Changes are subjective

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.

So, in closing for this post, Military Athlete Operator Sessions really do work (and I fucking hope to get access to those again soon, they’re $25 a month but so worth it for me) and my wife is sexy.


Adjust fire, over. And a short paper on CT law in the UK that I wrote.

After marriage therapy with bRaving Bipolar this past week a number of developments have occurred:

1. Time together is much more pleasant-she used to work most nights of the week, so my evening/night routines did not account for her being here, and threw me for an anxious and annoyance-filled loop, initially.  I was more anxious about the money we were going to lose and annoyed at what I perceived to be my concerns taking a back seat to things out of my control, again.  I am really enjoying having her home every night, even on the weekends.  She works during the day on the weekend, but that isn’t too hard.

2.  I finally finished two classes I’ve been trying to get through since January 1st of this year.  I was “enrolled” in them through late Feb, when DDay 1 occurred, and I took a leave of absence.  DDay 2 occurred and I extended my leave of absence.  I was re-enrolled on July 1st and did almost no work; only quizzes, until about the first week of September.  I asked for a 30 day extension for both courses and was approved; I did almost nothing again until 12 October.  In 2 days and 2 nights I wrote 7 papers totaling 30 pages, and should have been 40 but for an active-duty Marine serving as my instructor.  He talked to me over the phone about my long paper-the one I couldn’t get done to the page limit.  After listening to me describe the structure, the major points, my ultimate opinion and where I was getting my source information, he decided to award me with an A (90%) and did not have me write the entire paper.  I had about a third of it written, and had the sources to back-up my material.  For the record, my topic was: The impact of UAVs on Counter-terrorism, and the legal circumstances of employing them to target American citizens abroad for kinetic effects.  If you think that’s a mouthful and huge in scope, you should have read my opinion and the supporting evidence.  I may eventually finish the paper and post all 15 pages of it.

3.  Emotional intimacy is high.  I can “feel” her emotions and I would assume she can feel mine.  During the day, I don’t have so many uncontrollable obsessive thoughts about the affairs; they still occur randomly, but not as long and not as intense.  We spend much more time together, and have little “routines” for things we do when we do.  Like watching a show or movie-something to drink, charged battery for the tablet, working internet connection for the XBox, whatever.

4.  Physical intimacy is leveling out.  The last two times we’ve been physically intimate, I have perceived her as being in to it, and enjoying it (as in, she is enjoying it because she can be in to it).  I asked the first time, and she initiated the second.  It was a bit funny, she was undressing feet in front of me and I averted my gaze so she wouldn’t feel pressured or uncomfortable; she said I had such a cute, innocent look on my face.  I replied that I didn’t want to look at her undressing and make her feel uncomfortable.  She said something else, turned on a light in another room, turned off the light in our room, and pulled me on to the bed with her.  *Fist bump*

Just for poops and giggles, here’s one of the papers I wrote this past weekend: a study of the United Kingdom’s CT law and how effective it is.  I haven’t written a paper in about a year, so for the grammar nazi’s: I don’t give a flying shit.  Additionally, this is a short paper-as required-so if you want a fairly general look at the UK’s counter-terrorism effectiveness, read below.

British Police

British Police

Terrorism is a strong force in the world today.  It became a primary issue in the United States following the media’s coverage of the attacks on 11 September, 2011.  In Europe, however, the United Kingdom has been battling terrorism since before the early 1900’s.  Over this time the United Kingdom has developed a comprehensive but ineffective policy with respect to counterterrorism.  To understand this, the policy must be examined to discern what the United Kingdom defines as terrorism, what agency is responsible for counterterrorism, and how effective the agency and policy have been against terrorist groups.

How does the United Kingdom define terrorism?

The two main laws with respect to terrorism are the Terrorism Act 2000, and the Terrorism Act 2006.  The Terrorism Act 2000 has two subsets for defining terrorism and identifying acts that will be considered terrorism.  The first subset defines terrorism as:

“the use or threat is designed to influence the government [or an international governmental organization] or to intimidate the public or a section of the public, and the use or threat is made for the purpose of advancing a political, religious [or racial] or ideological cause.”  (National Archives, 2000).

