Drawing positives from indeterminate results

Inamorata and I went for dinner the other night and it went surprisingly well. The conversation started with a lot of work talk but soon evolved in to a more generalized and friendly chat until it was pretty much as it used to be in the old days, sexual innuendos and all. As ever she gave no definite answers to my deliberately vague allusions to our chances of sleeping together again some time, but after we had hugged goodbye she commented that ‘that was boring’ (as in I’d behaved and hadn’t attempted to take things further), ‘it was – we should do something fun sometime..’ I replied with a grin, at which she turned to leave, throwing a casual ‘maybe one day’ my way with a smile as she did.

Letting go has been the toughest part of holding on. She avoids simple answers to direct questions as they make her uncomfortable, as if putting emotions into words makes them real. This bothers me far less than it used to, but I still wonder if I’ve honestly changed and become more accepting of the ambiguous, amorphous nature of our relationship or if I’m just lying to myself. Either way it’s become easier for me to deal with her, but the idea that if she actually knew how I felt and what I thought of her (and I do still think about her way too much) it wouldn’t be received well leaves me feeling uncomfortable.

But on the whole things are looking up – I’m (fairly) happy at work, my bouts of depression and suicidal thoughts are fewer and further apart and I’m dealing with them better then I used to, and with this long-awaited affirmation that I can function effectively with or without Inamorata in my life I feel a little freer. The process of letting go and moving on may have been slow and painful, but I see this latest (minor) victory as proof positive that it is indeed underway

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Incommunicado

Work is bedlam, the corporate restructuring having put us into shutdown as the IT systems are overhauled and new processes and procedures are put into place. Inamorata is in a similar situation so I shouldn’t be surprised that we’ve not spoken or text over the last 10 days but this time it feels different somehow. I miss her dearly but remind myself innumerable times each day that if she wanted to talk to me she would. Is she giving me space in the hope I’ll let go and move on, does she need space to deal with the stress of her own work situation, or have things between her and her hubby improved to a point where she no longer wants or needs the extramarital attention I provide?. Whatever the reason I may find out in he future or I may not, but the immediate reality remains unchanged, and I think I’m coping with it fairly well

Comparative Analysis

The times they are a changin’ – Bob Dylan

Progress can sometimes be a difficult thing to measure in the moment, but hindsight often adds clarity. When I first started going to the gym I could manage a handful of press-ups and maybe a pull-up or two, but now it’s closer to 20 for the former and a half-dozen for the latter – definite progress. Similarly my thoughts around Inamorata have evolved, where once I beat myself up about percieved mistakes and felt inconsolable loss I now resign myself to a reality of my own volition – if she wanted me she’d have me, she chooses not too so I choose to believe that that’s because she’s happy.

It’s not always easy conditioning yourself to believe what’s best – doubt, hope and reverie are pernicious foes – but embracing ambiguity, as alien to me as it is, is yielding rewards. I try to no longer think of myself as the other man in her life, if she wanted it so I’d know about it, but by stepping back and allowing life to unfurl at its own pace I can begin to let go and maybe even move on whilst still keeping for myself that small space : if the fates align then maybe our paths will cross again

Building resilience

As ever I’m not really sure where I stand with Inamorata at the moment. Since she returned from her holiday we’ve spoken a bit via text and a few times over the phone but nothings really been said. This is entirely understandable given he circumstances though – with our company possibly being split up in the seemingly endless rounds of corporate restructuring it’s not surprising that work has been the hot topic of conversation, and whilst my future looks safe Inamoratas looks decidedly uncertain.

In order to better understand my role as The Other Man in her life (if indeed I still play that role – life would be so much simpler if we could just sit down and talk about stuff) I started reading articles and forum posts by men in a similar position to me. Whilst many may think this a mistake, no two men’s experiences being equal etc, simply knowing I’m not alone in my predicament has been a comfort of sorts.

The first reply to this forum post in particular has really opened my eyes, and having read and re-read it several times it’s pearls of wisdom are slowly beginning to sink in. In its way it’s a bitter pill to swallow, but knowing something and truly understanding it aren’t always concomitant.

