When I started to realize that I was attracted to Yoko as more than just a friend, I freaked out. Seriously. After hanging out with her, I would get into my car to drive home, and for a good ten minutes I would scream hysterically behind the steering wheel, cry, and beg God to tell me clearly what was going on or to take these feelings away from me.
I didn’t know what I was feeling exactly or how to handle it. I didn’t want to fall in love. I wanted to remain single.
But I did fall in love, and with a woman at that.
I was not attracted to her physically. She was pretty, no doubt, but I had zero desire to pursue her sexually or even to kiss her.
I was not attracted to much of her personality, either. She was super girly, conservative, and careful, with gentle mannerisms, and she never really took initiative or seemed like a leader to me. I had always thought I would be more interested in girls who were stronger, tougher, and bolder. I wanted someone who I felt could handle me without blushing.
So what was it about Yoko that I was so drawn to? I couldn’t figure it out for a long time. But there was nevertheless something in our spirits that connected on some deep, mysterious level, unseen to the naked eye. Eventually, I did realize that she really had a strong heart, and she wasn’t afraid of new challenges, and I definitely found that to be A+ material.
When I finally conceded with the Lord and confessed my true feelings to Yoko, and we started dating, something just felt right. I don’t mean it felt good, exactly, but it was a feeling of faith, a feeling that it was right, that it was what really was good and what God wanted us to do.
She moved back to Japan and I moved to China a couple months after we started dating, but we maintained our relationship online. We were apart from each other for fourteen months before I saw her in person again, just three days before our wedding. I was so happy to see her and to be welcomed by her family in Japan! But I had the tail-end of wedding preparations to wrap up, and those three days flew by in a blur.
I put on my suit, custom-made from Chinese silk, and Yoko put on her four dresses in a sequential order, a Japanese bridal custom. We walked down the aisle, we said our vows, we finally kissed for the first time, and we proceeded with the reception.
It was perfect. The whole event was wonderful from start to finish. We still talk about that day as a time when we both could feel God’s presence and know that he was happy with our tying the knot.
We lived together for about three weeks after the wedding — before I had to return to America. We had sex a lot (that’s how Yoko got pregnant), and I went back to the US thinking that my SSA was in the past. Or at least that the worst of it was over.
My first few months back in America, all I wanted was Yoko. Having sex had awoken inside me a voracious appetite for more sex, and not just sex with anyone but with Yoko specifically. This had solidified within me all the more the idea that I was now “cured” of my SSA.
I breathed a sigh of relief, thinking I didn’t have to worry about this struggle anymore.
The next ten months in America were hard, to say the least. When I found out Yoko was pregnant and couldn’t find a job that paid well enough to support a wife and kid, I went back to China where I knew I could make more money and support my family. Yoko stayed in Japan and went through her first pregnancy without me, with only her mother and some relatives and friends to help her.
I felt terrible. I was lonely and felt like I was disappointing my wife and laying a burden on her family. I tried to shut out my pain and sadness by working more, at one point having four separate jobs, working seven days a week. I tried not to think about Yoko too much. I would fulfill my requirements to her, like talking on Skype whenever we had an appointment together, but that was about it.
I watched porn. I jerked off. I tried to numb myself and not think about the things that depressed me. And in a strange way, it worked. I felt like I was single again, and I began to enjoy it.
Then the fateful day came when Yoko stepped off the airplane, holding our two-month-old daughter, Samantha, in her arms, and I was there to greet them. Samantha’s hair was frizzed up on top, and I started calling her “Fraggle” from that day on. Once again, I had fallen in love.
I really was happy to be with my wife and daughter after being apart for so long. Yoko and I had been together just one month of the previous two years of our relationship. It was good that our family could start being a little more like what a family ought to be — together.
But after that first week, problems started coming up that I had not anticipated.
For one thing, I couldn’t get an erection. When I did, it usually didn’t last very long. We tried to jump-start our sex life since it had taken such a critical hit our first year of marriage, but I couldn’t perform. I had become so dependent on porn and masturbation and generally numbing out that I couldn’t wake up my heart or my libido for my wife when it was time.
She was very gracious. She didn’t know what was going on, what I was really into, and she didn’t understand, but she wasn’t upset with me. She waited patiently and let me work through my problem.
I didn’t know what to do, and I didn’t know what to tell her. After putting our daughter down to bed, Yoko would take a shower, and during those few, brief minutes she was in the shower, I would rush to the computer, find some porn site, jack off, clean up, and pull my pants back up before Yoko came back in the room. It was the only way I knew to get any sexual satisfaction since I couldn’t find it in my wife. Then I would tell her I was too tired for sex and go to sleep.
I kept this struggle with porn and masturbation a secret from her, of course, which only made the problem of reconnecting my heart to hers even worse.
There was so much my wife didn’t know about me then, and I was terrified to tell her. I was terrified to hurt her. I had always thought I could be totally honest with anyone, but I found that I melted in fear before my wife, even though she only stood there mercifully, lovingly, patiently waiting for me to come back to her.
To tell you the truth, going back to her seemed like an impossibility, as all I wanted by this time was to run away and find some man to hook up with. At least a man would understand me better, I thought. And with a man, I wouldn’t feel so impotent and scared.
And so I was actually tempted to divorce my wife, abandon my daughter, give the finger to God, and run off to live gay and free in China for the rest of my days.
What are your greatest fears about marriage? If you’re already married, did you also have a rough start of separation or have you ever felt weak, afraid, or confused? How have you handled these hard feelings?
* Photo courtesy joffi, Creative Commons.