Ronin of the Spirit

Because reality is beautiful.

I suck today, and I’m not sure what to do to get better.

Or I fuck up just like I used too when I called myself a Christian, but feel free to talk about it.

I don’t really understand stress.  If you ask me “Do you feel stressed?” I would say no, by that I would mean that I don’t feel the crushing panic of impending doom that something isn’t done.  You know, the feeling you have that you are at the end of a conveyor belt and it is running too fast for you to keep up.  The sort of thing that makes non-smokers take up the habit, makes you hands shake, makes you sweat in a cold room.  To me, that is stress, and I am not feeling that at all.

On the other hand, I’m having a hard time sleeping. My stomach is constantly churning, and I am am really bitchy.  I hate being bitchy.  Men are not supposed to be bitchy, but I am right now.  I have some constant bit of nastiness to say or do at every juncture.  I get mad far to quickly and hurt far to easily.

Plainly, this is a response to stress.  What do I have to be stressed about? Well, I’m leaving my current job, selling everything I own, packing whats left up to be seen again in 3 months, and taking my family to Germany.  Once there, I will be starting my new job, while living in a hotel and finding a place through a language barrier.  I am not stressed about the fact I am stressed.  This is a very stressful and somewhat abnormal situation, and I think, in general, I am dealing with it quite well, aided by the knowledge that many thousands of servicemen have done this before me, as well the support of my wife, and the support of my friends.

I have only one real problem.  This is the problem I always have when I am quite stressed.  I don’t know why my mind and body feel this way, but when I am stressed I want to have sex with most every woman I see.  Now, I am a man. As a man, I think about sex a lot.  I might see a woman and have a scattered and unfocused sexual thought, something a bit more than “Say, what a lovely pair of breasts.” but a good deal less than “I want you.”  I think that is perfectly normal, and not what I am talking about here.  Noticing that a woman is very attractive and wishing I could see more of her is what makes me straight, which in turn is part of what makes me who I am.  I am pretty happy with I am, so I make no apologies.

No, this stress-response-horny thing is, in the words of John Cleese, something completely different.  I see a woman tossing her hair over her shoulder at the checkout line.  Suddenly, I am completely submerged in her.  Alone with her at last, I gently lift the hair from the nape of her neck, kissing the soft skin between the zipper of her dress and her hairline as I pull the zipper down, her breath drawing sharply as I… I shake my head. I’m not in a candle lit room.  She’s not in a little black dress.  She doesn’t know me, I don’t know her.  She’s just some girl.

If to my lonely readers this sounds like a lot of fun, its not.  Its sort of involuntary, like shying from a bug bite.  I see a very large woman and her butt suddenly becomes magnificent rather than just “huge”.  And inch or two of cleavage suddenly becomes a whirlpool, drawing me in.  Suddenly cleavage is not something I notice, the way you notice the name of road when you go through an intersection.  It becomes something I notice the way a starving wolf notices the scent of blood.  Sometimes, I can even step out of it and laugh at my hunger.  Holy crap, man! She not only not pretty, she’s not even bathed!  When bag ladies look good, maybe you should hurry on home. It’s very unpleasant, but not terrible. Its not any worse than being 16 again, and there are certain benefits to having the life experience of a 27 year old with the drive of a 16 year old, which my wife and I both enjoy.

The worst part is how I feel about my friends.  My wife and I are both in our 20’s. We have about as many single friends as married ones.  The thoughts about random strangers are, as I said, not that bad.  But the thoughts I have about my single female friends are very different.  These are our friends, people that Becky and I really care about, some of them even love.  With them, because I love them, I don’t want some random encounter in a hotel.  No, with my female friends, the ones I really love, I want to take make love to them.  I want to take them home, give them back rubs, undress them slowly and lovingly, and slowly make love to them.  All of them.  One at a time, all at once, in pairs, anyway at all.  And right now, in the stressed state I am, not only is there this feeling that I want to do this, there is this feeling that if I do it, it would be so beautiful and so right.  It seems as if the all the clouds in the world would blow away, and the whole world would be one of those perfect summer evenings if I could just get them all naked.

