In Which I Tear Apart A Terrible Editiorial on Relationships

Or, alternate title being: “This bitch does not know what she is talking about…”
Below are a few quoted selections from the article, but you can read it in its “brilliant” entirety here.

QUOTE: “‘…euphoria’ doesn’t mean unrealistic romantic bliss. It just means your stomach flips every time you see your SO (significant other). “
Actually, in the context you JUST described, your second sentence pretty much directly contradicts your first; it exactly means “unrealistic romantic bliss.”
Let’s take a minute to disect just a few more of the unconstructive and inaccurate statements in this article and pray you never end up with a job being the next Dr. Ruth.
QUOTE: “Being happy means being unable to imagine a life without your significant other; being comfortable means not caring.
When you’re truly happy, you cannot imagine your life without this other person.”
227cd753aa0515404ff9a8bd6a2e-no-im-sure-there-are-bad-side-effects
Um, no.
Not even.
You can feel all of those those things and not be happy. It’s called co-dependency.
QUOTE: “When you’re comfortable, that feeling of safety is similar to that of boredom. The feeling isn’t draining, and it isn’t toxic; it’s vanilla, bland and homogenous.”
In reality, happiness and comfort can and often do come together.

I still get butterflies with my husband sometimes. It comes down to mood and frame of mind. I also can get that euphoric feeling of when we just met if I think back and remember those times. But I also feel a deeper love seated in comfort, security, and respect.

A relationship can get complacent, but that has as much to do with taking a SO for granted and getting complacent in how you treat your SO daily as anything else. However, many people DO get stuck in boring relationships because they don’t have the strength to get out. This article almost makes it seem like it’s a “natural” mistake “many” people make.  But that only makes them victims of themselves.

And the passage on sex… Jesus. Are you married? Are you IN a longterm relationship.

QUOTE: “Sex in a happy relationship is truly incredible. The orgasms are more intense and even more fulfilling than they are in a loveless relationship. Sex becomes about so much more than two people physically connecting; it brings two souls as close together as they can possibly be…

On the other hand, when you’re just comfortable, you’re f*cking for the purpose of getting off quickly and efficiently. It’s a race to orgasm. It’s about nothing more than physical satisfaction.”

Any person who is in a long term relationship, happily even, will tell you…
Sex is always different. I have been married 6 years, with my husband a total of 11. Sex is sometimes slow and romantic, sometimes passionate and erotic.  Sometimes, we are just horny and we both want to get off. It’s never always one way. In other words, you can be quite happy, and have a night where the sex is utilitarian and a bit boring.  Two nights later, you might get your socks knocked off in bed.  (Not me; I hate wearing socks during sex.)
 I almost feel bad for tearing your article apart so aggressively, however almost everything you said in this article is not only inaccurate, but you take the stance of guiding other people in relationships, and you’re sending them chasing their tails.  You sound like you wrote this article WHILE in the throes of the “unrealistic romantic bliss” you mentioned. Sorry, Gigi, but there are no epiphanies here…
Thankfully, I am not alone in calling bullshit.  The comments in the section under the article were almost unanimously…less than positive.   I just…
ah, okay.  I’m done.  Discerning readers, what do you think?
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Dr. Rut’ says you need this book…

 

The Cycle (II)- Schadenfreude

*the following short fiction excerpt is a combination response to Rarasaur’s Prompt for the Promptless and answer to the interest shown by some readers on my short story The Cycle. Enjoy, and feel free to comment.

The Cycle- Schadenfruede

She could remember when she had loved him, been enamored with him.  She remembered it in the way one sometimes remembers a dream, like a detached observer.

…Their first meeting, on the back patio of the bar where she and her friends from work had gone after the dull and seemingly interminable company party…  The tentative anticipation and exhilaration of finally meeting someone who could potentially hold her interest for more than a few weeks.  She remembered his dark good looks and his easy charm.  The electricity of their first kiss.

Even now, she could remember his effect on her.  How she had lusted for him and had to force herself to wait even the short week before they fell into bed together in a furious tangle of limbs.  Now, the thought of her lust for him sickened her.  She felt nauseous and ashamed, disgusted by the memory of his face, still handsome and seemingly unaffected by his time in prison.  Disgusted that she had fallen for him, even though, objectively, she could still remember why she had loved him.

