K left today for the beach. She will be there until Saturday. She is going with her sister. I'm glad she got the opportunity to go. I wish I was going to the beach.
When I first met K, her sister was in high school. I always thought it was cool that despite the 5 year age difference, they were very close. As the years went by, that closeness faded. I think this is the first time that they have gotten away together. Hopefully they will be able to reconnect.
All that is well and good for her, but you know what? I want to go to the beach. I want to have some time away. I want to have a break and a vacation. I would be happy to take a trip with my sister, but I know she would understand if I said I would rather go with T. It would not have to be that long, just a couple of days. I think that some time with my man the the surf would do me some good.
This morning I was in the hospital. I had scheduled some minor surgery and today was the day. (Yes, I am fine, thanks for asking.)
With four kids and K being full of defective parts, I have seen my fair share of the inside of hospitals. Usually I am the caretaker, but the caretakee. K has had a whole bunch of surgeries in the time I have known her, and that is on top of the two C-sections that she has with the younger kids.
The last time I had to go under general anesthesia was when I was 19 and had my wisdom teeth pulled, so going into the hospital was very stressful. When I get stressed, especially when I get nervous, I make jokes in an effort to calm my nerves. K was trying hard to support me and she was being silly too. As I was putting on my paper pajamas and waiting around for them to get started, we were actually having a good time.
While it was nice that she was there and I know that she still loves and cares for me, there was still someone missing. I really wished that T was there with me. He was at work. I knew when I scheduled the surgery that he would not be able to be there. But it did not become apparent how I felt until I woke up in the recovery room. When I was starting to wake up, but before they brought K in from the waiting room, I was looking around in my hazy sleepiness. I was looking, not for K, but for T. I was hoping to find him there to take care of me, but he was not there.
I cannot say I was disappointed to see K when she appeared, it was good to see her too, but I find my heart is more and more longing for T presence. I guess that is just another sign post on my journey away from K and toward T.
I spent most of the day today, sleeping. Tomorrow, I will spend one more day home and then I will be back at work for Thursday.
I was reading Rob's post about, among other things, being part of a boring couple. It got me to thinking about T and I.
I think by some standards, we might be considered a boring couple. Neither of us have much interest in clubbing. We might go see a show, or a concert, but for the most part, we are a dinner and a movie couple. We like to stay home and cuddle on the couch. We like to just be together.
While it is true that I am going looking for friends and I am going to have to go out to do that, in reality, I am something of a homebody. I like being at home with my family.
Last Saturday night, I was at home with T. It was not really my home, but one of the things I am realizing is that I am at home whenever I am with him.
Are we a boring couple?
We may appear that way if an outsider was looking at us.
I just got home from, T's house and I had an interesting and wonderful evening.
I have heard it said, one way to test the strength of a relationship is to assemble something together. Like a grill, or a desk, or maybe even a patio swing. You know, the kind of projects that usually involve a lot of swearing.
I showed up at his house thinking I was going to have dinner with his family. Probably some Vietnamese delight his mother made. When I arrived, however, I found out he was taking me out. Apparently his mother had made something that is poison to the average white American. He never did tell me what it was.
Anyway, we went to a local place and shared some calamari and a small wood fired pizza. It was a nice dinner and I was really grateful to have some alone time with him.
When we got back to his house we had to assemble a swing he bought for his sister. I knew in advance that we were going to work on that project. I even brought my portable tool box with me. We got started just about 8:00. It was raining and chilly, but we were working on his back patio, which is under cover, but it was not very well lit. The directions said it would take about 30 minutes to put this thing together. I was skeptical, but we got started anyway.
The directions were terrible, but piece by piece and bolt by bolt, we got it all put together. And it's straight, square and sturdy. We worked together well and did not argue about anything. In fact, we even got in several smooch breaks during the process. (For the record, it took 2 hours, not 30 minutes.)
When finished, he brought his sister down to check it out. She loved it. When she asked how we managed to do it without arguing. T told her, "I let Jim do all the work and he let me tell him where he was doing it wrong." Which is kind of how it happened. I did not make that many mistakes though.
For about 15 minutes the three of us sat on the swing. Gently rocking, listening to the rain and the sound of the waterfall on the koi pond. It was really nice to sit there with T and his sister. We chatted casually about a few topics and I really felt like I was part of of the family.
I would have stayed there longer but T was getting cold, so we went inside. His sister went up to her room and he and I were left to cuddle on the couch watching "The Golden Girl" on TV. (Yes, I know how gay that is.)
