Monday, March 30, 2009


I had a great time last week. I had to go to another beautiful tropical island for an international meeting for work. All the preparation was hard work but, once we got there, we all raced through the agenda so we could spend more time at the beach. After the business part was over, we swam, we snorkeled, we talked and laughed. We tried different kinds of wine and beer. I had my first ever try at karaoke and several encores were demanded. I could get used to that kind of flattery and attention.

The only problem was that it highlighted the fact that I don't usually have that much fun or excitement or new experiences. Since I came home, I have had to admit something to myself - I'm bored. I'm bored with my life.

With my Big Dude sick most of the time, with no car, and with the Little Dude to watch, we hardly ever go out. We spend almost every evening of our lives just staying home and watching TV. It's cosy. It's comfortable. But sometimes I can feel my life just going by while we sit in front of the TV.

It's particularly bad at the moment. The Big Dude is in a bad slump and he doesn't want to do anything and he hardly speaks. When he does speak, it's mostly some kind of complaint. There is a kind of flatness in the room that depresses me. He hardly seems to notice that I'm there.

Actually, I'm even kind of bored with the fact that we have no sex life. I'm bored by the lack of desire, passion, romance and sex. I'm also bored with discussing it and with attempts to try to improve things.

The Big Dude and I are both intelligent, articulate, interesting people with plenty to say and lots of interests. So why do I feel like I am being bored out of my mind?

Sunday, March 15, 2009


There was almost a row in our church today. Our minister was talking about Jesus running riot in the temple. He talked about anger and rage and how they can create the energy for change. Then he made a few political comments. One of the women I am friendly with took exception to something he said and stood up and corrected him in public. I felt quite uneasy, as I like that woman but I thought she was wrong. I also thought she was brave. The whole episode worried me.

Later, though, I thought maybe the confrontation and the passion of the exchange was good. Because, when I was growing up in a church, there was a lot of emphasis on being "nice". Being good. Not swearing or drinking or having sex. Not looking as if you might ever swear or drink or have sex. We were obedient. We thought challenging the pastor was like challenging God. People cared about each other, but everyone was very polite. They ate a lot of quiche and made small talk.

The niceness factor was actually one of the things that made it hard for me to feel like I could belong to a church again. Somehow, it made it seem like those people lived on a different planet to me. Their planet was nice all the time and so were the people. It was hard to connect with from my own messy, emotional, semi-pissed off planet.

Sometimes I wonder where that stuff comes from. Jesus, after all, regularly got angry. He confronted people. He chucked furniture. He never hesitated to speak out against hypocrisy and smugness. He wasted very little energy on trying to please people.

I quite liked the prayer on the front of the church leaflet today:

Jesus, who wept at the death of a friend and overturned tables in anger at wrong, let us not be frightened by the depth of passion. Rather, let us learn the love and anger and wild expanses of soul within us that are true expressions of your grace and wisdom.

And assure us again that, in becoming more like you, we come closer to our true selves, made in the image of outpouring Love, born of the free eternal wind.

To this prayer, I can say truly say amen.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009


This week, a friend of mine confided in me. He is in his mid-20s and got married 18 months ago. He hinted that he is not happy and things are not going well between them. When I sounded him out about why, he said his wife had stopped having sex with him.

She just didn't seem interested any more. He had suggested a few remedies and she hadn't tried any of them. He was so upset by this that, only 18 months into the marriage, he was wondering if they should separate. They had been talking very excitedly about having children in the near future, but now he wondered if they should. A friend of his had become very ill recently and it had struck him that life is very short.

He asked me what I thought. I said that sex was very important in a relationship and he needed to make that very clear. I said that he shouldn't allow the situation to just drift, that they should talk about it, and that he should make sure they went beyond just talk - he would need to see some progress to feel more confident about their relationship.

I felt that was all I could say. After all, in real life, I try not to give too much advice because I am prone to that. I also don't want to be the one who prompts the breaking up of such a new marriage.

But if I had said what I really thought, what it was in my heart to say, I would have said something more like this:

You and your wife are young and healthy and have been married for about five minutes. If she is already losing sexual interest after such a short time, then, in my experience, the chances are that this is about who she is - things aren't going to improve much, if at all. You could spend decades working and trying patiently for your sex life to improve and sometimes it might - for a while. Mostly, it will just lapse back into sexless habits and you are likely to be very unhappy.

It's difficult, really difficult, for a healthy adult person to live without sex or to live with sex doled out grudgingly by someone who just isn't interested. To live without feeling wanted, desired, appreciated for your sexuality. To feel lonely and rejected. It can leave you with a feeling of melancholy that never quite leaves you and an open wound at the core of your relationship, even if you truly love your partner. You are young and you have your whole life ahead of you. You have no children to be affected by a breakup. So why would you do that to yourself?

Maybe I should have said it because, actually, I do care about him.

But if that's what I really think, what am I doing here?