Other women and abandonment | My conflicts with Johnny Id

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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0 thoughts on “Other women and abandonment | My conflicts with Johnny Id

  1. Analytical are we? I say that because you remind me of me. So I’m not going to be analytical. I’m going to speak as I’ve seen others (and they’re mostly men).
    Stop thinking and Go forward.
    Trust him if his words and actions are genuine to you.
    You’ll figure it out when the time comes.
    Analyzing any more will just wrap you in a quagmire of thorny thoughts keeping you from a future you can’t predict but be courageous and speak the truth with him at every turn about your fears and hopes. It sounds like he’s willing to do that already. I think that’s all anyone can do. Oh yeah, ride it til the wheels fall off ; ) It’s just a theory – I haven’t tested it yet myself.

  2. I think you can be happy with just one man/have an exclusive relationship, but *right now* Johnny can’t be there for you physically like you need him to be. That leaves you feeling empty and unfulfilled — even with the video chat, etc, like you said, he isn’t touching you, you can’t feel him. But I think that could be a good thing. I think a two-year long-distance relationship could help you learn and discover a lot about yourself (and it might help you be able to trust Johnny more) and what you are capable of. Also, it may make your relationship with him stronger because you had to learn to communicate with each other from the beginning.

    I think you’re just not ready to give up your entire heart to someone again. Yet. That’s okay. It’s about trust and you might be a little gun shy. Your dad was an ass, your ex-husband, etc… I think Johnny understands that. He seems to really really like you and to want to give you what you need/want. Maybe you’re just not ready to trust that someone will actually BE there to help you and support you?

    Everyone has different needs based on our fucked up pasts. Again, it’s about the communication and learning how to work together as a team. I am very envious of you and Johnny and how willing he is to talk with you about such uncomfortable things. I am just starting to get to that place with Loverman, and we have been together for over 5 years!

    Thank you for posting this 🙂

    • Thank you so much for the comments. You are very insightful and I agree with everything you are saying. It’s difficult for me to trust again, to know I will be okay… not just because of men but because of who I am as well.

      To be clear, having met Johnny via each other’s blogs has been key to our having such open conversations. It would be strange to have gone from such honesty to shutting down. It’s been a key element of our relationship that we agreed very early on to have extreme honest with one another. It’s not always comfortable, but I know it’s the right thing.

      Thank you for your support. I really appreciate it.

  3. We both know we’re facing long odds here; a long distance relationship for two years, intermittent visits, and slightly different needs because of our past experiences. It would be really, really easy for either of us, as logical as we are, to get wrapped up in those odds and basically sabotage the relationship before we really give it a chance. It’s probably not going to work out anyway, right?

    Well, I’m trying to take it one day at a time. And I am genuinely thankful for every day that you’re in my life. I appreciate you and every moment we spend together, whether in person or online.

    Long odds? Challenges? What were the odds that we ever met in the first place? I’m not going to say that it was “destiny” that we met, but we’ve already surpassed the odds. Despite the distance we met and fell for each other.

    That’s why I’m so confident that we will figure things out. I think we’ve already won in spite of the odds. Logic will only get us so far in a situation like this, so I’m trusting my heart.

  4. I think you are on your way to good things. You may not know where you are going to end up, but I believe that person doesn’t necessarily need to know. In my opinion, it is better to look for landmarks along the way so that you can find your way back home if needed. Talking/thinking about these things now is just that. You’re doing good. Keep it up! I look forward to seeing your journey progress.

    • Thanks so much Beatnik…I really appreciate your comments and like your notion of “landmarks along the way”. With so much else in my life that I’m trying to improve (health, work, parenting), I’m a huge believer in taking small steps that each make a difference. Not sure why I would have a different approach with this.

  5. I don’t really have anything positive to add to this discussion because I’ve been jaded by my experiences with long-distance relationships.

    What I will say is to follow your heart. Do what feels right. I also think that your expectations need to align. It’s not fair to expect him, or even want him, to be faithful to you if you are not prepared to offer him the same in return. If your physical needs are going to override what your heart wants it’s probably best to tell him that as soon as possible.

    That’s my two cents, for what it’s worth.

    • Thanks, TD. I agree that our expectations need to align. That’s one of the reasons I’ve been in a funk…because I’m not sure to get us there. My needs aren’t any more important than his.

