Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Ultimatum Update

I had an eventful week while on vacation.

Here are the significant highs and lows, in chronological order:

+ My wife and I had a major fight and didn't speak for nearly 24 hours.

+ My wife told me she didn't want to be separated from me.

+ My wife agreed we should go to therapy.

+ My wife was so enraged at me that she literally shook with anger for hours.

+ We have barely spoken in the last 24 hours.

Before I get to the details, I feel like I need to do a short recap because of a comment RB made. He said he was confused. He thought I was looking for an exit strategy yet now I've said I'm willing to go to sex therapy to win her back. Because Rob is a smart (and sexy!) guy, I figure he's not the only one who is confused. So, let me explain.

Although I'm gay I feel like I'd be happiest if I kept my marriage intact. But I want a real marriage, one with mutual monogamous commitment. When my wife and I agreed to separate in January, she had it in her head that I was doing so to relieve her of the tremendous guilt she felt because of her romantic relationship with her boyfriend Charlie. Actually, I was agreeing that we should separate because she wouldn't commit to me and I wanted to feel free to start dating men.

Because she recently realized that she was mistaken about my intentions, the whole question of whether she'd be willing to commit to me has come into play again. The possibility that I could meet a man, leave her and run off with him has always been one of her biggest fears. Now that it's a real possibility, she's rethinking whether she wants to let me go or not. It's a complicated situation and not an easy decision for her.

Our week alone together on vacation was the perfect opportunity for me to show her that I am willing to do just about anything to stay with her. In fact, I am so motivated that she could make a list of a hundred things that she wants from me and I would happily oblige. In return I want just two things: total commitment from her and for Charlie to permanently disappear.

It is very important that I do and say everything possible to try to make our marriage work. I have no desire to turn my back on her. So...if she wants me or us to go to sex therapy, I'll go. If she wants me to paint my toenails green and shave my head, I'll do it. Whatever it takes.

With that said, and for as much as I'm willing to dig deep and try anything, I'm also prepared to give up if it becomes clear that she can't (or won't) offer me the exclusive commitment I want. Should that happen, then I will start dating men. And this time I'll be much more motivated.

Now, as for what happened last week...it was a roller coaster ride, largely because of my actions.

We had two good days together but on the third day we made a huge mistake and rented a scooter for the day. Putt-putting along on that thing in the blazing heat was a miserable experience. The end of the day was the very worst because it was late and there were a ton of cars, other scooters and pedestrians to negotiate. The almost final straw for Gabbie was when I got us lost in a seedy-looking neighborhood. And the final, final straw was when we were nearly run down by some asshole in a delivery truck.

When we finally made it back to our starting point and returned the scooter, we both breathed a huge sigh of relief. I was glad the experience was over and I assumed that we'd focus on the night ahead. Instead, Gabbie laid into me big time. She went into a thirty minute tirade about the whole day, my ineptitude (driving, getting us lost, being cheap) and how I "ruin everything." In the past I would have done my version of "yes dear, whatever you say dear." But in this case I felt her criticisms were very unfair. I had given her plenty of suggestions for things to do that day and the scooter was what she chose. It wasn't my fault that she assumed that I wanted to do it because of the low cost. As I told her, I would have opted for a much more expensive taxi tour. But she refused to accept any responsibility for her decision and that sent me over the edge. When her tirade ended, I fired back and finished with the sentence, "I will never, EVER travel alone with you again!" I meant what I said and she knew it.

We didn't speak for the next 22 hours. I did my best not to be miserable but it wasn't easy. I was on a cruise ship filled with many young, happy couples. Many of them were busy cooing into each other's ears, or if not that, then holding hands or gazing into each other's eyes. Young, naive love! I thought. How many of you will be happy to be together in 20 years?

I guess I'm a crusty old cynic now.

The silence between my wife and I was broken when she apologized to me, which is something that almost never happens. She also confessed to being very hurt when I told her that we would never travel alone again. But best of all was when she said that she didn't want us to be separated.

That night and the next two days were really good. I felt like my plan to strengthen our bond before pushing her to make a decision was working perfectly. On Thursday night I decided to make my move.

I have to go back in time and explain that when we first arrived, our room was set-up with two twin beds. It was odd to see that happen and it wasn't something either of us had requested. Gabbie said at the time, "Let's leave them as they are but maybe we can push them together later in the week." That made me happy. In fact, I did the "I'm going to get laid" dance in my head and followed that up with a"Haha, fuck YOU Charlie" mental middle finger.

