Future Forward

Some of putting my life back together after a sexless marriage just happens right when you leave the marriage.  Some of it happens once you’ve been gone a bit as you grieve the loss of the relationship that once was, the relationship that never was and the hope that you clung to for so long.  Some of it happens when the day seems better and hope surges forward for the first time in a while.  There’s also a new step I am beginning to understand.
It is the point where you begin to concretely see what you expect for the future.  I choose the word expect because in my case my expectations were in the dirt.  I expected he wouldn’t hit me, he wouldn’t cheat on me and he would love me.  He threw an iPhone at my head, had a short-lived affair and didn’t love me like I needed to be loved.  My way low expectations were not even stuff he could reach.
In my future forward life I want harmony.  I want disagreements resolved through conversation and understanding, not by seeing who can shout the loudest or withdraw the most.  That’s not to say there would never be a disagreement (ha!), but they would not be disrespectful or abusive.   My XH was verbally abusive towards me and my kids many times.  I will not tolerate even someone heading in that general direction.
I am figuring out that I need to be with someone whose default mode when anxious, fearful or uncertain is NOT to withdraw and hide from me.  It drives me crazy and I feel so punished and unloved by it that I simply can’t have that.  Continuing the flow of communication gives me something to work with and a connection that stays strong even when I might be unhappy about what needs to be communicated.  It is always better to tell me something I may not like to hear than it is to communicate nothing with me at all.
I want marriage again and children.  I grieved the loss of the possibility of the dream of having the family I wanted when I walked away from the sexless marriage that was supposedly trying to get pregnant.  I am absolutely open to adoption (I’ve already done it once) but I would like it to be the choice made because it was the right choice, not because it’s the only choice I had left because I waited too long for other options.
I expect sex.  Sex that is quiet, messy, loud, chaotic, naughty, playful, full of laughter and suspense – the kind where you completely lose track of time, sequence of events and the number of positions, moves and ******* throughout.  I want sex that is quick, sex that is drawn out, sex that is illegal in 11 states.  I just want sex.  I expect to give and receive PASSION.
I expect some level of open-mindedness and adventure with my partner.  Climbing Mt. Everest with a toddler strapped to my chest isn’t necessary but a family open to travel and to explore the world together is an essential part of what I envision for my future.   
I expect trust.  I expect my partner to be worthy of the trust and heart I give him.  I have a huge heart and it beats strong for those I care about.  While I am capable of and will set boundaries I shouldn’t have to do so within the right relationship.  I should respect his needs and he should respect mine.  I expect he can articulate his needs and hear me articulate mine.
In the end I am looking for a certain kind of relationship where I am able to give and receive love pretty freely.  If my partner and I want the same things and have similar takes on life plus have love and respect for each other, then the type of relationship we build is far more important than who my partner is – his name, his job, his car, his address, even his hobbies.  What we build between us matters a great deal more than who he is.  A man who is great on paper that I love deeply and who loves me and with whom I share great chemistry is worth nothing in a relationship if he does not know how or wish to have the kind of relationship I seek.
I do not buy into the soul-mate theories that state that people are simply made for each other and if you find the right person the relationship goes easy from there on.   I believe that if love, respect and chemistry are present then a relationship can either be built around that and lovingly maintained or shoddily constructed and later lamented. 
I expect that there will be many partners with whom I can go about having these kinds of relationships and experiences with.  There are many men I could love, respect, admire and deeply want to touch and connect with.  So I have decided to seek the relationship I expect, not a person I want.  Yes, there are people I do not want.  People I cannot respect, people who do not follow my basic expectations of how humanity is to treat each other.  But the reason I do not want them is not because they are bad people but because I can’t have the relationship I expect with them.  They might be perfectly fine as people or with others, but the relationship that would be between us would be unhealthy and undesirable to me. 
So I am looking for a real relationship first, not a man first and then wait to see what he can bring to the table.  It’s what he brings to my life that makes him so valuable to me.  I’ve been doing it all wrong before.
Changewilldoyougood Changewilldoyougood
31-35, F
16 Responses Jul 11, 2012

Wow! What a wonderful, heartfelt, thoughtful post. Congratulations on getting to this point. I hope you get all you are looking for.<br />
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Uhm...what kind of sex is illegal in 11 states? Do you plan to travel to any of those states just for the thrill of breaking the law?<br />
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Adventure and travel with kids. Find yourself a sailor and sail your family around the world. If you want a book list let me know and I'll send you one.<br />
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Girl if I was ten years younger...

