Friday, August 11, 2006

Set Back the Doomsday Clock by a Few Minutes

WARNING: Post contains explicit sexual content.

I talked with my wife tonight after work, apologizing for losing patience with her. I told her that her unwillingness to say anything other than, "It was OK," about our counseling sessions and her complaints about the homework made me feel like she wasn't taking the counseling work seriously.

She told me that she wants to work on the marriage, which is the first time I've heard her say this during this four week ordeal. She said that it was a real struggle for her. I asked her what made this so difficult, and she replied that she feared that after doing all this work, it still might not be good enough for me and that we'd be in the same spot a year from now.

Then she told me that she had found that the Five Love Languages book author, Gary Chapman, would be giving a day-long conference titled Toward a Growing Marriage at a town about two hours south of us in a couple weeks. I looked over the materials on the web broswer on her laptop, and it seemed to be promising.

There was a problem; the people whom we could trust most to watch the kids for a day already had existing commitments. There were two other possibilites: my brother and sister-in-law and her other best friend. Brother lives about a hour north of here, and her friend lives about an hour and a half north of here. Given that we would have to backtrack to make the trip, that would most likely require an overnight stay.

When we were discussing my brother as an option, she opened it with a remark that bugged me. She said something like, "If your brother knows we're having troubles, we could ask him and his wife to watch the kids, but I still don't believe that was whom you were IMing with."

She's holding onto that, but I'm not going to fight too aggressively because that just draws more suspicion. I just told her that I've asked my brother not to let sister-in-law know because then it would get back to my evil aunt. She wondered if even my brother could be trusted to keep it a secret, and she agreed that sister-in-law and aunt were too cozily chatty.

I asked her if she had anything to share regarding her individual therapy. She said that the therapist seemed nice enough. I asked her if she knew why the counseling organization she had contacted steered her toward that therapist. The therapist is part of a larger non-profit where only a couple of the therapists are on the approved provider list for our insurance. She said she wasn't sure, but she said the therapist said she could understand her situation since she had two small children of her own.

She then asked me whether I would be willing to attend a session with this therapist after she had completed a few visits. I said that I would be glad to, and that I had anticipated that I would be called in at some point. She also made some mention about possibly seeing this therapist together instead of continuing with our marriage counselor. This surprised me, because to me the marriage counselor has seemed to be more sympathetic toward my wife's stance than my own. I told her that I would be open to that possibility.

I told her that our third counseling session left me unhappy because it sounded as if the therapist was telling me that in order to preserve the marriage, I would need to lower my expectations down and just be happy with what I have. That was too bitter of a pill for me to swallow. My wife countered that maybe the therapist said I should do that so that I could get what I want in the long run.

Our conversation was interrupted by the arrival of her best friend's husband, who had come over to use our shower since their bathroom is under renovation. Then her best friend came by to pick up her kids, whom we had been watching. She had been at a training class for a bereavement support group.

While my wife and her friend chatted, I did some more searching and found a second organization that promotes the same marriage seminars, and they were having one in early February at a place about an hour from here. Winter weather concerns aside, attending that conference would be much easier to do than the one in a couple of weeks, so I brought it up with my wife later. She agreed, but said it seemed like it was so far off (a little under six months).

After everyone had left and the kids were in bed. We hugged. I thanked her for committing to work on this, and apologized for being impatient. It was a long embrace, and it felt good. She then asked me if I wanted to have sex. I threw the inner overanalyst in the closet and didn't say anything. I just kissed her and started pushing her toward the bedroom. She seemed to enjoy my aggressiveness.

I pushed her onto the bed and started stripping the clothes off forcefully. Then I did the same to myself. I pounced on her, kissed her a few times, eschewed foreplay, and just took her, thrusting myself into her without using any lubricant. Surprisingly enough, she wasn't as dry as she might be without K-Y.

I didn't say a word to her during the act... no questions, no nothing. The only sounds I made were the moans vocalizing my pleasure. Yes, it was plain ol' missionary, and no, it probably didn't last more than five minutes. The difference was that something in me told me that if she wanted to work on this, she still wanted me. That was the emotional lock. I think she seemed a bit more into it, but I wasn't really paying attention.

The orgasm was good, and I collapsed atop her, resting my head on her chest for a minute or two. Then I got off of her and laid by her side to hold her. For the first time since we had given up trying to conceive, I didn't fetch a washcloth and wash her off. I just left my seed inside her. She got up, put a nightgown on, and went to the bathroom, making some comment about hoping the semen wouldn't leak out and roll down her thigh. Oh, well, maybe she'll get over that someday.

After she returned to the bathroom, she then threw me for a nice surprise. She turned to me and told me, "I'm not satisfied. Will you use the toy (vibrator) on me?" I fetched it from its hiding place and used it, still not asking any questions. When I felt like she was nearing the plateau, I'd move the tip away and tease her. Eventually, she undid the top of the nightgown to expose her breasts and then moved one of my hands to play with the nipple. I really liked that.

As she approached the point of no return, I planted some kisses on her inner thighs and she repsonded nicely. When she reached her climax, I was pretty sure she wasn't faking because her skin becomes flush from the bust upwards. I got some good writhes out of her. Afterwards, I held her, placing my head near her chest. Her heartbeat was racing at a good clip. As I brushed my arm across her belly, she shuddered and said that she was having aftershocks. I simply told her, "Good."

We laid there for several minutes. She then told me, "I'm going to ask you to start initiating sex, but I need to know that you will be able to accept when I say 'no'. I will do my best to say 'yes' than I say 'no'. I will try to initiate some, too. I think it works better when we try to do it right after the kids have gone to bed because I have more energy then."

I took those words to heart, and I felt relieved. After four and a half years since I voluntarily relinquished the role of sexual initiator, she was saying that she needed me to reclaim that role. Call it psychobabble, but I felt empowered by that.

She asked me if it was good, I told her that she had spoken loudly in my love language and it was great. Privately, I thought, "It may not have been the playful, long, and steamy sex that I dream of having someday, but sometimes one craves White Castles, too. I felt satisfied." Maybe if she can develop the confidence, she might be willing to try new things further on down the road.

She eventually got up to do some more work and watch a little TV. I checked the e-mail on my computer and went to bed. I felt much better about this having heard her say that she's serious about working on it. As I drifed off to sleep, I think I heard the muffled noises coming from the closet, saying that this might be the "out-the-door upswing" that sometimes happens when a low sex drive spouse is confronted by the reality that their partner is preparing to leave the marriage. Maybe they should give a name for it... Endangered Relationship Energy.

I decided to tell the closeted, overanalytic chap to stifle because there was one other thing I noticed on her web browser window earlier this evening. In the Yahoo toolbar, she had typed in "sex starved marriage", which most likely refers to the Michelle Weiner-Davis book. I'm not sure if this was recommended to her by the individual therapist, but it's a good sign that she's headed that direction.
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