Going down and fast

Submitted by Deez on
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Hello Hopeful Saviors,

I"m writing this to you in a moment of relative personal crisis. I've been married almost 2 years (Our 2 year anniversary is on the 13th of April.) and with the same woman for 4. We've recently finished a 1 year trip in Latin America and after soooo much time together we decided to take a month off to breathe and identify ourselves. We're now working on different farms in New Mexico. As soon as she arrived at her farm, she met another man. Had a deep connection she said. My wife said that it wasn't physical, but that doesn't make me feel any better.

My great friend passed this site along to me the day after my wife told me she needed a break, needed to be separate, an individual. That hurt, but I do understand. I believe a healthy relationship is comprised of 2 healthy individuals and if she feels she needs to grow alone, then she has my full support. Normally, I'd trust that our marriage would survive, but after doing some reading, it's more difficult now because I know that we're not at our best. Biology is so strong! After spending a couple of days here, learning so much about my own dopamine reward cycle, it's obvious that our relationship is a text-book example of what this site is all about, and has suffered from the constant presence of this low-level tension.

I've passed on this site to her and I know that she's read some of it, and agrees with what she has read. She says it's exactly what's been missing from our marriage. Still, she's determined to be an individual, so determined that she's considering going to see the other man. I really feel that if that happens it will be the end of our relationship. I really believe that she's being pushed by her own biology to make this decision. She does love me, she does respect our marriage, of this I am certain, but there are other powerful factors afoot. Right now, I think she believes that she cannot grow with me anymore (even though she's grown so much!) and can only grow with someone new.

Next week, we're going to have a small window to see each other, a couple of hours, an afternoon, I'm not sure. I don't really know what to do, how I could help her to see that she could just be manipulating herself, how we could have the answer in our hands right here, at the last moment. I'd really just like to try Karezza for a month, just to know if it could help us, but right now it's not an option. I do plan on turning on the romance, a picnic lunch, flowers and a light-hearted attitude, but I think it's not enough. What else is there?

Welcome! You say, "I do

Welcome! You say, "I do plan on turning on the romance, a picnic lunch, flowers and a light-hearted attitude, but I think it's not enough. What else is there?"

I don't think you should do any of those things.

The most important thing is that you find your core and you communicate to her from your core. That means, being clear in yourself with what constitutes for you a partnership, and what doesn't. If she is wanting to explore other sexual possibilities, she is not acting as your partner.

Indipendence and freedom? Simply acknowledge that we are all already free in every moment to make the choices we will. Marriage and agreements dont change that. You do not bestow freedom on her. I think that any attempt for you to give her freedom or her to ask for the freedom to do something as an individual is a power play. We are all responsible for the integrity of our own acts, always. No one else can give our acts integrity through permission. We alone are responsible for our own integrity. If you give her permission to hook up with that guy, you are falsely pretending that the integrity of her actions is not up to her, and you are enabling her to push you to the limits.

She is testing you.

If I were you, I would be very straightforward and BRIEF in your encounter. Leave the analysis to a minimum, because what may look like communication might actually just turn into a power struggle in which biology or her own agenda will use any tactics to get what it wants. Rationality can be used towards any end. The point is not to enter that struggle, but to remain clear in yourself and let her choose as an individual what she will do with that. Do not try to convince her to stay with you or not go with that guy. It is in your best interest to just stay in your power and she will then be impressed by that.

Establish a boundary now. She will most likely have more respect for you if you do. Women don't like to feel like they can just walk all over their man. It's not attractive. She's probably seing what you're really made of.

Forgive me if any of what I say will sound presumptuous.

PS. Good luck, and say hello to New Mexico, Land of Enchantment for me!

DAILY bonding behaviors

I think much more likely to work than "trying karezza" would be to try the bonding behaviors DAILY. That's based on Sood's experience which is quoted at the bottom of the article http://www.reuniting.info/wisdom/bonding_magic

As you probably realize (but maybe your wife doesn't), the bonding behaviors are something you have to DO, not just talk about and agree intellectually that they are a good idea.

Perhaps you could take turns visiting each other on alternate days. It may be a long drive, but isn't it worth it to save your marriage?

Another article that I like, that has benefited me (it improves my attitude when I do it), is http://www.reuniting.info/wisdom/buddhist_morita_marital_therapy

Wishing you good luck! Please keep in touch and let us know what works for you.

P.S. Marnia recommends karezza on a schedule, every two or three days. NOT daily - that can cause you to get "overheated".

Just to respond to one point...

The idea that a healthy relationship is comprised of independent individuals has been much-hyped, but I'm not sure there's a lot of evidence for it. Of course, people do and should retain individuality in relationships, but people also need to depend on each other for emotional bonding and support. When this website emphasizes bonding behaviors, it's because such behaviors help create that sense of mutual bonding and trust that is the foundation of true love. This idea is the basis of one of the methods of couples therapy that has the most scientific support. (See http://www.holdmetight.net/ for info on this.)

