When I wrote my previous post, my beautiful man and I were just about to go Kayaking. We went. It was actually not nearly as great as we both had anticipated. I mean, we had a good time, don’t misunderstand. But, it wasn’t great. Isn’t that funny how you can have an absolute blast on one hand – but in the same hand also have a terrible time? As friends – it was fantastic. We get along. We got wet, we kayaked and took in the beauty and the sounds and the smells and the atmosphere. As lovers – it was horrible. I found out why a week later…

I started the morning of our kayak weekend off by irritating my beautiful man. He, attempting to be the sweet kind-hearted soul that he is, didn’t want to say anything, and I was unawares of my accomplishment to irritate. See? I work. And I work hard. He works and he works hard as well, but we operate out of different areas of our brains during our work. His work is very technical, but also very routine. My work requires a great deal of juggling, immediate and oftentimes, time-sensitive problem solving, and great attention to details. Basically a lot of stress. I coordinate logistics. I keep track of conversations and requests made, calendars inclusive of over 20 different people at any given time: venue information, passes, licenses, contracts… I am often overwhelmed. And I love it. I absolutely adore it. However, naturally, when Saturday rolls around – I am exhausted.

My “play” calendar event commitments take a back seat to rest and leisure.  And my I-don’t-give-a-fuck attitude regarding my play calendar events (such as kayaking) are evaluated on importance of arrival terms and conditions… If it’s not an absolute hard time of arrival? Eh, I’ll plan on a time, but I’ll get there when I get there.  I allow myself to be late because, well, I can and often times I will be – especially on a weekend to an event that doesn’t require a hard arrival commitment. I like the variety like that… So, in this case, it wasn’t that big of a deal if we showed up late – to me. Apparently, I didn’t realize it was such a big deal to him. So my love and I made plans to arrive at our 3-hour-away-destination by noon. I wanted to fit in a workout in the morning but was so very tired when we both woke up. Well, my fucker of a love, went and took his dog for a run. Ha, well, now that HE worked out, I HAVE to. So I started to… late. We left around 10am – we gonna be late.

On the way, it was mostly quiet… but I didn’t think much of it. He was putting himself in a good mood, or trying to at least. I call the kayak rental place about half way there, and it’s fine that we are coming an hour late….All good. Fast forward to later that day, and we are having that blast I told you about. It was great. I was with him, but yet, missing him too (Have you ever felt that? A twinge of loneliness from the very person you are spending time with?)… I could tell our connection was off a little… But we both start getting hungry and heading to a place to set up camp. And…He flips his kayak. Yup, I can officially deduce he’s irritated now. It’s evident. He got some of our stuff wet that wasn’t supposed to be wet, lost his e-cig in the river, and now he’s huffing and puffing. I just kind of help him gather everything, go silent and play Accommodating Partner.

See? I still didn’t know I had irritated him that morning. I didn’t know that I had been the catalyst to his bad mood… So we finally make camp. We begin dinner on our tiny little gas stove – hamburgers. He is a little snappy. We “masturbate” inside each other – well, I tried not to. But at this point, I can tell he’s totally not into the sex the way I romanticized it – in a tent, on the river, in a primitive campsite where no one is around… And so I just let him bang me – basically “masturbate” in me… We finish up, swim naked in the river and wash off and begin our just ultimately shitty night of sleep. yay. We both wake up that next morning (after having woken up 5-10 times that night each), and it’s just disconnected. Quiet. He makes breakfast. I try to see if he wants to have sex again, but he’s evasive and pretty non-responsive. Ok, cool.  And at that point, I ask him what’s up.

