My husband knows about my blog but I don’t believe he’s ever read it because he claims, “I wouldn’t know where to look.” I’ve told him the title so I think it’s more like, “I don’t give 2-shits about it.”
You may see where this post is going. The time has come for me to dig into the relationship I have with my husband.
We’ve been married almost 25 years. Combine that with the years we lived together before marriage and I can unequivocally state I have shared more of my life with him than with any other person on this earth, including my parents. (Background info — my dad divorced my mom when I was 10 years old and I continued to see him on weekends. I left my mom’s house for college at 18 years.)
I met my husband when I was 20 years old and given that I’m in my late 40’s, that’s been a long-ass time to intimately share my life with one person.
The people around you shape who you are. How has this guy shaped me? Has it been good for me? Where would I be with regards to my psychological/mental health if I chose a different path?
Just as important, how has my upbringing affected me?
How have the two separate life experiences – childhood and adulthood – impacted me?
That question is loaded! I could easily blame my parents, the brother that abused me or my husband for all my difficulties. But, I can’t and I won’t.
A snapshot of my life now – I work part-time, have 2 boys, a large house and yard with many gardens and a finished basement/cellar/lower level, where my husband works (from home) and stores his many hobbies. I’ve mentioned before he needs “playtime” to decompress after many long hours at work. I don’t argue that he works 10 hour days but I do argue with him about taking care of the house more than he does. We don’t hire any help so I clean what I can and he gets things done in his free time, which is not much. But, he is inarguably a great dad; he coaches sports for our boys, takes them fishing, golfing and boating. I also appreciate that he wakes them every school day, makes them breakfast and gets them on the school bus. He wants to have this special time with them and I love him for doing it every day.
My husband thinks my mental illness is “all in my head” and doesn’t believe in medication for the treatment of depression. I find this funny because he’s so out of tune with my moods that he doesn’t even see when I feel good and when I don’t. It surprises me that he doesn’t notice how I let up on him when I’m properly medicated. Shit, if I were him, I would be relieved when my wife’s depression was being treated. It just goes to show how he lives for the moment without too much consideration of other people. So, I seek my own sense of peace and I will take antidepressants as long as they help me. I’ve learned to believe he ultimately has no control over me but we co-exist peacefully because neither of us tries to change the other.
Here’s the truth…I love my husband and vow to always love him. We’ve grown together in our years but we’ve also grown apart. He and I sleep in separate bedrooms, although our rooms are 6 feet apart from one another. His room is really the guest bedroom but he stays in it unless guests are visiting. Why? You may wonder. It started with me hating to be touched at night or for him to illicit sex when I’m sleeping. I cannot handle this behavior and I attribute it to the incest experience from my childhood, when my oldest brother visited me in my bedroom after I had gone to sleep. I just don’t like to go from dream sleep to physical closeness. The memories cause flashbacks to a time when my thoughts were flooded with get the fuck off of me. I guess you could say I’ve made myself very clear on that front. In the last few years, the reason he doesn’t share our bed is because he snores loudly and I’m constantly waking him to say “roll over” and “you’re snoring.” He got tired of the nightly interruptions and found a bed where I don’t bother him all night. I can’t blame him, really.
I accept my childhood for what it was – totally intellectualized to a point that I had no way of expressing painful emotional experiences like incest. I see positives in my upbringing because my parents taught me to get through the tough times by not dwelling on them. As much as I regret that I felt misunderstood, if things had been different, I may not have finished high school or graduated college.
Before I met my husband, I spent a year and a half completely free to explore my sexuality. I lived in a dorm, a long way from home with no accountability. Weekends were spent in the clubs, partying and dancing, usually ending up getting fucked by some guy I found attractive but had no other connection to. This memory would be better if I could tell you they were into foreplay and pleasing me. But, that’s not how it went down. One-night-stands aren’t known for slow seduction. I felt empowered when I was flirting and seducing but the encounters swiftly turned animalistic with no intimacy or love involved. Since my actions were a fucked-up cry for someone to show me I was valued, I ended up feeling used, degraded and I always felt like shit the next day. I would wonder, Why the hell did I put myself through that? Fortunately, not one guy harmed me or went further than I was willing. You won’t be surprised how many guys wanted to have anal but I always refused. I must thank all of them for not forcing the issue. That final frontier took my husband about 8 years to conquer and by the time I allowed him to take me that way, I was willing and I can’t say I completely disliked it. Anyway…
Why do my posts always get sexual? I tend to bring everything down to this primal sexual level. Am I different because I was sexually abused or do others reflect on their relationships this way? I do not know. Readers out there must think I’m a sex crazed maniac but that is far from the truth. What I am is still stuck in this confusion of sex equals love.
