Quagmire

N: a situation from which extrication is very difficult; : a situation that is hard to deal with or get out of : a situation that is full of problems; predicament

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After a tough start Monday morning for both Bennett and I, we decided to meet in the late afternoon for a brief chat.

When I saw him from across the street my heart leapt with happiness and he nearly got hit by a car trying to reach me as fast as possible.  As our lips met and as we held one another in an embrace, we both breathed a sigh of relief.

Neither of do very well with the idea that our relationship is a quagmire.

He was quite ardent and insisted I look directly and deeply into his eyes to tell me how he can no longer live without me and how sick he felt throughout the day.  He also said he really had no idea how deep his love was for me, or how he was willing to do something about it until I had said our timelines don’t meet.

While I heard what he said, and clearly saw the depth of his emotion towards me, I also heard what he didn’t say.  He can’t say what he will do or when.  But he did say he will, for sure.

So the onus is on him to get his act together, but where does my responsibility lie.  I don’t really want to be without him.  I really don’t want to be with him in an affair either.  I know getting through holidays like this will be nearly insurmountable and I don’t see how I can manage it.

Many of the comments on my blog have been very helpful as I flail back and forth in the wind and debate this situation in my own head.  I like to hear your theories and comments even though you all know I will stubbornly proceed in my own time and way!  Perhaps the biggest difference is I now own my actions, for better or worse.

One thing I am certain of, I am not going to nag or push.  What he chooses to do and when is his decision, just like what I choose to do and when is mine.  Our timelines were now made more clear to one another, so I don’t think there is some massive surprise ahead.  I don’t foresee him talking to his wife before the holidays.  While I would have managed through Thanksgiving and Christmas, it was New Years that I was frankly the most concerned about.  I wasn’t focused on Bennett folding into my family for Christmas because I spent the first two separated Christmases with my x and I understand sometimes it just has to be that way for your kids.

Bennett has an issue with being with me for the “last time.”  He doesn’t like the concept of “one last time.” This was a clear indicator for me that I need to stop talking about it at all, my decision (if any) will happen when it happens and I won’t build up to it.  Since I am unclear about what I can or can’t do moving forward, I need to zip it for now and clear it up in my own had.  Talking to him about it isn’t helping, the man has too much of his own crap on his plate.

While thinking it over, I do realize that I don’t feel the desperation I felt with Bobby to stay tied to Bennett.  I just feel like its going to work itself out, sooner or later.   I have to begin to think about what really bothers me about having Bennett in my life –  is it about being #1?  Is it about lying?  Trust?  What are the real triggers for me?  I need to resolve this in my head, and I don’t have a good handle on this at all.  The lying and sneaking around is a big one this time around, I just don’t want to be in this again and hate it here.  I can only ignore that so much.  Maybe they are all tied together.

I’m writing just to work through where my head is at.

And, unlike last time around, it’s not debilitating me.  That’s the curious part.  Is that because I have experience now and the path is familiar?  Or is it because I feel a sense of safety with him?

Or is it because my priorities in life has taken control and I have to focus on my life first….last year I was bored with life and gave all my attention to Bobby.  I am able to focus away from Bennett when necessary and maybe that’s because I know he will be there, waiting.

So many things to think about.

Relationship Requirements

I spent a lot of time compiling a list of all the “requirements” I had for the perfect mate.

Needless to say, my list was long.

Based on discussions with friends, chances are the list is much too long.  But I went back and tried to edit and, frankly, I couldn’t figure out what my real top ten requirements were because when I dropped one I sat there and thought, no, I can’t live without that.

 

Here was the ultimate list I came up with……

  1. A man who can think for himself
  2. Strong shoulders (not in the physical sense though this is my favorite physical attribute)
  3. Trust
  4. Honesty
  5. Respect
  6. Calm communicator/great listener/sound advice giver
  7. Not a complainer
  8. Handsome and tall (not bald)
  9. Sexy and sexual
  10. Intelligent
  11. Above 40 and under 48
  12. Interested in me, responsive, caring
  13. Witty sense of humour, can elicit belly laughs from me including in bed
  14. Dominant
  15. Gracious
  16. Generous
  17. Kind
  18. Solid career/ambition/white-collar/makes money
  19. wants to spend his money, doesn’t worry about it all the time
  20. wants to travel the world

In addition to my own criteria, there is an article out there called “18 qualities every alpha female needs in a boyfriend” and I feel that many of these are very relevant for me as well:

  1. He someone you can tease and can tease you
  2. He challenges you
  3. He doesn’t get jealous
  4. He isn’t waiting on you but has his own plans
  5. He doesn’t air your dirty laundry
  6. He knows how to deal with your bad moods
  7. When he apologizes he really means it
  8. He’s moving at the same speed as you
  9. He doesn’t belittle you but he doesn’t put you on a pedestal either (don’t agree with the way this is worded, I want someone to hold up my pedestal!)
  10. He is someone who teaches but never lectures
  11. He makes you laugh
  12. He will call you out when you need to be called out
  13. He wants to be the wind beneath your wings
  14. He isn’t the life of the party but is always there is you need to be carried home (don’t agree with this, I like the life of a party) 
  15. His opinions aren’t irrational they are backed up
  16. He has dreams as big as yours (this isn’t hard as I don’t really have specific dreams)
  17. He knows when to drop it and when to address it
  18. He is a great listener but also expects to be heard

So when I looked at these two long lists again, I didn’t find anything that needed to be removed that was originally part of what I deemed important in a relationship.

I think I would add a few though:

21.  Not married

22. Holds my pedestal steady, is the wind beneath my wings.

 

Otherwise, the list still holds weight.

So, when evaluating any partner for dating, this list has come into play since last year.

