of feelings today. and right now, at this very moment i am unbelievably sad. that is all.
“where have you been?” “is everything okay?” “thinking of you” are just a few examples of the unexpected and thoughtful messages that started hitting my inbox the other day. fellow bloggers, yes, most ow, that I’ve been following, commenting on their posts, liking their posts etc.
what can i say other than i have indeed been absent. not intentionally but deliberately. last friday my darling husband, the man i have been tethered to for the past 25-years, asked me if i was involved with someone outside of our marriage. to say that i was shocked and scared is not quite adequate. shocked because i have long maintained, in my weekly sessions with my therapist, that if anything, should said husband discover my affair, he would either: not care, not notice and or be relieved. scared because as much as it may be hard to believe, i cannot lie when asked a question outright. of course i admitted that yes, i was (am?) indeed involved in a long distance, primarily “virtual” relationship. i wasn’t scared about the status of our relationship, no, i was afraid of the end of my relationship with “him”. while my dh is not a punitive or vengeful person, i am afraid that he may reach out to him and or his bride to confront him. that cannot happen. while my absence from all things social, was not intentional, the step back and silence has been deliberate. the separation from my blogging has been the most painful of all as i receive so much solace and education from the blogs i follow.
dh’s reaction has run the spectrum of anger, sadness and shock. anger and shock i expected. sadness i did not. this has never been about me leaving him for another. nor has it been about wielding a “you’ve had two affairs in the past and this is my turn” stick. the sadness, the hurt is hard for me to swallow (wait for it, yes i expect the haters to come out in full force now) because i question whether or not it’s genuine. is he genuinely sad that we might be ending? or is it his ego that can’t believe that the woman who he has always known and said “mckenzie will love me forever. she has always loved me more than i have ever loved her. she’s lucky a man like me remains married to an overweight and unattractive woman like her” etc.
he asked if i loved him. of course i lied and said no. no good can come of revealing that i am emotionally attached to him and that the physical side of our affair, as rare as those moments are, are the most emotionally satisfying and fulfilling of my life.
why is it that after all of these years, specifically the last four in which i begged, asked, pleaded with him to “say something” , to meet me in the middle, to consider counseling or seeing a doctor, why now? when i am so emotionally divorced that he suddenly has an epiphany and says that i should have known that he loves me, deep down and all of those hurtful words, his past affairs and his lack of interest in me sexually, is “just his way” and that my feelings and my desires should take a back seat to the last 25 years we have shared.
now, now he is willing to see a counselor. not to fix “us” but to support me in my quest to fix myself so we can go back to the way it was. the way it should be. the way he wants it to be again. my heart broke as i avoided “him” most of friday until i was safely away in my office and could log on and let him know what happened. i held my breath as i waited for him to say “goodbye” his self preservation kicking into high gear. and i cried, for the first time on friday when he asked what could he do and said “i can’t just walk away mckenzie. maybe before. and maybe i should. it’s always been my rule. but you have forced me to rethink those rules from the moment we met. this is no exception.”
darling husband and i have been talking. spending time trying to find common ground in what it is we want out of a marriage/relationship whether with or without one another. i know i want and need more. it isn’t about him. it is about me. and so we journey forward. i am not trusting his demeanor or his assertions that his way is the way it needs to be. i am giving the counseling a chance since i have wanted it for years. only now, i want to be able to take this next step either with dh or without him in a better space. dh has asked me to end it with my internet friend by the end of the month. i asked him “or what?” and he merely shook his head and replied “well since you yourself have said it’s not a mean to be relationship. eventually you will realize i am the best you will ever have”
rambling on and sad. missing him. our communications limited to a few minutes online over the last few days. but i know this is a leg of the journey i am taking on my own.
it’s true. as cliché as it is, i ache for him. it’s palpable. we aren’t connecting much this week. work for me is beyond nuts and with our time difference, if i’m not online by lunch my time, we can only keep one another company virtually for an hour or so before he leaves to start his evenings. one thing that i’ve come to look forward to most of all is those few minutes each night, except the weekends of course, the 10 maybe 15 minutes we have (virtually) around 11:0pm edt. it’s just a check in and a good night interaction via gchat. it’s a little thing but something that i’ve come to cherish, especially over the last 8 months or so.
however, they are officially empty nester’s now. all three kids are off at college, all in state and close enough to pop home, but for the most part the kids don’t live at home whilst school is in session. which means that his bride is by his side constantly, WHICH IS HER RIGHTFUL PLACE (i know this!-for those anon’s out there that think i believe i’m entitled to him or his time). which means that we don’t get our good night chat as often as we did before the start of the winter semester. normally, it’s been ok but as i was explaining to another blogger earlier, this last round of chemo seems to be impacting my emotional balance more than it ever has in the past and today, well today i just miss him that much more.
there is something about him that i can’t get enough of. it’s not the sex, although to be very clear, he is my ideal sexual partner. there is no doubt about the aphrodisiac that is called desire. the desire that someone else has for you that fuels that flame. it’s as if with every kiss or touch or taste instead of quenching my thirst i literally ache for more.
i am deathly allergic to cats, specifically feline dander and their chemical makeup. as i’ve gotten older, my olfactory sensitivities has increased. certain smells that used to annoy me can literally floor me and make me nauseous and cologne that i used to love on men make me sneeze. a few things about him that i appreciated from the get-go included:
- he doesn’t wear jewelry. he wears a modest watch and his wedding ring. i’ve never been a jewelry kind of gal, i only wear my engagement and wedding rings and only out. i’ve always taken them off when i get home from work and put them away. but as much as i dislike jewelry on myself, i don’t like it on men. no thick chains, or link bracelets or pinky rings etc. i don’t know where that comes from but i do recall it starting when i was very young.