The reason I mention this is that I think if you want to save your marriage, you shouldn't necessarily take the statement of "I need to grow independently" at face value. Either it's a test, as Hotspring suggests, or it may actually translate to, "I haven't felt emotionally connected with you for a while now, so it's burdensome to be around you physically all the time." Other people may differ with me here, but in my mind, saying that you are married but want to live apart and "identify yourselves independently" or whatever is just kidding yourselves. If you are married, it normally means you are committed to growing *together,* not independently. If you wanted to be independent, why get married at all? So I think that getting into the open what she is *actually* feeling or thinking is much more pertinent at this point than putting on a romantic display, but it might be hard because she may not *know* why she is acting as she is.

Unfortunately, most of the info we have here is only really useful if your partner willingly cooperates, but people here might be able to point you towards other helpful resources.

What Hotspring says...

I just want to mention that I posted my reply before seeing what Hotspring wrote. So don't interpret it as contradicting her advice.

I also want to recommend the book "How to Get Your Lover Back" by Blase Harris, M.D. I got it at Barnes & Noble. One thing Harris STRONGLY advises is: don't beg! You will just lose her respect by doing that.

Thanks to Everyone

Thanks alot. I suddenly feel very pathetic. I guess it really scared me when she told me that she was leaving and I acted in what I thought was my best interest, in whatever way I could see that would preserve 'us'. But I forgot what's important to me. Thanks.

I really think we're in a sensitive place after 1 year together nearly all day every day and I don't want her to go and do anything to screw it up any more, when all it may need is a little TLC. I know she has her Freedom of Choice. I think this does, in part, stem from a lack of emotional connection. I think we hit a point on our trip where we had enough of each other and stagnated. I hope it's not too late!

We are committed to growing together, but we recognize that sometimes it's beneficial to grow as an individual as well, outside the framework of a long-term relationship, any relationship. We travel a lot so long stretches of space seem inevitable and that's ok....if we have this strong emotional connection that we have had before, but right now, there is something missing. When we said good-bye the last time, everything seemed okay. The previous 3 months we had bouts of issues with our lack of individual lives, but we both thought they passed at the border. It seems so close now that we're about to go back to Austin and live for the summer where she can have her world and I can have mine, which overlap some, but they are not on top of each other like they were on our trip.

As of now, I plan to 'stay in my power' and tell her that it's not okay with me if she goes to the other man. I will tell her that I understand better the problem, this lack of connection, and hope that we can both CHOOSE to come back together and learn to be intimate again. Admittedly, I'm anxious and that's normal, right?

Maybe this is a dumb question, but in your opinion (I already read the article) does bonding behaviors really help you to make this emotional connection? I can see now how afraid I've been to let my guard down, to be really intimate lately. Brief flashes, but not like a year or more ago.

No dumb questions, here

Yes, I think bonding behaviors are very important in creating an emotional connection. The other part is to be able to share openly about your fears, needs, desires, etc. Each part reinforces the other.

Of course it's normal for you to be anxious, and I think it's OK for you to tell her that, also. Sincerity is good, as long as it's not laced with emotional manipulation (begging).

In an ideal relationship, you would have plenty of room to be yourselves while staying connected. I would think that if a feeling of strangulation came in, it would probably be because one or more of you became emotionally or sexually needy or demanding. Does this square with your experience?

Hmmmm...

I can't see us being demanding, but maybe needy. I really think this stagnation comes in from being so long together. When you're traveling together, you don't get up each morning and go to work, for example. IMO, it's too much, there's not enough space between the parts of the relationship. I agree that in an ideal relationship there is plenty of room to grow, but I also think that it's easy for that line to blur and the space shrinks. My gut tells me this is a key issue towards our apparent emotional disconnection. Does that make sense?

Hmm indeed

I would tend to think that while spending a lot of time together could *accentuate* any minor problem you might have, and spending less time together could actually ease the situation, being together too much is usually not the *root cause* of difficulties (unless being together too much really means constantly amping up sexually). But at this point we still have very few details about your situation, so it's hard to say anything for sure.

Root causes...

I don't know what the root cause is....I really do believe it to be a time issue right now. Travel for a year with someone is difficult no matter who you're traveling with. We did very well, great communication and lots of patience. So many couples can't make it a month on the road together, but we did. And now at the end, we have this crisis. From reading the site, it seems that the too much time detail is mixing with this orgasmic biological countdown. Our relationship, for the most part, is very healthy. We get along great, kind and understanding, and a long-lasting love for one another. I am now realizing that we don't have the emotional connection that we did, another symptom of the Coolidge Effect, isn't it? Recently, there have been doubts but after being here and learning what orgasmic sex does to perception, I easily chalk it up to this. We were a great team, a great partnership, a great couple.

