I don’t live a life of regret.
Looking back on all the men I’ve had sex with (which is a LOT), there are fewer than five I wish weren’t on that list. Why? Because I didn’t really want to have sex with them yet I did anyway.
And it took me a long time to stop doing that. I was too focussed on their wanting me it didn’t occur to me I could say no and there would be more to come. Probably a legacy of not getting something from my relationship with my father, but I’ve largely moved past that now.
I think we only accept bad behaviour when we don’t know of the alternative, or we don’t know we are worthy of more. Or we tell ourselves the things we do get outweigh the other stuff.
For me, the latter is the most pervasive. I am a queen of justification and rationalization and nuance. Hy calls me out on that regularly. It’s the downside of my fascination with why people do what they do. It’s easy to lose sight of the behaviour staring me right in the face.
It would be easy to regret my marriage to Will. In many ways, I felt I came back to life two years ago when we split. Which would imply I was dead for the 15 I was with him. It’s true in some regards – passion and sex being the notable examples – but not in others. It also wasn’t his fault. It started with me and my reaction to an early broken heart which was never repaired.
In work and in life I have a strong sense of personal accountability. Unlike so many people’s revisionist history narratives, I don’t take the easy or simplistic route of vilifying Will for the breakdown in our marriage. I choose to believe I probably hurt him as much as he hurt me.
Which leads me to mistakes. I’ve made a few (yes,now that song is in my head).
[And BTW have I mentioned lately I sometimes detest the WordPress editing on a phone? I lost the rest of the my content on all my mistakes… yet another mistake…]
I’ve already talked a lot about what drew me to Will and how I justified his complexity as something I needed, since I was bored with nice guys. I hadn’t dated anyone who was nice and who had a backbone. Nice and weak or spineless I cannot do. That was a mistake and I’m working through how not to make it again – Fox is testing that ability.
But even more fundamental are some of my personality traits and how I react in a relationship. Will and I were badly matched in love languages. I need affection and quality time. He needed gifts and words.
I was angry with him when he gave me expensive gifts. I appreciated them but I thought he could have spent less money and I just wanted us to do things together. It was a sore point throughout our marriage. But I also stubbornly refused to see it his way. He wanted gifts, I thought they were wasted money, therefore I didn’t buy them for him. (and no, I don’t mean ever. But he wanted expensive things and I didn’t cave).
Which brings me to Fox.
I’m pretty sure he and I have different love languages. At least, I am learning that words mean more to him than they do to me. I am not particularly sentimental, and he is. I have a thick skin and am not easily wounded, and he’s rather high maintenance.
At least, that’s how I see it.
And hence exactly my point: when Fox texted me last weeek that we needed to talk about his emotional needs, my response was an eyeroll and a big sigh. I will likely write more about it but I thought it was ridiculous, given the situation which prompted it.
And that, my friends, is a mistake I want to avoid. I can be judgmental. If I think something is silly I’m less inclined to be accommodating.
Yet I’m dating a man who is really quite amazing to me. I’m pretty sure he would do anything to me. But I’m not the same.
And that’s the mistake. But I have an opportunity to make some changes, and I will try to do so.