A needle in a haystack.
Last night me husband’s girlfriend came over for dinner. I began to develop empathy for her in ways I hadn’t. As she sat at dinner with my husband, son, I felt bad because I realized that she was stepping into an already intense nearly 15 year relationship, not just with two people- but with a third, our son. Over the years my son, H and I have (of course) developed jokes, arguments, and ways of relating. When friends come over these it is easier, and honestly, our friends who come over have been our friends for at least ten years, so it’s different. I put myself in my H’s GF’s shoes and saw how frightened and threatened I might feel in the same situation. I’m not sure exactly how she does feel, but for myself, it would be difficult. It was kind of worse because my husband didn’t go home with her, he went to bed in his room, his, not mine.
I guess, up until this, I had seen HER as a threat. They have sex. We do not. They have a very similar ways of relating to the world. We have opposite ways of relating to the world. I often feel burdened by my marriage – which in addition to a lot of emotional “work” contains a lot of fucking physical work – cleaning, getting a kid too and from school, taking care of animals etc. Since we live in New York everything is a bit easier or a bit harder. Things are very close geographically. You don’t have to drive two or ten miles to get to a store. Everything we need is in a 5 block radius. However, you can’t put groceries in the car: you have to carry them. You have to walk everywhere. You have to deal directly with weather. Snow storm? Well, there’s no running from house to car to work: you have to WALK through said snow storm to subway or bus – etc.
All this is a little more difficult for me with cerebral palsy. I am always hesitant to admit that because it feels like the minute you say “It’s harder with CP” the chorus jumps up and goes SEE! SEE! she’s weak. Don’t give her a job! She can’t do it! I tend to think I am actually stronger than most people. The way I view it is if someone strapped three pound weights across both their ankles and wrists and changed their voice to be a bit blurring so that people would dismiss them, then went off to work on the subways with no elevators – how might they feel at the end of the day? As if they were a weak person?
Anyway, from the view here, the girlfriend appears to be a person with a heck of a lot of money and not many responsibilities. Someone who goes home every day to a spotless house full of pretty objects and has take out. The girlfriend is someone who, with kink and a clean, quiet house, and good sex appeared to me someone who could lure away my husband. My husband who has to help get a child to and fro, works to help fund the family, and is often cooking or doing laundry while an aging animal poops or throws up under his feet. Maybe I have transferred MY feelings of wanting to escape onto my husband!
However, the things I am jealous of in the GF are just physical things. They are things that if I set my mind to it, could have been obtainable. I could have had more money. I could have remained childless. I could have lived in a nunnery had I wanted to.
Having her over last night began to cure me of the green is greener syndrome. It made me want to be kinder and more inclusive and have more empathy for her. I am still not comfortable with her sex life…I don’t have to be. But, maybe I do need to avoid discussing it with her, for now.
A friend told me a few weeks ago that my issue was I had almost no one in my life with a positive sex life. I began to tally my friends up. 1. a domestic abuse and incest survivor who has not even thought of having sex in 3 years. 2. An ex-meth addict who used to participate in weekly 14-32 hour “orgies” where he was fucked by 30 or 40 guys. 3. an older friend (also gay) who hasn’t had a lover in 20 years. 4. a friend who husband is a real dick and she basically stays with him for sex. 5. a sex-addict who died of AIDS. 6. A friend who kept dating an alcoholic who would not commit to her because it was “the best sex she’d ever had.” 7. A husband who has had erectile disfunction since he was a teenager. 8. a girlfriend who in is her forties and never had a relationship. 9. My parents… need I say more.
Then there is me. If I could cut sex out of my heart and life, I would. Sexuality has brought me nothing but heartache, loving the wrong people, lapses in an otherwise pretty strong ethical existence, obsession, silly acts, and yes, death and loss. I guess that’s not true! It brought me a son! But my best long-term relationships have been non-consumated – except with my husband. I won’t say they are non-sexual because they always have a sexual element or feeling. My friends and I will hug hold hands, argue and have close discussions all the time. How to get were I can relate to this sex thing better? It doesn’t mean I have a low libido. Actually, since beginning menopause, my libido has been through the roof. Sometimes I can masturbate and come every day. But, it’s more a matter of learning how not to judge myself or others. Learning how to connect with others sexually. That I keep trying but haven’t gotten the hang of. AND learning how to wield my sexual feelings in positive ways so I don’t end up fucking married men.
I used to have a lot of empathy for cheaters. And I kind of still do. I have a friend across the country who has written to me a lot about his affairs. I am very interested in the concept of an affair and why people have them. As a married woman, when I post ads 80% of the men who come onto me are cheating. The rest are primarily youngsters. This is what I referred to when I said the options are boundless …but are they? OK, most of the men are cheating. That’s something to avoid. Group two: too fussy or mainstream to even try to date a person with a disability. Group Three: Just want a fuck or hook-up OR are so flakey you never get to the date. Group Four: In this group we’ll put men who want someone single, who has the potential to be theirs. This leaves a small margin. Group six: Someone who wants an actual relationship, and has some semblance of responsibility but doesn’t might that I have a disability and a family. AND we have to LIKE each other. It’s a needle in a hay stack!