The whole evening was perfect. I even enjoyed building the swing with T. The whole time I was thinking about what it would be like to build things at our house, when we have one together.
Thursday night there was gay event called "Take the Lake". It was at a new bar/restaurant right on the water of a huge lake. I was nervous about it, but I knew I was going to go for 2 reasons.
First, T was going with me, and he would not easily let me back out of it.
Second, I told my boss at work (lets call him "Mike") that I would be there and he said he would be there. I also told him that I was bringing T. Since I talk about T a lot with Mike, I really wanted him to meet T. Also since I talk about work to T, I wanted T to meet him too.
We arranged to meet at a book store not far from the bar where the event was. He was running a little late because of the traffic on the interstate that time of day. When he showed up we drove together to the bar, after a quick kiss in the parking lot. :-)
When we pulled in I was looking for cars I recognized. I saw Mike's. Then I saw Mike. He had just arrived. He waited and the three of us walked in together. I did not see anyone I knew from the office. Mike, who has gone to these things before, did not really see anyone either.
I had a couple of beers (T does not drink) and the three of us talked, mostly me and Mike talking about shit that happens in the office. After a while we had dinner. After we sat down, another guy I had seen around the office sat down to chat. He knew Mike and we did introductions all the way around. We chatted for a while and it was really fun.
After dinner, we left. It was almost 8:00. Mike when his way and T and I left together to go back to where he had left his car.
I had a really good time, and I think T did too. I did not, make a bunch of new connections, but I made at least one.
Next Tuesday, I will have another chance. There is a gay professional Meet Up group meeting for a dinner and I still plan to go to that.
Tonight I am going to T's house for a visit. Can't wait to see him.
I have written before about this gay event that happens about once a month. The last time I was resolved to go to one of these things, I chickened out. I found out this yesterday there is another of them tomorrow (Thursday). I was thinking about going but I was not sure, since my last experience did not go very well. But I also know that I have do put myself out there, since I am not going to meet very many people in my kitchen.
I was talking to T on Tuesday and I reminded him that last time he said he would go with me to the next one of these events. He agreed. I was so excited not to have to go by myself.
My boss is gay. He recently traveled to Massachusetts and got married to his partner of 25 years. He knows I am gay. There is a woman I work with who also knows I am gay. She is a lesbian who has been with her partner for 16 years. While a lot of people at work know I am getting divorced, no one outside of these two, know that I am gay. This includes a bunch of others that I know to be gay, who will probably be at this event.
So anyway, I told my boss and the lesbian that T was going to come to this event with me. They have not met him, but I have talked about to him a lot. I thought it would be cool for them to meet him.
Just to today. I was thinking about this event tomorrow. I was happy that T will meet me. I will meet him and then we will go to the pub together. Then it hit me.
After this event, I will be out at work.
There are several people I work with who go to these events. Some are gay and some are not. If I go alone, people may assume that I am just there to hang out with fun people. If I show up there with a man, that will send another message. (And by T's description, being there with an Asian guy, will telegraph to everyone that I am queer as a 3 dollar bill.
I am not really worried about something bad happening. Anyone who would see me there would be gay friendly. The company I work for is basically gay friendly too, so there is not really any risk there. But I did not even think when I made the plan, that I would be taking the step of effectively coming out at work.
I went to church with K and the kids, which went as usual. I am always uncomfortable there, but that is a story for another day. Then we all went to the store to pick up a couple of things. While we were there, I started feeling stress. I don't know why, but my body was reacting like I was scared of something, which my brain did not understand. That conflict compounded the stress.
K went back to work late in the afternoon and I was left alone with the kids and my anxiety. I was texting with T but I think that was making me worse. I knew if I called he would try to make me feel better, but all I wanted was a hug from my man. But he was far away and I was not going to get a hug.
All through out the day I was thinking about it. I made a mental check list of all the problems in my life. If you have been reading blog for any length of time, you know what they are. I decided that I did not think that T not being with me, was the cause of my problems. It had to be something else.
While all the things on my list could cause me stress, none of them are new. In fact, some of them used to be much worse than they are today.
When K got home from work, it did not take her long to realize that something was wrong with me. She was a little frustrated that I could not figure out exactly what my problem was. So I started listing possibilities, including maybe a possible discomfort with her relationship with AJ. But again, none of the things I brought up was new. And I really don't have any issues with her new relationship. In fact earlier in the day, AJ was at the house helping my oldest some with some homework and I was perfectly fine.
