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I'm So Sorry This Is So Long...but Sometimes I Just Need To Get It Out

My MM and I hooked (back) up in Sept. 2010. We dated when we were 19 (we're now 52); it was a summer fling. Back (way back) before Google and the internet! I thought about him many many times over the years and when the internet did arrive, I tried several times to track him down, without success. Eventually the employer we had back in the '70's finally put up an "alumni" site. I signed up to hook up with a lot of old friends from "back in the day" and love that old friends are back in my life. At the time, he was not signed up, but I have to admit that he was also a very big reason why I did...just in case he should ever look.

Well, obviously he finally did. It started with a simple email, telling me about what he was up to, where he was in his life, and ended with..."I never forgot you." It wasn't any kind of come-on, it was just a simple fact that I too could relate to. We began emailing every day, often several times a day. We then started talking on the phone every once in a while and texting. It progressed from there. Within a few months we were having the same intense feelings we had for each other as teenagers. It wasn't planned...it just happened. And we grew to trust each other completely. I knew from the first email he was married with a son in college; he's never held anything back.

My MM and I have an awesome ability to communicate. We share everything; the good, the bad and the ugly. It's not always pretty...but it's real. There are days it hurts and days it heals. I love him completely and without reservation; and the same is true for him with I.

His wife found out about us several months ago, and that was a tough time (she found his cell phone bill which had, like, 1,000 texts and phone calls between us for the month ~ did I mention we talk ALL THE TIME? lol) We changed our habits (we email now and use his work phone). She has serious medial issues (MS) and he and I decided that now was not the time for him to leave her; she can't work so depends upon his insurance. I'm not saying that if he said he was leaving her that I'd stop him, but he's too good of a man to do something like that. I respect him for that decision, even as I hate it for being an issue.

It's rough, waiting in the wings. But I love him and understand his predicament. I would never give him an ultimatum...I knew from the start what I was getting into and made the commitment to him when we knew we were in love with one another, that I'd stand by him and be there for him through good and bad. He's repeatedly shown me the same respect.

We spent New Year's weekend together to start 2011, and Christmas weekend together to end the year. We've traveled away for four-day visits twice throughout the past year, and have another mini-vacay coming up in a couple weeks. I've also visited a couple of other times when opportunity has allowed.

I feel very lucky...and yet...

I don't feel like I "share" him. He and his wife have not shared a bed in more than five years. They barely speak, and they never talk about anything of importance. They basically live together but have separate lives. And yes, I know you may be thinking I'm just taking his word for this, and it's true, but he's never been anything but honest with me. Ever...not 30 years ago and not now. That's just not how he's wired. When he's committed to something he sees it through. Always has, always will. I think he struggles more with our relationship "dilemma" than I do. But when she got sick (the marriage was already on a steady decline at the time) he promised her that he'd see it through to the end. It's part and parcel of who he is as a man. I love him even more for it.

But it's still hard. There are days I ache for his touch. One of my greatest worries is what if something happens to one of us...how do we let the other one know? I highly doubt she's gonna call me! And how do I get word to him?

I don't ever have doubts about our love or our relationship, but I often wonder how long it can go on like this. I wonder, if and/or when we do finally get together, will it work? It's almost easier like this than if we were together all the time. We both have quirks that I'm sure would drive the other crazy if we had to deal with them on a daily basis.

My family, not knowing the whole story, constantly ask why I don't move to be closer to him. I work in retail and could most probably transfer to a store there, so they don't get why we aren't more anxious to move forward in the relationship. I use my dad as my excuse; I'm the only one of my siblings who lives in the same town, so I say I stay because I don't feel comfortable leaving him here by himself. But the God's honest truth is I'm terrified! What if it doesn't work out once we are more involved in each other's lives. Right now we are so thrilled for the time we have together, and we are so open with our communication. I've been in many relationships, I've been married, and so often, after time, those things seem to evaporate. The fact that he's a neat-nick and I'm happy dusting whenever the mood strikes, the fact he has pet allergies and I have two cats, he's a germaphobe who doesn't "do" leftovers and I can eat them for a week, he's a planner and I'm a live-in-the-moment person, he's a morning person and I'm a night owl...it all is just so contradictory! Maybe I just don't see it ever having a fairy tale ending and so as long as we have this type of long-distance relationship, the fairy tale in my head is perfect?

I don't know. He "plans" that we will be together in the end. But the "end" could leave him feeling guilty, knowing how his mind works, and that weighs on my mind as well. But that is most probably years away and for now, most of the time, I'm happy with it the way it is. It's comfortable and with little stress for me. The only guilt I feel is the lying I do to my family; may sound harsh that I don't feel guilty about our relationship, but it's true. Perhaps the distance allows me to remove myself from that as well. The fact that she found out and chose to stay due to her medical condition...she never said she wanted him to stay because she loved him, but because he said he'd take care of her medical needs while she was ill...rather than allowing him to get out and be happy (he'd still make sure she got the medical care she needed because, as I've mentioned, he's just that kind of guy)...hardened me toward her a bit I guess.

If even once she'd said she still loved him, cared for him, then maybe I'd feel some guilt, but she wants him only for what he can provide financially. They both worked for years, both making very good money (she even at times made more money than he did)...he was the one who kept up the house (cooking, cleaning, laundry) and she did the bulk of the child-rearing for their, now college-aged, son. It was a very even relationship from what I can see, so neither of them can say the other one "owes" them or put more into the marriage than the other. They grew apart years ago, but neither had a reason to leave because, overall, it "worked" for them; and they didn't want to cause any upheaval for their son, so it was just simpler to lead their own lives, do their own thing, and be there for him.

I have no doubt that if she were not sick, he'd have been gone as soon as we realized we were in love. He had even started to "plan" an exit strategy...then she found out and threw the sickness card...and he crumbled. He just doesn't know how to leave her having made that commitment at the beginning when she first found out. Before he found me and we fell in love all over again.

Am I jealous? Of course! I'd love to have him with me, to lie beside me at night...to have lunch with during the day...to be able to call him anytime of the night or day when I'm feeling lonely or insecure, to share a silly thought with, about something stupid that happened at work, or just to say I love you!

I hate that part of this the most. Our email "conversations" are written in blurbs...our phone conversations take place while he's at work, so are often interrupted by...yes, you guessed it, work! We may tell each other everything important, but somehow I feel like we leave a lot of our lives out. I guess I miss the day-to-day talk "real" couples get. The sitting over a meal and discussing local and world events or what movie we should see or concert we should go to, or just laying in bed and joking about the minutia of our day. Those things we can only do occasionally when we get the fleeting chance to be together for a few days.

I'm not looking through rose-colored glasses...I see this for what it is...as it is...for as far as I can see, it's a right here right now thing. We may think it'll last, but obviously no relationship can be guaranteed of that. I try to take it a day at a time (some days that's easier than others!), and cherish every moment we have together, be it in cyberspace or when we get the chance to be in the same room!

I love him and I'll take him any way I can get him. I know this is long...and if you've read this all the way through...first off...God bless your patience! and secondly, I guess I want to know how others in this situation deal with this. Thanks for reading and sharing!  Lori
dacatjamsgirl dacatjamsgirl 51-55, F 2 Responses Feb 6, 2012

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Thank you for sharing your thoughts. You make many down-to-earth observations about what makes this relationship work, despite (and because of) its intricacies. It may well remain stable for a very long time, as long as you feel okay about the way things are.

Good on you and always hold onto that positive Love sensation that flows through us human veins and which so many of us have forgotten about!