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Submitted by Tortoise on
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Well I am a strong man and a patient man. My biology too is trying to run the show sometimes.. and this aspect is getting more pronounced.

This man who knows what he wants is under assault from his biology . No .. I am not using this as an excuse. This is truly a difficult and lonely path at times. Full of uncertainties that make resisting going with what "feels natural" exponentially more difficult.

When alone as a man .. at least for me .. the casual glance or eye contact and smile with one of the multitude of seductresses out there is like a mine field for me. I wear my wedding ring prominently and try to just keep my eyes down.. like when you are with your significant other. It is a matter of respect then.. for me now it is a matter of survival.

Yes this sounds dramatic.. but it is for me. Being many weeks into "solo karezza" has increased some triggers in this stage. Not sexual or masturbating triggers. More the longing for nurturing triggers. I want to get lost in my lovers eyes. I want her to cradle my head in her lap.

The reason for my concern right now is not this normal longing. It is that I seriously don't believe my separated wife will ever nurture me. I simply cannot even fathom her doing this.

I know Marnia will say regular bonding behaviors are essential.. and I am trying .. limited to eye contact and the occasional back rub for her. A miracle is what I need. She spends virtually every night she has away from the kids with her best friend (besides me) who happens to be very safe and very gay. Yes this is better than with her former lover.. but. .

Anyway that is a whole other story.. somewhat predictable with her history. That sounds rude.. but true. Some gentle boundaries will eventually need to be explored.

That is the story of my life though.. eventually. It will be scary when eventually gets here.

The long and the short of it is that I realized how unbonded I am with my wife..this is a recent occurance for me. It feels like I am ready to just let her go. Yet I love her and want to be with her. Very confusing to say the least. The loss of an intimate bond is no longer just her loss for me.. which was obvious two years ago.. but my bonding for her has finally bit the dust.

Maybe this is good though. My independence and love for myself has bloomed recently.. yet I miss her companionship.. not the longing to fuck her and be validated . So this is good.. right?



I wish I had a crystal ball

What about using the next best thing? You can try the oracle I made from the I ching in the left-hand column. Or I can give you a link to an actual I Ching on line if you prefer. Sometimes getting out of your left-brain helps you see what you know deep down with more clarity.

Good luck. Sounds painful. As you get healthier, those around you often change or fall away. I'm sure this is for the best in the long run, but it can be painful in the short run.

*big hug*

You are a strong man.

You are a strong man.

I want to say that your comment about "keeping your eyes down" as dramatic, should not be dramatic at all. It is noble and should be the way men strive to live. You are guarding your heart, soul and family. You are keeping yourself in the best condition to navigate this tough time.

There is no question that you are on a tough road. I can sense your determination and commitment to your wife and family in your writing. Unfortunately, it takes two people to heal a relationship and it sounds like you are the only one engaged. I really hate relationship ultimatums, but if she is not respecting reasonable boundaries and expectations, what is left that can even be considered a relationship?

I wish it was easy to see the correct path to take, but it simply is not for us or you to know. It sounds like you have arrived at a healthy place personally, through no small amount of effort. Keep stepping forward, steady and intentionally, but perhaps focused only on the next one or two steps. In my experience, when I focus on the next step and take it with confidence, then repeat again and again, the path unfolds itself before me.

How we feel today is so real

How we feel today is so real in the moment, but it's only one layer of the onion.
You might get to a deeper level tomorrow, and things might seem different.
You seem to metamorphose week by week, and your story does inspire me to be brave and do the work within myself that needs to be done before I can be swallowed up by love.

It sounds like giving up PMO has changed you. Does this escape her notice?

Thank you all for your

Thank you all for your support. I have turned a few corners in this journey. I know she has noticed a change in me and has been kinder.

With the exception of today. I don't really want to make this a marriage separation story but as a separated couple a new valley was crashed into today.

Our couples counseling is the only real one on one time that we have consistently. I had been proposing date night and even proposed a 15 min time each day just to talk .. thinking maybe this could be a step forward. But she is not ready for this step she said.. maybe a date night.. which entails going to dinner. we have done a little of this but it is very sporadic.

Getting to today's disaster. She also has only agreed to couples counseling every couple weeks for two hours.. which she a few times either cancels because of some unrealized higher priority appointment or she is 20 min late. She seems to resonate with the counselor and we really do grow at least as friends... the sessions go well. But it is a month between appointments often because of her cancellations.. so progress is slow.. which I have been telling myself it is ok and it is what she is comfortable with... but the weeks are dragging into months and well it is becoming a internal charge I am carrying.

So early this morning she texts me that she can only make an hour of our two hour appointment. I say ok but just curious as to why. She replies she is having a disagreement with one of her friends husbands and wants to try to patch it up. So I decide to call her and express how I feel she is treating our marriage healing and me as a low priority.. even lower than her friendship with a friends husband. She gets angry and says she would just like to file for divorce... always her go to statement when her reptilian brain is activated.

