K and AJ are on a cruise this week. They left on Saturday and they will be back next Saturday. That means that I have the kids all week by myself. The kids have a lot of stuff going on this week, which is stressing me out. I want to go on a cruise, but I have no one to go with. It's too expensive to go alone and I don't think I would have fun alone anyway. T might go with me...... if he was not working so much. Maybe in a few years when he gets his business sorted out we can take a short one. K and the kids would go with me. While that might be fun, it's not the romantic getaway that I am hoping for. So, rather than thinking too much about it, I have started to think about the trip to the beach with T and his family. They have booked a house that is not on the beach, but is very close to it. I am very excited. I love the beach. I can walk the beach for hours. I can sit in the sand and listen to the surf for hours. I don't know what the sight seeing plan for the weekend is, but I know at night, I will walk to the beach and listen to the surf. I am hoping T will want to come with me. I would really love it if he did.
I will also get up one morning and be on the beach for sunrise. There is nothing like seeing the sun come up over the ocean. Maybe T will come with me for that too. I know that T and I will not emerge from this trip boyfriends. As much as my heart wants that, my mind knows that it will not work out. T does too. To have him again would mean I would have to give up some of the most important things that I want out of my gay life. I would have to give up having a real partner. I would have to give up getting married again. I would have to give up sleeping next to the man I love every night. But for now, I am going to push that all to the side. I am going to look forward to this trip. I am going to treasure the memories that we will build together. I am going to have a good time.
I am going to have my time on the beach with the surf.
Last year I took the kids to a local theme park for the day. It was October so were not a lot of people there and the lines were all really short. We had a GREAT time together!! Even my 10 year old daughter went on the tallest roller-coaster in the place. (And this place has a lot of coasters) Since we had so much fun, it was not surprising that when spring came around they all asked to go again. Now that all the kids are big enough to ride everything, it made sense to look at season passes. A season pass cost about the same a 2 single day tickets, so I figured it would be worth it. If I only go twice, I will break even on the cost of the passes. This past Saturday I woke to a rainy day. My son had baseball practice, which got canceled. My daughter had football practice, which was also canceled. Suddenly, we did not have that much to do for the day. It was not raining that hard, more of a heavy mist. Then I saw on Facebook one of the guys on my kickball team (Danny) was at the theme park with his boyfriend (David) and David's kids. I have known David for a about a year and I texted him. Me: Hi David. I see you are at the Park. How is it? David: It's awesome!! There are no lines for anything. You might want an umbrella though. So without any advanced planing, I packed up the kids that wanted to go and we headed down the road. Since we have the passes, I figured the worst thing that happens is it is raining too hard and we go home. I would only be out the cost of gas. It turned out to be an awesome day. It was not raining that hard, but the weather was dreary enough to keep most people at home. There were no lines for anything!!!
About half way through the day I spotted David, Danny and the kids walking past where I was sitting. We chatted with them for a while and then we basically merged our groups together. We all hung out together for about an hour or so. The whole time I was watching Danny and David. They have only been together about 6 months, but it was clear there were in love with each other. It was awesome seeing two guys in love with each other doing "normal" family things with each other and the kids. It is EXACTLY what I wanted for me and T. When we were still boyfriends we would occasionally go out with my kids. Usually to dinner and then a movie. Or a movie and ice cream. I always treasured those times, because I had my boyfriend and my kids together at the same time. Everyone was happy and getting along well. It was just what I wanted for myself after K and I broke up. Watching David and Danny just being together, made me feel a little sad, but also hopeful at the same time.
Something extraordinary happened this week. Well, two things actually.
1. T is taking a few days off from work to go one a long weekend get away.
2. T invited me to come along.
T usually works on weekends. Well, he usually works all the time. He is going to close is office for several days over the Memorial Day weekend and take a trip with his family. One of his sisters is taking her boyfriend along. T invited me. How cool it that?
I think it is very cool. In the more than seven years I have known him, I have not had 3 days with him. Three full days, and nights. Yes, his family will be there and it's not exactly going to be a romantic getaway, but I don't really care. Just to be with him will be great.
As much a I want to it be so, I know I am not going as his boyfriend. In fact, several days after I got the invite, T reminded me that I need to find a boyfriend. My feelings for him make that difficult. I am still in love with him and that will never change. (More on that later)
I told K that I was going on this trip. She was immediately irritated about it. Partly because she goes to an event every Memorial Day weekend and she just assumed I would be around to watch the kids. Me being gone will kind of mess that up for her. The other part is, she thinks I should not be talking to T at all. She thinks maintaining my close relationship with him is preventing me from moving on.
She is right. I know that. Blog readers have told me that. T has told me that I need to find someone else. But at the end of the day, the truth is I am still in love with him.
I know that he is unable (or unwilling) to have the relationship with me (or anyone) that I want and need, but I am still in love with him. I know that he works all the time and even thought he wants to, he will not be able to make that better any time soon, but I am still in love with him.
Yes, I have met other people, like the Chef. Things did not work out with the Chef mostly because we were not really a match. Now, I think the issues we had could have been worked out if I really put effort into it. But the reality is, I did not want to. My heart was elsewhere.
This is the persistent truth about my reality.
