Saturday, December 15, 2007

Even More is Changing

I have gone to see an individual therapist, to help sort through all the confusion that I have been living. When I was sitting there explaining the situation to her, I was shocked and appalled at what picture I was painting. But that picture is the very thing I have been avoiding, and the very truth I have not wanted to admit for a very long time. Much of it I held back in couples' counseling, and even held back from myself.

When H and I first began our journey together, it was almost as though I was a blank slate. I was a young adult just coming into the world, with few attachments and tons of dreams. The world was at my fingertips, and my passion for life was inspiring and contagious. H reflected my passion back to me, and was experienced, full of knowledge and had a wisdom of his own. He allowed me to be free in all of my creative endeavors. For the first time in my life, I felt fully celebrated and cherished. I thought "this is a good man -- a man I want to have in my life". Only, there were two things that bothered me and I let them sit aside. One thing, I believed to be unnecessary, really a fool's hope, and the other, I thought would go away. The first thing I have never admitted anywhere... that our first kiss, and subsequently most every kiss thereafter, lacked the spark, the zing, the passion that I had hoped for. But the sex was good. So I thought "perhaps he just doesn't like kissing". I didn't think that passionate kissing could be so important. Perhaps it was just a romantic image of puppy love, and I thought that a mature and honest relationship meant letting go of such images. The second thing, which has been the entire issue at hand, was his immediate closing off to the idea of polyamory and an open relationship. These two aspects were the only "cons" in deciding whether or not I wanted to pursue a relationship with him, and the "pros" significantly outweighed them. Now, as we are facing a real separation, I am floundering to remember what all those "pros" were, and in fact I am questioning the entire process by which I came to such a decision.

I realize now that each one of us has personality traits that exhibit themselves in both beneficial and harmful manners. There is no real list of "pros" that remain in that column for good. In fact, we oscillate our heads and tails constantly, and it's through these various interactions that we navigate the best path. We each attempt to seek a balance in life that allows for more benefit than harm, but sometimes lines get blurred and crossed. I wonder if maybe I decided to marry for wrong reasons. If my sight was blurred by the prospect of perfection. I really thought that H was perfect for me. Why couldn't I see that notion as problematic? Why couldn't I allow imperfection into the early stages of our relationship so that we would know how to deal with real problems as they arise. Instead, we both operated under such an extreme sense of delicate beauty that now real trouble has no stable base from which to evolve. Instead, I am finding myself running away, emotionally vacant for any sort of reconciliation.

I have been reading more about divorce and the whole process of it, emotionally, financially, etc. I've discovered even more about what truths I don't want to admit... It feels like I don't have the patience to "work through" our marriage troubles. I, as the "Leaver" in this relationship, have been experiencing an emotional detachment from my husband for well over a year. I have hindered good communication with him by deliberately avoiding various subjects. I have hidden an entire chunk of my sexuality from him (not just hiding my desires to experience other people, but even the waning of sexual satisfaction between us), simply to avoid the emotional messiness involved. I don't blame H at all for any of my detachments, but I do mourn the loss of our path together. I also feel extremely responsible for bringing this situation to reality. However, I am finished with feeling responsible for his emotional state. This is something I have to come to terms with; for entirely too long, I have taken his emotional health in my own hands -- the ups, the downs, everything in my eyes was dependant upon my actions and my behaviors. But his world can not revolve around me. He made me the source of all his happiness, and I allowed that to continue on. And in return, I led him to believe the same... that he was the only source of my happiness. It was an ego boost for both of us, but one that ultimately lacked a true depth of honesty and integrity. I don't see how a relationship based on this sort of foundation can just heal and move forward. It seems to me that the whole thing must be razed and rebuilt from scratch. And in all honesty, if I am going to start from scratch, I'd like to do it in full consideration of the aims and goals I'd like to see happen in the future, from financial & business goals to emotional, sexual, relationship and family visions. This means an entire remodeling of my life. I'd like to say I still have hopes that this future has room for my H, that I would like him there, but everything he is telling me now says otherwise. He and I don't share similar goals, financially, sexually, or in terms of family. I had believed that all of our "life-changing" decisions were based on teamwork and true concensus, but it's becoming clear to me that in fact we made too many important decisions based on wanting to please the other and not facing our selves honestly. Not healthy.