We do have a very active sex life and I can see the exact effects that the site describes occuring in my own mind and in my wife's behavior. She's been here and hopefully she's read enough to understand that her attraction to this man, and the subsequent questions, could all be connected to this dopamine reward cycle. I admit that it's possible they're not, but I feel that we'll never know that for sure, we'd never know if its this dopamine thing or not unless we try. I'd really like to have another go, to work on these bonding behaviors and move into the realm of sacred sex. After a month, we'd know if the feelings were related to this dopamine hangover or not. Is that such a crazy idea? If our issues are deeper than this biology, ok, but I really want to try EVERYTHING before I give up and separate for good. Is that so unrealistic?

Thanks

I agree

I realize that travel for a long time can be a stress on a relationship. I also did not mean to imply that you must have "deeper issues." Indeed, it seems quite possible that the Coolidge Effect is really at the heart of what's going on between you. On the other hand, if some real hurt (as opposed to random annoyance or creeping lack of interest) has occurred in the relationship that your partner hasn't told you about, it's unwise to say "it's just the Coolidge Effect" because that would invalidate the other's feelings.

Regardless of what is wrong, though, daily bonding behaviors will most likely do a lot of good. Obviously from our perspective it's not unreasonable to try (on the contrary!), but it's another thing to convince your partner of that!

Wishing you the best!

Hey Deez - I wonder if now

Hey Deez -

I wonder if now is the best time to try the bonding behaviors explicity, as in a mutual and intentional "program". From my little experience, I think the "program" is best started when both people are on the same page, ie, on board. If you are needing space from one another, it might not be the best time to start a program of deepening intimacy, tho its good to know that this tool is out there when you are both operating from the frame of reference that you want to grow closer.

In my experience, it can be precarious to try to use these behaviors as a way to fix something. If one person is already pulling away, the idea that a program has to be followed can turn them off even more, and they then might be turned off from all of the benefits that this approach has to offer.

I think its more ideal to start the exchanges when the realtionship is already relatively stable and healthy, so that the foundation can grow really solid. But I realize most people come to this information when the relationship is already in crisis. So maybe I'm not being very helpful.

All I know is that this doesn't work very well when the effort is not mutual. It's hard enough and challenging enough when it is mutual.

I think it might work best for you to state your boundaries, trust and know that your wife has to navigate her attraction on her own, state your willingness and interest in using the tools on this site at the right time when and if you both reach a state of wanting to grow closer together mutually, and in the meantime nourish yourself with friendly affection from others, lots of physical activity (well, I guess you're farming, but maybe running or a vigorous hike) to let off steam, and a maybe even some massage to get you through the rough spot. Find a breathing meditation. You seem very clear that you both need space, that you are not comfortable with her being sexual with someone else, that you value the relationship and are willing to try new things. Now just rest in that clarity.

You're lucky - you're in a natural environment and not in a congested city. Breathe any mental anxiety deeply into your belly, keeping a broad, three-dimensional awareness of the soothing natural world around you, as it inhales you and exhales you. Allow your awareness to move beyond your body and thoughts where it can rest out into the horizon, then back again towards your body. The more aerated you are, the more refreshed you will be!

Sorry you're going through a rough patch

Sounds like you've received lots of good advice. It's late and I'm not too coherent.

The bonding behaviors *do* work, just as any practice that centers you does. The more centered you are, the more clearly you will see yourselves and your relationship (and remember your love for each other). The bonding behaviors are better than most centering practices for healing relationship friction, though, because you do them as gifts for each other.

When things are out of kilter, bonding behaviors take time to work. I would say that within a week you would feel the sparkles start to return, and within two weeks (all this assumes some daily bonding behaviors, but no orgasm) you will wonder what the emotional distance was all about. It can simply fade like a bad dream. And knowing what you now know, you can *let* it fade without doubting her love (once things are back in balance).

On the other hand, Hotspring is right. You can suggest, but you can't force. Remember, you wife thinks she's seeing clearly. And people generally don't take kindly to being told that they are hallucinating due to a subconscious genetic program...particularly when they are. Wink

Do trust your intuition. What seems like a "need for space" can truly just be the Coolidge Effect restlessness kicking your butts. It's quite reasonable to suggest to her that you two try a couple of weeks of conscious bonding behaviors and see how you feel about each other before she yields to what may merely be a biological itch. It could save you (all three) a lot of unnecessary angst. After all, what's the rush on her part? (I know...neurochemicals.)

Welcome to the site, and good luck with your situation.

Thanks Again

Thanks to everyone on this board, the words are kind and direct, a style of communication that I really appreciate.

