Saturday, April 5, 2008


Chris is really making an effort right now. Last night he made me dinner (rack of lamb, couscous, ratatouille, salad) and was really non-combative and we didn't argue about anything. It's good, we have hardly fought at all.

We did talk on Thursday night and it was not exactly pleasant, but I don't think this kind of thing is supposed to be pleasant anyway. He said that if I leave, he'll never forgive me and it will forever change me in his mind. He (finally!) admitted that he "could be happier" with the marriage. It felt like such a relief to finally be able to talk honestly about what our problems are, and not just get the same brush off.

The thing I'm really struggling with is that I feel like I've emotionally checked out. I feel done. When I think about continuing to try, whatever "try" means, it just exhausts me. It's been so many years of trying, so many years of coming up with plans, and having an "up" time, and then crashing down down down, and it seems like every crash brings us lower. More hurtful comments, more rejection, more anger and resentment.

Right now I don't know what would help me stay in the relationship. I can't picture a positive future (which is really, really scary because I am the queen of picturing the future through rosy glasses) I just can't picture anything but more of the same.

I've given up.

I'm trying to have NOT given up. I'm trying to be civil and open and keep myself engaged, but it's a constant struggle. I really feel like I need some space and some distance. Maybe just temporarily, but definitely I need it.

Not sure if Chris will be okay with a temporary thing, though. He sounded like if I walk out the door, I'm never coming back.

Anyway, I'm looking for a place to rent, and I have a few leads on different jobs. I'm applying at a couple places, but haven't heard anything yet. I have bad days and medium days, and even some good days. The idea of moving out feels so liberating and exciting. No more eggshells, no more fighting. Obviously I know that this will not solve my problems (in fact, it will create all kinds of problems) but... it feels so right.

I got this book about deciding if you should stay or if you should go. I'm going to work through the exercises and see what comes up in that process. I don't want to make any stupid, rushed decisions.

You know what would be easy?

Having an affair, so I can get the connection and sexual part of myself fulfilled, and staying in my marriage for the stability and friendship and companionship.

That would be easy. It would have all kinds of problems attached, but it would be so much easier than this painful and confusing space I'm in now. Just - hot sex, and calm marriage. Perfect.

But I couldn't do it.

You know how you have a template of yourself? A view of yourself at your best, your ideal self. You think of yourself as "cool" or "smart" or "thrifty" or whatever. At the heart of my vision of myself is that I am honest. Ethical. Considerate. Principled.

Having an affair would betray all of that, and I think the cognitive dissonance would just do me in. I'd go nuts.

So, why can't I have the passionate sex with Chris?

He wants to, he says. And I do believe him. But it's just not there. The attraction is not there. I find Chris very attractive, and always have, but the sexual chemistry just feels totally dead. I'm reading all these books about sex and sexuality, and I can picture myself being sexual, but I can't put Chris in that picture.

It feels like all the comments have reached critical mass, and I've cut myself off from that part of our relationship. Comments like "we're not sexually compatible and we never will be" and "you don't really want to have sex" and "you'll never have a normal sex life." I know that everyone says unkind things in the heat of the moment, but there have been so many of those comments. So many. I don't want to keep trying, to keep opening myself up to that kind of criticism and comment.

I think if I stay in the marriage, I will have to have resigned myself to a mostly sexless life. There are lots of good things in my marriage, but I don't know if that's a sacrifice I'm willing to make.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008


I feel freakishly unemotional right now. Maybe I'm shut down? I don't know. I have an appointment with my old counselor at noon today.

This is the longest stretch of not-fighting we've had in a long, long time. Years. We haven't had a fight since Friday. It's been so nice, the not fighting.

Chris is trying really, really hard. He's being so nice. He texted me yesterday to say "I love you", and on Sunday he ended his video game day early.

But I asked him last night "If I stay, what will change?" and he said he didn't know.

I want to write out everything that was said last night. And the night before. It all seems so surreal, though.

"I want to kiss you. I have an intense need to be close to you. I'm losing you."

I said, "The trust is gone, it has been for a long time."

"We've hurt each other so much"

I think...

I don't know.

I don't know.

I think he's given up, too. We're not talking about how things could change so that we don't get to this point again. Every time I try to bring it up, he just says he doesn't know. I just want him to talk to me about it, to come up with a plan for us to let us stay together. I don't want to just stay because he's being nice, because we've been heading for this for a long time, and if nothing changes we'll just keep heading down this painful path. We're both so bitter and resentful and angry with each other. It builds and builds and builds. It's been just 5 days without a fight, and that's the longest we've gone in recent memory. Five days!

I guess I am emotional.

I'm smoking again.

I really badly need to talk with someone. I'm glad I was able to get in to see my counselor, even though it's almost a two hour drive away.

I hope I'm not making a huge mistake.

