You called me tonight and told me a secret.
I was surprised. I’m pleased for you. Proud of you. Happy for you.
It signals that you’ve given serious thought to what you want from your life and how you want to spend your “what’s next.” I think it’s a very good idea and, as your friend, I am completely supportive. If I were your partner, I’d be all in. If I had a drink in my hand I would toast you.
But I also know what it means for us. It means we will never be together. So much for “never say never.”
I congratulated you and told you how much I think it’s a good idea. I told you I’m surprised. It’s brave. It’s courageous. Even if part of the motivating factor is that you hate conflict. But this proves you hate conflict more than you hate change.
I said, “It sounds like you’ve done some thinking and made some decisions.” I’m assuming that The Wife was involved in this decision and is supportive — but I didn’t ask.
You disagreed about making decisions. You knew what I meant — that you decided to commit to the marriage. But I think you have. This isn’t a decision one makes alone. It affects the whole family. You even eluded to YD needing to finish high school before you do it. Although I’m not really sure how a wife with a disability fits into the plan. It doesn’t seem like the best move for her…but I suspect she’s supportive. For the same reasons I am. It’s what you need. It’s what you should do.
So I told you my plan for the next few years of my life. Some of it we had discussed before. Some of it is similar to yours. It would be easy to merge our plans. It would be an amazing partnership, actually.
Is that what you’re thinking right now, in your hotel room on your business trip?
You said you missed me. I told you that you don’t have to. You pointed out that you are several hours away. I said that’s not what I meant. You said you’re a dumbass. I tried not to agree. You signed off.
It was a good conversation. It makes me sad.
We would be so perfect together.
My heart is with you. Always.
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*This note was written before The Breakup
You have been exceptionally loving lately. Perhaps even more so than pre-meltdown. I’ve been hearing from you a lot and it’s very loving.
You went out of town for business earlier this week. You called me from the airport at the gate. You texted me from the layover. You texted me that night from your hotel. The next day as you headed to the airport, again from the layover.
Early the day after your return you texted me that you were having a health issue. You got in to see a doctor, got your prescription filled and then came to see me. We made love twice in a short amount of time, cuddled. Talked. You were sweet, tender and loving. You were very affectionate. It was beautiful.
You told me repeatedly that you love me. And you said something odd, “You’re not just a piece of ass to me.” I laughed and told you that you aren’t just a boy toy. Maybe I shouldn’t have laughed. You were being serious.
We hadn’t seen each other in over a week.
You left an hour before The Wife would be getting off work. But traffic was bad — a tropical storm was blowing through. You barely beat her home. The usual 30-minute drive took 90 minutes. You texted me and kept me posted on your progress. You were frustrated and basically said that coming to my house is too big a risk.
First thing this morning, an “I love you” text arrived.
Has something happened? Is there something going on that is making you be more expressive?
I have a theory. The business trip was to the same facility as your last duty station before you retired from the military. If your company gets a contract there, you will have to go there to manage it. It’s near where you lived when you met The Wife. She has family near there.
It makes sense for a guy with a wife who is becoming more and more disabled to try to get a job that would place her near her family. If she can’t work anymore, it won’t matter.
This is all pure conjecture on my part. We’ve not discussed it at all. Except that you were going there to get new business. Obviously, you have connections there.
Plus you told me the Youngest Son is moving far away soon. What’s that about? You said he got a job in another state.
These are all things that make me go Hmmm.
My heart is with you. Always.
I have a secret fantasy about us. It’s hard to admit.
No, it’s not sexual. You know all of my sexual fantasies and our sex life is the most satisfying I’ve ever had.
I should say ‘was.’ Past-tense. We broke up. The Wife found out. You freaked. We didn’t see each other for over a month. I have been in tortured emotional agony. You wanted to re-start our affair. I said not if you are staying married. You’ve contradicted yourself and gone from saying you have to give the marriage a shot to you have to get out — all in the same converation. Your final decision is unknown. (Recap is for the benefit of readers who haven’t been following along).
So here I am. Trying to let go, trying to mean what I said, trying to move on, not waiting on you to make up your mind.
But I’m having a certain fantasy for the first time. Sure, I’ve played around the edges of it over the past 3 1/2 years of our relationship. But I’ve never allowed myself to do it. It was too painful to think about. But I’m in so much pain now, this fantasy is actually soothing to my tortured soul. Because it’s actually closer to being fulfilled than at any other time during our relationship.
We’ve talked about what we would really like to happen between us. I’ve used the words legitimate relationship. Commitment. You’ve said real relationship. Future. Both of us have even invoked “happily-ever-after.” But we’ve never painted the picture of what it would be like — or what our ideal would be.
If I could construct the fantasy in reality — if I were writing the plan — here’s what it would look like:
1. After obtaining appropriate legal advice and assessing your financial situation and doing appropriate budgeting, you would inform The Wife that you want to end your marriage.
2. While still living with her — albeit in separate bedrooms — you would negotiate the terms of your Property Settlement Agreement, as required by the antiquated domestic laws of our state. During this time, you would give your tenant notice that you are terminating her month-to-month lease.
2. You would move into your rental but keep it listed for sale. It’s going to take a while to sell.
3. After your PSA is official, you will date me (PSAs say that the parties agree to conduct themselves as if they are single, without interference from the other. In addition to dating, you can dispose of property, etc.). Yes, really date me. I know it seems silly — we’ve been involved 3 1/2 years. We’re in love. But we skipped that whole dating step, and we really need to go back and do it.
4. During our dating period, I will gradually introduce you to my friends. A few will know our history. Most will not. I will begin with my geeky book club aquaintances. They are mostly college professors, school teachers…my intellectual stimulation crowd. A scientist or two is thrown into the mix. Many are married. I know that you are an introvert and not a big partier, so I will go easy on you. Maybe I will have a small party or barbecue. I will make sure you get to know those with military backgrounds. I will make sure you feel accepted, welcome and comfortable. We will take a vacation. Continue to learn more about one another.
5. After the waiting period is up, you will get to file for divorce. It will take about a month to six weeks to get your final order, depending upon the venue. You can forum-shop in our state, so if your local court is too clogged you can take it elsewhere. Lawyers deal with that stuff.
6. After the divorce is final and/or the rental house sells, we will move in together. Nearly a year will have passed by this time — perhaps longer. I’m assuming The Wife will keep the marital home. If she doesn’t, perhaps you will have been living in it, or it will be on the market, or even rented. But, all things considered, I’m guessing you will move into my place. I will have had plenty of time to make room, reorganize and perhaps remodel a bit.
7. You will quit your high-pressure job and become a professor at the local college. I know this is a difficult long-shot. But remember, I have introduced you to my science geek college professor friends. You will have insider info.
8. We will buy a large piece of property on the outskirts of town, perhaps a farm. I will become a full-time teleworker and eliminate my 100-mile round-trip daily commute.
9. We will grow things — perhaps grapes for the burgeoning local wine industry. Flowers. Maybe lease the fields to the corn and soybean farmers nearby. Hire people to cut grass and clean the house so that we have time to travel and pursue our hobbies and interests.
10. Live happily ever after.
Yes, I know this is a fantasy. Also, it doesn’t involve marriage. Commitment, yes. I can’t make the leap to marriage at the moment, even in my wildest fantasies. Would I do it again? Would you? That would be #3 for both of us. That’s a giant step. With appropriate legal advice and an iron-clad prenuptial agreement, I suppose I would. With you.
I love you. You’re the love of my life. I’ve taken many risks and put a lot of myself on the line because of the way I feel about you. The rest of my life? Absolutely.
My heart is with you. Always.