Love and Ambiguity

For the last week or so Inamorata and I have been back to our old selves – something just clicked and out came all the old innuendos, in jokes and general flirting. Swapping messages has been nice, and seeing her face to face and hugging as we used to is fantastic, but after thinking back through everything that’s lead up to this point I think I’ve finally figured out why it’s happened:

I’ve stopped saying what I feel.

This isn’t a bad thing, but it’s still not a good thing. Over the course of this affair (and the numerous other relationshios I’ve had whilst it’s been ongoing) I’ve learned that by saying less I somehow get more. This is ok in its way, more is good, but it also leaves me feeling somehow untrue to myself. There’s so much I want to say, questions I want answered, but apparently grey is the winning colour for interpersonal communication. I can see how this might be, leaving things unsaid allows others to believe what they want, avoids confrontation and provides reassurance in the form of ambiguity. This is all well and good for most people it seems, but seemingly not for me – I’m a simple soul, I like black and white, yes or no, transparent honesty.

It’s another example of how almost diametrically opposed Inamorata and I are.

I’ve written before about my frustrations at never being able to get a straight answer out of her (her skills at evasion, avoidance and deflection would have seen her make a great politician) but now that I’ve started to adopt similar modes of interaction I find myself wondering if it’s an honest evolution of who I am or am I simply doing what needs to be done to bed her again?.

Having long ago decided that a wife and children are not for me (I’m still secretary concerned that I may cut my existence short once my father passes away) a relationship that isn’t a relationship with Inamorata seems like the ideal compromise – we can get along well enough when I resist the urge to bear my soul, we have a connection and history, and of course the sex is amazing, but, even with all these boxes ticked, there will always be something missing. Honesty and disclosure are important to me, I think I could live with no one ever knowing I’m having an affair with a married woman, but I’m not sure I could live with never being able to really talk to her….

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Words left Unspoken – Hope

You know what I hate – Hope…

In my head I understand that there is no you and I. Sure we may well end up sleeping together again in the future, but there’s no chance we’ll ever be together, no evening I’ll ever walk in the door and shout ‘Hi honey I’m home’ and hear your voice reply, no morning I’ll ever wake up to see you sleeping beside me and be able to cuddle in knowing we have the whole day to ourselves. My head accepts these things as fact.

But in my heart there is always that seed of hope, the knowledge that mirricles happen every day. Every day someone wins the lottery or survives a million-to-one accident or finds a long lost child, and therin lies my pain. Every day I hope I may see you, that we’ll laugh and smile and hug like we used to, that maybe you’ll decide that today’s the day that we share a bed again.

So every day I have to burn out that piece of my heart that refuses to be quiet, remind myself there is no chance, that however good we are together some things just aren’t meant to be. But every day Hope springs a new, whispers that you never know what tomorrow may bring, and the cycle of pain and resignation continues.

Face to face distance

Inamorata messaged me last week when she found out I wasn’t going to be attending a scheduled works event, she knows of the family troubles I’ve had but just wanted to make sure my absence wasn’t because she was going to be there too. I told her that I had stuff on but I would have been there if I could of because I miss her. She replied that she misses me too but that whilst we can converse easily enough on the phone on the rare occasions we meet face to face there’s still a distance between us. I told her this was just a coping mechanism, that it’s going to take some time for me to get used to the fact that things between us didn’t work out as I’d hoped, but that things would get easier with time. She accepted this and the conversation wandered off into talk about work before petering out of its own accord.

The distance between us was still there when I ran into her unexpectedly a day or two later. I bit my tounge where, before, I would have made ‘inappropriate’ suggestions (that we both know I’d happily have backed up with actions), and after a meandering and slightly lackluster conversation we parted company with simple goodbyes.

It’s sad that in my recent interactions with Inamorata more has been left unsaid than said. Where I am happy to lay my cards upon the table she prefers to play them close to her chest. Personally I find this lack of communication bizarre and infuriatingly counterproductive, but time has taught me that that’s how she is, and so I have learnt to adapt.

Given the chance I’d love to ask her if she still enjoys the same banter and innuendo as before with the ex who broke her heart. I’d love to tell her that the real reason that face to face meetings between us are slightly awkward is because my heart still skips a beat when I see her and my body still aches to be close to hers. Experience has taught me that banter and innuendo are all well and good at the time, but after the act, when we’ve hugged and said ‘love you bye’ in that comical way that used to mean so much more, that that’s when the crash comes, that’s when the sting that we can laugh and joke and tease each other as we used to but in the end we’ll each go our own way makes itself felt.

