I’m finding someone quite fascinating. Thinking about interactions with them, both real and fancifully imagined, makes my gut clench and my heart flutter.
I am almost one of those tweens in movies that gush over some hot guy and try to act all cool in his presence… Except I’m not. I’m gushing, internally, and definitely externally if my panties are proof of anything, and the guy is decent but not hot. Well, that’s not true – he is incredibly hot to me. I find his mind and his feelings utterly enthralling, and his body is subsequently incredibly attractive to me.
Of course, the entire thing is moot because there isn’t anything I can do about my needs for now. Jesus, it’s been nearly 18 months since I last had sex. Maybe that’s tripping with my brain, and heart, now.
2016. Everyone’s calling it the worst year ever. How’s it been for me?
I have a job now. I like it. It likes me. I can’t find the words to express how much this means to me.
I nearly ended up separating from the husband. Some friends came over, we somehow “patched things up”, I think we both still regret doing that?
I haven’t had sex since 15 August 2015, when I told my husband I wasn’t getting anything out of it and he couldn’t be bothered to try.
I have been very busy, and he has been very busy, so we’ve been fairly happy until recently, when he got un-busy.
The misery and heavy heartedness seems to bring me back to the blog. Sorry about that.
I’ve been in the midst of another “cold shoulder” session from the husband since Thursday. Met some close “girlfriends” yesterday, one of whom is not on speaking terms with him after falling out earlier this year, and another who appears to just about tolerate him.
I am disgusted by how easy it is for me to pretend that everything is okay when we are not in the middle of an ongoing argument. Thinking about it now, it’s quite strange that I am able to instantly forget the heartbreak and the pain when he starts speaking normally to me again. I wonder if this is some sort of Pavlovian response I’ve trained myself into.
Argue > get frozen out > keep entreating him for conversation > break down the wall till he starts speaking to me (however harshly) > get yelled at lots > slow and begrudging conversation > back to status quo. This is the standard pattern of things. “Status quo” involves me being happy, not feeling any weight on my heart, cuddling up to him and being cute and generally lively. Everything gets forgiven and forgotten.
I’m writing this post to remind myself that I shouldn’t forget this. I shouldn’t go back to “normal” after this argument. I’ve made mistakes, I’ve done incorrect things, and he has the right to be angry at me, but he does not have the right to emotionally abuse me. I need to remember.
Here’s something that I (and I’m sure many others) have struggled with all of my life – carving out my natural identity and maintaining it. It’s certainly good, sagely advice to “be yourself”, but what does that really mean? And how do you hold onto yourself when you are no longer just you but one part of a relationship?
Your identity is what gets left behind after your learning experience is long behind you and the details mostly forgotten. As kids and especially as teenagers, our identities are constantly in flux; we are learning, emulating, imitating and even eschewing. As adults in our twenties, we are expanding our horizons, falling victim to many traps and yet learning, learning all the way through it all. It’s usually only by our thirties that enough has happened and been distilled and forgotten to bring a more cohesive form to our personalities. We count ourselves lucky if, by this point, we haven’t managed to muck it up and are reasonably happy with how we have turned out. But how many of us are actually content with our identities today?
More and more of us in today’s fast-paced world suffer from a crippling fear of being left behind, or left out. This could manifest in different ways but the end result is always the same – fundamental changes in our behaviour and social responses that we perceive will help ease us into our many roles in life. Viewing our own lives is unavoidably a subjective experience for us and this inevitably influences our (conscious or unconscious) behavioural choices, not always to the best of results. Thus, when we spend nearly all of our time constantly adapting to stimuli, it is essential that we firmly draw a line between identity evolution and identity loss.
The first is a natural step forward – it will better the course of our life in some way (major or minor) and will make us the proverbial “better person” in the long run. This might be something as significant as learning to curb our tendency to speak bluntly and inadvertently hurt/anger others, or something as minor as trying to follow a sport in order to have something to make conversation with at parties. It might not be a pleasant lesson at first, but we eventually make our peace with it, especially as we see it working for us.
The second is the dangerous one – instead of bettering us, it slowly eats away at who we are comfortable being and replaces that with an alien mess that feeds into our insecurities and convinces us we will never be “good enough”. It is best observed in contrast with a positive behaviour – where you might on the one hand learn to be more considerate in your speech to others, instead you might force yourself into silence to avoid confrontation. You might choose to speak in a particular way to endear yourself to your audience at the expense of your personal comfort knowing you are doing the right thing, or you might do it only because you want to be accepted, in which case you will end up resenting said audience for presumably wanting it of you and yourself as well for “giving in”. In this case, when we see our changed behaviour “working” (in a very warped way) for us, we only tend to consciously or unconsciously castigate ourselves more. This might be in any situation – ingratiating yourself with new people at work, getting along with your partner of many years or a few hours, or changing your life around for a child.