Amari, Yeah, I'm keeping the Coolidge Effect as a likely possibility, but I'm not accepting it as gospel. While I'm preparing what I have to say to her, I'm also ready to listen to her and to provide the kind of space where she can express whatever she needs to express.

HotSpring, I totally agree with waiting for the right moment to try these things. She has expressed to me that she truly hopes that we work this out. Our marriage has been full on and she says that she truly values it. And I believe her. Right now, she says that she feels 'too tight' and she has lots of love to give and wants to give it to the World. Like I said, I don't KNOW, but it does seem like this Coolidge Effect, doesn't it?

Marnia, I'm not going to try to force her into anything, but I do intend to paint as vivid a picture as I can of the situation from my POV. We been talking for a few months how nice it would be to live somewhere where we can have different lives, different jobs, different circle of friends, how we've known that it's necessary for our relationship. We were planning on going to Austin together in May for a wedding and I'm going to suggest that she consider keeping to that idea. Once there, we can try these bonding behaviors and non-orgasmic love-making. I feel we're at a major crossroads; we've talked often about wanting to take our love-making to a higher level, but have never found a practical way of doing it. Ironic isn't it, that the morning after she decides to be alone, this site comes to me. It seems to me that we have a great choice right now, to throw us away or to do what we've talked about doing. I plan on telling her these things in very soft, gentle ways, while remaining true to myself. I think it's actually great that this information came to me AFTER she separated from me. Whatever choice she makes, will be made as an independent woman.

I intend to remain in my space and say how I feel about her and the other man, how I accept that she made a connection, but do not accept her pursuit of that. I intend to tell her the situation as I see it (while not telling her bluntly that she may be manipulated by her biology) and the possibility for working on this further in a month's time in Austin. Maybe 2 months apart is enough space to begin to heal. I'm more hopeful as I gain more clarity, more space. Still, waking up and thinking that I won't ever sleep with her again as man and wife stings like a.... It all seems like senseless destruction of a beautiful love garden. Sure, maybe we've got some weeding to do, but who doesn't?

In other news, I'm storing my energy. Nearly 3 weeks without an orgasm. The pressure is beginning to build. I wonder if she'll be able to feel a difference. I haven't gone that long w/o orgasm for years. I know, highly addicted to self-indulgence!

Thanks again!

abstinence

I feel like others have really given you better advice than I could here, Deez. But one thing I did want to mention was that it could be helpful for you to be practicing continence during this trial... And you are! I truly believe it will make a world of difference (mostly for your own perception).

we all are rooting for you, and your marriage. I feel like I can speak for everyone here when i say that :)

A friend of mine recently went through a similar trial, and I know it was hell for him. I really hurt for you, reading your story.
just remember to center yourself, and dont build up negative feelings, or bitterness towards her. You can let her know how much it hurts once she is committed to staying with you, but I suggest practicing meditation - breathing exercises like hotspring suggested - so that you can deal with your struggle without building resentment.

saying a prayer for you,
hayduke

Panic Attack...

I'm having a bit of a panic attack. It's overwhelming sometimes, to think that our marriage is finished. You know, I know I'll be alright, but I don't WANT to be alright. I want to be with my wife and I want to take our love-making to the next level. The timing is so critical right now....did the information come too late? A day sooner and she may not have taken this drastic step. And if she's really being manipulated by the Coolidge Effect what can I do about it? I think the more I say the less she listens right now. What if she throws a healthy relationship out the window because her hormones are telling her to and with a little patience and love we could balance those out? It seems so f...ing tragic. (Dramatic, I know, but I'm in a sensitive place.) I accept that she may REALLY just want to leave me, but it seems silly to me to just do it without trying something (bonding practices and Karezza) that will clear things up for us. I don't want to end a marriage thinking it might be a good idea. I want to be sure! What can I do?

Sorry to ramble on...

Trust

Unfortunately, there's no magic solution that will guarantee the outcome you want here, is there? Other than doing the things you've already mentioned, the situation is out of your hands. I think the best you can do in the mean time is trust that something good will come out of this, regardless of what happens, but if you can do that in your present circumstance, you have more poise than most! Sorry you're in such a difficult situation Sad

I guess not...

There is no magick pill is there? Bah Humbug! I know that something positive will come out of this, but does that mean it's the most positive situation? I don't think so. People do stupid things all the time, self-destructive behavior is rampant. Maybe it's not the case, but I have the feeling that I'm about to suffer from some of that. We're already separate, it's just one more logical step to say good-bye for good!

You're feeding your

You're feeding your fantasies of separation through worry, so you are increasing the potential of that happening. I know its hard not to do that, but your mind is hijacking you. Do not rely on your mind right now to try to sort stuff out - you don't have perspective. Clarity can't come when you're feeding monkeymind. You've probably got adrenaline and cortisol pumping through your system, and it will amp up with more worry.