So what was my problem? As I was talking to K, I think I started to get some clarity.
Last weekend K was gone to a tournament for the whole weekend. Leaving on Friday afternoon and returning on Sunday night. This past weekend, she was gone to another tournament all day on Saturday. On Sunday's she works at church in the morning and has to return in the evening. The she has practice on Monday & Wednesday evenings. All the times she is gone are really work for her, she is paid for all of it. On Friday nights she might get an evening to go out with AJ as a social night out.
Another thing is, AJ's daughter is on her team so AJ goes with them on the tournaments and he is at all the practices. So while it is work, she gets to spend some time with him. Not only him, but other adults. She get's to socialize and has even made some good friends with the parents of her players.
All the time she is gone I am home, alone with the kids. Now I, I do have a little time for myself. Usually on Saturday I get to go see T for a little while. Occasionally, I get to see him on another night during the week, usually Tuesday. While I love to visit with T, I have no other social interaction with other adults. Just T and K. That's simply not enough. I need to have something that will put me in contact with other people. Hopefully, people I can develop friendships with.
So what do I do about it?
I walk at night to get a little exercise and while I walk, I usually talk to T on the phone. Last night we talked about the stress I was feeling and how I think that, while it is not a new issue, my being alone all the time with no social outlet is a growing problem.
As a man of action, while we were on the phone, he pulled out is computer and looked online for groups or clubs that might sound interesting. He did not come up with too much until he found his way to Meetup.com.
I had heard of this site before, but I had not really explored it too much. He found a group that is a gay professional's social group. They had a small event coming up next week, on Tuesday. I decided that I would go.
When I got home I created a profile on Meetup.com that included my real name and a picture. I will go back later and fill in the rest of my profile. I thought I was feeling better, but I had a restless night, not sleeping very well at all.
Today, I am feeling better and I hope I have a better night's sleep tonight. I am looking forward to the dinner next week. I will write more about that as it approaches.
We have had a couple of really nice days in the South in the past couple of weeks, but last night was the first time it is not get cold in the evening. I took a drive to T's house. With the moon almost full it was a beautiful evening to hang out on his balcony. The only thing that would have make it perfect would have been a campfire.
We hung out there for a little while, but he had a pile of homework to finish so we came back in side and watch Food Network. I loved being next to him. I know he loved being next to me too.
If it was not for me having to go home at the end of the evening, it would be my dream come true.
The picture is of some of the flowers T is growing in his front yard. I took it with my Blackberry as I was leaving last night.
You reach a point where you just cannot take it anymore.
You are ready to just walk away from your responsibilities. You are so beat down you simply are not sure you care anymore.
I'm glad I don't have this problem. Well, not directly anyway.
Over the past few days, K have been all stressed out. She has been on spring break from school, but there have been other things that she thinks she needs to get done. Some of those things have deadlines. The problem is, while she does not think that she is a procrastinator, she is. When she realized that she is behind, she gets difficult to deal with. She is snippy with the kids and me. She starts to do things that actually seem to make her problem worse. When she is panicked about the things she tried to do everything at the same time rather than prioritizing.
We all pay the price. Me and the kids.
Anyway, this week I have been dealing with a lot of that and I have been unable to do a lot of blogging. I will try to make up for it this weekend.
In other news, I have been sleeping better lately. I have been waking up around 2:00 but I generally get up, use the bathroom and then go back to sleep. I have been staying up too late, so when I finally do go to bed, I am pretty tired so that may be why I am sleeping better. I think I am returning back to my regular pattern and I think it will be OK.
K has been gone for the weekend. Her team is at a tournament about a four hour drive from here and I have been at home with the kids.
Last night, T came to my house after he was done with work. When he arrived, all the kids were out of the house enjoying the nice day outside. We enjoyed some quick, but long awaited "private time" (It's nice that men are always ready to go!!). After the kids returned we all went to dinner at a local pizza joint and then saw a movie with everyone.
After the movie T left knowing he had to get up early the next morning and the time change was going to complicate that for him. I stayed up for another hour and then I went to bed. I slept like a baby for the first time in a month. It was wonderful. I woke up once to use the bathroom and immediately fell back into a restful sleep. I woke up around 8:30 (7:30 before the time change) feeling really good.
Today, I was determined to do a little at possible. That was not totally an option because I had a ton of laundry piled up, but other than that, I did not get a lot accomplished. I took my younger kids to a playground at the local YMCA. I made a quick dinner and got everyone in the bath and shower.