Bobby fulfilled many items on the list, as did Ayden for a short time.  Ayden lost interest in me so there was no possibility for exploring more.  Those were the only two that came that close to checking off the boxes.

And then along comes Bennett, who hits every single item on the list (not #21) plus some that I didn’t even think were important (like his ability to communicate his depth of love for me).

I pulled the list out again because I was thinking about why Bennett feels so right to me….and I got my answer in my own requirements.  It must be unusual that he fulfills all of them?

Except that elusive #21….I can’t seem to stay away from the unavailable men, can I?

 

 

Do Soul Mates Exist?

I remember being young and believing there must be soul mates in this world.  I spent many of my young days dreaming about Prince Charming coming to sweep me off my feet.  I’m a romantic at heart and felt that there must be the one true love who would fulfill all my needs.

There must be “a one” for each of us, no?

Well, at least that’s what I believed when I was young.

I found several people in my young life who wanted to be my life partner, but for one reason or the other they didn’t work out until I chose my husband.

There was one boy, David, who I believed for a long time to be as close to a soul mate that I would find.  We dated for 3 years and he wanted to marry me.  David was really good for me and everyone loved him.  I crushed his soul when I moved on.  But, I went off to college and by the second year, I needed to experience more than David could offer me.  In later years I questioned the decision to leave David, especially since I met up with him again when we both moved to the same town and ended up having children the same age.  But, that was a time I was struggling with how my x treated me in our marriage, and I based a lot of my comparison on how good David had been to me.  David would have been a better husband for me, but I believe I would have grown restless and ultimately reached the same conclusion at a later date.  I just needed more from the world around me than David could offer.

Moving towards marriage with my x was difficult. The road to our engagement was bumpy and filled with uncertainty.  He claims he was never quite sure I was the one. I scared him with my intensity. I was too demanding and he didn’t think he could ever love me the way I loved him.

I convinced myself that he was marrying up and would eventually be grateful to have a woman like me.

What a joke I played on myself.  I realize that now.  It was terribly arrogant of me to think that way.  I was full of arrogance when I was young.  What has turned to confidence now and is considered one of my strongest traits was most certainly an ugly trait in my youth.

Whatever the reason we chose to get married so long ago, eventually a relationship based mostly on superficial things has to dissolve.  There was never any real substance between my x and I.  That isn’t down to one of us, we both made the same mistake.  We chose based on ideals, looks and personality instead of goals, values and true friendship and companionship.  There was never an honest understanding between us, he lied before we were married and throughout the marriage, the die were never cast in our favour.

I stopped believe that soulmates were a real thing.  I was taught during my marriage to believe that love was simply a ruse, that people shouldn’t experience such high emotion, that I was foolish to think such romantic notions.  My mistake was giving up that piece of myself to my x’s beliefs to satisfy him.

Fast forward to our separation 2+ years ago.

The two years of freedom during separation resulted in one relationship (affair) which was never meant to have legs from the start. While I eventually convinced myself that Bobby could be a man for me long-term, he was consistent in saying that he would never be that man. I convinced myself that our bubble was reality.  But the truth was, I was never able to mesh my family life and the affair in my own head which was proof that I always saw my relationship with him as very independent of my real life. The affair always remained in a separate compartment, never crossing the line to a whole life.

I did love Bobby and some days still feel the ache of his loss.  I’m pretty sure he is forever imprinted on my heart.

I made myself more promises than I can count about never dating another married man……

And, then, Bennett stumbled on the scene. And I do mean stumbled. He actually fell into my front door the first time we met because he was so nervous.

There is no good reason why I started and then continued with Bennett. I can self-analyze til the cows come home and come up with no sensible argument.

He captured my interest, then his voice captured something else.  The first weeks were rocky at best yet we both persevered.  I was absolutely taken by his admiration of me, the limerence was like a drug.  As some time passed and we had some separation from one another, I began to realize I always felt like a part of me was missing whenever I wasn’t connecting to Bennett.  To this day, if there is any kind of tension/upset between us for any reason I will begin to get physically ill.  He has become like an extension of me.

In all honesty, I can recall feeling something like this with David, a true connection of heart, mind and soul.  I did not have that same type of connection with my x in hindsight.

Bennett was becoming the air I was breathing.

To be fair, I felt like the life was taken from me when Bobby and I broke-up, but I didn’t feel like Bobby was connected to me on a deep emotional level while we were together. We had a great connection, but not a soul connection.    While I do believe that he did love me, I didn’t trust in his love to keep him with me.

This is very different with Bennett. I literally feel the molecules of my body intertwining with his.  I believe him when he tells me I am the next chapter in his life (he says “never mind the next chapter, you are the next book”).

I have put myself at the ultimate risk with Bennett because I believe him.  This is something that I have been struggling with the past week or so and it’s starting to surface more often.  My heart and brain are going to war.  I know I have put myself into an impossible situation and can’t seem to convince myself to crawl out of it.