Back to our night after two good days together...Gabbie was happy and had a few drinks in her, so at lights-out I snuck over to her bed and started to warm her up. We haven't had sex since October, which was our last trip alone together. Periodically, when the mood seems right, I've tried to get her interested. Each time I've been rebuffed. Her best line has been, "What do you think you're doing?"

Every time I try, I hold my breath, waiting to hear her response, or hopefully, the lack of one. This time she was silent for nearly a full minute before she spoke up. She said, "We're separated. We're not going to do anything."

There was no sex. Instead, we had a long, detailed conversation about our relationship. I may write a post about some of the things we talked about because they are likely to apply to many mixed orientation marriages. For now, all I need to report is that she said dumping Charlie would be complicated and difficult, but, she'd be willing to go to counseling with me to see if we could work things out. MAJOR SCORE FOR ME!!!!!!

For another day or so, all I could think about was coming home and updating this blog with my big, happy news.

But that all changed after I made a few mistakes and the shit really hit the fan.

More about that in my next post...

10 comments:

  1. Cameron!!!
    You drive me insane!!!
    Could this be an ego thing about winning her back from Charlie?
    Kick her out of the house and get yourself a good MAN.
    You are SO twisted!!! :D

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  2. I'm confused...I thought you said you were gay. So why do you want to have sex with your wife? Maybe your not gay. Maybe T is right - it's a ego/competition thing with Charlie. Appears that I'm not the only one that is confused...

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  3. T - I tried to add a little humor by saying "score for me" and giving Charlie the mental middle finger. I can see how that might make it appear that I view this as personal competition. The fact is, this is a lifelong relationship that has largely been very positive. My wife is the center of my life and I can't imagine that I'd ever find a man with whom I'd be more compatible. Finding a good man is putting the cart before the horse; it's not time for that yet, if ever.

    WillBeBi - I don't know how to explain it except to say that labels might be too confining. Leaving the labels out, I would say this: I desire my wife; I wouldn't put any effort into pursuing sex with any other woman; my eyes always notice men, seldom notice women; straight porn has never done much for me. So...my wife > men > women.

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  4. This is a bit frustrating. I don't know what I think of 7 months without sex. Wait, yes I do: I would hate it.

    Am I correct in assuming that you're not getting nookie on the side? Does she have any real interest in preserving the marriage? What is your breaking point?

    Cameron, you're being very patient, but you do need to think of your own needs. That's part of giving love is that you need to receive it and give it to yourself.

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  5. I'm still really confused.

    1. You claim to be gay. Sure about that?

    2. She is fucking another guy right under your nose. Who would put up with that?

    3. What would be your goals in therapy? To make you straight? Don't you think the therapist won't be able to get past that fact?

    4. You've had a taste of trying to date as a 40-something guy. Is the anxiety of that driving you back to Gabbie?

    A few questions to think about.

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  6. Sexy, Confused RB - Thanks for the questions!

    1. Yes, I'm sure I'm gay. See my reply to WillBeBi above. The desire to pursue one woman of the more than 3 billion of them on this planet is not enough to call myself bi.

    2. They aren't fucking. They did, for a period of about six months. That was three years ago. Because he gave her genital warts then she doesn't trust that he is clean. She's really, really phobic about it; they aren't fucking.

    3. The goal of therapy is to determine if I, as a gay man who desires her, and she, as a skeptical, phobic straight woman, can maintain a mutually satisfying, monogamous marriage.

    4. A very small taste. I passively posted a profile on one site for a few weeks. I only sent one message to one guy. I'm not afraid to date men but I am skeptical that I can find one who will be a better match than my wife.

    I should add that I have always preferred to stay with her. I gave up a great boyfriend 18 years ago for her. I've put up with nearly 6 years of this BS with Charlie. Why? Because I love her. When I gave her the ultimatum the first time I hoped to pressure her into choosing me. I feel the same way I always have. All that is different is that I'm tired of living in limbo. I want her to commit to me but I can it if she won't. At least I can try to find someone else.

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  7. Cameron, I admire your tenacity to work things out with your wife. I understand that my wife is the only woman in the world for me, though I like guys better (so I'm not bi). I separated from her 1.5 years ago and regret that we didn't split up in the best way. It sounds like you need to give the relationship every opportunity to work, before calling it quits. Good luck!

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  8. EEK! Curious and scared of the next post!
    Good Luck

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  9. I'm not confused. Is that a score for me? Hope this process includes a third-party (counselor, therapist, referee, etc.) at some point.

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  10. So, you're forcing her to make a choice between having a committed, monogamous, sexual relationship witha man who will do anything she wants and who would rather be with her than anyone else in the world and a sexless relationship with an unemployed, alcoholic rapist who also happens to be an illegal alien?

    No wonder why she isn't speaking to you! ;)

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