I lived with these desires my whole life, so I know enough not to act on them…but, last night…

Last night chatting with a friend, I let her know how I felt right then.  She’s a kind hearted person and only wanted to help (she’s also pretty lonely).  We both knew that nothing was really going to happen so we really let ourselves go and talked pretty explicitly. For both of us, it was a poor substitute for what we wanted, but it seemed at the moment better than just facing that empty, sick, lonely, hunger I feel whenever I am stressed out.

The next morning (today), I felt so icky.  In a way, it’s not a huge deal.  Neither one would actually take anymore action that we did.  We aren’t going to sleep together.  And in much more intelectual, less emotional conversations, we have mentioned that we have feelings for each other, they can’t be resolved, and thats just part of life, so nothing new was said.  But in another way, I really fucked up.  I, a happily married man, gave part of heart away to a woman that I am not married too.  Yeah, I kept my pants on.  There was no physical contact, we weren’t even in the same place, but I took something of my wife’s and gave it away without asking.  I feel dirty.

Of course, I told my wife about it.  I’m not that stupid. In addition to the physical intimacy, my wife and I enjoy a very emotionally intimate relationship.  She knows all about these feelings, has for years.  She knows that sometimes when I feel this way I do indiscreet but not horribly dangerous things. (ie, I’ve never done more than rub another woman’s shoulders.) She’s understanding, and a little disappointed in me, and a little disappointed in our friend.  (I’m sure some ignorant fool will read this and tell me she should throw me out on my ear.  Bullshit.  All men have these struggles at least once in their life, and some don’t struggle, they just give in.  She’s a realist.  She has moments when she has feeling for other men too.  That life.)

It is at this moment this blog becomes another deist-atheist-what-ever-the-heck-I-am blog.  I want god to be a personal God right now.  I want there to be some divine plan that I fell out of last night.  Then I could just pray “Oh, Lord, please forgive me.” and magically, having felt like I took the step to put myself back on the road o’ righteousness, I would feel absolved, clean again.

But I don’t believe in a personal relationship God.  I believe that belief is a comforting fantasy.  In the real world, where I live, I can’t magically make this right.  I have to accept the fact, that having done it once it will be easier to do again, and easier to do worse next time. (Which is of course, is what my wife is disapointed by)  Accepting that, I have to figure out what I am going to do about it on my own, then, I, out of my own willpower I have to do it. The real issue is not that I violated some 4000 year old book, or that I was unfaithful (I didn’t and I wasn’t.)  The real issue that I ultimately failed my own values, and in so doing failed my best friend (Becky) and our mutual friend. That sounds like a huge amount of work to fix, and wish I could just pray the magic prayer and have everything be good.

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September 16, 2008 - Posted by | Religion, Self discovery, skepticism, Uncategorized | , , , , , ,

12 Comments »

  1. I want god to be a personal God right now. I want there to be some divine plan that I fell out of last night. Then I could just pray “Oh, Lord, please forgive me.” and magically, having felt like I took the step to put myself back on the road o’ righteousness, I would feel absolved, clean again.

    Sounds like you have something better: a wonderfully loving and forgiving wife who is committed to you and your marriage. I think that is where you start getting clean again.

    I don’t have any practical advice to give you. I wouldn’t even know where to start. But it’s clear to me that you and Becky are both determined to work through this, so I have no doubt that you will.

    I’m sure some ignorant fool will read this and tell me she should throw me out on my ear.

    That is no-one else’s call to make. I, for one, do not judge either you and would never make a presumptuous suggestion. (I know you weren’t talking about me when you said that. Just heading off “some ignorant fool”… 😉 )

    Comment by Lottie | September 16, 2008 | Reply

  2. Just so its clear, its not like we are getting divorced or anything! Its just that I did something really dumb and I feel really bad… and there is nothing that I can do to fix it right now. Thats the nice thing about prayer: gives you this feeling that you are really doing something when you are powerless.

