Date Night 

It was supposed to be a good night.

I had made reservations for this new Japanese/French restaurant near us. The babysitter was free to watch the kids. I went to the wine store and bought a nice $30 bottle of unoaky, slightly citrusy Chardonnay that went well with seafood and meat (the place was BYOB).

It started out well. We ordered some apps, had some light conversation, finished our entreees and half the bottle.

Then it went south. It was about an hour and a half until I told the sitter we’d be home. So I suggested we go to a nearby bar to just sit and chat. The husband seemed reluctant. I asked what he wanted to do. He said he was full and all he wanted to do was go home and cuddle with our son.

????

What the fuck. I don’t remember the last time a guy went on a date with me and wanted to go home early.

He’s not a big drinker so I thought that he just didn’t want to go to a bar. So I suggested coffee. He seemed receptive to the idea.

Then he went on about how we’re trying to get our relationship back on track and that we shouldn’t force things.

Ok, by now I’m getting the message loud and clear.

This fucker doesn’t want to spend time with me.

I get that our relationship is in limbo. I get that on most days we don’t like each other. I get that we’re tenuously holding on, our kids the only lifeline to our otherwise precarious foothold.

But I’m trying. I’m trying to forge a new relationship. I’m trying to bridge the gap with one of the few things we mutually like, that being food.

Obviously it’s not enough. So I asked point blank, “Do you not want to spend time with me?”

And he said,”I don’t remember the last time we had fun together .”

So I did the only thing a person can do at that point – laugh.

I laughed because I see the fruitlessness of trying. Why??? Why am I trying so hard?

So I said to him, “Why am I spending time away from MY kids to be with you when you don’t even want to be with me? Why are we paying a babysitter to watch our kids when we don’t even want to hang out with each other?”

I told him that if I’m going to leave my kids at home, I’d rather hang out with my fucking friends and have a good time than be with a Debbie downer.

So we went home 2 hours after our sitter came. I told him to go in and pay the sitter because I didn’t want to face my kids all tear faced.

So I sat outside in my backyard with the half leftover bottle of Chardonnay, shivering in my parka, tears streaming down my face, feeling sorry for myself.

The light was on inside the house and from the darkness of the yard, I saw my husband picking up my daughter. She must have been glad to see him. Then I saw my son crying over something, throwing a tantrum. I hesitated. Should I go in and intervene? But I didn’t want to. I wanted to stay out here and be selfish. I wanted to have this time to myself, to not think about anyone else but myself. If I go in, I would have to erase my hurt and anger and pretend nothing was wrong. I would have to put my feelings aside while asking my children what was wrong with them. While on most days, this task was easy, today, I just could not do it. I needed to be by myself. I needed to wallow.

I waited until the lights went off downstairs and let myself in. I was sure my husband had taken my kids upstairs. But no, as soon as I came in I saw my son crying by the stairs. I picked him up and tried my best to soothe him. We laid together upstairs, my tears falling silently as I cradled him in my arms. What was to become of him? Was he to be a child of divorce? Another statistic? Was he crying because he felt the tension between me and my husband? Or was he just grumpy because he had a cold and was tired?

Therein lies the question. Should I stay because of the kids or should I leave because of the kids?

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Sexless

I was browsing through my Facebook feed when I saw a sponsored article pop up about people in sexless marriages lamenting their situations on Whisper. For those of you who don’t know, Whisper.sh is a website where people anonymously confide their deepest darkest secrets. I see the allure in that. I mean, hello, I’m writing a blog about my personal angsts and struggles for all to see (all two of you haha). It’s pretty cathartic because I can divulge all my secrets, whichever I should choose to tell, and yet I never have to give up my identity. I can tell you all the things I’ve never told anyone, not even my best friends or my sister, or even my diary.

Anyway, I read the Whisper confessions and even though people worded them differently, across the board the message was the same – “I’m in a sexless marriage and I’m lonely.” As I read on, I felt somewhat less lonely. Here are thousands of people whom I’ve never met and might have nothing in common with, besides this one thing. And they feel exactly the way I do.

