I Forgot What it Feels Like to be Ghosted

So, I load my Tinder, Bumble and Match back up and start the serious pursuit of looking for a compatible date.   I know what I want to start focusing on, so I quickly eliminate any nonsense replies, any “hey babe” or  “sexy” comments and stay focused on the men who write a decent/polite introduction and seem to, on first glance, be interesting to me.

I won’t complain, there were a few decent starts.  Moved off the app and even started text.

I felt pretty good about my week ahead looking up and then possibly having a date by next week.

Until they all seemingly disappeared.

I had some lovely text conversation on Match.com with a man name Mark.  He hit all my criteria, except he possibly live a little further away than I would have preferred (but not too far to date).   I offered my number and we spoke on the phone for an hour.  He said he would love to meet me and would call later in the week to set up a date. I guess that was Monday.  On Tuesday mid-afternoon I sent a silly Valentine meme and wrote “Too Cheesy? Hope you’re having a good day!” and, of course, I haven’t even received and acknowledgement from him.    Oh well.  He would have been a great first start.

Another man, Raymond, also had a great start and asked for my number.  We had been having decent text conversation and it seemed ok.  I did mention that he should text me before calling and start there.  He called not long after and left the strangest voice message.  I replied by text the next day saying I don’t answer numbers I don’t know and apologized, did he want to chat via text until a better time to call?  2 days, no answer.

Blair: we met online before I traveled.  he kept in touch a little bit, just enough, while I traveled and I let him know I was back in town last Saturday.  As of today, nada.  Crickets.

And one whose name I already forget, started off perfectly reasonable, then one morning said “I’m lying here in bed thinking of you….what are you wearing?”

While I love the whole sext thing, I’m over it with strangers.

I still wonder at the whole match process.  Do men just simply swipe right as often as possible and see what luck they have?    I’m not lacking for matches, just conversation and consistency.

I did raise my age limit, so now I am focusing on 44-54 years of age.  The young ones still seem to come after me on Match.com, but the Tinder/Bumble youngsters have disappeared.

I’m not particularly enthusiastic about dating again, I still miss Bennett terribly, but I’m not sure there is any way to move forward except to start.

My goal is to try and secure one date for next week.  Casual drinks.  Next week is the anniversary of my mothers death and this time of the year tends to be horrid for me.  6 years later and I still relive the lead-up to her final moments.  I’m usually traveling and being on a plane over some distant country has helped in the past years.  This year I figure a fun date could do the same for one of the evenings next week.   Otherwise, I am fearful I resort to calling Bennett for comfort.

I have seen Bennett.  He sent me the most lovely bouquet for Valentine’s Day.  I called to thank him, as is appropriate and we had a short conversation.  Later that day he showed up at work to take me to lunch even though I had told him not to come.  We didn’t part on the best note because, ultimately the way my mind works, is that I get mad at him for coming to me during the day when he is going home at night.  I just get mad now and it’s not good for either of us.  I think he finally realized that as I haven’t heard from him since.

 

 

Sexual Evolutions

I’m not exactly sure that when I separated from my x that I had a real idea of what I wanted in a sex life….I just knew I wanted one.

I remembered, when I was young (in my twenties before marriage) how liberating and free sex felt to me. How much fun it could be. I loved the thrill of anticipation.  Sex, as I recalled it, was something I wanted all the time.

Until I didn’t.

I am sure I didn’t think about sex with multiple partners, voyeurism, sex clubs or any of the like.  I’m actually almost positive that I was so jealous over the men I was with that I couldn’t imagine any of those scenarios.

Until I was in a sexless marriage and started to wonder about those things.

The only time I ever really said no to my x regarding sex was morning sex after he began to have significant ED. I didn’t like sex in the morning because he would literally roll me over and try to penetrate me when I was often dry. He had awful morning breath, no thought to see if I was willing or ready, and no understanding we actually might need lubrication.   Otherwise, I pretty much wanted sex any time.  But he was difficult (IMHO), he didn’t like public affection, he did nothing to try to turn me on and he was so sex straightforward there was a script we followed which became really boring after many years together.  It’s no wonder to me that after years of looking for a connection with him, I just gave up. I no longer cared if he touched me, desired me or even looked at me as long as he had no expectations of me.  And, he didn’t. He seemed to care less and I eventually got there too.

It was slow progress, the years of slipping from decent amounts of sex to very little to once a year and finally, the last time August 26, 2011.   That time was nearly rape in my opinion, I was so drunk I couldn’t even undress my self and he basically pushed up my dress and took me from behind.  I believe we had sex about once a year each summer vacation for at least the 3 years prior – so that made it about 8 sexless years before I decided I couldn’t live like that anymore.

Besides not having sex, there was zero intimacy – he was never very touchy feely to begin with so, even before the sex stopped, I was starved for intimacy.

But back then, I didn’t think about what I really wanted in a sex life, I just knew I wanted one.  I also knew I had become curious, but the jealousy part was still a large unknown entity.

