I’m married to a good woman, I mean a really good woman. She’s a woman whom undoubtedly gives me her all of her love, and I feel with absolute certainty and trust that she has been faithful to me in our more than 9 years of marriage. It’s the kind of relationship any man could almost dream for really… to love someone so deeply and be attracted to them so truly and to be able to entrust your heart with them so completely… it’s almost like a fairy tale it could be so perfect, at least from an objective point of view.
So why the hell do I find myself struggling to stay faithful when I have someone so incredible, and something so almost perfect?
Back when I was first dating my (now) wife, I admit I had cheated on her a few times – we met when I was still in college and we started off having a long distance relationship. Back then I chalked it up to just being a horny young guy with a high sex drive and not getting to see his girlfriend too often, but after cheating on her a few times I was overcome with a tremendous guilt. She was already the most wonderful girl I had ever had a relationship with and back in my mind I’m sure I could see myself spending the rest of my life with her, and she just didn’t deserve to be treated that way.
Eventually I was able to internalize enough empathy for her (and therefore came to a true realization) of just how horribly I was treating her, that I was so overcome with such guilt I finally told myself I would never cheat on her again. A few years later I married her and to this day, after making that promise and then 9 years of marriage, I have still remained faithful to her since (albeit, not without some serious challenges and even stupidly putting myself in some sticky situations).
This past year was an incredible struggle for me though. Actually it still is. At the beginning of the year I went through sort of a “relationship awakening” that I think has led me to consciously become more aware of everything going on in my life, especially with my sexuality. See in the Fall last year, there were signs I now see with hindsight (but did not realize at the time) that my wife was unhappy in our relationship. Luckily, she was in what I attribute to be only the beginning stages of unhappiness, as she was nowhere near the levels of seriously considering leaving me or cheating on me. But the unhappiness was there, and even more luckily I discovered the reasons for her unhappiness on my own, by accident, when doing some research online about relationships. And what I started to realize is that it was mostly me and my own poor habits that were causing most of the problems in our marriage. I was complacent and lazy and took my wife for granted, and I consider myself fortunate that I was able to learn this, as now a year later with total awareness, I’ve read too often about what happens when a wife is unhappy in a relationship, and the thought of my wife leaving me or cheating on me is mortifying.
So needless to say in the past year I have made some serious life-changing adjustments to myself, my routine, and my approach to our relationship – all in the name of becoming the best husband I can be for my wife. And I can honestly say, even with some validation from both her and others, just how happy my wife is again and how she feels like she has fallen in love with me all over again.
I’ve read too often about what happens when a wife is unhappy in a relationship, and the thought of my wife leaving me or cheating on me is mortifying.
I too have fallen in love with my wife all over again in many ways. And our sex life is back to a very good frequency and quality – I mean, for the first time in our sex lives, my wife has been having orgasms through intercourse with an obscene success rate, like nearly 90% of the time. Orgasms through intercourse used to be an infrequent / occasional occurrence for her, but I attribute the new high success rate to all the positive changes I’ve made for our relationship over the past year and her happiness as a result.
Yes, I said “…changes I’ve made…” there on purpose. This is the part where I think some “unhappiness” creeps in on my part. In all this effort I’ve made the past year, part of the whole experience was also an awakening on my part of my own self-needs. I’ve never been so tuned-in before with awareness about my own needs and what I expect out of a relationship. And though I’ve tried like to hell to get my wife to hop on this journey of discovery with me as I walk through it, I feel she herself is now somewhat complacent and lazy about doing so – only putting in a half-hearted effort to appease me occasionally but not “in it” enough to make me feel as important to her as I feel she is to me.
Don’t get me wrong, my wife is a good woman and she is not doing anything intentionally to hurt me. But some of the biggest hurdles we face come down to her self-esteem and sexual barriers, because she is the classic epitome introvert when it comes to sexual openness, whereas I am much more free-spirited and open when it comes to my sexuality. Intimacy is how I bond with my woman and sexual exploration is how I fulfill my passionate mind. And despite my efforts this past year in trying to get her to open up more, try more variety, and do things that make me feel more quantified as a desirable husband to her, she’s not truly getting the message and so not putting into action what I’m telling her that I need in our relationship.
I guess it just feels like now that I have relationship awareness, my wife is actively choosing to stay ignorant, and thus it often feels like I’m still walking alone even though I have a good woman next to me.
So this is my struggle… because me being a guy with a naturally-high sex drive, and now armed with “relationship” and “needs” awareness, I know I am being the best and most attractive male I can be. Not only have I been putting in the exercise to get in better physical shape, but I also have a keen understanding of what a woman needs in a relationship, and I exert all the characteristics of being a “great catch” for a woman. I’m confident, humorous, assertive and a sensual lover in bed, but I’m also very much an active, contributing equally around the house in doing my part to provide all the security and comforts of the home that a woman also needs. And I feel like my wife is simply taking everything I am for granted, not maliciously, but just kind of obliviously, because she herself hasn’t done the research I have done to recognize the consequences of not holding up your end of a relationship. And despite my best efforts of pushing her to “get involved” in the awareness journey, she simply doesn’t try to make enough time to really read and discover and experiment any of it. And inasmuch, she keeps falling back on her old introverted ways – making excuses not to put in effort and never challenging her own sexual barriers with me. Never growing with me. Not evolving with me.
Deep down, I really REALLY do want to stay faithful to my wife, always. But this past year I have discovered this new insatiable desire, almost primal in nature, to go out there and prove I’m a “great catch”. Ironically though, I think the truer challenge here is that maybe I’m just struggling with my own vulnerabilities, my insecurities that my wife doesn’t make me feel like I’m “not worth losing”. Because the most important thing to me is to have my woman continue to desire me with unwavering passion. That’s the reinforcement I need, that is my vulnerability. Because simply knowing I’m a “great catch” just isn’t enough, I need to feel like it too. And right now, that’s not how she’s making me feel.
So that is my struggle – Which maybe is not so different than anyone else’s struggle really: Feeling caught in the middle of having a primal agenda and an intellectual rationale that are constantly at war with each other; trying to subdue the animal inside me that fantasizes about, and is capable of, giving pleasure to many women… because I know I have a good woman at home who doesn’t deserve to be cheated on. It’s my struggle of nature vs. soul. It’s my struggle to prove myself in a context that ironically shouldn’t matter to me in the grand scheme of everything else I’ve got going for me in my life. It is my forever struggle with monogamy…