Monday, July 31, 2017

Open Marriage Watch: Week Six

Wait, what happened to week five? We didn't see the therapist last week, and there were no big developments, so I didn't blog.  Plus, I've gotten one or two reader comments that my posts are getting really long-winded, so I'll try to tone that down.

The past weekend, and tonight, in fact, things have gotten very interesting indeed.

First, DW and I were doing our usual sprucing up around the house over the weekend, ahead of our kids leaving for a week to go to summer camp.  They'll only be gone a week or so, but it's great for us to have that time alone together without having the kids around to distract us from each other.  It's been a good thing. Our intimate time had been getting incrementally more intense, and she's been somewhat more willing to be sexual. So this day we were sharing with each other how much we were looking forward to having a whole week alone without the kids. I said, "Think maybe we could try having sex while they're gone?" "Yes," came her reply. "Really?" I asked, kind of blown away. "We can try, I want to try," she said, "but I can't promise anything." I said that I wasn't expecting anything so we could just go really slowly.  That seemed to make her happy. Meanwhile, now I have to go scouting for some really good lube. It's hilarious that this made me think of one of my earlier encounters with Audrey, which, as I recounted in my blog post about it, makes me sound rather prophetic:
I kept her in that position and started to enter her without a condom, but she got up from the bed to get something from her purse.  I figured we'd be using condoms, but she came back with just a bottle of lube.  I forgot the name of it, but it was so much better than the Astroglide I have always used.  I'm going to have to get this stuff the next time I need it at home (in 2017, probably!).  She said she'd gotten in at a sex shop.  
Well, here we are in 2017 and I'm needing lube at home!

Second, yesterday, after the kids were on their way to camp, DW and I were starting one of our annual projects that we do when the kids leave. This project was to de-clutter our kitchen. It was a monumental undertaking, since DW was a collector of things and was almost pathologically incapable of throwing anything away.  I realize that makes her sound like a hoarder but it's not like that at all.  She just has accumulated stuff over the years and as she and I have moved from place to place, we just haven't thrown a lot of it out or repurposed it.  Now, however, there's an online community in our neighborhood that lets us dispose of things that others might want, whether it's free or for a small price. As both of us were feeling somewhat free without having the kids in the house we were joking with each other and kidding around. I got her to laugh out loud a lot! And, at one point, we just grabbed each other and started making out like teenagers. Didn't lead to anything more for the rest of the day, but that was the most passion she'd shown in a long time. And it dawned on me: what turns DW on is laughter, lots of it.  When she feels free to let go and laugh, she's much more likely to be sexual with me. This holds a lot of promise this week for trying to have sex.

As if that weren't enough, there's more. Not less than two previous SBs have come forward and expressed interest in getting together again. First is Sam, sweet Sam, whom I last saw in early 2016. Since that time, she's been told of what happened.  At that time, she was unsure of what to think about it, but in the past four months or so she's come to realize that it's not that big a deal and she's willing to get together again.  The second former SB who wants to see me again is none other than Jade, with whom I had a tumultuous 10-month arrangement in 2013 until I told her off in spectacular fashion.  I apologized for that about 10 months later, and then had lunch with her about two years ago where she expressed an interest in starting up again. I was reluctant, and over the next week or so we made and she broke two dates.  I never committed to sleeping with her at all, just to get caught up.  Then she took something I told her during a moment of reflection and intimacy and she threw it back in my face.  She wasn't hostile about it, but at the time it struck a nerve with me and I hit her hard again. Reading the blog post I wrote about it, I realize that I've been quite touchy around her, and while it hasn't been totally inappropriate, I think I may have been overly sensitive. She did kind of break my heart, but my heart wasn't really all there to give to her, was it?  And it still isn't, especially now.

Jade told me she has a new place -- "a better place, a more private place, with a jacuzzi lol" -- and she invited me to visit her next week and get caught up over a glass of wine. Sounds awesome, but it feels like a trap -- either from her or of my own design. I'd feel wracked with guilt just going over there after I've so openly told DW that there was no longer a benefit to being unfaithful behind her back. I can only imagine getting sexual with Jade the second I walked in her door.  If she and I decide to meet, I'll definitely suggest we meet in public first.  And then I'll have to figure out a way to introduce the idea to DW.  There will have to be a bit of deception around it, but that's the way it goes.  Since Jade and I haven't fucked in over four years it's going to feel like new again.  Perhaps I can convince her to create a new profile on the sugar website so I can find her that way. If that works, then it should be easier.