After reading through, I browsed through the comments section, which seemed to be divided into mostly three opinions:

1 – Why would you EVER be in a sexless marriage??? Once the sex and intimacy is gone in a relationship, it’s doomed. It’s best to move on and be happy. These comments range from single people to people in marriages for over 15 years.

2 – Sex isn’t the end all be all in a relationship. Some people are happy not having sex that often. They’re content being with their best friend who they do enjoy doing things with, even if that means they don’t have time to have sex every week.

3 – The Divorcees. They’ve been through it and are the harbingers of doom. They forewarn against sleeping in separate bedrooms, letting children take over your lives, working too many hours, etc.

Before reading the comments, I was #2. Sex was whatever. I was too busy and tired taking care of 2 little babies, now toddlers. I felt bloated and unattractive. My libido was low. Now, I’m hovering around #1. I honestly don’t remember the last time my husband and I had sex. And it’s not like my husband is always asking me for it and I turn him down. He doesn’t want it from me either. So now I’m wondering, is this a natural phase that every couple goes through after having kids? Or is it a symptom of something more? Lack of intimacy, not spending enough time together, resentment over perceived hurts, desire fading after 15 years…

I mean I know about the science of attraction. When two people first get together, there’s all these feel good hormones that mimic the “falling in love” feeling. Everything is heightened and sex feels soooo awesome. Even cuddling feels like you dropped some ecstacy. But then after a few months, the oxytocin and dopamine fades and you’re left with the crash of reality. After 15 years, it’s like someone took all the desire out of your soul and you’re left with a dry, vacant asexual cavity of a being.

The thing is, after being dead inside for about 3 years, I’m starting to feel like a person again. I’m beginning to feel like I want more. I know it’s not fair to my husband who’s had to be patient while dealing with my postpartum, hormonal self. But to be honest, our problems started way before we had kids. So herein lies the question: do we wait it out and hope it gets better or do we resign ourselves to be another statistic?

Reality Bites

Do you ever feel like you’re just living everyday life just going through the motions? Sure there are moments of happiness brought on by your kids, a fun dinner with friends, a false sense of contentment after two glasses of rose…

But nothing that really gives you utter fulfillment.

I mean how do you even get that? It’s not like you can go build a house for the homeless or a robotic leg for a paraplegic every day.

I’m a thirty-something year old stay at home mom living in suburbia, I’m comfortably middle class, I don’t have to worry about money, I’m married, I drive an okay car, I live in a nice house in a safe neighborhood, I have a couple of really good friends, I’m average weight (although with a post-c section pooch that won’t go away), I’m fairly good looking after some makeup, and I’m pretty intelligent, although I’m terrible at math. Like, sometimes I use my fingers to add.

My life looks good on paper. If you were to ask my friends, they would all say I have a nice life, everything’s normal, I seem happy, blah blah blah.

What they don’t know is that sometimes I feel so horribly, gut-wrenchingly lonely. I feel like I’m stuck. I’m in a marriage that is falling apart and I think that we’re mostly staying together for the kids. I love my husband but sometimes I don’t like him and sometimes I even hate him. Lately what scares me is that sometimes I just don’t feel anything for him. Thinking about leaving him doesn’t leave me with utter despair…I kind of feel relieved or even hopeful. What does that say about our marriage???

Yesterday I counted. We’ve been together for FIFTEEN years. That’s a lot of years. And only four of those years were with kids. And when I think back, a lot of it was bad. A lot of it was great…but also bad.

I’m seriously thinking about leaving my husband. But where would that leave me? I have no job, I don’t even know if I have enough credit to rent a place, and I have two young children to take care of.

So yeah, I’m thirty-something and I’m learning that reality bites. And if you’re thirty-something too, then you’ll get my 90’s movie reference (yay Winona).