Worry resides in the spleen. Spleen is ruled by earth. You've been moving around alot and there's a lot of uncertainty about the future so you're not grounded, don't even know where you'll be living a few months from now.

Looks like a meditation on transience, which is death. If we can die into every moment, we will be more open to the positive potential. Maybe something has to die in your relationship before you can move on to the next stage? In any case, you will have to say goodbye to her at some point in your life.

But these are just more words - food for throught, food for brain. You need a different kind of food right now, or you'll just keep spinning.

Majic pill? Accepting death. Knowing that life is a constant pendulation between autonomy and relationship. Life gets frantic when we're obsessed with one side or the other of the coin - wither its her autonomy or your desire for relationship. We've gotta learn to swing between the two. This is the process of self-actualization - pendulation, which is aeration, which is breathing, which is the breath of life. So: a practice. Feel the stability of the soil and earth, the embrace of the horizon, the cup of infinite peace and unfolding and compassion that the moment holds you in if you are able to slow down enough to be totally in the moment. It's from here that self-actualization comes. Breath of life. If you allow yourself to be cradled by this presence (mother nature?) and relax into the fluidity of your being, you might feel the movement of meaning or inherent intelligence permeating all.

Magic pill? Resting in not knowing. Bringing the breath into the belly. Looking at the racing mind and heart and kidneys from a witness perspective that has that inch of space and calm as the intelligent and ordered chaos unfolds.

Maybe get off the computer too if that rings true.

*hug*

I know...it sucks...in the short-term at least. But, as you well know, loving someone sometimes means letting them learn their lessons the hard way - and then forgiving them. Sometimes those lessons are the most effective lessons.

Meanwhile, have you checked with your higher self? http://www.reuniting.info/wisdom/inner_wisdom_oracle

Here's what I get for you Wink

What is holding me back or causing me pain? Or what do I need to be alert to in my situation?

FAILURE TO FORGIVE AN ERROR IN JUDGMENT

What insight will help me at this time?

RESTORE BALANCE

More Information...

So I've got some more information. My wife has separated from me as a way to save our relationship. She admits that we 'lost each other'. Which I agree with, although I'm kicking myself in the ass for. I think a lot of that has to do with my greedy sexual strategy. She feels that distance will help us to regenerate. Really, we both feel the trip was too much for our relationship, like it went into some kind of shock. I'm going to see her on Thursday and we'll talk more.

She really has this plan to return to France and then go to India to study yoga. This is something that she's highly motivated to do and do alone. And I'm okay with that. I support her because I know how much it means to her. And frankly, India alone is much healthier than India as a couple, IMO. What I'm hoping to show her is how our couple could be so much stronger (flexible), how it would have such a greater chance of survival if we spend the month or two that she's in TX finishing residency papers together and learning how to be intimate again, re-establishing our connection again.

Is that so unreasonable? Can anyone see a glaring fallacy that eludes my primitive male brain? If she wants to save our relationship, which she said, then certainly this is much healthier than separating for so much time with it in the state it's in now! Feedback?

Thanks Hotspring, really thinking about this pendulum and trying to rest in the moment of not-knowing...

Productivity...

Yeah, I've got plenty of things I can get into, it's just a matter of getting my mind off of her long enough to do them. This will be easier with time, I think.

So I'm going to see her tomorrow and I'm really starting to feel more angry about this whole thing. First I was shell-shocked, and now angry. I understand that things happen, but I also think that you choose to make things happen as well. Right now she wants to be ALONE for a year, which to me is too much...I think our couple needs some TLC before that. If she's not willing to compromise, then I've considered giving her permanent walking papers. Marriage is about commitment, compromise, and communication, isn't it? If she claims that she's doing this for the health of our couple, but not willing to try to get past our sexual habits and heal before she leaves, then I understand that maybe her words of healing and saving our couple are more because she doesn't know how to say what she really wants to say. Any feedback about that?

I'm loathe to admit it, but it MAY be true. I don't want to give her ultimatums, and I also don't want her to walk all over me. If a marriage is about compromise, then surely I shouldn't be the only one to compromise.

Cheers

Very Excellent

So our meeting went great, much better than both she and I expected. We met and enjoyed each other's company before settling down to talk about the real issue at hand. The communication was open and free, both of us listening with the heart and speaking from the heart. She expressed quite bluntly that she was no longer 'in love' with me, but that she did love me. We talked very much about this site and the nature of the poison that we had been injecting into our relationship each time we made love.

