I have written other posts on different kinds of heartbreak. (here and here)
This one is the one you expect: I got dumped.
The internet can be a wonderful place as much as it can be bloody awful. It brings people together whose paths would likely never cross otherwise.
That is how I met Him (my partner).
It is also how I met the Other one.
“Two men?! Omg! The horrible bitch who had an affair!!!”
“I hope Other was single at least!”
“No, he wasn’t.”
“Ooh the husband stealing bitch!!”
Think what you like.
I really didn’t look for it, I tried to ignore him. But this happened in the most natural and organic way.
We all have different approaches to relationships and what we expect of them. I have been in an open relationship before so I don’t have much of a problem with polyamory as long as everyone is honest and everyone is ok with the situation.
I’m open minded.
Love however you like.
My partner of just over a decade is complementary to me. We come from opposite backgrounds. Opposite in just about every sense. He has a kindness, gentleness and generosity that I have rarely seen. He is diplomatic, which I am certainly not. We balance each other out well… this is necessary for both of us, I think. We have a stable enough life, home, children, a cat, plans for the future, a car with too much mileage and a number of issues like any other couple….
Then the Internet brought me Other.
Other is confident, independent, mature, fun, adventurous, sensibly perfectionist, and very uplifting to me. I was completely free to manage my life however I pleased. When I worried about something he had just the right words. There were no obligations towards each other.
Both relationships were so different and both of them at the same time were the ultimate perfect story. In my mind, it was all very clear and simple. There were two separate stories that just happened to overlap in time.
Him happened very quickly. Within 3 months we were living together.
Other…. it was oh so slow. Granted we only see other once or twice a year at functions but still the build-up in flirting was slow and subtle… that might be why it was so intense to me. Making those first few weeks of anticipation, when you like each other and are trying to work out if it’s mutual without saying anything, last for a couple of years. Literally.
We never slept together, never kissed or even held hands. It was all long talks, laughs, endless eye contact, subtle hints of more when alone and just close friends in public. There was no effort in the transition between public and private, including other people in the attention was easy. Everything was natural and comfortable.
For someone who has lived under restrictions imposed by those around me this was liberating. Like stepping through the cupboard into Narnia. There is a whole world there I had never seen before. A world of wonder, delight and magic.
For a long time, I refused to see anything was going on but Him got jealous. He knew before I did. I thought it was just a fantasy like what you’d think of an attractive actor or something. Perhaps I should have stopped all contact with Other at that moment but I couldn’t. Communicating with him was a given, kind of like breathing. And I had learned from previous mistakes and was expressing myself.
Eventually it became too much for me. I had to be frank and tell him I love him. I just couldn’t bare the idea of saying our goodbyes again and just letting him walk away.
The too embarrassing to write about rom com scenario wasn’t planned it just happened in the spur of the moment when I followed my heart. I didn’t manage to get to him and tell him face to face, it ended up being text message. He texted the same back. He had to spell it out because I found it hard to believe it could be true. I wrote him a long email, he responded with the most glorious letter. He confided a very romantic secret fantasy… Oddly I’d had the exact same one but I’d never have the courage to openly admit it without dying of embarrassment even now.
We continued chatting as before but decorated it all with sweet nothings.
I had been so sure of myself when I blurted it all out. I saw no signs anything was wrong. In hindsight…. nope, still not. There wasn’t a single thing to make me doubt. I am well trained to spot those slightly off things, slight inconsistencies in what people say, body language, eye contact and the tell-tale micro-expressions… I have done that all my life. There was nothing. That amount of eye contact, with such a gentle and open facial expression is not something you share with a random stranger or someone who doesn’t really give a shit.
I had offered him outs all along, he never took them. In fact, he pointedly refused them.
I had told him where I was and where I came from and if how messed up I was, told him that if he wanted to run away, now was the right time. He answered that he wasn’t going anywhere. I told him several times to stop saying this or doing that because it stirred things up in me. He would promptly “tease” me again. So, I let go and surrendered and dropped my defences. I knew that if it backfired it would be bad but I felt safe.
I eventually told Him everything, that I was leaving. Not for Other but for myself because we weren’t working well and I did not expect him to accept any of this. If I could be with neither of them that was ok but I couldn’t continue as things were. Him eventually accepted Other being a part of my life because he knew that if he wanted us to give it another go he had no choice. He couldn’t force me to choose and we had to work on the issues we had that were unrelated to Other. That is exactly what happened. To this day, this drama is probably one of the best things that happened to us, our relationship is better and stronger for it. Ironically the only reason I met Other is because of Him.
I was genuinely happy that it all worked out in the best way imaginable for me. I couldn’t believe I could be so lucky. Things were not perfect of course but we were working on it and I had the best of both worlds.
Happiness isn’t a feeling I am familiar with. Neither is validation and I desperately needed those. I still do but I had them in sufficiency for a little while.
How did I imagine this would play out? I didn’t really imagine it to be very different, we’d visit a few times a year, chat online, occasionally send each other a package with something nice inside… it was fine as it was, it was enough. It was more than I’d even hoped for.
I really was ok with long distance. Under these circumstances, it made sense. Nobody had to choose to leave their home, friends, jobs, uproot everything to move elsewhere.
It was all a beautiful, if rather sickly, fairy tale and then it suddenly wasn’t…