Monday, August 30, 2010

The Path Taken

There is so much I want to write about, but time is short these days. For now, I will offer a message about where I am in life right now.

Last night, my wife placed another restriction on our lovemaking in terms of what can take place. (Thankfully, we weren't making love at the time she announced this restriction. Also, it is not a painful thing or something some people consider immoral or degrading.) Mind you, the frequency of lovemaking in general has been down to once a week for a while now, though I do think there is some light at the end of that tunnel coming up very soon.

This prompted me to again evaluate in my head our overall situation beyond just lovemaking. But as far as the lovemaking, I already knew that my marriage was by far my sexual relationship with the lowest frequency of sex. (I'll say again, as I did when I detailed this before, that I now realize that the sex outside of marriage was wrong. But that doesn't change the facts of sexual frequency.) It now occurrs to me that it is the one with the most sexual restrictions placed on it by my partner. Then again, my wife is the only woman who was a virgin when we started.

Those facts, along with a lot of other aspect our of life these days, is not how I thought things would be. If I were to send a snapshot of my current life, without commentary, back in time to myself when I was considering whether or not to get married, I wouldn't have gotten married. I love my wife and kids and there's a lot about life that is good, but I would not have come down this path.

So what does that mean?

It means I need to change the things I can. Maybe it is just my attitude or perspective, but it is probably more than that. I made vows to my wife and I believe in my obligations to our children, so I would not consider something drastic like separation.

Separation would not make things better; it would make things worse. It would make them worse for me, it would make them worse for our kids for sure, and my guess is that things would be worse for my wife. She's told me repeatedly how much she loves her life and that things are the way she wants them. That makes me reluctant to rock the boat. I don't want to diminish her happiness. But on the other hand, if something is going to bother me to the point of causing me to resent her or otherwise act negatively, then I am obligated to do something about that, which, in some cases, will likely include telling her that I need something to be different. I'll only do that if she as any control over it. I'm not going to whine to her about something she can't change.

There are certain points in life where there is no going back. Even though I wouldn't have chosen this path had I known it would be the way things are at this moment, the fact is, I did choose this path and there is no going back. There are things about my life that I'm certain would be better right now if I had remained unmarried and childless, and that's not just "grass is greener" stuff. Then again, there's always a chance that something horrible could have happened to me.

Much of life is like this. If we fully knew the pain or the frustration or struggle that was ahead based on a choice (I'm not referring to immoral behaviors), we would have gone in a different direction. But our growth as individuals would be severely stunted.

I'm optimistic that things will get better. Maybe with the next hug I get from one of my kids, I'll feel like I would have been crazy to have avoided this path.

One last thing before I wrap this up. I have never stopped my wife from doing anything during our lovemaking, or told her at other times not to do something during our lovemaking.

Dear reader, do you have any thoughts about this? Maybe your own tale? Suggestions?

6 comments:

  1. curiepoint12:05 PM

    With regards to your whole "If I knew then what I know now" view of your marriage, I wouldn't give that a second thought. Everyone contemplates hinsight at one time or another, and in just about every case, people would elect to do things differently. That is the nature of hindsight, after all.

    I would have to say that remaining optimistic is the hallmark of seeing improvement in things. If your wife is of a similar mind, then you are even further along the way towards it as well. While you don't sound unhappy, there are rumblings of discontent looming. It is the time to tread carefully.

    That you are feeling consternation while your wife is saying that her life is exactly where she wants it to be causes me some concern; that says to me that the two of you aren't on the same page with regards to your life together. I don't wish to sound like I am demonizing her, but from a mile-high viewpoint, it appears that you make fewer demands and place few limits upon her, than she is upon you.

    Be careful, here.

    I know that you are motivated by a higher purpose in keeping things together, but be sure you do not lose yourself in favor of supporting the marriage. That path will lead to misery. You matter, and your wants and needs matter too. Don't "Be a man" and let them slip away in favor of principle only. Marriages aren't built solely upon principle; they are built upon mutual respect and compromise.

