It's not for the faint of heart.

Welcome to my slightly silly, often odd, and mostly messy life.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

He Said, She Said

I met with Fred yesterday for breakfast. He wanted to explain his side of things, and we needed to clear the air.

It was interesting hearing his side of things.  His perception of the events that lead up to their brief separation, and his view of the current situation is quite a bit different than mine, or Ethel's even.  I don't think he realizes how his behavior is perceived by others.  He's very much wrapped up in himself right now, which probably isn't uncommon in this situation.  Unhappy people tend to focus on their own misery and not see how they've affected others. He is still a very angry person, still feeling persecuted on some level.  There was a glimmer of acceptance that he did in fact do things on purpose to hurt Ethel emotionally, but it was almost as though he felt it was reactionary - as though Ethel "started it" and his behavior was proportional to her neediness.  That also may be true. Ethel may not realize when she's asking more from him than he can give...she's an emotional creature by nature.

 I still don't think he understands why his relationship with his "friend" in Arizona was wrong.  Since it wasn't  sexual he can't see that he was sharing a vital part of himself with someone else. My only answer to this was, "it was wrong...period.  In a marriage you don't get to have "friendships" with people of the other sex if it makes your significant other uncomfortable.  That's one of the sacrifices you make in a marriage, and you should be willing to do this."  You just don't have a relationship of ANY kind and lie about the nature of that relationship to your spouse...period.  The fact that he still doesn't seem to really get it is disconcerting.

Ethel on the other hand sees the situation differently. Her perception is that she's made a distinct effort NOT to pick and pry, not to be needy, and not to push him to talk when they aren't in therapy.  Her view of their interactions is different in many ways. So where is the middle ground there?  I suppose that's why you seek help from a professional therapist.  I can't see how you get from here to there and both come out unscathed? 

How do you rebuild trust, much less love and affection when there is no middle ground in common?  What about intimacy? Fred hinted that their personal life was severely lacking...which I didn't bother to address other than to say, "well we're women, you can't expect us to flip a switch like that. Sexuality and intimacy and safety and respect are all tied up together.  When you start fixing the broken things in your marriage that will work itself out in time."  I know in my own case that aspect of my marriage had died out long before I left my marriage. It was a symptom of the sickness growing within our relationship. I guess it's a slow process.  Ethel said that she understands that it didn't take a month to create these issues, so it won't take a month to resolve them... it's a long, arduous process. Does Fred understand his too? 

I'm not sure I would have it in me.  I know in my case I stayed in my marriage as long as I could and then I was just done.  By the time I was ready to throw in the towel my marriage was too far gone, therapy wasn't an option.  I didn't hate him, I didn't feel anything at all towards him.  At least with hate there's some kind of emotion there... there is no recovery from total apathy.

At least both Ethel and Fred professed love for each other, so there is some kind of emotion there to build on.  I hope they figure this out, or if they can't fix it that they have the strength to walk away and treat each other with respect.  It's an awfully big job.  I just want them both to be happy, with or without each other.


  1. Personal life is severly lacking? Well if you aren't even going to talk to me I'm certainly not excited about getting down on my knees for you.... Also if you play a video game or mess around on face book until 2am I am also not going to just be waiting and ready to have a good fuck...sorry! But again, the number of rolls in the hay or how something is or isn't lacking is perception. I feel as though we have, in the last couple of months had quite a bit of sex. Perhaps like everything else in our relationshp right now he just isn't happy about the status quo changing. Perhaps he isn't happy with the fact that he can't just expect and receive sex any more if he isn't willing to pull his considerable weight around here. I wonder how many loads of laundry is a blow job worth?

  2. I think it's all perception. When people aren't happy they tend to see everything around them in a more negative light. In all honesty he should be thankful he's getting any ass at all.

    If it were me you know he'd be sleeping on the couch still. No way will I have sex without that emotional connection and respect, never again.

    I'm a fantastic lay...but if you expect to enjoy my skills you sure as hell better treat me like a queen. No exceptions.

  3. A general funny thing about how each gender identifies infidelity:

    Men don't see it as cheating if there's no sex involved.

    Women don't see it as cheating if there's no emotion involved.

    We, as women, need emotional connection in a relationship. So, if our man is getting that elsewhere, we don't feel any connection at all! That means that sex is OUT!

    Men need sex. And if we're staying emotionally connected but aren't putting out, they feel disconnected too.

    We're definitely different and strange bedfellows...

  4. Good point T... what I truly don't understand are the women who are willing to have sex just to avoid conflict. I have a friend like that - she doesn't enjoy sex with her man, but in order to keep the peace she does it every single night. No enjoyment for her, just obligation....WEIRD if you ask me.

    On the other side of that same coin are women who are unhappy in every every aspect of their relationship but they'll still give it up. I can't do that - if I'm not happy with you no way are you getting into my panties. Horney just isn't reason enough, I can pleasure myself. I don't need a man for that. You don't treat me right you don't get my very expensive panties off - period.

    LOL...thank God BLT treats me so amazingly well! LOL!

  5. Funny thing is...I've been putting out....I have been (mostly) satisfied with sex as of late...I figured it was a pretty good turn out for the situation we are in. So, I don't know where the breakdown is. Quality, quantity, duration, position? Yes, my sex drive dwindles if I don't feel important or I'm TIRED. He works swing, I'm up before the sun to head to school. In the past I have had sex to prove something, to show that I was better or dirtier than that faceless woman "friend". I stopped doing that about three "friends" ago. I am, however, not feeling so inclined to fix whatever is severly lacking at this point in time. The phrase what have you done for me lately? comes to mind. Yikes this is a vicious cycle.

  6. Holy crap.

    What T said! What T said! I was just about to type those exact words!!

  7. Good lord, I could spit out a whole post or three on this subject. In a nutshell tho - here's one males take on a couple three main points here:

    A - Having been on both sides of the cheating deal - my own definition of cheating has been tweaked. Now? One can cheat with anyone or anything that diverts time, effort and attention away from ones primary personal relationship. This could include drinking, another person, obsession with Xbox/Playstation/Wii, even spending too much time at the gym (it IS an escape). Somme of those things can be negotiated and agreed to, but without consent, any of them can be troublesome.

    2 - For guys (or at least me) sex and love are completely separable. Best sex I've had was with someone I didn't and couldn't ever love. I think guys would like to be sure the sex is good before making too much of an emotional investment in a person. Women (I believe) really need to have that strong emotional connection before they can get all worked up. There are exceptions, but I think this is a good general observation.

    Oh - for what it's worth, one or two blow jobs a week and I'm your laundry bitch. Three a week and you may never do dishes again. For a while anyhow. (My wife doesn't understand that yet. I still help out frequently, but I'd be a MUCH more willing participant)

  8. All awesome observations ladies and gentleman. So much easier to see when you aren't emotionally attached to the situation (of course right?). Usually I'm a bigger person than all this ranting but damn it was a low blow to complain about sex. Pun intended.

    B, I totally agree with A. Did you see how you did that? A and then 2, lol. There are so many ways to be absent, so many available escapes.

    Did you all see the movie The Breakup? I can so relate to the line "I want you to want to do the dishes!"

    We sabotage each other. The woman would want more sex if she had more help/appreciation. The man would help out more if he got more sex/appreciation. Blatant overgeneralization.

    **wash/dry/fold/put away? Oh its on! lol.

  9. I don't know about put away. I've been taught you've got to get permission to get into a woman's drawers. ;D