Where does my relationship with YoungMan lie in all of this? H thinks that my decision to keep seeing him is not a good one; that, not only is it continuing to break H's heart, but he thinks I'm mistaken to believe that this other relationship could be at all beneficial to me. It may be true that statistically, relationships that begin with deceit (ie. from an adulterous affair) end eventually. And it may be true that what might develop between me and YoungMan is tainted with this separation from my H. Tainted with psychological shit -- unresolved crap that might arise again between us. I can't foresee the future any more than the next person, so I really don't know what will happen. However, I do know that on a personal, individual level, I am committed to bringing out the skeletons of my closet, and dealing with them as honestly as I can. And as long as YoungMan is open to being honest with me, as best as he knows how, then all we can do is take it one day at a time. I know that I am still dealing with my relationship with H. I haven't signed him or us off completely. I know that it will probably continue for a long time, and may never come to full resolution. But given the results of this phase of my mental clarity, I do think this separation is the best decision at this point. So I will be moving out over the next week. Just in time for the holidays...


Chris said...

The truth hurts; reality hurts. Nothing is worse than the crash from denial. I'm sorry that you're going through all this, but I am glad that you have clarity and honest reflection in your life and what you want. I think separation and moving out is good; it will help you seem what you need more clearly. As always, I wish you luck on your journey. I think you will find your way, no matter who it is with or if it with no one.

WDKY said...

Ah, Anonyma... what a painful process this is, but in reality this was the "responsibility" that I was pointing at with my earlier comments. Responsibility not only to those around you but to yourself.

I wish you only well, and please feel free to use me as a sounding board if I can help in any way - there are similarities in our lives as well as differences, as we've discovered before.

bdenied said...

Now that you have taken the step to separate, you will have to decide if you will be happy in some monagmous relationship or if you are going to have to ben in an open one that lets you explore. My sense is that you are not a one man woman and will never settle for such. Please explore that before you go into the next relationship as it will be easier to go into one up front and if he accepts it up front then you are in a good space

HankMoody said...

I congratulate you on having the courage to move forward and take painful, but necessary steps to get on with your new life. Getting your own therapist is also a great move, as it helps you find what you want and need for yourself, not just as the other part of the couple that used to be you and H.

I'm fascinated by your poly leanings, because I think I too had these when I was younger. I never did anything about them because I realized I really wasn't prepared to live in a way that embraced all that being poly meant. But I have a couple of questions for you? Have you talked with YoungMan about your desire to live a poly life and is he ok with that? Do you envision a life for yourself where you are poly but your partner is monogamous? You mention that you and H have different visions of what the future holds "in terms of family." Does a poly lifestyle fit in with that?

I understand that you are sad about H. After all, he is the man you thought you would share your life with. But as you start to "peel the onion," so to speak, and find that there have been serious disconnects in what the two of you want AND that the two of you have probably turned a blind eye to emotional shortcomings that were in plain view, I think you are being a little hard on yourself to "mourn the loss of your path." I do not mean to be harsh, but it is a path that never existed. In fact, I think in my first comment, I mentioned that you seem in love with the person you wish H could be.

Your latest entry contains a strength to move forward and you are saying words that indicate you will not compromise the next time around and this is good. Get what you need--the person(s), the partners, the life you were meant to live. Life is far too short to do anything less.

Anonymous said...

Means nothing until the door is closed behind you...

Anonymous said...

My *GOD*, you're selfish. I thought being "poly" was about infinite possibilities, and about giving.

You're the "leaver," alright. And while you might not be responsible for your husband's emotions, you're sure as shootin' responsible for a whole load of his emotional *PAIN*.

"I never felt that *zing* from a kiss!"


You want to do both of yourselves a favor? Leave. Don't "separate," continuing to slowllllllly drag out your navel-gazing and "peeling the onion."

If you ever loved him, then liberate him. End it, cease all communication and file for divorce. The sooner he's free of you, the sooner he has a chance to find someone who might actually value him, instead of picking nits and kvetching about what a terrible kisser he is.

So there you have it. Rip off the bandage, quick and clean. After all, you don't need him around while you take six more months to "heal and decide" you're gonna dump him for your young beefcake who claims he'll let you be "poly."

Who says that only men trade in the starter spouse on a newer model?

Chris was right: the truth DOES hurt. And the truth is that you fucked around, you were disloyal, it doesn't matter why. Why make him pay for your lack of discretion, your lack of consideration?

You excuse yourself a lot. How? By saying, "we both made mistakes, we both tried to please each other, we, we..."