The second subset identifies actions that can be considered terrorism if it:

“involves serious violence against a person, involves serious damage to property, endangers a person’s life, other than that of the person committing the action, creates a serious risk to health or safety of the public or a section of the public, or is designed seriously to interfere with or seriously to disrupt an electronic system.” (National Archives, 2000)

The United Kingdom’s terrorism legislation criminalizes several other actions related to terrorism, such as recruiting for a proscribed terrorist group, and training one’s self or others to commit terroristic acts.  It also specifically states that “The use or threat of action falling within subsection (2) which involves the use of firearms or explosives is terrorism whether or not subsection (1)(b) is satisfied.” (National Archives, 2012).  The Terrorism Act 2006 expands and revises some of the provisions of the Terrorism Act 2000.

The Terrorism Act 2006 starts off with a revision of the original definition of terrorism, and includes other government organizations as possible criminal targets for terrorists to act against.  With the explosion of internet, and social media during the first decade of the 21st century, the Terrorism Act 2006 also specifically includes the internet as a medium for communicating terroristic threats.

Who is responsible for counterterrorism in the United Kingdom?

The United Kingdom places the responsibility for counterterrorism in the Office for Security and Counter-Terrorism (OSCT), a sub organization of the Home Office.  According to the OSCT website (2012) their responsibilities include “Supporting the Home Secretary and other Ministers in directing and implementing CONTEST…deliver aspects of this strategy directly, through legislation, guidance and funding…set the strategic government response to terrorism-related crises through the Cabinet Office Briefing Rooms (COBR) mechanism.”  (Home Office, 2012).  The Counter-Terrorism Strategy that the OSCT is charged with implementing centers around four principles: “Pursue, Prevent, Protect, Prepare.” (Home Office, 2012).

Pursue is centered around detection and investigation, with a focus on stopping terrorist attacks before they reach execution.  The Regulation of Investigative Powers Act (2000) governs some of the investigation activities, such as covert surveillance, communications interception, human intelligence, and the protection and investigation of private electronic data.  (Home Office).

The organizations conducting counterterrorism operations within the U.K., and abroad vary between federal and local.  Within the U.K. the civil law enforcement generally investigates and apprehends terrorists.  The British Security Service has the authority under certain circumstances to gather intelligence surrounding suspected or actual terrorist activities.  The armed forces also conduct counterterrorism nationally and internationally.  Nationally, the British military engaged the various forms of the Irish Republican Army in Ireland and Great Britain.  Internationally, the U.K. armed forces are conducting counterterrorism operations in Afghanistan.  The Guardian (2012) reports that “Up to 200 UK special forces servicemen are expected to remain inAfghanistan as a counter-terrorism unit after the formal pull-out of British forces in 2014.” (Wintour).

Terrorism within the United Kingdom

The United Kingdom has spent a significant amount of the last 50 years fighting the various forms of the Irish Republican Army (IRA).  Alexander (2002) writes that “Irish terrorism in Great Britain (mainland Britain compromising England, Scotland, and Wales) began on October 31, 1971, with the bombing of the restaurant at the top of the London Post Office Tower.” (p 201).  The IRA, and later the Provisional IRA fought for the independence of Northern Ireland.  Catholics felt discriminated against and began acts of civil disobedience.  The PIRA began attacks after a harsh response to the civil disobedience from the local Constabulary.  The Council on Foreign Relations (2010) states that “Tensions rose and Britain deployed regular army troops to the province’s streets, ostensibly to protect the Catholic minority.”

Effect of Counterterrorism

The effect of counterterrorism in the United Kingdom has prevented attacks on the scale of what happened in September 2001.  The Olympic Games occurred in London in 2012 without any major incidents.  The military and law enforcement were placed on high alert, and anti-aircraft missiles were deployed around the city to prevent a sizeable passenger aircraft, or small aircraft laden with explosives, from approaching the area.

The counterterrorism policy has not been without incident, however.  The bombings in 2005 were conducted by four men, who died as a result of the bombs being suicide devices and killed 52 people.  Additionally, Hanman (2009) wrote about three men who were given unfair trials.  The men, and their lawyers, were not aware of what they were accused of, nor were they aware of the evidence in use against them.  These circumstances were created by the use of control orders, which grants a specific government official very broad power to act on intelligence to restrict a person’s civil rights.


The United Kingdom has good response organizations and methods, but is currently alienating the population by not being able to strike a balance between security and the threats to civil rights by the restrictions they impose.  While the United States does not have the perfect counterterrorism policy either, both countries would do well collaborating on prevention techniques, and integration of intelligence with law enforcement.