You perfectly described the sex I (also) want. Yes! That! Bring it on, universe.

You are honest about the things you want and need in a partner... good luck. you deserve the same<br />
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Omg, I keep reading this post and the comments, over and over, rated up, favorite...:-)

Change, another thought:<br />
Just make sure as you think about the future, that your list goes beyond "the basics".<br />
You have listed: Harmony, good communications, sex, children, trust, and reciprocal love. These are things we should expect in a normal relationship with our life partner. It's a testament to how emotionally and physically messed up our SMs were that we think these are totally amazing goals. I am NOT putting you down - I got the t-shirt on this too. All of us here need to be soooo dam careful that these basics are met in the next relationship. <br />
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Beyond the basics ... you mentioned adventure, travel. Get a few more of these secondary wishes onto your list while you're at it. Create a vision for your future (with or without a partner). Dream big.

For me the really really big one is kids at this point. That is just a no brainer, deal breaker. And no, not everyone wants kids. Hopefully they will be honest about that because I can't imagine my life without children in it in a meaningful, daily way. Then comes all the ancillary compatibilities about kids: philosophies on child development, education and self awareness enough to understand that there are different ways to raise children, values about education, values about right/wrong/religion/moral expectations, similar attitudes about what we want our kids to experience and what we want the family to be bonded around... i.e. adventure, the outdoors, travel, arts &amp; museums, sports, literature, music, animals etc. I have always had this kooky dream of road-schooling my kids when they are preschool age by going in an RV for months or a year to see the whole country and time permitting much of North America that way. Visiting museums, historic places, learning about farms, factories and geography by visiting and doing. The experiences and memories built as a family would be an amazing gift. My ex-H was open to the idea. I am not sure how many other men would be. When I wrote that about travel/adventure that's the dream in my mind's eye.

This was a very poignant post. Thanks for sharing these insights into your very healthy journey of self-discovery. Knowing what you want out of life puts you in a much better position to choose your own fate rather than the other way around. I salute you.

Thanks for sharing.

I have to believe that there are many of us out there looking for the same thing which simply increases the odds of finding it. You are sooooo right. I also rated up this post!<br />
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It was as though you opened your heart and shared it here. I feel the same way - it is something special I am looking for; otherwise, what's the point?. Writing it down here is one of the steps to making it happen and believing it will happen is next. You will attract the right people into your space, and they will guide you the rest of the way. <br />
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It is your time...it will happen. The universe didn't bring you all this way to drop you on your head. Patience is your friend.<br />
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PS. This was my favorite part of the post... "I expect sex. Sex that is quiet, messy, loud, chaotic, naughty, playful, full of laughter and suspense – the kind where you completely lose track of time, sequence of events and the number of positions, moves and ******* throughout. I want sex that is quick, sex that is drawn out, sex that is illegal in 11 states. I just want sex. I expect to give and receive PASSION." Exactly!!!

Dammnit! Your post blew away about all our societies myths and lies about love, sex and relationships.<br />
Reading this caused me to feel an inkling of...something.....<br />
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For the last few weeks, I've been comfortably numb. Darn it Change, lol! <br />
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Thanks for sharing.

Sorry. And You're Welcome. :-)

Rated up and favorited. <br />
You're on the right track, Change. Don't discount the idea that you may be swept off your feet someday (well, better if's it a mutual "sweeping" : ) but then get down to serious analysis of suitability. Be prepared to end it early if red flags are spotted! <br />
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There's a lot of effort in maintaining a happy partnership. We know that it's very difficult for people to change themselves, and it's impossible to change others, so it makes sense to try to be starting off from the best possible alignment.

Chai, I am wary of being swept off my feet without this other stuff really in my mind. I do not want to get lost in the sweeping part. I could go with that feeling that is there but I am afraid that the dopey brain chemicals will make me end up missing out on things I expect again. I have someone I do think is amazing that I am slowly making steps towards but I am intentionally not letting myself be swept or do any sweeping because a) I do adore him and can't seem to keep my hands off him b) those chemicals will lead me to miss red flags c) I do want a relationship of a certain kind more than I want a specific person. No, it isn't quite as romantic as the whole "our eyes met and we just knew" stuff. But there's great chemistry and respect too so maybe all that stuff pales in comparison to a real relationship that has the components I seek.