Throughout the day, we naturally fell into bonding behaviors, initiated by the two of us. It was a great day and brought us closer than we had been in a long time. She kept saying that something was different about me and indeed there was. It's not only that i have kept my power inside of my body, but more than that I've had a genuine shift in how I see love-making and my own greed for it. The day I found this site, several synohronicities slipped into place and I woke up. Now, learning to be with my wife, the most amazing creature I've ever known, I was giving love, connecting with her in a way that we had forgotten. We slept in the same bed that night and neither one of us was interested in sex. (Well, my body was, but more about that later...) We hugged and giggled, caressed and held each other and the love flowed between us.

She wants to come to Austin at the end of April, but she's not sure if she will. Right now, she's still battling with her desire to see the other man. I was patient and kind when she told me this, but held my ground. I felt such a discretion at this juncture would do much more damage than it would be beneficial. She understands that its desire that motivates her, that its selfish needs of the ego, but she couldn't tell me what she'd do when we said good-bye this morning. She feels the need to run wild, to be a savage woman right now. I accepted this of course, still holding my ground, my place, but allowing her the space to make her own choice.

When we said good-bye, she told me that my heart was so big, that she could feel it, that it was hot against her body.

I don't konw what's going to happen, but I feel much better having actually talked to this magickal woman. I love her so much and i know that she loves me. There's nothing else I can do now except give her the space to make her own choice.

It was a good experience, if difficult at times...this whole thing has really caused a great shift in me, for which I am very grateful to everyone involved and to the Spirit of All as well. I understand better how to approach this sacred love-making, how its more about connection, union, than it is about pleasure. For years, I thought I was a great lover because I can give women powerful orgasms! How foolish I've been when most of them probably only wanted to connect with me in the moment. I never read that in the manual. Come to think of it, I never got a manual! Thanks to everyone....

It's really quite

unfair that we don't get the manual, huh? We sure could use it. But it sounds like you'll be able to write one yourself soon. Wink

Glad the bonding behaviors revealed their magic. They're subtle, but powerful, eh?

*fingers crossed* Remember, it's not the short-term that counts in a marriage.

Update...

So...not much has progressed in the last days. My wife tells me that she may feel that she loves me like a best friend and not want to be married to me. That sucks. Perhaps its wishful thinking, but I really feel that if we could just try the Exchanges we'd know more, we'd have more clarity. The thing is i don't think she wants more clarity. I think she likes being confused because, well, there could be lots of reasons, but something tells me that she's enjoying it somehow. Any ideas about that?

In the meantime, I've been waiting for her to decide if she was going to see this other man. I sent her a mail (the only form of available communication) and asked her not to see him, to just wait, for clarity's sake. I didn't ask her to come back to me, or to know that we're going to be together. I just asked her NOT to mix it up with this guy b/c surely it can only complicate things more. I was very nice and very polite. She wrote back and told me not to beg. That pissed me off. In the first place, i wasn't begging. I thought it was a reasonable request from a husband to a wife, but it appears that right now we have very different ideas about what that means. And the second place, where is her compassion? So this set me off and I realized that I dont like the way that I'm being treated. (sometimes I am very obtuse.) I would never do this to her, dangle the possibility of an affair in front of her face. So I got so pissed off that I told her it was over between us. And i meant it.

I don't want it to be over, but I don't want her to treat me like shit either. I got pissed off and filled with self-respect and told her that I was out of the picture and she could do whatever she liked. There was more to it than that, but I won't go into it here.

She left today for a fast in the wilderness to try to understand more what she wants. I don't know if it was a rash decision, but I had had enough. Suddenly it just made sense to me, that love doesn't treat people that way. Love is patient and can wait to get into the sack with another man after things are finished with this husband, innit? I feel good, empowered, slightly worried that I made a huge error, but I'm learning and living. I want love so much in my life, real fulfilling love. I'm scared that I may never meet someone as amazing as her and can be as close. I'm scared that this experience will scar me for life, leave me a defected man incapable of love. Yes, I do have too much time on my hands. Hope everyone is smiling!

Hi Deez,

I just read again over everything you wrote, and it seems I may have missed some details previously. Unfortunately, based on what you say, I'm fairly convinced your wife is already *having* an affair for all practical purposes, whether it's turned physical yet or not. As such, she is living in her own personal la-la land of infatuation and it's impossible for her to clearly see either you or your relationship clearly. In fact, she's sort of having her cake and eating it too, in the sense that she's enjoying her infatuation with this other guy, and using it to manipulate you as well. It's quite normal for people in affairs to make up all kinds of fiction about "needing space" and only having "friend-like" feelings for their spouse, and they usually even believe such tales themselves, being so totally under-the-influence of their honeymoon neurochemistry. In my opinion, her behavior most likely won't change until one of two things happens:

1. The infatuation with the other dude wears off
2. You intervene in some way that she has to face consequences for continuing her behavior

Deez, I am going to sound old-fashioned or something, but in my mind your wife is not behaving in the least as a married person should, and (whether or not it's a good idea), you would be perfectly in your rights to show up and tell this other guy to stay away from her (or demand that she break off contact with him). If I were him, I think I would assume that the fact that you hadn't already intervened proves that you are a half-hearted husband and don't care (therefore it's OK to flirt with your wife). Maybe what you really meant to say to her is that her actions violate everything you agreed to do when you got married, and that it's impossible to continue a marriage when one person is being walked on as you are.

