12 May 2006


Rude and personal. Also probably boring. By all means scroll on.

Freewheeling sounds good, doesn't it, but maybe not, so much. Particularly not for a morality freak like me who likes to think that she's going in a straight line, or at least deviating by controlled (and safe) choice.

I've been mentally freewheeling this week in the absence of Husband, who returns today. For the most part, without even noticing, I've looked at the extremes of my personal restraints in all directions, moral and emotional. Its been a bad week.

Like a child I've sulked and fidgeted and let my imagination run riot; missed him desperately whilst at the same time intellectually postulating that my life is a totally uncreative dead end and its all his fault, because, hey, he's happy, so I blame him for my lack of impetus. In one sense that's fair. I don't seem able to function as a sane human being without him and I get withdrawal symptoms, so anything I enthuse about that he can't see a point to, gets put on the back burner. Where he's concerned I only ever act as part of a couple and I can't and won't shake that. Grumble about it, for sure. Change it? Never.

I seriously suspect, however, that I have become one of those people who would have a short circuit at the idea of travelling on my own - its that bad.

Its no good having dreams if you're chicken, so instead, as I've imagined all these disparate life paths during my enforced solitary confinement this week, I find I've been blaming him for not sharing my (constantly changing and unspoken) desires, like a teenage girl would blame her gang if she had to walk the path of eyeballs to a nightclub loo all on her own.

I wonder when I developed this unattractive need to be pack-handed; possibly during a 23 year stint as mother to junior school children. It won't do. Maybe all this fidgeting and grumbling marks the beginning of coming out of that. (Ing, ing, ing, ing - sorry.) Fingers crossed, eh.

At the same time as feeling too emotionally heavy and dull to have a proper conversation with anyone, at the same time as worrying that my laugh sounds as fake and hollow as the over enthusiastic whooping of a twelve year old boy (and can't they just ham it up in the chuckle act), at the same time as spending a whole week in a sort of suspended animation like there was something else I was supposed to do but I just can't recall it, I have also (slap my wrists) been silently looking over an ex from my teenage years and imagining where a different path would have taken me. Not shopping you understand, just comparing.

He and I DO NOT SUIT EACH OTHER, (that was shouted for my benefit, not yours.) Quite apart from that, I am blatantly useless without Husband and totally in love, even when I want to kill him. Nonetheless, ex was there to talk to, if only by msn chat, and as he is open and honest, trustworthy and honourable and completely oversexed, I did fantasise about turning up on his doorstep, with an opening gambit along the lines of "Right, my train home is in two hours, roger me senseless and sideways, take photos, whatever, and lets get it over and done with."

It strikes me that I don't know him that well anymore - a line like that would have worked in the past and I might even have got a cup of tea or a beer out of it afterwards, but these days I wouldn't put it past him to call the police, and anyway its a displaced hunger, I just want my H to come home.

Ex - I know you may read this- so there you go - have a good chuckle at this - when (and only when) my husband is based in some swanky hotel at the company's expense and I am home indoors cooking fish fingers for warring kids - you constitute a very nicely distracting fantasy, plus fuel for my resentment.

Resentment is good. I find that anger fires me up and allows me to keep functioning, in a mad-woman, closed off sort of a way, whereas soppy sappy emotions make me totally useless. Actually, experiencing soppy sappy feelings makes me angry. Hmm. I wonder if thats a coping strategy, 'If vulnerable and panicked, become a belligerent old bag'. Ouch.

Maybe I'm just too moral and chicken to manage to fantasise about strangers or non existent people. I've tried and it doesn't work, because a huge chunk of my conscious brain sits there chanting 'tacky, slutty, tacky, slutty' til my libido gives up. Somehow, if I'm really going to seriously imagine building a sweat up with someone, it has to be someone I trust completely (especially with the sort of scenario I have in mind), and not having made some very good choices in my life, well the available selection is elite, to say the least.

Its fun to imagine things, very liberating and daredevil, but at the same time my inner schoolmarm starts raising a disapproving eyebrow and keeping me in check. If I go too far, even in the realm of dreams, I start to feel under the weather, ill, out of sorts. I guess I have fidelity hard wired, which is at once a pity and a wonderful thing, depending on how defiant I'm feeling.

Oh what the hell. I don't use tools or scenes and I don't even watch dirty movies, my imagination and my libido are enough that they just aren't warranted. One dirty look from Husband is enough, and as I've aged, I've come to subscribe to the wonderful attitude that if one of us is naked and smiling, the other should just make the most of it and be happy!

