Disillusionment?

I saw Bennett after 2 months. Certainly the longest break.

I was excited to see him up until the day before our commitment. Then the disillusionment set in. I suppose I had finally began to think of our relationship as no more than an affair rather than a real relationship with a future. At least that’s my bedside analysis.

We had agreed to be honest with one another about what we could or couldn’t provide one another within the confines of an affair. Sounds silly since I’m on the back foot here. I wanted him. He wanted his cake and to eat it too.

I’m not trying to provide excuses about him or me. I have spent enough time crying and settling. I suppose I was excited he would consider seeing me again after such a hard break. But my brain fog cleared. Of course he would want to see me.

I struggled to write this post. Mostly because I feel a bit ashamed with myself for loving him the way I do and being so convinced he would ever leave his marriage. Foolish because his talking to his wife back in May healed a breach they had been struggling with, rather than drive them apart. I don’t know how I am so able to fool myself about these things deep in the belief he loves me.

He loves me, but not enough to leave his complacent life and wife. They have an easy marriage and a good life. And he is willing to live with that. The man I met was at a crossroads in his life and had courage to change.

That man is gone. He’s fallen back into routine and complacency.

I think the disillusionment wasn’t that he was “just a man” it was that he wasn’t going to be MY complacent man and he didn’t have the courage to step out of his box. And if he wasn’t able to do that the way he did with me the first year, was an affair worth it for me?

I was never hidden or made to feel I couldn’t be out in the open. He is more worried about those things now. Talking about everyday stressors before was a way we connected, now I don’t feel the pull to help him through these small mundane things: he has a wife for that. I am less interested in his day to day activity. He has become more scared and cautious since his “look into the abyss” as he calls it. He was frightened to death of changing his life and hurting his wife and family. These realities didn’t play before. They add an unseen weight to what was a light, happy, easy and love filled connection at the start.

If this is an affair, what’s in it for me?

Don’t get all this wrong, seeing him was like an old spark reignited. The longing was deep in my belly. His kiss was perfect. Sleeping in his arms made me peaceful. I laughed often. The night was wonderful and the sex perfect.

But leaving the next morning, even though we had a leisurely shower and then walk to work left me feeling something like unfulfilled. I can’t actually describe how I felt. Let down maybe.

While I knew I was the other woman I didn’t feel like an other woman with him. I didn’t feel it when he was physically with me, but felt it rather keenly after we separated.

I don’t like this feeling.

I also don’t like being without him.

So I have a lot of thinking to do.

Author: Madeline Harper

My journey through divorce and an emotional and sexual reawakening. Love, laughter, friendships, family and heartbreak included. And there is sex, lots of it, so close your eyes and turn the page if that's not for you! While I started this blog as an endeavor to journal my thoughts and feelings in an attempt to better understand myself, it has become an amazing platform from which I have met some of the most interesting and wonderful people in my life. My path is often crooked, but I hope you will share in the journey with me.

18 thoughts on “Disillusionment?”

      1. I agree! #1, the Trust in the affair has been diluted. Whether people feel it’s right or wrong, affairs can be done with class. Never impinge on the other person’s personal life.

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      2. All relationships need trust. He broke that because it wasn’t an affair, (to her) he told her he was transitioning into divorce so she felt it had potential for more than just an affair. It’s not my place to judge anyone’s relationship but my own but I don’t feel this relationship, regardless of rather its an affair or not because she will always long for more, for what they had.

        It takes a special relationship to have a long term relationship with a married person. You have to be OK with shifting plans, Sharing, secrets. It wouldn’t be good for me, but I can see it for someone else. It has some things in common with polyamory which I am familiar with, but the only actual affair I had was a painful, but very rich experience. My live for him (he was the other man) was very real.

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  1. If he’s seeing you, the rift in his marriage was not healed. He hasn’t done any growing up. This doesn’t mean that he has the capacity to leave his marriage. While he feeds your desires on one level, ironically, the act of seeing you establishes exactly how deep his cowardice is to both you and his wife—- and ultimately to himself. Yes, I can see why you’re disillusioned. Having said all that, people are complicated, a bundle of good intentions and inabilities to act on them. Hard to categorically write someone off. But you see clearly how a night with Bennett is only just that.

