Platonic Love

December 20, 2016

plato

I last posted on this blog seven years ago.

On Saturday, Millie and I will celebrate our 19th wedding anniversary.

Seven years ago, I wasn’t sure if Millie and I would reach our 12th anniversary.

Our marriage was joyless.

While I haven’t written about our joyless marriage for seven years, I’ve thought a lot about it. Over the last seven years, Millie and I have slowly and steadily become deep and fun-loving friends.

We have not experienced anything sexual for at least fifteen years. We embrace each other once in a while. That’s it. No kissing, no holding hands, no physical intimacy of any kind. It’s not like we sat down and agreed to this one day, but we do, from time to time, remark to each other that we do, in fact, have a marriage built completely on what we experience with each other as friends in our conversations and in our enjoyment of our grandchildren, quiet times in our apartment, modest travel, and going out for beer and bar food.

I would love to have sex with Millie. In fact, last night we were out for beer and some food and we got to talking and the talking was really good: intelligent, honest, insightful, hopeful, deep. I kept thinking, as we talked, how much I would love for the intimacy we were experiencing in our conversation to become sexual intimacy, how much I wanted for us to join our bodies together,much as we were joining our minds, maybe even our souls.

I also thought about my long history with women — I think about this often.

I have no contact with my ex-wives and am in contact with only one of the handful of lovers I’ve known outside of marriage.

My most enduring relationships with women are all Platonic. These relationships have been, and remain, Platonic with occasional face-to-face conversation, frequent contact online, and deep interest in one another’s welfare.

I would say that I began coming to grips in about 2004 with the fact that if Millie and I stayed married, I would never again experience sexual intercourse. I have no interest in sex outside of our marriage and have no idea if such a liaison could even be a possibility.

For several years, the demise of Millie’s libido was a source of deep frustration for me and contributed to the alienation and joylessness we experienced for several years.

Slowly, though — and I’m not sure when this started — the freeze between us began to thaw. We started meeting up with each other regularly after work for beers and developed a deep fondness for several watering holes around the town we used to live in. We became fond of the places because we were rekindling a fondness for each other.

We didn’t set out to make this happen. This change developed almost accidentally.

We were there for each other in the face of loss and death. Seven years ago, Millie lost two family members within a short time of each other. A couple years later, I had to have a dog I dearly loved euthanized. The importance, to me, of whether we shared sexual intimacy shrank, nearly disappeared.

A few years later, we decided to move far away from the town I had lived in for over thirty years and Millie had lived in for over twenty years, a place where we had many friends and many social and professional and spiritual connections.

Moving put us in closer proximity to our children and grandchildren, but deciding to make this move proved to be a prolonged and deeply satisfying act of Platonic intimacy as we talked and talked and talked about whether to make this move and what we would do once we lived in a place neither of us had ever dreamed of, let alone thought of, establishing residence.

We have lived in this new place for over two years now. I love it here and I have to say that I can no longer claim to be joined with Millie in a joyless marriage. ¬†We love and enjoy each other — and it’s totally Platonic.

I suppose this development is a lousy thing for this blog, given its title, but I still have some of the past joylessness to explore, and so, I’m going to post some more entries and bring other developments about me and our marriage up to date.

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