It’s the Relationship Parts I Can’t Do
****** I have been putting off posting this, it is a bit more vulnerable than maybe my usual. I am realizing this week, my first week back with DJDM, just how true it is and how much I really want to be better at this aspect of my life!******
I was snuggling on the couch with DJDM, wondering if we were going to have sex that night, and I really wanted to. So I made a comment, admittedly passive/aggressive, trying to determine if we were or not. His response, it seemed to me was non-committal. I started to feel insecure. If he didn’t want to have sex with me, why not? Were we still ok? When we finally did go to the bedroom and begin our romantic evening, my insecurities were so at the forefront of my mind, it ruined the vibe and instead of sex, we had a “discussion” that ended in me crying and him frustrated.
I recently spent some time with Benjamin in Germany. There was one day when all day he was distracted and a bit distant. We hadn’t had sex the night before because we were both exhausted from our travels, so I was hopeful that this would be the night. But as the evening wore on, there was nothing to indicate his interest in having sex. I started to feel insecure. Did he not want to have sex with me? I haven’t seen him in a year, and now we aren’t even touching each other? He hasn’t kissed me or anything. What’s the deal? Are we ok? Again, when we finally got to the bedroom, and he did initiate a lovely beginning to the sexy part of the evening, but by then I was so deep into my insecurities, I ended up in a crying jag that ultimately caused him to feel insecure too and we ended up just falling asleep.
See a pattern here?
I finally do too. Sometimes self-awareness is a bitch. You don’t want to know these things about yourself because then you have to work on them and become better, stronger, clearer in who you are and what you want from life. What I want right now in my life, is to have strong, confident relationships. I especially want to have my shit together enough that my relationship with DJDM can be healthy and strong for a very long time.
You see- I haven’t loved anyone as I love him in, well basically ever. He’s someone I can see myself having a lifelong relationship with, someone I can grow old with, and it terrifies me! He and I were talking one day about being there for each other over the years. He is 8 years younger than me, and I was commenting on how that worried me. I mean, will he even want to be there when arthritis in my knees means I can’t move as well as him? When I am old and blind and he is still feeling young and spry? He says, “Of course, I love you and want to be there with you for all of it!” But in my head, (and I did tell him this) I fear that level of vulnerability. I am afraid to rely on someone else.
It seems to me that when “most people” meet someone with whom they want to spend the rest of their life, they are relieved. “Finally! I’ve found the person who will be with me through it all!” They relax and their lives move forward with a level of peace they didn’t have before. But for me, it makes me nervous. It scares me. I have definitely found that person, but I don’t know how to rely on him. I don’t know how to let him in so that our relationship can deepen and grow into this lovely long term forever thing.
But I want it. I want to be in that place.
My whole life I have relied on sex as an identity. Even when I was a young evangelical girl, growing up in rural upstate New York, I was “boy crazy.” Part of my identity has always revolved around men and sex. After my divorce, I really opened up my life and became the fully liberated sexual woman I always wanted to be but was afraid of who she was. Today I write about sex. I have a lot of sex. I am kinky, polyamorous, and completely confident in my fluffy imperfect body. YAY!
Sex is a huge part of all my relationships.
I know that most romantic relationships are considered to have a sexual element, but in my relationships, sex is a “thing.’ It’s a living breathing element of who I am, and what my relationships require. I have had platonic romantic relationships and have enjoyed them very much, but the relationships I am currently engaged in are very sexual.
But what if sex is more than an identity? What if it’s a way to keep myself safe from real vulnerability. Sex is easy for me, opening up and showing someone the real me, that’s hard! I mean, REALLY HARD. I am literally feeling teary and emotional just writing this. I don’t want to show you who I am. I don’t want you to know I am a flawed and mortal human. I am great at sex and hopefully, that will keep you interested. I am fun and great at conversation. You will probably even think I’ve shown you who I am, and of course, in many ways every day I do. But that full-on, opening up and giving you a piece of my heart, a piece of who I truly am, a piece of my soul barred for you to know and potentially reject? No thank you!
Now I’ve met DJDM. This smart, funny, talented, sexy, hot, ambitious wonderful human being. I somehow convinced him to go out with and even fall in love with me. So now I don’t want to let him down. I want everything he offers me. I want a beautiful long-term life with him. I want to have a healthy open honest connected relationship with him that lasts a very long time. SHIT! It’s time to do the work. Time to allow me to be more than just sex. Time to open up and be vulnerable. Time to let him in.
Don’t get me wrong, I do let him in, more than I have anyone in a very long time. I just know instinctively that it’s not enough. I know he deserves all of me. He gives me his heart freely and fully. I mean this man LOVES me. I want to give him the same and more. It’s just very scary. I mean, I thought when I got married it would be forever. It ended up being a verbally and emotionally abusive two years. I made a very poor choice and it cost me, dearly. But what I have gained? My life of travel, freedom, and the love of this amazing man, my other two partners, and beautiful new friendships has more than made up for it. Yet, have I allowed my heart to truly heal? To be ready for this next adventure? The tears that I am holding back in this very minute tell me no. (I realized about a week ago- I think I am only just now getting over the divorce and that trauma… I am finally OK enough to think these thoughts!)
I am ready to take that step. I want to learn this next phase. I want to be free, truly, to love this man the way we both deserve. To open my heart in a way I never have. I want to have a life-long adventure with him, to learn how to love each other, to grow into even better, stronger, more loving people, together. He has rocked my world and I want to do the work to be fully me, the women he loves. He sees me already, so now I just need to BE me.
I have no idea how I’ll do this. I am considering calling my old counselor to see what I can work out with her for distance counseling. I watched the most recent Brene Brown Netflix special and I will be buying Daring Greatly, her book about vulnerability. I am reading The Untethered Soul, (though I am not sure how I feel about it yet.) Most importantly, I told DJDM that this is where I am at the moment (and he reads this blog so…) I want to be more open and vulnerable and work on these things and he has, of course, pledged his total and complete support. He’s promised to be patient with me and listen when I am struggling.
We’re on this journey together!
Yet, while it totally freaks me out, it also gives me comfort and confidence that the reward for doing the work will be worth all the fear and frustration. Using sex as armor against real relationship vulnerability isn’t where I want to be. This changes now!