How well written, and how very sad is this too-common story. It was written 9 years ago, but I just now noticed it. ~ Jobhttp://boards.themarriagebed.com/viewtopic.php?f=29&t=40062#p592663Inside the mind of a husbandPost by Casey
» Thu Apr 30, 2009 8:55 pm
The Good Husband
Leaving for work, he smiles and waves at his wife. She is a good woman, and his eye takes in her beauty once more as she turns and shuts the door. He had wanted to be romantic over the past four or five nights, but hadn’t asked. She was clearly in that “no touching” mood. It usually lasted for about two weeks every month.
He also didn’t want the usual “can’t we cuddle without you thinking of that?” response.
He was working on fixing that feeling of hers. Reflecting, he was proud of himself – in fact, he hadn’t let cuddling lead to anything physically for almost five months. He was there for her when she was in the mood, but other than that had avoided asking.
Clearly, that issue must be resolved. Perhaps she would begin cuddling him back more often, knowing that it didn’t have to lead to anything else. Even though he was a guy, he had to admit craving romantic touches that weren’t related to sex.
On the way to work, he passes a billboard with a scantily clad woman in profile… it is an ad for a Men’s club, and he intentionally averts his eyes. Pulling into the parking lot, he sees two of the sales team walking in. One of the women is obviously going to try and close a sale today – she is dressed very professionally with a jacket, but has on a skirt that comes only to her mid-thigh, with tall heels and nylons.
Following them into the building, he takes the elevator to avoid going up the stairwell directly behind them. The stairs are his normal route to keep in good shape… he had managed to get back to his high school waist size, for his wife’s interest. Today, though, he takes the elevator. To replace the image of the women, he thinks of the last time his wife wore a skirt with nylons. Smiling, he remembers that he and his wife have a date tonight… maybe she’ll dress up a bit for him, and wear a skirt or dress.
Work goes fine for the day, but is hectic. Midway through the day, one of the women on his team comes in to review a document. She’s close to his age, and has lately been flirting with him a bit much. It has been subtle – if he called it out as inappropriate, she could completely and plausibly deny it… or even turn it around on him, so he has said nothing.
She comes in to review a document, and notes that she emailed it to his computer. Coming around to his side of the desk, she begins to point out issues on the document, and is sure to press her thigh into his… and briefly presses her chest into his shoulder.
He responds professionally, quietly pulling aside and being courteous. Based on past experience, he’s confident that his professional, unspoken rebuff will take hold. She leaves after the review.
Finally, at the end of the day he gets home. His wife looks very cute, and he so appreciates that she cares for herself as well as she does. They work together to get dinner for the kids, and do the dishes. Finally, they get ready to leave for their date.
“Where do you want to go honey?” he asks. “I was thinking of Madras” (which is a slightly dressier place). “Oh, lets just go out to Fridays” she says. I don’t feel like changing, I’ll just wear these pants”. “Really?” he says, trying to hide his disappointment. “I thought it would be fun to dress up a bit for each other, maybe you could wear a skirt”. Irritated, she says “I don’t feel like it – it feels like you’re trying to control what I’m wearing”.
He thinks for a split second, not wanting to ruin the evening or the mood. “Friday’s is fine, really – I just had the other in my head I guess”. He compliments her on how pretty she is.
They go out to dinner, and he holds her hand on the way in. They have a nice conversation that focuses on the kids, and the house, and bills… basically catching up on all the issues that they need to deal with in their role as home managers and parents. He brings up vacations, and they dream a bit about where they’d like to go. She points out how the kids would enjoy Disney at their ages, and they agree to try and make it happen in the next year or two. They brainstorm a redecoration of the bathroom.
They continue their conversation on the way home. When they get home, they discover that they are out of milk for the morning, and he runs out to the store to get some. Arriving at the store, he enters behind a woman with a remarkable figure and can’t help but notice…and glances away. He thinks about his wife, and her pretty figure instead. In the checkout line, he also bounces his eyes away from the swimsuits on the magazine covers.
