So here’s my crazy train of thoughts since I have been with Bennett again.
Regardless of what was the truth or lies before, what I believed to be true is my reality. Everyone knows the saying “perception is reality.” Doesn’t matter who thinks he was lying to me before, no one but Bennett knows the truth. I believed what he was telling me, I had seen enough to believe the reality he himself was believing.
But when we spoke about his marriage, and when I realized that his talk to his wife in May healed something between them that had been broken a long time, my perception started to change.
Before he was ignoring his wife and his marriage.
Now he is in protect mode: protect his marriage. Before it was protect the relationship with Madeline.
He shared with me how easy their relationship is. How he enjoys making her feel safe. How he feels responsible for her and accountable for the life they created together. How they talk about the children and reminisce. And how, beyond that, he finds it hard to talk to her about anything else. She presents no challenge for him, she misses their children as much, if not more, than he does. She has leaned into him in their absence as he has to her. He admitted that after the fracture in May, when he decided he couldn’t let go, that he scared them both into better communication.
I know I ask too many questions, things I shouldn’t ask. I know once you hear something you can’t unhear it. I asked him what forms of affection they shared and he had always maintained there were none. But somewhere over the summer he mentioned he kissed her on the forehead every night before bed. This time around he admitted he actively tries to maintain the balance in their relationship. The way he treats her makes her feel comfortable and not question his actions. This only leads me to believe there are probably other small forms of affection, he doesn’t consider them “romantic” but they are things that make their marriage appear healthy.
I suppose when I believed he was a man who was going through a genuine transition in his life, had a marriage that was ending, these things felt more palatable to me. I was able to overlook his behavior as a liar and a cheat in their relationship. But now it all seems so contrived. He knows what he’s doing is so wrong and so disrespectful, but he is actively ensuring he convinces her there is no reason to worry.
He said if she were to approach him for sex, which he doesn’t think she ever will because he is under the belief she just doesn’t want it or need it, nor does she care about further intimacy between them as she is happy with what he gives her…he said it would be over between us because that’s when she would “start to look under the covers and we would be caught.” Since she doesn’t want sex, it’s not an issue between them. But, will she one day? He doesn’t really think so, he gives her the little attention she requires as a wife, and all the trappings of a happy family life, and this is seemingly enough for her.
When there felt like there was a time we were working towards something real together, I was able to look beyond so many things. Now, they all feel wrong and out of proportion to me. Now, I feel less like giving all of myself to him because I know he will no longer give himself to me.
Nothing changes as I write these posts, they simply remain my rumination in my thick skull.
I don’t feel less love for him, or less desire. I feel loss. I can have what he can give me, I don’t lose everything that once was, but it feels like all the good between us will disappear quite fast under my different perception of reality.
I don’t mind feeling let down about Bennett. Let down or disappointed is easier to swallow than heartbroken. Deep down, I do feel the same, the man I met was the man of my dreams. But if that’s not the man available to me today, best I mourn the loss of him and move on. Even if that means an different relationship with Bennett, it’s just my own way of reconciling the man who loved me with abandon is lost to me.