In an effort to understand some of what’s happening between Bennett and I, I googled soulmates:

 

“The 10 Elements of a Soulmate:
1. It’s something inside. Describing how a soulmate makes you feel is difficult. It’s a tenacious, profound and lingering emotion which no words can encompass. (check)
2. Flashbacks. If your partner is your soulmate, chances are he or she has been present in your past lives. Soulmates often choose to come back together during the same lifetime and scope each other out in the big world. You might suddenly and briefly experience flashbacks of your soulmate. You might even feel an odd sense of déjà vu, as if the moment in time has already taken place, perhaps a long time ago, perhaps in a different setting. (check)
3. You just get each other. Ever met two people who finish each other’s sentences? Some people call that spending too much time together, but I call it a soulmate connection. You might experience this with your best friend or your mother, but it is the telltale sign of a soulmate when you experience it with your partner. (check)
4. You fall in love with his (or her) flaws. No relationship is perfect, and even soulmate relationships will experience ups and downs. Still, that bond will be much harder to break. Soulmates have an easier time of accepting, even learning to love, each other’s imperfections. Your relationship is more likely to be a soulmate match if you both love each other exactly as you each are, accepting both the great and awful tendencies we all have. (check)
5. It’s intense. A soulmate relationship may be more intense than normal relationships, in both good and sometimes bad ways. The most important thing is that, even during negative episodes, you’re focused on resolving the problem and can see beyond the bad moment. (triple check)
6. You two against the world. Soulmates often see their relationship as “us against the world.” They feel so linked together that they’re ready and willing to take on any feat of life, so long as they have their soulmate by their side. Soulmate relationships are founded on compromise and unity above all else. (by nature, this happens in an affair, so check)
7. You’re mentally inseparable. Soulmates often have a mental connection similar to twins. They might pick up the phone to call each other at the exact same time. Though life may keep you apart at times, your minds will always be in tune if you are soulmates. (check)
8. You feel secure and protected. Regardless of the gender of your partner, he or she should always make you feel secure and protected. This means that if you’re a man, yes, your woman should make you feel protected, too! Your soulmate will make you feel like you have a guardian angel by your side. A person who plays on your insecurities, whether consciously or subconsciously, is not your soulmate. (check)
9. You can’t imagine your life without him (or her). A soulmate is not someone you can walk away from that easily. It is someone you can’t imagine being without, a person you believe is worth sticking with and fighting for. (check)
10. You look each other in the eye. Soulmates have a tendency to look into each other’s eyes when speaking more often than ordinary couples. It comes naturally from the deep-seated connection between them. Looking a person in the eye when speaking denotes a high level of comfort and confidence. (check)
Whether you’re designed by the universe to be soulmates or two loving people who have settled for each other’s strengths and weaknesses, the decision is yours. The beauty of free will is that you can remain in or change any relationship as you see fit. To be with your soulmate is one of the precious treasures of life. And if you feel you’ve found your heart’s other half, I wish you endless days of joy and laughter, and countless nights of deep embrace, unraveling the mysteries of the universe one by one.”

(*excerpt from Dr Carmen Harra)

So, I don’t know….are we soul mates?  Does such a thing exist?    Can this crazy situation actually work out?

I don’t know and don’t have the answer.  Simply putting it out there in the Universe like I did the last time and hoping the right answers come back to me.

I can only tell you that I have an amazing sense of peace and gratification when it comes to Bennett, and that is certainly nothing I have felt before.

 

The Elusive Orgasm

Last year I certainly experienced a period of time where orgasms eluded me.  I already know I am not one of those people who is going to orgasm easily or quickly, nor often.  As disappointing as this is, these are the facts.

All the years prior and through my marriage, I had only ever experienced a clitoral orgasm through oral sex.  The most I probably ever came during any sex session was once, maybe twice if my partner was especially interested in pleasing me that night, but I don’t actually have a memory of coming more than once prior to my separation.

I also don’t recall being particularly loud or verbal during sex.

That all changed during the time I dated Bobby last summer.  While Bobby struggled to produce an orgasm through oral sex, it never stopped him from trying.  Eventually, after a few months, he found the right combination of tongue and fingers and was able to bring me to an orgasm at least once orally.  He was also fully focused on bringing me to my first orgasm while having sex while I was on top.  He was also responsible for my first orgasms during any sexual position with a vibrator.  Probably the only “first” he didn’t hold in the way of new sexual experiences was squirting, and that honor went to R in the Summer of 2014.

Bobby also encouraged dirty talk in bed and it was there that I perfected what has become my verbal sexual style.  I have had feedback from multiple partners (including two “shooshes”) that they love my dirty talk.

It seems the summer months are good months for me to have new sexual experiences.  And, while I wouldn’t call what Bennett and I are doing exactly new in terms of the sex acts themselves, things have happened between us because of the way we feel about one another that I haven’t experienced before.

I was worried about Bennett’s sexual ability being hindered by anxiety when we were first together.  I was also concerned about his lack of partners and experiences.  He had very little chance to try new things or be sexually adventurous and I didn’t think I was prepared to be a leader.  Bennett had a relatively uninspiring sex life and the thought crossed my mind more than once in the early days that he was going to be boring in bed.

But he has continually proved me wrong, in many cases, sex only being one of them.  I am now consistently pleasantly surprised by the many facets of Bennett and how he just fits into my “ideal” relationship requirements (post to follow).  While no one is perfect, I do love the fact that Bennett is really the most lovely surprise.

Bennett’s oral abilities were solid from the start and with some time, he could bring me to orgasm in each session.  It was clear how much he enjoyed what he was doing and I could tell early on that he had the endurance needed for someone like me.  In addition, I also learned something about myself.  As we got to know one another better, I equated my own inability to orgasm every time with his inability to stay hard every time.  We both experienced a similar performance anxiety and I don’t know that I thought of my inability to orgasm in this light (he never suggested this, it was an idea I came to in my own analysis of one of our discussions).  He didn’t get frustrated with me if I stopped him and said “not tonight” and he always offered more than one round of oral.  He is a very patient and considerate lover, certainly one of the best, if not close to the best, I have ever had.

Quite quickly, Bennett’s techniques not only improved but became laser focused on exactly what pleased me.  His ability to read my body signs was far-and-above anyone I had been with before.  3 months in and the moment his tongue touches me, my body lights up and I know I will orgasm.  Even when I struggle a little with the orgasm, I can tell he responds to small changes that must happen with my body and adjusts and perseveres….and ensures I orgasm.  It’s like he found the manual to M and adding his own notes to improve upon the technique making the entire experience the best oral sex I have ever received.  Hands down.