More to come...

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Open Marriage Watch, Week Four: A Game of Inches

I entered this week's counseling session knowing that, with DW on her period, she might be more emotional than normal, and not necessarily in a good way. Typically, when she gets emotional during her period, she can be explosive in anger, inconsolable in sadness, and overall totally irrational. I felt glad to see that she didn't go there after all.

DW wanted to go straight into talk about sex, which, while it seemed like a good sign, was full of potential pitfalls.  We began by recounting for the therapist that we'd spent some quality naked time in bed, and that she'd jacked me off on one of those occasions. DW seemed pleased with that, and in general, I was too. But, as my headline states, this is a game of inches. We are moving forward at a snail's pace, at least in my mind. And I am still initiating all of it.  Well, almost all of it. This morning, she invited me into the shower, after she'd gotten cleaned up. But by the time I was ready to join her she was turning off the water.  I misjudged her routine and thought that after she cleaned up she'd linger in there, but she didn't see me so she just ended her shower.  I apologized and offered a rain check. Probably later this week.

I had a couple of missteps during this session, particularly at one point where I was trying to explain my context around finding a solution to our incompatibility problem. I don't believe that DW can get on my page sexually, and that she's unaware that she's asexual.  However, I'm more than willing to go down the path of experimentation to test that belief, and I'm more than willing to be wrong, and to admit it. Win-win, right? But when DW told me that she feared she wouldn't be able to provide me the same things sexually that Mel could, I saw that as my opportunity to offer my context, But I then fumbled my words. "I don't really think you can," I said in reply. This came from the place of not believing that DW would ever be sexually adventurous enough to give me a rim job, or go down on another woman, or let another woman go down on her, or consent to being fucked by another man in front of me (these are all things that I would insist would be part of my sexual experience going forward, with or without DW). This response invited all sorts of questions, both from DW and the therapist, and it felt a little like emotional mortar shells raining down on me.  DW still plays, over and over in her mind, pictures and imaginary video of Mel and me in bed, happily fucking our brains out. And whatever she can picture is true, of course, and then some. Mel and I had a fantastic sexual connection, and had it gone on for an extended period of time, I think it would have replaced the one I'd had with C/Hayden, which is still the best ever. I was able to clarify, however, and said that I had concerns over whether DW would, as we progressed, overcome her own self-imposed sexual boundaries and really try to enjoy the journey, and that if she did overcome them and discover her sexuality was truly not that adventurous, she would not be able to handle it emotionally if I satisfied my needs with another woman.

She validated my concerns almost immediately when she said that she believed that Mel was beginning to have feelings for me at the time she discovered my involvement with her. She based that on the fact that I'd paid for Mel to Uber to and from work one day when her car had broken down. This, to her, was a sign that Mel had started to see me as some sort of a rescuer. "She could have asked a co-worker to get back home, but instead she went back to you.  You'd set a boundary with her that was supposed to be strictly sexual, and when you didn't say no to it. She was probably starting to fall for you." "I understand how you can see it that way," I said, "but the reality is far less charged than that. She asked for a favor, she offered to pay me back, and I agreed. And she would have, had we continued to see each other." I know that didn't go over well, either.  The truth was that Mel did have feelings for me.  She called me the best lover she'd ever had, and that our connection went beyond the sexual. I definitely had feelings for her too, but like nearly all the others before her, they would never have amounted to anything because I'm in love with DW.  In the end they never got to be fleshed out, so it doesn't really matter.  The boundary held.