I’d walk away from everything – Her, my job, my friends, this city – if I could but, currently, I can’t…..

That’s not a situation that will last forever though

The moment my world changed

My dad told me his girlfriend was ill not long after she told him. Their relationship was in its early days but I can still vividly remember the moment the joy I felt that he’d found someone to share his remaining days with was crushed by the news that not only did she have cancer, but it was breast cancer, the same cancer that killed my mother. The whirlwind of emotions that swept through me then and in the following days was intense, but as they settled I made a more or less conscious decision not to let myself get too close to this new woman who would (undoubtedly, the cynic inside me said) break my father’s heart again.

As was her want they kept the last days of her illness relatively quiet. I had known that her condition was slowly deteriorating, but my father had finally convinced her to sign up for a clinical trial that, whilst only offering a 50/50 chance of treatment, at least offered some hope. As they waited for the trial to begin my dad stayed by her side constantly, seeing to her needs as they arose and enjoying the few good days as and when they happened.

He wasn’t by her side when she passed. I don’t think it’s an accident that she collapsed and died on the only day in almost 6 weeks that my dad wasn’t there, I think she was trying to save him the pain of watching the light fade from the eyes of yet another woman he loved whole heartedly.

The funeral was a beautifully non-traditional event, no church or religious speaker but rather friends and family sharing their thoughts and memories in a wonderfully open and fluid ceremony. I was even accorded the honour of acting as a pall bearer (my father being too unsteady to do it at the time), and as we lifted the willow cot on which her shroud wrapped form lay and carried it into the hall I found some peace amidst the grief.

As people slowly left from the wake I found myself reflecting on how this wholly unorthodox ceremony had put me somehow at ease. The shock was over, the pain of the burial was done, we could start dealing with our grief now.

Two days after the funeral I got a video call from my dad and I knew within seconds of accepting it that something wasn’t right. His speech was slow and rambling, his face twitched down one side as he stuttered out certain words and his assertion that he wasn’t having a stroke sounded like classic denial to me. As soon as he had finished assuring me that he was ok and didn’t need any help I packed a bag and headed straight there.

Staying composed in the moments between recieving that call and walking into his house wasn’t easy. In an odd sort of way I had been proud of how I’d delt with the death and funeral of his girlfriend – I’d managed to remain relatively strong and composed simply because I wanted to be there to support him. But now my world was once again in turmoil, seeing him so unlike himself brought up thoughts I’d hoped not to have to face for some time. Would he recover or would he be left forever as this twitching, stammering shadow of the man I had once known? Would he die, forcing me to remember and enact all the many and various last wishes he’d been so fond of reminding me of when he’d had one too many to drink? My mind reeled and the journey passed in a numb blur.

Opening the door and walking into his house to confront him was frightening. His surprise was tempered with relief, he’d said not to worry about him but here I was. After hugs and hello’s he settled back into his usual spot on the sofa and I listened as he explained how the doctor was wrong, that this wasn’t a stroke but a natural manifestation of grief made physical, all the while silently hoping he was right but somehow doubting it.

Over the next 24hrs the twitches and stammers eased somewhat (although he remained worryingly unsteady on his feet) but it wasn’t until we finally got to his hospital appointment that he was proved right – the consultant neurologist concluding that this was indeed grief related rather than any kind of stroke. I had come to the same conclusion soon after we sat down in the waiting room; the noticeable increase in his stammering and twitching as we waited for the appointment to start suggesting the condition was most likely stress related rather than physiological in cause.

It was quite the relief to be able to message the numerous people who had enquired as to my dad’s condition once I got him home. I had received offers of help and best wishes from many of his friends as well as his girlfriend’s family when word of his ill-health had originally spread, and the sense of relief was heart warming.

Dispite (or maybe exactly because of) his ongoing problems my dad is planning to move back closer to me, and I’m looking forward to it. He is the only real family I have left, and whilst I am slowly coming to accept that his days are numbered I want to make the most of them.

Family is a rare treat, and one I intend to savor

Released

There are plenty of things I regret about what happened between Inamorata and I, but first among them is that I have lost a friend, someone I could really talk to. Not being able to talk to anybody about what could arguably be one of the defining relationships of my life is hard – I have rejoiced, and grieved, alone.

Although no words to the effect have been spoken it’s now safe to say the affair is dead – Inamorata and I exchanged the briefest of ‘merry Christmas’ and ‘happy new year’ messages but apart from that we’ve had almost no contact, and I expect that that’s the way it will be from now on.

