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I sometimes wonder if I’m really happy in my marriage.

Obviously, Ashley and I have issues.  Every married couple does.  If you’re married, and you don’t have issues, then I posit that you’re merely turning a blind eye to something that will, one day, bite you in the ass.  Every marriage is a constant game of give and take, compromise and negotiation, a miniature U.N. Security Council meeting wherein you know SOMEone is going to veto your idea.  (Probably the U.S.  It’s what we do.)

Our issues, however, seem to be less obvious than other marriages I’ve known.  For instance, most people constantly bicker about this or that.  Who’s going to do the dishes, or the laundry.  Whose turn is it to cook dinner?  Why am I the only person who does any housework around here?!  That sort of crap.  It always seems to revolve around a sense of being disrespected by your partner.

And that’s really not the case for Ashley and me.  On the surface, we are what most people consider to be the perfect couple.  People regularly comment about how jealous they are of our relationship.  We laugh substantially more than we bicker.  When we do bicker, it’s something minor–you went to the gym without me, and I had to go alone, so I’m a little miffed.  That sort of thing.  We play video games together, watch movies, go jogging, do yoga… whatever.  We cuddle in public, still hold hands and walk with our arms around each others’ waists.  We are each other’s best friend.  And it’s great spending your life with your best friend, someone with whom you can do and talk about almost anything, who gets you.

However, that level of happiness is… kind of boring, actually.

I think fighting brings people closer.  Not those ridiculous fights, born of jealousy or resentment or just pure spite, but true disagreements about things.  Verbally sparring from time to time with your cohabitating partner keeps you on your toes.  It’s a necessary component of an engaging relationship.  Not having that is just, somehow, unfulfilling.

Maybe that’s what it is.  I’m not unhappy.  I’m just fucking bored.

In case you haven’t noticed, I’m easily distracted, and I quickly become disinterested in most things.  This is why I engage in so many activities, why I’m at least passably proficient in numerous different skills.  I need to be challenged, physically and intellectually.  I need someone to stand up to me and say, “LOOK HERE, MOTHERFUCKER,” then lay down their version of the law.  I need Ashley to disagree with me.  But she doesn’t, because we each agree on just about everything.

Perhaps that kind of peaceful relationship is ideal to most people.  Maybe that’s what they’re looking for, and what they’re so disappointed that they can’t find.  But as idyllic as that may sound to you, dear readers, I promise you, it becomes old.  Stale.  Stagnant.  Nothing changes.  Every day is the same, hour after mind-numbingly similar hour.  You fall into a routine.  All spontaneity is lost to the machinations of comfort and harmony.  Then the monotony begins to creep into other aspects of your life, until you realize that you have become a machine, operating on a regular clock, waking up without the alarm, eating the same boring bran flakes for breakfast, trudging to work, trudging home, trudging through everything you do because it’s all that you know anymore.  You forget what it means to be alive, to explore, to experience, to connect with other people and the world around you.

I don’t want blissful happiness.  Therein lies entropy, atrophy.  I need something more dynamic.  That need feeds my urge to dry hump everything I see into submission.  Ashley’s returning disinterest in physical intimacy agitates this thing that lives in the back of my brain, that threatens to drive me insane if I don’t feed it.  It reminds me that fucking someone else gives me the change I’m looking for, that element of risk, of discord.  It gives me something to focus on so that the monotony of my daily life doesn’t consume me.

Now I sound like a husband in a television drama.  The mid-lifer who desperately searches for something new.  Kevin Spacey and his fish-faced teenage lover in American Beauty.

That’s precisely what I do not want to be.  A trudger, playing at dynamism, testing the waters like a five year old contemplating the deep end, skirting the edges of danger while telling myself that I could do that, if I wanted.  That’s not who I am, who I have ever been.

And I feel like, maybe, that’s who I run the risk of becoming.


  1. And that is why I had peanut butter and banana toast this morning… I like my oatmeal but I can’t eat it every day.

    • My breakfast today: a scoop of chocolate whey protein, a cup of chocolate soy milk, a tablespoon of peanut butter, and half a banana, blended over ice. I chugged it down after an hour and a half of yoga with the sunrise, then went running for half an hour. Got home, showered, walked to work, and have been writing ever since, first on manuscripts, then on this, then on the manuscripts again. I am PRODUCTIVE, dammit.

  2. I have a saying, what ever isn’t growing is dying. Mental stimulation, sexual stimulation, emotional stimulation … these are all key in keeping a relationship growing. Boredom is a quick way to kill a relationship. We all need stimulation in one form or another. The luckiest people are the ones who even as they grow individually continually challenge each other so the bond stays strong.

