Friday, August 30, 2013

Feeling Trapped is Not a Good Sign

So the more my husband improves, the more I'm starting to feel slightly trapped.  Isn't that weird?  But he is making great strides towards improvement.  The new medication regimen seems to finally be the correct one, and he is light years different than he has been in years.  He's helpful, and sensitive, and hardworking, his anger issues are much less (still present, but much less), he is far less whiny.  There are still times where he is SO convinced that his way of viewing a situation is the right one that it feels futile to try to make him see my point of view... but those times are fewer and farther between.  Mostly he listens to me and we compromise. He's fun, again.  I mean, we can have fun together again.  We laugh more.

Things are good.  Oh, it's far too early for me to trust that things are going to stay good... I still worry that he's only on his best behavior because he's afraid of losing me, but it truly does seem that with the right medication, he's back to being the person I married... even better than that.  But most days I am content.  And if I take things day by day, I think that my marriage just might survive.

But if I imagine the future, if I imagine our marriage ACTUALLY making it and going the distance... if I imagine actually being with this man for the REST OF MY LIFE... I start to panic.  What once seemed comforting and wonderful has begun to feel like a trap.

I don't want to lose Lee... but I don't want to be stuck with Lee either.  And I still feel stuck.  And I don't know what it will take to make me feel unstuck.  And it scares me.

And my instinct is still to give Lee what he needs.  And he's still so afraid that he's going to end up alone.  So I'm constantly reassuring him that that's not going to happen... that we're going to make it.

And the thing is, I think that might be true... and I'm still paralyzed... utterly unsure if that's actually what I WANT.  I don't want to make it by default... to end up together just because that's the status quo and it's harder to break the status quo.  And honestly... things are getting so much better that there isn't going to be a reason to pull the plug.  The desperation that might have given me the courage to pull the plug is fading, fading... and I want to stay because I want to stay, not because I was too lazy to leave.

And I DO want to stay.  I love this man with all my heart... I can't imagine life without him...

"The grass ain't always greener on the other side, it's green where you water it." (apologies for quoting a Justin Bieber song)

Well I'm watering my grass. It's getting greener... the grass on the other side still looks greener yet.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Help! Somebody Give Me a Sex Talk, Please!

So, I grew up in such a strictly Evangelical Christian home that I didn't get much in the way of sex ed. In fact, I was opted out of sex ed in health class. So my sex ed consisted of "don't do it until you get married" and "here are STD's you can (WILL) get if you do it" and "this is what the parts are called and this is what happens."

I remember, the first time I ever felt truly aroused, making out with Lee back when we were still dating... I was utterly surprised and shocked and completely unprepared for the sensation. Like, nobody had ever told me that girls get aroused like that.  I thought it was a guy thing.  I mean, I knew sex was supposed to feel good for girls, but I thought only guys got that physical HUNGER for it.

I've been married for 6 years. I've had a LOT of sex (not nearly as much as I would've liked to have had over the past 6 years, but quite a bit).  But when it comes to sex... I still feel a little lost and naive. Like, I understand how sex WORKS, obviously. I'm even pretty good at it.  But since I was raised to believe that there was no more emotional nuance to sex than "don't do it before you're married and once you're married do it as often as your husband wants whether you want to or not" I feel like there is a lot about sex that goes over my head.

And as I said recently, I recently cheated on my husband.  It's a bit more complicated than that, really. He asked me to sleep with another guy... arranged it actually... and then chickened out and asked me to stop. But I didn't want to stop and so I didn't.  But now I'm finding that I don't know how to handle what happened.

You see, sex with Lee has always been fraught with difficulties. I want it, he doesn't. We don't have it nearly often enough.  When we have it, he's been pretty selfish and clumsy and... not very good.

So I slept with Bobby. It was one night. And that one night has shaken me to my foundations and left me wondering what the hell my response is supposed to be.

You see, I read a lot of romance novels.  And a staple of romance stories is that when the hero kisses the heroine she becomes incoherent. Incapable of thought.  Only capable of feeling the sensations sweeping over her.  And even when sex is at its best with Lee (and it CAN be very, very good with Lee) I have never, ever felt that brain scrambling lack of thought.  I was okay with never feeling that.  I thought it was something that only happened in novels and wasn't something that happened in real life.  I mean, nobody sees ACTUAL fireworks.  I just figured that in real life people's brains don't just shut down.  Or maybe it happens to some people, but I'm just not wired that way.

And then... and then...

And then I was with Bobby. And I felt that.  That wit scrambling, utter incapability of doing anything other than feel the fiery sensations.  From the second he leaned over and kissed my neck the very first time... when we were still discussing whether or not it was a good idea to ACTUALLY go through with it and he gave me this little experimental smile and leaned over and kissed my neck and I... exploded.  My whole body reacted instantaneously in a way I never expected and was utterly unprepared for.  The chemistry was... insane.

So. Now what?

I'm not saying sex with Lee is bad, or even that it's worse than it was with Bobby.  I've had both better and worse experiences with Lee.  But with Lee, it's work.  Sex is work. And he hates that it's work and that's a big part of the reason why he wants to do it so seldomly.  And with Bobby it was just... effortless.

