Friday, March 20, 2009
That's all well and good for the first 365 days...
I am now about six months in to my challenge. No sex, no attempts at seduction, no complaints, hints, inuendos, yada yada yada. You get the point.
And the interesting thing is that, on the whole, my libido has dropped. It's nice in a way. A bit refreshing. I'm no longer caught in the whole cat and mouse thing. The whole demeaning cycle of having to make overatures and be rebuffed and be, at times, the bad guy for having suggested that sex once every two weeks is not too much.
It was a bit like pulling teeth. And the hurt on being rejected was hard. The hardest bit was when it was still up in the air. If Sue had said, "no way, nuh-uh, just not happening until X," then it would have been a bit easier. We would both know where we stood. But that wasn't her approach. I don't know whether she was feeling a bit ambivalent, or whether she was trying to not say no. But the pattern was often one of overatures that didn't get rebuffed until well after I had thought we were making some progress.
The hardest times were the times I thought something would happen. Like Christmas. Or my birthday. I guess I just felt that Sue would want to do something special for me... for us... on those occassions. No such luck. Again, if I had known in advance, then that would have been easier. I wouldn't have gotten my hopes up. I am reminded -- if this analogy is not too absurd -- of what John McCain said about the prisoners of war who didn't make the difference. Who were they? The optimists! They were sure they were going to get out by Christmas. Then they were sure they were going to get out by Easter, and so on. Eventually the continued disappointment broke them, and broke them badly.
Ok, so being asexual with your wife is hardly being a POW, but there is a lesson to draw, perhaps: that optimism can lead to, ironically enough, a more negative experience.
Resignation isn't the best idea either, I think. That sounds a bit too close to giving up on life. I guess that's why it's important to me to have this be for a definite time frame. It means that this is still a situation in which I am making choices. It reminds me that I have choices open to me. Choosing not to ask Sue for sex, or even to ask her to see a doctor or a psychologist, is something that comes from me. It's not something she's imposed upon me or forced me to do. I feel very much in control of that decision.
I could, I suppose, easily enough revert to our previous pattern of nagging/asking/begging/waiting/hoping for sex, and getting it every two or three weeks. Part of that pattern was asking her to see a doctor or psychologist or for us to go together to a sex therapist. But that was hardly a fulfilling sexual relationship. And Sue said she would go to the psychologist, but she never did.
So I chose to try another tactic. I chose to give her space. I chose to let her come to me if she chose to. I wanted to short circuit our patterns. And I wanted to give her some air, as it were, and let her feel free of the pressure.
But now, six months in, I am beginning to worry. She has shown no interest in either sex, or in figuring out why she has (as she says) no libido. That's fine, but then what happens at the end of a year? We only begin talking about it then? And then maybe she has some deep seated childhood issue to resolve which may take some years? So things are then... what? Drifting? In limbo? Dragging on for EVER?
Subconsciously I somehow imagined that after a year we would be having sex again. Normal sex. Not nagging/begging/pleading/asking sex. Mutual sex where we both find it an empowering, satisfying experience that we look forward to on a periodic basis.
Six months in, and I am suddenly realising that that half-formed thought in the back of my head is utterly unrealistic. It just ain't gonna happen.
So now what?
Another option is that at the end of the year it could become clear to me that we will never have a "normal" relationship. Our physical and emotional intimacy will just not be there in the same way that other couples have it.
Maybe that could be viable. It's certainly not a miserable existence. We don't fight much. We mostly get on. We love the kids and want the best for them. We love each other -- in a very non-intimate way! -- and want the best for each other, too. We have a nice house, and a reasonably comfortable middle class life.
Who wants to be single again?!?
"Hey baby, come here often?"
And as I get older, I suppose I will want sex less and less. (I've wanted sex less and less ever since I was 13!)
But still... recomitting to a relationship where: 1) she doesn't want sex at all, ever; and 2) she has very little interest in emotional intimacy; and 3) she has no real interest in addressing my concerns about 1 and 2 by seeing a counsellor or talking to me about it...
Well... every relationship is imperfect. At least she doesn't drink; doesn't gamble; doesn't spend lots of money; doesn't lie to me (as far as I know!); doesn't manipulate; isn't lazy; doesn't cheat on me (as far as I know).
In fact... as the old joke goes, except for her shortcomings, she's perfect!
What is a deal breaker for me?
A lack of sex certainly wouldn't be a deal breaker if she were ill...
Hmmm. So much to think about. So much to talk about.
If only she would talk to me about it! And if only I hadn't taken this dumb vow, so that I could bring it up with her!
I think I might have to re-examine that part of the vow. I want some resolution at the end of the year. I want some clarity on where and how we're going forward.
I can keep it in my pants for a year, but I need that year to end with a bang, not a whimper.
Any thoughts out there in the blogosphere? I would be interested to hear your ideas and reactions. :)