Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Sex. Prayer. Flight.

For a while, when my husband first came back home from the hospital, our disappeared sex life was back. We were like normal married people who love each other. It was a glorious thing.

A few weeks ago, though, it started to wane again. At our last marriage counseling session, we discussed the crisis of our parent-child relationship and how we need to find some creative ways to over come it. The day after that session, my husband had watched Dr. Phil.

Yes. He watched Dr. Phil.

He said to me, recounting the wisdom he'd gained on Dr. Phil:

There was this couple on the show today, and they had a parent-child relationship. It wasn't because the man was a big fuck-up or anything. It was more because the wife was kind of needy and controlling. She was upset because they weren't having sex, and Dr. Phil told her that it was obvious why they weren't having sex. No man wants to have sex with his mom.

My husband's words hurt me, and not too long ago, they would have sent me into a tailspin. I would have accepted all the responsibility for our disappearing sex life, and I would have forgotten that our sex life disappeared exactly when my husband started relying on a heavy dose of opiates to get through his day.

This time, I wasn't willing to accept the responsibility for something that isn't mine. Also, his words drew my attention to something about my husband. I don't want to have sex with a child. Neediness and dependency and an inability to take care of oneself isn't sexy. His use of the parent-child dynamic in this way made me look at him differently, and I haven't quite been able to unscrew my vision of him since.

I don't want to fall out of love with him. I don't want to. I really, really don't. I'm not sure if that's what's happening, but if my sexual desire and the premise of our lovely sex life is removed from the marital equation, there isn't much left. I have hope that the housekeeping he's in the process of doing in recovery will eventually translate to benefits for the relationship, but I'm not sure that I have the patience any longer to stick it out.

This time of year is hard. There are some important anniversaries for us in the coming weeks, and over the last couple of years, these anniversaries have been marred by his addiction. Last year at this time, things were very, very bad, and I am not sure that my reactions to him aren't somehow skewed by the smell of the weather, the color of the sky, and my emotional memory of how it felt the last time things looked this way outside.

On the advice of my new Al-Anon sponsor, I am praying, on my knees, every morning and night for clarity in this relationship...I ask God to show me if it is God's will for me to continue to be in this marriage and to give me the tools and resources necessary to support my husband and myself in recovery; I ask if it is God's will for me to get out of the relationship, that I be shown a clear path. I ask God to remove the scales from my eyes, the biases of desire and judgment and fear and resentment and to show me, truly, what it is I'm meant to do with my life in this relationship.

I keep having these dreams where I'm flying. Sometimes, I'm flying a kind of dilapidated old airplane that I've found abandoned on the street near my parents' house. One time, it was a wheelbarrow; if I ran fast enough, I could make it take air, and I could steer around. Each time I have this dream, there is someone telling me to come back down. Stop flying. Hit the ground. Don't imagine other possibilities. Stay low, always.

I don't want to anymore.