Alexander, Y. (2002)  Combating Terrorism: strategies of 10 countries.  Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press.

Hanman, N. (2009) Control Orders.  Retrieved from Retrieved on 15 October 2012.

Home Office (2012) About the office for security and counter-terrorism.  Retrieved from Retrieved on 3 October 2012.

National Archives (2012) Terrorism Act 2000.  Retrieved from Retrieved on 3 October 2012.

National Archives (2012) Terrorism Act 2006.  Retrieved from Retrieved on 3 October 2012.

Wintour, P. (2012) UK special forces will stay in Afghanistan in anti-terror role.  Retrieved from Retrieved on 4 October 2012.

My Hard questions revisited, expanded

My original post on hard questions is here.

I chose to revisit this topic not because my wife did anything to make me upset or not trust her, but because, during my recent trip, I had a LOT of time to sit and think. The answers are always painful to hear, and they sting every time I play the mind-movie of my interviewing her in my head. Some,people may not want ot need to hear to the levelof detail I required her to tell me. It may actually set some people back and make the reality much worse. So, why did I ask that level of detail and what did I ask?

I needed to hear everything. There is an uncountable list of reasons why, but I will recall as many of them as my fingers can type. In my gut, I knew something wasn’t right, and I had suspicions from the very beginning about AP1. When I found some evidence, I didn’t wait to find more, I just jumped the gun. She was so confident in her explanation, and I WANTED to believe her, so I did. Thus deepening the negative feelings I had about myself, those that were already present because she said that the 20 pounds I had gained made her not turned on by me, and then finding out 3 nights later that she was ok joining another couple for a threesome. Bit by bit it felt like I was losing what I imagined my life and marriage was. Soon after I discovered her attempting to have one-night stands by way of an online dating site. I thoughtwe were doing better, but I coudn’t feel the connection from her, even though she was doing and trying to act like she should. Then in April I accidentally discovered the affairs. I say accidentally because she had written some details down in her therapy ntebook so that she could confess to her therapist what she was doing, and eventually me.Thankfully, she was at work when I found out. She wasn’t at work when I found out about the online profile, she was in the middle of getting the kids to bed. She had literally just gone upstairs when I grabbed her phone, located her hidden email account, and followed the trail. I called up to her and let her know that I knew about the hidden email account, and her hidden online profile, and we would talk when she came back down.  Putting the kids to bed usually takes 3 minutes or less; she didn’t come down for 20.  I don’t blame her, I was fuming, I was animated.  I yelled, and lied to the kids, telling them that mommy and daddy were happy and just playing a game.  Later that night, I calmed down, she went on a late-night Taco Bell run for me, and then we had sex; of all things we had sex within hours of me finding out about her attempts to have one-night stands.

So, back to the point.  After spending so much time thinking that everything was wrong because there were things wrong with me, I just lost complete trust in myself.  I felt what was going on around me, I just chose to ignore it and place my trust in my wife.  After all, she has my best interests in mind, and if I can’t trust anyone else I should be able to trust her, right?  That is why I asked for the most minute details.  I lived in a HUGE vacuum of truth and honesty for months, the whole time thinking I was doing something wrong, or that things about me (like my weight or unwillingness to let her have sex with another woman AND her husband at the same time!) were wrong.  What did the details actually do for me?

They gave me a sense of control, of reality.  What I was torturing myself with in my head was FAR worse than reality, although the reality still stung very badly.  I had her run me through her first sexual encounter with each affair partner.  No stone left un-turned.  What did I ask?