When sex started with new partners, I realized how voracious I was, and almost insatiable.  I think that has turned about to be a surprise in a way.  I love sex and I love to have it over and over and over.  I’m seemingly never bored or tired of it.  I don’t say no to an opportunity to have sex.

Every lover I have had since the end of my marriage has commented on how refreshing it is to have a woman who is so into sex.  I’ve been told that if more women were like me, that many men wouldn’t have to cheat in their marriages or get a divorce.  Around the time I started having sex frequently I also started my first blog….and here in the blogs there were lots of women who were having great sex frequently…so I was a little confused about who all these women were that just were not interested in having sex. My friends seemed to mostly have healthy sex lives.  Of course, there are a few who don’t like and they are almost as vocal about not liking sex as I am about loving it.

The men I have dated have a theory that women believe they can give up sexual relations once they are married.  I never thought this – did you?  Women assume they don’t have to be adventurous, passionate or give oral sex.  Many women don’t even desire oral sex.  Who are these women?

I don’t know any – ok, I know one, but she ended up really liking sex once she had the right partner, just not frequently, and she has said she could live without it (HORRORS!!).  Who are these women who think it’s ok to give up sex? I also equate sex and intimacy so it seems like you give up an awful lot of physical touch by giving up sex.

Bennett tells me, in his experience and large circle of friends, most women stop having sex within the first 5-10 years of marriage and most men look outside the marriage or to porn to satisfy their needs.   That’s seriously disappointing to me.  But he claims it’s true.

Before I was separated and before I found the blog-o-sphere, I didn’t have much of an opinion of sex (frequency or type) as much as I desperately knew I was missing the passion and intimacy involved.

Once I “broke the seal” and started having sex with others, speaking to those men about their desires and experiences and then ultimately finding the blogs, I started to realize I had a deeper desire to explore things I hadn’t given much, if any, thought to before.

When I think about the evolution of my sexual behaviors, or when I speak of them to someone off blog, people are amazed.  I experienced so much in the now-almost-3 years-since-separation period.  More than some will experience in a lifetime.

I was dead set certain when Bobby ended that I would never find a sexual partner like him again. I finally made peace with that, realizing I was happy to have had the experience and that it didn’t matter if I had it again. My frame of mind when I was with him was wide open and curious. As much as I may have been convinced that Bobby was an ideal sexual partner, I also learned that men could treat me well and understand me better than my x ever had.  Much of my self-confidence was restored and I have been able to use that painful lesson to my benefit when looking for new suitors.

But recently I’ve realized that I don’t want those sexcapades again.  Through my time with Bennett I realize I want the type of exploration that comes with stability and trust.  When I met Bennett, I wasn’t sure about his natural curiosity to explore.  Hell, he was one of the few men I’ve ever met that didn’t want a threesome!   But I soon learned was he was fully opening to exploring anything with me, as long as it was the two of us doing it together.

And as that exploration grew, things changed for me.  I have pretty consistent orgasms during sex now. I have multiple orgasms.   I’ve learned the difference between a clitoral, vaginal and full body orgasm.  He’s the first man to ever give me orgasm while he was on top.   I am happy to stimulate his ass.  I have learned exactly how to hold his balls during sex to make him explode.   No position is off-limits because I know he loves all of my body, even the chubbier parts.  He never neglects my breasts and I am almost certain I can cum that way with a little more concentration.  He loves my toys and knows exactly how to use them in multiple ways.

Bennett is also nothing short of superhuman in bed.  While there was a little bit of a rough start, he no longer needs any aide.  We make love no less than 5-10 times in any span of time we are together.   His libido matches mine.  The fact that he is able to perform like that over and over at age 47 is spectacular.  The blue pills were very short-lived.  He can hold out for long periods, or cum on command.  He is a perfect lover for me.

And, we have so much fun together, in and out of bed.  Our romance has been nothing short of a teenage dream.

The excitement of what happens in our bed is far beyond any excitement I ever experienced from my previous antics.  I’ve learned that I love and desire the attention to us.  The ultimate focus on coupleship.  The connection between us was worth more than any momentary excitement driven from sex clubs or multiple partners.

I realized (and yes, age plays a role for me) that I’m ready to retire the old curiosities as related to multiple partners.  Maybe not quite the voyeurism, that still seems sexy to me.  But finding one man who desires me the way Bennett did will certainly be my focus. I will be careful to vet that out once I start dating again.  I think my playtime is over, and as short-lived as it may have been, I want to experience the inexplicable pleasure that’s derived from one partner and a true relationship with said partner.

As I look back on what’s important in relationship for me, it’s good to realize what’s changed and what I need for the future.   I feel more settled in my desires. I think this also means I’m ready for a real relationship now, someone who can dedicate themselves to me full-time.

Reality 

The no contact faltered but we finally (both) reached a point where we knew it was wrong.

He didn’t like the inevitable pain it was causing me and I was beginning to be almost as unhappy as I was happy when with him. When I am upset he is very distressed.   And seeing his distress or sadness just makes it all that much harder.