I can't have T, but I can't let him go. He is important to me and I know I am important to him. He is one of my oldest friends. He IS my most persistent friend. Despite all the demands on his time, he is always someone I can talk to about anything that is on my mind. I value him and his friendship greatly. I love him and I never want to have him out of my life.
Sunday was one of the gayest days I have ever had. I got up and met the Chef for coffee. I had not heard from him in weeks and he texted me on Saturday. He said he needed someone to talk to and asked if I could meet him for coffee. Our last conversation did not leave us on the best of terms, so I asked what he wanted to talk about. "I am having some family drama." was his reply.
I agreed to meet him at a Starbucks about half way between his house and mine. After some small talk, he started to tell me about his drama. Apparently his adult daughter's mother (his first ex-wife) has a new boyfriend and that is causing friction between them. He explained the whole story and I listened patiently, sometimes asking questions. When he was done, he asked me for my advice. What did I think he should do? Well I told him what I thought I would do in that situation. We talked for a while longer, and then we said our good byes.
After that I was off to my gay kickball league. We has a game scheduled at 1:15. The other team was bunch of guys who always wear wigs during the game. Some of the wigs are costume type wigs. Bright colors and some that obviously looked like yarn rather than hair. Others looked natural and until they took them off after the game, I might not have known they were wigs. My team is not as crazy and we don't do crazy costumes. But my team is REALLY gay. Everyone is gay and everyone is very open about it. Even though I am more reserved myself, I feel very comfortable with the group. In the end, we lost to the guys wearing wigs.
After that, I was off to T's sister's house. Last Friday was T's birthday and his sister had moved into her own house. So it was kind of like a double party. T and his whole family were there. The food was excellent (as it always is) and I got to see some of his family that I do not see as much as I used to. Best of all I got to see T. We did not have a chance to spend a lot of time together, because he was busy entertaining his other guests. I understand that, I was just happy to see him. So it was a big gay day. It was a lot of fun and I got to see my love, even if it was just watching him be a good host. I need to meet up with him this week and take him out to a nice dinner for his birthday.
As I was getting into bed last night, I could hear it had started raining. It was raining hard. I could hear the sound of the rain pounding on the roof of my house. It must have been windy too as I could hear the rain drops hitting the windows next to the bed. There is something about the rain that makes me feel romantic. I think maybe it is something deep within us left over from our caveman days. When you are outside in the rain, you will almost always be cold to one level or another. I think our instincts tell us to huddle (or cuddle) together for warmth. It is a survival instinct. If you can find someone to share body heat with you and survive the night. If you are really lucky you might even get a chance to get started on the next generation. (Unless, of course, you are gay. Then it's just for the fun of it.) Last night as I was listening to the rain, I was wishing I was not there by myself. I need to get back online and start looking again. There has to be someone out there who wants to be with me at night. I have been offline for most of the past year. I had been hoping that I could make things work with the Chef. We have been off and on for a year and I kept hoping we could find a way to work it out. But it's not going to happen. Our last conversations was pretty angry and I do not think I will ever hear from him again. It's just a well really. He was not good for me and I knew it all along. Since I am prone to wishful thinking, I was hoping something would change in him or me to make it better. It didn't. Aside from the way he acted toward me, I was not in love with him. He was nice to be around and I like talking to him, but I never had that "spark" feeling like I get when I am with T. Again, I was hoping it might develop over time. It didn't Anyway, part of me is getting used to being alone much of the time. Part of me is hating being alone so much. I am taking more time away from K's house and simply going home. I didn't used to do that. I used to stay over there, unless I had something else to do. If I had no plans, I would hang out over there, simply because I had nothing better to do. Now it's a little different. I think it's important to establish with K and the kids that I have my own house and I go home when I am done doing what I need to do with the kids. If K is not working, I sometimes do not go over at all. I will go home directly after work and stay there for the evening. Sometimes I will go and hang out until they all sit down for dinner. Sometimes I stay and eat, but most of the time, that's when I go home and eat on my own. When K is working I go until my daughter goes to be or about 9:00pm, which ever comes first. I am there to make sure they get their homework done and they are getting ready for school the next morning. I don't really want AJ doing that kind of thing unless it's absolutely necessary. So when I go home, I sometimes sit around and watch TV. Sometimes I get on the treadmill while watching TV. I am usually just there alone. The past couple of nights my youngest son has been coming to my house for the night. I like that, but I don't push them one way or another. Part of me is getting used to being home alone and even liking it. Part of me hates it as much as it always has. Either way, I really wish there was someone there to snuggle with when it rains. Time to get back on the horse and find my Prince Charming.
When you love someone, I mean really love them deep in your heart, that kind of love does not go away. It does not fade over time and distance. It endures. I have that kind of love for T. No, nothing has changed about our situation. We are still "separated" and that probably will not change in the near term. (I am still hopeful in the long term.) We still communicate in one form or another every day. Texting many times a day. Calling a few times a week. Seeing each other in person, one every month or two. I would like it to be more, but we both have busy schedules. We got together last night. I think this was the first time I saw him in more than 2 months. I might have been the longest stretch I have gone without seeing him since I met him just over seven years ago. We spent most of the evening together and I can tell you for sure, we still have the spark. There is still magic between us that I don't think can be duplicated with anyone else. All day at work I was so happy to be going to see him that I could not keep the smile off my face. Monday, I had ordered a gift to be delivered to him at work yesterday afternoon. I got word it was delivered just a few hours before I was to see him. It took him a short while, but he figured out the anonymous gift was from me. I am pretty sure he liked it. When we got together, my heart was so happy. He looked just as amazing as ever. Despite his complaining that he had gained 5 pounds, he looked stunning to me. I am not going to get into the details of out evening, but suffice it to say it was wonderful. We had wide ranging conversations and other activities that we both enjoyed. When it was over, I drove him home, had a nice kiss good night and I left with happiness I had not felt in a long time.
