I’ve made some new friends through my blog, which makes me very happy indeed. There is an amazingly supportive community here, when you take the time to find it. Some of these friends have been engaging me in dialogue about Johnny, trying to help me sort out why I’m in a funk, how I’m feeling about his upcoming visit (very excited), the future (on balance, cautiously optimistic), closing our relationship (relieved but frustrated), and whether I will want to open it again after he comes to visit.
I sincerely have no idea.
It has been a relief not trying to date, quite frankly. Nice to ignore P (Shenanigans) whereas before, I may have been tempted. Nice to not reach out to NIM. Nice to be able to focus on Johnny, and friends, and work, and my son. Not in that order, necessarily. It’s a bit of a break which isn’t a bad thing. Clears the head. And not having to shave my bikini line all the time is kind of nice too. Sensitive skin, and all that.
However, it’s been frustrating because I miss someone being here with me in person. I miss a man’s hands and mouth on me. I really miss sex, and am craving it badly. Johnny is awesomely affectionate and communicative – he is a steady presence in my life. We text, and talk on the phone, and video chat, every single day. The video chat really helps reduce the distance…seeing him in action. Sometimes we have video chat sex which is also pretty hot. He loves to watch me cum. I love to cum. I think that can be called a “win-win”.
Although it kind of sucks right now, I can last another four weeks of this.
But the real dilemma is what to do afterwards. Because he needs to be where he is for another 2 years, so the challenges facing me are not going away quickly.
Challenge #1: I don’t know if I will ever be satisfied with just one man.
Even before I met Johnny, I had been wondering whether I will ever be satisfied with just one man. This worry stems from how my sex life was in my marriage, and a recognition of my seemingly higher-than-normal sex-drive and desire for continued non-vanilla explorations of sex. Which didn’t just start last year. You only have to read my “Men I’ve Slept With” posts to see I’ve been rather promiscuous from the beginning.
So that’s in the back of my head and will be regardless who I’m with. If we were together in person, Johnny would be open to some explorations together with other men. Either always together (as in, threesomes), or even perhaps with an open relationship. More about that below.
This is probably just something I will have to sort out as I go. I can’t know this until I’m in the situation. But, of course, being the analytical creature I am, it’s still something I ponder.
Challenge #2: I don’t know if I’m ready to have an exclusive relationship.
I’ve only been single for a year. I don’t think I have all my shit sorted out yet…although I also don’t feel overwhelmingly damaged. I am acutely aware of the mistakes I made in my marriage and I do not want to repeat those mistakes. I suspect I may need a bit more time to sort myself out.
Johnny is a couple of years ahead of me on this journey and as he’s written, is in a place where he is just fine being unattached. He is not pursuing casual sex and isn’t looking for others to make him feel happy and worthy. I’m just not totally there yet.
I also have a lot of exploring I want to do. I don’t want to limit my desires and my impulses – even if they are selfish and immature. I believe that if I was to remain closed with Johnny, I would at some point end up cheating on him… which makes me very sad but I know I would resent the restrictions on my life, resent the rules, and end up doing something hurtful but trying to justify it. My desire for physical release, given an opportunity, would be a dangerous combination indeed.
Obviously, I don’t want that. You just have to read one of his recent posts on trusting me to know that this is NOT what I want for our relationship. He needs to learn to trust, not have the past repeat itself.
In case you are wondering at this point, I do care very deeply about him. He is an amazing man, full stop. He ticks my proverbial boxes. My gut isn’t yelling at me about anything to do with him. It’s all these challenges surrounding our relationship.
Challenge #3: Our versions of “open” are different.
He is fine with an open relationship. It’s me that closed it off. Things may be different if we were in the same city, but I can see him being willing to be with me, and have us explore things with others on an occasional basis. Perhaps together, perhaps on our own. He strongly believes that a lack of possessiveness is a sign of a trusting, strong, relationship. He wrote a great post on it called “A Truly Loving Relationship“.
So I could absolutely open things up after his visit in August.
You might now be asking – so what the hell is the problem, Ann?
Here’s the thing. His conditions of an open relationship are that it doesn’t result in his being neglected, that I am completely open and honest about what I’m doing, and that it be equal. I need to tell him in advance if I am going on a date, or going to have sex with someone. Although he doesn’t actively look for casual sex, doesn’t need multiple partners, and quite frankly (at least how I see it) can live without it, he will engage in it because I am as well.
My conditions are a little different. I’m not sure I want to know what he’s doing. Although we speak every day, given the time difference, he could go on a date after I’m asleep and I’d be none the wiser. I proved to myself before that right now, I can’t handle the thought of him physically being with another woman. You just have to read my post “Torture and Anger” to get my views on this. I’m trying to work through it but I think right now, I’d rather not know.
And yeah, I know that it’s all good in theory but what will happen if we have the conversation and he says he will date? I may just get all twisted up in wondering, and then ask questions to which I don’t really want answers. I don’t ever want to repeat how I felt on that Saturday night when he fucked another woman.
So the bottom line is…he wants explicit communication from me, and I don’t necessarily want to know what he’s doing. He needs equality and I don’t think I can handle it. I want inequality, and he won’t allow that.
Challenge #4: The reasons we have different needs are because of our pasts. Not our present.
Johnny’s need for equality in an open relationship, even thought he’s not needing others at this point, comes from the way he was treated in his marriage. Otherwise he feels he’s being taken advantage of and is emasculated. I don’t want that. But if I open it up, I will get hurt by his actions. He knows this – we have had several conversations about my still being angry with him, and resenting him, for doing something despite knowing the impact it would have on me. He did it anyway. His past overrode the present.
But why can’t I get my head around it? Why do I know that I can be with others and it doesn’t diminish how I feel about him, but not believe that the reverse can be true? I suppose I know it intellectually. But that’s not where the pain come from.
My past is overriding the present as well.
All men who have been with others at the same time as me, have subsequently left me.
In addition, my father started cheating on my mother when she was pregnant with me. She kicked him out just before I turned 7. They agreed to equal sharing of visitation. He then left me for 18 months for a job (sound familiar?).
Through my dialogue with friends and Johnny, I’ve come to realize that fear of abandonment is probably at the core of all this. How can I believe that someone can be with another, and then not leave? I have no such experience to prove that it’s possible.
Johnny says one of the reasons he fucked that other woman was to prove to me it would be okay. At the time, it failed miserably. Yes, we are still okay, although there is still some residual damage and every time I read a post of his saying he doesn’t need to pursue others at this point, or casual sex, I get angry again (and don’t worry, this isn’t news to him).
He also says we will sort this out. That there is an answer out there and we just have to find it.
If anyone has the answer, I’d love to hear it. I don’t have time for a lot of therapy these days, so perhaps you can all get me down on that proverbial couch (minds out of the gutter, laddies) and help me figure it out.
(and thanks for sticking with me…I know this was a long one)
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