- he is clean. i don’t mean antiseptic like, but he has a “scrubbed” clean look about him. while he indulges in micro-brews and the occasional gin & tonics, he has never smoked a day in his life nor tried drugs of any kind. so his skin is remarkably clear and his complexion is aging nicely so to speak.
- he keeps his nails trimmed and short. i keep my own nails manicured and short out of preference and what looks good on me. but if a man, especially one that has a job that doesn’t involve construction or working with their hands, has long fingernails (let alone toe nails) it grosses me out. i am sure it’s because i had a neighbor when i was in elementary school that was a bit of a hermit and while he was very well put together, he kept his nails long and dirty. i still convulse a little when i think of mr. cedergren.
- he doesn’t wear cologne, of any kind. he has a fresh clean smell about him, that freshly scrubbed smell that even when he works up a sweat or i greet him at the end of his day is just a mixture of him. and i crave that scent. inhaling all that is him.
- the taste of his skin. is lightly salty and his lips are soft and kissing him. tasting him is the way i imagine kissing fresh rain would taste like if you could kiss the rain on a spring morning.
- his taste is intoxicating. it’s uniquely him. it’s what i crave.
before we met we exchanged a flurry of emails that started as witty banter and escalated in to a battle of words. words that demonstrated our imaginations and then our extensive vocabularies and then a truce.
ok, we said. let’s keep “chatting” over email because it was fun. it was nice to correspond with someone that had a sense of humor, broad knowledge on a range of topics and asked questions about my life, my interests, my family.
when it became clear that i was intrigued by this smart, well written man i agreed to meet him the next time he was out my way. a change in his schedule as he was in the air almost prevented the meeting from taking place.
when he walked into the lobby of the building, i will never forget the way i knew it was him before even turning my head. my body was abuzz and every fiber was on alert. then i heard his voice and it was the voice i made up in my head when i read his emails leading up to our meeting. what i wasn’t prepared for was the jolt that ran through me when we shook hands. the minutes flew by, chatting, laughing and conversing as if we had known one another a long time. he walked me to my car and we said good bye. the only physical touch was that handshake. but he was in my head long before that.
it’s interesting this blogosphere isn’t it? you find blogs, devour them, feel as if you know or have a kinship with them. whether they are on opposite sides of whatever fence you are on the other side of. sometimes, they disappear, blogging is a personal matter and unless it’s how you earn your living it isn’t always easy to post often. sometimes, the impetus to start a blog in the first place has passed or perhaps they are just done.
in the last few days some of those that i follow religiously are moving through stages in their own story/journey each with aspects of letting go. whether it’s letting go of a lover, feelings, something in their past or immediate present. in even a few words, one can move me to tears while another inspires me with her strength to face whatever it may be when she returns to work on Monday. and others, others, speak to me in their yearning and longing to be desired, wanted, valued. to know they matter. we all matter. that’s just it. we. all. matter.
this week has been a week of ups and downs, as many of them are. the chemo treatment went as planned, the ensuing physical and emotional reaction wasn’t. while he and i didn’t get to interact much as we usually do each work day, he made sure to call my voicemail when he got to his office and leave me a morning message. the gesture alone warmed me. that it has been daily, and yes, surprise, even this morning (a Saturday morning at that) touches me in a way that i can’t explain. work continues to push and challenge me, this large-scale organizational change is pushing all of us. out of the blue, a congratulations message to a former client last week resulted in a phone interview and now I’m headed out-of-state for an interview in a week, I’m terrified. I’m lucky, i have a job i love and yet the potential opportunity with this new employer could be life changing. and i am scared at the thought of letting go of everything i know. of the potential reality that i just might walk away from the company i love, that is interwoven in who i am, the place that provided comfort and shelter in a way i didn’t know i was missing here at home. the thought of interviewing is daunting, as i haven’t interviewed externally for over 11-years. darling husband has suddenly decided that i have to decide. i have to decide if the sex life (or lack thereof) and level if intimacy that we have is enough because he’s tired of me wanting him to see a counselor, tired of me trying to have discussions with him when he just wants us to be the way we were before. when it was okay that we only had sex once every few months. when i didn’t “want” anything more. truthfully, if i change the status of my marriage, then i change he and i. i would have to because the balance would change and that isn’t fair to him. and so i realize that we are all on these journey’s and at every stage there is some letting go that has to happen.
i’m a voracious reader and a lover of books, quotes, sayings…
and this showed up on my dashboard and something about the ache and beauty resonated.