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I hate hotel rooms.  I like the service, sure, and the water pressure is usually something out of a wet dream (no pun intended).  But I hate how empty they feel.  Hotel managers strive to pack their rooms with all the comforts of home–fresh linens, a television with cable, a writing desk, wireless internet access, and a variety of scented soaps and lotions to make you look and smell as lovely as the room you’re staying in.

But everything feels artificial.  The bed is a little too firm, the linens a bit too abrasive.  The shower is too tight, even with the bow-shaped curtain rod, which is designed to create a sense of space–also artificial.  The television is grainy, the writing desk cramped, the internet too slow.  The soaps and lotions have the same smell across all hotels, clean and soapy, but uninspired, unoriginal.  And no matter how many lights you turn on, it’s never bright enough, always slightly more dim then you’d like wherever you’re working.

And it’s all just a little too cramped.  The desk is always shoved in the corner, out of the way, with a floor lamp above it (the one place in the room where you can get sufficient light, but it’s too bright on the laptop’s screen, causing eye strain).  Clearly defined walkways are narrow, and too angular.  There’s no flow to the space, no feng shui.  In their effort to make the place feel like home, they have stripped it of anything resembling the natural comfort of your personal living space.

And it makes the place feel soulless.  Every hotel is the same, regardless of its position on the star-rating continuum.  And as I sit in my hotel, I can’t help but wonder about the room’s previous occupants.  How many people have come through here?  How many have left their individual mark on the place, only to have it sterilized the next morning by hotel staff?  How many individuals have been homogenized by this place, their stories assimilated by the collective?

I’m just being bitter.  I know I am.  But then again, I have plenty of reason to be bitter at the moment.

My phone chimes, and the screen lights up.  I retrieve it from the desk beside me and half-heartedly activate the screen.  A text message from Ashley.

Please come home.

I consider the words, the implication.  It’s been four days since I saw her.  Since the last time she rebuked my sexual advances.  Since I reminded her that it had been a good month since our last sexual encounter, if not longer.  Since we argued about the role of sex in our marriage, and my need for intimacy.  Since I grabbed my gym bag and stormed out of the house.  Since I booked my hotel room for an unspecified amount of time.

I look at my phone, rereading the message over and over.   I imagine what it would sound like coming from her mouth.  I can hear her voice, straining through pain, struggling to hold back the sobs.  I can see the tears in her eyes.

I know she misses me.  Christ, I miss her too.  Being away from her hurts me at the core of my being, at the most fundamental of levels.  I love her more than I can explain.  I need her in my life, like I need food and water.  She sustains me, supports me.  She centers me.  I want to be close to her.  I want that intimacy, that sexuality, to feel her physically consuming me the way she consumes me emotionally, mentally, and hell, probably spiritually.

Christ, that sounds fucking crazy.  It sounds like an unhealthy infatuation.  Hell, maybe it is.  Ashley is my obsession.    She is the physical representation of everything that is good and wholesome in my world, and I want to be a part of it, in every imaginable way.  And to be constantly denied the sexual intimacy that I want, that I crave, from someone who is otherwise everything I could possibly want and need…

My phone blinks off.  I hastily reignite the screen, rereading the message, over and over, anxiously, obsessively.  Fuck, I’m so angry at her that I can’t think.  Four days later, and I’m still angry.  Does that make me juvenile, I wonder?  Am I a spoiled, immature brat?  Or am I justified, and this is righteous indignation that I’m experiencing?  I don’t have the slightest clue.  All I know is, I’m fucking furious.  I’m frustrated beyond words, beyond any hope of reconciliation.  I need something to change, but I don’t know how to change it, and that just fuels the anger.  It’s probably why I’m still mad, I think.  I’m a published scientist, a researcher, a theoretician, a programmer.  Hell, I’m a fucking genius.  And yet I can’t find a solution to the one thing that I need more than anything else in this world.

What good is intellect if it can’t give you the things you need, if it only makes you dwell on alternate scenarios, how things could be different but never are?

That’s my problem.  I’m dwelling.  I need to stop thinking about things.  I need to stop letting the situation get to me.  I need to immerse myself in infidelity, to find pleasure and satisfaction in my marital indiscretion.  Ashley won’t give me that, for whatever reason, so I should get it elsewhere.

But I don’t want to get it elsewhere.  I want what we used to have, and I’m afraid that in losing it, we’re about to lose everything else.

I don’t think my marriage is over.  I’m sure I’ll go home soon.  But isn’t leaving, for any amount of time, an indicator of what’s to come?  Is the ability to just up and leave for days at a time the litmus test for a failing marriage?  If so, where does mine fall on the scale?  Are we on the cusp of a major failure?  Am I about to become another divorce statistic?  The idea is heartbreaking.

And I realize now, I’m not bitter.  I’m just sad.

I reread the message.  I consider the words, the implication.  And I have no idea what to do.

For now, I put the phone to sleep.

