Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Love Sucks - My own personal love triangle

I've learned quite a bit about love in the last year.  Quite honestly, I don't care for it much, not the romantic variety anyway.  My experience has proven that romantic love generally ends in romantic tragedy. 

I long ago decided that "soul mates" are mythical couplings made up by ancient authors of fairy tales.  More often than not, we do not reciprocate equivalent love and affection to the ones who love us the way we deserve/want/need to be loved.  And the same is true for those I have held unrequited love for.  I love them with all my heart, would die for them, and though they may care for me deeply and even love me, they don't love me the way I love them.  Such is the case with my present love life.

The most tragic aspect of my marriage to EH was that I didn't know how to love him the way he needed me to and didn't truly appreciate his love for me until it was far too late to salvage the relationship.  The last time we made love, it was the most passionate, amazing physically romantic experience I've ever had in my life.  That's not to say it was the best sex of my life but it was the most passionate, the most romantic.  I felt more in that lingering hour than I did in the eight years we were together.  The last few months of our relationship, before the separation and before all the truths came out, they were some of the best months of my life.  Too much too late.  It was the first time in my life that I understood what true, undying, passionate love really was all about - the emotional and the physical.  I finally knew what it was like to both love someone and be in love with him.  Losing that so soon after discovering it was so utterly devastating. 

I wasn't sure I ever wanted to feel that way again.  There's such a risk of losing it, or that the other person may not return my love.  Nonetheless, I allowed myself to fall in love again - and let's get something straight here.  Being "in love" with someone and "loving" them are different.  You love your mother, but unless you're some kind of sick psychopath you're not "in love" with her.  I've loved many people.  I've loved more than one man, but until three months before the separation, I wasn't in love with EH and by the time I was it was too late.

I now find myself in a relationship with a really great guy who loves me unconditionally.  In fact, I can be a complete bitch to him sometimes and he just continues to love me regardless. I would even feel safe in saying he is in love with me, though he has never used those words.  He does everything he possibly can to show me love.  He does the sweetest things for me, showering me with kisses and sweet nothings.  He defends me fiercely against anyone who would disrespect me even the slightest.  He wants to spend every single moment with me (which sometimes makes me claustrophobic).  He tells me every single day how much he loves me,and I do love him in return, but I am not in love with him.  I wish I were. 

Of course, he's not perfect.  I feel that he drinks too much too often, sometimes alone, and I don't like him when he's drunk.  In fact, I told him over the weekend that I hate "Drunk Jay".  I honestly wish he wouldn't drink at all but how can I ask that of him when I have absolutely no intention of quitting myself?  It's not his only flaw.  He is in school full-time, in a program that he absolutely loathes, but he refuses to discuss how he feels about it and will not discuss his options with me.  The problem is, due to the circumstances that pushed him to go back to school, he can't quit.  He's stuck until May in a program he absolutely hates.  It's the one thing about his life that overshadows everything else and he can't escape it, but he refuses to discuss it with me or look into any options for different careers or educational paths after graduation. He becomes almost irate any time someone brings it up. I walk on eggshells! Furthermore, this makes me very unsure about my own future.  He's nearly 36 y.o. and I am 31.  Our remaining baby-making days are few, and I'm not even sure I WANT to have a baby with him.  As far as I know, he is a depressed, aimless drunk with no future.  Since he won't discuss his plans with me (I don't think he has any), I'm afraid to stay with him to even see if I am capable of falling in love with him.  He's the sweetest, kindest boyfriend ever, about 80%-90% of the time.  The other 10%-20%, I'm frustrated with him and left wondering if I'm making a mistake.