I asked her to give me every action she, the AP, or they together, did from the time she decided that she was going to go to their home and have sex, until she left.  As she began recounting the events, she was very uncomfortable about giving details.  Her initial recollection involved her going over there, kissing on the couch, going down on him, he going down on her, him finishing and her leaving.  Not enough detail for me.  I wanted to know what pushed her over the line, made her want to go over to AP1’s house.  I asked her what she was thinking and what she was feeling when she decided; she was invited by text message after she worked out with him.  I asked what the drive over there was like, how was traffic, how much attention was she paying to driving and what she was thinking, how her body felt (shaky, calm) and all of those things again after she pulled in his driveway.  Following that, I wanted to know about the short amount of kissing; was he good at it, was it enjoyable, how did it make you feel, what did it make you think about.  What made her decide to go down on him, was he already hard, what his size and shape were, were his pants still on, did he wear underwear, how was he positioned, how were you positioned.  Then I asked about him going down on her, did he ask her if he could, was he good at it, how was she positioned, how was he positioned, was it hard, soft or mixture, was it enjoyable, how did it make her feel, what did it make her think about, did she ever feel like any of it was wrong.  Then I asked her for details about the sex: how was she positioned, how was he positioned, was he in it for him or did he want her to get some enjoyment, did he thrust harder or softer, did he go fast or slow, did he make her wet, who put the condom on, what brand was it, did he cum in her, how long did it take, were her eyes open/did she look into his eyes during all of this, how did it make her feel, what did it make her think.  I asked about lighting in the room, what time of day it was, what the house smelled like, if the air was easy to breathe or felt thick, was she sweating, what was the temperature like, what did the texture of the couch cushions feel like, what did the carpet feel like?  What did the drive home feel like, how did she feel when she saw me for the first time after having the affair.  I asked if it ever occurred that the next day was our 6 year wedding anniversary.

I asked the same questions about the second AP, and I asked more questions about subsequent encounters with them.  She actually had sex with him twice in the restaurant, and gave him oral sex separately, once in the restaurant.  I asked if she loved them, if either of them loved her, what did she tell them about me to justify her actions to them (she said she couldn’t remember everything she told them on this subject), if I ever came into her thoughts during her romps with them.

This is actually a very difficult thing to write, I can hear all of her answers in my head, and I can feel everything I felt when I heard them then, now, as I type this.  Right now, we’re sitting at just over 4 months from when I found out.  Back to how it made me feel in control.

It made me feel like I could trust myself again, because I could feel what was going on, I knew I wasn’t crazy, my mind just hadn’t caught up to my body yet on what the truth really was.  It softened the blow of what I imagined in my head had actually happened, and it helped me speed up the process as far as internalizing and torturing myself.  Remember, I was still under the feeling that I was all sorts of fucked up, physically and mentally, and that all of this was my fault-even if she did say that it wasn’t me.

When I talked, I felt like I was in a position of being informed.  There was an added benefit of forcing her to admit to herself everything that she had done and how she felt when she was doing.

There are still some issues that will heal over time.  I recently drafted an agreement for us about how to behave, how to treat each other, and how to communicate.  She wasn’t too happy about it, not at all.  Each item in the agreement applied to both of us equally, and nothing specifically targeted her because of her actions.  I did it at my therapist’s recommendation, reinforced by a few other people who have done things along the same lines.  Almost all of my issues right now stem from a feeling of having no control over my things that happen in my life.  This agreement was my attempt to regain some control and make myself feel safe again, at least at home. I still haven’t really talked to my wife about putting it up here, we may just leave that little as a private thing between us.

Interesting to note, that she had the same kind of behavior with the boyfriend she had for years, just before she left him, and later we got back together and got married.  She was open about what she had done behind her boyfriend’s back.  I wondered before we got married if she would ever do that to me; she had already proven that she could do it to someone.  I knew she loved me, I could feel her love.  Every now and then when I couldn’t, after we were married, I wondered if she was behaving the same way and I just didn’t know it.  It’s hard knowing what happened, it’s almost just as hard knowing that it was because she was in a manic episode; I can hold her responsible, but it isn’t fully her fault.  It is difficult to be mad at her under those circumstances.  I love her so much, I know she loves me.  She’s the best thing that ever happened to me.  We have times now where one or both of us isn’t connected to the other, and that kind of thing is going to happen after having this kind of traumatic stress placed on the marriage.  For 4 months though, I think we’re doing alright.  I can still say that, even though she hurt me more than anything or anyone ever has, she is the best thing that ever happened to me, and I am happy to be married to her.  She is a wonderful person, she just did some bad things.  She’s getting better, I’m getting better, we’re getting better.

