Evidently, the number one cause for divorce is financial stress. Not infidelity. Go figure. And, yeah, I eventually found out that my EX had cheated on me; but I bet that never woud've happened had financial stress not already done a number on our relationship. Well, maybe. This is what I think really happened; my version. Our coping mechanisms for dealing with financial stress were completely different yet totally predictable had we paid attention to the little red flags in the beginning. His M.O.? To delve deeply into his pleasure seeking tendencies and need for instant gratification. Mine? To sequester myself into career-driven, survival mode. He hung out with the boys more, drank more, played X-Box Live more... and I? I worked more. A lot more. Imagine the resentment festering inside my gut after busting my ass all day and night, only to come home to an inebriated and unemployed grown-ass man, with thumbs working overtime to make it to the next level of Halo 3 while spewing verbal expletives at the TV. If only he fought so hard for success in real life. How couldI look at him with the same lovestruck eyes I saw him with before our finances took a turn? This wasn't the man that I married; full of life, purpose and positivity. Or the confident and talented (working) artist I had admired. I was now married to his extreme alter-ego for whom alcohol and video games transported into the land of make believe where he was powerful, in control and resilient. When manual dexterity failed him and "game over" flashed upon the screen, a mere push of a button would offer him an instant do-over. I think that's what he wanted in real life; an effortless and instant do-over. Instead, he gave into his sense of powerlessness. I felt forced to assume a fighter-like mentality and stay strong for the both of us. I assumed the "power" in our relationship because I'm just not built to cave in when shit gets hard. Failure has never been an option for me. But I failed at being his motivational speaker, cheerleader and vote of confidence. All he wanted was for me to shut up and learn to relax. I think he resented me too. He resented my workaholism, my lack of balance and inability to enjoy life... with him. He resented me for allowing my artistic and adventurous spirit to disappear behind my newly adopted pursuit of the American dream. We resented each other for morphing into the shadow sides of ourselves; the selves that were ruled by fear and lack of personal strength. And our shadows just didn't seem compatible.
Sex? Yeah, we still had sex. But not with the same frequency. And I certainly wouldn't categorize it as "love making" but more of a physical act. The irresistible attraction, lust and passion we once shared were notably gone. Surprising? Not really. After all, how we felt about ourselves and each other outside of the bedroom had shifted dramatically. So, what was (or wasn't) happening between the sheets was inevitable. Outside the bedroom, he felt emasculated. The shift from constantly booking gigs to chronic unemployment due to an industry strike made him lose his sense of power, confidence and control. So, beyond Halo 3, fucking was his only way of asserting his masculinity. It was like he had this insatiable and irrepressible need to get off and I was the mere portal to do so. All he ever wanted was rough, "hard-core porn" sex; devoid of any sensuality, affection or tenderness. And he certainly wasn't concerned about my needs. So I got flipped upside-down, tossed around, groped and prodded with a mix with alcohol-laced kisses. Under normal circumstances, spontaneous rough sex like that would've been hot. But... I was also in a different space. I was mentally, physically and emotionally drained from my non-stop work schedule and trying to deal with his depression. I craved nurturing, deep levels of intimacy, love making, a tantric connection. I didn't have the energy for sexual gymnastics with no emotional connection.
In my naivetee, I thought these issues were only a slight detour on our road 'til death do us part. But really, this was a divergence in our relationship. We were growing apart. And while I was ready to put on my hard hat, go under construction and repair the pothole damage created by resentment, he was searching for the nearest exit.