A Question of Àm in Book Six: Trying to Hold On 2019

  • Nov. 15, 2019, 12:24 p.m.
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This entry is a direct follow up, exploration, and analysis relating to THIS entry. I really must be demanding and insist that if you wish to note this entry, you MUST read the previous one. I’m certainly not comparing my life or my writing to Tolkein or Lewis but… I mean, would you take someone seriously who starts LOTR with “Return of the King” and starts asking shit like “The fuck is this Legolas and why isn’t he in the North Pole?” or if someone started with “Prince Caspian” and immediately asked “What the fuck is Cair Paravel?” So… yeah. Please, at least, go to the last entry before processing this one.

So… the way I see it is this:

I have a relationship with my Wife that has… if I am going to be deeply personally honest… never been a good one. It hasn’t. Our time in Omaha was downright fucking abusive. And the time since then has been… largely sharing existence. We have sex or fun or connection about as often as you might expect in an awkward 1990s room mate situation (maybe less). I honestly believe that the reason we’ve stayed together is that we fall along a unique intersection of personality and processing oppositions.
I was raised with “Love conquers all” and “Love is a promise, not an activity” and “There will be times in your marriage that you don’t like each other; choose on those days to love each other.” Mixed with an unhealthy amount of religiosity and honor.
Wife was raised with “Life should be comfortable” and “You can always rely on someone else if you need something” and “If you love someone, then it is a good marriage, that is all it takes.” Mixed with an unhealthy amount of self-focus and metathesiophobia.

So… you have someone raised to stay with his wife no matter what; and someone who was raised to stay with her husband as long as she was taken care of and she loved him.

Honestly, at no point in my marriage have I ever really thought How would this be improved? because I knew not to expect it. Until I honestly couldn’t take it anymore. And I get to that place faster and faster every time. At first, it took 3 years. Then it took 2 years. Then it took 1 year. Now it is only taking months. Because… frankly? That’s just how life works. I mean… I’m genuinely SUPER TIRED of being the “motivator” in the relationship. At some point… which I feel we’ve already passed… it can’t be me telling Wife to go to counseling or telling Wife to engage in the relationship. I ADMIT that she’s consistently kissed my head this week and wanted hugs and she did say “I love you” without me expressly telling her to this week. But as I repeatedly say… Wife and I have been together for 14 years. We’ve been married for over 8 years. Is it rational to credit her with “positive steps” when I hear “I love you” once and get kissed on the forehead every day? Or is that maybe not exactly a marital relationship at that point?

BUT SHE IS STILL MY WIFE AND SHE LOVES ME; so (despite the fact that many of you have, likely correctly, stated that this isn’t really a marriage) I do owe her something.

On the other hand? There is this.. impossible girl.

Do you know what I would say as a kid growing up when I was talking to my friends imagining a dream girl?
It was always a strong but sensitive Japanese martial artist
Or a petite redhead with a dorky streak and a fashion sense.

“Emily?” Is a petite redhead who quotes Doctor Who and with whom I’ve had numerous conversations with about shoes. Obviously, there’s more there than that but… this honestly is the kind of girl I thought… or hoped… I’d at least… get to know romantically… once in my life.

As the title says in a mixture of languages:

It is all “a question of timing”. Well, timing and communication.

You see, the truth is… and if you’ve been reading me long enough this isn’t a surprise, one of the most powerful motivating factors in my life is not be seen as a monster. I saw myself as a monster for so long that… I don’t want others to see me like that. It would… honestly… affect me.

So… here is what lies before me.