We finally agreed, together, that we had to part for “good.”   In his mind, he sees a future for us.  In my mind, I have to act as though there is no future or I will hope too much and remain stuck. I still fear once I convince myself to disconnect from him entirely there will be no going back for me. Now I have to convince myself that the fear is irrelevant.  I must move forward.

The last text he sent after our serious conversation was interesting. Watching him own up to his mistakes is impressive to me, regardless of if he stays in his situation or not.  This is why I love him so, I believe he listens and changes and doesn’t remain mired in his own beliefs.  He allows influence, and adapts.

I’m off to travel and while I am sad, I welcome the diversion for a week.

Here’s his last text:

I’ve spent the majority of the day reflecting on our conversations during the night. Specifically, the fact that you’re right. At the end of the day I’m both a liar and a cheat and have been behaving that way for the last 7 months. No way around it. It’s true and I’m rather ashamed no matter how much energy I put into defending and justifying. 

You’re also right in fearing whether that behavior will continue once my situation is resolved. 

I don’t think it will but I can’t say that because obviously I’m capable of doing it and quite often. 

It’s also clear that you deserve to be with someone who won’t exhibit that behavior. 

I’m so thankful and happy that you came into my life. You’ve made me a better person (despite my obvious faults) and allowed me to experience full love, which had been missing for so many years 

I hope I get a second chance once my smoke clears but understand it when you say that once you moved on, that’s it. 

I will always love you. Today, tomorrow and beyond. You’ll always be my girl in my heart of hearts and I truly believe that everything happens for a reason and if it’s meant to be, it will be. 

A Title Eludes me

It’s strange to me how, when you have been blogging for close to 2 years, that experiences somehow start to form the words of the post in your mind.  When I had the time, I was able to capture all of these thoughts and get them down and out quickly, even in real-time.  Now I don’t have the time, energy or even motivation to dedicate to the blog…but my head still thinks of life moments as titles to blog posts.  Makes me laugh sometimes.

Today a title eluded me, however.

I’m a jumble of things at the moment.  Entirely overwhelmed at work, but not complaining, just trying to figure it all out.  The frustration is creeping in of the inability to move as fast as I would like.  I’m sure it will all work out, but I am consumed.  I love it though.  I love throwing myself into projects like this.  Process, people, product…all the things that make me tick.  I am so blessed with this role.

My kids are making me crazy.  Maybe no crazier than usual, but still crazy.  Their life is so good and they have no idea.  I’m too busy to devote much attention to my older kids at the moment, but the youngest still seeks me out in the quiet moments of the nights or weekends…even if it’s just to have a little chat about the newest YouTube video he’s found.  I’m sure we will find out way once my schedule balances out a little more.  I hope so.

Of course, the most pressing emotional thing on my mind is Bennett.  The short story of the past week or so is that we reconnected and quickly fell back into a normal cadence.  It lasted a few days, we slept together twice, and then I said I couldn’t do it.  Clearly, concisely and with love….I said we are not to be in contact until something changes in his situation.

It’s too easy just to stay with him and ignore the frustrations I felt apart from him, because when I’m with him, it feels fucking fantastic.  It’s all the in-between I can’t manage.

Here’s the thing: I believe, strongly, that he believes he will make a change.  I really do think he believes it.  When we met this past Monday, for a drink in a public place, he could barely hold himself together.  I can see the pain in his heart expressed across his face, I know this hurts him.  He is not the type of man to cry, and he has admitted to crying.  I truly cannot face that pain because it’s too much of a reflection of my own.  We each need to go through this without the other for support.

He has asked me many times now exactly what he “needs to do” in order to either speak to me or see me again.    At first I thought he was looking for a set of rules or some guidance, but I think he has finally arrived at the point where he is saying out loud to himself, articulating his reality.

I know he’s frightened to death, I can see the fear.  This upsets me.  it upsets me because he is breaking up a seemingly intact family (should he move forward) and I do think there will be a lot of heartbreak and difficulty for all involved. In a way, I think we all bench other people’s situation against our own experiences, but his separation experience will be nothing like mine.  I have said it before and I will say it now, I am unsure if I could break up his family (if it were mine) because I found love.

It is also the first time I have true empathy for his wife because I believe she will be blindsided and unprepared, according to what I know of her through him.  I don’t like feeling, in any way, responsible for this – even though I know I am not.  His reasons for leaving his marriage are his own and I may only be a catalyst.

So now we start round 2 of no contact.  I have my phone on mute notifications for him so I don’t keep looking at every ding of the text message.  I leave this weekend for another business trip and will be preoccupied, which is very good for me.  We made it through 5 days, so I’m hoping for much longer this time, so we both have time for healing.

I have no question within myself how much I love him and how strongly I believe we could be good for one another.  He is a rare man and I have learned so much from my time with him.    Where Bobby excited me beyond my limits, Bennett brought me back to earth and reminded me I can have both sensuous excitement and the stability of every day life.   Bennett showed me where I want to be in a realistic fashion, showed me what every day love, passion and friendship could look like.  He reminded me of my core, which I was all ready to give up in the Bobby relationship.

