Monday, July 7, 2008

tough conversations

It's like having a fantastic roommate. He's a great friend. I have always been honest with him.

Do I love him? Yes. Am I in love with him? No.

There are things that we can't share. We don't talk about spirituality, specifically mine, because he has a tendency to mock any spiritual leanings I have. Without realizing it. And when I pointed out to him once that I don't make fun of him for being an atheist, he shrugged his shoulders and smiled. We don't share the same music. I can't show him my writing because he corrects my grammar, and points out the sentence fragments with a suggestion that I might want to revise - I know grammar, and I write as I choose. He thinks that global warming is a hoax, and therefore the entire environmental movement is suspect. He calls himself a social liberal (and when it comes to some things he is) but he questions the welfare system, and the validity of universal health care, looking t o the US system as an ideal model.

Essentially, the things that are most important in my life are the things I can't share with him. Except our kids. We raise them well together.

He is supportive of my goals and direction, but he can't figure out why I want to write fiction. Why not do something practical with my degree? I'm kinda done with making practical and safe choices, and I'm ready to do what my heart tells me is right.

I could look beyond all of this once. I can't anymore. Beyond the personality differences, the divergence of politics, spirituality, music, lifestyle, vacation preferences and goals. I have no physical desire. There is no passion - perhaps there never was. He is not female.

I used to believe that this was the best that I could get - that I wasn't destined to find love in the way that other people have it. I made a safe choice, a choice that brought me partnership, security, comfort. But no passion. No desire, and no real fulfillment. My choice - to shield myself from being vulnerable.

It's incredibly difficult for me to verbalize at times, especially when what I have to say is not likely to be well received. He hasn't done anything wrong, and I know that he loves me. So to tell him what's in my heart is incredibly difficult. But I had to. I can't not say, when I am contemplating so many changes and possibilities.

Last night we walked, and between E's imaginings of butterflies and dragonflies, and other demands for attention, I managed to say what I needed to say.

Not easily. I should just carry a notebook and write down what I can't articulate.

Three weeks ago I told him that I was attracted to women, that I've always been, and why I resisted even admitting it to myself. Yesterday I told him a lot more.

And he was so wonderful, it made me cry. He told me that it was better to learn about myself now, rather than ten or twenty years from now. That what I can't control ( and I can't) is not my fault. And that I am always free to stay, or go if I need to, with lots of warning. He told me that he loves me, that his first choice would be to stay with me, and that we would be able to work things out amicably, no matter what happened.

He told me that I needed to experiment and explore my sexuality, and said that was okay, as long as I was honest with him.

I can't do that. I need a clean break. I think he's speaking out of some sense that he has to have me in his life, no matter what the cost. That's not fair to him - he deserves more than just whatever I have left over for him. And he'll get it, but not from me.

But in the end, what it comes down to is that I am free. I always have been. We can live together for now, and as things change for us, as our relationship changes, we will assess what our next steps will be.

This is also the best for E. Any transition we make has to be slow and deliberate for her sake.

Now I am relieved. And grateful. And humbled. And free.


Maria said...

Sounds like you made huge strides...

Zoe said...

Wow! That was a really big, hard, step. I can't even imagine being in your shoes.