Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Haven't Done This in a Long Time

I'm about to post an email exchange. Haven't done that since the J days last year, but I couldn't possibly do justice to the exchange below without posting them verbatim. I would not have dreamed of having the following exchange via email except that's the kind of relationship BJ and I have. Our relationship has been clandestine all along with neither of us willing to throw our "real lives" into upheaval to reveal all. I have no way to call him when it is not convenient for him nor does he have that luxury with me. Therefore, after posting on my blog last night, and knowing that he could very well read it at any time, I knew I had to "talk" to him about it somehow.

Thus I sent the following email:

BJ,

I don't want you to be surprised when you read my blog the next time. I want you to understand. As hard as it is for me to admit, I can't leave him. I just can't. I don't know how to do it without the guilt being too great.

I want to be with you more than anything in the world, but I just don't know how to make it happen. Can you still love me if I'm not strong enough to leave him? Can you still love me if I can't commit myself to you 100% because I have to see through my commitment to him? Oh BJ, this is tearing me up inside. I so much do not want to lose you, and yet I have no right to ask you to wait for me to be free or to accept the role of "man on the side." I am so very, very sorry. I guess I'm just another one of those awful women who won't leave the jerk for the sweet guy. I am so so sorry.

I won't be online tonight. I don't feel up to it. I'm going to bed as soon as I send this email.

I love you BJ. I love you so very very much.

TS



When I woke up and checked my email here is the reply I had received:

TS,

As heavy as my heart is after reading these words just from what we talked about at breakfast last fall and reading your other posts I knew you were having a great deal of inner turmoil at the thought of leaving W. And I must admit to having a real gut feeling this last weekend; not knowing anything about what was going on with you but still feeling something. Yes I can love you, because I do love you. But for me to move down there it would have to be with us both being single again. I need that 100% commitment. I can't share the kind of love we have. I don't want either of us to be the other's booty call on the side.

I'm not ready to leave my marriage tomorrow. I want to use this time to find where I belong in the career world and improve myself any way I can, like the weight-loss and exercise and conquering depression.

"I guess I'm just another one of those awful women who won't leave the jerk for the sweet guy." As odd as it my sound I was thinking about the exact same thing, not that you're awful for feeling that guilt but that once again another guy has stood in the way between me and love. I have to wonder sometimes do I have to fall in love with a widow who's had few if any other boyfriends to have the ex's totally out of the picture?

But I honestly can't be mad at W or at you. If he were an old boyfriend who swooped out of the blue and snapped you up, with you leaving me a Dear John letter as you both rode off together, well that would be one thing. However, even with his jerk qualities, he's still someone you've lived with for a long time, and at one time did love. He's not a suprise to me. He's been there all along.
Just don't resign yourself to wasting another decade or more being his nursemaid. Life happens, and things change.

I don't want to lose you either.

As I write this I've still not seen your blog post. But after I send this I'll give it a look.

I love you TS. I love you so very much.
BJ


I think it's clear that neither BJ nor I have been able to free ourselves from our current marriages. Neither of us has been able to make that big break. Sometimes I think we both dance around it, waiting for the other to make that big break first, as though if one of us would do it first the other might be brave enough to follow.

I hate my life. I really, really do. I know many would be proud of me for "doing the right thing" by trying to make my marriage work. I know that trying to make my marriage work is the "right thing to do." I wish I had never ever gotten myself into this marriage, but I did. It's my fault that I'm stuck here. I'm the one that insisted 20 years ago that this was what I wanted. "You make your bed. You lie in it." I sure know how to make an uncomfortable bed.

Shit.

4 comments:

Fiona said...

"Just don't resign yourself to wasting another decade or more being his nursemaid."

Amen BJ. There is no dress rehearsal in this life of ours.

If you truly will feel the least guilt by going back to him, that has to be your right choice TS. YOUR right choice, regardless of what anyone here will say (myself included).

You are the one living with your decisions. Sure, they impact people you love, and either way, this one will impact those people in your life, be it W or BJ. And of course N. How will W continue to treat N? That seemed to be a huge concern to you in the earlier days hon.

It just seems to sad that guilt is the driving force here, TS. I'm afraid I'm not one of those saying, "she's doing the right thing" because you are going back into a marriage that makes you so unhappy. But you have to do the right thing for YOU.

How utterly sad all this is hon, just utterly sad for you and BJ. Why is it that the one who deserves the least, wins the biggest prize? You say: "I know that trying to make my marriage work is the "right thing to do."" but it's not like you didn't try before.

Hugs to you dear woman, you'll be in my thoughts.

Emily said...

Dear Trueself

Only you can decide what to do now. It really isn't for anyone else to go on about wedding vows.

The one thing I will say is, you may find it a relief to make a decision on this and then commit to that decision and make the very best of it you can either way.

Sometimes its all the angsting and indecisiveness and endless weighing up that is the main source of anguish.

Whatever you decide, Trueself, try to make your own life as good as it can be. Be kinder to yourself.

freebird said...

TS, I don't think you should hold yourself responsible for failing to make the dream come true. No disrespect to your beloved BJ, but from where I'm standing it looks as though he could have a list of reasons why 'now' is not the right time to leave his marriage, long enough to last into the next decade.

Don't hate your life, hon. It hurts now, but you were just proving you can be in control - make it work for you.

trueself said...

Fiona - Thank you. Thank you for speaking your mind. Clearly, I am letting guilt drive this decision. I am the queen of guilt and self-flagellation. (I probably didn't spell that right but am too lazy to go check.)

Emily - Yes hopefully it should be easier now that the decision has been made.

FB - Good point.