So, Crystal got herself into another one of her three-month-wonder relationships again. I got curious about the change in her. She was becoming animated and more alive. I had sensed it as early as my last entry and it was indeed good to see, at first. After a time, it became apparent that I was not seeing the entirety of the fire, but merely its reflected glow. Whatever room in the temple of her psyche was housing the celebration, it was off limits to me. I was a mendicant in the outer portico enjoying the good music. About the end of April, I got curious and piqued enough to go diary browsing again — why is it that I can not, for the life of me, feel guilty about that anymore — and discovered that what I had begun to suspect was true. Over the course of the next ninety days or so, I monitored those pages and watched the guy go from a god in her mind to an unworkable relationship that she just let die. Oh well, she has at least been true to form — from hero to zero in ninety days or your money back.
Sometimes I wonder what would have happened if I had not confronted her with her indiscretion. I wonder if my knowing is what caused things to fizzle. She seems to think that he got tired of her, or else never took her as seriously as she took him. Was it all projection on her part, or did she change in ways that left her less attractive to him after I let her know that I knew? Did he come to see her as flaky and immature, as I have done in my less than honest (or at least irritation tinged) assessments? If the relationship was so unworkable in the face of ultimatum from me, why did she start it in the first place? Hell, if she really wanted free of me, why didn’t she go find herself some single white knight to rescue her — as she seems to fantasize? Perhaps, down deep, she is too insecure in herself. She can claim "kids and family" until the cows come home, but that never seems to stop her, or indeed even cause her hesitation, when these things start.
So, what am I to do about her? Why do I become so sporadically attracted to her? Her latest affair quietly went bust in August. Since then, we have continued to live in the same house and interact with each other, and lately, on and off again in the past month, I have found instances when I have desired her. I have found myself appreciating her — what she does and what she is. I have contemplated her position as my wife in ways that I have found pleasing. I have dared to catch myself admiring certain aspects of her — much as that causes small thrills of apprehension to arise. I have looked in her lingerie drawer when she has been out and I have considered ramifications. I have meditated on her intimate apparel — thought about her wearing it — imagined her before me and desiring me enough to display herself to me in that manner again. I have imagined her wanting me and I have felt stirrings of desire for her again, damn it. She's my wife. She's the mother of my children. She keeps my home (in her rather lackadasical way). She cooks for me, and for that she has a hell of a talent. She's pretty, imaginative, creative, smart... How can I live in such close proximity with such a woman and not want her?
To be honest though, in retrospect, these "meditations" always seem to be so much wishful thinking. Sometimes, it feels to me as if I am longing for my idea of Crystal, instead of for my wife, herself. Yet I find the idea and the reality merging and diverging like a drunk’s double vision occasionally, and I wonder if I am projecting or fantasizing, dangerously. I don’t think that I am what she desires or needs and I don’t know what would change that condition, or even that it can be changed. Is a longing all that I have left myself room to consider? I wont leave and I can’t seem to acquire any "emotional traction" with her — nor can I just shut down the desire for spiritual values which I have denied myself by arranging my life in the way that it currently is arranged.
I have no idea what she feels for me. She says that she "likes" me and that she cares for me, but that is not passion or even any kind of intimate love. She does not shy away from physical contact of the kind that I would find horribly intimate for someone whom I did not feel something of love. This last couple of months, I have hugged her, I have kissed on her (not with her though), I have put my hands on her in very intimate places. We have lain together in the mode that she seems to favor — her back to me, of course — and I have cupped her breasts and rested my hand on her mound, stroked her thighs and my erection had prodded her ass-cheeks and yet she lies there and doesn’t react — and yet she tolerates it, like it has no meaning for her at all. I can say without hesitation, that this reaction leaves me frustrated and feeling weird and somewhat disoriented. There are no such things as contradictions in reality, and yet the perception of them is somewhat alarming. I get an emotional reaction along the lines of, "What am I doing!" The term is cognitive dissonance. Which premise(s) am I missing?
It bothers me more and more, and I find my moments of attraction for her feeling disturbing. She has not kissed me and we have not had sex for more than a year now. Sometimes that fact comes home to me in ways that make it seem incredible. I have heard that prostitutes can perform the most involved sexual acts with a man, and take money for it, but will not tolerate kissing a customer. My infrequent contemplation of the parallel here never fails to raise little whirling dust devils of disgust in my emotional state. Why do I tease myself? Why does she permit me to tease myself with her person? There is a part of me that is somewhat suspicious of her understanding of what she is doing.
Just recently, we were discussing physical intimacy and I was trying to make sense of her ability to "turn off" the ramifications or emotional impact of contact which she seems to possess. She had a hand on my arm, which I admitted, felt rather nice, and I was explaining that I like those kinds of intimate gestures but that as far as that particular one went, I had no trouble relegating that one to the meaningless, or near meaningless category, depending upon context — just as she apparently has the ability to do with contact which I find to be much more personal and harder to ignore — and indeed, downright disturbing and unpleasant when I am not desirous of it. At that point, she said that she understood what I was saying about physical and emotional connection and how my reaction to her was different than hers to me and demonstrated her understanding by reaching up and caressing my face — all the while giving me that deadpan look which she is disturbingly able to summon up when she wants to do so. Instantly, I felt the contact to be a mixture of things — pleasant, thrilling and relaxing — and yet, the knowledge that she was being coldly detached and entirely clinical about the gesture, and was not in the least interested in raising real desire in me, induced a sharp pang of nausea, as if she had stuck a finger down my throat, and I recoiled from her. Given her demonstration, I find it almost impossible to believe that she does not know what she is doing at other times when she has "allowed" me into her intimate physical space. It seems to me that she wanted to demonstrate that she was capable of getting to my emotions while she herself remained entirely detached and unmoved by any intimate contact with me. That's just pathological.
So, the question remains — why does she do it? Is she testing me, or herself? Is she just playing with my emotional state, hers, or both of ours, and if so, to what end? I know that many other types of men would have stripped her and raped her on the spot — and I know that she cannot be unknowing of this fact either — so I wonder, what is it with which she is experimenting? What would her reaction be if I proceeded upon such an implied invitation? Hell, if she weren't so damned artlessly spiritless about it I wouldn't have been able to resist her had I wanted to do so in the first place. Is imposition of will upon her what it would take to rouse her to the point of saying no? Whom is she trying to convince, me, or herself? Is she trying to trap herself into a sexual encounter out of which she would be unable to extricate herself? Why would a woman do that? Hell, if I thought it would arouse her, if she'd get off on it or show some enthusiasm, I'd more than gladly and eagerly indulge her, but this deadness of hers...it's dispiriting. Why would she passively lie there, with no enthusiasm or passion evident and allow sex to happen to her, as if it were not something which required her participation at all? Does she think I want that, that I will settle for mere acquiescence, that I even find that attractive or fulfilling? To be sure, more women than Crystal tend to engage in that kind of activity — I never thought to experience it myself — and I cannot understand how it crept into our relationship. She was not always like this. Personally, I prefer less subterfuge and obfuscation. Why won't she just say that she doesn't want sex instead of lying there like a mystery until I "discover" the fact?