Monday, December 12, 2005

Here I am.

So, where to start.

I have been married for about fifteen years. My wife wasn't exactly healthy when we met, but she was healthy enough that eleven years ago she gave birth to a beautiful pair of twins. We had an active life, both in a sexual way and many others.

Things have gone downhill since then.

My wife has always been plagued with migraines. So the preface to this story is pain.

About seven years ago, she had gastric bypass surgery because her (let's not mince words) obesity had become life-threatening. Among other things, it had begun causing severe arthritis in her knees. She had a post-operative, multiple-antibiotic-resistant staph infection that took six months of intravenous treatment to cure.

The damage to her abdominal muscles was severe. As you may already know, your abdominal muscles are very important to standing upright. If they're not strong, it puts a lot of strain on your back. For my wife, even sitting upright is a strain.

With me so far?

The infection and medication fouled up my wife's metabolism. She's had chronic fibromyalgia (medical doublespeak for "your muscles hurt") ever since then, bad enough to require percocet (sp?) on a fairly regular basis, along with a mild case of adult-onset diabetes.

So... more pain.

Migraine, arthritis, back pain, fibromyalgia. Between those four horsemen of our apocalypse, were it not for her medication, she'd be in agony 24 hours a day.

Thank God for modern medicine.

The thing is, if she has enough medication to dull the pain to the point that she's not screaming, she's dizzy and sluggish. She spends about twenty hours a day flat on her back, either in bed, or in her recliner in the living room. If she stays off her feet, the pain is more manageable. Unfortunately, sans exercise, most of her conditions won't get any better.

It's a brutal catch-22.

Oh, and did I mention antidepressants? Never mind. No need to go further with that.

I'm not asking for solutions. My wife has more than competent medical care, including (but not limited to) a pain specialist, physical therapist, chiropractor, masseuse, and a good diet. Please don't send me your suggestions... we've been through them all.

So the upshot of this is that there has been very little intimacy in our marriage in the last five years. Her pain and medication pretty much destroyed her libido, and she had pretty much zero sexual response.

For a long time, I had resigned myself to this situation. I satisfied the glands with masturbation and internet porn, and loved my wife with housework and cooking and cuddling at bedtime.

Recently, our insurance changed, and my wife got access to some improved treatment. She changed her antidepressant, she changed her pain medicine regimen, she got chiropractic and massage. Things started to improve for her health.

Two weeks ago, tentatively, we had sex. By anyone's standards but ours, it wasn't fabulous. It started as a cuddle. She reached out to me, I reached out to her. We kissed. She fondled me a little. Some oral play, nipples, cock, ending in good old fashioned missionary position.

I felt alive. I felt like the besieging armies around my wife's heart had been parted, and my white knight relieving force had gotten into the castle. Hooray!

We talked about it afterwards. We decided that at the stage in our lives where we were, spontaneity wasn't something we could afford anymore. We reserved saturday nights for sex - sex of some kind. It might be a makeout session, or erotic massage, or the full deal if that's what she's up for. She agreed to save her energy and not wipe herself out on saturdays.

Last week, she had gone shopping, and forgot to get one of the kids to bring the bags in. She hurt her back.

Pain.

So... she wasn't really up for anything last week. She apologized for "messing things up" and I accepted it, but I was still, emotionally, very disappointed.

Day before yesterday, another saturday, our daughter ended up staying up until eleven, and by the time we got to bed, we were both too tired for sex. She asked for a rain check, delaying until yesterday.

Migraine.

The disappointment and frustration welled up. I went into the bathroom with a sexy audio file on my MP3 player to jack off. I felt hurt and angry, not so much at my wife as at the situation. I almost couldn't get it up. "Great," I thought, "Impotence. Just what we need. I'm such a fucking loser."

Yeah, yeah, I know, stress was the culprit there. I wasn't exactly rational.

So when I went to bed, the frustration was even worse. I tried to cuddle up, the way we usually do, and I couldn't repress a little sob. She asked me what was wrong, and it all came out. Five years of pain and hurt and frustration and anger and disappointment and sadness, in a screaming crying fit that lasted an hour.

If you think I'm a pussy for crying, just move the fuck along, I don't want to hear it.

In between crying jags, we talked. We talked about how when things were in a steady state, with no hope and no future, we could be content, if not exactly happy with the situation. Hope, however, is stressful, and a setback so early in our journey back to physical intimacy is especially painful.

So here we are. Things will get better. I still have hope.

Now, the following morning, I'm still hurting. We've got some plans, on what to do next. We're going to try having sex in the morning, after the kids go off to school, rather than in the evening when she's tired and hurting from the day's exertions.

2 comments:

Lulubiz said...

Hello, Nobilis. I always wanted to write to you but presumed you were too busy to read everything everyone has to say... But this page that I have just discovered got me in tears and I felt compelled to leave a comment.

I am a woman of 44 and I am, or rather was, the sick one in our couple. I have had rhumatoid arthritis for the last 7 years and had been with my man for the last 12 years.

My sexual drive never wavered but his went totally out. We've made love 3 times in the last 7 years, the last time being 5 years ago. Not that I have not tried to entice him... but he would not touch me... at all.

It took him 7 years to get up enough courage to let me go... For the last 3 years I have offered him to leave and he always refused. He finally met somebody and kicked me out of our home last december... december 22nd in fact.

I could have screamed but I didn't because I was so relieved to be free at last. And I had wonderful voices that read stories in my ears at night when I was sad and afraid to sleep alone.

Voices like yours and Nathan Lowell's and JD Sawyer's and Chris Lester's... Voices that spell warmth and love and adventure in my mind.

Thank you so much to share what you are to us.

Lucie, Qu├ębec City

Nobilis Reed said...

Lulu, thank you for sharing your experience.

Sometimes it's good just to know you're not alone.