But even with a better understanding of the intricacies and vagaries of our situation finding peace within myself is still challenging. I know what I want, but I know I can’t have it. I’m sure I’d be better off going NC, but fate and social circumstance currently preclude this option. I feel trapped, but the realisation that the cage is only in my head is little comfort whilst I see no way to escape it.

As ever I am resolute in my indecisiveness, happy to patiently await some sign or opportunity to take the next step, whatever that may be.

Resigning oneself to bear the unbearable is never nice, but it does get easier with practice

Tug’O’War

With Inamorata returned I feel an increased intensity of emotions, and, infuriatingly illogically, they are predictably contradictory.

The conversations we’ve had since she got back have been the old blend of easy friendship with an undercurrent of sexual availability, rambaling talk about work and her holiday occasionally interspersed with allusions to further romantic encounters. These have of course piqued my interest as well as heightening my desire – the vividly anatomical descriptions of her tan lines a transparent (and successful) effort on her part to stoke the embers of my lust. But as ever these insinuations are masterfully vague, her talent for suggestive language seeding the idea whilst never naming the act, allowing her the thrill of provocation whilst still retaining the comfort of ambiguity.

Yet even as she lures me closer she feeds my urge to sever the tie.

Inamorata embodys the divergent extremes of my desires, an avatar of conflicting emotions. As I am drawn to her so am I repulsed, my objective mind trying to cut through the obfuscation and live in the now whilst my emotional self is constantly drawn back to the infinite web of possibilities, the dream forever just beyond reach.

As this battle rages in my mind two words keep resurfacing, skirting my consciousness, too harsh to consider but too sane to ignore. No Contact. I lothe their cold finality but their allure is undeniable.

Patience has ever been one of my few redeeming virtues, and so it is with a view to clearer understanding that I resign myself once more to wait upon what the future brings. I hold no hope for definitive answers or insights, the nebulous nature of us precluding such niceties, but aim instead to see where external social as well as internal emotional currents may lead. Curiosity drives me on, but self preservation is catching up

Bite the Bullet?.

With Inamorata due back in-country at the end of this week I find myself both excited and apprehensive. As time has gone on my mind has leaned ever further towards the ‘walk away’ camp – I truly care about her, but she’s never going to leave her husband, and even if she did I don’t think we would ever make it as a ‘real’ couple.

SoA’s Gemma Teller Morrow (brilliantly played by Katey Sagal) once said that “men need to be loved, women need to be wanted”, a phrase that unfortunately rings true when applied to my situation. The love between Inamorata and her husband has never been in question, but it seem to be me that (currently) fulfills her need to be wanted.

But a relationship needs more than shared lust to survive and grow, it needs shared morals, shared ideals and shared values, all topics that Inamorata and I have learned to tacitly skirt to avoid confrontation.

Yet whilst it may sound like I’m slowly talking myself into walking away from the affair that has consumed my life for the last few years a part of me is quietly cautious. ‘Live in the moment’ it whispers, ‘what will be will be’.

She’s said she’ll see me when she gets back, I’ll let you know how that goes…..

The battle between Head and Heart

Several times now Inamorata has stated that she’ll see me when she gets back from her holiday, but never gives a clue as to why.

Part of me hopes that time spent away with her husband reaffirms the love they share and that she comes back and tells me that it’s over, that that morning we made out on my sofa was great but she’s now 110% committed to her marriage.

Part of me hopes that she has a fantastic time on holiday and then comes back wanting more great times with me.

What her decision will be I can’t know until it happens, and knowing Inamorata as I do I doubt it’ll be quite as black and white as my two options, but I think it’s telling of my slowly developing emotional maturity that I’m quietly hopeful that it will learn more to the former than the latter

Contradictions and Distraction

In the past I’ve used the phrase ‘quasi autistic’ to describe myself because I think it fits – the black and white outlook, obsessive traits and other quirks of personality, many of which are to be found in the men of my mother’s line, made self diagnosis easy and provided some succour in the form of a condition with which to label myself. Having lived with this self imposed stamp for the best part of 20 years now breaking free of it isn’t easy, but accepting myself for who I am and seeing patterns of non-productive behaviour and trying to alter them is slowly starting to pay off.