I like what I found with Bennett and I like who I am becoming.  I am in a very good place in my life and, even if it took me almost 50 years to get here, I am grateful for the paths that led here, even when they were bumpy.

I think I have finally learned a little better how to take care of myself first.

 

And the Days Go By…..

After Bennett called last week, we did continue speaking in a very ad hoc way.  There has been no rhyme or reason to our contact.

 

I wasn’t reaching out first but I did reply after a while.  Some days we spoke, some we didn’t, until we started back with regularity this week.

My frustration with our situation hasn’t changed, nor has communicating it to him.  But, he seems to be in a worse way than I am. I think today was the first day he sent a typical “good morning” text.

I miss him, of course I miss him, but the situation is the same.  I don’t think speaking to him is helping or hindering me at this point because I know that unless the situation changes I can’t be with him any longer.  Talk is cheap at this point.  I never thought I would hear myself say that to be quite honest.

I know staying with him is fruitless until he makes a move, any move, to end his marriage.

He is literally sick over our ending, as was I this weekend, but I have really tried to resort my focus on my job and throw myself into it at this point.  Even my kids are getting neglected as I wear myself out here at work.  This may not be the “right” way to handle this break-up but it’s something I can control and be successful at….and I need that now.

Tears come and go, it all depends on when the wave of grief hits.  He has asked to speak to me face-to-face and I agreed.  I want to be with him, so that will be a challenge for me….the physical connection is so strong with me and it’s what I have resorted to in the past.  I am trying not to allow that to happen this time.

While I know it “shouldn’t matter” to me how he feels, I still do.  Hearing the pain in his voice is awful, knowing he is miserable is hard, but none of it makes me want to change my mind.  I wish he had someone he could trust and talk to, no matter what the resolution, but he believes no one will really understand how he feels about me.

My head is in a whole different place this time, I am fighting for myself.  Maybe it’s a slow process, but its working for me.  I need to hold steady.

The First Post-Breakup Conversation

It started out awkwardly as you can guess.  What do we share, what do we say, what’s right or wrong and how do we not hurt the other?

Then his voice goes through me like a bullet because I’m in love with this man.

Interestingly enough, I left the conversation certain I have made the right decision.  I felt the depth of longing when I heard his voice, tears fell during some of his words, but his absence of certainty about his future remained and that’s what’s keeping me grounded this time.  I can love him and he can love as much as we want, but the situation must change for that love to have legs.

For the first time, he apologized to me. I could hear the sorrow in his voice and it meant something to me – I heard something I didn’t know I needed to hear.  His apology meant the world to me for reasons I haven’t yet uncovered. He said he was sorry he got us both here, to a place where he causes so much hurt and pain.  He said he was careless with my heart.  He said for all the love I have given to him that he has returned it the worst way possible.

He admitted he can’t change.  He called himself a coward.

Maybe I just needed to hear that he understood his responsibility in all of this.  I can hear the anguish in his voice when he finally admitted to how debilitated and broken he has been the past 5 days (and oh how I know exactly what he’s talking about).  He couldn’t describe his feelings except to say it was like the worst grief he ever experienced.  I had a hard time hearing some of that because I recall that pain, and maybe even felt some guilt that I won’t allow myself to go there again with him.  But I know, I know what he’s feeling.

I’m not saying I don’t feel it too…the conversation unleashed what was sitting dormant for 5 days and I felt my heart breaking within my chest.  Ah, there it is, that familiar heartbreaking pain from last year. It sucks.  It’s awful.  It’s like a massive hole opens within me.

I think I needed to hear the words from him.   I am a Words of Affirmation person (despite the Christmas gift debacle!) and these words let me hear “I mattered” and “I made a difference” and “no matter what happens, I will always love you.”    I remember trying to pull these words from Bobby and I couldn’t get them.  And I recall how much of hurt me to think I was irrelevant or dreamed up the love we shared.  Bennett’s affirmation resonated with me.

He said many good things and I still hear “I don’t know what I can do”.  He didn’t attempt to pull me back or make any promises.  He acknowledged that he is living without me until he makes a change.  He still said he has no life without me and he can’t go on this way.  At that point I reminded him that the power is his.  He knows.

He asked me if speaking to him hurt me any more or less and while it doesn’t hurt, I explained that as much I want to hear how he loves and misses me, it’s only keeping us both in a place we cannot stay.

He will respect my wishes.

How can I explain that as much as I need him to stop contact, I do want to know he misses me and loves me.  It’s unbalanced, a dichotomy, I know.  But that’s probably no more than the head and heart battling it out.  We both know the right thing is no contact.  I can’t penalize him for reaching out because I reached right back.  But I am not sliding back into communication or relationship with him, I will not.

The conversation was a good one.  I realize I will talk to him again at some point, but I don’t know when.  I also see how the desire to talk to him will fade with no ultimate resolution and the last thing I want to do is create the frustration I created with Bobby at the end.  Bobby was very patient and kind trying to make me let go while he went back to his marriage and I refused to listen to him.   This time I am listening to Bennett say he doesn’t know what, if anything, he can do.    As much as I love talking to him, I don’t need the small talk.

