Need 2 Talk II
I say with chagrin that I'm not sure I would've held on and tried to make my connection with Z into the relationship we've more or less had for four years now had he not fought for it himself like he did or initiated some of those reunions. His good and beautiful qualities kept me coming back to him when we lived so close to each other. He's an amazing and passionate(!!) man with a beautiful and complex and often dirty mind; a skillful, sensitive, and caring lover; a sympathetic heart with a clear-cutting mind; he can have a funny, witty, but very cutting tongue (a talent that I want to escape being the target of in my oversensitivity at times); his recognition and appreciation of beauty and sensuality have left me openmouthed and openhearted time and again. And so it went... Trying again. Trying again.
For all the big plusses in our relationship, I still wanted other people in different ways. I think now it was because of a lower level of attraction (I keep distinguishing it as "romantic" attraction, because I've had plenty of SEXUAL attraction to the man, without the feelings of romance) to Z than I've experienced in other relationships. Both occasionally and long-term. Don't get me wrong, the man is handsome. We've had a slew of people we didn't know walk up to us out of the blue and feel the need to tell us how good we look together, for each other. We know and compliment each other very well and know how to dress it up and turn heads walking into a room together.
We actually work very well together. Talk about a badass team....We often have that shit in spades. Which can be a kind of co-conspiratorial attraction and turn-on in itself.
With all that I know of this man that I like, WHAT needed changing or fixing in order to make this "try again" different or successful??
Now I see that feelings of romance and attraction are non-negotiables for me. I have to have some of that, and if i don't get it with/in my partner (or primary), I'll seek it elsewhere.
And feel guilty about it the whole time, if I'm with someone who doesn't share my thoughts/feelings on the subject.
**Romance: for me, the physical, chemical, emotional, and maybe mental attraction that basically make me want to have this person's children.
I GOTTA have at least SOME of that. Even if I don't plan on reproducing (which is the plan). That's gotta be in my life.
And, sorry. I feel it with J. It's been there in spades with him since very soon after we met. Don't ask me why; I could rattle you off a few things, but it's just there.
Sometimes when I'd initiate a discussion on the idea of me spending intimate time or having sex with J (usually it was him, although there have been a couple of others, mostly tangents), Z would say something like, "oh, are you back to being poly this week?" with an intent to cut a little. Christ. Words & tones like that are like a slap in the face to me.
I know, he's a self-described simple man who likes to keep things simple. What the hell have I been doing, thinking I'm going to change this? And when I can't handle the tension half the time as it's been, why am i thinking I can handle the tension and upheaval that would surely come if things were to all go like I've been thinking I wanted them to? Short of a death in the "family", it's not like either of the guys are just going to drop the animosity and lack of respect for each other that's formed in the past few years.
In my professional opinion, J DOES need to drop the grudge. It's so over. So many of our friends and myself as well have informed him of that. And he KNOWS it. But even if that happens...it still doesn't come close to them being cool with sharing a partner.
I had this arrow of feeling and thought while out walking this afternoon: with enough time on my own, I'll get to the point where I'm fine being solo and rolling just as I please. I'll be fine with stating the way/s I've chosen to live (whatever they may be at the time) regarding sex, partners, friends, labels, marriage, living situations, whatever, and then standing and backing up those statements, or walking away. Going to take some alone time to get there, though.
At this point, I've been too long in a relationship (and enmeshed) with someone who I think has some fundamentally different needs, wants, and boundaries than mine when it comes to relationships, sex, commitment, etc. And I tend to soak partners up like a water into a sponge: mentally, emotionally, physically, everything. I weave myself into their fabric, change myself (really: read Dr. Fisher's "Why Him? Why Her?" i'm a classic Negotiator, and Explorer secondarily), mold myself to fit them and their needs. (It's in my DNA to nurture.) I don't even know I'm doing it until I've done it. I recognize it as such earlier now than I used to.
It's slowly clicking that I'm not going to change what Z wants or where his boundaries are. Just as slowly clicking that I should not have one eye on thinking I could influence him in a direction other than the ones he wants to go. I want to be a big enough person to love him just as much as I do now, as I have during the times we've been & felt the closest, the most tender, the most loved by/with each other, and to let him go his own way and not cling, hoping he'll change his mind. That, too, is real friendship.
Isn't that half of what this whole move was about? To let go? Yes. I tell myself it's okay and that if I give him room and am honest with both of us, things will go the way they're supposed to.
I wish I didn't feel like I was betraying one of them by acknowledging that I love the other. I remind myself that that's not the case, and that I made them both aware of how I felt for them a long time ago. But I always wonder if I was even clear on my feelings for either of them then: when I feel like I am in a pressure cooker, the ONLY thing I am sure of is my desire, my need, my singleminded drive to create peace in my space. Nothing else in my sensory field is really cut and dried; may not even be on the table.
"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." - MLKJ