A full week elapsed before lovemaking ensued. Then, a once-a-week-on-Sunday-only-because-I’m-obliged-to pattern emerged. These Sunday morning, disenchanted attempts at lovemaking would eventually be the undoing of our marriage. His impotency was never a problem for me. My difficulty resided in his accusations and misguided solutions. Unable to complete the sexual act, Joey would become furious with me. His blaming words accumulated like small bricks stacking themselves against my mind, body, and heart, building a wall. I had to accept most of this in silence. Naïve and inexperienced, I didn’t know how to talk about the problem. I didn’t know that the problem could be his, or at least ours, and not just mine alone.
He once said to me, “Having sex with you is like taking candy from a baby.” I didn’t know what he meant by that, and was too intimidated to ask. I just shut down, gradually withdrawing deeper into myself. With barely a thread of self-esteem to hang onto in the first place, I was confused and bewildered: there was scarcely a me to be found. I did not understand what it was he wanted or what it was that I was doing wrong, since I was always willing to participate. His anger would start right in the middle of the sexual act, when all of a sudden he would push himself away from me. He spent the rest of the day ignoring me or being verbally abusive.