    Have you told her that some of these recent turns of events have been making you unhappy? What was her reaction? If she was dismissive or evasive about it, then I would say you have a problem taking root, which will need addressing from a more professional or spiritual venue. Would she be open to such discussions?

    Finally, be careful that this blog does not become your sole outlet for expressing your feelings. She needs to hear them with full-throated directness and honesty from you. Remember that we out here can listen and offer up opinions, but she is the one who most needs to hear what is in your head and heart.

    Good luck to you, and keep us posted.

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  2. I've been married for over 20 years and I've come to the conclusion marriage is a lot of effort for no discernible reward.

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  3. Peter, that is a really sad comment and I'm sorry that you feel that way.
    Ken my friend, I think it is really important to talk about how we feel with our spouses. Resentment is like a cancer that will eat away at everything good you have together. It's good hat you are committed and that she sounds happy, what isn't good is that you feel there are things in your life that you wish were different. If your wife can't change the way things are, that is one thing; however, if these controls and stipulations are in her control, then I think you two need to talk. Lovemaking is very important in a marriage and both partners need to feel free to express themselves. I think maybe you need to really talk about what it is you NEED from your relationship. Be honest. Renegotiating the contract is something that I think every couple in it for the long haul has to do occasionally. Best of luck to you...

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  4. Thanks for your feedback, and if anyone wants to add more, please do.

    Intellectually, I know I shouldn't simply vent on a blog and otherwise keep it bottled up. And I know that taking the approach that all I really need is food, water, and a roof over my head would also not be good in the long run.

    There must be something wrong with me in that I'd rather "eat it" as long as she is happy than to upset the apple cart. I even know this is essentially what my father did until he finally started having physical symptoms. The particulars were probably different, but the concept was the same... "I can handle it in my head." My parents did go to counseling for years and ended up divorcing, probably in part because my father had let things go so long that my mother had a hard time understanding why he was upset. In her mind, he wasn't upset for all those years and then one day he was fed up. To this day, many years later, she says he simply decided he didn't want to be married anymore. That's how she make sense of it. The reality is that he WAS upset, he just figured it was easier to shut up about it.

    My wife may already know at least some of what I'm thinking and feelings, because the times she has told me how happy she is and how things are the way she's always wanted her life to be, my response has been "That's great." It has never been, "Yeah, me too." She's no idiot. She probably is just giving me time to sort everything out and approach her on my terms.

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  5. Ken, I think real love is putting someone's happiness in front of your own. That said, you can't sacrifice your whole life and repeat the past.
    My mother and father got divorced. My father described it as a "light switch going off" and he just didn't love my mother anymore. I know there was more to it, but to this day, I find myself testing my husband to see if he will pass. That isn't really right either.
    I think it is a good thing to verbalize how you are feeling because it clarifies things. Then, when you do approach your wife, you can do so calmly and without reproach and blame. I know you will find a way that you can both be happy. Wishing you all the best - always.

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  6. Thanks, snowflake, and thanks again everyone. A short update about what I wrote about in this entry...

    A few days ago I hinted at one of the problems, something I have brought up before, and it was the wrong thing to do or the wrong way to do it. She told me she took it as meaning I think she is a bad mother. Generally, I think she is a great mother and I frequently tell her so. But none of the possible solutions to the problem I could think of at the time were ones she liked or believes she is able to do.

    The result was that she was upset and our currently-weekly increasingly "mercy" lovemaking session was out of the question.

    But on a positive note, I may have come up with solution that will minimize the one problem, at least make it problem less of the time. I will have to discuss it with her. Also, she has asked her friends for a solution and make takes some positive steps forward.

    And on a more interesting topic, I really didn't want to go two weeks without a lovemaking session, so last night I purposely slept lightly so that I would be awake and aware when she came to bed (usually, she has to wake me up from a deep sleep) and I took the initiative and "attacked" her. I got her so turned on that she put the "dropped menu item" back on the menu. At least for last night. We haven't have a chance to talk about it yet so for all I know she'll take it back off the menu. Anyway, I was really happy, though I feel bad about her getting too little sleep.

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