Phrases and quotes have always fascinated me, and the rise of the quote-meme has allowed me to collect dozens (if not hundreds) over the years. I never bothered to inventory or categorise them as most were collected during times of distress, but thinking back through them the contridictory nature of many has come to amuse me.

Never give up on someone you can’t go a day without thinking about

But

Sometimes the person you want the most is the person your best off without

Love, heartbreak, depression and inspiration have been the topic du jour for most of those years, even when I was ‘happily’ engaged and ready to ‘settle down’ darkness and doubt still crowded the edges of my thoughts, feelings that undoubtedly lead to my decision to throw away my ‘happy family’ and ‘quiet life’ and embark upon the affair that has lead me to this point.

It’s the quiet times that have always troubled me, boredom leads to overthinking, hence my proclivity for distraction. Hobbies served me well, my obsessive nature leading me through a string of interests from prehistoric megaliths to blacksmithing to personal fitness, but always there has been something missing.

Now that something has a name. In the quiet moments I yearn for it, dreams and memories mingling with possibilities, and the few brief minutes that fate intertwines our paths are a balm for my tortured soul.

Distracting myself from her is difficult when she is never far from my thoughts. Loving her is like loving myself; instinctive, addictive, impossible, imperative

Fate awaits

With the moontime party in her pants having eased off for another month or so things between Inamorata and I have simmered down a bit too. Fresh corporate upheaval means our conversations are now more work focused and whilst there’s still an undercurrent of sexual playfulness I can tell her heart’s not really in it. The topic of her and her husband hasn’t come up recently either but I know she’s flying out with him to Antigua or Mauritius or some other sun-drenched paradise for a fortnight’s lounging on the beaches so I suspect she’ll use this time with him to decide if she wants to recommit to her marriage or reignite her dalliance with me.

Lately I’ve found myself repeating a fantastic Mark Twain quote – Never allow someone to be your priority while allowing yourself to be their optioninnumerable times each day, often with the addendum ‘she’s not your priority, you are’. It’s odd that Me First feels like the wrong way to proceed, but so far it’s results have been positive so I guess I’ll see where it goes

Essence

I doubt I’ll sleep much tonight, too much has happened today and my mind is a blur.

After weeks of playful goading Inamorata finally decided to pop round to my house this morning – I guess the message I sent her last night (I want you) did the trick. She told me in no uncertain terms that it wasn’t for sex, but after the initial conversation petered out and we settled into each other’s arms on the sofa it didn’t take long before we were making out like school kids again. We stopped short of intercourse (barely) and as she swaggered out of my door she dropped a strong hint that there was more to come in the future. This idea was backed up later in the day when she sent me a picture of a black box with a rabbit motif on it and the words “guess what I bought” which obviously lead to lots more sexually charged messages.

So this evening were swapping messages again and things are flying back and forth as usual until I referenced something she mentioned earlier, something that was (I’m now assuming) just a joke but which I rather liked the idea of. Que a couple of short and none too excited replays from her and then the conversation ended.

In a way today kind of encapsulates my relationship with Inamorata – in 12 hours I’ve gone from the joy of intimacy rekindled to the dejection of not knowing how to restart our conversation and the exhaustion of overthinking my predicament.

At this point I’d like to be able say that my mind is divided between two drastically different courses of action, but I know which one I’ll take. I’ll wait patiently to see if and when Inamorata messages me again in the hopes that my angst is unfounded and that this resurgence of passion will bloom, not only because it’s what I want, but because the other option doesn’t bare thinking about.

If this latest upswing in affection does turn out to be another false start I may well go drastic No Contact – I’ve been thinking about finding a new job for a while (the situation at work would make my departure thankfully unremarkable) and I think if I told her why I was doing it Inamorata would support my decision.

Even as I write this I’m looking for a third option, a gray route out of this situation, but as ever my polorized mindset sees only black or white, in or out, win or loose. It may or may not exist, time will tell, but as ever searching for a way to expedite myself from the agony of uncertainty is in itself a torment