Twice, during the time I was with Bobby, I experienced such mind-blowing orgasms that they caused me to roll into the fetal position and have him hold me until I could calm down.  I was rendered speechless and dumb.  Both times this happened with Bobby were under exceptional circumstances, not just any normal night in bed.

Incredibly, Bennett achieved this the other night.

We had been having sex for some time before he started the oral sex.  Our traditional sex is already excellent, we fit well together and have a similar tempo and pace.  His endurance is exceptional and we try a lot of different positions, though his favorites are ones he can look at me.  This time, when he went down on me, while it felt amazing from the start, and he brought me up quickly, my body just wasn’t hitting the crescendo for some reason….until, it did.  And when it did, holy cow!  I swear I think I saw stars and may have even screamed something.  I wouldn’t say I blacked out, but it was certainly something close.

He crawled back up to me to lie beside me (usually I want sex immediately following an orgasm) and I balled into a fetal position, locked my legs around his and just tried to calm myself with my head in the middle of his chest.  I don’t know how long I lay like that because he began to be concerned by my inability to speak to him (though I did nod in acknowledgment of anything he said).  I also wouldn’t loosen my grip until my breathing normalized and I think I scared him.  I recall I scared Bobby the first time it happened as well.

I guess putting your partner into the fetal position after an orgasm can be alarming…maybe they thought I broke something?!

Once I gathered my senses I was able to explain it to him and could see his face light up and the pride shine through.

He claims he will always be going after the “Fetal Position Orgasm” now…though I can’t tell you what made that time any different from any other.  When it happened before, there was a lot of other stimulation involved in the act that was also overwhelming and perhaps shut down some of my senses causing overload…but this time, it was just Bennett in my bed, doing what he does so well.

I’m happy to say, where once I couldn’t find orgasms, I can now look forward to ones, while still not frequent in terms of quantity, have a mind-blowing effect on me!

Bennett was also fastidiously working towards having me achieve an orgasm while riding him, which is also very difficult for me to achieve….but again, I am happy to report, we were successful in making that happen as well!

Sex with Bennett is a mixture of pure animal sex, passion, lust and lots of love.  We play and laugh in bed, we cuddle, and we fuck hard.  It’s never felt this good to me since early marriage (and technically speaking, the sex with my x was never this good, but I didn’t know any better!).  Even with Bobby, I never had the feeling of consistent love the way I do with Bennett.  With Bennett, everything just feels right all the time.

We shower together almost every time now because he had never had sex in a shower and I happen to love it.  He never leaves the bed in the morning without sex because I told him the day shouldn’t start without morning sex (and he was used to women who didn’t like it).  He almost never wants me to finish him with a blow job because he is so desperate to be inside of me.  I just didn’t imagine sex would be so all-encompassing like this.  I experienced a similar feeling with Bobby from the sheer thrill of sexual adventure, but not from true intimacy (until perhaps the last month or so).  I realize I probably shouldn’t compare so much, but Bobby is my bench in many ways…..though Bennett is quickly upsetting the seat of the king.

 

 

 

The Hours We Spend Getting to Know Someone

While I have had my fill of short-term dating relationships over the past two years,  one long-term marriage, and several long-term serious boyfriends from my teens through early twenties, I don’t recall ever spending the amount of time getting to know someone the way Bennett and I take with one another.

Bobby and I never spent this kind of time, it wasn’t possible with the way we both worked and his home situation.  My x claimed he wasn’t into phone communication and, of course, there was no text back then.  The last time I recall spending hours and hours talking like this was high school.

Clearly, I have reverted.

Without question, I speak to him on the phone several hours every day, and that probably tallies up to at least 15-20 hours in a week of just phone chat.  No hour goes by without text.  No week goes by without a date, and an overnight if at all possible.  We are putting in a whole hella lot of time.

Initially I had decided I wouldn’t be sharing the truth of my sexual history with Bennett because I didn’t think he was the type who could handle it.  He debunked that myth and he knows everything there is to know about me sexually.

Initially I thought I wouldn’t share all the gory details of my divorce and ever-strained relationship with the x.  But he listens and offers amazing, sound and patient advice.

I could go on and on with my list of “initial” things I wasn’t going to do with Bennett.  I didn’t think he was the right type of man for me but he continues to prove me wrong at every turn.   Without question, Bennett is the first man to prove to me that looks aren’t everything.  He got under my skin with his charm, sensibility and kindness….especially his immense attraction to me.  I have never felt something like his attraction to me in my entire life…it’s so powerful I could not pull myself from it when I had the chance.

Bennett fell in love first.  We met on June 28 and he told me by August 4th.  I wrote about my feelings here, thinking it was much too soon for him to love me.  He didn’t know me well enough.

I began to suspect that things were changing in my head when I went on vacation and spent almost 3 weeks away from Bennett.   He kept trying to improve for me and I was fascinated by his ability to understand me.

If there was a time I had the ability to pull away, it was around mid/end August, but once the end of the month arrived, it had become too late.  We had a small argument on the phone and we didn’t speak for two days.  I knew, undoubtedly, during those two days, I had already fallen in love.  By the time the end of August rolled around, I shared it with him.

He was so happy I finally said “I love you, Bennett” that his only answer was “for reals?”

Since then, I waffled with myself and with him.  We attempt serious conversation about his situation and it leads nowhere.   We both believe we have found “the one” in the other.  But how the hell we get to being together, neither of us has the answer.

I am willing to wait, and he has asked me to wait for him.  But, for how long?  I don’t know.  I know the perils of this situation.  I am terrified.