I believe your wife really loves you, but as long as she has this guy dangling in front of her like candy in front of a 4-year-old, I don't think she's very capable of acting in a committed way. I say this so that you won't take her rejection of you personally, full as it is of self-deception. But your position still sucks because you can choose to intervene in various ways or not, but regardless of what you do, you can't guarantee an outcome. I wish there were more we could do to help...

Wow...

Very well said, Amari and I agree with everything. In my last mail to my wife, I told her that it was over. I explained to her that I had had enough of her behavior and was finished. I meant it, but of course I want to be with my wife again, and hopes that she will snap out of her little revelry. I don't know how to intervene anymore. I don't know how to contact this guy, but if I did, would it be a good idea to tell him to fuck off.

About la-la land. That's what I'm saying! I've tried to explain it to her, I've sent her articles from this site explaining how what she's feeling, doing, whatever is dropping the curtains over her eyes. She says that she wants to be friends with me, that she has clear vision. I try to tell her that she certainly can't have clear vision because she admits that our unsustainable sex life and our trip together has tainted how we see each other. What else can I do? What other consequences of her behavior is there besides leaving her, which she claims to want anyway! Aaaahhhhahhaaaaa! What a pickle!

She's not with this guy now, but they email and he's considering going back to the farm. When she couldn't make the decision to tell him not to come, I said good-bye. What else could I do? I really don't know what else to do. Showing up where she is proves difficult, but I could do it if I had to. Still, intuition tells me that will push her further away. Territory issues. I feel that I don't have many other courses of actions except saying good-bye and letting her make her own choices. And if they screw us up, they screw us up. Any ideas?

Peace and Love

I am with amari on this one.

I am with amari on this one. btw, can someone explain, I love you but I'm not IN love with you? :) It's the most nonsensical thing I've ever heard but it's a common line folks get who are dumped. There is no coming back from this line imo.

Love

"In love" is when it's romantic love. The first "love" is just a friendship love, which isn't enough to sustain a relationship. Something will often feel missing if the relationship is based only on friendship love.

But yes, there's no coming back from that!

Thoughts

Hey Deez,

I have no advice for you since I have no experience and can't even fathom what I would do if I were in your shoes. I will state that I admire your passion, your drive, your patience and composure through all of this! You've got a strong sense of who you are and no matter what happens - your future will continue to shine bright.

Wish you all the best!!

Savage Needs

Even though I'm a man, I think I have a lot of the same patterns your wife has. I connect with women intimately but it easily falls into best friends mode, making me look for passion elsewhere (never cheated, though, just craved passion I could no longer get from the woman I was with after the honeymoon period). The best friends mode, however, is very deep and true (I have high (but healthy) intimacy needs in both romantic and non-romantic friendships), which is why Karezza appeals to me so much. But underneath, I'm still a man, not a neuter-being (yet... might manifest the holy androgyne after more work... Wink ), and I crave passion and growth. I like ideas like fasting in the wilderness to find myself, to push the edges of consciousness, to travel, to seek, to embrace the savage within and throw off the shackles our civilized culture puts on us so we fit in. All because I learned how to fit in so well. You wife sounds like she's stifled, not by you, but by the whole world and her choice to fit in with it. I too crave a life of freedom, sex with many partners one after the other, and it's often through travel that we find this freedom. Maybe she needs to get it out of her system, but in the end, this kind of freedom is empty. I still yearn for it, but never lived it. I'm a one woman man and live a quiet life of introspection. I need more, far more, than the reckless life of freedom can offer, though so enticing it remains. Truth is, there are good teachers in America now, no need to run off to India, and long years of boring meditation on your own cushion in your own home is how it happens, not in short but intense experiences like fasting in the wilderness. Too bad she didn't get this all out of her system before you, but the reality is she's going to have to make a choice.

