Row, row, row your boat

These next few entries may be the hardest ones I’ve written yet. 

After my lover cheated, I was numb. It didn’t just hurt. It was crushing.

My self esteem and sexuality and everything I ever loved about myself is now in question. There is now a memory burned into my mind that I cannot erase of him having secret sex with a “vanilla” woman that made him feel better than I did.

But what is worse than the imagined memory is the doubt. The questions in my head cannot be silenced or dismissed. They eat at me endlessly, telling me I was not enough for the man I loved the most.

When he met me I was just 40 years old. I had been with my husband for 17 years and had had one short term affair. That was it. And my husband’s idea of sexuality was not the same as the other “boys” I had dated.

And they WERE boys. I had not ever had a powerful man before I met my lover.

My husband gave me little to no affection once he started working his life away to support our growing family. There was never sex. If it happened once a month I was lucky.

More often than not, I laid in the dark at night and cried over my sexless marriage and prayed for a miracle or death, because I felt divorce was unattainable. I had been married since I was 23 years old and I was too afraid to trust myself to make it on my own.

I didn’t want to be the bad guy.

Instead I have spent 31 years of my life with a man that never put his arm around my waist or held my hand. He never introduced me to a friend or showed any pride in me. He rarely took me anywhere, and if he did it was because I insisted.

He was never comfortable or willing to go to a party or meet new friends. To this day he rarely leaves the house. He is a complete introvert that was diagnosed clinically depressed with alcoholism over 15 years ago. He refuses to help himself.

He stopped showering and shaving and going to the dentist years ago. His clothes are filthy and in tatters and the new “old” clothes from Christmas’ past sit in his drawer untouched. I have never had the experience of picking out his clothes at the store cuz he didn’t ever want any new clothes, and spending money on something he didn’t need was out of the question in his book. He never wore cologne or aftershave. He was timid.

Birthday, Christmas, Valentine’s day and anniversaries are all no gift, no card occasions. He actually forgot our anniversary twice but to be fair, we BOTH forgot once. I’m not amused or proud of that. It is the stereotypical hallmark of a bad marriage when one spouse forgets an anniversary, so I don’t even know what it says about your marriage if you BOTH forget.

He never one single time told me I was pretty or smart or funny or any of the above.

He didn’t know how to emote and foreplay was painful for him. Sex was painful too, because it was hard for him to feel or show emotion. Sex was actually downright emotionally awkward for him…and it’s the one thing that’s supposed to transcend all that inconsequential stuff in life.

I had lived 17 years of misery when I met my lover and he was my salvation.

I had NEVER been loved by anyone like him. I’d never been called baby or had fine liquor. I had never been treated like a lady AND a whore and been appreciated for being both. I had never been whispered to as erotically or kissed as deeply before he came into my life. I had never known what is was like to have exciting sex or to be turned on by a man’s words and fingers and mind.

I thought my lover, R,  was Jesus Christ himself the way he made me feel. His love was the most intoxicating thing I have ever experienced and he will forever be my hero and the epitome of what a man is to me.

I knew NOTHING about how it felt to be loved by someone with command and overpowering masculinity. I was in awe when he would stand naked in front of me.

His was the word of God.

I came to him as a new affair, a nearly blank slate and he was thirteen years my senior.

Within the first few months of meeting him, I was going to sex “munch” meetings at bars, trying to set up ties for us in the world of BDSM or kink. A world that one month previous, I had no idea even existed.

I was intrigued and eager. Fresh faced sexually.

Within a year he had bought me a book about Dominance and submission and the delicate dance two people do when they exchange sexual power. It explained all the nuances of the Dom/sub “switch” partnership.

It changed the course of my previously arrested sexual development and forever influenced what sex and love look like to me. For the better.

It has been the most fulfilling relationship of my life and it saved me.

I participated willingly and joyfully and with little reservation. I was proud to be brave enough to try anything.

I am not blaming him for who I am. I accept who I am and embrace my different approach to sex but this doesn’t mean I’m not open to changing if it makes both of us whole.

I tried to be the best sex partner I could be to this man so I didn’t lose the closest fucking thing I had ever known to happiness.

He helped to mold and shape me into the woman I am today and have I now become his curse?

I fear I am too dominant, and his words ring in my ears. Now I feel tainted and damaged and maybe I don’t make him feel how he wants to feel about himself.

I made him feel like his wife does for a brief second in time and now I fear I will forever pay for my mistake with veiled insults and painful barbs aimed at my heart.

And this is the always forgiving man that means everything to me.

What if I have made him feel ineffective and unneeded sexually? Somehow he feels I am blaming him for something when in reality I just want his love and don’t blame him for anything. In fact, I still cry from separation anxiety when he leaves on Sundays. I love this man with all my being and he has always been and still is my greatest love. He is everything sexual to me and I have stolen from him what every man needs to feel like a man, but I don’t even know why I did it. I would have never gotten this far on my own, without him as a willing tutor and pupil and partner.

He helped create me, now I worry he looks to someone else to give him what I have rightfully forfeited…my womanhood.

And it hurts like fucking hell.

Three months later, and I’m sitting in a canoe full of shit and my dreams are somewhere down at the bottom.

I have to bail all that shit out to have even half a chance at any dream beneath it.

But I’m gonna find me the biggest bucket and do what I can, because I can’t afford to lose one more fucking thing and I aint going down in a boat full of shit.

I’ll take my chances on a detour and head up Shit Creek. Because I have gotten what we proverbially call “smarter and wiser” after today.

And I will NOT forget a paddle.

I’ll be armed with two.


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