The morning after the wedding in Buffalo, my husband rolled towards me in my parents bed and placed a nervous hand on me. I had told him the night before that I had rented a storage unit and that I had to leave. That I couldn’t just stay up there, as he suggested, but that soon, before the fall, I would be back in NY for good. I thought I had made a decision.
At the realization that I may truly leave for good, he got desperate. Saying that this was what I wanted from him, he tried to push the issue. It was then, with his hand on my back, looking into his artificial eyes, new ones that seemed too foreign, that I realized how much I didn’t want that.
Earlier on, having him want me, approach me could have made a difference. We can never know now. But this try, as a last ditch effort, seemed weak. As his mouth attempted to make its way to mine, I became aware of how little I feel for him romantically. I felt nothing from that kiss. Sadly, I am no longer attracted to my husband. Perhaps it’s a defense mechanism. After being rejected so many times for so long, maybe I cannot bring myself to fake it. I could have given in, and let it happen. I was afraid he would treat it as encouragement, as a reason to keep going.
I used to think about making things happen. I couldn’t help that he had no desire. I couldn’t force the issue, but I could have asked him to try harder for my sake. It was a point that all the doctors and therapists made. That just because parts didn’t work, didn’t mean we lost the ability to do anything. We just had the inability to have partnered intercourse, (which was one of the urologist’s favorite terms) we should learn to enjoy all the other ways to be with each other.
I wish my husband had taken some of that advice. Instead, he took it as the opportunity to kill off something that made him feel inadequate. As permission to give up on a problem that seemed insurmountable. Once he got it in his head that he was”less than a man” he could never get beyond it.
I wish I could have found a way around the weirdness. To ignore his awkward attempts at trying to placate me. To lose my head enough that I didn’t recognize how painful it was for him. Recognizing how later, he resisted a kiss, because it might ignite something in me. Something he became terrified of.
I don’t know how to overlook the fact that I made him feel all the more worthless. I think, secretly, it infuriated him to know I didn’t want to go without, So I hid it from him, for fear another argument would ensue.
He made the offer more than once for me to leave. That if sex was so important, I should go be with someone who could please me. It wasn’t even that he couldn’t, (I figured we could eventually conquer that) it was that he didn’t want to. I desperately wanted him to want to.
It’s a slippery slope when someone you’ve pledged your love and fidelity to chooses abstinence for your marriage. When he chooses not to show you a physical form of that love, beyond the gold band on his left ring finger.