Monday, June 1, 2009

a kiss, perchance?

We caught a bit of a ro. com. on tv tonight. And at the end, Hugh Grant held Drew Barrymore's face in his hands. She beamed. He kissed her. She kissed him back. 

And I wished I could do that. That simple, loving exchange, with my wife. The woman with whom I've lived for nine years. the mother of my children. 

Sex -- well, we all know that's loaded. All kinds of baggage and implications, and libido can be affected by so many things. 

But a kiss? 

Why is she not interested in holding or being held by me? 

Why is a kiss too much for her? 

She didn't have any trouble that first night, nine years ago. 

What's changed? 

Why won't she tell me? 

Why is she dragging her feet to resolve it? 

Would she let things drag on like this for another 40 years, if I let her? 

They say marriage is supposed to kill sex. But romance? Sure, familiarity and routine sap it out a bit, but wouldn't most women be chomping at the bit to get some romance back into their lives? 

We take a vow to foresake all others. Breaking that vow is said to be being "unfaithful" or to have "cheated". And yet now I find myself foresaken. And on some level it feels like that means she is being unfaithful to me. Not for her feelings, but for her lack of interest in doing anything about how she feels. 

If only there were a map, so I knew where we were going, or a timetable, so I knew when we'd be likely to arrive. 

They say these things sort themselves out, eventually. 

But they don't tell you how to manage until they do...


  1. Mark, I've had similar thoughts: that long-term refusal of sex within a monogamous marriage is also a breach of fidelity.

    There's an interesting series of posts by Greta Christina, who's sexually much more adventurous than you or I. She makes the argument that the partner who's relegated to celibacy might be able to cheat, ethically, as the least-bad choice in the situation. I'd be interested in knowing what you think of her arguments. There are three posts:

    Part OnePart TwoPart ThreeHer comment threads got taken over by rather doctrinaire polyamorists. I'm not convinced that polyamory is all that often a viable option. I think most partners who refuse sex would see it as a mortal threat to their relationship - and why should they agree to an open relationship if they don't want sex themselves?

    Anyway, I'm curious what you think.

  2. Sorry that Blogger took out my line breaks between those links - there are in fact three separate links to the three individual posts.