Sunday was painful, but I survived it as I knew I would (without a coma).
On Monday, two fortunate things occurred:
1. The Relationship Flunkie posted this link http://therelationshipflunkie.wordpress.com/2011/08/01/i-hate-the-beatles/ and gave me something to think about; and
2. An honest, straight forward, no bullshit friend listened to me, allowed me to chatter about what I thought I thought and what I was doing. Then she gave me her perspective, and some more to think about.
So, while Monday started with a little carry over from Sunday — the day got better and a few things changed for me.
While I am a romantic at heart, I am very sure that I don’t subscribe to the “love is all you need,” or “love is enough” theories. I think it can be enough, in certain circumstances, and for certain periods of time, but when it comes down to it “the details” that are everything else really can and do matter. I’m not talking about details like you love Charman and he insists on buying Cottonelle. Or even the greater detail of his mother is a bitch and doesn’t like you. Those details can be soothed and worked through with love, in my opinion.
But if your “details” involve something with a little more substance, love may not be enough. It wasn’t for me and it wasn’t for B.
My “details” with B involved my son. My son didn’t like B, basically because he was the first man I spent time with after his father. The divorce impacted him harder than my almost 18-year-old for a variety of reasons – the biggest being his very close relationship with his father. He felt that loss instantly and the limited time that he spent with his father, unfortunately, the first year was full of toxic comments hurled by his father about me — leaving my son to struggle with his emotions on a completely different level than I think fair for a 10 or 11-year-old.
B understood this and tried on occasion to win my son over, but it was a rough road and he never gained much ground.
There were other minor “details,” that probably could have been worked through because of “love” but the big one for me was definitely my son. We agreed that my son would probably grow over time and come to terms with the relationship, but it would take time. The fact would always remain, no matter how much I loved B, that I was my son’s mother first. I would not be rushing him to “deal” with his emotions, “get over it” or just “cope.” My love for my child would simply not allow that.
B finally decided that he could not wait any longer because of his own personal “detail.”
His biggest “detail,” that could not be soothed or worked through with love was based on his religious beliefs. He was a 55-year-old Christian man in a strong and solid walk with Jesus. Because of this he could not/would not have sex with me, even though he wanted to very badly. I know I’ve said it before, but it’s worth repeating — 2 years and 4 months with no sex.
Please don’t misunderstand — we were naked together 2 to 3 times a month. He did amazing things with his hands, was a fabulous kisser and oral sex was on the table — but that was it and he wanted more.
He couldn’t have more unless he married me. I wouldn’t marry him because (a) I was not ready to be married so soon after being freed from 23 years with my ex, (there were things I felt I still needed to work out); and (b) my son didn’t need that twist in his situation since he was still trying to come to terms with the divorce.
The obvious question would be why didn’t we just go along as we were until I was ready to get married. I was totally on that path. I assumed I would marry B, one day. Just not now. I was content with the sex as it was because we had great intimacy that didn’t involve being naked. I was content. He was content, to a point, but the sex that we did have messed with his mind.
It made him feel as though he looked bad in God’s eyes and that while God forgives those that ask for forgiveness, to continually carry out these sexual acts was pushing his luck and he didn’t like that at all. Love was not enough for him to suffer God’s wrath in the afterlife. It simply wasn’t.
We frequently had conversations, usually after being naked together, about NOT being naked together for the sake of righteousness. He knew how I felt about it. Which was frankly, “I don’t like it, but I’ll try it to make you happy, because I love you and want to help to secure your favor with Jesus.” But it never lasted – I think we went 6 weeks once. That was really hard on him. Really hard.
While I did not share his beliefs, I respected him for them because it made him who he was. He just finally got to the point where he decided his love for Jesus was stronger. Didn’t take away from how much he loved me at all. I 100% got his position.
So while I believe love can be enough, for some things, it wasn’t enough for ours.
I reflected on this a lot on Monday. I realized a couple of things.
B did some amazing stuff for me. He helped me get through some really shitty times dealing with my Asshole Ex Husband that could have left me curled up in the fetal position and he taught me to love me and believe that I am worthy of being treated with respect, kindness and sincerity by any man I choose to love. I will always be better for that and the time we spent together, and I will always be grateful.
Possibly that was the purpose of our relationship. I will never know that for sure.
What I do know is that I have turned a corner and I am very excited about that.