It was harder to say goodbye the second time.  Of course I looked for any “in” any break in his pattern that indicated there should be hope, but he didn’t give me any other than to reaffirm his love for me and how I have changed his life.  He has a thousand reasons to stay and only one to leave, and I know he will always choose to stay and take care of his responsibility.  Much like ASV, I feel bad for his wife, having no idea or not caring that her (married) life is a staged show on his behalf.

Lucky for me my friends have kept me full and busy and banded around me. Between the girls and work, I don’t have down time.  But today finally took its toll and I needed to stay home from work and just be broken.  I need to cry, I need to absorb it and stop pushing the feelings down.  The only way I am going to move on is to accept it.

 

Sidenote: he mentioned he stopped following me on Insta because it creates too much pain.  Clearly he is smarter than many of us where his emotional well-being is concerned.

 

In My Head: The Days That Follow A Breakup

I truly am having a hard time writing about this breakup.  The words flowed so easily after Dan (R) and Bobby. The emotions gushed like a geyser from the depths of heartbreak, but not this time.  This time is something very different, I feel cold, sort of mean, and maybe more angry?  It seems like all my feelings are out of order and I can’t actually gather my thoughts.

Honestly, I feel dead inside, which is way worse than feeling the pain of heartbreak.  Every day that passes it feels like something is closer to snapping and breaking for good.

Friday

He wouldn’t say goodbye, he says he can’t live without me.  I was crying and said I would miss him.

I drank myself to sleep through periods of heavy tears but had no desire to reach out to him.   I found that to be interesting that I didn’t feel that kind of desperation, just overwhelming sadness.

Saturday (day 1)

I was surprised / not surprised there was no goodnight or good morning text. He said he understood I needed to say goodbye, and I see he understood my request for no contact.

I was so tired and depressed I could barely get out of bed. But I did. Had my hair done and met a friend for dinner.

I got so drunk, really drunk. But we didn’t even talk about him all night. I told the story and we moved on.  I was surprised I didn’t need to dwell on it.

Getting that drunk was a massive mistake because I made myself sick. Not a fun night.  But, good to get out for so many hours today.  Thank goodness the day passed so quickly.

Sunday (day 2)

Friends checked on me which was nice. Other than being sick most of the morning I was doing ok. I found a series to binge watch and that kept me engaged all day in a dark living room.

I occasionally wondered if the ping in the phone was him but found my heart didn’t  drop as I expected when it wasn’t him either. I guess I don’t really expect to hear from him?

I’m sort of surprised he hasn’t contacted me by now. I think?  I’m not really sure what I feel. This absence is weird. Almost 7 months of speaking to him more than any other person in my life and now silence.  It’s so strange.  I sincerely feel like I am missing a limb right now.

I’m also more mad than I had been. All those words and declarations of love, all meaningless ultimately.  I do believe that if he loved me the way he said he did, then he would be able to find a way to be with me.  And if he doesn’t, he must not be the man I thought he was.  I am questioning everything right now.

Still some periods of tears.  Not terrible. A clear understanding that I am much better coping through this breakup. Knowing I will come of it stronger does somehow help…not sure I could understand that last year.  My belief that he truly believed how much he loved me helps.  I know he believes we can be together one day, but he won’t change and he will convince himself that it’s all just too difficult to change his life.

I imagine his life just going on as normal, maybe more than mine. He is clearly better at compartmentalizing than I am.  That sort of makes me mad too.  It’s not a real mad, I’m still too sad to be angry.

Actually, to be honest, I’m going to bed more baffled than anything else.  Did I expect he truly meant he couldn’t live without me?  Ha. Imagine that. Maybe I do allow myself more hope than I should. Everything just feels off kilter without him connected to me every minute of my day.

Monday (day 3)

Still off kilter and feeling empty, plus my period made an unexpected early appearance this morning and made a mess.  Just feeling disconnected and lethargic.  Found and app to download our text so I can save them and get them off my phone so I don’t go down the path of looking back too frequently.  Still a bit in disbelief he hasn’t contacted me at all.

Rightly or wrongly it really makes me wonder if he is hurting being apart from me as much as he said he would.

I wonder most about  all the things he said about me, about us, about being in love and I am trying to reconcile those things to his absence.  That’s the worst, knowing it’s gone, he’s gone.  He gave me so much peace deep inside, I never felt such a depth of love from anyone since I was 17 years old (and what do you know of true love then?)  When I was anxious or worried, he calmed me and I fear having to be without him.

I’m not afraid of being alone, now I am afraid of being without him.  That seems significantly different to me.

Why don’t I feel the need to reach out like I have in the past?

I also slept through the nightly relatively soundly.  What scares me most about this absence of emotion is that it’s so different from my past experiences….I do worry that I am burying something deep down.

I worry I am simply a simmering volcano.

Do I believe that somewhere, deep down, he will call, send a song, tell me how miserable he is without me?  Or am I too afraid not to know how he feels in order to reinforce my own feelings?

