As far as tempting fate... I'm good with avoiding sex. I've had that boundary long enough that I know I can hold it. It's a lot harder to say no to massage, because the boundary is a lot more fuzzy. Many friends who come visit me, where I'm lying on the couch in pain these days, hold my hand for a while. Can he do that? What if he's rubbing my hand while he holds it? Does he need to stay below my wrist? Should he let go after a certain number of minutes? Is a foot rub out of line? I mean, I guess I'd need to ask my husband all these questions. I told him I wished he could just be there, so he could be the one to say if things stopped being ok with him, but he recoiled at the thought, saying he didn't want to watch some other guy making me feel good. And yet he doesn't mind watching men dance with me, or make me laugh, or cook for me.
I guess I just really object to massage being off limits. And he just really objects to massage being allowed.
My marriage is worth more to me than any relationship with any other man. I would never leave my husband in favor of being with one or more other men. We have beautiful small children, and the way we relate to each other is fantastic in many many ways.
I think life could be amazingly fulfilling and exciting if I could pursue some of my other relationships more (this new one and one very old one, mostly)... not even to include sex necessarily, but just to have the time to spend together, and the freedom to include more touch. But I have virtually everything else a girl could dream of in my life, so I've been content to make this sacrifice for my husband's comfort.
It's just especially hard right now. I've been sick for 12 weeks, I miss living life fully, I don't know when I'll be well again, and I want to follow every possible avenue out of pain. Touch is about the best thing. My husband can only do so much. (He's swamped taking care of the household and me on top of his usual jobs.)
Thanks for the thoughts anyway. I guess more talking is always in order.