I wish I could shut my mind down and not overthink things. I wish I could not remember every word he’s said, every answer he’s given, and every feeling I’ve had go without expressing.
When we’re together, I can forget he’ll have to go home eventually. I can almost forget she exists. I know she either texts, emails, or calls to check in every night. I know this, but I can ignore it, for the most part. I can choose to not ask about the texts or emails and pretend it’s work. When she calls, I can get up and walk away, find something to do for distraction until they’re off the phone.
When he’s gone and we’re in our long stretch of not spending time together, Wednesday through Sunday, my mind gets the best of me. I start thinking. I begin rehashing conversations we’ve had about why he’s with me and not attempting to make things work with her. Why he’s not left her so we can spend more time together and see if there’s something special between us beyond the affair we are in right now.
I’ve told him I can’t move in with someone or have someone move in with me for at least 2 years, the duration of my alimony. It was a condition of my divorce and I’m not willing to compromise or forego what I’m entitled to after 19 years of marriage. I’ve explained I will not be with someone who pushes for more than I’m willing and able to give with that in mind.
What I didn’t say was I’d like those 2 years to be a building phase with someone I might consider being with more long term when the deadline passes. I don’t want to wait until the end of those 2 years to begin the process.
He’s told me he doesn’t “push her buttons” any more because he knows how she’ll react and he doesn’t want the confrontation. But the status quo only keeps them in the state of limbo they’ve lived in for years now. They co-exist, co-habitate, live symbiotically, without any risk of change.
Change is what he wants. Change is what he kept telling me was going to happen. Change is what I want for us. Without change, nothing will be possible.
I’m a risk taker. I refuse to live in complacency and co-exist. That’s why I separated from my second husband and why we eventually decided to divorce. I won’t settle. I don’t think I should have to.
And I can’t help but feel I might be settling with him. He says he wants more with me, but is he willing to do what might be very hard for him in order to make that a possibility?
If she digs in her heels and refuses to leave the financially comfortable world he’s created for her and he’s unwilling to push her to go, will I be settling to continue in this affair with no hope of something more?
I’m trying to date other guys. I’m trying to find someone worth spending more time with. I’m trying to find someone to replace him in my life. But I compare every one of them to him and none of them measure up. They don’t have as many of the same shared interests as he and I do. They aren’t able to have deep conversations about varied topics like he and I are. They don’t make me laugh like he can. They don’t tug at my heart strings just being near like he does. They don’t want the same things he and I do in our future.
Dating for me is pointless. Yes, it fills my time when he’s with her. It provides a minimal distraction and provides me with the chance I might actually meet someone different, worthwhile. But until I open myself up to potential and stop making comparisons with him they’ll never be able to meet I’ll be spinning my wheels and setting them up for disappointment.