Epilogue -- the curse of an interesting life
It seems that a lifetime ago I posted some questions here, and many (redacted) details of my tumultuous experience with mono-poly relationships.
About a year after posting here last, I got a rare job offer -- the kind that would make or break my career if I chose not to take it. Call it Karma, but it was in G's home town. N freaked out, and insisted that I break off things with G. "You can remain friends; I've been okay with your exes before" she said. To my shame, I agreed. Then N changed her mind, and demanded I break off all contact with G. To my even greater shame, I said I would do that too -- although at this point, I suspected that she would not come around.
When N followed by refusing to show any kindness or empathy for forcing me to break my word to someone I love, and for my pain in losing G -- then, and only then -- I told her we were done. N and I are separated nearly two years, after having gone through a painful "collaborative divorce" process. I will be poor for the rest of my life, but the substantial incentives I provided convinced her to complete our planned move to G's hometown. I have my kids a few days a week, and I have G back, and living with me most of the time.
It is VERY good to live true to myself, with someone who loves in a way that I understand. What it came down to was truly an "irreconcilable difference" -- to me, someone who cannot show me empathy for my pain, for what I was willing to lose of myself and compromise of my core values and integrity for her sake, is not really a life partner.
In the year of intensive couples therapy that preceded that decision for separation, I learned that N cannot handle intimacy; it terrifies her. She wants to live next to someone, not with them, in my sense of these words. I could not have been happy with monogamy like that. Maybe, if we understood our differences ten years ago, we might have had enough patience, goodwill, and motivation to grow together instead of apart. Maybe, but probably not.
I wish I could say that this was a mostly happy ending to a very difficult journey. It was not. G and I are still together, but the fire we have gone through, side by side, makes the burning pain of writing my own divorce agreements seem like a hot-tub... Maybe I'll be inclined to post that story sometime, but not today.
All I will say is that in blood and tears G earned my loyalty more than any partner ever did, or should ever have to. That woman is AWESOME, and I am thankful daily to have her by my side. That should be good enough, as endings go.