TL: “Why should mine be any different?”

Mindless and I had been dating for about 7 weeks. I went out with my best friend for $1 drinks, we talked to some guys at the bar, and then went to a nearby dance club. I told Mindless all about it, just thinking I was sharing about my night out with my friend. At that point, I didn’t know how unhappy Mindless was about that night. I didn’t know until after we were married how hurt he was about that night.

It did soon became clear that my best friend and Mindless did not get along at all. I felt like I was in the middle of war with both wanting to have more say over me than the other. I wanted say over me. My best friend was upset because I was spending less time with her and more time with Mindless. Mindless pushed us far and fast. He wanted to get married right away. Four months after we started dating we were engaged. I was young and naïve and knew that I did not want to lose him, so I took a leap of faith, a young naïve leap of faith, but a leap of faith nonetheless.

My best friend took me out for birthday drinks soon after. Some guys started talking to us. My friend wanted to follow them to their next location, they had invited us. I was engaged to Mindless, so I refused. My friend and I got in a huge fight and she told me I had just chosen Mindless over her. It was true. Our friendship dwindled. Mindless and I were married five months after our first date. We were both in our early 20s, just out of college.

When we were first married, I started to feel like MC only wanted a sexual relationship as a way to prove his manhood, rather than have an emotional connection with me. I convinced myself I was over analyzing.  We could talk for hours about so much. We enjoyed doing things together, spending time together. I thought I had found a best friend with whom to share my life and that the emotional aspect of our sexual life would develop with time.

He wanted sex all the time, complained that the three times/week on average was withholding sex from him, not enough. Made “jokes” to friends about our “non-existent” sex life. He would grab my breasts in front of his male friends and be very hands-on, treating me like an object. It was all a “joke,” so he said. I was not happy about it at all.

Our sex life deteriorated as each time I did anything that brought him pleasure, he would accuse and question how I possibly learned this, that or the other thing. Believe me, I was not doing anything conscious or unique. I wish I had been, I wish we could’ve been doing a variety of things, exploring together. But, Mindless did not want to learn, grow and explore together. That was not his goal at all. I would try to discuss fantasies with him and he would get mad at me, he would claim he did not have fantasies. I felt damned if I do, damned if I don’t. Our sex life suffered greatly.

One night, he went out with a friend. I was asleep when he walked in the door. I awoke and asked him how his night went. He started calling me horrible names. His friend was on our couch downstairs. I was crying at his horrible treatment and verbal abuse. I ran out the door, the friend had already left. I got in my car, not sure where to go or what to do. We had been married for less than a year at this point. I was so ashamed, too ashamed to admit to friends and family that I was in this situation. It was after midnight and felt so alone. I returned home several hours later to sleep on the couch and then figure out what to do in the morning.

When I walked in the door, he apologized, but told me it was not a good idea to drive alone in the middle of the night, to leave like that in the middle of an argument. I told him “I cannot live like this anymore.” He told me his emotions were out of control, he would get help and he would work on it. He saw a counselor for a few sessions, he started exercising. He appeared to be my friend again. He no longer verbally lashed out at me. I gave it a shot.

I would ask for physical affection that did not always lead to sex. He didn’t get it, wouldn’t get it, didn’t want to get it. The only time physical affection was given, was if he expected it to lead to sex. Romance was non-existent, why should he have to do that, let alone want to do it, now that we were married? I told myself he is just a hard-working, ambitious, Spock-like man. I told myself he was working hard for our future and didn’t have the time and energy to be romantic anymore. Turns out, he just didn’t have the time and energy to be romantic with me anymore.

Our sex life was dull, mechanical and I still felt that there wasn’t an emotional aspect to our sex life. I told myself that maybe that is just the way it is in some marriages. I was surrounded by marriages that were OK, but they all had their problems. Why should mine be any different? And, so, we plugged along this way for many, many years. We swept it all under the rug.

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