I am so tired. This having a talk halfway finished and having to wait four days to conclude it is incredibly stressful. Part of me just wants a resolution no matter what it is so I can stop stressing over how it is going to go.
I am cautiously optimistic that he wouldn't have asked me for The List if he wasn't willing to work on improving our relationship. But ultimately, I feel like it is really going to come down to two questions, which by their nature are either-or:
1. Is he willing to look past his previous negative experience and dive "all in", within the logistical confines (spouses, children, work, hobbies, etc) we already are working within?
2. Am I willing to stop expecting this to be a deep, committed, loving relationship and accept the casual dating/strong friendship we have now for what it is?
One of us is going to have to give. I don't see a middle ground. Perhaps I am looking at it too black and white. That is very possible, though I like to think I am queen of the compromise. I just don't see how to resolve those two points into one thing that could have us both being happy unless one of us has a lightbulb moment and realizes they are okay with the type of relationship the other wants.
In working on this list, everything I am coming up with would either require him to agree to look past his fear and be "all in", or to at least give the outward appearance of doing so. So it would be a matter of:
1. I don't get what is on the list.
2. I get the outward appearance, which is emotionally dishonest and would likely feel very hollow.
3. He's willing to be "all in".
Hubby has seen my initial draft of The List and thinks I've done a fantastic job of pulling things together. He suggested I just go ahead and email it, rather than waiting for The Talk, but I am not a fan of having something like this out there with the only way to "talk" about it being IM's, text, or phone. Things like this, to me, are best handled in person.
I am in knots over this. I know relationships are not always easy, but this is the hardest situation I have dealt with romantically in longer than I can remember. Hubby and I have had our ups and downs, but I've never had reason to believe those downs could cause us to end. With this, that is one of the four clear solutions I see:
1. We decide to be "just friends", which for me, likely means we're completely done.
2. I decide to lower my expectations and accept the casual arrangement.
3. We manage to find a middle ground, even though I don't see how.
4. He decides to look past his fear and be all in.
And yeah... my constant list making in this post is my snarkastic effort to be humorous.
Ending this here for now. Anyone reading this who has any possible wisdom to share from their own experiences, I would greatly appreciate your feedback.
"This, too, is sacred."
In a triad with A and B.