Tearing at the Fabric

Of the space-time continuum


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Four weeks

Four weeks.

That is all.

It’s only been four weeks at the barman’s. In full lockdown. Nothing, except supermarkets, pharmacies, dairies (small food and supplies shops) and medical providers have been open this entire time.

I have learned at lot.

I know I like life a lot simpler than it used to be.

I know I eat and drink far too much when I am catering for other people. I have gained too much weight, even with extra running, morning online workouts and yoga, and long dog walks.

I know I am a very lucky person. And am hugely grateful for all my privileges.

And the barman shared something quite important, that affects us going forward.

I am insanely grateful and touched that he trusted me enough to tell me. He hasn’t trusted deeply, or often, in his past.

I have always said, there are reasons for him not being long term partnered.

Reasons, and that long term single man lifestyle has an effect.

He has also been in love, lied to, and had his heart broken. He’s genuinely the sweetest man.

For example, we watched 20/20 last night, about the American Jennair Gerardot murder-suicide case from 2018. The programme seemed quite geared towards sympathy for her ‘poor, grieving husband,’ who was having an affair with the much younger, Meredith Chapman, whom Jennair shot and killed, before turning the gun on herself, after a 24 year marriage.

BG just seethed throughout, almost yelling at the screen. “Why did she do it? You moron, because you broke her heart and mind fucked her, and she couldn’t fucking bear it.”

He gets how devastating infidelity is. How crazy it can make you. I love that about him. He looked at me, as they went over the parts about the married couple still living together having dinner together, etc, whilst Jennair knew about Meredith. Just as I did with Roger and Trinket. I haven’t talked about that time with him, other than to say it was the worst time of my life, I loved him so much, cooked, cleaned, made love with him, my darling of thirty years, my heart – and he kept going back to Trinket. He just shook his head and said, “sorry my baby. What a mindfuck. I’m so sorry….” That just melts me, that he has that level of empathy, without even knowing the half of it.

But, this thing that has reared up is a problem.

I haven’t shared much, as it is all very personal, and I’ve been ruminating, trying to make decisions, and communicate my position with him.

We have been seeing each other, in this iteration, at least, for 11 months now. It’s been so lovely. Quiet, fun weekends. Trips away – to Australia, to other cities and gorgeous coastal towns around NZ. We were scheduled to have a week in Queenstown and the lower South Island before Easter. Of course instead, we had a staycation here – while both still working! We had planned a month long holiday together to the US and Canada in May-June. Obviously not happening now. We have talked about taking leave later, after travel restrictions are lifted, to the top of the South Island. My dear friends down there want to rent a bach in Golden Bay and meet this man of mine, holidaying together, going fishing in G’s boat, doing the wine trails…

So, dating, seeing each other sporadically, it’s been so, so lovely. We made love every day we saw each other. But not really “real life” as such. I haven’t planned for more, because I need to capitalise on the property I bought, and make slow, steady future plans. I am trying to ensure I look after me properly.

BG has loved having me here. He’s a tidy, mostly thoughtful guy, but I have certainly done some laundry, dishwashing, and all the cooking, bar one night. I love to cook, but the supermarket has only been visited twice, and supplies are limited.

I did do a swish, romantic dinner, with dressing up and candles on Sunday. Old school. Beef Wellington, baked cheesecake, and feijoa, vodka and apple jellies.

I don’t have my fully equipped kitchen, so making do has been a fun challenge.

That was so much fun. He was really touched.

His ex, and good friend, Colleen, has been messaging me a lot lately. She’s locked down in her city alone, with her wee dog. I think she’s feeling a bit lonely and stir crazy. She’s all good value. An happy to chat with her to keep her spirits up.

So, the thing is. Deep breath.

Sex.

We have had a pretty good sex life. There were lots of things to learn about each other. But mostly, I thought we were doing well. He was slightly vanilla. He likes a few more adventurous, fun things. But I put that vanilla-ness down to newness, trust building, his awareness that I find him quite large, worrying about hurting me, etc.

Staying here, he’s super affectionate, silly, happy, goofy, upbeat, appreciative.

But, the sex pretty much stopped. I have initiated most throughout the whole time we have been together. I have analysed that to death, of course. And think it is partly to do with fear. Fear of rejection. Fear of not having “regular supply.” Fear of looking like a sex pest. Fear of looking like he’s disrespectful to women (his Catholic boarding school education, his whole family are women, mother, two sisters, nieces, only one nephew…) He seems to be happy when I do, but I thought, hang on, it would be nice if he did a bit, right? Be nice to be pursued. (Sadly, I had a man who always wanted me, so am wary of that bullshit too!)

So, I stopped. And we went possibly nearly two weeks without! I was dying! And so, I finally talked PROPERLY with him about it. I mean, we’d talked. But it was very shallow.

We sat down, with a glass of wine, and I laid it on the table (pardon the pun!) We need to talk about sex. Expectations. Needs. Wants. I feel like you’re not sexually attracted to me. I know you like me, but I don’t feel wanted, and I am wanton. Like, you can’t get enough of me. I feel like that about you.

Is there anything I am doing, or am not doing that is a problem for you? Or is it just that there’s a lack of chemistry. You know, like, you like me, but don’t lust after me? That’s okay. You can’t help that if that’s the case.