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    1. Well, it was healed from a place of total discomfort, to a place where both parties are seemingly satisfied. They were gravely unhappy before May, and now, not so much. But the marriage, overall, is not healed if he is still seeing me. I do think he believes that he can keep her happy and have something on the side (me or anything else someday, probably not anther affair). You are right about cowardice and that remains a huge turn off for me.

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  2. Oh my this will be complicated. You are now getting your Bennett but not getting what you want … YOUR Bennett. Understand you will NEVER be happy with what you are getting … you are difficult to please at the best of times. and you want what you want (not saying there’s anything wrong with that btw.) You are now entering an unhappy phase of existence. Bennett is there, but only to appease the addictions … you to him … and him to you. For some this might be enough. For Bennett, perhaps. For Madeleine never. I’m sorry.

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    1. Don’t be sorry…this is my own pickle to ferment! I can only surmise that had Bennett come back to me the way it had been before, it would not have been long before I demanded more. At least, in this scenario, he is being honest with what he’s capable of.

      You are 100% right that it won’t be enough for me. I already know that. I think I needed to get here first, to ultimately let go on my own terms. I don’t know why that continues to be so important to me, to have control of the end of my relationships – but it’s a clear factor in all of them.

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      1. I’m really sorry you are going through all of this. To have that happiness dangled in front of you and then taken away is in many ways worse than not having touched it at all :(.

        “I think I needed to get here first, to ultimately let go on my own terms. I don’t know why that continues to be so important to me, to have control of the end of my relationships – but it’s a clear factor in all of them.”

        I get that you feel this and your feelings are absolutely valid.

        But from what you have said about previous endings, that’s not the reality, ever: You reach for that control, convince yourself that you can take it back, but you never get it. Because you can’t. It’s an illusion.

        In every case you have shared, your partner had the control and you hung on somehow convinced that you could get some control back, so you could ‘end it on your terms’. But unless I’m mistaken, in each case you hung on until *they* decided it was enough and kicked you in the face. I said forever ago that it seemed like you needed to stab yourself in the eye until you were done, but it seems more like you need THEM to stab you in the eye before you are done.

        I know that sounds harsh, but I also think you will know what I mean.

        It doesn’t change how you feel, of course, that’s not the point of me making this comment. The point is that your perception in these things seems flawed. So if you’re going to do it (and you are, I know that), then try and see it for what it is: It seems to me that you need to drive him to stab you in the eye. You run at it. And when he finally does it, THEN you’ll be done. I think it’s because that’s what finally kills hope for you. Perhaps that IS a kind of control in a roundabout way.

        Of course it would be easier and kinder to yourself NOT to go that route, but you need to do what you need to do. I hope it’s not too awful on top of the awful you have already been going through *sending positive thoughts*.

        Ferns

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  3. I’m not really sure what there is to think about. He’s chosen to stay in his marriage. You are unfulfilled being “the other woman”. Seems like the only rational thing is to move on and try to forget about him. I’m sorry. 😦

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    1. ^^^ this…. I 100% agree. You need to do what’s best for you, move on and try to forget him. He may have seemed absolutely perfect, but if he can’t leave his marriage now, he probably never will. Get back out there; you’ll find another Bennett, or even someone better.

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  4. I don’t feel this is fair to you. I know you love him and love isn’t rational. He is treating both you and his wife abominably. The false feeling of security isn’t worth it. You will be left longing for more, the love won’t be able to fade and you won’t be able to move on. You love him. He may love you but he loves his wife too and has obviously chosen it 100%.

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  5. You are in a pickle. When you are ready, you will move on, but I think you are not able to stop poking yourself in the eye yet. I hope you are still talking to your therapist because I don’t think you are ready for dating others. Hugs – I know this has been a huge struggle for you.

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