Here I am, the day after and I am still happy. There was a time when I would have become sad or disapointed, because after a nice evening, I was distracted by the dreams I had that may not come true. I do not have that today. Today I am basking in the love that I know we still share for each other, regardless of our other circumstances.
When I started this blog back in 2009, I did it because I was in conflict and I wrote about it. I often wrote about the same thing more than once, but each time approaching it from a slightly different angle until I had sorted things out in my head. Then after K and I divorced, I started to have more clarity and less conflict. After T and I broke up, I started spending more time with the kids and that was a distraction for a while. I had an on again / off again relationship with the Chef which caused a bunch of conflict. I didn't have much of a urge to write about that. Probably because in my mind I knew it was never going to amount to anything I the long run anyway. So even though there has been a bunch of stuff going on, there has not been a lot of movement, so there is not much to write about. Or at least not much I felt motivated to write about. That is until recently. Some things have come up that are causing some changes in my life. I am not 100% sure they are good changes, but they are changes nonetheless. They are causing me to have more and more conflict and I am feeling the need to write about it. I don't know how long this new conflict will last before a reach a level of clarity where I stop writing again. I have a feeling that there will be more. I am noticing behavioral changes in myself. Maybe that's good, maybe it's not. I'm going to have to "talk" it out. Since I really don't have anyone to talk to, I will write about it here. If anyone still reads this, you are welcome to some along if you like.
K has been coaching girls volleyball for almost as long as I have known her. She has coached high school, college and Junior Olympic teams over the years. Every MLK day weekend for the past 6 or 7 years she has taken a team to a large tournament at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. It a about 4 hours drive from where we live. I have never gone, mostly because watching her coach a bunch of girls I don't know is boring. This year my daughter is playing, so I made the trip.
Right now I'm sitting on the balcony of my room on the 10th floor of the hotel right on the beach. It's just after midnight and I'm looking out into the darkness. I'm listening to the pounding surf and it's making me feel good. It's making me feel better.
There is something soothing about listening to actual waves. (Not a wave simulator app). The actual sound of water crashing into the sand, makes me feel good. In the same way that a crackling fire makes me feel good.
Tomorrow when the sun comes up it will be even nicer. Now all I can see is the darkness of the Atlantic Ocean. I can only see the water when the waves break and the hotel lights catch the white surf.
It's like an old friend. It's helping me forget my loneliness. Forget the Chef and how he keep trying to get back into my life just to hurt me again. It does not help me forget T. In fact being here makes me miss T more. I would love to be here with him. He has ZERO tolerance for the cold so he would be watching the surf from inside the hotel room, not on the balcony. :-)
Maybe next year I'll have someone to share this with me. Fore this trip, I'll share it with my daughter and she will always remember going to beach in the winter with Daddy.
My roommate moved out at the beginning of December. He told me around the middle of November he would be moving in with his girlfriend. I was happy for him and sad for me. He was a really good roommate. For a straight guy he was VERY gay friendly. While were we not buddies, we did chat on the rare times we were home together. He was respectful of my house and did a good job cleaning up after himself. My daughter really loved his dog. I was pretty spoiled. Now I have to go find another roommate. I don’t NEED to. I can pay my bills myself, but I kinda got used to that extra money coming in every month.
This weekend I was looking for a spoon to stir my coffee, but they were all dirty. I’m not home that much so I don’t run the dishwasher. Then I counted my spoons. I thought I had more than that. Where the hell did they all go?
Well, I went online to Amazon.com, where I shop for nearly everything I need first to see what they have. They had several sets and some of them were pretty nice. I don’t need nice. I like utility. I like simple and functional. I do not pay extra for ornate designs on my spoons. That said, I decided that I would like a matched set of spoons, forks and knives. The ones I have are a mix of ones I have collected over the years. I honestly can’t remember how I collected them all.
On Amazon I found a basic set that I liked and it was at a good price. I read through the comments and it seemed most people liked them. There was one review however that said this set was available a less that half price at IKEA, if I was able to go to a store. There is a store about 30 min away. What luck!!
I headed down with my youngest son and my middle son. I think they just wanted to get out of the house, but it turned out that we had a lot of fun looking at all the stuff.
While I enjoyed the time shopping with my sons, I could not help but notice all the couples shopping together. Holding hands, looking at stuff for the homes they shared together. Most of the ones I noticed were the younger couples. The ones without kids. The ones that seems to still be in that “honeymoon” stage. Mostly it was straight couples, but there were a few gay couples too.
I did not pine over this. It did not spoil my afternoon out with my boys, but it was yet another reminder of what I want so badly for myself. At the moment, I have no prospects. The only people who seems to be interested in me are crazy people, and it seems even they are not interested anymore.
