Marriage Of One

July 8, 2011

Circles of the mind

Filed under: relationships,sex — marriageofone @ 10:36 pm
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About a week after the conversation described in my last post, Susan decided she wanted to have sex.  It was around 3 months since the last sexual encounter but possibly more than a year since we last had ‘proper’ sex.  As always she manipulated the event and it was even more awkward than usual.  But she appears to have enjoyed it, although again as usual there was no mention of it before, during or after the event.  So I can’t be absolutely sure.

But as she sank down onto her pillow again she sighed “I have been so stupid”.

“What?” I asked.  “Why?”

“Because it’s been so long. I forgot how good it feels”.

My god, I thought.  If she thinks this is good without any passion, kissing or foreplay to speak of – or real emotional connection – how can she imagine what actual good sex is supposed to feel like?

But anyway, I didn’t get emotionally drawn into any of this and apart from her comment nothing more was said.

Now I did toy with the idea of the next couple of days that my open admission that our marriage was no longer guaranteed for life may have been a spur for change and that this sexual encounter was perhaps the starting point of a personal revolution for Susan.  But I was acutely aware that if that were to be the case she was already going about it the wrong way and would be doomed to failure.  Whether or not a revolution is in progress is therefore immaterial to me actually.

It turns out now that it was just that: an idea.  Susan has over the last week made no attempt to reconnect.  Now it may be that she is making an improvement: perhaps from sex every 3 months to sex once a month, in which case I won’t know for a few months until the pattern develops.  But regardless, it is too little, too late.  So forget the spur to improve.

But the one-off sex might just have had another effect.  I think Susan must have engaged in a rare bit of introspection.  She must have asked herself why if she enjoyed sex as much as she apparently did, she did it so rarely.  The answer came to her a few days ago.

Thus it was that she called me up at work to say we had to discuss my parents.

Now readers of my blog will know that my parents through a series of blunders of their own and through my own sense of duty now live with me.  Although they are generally in a good state of health and are capable of travelling away or staying with my brother they choose instead to stay here.  As anyone who lives with parents knows, it is challenging to say the least making a home with more than 1 generation of adults.  With Susan a housewife at present she is confronted full-time with my folks and I can appreciate that it would get to her.  However we have been though this several times over the years.  Amongst the many reasons we left our first house was to buy some distance between us and my folks for awhile.  It was a way to test Susan’s belief that the proximity of my parents in our house was damaging our sex-life.

As it turned out of course, our sex-life plumbed new depths during the time we had the most time to ourselves (always with new or variations of old excuses).

So anyway, she wanted to discuss my parents.  When I came home she started.  It was initially quite reasonable – we need the house to ourselves periodically, why can’t my parents go away every few months so we can spend time together alone?  Why can’t they go and spend equal time with my brother?  All points that have been raised and discussed before.  I reminded her of the social engineering project we tried 4 years ago.  It failed.  It failed to change my parents, my brother and although I didn’t say it, it failed to change her.  What would be the point, I thought of having the house to ourselves?  What was she going to do that she could not have done over the last few years when we did have the house to ourselves?  Or during the several months in THIS house that we have had to ourselves?  However I didn’t say any of this.

And so I gathered that the sex of the week before had made an impression and she was fishing for rationalisations for what had happened to our marriage.

This is what I said then.  I told her that social engineering had failed.  We couldn’t change elderly people.  We couldn’t change my brother – who had left an open invitation with my parents but due to some issues between my dad and himself was unlikely to be wholly embraced.  My dad will only go for short visits and only with a compelling purpose.  My brother is quite likely not to push the issue as he is quite happy to keep his home elderly-parent-free thank you very much.

She became a bit more combative then, probably because she expected me to support her intention to confront the issue and ‘make’ my parents go for holidays or long visits to my brother’s home.  I told her then that if she wanted to try something she could – but she needed to structure this as a business proposition: how to turn this into win-win.  Not for us but for my parents and brother.  When I put it like that she started to understand why the social engineering had failed: neither has anything to gain by spending time with the other.

She petulantly maintained that “it wasn’t fair”.  So I gave her some advice “Look, if you want to fight this be my guest, but I’d recommend you think carefully how you’re going to go about it because it will boomerang on you.  You can’t do what you are trying to do without making your own life and our home life extremely uncomfortable.  My parents are set in their ways and you cannot change them, all you can do is change yourself.  If you want to spend time alone, we need to make the effort to go away ourselves.  We won’t have our house to ourselves in the way you want. I’m sorry.”

She agreed with me, even though understandably she still believed it wasn’t fair.  I put my boot in “Look, I’m tired.  Not physically but mentally and emotionally.  I told you a few days ago that I am dead. I don’t have the energy to think about this kind of stuff.  I just live one day at a time.  I can’t help you sort this out.”

“Well then we have nothing to talk about” she said.  “We just have to leave things as they are.”

“Not necessarily”, I said trying to give her some positivity.  “We can still do things for ourselves.”

“It’s not the same” she said.

And that was that.  If she wanted me to join her in vilifying my parents for car-crash marriage I disappointed her.

To be honest the fact that my parents did lumber themselves on us so early in our marriage did harm things.  But by the time they came to live with us we were already on the ropes.  It’s just that Susan can’t or won’t see that.

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