Tuesday (day 4)

Happy to be heading back to work and a very busy work week ahead.  I made dinner plans for every single night this week to ensure my mind is off of him as much as possible and I have no reason to be reaching out to him.

I woke up confused that it’s been 4 days since I’ve heard from him.  I can’t knock the feeling of literally losing a piece of myself. I’m miserable, but able to function.   One step at a time I keep telling myself.

My friends who know say I’m strangely accepting and calm, but think it’s a weird kid if calm. I agree. I feel weird.

I’m too busy at work to think let alone be emotional. I have a lot of work, more than I can handle and it’s no joke to find every ounce of strength to prioritize.  I look for text from him but don’t have time to dwell.

I did need a break at lunch so quickly stepped out with a friend and was able to talk through it with her. She doesn’t think it’s over. She’s met Bennett and thinks he is waiting for me to reach out first.

Dinner with a Long lost friend and lots of alcohol gets me through the rest of the night. The laughter was wonderful and there was no trace of discussion about him.

Tomorrow is another massive day at work and I like the utter exhaustion right now.

Work doesn’t allow me much reprieve and  is a massive help for me.  My only concern is my exhaustion: from a heavy period and restlessness related to him.  I still feel numb and empty…not much else. I keep turning over in my head “how could you say all those things to me?”  But saying and acting, we know, are two different things.

He said that maybe this was the kick in the ass he needed.

 

Wednesday (day 5)

I recall when I could barely get through the days of no contact, and not that these are slipping by all that quickly, but I’m not drowning in sorrow because I have so much work in my head there’s little room for anything else.  I am forcing myself to take a mental break to write.

I suppose I wonder more than anything what’s going through his head.  Does he feel the pain of absence?  Is he distracted?  Is it obvious or is he able to manage easily enough?  Or is it just relief, knowing he wasn’t going to do what he promised me in any case?

Some friends think he’s waiting me out, to see who buckles first.  I’m trying to stay overwhelmingly busy this week but it’s taking it’s toll on me since I’m no spring chicken any more! lol.  I am really tired, my period is excessively heavy and I can feel exhaustion creeping into my bones.

I take the time to think about how I would feel if I heard his voice right now, or held his hand, or kissed him and the emotion is unidentifiable.  What’s the point if nothing can change?

And…..just like that the phone rings and he leaves a message.  And then later, another.  I wasn’t around to answer either call at work but I did text him to let him know I received them.   

So, 5 days of no contact and while I admit my heart jumped at the Sound of his voice, my resolve hasn’t changed. 

I think I’ve come a long way.  

 

50 Ways to Leave Your Lover

I recognized at some point during the week that I was creating arguments where there should have been none. I was imagining scenarios in my head that just didn’t exist.  I was mad at Bennett for anything and everything.

I knew a few things for sure:

There was no way I could continue like this.  I was constantly angry for no good reason. It was making me unsettled.

It wasn’t fair to him.

I believed he wasn’t ready for change.

We had planned his overnight two weeks ago.  He had gotten some gummies we would try then we would have the entire day together until he head home at a normal after work time.

Little things were turning into big things when we were apart.  I was doing it and I knew it. Maybe, if I was a different kind of person, I could have lasted the month. But I would have crushed us.

The fact that we couldn’t resolve the gift giving issue really disturbs me. Probably more so since I wasn’t compromising with a long-term plan in mind.  I knew deep down the end was coming and I wanted that issue resolved. But the gifts sit in the corner of my room. Unopened. Wasted.

I know I am becoming resentful and that’s not worth my energy. That feeling doesn’t do anyone any good.  I was getting mad he was making plans for his family (kids/brother)  as far out as April but never once mentioned rescheduling our small vacation.  I realized there wasn’t even a point in saying these things to him anymore.  It was like stabbing both of us in the eye over and over and you know how good I can get at self-inflicted pain.  I finally felt that if he wasn’t thinking of it why should I be?

And the only way I could stop this torment is to break it off with him.

I had made the decision over the weekend prior.  He knew I was acting funny and when he kept pressing me for the reason I eventually brought up the gifts as a way to deflect my real reason.

I already knew if I told him it was our “last night” he would never agree to it. I also knew that it’s what I needed, so screw him.  I made the call.  We would be together as planned, have our fun night, and I would come clean the next day when we were quiet and sober and able to have a sincere discussion.

So that’s what we did. We had a great night.  Went to one of our favorite restaurants and laughed and kissed the entire evening.  Came home and tried the gummies and spent the next few hours frolicking in bed.  We were told to take one of these Tiki Killers each and it was way to much for me and I didn’t like the experience when the full high hit. Not for me, won’t be doing that again, but glad I tried with him and home. The night had its ridiculous moments and we had lots of laughs over it the next day.

I love sleeping with Bennett. We rarely part and we just sort of fit together really well.  It’s really something I will miss.

The next morning we had a lovely late breakfast and then hopped back to bed

After a session or ten, we took a break and I started to talk. I asked if he had plans to speak to his wife this month and when there was no answer, or none that was clear, I said it needed to end.