K will be home later tonight, hopefully before the kids go to bed.
It was pretty busy, but I did manage to get about an hour to play "Need For Speed" on the X-box.
After playing it for an hour on Friday and again this afternoon, I can see why the kids like to so much. I may try to sneak in a little more time before bed tonight.
One of the things I have learned in my life is that perspective is important. Perspective is not something you can learn. You are not born with it. You develop it over time. It comes from experiences. Everyone develops their own perspectives, and a wise man can see through the perspectives of others.
Sometimes, you can get stuck in your own perspectives. It is almost like you can have blinders on.
In my last post I was theorizing my sleeping problem might stem from my inability to be with T as much as I want. That it will be a long time before I will be able to have him as a real partner, if ever. I was thinking maybe I was feeling so much longing, it was impacting my sleeping. I am not sure that is really my problem. After all, this is not a new development. I have know this about my relationship with T from the beginning.
I went to see T tonight, who lives an hour away from me. It's a long way. If he was closer, I could see him more often, right?
The funny thing about perspective is that no one can teach you perspective, but sometimes someone can give you some. Tonight I got that from a friend of mine. I have been talking to "Guy" from "Is there a way out for a So Cal Guy?" and I spoke to him on my way home from T's tonight. We talked about his issues and I shared my experiences and perspectives. Then he pointed out 2 things to me.
He had an "encounter" with another man (he talked about it in February). He as developed a close, albeit long distance friendship with this guy. They live about 1800 miles apart.
He told me about another guy, he calls "Number 1". Number 1 is a gay man who works in "Guy's" office. Number 1 has had a hard time finding solid connections with the gay men in the city where they live. He has, however, found love with a man he met online, but lives in central Asia (5000 miles away). They have spent several weeks together on vacations, but other than that, they have a Skype only relationship.
As I was thinking about it, I am really pretty lucky. I have not only found a really great guy who loves me, but he ONLY lives an hour away and I get to see him in person about twice a week.
I have been trying to figure out why I have been having trouble sleeping. There is no unusual stress in my life. My job is stable and going well. K and I are in a good place. The kids are doing well, adjusting to the idea that K and I will separate and they even seem to like AJ. I have no unusual money problems. It's not like we are running with cash, but the mortgage gets paid on time every month and the pantry is always full. Actually, a year ago when I had a lot of stress, I was sleeping like a baby every night.
I am not dealing with the crap associated with gay dating because I have found one man that I share love with. In fact, at the end of this month, it will be 3 years since I met T.
Having ruled out emotional stressors, I went to see my doctor looking for a physical one. He asked me a ton of questions and wondered if the fear of not sleeping was causing me not to be able to sleep. He gave me a medicine to help open up my air way and another to help me fall asleep and stay asleep. The hope being if I can get a few nights of good sleep under my belt it will restore my natural sleep pattern. I tried it on Sunday night and it worked pretty well.
The on Sunday T wrote an entry in his blog about him not being able to sleep because he was worried about me. He did not know if I was awake, pacing my floors or sound asleep with my new medicine. He didn't want to text me to find out for fear of waking me up. So he just wondered. That got me to thinking about our relationship and how it is different from what I had with K. While I think he is a better fit for me (because he is a man) and I have fallen deeply in love with him, there is still a piece that is likely to be missing for a very long time. He and I are not physically together.
K never would have had to wonder if I was sleeping or not. She would have been able to just look over and see. If I needed help, I would have been able to get it, but just asking or yelling or something else if I could not yell. Or even if I just need a reassuring hug. In my current situation I will not be able to get it. I just have to remember that there is a man in the distance who loves me and take as much comfort from that as I can.
It was not until I read that passage in his blog, that I thought, while this has always been an issue for me, in the past 6 or 8 months I have not really thought about it. I have come to accept that our situations will lead us to be separate for a while, maybe a long while. Now to be fair, it is not all his issue. I am not in a place where I am prepared to go very far from my kids. Even if he opened up a place in his home for me tomorrow, or maybe even next year, I would not be able to go.
Now, if you have ready any of my blog you can tell how happy T makes me. You know that when we are in each others arms, my heart sings. He is a really busy guy, but almost always, he finds the time to be with me with I can get away. He has been supportive of me through all my turmoil and struggles in the first 2 years we knew each other. He is constantly in my thoughts as I am in his.
