Divorce, Single Parenting, Dating, Sex, & Self-Recovery

Posts tagged “sublimation of desire

Sex in the Marriage: Condition Grounded But Determined to Try

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I am guessing this is going to sound cliché. But clichés are there because they are based on repeatedly being shown as truths. What do you think about this statement?

After the heat wore off. After the kids were born. After the work of keeping up a house and mortgage payment became real. Sex became more and more infrequent.

We went through some interesting therapy sessions and ideas about how to reconnect sexually.

  • I wasn’t asking the right way
  • I was asking too much
  • I always asked at the wrong time
  • There was always something that needed to be done, before we could have sex
  • I didn’t help around the house enough
  • I needed to try seducing rather than asking, touch rather than request

Ultimately, once the sexual shift had happened there was only one period of relief.

I had just gotten a vasectomy. (A good sign, anyway, that we were doing it at all, so we would even want to keep having sex. It was kind of a right of passage from fathering to fucking.

She was already contemplating her departure, and those thoughts were crowding out the passion and love for me.

And the weeks following the surgery, after the swelling and pain had gone away, we had a sexual renaissance. You see, when you have a vaz there is a period afterwards where you are required to have 30 ejaculations before you can get tested for viable sperm. And if it’s all clear after that, you can begin nekkid sex without risk.

The ex-y even admitted to having an achievement complex, and we joked about her wanting the 30 gold stars in 45 days. And sure enough, the wind would blow and she was into getting me off. Perhaps it relieved the pressure on her to participate if it was about my orgasm and not making love.

We did it in the shower. She did me orally, manually, and seemingly with ease and enjoyment. Later we would look back on these weeks as “when it was good again.” At least, that’s what I remember saying about it. I certainly see it as the last hurrah of our marriage.

And then the goal was achieved. I was certified sperm free. And the sexual fire fizzled and went out. Almost as if a switch had been thrown. I couldn’t ask right, or provide enough house support (me or a maid) or money in the bank. There was ALWAYS something preventing us from doing it. I wanted to figure out how to have another vasectomy, or something. But nothing I tried worked.

Then, right at the end, when I had my moment of truth, I asked her. Well, it came out kind of sideways. I had bought a book “Your Sex-Starved Marriage” and she found it under the bed. It was as if she had found porn or something. She was angry. Of course I was accusing her of being the problem, that’s why I got the book. But she had plenty of ammo as to why it wasn’t all her.

She blamed it on stress, overwork, chores, things. But in reality she was no longer IN the marriage with me. She was already contemplating her departure, and those thoughts were crowding out the passion and love for me. Rather than demand closeness and touch, I withdrew into my own self-care miasma. But I sublimated my anger and desire. I compromised and let her slip further away from me. She was too far gone. And when I was finally angry it was a bit too late.

How does that phrase go? “You cannot prepare for love and war at the same time.”


The Off Parent

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Folding Her Clothes and Folding My Desire

the buddha in me killed the marriageI loved folding her clothes in the laundry. There was something cool about the jeans that were on such a different scale than mine. I could only imagine her beautiful legs and feet and toes as I origami-ed them into a warm fortune cookie.

The first time I remember looking into her eyes during love making and finding her bored was a year or so after my vasectomy. I was astonished. It was like looking back into my high school or college years and seeing the ho hum partner in a ho hum state of repose. I was flattened. I stopped. I didn’t want to continue in that relationship.

“Where’d you go? I wanted to ask. But I didn’t. And thus began my own folding. The more I desired her, and the more she desired less, the more I folded inward, and sublimated my physical desire for her with mental desires, masterbation, and fantasy.

I learned, I think I learned, I am learning, that it was a fatal flaw of my own, to cloak my own disappointment and unmet desire in a Buddhist repose. Yeah, I was above it all. Above the fray of the mundane arguments, above the loss of all sexual openings from the woman I was still madly and passionately in love with. I learned to go into my head. To believe that this was okay, this situation was temporary, things would eventually get better if I meditated, masterbated, and remained consistant in my love and presence.

I was wrong. I, in some ways, let her off the hook. When she was bored, and she had already had her orgasm, I should’ve asked. I probed a little, but was content to “wait” and “see” and be the master of my own desires. FUCK. What I was doing was removing the PASSION from myself as well.

I’m a bit stuck in that mode at this very moment. I talk about sex not being the goal. And while I believe that’s true, I also believe I deserve a willing and excitable sex partner. I am willing to be honest and open with my feelings, and in order to not lose sight of what those are again, I have to be willing to express my needs and also my disappointments.

So my wife was bored. My drive for my own passion, in that moment, evaporated in a flash. We’d had the “I guess I’m not going to orgasm” moments. And we’d laughed and talked through many awkward requests and challenges.

And she was B O R E D.

What I won’t settle for next is complacence. My hand is a happy host, but my heart has bigger needs. I won’t let those go unspoken ever again.

Honestly, I don’t think that moment, or my confrontation of the situation would’ve changed our trajectory. But the gradual acceptance and detachment from that loss that became more and more pronounced, that is what killed my marriage. She happened to check out a lot earlier than I did. But in some ways, I let her go, thinking that I would pick up the connection when things settled down a bit, when there was a little more money in the bank, when the kids were both in school.

NOW is it. I won’t become the fat buddha again. The belly that I work off is the isolation that I had agreed to. Do I have to be perfectly fit to find another relationship. No. But I do need to love and understand my own body, so that I can tune into the desires I have. And I have to express them so that I can learn and explore the fit with any relationship I attempt in the future.

The bored girl sophomore year in college was no big deal. Neither of us knew what to expect. My bored wife should’ve been real cause for alarm and awakening. Instead I slept and stayed up late cuddling with the internet. Computers and videos make terrible lovers.


The Off Parent