I need to discuss… all of this… with my Wife. Clearly.
(1) I need to tell her that… our situation isn’t working for me. I mean… she knows, she has to know, that it isn’t working for me. I’ve said it so often to her that I don’t think I could honestly respect her intelligence at this point if it was a surprise to her.
(2) I need to tell her that we’ve gone through this fucking cycle too many times for me to have any interest in doing it again. If we stay married and the same cycles begin again? We’ll just shorten the time until I’m fed up more and more. We went from 3 years to 2 years to 1 year to 6 months. If that is a reliable pattern; if things don’t get actually better, I’ll be fed up in 3 months. And as you dissect that number, it gets smaller and smaller until there’s no time at all.
(3) I need to tell her that it feels like our marriage is a chore. That she needs to be constantly reminded or told to consider me as a partner, a person with needs and her persistent habit of ignoring that… is beyond bloody exhausting.
(4) I need to tell her that I am not looking for the door. That I was never looking for the door; but that honestly it feels like we’re getting to the point where the door has just been sitting there open for so long that I’ve already got one foot out.
(5) I need to tell her about “Emily.” She already knows that I find “Emily” attractive. She already knows that “Emily” is poly. What I need to tell her is that “Emily” mentioned that she was attracted to me. And the idea of feeling attractive to someone made me want to cry because I’ve been missing it so much. That I need to feel wanted and it’s been too long.

And from there? We need to have a discussion about what happens next.

So now, we return to the タイミングの問題」。(Taimingu no mondai’.) a question of timing”.

In one sense, I need to have this conversation sooner rather than later. “Emily” and I have a play tonight, tomorrow, and Sunday. NOT talking to my wife about this before the play is over seems like I’m hiding something. However… I do have the play tonight. So I wouldn’t be able to talk to my wife about this until after the play is over. One of the people who is coming out to see my play is crashing at our place tonight. My parents arrive tomorrow around noon to see the play. My in-laws arrive later that night to see the play. So… unless I decide to have this likely very emotional and difficult discussion with my wife while we have guests… worse still, while our parents are the guests… then I honestly don’t think I can even have this conversation until the play is over.

Which makes me really think: “What then?”

Because one of many things may happen after this play is over-

(1) Life returns to normal. My miserable marriage remains the same. I don’t see “Emily” again until the next play. Life in static.
(2) Life returns to normal but gets better. My miserable marriage is helped by counseling and therapy. I don’t see “Emily” again until the next play. Life improvement.
(3) Wife and I go for a separation angle. I feel like shit essentially kicking her out of the house. I don’t see “Emily” again until the next play out of a feeling of guilt.
(4) Wife and I decide to get divorced. I feel like shit essentially kicking her out of the house. I don’t see “Emily” again until the next play out of a feeling of guilt.
(5) Life returns to normal. My miserable marriage remains the same. “Emily” and I stay in touch and stay friends with the allure between us just sitting out there.
(6) Life returns to normal but gets better. My miserable marriage is helped by counseling and therapy. “Emily” and I stay in touch and stay friends with the allure between us just sitting out there.
(7) Wife and I go for a separation angle. “Emily” and I stay in touch and stay friends with the allure between us just sitting out there. I begin to pay a lot of money on dating apps.
(8) Wife and I decide to get divorced. “Emily” and I stay in touch and stay friends with the allure between us just sitting out there. I begin to pay a lot of money on dating apps.
(9) Life returns to normal. My miserable marriage remains the same. “Emily” and I begin an affair. The marriage collapses anyway.
(10) Life returns to normal but gets better. My miserable marriage is helped by counseling and therapy. “Emily” and I begin an affair. The marriage collapses anyway.
(11) Wife and I go for a separation angle. “Emily” and I begin a relationship. I consider it too weird and make an ass of myself. I then second-guess my decision to separate.
(12) Wife and I go for a separation angle. “Emily” and I begin a relationship. I begin to pay a lot of money on dating apps.
(13) Wife and I decide to get divorced. “Emily” and I begin a relationship. I consider it too weird and make an ass of myself. I then second-guess my decision to separate.
(14) Wife and I decide to get divorced. “Emily” and I begin a relationship. I begin to pay a lot of money on dating apps.


woman in the moon November 15, 2019

MAYBE - you'll be discovered and offered a screen test and whisked off to Hollywood and become the next Harrison Ford! That means you have that skinny blonde in your future.