Not just terrified that he does or doesn’t come out of his marriage.  Terrified that I am handing over my heart in full to this man…something I never even did with Bobby.  Perhaps, on my sex-cation with Bobby, and the “last night” we shared together, I allowed myself to be fully in love and outwardly verbal about it, but still, not to this extent.  I always held back because I knew Bobby was going to exit.  It never felt quite right with Bobby to act like I was a silly teen in love because I felt that he had to hold back.  Of course, there were moments, but it’s definitely not like this.

With Bennett, he gets all of me.  I know this is simply because he gives all.  He clearly communicates the depth of his feelings in an articulate and heartfelt manner.  He makes my knees weak and my heart melt with his words and actions.

When someone is giving this to you, it’s not hard to give it all back in spades.  And just when I think I am giving too much, he somehow gives more.

I am sure the question will be out there: do I love the man or how he makes me feel?  I am certain in the beginning it was all about how he made me feel.  I was genuinely intrigued by his emotional output.

“Me?  It’s me you love like this?”

In Bennett I found my best reflection.  I see a man who can give me the world and makes me want to be my best self.  I’m not afraid to be me, to be alive, to be honest, courageous or scared with him.  I’m not afraid to be in love with him, just fearful of the clichéd inevitable outcome.

I question how he can love me like this?  I can’t fathom how a man exists that loves like I love.  That communicates like I do.  That feels emotion the way I do.

And to top it all off, he’s a musician.  Now, I do realize this isn’t really relevant to the fact of why I should love him, but seriously folks, a man who plays guitar, has an amazing voice, sings to you every night, records songs for you and serenades you?  Well, that just about sunk the Titanic for me.  I am mush when that man sings for me.

Of course I am sad when I allow myself to think that this man, this perfect man, is married and not able to be mine, not now.  Maybe not ever.  I just stopped thinking of the “forever” part and I’m very focused on the “right now” part.  Though Bennett tells me he will never leave me and will love me forever, he speaks my language when he says that love leaves an indelible impression on your heart.

My life is changing for many reasons come October.  September brought one of the best months of my life, which includes falling in love with Bennett and feeling his kind of love in return.  I will write more about all the great stuff that’s happened, but, for now, I’m gushing.

I believe he’s my ONE.

Yep.

“The One.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

I Didn’t Think People Wanted to Read a Love Story

Last night ASV asked me why I’ve been so quiet.   One of my replies, other than genuinely being busy with life, was that I didn’t think people wanted to hear about a mushy romance between Bennett and I.

And, yes, that’s where it is 3 months later.

I’m not only doing everything I swore up and down I would never do again, I’m in neck-deep.  I fell in love.

It doesn’t mean I entirely ignore his situation. Sometimes there is a little tension, mostly in discussion if it should lead back that way.  But I’m trying to just enjoy this for what it is. I’m tying not to put a label on it or think too far ahead.

The biggest difference is how he feels about me and his responses to me. I always wondered why I could never meet someone who loved the way I love. Cue Bennett. He is such a reflection of me that, at times, its uncanny.  We feel the same way about so many things.  We show affection in the same depth. We think along the same lines about so many things.

I’m so deeply in love with this man who I can’t even find the words to explain it.

So, maybe over the next few days, I will write the love story and bore you all to tears.  I haven’t written for a multitude of reasons, many of which are very good.  I have had a pretty amazing past 5 months not working.  I am at peace with myself (mostly) and have allowed myself to become attached to Bennett.

I am not fooling myself into believing this is an easy road, but I do believe it’s a different one than the one I walked before.  Of course the commonality of Bennett being married remains, but I strongly feel all else is different, including me.

So, after speaking to Ann, I thought it over and decided I would like to write about Bennett.  I have avoided it because I don’t need anyone to tell me it’s wrong and get out (I already know that, but it’s not stopping me from doing it) or that I should be cautious with my heart (yep, know that too).  I didn’t actually want to share what I consider a little bit of a fantasy these past few months, but (as Ann so kindly reminded me) writing is therapeutic and gives perspective, and it’s the reason I chose to write in the first place.

With that said, I also have to write diametrically opposed views.  The view that I am deeply in love as well as the view that I am in an impossible situation.  I don’t find that easy to acknowledge or articulate.  So, I haven’t…..but, I am going to give it a spin and see where I net out.

I took my hiatus and want to try to start writing again.  I think it’s time. Let’s see what I can come up with.

 

 

 

Behind the Scenes: Bennett

I’ve done it all wrong again.

It doesn’t seem to matter how badly I was hurt last year and how very, very long it took me to climb out of that painful hole.

It doesn’t seem to matter that I know what I’m doing is wrong on every level.

I still did it.

I fell in love with Bennett.

12 weeks in and I know I’m in big trouble.

I don’t have an excuse. None at all. My head is back in the sand and buried so deep that I can’t even hear myself screaming to “get out!”

How did this happen?  Simply because I let it.

I kept saying I will stop, I will get out. I stopped writing because I knew I was lying to myself. But there isn’t any point in lying, I’m not harming anyone but myself now.

In some ways this is worse than being in love with Bobby because I can see myself long-term with Bennett. He has the qualities of a man I should have married.  I know none of the reasons matter, but at the core I know this is different and probably more harmful than Bobby.

Call it what you will: butterflies, lust, limerence, or infatuation. Call it stupidity. All of it. I’m in it deep.

There were so many things I kept convincing myself wouldn’t be right with Bennett and (I think I’ve mentioned this before)  every time I said something to Bennett, he rose to the challenge and surpassed my request.  He reminds me so much of myself early on in the process. The blooming of a flower once it’s watered after years of drought. The beauty and life it breathes forth.

I can’t say enough amazing things about Bennett so I won’t say anything because I’m not trying to convince anyone.  I’m simply here to remain honest to myself.