“Man”, he thinks as he heads to the car. “I wish that I could just turn this off, just not even have to bounce the eyes or think of it”. “Seems like I’m ok for a few days after we make love but then the pressure comes right back”.
In the car on the way home, he begins to think of his wife. Hmmm. Maybe, after a nice evening, she has gotten ready for bed and put on the lingerie that he bought her last month. She hasn't worn it yet... It would be a perfect time, they had a nice evening, and she hasn’t been romantic in a while. He pictures how she would look in it. “Stop” he says out loud to himself. “Don’t expect it”.
Still, he comes home just a little hopeful. He puts the milk away and comes upstairs. His wife is already in bed with the light off, and he quietly goes to the bathroom and gets ready. Climbing into bed, he knows she can’t be asleep yet, but she makes a noise like she almost is… sending the message: stay away. He cuddles against her and begins to rub her hair with his hand like he does almost every night as they fall asleep.
He’s surprised to realize something. He does want to make love of course, but what hurts just as much, is that again she hasn’t thought up anything romantic at all. She hasn’t invested in them. He doesn’t want a spectacular, creative thing, just a little effort maybe.
“Maybe tonight… tonight I’ll ask. I haven’t asked in a while” he thinks to himself. Rather than ask, he begins to caress her shoulder, and then down her side. “Oh honey I’m tired” she says, right away. “Can’t we cuddle without you thinking of that?” “That’s ok” he says.
Frustrated, he continues rubbing her hair. He doesn’t feel like giving a head rub to her, because he feels so totally frustrated… but doesn’t want to stop either, because it will just look like he’s pouting.
Finally, she falls asleep and he rolls over to fall asleep himself. He can’t really, because his mind keeps racing, and focusing on her – how her curve feels lying next to him. He pulls away and tries to think of work, of anything else. He considers going to the bathroom to take care of things himself, then discards that idea. It gets lonely after a while, taking care of things that way.
Still awake, he remembers a website address that he saw advertised someplace a month ago. “You could go look. No one would know. Everyone does it. I wonder what’s on there?” He gets out of bed, wrestling down the idea. He gets a glass of milk to try and get sleepy.
The pressure is intense. It’s not like him! He doesn’t have an issue with this. “You could look. Just look a little”. It is now 1:00 am. A little frightened, he goes to the bathroom and takes care of things himself so that he can get the thoughts out of his head. It is lonely but works, and he finally gets to sleep.
The next day it is hard to get up, and he’s pretty quiet in the morning. His wife asks if he’s ok. “Oh yeah, just didn’t sleep too well” he says.
On the way to work, he passes the stupid billboard again. He looks at it, and bounces his eyes. He again wishes that he could switch things off.
“That’s it”. He decides.
He is tired of dealing with his own desires. He is tired of being romantic. He has a resolution. He WILL switch things off. He will drive his own desires away, not touch his wife or ask. Ever. It’s up to her when she’s interested. He won't think of romantic ideas. Thats up to her too.
It’s not pleasant, but it is far better to get off the roller coaster of hoping – then – being – wrong – for – asking. His wife’s “Can’t we just cuddle without you thinking of that” is painful. Obviously she is right and his own desires are not balanced.
It is resolved.
There is a small, little sad place in his heart though, because he feels like the romantic part of them is dying. He has been working to keep that part alive. The part that includes surprises and romance, the part that goes beyond managing the house and kids.
It’s ok though. It’s necessary. Better to trade that off, than to live on a roller coaster.
He wonders what it might be like after the kids leave. He wonders whether the romance will come back, or if it will be always gone. Whether they’ll be like those old couples that grouch at each other.
No, they’ll be happy. They are such good friends that it won’t matter. Besides, maybe they will get back to the romance part then, but it will be up to her. It’s not his problem.
He turns up the music in the car, and sings along with it. Loudly. The little sad spot in his heart gets quieter, and then finally he can’t hear it any more.
He feels better.