It’s one of those slippery slopes where you don’t realise you’re in danger of it until you are already deeply entrenched. So what are some things you can do to help yourself out of your clusterfuck (because let’s be real – if you’re human, you’re nearly always in the midst of at least one mess)?
Learn to step outside of yourself to view things from an outsider’s perspective. Like it or not, you as a human being are prone to victimisation; you might perceive yourself as the shining hero or the downtrodden underdog in your story, but you are no doubt always at the receiving end of the world’s actions. This is a hard mindset to break free of, and no one is free of it all the time, but taking a moment every so often to objectively view yourself as Mr/Ms So-And-So going about their lives is nearly always eye-opening.
Deeply ingrain this one belief onto your psyche: your unhappiness, however deeply hidden, will taint you and the world. If you find yourself doing something that leaves a bitter after-taste, make sure you thoroughly question whyyou are doing it. Many times your mind will come up with a satisfactory answer; it’s the times it doesn’t that you should be vigilant for. Floating along in life as the current takes you is for turds. Be proactive in as many things as you can. Stop being a spectator at your own damn show.
Forgive yourselffor having done the things you maybe shouldn’t have (or not having done the things you should have). This is perhaps the very first thing you should do yet ironically is the hardest thing to learn. We are usually poorly equipped by our upbringing to handle most challenging situations. It is also natural for us to want to please. It is inevitable that we make a mess involving the two most of the time. It’s okay that you didn’t catch yourself at it until now; it’s okay that you’ve spent a year pandering to someone else’s whims; it’s okay that you’ve been browbeating yourself for the better part of your life for not being “good enough”; it’s… okay. It isn’t time that you can get back, and it usually isn’t damage that can be quickly undone, but it is always something you can overcome and convert from a loss into an evolution. Many times, it’s not going to be easy, and you’ll just as likely fall back into the trap for awhile because it was too hard to change. That’s never an excuse to not try, though: you are you – and if you don’t forgive yourself, the world won’t stop turning to do it for you.
Right, I’m verging on sounding like a self-help book now so I will conclude by repeating the one thing you will hopefully take away from reading this – seeing yourself change is inevitable; what matters is whose hand directs it. I’m not just being preachy here; I’m one of the worst offenders around that keeps getting confused by The Line, and remembering all this is what has helped me catch and clean up some of my messes.
Well, it’s finally happened – the husband has moved to the guest bedroom and refuses to sleep with me in the same bed any more because, as he so eloquently keeps asking me, “What’s the point?”
I should admit I was a bit blind-sided by this because we recently completed 9 years of being together and that morning, he initiated sex. We were both very sleepy so we didn’t ‘complete’, and that was that. That night we attended a concert and came back, again very sleepy. He initiated sex again but both of us fell asleep. Yes kids, welcome to an adult’s reality – one can actually be too sleepy to bother with sex.
The next morning onwards, I get the cold shoulder and I get told to just leave him alone. He said it was his problem and he had to deal with it, and ignored me most of the day. When it came time to go to bed, he drops the bombshell – he doesn’t want to sleep in the same bed as me. I don’t get an answer for a couple of days about why, but I finally manage him to say he will think about it for a few days before discussing it with me.
The following day, he tells me what happened – apparently the second time I mentioned above where we were very sleepy, he had asked me if we could do it and I had said, “What’s in it for me?” Ouch. Bit harsh on my part, I admit – I don’t even remember saying it so clearly the sleep removed any filters I may have usually applied to such a thought.
This needs some background, I suppose. Over the past few months, I have been trying to be honest about my feelings about our sex – I never get to orgasm because he doesn’t have any interest/energy/enthusiasm to pursue anything other than penetration. I don’t know if he doesn’t like to go down on me, or if he thinks it’s too much work, or if the learning curve has him not wanting to fail a few times, but he has only done it possibly twice or three times over the course of our 9 years together. I have faked a fair few orgasms and have teared up after sex (privately, not to his awareness) because of how frustrated I felt. I am a very sexually awake person and know I would enjoy sex if a fraction of the interest I show in my partner were shown to me.
