About 2 years ago I decided to launch an experiment to turn my marriage around. Karezza is the latest step in this process. This is the opening post of my blog so it will be long because I want to establish the background of what I am doing. If you do not have the patience to read this, go to the next post. It explains what I am actually doing.
Prior to starting this experiment my marriage was in the doldrums. Our sex life had tappered down to almost nothing. It was not uncommon for 2 or 3 months to go by without any sexual contact whatsoever. My wife and I talked about it, and she always agreed in principal that sex was good for a marriage and we should do it more often. However, when I approached her for sex there always seemed to be a reason why "right now" was not a good time. On one hand I knew that she had some health issues, and that being a mom to small kids was draining. On the other hand, it seemed like she was not making much effort. The spark was totally gone from our marriage, and she did not seem to mind.
During one discussion she looked at me in all seriousness and said "Look, I know that sex is important to you, but it is not important to me. I can live without it quite happily." She could not have hurt me more if she had stuck a dagger in me. In that moment, I felt like I had made a huge mistake in marrying this woman. I began to think that I could no longer be happy in this marriage.
I am sure that some readers will look at this and say "typical male! Way too much emphasis on sex! Dosen't get off enough so he wants to leave her." In hind sight I know that I had placed way too much emphasis on sex, and that was a big part of our problem. I had an aura of neediness around the whole subject of sex that really turned my wife off. Sometimes I would tip-toe around her, trying to keep her happy in hopes of getting laid. Other times I would lose patience and blow up at her about how selfish and uncaring she was. It was a very unpleasant pattern for both of us. The "nice guy" side of me was so obviously trying to manipulate her that it turned her off. The aggressive side of me was equally unattractive.
The situation started to turn around after I read a book called "No More Mr. Nice Guy". I felt like I was reading my own autobiography when I read that book. It described me to a tee. Up to that point I believed that I was a prize catch and my wife simply did not apprecaite what she had. This mentality had been drilled into me by men on the various sex life web forums that I frequented. They all told me that my wife did not deserve me and I should find a woman who was actually willing to work to keep her marriage happy. That kind of advice was comfortting to me, but not so good in terms of addressing the issues. The book showed me clearly how my way of doing relationships undermined the results that I wanted.
Around the same time that I read the book, I was also getting into Zen and Yoga practices. This originally started as a way to seek some relief from the constant tension that I felt. I was stressed about my marriage. I was stressed about my work. I was a bundle of nerves. This is apparently common for people who have a Nice Guy/Girl complex. They have such low self esteem that they constant worry about being rejected or failing at something. In any case, the Zen/Yoga practices were a big help.
I thought about the message of the book for a while, and then I decided to try a grand experiment. I decided to combine what I had learned from the No More Mr.Nice Guy book, and the Zen readings I had done with some advice from a third source called "The Passionate Marriage". In the Passionate Marriage the author said that when one member of a relationship changes, the dynamics of the relationship will change. This puts pressure on the other member of the relationship to decide what they will do in response. They will either seek to restore a new balance, try to drag the relationship back to the old status quo, or they will leave.
I knew from experience that it is difficult to directly pressure my wife into changing. Robert Glover (the author of No More Mr. Nice Guy) would say that my wife has boundary setting down pat. If you try to push her outside of her comfort zone she will dig in her heels and resist with everything she has got. Thus, if I wanted to turn this whole situation around I would have to use indirect pressure. I decided to just start changing myself and see what happens.
The first thing that I did was to establish a daily practice of meditation. This was not your traditional bhuddist meditation with a crossed leg pose and an object to focus on. I just relaxed in a chair with some good music and thought about the day. I did this every day before bed. I reviewed what went well and expressed gratitude for that stuff. I reviewed things that did not go well and forgave myself and others for that stuff. Then I set conscious intentions for where I wanted to go in life. I cannot over-emphasize how beneficial this practice has been. It is a form of active self management. It keeps me in a positive mind set makes it almost impossible to slip into a victim menatlity for very long.
The second thing that I did was to stop all overt pressure for my wife to change. I stopped having heavy conversations with her. I stopped trying to pressure her into doing things that she did not want to do. This was especially true of sex. If I approached her, and she did not appear to be interested then it was full stop. I decided that I only wanted to have sex with her if she also wanted to have sex with me. Duty sex was 100% unacceptable. I also stopped asking her for hand jobs or any other kind of sexual relief. Which is a nice seque for my next subject.
The third thing that I did was to start ramping up my masculine energy. I will admit that I got this one wrong at first. I threw myself into exercise to build a hard body and started seeking out ways to demonstrate the traits of strong masculine men (as stated in various books). I felt like a big fake. I could have saved myself a lot of trouble on this. I know now that masculinity is not a bunch of traits. It is a quality of energy that a man radiates. Eventually I found some books on semen retention and realized that I had been actively masturbating away my masculinity for years and years. Every day, like clock work, I dumped exactly the thing that I needed in order to be a strong and attractive masculine man ... sexual energy.
So now I arrive at the present time. Thanks to my meditation practice I am very emotionnally stable. I can ride out the roller coaster of life without too much in the way of stress. Many people have noted how calm and easy to be around I have become.
My marriage in particular has become an oasis of serenity. My wife is still a walking/talking electrical storm, but it no longer bothers me in the least. I can come home at the end of day and find her whipped into a fury about various things. Within an hour she has vented all of that energy and is snuggled into me feeling very safe and secure. I am the lightning rod that she uses to unload all of that emotional energy. Believe it or not, I actually enjoy that role now. I can do that because my practices (meditation and semen retention) allow me to feel calm and empowered. I do not take any of my wife's emotional stuff personally. It is just energy that needs to move.
In summary, life is pretty darn good right now. It flows. It has a magical quality to it. I have peace of mind, and I have energy. What more could a man want? TO answer my own question, I want one more thing. I want to have a deep sexual connection with my wife.
This is different from what I wanted before. Previously, I wanted to have lots of sex with her because I had this idea that a successful marriage involved lots of sex. The thing that I was seeking there was ego gratification. After every successful seduction I got to feel good about myself for a while (spin myself a positive story) until the next time she said no. This time it is not about ego. My ego has gotten itself well sorted out. It no longer needs other people to behave in certain ways in order for it to spin positive stories. It knows that it can spin a positive story any time, under any circumstances.
This time the desire is about energy. My wife and I have a pretty good energy exchange going now, but I feel that we are both holding ourselves back at some level. We talk a lot. We snuggle a lot. We hug and kiss a lot. However, we do not have sex very often and I think that this prevents us from accessing an even deeper level of marital happiness. What would our marriage be like if we were all the way open? What if absolutely nothing was being held back. What if we were giving all of ourselves to each other? What would that be like?
Answering that questions is what this experiment is all about. Read on to find out what my plan is.