DW maintained that the arrangement should have been a purely sexual one. "Again," I said, "understood. But the truth of this arrangement -- and I suppose any arrangement that I would be involved in -- is that she and I were on friendly terms. That made the sex more fun for both of us."  This seemed to alarm DW because it never occurred to her that any extramarital sexual partner I had would become a friend.  In future conversations, I'll have to clarify that anything less than that would feel like the transactional sex one would have with a prostitute, and that's not my preference in an extramarital partner.  Her concerns about this seemed to be amplified somewhat, so I now see what needs to happen next. She needs an education about what an extramarital relationship looks like, and to be asked whether she prefers me to risk arrest and infections with prostitutes who can fuck multiple partners per day. She needs to see that men aren't that different from women in that they want to care about the partners they're fucking. I know it's possible that a man can find a prostitute to see on a  regular basis who gets him off consistently, and that over time a connection can develop, but even in those cases the clock's always ticking, and there will nearly always have been some other dick inside her before I see her. In reality, men like it when they like the women they're fucking, and it enhances the enjoyment of the sex.  Boundaries can be set to limit the advancement of any emotional connection, including limiting the involvement to no more than a few months before moving onto someone else.

I realize in writing this post that it seems like I'm again playing the end before I go through the process. It's extremely hard for me not to do that, knowing what I know about DW after nearly 20 years together. Let me spell it out again, for anyone who hasn't read this entire blog:
  • No intercourse since January 2015
  • No going down on her since July 2014
  • No blow job from her since 2006!
  • Her not liking to have her breasts touched, fondled, sucked, or kissed since 2005
  • Her not liking erotica of any kind, from literature to porn to Cinemax
  • Her never having masturbated to orgasm in her life
  • Her saying in 2009 that she didn't care if she ever had sex again
  • Her saying in 2012 that she mostly had sex with me because the relationship needed it, not because she wanted it.
  • Her saying two weeks ago that her first awareness of her sexuality came at age 18 when she had sex for the first time, more than 30 years ago.
On that last point, DW said in the session that she had interpreted the therapist's question about her sexual awakening to mean actually having intercourse.  So I posed the question in a different way, asking, "When did you first become aware of sexual feelings in your body or mind?" She said it was when she'd first seriously kissed a boy, at age eleven. But the truth is that she never fully indulged those feelings for whatever reason.  I'll need to ask more about that in the future.

One other major moment during the session came near the end. The therapist asked me if, should DW make a sincere effort to expand her sexual vocabulary, but couldn't for some reason get comfortable with all I wanted to do, I would agree to compromise and accept what DW had to offer sexually as enough. This was one of those moments where she, on DW's behalf it seemed, was testing my terms and whether they were rock-solid. My answer was very plain: "I'm excited to go on this journey with my wife and see where it leads. But I'm not going to compromise on my sexuality. This is a term. I'm not going to agree to limit myself because in my heart, in the context of a trusting long-term relationship, like the one ours is becoming by the way, anything and everything should be available. We should try anything, do anything, and at least talk about everything.  I'm not suggesting we have to do something wild, something adventurous, every time. I don't need to have a threesome every week, OK?  But those things should be available sometimes."  DW nodded her head and said, "That's fair."

I have nearly fully laid the groundwork for the possibility that, if DW can't or won't be able to get on the same page as me, I get to seek fulfillment in other ways, with other partners. Time will tell if she can find peace with the knowledge that her husband would be fucking someone else.  A yes means she trusts me and we survive; a no means she doesn't trust me and we don't survive.  It's that black-and-white.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

It's Been Eight Years...

Today is C/Hayden's 30th birthday.  I can't believe that in a couple of weeks from now it will have been eight years since we first met.

Open Marriage Watch, Weeks Two and Three

You'll recall this from my last post:
Then -- without any warning -- she dropped a bomb on me. "I've been thinking that one way we could start this was to maybe invite someone else to join us. Someone we both trusted."

I picked my jaw up off the floor and laughed, which was probably the wrong thing to do.  I apologized, but I said, "How am I supposed to react when you hit me with a revelation like that?  You've never, ever discussed anything like this before."

"It's been on my mind a while."
We did not bring this up in the full week in between sessions. As DW said later in the week, she didn't want to talk about this topic if we were exhausted or the kids were around.  This week, the first thing I did was bring up this exchange. I said that, since she was almost always exhausted, and if the kids weren't around it was evening and she was exhausted and getting ready for bed, "In my head, I'm thinking you are saying no" to talking about this topic.  This got DW upset and accusing me, again, of thinking the worst about her.  "I want to talk about this," she said, "but if I'm exhausted I can't give enough energy to it. It's an intense topic." I didn't respond because I knew that I could ask enough of the right questions to back her into a corner and get her to admit that she didn't really want to talk about it. In my mind, she's simply not serious about it.

