Fourth Counselling

I came away this time not feeling as though it was proving very helpful. I think Tom felt the same, though that was maybe more to do with me saying I didn’t fancy him and have felt negatively towards him whilst the lady was discussing intimacy with us. She gave us some pointers on ways to improve intimacy and closeness without having sex – more cuddles, holding hands and making time to spend together. I don’t actually feel as though that is something I want at the moment.

Tom said he feels I’ve never given him much affection even from the start of our marriage; that he’s come home from work expecting a hug and I haven’t seemed too bothered to see him. He also said he thinks our son doesn’t like cuddles and kisses because of me! Well I get plenty of hugs from him!

When we got home, Tom said he thought I was emotionally hard and I think he is right to a point. I don’t tend to open up about my feelings. I told him I resented him saying that James not wanting cuddles is down to me and that I think children go through phases of how affectionate or not they want to be and shouldn’t feel pushed into cuddles or kisses if they don’t want to.

I think we are communicating better, in that we don’t keep quiet anymore if we feel put out by something the other has said or done. Feelings wise, it’s just friendship that I feel towards him.

Drunken rant

Last night we went to the local beer festival. Tom’s brother’s band were the headline act and they are very good. We had a good night until we got home! Tom asked if I’d had fun which I answered positively, then asked if my feelings towards him were changing. I said not at the moment which then triggered a rant from him. He accused me of stringing him along for years and declared that I should leave and that he would keep the house and our son. I told him I couldn’t go anywhere as I’d been drinking and therefore couldn’t drive. I also said he should stop asking me about my feelings if he didn’t want to hear the answer.

Today I collected James from my parents who had looked after him overnight, and when I returned home Tom asked if I might be up for sex later! I had assumed last night that he wouldn’t remember anything this morning, but was still surprised. In the past I would have just let it go, but today I pulled him up on it and said I was surprised he was wanting sex when last night he’d demanded I leave. He denied he had said anything of the sort, so I recalled our full conversation. He apologised and claimed not to remember any of it at all. He told me he loves me to bits and does not want me to leave and that it doesn’t matter to him if I don’t love him. He then amended that to say he wants me to love him back but would rather me stay and not love him, than be without me.

I have wondered this afternoon what I would have done had I not been drinking last night. Would I have called his bluff and actually gone?

No change

Not much to update on really. Tom is still trying for husband of the year award. He’s even volunteered to help out at our upcoming local school and community fun day. My feelings towards him are unchanged. I feel more of a friendship than anything more.

Things with Rob are still the same. We had a great FaceTime chat last week and he asked me what days I’m usually free. Nothing has come of it so far and I haven’t really pushed it, but he hasn’t gone quiet on me either. There’s been the odd day that I haven’t heard anything from him but that’s all.

I feel on an even keel at the moment, so I’m just taking each day as it comes.

Third counselling

Tom joined me for our session this time. I actually felt more positive afterwards even though during the session he said that he hasn’t felt affection from me in a long time. He said he doesn’t think I like sex and that I’ve never seemed interested in trying anything new. I said I didn’t feel very self confident and remembered a time where I’d tried to do a sexy dance with a feather boa but he’d laughed at me. I acknowledged that Tom is trying to improve things but that when he’s wanting to cuddle me all the time I’ve felt claustrophobic and that this week I’ve felt better as he’s stayed out of my way a bit more, though we did spend some family time together at the weekend which was nice. I also said that I feel wary every time he asks how I am, as I feel he’s waiting for me to say “I love you again so everything is just fine”. He admitted that he is hoping to hear that. I admitted that in the past I’ve been prone to saying everything was fine when really it wasn’t. The lady said that at our next session she could suggest some techniques that may improve our relationship with each other. We both said we were willing to try. She also said these things take time and don’t always work for everyone.

On the way home, Tom related a tale a work colleague had told him about someone who had divorced his wife. Apparently she said “men are like floor tiles, lay them right the first time and you can walk all over them”. This upset me as I took it as a criticism and that Tom was saying that if I’d laid him better then he would have been a better husband. I told him this and he was mortified as he had meant to say that he would do anything for me! I suppose that is an improvement as I told him why the tale had upset me!

Awakening

I haven’t re-read my posts for awhile so apologies if I’m repeating myself.

