Last week I spoke my mind with Bennett, knowing it wasn’t easy for either of us to accept the hard reality that our time is probably coming to an end.
I have committed myself to not being involved with a married man through these holidays. I really just don’t think I can do it.
I am not so fussed about Bennett living at home, I understand coming out of a marriage takes time when there are homes and children involved. But, I am fussed about the sneaking around and the lying. I don’t want to deal with it and I hate being a part of it. More than once in my life this path has ended up hurting me as well as the other humans involved and frankly I am just too selfish to continue sharing. Part of me would like to say I feel guilt, but honestly, I don’t. Shame from an affair, or guilt, or stepping into the other woman’s shoes has never been my strong suit.
Bennett and I had a few arguments over the weekend that led right up to this morning. He has been struggling with his mother and some heavy family issues as well as the pressure he feels from me. I know why he is behaving as he is, but it doesn’t mean I have to accept it. We went back and forth from debating to normal conversation pretty much all weekend. At one point he was upset that I continue to get text from random men and was particularly upset that I didn’t shut out Denver entirely (yes, I told him). Pot, meet kettle. He knows it too, but it doesn’t change the way he thinks.
I became upset that he seemed to be looking for a “way out.” He claims this isn’t the case, but this is what my gut is telling me. He is looking for a way for me to be less than the perfect ideal he has made me out to be so far. Bennett claims this is untrue, that nothing can flaw his opinion of me, just that his “mind wanders” and he starts to think. I suggested these thoughts were a reflection on his own behavior.
Bennett likes to put himself in the good guy bucket. He’s the type that has his “reasons” and his “needs” for cheating. He doesn’t want to compare himself to the men who cheat endlessly on their wives, still have intimate relations with their wives and maintain a false intimate relationship. This is one thing that makes me nuts, and it also makes me equate him to my x. A lie is a lie. Cheating is cheating. Even if you don’t have intercourse, oral sex is still cheating. Kissing is still cheating. He is maintaining a false relationship, that of an intact marriage and family. He is a liar and a cheat.
Then he questions why I would want to be with him if he is such a liar and cheat. There are no real answers to that question. Do I accept him for what he is and his reasons for doing it? Yes, I do. Because I believe I understand him. I hope my gut is right when I make that decision.
His past behavior, right or wrong, is irrelevant to me. The way he perceives himself today does have an impact on me.
I do understand that I wouldn’t want to be in his shoes….who wants to rip a family apart and have your children dealing not only with the death of a beloved grandmother but the divorce of their parents? While some people may not feel this is a good enough reason for him not to start the conversation with his wife, I understand how he wants to care for his family.
The bottom line of what created the first fissure between us is that I said I can’t continue this relationship through the holidays. He finally admitted today he did not think that he could manage that timeline.
Frankly, I breathed a sigh of relief.
An answer, no matter that it wasn’t what I wanted to hear, is still an answer.
I can’t continue to see him and have empty threats that I would end our relationship, that is ridiculous. I don’t want to continue to cry wolf. I need to stand behind what I said to him about my timeline.
I believe what started to happen over the weekend, as he acknowledged to himself that he couldn’t meet my timeline, that he began to look for “other reasons” to exit. He came up short, realizing he was making something out of nothing, as he has no leg to stand on. This is what created the tension, and then arguments between us. Both of us have a hard time arguing, to be fair, we really just want the other to be happy and tend to back away from the difficult things.
Bennett is in a horrible place. I want to be here for him, I do. But I can’t get past the feeling of being made the fool. I just can’t. It’s eating at me. If he loved me the way he says he does, there should be motivation to have the first conversation with his wife. I don’t believe this is happening any time soon. The way Bennett works is pretty much all or nothing and I believe he sees himself as the father who holds this family together through the death of the matriarch until at least after the holidays.
And then, who knows?
Bennett has never wavered, he is consistent in telling me he is coming to me, but it’s the “when” that is unclear. He has asked me to wait, but also knows this is unfair to me.
Part of me wonders if I leave, if anything will change for him? Will he really be encouraged to move forward? Or will he remain inert? Part of me feels like it’s a dangerous game for me to play with a man I feel is so good for me…why would I jeopardize what I have just to see how he responds and end up entirely alone for the next few months as I work through the heartbreak?
There are no answers in this post for me. I’m just laying down where we are at the moment. I am certain of our love for one another, but if the timing is against us, there is nothing I can do to control it.
I’m adding a late postscript here….based on a comment from MaggieMay:
Perhaps I need to live without Bennett and see how that feels for me. I would never be able to get through the next months the way I feel now, but if I love him the way I claim I do, wouldn’t I find a way to manage this without being a nag? I can see both sides to this coin which isn’t helping. But, maybe, just maybe, it’s me who needs to be without him for a while so he can get his act together.