Well you can see where my heart is at right now and how fragile this situation is. So I say ok.. whatever you feel you need to do. .. I am just telling you how this makes me feel. She says she honestly thinks she could never be with me again sexually (again as she has said over and over) and I say we haven't even tried and naively desperately bring up that if we could slowly just try neutral bonding behaviors it could help. She audibly scoffs and I realize that was not my best way to sell this. but then I realize I don't need to sell this... or me. I said how she made me feel and I needed to. I cannot be with someone who wont even consider my feelings especially reasonable feelings.

Ok so the anger calms on both sides over the day and I reach out. The whole story is that her three long time best friends which are very important to her are all angry with her (these friends are homophobes and that is what the fight revolves around) and this husband is the ambassador of resolution or closure of the friendships. So the story is still I am a lower priority but not quite as bad.. so I apologize for jumping to conclusions and lovingly say I didn't know this meeting was that important .. I was just feeling hurt.

The moral of this story may not be what you think. Yes I know I was still and am still a low priority. Yes I know some people would say I should have not apologized and am giving my power to her. But I know now where I stand with her. I really have always known. I am above this competition that is only in my mind. But she knows in her heart that I have compassion for her and her struggles with her friendships. She is scared and confused and I should not add to this with my insecurity about her not wanting to go to counseling. Further I don't need to validate myself by clinging to some notion that I am high in priority to her. Yes I have earned being high in priority to her.. I certainly have earned it more than her fundamentalist homophobic high school friends. She may not see this .. but that isn't the point. I know this. I know my worth and all I put into any relationship.

I only need to see this for myself. To see it as disrespect by her suggests that I am attached to her praise and draw my self worth from that. This is the corner I have turned. I recognize the riches within me .. my inner nature is good. I really don't need to grasp for scraps of validation outside of me and greedily pull them in to complete me. I don't expect respect or praise so I am not disappointed when they aren't forthcoming. It is not why I do what I do. I do what I do because I feel it is right for me.. not to manipulate or gain love. I do it for compassion. I don't feel walked on or taken advantage of.. people have their own story inside their heads. She can only see her story right now. I may not be able to be around someone who cannot see anything but the story they tell themselves. This is not a put down .. just a fact. When people are under stress and acting in that space they don't see beyond their own story they tell themselves.. I am just as guilty.. look at the story I told myself initially about this situation. . sounds like a reasonable thing to get hurt over.. until I considered other angles.. other stories.. other perceptions.. regrouped my feelings and reached out and listened.

With discriminating awareness I concluded ...apology .. understanding.. and quickly switched to compassion mode.

This may sound conditional and bad but I will have compassion for those who deserve it. Compassion is blending warmth with intelligence. . The wisdom to know what the fundamental clarity of the situation is.. ego aside with warmth for those we love.. and even those we don't.

She knows I am the one who will understand this and can handle it. But even if she doesn't know this.. it does not matter because I know it and am happy with my clarity. As for this relationship working. Well it is out of my hands.. It never really has been in my hands.

Maybe I will consult the oracle.. that has just as much relevance as anything else in this universe.

Oh and Marnia .. thank you

Oh and Marnia .. thank you for the hug. and I wasn't dising your oracle or the I Ching it was derived from.. I believe many things give us direction.. valid direction from random or not so random things which cannot be "understood" only taken as part of the path laid out before us.

Thank you for sharing this. I

Thank you for sharing this. I value getting to hear your thoughts and how you worked through the hurt to get to compassion. I will have to meditate on ways that I'm not taking responsibility for myself and that I'm looking to others to tell me my value.

I have a thought: you're a "hard act to follow". It's probably pretty intimidating for her to walk into counseling with you, where I'm sure it's fairly obvious to all three of you that you've been "doing your homework" and she hasn't. That may motivate her to wriggle out of counseling sessions.

In other words, maybe it's not that you're low priority, but more that it's hard to be vulnerable. facing you and facing the personal growth that she knows she ought to do is hard for her.

love your neighbor as yourself

I'm thinking of another way around to what you've already realized:

"Love your neighbor as yourself" implies that you have to love yourself first. You've been loving yourself, and that puts you where you're more available than ever to love her. Sadly, it sounds like she's choosing to stay comfortable rather than show herself some "tough love." (That's not exactly right. Maybe I should say brave love, or fearless love.)

her issues with herself are what's holding her up from loving you? So, like you said, there's no point in taking that personally. But it is very, very sad that she's not willing to step up.

Sorry, I feel like I'm saying too much where I know too little. Sorry if I've been impertinent. You have my great respect and best wishes. What you share about your journey is encouragement for mine.