2:21 9:50 am.

Of course I want him to hurt. I want him to hurt badly.  I dream of punching him in the face and breaking his nose and then walking away leaving him there bleeding and curled up on the floor from the pain I’ve inflicted.

I’m here shaking from dry heaving in the bathroom.  I brushed my teeth after I worked out and it made me dry heave. 

Mother fucker is ruining my life.  I just put the baby down and was so fucking sweet, singing softly to him for 15 minutes while I fed him and loved him and filled him up with joy and sweetness. 

I have done this within earshot maybe 1500 times with our four children over the last 10 years.  Can he one time, within context, remark how amazing I am, what an incredible mom I am, how I sounded so beautiful rocking our infant to sleep? 

When I walk out of there smiling in the glow of loving my children and he sees me, could he one time say, “that is so sweet- you are such an incredible mom.”  Wow.  What if he even took me in his arms and looked at me with awe and desire and said, “We am so lucky to have you.”  Never one time.

“Withholding intimacy.”  “Withholding compliments.”  “Withholds love.”

Withholds emotions.  Withholds eye contact.  Withholds smiles.  Withholds looking at me.

But certainly doesn’t mind doing laundry or the dishes even though I tell him I don’t want him to, or household tasks that don’t even need to be done.

It’s not that I want recognition for every god damn thing that I do but I do recognize when I deserve some acknowledgement and NEVER EVER ONCE have gotten it in the past 10 years. I did get it a little when we were first dating. I got it to some degree when we were first married. But Never since. It is heart breaking. One person can not give and give and try to impress and try to elicit love from their partner and NEVER GET IT without falling apart. I’m falling apart.

As I learn more about his conditions, his history, I realize that I married a heavily damaged man.  Some people are good people and the good always comes through, resilient, always present.  No matter what people do to them or how they are hurt, they bounce back.

Some people are bad.  And no matter how much their loved ones try to help them and no matter how much they want to change, they can not.  No matter how much therapy, help, detailed instruction, general instruction, no matter how much will power, how strong, how committed, dedicated to healing, they simply can not.  Any improvement is strictly temporary, usually only days, sometimes weeks at best.

I am fearful that I married the latter.

Every day of my life, I hope to be noticed.  To be appreciated.  To be something amazing to the man I love.  I try and try and while I am not perfect, I am smart, I do what I think is best, I try many avenues.  I feel ridiculous being ungrateful for what I have, yet I know I’d be happier and more fulfilled without constant CONSTANT disappointment. It’s not even about being complimented, it’s about being desired, wanted, appreciated, SEEN. It could be a look, a touch, some body language. I don’t need to hear the words (although it’s nice too), I just need to be seen.
And to now know that this decade of NOT BEING SEEN in the least, he has been giving his attention, his desire to OTHER WOMEN. Devestating.

He has been living a double life for the entire time I have known him.  He has never given himself to me.  Probably not once fully and without reservations, although he faked it better for less than a year in the very beginning.  Mr. I’m just not sexually driven.  Mr. I love you so much.  Mr. I’d do anything for you.  Mr. You look nice today.  Mr. I like that shirt on you.  Has NEVER looked at me with the desire and appreciation that I deserve. That I give him.

But almost every night on the couch and almost every morning on the couch, probably more that I don’t know about- I’m SURE there is much more that I don’t know.  In the car, at work, in the shower, at the gym.  All that I know now is merely the tip of the iceberg.

I’ve told him to please LOOK at me.  To see me for all that I am, to take in the beauty that is my face, my body, my breasts.  My body is a canvas that belongs to him, but he can’t even sit back and look at it.  He can’t do it.  He has never.  To see me for the wife and mother that I have become, supportive, loving, compassionate, giving.  Never once has he in the moment commented on any of it.

He doesn’t see what is right in front of him.

He is blind to it, no matter how hard he tries and how hard he “wants” to make it work, to please me, he is physically, mentally and emotionally incapable of it.

I wonder now why he married me.  If he saw my weakness, if he saw my tendency to be overly trusting, overly patient, naïve even, to think he could live his secret life and I would accept just the bare minimum forever.

