Last night, T had a date. I stayed home, cooked dinner, did chores, hung out with our son, read (Can Love Last, by Stephen Mitchell – I’m reading it for the second time), meditated, and fell asleep.

As I meditated, I noticed the intense envy I was feeling of T. Envy’s not a pretty emotion. It’s not pretty to observe, it’s not pretty to feel. There was a progression of emotions, actually – it wasn’t all envy – but they all were, over the course of a session of meditation, reducible to envy.

It began with resentment: “She’s out while I’m here, she’s having an adventure while I’m engaged in the mundane activities of household management.” (Never mind that she does more than her share of household management, that I have more than my share of adventures.)

That then progressed to something mildly more emotionally honest: “I wish I were out having a sexy date.”

And from there, into full-blown envy, of two distinct sorts – first, generic envy that it is so much easier for her (as an attractive woman) to get dates than for me (as an attractive man), and second, more specific envy that she seems more easily to be excited about her dates than am I. It’s somehow a feature of my wiring that it’s very rare that I simply bask in the positive aspects of a connection. I tend to ruminate on the imperfect aspects of it. (And it’s worth noting, my envy may have nothing to do with her actual experience.)

For me, though I’ve had a few fun sexual encounters in 2012, particularly in the last six or eight weeks, there hasn’t been the depth to them that I imagine (and, to be fair, she mostly denies) comes more easily to her.

I sat with that envy for a bit before I went to bed, and then I slept deeply.

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