Standing in long lines on vacation must be one of the most frustrating things ever. As I’m watching my kids chase Pokemon, I endeavor to keep busy.
I promised myself I would reduce communication with Bennett and try and keep him much more at arms length to begin disentangling myself. I’m not doing a great job. I’m sure it’s easier for me to be on vacation with the kids than it is for him. Still, with that in mind, I should stop looking forward to our daily engagement. I notice as the days slip by that I do tend to communicate less, but not less enough.
Before I left, we had a few conversations to talk about how this relationship is not one I can invest in. When he said he was in love with me, I know it hurt him deeply that I could not return the words or the emotion. He even said so. I explained why. I told him I wasn’t going to allow those emotions to happen. I tried, as gently as possible, to tell him there was no long term outlook for us even under the best circumstances. I told him he wasn’t the one for me. He listened but didn’t hear me. His hope is too strong.
Conversely, he will deal with letting go when the time comes because hats just the type of person he is. Sort of resigned to the way of things.
I know, in his head, how badly he wants to be “the one”. How badly he wants a magic wand to change the situation. But he can’t. It is what it is.
Little things, perhaps independent of the situation, strike me. These are the things that make me wonder the depth of the man in front of me.
One thing was the discussion of performance anxiety and how he handled it. I’ve been through it twice. Once significantly with my x and once peripherally with my lover S.
My x took years before even considering to consult a doctor and by the time he did, I was well past my tolerance expiration. He had no libido so taking the pill wasn’t a given for him to be excited. He also said he got headaches from the viagra. His solution was not to take the pills and see what happens. Nothing ever happened. He wasn’t interested and the very few times he might have been he couldn’t get erect. The frustration built into anger. Anger into fury. Then….it seemingly disappeared as I shut myself down emotionally and physically over the next 5 or so years.
The feelings surrounding ED got buried and I moved on. I engaged with many men who had masterful control of their sexual functions and I didn’t give it much more sincere thought. Until Bennett.
The first time I wrote it off to nerves. And timing. He didn’t want to have sex on the first date. I was fine with that.
The next time we were together he was able to stay erect for short sessions, he comes much too quickly which clearly shows a lack of practice. But we had sex over a period of 2-3 hours at least 5 times. No complaints. There was no indication of performance anxiety.
The last time we were together, something set him off, got into his head, and he was unable to perform to completion, or even at all, during an entire evening and morning together. The sex was so unsatisfying that it raised a whole host of emotions for me that I didn’t want to revisit.
So I said something.
Bennett had been under the impression (for himself) that oral sex is a good enough sex substitute. He has been cheating on his wife for over 10 years but had never had penetrative sex until me.
He’s all kinds of screwed up and that’s only a piece of what drives his sexual behaviors.
In any case, he had the discussion with me quite calmly and openly. Admitted to performance anxiety and admitted its what partially drove his “oral sex only” behaviors. He also suggested that he never “really” cheated on his wife because he hadn’t had penatrative sex. That statement alone makes me sick to my stomach because my x used it on me for years and we know it not to be true. In his head, oral sex was a safer way to cheat to assuage his guilt.
I said I couldn’t consider any further sexual activity if he didn’t take care of the ED. (I know, I know, I should be exiting, not encouraging…therein lies my problem).
The conversation ended on the note that he understood and didn’t want me reminiscing on any bad emotions left over from my marriage, especially as it relates to him.
Then, yesterday on the phone I asked…and was so surprised that he had not only made the doctor appt but had gotten Viagra! And, he was happy about it.
I haven’t experienced such a willingness to have a conversation over something so delicate and get such immediate and positive results.
There was another situation that occurred, less impactful but still interesting to me. We were on the phone and he was describing something to me. Being a story-teller, I tend to use a lot of descriptive words and analogies to ensure my audience gets the visual of what I’m describing. Bennett does his with some very familiar-to-him topics, but when it comes to anything emotional or sexual, his language falters.
For instance he might say “you know how I feel about that” or “and then it continued from there.” So, no! I don’t know how you feel about that and I don’t know what or how it continued. Tell me! Describe that to me. Explain. Use your big boy words. I struggle with descriptive language with my teens at well. I like their sentences to be full and robust and very descriptive. It’s frustrating (a little) with Bennett when I know his command of the language and his story-telling capability are fully intact, in other areas.
On the phone this week he proceeded to try and describe his feelings towards me on a certain subject and he finished with “and you know what I mean.” Before I could even get the words out “no! Tell me!” He said “I know, I know I do a terrible job describing these things to you and I have to do better. I want to, I like to, and you make me feel safe telling you anything. I know I need to do better.”
So he tried, and achieved, a much better version of the story the second time around.
Once again, he baffles me with his perception and ability to recognize what’s important to me versus all the fluff I throw at him.
Oh, Bennett. I can see how hard you try and want this to work. I can feel it to the tips of my fingers. And there’s something in you I admire greatly that’s keeping me here.
But I’m only here a little while. I know I have to go. For both of us.