      So far I’ve been able to keep my physical needs in check. But I don’t want to resent him for anything. Believe me, I know that relationships are all about sacrifice and compromise. But I did so much of that for the last 15 years, I’m not sure I’m ready to do that all over again. But he’s awesome. Hence my internal debate.

  6. So once I got past this sentence, I put on my thinking cap…
    “If we were together in person, Johnny would be open to some explorations together with some other men.” You see I saw “person” but read “prison” and then I just couldn’t get the vision of you and Johnny in prison with a bunch of men.

    I had concocted in my head what I was going to say and then read Jayne’s comment and thought “why bother?” She said, virtually word for word, what I was thinking. I can analyze anything and everything until whatever I was analyzing has crumbled and disappeared into oblivion. “What if”s can never be answered. You need to butt out (get it? “But…” is my favorite escape clause). Jump on the ferris wheel, girl and… to quote a very wise woman, “ride him until his wheels fall off” (I may be paraphrasing. ) If he’s a cowboy then that will be more appropriate than her version.

    You are who you are. He knows that, you know that. Save a horse… save your sanity. Ride on.

    Oh… and keep an eye out for that bartender. You never know when you’ll find a good one.

  7. The hardest thing I have ever had to do was to accept that not all women are my ex. That sounds ridiculously logical and obvious. But when you’ve been programmed for a huge portion of your life to expect a certain behavior from the person you desire, it’s very hard not to attach those expectations to someone who is not them in the slightest.

    And I’ll be honest. I still haven’t fully. I still get really pissed off when my wife acts in a way that reminds me of my ex, but I’ve also gotten really good about recognizing it. When it happens, we have an agreement that I can step away, breathe, and work my way past it before we continue whatever it is we’re discussing. Likewise, she has the same agreement from her dealings with her monster of an ex.

    It does get easier with time. The way I was two years our from my divorce was SO different than the way I am now. Lots of the things that used to just send me into a tizzy at worst cause a little twinge of paranoia now. But I did have to fight through them, and give her a chance to prove to me she was different. I’m not saying that is the way you should definitely go or that if you do, it will be easy. But it’s what worked for me. I gave her the freedom to hurt me, and let her prove she wouldn’t.

    And let’s be honest. If she had, why should I have wanted her to stay?

    Something to ponder at least.

    • Thanks for the comment, Mark. It’s good to know you survived at least a similar challenge… and good to know it gets easier. It’s so difficult when the source of both our anxiety is in the past…easy in theory to forget, but we are so programmed by these experiences, even when we don’t realize it.

  8. So much to say and nothing to say at all.

    You know Ann, I’ve loved watching you two work through this, especially so publicly. It takes a brave soul to bare all the way you both have been doing. Kudos.

    But I do have to say that you need to stop over-analysing.

    Some things you can’t prepare for, you can’t expect a certain reaction because you might react entire differently if it were to happen. There’s so many ifs right now that you both can’t answer and pushing to answer them is causing you and your relationship to hurt. For now, is it really that important to have all the answers?

    Things generally work out, especially when you communicate so much and so candidly.

    Trust in that. Even though he might not be there in person I think Johnny is a pretty solid figure in your life in so much as offering his support and you the same for him.

    Sometimes there is no why, there just is.

    And sometimes you just need to grab each other by the hand and jump after 3.

    S x

    • Oh Sharn, thank you so much. Even just writing it out helped me get it straight in my brain…the thoughts had been rolling around in there for a few weeks and making me melancholy. You are so right that I should trust and take things as they come. Thank you.

      Ann x

  9. I think writing things down clears a lot up for me too.

    For some reason when I’ve written it it seems to unscramble what’s in my brain that feels really scrambled.

    Glad to help 🙂

  10. I’m with smittenwithhim on this one, that it’s so good that you and Johnny have an honest and open communication. I think that’s a valuable thing between you two, something I’m guessing that keeps your relationship strong even with the distance. That distance may have been beneficial, in helping you think things through. You mentioned not having your shit sorted out yet, and the distance/being single may continue helping with that. To me, it sounds that you’re on the right path, to keep writing it out, talking it out with Johnny, and keep listening to your heart.

  11. My advice is simple – for me to give, that is. As far as following it is concerned, well, that’s a whole other ball of wax…
    But here goes: Do what’s best for Ann St. Vincent. You’ve lost enough in your life. Start taking what you want when you want it.
    And that ‘s all I have to say about that.

What do you think?