    Its not like we even have that much to work out. I’m honest with becky about what goes through my head so its not surprise, just disappointment, and sort of “Why didn’t you talk about it with me first?” sort of thing.

    Comment by truthwalker | September 17, 2008 | Reply

  3. Oh, I didn’t take it like that at all. Sorry if my comment sounded like I did. I was trying to stay upbeat, but that doesn’t always translate in text, does it? Haha..

    You guys are great! 😀

    Comment by Lottie | September 17, 2008 | Reply

  4. By the way, when I said about getting clean, I meant to put “clean” in quotes. I wasn’t implying that you weren’t already.

    I really hope I didn’t offend you. Sometimes I overdo it a little in my efforts to be supportive and it backfires on me.

    Comment by Lottie | September 17, 2008 | Reply

  5. Relax, Lorrie! Its all good!

    Comment by truthwalker | September 17, 2008 | Reply

  6. OK! Cool!

    Comment by Lottie | September 17, 2008 | Reply

  7. I’m not sure how to respond to this, really. It would be easy to say that this didn’t change my perceptions of you, but unfortunately, it does. Though you are only my friend and I would never try to initiate any sort of romantic relationship with you, out of respect for both you and Becky, your relationship with Becky is sort of my guide. Having no healthy relationships to compare others to, I view yours as perfect (or closest to perfect) and the relationship you have together is what I look for in relationships as well. It doesn’t bother me that you see other women in a sexual way, because, as you said, you are a man, and little else can be expected. (Although the fact that I was in your home and what you could have been thinking at the time does weird me out a little.) I am bothered by the obvious. You didn’t cheat, no, and I highly doubt you’d be capable of doing that to Becky at all, but you did, again, as you explained, take something from Becky and gave it to someone else. I tend to view you in a morally higher class than most people, and it does tend to take you down a notch. It doesn’t effect how I feel about you as a friend, let me assure you, and I still love you very much. Both of you. But, like Becky, I am disappointed, just for semi-different reasons.

    Comment by amarisgrey | September 17, 2008 | Reply

  8. I feel the need to speak up about something that’s bugging me. I think it is unfair to say that all men view all women in a sexual way. First, to state the obvious, a lot of men don’t view any women in a sexual way because they’re gay. Besides that, I do not believe that all heterosexual men view all women sexually either.

    Now, please understand that I am not judging anyone, and I’m not trying to say that viewing women in a sexual way is morally wrong or anything like that. I just taking issue with lumping all men into the same category, or generalizing/stereotyping in any form.

    /soapbox 😉

    Comment by Lottie | September 18, 2008 | Reply

  9. Ameris: Well, if nothing else good comes from this at least you don’t have me on a pedestal anymore. 🙂 I’m very human. I still think that Becky and I have great relationship, and I take being a role model very seriously. That’s one of the reasons I posted this. This is not some filthy secret that I will keep, or Becky and I will argue about but never talk about publicly. It doesn’t get much more public than the internet. I screwed up and I own it. Thanks for still being my friend even though now you know the real me instead of the me you thought I was. The real me fucks up sometimes.

    Comment by truthwalker | September 18, 2008 | Reply

  10. Lottie: I should have been more honest with what I meant by all guys: I meant me and all my buddies. That’s how most stereotypes get started: me and my buddies experiences = everybody’s. Sorry.

    Comment by truthwalker | September 18, 2008 | Reply

  11. wow…its kind of scary to read this here. Because iam in the sam e situation just on the other side. My husband does the same thing. And it hurts me. It is going to destroy us. It seems he cant stop doing it.
    And very interesting its the worsest before an pcs move.
    Is it just a guys thing or military? Maybe you can help me understand it better.

    Comment by theissuedwife | September 18, 2008 | Reply

  12. I not sure what to say. I think to a point it is normal, but normal and healthy aren’t the same thing. Not all men think this way. And not always worse before a PCS its always worse before any big life transformation. I wish I could help more, but I don’t even understand my own problems that well.

    Comment by truthwalker | September 18, 2008 | Reply


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