Originally Posted by MzWiz
You mention trying everything, of being naive.... How so naive? What growth, what addition night came to light, that gave you a new perception of your reality?
Don't want to make this about me so will try to put "Naive" and "Everything" into a nutshell--unfortunately little chance it will be brief.
"Naive" refers to relationships, specifically the psychology of people in a relationship. My psyche was bent by an intuitive, liberal and artistic mother & authoritarian-to-the-point-of-abuse, strictly moral father ("no sex until marriage under pain of death, or worse, and once married, together until death doth you part", no mention whether one party or the other able to forcibly terminate the marriage prematurely according to the letter of those rules), perhaps wisely separated from the only woman I ever truly loved in adolescence by our parents before we were able to consummate the union--not necessarily a recipe for sexual psychosis but certainly a gift that keeps on giving, that provides e.g. natural insight into some of Nabokov's better known works, Bergman....Woody Allen. I was a virgin when my best female friend introduced me to her best friend and my wife-to-be (i.e., little aware that having sex with her would trigger the family curse: marriage...death...blah, blah blah). Might not have been so much of an issue if my wife were a virgin as well but her past lovers--"Mr. Ancient History, Finished Business, A. Longtimeago, etc."--had a way of materializing in the here and now in the stylishly attired flesh on our couch. I was by then totally confused by her unwillingness or inability to grasp what their existence signified to me, increasingly confused about what was past, present and future, but overall I was by then an intellectual, which is to say far more adept at thinking long dark thoughts and slowly poisoning myself with coffee, nicotine and booze--mostly sitting in my room all night to avoid the nightmares sleep brought, writing math equations & juvenile thoughts in a journal & stewing about the 12-year-old bride that got away--than making small talk, washing dishes or changing diapers. I deeply resented the men in her life, regretted the curse of marriage, could not for the life of me figure a way out of the hole I'd dug for myself. While I may have entertained fears of going insane my behaviour and treatment of my wife--similar to what you describe of the man in your life--was actually driving her insane.
"Everything" includes a number of experimental sexual encounters thereafter, the first with her (and my) best female friend, partly to test the hypothesis that I'd simply missed the '60's and since apparently everyone was now having sex with everyone else all I needed to do was even the score. That turned out to be a mistake.
"Everything" also includes studying over a couple of decades any literature, music, art, philosophical thought and popular drivel remotely associated with relationships (Shakespeare; Kierkegaard; Dante; Bertrand Russell; the Existentialists; anything written by a woman, a Russian or that made the New York Times best seller list; and so on) and then PhD theses in the field of what was emerging as relationship science, imprinting as an RNA time bomb and Old Flame phenomena. Then as a last ditch effort I tracked down and seduced the 12 year old ghost that haunted me all my life (at that point funnily enough a happily married, middle aged woman), which profound experience of intimacy prolonged over some years at last seemed to put things into calm, overarching perspective. Too bad Nabokov never granted Humbert Humbert that mercy. All I ever wanted was intimacy--souls to touch, to feel what you feel for a moment or 2--all I should have brought to the marriage in the first place, and what I struggle to bring now.