We talk about how he’s a little upset we left late. I had no idea. I feel completely confused but think to myself “Oh, Ok. Well I definitely am not going to get to orgasm this morning, and more than that, I don’t want to piss him off even more by dilly-dallying this morning.” He makes the slightest suggestion of getting ready to go, so I jump up and start packing (and pouting). I am not pouting because I am butt-hurt. Well, I am butt-hurt, but I am pouting because I don’t like putting up with his hissy fits – or pissy attitude. And to top it off, we’ve been disconnected all weekend… Furthermore, we don’t get a lot of time together at ALL during the week, and I feel like we are not drinking in the moments we do have, so I am feeling helpless and panicky. I have this instability, like, I just can’t get him to like me anymore. I am feeling a little out of control and a tad crazy.

We finally get back to the kayak rental place and we drop off our kayaks – it’s raining on us, we are starving, dirty and tired. We decide to go eat. We leave and hit up this awesome Mexican place for some fajitas. We both are seemingly in good moods. We had previously talked a little on the river about our bad moods and had some good exchanges. We said we were sorry – and so we are on the surface, doing good at this point. We have a few beers at the restraunt and we start to head home…

On the way home, he is still a little snappy. What the hell dude? I am not sure why. And he’s not snappy as in short, but snappy as in speaking defensively and being a little harsh with his jokes – making jokes from a place of irritability. I am now getting a little snappy back at him now, because I feel frustrated I don’t know what’s going on, and in general, it’s making me feel unvalued. His lack of gentleness is starting to provoke me to stand up to him a little… and then he makes a terrible comment to me.  Basically, I said something about how I feel like I have to push him to want to have sex with me a lot lately, and he says, “Wear a mini skirt with no panties and I will want to have sex with you all the time.”

What. The. Actual. Fuck.

I just drove. I sit there in silence, for a bit, but now I am angry. I then say, “you know, I don’t like that. That didn’t settle well with me…” He says, “Yeah… ” in agreement but I just lay into him… “You’re saying that unless I wear mini skirts and prance around, you’ll want to have sex with me?! You know what? I do a lot of shit to turn you on. That’s degrading… You ask any of your friends about their sex lives and how much their partners do for them to arouse them. I can stop doing those things all together. I spend a great deal of time trying to keep myself attractive to you and if you don’t appreciate that…”

Well, it went something like that… He hung his head. Defeated. Like he knew he said something horrible. And it was horrible. I can’t explain all the details as clearly now, but it was completely offensive. And then came the silence. And then the tears. So many tears – The whole way home. Literally. The whole rest of the 2.5 hour drive tears flowed from my eyes silently and began to fill up that gulf between us…

We get home – our whole weekend felt wasted. It was still a blast, mind you – but our connection was definitely bruised. Now we are about to head into 5 days where we won’t see each other hardly at all, limited to 45 minutes to an hour of talking here and there (we work opposite schedules). I. was. crushed. I’m in the bedroom at this point, just weeping… he finally comes in and cuddles me. I cry on him for a bit, we don’t talk, and we go to sleep. 5 days of very brief phone calls, 1 or 2 instances of late night/early morning (and disconnected) sex later, and flash forward to the next weekend…

We are at a Thai place that next Sunday. I still haven’t quite figured out why the connection has been off. We are better, but still something is just…off. My close friend at the time had confessed to me earlier that week of some very disturbing and scary news from her boyfriend and his past behaviors and activities surrounding a sex addiction, and alarm bells go off. It sends me on a mission and I start doing intensive research and reading. I start learning things about behaviors from sex addicts or porn addicts. How their behavior will often feel “off”, how they start to devalue their partner, often limiting them to a sexual object, how their partner can feel a little crazy, and how they will experience irritability, frustration and overall dissatisfaction in general (with themselves) and within the relationship… These things are rolling through my mind, and right before we finish our lunch at that Thai place – I have to ask…

“Hey, babe?” “Yeah?” he responds. I have to ask you something that you’re not going to want to answer but that I want to check in on…” He says, “You’re taking a lot of time to explain the details of a question you could just ask me.” Ok, ok. here goes. “Have you been watching porn again lately?” He looks down at his Thai Tea… “Yeah. Yeah I have.”

Fuck.

-Ash

*Note: This post was originally written on October 19th, 2016

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