Here’s my dilemma.
I want to anonymously blog again.
In 2012 I started an anonymous blog. It was pretty exciting, and a place where I just could be myself, and admit things that I really hadn’t been able to admit to anyone. It was a form of exploration. It engendered dialogue with others in similar (anonymous) circumstances, and with some who had interesting perspectives and advice. This three-year period of blogging may well have saved my marriage.
It was so freeing…
The blog also was a response to decades of sexual and relational frustrations with my husband. I had been sexually active in my 20s, not something I was terribly proud of, but a fact. Given we both waited until our 30s (he was nearly 38) for our first marriage, neither of us had expected to find virgins in a mate. By that time in my life, physical relationships, while often wildly satisfying and edgy, had never developed into the quality relationship I felt that I needed for a permanent commitment, a safe place, much less one in which to raise children.
So, I talked myself into the “stable guy.” I talked myself into thinking his character was attractive enough. On most fronts he was, and over our whirlwind relationship I was pretty assured that this man would never intentionally hurt me, he’d take care of me, and that he was a good person who took his obligations seriously. He was also a fellow-Christian and we had similar political leanings. These all seemed like very strong foundations upon which to build a marriage. Choosing him made sense. Romance and physical connection would come eventually, right? Chemistry could be created, perhaps?
Sex was profoundly disappointing for us. There were lots of reasons, not the least of these was that we had courted in a long-distance nearly sex-free relationship, and then we had three children very quickly after we married. Our single lives of freedom and self-absorption suddenly transformed into a prison of sorts. We were joyful over the birth of our wonderful children, but along with it came responsibilities, tight finances, and bone-deep weariness. Still virtual strangers, we stopped getting to know each other, and just took care of business, and grew into alienated strangers living under the same roof. I was a head-strong woman aching for a man to take me in hand, surprise me, and romance me; he was a quiet, gentle, kind, practical, and non-confrontational man who would never consider acting dominantly or with palpable strength–or with unbridled passion–with a woman. His needs apparently were just for a partner who would respect and support him, have similar interests and read the same books. I was sexually high-need; he was low- or no-need (with some legit reasons: I’d gradually become less sexually attractive to him as my anger became more apparent; self-medication with food netted a substantial weight gain). When neither of us found the partner we wanted, we began that downhill roll towards eventual dissolution of a marriage. It just looked like apathy, which sometimes is worse than hate. If not for the commitment to give the kids an unbroken and uncomplicated home, we’d probably have parted ways within five years.
I think it was a little bit crazy to hope we could ever recover our marriage. Professionals weren’t helping and probably would agree. We didn’t hate each other, we just sort of acknowledged that we probably had just married the wrong person in our 30-something desperation to not be alone. He was a Knight in the sense that a vow must remain unbroken, and in spite of misery, he’d see the marriage through til the bitter end. And bitter it had become. I, on the other hand was a pragmatist and could envision a better life apart; I actually cared enough for him that I didn’t want him to miserable. Although I too considered vows important and not easily broken, I was not a martyr desiring misery; nor was a liar or a cheat who would stray outside the marriage to find satisfaction.
Long story short, we reset our marriage. We began to communicate. I shared desires I had, specific intimacy needs. I asked him to read a book I had read that resonated for me. He shared needs he had that weren’t being met. We both tried harder, got a bit more out of ourselves, and worked on regaining the respect that is so necessary for relationships to grow and survive. It was nice to think that we actually could repair this thing, and that now in our 50s we wouldn’t face a future single and alone, scheduling every other holiday with our offspring.
I am mostly grateful that we tried to repair what seemed an utter mess. I am grateful we both could forgive the hurts and misunderstandings. I am grateful we both were willing to try new things that perhaps might not have occurred to us as important to the other. It’s far from perfect, but it’s better than it was. We cobbled back together a semblance of a marriage. At our foundations, after 25 years, we essentially care about each other. The passion never seemed recoverable, because face it, we really never had it to begin with. The chemistry really couldn’t be created. We tried our best to fuse the elements of what we both desired in an intimate relationship, but the elements just wouldn’t blend into a workable or mutually satisfying fusion. We won’t be lonely old people as long as both of us are alive. I can live this existence without being in total misery, and realize the alternatives aren’t pretty. I can tell myself to count the blessings daily, and refrain from blaming or going negative. But I have more or less come to believe that there will be no real passion for us. Ours will never be a great love story. And sometimes that is a sadness that’s hard to wriggle out of.
Back to my dilemma.
I sure would have loved to maintain a “real me” blog that recounts a story of a mended and deliriously happy, passionate marriage (even tho SJ has requested I do not really reveal our identity or post pictures). To give hope to others who have lost hope as we did. And in truth, it IS a mended marriage. It is better than it was. We won’t divorce. We won’t abandon each other. We care about each other. We’ll maintain the vows. It’s just not a deliriously happy union. And whose really is?
Lately I’ve had several requests each week for access to my previous blog, which I sort of just “put to sleep.” I never really deleted it, but sort of gave it a long sleeping pill and made it inactive by making it private. No one gets to read it, there are no active blogs or conversations. Nearly two years after inactivating it, there are people who want back in to that story, and those conversations.
I want back in. I want the freedom to write the truth of my heart. I want the freedom to revel in passionate memories and fantasy. Should I go there?