But mostly she was disgusted that she had been so completely and utterly fooled by him.  She felt used and stupid.  She felt responsible, as if, in her stupidity, she had somehow been an accomplice to his crimes.

Because now, casting a harsh eye back over the past ten years of her life, she could clearly see– she should have seen– that something was wrong.

He had handled her too easily on too many occasions.  They had fought little throughout their courtship and marriage.   He always seemed so considerate of her feelings, even when her fears or feelings may have been irrational.  He always knew the right things to say, or when to say nothing.  She could see now that what she had taken to be easy-going, what she had thought was just his generous nature, insouciance, had really been an expertly veiled sort of scorn.  The smug bastard had let her have her way simply because he could.  And he enjoyed being able to manipulate her so easily.

Once they had been together for a while, once her trust in him was complete and unwavering, he had enjoyed free rein to pursue his other...hobbies.   He had complete control over her, and she hadn’t even known it, because he had never harmed her, never threatened her, or even said so much as an unkind word to her.  

Now she found herself on some level wishing, perversely, that he had hit her, insulted her or belittled her…given some sign of his true nature.  His abuse had been so much more insidious.  It was in his contentment and pleasure in the  role he was playing– the doting husband–  and in his wife’s utter ignorance.

Valentine’s Day: Happy or “Humbug?”

I’ve been seeing about a fifty/fifty split on Facebook posts between

“Happy Valentines Day, [so-and-so]! I love you, (blah blah blah…)”  and

“Screw Valentine’s Day! It’s just a Hallmark holiday anyway!”

Personally, I can’t think of a reason to complain about a day where there is an abundance of chocolate and flowers around, and an increased chance of sex!  Saying those things are bad is like saying you like to kick puppies.  Also, the nay-sayers are fooling themselves if they don’t think every other holiday has become a “Hallmark holiday” as well.

Like I told my friends, via my own status, even Christmas is commercial now.  I highly doubt the twelves disciples gave one another expensive electronics or fancy jewelry to celebrate Jesus’ birthday.  Anytime a holiday results in almost as much stress (or more) as it does joy, the holiday has likely become too commercial, or strayed too far from its original meaning.

I was thinking to myself today, the point of Valentine’s Day, or any holiday, is that its significance is what you make it.  What you put into it is what you get out of it.  So, if you want to celebrate V-day, great! If not, more power to ya!  But then this day took an interesting sort of turn which left me feeling a little confused, disappointed, silly, and finally, pissy…

In the spirit of this post, I was originally going to do a Valentine’s Day photo shoot (incognito, of course!)

By the time I got done exercising, I was feeling confident and inspired.  I knew hubby was coming home for lunch (he usually does,) and I wanted to wash the funk off before he got home, but I was going to wait until after he left to go back to work to get all fixed up, and I’d also have a nice deer steak ready for dinner.  But I had some extra time when  got out of the shower, so I got dressed up in a cute little vintage strapless number that’s been gathering dust in my closet, shaved my legs, put on some make-up… I even crammed myself into those pain in the ass spanx so I’d look extra svelte in my dress.

Granted, hubby says I always look beautiful…bleh.  But when I dress up, dammit, I feel pretty…only, when hubby walked through the door, his face hanging cuz he had a headache (again,) and… nothing.  Not only was there not a “you look great,” or “Happy Valentine’s Day,” there was no change in facial expression whatsoever.  

Already feeling embarrassed, I mumbled something about wanting to look cute for Valentine’s.  And then I said, in my daughter’s direction, “But now Mommy’s going to go change cuz she just feels silly.”

~sigh~  So for about 20 minutes I kind of wanted to cry, and then hubby left to go back to work and he kissed me twice and told me he loved me…

Hubby is a bit short on romance, but he’s a good guy and he does love me.  Last night when we got back from a couple of errands, he whipped out a bag of Andes Candies he had managed to sneak by me  (I heart Andes Candies) and he said, “Happy Valentine’s Day.”

Well, it’s the little things that count, right?  So I made myself some “Valentine’s Day comfort coffee” with Hershey’s syrupand dropped a couple of Andes in it to make it extra minty-chocolatey.  And now I’m going to go smoke a “Valentine’s Day cigarette.”

Yay, me.

