Sunday, April 22, 2012

Kicking The Bee's Nest

I realize that it's been a while since I've blogged...or at least since I've published a blog post.  Usually that happens when life is either really good (nothing to bitch about), or really trying (the wounds are too raw to disclose).

The really trying came first.  Gavin and I had a hard patch.  And when I say hard patch, I mean HARD.  I would say that our marriage had been fine for a while.  I would say that because this is the only marriage I've had and I don't know what in the world to compare it to.  Usually I stay away from even thinking about comparing marriages because I feel that in this department people are usually totally full of shit.

So, my marriage was fine...right?  I mean we look good together.  We have great chemistry.  We like the same things (Comedy Central, our kids, sleeping in, throwing our cats outside, vacationing, great food, and breathing oxygen), and are annoyed by the same things (our cats, fundamentalists of any stripe, chores, cold weather, and Gavin's travel schedule).  And things are chugging along.  Why mess with a good thing?

And we probably wouldn't be honest.  Cause it's kind of like kicking a bee's nest.  You could get honey, but you could also get totally screwed by a giant swarm of angry bees, and who wants to mess with those odds?  I mean the reward could be sweet, but the alternative is pretty freaking scary.'s business as usual.  A peck on the cheek here, light conversation there, not enough sex to be satisfying but not too little to sound any alarm bells, living next to one another without bumping in to each other so as to keep the peace.  Neither one of us devastatingly disappointed...but still there's a longing.

And then the shit hits the fan.  This was spurred on by the fact that I was flirting online with someone who found me attractive.  When I say flirting, I wasn't flashing anything for a set of beads, but rather, we were conversing...which to me is the best form of flirting.  But even though it was harmless, it was true...there was attraction in this other relationship.  And why was that?  I'm not so naive to think that once one is married their attractiveness to others disappears.  But supposedly once one is married, it doesn't matter.  However, in this case it mattered.  It showed me something that was lacking in my marriage...that spark.

Gavin said that the guy just wanted to get in my pants.  That may have been true, but my thought was who cares?  I mean, isn't that the give and take that is supposed to exist?  You blow my mind and I'll blow your...well, you get the point.  Turns out that in talking about what this other relationship was doing for me, it came out that Gavin had happened upon journal entries of mine which had colored his treatment and feelings for me in the past.

To say a light bulb went on was an understatement.  For as long as I can remember Gavin has been the shell of himself around me.  He is this charismatic, outgoing guy, who I rarely got to see.  He was funny, and lighthearted around the kids, and friends.  But around me, he kind of seemed to have a version of PTSD.  Like he was always waiting to be kicked in the gut.  I couldn't figure out what the deal was...where the switch was to turn him back in to himself.  But this was the reason- he thought I hated him.

When I journal I would liken it to purging.  I seriously have to get out negative thoughts and feelings, or they do not leave me alone.  The second they leave my body and are transferred in to the written word, I can walk away.  Often I don't think about them again because I don't need to.  But I have to get them out.  And my ability to over react is something that I will admit to.  So when someone has hurt my feelings, it may not be the end of the world, but the way that I write about it, you'd think that the atom bomb had just been dropped on my doorstep.

So my writings were often about Gavin.  His shortcomings.  Our marriage.  My frustrations.  My unfulfilled desires.  I would wax poetic about my diagnoses of him and why he was not Mr. Perfect.  Nothing was off limits because these were my private thoughts, protected with a password.  Many times these issues would right themselves.   Many times in writing, I would discover a weakness within myself that I had projected on to him.  But I spared nothing in my dissecting of the situations, and of him.

And this was what Gavin was carrying around in his mind as my true feelings about him.  To say that my heart was broken upon hearing this would be pretty accurate.  Because I instantly envisioned my two sons and how heartbroken I would be if either of them felt as low as my words had caused Gavin to feel.  It was a blow...but at the same time it was like something had been blown open.

That bees nest had been kicked and even though there were some stings, the pot of gold was worth it.  I could now see the problems in our relationship and how I could help to fix them.  Gavin could get that weight off his chest that he'd been carrying and try to trust that I did care for him a great deal.

In being attracted to the other man I had seen that every person has weaknesses and flaws, unmet needs and holes that they are trying to fill.  It confirmed to me that we truly do like someone to the degree they make us like ourselves...or in this case, love ourselves.   Sitting in our Saturn SUV in the Dan's grocery store parking lot I truly did feel a connection to Gavin that I hadn't felt in a long time, as well as a desire to have a fulfilling relationship- with him.

So we committed to go to couples therapy.  I committed to end the flirting with this other person.  And Gavin committed to not read my journal (though to be fair, I had left my computer open at times so it wasn't like Gavin was breaking in to Fort Knox, but rather, stumbling upon some damaging stuff when he had just been trying to look up something online).

We didn't end up going to therapy...though we probably should at some point.  Instead we ended up having a lot of sex, which ended up being pretty therapeutic.  I know that most people are full of shit when they talk about their marriages, but I think that I am being pretty honest when I say that I love Gavin.  I find him very attractive for a multitude of reasons.  And knock on wood, things haven't been this good since we were dating college students in Provo.  Except that now we have these three really wonderful kids to share it with.

And that is why I haven't blogged lately.  Too much heart ache, and then too much happiness.  I don't know if it's appropriate to share this with the world.  But my thought is, why not?  It's reality for me, so why would anything that's real be anything but appropriate?  I want my kids to know what real life is like, and to know that their parents are trying to figure life out.

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