I had a lot of family time this Christmas season. It was mostly nice. I was not sad or depressed about my single status. I have tried to have fun with the kids. We saw several movies, both a home and in the theater. My youngest son got a small radio controlled airplane that was surprisingly easy for him to fly. We went to a nearby ball field many times to fly it. They were short trips (the battery only last about 10 min) but it was quality time spent with him.
I was able to see T a couple of times over the holidays. Our relationship is in a good place and I think we are more comfortable with each other and where we stand. I still love him deeply and I always will. Every time I see him, my happiness level goes way up. I think that is because I have fully accepted his limitations and I no longer have the wishful thinking that caused me so much stress. Now we are free to simply enjoy being together as close friends.
Today is the last day of the holiday. K and AJ have gone away for the day. I am here with them at her house, trying to get things back into the normal routine as school starts again tomorrow.
I think January will be a planning month for me. I am going to work hard to control what I eat so I can really start losing weight. I am going to clean out my house, and either get another roommate or get it ready to sell so I can find a smaller place. I have a trip to England planned at the end of the month and when I am back from that, I will start taking a more active role in my dating life. I’ll talk more about that in another post.
I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving. (Well, my US readers anyway) My mother came to visit me. Also my uncle (my mom's brother) and his wife came too. My mother was here about a week. My aunt and uncle were here for 2 days.
The morning my uncle was leaving for home, I met them breakfast with my mother. The topic of my relationship with K, AJ and the kids. Granted it is unusual. Its not every gay man who is welcome in his ex-wife's house all the time. AJ commented on it again when I showed up there on the morning and he made me a cup of coffee. He mentioned how strange it was for a man to by making coffee for his wife's ex-husband.
Over and over I have said it. It's fucked up, but it works.
My aunt & uncle and my mother kept telling me that I had done a great job. That my relationship with the kids seemed excellent. My relationship with their mother was very good too. My uncle mentioned at one point that I was lucky things were so harmonious. I agreed to a point. I as luck that K was not hostile, like many ex-wives can be.
The more I thought about it, it really had nothing to do with luck at all. I worked my ass off over 6 years to get these relationships where they are. It took a lot of work and a lot of sacrifice.
My uncle does not know I have a blog so he has not followed my struggle over the past several years. He does not know how I stressed about making the divorce as painless for K and kids as I could.
He does not see the countless hours I spend at K's house with the kids to keep the relationship with my kids as good as it can be. The do not call AJ "dad" because I am there all the time. I still give my daughter a hug most nights before she goes to sleep. On the mornings when K is working over night at the hospital, I get up early so I can wake my daughter up and get her ready for school.
I have sacrificed a lot of time that I should have used for myself. I could have been building relationship with other people. Maybe I would have had more time to find a boyfriend. Or just spend more time with the few friends I have. It just might have been more fun.
But I choose a different path. Even though I am out of the closet, I still live the life of a family man. Nothing is free. I have a great relationship with my kids, but I am lonely as hell the rest of the time.
The Chef tells me I need to spend more time for myself. He says I am not getting any younger. He says that my kids will always be my kids and I don't need to worry about them as much as I do. He says that no matter what I do, the kids will not drift away from me. I am not sure I want to take that chance.
I can't decide with metaphor to use. Stuck in a rut or stuck in the spin cycle. Either way I feel like I am stuck. I am not doing much beside working, hanging out with my kids, and sleeping. I am not making much progress on my search for love. I want to write about it more often. I need to get back to that. T and I are still in contact. We talk once or twice a week and text daily. We have worked ourselves into a good place... at least as it relates to each other. He has been working a lot so it has been difficult for me to see him in person. I have not been actively working my dating profile. I did hear from a guy in neighboring state. He seemed like a nice guy. The more I talked to him, however, the more I got the feeling he was looking to relocate to my city and needed a place to stay. No thank you. I also started talking to another guy. He is a nice guy and while I could be friends with him, he is not someone I want to date. I have been talking to the Chef. I had coffee with him the other day and we text most every day. I am not getting involved with him. Just talking. I spend too much time at K's house with the kids. I know I do it, but honestly I have nothing better to do with my time. I figure if I have nothing better to do, I may as well keep working on my relationship with my kids. I know it's not healthy for me. I know that I am not getting any younger. I know I need to do more things for myself. I feel like I am so busy. I feel like I am running and running all the time. I feel like I don't have time for myself. I know that I could make it if I wanted to. But for now, I'm stuck in my rut.
Hi. I don’t know if you remember me, I have not really been around much. Part of the reason I have not been writing much, is that I used to write on my computer at home. When I am at K’s house with the kids or someplace else, I usually have my phone or my tablet, but I rarely have the computer. Touch screens are not great for writing, so I have not written much. When the blog started I used to write almost every day. After any while, it seems like a lot has happened and I would need to write a lot to get everyone caught up.
I think it might be time to revive the blog and see what happens.
And yes, today is my birthday.
To get you caught up:
I gave the Chef another chance. There was a part of him I really liked and he was interested in me (which in itself is attractive) so I tried to see if we could make a go of it. It was going pretty good most of the time.