That's why I understand and respect those that hanker for a bit of play acting in their private lives, without being able to subscribe on my own behalf. Imagining things is wonderful fun for me, but really doing them would be a whole different ball game, as I just couldn't see the point, not in real life. You don't 'become someone else' by putting on an outfit or a couple of cuffs, or anything else you can imagine, you only allow yourself to feel a certain way. Once you know what way that is, you can switch it on and off mentally without need for any more assistance that a pair of eyes to look into, knowing that the intent is playing out in synchronicity. At least I can. Does that make me odd?

Anyway, thanks for letting me work out where my head is at. Unless someone comments, fast, to say that they know EXACTLY what I mean, this post will self destruct in the near future, being consigned to my own email inbox as a kind of 'Dear God' letter.

As for Husband: Get your butt home in good time today boy - and make sure it's not tired, otherwise I think I just might have to kill you.



doris said...

No don't self-destruct this post - it opens the possibility for a lot of us to say relevant things, and it speaks out bravely about subjects people normally keep hidden when they shouldn't! I can't stop now, back soon!

Cheryl said...

Unspoken? Oh dear! Does that mean they'll be having a book burning for Shakespeare?

lol ;-)

Stegbeetle said...

Different life paths and fantasies? Welcome to my nightmare, as the song goes! I appreciate that the comments section of someone else's blog isn't the place for me to get into this but your post plucked a string in my heart. Here goes:
I've been married for nearly 14 years. For 13 years of that Wife has suffered from clinical depression of varying degrees of severity. Is that my fault? Would she have been in such a dark place married to someone else?
For the last 5 years her physical condition has been steadily deteriorating. She's in constant pain from Crohne's disease and very immobile due to worsening spinal arthrtis and osteoporosis. All this physical shit means that it's impossible for us to have any kind of intimate physical relationship without it causing her real pain. Now I know for some people inflicting pain is a turn on but this scenario is a little different. So she's physically unfulfilled and chronically depressed! What a great life I've given her.
Just to guarantee that I'm not going to go to heaven (if the Christians are right!) this is where the selfishness of man kicks in. Why should I have to deal with all this? I have a Wife whom I loved when I married her and almost straight away she changed beyond recognition. Any kind of intimate physical relationship (i.e. sex) is impossible and has been for the last 2 and a half years. Fantasy is all I have.
I've been in contact with a face from the past. I know nothing will happen because I don't have the nerve to sustain a physical affair of any kind. God knows, I don't have time for one!
As you say, "resentment is good". It gives me the impetus to keep plodding on through the mire of my life, supporting Wife as best I can, effectively a single parent for much of the time, maybe even a single parent of three rather than two!
But resentment is bad. None of this is her fault, we're just victims of circumstance. Circumstance that's changed our relationship from a loving couple to what? Almost brother/sister sometimes, parent/child others. So why should I have the right to feel resentful? Other people are worse off than I. Just because I've been denied "a normal, happy life" (whatever that means) why should I be resentful? Life is what life is.

I realise this is horribly intrusive on someone else blog. Sorry, Cheryl. I've got it off my chest now. Just let me have a fag and stop shaking and I'll come back and delete it.

Cheryl said...

Its fantastic, please don't delete unless your think your wife would feel dishonoured or betrayed by this honesty.
Can't you resent the circumstances, as opposed to the players, without guilt?

Mega waves of support coming at both of you, plus my extreme respect.

doris said...

Respect from me too!

Just whizzing through at the mo.

Stegbeetle said...

Resent the circumstances without guilt? I try but the guilt keeps seeping through! "Mea culpa. Mea maxima culpa!" I can't help but feel I could have done (or could do) something different. That shadowy, unknowable "something" is what gives me the heebie-jeebies and feeling that somehow, somewhere I've let everybody down.
As Robert Plant would have it - "Nobody's fault but mine"!

zilla said...

Not to go too far off topic, but all I've got over here is bacon. AHEM.

Actually, I think we're pretty like-minded on this one. Although, I have to say, I am willing to don the naughty nurse outfit for someone else's benefit, it just doesn't do much for me, personally. What? Is this not the sort of thing you were alluding to? Ooops!

Stegbeetle -- my heart goes out to you. No fault, no blame, no guilt. Yes, mega-waves of support to all of you.

Cheryl said...

