I was talking to the wife last night in the shower and she happened to notice how I’d trimmed down in certain areas around my body. This led to a wider discussion about how the world appeared very differently when she was manic, and things literally looked nothing like what they do when she’s not manic. I appreciated her FINALLY noticing, although I didn’t really help. After she told me that she wasn’t sexually attracted to me anymore because of my weight gain of 20 pounds, I started working out, a LOT. Just as hard as I did when I was active duty and training 2 or 3 times a day. I could see all these changes on myself in the mirror and I kept asking her if she could and the reply was always the same: no. I got extremely insecure about my appearance and changed my dress habits at home. Previously it was nothing for me to walk around in underwear and a tshirt. After I realized that she would never see a change in me, I was never around her in anything less than shorts and a tshirt unless we happened to take a shower together (HIGHLY RARE during that time) or if she saw me in bed when she got home. That time was a bad time, I was desperately looking for anything I could do to convince her that I was a worthy husband and that I could change to be whatever she wanted me to be.
Something else we talked about a few nights ago was open relationships. We read My Year of Living Openly’s most recent post and I chose to describe to her something I had to work through during her manic episode, and that was her view on sex. A very similar topic was just recently discussed on Samantha Baker’s forum After the Betrayal in the post “Just Sex”. bRaving Bipolar had told me that she didn’t have a problem with her being with another woman and her husband/boyfriend and having sex with both of them (yes, read that as having sex with the man AND woman) because there wasn’t any emotion involved, it was “just sex”. After I got over the initial shock of what she had said, which was days later, I came to the conclusion that if she wasn’t cheating on me already that she would be, and that I could either allow it and have SOME control over who was coming in to our life, or suppress her “desire” to have sex with other men. If she mentioned that she didn’t have a problem with it because it was just sex, not having a problem with it would evolve into desiring it. So over a few weeks I force-fed myself lines of bullshit, telling myself that it was better to have some control over who she was sleeping with instead of stopping it and possibly pushing her so far away that divorce would be inevitable. I could either adapt to a changing environment, or succumb to the laws of Darwin in regards to my marriage and be left behind as nothing but a memory in the history of bRaving Bipolar. After DDay 1 in Feb when she was trying to expand her affairs into one-night stands with many men around the local area, my resolve was renewed and I threw all that false bullshit up; I would not sacrifice my views of what our marriage was supposed to be just to stay with her, that she needed to have a dose of reality. At some point she gave herself a dose of it and realized that while what she was doing was wrong, she was unable to stop.
We had a really good night last night and I hope to repeat most, if not all (sex is not an easy thing for either one of us right now), tonight. So we’re going to order pizza from our now favorite pizza place and watch movies, starting with the last 15 minutes of Coming to America (starring Eddie Murphy, fucking awesome movie) and probably something else. I felt very connected to her last night, which has been a frequent occurrence since she moved to day shift on the weekends only and we have every night together. Initially last night it was weird, because she mentioned the possibility of having sex, it created some weird tension. The only way I can describe it is knowing you want to turn on the light, knowing how to turn on the light and knowing what it looks like when you do, but when it comes to actually turning the light on, you just stare at the light switch confused and wondering why you just don’t reach up and turn it on instead of standing in the dark. Initially I said no, but through her persuasive powers (read: she is gorgeous and she mentioned that not having sex is worse than having weird sex) convinced me to, and I’m glad I did.