Okay, the black dog has retreated a little and in my good periods I can see the practical side of everything that’s happened over the last 6 years.
For all of the minuses attached to a marriage where one spouse is unhappy with the situation, there are always pluses, if one can find them. One plus is that I am a person who never gets bored. I can entertain myself endlessly with writing, reading, watching movies, playing video games, putting puzzles together, and coloring in adult coloring books (yeah it’s a thing).
Therefore, I am fortunate that I do not have a 9 to 5 job. I can get up when I like and go to bed when I like. I am my blind husband’s support worker, which means I support his job by being his eyes when he needs them. This has given me a lot of freedom. It also means, however, that we are together 24 hours a day. While being extremely grateful for NOT having a job in an office cubicle, it is tiring to be ‘on call’ all the time for his assistance needs. Even though I shouldn’t be, my job and being a wife become inextricably entwined. Having another interest for him to focus on, frees me up from the constant feeling of being on the job. That also means more time for me to do all of the things I listed above.
Another reason it’s good for me for him to have other interests, is that we are not very sexually compatible. Not to put too fine a point on it; he has fetishes that I don’t share. I tried to share them, but they did nothing for me. Yep, I am a plain vanilla kind of woman when it comes to the bedroom. My simple need for just the basics puts undue pressure on him, or so he tells me. I’m not sure what ‘pressure’ I’ve exerted except to say that when I first came over I was gung-ho for some bedroom play. The more gung-ho I was, the more he retreated. But that was before the evil specter of menopause showed up. I know waning of sexual desire and other physical ailments is normal for women going into menopause. I know my hormones are decreasing and my body is wearing out. I also believe that issues from my past are at play here and I resent the medicalization of women’s sexuality. Not interested in sex, they ask, let’s fix that with a pill or with psychiatry. Nope. Let’s not. How about we let things be? How about we don’t assume all women want to have sex whenever and wherever men do, or (gasp) maybe not even with men at all?
This has also been a time to actually discern whether I WANT sex or whether I am conditioned to want it. This is a very complicated issue stemming from my past It’s true that I have personal issues of my own when it comes to sex, and I do not obsess about it like he does. I do not turn every bodily function into a sexual action. As a blind person I understand his need for touch and sensuality, but it seems to drive him relentlessly. With my history (which one can probably read on past posts on this blog), I am at the point where I don’t want or need anything that puts the main focus on sexuality. I have begun to wonder whether I was actually feeling desire or I was conditioned to make myself sexually available to anyone who came along. My focus has always been on the romantic, and I think that’s where our problems began. I yearned for understanding and someone to romance me. My husband could talk a good talk before I became his wife. I fell for that immediately. I do love a man of words. However, it can make me blind to other things as well. That makes two of us. Perhaps all I wanted was the chase and not actually being caught.
So, looking to the plus side of things, I think a combination of my mourning for a fantasy romance that never was, my feeling of being betrayed with secrets and lies, and my hormones have all contributed to a whirlwind of hostility that I cannot seem to control at times. I also believe that what drives him forward is precisely what drives me backwards and into retreat. I am just now fully coming into realization about what I may want in a relationship; sexual or not. I think this is important to work through. Fortunately, in my calm times I can remember the good that comes of it all. Perhaps I shall explore this in future posts.