I took a trip with the kids in August to back to where I grew up. We spend a five days in the woods and off the grid. We had campfire, a lake, kayaks and fishing. We all loved it and had a great time. The we spent some time with K’s family. That was OK too. Kids had some cousin time and I chilled out. My in-laws are nice to me even though I am no longer married to their daughter.
Ten days after returning from vacation, I had to take an 11 day trip to England for work. It was short notice and a lot trip. Some friend took we into the London to see the tourist sights in the day time. By night we went to the gay bars in Soho. That was a lot of fun, though I would not want to do that all the time. That evening is worthy of a separate blog entry of it’s own.
While I was in England the Chef felt neglected. He felt like I was being selfish for not staying in touch with him enough. He said a lot of other nasty stuff and at that point I was done with him. We fought and broke up forever over text message while I was 3,500 miles away. I really felt he burned the bridge so badly, I was not even interested in being his friend anymore.
I met a guy 2 weeks ago on Match.com. We actually had 3 dates, but I think that is as far as we will go. He was nice and really easy to talk to. After the 3rd date, this past Monday, He has kind of gone silent. I reached out a with some test messages, and got one or two word replies. Yeah, I can take a hint.
All the time I have been keeping up with T. While I still love him the same, I no longer have the longing for him that I had for so long. I would still love to be with him again, but I have accepted that it is not to be.
Which brings me to today. I turn 46 today and I am not really in the mood to be celebrating. In fact the whole thing is pretty depressing. Yes, I have and good job and great kids and I'm grateful for that. I really am. But at the same time I hate being alone. I hate there is no one who cares for me and no one I can care for.
(Author's note: When I started this I had a clear idea of what I wanted to say, but then it turned in more of a stream of consciousness. Bear with me...)
T is starting to actually meet a few people he has met online in the real world. So far he has not made a connection with any of them for various reasons. He continues to look.
I have refreshed my profile on Match.com and some people are looking at it. No one has written yet, but I have not taken any affirmative steps either. Well, I did write to this one guy I was supposed to meet 2 years ago when T and I briefly broke up. He did write back and I am supposed to meet him tonight. He seems nice and we will see how it goes. I don't really have high hopes.
This is hard and a pain in the ass on a good day. But something has been making it much harder for me.
I cannot help but think it's very hard to look at dating others, when you already know who your true love is.
I believe in true love. I believe there is someone for everyone. I believe in soul mates. I think that I know who my true love is. I know the person I supposed to be with. So why am I talking to other people?
Yes, this is my heart talking. While my brain "clicked" last week and said it was ready to move on, my heart has given my brain a big "fuck you!!"
On a separate but related topic:
A guy from my fraternity got married yesterday. He is not someone I know well, but as many of the fraternity guys, we are all friends on Facebook. His wedding appeared to be a large affair. Many of his friends starting posting pictures of it last night.
This guy is a young good looking guy. His partner (now husband) is a little older but not a lot. He just finished law school and he is already a very busy attorney. He goes out a lot. He has a lot of friends and a man who ardors him. They go on vacations together and do all kinds of things together. He kind has the life I want (except he has no kids...yet).
But as I was looking at the pictures on Facebook I kept thinking the same thing over and over.
What good is doing all the stuff I say I want to do, if I cannot share it my the man I love? I have (or used to have) a man who fulls my heart with love. Even now, I cannot picture a future for myself where he is not with me.
How are these things related? If I have a true love, maybe I can (and should) alter my vision of my future. T is a workaholic, but he will not work forever. He will eventually retire and have a lot of time on his hands. He is not one of these guys who will be working as a doctor into his old age. He has a plan to retire long before then. Oddly enough, it will be about the time my daughter is off to college. He will have extra time and so will I. I won't be able to retire then, but that's okay.
The other thing I thought of, is time. One thing the Chef showed me is what it would be like to be with someone with a LOT of extra time on his hands. The Chef has one child who is grown and moved away. He looks after his mother, but she is largely self sufficient despite her advanced age. So the Chef, has a lot of time on his hands. Once he finishes work, there is not much more for him to do.
The Chef liked seeing me, and was often frustrated by my lack of time for him. I was always doing something, usually with the kids. Not that we didn't get to see each other, but it was not enough for his liking. Today we are friends, nothing more. I think he might like more, but I really am not interested in anything beyond friendship with him.
As I re-enter this online dating thing, I worry I will meet someone I like and get attached, only to have him leave because I do not have enough time for him. That was never an issue with T.
My life with T was not perfect. There was a lot about it that did not fit into the vision I had for myself. But maybe I am putting the cart before the horse. Maybe I need to scrap that vision and look at what is in front of me. Maybe I need a new vision. Maybe I need to develop that vision WITH someone else rather then expecting someone to conform to my vision. A couple in love develops a vision together, but the love comes first.
Love first, vision (developed together) comes later.
This is where I went wrong with T. I tried to shoehorn him into my vision of what I wanted in my life. Rather than us developing a shared vision of the future together, I tried to convince him my vision was better. I tried to convince him he would be happy in my vision and I did not consider his vision (or at least not enough). So rather than cooperating on our SHARED vision, I continued to bang my head against the wall with frustration when he did not conform to mine. I was a fool.