This is where I get on my soap box and recommend a cohab agreement/marriage contract. Full financial disclosure, planning what the partnership will look like, planning what happens if/when the relationship ends, and committing all that to paper, is a very, very sobering procedure (and very un-romantic) and I think it would bring a lot of people down to earth with a loud bang.

And Chai and her partner completed a "pre-marriage" course together - altho they are not married. I thought this was incredibly wise and brave. Such a process is going to unearth crucial differences that may not be recognised in other arenas.

I have actually paid keen attention to Chai's blog on the subject and explored the web sites she has linked to. I have done that on my own months ago with no man to explore it with but just for my knowledge. You may laugh at me but I downloaded some of their free materials because... why not? Way jumping the gun, of course but still helped me move through my processing of things.

1 More Response

That's a great post. I'm liking you more already. Hopefully, you'll find what you're looking for.

You know what's so good about this post ?<br />
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It's what is NOT in it.<br />
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There is no - "must be 38-42 / politically liberal / be a Scorpio / dark hair / good job / love dogs and kiddies" - sort of **** in it.<br />
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I believe that I totally "get" your post.<br />
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This line - "What we build between us matters a great deal more than who he is" - speaks volumes.<br />
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I like your chances of attracting such a dude into your orbit. I like your chances a lot.<br />
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Tread your own path.

"I need to be with someone whose default mode when anxious, fearful or uncertain is NOT to withdraw and hide from me. It drives me crazy and I feel so punished and unloved by it that I simply can’t have that." That comment from Change resonates with me very strongly. Thanks Baz,for being that type of man.

Flinging an iPod at someone, gotta be assault and battery with expensive style. Steve Jobs was a wack job, had a reputation for being abusive, obsessive. I reckon he probably designed the iPod just for that task so that you would go out and buy another after breaking it.<br />
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More seriously, I do like your lifestyle philosophy. Most sane people get to that point of realisation; it's just a matter of how soon or how late. Your experience has given you that privilege a bit earlier in life. Lucky you!<br />
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The only other philosophical point I would like to share with you that though I like to think like you, I realise, for me at least, is that small but important gap between doing as I say and doing as I do is the real challenge, from day-to-day, moment-to-moment. Personally I know I need to be up to the job but I am not always certain that I am. Is that level of self-consciousness enough? I don't know.

IMO that level of self awareness, coupled with a willingness to keep addressing any failures to achieve that, would certainly be enough. I am intensely irritated by people who smugly assert "that's just who I am" and have no willingness or intention of addressing their attitudes or behaviour because they have given themselves a "pass".

Enna, it's funny you say that... my exH used to tote that out as a badge of honor. He would say "That's me. I'm ***** (his name). I don't change. You know what you're getting, at least." Now, he's realized that had consequences.

Change, no doubt you Will find that relationship that you're able to build on. I think this is a wise post.

I know that's true. I have a limited shelf-life that I'm willing to fart around and just have fun. If I don't find the right relationship by a certain point (already identified in my mind, just not wanting to get into the details publicly) I am going to be looking to build the life without a relationship like that. Then at that point new men can join me in my already constructed life or keep on walking. For the moment though, I am having an under construction special. :-)

Yep, me too. I'm hyper aware of the little things now. The way someone walks. Do they charge ahead, lurk back or walk beside you. And I'm not even out yet.<br />
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Are they respectful to others? Do they have a balanced view of the world?<br />
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Are they self-aware? Do they know where they have failings?

What kind of sick-o is abusive to an Apple product???<br />
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(Sorry...Apple FanGirl)

Lol! Do not abuse the iThings!

Elk, so is he. We were having a disagreement... which at that point was me shutting down and withdrawing and him unhappily yelling at me because I wouldn't argue with him or engage anymore. I was intimidated and when I had a chance to leave the room I did so. He was pacing by the door most of the time. As he saw me leaving he grabbed my phone and threw it... saying something like "here... you'll need this" in this snide way. My iPhone connected with the back of my head just before I got out the bedroom door. He looked stunned and apologized over and over as I grabbed it and ran down the stairs. Don't worry. It was in an otterbox, so well protected from the likes of my hard noggin. :-)