When I ask for love, he gives it to me.  If I have tried 10, 20, 40 times to be attractive in a place he can see me, and he ignores it- looks in my direction without noticing me, and I walk out of the room irritated- that can only happen so much.  I finally tell him I can’t take it, “do you even see me?”  “Am I not attractive to you?”  “What is wrong with me?”  Inside, I know nothing is wrong with me.  I am BEGGING for his words, his body language, begging for him to want me, to desire me, to appreciate what he has.

He will then give it to me.  Just enough to satisfy me in that moment.  Never more.  He will say without emotion that he of course is amazed by me, and yes!  He thinks I am very beautiful.  Wow, he was thinking it but just didn’t say it, “sorry about that.”  And gosh, he can think of all these things that make me beautiful and wonderful and amazing but gee, it never occurred to him to comment on them as they happen, as he sees them.

Withholding intimacy, withholding kindness, emotion, withholding himself from me.  I have tolerated it for so long, I have accepted this for TEN FUCKING YEARS OF MY LIFE.  Probably the ten BEST years of my life.  What the fuck do I even do now?

When I cry, he shuts down.  He turns off.  He distances himself from me, needs space, can do anything but comfort me.  Because his emotions are unavailable, and me crying requires emotions. So he can’t.

I respect the institution of marriage.  I value the family unit.  I don’t want to get a divorce, I don’t even want to live separate.  I don’t want to love another man.

Last night he hugged me, held me tight.  Told me he “IS GOING TO” change, make it happen.  I know he can not.  He would love for it to be true but I don’t have faith.  It pains me to admit it, but I don’t.

I know I need to have faith if there is even one iota of hope, but I do not.  I wish that I did.  Does that count?

As he held me there, as he now has the switch temporarily flipped because of all of this, I breathed in his scent, I saw the texture of the skin on his neck in front of my eyes.  I felt his strong, beautiful hands holding me tightly.  I don’t want anyone else.  I fucking love this man so much.  I never wanted anyone else.  But knowing that he can’t show his love for me and is giving himself to porn, I can’t do it.

I realize that the porn is probably the cause of it.  That it has changed the way his brain works with intimacy and sexuality.  I get it.  And maybe it is more.  Maybe there was more abuse than I know about as a child.  Maybe he has deviant fetishes that he won’t admit.  I have realized all of the worst possible options.  The prostituion website- all of it.  I know it could be FAR WORSE than what I now know about.  But it fucking kills me, breaks my god damn heart to think of leaving him.

He is a good father.  He supports his family financially, takes care of the house, contributes within the household.  Makes a good salary.  Works out every day.  Stays in shape.  Remains physically very attractive to me.  Excells at what he does in his career.  He’s been on our neighborhood HOA board.  He teaches the kids how to ride bikes.  He takes them to cub scouts multiple times a week.  He wrestles with them, builds with them in the garage, builds fancy big forts with his own hands.  He is an amazing person on the surface.  I am “so lucky.”  He gives me what I want, lets me lead financial decisions, shit- he manages all of the christmas gift giving and does all of the wrapping.  he does the laundry and the dishes and lets me go out whenever I want.  We move across the country when I want to.  He rubs my feet on the couch.  He is TRYING to be a good husband to me.  He does not know what being a good husband is.  He lives in a world of dishonesty and anxiety and fear and repression.

He admitted that almost every day it hits him that he is afraid of losing me.  Self fulfilling prophecy.  He is afraid of saying the wrong thing, telling me no, disagreeing with me, always on egg shells.  Can’t be himself because what if I don’t like him then?

Well, I don’t like him now.  I married someone who neglects me in the most important ways.  Intimacy and desire and appreciation are part of a marriage.  Intimacy.  Living without it every single fucking day- It can’t get much worse.

I grew up with emotional neglect but I overcame it and went the other way.  I am now perhaps borderline OVERLY lovey lovey with my children.  I grew up with no interest in my life, no support, no encouragement or positivity.  No “I love yous”  No hugs, no kisses, no love, verbally, emotionally or physically.  I have done a 180 for my children.  I have married a version of my Mother in my husband.  He “can” do these things when asked for them, but they do not come naturally for him.  Can I live like this?