The actual words I used, which are entirely strange: “We need to call it quits, buddy.”  I have no idea why I used my kids nick name, just weird.

Other than asking me if I knew all week that I wanted to break up (I told the truth) and saying he understood, we didn’t actually speak very much about it which also just seemed strange. But we covered all of this ground before so I also think there really wasn’t any more to say anyway.

When I told him I would miss him, he refused to answer me. He told me he couldn’t live without me and that he’s fully addicted to me…..he said he knows this isn’t our last time together.  He said he would never be able to say goodbye to me but he understood why I needed to do what I was doing.  He said the only things he was sure of in his life were his love for me and how he felt while when he was with me.  He didn’t make any promises.  He really said very little.

We made love once more before he left and I held on a little and cried.  I breathed him in. I can only say he looked stricken and pale as he was leaving.

I felt mostly numb and little else.  I napped as soon as he left for at least an hour.

I still can’t believe I did it. That I believed in myself enough to do what’s best for me even if, at this moment, losing someone I love so dearly doesn’t feel very good to me.

I tried to write with as much emotion as I can muster, but it seems my well is dry.  Our time together was wonderful and I simply feel numb and empty right now.  Wondering what the hell just happened to finally give me the courage I needed to stand up for myself and not to feel the desperate draw to contact him.

Owning Who I Am: Bougie

The whole gift post has had me thinking quite a bit lately.  I want to thank everyone who helped me sort through some pretty angry and tense moments there….I love the blog for this very reason.

I think, when you don’t spend time with someone and know them face to face, personality and true human depth is hard to ascertain.  Sometimes we read the first few lines of a post and the last few lines and we make a comment on something the post wasn’t really addressing because those lines caught our eye.  I’ve heard this from a few fellow bloggers.

I have written about my selfish side more than once.  I’ve struggled with it.  Debated it.  And then, I finally embraced it.  That piece of me, the piece that fights for what I want and how I want it is what drives me.  It’s locked into who I am and always has been since I can recall.

Which is why I have struggled with it all my life in many relationships.

As I grow older, I have come to realize, while many see it as petty or immature (and it may well be to those that see it that way, after all perception is subjective) it’s still a piece of me and a very integral one.  In many cases, I have learned when this voice needs to be shuttered, how to be more grateful for things I do have rather than things I don’t, how to not worry if someone does for me because I’ve learned to do for myself.

I teach my children tolerance and the value of donating their time for those less fortunate.  I donate my time, their time and money to causes of significance.  I feel good about this when I do it, but I have control over these choices and how I spend my time and money.

I make sure people I love are taken care of.  I am the person who buys their favorite treats or surprises them with their favorite meal.  I pay attention to the small things many other miss, like leaving a bottle of water next to the bed when theirs is empty, or ensuring their favorite spot on the couch is saved for them with a blanket.  I always say thank you and express my gratitude for the smallest things, even when I get a nice text or when someone helps me with a problem at work, I try to say “I appreciate you because..”

I am a single mother with 3 children who I fully support.  I have a great job that I work really hard to do well at in order to secure a decent retirement and pay for my kids college and hopefully get them started on a strong path in life.

I have been through more trauma than most humans alive and no one really notices because somehow their lives don’t fall apart because I care and ensure everything is taken care of.

I love very deeply.  And I often hurt myself because I don’t do a good job protecting my heart.

I’m attractive, intelligent and very lucky in this life.

With all that Madeline-drum-beating, I am still a selfish individual.  I like my own time without my kids, I like my new car, I like to buy jewelry and shoes that perhaps I don’t really have to have, and sometimes I look around and wonder “why can’t I have that too?”

Sometimes it’s not enough for me to have what I have and I want more.  And that drives me to get it.

Yep.  All me.

Good. Bad. Pretty. Ugly.  But still, all Madeline.

I realized, finally and truly yesterday, that the things that are important to me are really important.    I don’t really have gray areas.  I am all black and white.  Things that bother many other people I am more than willing to let slip off my back or sacrifice myself to their ideals or positions because it doesn’t matter as much to me.

Our lives are give and take.  I give a whole hell of a lot and I think the gift giving thing has become, for me, a way that those closest to me can demonstrate that they see me and all I do for them.  That they appreciate me.  A few times a year, I want to be recognized in the form of a gift that means something to the giver as well as me.  That’s a lot of expectation, right?  A gift that carried the weight of a memory?  But that’s what I want to have, sometimes.  Not every time, but sometimes.  And this was sure as hell one of those times and I simply wanted Bennett to get it.

So, the gift thing off the table, I also acknowledge that there’s a shit-ton of other things going on within the relationship with Bennett that is making it untenable.  I realize I am in a mode where I am questioning everything he does: does he text within a certain amount of time, why doesn’t he say this or that, what’s different from before, what’s missing, where is he and why, why why?  I can’t manage myself with all these crazy thoughts and it comes out in a million-and-one way as stress.