Maybe if we had walked a shared path together, rather than me trying to pull him down my path, I would not have been so frustrated.
We both would have been happier.
Maybe we would still be together...
...and we could have found our happiness together.
About 25 years ago, I was dating this girl. We dated for about a year and a half and I asked her to marry me. She said yes. We were both still in college at the time. It was over Christmas break. She was graduating in May. I had one more year to go. (I was pursuing a double major and was going to take an extra year.) Over the summer we picked a date, told our parents and started to make plans.
By the end of the summer she had gotten a job and I was heading back to school. A couple of months into the semester and stress was starting to show. I did not see it at the time, but in hindsight, the signs were there. At the end of October she went to a costume party at the home of someone she worked with. Many of her work friends would be there too. She did not invite me, but I could not have gone anyway. I did not have a car on campus so I was stuck there.
The next day she we were talking on the phone and she sounded different. I asked her about it and she told me at the party, she had hooked up with another guy. She said they just kissed, but I never really believed that. She broke up with me there on the phone.
I was devastated. Totally did not see that coming. I simply could not imagine that was happening to me. I tried (and failed) to save the relationship. She agreed we could remain friends and that made me feel better. I did not realize at the time that was just something people say. Most people don't really mean it.
It was hard to keep in contact with her but her job was a manager of a large store in my town. I would see her in there sometimes and we would chat. Sometime she would tell me she was busy and shoo me away.
The last time I saw her she was not happy to see me at all. She yelled at me in the store. She told me to leave and she didn't want to see me anymore. She was very angry.
I shouted something back at her and stormed out of the store. I was furious, but something clicked in my brain. I knew I was never going to see her again. I no longer wanted to see her. Any happy thoughts I had about her were gone. And to this day, I do not think about her with any sort of fondness (if I think about her at all). I am no longer angry but there is a complete indifference to her memory. I really do not care what happened to her after the moment I walked out of that store and I still feel that way.
The reason I am telling this story is not about her, or about how I feel about her. This was a true story and she is NOT a metaphor for T, the Chef or anyone else.
The reason for the story is the click in my brain. The epiphany I had that cleared my mind.
That happened to me again yesterday.
I have been talking to T a lot over the past couple of week. I love him desperately and I always will. (As if you didn't already know.) I want to be with him and at this moment I do not care about the other difficulties or frustrations we had. I feel so perfectly happy and safe and loved when I am in his arms and I miss that feeling with all my heart.
When we talk, he talks to me like a close friend. Like a family member. I know he loves me. He wants me to live my dreams and be happy. After the pain I put him through when we broke up, I am glad he is still talking to me. I am grateful he still cares about me and is willing to maintain a close friendship. I know he means that in his heart and its not just something he said.
Lately when I have been talking to him I would occasionally stray into talk about us being together again. About putting things back the way they were. Of course, this is not possible for many reasons. It has been eleven months since the break up and he does not want to get back together with me. He has healed the wound I caused and he has no interest in reopening it. Even if he did, he would forever be wondering when I would become frustrated and dump him again. So when I stray into that kind of talk, he would gently say, "Jim, you are doing it again."
But like a stale gag on a "Simpsons" episode I did not immediately take the hint. It would put me off for a couple of hours, maybe a day, but then I would be right back at him. He would say something nice and I would use it as an opportunity to get back into the crazy talk.
Last night was the last time. "Jim, you're doing it again."
I knew what he meant. At that moment any hope I had of T and I ever getting back together, evaporated. He would never be my boyfriend, or my partner. No matter how much I wanted it. It was never going to happen.
He was not like that girl from so many years ago. He was not mean or angry about it. He was not abrupt. He was gentle and loving because he knew I was hurting. He knew that I was having a heart ache like I had not felt before, but he also knew he was right.
Deep down..... so did I.
I don't know what exactly I am going to do next. I think I need to take some time to find myself. I have been too long with my head up my ass and I need to get it out. I need to figure out what I want for me and then figure out how to get it.
I suppose that is the direction the blog will take for a while. Anyone who wants to come along for the ride is welcome.
In other news, the Chef has apologized for the shit he said and wants to meet for coffee tomorrow.
Eleven months ago when I broke up with T, I was frustrated that he was not living up to my fantasy. He was not doing the things I wanted him to do. He was more attached to his family than he was to me and that was hard for me. He was doing exactly what he said he would do. What he told be from the beginning he would do. When I broke up with him I was deeply in love him, as he was with me. There was a magic between us when we were together and an emptiness when we were apart. And we were apart much to much for my liking. I kept hoping that he would live up to my fantasy. In many ways he did. In others he did not. Eleven months later I am still in love with him. It took me 6 months to even think about looking for someone else to date. When I met someone, my feeling for him sabotaged that relationship.