15 Comments

  1. I won’t “like” such a heartbreaking post. Here’s the reality, Bi, every day you continue in your marriage where Ashley isn’t required to meet you half-way sexually is another brick on the path to that marriage ending.

    Sex is the manifestation of your bond and right now you two aren’t manifesting anything but rancor. When you don’t require her to meet you half way, you are condoning her distance and giving yourself the excuse to stray. When she doesn’t meet you half way, she is condoning her selfishness (and yes it’s selfish) and being a hypocrite if she gets pissy at the idea of you straying. She’s basically saying, I want you to give me all your affection but I won’t fuck you and you have to live with it because I say so. She’s deciding for you that your life is going to be sexless, because, oh yeah, if I ever find out you fucked someone else you’re gone, but I’m not going to fuck you to incentivize you not to fuck someone else. What are you, Bi, her fucking pet?

    You didn’t sign up to be a monk, you signed up to be her husband and that includes fucking your wife. I sound angry, but I’m not, I’m just not sugar coating.

    Personally, I think you did the right thing in leaving. I think you’ll be doing the right thing in going home, but if you go home and nothing changes then you both are complicit in allowing your marriage to fail.

    All my love,
    GC

  2. Bi, as always, I am your champion. You will get through this, though thinking alone may not work, it may take action instead. xx Hy

  3. You’ve got mail.

  4. Bi… Fuck. I thought when you came home in the spring things were going to change, I really did. I think Gillian said it right. Sex is an integral part of an intimate relationship. For me, no sex is a deal breaker. Period. End. No compromise, no questions. I think Ashley needs to figure this out, or, eventually, she’s going to lose you. Wish I had better words of wisdom buddy, but I don’t. Wishing you the best of luck, and a good-old-fashioned fucking when you do finally go home… *hugs and kisses*

  5. I kind of feel like I don’t know your whole story so I’m almost hesitant to say anything. I don’t want to start tossing out questions because it’s apparent that you’re hurting, but I hope (pray, if you’re open to that) that things change for the better for you two. I think the expectations that both of you have aboit sex are different. Not having your needs met in a relationship where they should be can’t be healthy for either of you. I’d proabably agree with a lot of what Gillian has said, adding the need to sit down together and figure out if your relationship is broken for other reasons that may be instigating this. Again, I hope things change for the better.

  6. I’m sorry you’re going through this. I like Gillian’s response – she does need to meet you half way. I hope things improve quickly.

  7. The raw pain. You express it so eloquently. But I’m so very sorry you are living this.

  8. GC makes a great point – she’s got to meet you half-way. Keep in mind though that the only thing you can change is you. You can ask Ashley to meet you there but if you want it to work, she’ll have to get there of her own accord.

    If I remember right, weren’t there some “mechanical issues”? If it hurts to have sex, (BDSM play aside) why would anyone want to? Seems that a good first step would be to address the mechanical issues.

    Another approach is to enjoy the relationship as it is, but be put forth a proposal that you get your sexual needs fulfilled outside the bounds of the marriage. Gain her approval of the act, hell maybe even gain her approval of the partners. Although you seem more a hunter, desiring new prey after some period. Might be a tad difficult to go through the approval process every few months.

    Hell, who knows? I do feel for you though. Hope you find a workable solution.

  9. I’m sorry to hear you in such a dismal place :( I hope you get some insight as to how you might move forward. Personally, I’ve found marriage to be very complicated, and often tedious enough to exhaust even the most determined person.There are amazing things in marriage that can’t be replicated in any other type of relationship, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. Best of wishes to both of you.

  10. On another note, and feel free to take this with a grain of salt (I’m no expert), I would suggest that one way to know when it’s over is when it starts to NOT hurt anymore. Because you’ve just stopped caring. The range of emotions you express in this post clearly show you still love her. The wheels just aren’t turning smoothly.

  11. Can you just have Ashley as a primary relationship and get your sex elsewhere? If she is just going to be faking it, it is not going to work. Somethings you can’t fake. I think it is interesting that you are obsessed with a woman who is practically asexual where you are hypersexual.

  12. xo

  13. *sighs* I have so much to say, but can’t find the right way in which to do so. What I will say is that this… “I need to immerse myself in infidelity, to find pleasure and satisfaction in my marital indiscretion”… might be where the disconnect with your wife lies. As long as your sexual need lies, and is gratified elsewhere, how can she even begin to do right by you? Like I tell so many of my friends, sometimes you have to just give the other person a chance to surprise you.

    • It’s a lovely sentiment, and I honestly wish that were the case. In this instance, however, I don’t believe it is. I’ve given her that chance to surprise me, several times, but nothing has changed. I just have to hold out hope that, since I returned home, things might get better. But thank you for the thoughts–I may not agree, but I always appreciate the input.

  14. You know it’s not your fault for the sexual incompatibility – nor is hers. Some things just can’t be changed. In case you were wondering, if I were in your situation (I was, once, and I fucked it up massively), I would either open up the relationship or leave.I hope both of you guys will be ok.


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