Just a thought - Christian morals - Abram married his sister and shagged his handmaiden. Ruth had to marry into the family to keep her mother in law provided for, but wangled herself the best relative rather than the nearest. Esther was a hand of God and a concubine all at once and as for Solomon and that lot......

Just another thought - shit happens, sometimes in un-bloody-believable bucket loads. The measure of a man is not in whether he might have unwittingly deserved it but in how he deals with it. You are a considerate guy, Steg.

And yes, I WILL keep arguing with you on this one, lol, nobody runs my mate steggy down, including himself.

Zilla: In a nutshell. :-)

Anonymous said...

Cheryl, this post is so close to home I don't know what to say. Surely it's part of getting older (I call it my midlife crisis) to wonder. You just weight it up constantly, whether it would be better to go or to stay. Trouble is, we only have one shot and most of us would have liked to try several different ways of living it.

Had to laugh. When they suggest all that 'going on a date and acting like you've just met' when you've known them for 15 years. Are they serious? I can't kid myself. It's either new or it ain't in my head :D

I don't think resentment is good. I think resentment causes illness, as it's a 'holding in'. Anger let's it out. Resentment eats you up, in my experience (I'm an expert *sigh*)

Stegbeetle, I feel for you. I don't know what else to say apart from to give you total respect as the others have done. And sympathy. And understanding. In my house there is a mutual feeling that we have not given each other the best life we could have, but we stay for children. There is sadness and resentment every day.

Cheryl said...

Dearest Anon
If it is your partner that suggested the 'first date scene', then thats what they need to get a fire in their eyes; a sensation that you don't belong to them, that they have to charm you and win you, and vice versa. I think thats lovely, because it means you are as bored as each other, your 'other' is looking for the excitement and the uncertainty of a new fling too, only difference is, they want you to be the only person that they have that fling with.
A fresh start. Whats more, you don't have to be particularly turned on by or enthusiastic about that little bit of role play, to do it anyway as an act of love and good faith and caring for the needs of your partner.
The only question is, are you game for anything, or is it already too late, for you?
My very very best regards, whatever happens.

Anonymous said...

DH isn't bored, only me. I need 'new', he needs me to need him. It's too late, but thank you for your good wishes :)

Miss Cellania said...

Wow, I came over here to see if I culod find any clues about why your hubs hadn't posted and ... I am impressed with how well you express these feelings, and your openess to share them. YES I know how it is, I've been there, but unfortunately I no longer have someone to be so fiercely faithful to.

Ally said...

I agree with Doris, this is a very brave post and so are Steg and Anonymous' comments.

I had a conversation this with the Cognative Behaviour Therapist about thoughts have that I find really difficult to suppress - some relating to depression, some relating to sex. She was immensely reassuring and said in effect 'Don't worry about it, it's just one of those things. We all have thoughts that are just that, *thoughts*. Not bad or wrong. Just thoughts.'

And since we're all coming out of the closet in Cheryl's comments box; years ago when I was with my crazy ex, he thought things might be spiced up for us if I had a fling with his best friend; he dressed it up as polyamoury but in retrospect it was just titillation for him. I wanted to make things right between us, so I went along with it and I also liked the idea of poly in it's own right. And then all sorts of bad things happened that are far to complicated to explain here :).

Thoughts are fine. Putting things in to practice can be explosive.

And respect, Steg.

She Weevil said...

I was going to rant here about John but I've changed my mind. LTB overdosed on some max strength flu remedy today taking 2 1/2 sachets. Entirely my fault; felt like shit, left the box in a very stupid place. I've been at the hospital since 2 o'clock this afternoon. I get home just after 9 and John is pissed - very pissed and now I'm pissed too, metaphorically not literally.
Steg, mate, I wish I could shake you by the hand or hug you or something. I know at times wafting in and out of depression, I have felt I landed John with something like your life and I know now he feels exactly the same. Life, in my experience, can be real shite and sometimes you just have to share and hope that someone will have an inkling of what you are talking about.
In reality a lot of people know and care and wish they had the power to make all our lives different and even better (certainly a smidgeon easier).
Hugs to everyone. Things in my life are often the dogs bollocks; a lot of it is plain bollocks but I know it's not just me now.

Oh, and Steg mate, say one fewer rosary and an extra bollocks and you are absolved.

KW said...

Frequent reader, rare commenter; just wanted to say how much I admired your post. And particular respect to Steg and Sheweevil. Life's simply a bit shit sometimes, isn't it, but the important thing is not that it's a bit shit, but how you cope with it, I think. I hope things seem a bit brighter asap.

Cheryl said...