Our relationship is suffering because of the situation, but also because I am literally becoming a drag.  I can’t stand it.  I didn’t understand this at all when I went through it with Bobby but it’s clear as day to me now.    I need Bennett to talk to his wife and come clean, if this doesn’t happen, then we have to end, period.  For once in my life I am actually making a very firm decision because I can’t function in this half-life anymore.  I need to let him off the hook if that’s what he wants.  Yes, it sucks.  Yes, it hurts.  But having so much life responsibility right now puts everything in perspective.

I have to be selfish and protect my own interests.    And this is all tied to that same part of me that is selfish about getting gifts.  This strength of mind – it’s all the same thing for me.  All humans are innately selfish, most of the time I don’t buy that martyr bullshit for those that claim to be totally selfless, we all have our needs – mine is just different from yours and may come out in a different way, but I am happy to admit: I own it.

I am frivolous, truculent, petulant and petty at times.  Yep.

The thing is …. I don’t hate it about myself, even if others do.  And it’s just one of those things that I can respect your opinion, but it won’t change mine.

If I was younger, I would have cried at some of the comments, but I held my ground because I know it’s me, I know what parts are stuck in there for good.  I have embraced those and turned most of those characteristics into good ones, ones that my friends and family find to be singularly Madeline.

While I still see years of growth ahead of me, I still like my current reflection in the mirror.  Last year provided me with growth on a massive level, so no sense in slipping back now.

First thing that made me smile today was this office conversation with a designer:

“M, fabulous Chanel bracelet!”

“Thanks, I scoured a vintage store in Paris on one of my trips and was lucky to find it, it brings me such joy!”

I’m bougie, I admit.  And, I love it!

 

“Bougie” Lyrics

Jessi Malay

From Kors to Louis
I always stay bougie
From Kors to Louis
I always stay bougie
From Kors to Louis
I always stay bougie
Bougie, bougie
I always stay bougieI’m poppin’ tags
Got that new Fendi bag
Fashion week New York

Sittin’ in the front row
Where you at?

LA to London
Louboutin and Berkin
Yeah I’m always workin’ it
I’m workin’

Read more: http://www.letssingit.com/jessi-malay-lyrics-bougie-qhsq8ml#ixzz4VZMqdRul
LetsSingIt – Your favorite Music Community

 

 

 

How to Drop An Argument

I admit, I have never been very good at this.

When I feel I have been wronged, I tend to needle at the people I love until I get resolution – and sometimes I’m even unhappy with the resolution but at least my point was heard.

Regardless if I were to stay with Bennett or end it tomorrow, I am really irked over the Christmas gifting situation.  The bottom line is I received expensive gifts I would prefer to exchange, the reasons for exchange are irrelevant at this point even if they are complex.  I don’t want the gifts and they will go to waste, I prefer to get something else.

He has told me to do whatever I want with them or give them to my kids.  The reason that makes me mad is that he didn’t offer to fix it at all, I wanted him to make it right.  Instead, he is leaving me with something I don’t want and now have to sell in order to exchange for something else.  Either way, I get left with the bad feeling and no gift from Bennett in the end and I just can’t seem to get over this.

Nor can he.

Sure, this is an example of how we would manage arguments in the future, and certainly not a good one.  But before everyone goes off on the path of berating him, it’s really the only thing we’ve ever had a true problem with that we can seem to negotiate.

I know I need to drop the argument for all the right reasons but it’s eating at me.  Why should I be left holding the bag?

This is a historical behavior for me.  I get upset and I need to get the person to “hear” me.  I think it’s important that they “understand” why I am so upset.  I need them to see my point of view.  I tried to do some reading about how to resolve arguments in personal relationships and most say the same thing:

  1. Take a step back and think about it, what is the real root of the argument?
  2. Create a win-win situation
  3. Keep in mind you seek resolution, not to win the argument
  4. Focus on the long-term outcome, not the short-term one
  5. Compromise

So, I tried many ways to look at this disagreement and still end up feeling that he’s mad that I am ungrateful and that’s the end of it.

This is exactly how my x treated me, exactly.  So the feelings this raise in me are just horrid (and not ones Bennett should pay for, I understand).  But, boy, I am just mad and that’s turning into wanting to make him pay for it through emotional stress.  I know that’s the wrong route, I don’t want that route, that route doesn’t work….but how do I let go of the feeling?

My over-arching concerns are how do I just let it go with Bennett…how do you just let-go?

I am not sure I have this skill or even see a way to develop this skill.

My second concern is, how do I learn to manage these conflicts in the future?

I am so stressed this week it’s unbelievable.  My stress is working its magic on me and I look horrible and can’t hold my mouth and temper.  I am cranky constantly and can’t afford this behavior at a new job.  Part of this is being overwhelmed at work, some of it from the kids, and lots of it from knowing I will end it sooner than not with Bennett.

I realize when I am emotionally clouded, my entire vision goes blurry.  I find that my ability to think clearly at work is disrupted.  My patience is lost.  My mojo is gone.  I don;t feel good about myself and I get angry.

I want to try and work on one thing at a time and right now I am hyperfocusing on the smaller issue of this Christmas gift because the larger issue of breaking-up is looming.

Still, I don’t know how to let-go and I wish I did.