I met my husband after too many encounters that made me feel dishonored. I blame no one but myself but things changed when my husband came into my life. He is 2 years older than me and, when I met him he was unlike any man I have ever slept with. From the beginning, this guy was interested in pleasing me. As I’ve said, I was no virgin and I had already had 3 longterm boyfriends between ages 13-18. He continues to be considerate of my needs and always makes sure we both feel satisfied after sexual intimacy.
Sidebar—with one of my boyfriends, Jake, I shared that my brother sexually abused me and he was compassionate and caring. I really loved Jake but we were both young and he went and joined the US Army. While Jake was gone, I had a fun, wild boyfriend who wanted to just party and have sex all the time. I was game for it because I would do anything to block out my emotional pain. I never told this guy about my brother because his sole purpose was to make me forget my childhood during my high school years. When I went to college I left him behind. In my first year at college, Jake returned from the army but he was a different guy. He still vowed his love for me but he had major scars from off-duty fights he’d been in, his dick was bent from God only knows what and he gave me gonorrhea. I ended that relationship because the time apart had made us strangers. That was when I was 19 and, even though I broke off the relationship, I held on to the innocence I felt with him for many years.
The next guy I shared my secret of having been sexually abused was with my future husband. He was genuinely “nice” and caring and the best listener ever, above any girlfriend I’d had before.
My husband is Italian and has a raw emotion about him. I used to think he was stupid because when he felt something he expressed it with full emotions, crying, laughing or yelling. I would and sometimes still say “calm down and take a look at yourself.” That’s my upbringing and my intellect speaking. But, I was amazed at how quickly his emotional outburst passed. As a young woman, this fascinated me. I had learned as a child to hold on to shame, blame, anger, regret and sadness for days and weeks. This man taught me to express myself and then to let it go. He was so patient and loving that I eventually trusted him completely. And the sex was by far the best ever. He never was in a hurry and took his time pleasuring me. This was a significant way in which he won over my heart and soul.
Until recently, I thought I settled for less when I began dating him because I felt intellectually superior. This is not to say, I’m smarter than he is but I have more common sense because I always think before I act. I can be diplomatic when he is outraged. But, my husband is highly intelligent in a mathematical/computational sort of way. He is well-educated and valued for his knowledge. But, growing up, in my family, suppressing emotions and intellectualizing was prized. They say, opposites attract and I’m beginning to recognize our differences are a plus. We argue and fight but he’s taught me to let my feelings go.
Expressing emotions is important. Love and hate are similarly strong emotions that I accept and I’ve learned I won’t always feel love for my husband. There are good and bad times but at this point in my life I appreciate all we’ve been through together. It comes down to accepting I have not been easy to live with all of these years (with depression/PTSD) but he has been an anchor for me to search for my own answers in life. I’ve learned to accept his ways and he mine. We don’t always agree (the biggest area is parenting) but I’ve come to realize that we are both growing together in this thing called life.
Our lives together are settled and comfortable. We still have sex but I break out my “toys” by myself more often than seeking him to satisfy me. He knows this and when we do get together he’ll be grabbing my toys to make sex between us better and exciting. He still has the spark that turns me on but everyday life, with kids, work and the household make it hard to be spontaneous.
I guess I’m trying to say, life is an experience of growing and I have found a guy who I feel comfortable being with as I work on improving myself.
I know that no matter who I spend time with I will always be stuck with myself and my issues. No one can take away my pain so I realize I must find a guy who is compatible to be with as I uncover the many layers of myself. My husband is as good as it gets for me and I appreciate him in my life.♥