I just wish I knew what keeps me in this cycle of unavailable men and why. Knowing something isn’t right for me and doing it whole-hog anyway. There are so many great things going on in my life right now and, of course, Bennett enhances all of that…but even without him, my life is a blessing at the moment. I don’t need him, but I want him which is why I think it’s even more dangerous.

As the weather goes from summer to fall, and the seasons change, I hope the seasons of my life flow along with it.

For the moment, my head remains clear and easy and something tells me I’m going to be ok this time around.

Why Do They Say Comedy of Errors? It’s Just NOT Funny! | Travelog

Ever have a day where no matter what you do, how hard you try, how much you plan, everything is just determined to go sideways? 

We had one of those days on vacation. 

Of course, it was the one day jam packed to the hilt with scheduled stops and plans. A day where, once one thing goes wrong or off-schedule, the domino effect of disaster follows in its wake. 

The thing is, there were so many really great moments during this day, but the stress and anxiety was so great for me, and the disappointment I suppose, that I couldn’t really let go and fully enjoy as I should. 

I had to wake early. I knew I needed to shower, pack and be ready to get the car rented by 7:30am. I had an 8am phone interview that was super important to me. I needed to have the kids up and out of that room and down to brekafast so I could take the call in peace and concentrate. I had studied for this interview and carried all of my notes with me. 

Everything started well, I had been to bed early, had a decent nights rest and woke on time feeling good about the day ahead. Showered, packed and ready to head out the door, my kids got up and got started with no complaint. I headed to get my coffee and to the car rental counter all prior to 7:30. 

That’s when the trouble started. Long story short, the frustration and complication of renting a car using Amex points caused me anxiety until the moment up to the interview. 

The call was delayed by a half hour and I spent the time at the Avis rental counter, unsuccessful in getting the car. At the exact moment someone was actually willing  to help me (three agents literally gave up on me and sent me back into the customer service queue over and over again, it was the most horrible customer service I have ever experienced) I had run out of time to continue on the phone and had to run to my room, shoo my kids to breakfast, and calm down before the call. 

I was a wreck and started crying. I had to get myself composed.  This interview was very, very important to me.  

As soon as the call started, my professional self kicked-in and I turned  into a calm, cool, well-spoken professional.  Thank goodness for some built in auto-pilot skills. 

I knocked the ball out of the park with the interview.  

I breathed deeply and got back on the phone to start all over again with Avis. 

The debacle lasted through two more agents and finally, finally, a manager.  The manager resolved the problem (temporarily, I would still have to spend time at home to finally correct it) and I was able to rent the car.  

The kids and I went to the rental counter and with only one agent, the line, only several people deep, took one-and-a-half hours.  

We finally got the car just before noon, making us 3 hours behind schedule and creating a very, very anxious driver.  

I plugged the directions in GPS and thought, ok, we should be overlooking the Big Sur In about 3 hours.  

After 2 plus hours of driving straight into beautiful weather, I began to feel something wasn’t quite right. We should have turned right towards the coast, but where still headed directly south.   My youngest tried to help wth the GPS and realized something was wrong. In my fumbling with the Bluetooth radio, I had turned off the GPS and missed the turn toward the coast, by a half hour or more. 

I pulled over and cried. 

I’m sure the kids were somewhat startled and freaked out, but I was busy mumbling and yelling at myself and technology and lack of better sense and just the general anxiety of the entire day thus far.  

If we wanted to see the coast there was no choice but to turn back and cover the same ground until we could cross the mountain range to the west. 

So I got out the frustration, bucked up, got my little guy trained enough to understand the GPS to help out, and turned my ass around. 

The issue with this was that we didn’t arrive to the beginning of the route until about 4pm and the coastal fog was rolling in. We also missed Caramel and Monterey  entirely.  I didn’t know if we could make the drive in daylight all the way to San Simeon to see the elephant seals.  I knew we weren’t making Hearst Castle or Slovang. The weight and frustration of this dispappointment, sharing this drive with my children, entirely overshadowed the fact that I had the amazing interview and we would still see Big Sur, even if it wasn’t the picture in my head.  

I should have focused on the good but I couldn’t. 

By the time we made Bixby Bridge it was about 4pm and very foggy but the sight still took our breath away.  I can’t imagine how gorgeous this view is when it’s bright daylight. 

We drove down the coast for a long while until we reached our lunch destination around 5.  I hadn’t eaten any breakfast and I was starving.  The restaurant I chose was special because of its spectacular views…..of which we had none because the fog was so thick.  Another disappointment.  And for the price, the food was mediocre.  We had paid for a view we couldn’t see. 

Another long journey through the the twists and curves of Route 1 along the coast. We stopped several places to take a look at all the natural beauty surrounding us.  We finally arrived at Saint Simeon just as the sun set and were able to see the elephant seals on the beach. The sight was pretty spectacular.  My kids loved it. 

We still had a 2 hour drive ahead of us in the dark and the kids were tired so I knew they would be sleeping and I would be on my own. As I passed the signs for the places I had intended for us to stop, the melancholy remained. The long, winding drive in Santa Barbara in pitch black night wasn’t fun or beautiful.  We arrived to an amazing hotel hand-picked for its beauty and location to simply pass out on the beds.  

Some times, things just don’t work out as planned and for a planner it’s like the death knell.  I shouldn’t have let my thoughts be so disrupted by what we didn’t have, but focus on what we did have. There were a lot of really great family moments shared on that drive. 

Waking up to the beauty of Santa Barbara was one of my favorite parts of the entire trip. I fell in love with this town while we walked around the mission and down Stearns Wharf and I hope I get to visit again for a little longer next time. 

He Says He Loves Me | I Say He Doesn’t Know Me

I haven’t written much about Bennett over the course of the 6 weeks we’ve known one another.

