I had a long weekend that was not too fun. Too much work and not enough sleep. Today, there was a little relief. My wife and I did some work around the house, did the grocery shopping, walked the dogs, and got along pleasantly. Things have been very tense between us lately and I have been walking on eggshells, not bringing up our issues. She is recovering from an illness and is also facing an exam tomorrow, so I thought it best not to pressure her on the sex issue, or any of the other problems. At this point I know that it is not going to "just happen", as it used to sometimes when our sex life first began going downhill. It is going to take a lot of work. Days like today give me hope, when we actually have lighthearted moments and even some laughter.
I thought, as soon as things settle down, we can broach the sex subject from a calm and healthy perspective. But today, as has happened so many other days, the other shoe drops:
Right before bedtime tonight a teaser came on the news for a story about how Facebook has ruined some relationships. I said something to the effect of "that should be interesting" and she glares up at me and mutters "I lived it". This refers back to one of our recent serious arguments over some racy photos posted by a female coworker of mine. These photos were viewable by all of this woman's friends, but my wife got the idea that they were directed at me in particular, because they were visible on my page. I didn't ask for these photos, and in fact I had no idea they existed until my wife pointed them out to me. I know, right? A misunderstanding, cleared up by a simple explanation. No: this turned into a huge argument followed by days of silent treatment. And it is an episode that has been brought up countless times since then, and thrown in my face as an example of how I am undermining this marriage. It is at this point that I usually point out that it was she, not I, who had the affair; and she, not I, who has turned her back on our physical intimacy. I have repeatedly asked her to sit down with me on my FB account and point out to me what I have done there that she finds offensive or that has undermined us. If there is something, I want to know.
I have questioned my own participation in FB. It does not replace real live connections with another human being, but it is very valuable as a social networking tool; and I do really like the idea of peoples' lives and experiences coursing through cyberspace in multiple narrative threads at any given time, which I can participate in if I want, or react to, or ignore. And part of me needs that ability to connect with other people, given my lack of connection in my own marriage.
But when we get to this stage of the, uhm, "discussion", my response is not very measured or reasonable, going something along the lines of "you took away our sex life; now you're trying to take away part of my social life too??" Because, eff that.
This was another great example of one of my "buttons"...she will say something inflammatory or confrontational right at bedtime, and then claim she is too tired to talk about it. She drops off into a medicated sleep, and I am left wide awake with racing thoughts and more frustration, and the feeling that we just took two gigantic steps backward. And I become more dependent on and thankful for emotional lifelines such as this community or, yes, Facebook, that allow me connections, however tenuous, with other people.