I will get back now to the business of ‘marriage & boundaries’ without asking too much. Don’t get me wrong, every person’s feedback is valuable here – I just feel like I might have delved a little too deeply here for this latest installment. 🙂

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