I just wanted to say everyone should follow the link in Ally's post, which doesnt define polyamoury at all, but rather a list of ten ways (in its own words) to "totally fuck up a relationship", one of them being saving up resentment for a blow out, although it puts this and the inferences of this behaviour far more eloquently.
Thought provoking stuff.

fineartist said...

I'll be back as I don't have time to comment right now, Mouse has a socker game at 11:30, so I am going to think on this post that has stirred me up so much and return.

Love to all of you good people, damn life circumstances sometimes...I'll be back, hold that thought, Lori

fineartist said...

First I have to comment on, “if one of us is naked and smiling, the other should just make the most of it and be happy!” That may be a t-shirt slogan in the making. It made me laugh and I could definitely relate to it too, it’s golden.

I’m not married but I do feel that people who share space and bodies should be loyal to each other physically, it’s much less complicated, considerate and kind. It works for me. Now what goes on in my head is sometimes totally contrary to what I would actually do. So, I get ya; I know exactly what you mean. Yes. And to each his or her own.

And we always want what we don’t have…

This post brought out so many life situations, and much love has been shared by it.

Ultimately we do what we do, or not, and we live with the consequences or rewards of our behaviors.
And sometimes life has a way of twisting things to sh*t and we cope with the situations we find ourselves in the best we can.

Resentment at things/situations is okay, it spurs us on to create change, but when resentment builds up against people it begins to suck the love from us, and my still cause us to change some things. Or that’s my experience.

Stegmen, man you are a good kind man, and damned if you and your wife didn’t get dealt a shit hand. I have to say it, there are other ways to pleasure that may not hurt your wife physically, but then again I don’t know your wife’s condition in detail and I may be speaking out of turn. God/Goddess bless you and love and stuff to you.

Sheweevil, sometimes I feel like you do, I feel as if my moods have reaped havoc on my relationships, but I’m worth it and I damn sure think you are too. Hugs to you.

Man this was quite a post.

Badaunt said...

Stegbeetle: You are wonderful, and clearly you have a good relationship with your wife. (I hate the word 'relationship,' actually - can't we just take out the 'r'? It doesn't BELONG in there.)

Sex is given FAR too much important in marriage/elationships, in my opinion. Sex is an itch. You can satisfy the itch with anybody. It takes a special somebody to satisfy everything else.

Having been through something like what you describe (and from both sides! - his = kidney problems, mine = traffic accident that caused painful back lock-ups at crucial moments), I can tell you from experience that sticking it out is worth it. Sex is a footnote in a good marriage/elationship. It is NOT everything, and don't believe it if anybody tells you it is. Even if you did it EVERY DAY you'd still have 23 hours to fill up with something else (23 57/60 if you're unlucky). That 'something else' is FAR more important. Believe me, I've been there, and we've been together for nearly 20 years and I wouldn't give up a minute of it, and certainly not to scratch the itch. (And of course there have been 'itchy' times when I've wanted to, and I'm sure he has too. But there are ways around that!)

It's not always easy, but when was something worthwhile ever always easy? Good for you, for being wise enough to see that it is worth it. 'Nightmare' is not the right word. It is a tiny dark corner, and here we are, thanks to Cheryl, shedding light on it.

Abby said...

Very good very honest posts, all.

Cheryl, I can relate to what you post. I think the problem with having a spouse for a long time is the predictability of him. You know everything he will say in response to any given question. I have occasionally been obsessed with someone from my past, a male friend, and he is just a mystery, and that's what is so damn intriguing about him. Also, as it's not my place to nag him, I don't, and thus a very very unsexy part of communication I have with husband I don't have with this guy, making it easier to fantasise that life together would be a dream. It wouldn't be of course, and the friend would make a *useless* husband (he's not even a very good friend!!!) but - he is handsome. Damn it. :)

I know EXACTLY what you are going through. ( but I don't think you will delete this post now?)

And Stegbeetle, keep on keeping on. Your wife's afflictions are not your fault, you are obviously doing the best you can in a difficult situation. I think you're great and so does everyone else. Don't give up blogging!

Cheryl said...

I should mention that he's back.

I should mention that all that pent up adrenalin and frustration at loss of a routine, misdirected into imagination (my imagination being the only place where I didn't have to take the kids), has now melted away back into the safety of our ordinary, average, life.

The difference is, even for all the lack of sparkle, now I see that I am the lucky one, and for that, I'm really glad I wrote this.

Wulfweard The White said...

I was glad to be back too