T thinks I was in love with the Chef and my old feelings for him only resurfaced when it seemed that the Chef was not going to work out. He says I "changed". I didn't. It started with the first lie. I wear this ring all the time. I never take it off. Not even to sleep or shower. The Chef asked me about it. "What's that ring you have there? It's nice. Does it have any special meaning?" he asked. "Naw. It's just something I bought online cause I liked it." was my truthful reply. I did, in fact, buy it online and I do like it. It was, however, what K would call, "a lie of omission." I knew why he was asking the question. I knew what he wanted to know and I withheld that information. I failed to mention that I bought not one, but 2 rings. The second ring T wears on a chain around his neck, at least he used to. It is not a ring I bought simply to decorate my finger. I bought it a a symbol and a reminder of a specific love. I continue to wear it in recognition of that love. I never took it off the whole time I was seeing the Chef. That was only the first lie. There were many others, like these: Q: You are still friends with your ex? Do you still love him? A: Well, I still care about him, but I don't love him anymore. Q: How often do you talk to him? A: Oh... we may exchange text messages a couple times a week. I might call him once or twice a month. Q: What if his situation changed and he wanted you back? What would you do? A: He had his chance with me. He could not get shit together so I am not really interested anymore. Lies, lies, lies. I am generally not a good liar. I am very transparent to people who know me well. K can spot it in 3 seconds and I am sure T would catch it just as fast. But the Chef did not know me that well so he never knew the difference. Except he did. He knew deep down that even though he was into me, I was distracted. I know I am starting to ramble a little (it's 12:45am) but the reason I am telling this is say I know that I am the cause of my own pain and frustration. T was honest and open. I let my fantasy get away with me and I was upset that he did not come along on my crazy train. Given it to do over again, I would not have broken up with him last year. I would have remembered that our love together made the frustration worth it. I also wanted to get out that my love for T has not changed over the past months. There is something else. I am kind of getting used to being alone. I am not over powered by loneliness like I was before. I still get lonely, and I wish for T to be with me more, but I am not in the same place I was before. I think the 6 month I was alone before I started looking to date, probably did me some good.
All that said, T and I will not be getting back together for the simple fact that he is over me. It took him a while, but he has come to accept we will not be together. Once he reaches acceptance, he will not go back. I know he loves me a lot. I know we will always be close. But I don't think he is "in love" with me anymore. I think his heart is open for someone else at this point and he would not let me back in. He would be too scared I would leave again. I can't say I blame him.
The readers have spoken. Everyone is agreed. I need to take a break from T. I need to forget about him. I need to realize that he and are are not meant for each other and be done with it. Maybe in a couple of years we can be friends, but right now I need to cut him out of my life so I can more easily get over him and focus on myself. Only then can I open my heart to someone else.
It is the obvious course of action. It is the easiest in terms of stress and pain. It will be the fastest route for me getting over him.
I don't care. I'm not going to do it.
Read back a couple of years of my blog and you will see something similar. My three year, slow motion divorce from K is all documented. Read the comments from back then. You will see there were a bunch of people advocating the Band-Aid approach. Rip it off quickly, endure the sharp pain and then it will be okay after that. Some wanted me to leave my house and get an apartment on my own. They said it was better or me and better for K and the kids. They said it would speed the healing process.
Take quick, decisive action. Just GO!!
I did not listen to them either. I prolonged the agony. I stuck with K a very long time. In many regards, I am still with her today. It has not always been easy. It was VERY painful a few years ago. If I would have taken their advice, I might have saved myself a lot of headache (and heartache).
But look at where I am today. As I write this I am sitting in my ex-wife's kitchen. I just had a very pleasant conversation with her new husband about the politics of the First Amendment. My daughter is playing x-box in the next room. M youngest son is loading the dishwasher. My older boys are off with friends, but I saw them as they were heading out the door. How many gay divorced men can say that? How many have the situation I have? How many have a key to their ex-wives new house, where she lives with her husband? How many gay divorced men are still best friends with their ex-wives? (To the point where I know she tells me things even her best girl friends don't know.)
I got to this point because I made the harder choice to stay, when others would have given up and split. I was more painful for me, and probably for her. (As a side note, by making it harder on me and her, it was MUCH, MUCH easier on the kids.)
I am not going to cut off T because I love him. I am always going to love him. I do not think I would like my life if he were not in it. Even if it was only or a year or two. While it is true he cannot do all the things I need from him as a partner, it does not change the love.
I would be lying if I did not admit that even today I frequently wonder if we could get back together. Maybe I could live with his situation because I love him so much. I remember what being with him is like. I remember how good it felt when he held me but I also how frustrated I felt when I had to drive home late at night, rather than staying the night laying next to him. I also know the pain of being separated from him.
Whether we ever get back together is not the point. The point is I am taking the long view with T. I am willing to prolong the pain for me (and maybe for him) so I can keep him in my life. I am not sure if I cut him out completely now, we would ever come back together a friends year later. We might. We probably would, but I don't know that.
In the meantime, I will probably write about it my struggles. I will probably complain some.
As I write this T is on a date. It's good thing for him. He is so busy with his work that he does not get the chance to get out much. Also, because he gets a lot of hits on his profile, he's pretty selective about who he wants to meet.
It is good that he is seeing people. He has moved on from me. Actually he has moved on better than I have. I don't know if he will have any better luck with a new person, since his family situation has not changed he may run into the same issue. (It's because he is so adorable, that any new guy will fall for him as hard as I did.)
I have met a couple of guys since T and I broke up. Two of them were failed first dates and the Chef who lasted longer. Each time T was supportive of me and he encouraged me to go on each date.
