I get really fucking angry when I see a woman in a wedding dress.
It’s nothing personal. It’s not about her, or monogamy, or the purity myth (although I certainly have problems with the latter two).
My brother’s wedding did not trouble me. I am happy for him.
And while I’m sure a lot of my anger comes from the fact that my own marriage didn’t end well and it actually turned out to be quite ugly in the end, that’s not really the problem, either.
Let me back up.
My ex-husband and I eloped.
Hmm, let me back up more.
We met very young, 17 and 18 years old. We had a lot of fun together; we had good chemistry– not sexual chemistry (more on that later), but just hanging out having fun chemistry. We both laughed a lot and really enjoyed each other.
So when he joined the military, we agreed that we would remain a couple long-distance. At one point during our seven-month separation, during a phone call, we talked about getting married, and we got engaged over the phone.
We were Christians, the kind of Christians who practice abstinence, so we didn’t have sex until we were married.
Let me back up a bit more… have you ever heard the term “asexual”? Not as in the biological definition of reproducing without sex, but as a [sort of] sexual orientation where a person doesn’t feel an urge to have sex, and feels fulfilled and content having a romantic relationship without sex.
Never heard of it? Well, the only reason I ever heard of asexuality because I think I might actually be asexual.
Do you know how much I wanted to have sex during puberty? This might sound strange, but I didn’t want to have sex. Like, with anyone. I wasn’t even curious enough to masturbate– and that’s not because I was told masturbation is wrong (if I was told that, I don’t remember). I really just had no sexual urges– not while I was a teenager, and not with any guy I dated. This was really convenient when you remember I was raised Evangelical Christian– it kept me out of a lot of trouble with my parents. I just pretty much went along, getting good grades and reading and watching movies with my friends and being home by curfew. Technically, I didn’t have a curfew. Didn’t need one.
I was boring.
Let’s talk about sex again.
My ex-husband was not asexual. Actually, I think he has the opposite problem. I later found out he cheated on me while he was away at military training. He had confided in a friend and she thought I should know. We had been married awhile, at least a year, so it was too late for me to do anything about it. I was angry, but I didn’t show it. Plus it was already over and done, so what was I supposed to do about it? (I still wonder about that.)
So I wasn’t interested in sex… What about the honeymoon? Must have been fun, right?
The short version is: I was exhausted, and terrified, and not ready. But he was pushy, so I gave in. It was absolutely horrible.
He and I went on being married for almost ten years, and we never solved our differences in the bedroom.
The worst part wasn’t our difference in sexual desire. The worst part is that I went on having sex with him even though I didn’t want to– and the worse part is the he didn’t care. He really believed that if I didn’t want to have sex with him, that was my problem, and I should have sex with him anyways. And if I didn’t like it, there was something wrong with me.
So sex was not a joyous union, sweet lovemaking, or a nice fuck, or anything in between.
The worse part again is that I didn’t know there was anything wrong with that.
I mean, I’m sure people in relationships sometimes have sex even though they don’t really feel like it.
But I had a lot of that kind of sex– in fact, I’d say it was exclusively sex that I did not want to have.
Another worse part: he didn’t care.
He thought it was alright to fuck a woman who didn’t want to be fucked by him.
I believe a good man, upon finding out his partner doesn’t feel like sex, will not want to have sex. Because someone not wanting to have sex with you is a turn-off.
Not for my ex-husband. No problem.
Sometimes I wonder if he was turned on by my unwillingness, and by the pain and humiliation he caused me. He must have been.
So I was originally talking about weddings and why they anger me. Let me get back to that by summarizing the effect of my childhood on my marriage:
1. My parents didn’t teach me about sex or sexuality.
2. They didn’t teach me about what to look for in a husband.
3. I was asexual.
Perfect, right? I was destined to end up with an ideal guy after all that meticulous planning and preparation on my parents’ part.
I may be a little bitter.
So there I was, married to this guy who might have hated me, but loved what I had between my legs.
Every time I saw a love scene in a movie, or read about a love affair in a book, the description would anger and frustrate me. “Why are they talking about love like that?” I would wonder. “It’s not really like that.“
I spent the majority of my marriage thinking everyone else was wrong about love.
When I finally figured it out, it broke me.
And when I see a woman in a wedding dress, I am angry.