(I know it’s exactly 6 weeks because he reminds me, every week)

I have my reasons for that. He’s married and he lives as home. I don’t want to discuss the cons of this relationship. It’s also not Bobby all over again. It’s something different and I well know how I should be guarding myself. I am to some extent.

I’m owning where I am at the moment.

For better or worse I realize how safe I feel with Bennett. It’s not the sex, sex is ok when it happens but he has significant mechanical issues that should make me run for the hills. Actually, there’s a host of issues he’s just revealed that I am unsure I can (or want to) cope with. With Bennett its a different kind of endorphin. His limerence is so strong it pulls me into its orbit.  I want to give him happiness. Seeing him come alive with me is a pretty heady feeling. If I could articulate exactly what draws me to Bennett, maybe I would be in a better place. Maybe that’s what I’m trying to do in this post.

He admitted last week he was hopelessly in love with me. I knew. I’ve known for weeks that it was something like love at first sight. He didn’t want to admit it because he knows it’s crazy. He is trying his best to hang on to some perceived semblance of normal behavior in his attraction for me.  Spending an overnight together last week pushed the envelope for him. All that time together got him to a point of having to admit his feelings.

Bennett has demonstrated intense jealousy on more than one occasion. I have handled this with care and have been honest in replying to his questions. But he avoids the right questions and skirts the issues. When he does this he is reminding himself that “he has no right to be jealous in his situation.”  I don’t correct him and only tell him that I will be honest so be careful what he asks for.  He saw a text on my phone with some emoji hearts from a man, he was so upset he couldn’t perform that night.

What can you possibly say back to someone who professes such deep and hopeless love?   I had to explain as gently as possible that I wasn’t there with him, nor would I allow myself to have those feelings. I won’t do it again. I can’t.

But yet, here it is 6 weeks on.

The scariest part for me is that Bennett is very, eerily similar to my x.   Not bad traits, just ones like which music he likes or which radio celebrity.  They are both kind of pop culture fanatics (F.Dot leanora – I could leave you two alone for days!).  He is such a good man, proud of how he provides for his family and the type of man he is to other people.  He’s respectable and highly admired. He’s an amazing family man.  He’s also a world-class exec for a major media company, yet has no pretense what-so-ever.   In my opinion, he is happy with simple things, worried about money, doesn’t dream big and can just keep plugging forward doing what needs to be done.

We all know that’s not for me.

Or so I’ve said.

I have come to embrace my spoiled and pretentious side.  My naughty side.  All these things are part of what makes me, me.

So why do I let this continue when I know it ends in inevitable heartbreak for him?  Why would I do something that hurt me to someone else and allow Bennett to experience that pain? Why do I allow myself a slow attachment to what he is giving me?

Simple answers don’t abound.

There are characteristics about Bennett that draw me in and keep me tethered….

Bennett learns.

He pays attention to me and course corrects.

He listens.

He thinks about it before he addresses something.

He is so drawn to me that I influence him.

He wants to please me.

He wants to be the world to me.

Bennett wants to figure it out and be the man I so desire.  As he has said to me “come hell or high water, I will be those things for you.”

I believe that he sees a little of my crazy adventure and wants some for himself, wants to join me on the wild ride. I think he’s never had doors opened like this before, both emotionally and sexually.  He is so enamored with my free spirit side that it’s like addiction for him.

He calls his life before me “pedestrian” and tells me his eyes and heart have opened up since meeting me.   He tells me I have brought him back to life and he is feeling and experiencing things he hasn’t felt in more years than he can recall.

The thing is, the opposite to my free spirit is not something Bennett is going to like. At least, I can assume so. He thinks he sees a strong-minded woman raising three teens and doing a good job and neglects to see how much I don’t really enjoy motherhood at the moment.  That I am desperate to get back to work and stop with the mundane part of parenting. Somehow, he sees others from divorced families as an issue but refuses to put me into the same bucket (this comment has irked me – “he’s a child of divorce” – that’s not the be-all-end-all of poor parenting).  Bennett stays in his poor situation because he chooses to be a better father instead of a selfish individual. He takes one for his team. I didn’t do it that way, I took the selfish route. So what he likes so much about me is what he can’t be himself. He likes (loves) me so much that he can’t see me.

I’m sure he can’t see me because he believes that the biggest roadblock to a relationship with me is his marriage.

He can’t see out of that hole.

But I do. I am free and capable of thinking beyond that. Thinking about the “what ifs” with Bennett.

The curiosity for me is that each time I think he’s not for me, he does something sort of extraordinary for me.  He finds a way in. I don’t like that I admire him so much. It makes him hard not to like.

But even when I thought he could never embrace the side of me that is downright spoiled and pretentious, he does.

When I think he can’t accept my naughtiness, he shows a sincere interest (I see a little fear there too 😬)

When I think he won’t, he does.

I can’t stay here with Bennett – regardless of if there can be legs in a relationship or not – he has such a road ahead of him.  I don’t want to be a part of it. I know this.

I have told him this but we don’t get far with the discussion.  He gets so heartbroken that I eventually just let it go.

And while I know that all humans are complicated, he might be too complex for me. There might be too much baggage for me to carry with him.  I don’t think I can. I think I’m too selfish to help someone as much as I think he needs help.

The problem there is that he believes my sheer being, my presence, my attention gives him all he needs.  That can’t be true but he’s got himself convinced that’s all he needs from me.

The way he wants to love me is scary…yet something I have always desired.  Is my fascination with his love what holds me here? His ability to think I’m so perfect for him that he is unable to see anything differently?

So now I have to find my own courage to let go of something that has drawn me in close and held me tight. Given me safety, attention, admiration, respect and love.  I have to do what’s right.

I know I do.

