Hopeless To Hopefull

I've simplified this so much, that I wonder how much is lost in all the things I did not include below:
"Robby" & I got married at the same time I normally would have moved on to someone else (@ 5 yrs). 3rd relationship... at which point you can sometimes see repeat cycles. Thought I was avoiding that cycle since I hadn't tried to pursue anyone & wasn't being pursued. Less than 6 months after the wedding another man (Michael) started to pursue me. It wasn't more than harmless friendly interest in email form at first... it seemed nice to talk to someone who enjoyed listening... was married with children, so I didn't immediately feel threatened like I was doing anything wrong. Within a few short weeks, however, it did grow flirtier. Right away I expressed my concerns... at which point I was given an explanation that he was stable at home, and had no intention of jeopardizing that...an apology for offending, if he had, but hoped we could still talk. I enjoyed the flirting too much, the honesty…had no intention of leaving nor jeopardizing the relationship he had with his children...Especially not something that I had always wished I'd had when I was little...
Part of what I enjoyed about our talking was listening to the caring & involved parent-child relationship... No parent is perfect, but the effort was there that I never saw from my childhood... so I think I idealized that more than anything else.
I hadn't realized how much I felt like I was holding back at home until we started our little flirting thing... didn't realize I was just missing basic day to day honesty... judgment free conversation, being "myself"...not feeling like Robby was much of a friend, let alone my best friend. It was like a drug...the seemingly genuine interest, conversation... attention... the honesty (I thought)... the lack of judgment… So email turned to text... things got more risky, less friend to friend...even though I was told that he enjoyed talking to "me", and the goal was not "friend with benefits"... We met up... had a beer before things got risky...month or two... met up again... made out...another month or so... eventually met up a third time...were intimate... Up until that point... things for me at home had been getting worse, but I'd still maintained some affection & occasional intimacy... but even that wasn't without concentration. Robby had started trying to make changes for me that he'd been previously oppose to… still overly aggressive...sensitive… & hostile. There is childhood background from both of us that have created issues in how we have chosen to cope with relationships and their arguments. I pulled back every time I was met with hostility, and tried to let that be known, but it wasn't handled well, not by either of us.
After the intimacy with Michael I was emotionally wrecked… was beyond normal for me... felt weighed down… unsure how to deal… Michael pulled away his friendship… something even he admitted to later... even though I never asked nor intended to ask anything from him other than honesty... I thought he considered me a friend and would have at least respected me enough to be straight about not caring & just preferring we "call it a day". I didn't know how to react, knowing I had feelings…told him before we slept together… not because I wanted anything other than to know I was cared for...was a chick, had never been in this situation, and sex is still emotional for me.. I just needed to feel cared for… I let my emotions get too carried away. Rather than just be honest with me, he avoided me... I sensed it, and was hurt at the thought that I'd been used and he didn't actually consider me to be the friend he said he did. I requested brutal honesty on more than one occasion, because it’s what I respected most from his friendship, and was assured I was receiving nothing less…Wish I’d been able to believe it.
So... in my turmoil at having cared about another...not being able to say anything at home… feeling lost…not feeling like Michael was actually being straight with me, but still in deep… turned to someone else each time I felt devastated by his friendship… The whole thing spanned almost 10-11 months…until it officially stopped, but not before I had turned to a few different shoulders... admitted to an affair at home, and not before I found the best friend I’d ever thought possible, Mr. Hopeful, while pursuing a new hobby.
I told him everything… and even as I knew I shouldn’t, I enjoyed that he cared… enjoyed his honesty, enjoyed hearing the “not so great things” he felt attributed to himself as well as the curiosities of why I chose to do some of what I had this past year. I loved that I could trust him to keep his word, in action, not just as an afterthought. I felt safe talking to him. Never that he wanted to judge me, shame me, or use any of it to guilt me later, but that he just wanted to know me. For reasons I may never understand, good /bad, big/small… I could trust him to do what he said he would do. Everything else stopped. I had befriended multiple men in the span of being upset over Michael. Maybe I felt I needed the proof that I wasn’t just a piece of ***, on top of needing someone to lean on while I could not deal on my own...I don’t know. But I no longer felt reliant on those friends, even though they were & still are there…or the need to randomly add more while obsessing over being hurt. Mr. Hopeful is the only guy I’ve ever been the first to tell him “I love you”… and I don’t think I ever really thought about it, nor told him that. For me, either I never said it, or I waited until it was said to me… never said it first until now. I don’t know what to do about us having stopped regular contact to work on the troubled parts of our lives… I know I’m thankful for him… and that he’s helped me see more hope in myself and the future of my relationships. I hope he does too.
I’ve seen marriages that last (good and bad)… marriages with affairs that worked through it and those that broke apart after… affairs that turned into marriages (happy and sad)… I don’t know where we fit in here… I only know that I love him and want the best for him… whatever he feels that is… and believe that is what he wants for me. I always want him with me, and I know he is in at least one small permanent way… I just have hope for us finally working through the things in our pasts that have kept us from truly being happy with ourselves and our lives...Although I admire and think he knows and is much more confident in himself than I. Maybe he doesn't always see it, but I do.

I love you no matter what happens... I think it's the first time I've felt something truly "unconditional"... Like I could be anything I chose. That no matter what I chose to do with my life.. how I chose to act... what I chose to think, say, or do..toward whomever...  I feel that none of it would amount to anything that would make me less of a person to you. Not the way I feel about religion... politics... family... or complete strangers at Walmart... I feel like "me" is enough... 

RacheFan RacheFan
May 6, 2012