Alright. So I’m feeling really bad about myself. I feel like I’m ruining Noah’s life. I feel like I am a bad person who deserves suffering.
Because I know that Noah has worked and worked and worked to support me and I feel like there isn’t an amount of work I could do to repay what he has given me. Noah has given me safety, security, love, attention, and adoration. Things I didn’t really ever have before him.
I devalue almost everything I give.
Last night Noah and I had a date and a very positive conversation. It occurred to me that part of the problem with either of us dating outside the marriage is that both of us came into this marriage with extreme adoration deficits. Essentially: we both grew up being despised by everyone around us. It was perpetrated in different ways and there were vastly different surrounding circumstances… but the basic fact remains that we both arrived in adulthood feeling like we are unlovable.
Both of us drink in positive attention from one another like it is necessary for life. Seeing that elixir of life be given to someone else feels like the most extreme betrayal possible. You are supposed to be the one person who adores me and who doesn’t take it away to give to other people.
Want to know something funny? My friends and my therapist are all starting to chant in unison, “Why in the hell do y’all consider dating?! Be swingers. Swinging is fine. Y’all like sex and don’t feel threatened by it. STOP DATING.”
Which is kind of hilarious to me. Ahem.
I feel like such advice would not have been on offer 20 years ago. I feel like I am uniquely blessed in having friends who see intimacy and sex as separate. I feel like I have managed to find a support network that probably sees us as basically healthy but we need to respect one another’s boundaries in this way.
Well, I don’t know if folks see me as basically healthy but an awful lot of people are rooting for my marriage.
Thank you. I am leaning heavily on your hope and your belief. I am depending on you all to believe for me when I can’t. Because if you carry the load for me while I can’t then maybe when I am able to pick it up again by myself it won’t be broken.
I find my attitude that I am alone in this world to be idiotic and hypocritical in the extreme. If I am more charitable I would say, “This is a part of my brain that is not able to recognize current reality through the damage that was done early in my life.” I have ridiculously loyal and wonderful friends. They touch base with me in a myriad of ways. The troublesome part is that they live so spread out that I don’t see them very often and that fucks with my sense of reality. I know that they are out there in the world loving me and rooting for me. But I don’t see them very often and that is hurting me. I miss Pam. Having her visit once a week for so long was a serious balm to my soul. I felt bad the whole time about the emotional variation she witnessed because she was around so often as a safe-to-vent-at-adult. But it was incredibly healing.
It is occurring to me that I need to schedule a night a week where I interact with friends. I’ve spent a lot of years just kinda hanging out in my house not interacting with people outside of the house that much. It hurts me. It hurts that it feels like I exist to meet the needs of Noah and my kids and I’m supposed to wait around and be nothing in and of myself in between when they have needs. I cannot keep this up. It is hurting me in ways that are going to cause big problems forever.
Have I mentioned that a few wonderful friends invited themselves over in December? I am so grateful I feel like a puddle of goo. Thank you for loving me enough to reach out and say, “Hey I’m free on this range of days. What works for you?” That was perfect and loving and kind.
What is the difference between intimacy and sex? I need intimacy with people other than just my family. I need it. It’s not optional for me. I feel like part of the reason I went for sex this year was because I need intimacy and I don’t have a lot of time in which to get it so I try to get a maximum size dump as quickly as possible. But I hurt Noah a lot in this process.
I’m not the only one in this relationship who feels like I should die if the other dates.
(This post has been open for a few days and I’m not going to keep going with it. So you get kind of a weird ending here.)