The last week has kind of, well, sucked. My usual positive demeanor has been crushed into a pit of negativity and defeatism. I’m going to just whine a bit, so be warned. I know I sound a bit like a spoiled brat. A’s on a much needed vacation. It’s been two weeks since I’ve been touched in a sexual way. It’s been slightly less since I saw A last, but our dates where we meet for drinks, while full of intellectual and emotional connection, are nearly devoid of physical connection – unless you count a simple kiss as physical, but I don’t. I got sick the day he left on vacation over a week ago and I haven’t touched an adult since. In fact, I haven’t touched a person I wasn’t responsible for keeping alive since. I’m dying for touch.
I’m in this lovely place in life where truly amazing people care about me. They really respect me and love me. They look up to me and want to be with me. These are good things. I cancelled on S the week before A left because I was so exhausted I couldn’t see straight and I only managed to kiss and grope her while drunk at the poly pub night with her hubby. Then she cancelled on me because she has amazing priorities. Then I got sick and ruined everything and cancelled on her. So it’s been three weeks since I’ve got to hold her in my arms and I’m going crazy without her. I desperately need to reconnect with her physically.
The fact is, I’m going crazy with the lack of touch. The lack of connection. I think I’ve discovered the downside of solo-poly. I love being strong and independent and in control. I do. But when you are sick, to the point where you don’t leave the couch for the weekend and to the point where you cancel all your plans because you don’t want to infect everyone you see, the truth is, what you really want is the person who will hold you while you are suffering. I don’t have that. This is the first time I realized that. The reality is that I never really had that, I just had the illusion of that. When I was sick in the past, F would complain about what I needed. If I was sick in bed because I was unable to do more, it was burden on him. I remember about six months into our relationship, going away for a weekend together. There was much build up about the physical nature of that weekend. On the Saturday, I got dreadfully sick with food poisoning and spent most of the day and night in the washroom. He spent that time openly complaining about the fact that we weren’t having sex as anticipated. Meanwhile, I wasn’t out of the washroom for more than 20 minutes in a 24 hours period. I felt just good enough to drive back home. This was the first time that he turned my suffering into something about him. I couldn’t possibly itemize the rest of the times he did that in 14 years.
The fact is, right now, I don’t need much, but what I need is a little affirmation. I’ve been reaching out to A and to S and the truth is, I’m not getting everything I need. S is generally great. She reinforces my insecurities with love. She reminds me that she needs me. She misses me when she can’t touch me. She celebrates my successes and laments my failures. Even apart, we are together in the daily milestones. I send materially equivalent messages to A. I try not to be upset when he doesn’t respond, but the fact is, sometimes, it feels like he doesn’t care. Sometimes, I need more than he can give. That’s where we are right now, I think.
I’m mad at him; I miss him; I want to touch him so badly. I LOVE that he is finally getting a break, but I’m mad as fuck that he can’t be bothered to say “goodnight” or acknowledge my message that my real estate papers are signed for my separation, or even recognize that I ranted about my problems with insurance companies, or that I admitted how much I’m struggling with the lack of connection. What I need is simple and he’s currently not giving it to me. Even when I directly ask for it.
I need love. Acknowledgement. I need him to say I mean as much to him as he means to me. I need to feel like he values me. Like he misses me, even when he’s in paradise with his family. I need him to care enough to want to care for my needs while he is caring for his. And I’m not sure he does. I’m in this weird place where I just want him to show he cares about me. I want more than a “Good morning” every day. I want to feel like I matter, but I don’t feel like I do. I feel insignificant and unimportant and like I don’t matter to him.
Most of this is a “me” thing, I know this. When I was in Mexico in December, I took a picture of a beautiful beach side romantic dinner for two that was set up and waiting for a couple to arrive and captioned it “One day”. A commented that it was amazing. I mentioned the dream that it was. A booked the equivalent romantic dinner for himself and his wife for their 19th wedding anniversary at the hotel they are at in Mexico. I love that he did that for her. For them. It’s amazing. It’s something to celebrate. Fuck, someone put up with him for 19 years of marriage, that’s big. Compersion was my first response. Then I looked at the pictures. I realized that even if the situation were different and it was he and I that were in the same place, he’d probably not book the romantic dinner for us. What’s more, it hit me that I may never be able to exclaim publicly, or post a picture on social media, how much he means to me or the history we have in the same way his wife can. Normally, I can be quite pragmatic about this, it’s the reality of dating a married man who is not “out”. When his wife tags him in brunch posts or family posts or long-time friend posts, I don’t usually feel anything but happy for everything he has. This week though, the things I don’t have hit me in the feels.
Right now, he’s taking the time he needs. The time I know he needs, deserves, and more than anything, I want him to have. In the meantime, my life hasn’t stopped and I need things from him that he isn’t giving to me and I’m angry about missing the pieces. At the same time, I want to hug him, hold him, love him, and be one with him, because he fulfills me in ways no man ever has. This weird dichotomy is brought to you by functional relationships where you can love someone and recognize the things that are missing at the same time.
I told A how I was feeling last night, because I had a temporary lack of judgement, because wine. Of course, he pissed me off completely (sarcasm-ish) by apologizing and being the generally amazing person he is by acknowledging my feelings, explaining his position, and being himself.
I recognize where I am. These are temporary problems that are easily solved by time. The next time this happens, I will be much better prepared to deal with the emotions of it, because I’ve experienced it before. For many people, going two weeks without touch is not something to complain about; I get my privilege in this situation. In fact, looking at it practically, I see how amazing my life is that I feel loved, supported, and valued enough on a daily basis that I have the luxury of feeling sad because no one has touched me in two weeks. Knowing this doesn’t diminish my need for touch, but understanding the root of my emotions is kind of amazing.