I asked Chris last night if he wanted to see someone, if a counselor would help him. He asked if I wanted him to go to a counselor and I said it was up to him. I need him to come up with a plan here. I want him to suggest marriage counseling, or talk about what we can do differently.

I will miss sleeping with him. No matter how bad things have gotten between us, we always snuggle, every night. (Well, most nights) We are perfectly matched for snuggling. Spooned together, like puzzle pieces.

"I know you're trying. I'm sorry I'm not responding the way you want me to." I said the other night.

"It's okay."

"I never meant to hurt you."

"I never meant to hurt you, either."


"You'll leave and you'll feel better because the pain will be gone, and I'll feel worse."


It's probably stupid, but I've been reading some of my "how to have an orgasm" books. I haven't been doing any of the exercises - sort of spectacularly not in the mood - but it's there in the back of my mind. Sex brought us to this point. I think at the core of our problems is the sex. The way we don't trust each other, the rejection, the sex. How many times have one or the other of us said "I wish sex just didn't exist" That's been a common refrain for years. If we were both asexual, I think we'd be great together.

But we're not.

Someday I really, really, really want to have an orgasm.

Saturday, March 29, 2008


I think that we just decided to separate.

At one point, I asked Chris "how do you feel?"

"Like my marriage is ending."

It's surreal.

I'm not really sure exactly what's happening, but I know that it feels like a relief. That may not last very long. But for now, it feels like relief.

There are a lot of things to think through. Rent here is really high, and I'll need another job. The pets are high-maintenance, and will be hard to find accommodation for.

Plus, I need to figure out if this is actually, really, truly, seriously, for REALZ what I want.

(I can tell you right now what I want - L. However.)

Also, and interestingly, we had sex twice today, and neither time was painful, and both times were after the Talk. So. There's that. That's got to be an indicator that this is the right choice.

I think I should feel guilty? Miserable?

I'm sure it will come.

Right now, I feel closer to Chris, and less resentful, than I have in years. Years.

The whole thing was so calm and non-combative. He was the one who first brought up the topic of divorce.

He doesn't want me to go, but wants me to be happy. I'm not sure if my happy is here, or out there. I have to work on that. I think I need to find a counselor, asap.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


I am going to write my fictional life.

The hot, sexy one. The one that involves hours of sex in the afternoon, and seriously hot foreplay.

That life.

The one that I want.

Having all these fantasies over the last week has felt really good, and I want to keep it this way.

So. L. My fictional lover.

He's absolutely amazing in bed.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


I have been talking about sex a lot.

I've been thinking about sex a lot.

My fantasy life has been off-the-rails these last couple weeks, a non-stop lust-fest in my head.

When I talk about sex, when I talk about my marriage, it's always about how horrible everything is. The constant fighting. The rejection. The fact that I want to get laid but it never happens.

Obviously that's not the whole story - Chris and I have been together nearly a decade - 8 years! - and we do love each other and we are, in many ways, a good pair. But whenever I talk about it...

The problem, one of the problems, is that it feels so hopeless. We aren't really sexually compatible, or at least that's how it feels and that's what he's said many times. The question was posed earlier - does he know that I don't like sex when I first wake up or when I'm falling asleep? Yes! I don't even know how many times I've said it, but yes. He knows. It just doesn't factor in.

For a while I thought that foreplay would solve the problem (I still think that foreplay is a critical missing element) so I said things like "let's make out for half an hour before we have sex", because just saying "let's make out" wasn't clear enough and we ended up in the same position of kiss, grope, fuck within ten minutes and damn it, that just doesn't work for me. So I said "half an hour" Rather than it helping, it caused all kinds of problems. I was "setting too many rules" etc, etc.

Thinking about it makes me angry.

There are all these exercises we're supposed to do, things that have been given to me by counselors, or to us by the person we were seeing together. Have we done them? No.

Thinking about that makes me angry, too.

Lately I have been turned on a lot. I keep thinking about sex, and wanting it. It keeps me up at night, wakes me up in the morning.

Chris can tell something is different and he's been responding to me. I don't know how I feel about that. I feel like maybe this could be a good thing for our marriage, but then I also feel like maybe the fact that I can respond like this to someone else indicates that there's something wrong between us. And, ugh, I can't believe I wrote that and am thinking it.

I've been thinking so much about starting over. I'm not the same person I was eight years ago, and I feel trapped and helpless in my life. We've had a really bad few months, the fighting has been almost non-stop.

The day after I saw L., Sunday, I had the whole day off. This doesn't happen, ever. The last time was months ago, and the next time is May 10. Chris had plans to get together with a friend for video games - the same friend he sees almost weekly to play a whole day of games with. I asked if he would cancel and spend the day with me, and he said no.

