Am I a good man?

In season seven of the reincarnation of the BBC hit television series “Dr Who”, The Doctor, played by Peter Capaldi asked Clara Oswald, played by Jenna Coleman if he is a good man.

The Doctor (Peter Capaldi) asks Clara Oswald (Jenna Coleman) if he is a good man

If you are a fan of the Doctor, you will get this… if not, well.

I’ve been recently asking myself if I am a good man, or if I am some sinister being that manipulates people for my own amusement.

Does that seem a bit strange?   Well, let me explain.   I had a discussion with a mutual friend of mine and my ex-wife’s and it was brought up that I had convinced her to do horrible things (at least in her mind).

So let me see if I can explain.  I am an envelope-pusher.   It is something I learned early in life, that if I wanted to succeed, I had to continually challenge myself, and do things that I didn’t necessarily want to do.  The payoffs were usually worth the temporary discomfort of the situation.    I did that with my ex-wife, too.   She came from a background of obedience, and was essentially taught that the “man” was the ruler.  Even though I constantly told her that she was in control of her life, she never really took advantage of that, and was always “obedient”.

There were things that I wanted to do that she did not embrace at first, but as we went on, she appeared to wholeheartedly jump in.

I’ve always been someone who enjoys skinny-dipping.  To me, its incredibly relaxing, and recharging.  When the ex and I were dating, we had taken a trip, and happened to pass near a nudist campground.  I suggested that we go in and visit, and she said okay, but changed her mind as soon as we arrived, and we left.

After we were married, I found a campground relatively near us (actually a 4 hour drive), and I wanted to go.  It had been around two years since the ill-fated first visit, so I thought that time would heal, if you will.   I made the suggestion, and she said “no”.   I pushed.  I prodded.  I cajoled, and I finally won.   What I did was that I suggested that she give it 15 minutes of open-minded trial, and if she was not accepting after 15 minutes, we would leave and I would never mention it again.   I truly meant what I said.

So we made the trip to the club, and were met at the gate by two women, a mother and daughter, both completely nude.  We explained that we were visiting for the first time, and had not actually been participants (although I had been to a nude beach as a single).  They gave us a tour of the facilities, and when it was over, invited us to stay if we wanted.   I turned around to ask my ex her thoughts, and discovered that she was already stripped to her birthday suit.  We had a great time, and it was the start of many many years of naturist fun.  We would go on vacations and plan them around places we could hike naked, swim naked, and sun naked.   We had many friends from our naked trips, and she even took a trip to some clubs when I was unable to go.   We were very active in the naturist scene, even holding national regard.  We were very well known.

Even though I had pushed her to try naturism, I felt that she had embraced it, and enjoyed it, and would continue to skinny-dip after the marriage ended.   Turns out that is not the case.  I’m not sure why, but she has not been skinny dipping, or even outside naked since the divorce, even though she has had ample opportunities.   And based on the conversations I’ve had with our mutual friend, I’m wondering if she didn’t resent that “push” all these years.  I am now left to wonder if she felt that my “give it 15 minutes” was a lie.

I know that I pushed her into a lot of things.   I pushed her into joining a camping group that she always talked about.  I pushed her to go to school and get her degree.   I know in my heart that I pushed her into becoming a more rounded person, and I know that I pushed her into ultimately leaving me.    I pushed her, and she never pushed back.   I truly don’t know how much she resents me, or what I pushed her in to, and I may never know.    But I’m thinking that she must look back at our years with a hatred that I can’t imagine, and its all because she never put her foot down (and she has admitted that to numerous people).    What would life be like had she been honest with me?    I can’t know that.  For all I know, I would have left her years ago.   But I still wish she would have been honest and  up front with me.

 

So, Clara.  Am I a good man?

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