Bennett was looking into spending a week away. His primary excuse was his mother in law was up for two weeks around the holidays and he couldn’t stand to be at home. He owns a timeshare and was looking to find a week right before the Christmas holiday.
When I questioned why he would go away alone, he said he figured I would join him for a week in the sun.
Initially I said no because of two reasons, one I thought it was immediately following a long overseas business trip for me and two because I didn’t think spending a week with him immediately prior to a holiday I couldn’t spend with him was a healthy idea.
But, if you know me well enough, once that seed was planted, of course I wanted to go away with him. Why wouldn’t I? I try to highlight all the practical reasons why I shouldn’t but my heart interferes every time. Par for the course with me.
As we discussed this I believe I said spending New Years together was a non-negotiable for me.
Did I mean it? Maybe. Probably not.
But even I’m sick of listening to my own empty threats.
We were due to spend and overnight together because it would probably be our last for several weeks due to overlapping business trips. We agreed to talk more about the vacation then.
During dinner we had our serious discussion. We didn’t get too far because I held to my original statement that I didn’t think I could get through the holidays while he remained in his pretend family/husband role. There was nothing more that could be said, in truth, so we both dropped the subject u til we arrived back at my home.
Several times after a serious discussion, even on Cialis or Viagra, Bennett is unable to maintain an erection because he is so lost in his own head. This time was no different. The night wouldn’t continue unless the talk resolved in some fashion. We gave it another shot.
This time he begged me not to give up on him and to wait. I explained that this was the second time he was asking this of me and that the entire idea of our relationship hinging on his mother’s death was weighing on me. He said he had a firm timeline in mind, regardless of the status of his mother. Bennett said he would have the conversation with his wife and begin discussing an exit strategy from his marriage by the first week in January.
Ok, that was new news.
The long and short of the conversation was he wanted his kids to have a happy Christmas and he also wanted them home from college when he told his wife. I accepted the olive branch. I would wait until after he New Year.
I also agreed to take a few days off and go away with him somewhere fun. We could have 4 nights together leading up to Christmas. He would also find quality time over the Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks to spend with me.
The evening passed as most evenings with us do, full of love, laughter and lack of sleep because of all the sex and the fact that we are physically entangled. The morning was also pretty wonderful.
Our weekend apart was also good as we have both learned to ask the other communications expectations. He had a music gig Saturday that overlapped with a movie for me so we set aside a time to speak. Same for Sunday when I had an event with my son. Small things like this help us both to be able to depend on the other when a communication style is so heavy, as ours is.
We began to make plans for our time away. It was to be a small artistic city, low-key and warmer weather than our home. We both began to get excited.
We were due to book the tickets on Monday when some worrisome news came through….Bennett was being called into his bosses office. His company is undergoing a merger, so meetings that suddenly pop up can scare the wits out of any corporate executive worried about redundancy. The meeting wasn’t exactly what he was worried about, but it was in relation to the merger. They had to prep his boss to speak to the combined boards on Dec 21. Smack in the middle of our vacation.
I actually didn’t think twice. Work is important and our trip wasn’t necessary. I asked him if we could still work something out locally to be together and he answered “absolutely.” I should have realized his state of mind at that moment was frenetic at best and perhaps my request was not aligned with what he was thinking.
Later during the day, we began to text about the week we would now be home and we seemed to be on different pages when he asked me if the night of Dec 21 was ok and could I still take the next day off?
Hmmmm….. that was not what I was expecting. Perhaps I knew it couldn’t be the whole week, but at least a few nights/days….
Here is the out-take of our conversation:
M: I was thinking we could spend nights of 12/19-20 in city and 12/21-22 at home. I will still take off 12/22-23 but now work on 12/20-21.
B: For consecutive nights in a row it’s tough
M: why? Can’t you say you are somewhere else?
B: that’s where it can get a little sloppy
B: if I say I’m in another city and someone I know sees me, it gets complicated
M: ok so our week just became one overnight. I’m having a hard time digesting this
B: I can manage lying as long as I don’t set myself up for failure
B: m/t that week will be long rough days prepping
B: I guess your still digesting
M: no, it’s digested. If we can’t work out that week or New Years, I can’t move forward. I admit I don’t have that much resilience.
M: we are together in the open every day and night in the city in public and now you are suddenly worried about being seen?
B: telling someone I’m somewhere out-of-state gets risky
M: I will leave you to think about what you can accomplish
B: I think I did earlier but it doesn’t appear to be well received
M: ok, I’m saying one night won’t work. You are worried about the failure of what – your dead marriage? If that’s your priority then I am much more clear about where I stand on your priority list
B: not really sure how to answer that
B: my priority is not having this blow up to the point where it impairs my ability to make an efficient transition
B: ok I’m leaving work now
M: ok safe travels home
The last text was 5:41pm in the evening. I heard from him again at 10pm to say goodnight, and I replied immediately. He also sent his good morning text and I also replied.
We had some light traffic conversation this morning.
We were due to have lunch, but neither of us mentioned it.
After taking a long hard look at previous times we fell out, I believe most times, if not all, I reached out with an olive branch because it wasn’t worth the tension.
This time I have nothing more to offer.
When I think about the words in the message above, there’s a bit in there that doesn’t sit right with me:
– his use of the word failure
– using the words “blow up”
– it gets complicated
– it’s risky
All of those phrases sound to me like someone who isn’t ready to tell his wife he’s leaving two weeks later. It sounds like someone who is still trying to protect his marriage.
He says this is because he doesn’t want to be caught and make his wife a victim, him the bad-guy and me the home wrecker. He wants me to start off on the right foot with his kids.
Now, the other side of that coin is perhaps that’s true – it’s two weeks before he tells her so why ruin everyone’s holiday with a big fat lie if he’s caught?
Generally speaking I always believe the good in people. I want to believe him.
Seems we are in a dead heat. Stuck.
I would compromise if he offered more than one night and day, some time we can just be alone together, unbroken. This is the rarest commodity for us, time. I admit, I did start to get so excited and feel like I could make it through the holidays if we had some quality time together before. But that rug was pulled out from under me.
Should be interesting how this one resolves when I don’t raise the white flag first.
We haven’t spoken and only have gone back and forth in text today, which is not good, but we are both jammed.
Missing lunch today was a passive-aggressive move on both our parts. We are also due to see each other Friday, but if I don’t ask him, he will not suggest it either. This is where two like-minded personalities don’t work well together.
I will say, I don’t feel good about any of this.
His words consistently say he will do what’s necessary after the holidays…so the thoughts cross my mind that I am being stubborn on insisting on his time before the holiday if it’s going to be just weeks before things may change.
Or maybe I don’t believe things will change?
Or maybe I really just need some real reinforcement that he will turn the world upside down for me just a little, if I am willing to wait for him.
I want him to come up with a compromise that is viable for both of us to help me through this holiday. I’m not spending any time alone – my days and nights are booked with friends and family, but it doesn’t prevent the pictures from forming in my mind that he is acting all “happy family.” It bothers me, period.
I have an awful feeling we are at a stalemate this time.
I leave this weekend for a long business trip that is critical to my new role and I need all my energies positively focused here. I know how my mind works and I won’t let Bennett disrupt what must be done in my career/life. I also worry that this comes at a cost for both of us, once I begin to let go, I am not sure I can come back.
Will I always wonder why he let me get away should he really leave his wife? Will I always resent him for not “figuring something out” before the holiday? Probably. This worries me the most.
In the meantime, who knows what happens.