As much as it hurts I’ve come to the realisation that there can be no growth without pain. Only by taking ourselves out of our comfort zones can we improve ourselves. I’ve learned so much from my time with her, about myself and the way the world works (I even catch myself thinking ‘what would Inamorata do?’ occasionally) and, both mentally and physically, I’m in a much better place for the experience I’ve been through, but I’ve lost alot as well.

I had an affair and now it’s over, and I’m dealing with that, but its not always easy.

I guess all that’s left now is to go on

Trapped

Can you ever really be friends with someone you used to love?.

Ive never been good at staying in touch with my ex-partners – I still occasionally see Bouncer and we can chat about this and that, and I still swap the odd message with Kitten, but I was never really in love with either of them.
But things are different with Inamorata – I want to remain good friends with her but I also need to protect myself.

Inamorata doesn’t understand just how much her flirty innuendo-filled style of friendship hurts me. It’s not her fault, she’s like it with most of the men she’s good friends with, but with me it’s a double edged sword – I love that we can laugh and joke like we used to, but just sometimes I forget that it’s only a joke, and the tiny spark of hope that’s lit is painful to extinguish.

She’ll always be more than a friend but less than a lover, everything I want and everything I can not have.

If she ever asks me why things are not as they used to be I will tell her, but I doubt she will.

I will endeavour to be there as a friend, but my own health and happiness must come first

Physical Intimacy and Emotional Connection

I had a wonderfully honest and open discussion with Inamorata recently – she’s still committed to fixing her marriage and I applaud her resolve.
It always hurts to know the one you want may not feel the same way, but in this it seems I may not alone.

Every new years eve since our affair started I’ve vowed to put thought of her behind me and move forward with my life, and to some extent I have. Letting go of a relationship is never easy, and for me this loss is felt all the more keenly for the depth of emotional connection – in their hay-day the heights were stratospheric, and as we fell apart I faced some incredibly dark days. Looking back its fair to say I spent some of the very best, and very worst, moments of my life with Inamorata, and its that mix of rapturous joy and soul crushing dispair that I will miss – even in the brief moments we spend together nowadays she makes me feel alive.

A thought I’ve had before resurfaced as I re-ran our recent conversation – through all we’ve shared she likes me, but she loves her husband.
For that reason I’m stepping back again – no more flirting, no more jokes about one for old times sake.
I’ve spent the last 18 months quietly waiting for her, and I’m thinking maybe it’s time to move on

Back on Lonely Street

I split up with Kandi the other night, as likeable as she is I don’t love her, and as easily as I could have stayed with her I would have always have wondered if there was something, someone, else that might have made me happier.

The old me would see as a loss – I am alone again – but the new me sees it as an opportunity, all I have to do is seize it.

Eyes on the prize

In times of stress and uncertainty I retreat into routine, enforcing order on a life I sometimes feel isn’t really mine.

With workplace insecurity and my relationship with Kandi slowly drawing to a close its no surprise that my new found love of the gym has become firmly entrenched in my day-to-day life. I love that my body is changing as I ever so slowly shed fat and gain muscle, but its also partly the comfort of knowing that for four evenings a week I can forget everything else in my life and focus on obtainable goals – one more rep, another few kilos – that keeps me coming back.

The friendship between Inamorata and I is slowly coming back to something approximating what it used to be, we now talk most days via message and on the rare occasions we meet up the chat is free and easy. I still have to occasionally step back and center myself when things get playful, its all too easy for me to get lost in that beautiful, painful place where dreams and memories collide, but until the day our bodies collide again I’m resigned to loving her from afar whilst trying to build a brighter future for myself.

In a universe of infinite possibilities everything is equally likely and improbable, but working towards what you want might just help shift the odds in your favor

Dark days indeed

I could never have imagined how prophetic the final words of my previous post would be. Last week both Inamorata and I lost members of our respective families, hers heart-wrenching but inevitable, mine more sudden and unexpected.

Inamorata and I had had vague dinner plans for a while before all this happened, but I was still a little surprised when she invited me out to dinner recently – we’d never been out to dinner together locally before (for obvious reasons). The evening went well, and although work talk far outweighed any discussion of our respective losses it was good be able to meet up and chat as friends do.

It wasn’t until later that night as I was tucked up safely in my bed that I realised just how much I missed her…

I know we’re incompatible, and I know that our lives are separate and always will be, but I still can’t help but want her