Well, at the end of the day, it was YOU. And since it's obviously all about you, why don't do the guy a favor and let him come up for air? It'll hurt, but not as much as being dragged through your personal shitbag for six months to a year while you leave him spinning in the breezes blown by your emotional "journey."

Who the hell would want to be involved in a relationship with the ugly, self-involved, narcissistic heart that penned this post?

bdenied said...

Hey anonymous I would love to be involved in a relationship with her/she could cuckold me all she wants......but then I have a wife who does and I aint gonna trade her for anyone.....

hankmoody said...

As we haven't heard from you in a while, perhaps you have taken a break over the holidays to relocate and start your new life, or you remained in your current life. Either way, I hope you are doing as well as can be expected and will let us know what has happened and what you have decided.

Best wishes for an outstanding 2008.

BlueBella said...

Hey girl, know you haven't posted in awhile, but I tell you, I have been in your shoes!!!!!
It totally sucks, is exciting, hurtful and full of possibilities.
I had an affair, then when hubby found out about it, I up and left, no looking back, nothing. It's been 7 years of floundering around trying to find love (though I have found some AWESOME SEX)and I wouldn't trade if for the world. It is a hurtful path of self discovery that only you can choose to go on. I bet you'll reinvent yourself a 100 times on your own.
I'm still trying to figure it out - every stinking day.
But it is worth it. And now, my ex and I are friends. And I wouldn't trade him for the world, though I know the pain I caused him was immense. But, that done, he was able to pursue his life (no love found yet) and reach a couple personal goals he never would have if we had stayed together.
Follow your heart . . .and your groin:) You will be just fine! And know you can always talk to me if you need support - I'm here for you, babe!

Mia Carmel West said...

Going to an individual therapist is a good move to at least resolve some of the questions that have been burning you and you have refused to take note all this time. I honestly do not know how your husband was able to endure the pain you may have caused him, but at this point, he could have had a lot of reasons to get a divorce, which he eventually did get. I just hope that everything works out for you in the future. Lots of luck.

Anonymous said...

Scary. Where is morality? Or does everyone think it is okay to ride the emotional need boat of being selfish? I don't want to sound judgemental but logically this could lead to anything!

Anonymous said...

Anonyma here. Eight years later... Where are we? YM and I started a new life together. I have been faithful to him ever since we started this thing, but my attentions still wander now and again. I think you're right - ultimately I am a serial monogamist. It's something I just have to accept. I'm not proud of it, it just is. Our life together has been a whirlwind, a dream almost. We've been through so much change and very hard times, and because of that he is the person I have felt closest to in my entire life.

It is challenging to face the ugliest parts of yourself, as brought to your attention from the one you love. And that is what YM has done for me. I appreciate our raw sense of stubborn wants. Neither of us is a pushover for the other. Sometimes we knock heads, but ultimately we're still moving in the same direction, for each other. In every facet of life we complement one another. And in all this great, amazing ups and downs we share, I am terribly fearful that I will ruin it all. That there is a tiny time-bomb lodged in my brain that is set to go off at the worst possible moment. There are still topics we avoid; I know we need to address my sexuality, some unmet needs, but there's this zone of comfort we don't want to disrupt. Have I learned my lessons past? From my time with H, I now have an extra sensitivity to when a relationship "goes off" so, like an experienced sailor, can feel when the winds shift between us and ready my balance to regain harmony. I am proud of myself for remaining faithful, as that is my weakest trait by far. Much like one who suffers from substance abuse, I know that I tend toward the narcissistic scale and feel the chemical and physical high that comes with sexual admiration from others. I know it won't last, and I know it's the most dangerous territory I could possibly visit. A part of me believes I may be bipolar 2, and my hypersexuality is what happens during my hypomanic cycling. Another part of me doubts that, and says "you just want an excuse for your behavior" - what judgment, what disdain!

I still write. I journal. There are parts of my mind and spirit that feel increasingly lonely. My life is full of loving family and friends, and yet sometimes I suffer deeply from a perceived sense of alienation.

I am grateful for my experiences with H, as I learned a great deal about myself. I know that a rewarding relationship with YM must deal with the darkest aspects of our personalities, and I hope that our past together continues to grow toward an ever-enriching future.

I do miss writing to you guys!

Anonymous said...

He helped me hack into my husband's cell so I got to know of his extra marital affairs, Although I felt bad doing that but I knew my stand in his life.You can contact him cybernnectic at gmail dot com.