Which One Of These Is Not Like The Others?or the alternative title of this Story was going to be:
Earning the right to leave.
I have been reading with interest the number of threads running through the ILIASM forum at present that deal with all of the similarities or 'commonalities' inherent in everyone's Sexless Marriages. It has been interesting because although I often find myself nodding and agreeing I also equally often find myself shaking my head...no - mine isn't like that, yes we have make-up sex, yes my refuser compliments me occasionally...he doesn't always say no to sex. So I then wonder if my relationship really fits the bill and is it as hopeless as I think it is?
And if its not - have I done everything I can to repair it or am I throwing in the towel too easily? The very clever Bluewood had this to say on an earlier story of mine about what the options are:
1.) leave/ separate/ divorce
2.) Have an affair or emotion -less, purely physical temp. FWB arrangement (hopeful discreet, LOL) as a means of survival
3.) Put up with it and keep grinning.
BTW: These options are assuming you did all the necessary ‘pre’ conversation and deep, ‘reaching-through-to-your-spouse’ work to try to resolve the problem.
When I read everything that you have all done to save your marriages I hang my head in shame - there has been some truly herculean efforts on some of your parts. And I can't put my hand up and say that I have done all the necessary work that Blue is suggesting here. Which brings me to something that LaoTzu said on someone's blog (and I hope you all don't mind me quoting you - if you do, let me know and I will pull it down - its just you said it so well)
Lao was talking about crawling through the dark sewage pipe that is the hellish path out of our SMs. He was using the scene from the movie 'The Shawshank Redemption as an analogy:
'Tim Robbins had to go down that pipe alone. We've got a Congo line in here. Keep crawling people. How ironic, Morgan Freeman's character waited, parole hearing after parole hearing.....he had to feel he deserved to leave. He played by the rules.... No one can tell us whether we deserve to go or not, whether we've tried our best or not, except ourselves.'
in light of these questions and the glimmers of hope in my relationship I don't think I can put my hand up to say that I have tried my best. So this has lead me to a decision of sorts...
Try. Really Try. Have the talk, really have it - don't let him wiggle out of it. Admit to yourself its not just about the sex (this was news to me - like many others I thought that was what the problem was but predictably for those of you who have gone before it is just a symptom). I don't think I have ever said to him the words, 'you need to know that if we can't resolve these problems I am leaving'. He needs to hear them, because we have such a low conflict relationship if he was asked he would say that everything is going well. Yes I have tried telling him how unhappy I am but not with that level of clarity. Who knows - being this clear might just precipitate the bust up but at least it will be...real...and in the context of honestly trying to sort it out.
Realistically I don't hold out much hope - hope after all is not my friend but I am giving it 12 months, 12 months of honesty, of genuinely working, of exhausting all of the options because then at the end of that, I will know, with a clear conscience that I can put my hand up with the rest of you and say that I have tried my best.
And then I too, can lower myself down into the hole, through the filth and the murk and start crawling, not needing to look back because I will know beyond a shadow of a doubt that there is nothing there for me. And that the only way is forward, to a new path and new future.
Thank-you all again for your wisdom and generosity in sharing the journey with us newbies. For shining a light in the darkness and holding our hands.