12:48 p.m. - 2013-01-17
For example, I think when I decided to start dating, my primary motivation was the hope that it might M. into realizing that he didn't, really, REALLY -- when faced with reality -- want to lose his wife.
It was the only thing I could think of that I hadn't tried.
And I also thought that if I pretended to start moving on it might actually stick and I might actually stop pretending and truly move on -- you never know -- and what the hell else was I supposed to do?
If I had really wanted to make M jealous I would have dated men, but I couldn't. Part of this is that I think I have always been attracted to women and I figured it was time to find out if this was the case. But part of it, I think, is that there was no way I, a still-married woman, was going to be sleeping with another man. Not without becoming thoroughly plastered first, anyway. At 33, I guess I am finally old enough to figure out that if you need to get thoroughly plastered in order to do something, the solution is not to get thoroughly plastered -- it's to not do it.
So I meet a few women, all of whom I liked and thought had some potential -- and A was No. 3 and she sort of ... decided on me. Not that I minded, at least not that I minded half the time, and the other half the time I thought, "OH FUCK OH FUCK OH FUCK WHAT THE HELL DID I GET MYSELF INTO AND HOW DO I GET MYSELF OUT OF IT?" I spent three months online dating and this girl decides I'm the one. Three months! I don't even fucking know if I'm a lesbian.
I did not write this in my diary at the time I was thinking it, because it seemed so horrible and I was afraid that once I wrote it I would have to do something about it -- which would involve hurting her. I couldn't stand to do that because she didn't DESERVE it. One could argue that she didn't deserve to be with someone who's lying to her, too, and I did argue that to myself.
But I figured the best thing to do was to fix myself, and my feelings, so I was no longer living a lie.
I figured that being together, in the long run, would probably be best for both of us. She needed someone who loved and appreciated and "got" her; I needed someone to take care of and laugh with and who "gets" some parts, if not all, of me.
I figured she would never "get" all of me, because one significant part of me is the part that's completely heartbroken over, and still in love with, Matt ... the part that says, when he started being nicer to me, and acting like he used to do these past couple of months, "He's not coming back, so you don't have to decide. You'll cross that bridge when you come to it. But you never will."
I lie to myself, of course. When would that bridge have been crossed? When I ended up in bed with him? Probably that's when I would have accepted that I couldn't have two relationships at the same time. Or, maybe not even then...
A couple of weeks ago A. called me out for still being in love with Matt. She said it was obvious. I, personally, did not think it was obvious, but of course she was right. I didn't admit this to her, but I realized a couple of days later how much I liked, and respected, her for knowing and calling me on it. She didn't pick a fight or anything, just said what she had noticed and that it made her feel bad. She didn't tell me to choose. All I could say was, "I'm sorry." It was fairly clear to me that there was no point in lying, and also no point in confirming the obvious.
I think that tipped the scales for me, as far as how I felt about her vs. him. It made me respect her more. It made me realize that there is probably very little I'm keeping from her, despite my best intentions. That woman is smart. For someone who has never seen a therapist and never intends to, has never been married or had kids, and has generally managed to keep her house and life in order under all circumstances, she seems to understand the mess that is ME! extremely fucking well.
I admired how she handled that, and has known and handled other things -- potential conflicts, revelations. She makes Matt look like a clueless, self-absorbed dummy in comparison.
Last night, and every night (and day) for the past couple of weeks, I have realized and re-realized that there is no way, absolutely none, that I would ever go back to Matt. I'd feel dead inside if I went back to him. He's not really "my Matt" to me anymore but just a man, a clueless, smelly, hairy man like any other. Granted I married him, had two kids with him, lived in four states and moved more than a half-dozen times with him, and shared our babies' kicks and births and my life plans with him, but so what? In the end all that really matters to him is sex (with anyone/anything/himself), money, prestige and work, and none of those things matter all that much to me at all.
I felt lonely lying next to him when we were supposedly madly in love; I can't imagine what it would be like now. I've realized that there is no place I'd rather be than with her -- including by myself, and I am a big fan of being by myself.
The way I feel about her I've never felt about anyone about anyone but my one-time best friend Kate, back in Vermont when I was a crazy kid and teenager and young adult, before Matt and heterosexual marriage and parenthood and practicality descended on my life. I figured I'd never feel that way about anyone again; only starry-eyed teenagers in ultimately doomed relationships feel that way. Kate and I were doomed because we were straight, and straight girls go on to colleges and careers and marriages in different states and put best-friendship aside like outgrown Barbie dolls ... because it's time to grow up.
For the first time in 15 years, I don't resent adulthood for sucking all the color out of my life, nor my teenage years with Kate for leaving me, like a recovering heroin addict, with haunting memories of exquisite joy that makes all the best things in life seem plain.
Life does not seem plain at all with A in it. I can't get into too much detail because other parts of that are much more personal (not necessarily sexual) ... suffice to say that damn, she is the perfect woman for me. Do I still love Matt? Yeah, but. Not enough to give up A for him, if it ever came to that. I'm way too self-indulgent.