You’ve all been incredibly kind and supportive in not only helping me deal with the problems in my marriage, but in just listening to me jabber on and on about them. I cannot express how truly grateful I am to this community.
Mr. Waffle and I are in a Schrodinger’s box of a relationship. We are still married, but not wearing our rings. We still live together, sleep in the same bed, and even hug and give small kisses. However, we’ve dropped all pretense of having a romantic relationship, and so far even that has been a relief.
It’s not that I’m not attracted to Mr. Waffle, or that he’s completely unattracted to me. It’s that I entered a relationship with a person I couldn’t possibly understand, with the intention of loving him as he was, not realizing how much he’d change and I’d be unable to keep up with him.
When we met, he was a breath of fresh air. He immediately copped to being an alcoholic, but he’d been in recovery for about two and a half years, and was in the phase of his sobriety in which he felt on top of the world, like things all made sense again and it was going to be smooth sailing from there out.
We were married just after a year of dating. He’d been Mr. Zen for much of our courtship—he seemed to really have things figured out. I just wanted to be near him, to drink in his calm. The sex wasn’t great, but I wanted him all the same. We married and moved to San Diego two months later.
While there, the Zen veneer began peeling away. We were living in a tent at a KOA, neither of us were finding solid employment, and we were still getting to know each other, all while crowded in a 5’x5’ tent. He’d given up on attending AA meetings, as he was nervous about finding a new home group.
Once, I’d come back from getting us food to find him on my Facebook page, looking at one of my friends. I told him I was fine with porn, but please don’t use my real friends for that. I woke up to him masturbating, and rolled over to offer a blowjob. He recoiled and told me no. He once told me he didn’t find me attractive when I was depressed. I was depressed because I was in a strange place with no clue what do do, and my new husband who was repeatedly rejecting me. We both gained a lot of weight. He told me on several occasions, “You’re not the first woman to be dissatisfied with me, and you won’t be the last.”
We eventually had to give up on San Diego, so we moved home and began the bankruptcy process. Things were very difficult, but I held out hope that once the process was over and one of us was working regularly, things would be fine. Time after time, he rejected my advances. I begged, I cried, I pried, I offered. Nothing I did aroused my husband enough to want to have sex with me, yet he’d masturbate to porn for hours. Any strands of my Zen guy were gone, replaced with anxiety and self-loating. I all but gave up on self care, and my new job gave me such stress acne, I’m still dealing with it. I’ve had the job for four years, and I can count on one hand the number of times we’ve had sex since I’ve been there.
Winters have always been particularly difficult for us, and I was convinced that the winter before last would be our final winter together. We made it through, but this last one did break us. His obsessions had escalated from cars and trips to moving, to new locations, to another woman—a friend of mine from work.
We broke up for about a month, all the while he assured me the obsession was fleeting and he really only wanted me. We had some very frank conversations, and I felt like things were moving in a better direction. We even started having sex! And better sex! But, once again, the facade couldn’t stay up forever. He admitted a month ago that he’s still obsessed with her, and just over a week ago he wanted to write her a letter. I begged him not to because she and I still work together. Things got awkward anyway, because in my mind, she was everything I couldn’t be, and naturally everything my husband wanted. I couldn’t look at her without crying.
He and I agreed that we just couldn’t keep this up. After six years of rejection, this was the ultimate betrayal to me. He said he didn’t want to lose me, and I told him we needed to go ahead with the Jerry and Elaine plan. I don’t want him out of my life, but the best way for us to stay together was to split up before we hate each other.
This weekend after spending some time with a very wise friend, I approached him with a question: What if I moved forward with my plan to buy a house, and then he rented from me so that in winter, he could bug out if he needed to? He loved it. He brought it up the next day and for the first time in some time, he seemed excited. We’d both given each other what we really needed—we each released our leash on the other.
I still love him, and I will continue to love him for a very long time. I have the feeling we’ll be better together as good friends. He can be my Seeing Eye Person, I can be his Short Term Memory. But we don’t have to put expectations on one another, and we don’t have to force anything. I think this will be good for us.
I haven’t proposed to Floyd the cat yet, but I think he’ll say yes if I agree to still let him go outside once in a while. Don’t tell the crockpot I’m considering an upgrade. I guess deep down, I’m a size queen...