My choices here are get used to being alone a lot of the time or find a new boyfriend. I don't want to find a new boyfriend. When I attempted to do that last last spring, I learned that my feelings for T are incredibly strong and I did not really want anyone else. (I may have more to say about that another day.) I will have to do my best to get used to my current situation, since there is nothing I can do about it. T is unable or unwilling to adjust his situation and since I want him, I have to live with it. I have written about this before, more than once.
While having a full time partner does go to the core of what I want in life, also realize that nothing is perfect and maybe I can't have everything I want.
As I look over the landscape of gay men that I know, either in the real world or through their blogs, I can see mixed results.
There are 6 couples that I know in real life who have been together a long time. The longest is 26 years, the shortest is 5 years and the average is 12 years. These are 4 male couples and 2 lesbian couples. In addition there are a several blogs I am aware of where the authors have solid partnerships. (I have to confess I don't read many of them often, because I have a hard time relating to that that must be like.) Ultimately, this is what I desperately want for myself. I don't need it today, but I feel like I need it sooner or later.
I know of several gay men who almost aimlessly float from one dating situation to another. Never lasing a long time, sometimes a short a 2 or 3 dates. These men are not happy and long to have someone to love and love them back in return. This is not appealing to me at all. While I'm sure these men may say they value their freedom, I would gladly give up much of that freedom for for the stability of a strong, loving partnership.
So if I cannot have everything I want, maybe I can be glad have most of it and learn to live without the things I'm missing.
For the past 3 week I have have been having trouble sleeping. I don't really know why. Generally I wake up in the night and after about 20 min or so, I am able to go back to sleep. A couple of nights I have been up longer. But twice, I have not been able to go back to sleep... and I don't know why. Tonight, well, I guess it's is really this morning, is one of the bad nights.
I went to see T last night, and that was nice. He was not feeling well, so I did not stay too long. When I got home I watched a little TV, ate a snack and then went to bed around 12. I did drink a soda with caffeine and that could cause problems, but at this point that would have worn off.
Right now, it is 4:30am. I woke up at 2:30 and by 3:30 I got out of bed and went down stairs. By this time I was even having problems keeping my eyes closed.
So now I am watching the political shows I recorded Friday night from MSNBC and hoping they will make me sleepy. Wish me luck.
I work for a Fortune 50 company. The recently rolled out a social collaboration platform to the entire company. It is accessible to all employees across the country. It's kind of like Facebook at work. I people are able to to create communities on most any topic they wish. As of this afternoon there were just over 1600 communities and 3 of the were about gays. The system will let you view a community without joining. Joining is only required to comment.
Once of them was kind of sleazy sounding. Better to not get involved in there.
Another was called "Gays and Lesbians Unite" This was a better one. It was created by folks at our field locations. There was one discussion topic by someone who felt she was not treated fairly because she if gay. Other employees comments that they felt welcome and accepted, even indicating that co-workers knew their partners. It was nice that others were supporting fellow employees.
There was a third group that was created by someone at the headquarters office where I work. It said it was for "Gays, lesbians and their allies." I thought that sounded nice. There were about 50 members, but there was no activity.
I joined that community. At big step for me that will eventually lead to me being out at work.
But that was not the end. I went further and posted something. A link to an article in a Human Resources magazine about building a positive LGBT environment in the workplace.
So not only have a joined a gay online community at work, but I am one of the first to post something. Will people think I am gay or maybe just wonder? Either way is OK with me.
It almost seems like a Tuesday night ritual. After work I go to visit T.
I met him at his office and drove him home, where I ate dinner with his family. After dinner we watched Food network on his couch while he worked on the paperwork he brought home from the office.
He sat close to me, with his back to me and leaning against my side as I was facing the TV. While I was watching Iron Chef America (crab was the secret ingredient) I had my arm around him and I absently rubbed his chest and abs as he worked. He had two boxes of medical charts and lab reports to work on and as he finished each one, he would lean back and kiss me before moving on to the next one.
I was about half way through the action in Kitchen Stadium and it occurred to me how extraordinarily ordinary it was for us to be together like that. Just two people in love being together on a Tuesday evening.
When the time came for me to leave, we kissed good night and I told him what a perfectly wonderful evening I had. As I pulled away from his house I texted K to let her know I was on my way.
Me: I'm on my way. Do you need anything?
K: Nope. Kids in bed. Did you have a good night?
Me: Awesome!! :-)
Me: And we didn't even have sex...
Again, how extraordinarily ordinary for me to have an exchange like that with my best friend after I had a really good date with my boyfriend.
There is something truly amazing that happens when you find out who you really are and where you're supposed to be.
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.
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