Purple Dawn November 15, 2019

Don't talk to your wife when you have company.
And run from that Emily, she is not the answer. Jmo

DE_KentuckyGirl November 15, 2019

Oh boy. This thought process was similar to mine with my ex. I was raised to believe like you. He was raised rk believe like....not quite like your wife, but more like he was so special that anyone with him should feel very lucky to have him altho he gave nothing.

When you see what is actually out there, that others do indeed find you attractive and you can possibly find a fulfilling relationship that you're craving and not getting with the one you want it with, well.....for me, that was the beginning of considering a different life.

So hard. And much guilt. But best thing I ever did.

stargazing November 15, 2019

Break a leg!

Foofah November 15, 2019

I think that the confession from Emily has opened your eyes, which is good.
Like I stated in my note in the previous entry, I have issues that keep me from being romantic with my Husband and it's a concern of his but I don't think he's actively thought of leaving the marriage because of it. Granted, the time lapses do not come close to what you're experiencing. I think that any progress by your wife should be praised and encouraged. It's what you've been seeking this whole time. Although she hasn't jumped in with both feet, it is progress. In my opinion, as long as she's making forward progress then your marriage deserves all of your attention. It can't necessarily be on your time schedule. You can encourage a time frame but understand that the issue(s) lie within her and therefore she can't fix things by snapping her fingers. Progress is progress.
Also, I don't think a relationship with Emily is going to be any better for you. You talk about being devoted to your wife and not wanting/believing in divorce but then are considering a relationship with a poly woman? I don't see you succeeding in a relationship where you need to share your partner with other men.

Foofah November 15, 2019

Also, it's not really any of my business but does your wife partake in self pleasuring herself? I get the inkling that she doesn't masturbate, so it's not necessarily that she prefers masturbation over being sexual with you. I know she has made comments about your weight but I don't even think it's an issue about not being attracted to you. I honestly think your wife has issues with sexuality and being sexual. Perhaps no sex drive.

caramelchicken November 15, 2019 (edited November 15, 2019)

Edited

Your list of 14 possible scenarios is extremely lawyer-like ;) But sometimes you just have to LET GO and make a decision that you know is right for you, without knowing what the eventual outcome will be. You have to be able to sit with uncertainty and with the possibility that you may experience more low points before you get to the high points.

It really sounds like things are coming to an unavoidable head. You know that's happening when your life feels like a soap opera. But I wouldn't stress about waiting to talk to your wife until the play is over. It's not a good time to do it right now. But if it comes out anyway... which it sounds like it might... just go with it.

As for Emily. IF you end up doing anything with her, I would have lots of conversations with her about what exactly that will look like first. Does she just want a friends with benefits type sex thing, or does she want a closer emotional attachment, or a more serious romantic relationship? How often is she thinking of seeing you or e.g. even just how often will she be able to msg/call you? What do YOU want, what do you need? You're attracted to her. You don't have to be thinking of anything serious straight away, just what you still need from her (e.g. are you happy going days without texting or need more frequent contact). And just because she's got a husband (and another boyfriend?) doesn't mean she can't make you feel special and amazing.

If Emily is a good communicator and ethical poly person, I think seeing her could be ideal for you. IF you separate from your wife, the last thing you will be ready for is another serious relationship. You have a LOT of baggage and you do NOT want to be inflicting that on someone who wants a serious heading-towards-marriage relationship. You will likely need years to recover. That has certainly been my experience. However, having a light-hearted but still caring fling with a poly chick, who has the emotional support of her husband rather than being dependent on you (as someone who needs to heal) and who is also hopefully skilled at navigating healthy relationships/flings with people (which you kind of HAVE to be to be able to manage more than one concurrent relationship/fling), could be ideal. You get to have fun and healthy experiences with her AND still have the time and opportunity to work on yourself, and possibly even date other people. You don't want to get into a serious relationship again until you've had the chance to heal, work through your shit, and have worked out what type of person will be a good match for you.

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