Originally Posted by Longshoreman
And yet you also seem to indicate that you have this idea that you "shouldn't" feel so bad now that it's cooling off. That you made a mistake by letting yourself feel so good that now you feel poorly. I don't think this assessment is wise. When you open the door for joy and pleasure, you also open it to grief and pain. And if you close the door to grief and pain, you also close it to joy and pleasure.
Only you can say for sure, but on your deathbed, I doubt you'll be thinking that you should have had less joy and pleasure in your life. You've made some good choices, you've communicated with honesty and integrity, you're living your life in a genuine and "lifey" way, and you have a woman who mostly "gets" you. I have to say, "Well done." Sucks right now, but still... well done.
I can't thank you enough for the wisdom of this. I know it to be true. It's the same advice I would be giving others. It is so much harder to incorporate and embody and practice in oneself.
I think I am still carrying "guilt" at being open, in some senses, from my background, from the cultural norms, from the negative reactions of some friends, and from the struggle that it can sometimes cause for me, my wife, our marriage. It's easy to lose site of the fact that anything good does come with the risk/price of some sadness as well. The lines from The Little Prince get quoted a lot in such moments: “Of course I’ll hurt you. Of course you’ll hurt me. Of course we will hurt each other. But this is the very condition of existence. To become spring, means accepting the risk of winter. To become presence, means accepting the risk of absence.”
My wife and I both knew, and continue to affirm, that we don't want me to have "merely" NSA/casual sex relationships--I'm not wired that way, and she feels more threatened by those for reasons that make sense to me. We wanted me to find friend-lovers, though not to fall in deep love. I still don't think I've done that latter part, but I forgot how much losing (or evolving) even a deep friendship could hurt.
Live and learn. And be open to it again. Thanks, again--you're helping.