    As for what you might become, you’ll only become that if you allow it. Much respect, dear man … GC

    • Historically speaking, I think my coping mechanism, my means of escape, has been fucking every woman that crosses my path. Given that I would like to curb that behavior as much as possible, what the hell do I do to keep myself from stagnating? I already engage in as many activities as a 24-hour period will permit. What more is one to do?

        • Gillian Colbert
        • Posted April 18, 2012 at 2:56 pm
        • Permalink

        You want my honest opinion … you and Ashley need to figure out the asexual thing. The only way you won’t revert is if your wife, the woman you love and help satisfy that part of your personality.

        You are an extremely passionate man. It’s manifesting through sex and your wife is not helping or participating in that aspect. Everything else you’re doing is distraction. It will only last but so long.

        That’s my arm chair Freud moment … but I could be wrong, babe. I’m pulling for you. I worry over you. GC

  3. Wow. I could have written this post myself. “I’m just fucking bored” – I tell the guys I cheat with the exact same thing when they ask why I’m doing it. But then, maybe I’m just avoiding the real reason I’m doing it – because I also sometimes wonder if I’m really happy in my marriage. Time will tell, I guess…

  4. Bi… 30 hitting you hard? (joking, truly, but fuck, 30 was hard for me, 31, I can say, is MUCH better!). I’ve got to agree with the omniscient Gillian. If you truly love Ashley, and you don’t want to be bored out of your mind and fucking anything with a pussy that walks on two legs for the rest of your life, you are going to have to fix this sex thing. Really. (For some reason, I feel like I’ve said this to you before… hmmm). 🙂

    If you can’t figure it out, you are going to keep repeating the same patterns. You know what they say about insanity, I’m sure. Speaking from experience, and 7 years of marriage next month, boredom will kill a marriage. And fucking around, it can only help for so long. Love does not fix everything. Fuck, I haven’t found one thing it can fix!

    You’re a fucking scientist, buddy, run some experiments with it. Do some trial runs. Find the baseline, and start changing stimuli, see what works. Independent variables, Bi! What is it that made her respond when you came home last time? Find it, develop it, and run with it.

    idk. I’m ranting. I’m gonna wrap this up. In my humble opinion, it’s time to shit or get off the pot. *hugs and kisses, bi*

  5. This moved me. I don’t want you to change. I only want you to surrender to who you are and be ok with it.

  6. it seems you have nailed it on the head, you are bored. do YOU try to spice things up with Ashley? surprise HER? i don’t know, just a thought. my ex-husband #2 was on the boring side and look how that turned out. lol. he showed me just how exciting he could be.

    i dont’ know, i goes the whole, it takes two people to bore each other means you have some responsibility. perhaps if you looked to make your life with ashley more exciting and not just your life with you more exciting, it might help a little. but i understand that’s hard. and if sex is the most exciting thing to you and she’s not into it, it makes it harder. but then again, i’m single so what the fuck do i know?

    • I’ve tried a number of things, actually, both in the bedroom and out. Spontaneous trips to romantic locales. Candlelit home-cooked dinners. Breakfast in bed. Massage dates. Concerts. Couples classes. All sorts of things. I’m just fresh out of things to try, and she doesn’t like most of the outdoor and physical activities that I enjoy. So we’re just kind of stuck.

      • hi bi, yeah, i get that. it was just my thought at the moment. i’m sure you’ve tried a lot, you love her and want to include her in your life. all i can think is that you’re young (even though older in a lot of ways) and, this is horrible to say, but it comes from experience, marriage doesn’t necessarily have to be for forever. i mean, people change, circumstances change and life changes. maybe this marriage, this relationship, has run its course. you never know what’s around the corner and like you said, inertia is the death of a creative and vibrant mind.

        i also think it’s like when someone has an unhappy marriage and they’ve got kids and they want to stay together for the kids. kids are smart and pick up on their parent’s relationship. and if they are unhappy, they can feel it. so sometimes, as difficult as it is, it’s better for the kids when they DO break up. unhappy people aren’t doing anybody any favors, especially themselves.

        i wonder if ashley is happy.

        anyhow, i think you are great and you impress me all the time with your self awareness and the incredible way you express yourself. it’s obvious you are searching for something and maybe you need your freedom to find it.


      • Huh… There’s an interesting thought. Presumably, Ashley is happy. She gives me no indication that she isn’t. But she’s had to change a lot of things to follow me on my journey across the world in pursuit of science. That might have something to do with it. I’ll have to give this some thought.

  7. Get out of my head!! Exactly how I feel…

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  1. […] then I remembered Bi’s recent post and that past several – lo, many, many – years of my life filled with anguish and […]

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