It gets worse... Much worse...  I'm in love with T.J.  I can't help it.  He's everything I have ever wanted.  He's much like EH in some ways.  He's tall, dark-haired, has brown eyes, and is very sure of himself in most aspects in life.  I can't help it that I apparently have a "type", but that's not even the least of it.  T.J. is just...  He's talented, and so damn smart!  I could spend hours talking to him about the stupidest things and it would still be an intellectual conversation.  He knows nearly everything about everything.  I love the way he talks, the way he sings, how he plays guitar, how he brushes my bangs out of my eyes, the way the callouses on the fingertips of his right hand always scratch my face when he brushes my cheek.  I like that he's smarter than me, and that has never happened to me before. I rarely find a man who's smarter than me (you'd have to know the area I live in), and when I do I usually find them arrogant, rude, and annoying.  It's different with T.J.  I know he's the father of my babies, and that undoubtedly plays a huge role in my love for him, but I don't just love him.  I'm head over heels in love with him.  The problem is, he is NOT in love with me.  Hell, I don't even know if he loves me at all.  He says he doesn't love me, not romantically.  The best thing he's ever said to me was, "Obviously there is affection on my end. That is all it will be though."  He's not exactly confessing his undying love for me, but he doesn't stay away either.  He's "broke it off" a few times, twice before we found out we were pregnant.  Then, a couple of weeks ago he said that he wants to try to maintain a friendship without any talk of a romantic relationship, and certainly no "hanky panky".  It's not that I've been cheating on Jay.  It's just that it's blatantly obvious that there is something between us.  Practically everyone can see it.  Jay questions me all the time as to if there is still a relationship there.  Of course, I tell Jay there isn't because as far as a romantic relationship, there isn't.  But in the deepest recesses of my soul I wish there were.

Don't get me wrong. T.J. has his flaws too.  He's highly inexperienced in love, has never had a real girlfriend, has a tendency to get into relationships with unavailable women, is incredibly self-critical at times, is sometimes depressing to be around, sometimes cynical, highly judgmental, disappointingly unromantic, and he's often unwittingly harsh with his words.  He isn't very good at saying what needs to be said without hurting someone's feelings. He once told me that I would probably have to be willing to give up on some of the things I want in a man if my greatest wish is to have a family.  What he was saying was that the type of man I deserve is hard to find (again, especially in my area).  He too believes that most people fall in love with people who don't love them back in the same way. We don't believe in fate or "the one" so we have resigned to the fact that sometimes the only way to experience true love is when it is coupled with disappointment or heartbreak.  We fall in love with people who don't love us back, or worse yet, are in love with someone else.  I may have to be okay with being loved and loving someone back without being in love.  It's true that I am picky, so what T.J. was saying was not that he is perfect and I should just settle for less because I'll never find another like him.  No.  What he was saying was that I may have to make a choice between being in love or having a family with someone who loves me.  His exact words were, "You can't usually have your cake and eat it too.  Most people aren't that lucky."  The sad truth is, he's right.

I'm not sure what to do.  Jay and I have been together for a few months now, the longest "exclusive" relationship I've had since the divorce.  My friends have joked that he has outlasted my "two-month limit".  I do love him, and I adore his family.  I went to Thanksgiving dinner with them and met his "perfect" sister.  She called him today to tell him that she REALLY likes me. :-)  I suppose that's good, but is he what I want?  Jay is tall and does have brown eyes, but he's unsure of himself, has no plans for the future, or if he does he won't discuss them with me.  His body is attractive, but not in the way I want it to be (I know. I sound selfish and spoiled), but he's hairy - except his head, which is bald.  I'm used to tall, athletic, and a head full of dark hair.  It's what I like (again, am I being selfish?). He angers easily sometimes and I don't like his drinking habits. I'm worried that I am dating a ticking time bomb and I'm scared that if I stick around for too long that I won't be able to leave out of fear of being alone or hurting him.  I don't want to hurt him and I do love him.  I love that he is kind, selfless, good with his hands, loves his family, and that we both want the same things for our future - as far as kids, family, etc. But I have no CLUE how he plans on getting there.  What kind of job does he want?  How will he take care of a family?  I'm ready NOW and he obviously isn't.  And of course, the biggest problem is that while I do love Jay I am in love with T.J., who is NOT in love with me and probably doesn't love me at all.

Perhaps I should start playing the lottery so I can afford A.I. and not have to worry about a man at all. Sigh...

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