And Bobby has a girlfriend. And I will never get a chance to be with him again.  And I want to... because I want that feeling again. I am angry with him for not giving that to me again, even though I know he's under no obligation to do so.  And that feeling, it is like a drug.  I feel like I would pay any price... my marriage, my soul, just to have it ONE more time.  And, like all drugs, I know that if I get it one more time, the withdrawal will just be worse next time, and the price I'd be willing to pay would get higher. It's no good.

And the thing is, Lee is really trying to get better.  He's being less selfish... he's finally learning about how to please me.  But, on my end at least, a lot of the passion I once felt for him is just gone.  And, also, no amount of selflessness... no amount of improvement in technique is going to make the chemistry any better.

And I thought my chemistry with Lee was just fine until I experienced something different. And the thing is... sex with intimacy is better than sex with chemistry only... but is it too much to ask to have both?

But if I leave in search of someone I could have both with... I would be throwing so much away. Is sex really worth it?

And was the chemistry only there because it was new and exciting and the forbidden fruit?

Only I don't ever remember having chemistry THAT intense with Lee.  Intenser than it is now, certainly, back before our relationship started falling apart and sex became such a chore and everything got hard. But never that intense.

Passion can be revived, I believe that. If Lee and I fix the sludge in our marriage, we can revive the passion that was once there. But what if even that isn't enough for me anymore?

But how can I be selfish enough to hurt him to chase a rainbow? A dream that maybe can never be?

Sunday, August 18, 2013

He's Still a Piece of Me

I've known my husband for 17 years. I'm only 24.  You do the math.

We were best friends, almost from the get-go. His mom used to babysit me.  We used to walk and talk for hours.  He talked me through every crush and every broken heart and I did the same for him.

I was in love with him, again from the time I knew what love was. He was always the one I wanted to grow up and marry.

He's so much a part of my life.  We are so entwined together.  One flesh, one heart... the way marriage is supposed to be.  Cut him, and I will bleed.  There's co-dependence and emotional controllingness and a whole shit ton of bad stuff that needs to be cleared out, but at the base of it, at the heart of it... he is a part of me. And I am a part of him.  Severing that would be the most painful thing of all.

It would be more painful for him than me.  I'm just saying.  It would hurt me like crazy, but I am more adaptable than he is. I am also much more dissatisfied with life the way it is now. I would be more okay than he would if we ended.


Cut him, and I bleed.

The passion is gone right now.  I'm trying to figure out if there's still an ember or if it's a cold dead coal.  If there is an ember, there is hope.  There is hope that when the relationship gets back on track... and you know, it looks like its heading that way although it's way too early to get my hopes up... when we get all the nastiness figured out, the spark can be brought back to life.

Because mostly dead is slightly alive.  But all dead... there is nothing you can do with all dead.  And if the passion I once felt for him is all dead then... then... then I have to crush him.  I have to break his heart.  And it is no consolation to me that he brought it on himself.  It is no consolation to me that he is in fact the one who killed the passion.  Because if we fall apart... it will hurt me, but there's a part of me that also looks forward to a fresh start.  But it would utterly devastate him.

Cut him, and I bleed.

Now what?

Thursday, August 15, 2013

When Cheesy Bad Poetry Is the Cure

There's a reason I stick to prose and never write poetry. The written word is hard to master, the rhythmic word even harder.  Poetry is extremely difficult to write and not end up sounding cheesy.

However, sometimes the best cure for a broken heart is indulging in the writing of a little cheesy bad poetry.  So with no further ado I give you this fine specimen.

It’s over now, and all that’s left
Is the fantasies and the memories
The what ifs and maybes and might have beens
And the ghost of your touch still on my skin.
I close my eyes and feel you on top of me again.
One single thought of you can take away my breath
Or leave me gasping for air, feeling the hole in my chest.
It gets smaller and larger as the days pass by
Pulsing, screaming, aching, leaving
Only to show up again when I least expect.
It would be easier to hate you, but I find that I can’t.
I want you too badly, too madly, sadly.
And how can this be the end?
When there was never a beginning?
And how can I let go?

When I’m only holding on to smoke?

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Okay, So What Do I Want?

So in my last post I said I settled for less than the marriage I wanted, because my husband and I weren't mature enough to be married when we did.  So I'm trying to put together a proactive list of things I do want in a marriage, so that I'll know if and when I get it.

I want...

Friday, August 9, 2013

Why You Shouldn't Get Married at 18... and Why You Can't Tell an 18 Year Old That

I got married at the age of 18.  I knew all of the statistics... early marriages are more likely to end in divorce... your brain isn't fully matured until the age of 25... you don't know who you ARE yet at the age of 18, you're still trying on different identities.  And so on and so forth.

I made the decision to get married anyway.  After all, by the time I was 18, I'd already known and been close friends with my husband for TEN YEARS.  I'd already finished two years of college.  And I was dead certain that I knew exactly who I was, and that while some small things might change, my basic identity was already fixed.  Besides which, even if I changed, I was certain that the only thing required for a healthy marriage was commitment.  Sure, we'll grow and change, I thought, but we'll just make sure we grow TOGETHER and everything will be FINE.

This is why you can't tell 18 year olds anything.  They always think that they are the exception to the rule.  And since there always ARE some exceptions to the rule, you can never convince them otherwise.

By the way, this doesn't only apply to teenagers.  I think everyone, from 9 to 99, has the tendency to whine "but it's DIFFERENT with ME!!!"