Written February 23, 2013 at home (Arizona)
Erin and I have been together since high school. Over 21 years, minus a short gap between our graduations. We celebrated our fifteen year wedding anniversary just this month. I love her with every fiber of my being.
But I haven't been as attentive to her needs and as supportive of her as I should have been. We have seven children, half of them still in diapers. We homeschool. I travel frequently for work. So she is with them all the time, and often shouldering the burden alone while I am away alone in a hotel room. To complicate matters, we have no family here to help and we are both shy. Erin is very shy. So we also have no friends aside from Internet based relationships on Facebook and message boards. Watching the kids so she can get out hasn't helped because she doesn't like going out alone. She wants and needs adult interaction. She needs an identity outside of being a mom.
Money is tight, as you might imagine it would be with seven kids. We eat nearly 100% organic and that adds a little to the expense as well. Getting out as a family means bringing all of the needy children with us. It's more expensive and again, no break.
She is tired and lonely. She has lost her love for life. And this I realize is my fault. I've allowed her to take on more than her share of the responsibilities with the house and the children because she stays at home and I work and travel. That's unfair to her and selfish of me.
Add to that, she's gone out of her way to try and make me happy. Pushing herself, especially in the sexual arena, to stretch her limits and boundaries for my benefit. She enjoys herself too of course, but still she has done a lot for me and I've allowed the circumstances of our situation - she is home and I work and travel - to settle on her shoulders.
It all came to a head this week. We yelled and screamed and threatened divorce and cried. And now we are sleeping in separate rooms. Her idea and not as bad as it first sounds. It's a healing exercise. Sort of an absence makes the heart grow fonder kind of thing. I am in the guest bed. All of my belongings are there as well. She is in the master bedroom... as the queen of my castle should be. And it's working.
We went out to dinner and shopping last night. Dress shopping for her. I had a lot of fun actually. I love seeing her try on new clothes. It's fun and sexy. We had dinner. We had a few moments of whining from the kids but all things considered, it was fun for the both of us. I even earned a good night kiss. :)
We are role playing as a new couple - an interesting thing when she is pregnant with our eighth child. She hinted that we could have sex last night. I steered the conversation away from it and told her later on text (when I was in my "apartment" and she was in hers) that I want our next time to be really special. I want to work up to it again. I told her when she is ready and really wants it - for her - then we will, but not just for me. Though I need to be touched and I have an all too high sex drive, this is the right decision. It was so hard to say no. So hard. So last night, it turns out we both masturbated. I guess we both needed it after all. lol
She asked me out on a breakfast date. She pointed out that it was the first time she has ever asked anyone on a date. Of course I said yes. :)
We were talking about her dating history and it was all in high school. And then me and we pushed so hard and fast to start our life and family that we never really dated like normal people do either. She'd never been picked up and dropped off at her house. It was a big deal to her.
So this morning, she had her very first real date. I did everything I normally would do to prepare. I even cleaned out and vacuumed the car. I had gotten up early to pick up milk and our bountiful basket and I picked up some flowers while I was out. When she was ready to go, I had gone outside and waited. She didn't quite understand why I had not waited for her. I knocked on the door and she opened it to find me waiting, flowers in hand. Her face lit up and it was the most genuine smile I have seen on her face in years. My heart both leapt and sank. It was wonderful to see and it also made me realize how long it's been since I've seen it.
I opened the door to the car for her. We went shopping for dresses again. Then to brunch. It was an amazing time. We picked up donuts for the kids on the way back and are about to head out again to do more shopping. I love it.
I have that fluttery feeling for her again. I am totally crushing on the woman I've been taking for granted all this time. I feel like I'm 20 years old again and we are just starting our life. Her idea of being separate a bit - it was so hard at first. I was breaking down in tears randomly for two days. She may very well have saved not only our marriage, but our happiness. She's an amazing person.
And so we are. A fresh start. A new beginning.