Shame

Recently it occurred to me that I have been experiencing shame.

I couldn’t identify this feeling at first, it was like an ugly little nugget of something eating at me from the inside, telling me I was a bad girl.

I internalized these thoughts, of being bad, and tried very hard to bury them.  “I’m not bad” I thought to myself.  Certainly this is partially what drove my post a few days back about judgment … my mind was trying to make sense of what was making me feel not so great about myself lately.

Then it hit me.  I was (or thought I was) feeling ashamed.  And, lo and behold, when I thought about the source of that feeling, it derived from Bobby.  I’ve thought about it before but have obviously done a pretty good job at burying any thought of it.  It was time to address it.

I’m not positive I got to the bottom of it, but I am glad I have properly identified it and started to take control back from this feeling because its a waste of an emotion.

I am not ashamed.

I am not ashamed of anything I have done or who I am.

I realize that, perhaps, Bobby’s addiction made me feel shameful – but it’s not shame, it’s disappointment.  I am sad that he can now write me off as part of his addiction rather than addressing the real feelings we experienced together.  I know I have no control over what does, but I do have control over how I think about that relationship and I choose to remain in love with him and grateful to him.  I refuse to look back in shame.

As Bennett and I continue to date, I question if I (once again) should be ashamed I am with a married man.  The answer is a resolute “no” I shouldn’t be with a married man, but not because I feel ashamed.  Bennett is a man making his own choices, I can’t be ashamed of choices he makes.

Both Bennett and Ayden are not as sexually adventurous as I am and sometimes this generates thoughts of shame.  But, fuck, I’m actually proud of my exploration, not ashamed.  It’s society that has issues with my open-mind.  Why should I feel shame for sexually enjoying myself the way I have?  Further, the fact that I still sexually desire more partners, more adventure and *just* more than straight sex is perfectly acceptable to me.  I have nothing to be ashamed of.  (But this opens up another train-of-thought…..Bennett and Ayden would not be happy, maybe not understand,  my proclivities, so how do I manage that? If at all…)

So when I look at the triggers, and I think of each of them independently, I realize I am not ashamed of being who I am.  All of this stuff, this is me, and I’m not so bad just as I am.

I know I’m not everyone’s cup of tea and I’m more like a shot of cinnamon whiskey…and I have discovered, just recently, that’s ok with me.  I like myself.  I like my life and my friends and what I have accomplished.  All the dirty little secrets (well, you know them all don’t you!) they are a part of me too, for better or worse.

As the lights came on in my head I made two decisions.  I went back to the Woman Invisible blog and reopened some 200+ posts that I had hidden away.  I had a lot to say over the period of two years and I shuttered my voice, in shame.  Because I was worried Bobby, his wife or her friends would come across my blog.  I don’t care.  They can judge me, as I am sure they will, if I was her friend I would judge me too.  They can, if they ever read and find it.  But then, they need to see all of me, not just a small sliver of fun antics I left behind.  I couldn’t open *most* of the Bobby posts, they are too painful, but not because of shame.  Simply because I want to shutter those feelings within myself and not read about my pain in heartbreak.  I don’t want to share that piece with anyone anymore.  It’s mine alone, my cross to bear.

But the rest of that blog has some pretty fantastic and ridiculous stories and shows my path from separation til post-Bobby.  You know how far I have come?!  I am proud, not ashamed, of my progress.  I am human, and a very flawed human at that, and I make lots of mistakes.  I plan to make lots more and become an even better human than I am today.  There is no shame in growth, love or even immaturity.

The second choice was to tell my oldest, nearest and dearest girlfriend the truth about my (dating) life since separation.  This is a woman who lost her husband (and my best friend) two years ago and is *just* coming out of that depression.  She is humble, kind, asexual and god-fearing.  Yet, she has been my north star and voice of reason most of my adult life.  We are polar opposites but sisters through love.  I have been hiding most of my antics from her for 2 years for fear of her judgment and the terror I felt at the potential of losing her friendship because I thought she would be ashamed of me.

I came clean today with several of the Bobby stories….and while I made her blush through to her toes, she remained engaged, excited and interested….but most of all, she still loves me for who I am.  She asked me why I thought my sexual behavior should be a reason for her to judge me (or anyone for that matter) and couldn’t believe that while she was sitting home grieving that I wasn’t letting in on all my juicy adventures!  Go figure.  This woman is the purest and kindest woman I know, and if my stories don’t make her ashamed of me, then I am certain I have nothing to be ashamed of because she lives a life free of any sin (if there could be such a thing).  If there was anything to feel shame about, it would be the one secret I keep from her…the secret that I knew what her husband was doing and confided in me.  I have never found what the right balance was between telling the truth and saving the pain, the right and wrong of holding this secret.  I think it’s back there in the blog so I chose not to tell her about the blog, unless I pull those posts down.  Even that thought – am I ashamed that I kept his secrets?  I don’t think so, but I can never fully decide.  Therein lies a question for eternity: do I unburden myself of his secret to come clean with her, when he is dead and buried and knowing these secrets (she knows of some of them now, but not through me) could destroy our friendship.  I do not think I can unburden the secrets just to feel better about telling the truth, because it will create more hurt.

I feel about 10 pounds lighter today.  I lost an unidentified  feeling that has been weighing me down for some time.  A useless, wasted emotion.   When I had spoken to Libido Bootcamp about feeling this way, she gave me the quote from Anais Nin (our favorite author) that hit home and really opened up my mind to what I had been feeling….

“Shame is the lie someone told you about yourself.”

I’m going to stop believing those lies.

I have nothing to be ashamed of.  I am proud of what I am, where I am going and who I have become.  I plan on growing and learning more every day.  And while I fully admit I am flawed, I realize I am not at all ashamed of who I am.

 

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