So this whole new leaf I have seemingly turned in the hopes of working this relationship out or quitting it cleanly involves honesty, and I have been embracing that in many other ways too. As a partner, I suppose I expected him to react entirely differently – maybe to look up ways he could bring me to orgasm or improve his technique at least, or, y’know, just something that indicates to me that he wants to please me that way.
I am the opposite of a selfish lover. I have no compunctions about blow jobs and definitely enjoy the power rush from them. I am always keeping an eye out for things I think he enjoys so I can catalogue them for a repeat later. I am cooperative when it comes to positions and am always understanding about early orgasms for him (I never blame him, because we hardly ever do it so I figure he doesn’t have a chance to build up stamina). I am enthusiastic about taking control when it looks like he is too tired or maybe wants to take a back seat. But… there is only so much a girl can do before she starts questioning why there is no effort from the other end.
I understand he is busy, works all day and comes back only to work more on the start-up we have been planning. I understand he is tired physically or mentally, most of the time. I understand that he makes so many decisions every day that he just wants to come back home and unwind. But I cannot understand why, on a Saturday morning, when he’s had a lie-in and has no work to think about, he can’t try to make sex a bit more interesting for me when I have expressed a need for it. He says he is unable to focus on anything else when he has all this going on – okay, I know the type of person he is and how he becomes obsessed with finishing things. But how/why does he initiate sex if he can’t think about anything else? And when he does initiate it, why can’t he be bothered to do more than the bare necessities? I am after all his wife, right? Surely if there is one person in the world he knows he should invest some time in to please, it should be me?
Anyway, his perspective is that he cannot give me more attention because he is too tired or too focused on other things. He thinks it’s unfair on his part to expect me to sleep with him when he is not prepared to give as much in return, so therefore his solution is to not sleep together. Yes, I find the logic a bit befuddling too.
It’s been about 5 days since all this, and looks like he is perfectly happy to continue with our work discussions and daily life chatter except we are sleeping in separate beds. My second attempt to rationally and honest discuss the issue with him resulted in statements like, “I went to work today and wondered why I bothered and what was in it for me,” and, in response to when I suggested maybe once in a month or two months to focus on giving me an orgasm, “Okay, I do that and maybe once in a month or two months you go to work and earn some money.” Well, fuck.
That money argument makes me sick. It has come up so many times over the years because he is the wage-earner of the house. It’s so stupid that he brings it up now when I am actually working on the start-up he asked me to spend my time working on in exclusion to looking for work. I figured he was being spiteful because he was still hurt by my saying “What’s in it for me” and was lashing out, and told him to talk to me about it again when he felt more rational about it. This was a couple of days back and still no word on the subject although each night we are both awake as we see the other person turning in to a different bedroom, so I am not feeling too optimistic.
I have thought about various possible solutions to this situation that I could offer to him, because he is of the view that it is unfixable:
We continue as before with sex where I stay unfulfilled – I was feeling so awful that I actually considered this option for awhile. Honestly though, it is just one more unhealthy thing in the long run and is not a situation that I should volunteer for, let alone subscribe to, no matter how much I think it will relieve him.
We continue as before and he makes one session every couple of months about me – see a couple of paragraphs above. Not an option.
We continue in separate bedrooms – we are currently doing this due to lack of other ideas. I openly told him that this would only drive us further apart and that eventually we would lose any common ground we had, but he just agreed and kept quiet about it. What the hell, I’m left feeling like I am the only one interested in giving this a good old honest try.
There really isn’t another alternative here, is there? We are not the open relationship type of people.
I don’t have anybody I can speak about this to, so I guess I’m sharing it here. My mother is mentally retarded and has never been equipped to do motherly things beyond the actual giving birth, and no other parental figure really qualifies. I don’t think any of my friends qualify either because they are just as lost as I am in their own relationships and they are actually in happier ones. I don’t see a therapist so the internet’s all I’ve got left, I suppose.
I’m not really sure what the next step here is. Sorry about the long and depressing post, but it’s kind of a part of what you signed up for.
It’s been a long while since I’ve written here, and my mental state can really feel the difference. I feel a bit all over the place, like my thoughts are not cohesive and structured. I’ve been getting my shit together lately in other spheres of life and I think adding back blogging to that should benefit me in multiple ways.
