Then there's the whole topic of sex and passion and all that good stuff that, ideally, will be present in a relationship. (Not essential, I don't guess, but it sure would make life more fun.) As I've mentioned previously, I've changed a bit in that department - I've figured out that sex can be (and should be) fun. I'm not nearly the repressed little thing I once was, and that's good. When I was younger, I wholeheartedly believed that sex outside of marriage was wrong, and I think on some level I felt that, even within marriage, "good" girls (which is what I was raised to be) weren't supposed to enjoy sex *too* much. I never really fantasized (not even as a teenager), never touched myself, and wouldn't have taken my pants off for a boy even had one been interested enough to pursue the matter. I've thought in the past that, given my difficulty in getting pregnant, maybe I was hormonally out of whack all these years. And that may be the case. But I wonder now if a big part of my low libido hasn't been due to 1) being seriously repressed by my upbringing, and 2) not having a partner that I (consciously or subconsciously) thought was strong enough for me to lose control with, for me to be comfortable losing control with. Because it seems that really mind-blowing, toe-curling good sex requires totally letting yourself go to the experience.
Which brings me to my next train of thought (all of which ties in with thinking about the likely demise of my marriage). In meandering about the Internet, I've come across several online journals involving domination and submission. The ones I've read, the male partner has been dominant, and the female partner has been submissive, but I'm sure it works both ways. At any rate, one I've read was written by the dominant male to his submissive female partner. As I read some of the things he wrote about, things he'd done to her, things he'd thought up to do to her, I realized that some of it was very appealing to me. Not all, but some. Some of it even turned me on - some a little bit, some rather a lot. So apparently I have a submissive side hiding under all this independence - who knew?!?! (From what I've read, it's not incredibly uncommon for intelligent women to find that they have a submissive side - my personal theory is, at least for me, that I'm so tired of being in charge of stuff that in one area of my life, it would be really nice for someone else to take control.)
And how does all this relate to my thoughts re: the demise of my marriage? I've found this out about myself, and finding it out is great - nice to know what's going on with myself, nice to maybe be able to act on those feelings someday. But I cannot, in a million years, picture ever being submissive to K. I don't picture him as being able to be really dominant, not in the way that I'm hoping for. And even if he could be, even if he was willing to give it a try, I'm not sure I could really buy into it, since I'd feel like I was the stronger in every other aspect of our relationship. Not saying I need/want a man who's a total control freak and who wants to keep me under his thumb and call all the shots in all areas of life - I'd chafe at that and eventually blow a fuse. But I do think I need someone who has a more forceful personality than K does. I feel almost disloyal thinking this, but it's true. And can I squash down this new aspect of myself for the sake of preserving a marriage? I don't know. I don't think I can, and I'm not sure I'd want to. How much more would that leave me feeling out of sorts and unhappy with my marriage, if I went back just trying to do what was right for J, and feeling like there was no passion, no spark, and not feeling like I could do anything with this newly discovered aspect of my sexuality? That sounds like a recipe for disaster to me.