I'm glad you stood up for yourself and told her it's over, though better might've been to tell her that you will not stand for infidelity and leave it up to her to decide if things are over or not. In my opinion, she was right to see your request to wait to see this other man as "begging," though she probably could've said it in a nicer way. It sounds like you tried to be understanding about it, bottled things up, and then exploded. I do that too, and am learning that sometimes I just have to enforce my boundaries from the beginning. Do not tolerate what should be intolerable. Make that clear and she will either value you enough to work on things, or she won't. You've already proposed a month of exchanges, so she knows that option exists and sounds like she sees its value. She needs to decide if this yearning for freedom is running toward something or away from something. Is it a step forward on her journey or a step back? Might be both, and a step back sometimes might be necessary, but then she risks losing you. It's the choice she has to make. The Coolidge Effect is probably going on too, but it sounds deeper as well. It's a good idea to get Coolidge out of the picture, but if she doesn't want to, trying to force her will only make her more firmly against it. Only solution is to step back, cuz unfortunately ;-), it's no longer the caveman days where you club her over the head and drag her back to your cave. Once Coolidge is out of the way, the deeper stuff can be worked on, and being in a supportive relationship will probably help. I've found that the urge for freedom is usually not because of itself. In other words, it's a running away from something, and it will never fill the void in our hearts. That void can only be filled by going within, not looking for things on the outside. But that's a lesson that has to be learned by living it. I used to take trips into the desert alone, to meditate for weeks or months at a time. I'd travel around the country visiting friends. I needed it, and although I learned so much, grew spiritually, and now have rich memories, it was fueled by a need to get away from a toxic environment with my parents (I have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, so I couldn't work and didn't get government aid at the time.). It just couldn't be fixed. I even had us go to counseling, but unless both sides are on board, it can't really go anywhere. My point is that there's no easy answer for her. She'll have to find her own path, same as I did, but in your case, unlike mine, I think the less drastic option is better... unless she's not ready to see it. Can't force it either.

I think that there is a part

I think that there is a part to being a woman in these times, and a "liberated" woman, that means doing everything many men do - reclaiming territory that was too long denied us. I don't know your wife that well, so she may not be like this, but for what it's worth, this is my take on it.

I think that a lot of women who have discovered their orgasmic potential and found a man who wants to commit end up sabotaging a good thing because this identification with their erotic selves is something they really want to explore to the utmost. That's why it was in the best interest of cultures to keep women's sensuality at bay at all costs, even if it meant cutting the woman's clitoris off and sewing her up. Becuase it was probably known that a woman who is not sexually repressed will be as interested in other mating opportunities as men are, much as many men like to think women are naturally monogomous and prone to commitment.

I think that there is part of being a modern "liberated" woman that means: exploring many sexual experiences, being ultimately unavailable, and showing that we're as turned on and free to act on that as men. So, maybe a little bit of giving men a dose of their own medicine. There's a lot of karmic balancing going on right now. It's especially sad for the men who haven't acted disrespectfully. And eventually the woman will probably come around to her more feminine values after breaking a few hearts and realizing that freedom is fun but can also be a distraction or avoidance of doing the real work. But until that point is reached, the real work is to explore what indipendence and freedom really mean. Does it mean just doing what gives you the most pleasure? Does it mean having no responsibility to others? In a way, yes. Eventually, the thrill wears off and we realize we want to be a part of something larger, and that requires more than self-serving motives.

There are other deeper things going on too. Remember the archetypes of the goddess. Some women are Virgin archetypes (Aphrodite, Persephone, Hecate, Athena, and Artemis). This doesn't mean being a literal virgin, it means not having marriage or motherhood as your ultimate calling in life, tho it might will still happen. Some women have natures that are not as prone to marriage and commitment as others. If your wife is a virgin goddess, her desire to take a fast and be alone to clarify might be Hecate coming into play. Or Artemis might be wanting some solitude. Or Aphrodite might be too turned on by sprintime and all the sexy bucks around to sit still in her pants.

But the point is, we all have certain tendencies of character, but in order to become whole, we have to synthesize all of these human qualities in a way that is both respectful to ourselves and to the web of relationships that ultimately sustain us.

Women

[quote]Becuase it was probably known that a woman who is not sexually repressed will be as interested in other mating opportunities as men are, much as many men like to think women are naturally monogomous and prone to commitment.[/quote]

"AS interested"? I'm not so sure. Long, long ago, when I knew less about women, I thought they were naturally monogamous, but now I know that's not true. Lots of motives can lead to women wanting many partners, and the one you describe is one of them. However, men have an instinctual desire that's more deeply rooted in very old and therefore more powerful instincts. As a woman, you will probably never fully understand. Luckily, even such an old, powerful instinct can be worked with positively, so what I just said is NOT an excuse for all the dog-like behavior that's running rampant in these days of sexual liberation.

Do women do crazy stuff when infatuated?

The reason I ask is that, if it's pretty commonplace, Deez could ask his wife if she has ever done anything crazy in the past because she was infatuated with some guy. If she has done something in the past that she now recognizes as crazy, then maybe she would be able to see that the same sort of judgment-clouding is happening now.

Deez, have you read the Harley article that Amari mentioned above?

Update

So...my wife and I aren't communicating very much these days, which is a good thing, b/c email is clearly not the way forward in this situation. She's coming to Austin on the 4th of May and I'm not sure of her intentions. On verra.