It happens to all of us. When we're least prepared, at times. I've been in a six- month relationship with D., which has been very satisfying. We talked back in December about his inner need to explore his sexuality with other women. That didn't make me feel too
good—it felt like I wasn't "enough." Still, I asked for a 2-month commitment to monogamy. He agreed, for which I am grateful. Well, the two months are over, and he knows that sexual exploration is still his need. He said he doesn't want our relationship to change. He's not "looking for a different girl friend," but needs to figure out and
internalize some nagging incompletes about his connection with women.
It's been very interesting watching my reactions. Since I knew in December there was a 50-50 chance he would make this decision, I wasn't caught off guard. It's always been easy for me to be reasonable, and to see both sides. So of course, I supported him in doing what he was clear he needed to do. He had been in two marriages the past 15
years, and wasn't ready to settle down. I feel a bit embarrassed to admit I probably didn't ask him back in September if he was looking for a committed relationship. Perhaps we talked about it, and I just hoped for the best. But now I was dealing with REALITY. We came home that February night, took a relaxing bath together, and we talked and I cried. He spent the night, and the next morning, to my surprise, I initiated lovemaking. It doesn't matter the reason. It DOES matter that I listened to what I was feeling, not to what I thought was appropriate under the circumstances. Since I've always been one who likes having and offering options, it wasn't surprising that I would do the unexpected.
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A few crying times later that first week, I got a very sore throat. I took echinacea, Vitamin C, etc. and it left that night. I talked to friends to get some perspective. I could guess what Dr. Laura, or Ann Landers or Dan Savage might say, but I only really cared what felt good to me, after I had gotten some objective feedback. One of my friends, who believes I should not ASK others' opinions about personal matters, nonetheless said, "Moreah, he dumped you!"
Now it doesn't matter to me if you think I am foolish. But I don't feel dumped. I kept to myself much of that first week. I had been accustomed to spelling out love notes on his pager, and I certainly didn't feel like sending them now. I heard an inner vindictive voice
that said, "If he wants to keep our relationship as it is, let him make the effort." So I was withholding a couple times when I found myself wanting to contact him.