It's not the first time, it won't be the last time, and I just can't get over it. He apologized when he realized how upset I was (but still spent the day with his friend) but I can't get over it. I can't get past the fact that he set his priorities out for me right there, like he has many times in the past. Do I want that marriage? The one where it's comfortable and predictable and passionless? The one where I'm not the priority? The one that's so good in some ways and so horribly soul-crushing in others? Is there any other kind? Can I gamble on finding something better, or do I instead gamble on making this better?


I have a new theme song.

Stop Thinking About It
Joey Ramone

Stop thinking about it
Stop thinking about it
Stop thinking about it
Stop thinking about it
Dwelling is driving me crazy
Obsessing don't you know where that's at
Yeh, you don't know what you want but you want it

Stop thinking about it (4x)

This world is driving you crazy
Baby don't you know where that's at
Yeh, you don't know what you want but you want it

Oh oh oh oh oh you don't know what you want but you want it

Stop thinking about it (4x)

Ahh nothing lasts forever
And nothing stays the same
Feeling numb all over
And totally deranged
When you finally make your mind up
I'll be buried in my grave

O yeah o yeah o yeah

You don't know what you want
You don't know what you need
You don't know what you want but you want it

Monday, March 24, 2008


Every time she sent a message, it was awkward. Was he flirting with her? Did she want him to be flirting? She was certain that he found her weird at best, irritating and stalker-like at worst. She kept meaning to just drop it, leave it alone, but every time she was on her computer she checked if he was online, sent him a message. She couldn’t seem to help herself. Every message had the same subtext - “I want you. I want you. I want you.”

It shocked her, but on the off chance he felt even remotely the same, she kept sending silly messages. I want you, I want you, I want you. She couldn’t go more than an hour without imagining him. Imagining him kissing her, touching her, pushing her against a wall and having his way with her…

She was married. She loved her husband, and her husband was a good man. Their marriage was mostly comfortable - they didn’t have sex often or well, they fought a lot, but it was the way it was. Normal. Routine. She thought she was okay with that, okay with her sexless life and the predictability of it. She hadn’t been looking for anything, but she had definitely found it.

Since meeting L. her dreams had become vivid and erotic. Her stomach flipped just thinking about him. She came up with plan after plan for how it would work out.

They would go for coffee. His foot would find hers under the table and she’d catch her breath, look down at her cup, slowly feel inch after inch of leg sliding between hers. In her fantasy all it took was one brief touch and she was melting into her chair. Then his hand would brush across hers. Their eyes would lock. They would both breath deeply, continue talking, his thumb stroking her hand, his eyes dark and heavy-lidded, both thinking the same thing… and then they would be in the parking lot and his hands would be on her waist, her arms around his shoulders, her hands in his hair, his tongue in her mouth, probing, pressing, his body pushing her back against the car…

They would go to a movie. Their knees would touch in the crowded theater, and then their hands just barely brushing past each other… an accident, and then not an accident, and then his hand on her leg, his arm around her pulling her close, brushing the top of her head with his mouth, taking a breath, nibbling at her ear as she tried to stay quiet as a mouse, her hand sliding up his leg…

They would meet in the park. Walk for a while. Stop to observe the scenery or tie a shoelace or just… stop. He would be behind her, she would feel him there before he even touched her, his hand resting gently, hesitatingly on her waist. She would lean back, inviting, and his arms would slide around her. Quiet and slow and delicate, testing the waters. They would keep walking, holding hands, talking. When they finally kissed, it would be electric and unstoppable…

She ran over each scenario time and time again. Sitting at the table for lunch or dinner she would suddenly have a flash of desire and suck in a deep breath. In the shower she imagined him walking into the room, seeing her, wanting her.

It was all fantasy, though. She sent him e-mails and hoped for flirtation but just got blunt and impersonal responses. Still, she couldn’t stop thinking about him. Sometimes his responses seemed to have some subtext… he called her “hun” and “babe” and every so often a message would catch her sideways and she’d feel the now-familiar flip and be pulled into a fantasy of sex and passion.

She thought maybe she was addicted to the fantasies. Her fantasy life had been so barren for so long - the arousal lasting only as long as the story or movie, seemingly incapable of inserting herself into even the most simple daydream. But this… this was heady and overpowering. She couldn’t pull herself out of the fantasy, and she loved it.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Old Friends

Ann’s life was good. She had friends, a great career, and was generally pretty happy. The only thing missing was romance, but she didn’t have time for that anyway. It’d been years since she’d even noticed guys on the street, let alone pursued anything. Sometimes she missed the passion and the thrill, but most of the time she was too busy to notice.

She’d gotten an e-mail earlier in the week from an old friend, wondering about getting a bunch of the old high school group together. She had a free afternoon after teaching her outdoor classes and was going to be in that part of the city anyway. She had no idea what she was in for.

She felt a tingle as soon as he walked in the door.