Things as they currently stand in my marriage – I am learning on-the-job while working on a startup my husband wants to get going before he quits his day job for it. I have no prior experience with it so I’m not being very efficient about it and obviously this is the source of additional conflict. However, I do think it is a good investment of my time and it should give returns in money that I can honestly claim is 50% mine. The relationship isn’t much to speak about but we are still married and taking it a few months at a time. I occasionally forget about his mercurial moods and slip up by being affectionate; this yields rewards in the short term but eventually the inevitable blow up does occur and for the same bloody reasons as always, and he deals with them the same as before. Absolutely no improvement on the sex front either, other than a very healthy sex life between me and my two lovely vibrators. It’s all very ‘meh’.
I am currently running an experiment of doing to the best of my ability all the things my husband wants done, in a final attempt at keeping the marriage together. This isn’t as awfully all-encompassing as it sounds – I follow his instructions regarding work to do everyday towards starting a business together as well as errands, and do them all the way he tells me to. This takes up a lot of my time as the thing we are working on is something I don’t have any experience with and I am sort of learning on the go with it.
Unfortunately for me, this situation has no positive outcome like I had envisaged earlier:
I do all this stuff his way — he is happy therefore I am at peace — I what? Keep the status quo by continuing to do everything his way, for the rest of my life?
I do all this stuff his way — he is happy etc — I slowly start expressing myself after peace has been maintained for awhile and we have conflicts as a result. This is fine as long as we resolve these conflicts like adults; however, it just goes back to the old established pattern of him wanting to sleep off a bad mood and giving me the silent treatment.
I look for other work and leave him by joining whatever job I find – this is bound to be pretty crap work that won’t support me, and I will have to go through a separation and divorce in the mean while.
I do all this stuff, we make tons of money. Still doesn’t solve the issue of our conflict resolution.
We make tons of money, then I divorce him. Unappealing as I do not intend to claim for money after leaving him, but I would’ve put a lot of effort into earning that money. Also I will probably not be able to continue the work solo (unless I’ve gotten very good at it by that stage), leading back to the crap job plus separation situation.
Nothing looks particularly appealing at this point, I must confess. I don’t have the interest or discipline to immerse myself in what I am doing beyond the required level, but I may not have a choice at this point. This is where in the movies or nice books, the protagonist is strong and turns the situation around or finds a silver lining etc. I need to invest in some rose-tinted glasses pronto.
Communication is key. You hear that like a tired cliche but it’s true.
Things came to a head with the spouse and I, and we spoke about divorce. We have currently decided to give it one last shot. He isn’t interested in couples’ therapy as he thinks this whole situation is my fault, so I have to wait and see how these next few months go with me doing things his way.
I am sacrificing my ‘out’ by working on his pet project instead of looking for work. It’s a full time thing, and I am learning a lot in the process and attempting to not antagonise my husband in the middle of it all. That’s a bit vague, I know, but anything more specific and people who know me will read this and know exactly who I am. I’m not ready for that kettle of fish yet.
The sex is really, really bad. I don’t approach him for it any more, but I never say no when asked (which is quite rarely as it is – in April and May, we’ve had sex 4 times, 3 of which were in the week after that divorce discussion). He doesn’t have much imagination and admits he sucks at multi-tasking, so sex is usually just penetration after a cursory 10 second attempt at foreplay. It kinds sucks, y’know? But it’s good in a way, I suppose, because good sex might make me more emotionally attached than I already am. Bad sex, and rarely that too, is kind of screwing with my self esteem, though.
So, in a bit of a limbo situation at the moment. But I find myself thinking more clearly about a lot of things than ever before. Maybe this is that elusive growing up people talk about.
Depression is supposed to be one of the greatest sources of inspiration for writers. I am not a writer by any means but in the past I have found that writing when sad can be cathartic, and can lead to surprising destinations. Hell, most of this blog seems fuelled by that. Lately though, I have been too depressed and lost to even be able to write. I can’t seem to pull together cohesive thoughts, or muster the strength to bang away at the keyboard to keep up with the mayhem in my brain.
No more excuses, though. I am done wallowing in my little pit of despair. I feel like the past couple of months have vaporised. Like I have pushed through a wall of cotton – unsubstantial in smaller quantities but formidable in large ones. It also doesn’t help that the company I interviewed with decide to downsize just at this moment; so no job and no economic freedom for moi. Ergo back to shackles that prevent me from tabling the topic of imminent separation. It’s like the current phase is The Matrix: Reloaded and we are just waiting for The Matrix: Revolutions to land except, y’know, Reloaded was pretty awesome whereas my life is smellier than dog poo right now.