I guess I’m still a little bummed, so… dammit, I better get some extra Valentine’s Day sex tonight, or someone’s gonna be in trouble!

The Cycle

“I asked you a question.”

He’s trying to control the conversation.  Don’t let him.  You have the power now.  He’ll never control you again.

“Say something…say something!” His lapse in composure is brief, but she sees the rage that she now knows must have always been there.

“What do you want me to say?”

“I want you to answer the question.”

A pause.  “How could you do what you did?  Those women…”

“Have you never been taught not to answer a question with a question?”  She’s never heard that note of condescension in his voice before.  Not in 8 years of marriage or the two years they dated before that.

I never knew him at all…who is this man?

“You still love me…”  His eyes pin her to the spot, like a butterfly mounted in a display case.  “You miss me.  You need me.  Don’t you?”

don’t need him.  And I don’t love him, not anymore.  But, God help me, I do miss him.  At least, I miss the person I thought he was.

“Answer me.”  Somehow this quiet command is more frightening than all of his rage.

I’m not scared of him.  He can’t hurt me anymore.  I’m not scared, I’m…  Defiant,”Why should I?”

“Because I have something you want.”

“You don’t have anything I want anymore!”  No!  Don’t let him see your anger!  If you’re angry, he wins.

He smiles.  “We both know that’s not true.  I know where your sister is.”

bflies-071

Fancy a Roll in ze Hay? Sex and Marriage

What is a sexless marriage?

The US National Health and Social Life Survey in 1994 (Laumann et al. 1994) found that 2 percent of the married respondents reported no sexual intimacy in the past year. The definition of a nonsexual marriage is often broadened to include those where sexual intimacy occurs less than ten times per year

Is sex that important?  Can a marriage be healthy without it?

Well, I’m not an expert about marriage…or sex…  But I am married and I love sex…( and besides, this is my blog, so I can talk about it if I wanna, so, Nyah.)   I’ve been with my husband for over eight years, and we’ve been married for a little over three.  We have a two year old daughter who is the major love of both of our lives, and we’re both totally cool with that.  We’ve had our share of difficulties– financial, family-related, and personal.  I think we have a very strong marriage.  We can talk about most anything.  I have a deep love for my husband and he is my best friend.

And I am still, um… a big hornball.  One of the things I like about my husband is how secure and laid-back he is; like how we can laugh about my obsession with Maynard or Noomi.  And there is some joking about how I am the man in our relationship because I am always dropping him not-too-subtle hints about sex and he often just laughs at my “crass” and unromantic overtures.

I happened on this article the other day about sexless marriages.  We’re definitely not in a “sexless” marriage.  Still, we’re older, busier, tired more often…  so we’re not doing it three times a day like when we first met.  The whole thing got me thinking a bit.  How many people do I know might be secretly dissatisfied with the amount of sex they’re having?  So I did a little bit of digging on the ever-handy InterWebz this morning, with my mind on a possible blog post.

It’s natural and completely normal for the animal sex of a new relationship to drop off. “The initial passion of any relationship changes after 18 months,” says Sallie Foley, MSW, director of the Center for Sexual Health at the University of Michigan (author of Modern Love and Sex and Love for Grownups.)

“It moves from the romantic and exciting to an attachment kind of loving, fondness.  That gotta have it, gotta have it feeling is gone.”

Even though some amount of drop off in sexual frequency can be expected, that doesn’t mean we don’t mourn it sometimes.  And there are instances where a “drop-off” turns into a “shut-out.”  There may be emotional or physical reasons behind why a marriage becomes “sexless.”

Some people feel that sex isn’t that big a deal, and that if you really love your partner, you can deal with having less sex than you may want.  In my opinion, this would depend on the situation– basically, the reasons for the lack of intimacy.

Because to me, intimacy is a super-important part of a marriage, and for me sex affords a very specific type of intimacy.  If it goes for more than a week or two, my dreams start to get markedly kinkier.  I get anxious and sometimes even cranky if I go for too long without sex with my husband.  Apparently I am not unusual in this regard.

“It’s a very healthy thing for a partnership, there’s no question about that…People who have sex tend to feel closer, more intimate.”

Does your sex life look like this?

Does your sex life look like this?

Or this...?

Or this…?

