We had a very nice weekend. Spent all of Saturday together, both day and night. We drove to a favorite place of mine, a Mennonite community with a farmer’s market. I’d mentioned it to him in the past and he wanted to experience it with me. After buying several different kinds of produce, we went for a hike along the Ocoee River in the gorge. We hiked and talked for several hours. I love hearing him talk and he wanted to share about his past, his history.
He wants me to get to know him, know who he was, who he is, who he wants to become. He’s sharing with me about his aspirations, wishes, dreams. He already tells me about his days, his nights, his family, his friends, his activities. He wants me to know all the things he wants to do, how he wants me involved, wants me along for the journey ahead.
In the middle of the night, around 3:00 am, he woke up, or so I thought, and said “I’m so tired!” I asked why, and he mumbled, “life”. He fell right back off, or deeper, since he actually was sleep-talking. I, on the other hand, was up the rest of the night worried about the implications of what he said.
I found out the next morning when I asked him about it. He had no recollection. I told him what he said and he said he wasn’t surprised after the week he’d had with work and preparation for 2 upcoming business trips on top of the previous weekend battling with his wife.
I told him about my night, my reaction, my worries that my presence in his life was causing complications to his already crazy, out-of-control life. He said he immediately wondered if that’s where my mind had gone. He reassured me without me in his life, his constant, he’d not be able to continue. He not only wanted me in his life, he needed me in his life now and always.
He left that morning to finish packing and drive to meet peers to travel together for the first meeting, an annual planning summit in Myrtle Beach. He sent me a message reassuring me “death is the only way you will never have me in your life”. He wants me to know he is sincere, he “cherishes” me, he feels cherished by me.
We’ve talked about not rushing our relationship. He knows his parents want his divorce. They don’t like his wife, they fear for his safety with her, they know how horrible she treats him. They want him to be with someone who loves him, treats him as if he’s the most important thing in their life, but they also might not be supportive of his jumping right back into a committed relationship.
His daughters don’t like his wife. The older only comes around or allows her around for his sake. The younger won’t come around at all. She has never liked her and has been vocal with him about her dislike and distrust of her. She pegged her from the beginning, saw her true character, tried to warn him. He was blind to what she saw. He knows both of his daughters want him to be happy, to be loved, but they also will not be okay with him jumping right back into a committed relationship.
I have reasons of my own for not rushing things. I receive alimony from my ex, support for the 19 years of marriage we shared, for the final five years of complete disconnect he created, for taking care of him following his accident, subsequent surgery, and then disability. I deserve it for everything he said and did and didn’t say and didn’t do.
A condition of my receiving it is I don’t live with anyone or get remarried. If either occurs, the alimony stops. My ex moved in with his girlfriend before I ever filed for divorce, but if I so much as move in with someone or move someone in with me I’m penalized.
So although we both love each other, know our feelings are real and true and know we want to spend the rest of our lives together, we are forced into moving slowly and taking things at a rate others around us will be better able to handle – those who have no way of knowing about the months we’ve already spent getting to know each other and falling in love.