Having said all that and knowing in my head this is the right thing for him to do, I feel like my heart is being ripped out of my chest. I know I have no right to feel this way and if I do feel this way I need to shut the fuck up about it. (I will suggest that T not read this particular entry.) I mean honestly, did I expect him to just shut himself up in his room while I did whatever? Of course not. He has a life to live too.
Now I know how T must have felt when I was meeting other guys. I did not give enough consideration to how he felt, which makes me an asshole. If he felt like I do now, he never said a word. That speaks to not only his character, but his love for me.
I am not going to get into the long story as to why it did not work out, but it didn’t. The sad part is that he was VERY into me. He really wanted to be with me and I believe he could really see a future for us together. I was not on the same page.
I told him I didn't think we were compatible. He didn't agree. He thought we just needed to get to know each other better. I was frustrated that sometimes we seemed good together and then just minutes later, we were arguing about something. Or something I said upset him.
We even took a weekend away together. I thought that would help. It made it worse. The 5 hour drive back from that trip was very uncomfortable.
When he finally got the hint that I didn't want to go any further with him, he became very upset. He told me the time we had together was a waste of his life (3 months) and then said, “Thanks for being so fake!”
That stung a more than little, but that’s where i cut it off. I stopped responding to his messages.
Yesterday he reached out and apologized for saying what he said. He informed me that he was taking a transfer with his company to another of their properties in California. He asked me to meet him to this afternoon for coffee, one last time. He is leaving in September.
I have been thinking over the past few weeks about why this did not work out with him. I thought he was physically attractive. He was nice to me and went out of this way to make time to see me. He bought me a case of my favorite British hard cider that is not easy to get here in the states. He had a good job, a stable lifestyle, and no more drama than anyone else. He wanted to same things out of the relationship that I did. What’s more he wanted them with me. I should jumped at this. I should bent over backwards to keep him.
The ship we were on was huge. While 3,100 passengers sounds like a lot, I was surprised how small it felt. I was surprised about how often I would see the same people over and over. Not only would we see them on the ship, but I would see them in port as well.
I don’t know how many gay people there were on this ship, but there were definitely a bunch of couples. I was seeing them everywhere. There were a group of 4 very hot young guys that I later figured out were 2 couples. There at least 2 older gay couples. And a couple of other gay couples, so all together I spotted about 10 couples.
Like I said in my earlier post, I spent a lot of time on my own on this trip. Sometimes in the afternoon or evening I would watch these couples where ever I found them. Sometimes they were laying out in the sun (in various states of undress) or other times, in the evening at the bar on the Lido deck. I was not watching them simply because some of them were eye candy. I guess, I did appreciate the hot bodies in the sun, but I was really watching the interaction between them.
Like these two guys. At one port we had to take a tender from the ship to the port. While I was talking a picture of these ship behind us, I got these guy taking a selfie of themselves. I didn’t notice them right away, but I found myself watching them too.
Each time I saw one of these couples together, I thought about the Chef. I thought about how much better it would have been if he was there with me. Neither of us have much interest in laying in the sun, but I think we both would have liked being in a shady spot with a book and a frozen drink.
But since I was alone, I could not help but be a little sad.
After returning from England, I was home for one day and then left on a cruise vacation. K planned it and asked me if I wanted to come. Who was going? A crowd. It was me, my 4 kids, K, AJ, and AJ’s daughter. Eight of us all together on a Carnival cruise ship for 6 days. What could possibly go wrong? Luckily, we got such a good deal we could afford to upgrade to large cabin with a large balcony on the port side of the ship. We were all close, but no on top of each other.
I would have liked the cruise a better if the Chef was there with me. (Or T, but I am trying not to think about that.)
Even though I was there with a large group, I spent a surprising amount of time alone. The older kid mostly did their own thing. The younger kids had special activities just for them. K and AJ spent their time together. That left me alone. I didn’t really mind that much. I bought my kindle and a bunch of gay romance novels. I liked wandering the decks and watching people. There were a lot of people to watch too. Some very attractive. Others…. not so much.
I shared a cabin with my 3 sons. Each morning I would get up before them and head up on deck. Even on the days were in port, I was up before the ship docked. Before I got up on the deck I would stop by the breakfast buffet and make myself a cup of coffee. I would go up, lean on the rail and look out to sea. Sometimes there were other ships or an approaching port. Other times there was nothing but the open ocean. While I liked the time to myself, I really would have preferred to share it with someone special.
I was thinking about the Chef and how it would have been nice to have him at the rail with me. Sipping our coffee, sharing the experience and building our relationship. I thought about T too. He would have loved the beauty of the early morning sun on the water.
I am gay man in his 40's who was married for 18 years to a straight woman, who is still my very best friend. We have 4 children together. She is now remarried and we still want to be supportive of each other and make a stable family for our kids.
Cast of Characters
Jim: That's me
K: The wonderful woman I married in 1993. We divorced in November 2011, and she is still my best friend.
T: My ex-boyfriend. We were together from 2008 to 2013. He is still an important person in my life.
AJ: K's new husband. They got married December 2011.
Most of the images used in my blog I found floating around the Internet. I believe, in good faith, that they are either public domain, or my non-commercial use falls under fair use guidelines. If, however, you are the are the copyright owner of any image and wish me to remove it, please contact me and I will do so as quickly as possible