Serenity: Let me ask you this since we’re being all open and honest and all…I know you’ve said that even though you love your wife, you’re still sometimes attracted to other women. Do you think that can ever change? I still have to fight that in myself. Is it possible to ever be so much in love with your spouse that you’re no longer attracted to others? It’s tiring sometimes to always have to shut your mind down.
Athol: Understanding how the three love systems work is helpful here.
(1) The basic “oh she’s hot” testosterone sex drive will never go away. A nice rack is a nice rack is a nice rack. Velly Nice. This one simply can’t be helped as long as you have testosterone and a pulse. I check out other women all the time. Not in a creepy hands doing something under my raincoat sort of way, more in a sort of a dirty anthropologist way. So if you happen to catch me checking you out, please just relax, the photos are for science.
(2) The pair bonding oxytocin/vasopressin system between Jennifer and myself is very strong. I can totally appreciate a stunning girl and have no impulse to live with her whatsoever. I really like Jennifer and she’s someone I trust and never want to hurt… non-consensually. Actually back up a little… I can totally appreciate a stunning girl and have no impulse to be her friend or trust her. Some of that is simply being 42 instead of 22 I think, but a lot is just being bonded to Jennifer. After having an orgasm with Jennifer I pretty much have an automatic nap that I have no control over, just the vasopressin pathways with a deep groove in my head.
So I’m horny and happy, and that’s all good. The potential trouble of the (1) system is handled by frequent sex and the (2) system. Being laid like tile really helps. I’ve had a couple of blindingly obvious offers for sex in the last few years (“oh nurse, can I show you something in private, I just want to know if it’s okay… how does THAT look?”) and turning them down was actually pretty easy, especially the guys.
My trouble… and likely your trouble too, comes from the third love system…
(3) Most couples have a higher desire person and a lower desire person. That’s simply in comparison to each other though, in our relationship, Jennifer is the low desire spouse, really only wanting sex for her own pleasure 5-6 times a week. If she was with a guy that only wanted sex 2-3 times a week, she’d be the high desire spouse.
So anyway, I’m the high desire spouse, and that desire is not just a sexual desire thing, but also an overall need for stimulation and attention. It’s a need for dopamine. Mix in my ADHD and I’m pretty much… pretty much…. okay fuck it I’ll say it, I’m the Crazy Bitch in the relationship.
Jennifer: Lmao, I would like to point out that he said it, I didn’t.
Anyway… I do get bored and understimulated and that’s where I go astray and get into trouble. It’s so easy for me to start chatting and flirting and BAM! I’m starting to emotionally engage with someone and I can feel myself starting to line up a set of crosshairs on them. I’m much, much better at recognizing when I’m doing it and breaking things off nowdays though. Awareness of what is happening on a dopamine level is really helpful in breaking things off. Whoever I’m talking to is simply not my soulmate or a special snowflake, they just emotionally feel that way. In reality she’s just some pleasant, attractive, interested in me woman, and everything in my head is lighting up on cue. Attraction isn’t controllable. But breaking it off early is. I’ve actually done really really well with this the last year.
The other half of the fix is understanding that it’s just a need for stimulation, there’s nothing whatsoever wrong with the relationship, me being bored doesn’t mean Jennifer sucks as a wife. Well she does suck the other way, but you know what I meant. It means I can just ask for stimulation from Jennifer. “Help I’m starting to feel nutty, I need X Y or Z tonight.” I used to meet that whole dopamine thing via World of Warcraft as a form of self-medication. Now I write the blog, swoop in to help marital crises yada yada, and ask for particularly intense sex acts.
I’ve given Jennifer near total information on what turns me on emotionally and sexually. Hell you guys can just read the blog and you’ll figure out 90% of what turns me on. It’s really not rocket science or mind reading to push my buttons. There are things that she can do that pull my attention onto her. If you ever hear that we divorce it will totally be Jennifer’s fault for not following the handy 57 page guide to my personal kink. RTFM.
What was the question again?
Oh. No, it doesn’t all vanish. Not if you’re basically high libido and have a pulse. But that doesn’t mean you’re eyeing the exit or standing at the window whimpering to be let out. All it is, is a need for stimulation that you have to pay attention to. I also get that it’s an effort to try and shut your mind down about other people sometimes, but the solution is to ask for help from your partner and clue them into what to do. You just need to have the conversation about “this is asking for help and working on our marriage” as opposed to “I’m threatening to cheat on you”. It’s completely possible to manage it forever… and have some amazing sexual experiences together “managing it.”
Jennifer: All true. Athol is fun to live with… tiring lol, but fun.