Having a bipolar wife means…

That she will have just as hard of a time dealing wth who she is and what she has done as I will.
That at the very minimum, my life will be very interesting;
That she could not have a better husband than me;
That I will have to be vigilant for us, for the rest of our lives;
That there will be many times where I will like this is impossible to do or that I cannot go any further;
That there will be episodes in the future;
That I will feel like sometimes she doesn’t love me anymore;
That I will not know if anymore affairs happen until she has come to terms with the fact that they did;
That I will spend a significant amount of time worrying about whether or not she is having an affair;
That, despite all the destruction her episodes can cause, I can say as a fact she is the most wonderful woman I will ever meet;
That, despite all the pain she can cause me, I am still blessed to love, and be loved by, her;
That eventually I may want to abandon my vows of marriage to her, even as in her episode she,broke hers to me, but I won’t, because I love her and will not abandon her in her time of need.
I am in my marriage to stay, until she no longer wants me, or no longer wants to uphold her vows when she is not in an episode.
I will be strong for you when you can’t bear the weight of your emotions
I will see for you when the world is a blur in your mind
I will hear for you when the word is a roaring tornado of sound;
I will feel for you when you become detached from the world;
I will be here for you, when all of the world has left you.
I love you.

“I am the Master of my fate; I am the Captain of my soul.”

Needs, Communication, and filling gaps in the Information Environment.

In the past few days I’ve seen and responded to a number of posts about blame and infidelity and one in particular about how a spouse could have an affair if they really loved their partner ( ).  A subscriber to that blog argued that the betrayed spouse has responsibility in that they failed to meet the wayward spouse’s needs, and that is why the wayward spouse strayed. 

I want to be clear in this: that I am not bashing that poster, or wayward spouses/partners, and I am not bashing my wife.  These are my thoughts on most affairs, needs, and communications.

On why affairs happen:  I believe each situation is unique.  Either way, most times the affair is a selfish act.  If you feel that your needs aren’t being met and you decide to satisfy them somewhere else, you are at fault.  Communication here is key.  Let’s take sexual attention as the example.  If you feel that you need more sexual attention than you are getting, and you ask daily, or every other day, or every three days to have sex, are you really communicating that you have a need?  Do you realize that your need for sexual attention may be a symptom of the true need that you failed to properly acknowledge?  Asking more often to have sex is not the same thing as asking for sex more often.  If on Monday I ask to have sex, and then Wednesday I ask to have sex, and then again on Friday, have I clearly, specifically, said that I need more sexual attention?  No.  If I said “Babe, I need more sexual attention from you.  I would like to have sex once every 3 days when our schedule permits.  If we find our schedules aren’t permitting, I would like to modify our schedules to make this happen” one could extrapolate that I clearly expressed my desire for more sexual attention.  Even better, I expressly described how much more sexual attention I wanted.  What could I have done better?  Described, in better detail, the type of attention that I wanted. If you consider oral sex part of intercourse and arent getting it, say something. If you want to try other things in the bedroom, say it. Before you express your need, however, you need to identify the underlying cause of that need.
Our previous need was to try new things in the bedroom. You need to ask yourself questions. You need to figure out what you’ll gain from it, if it will solve problems, and most importantly, ASSESS HOW CRITICAL THE NEED IS. If you want to try new things in bed, is it because you want to take your sex life to the next level, or is it because sex has become a routine thing and you want to spice it up? If sex has become routine, are there other things that have become routine, and lost their special meaning between you and your spouse? After you’ve answered those questions, it is time to assess the criticality of those needs. How important is the need to you? Is anal sex so important you are willing to cheat on your partner for it? Is having sex more often really going to reignite your marriage, and if your spouse refuses, is it worth the possibility of losing them to get more sex?

So the process is:
1. Identify a shortfall in your life.
2. Determine the difference between a desire (more sex) and a need (reignite passion in a stale marriage)
3. Determine the criticality of the desire, and/or need
4. Have a plan of action to implement what you believe is a solution (more sex, for example)
5. Identify measures of performance (we did or did not have sex) and measures of effectiveness (the sex did, or did not satisfy my desire or need)
6. Communicate the desire or need, your solution, your plan for implementing your solution, and what you hope to accomplish.
8. Be prepared for your spouse to provide alternate solutions, alternate implementation, to just say no, or to require you to compensate him/her by satisfying one of their desires/needs.

One last thing on communication:
A common phrase in the Corps is “shoot, move, communicate.” If you are not shooting, you should be moving or communicating. With respect to communication, here are the key items:
1. What do I know? (Your desires and needs)
2. Who needs to know it? (Your spouse, possibly someone in the medical field)
3. How can I communicate with them? (Talking, phone, texting, email, letter)
4. When can I communicate with them? (You have no cell service, they are on a flight, you’re at the shooting range with them)
If you’ve communicated, you should be acting. If you’ve satisfied all if your desires and needs, the time has come to start thinking outside the box and trying new things within the limits you and your spouse set.