He gets very sad when I talk about this. He apologised profusely, told me he wants to be with me, wants no one else, that I’m gorgeous, sexy, everything he wants, that he doesn’t know what’s wrong with him. I said you’re 54, on meds for hypertension, and you know we could both stand to be a bit fitter, be kind to yourself, I know the more pressure, the worse this can be. I just want to talk, not ignore things. Not make you feel small or not enough.

He’s mentioned before that this has happened in previous relationships. So blames himself. There’s no need for blame. But communication and trying to solve things together is key.

As we got further down the track during this awkward, but loving talk, he looked sadly at me, grabbed my hands and said, “there’s something else that’s been worrying me. That I need to tell you.” He took a huge breath. “I’ve been using porn. Not since you’ve been here though. I feel like shit. It’s not good, it doesn’t make me feel good. I’m fucking embarrassed, and it’s having a detrimental effect on me. I’m so sorry.”

I looked at him and said, “that’s okay. Totally understandable. You’re a man who’s been single a lot, you have to get your kicks somehow, if you weren’t getting it elsewhere. I can deal with porn, quite like some, sometimes, not a big thing for me that you watch. I am happy to join in sometimes if you want.” He replied, “no! I don’t want to use it, view it, view it with you, or alone. I feel disgusted.”

I asked, “is it kinda deviant porn? Something a bit out there?”

“Oh no! Pretty standard, mindless, bullshit fucking. Nothing weird or fucked up.”

He was super upset.

I gently asked if he has always been a consumer of said porn. He replied, “no. It’s only been about the last two years. And not any since you’ve been here.” So, even my non-maths brain could see that meant he was using porn to get off during the week, when I am not around. I have no problem with porn usage. I know some people become addicted and desensitised to real live women and their real, imperfect bodies. I know it’s an industry built on a bit of human misery, yes, some say they feel empowered, personal choice. But I am no prude about it. I like erotica, and occasionally porn is genuinely erotic if done well. I also know a lot is laughable. I said I have absolutely no problem if you feel porn gets you what you need, especially considering that I am not here usually. But I can see you feel it’s a problem, so I support you in whatever you need here.

So, emboldened, I finally broached a sexual need of mine. One that just hasn’t happened with him. And that seemed to go well, so I was quite pleased with myself.

Yay! Good, honest, open conversation.

Then nothing.

Since then, nothing. He hasn’t addressed any of it. And until yesterday morning, many, many days later, no sex, no approaches for sex…and then we had a wham, bam, thank you ma’am sesh. My stated need ignored completely.

Hmmm

I’m a pretty giving, caring person. I’ve given a huge amount sexually, too. I love everything about being naked with him. And I want to help. But, the reality is, I need to have a really good think about what I can deal with. I asked for something specific, for me (and I never bloody well do that!) And got ignored. Yes, it needs to be discussed further. Yes, I need to give it time, reiterate, restate my needs. His discussion about us moving in together, well, that won’t be happening. At least anytime soon.

We are in full lockdown until Tuesday. We are then down to Alert Level 3, which is basically same, except takeaway food options are going to be allowed to reopen, for at least another two weeks. We are not supposed to move.

However, I am going home. My youngest daughter needs to come home to me, she and her sister had a traumatic incident the other night, and she’s barely hanging in there. I need to go home, give myself time to think, to work out how to keep communicating with this man.

He is sad I’m going home. Sent me a message yesterday saying he’s so glad the lockdown was extended, as he needs time to wean himself off me being here.

I never had any problems communicating (from my side, at least) with my darling, before. I talked, we talked, it seemed so easy, so natural. Obviously, that was just me, as Rog never shared his secrets with me.

I had none.

Was a open book. When I had to start building a wall around me, I did such a damn good job, I’m finding it hard to break out of my fortress. And hey, I did. Poked my head above the parapet.

And was pretty much ignored. Go me. All my bravery there was SOOO worth it.

I’m a very supportive and understanding partner. I really am. But it’s not my job to fix a broken man. That said, it’s also not his job to be my everything. I know that. However, to be looked after when I ask for a tiny bit of help, would be an amazing goodwill gesture, huh?

So, there you go. All relationships require love, sacrifice, understanding. I’ve done that my whole life. But I am super aware that I don’t need another flatmate I don’t fuck. I want to be with this man. But I know I need more.

Trouble in paradise. Literally. I knew any problems would be exposed during lockdown. I’m a big girl. If this is not for me, I will walk away. But I need to ensure we both give this our best shot. He deserves someone like me, someone who is compatible with him, his friends, family, lifestyle. I think I can be that person. But I also deserve to feel desired, loved, ‘needed,’ – enough!

He’s asked me to come over to his office to work alongside him, and I just am processing a bit right now, so have stayed put for now.

Me. Who usually moves heaven and earth to be we with him (he’s pretty good at that too, coming over to my place midweek a few times, to surprise me.)

I’m not having another person let me feel like I’m not worthy. I don’t think it’s that. I think he’s dealing with a libido affected by age, overuse of artificial stimuli, and the sudden appearance of a woman with a high libido in his life after years of dampening down his own to survive. I get it, I had to do that when Roger left me to fuck his whore cunt.

I am happy to work with him, do more to help. Get professional help, if required. But ignoring my requests will not be tolerated for long.