It seems so easy to just live in the moment and put off the big stuff. As long as I keep my mouth shut, I will continue to exist in this manner. We are looking at real estate investments for our savings like there is a big future. Eventually I will have to produce children. I was worried for a long time that my desire to cut and run arose from this eventuality – I do not want children, and perhaps I was manufacturing excuses to get away from that responsibility in this marriage. Now, though, I realise that I am unhappy on a fundamental level, and no fear of procreation could inspire this yawning chasm in my chest. I am tired of second guessing myself, people. I wish I had that Ph.D in me to help out here. (What up blog title reference.)
Hello boys and girls and everyone in between, if there are any left reading my blog.
It’s a brand new year and lots of people are making resolutions and looking forward to a better year than 2014. Me? I’m just struggling to make it through the day, forget planning for a year. I think 2014 has been the worst so far in terms of personal development and general depression (though things never got suicidal like they once did). I was hoping to have taken some kind of action on the divorce front by the end of the year but I wasn’t able to. I was either a pussy or genuinely didn’t have the resources to do it – the outcome is the same, either way.
Currently, I am half a step better than just a month ago because I have had a job interview and am hoping to hear back positively. The downside is that it might take another month or so to get to know for sure and start, and my brain seems to be on hold till I leave limbo. I haven’t really told anyone but a lot is hinging on my getting this job – hopefully a change in my mental state, a bit more balance in the roles at home, and maybe some savings to start realistically looking at moving out and separating. I’m worried though about putting all my eggs into the same basket – what happens if I get turned down or benched for later or something else? I always have that option of going back to India but damn will that be hard or what.
I went back recently with my husband on the annual pilgrimage that every expat does, and realised how things have changed there. Or perhaps I have changed too and the twain refuse to meet. I would find moving and living there quite hard having gotten used to the better people, better life and better existence here in the UK. I’m not sure I can handle that on top of what will be a painful divorce, but it is still an option.
So there’s the sad little update on my sad little life. There are good things, too:
I have been exercising consistently over the past 6 months and have lost over 10 kgs.
I am reading more and learning more in general.
I’m making a consistent effort to teach myself things on Coursera, though the commitment could definitely improve.
I am not crying for little and biggish things as easily as I did earlier. I am able to get through an argument with my husband without breaking down during or afterwards. This is a pretty big deal for me because anything a crying woman says is disregarded and as soon as I get angry/frustrated, I tend to need to cry!
Small things, but adding up to a definite improvement. I am always hoping that one year is better than the next, but it almost never happens. Here’s to hoping like an idiot that this one is?
Oh dear, I honestly didn’t mean to disappear for that long, but things got really low and I didn’t feel like expending the energy to write them all out. Just dealing with them was tiring enough.
After awhile, it’s easier to just ignore and stay with the status quo than actively think about disrupting it, even if it is for the better. I had decided that my ultimate decision was to move back to India and go through with starting the divorce process when we go there for our planned holiday in December, but it then became about seeing if I could try to work it out by talking.
I suggested couples’ therapy to horrendous results. Honestly, it just sucks when there appears to have been total power exchange without your consent in a bloody vanilla relationship! I then tried talking to a couple of friends about what I was planning and they obviously tried talking me out of it, saying instead of such a drastic move I should try to work it out, or find a job elsewhere in the UK. Well, that latter bit isn’t working because I guess I have been unemployed for way too long. I am still exploring a variety of things and will keep trying till I go to India, at least. The former bit is what I have been attempting, and my initials efforts drove me into a depression spiral that I didn’t think I was getting out of this time.
It’s so difficult when you are forced to be rational about yourself when you are in the depressed state, because you aren’t equipped to be coldly logical when you aren’t in a neutral state of mind. I doubt I am fully out of it but as many of you who have been through it know, it’s all about ploughing ahead and hoping one day you break through to the other side.
Tonight was yet another stupid argument brought about by a spiteful misunderstanding. I sometimes find myself wanting an apology really badly, even though that may not solve anything, but I never get it anyway. It’s hard to keep forging ahead when you keep getting rejected – this may be my ego talking, but I am not ashamed to admit that it is still there and would sometimes like to be mollified in the midst of all this self-recrimination. I did decide however that there was no point putting off writing about it, because something serious is going to go down around the end of 2014, one way or another, and I need to be absolutely sure I am doing the right thing. So yay! Another denizen of the internet takes up her soapbox yet again.