Their eyes locked for a split second and she caught her breath. He looked nothing like the gangly teenager he’d been ten years earlier. In a leather bomber, black t-shirt and jeans, he was tall, muscular, and gorgeous. Before she knew what was happening she was imagining running her fingers through his hair. She felt the blood rush to her cheeks and bent to examine her boots.

He sat beside her on the couch and she was acutely aware of his leg just inches from hers. She was confused by the intensity of her reaction - usually she was so cool and collected!

The mini-reunion of their high school group was in honour of his few days in town. They chatted briefly, but she couldn’t stay long. As she got up to leave, he grabbed his lighter and came out with her.

Standing outside, she looked everywhere but at him. Every time she caught his eye, her breath caught in her throat. His lips were so luscious, so kissable. His hands were so masculine, she imaged them on her hips, her stomach. She was trying hard to stay cool, but she was desperately wishing she’d tidied up a bit more before coming. She hadn’t expected to be knocked over like this.

They made noises about getting together before he left town, but his girlfriend was flying in, her schedule was tight… When they hugged goodbye she broke away quickly, afraid that one more second of contact would make her do something stupid.

On the way home she couldn’t stop thinking about him. He looked so fucking gorgeous, and she couldn’t get him out of her head. She was imagining things she hadn’t thought about in months, years! It had been ten years since high school, and she’d spent a total of an hour with him, but somehow that had been enough to imprint the deep brown of his eyes in her mind, and she knew intimately the broadness of his shoulders, his height. She could imagine his kiss - smokey and deep. She could imagine a whole lot more than his kiss, if she tried.

The minute she got home, she sat down at her computer and opened her e-mail program.

“L -
It was great to see you this afternoon, sorry I had to rush off.
I’m working on my portfolio and I’d love to take your portrait. I’m willing to bribe you - dinner, drinks, you name it, I’m easy. What’s your price?

Her stomach flipped. He had a girlfriend. He probably wasn’t interested. Still, it was just a photo shoot. He’d probably say no, anyway. No harm. She hit send.

Later that night, her program pinged.

“One kiss.”

A sudden rush flooded her.


When she finally got to sleep, she slept well. Her dreams were delicious.


Two days later they met in a picturesque park on a perfect day. The sky was dotted with white clouds, the air was warm, the light was perfect. She didn’t ask how he’d found time in his schedule, away from his girlfriend. She didn’t mention the meetings she’d cancelled.

As he got out of his truck she took a deep breath.

“So,” she said, nervous, “do you want payment now or later?”

She looked up and saw him gazing at her. His eyes were dark and deep and he leaned slightly forward before cupping her head in his big, calloused hands.


His lips covered hers and she melted against him. His black hair felt as soft under her fingers as she’d imagined, and her knees weakened as his tongue pressed gently but insistently against her lips. He tasted like cigarettes and coffee. His hands slid down her back and pressed her body against his. She could feel him harden against her stomach, and the kiss seemed to go on for hours. She hadn’t been so thoroughly kissed in years.

She finally broke away from him with a gasp, but her hands lingered on his chest for a moment.

“I guess we better take some pictures” she managed to choke out past the tightness in her throat.

“I guess so” he replied. He still tilted his head the way he had in high school, still smiled a little crooked. But he definitely wasn’t a teenager anymore, and neither was she. She bit her lip and smiled before turning away.

Looking at him through her lens he was even more handsome than she’d realized. Every so often they would touch, shoulders brushing as they walked to the next location, his hand on the small of her back as she hoisted herself over a log or boulder. Every touch sent an electric shock through her body, and she thanked the bright sun for allowing fast shutter speeds to hide the shake in her hands.

An hour later, he was sitting on a rock and she was trying to frame the shot. It just wasn’t working. He didn’t turn his head right, his hands were wrong… She came over to manually pose him like some kind of mannequin, laughing.

She touched his chin to move his head slightly and suddenly his hands were on her hips, pulling her onto his lap and his mouth was on hers, his tongue probing deeply. She moaned into his mouth and molded herself against him. She pushed his jacket off his shoulders and his hands slid effortlessly up her shirt.

He lifted her up, her legs wrapped around his waist as he moved to the grassy meadow. They lay down in the grass and he began to unbutton her shirt.

“This is more than one kiss” she murmured, gasping as his thumb grazed her nipple.

“I’ll let you take as many pictures as you want” he replied “but I’m going to have you right now.”

She pulled his shirt over his head and marveled at his perfect torso.

She grinned up at him, mischievous. “If I’d known you were going to turn out so well, I never would have passed up the opportunity all those years ago.”

He didn’t reply except to lower his head to her neck and drop kisses from her ear to her collarbone. His tongue flicked across her sensitive skin, leaving lines of fire. His jacket was soft under her back, and she arched up against his mouth. His hands were working at her belt, unzipping her jeans, pushing them past her hips.

She hadn’t felt like this in years.