But DW's admission gave me an opening to bring up setting the stage for an open marriage. To her credit, DW didn't shy away from this topic as I expected her to. She wasn't exactly comfortable with it either.

From my recollection of the session, DW has three major concerns over an open marriage: 1) that I'm going to be secretive about it and lie to her again about what's going on; 2) that she's not going to be able to handle seeing me with another woman or knowing that I'm with another woman; and 3) if she's able to handle it, that I'll eventually fall for someone who can give me sex and a future, and I'll leave her. That last one is, of course, a biggie. I've written before that if it weren't for the kids being young and needing both mom and dad in the house, I probably would have already left the marriage. And I said as much during the session.  But, I added, a few years ago I decided with the help of my men's group to recommit to the marriage, and I successfully fought through all the feelings of grief over the end of our sexual relationship in order to do that. "So really, I'm in it for the long haul now.  There's no one else I want to grow old with.  I know you're struggling with trusting me, but you're just going to have to trust me on this."

As for her first concern, she thought that her consenting to my having sex with other women necessitated being secretive about it. I reminded her of something I said in an earlier session, which was that there was exactly zero benefit for to be secretive and deceptive about this. "The only way this is going to work is if it's out in the open.  Particularly in light of your idea to have someone join us in the bedroom.  It has to be open."

Since I'm now writing this ten days after the session, my memory is a bit fuzzy, but suffice it to say that we agreed to head in the direction of open marriage and that there was no turning back.

The downside was that we did not talk about it again at all that week. Our anniversary was last weekend (closing in on 20 years!) and it just didn't seem right to talk about my having sex with others. We didn't have sex either, although on our anniversary I gave her a beautiful card with a heartfelt note in it:
Love doesn't mean we just look at each other; it means looking together in the same direction. There's no place I'd rather be than in love with you. I love you more than these words can convey.  Please be my wife forever and ever.
The card was propped up against a vase of her favorite roses that grow in our garden, all of which I'd set up while she was out at the gym.  When she got home, I was in the shower, and when I got out she came into the bedroom where I was dressing. She had a huge smile on her face and said, "That was such a beautiful card and note! Thank you, honey!"  She put her arms around me. "Here," she said, "I want to give you a big kiss, with tongues." I hadn't yet brushed my teeth and I literally had the worst breath ever, so I lovingly took a raincheck. She was a little disappointed.  Later in the day, she tried again to kiss me, but our kid walked in the room and again I stalled. "Later, when the kids are asleep," I whispered. We finally got around to it once we got to bed.  But it progressed no further, as expected.

The next session had us digging deeper, and starting to hash out the details of how such an arrangement would work. By no means is she there yet.  I truly believe she'll never be ready to have sex with me or anyone else, ever again, and I kept playing devil's advocate with her ideas, explaining that I was trying to poke holes in them to see how serious she was about them, or if they were "just thoughts" she'd had. So far she hasn't given up, but she hasn't pressed anything forward.  In fact, I told her that this next week I wanted to press forward physically and sexually with her. As it turned out, this entailed spending some time together in bed fully undressed, touching each other, making out a little.  I treated the time like I would have with someone I was dating and getting intimate with for the first time, asking her "Is this alright?" each time I touched a different part of her body. When I got to her pussy, she said yes and thanked for asking her. In retrospect, I really can't believe I have to do this with my own wife, but it doesn't hurt things after having not been sexual with her in over two years.  We've done this twice so far. The second time I tried to massage her clit and see if she'd get wet, but no luck.  She stopped me after a few minutes, claiming that she was getting irritated down there.  I offered to go down on her, but she said no to that. It was progress, and I was satisfied as far as our marriage was concerned, but all week I've been literally thinking that if I didn't fuck a beautiful woman soon, my dick was going to shrivel up and drop off of me.

In the upcoming week, our older kid will be travelling out of state with some friends, before the two kids then leave for camp for eight days.  During this time, I will not hold back if there is some free time the two of us have to talk. I told DW to see about making plans to send the younger kid away for a night to a friend's house, so the two of us could have some adult time to talk about things, which was something we'd agreed on during our last session.

God, this is going so slowly, and my patience is being sorely tested.  But hey, on the bright side, there's no way I'm not getting laid, so when the time is right, I'll take care of that.