A relationship stripped of the intimacy and physical closeness which sex provides feels hollow: the person who is supposed to find you attractive, sexy and desirable doesn’t.

Let me reiterate that there are many reasons a marriage can become sexless, and it’s something you should discuss to see if it’s within your power as a couple to change the dynamic of your sexual relationship.  There are many avenues open to you, including but not limited to therapy.  But one simple piece of advice I’ve seen in more than one place is this:

“…There’s definitely a use it or lose it aspect to sex…You have to be committed to intimate time together. That doesn’t mean every single time you take off your clothes and have sex. But set aside time just for the two of you.”

Basically, having sex makes you want sex more.

I’ll leave you with this last thought.  Some people have the attitude of “what’s the big deal?”  Like if your spouse is a good  spouse in all other respects, who cares if there’s no sex?

If you communicate to your partner that you are unhappy and they seem ambivalent, that’s a problem.

There’s something very wrong with the picture if your partner is saying ‘I know you’re desperately unhappy but I don’t plan on doing anything about it and still expect you to be faithful’

sources:

http://www.webmd.com/sex-relationships/features/are-you-spouses-or-just-roommates

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sexless_marriage

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2251074/The-sexless-marriage-Should-leave-arent-getting-asks-FEMAIL-Sexpert-Tracey-Cox.html

Is Marriage Bullshit?

What is marriage?

I realize what a loaded question this is.  And on this, my third wedding anniversary, I coincidentally happened on a Penn and Teller: Bullshit episode on “Family Values.”  If you’re not familiar with Bullshit, it was a popular Showtime program running from 2003 to 2010, aimed at debunking pseudoscientific ideas, popular beliefs, and misconceptions.  Penn and Teller host the show, typically take an abrasively libertarian point of view, and there are usually people interviewed for the show from both sides of a given topic.

In the “Family Values” episode, the idea/institute of marriage comes under fire as impractical, restrictive and, according to one arguably misogynistic radio personality, entrapping to men, as he remarks, “[We] are paying for use of a vagina.”

One professor of History and Family Studies claims, “There is no such thing as a traditional family… the idea one man one woman, nuclear family […] that’s a pretty rare family form in history.”

Also mentioned is the fact that marriage historically was rarely about romantic love, but rather protecting family interests and assets.  Arranged marriages were common, as was the existence of lovers other than one’s spouse.

While it can (and has) been pointed out that Bullshit is usually fairly one-sided, with Penn voicing over interviews rather than allowing for actual back and forth debate with said interviewees, I found enough valid points to sort of dishearten me with the idea that romantic marriage is a fairly new (and often unsuccessful) endeavor.

I’ve always considered myself a romantic at heart, and although I try to be pragmatic, I want to believe in love.  That’s not to say that I think there is only one soul mate out there for any given person.  Were that the case, given the size of the world and the number of people in it, it would be highly improbable that so-called “true” soul mates would find one another in their lifetime.  Still, if you can find even one person you can trust, confide in, lean on, have fun with, and love, you are a lucky person.

So, considering my cognitively conflicting ideas of pragmatism and romance, I thought it over…very briefly…and decided to rephrase the question to myself.

What is marriage…to me?

In short, it doesn’t matter what the statistics say, what marriage has  historically meant, what other couples are doing, what “biology” says, or even what religions say about marriage.  At least not to me.  The only thing that matters to me are the values I’ve internalized, the values my husband and I agreed upon when we discussed what marriage meant to us, and what we want out of our relationship.  In my husband I have a friend and someone who knows my heart (and my body) well.  And hopefully we can pass along our values and ideas of love on to our daughter.

So…Nya!

Pffffttttttthhhh!

People I Would Have an Affair With (Fall 2012)

Alright, in the spirit of “you-can’t-have-too-much-of-a-good thing” and “there’s-no-such-thing-as-bad-sex,” I’m gonna take a proverbial page from my friend Heather’s blog and give you guys my version of the “People I’d Have an Affair With” list.  I highly doubt it will be as funny as Heather’s because, well, I would never have sex with a guy that had a mullet, for one.  And also because at least some of the people on my list actually are good-looking and/or talented, not “unlikely” crushes… but, here goes.  And don’t bother trying to blackmail me with this list at a later date, because my husband is already well aware of whose love-child I’d have and who I’d give up my alimony for. Continue reading