During our recent conversations, which are still difficult, I have admitted to Tom that I don’t believe I’ve ever really ‘let myself go’ with him in the bedroom department. He said he knows and that he’s tried hard but thinks that’s just how I am. Certainly now I can’t as I don’t really want to be there. My body reacts to a point but my mind drifts away to think about other things. Imagining what it might be like with Rob, if I’m lucky; but more often to thinking about what else I could be doing such as making a shopping list or getting on with housework, or even if this is how a prostitute feels.
For years I’ve used lubricant as I’ve been quite dry. I thought it was my libido and that that’s just what happens when you’ve been together a long time. Maybe it is just what happens but I know now it’s not my libido as I only have to receive a text from Rob to feel aroused. In our texts and FaceTime chats I’ve said and done things that I’ve never felt inclined to with my husband. It’s like he’s woken a passion in me that’s been dormant all this time and now I’ve had a glimpse of it, I can’t imagine living the rest of my life without it ever having chance to erupt to it’s full potential. We managed a short FaceTime last week and I told him I don’t know how he has the effect on me that he does. He said the feeling is mutual.
I don’t know whether I’ve been repressed all my life or just with the wrong man. I think I need to push Rob for us to meet so I can answer that question. If he’s genuine about his feelings then he surely must be getting as frustrated as I am and after all, he’s the one who keeps saying he wants us to meet up. If he goes quiet on me again then I really will have to be strong.

Frustrating weekend

Tom took me for a night out last night. We went to see a couple of tribute bands at our local town’s annual gala. He’d invited another couple though he was hoping they weren’t going to come as he wanted it to be just us. We got there early and soon ran out of conversation, especially when Tom asked “What are we going to do?” I felt a bit put on the spot, as before setting out, Tom had said he felt nervous about the evening and hoped we would have a good time. He then asked if I even want my feelings to change. I replied that I don’t know if they can. I was relieved when his friends joined us as I ended up enjoying the evening and don’t think I would have otherwise.

When we got home, I went straight to bed and didn’t realise until I woke this morning, that Tom had slept in our son’s bed. (James had stayed at my parents for the night) Apparently I’d sounded dismissive when he asked if I wanted to have another night out together after we got in. This morning he said he wasn’t going to leave and that I should think about moving out. This afternoon he apologised for being angry and said he wanted us to be friends, though he’s not going to try to “win me back” anymore as he doesn’t see the point. Personally, I believe we need to consider a trial separation. I haven’t broached it yet as I’m not sure how we would work it. I want to cause as little disruption to James as possible but if Tom refuses to leave then James and myself could probably stay with my parents for while.

Really, it would be easy if a magic wand could be waved and I could fancy him again, but that’s not going to happen. It’s like in telling him how I feel (or don’t feel), a switch has been flicked and I can’t flick it back. Years ago, my boyfriend before Tom proposed to me – the whole down on one knee, ring produced etc – as he said the words it was as though that switch was pressed and I suddenly thought “Shit, I don’t want to marry you”. When my mind is made up, that’s it. The difficulty now is all the other stuff that will have to be sorted out. I think that’s why I’ve denied my lack of feelings for so long.
I don’t want to lose my house – I love my new kitchen – but at the end of the day, it’s just bricks and mortar and I can make a home elsewhere if needed.

Second counselling

Tom had to work so I went on my own, but I did clarify my feelings a bit. She asked why am staying in my marriage if I’ve not been happy for so long. I said it would upset lots of people if we split, namely parents, in-laws and our son as well as being scared go the unknown. I acknowledged that I don’t think Tom is really happy either, though he doesn’t want to split. She reminded me that I’m not happy and said I shouldn’t have to sacrifice my happiness for the sake of everyone else. She asked what I want and I said I’d like to be on my own.

When I got home Tom and I talked about my session and he admitted he hasn’t felt happy either. He said he feels I’ve never been affectionate with him and that I’ve always been hard work. He says I’ve been a good wife in that I’ve kept the house clean, am a good cook and done the washing, but that he doesn’t feel I’ve ever really desired him. I’m sure I did in the beginning but I don’t think I’ve ever really ‘let myself go’ with him so maybe he’s right. He’s the only man I’ve ever slept with so I’ve had nothing to compare my performance with so to speak.

We agreed that we’ve both avoided conflict. The saying “least said soonest mended” came to mind and I thought that is not true. It may help in the short term but as my lack of communication has proved, in the long term, that path just allows hurt and annoyance to build up inside and eat away at you until there’s nothing left.

Basically, from the very start, neither of us has been confident enough to express our true feelings. Tom married me because he didn’t want to lose me, while I married him because I was ready to settle down and he fit the bill, or at least he seemed to at the time.

This morning, he said he can accept how I feel and we can cohabit as friends. I asked how he thought that would work in the long term for example what if we met other people. He then said that if that happened we should think of our son. It seems he is proposing that we continue as we are and as we have a child together, that means forgoing our own happiness or chance at happiness. As much as it makes me feel selfish for putting my happiness above my son’s, equally I don’t think it sets him up for a successful long term relationship when he gets older if his parents stay together just for him.

I’ve been considering my parents relationship a lot and while I do have memories of them holding hands, I cannot bring to mind any occasion of me witnessing a loving embrace or kiss between them. Perhaps I am only following in their footsteps as to how I perceived marriage to be?

Tom has agreed to come to my next session, so hopefully that will help our communication no matter what the outcome will be.