Warning: unfounded assumptions follow….
One of the benefits of getting older and wiser is knowing that sometimes, doing the right thing isn’t always the same as doing the thing I want to do.
Oh, am I learning that lesson the hard way this week.
Things have been fantastic with my Craigslist hookup guy. The sex, which started out great, keeps getting better. We are well-matched in libido and skill. I’ve never felt so sexually validated in my life. He “gets” me in bed. It’s such a gift to be an overweight, middle-aged woman and have your lover tell you he finds you incredibly sexy and beautiful, and to have him demonstrate it with his eyes, lips, tongue, fingers and cock. Not only do I not have to hide parts of my sexuality, he embraces them and says yes, give me more. Our erotic connection is powerful, and strong, playful and passionate. I know that when we first get together with someone, so much of what we see and feel is our own projections, but I don’t think this is all in my head; he too is drawn by the siren song our bodies make when they come together. I know he’s had a lot of sex with a lot of women in his life, but I also believe he got a bit more than what he bargained for when he answered my ad.
But while things are great in bed, out of bed there are cracks in the facade of his life, stuff that doesn’t add up. A few weeks ago, I discovered evidence that pointed to him being married, and confronted him about that. Now, like having the safe sex talk, it’s important for me to establish someone’s relationship status when I meet them. I didn’t do my due diligence in this regard with this guy – he had me too hot and bothered, I went too fast and forgot to ask questions first. Totally my fault. There are tons of guys out there who want to cheat for a variety of reasons, and I’m not down with it. I have a lot of compassion for them, as I was in a celibate marriage myself and know how much it sucks, but I don’t want to sleep with a cheater. My primary impetus comes from respect for the other woman; most women will be hurt if their husbands have sex with other women, even when it’s oftentimes their own actions that lead their husbands to seek sex outside the marriage. When a woman refuses to have sex with her husband, I don’t know what she expects. But I digress. (Cheating – it’s complicated.)
When I confronted him, he instantly told me that they were separated and in the process of getting divorced. After chatting with him a bit online, I was satisfied that he was telling me the truth about this relationship. His situation sounds eerily similar to the reasons I ultimately left my marriage: his wife wasn’t moving forward in her own life, and he has been enabling her in staying stuck. What I believe now, though, is that she is still living with him. And that is a bit too entangled for my tastes (not to mention the fact that she sounds crazy and I don’t want that crazy directed in my direction…or his).
It wasn’t too difficult to figure out. He is acting like a man who has something to hide. He has consistently flaked on me about coming over after work, and has always had a last-minute excuse for not getting together on the weekends. There are few things in the world that are more upsetting to me than falling asleep and waking up in the middle of the night, expecting someone to be in bed with me, and having them not be there. I don’t like being lied to, and I don’t like him breaking promises to me. It’s rude and it’s disrespectful, and I’m not going to continue doing it.
And so I’m going to tell him goodbye. He needs to clean up his previous relationship and move on physically before I will consider being with him. I cannot and will not risk the safety of my body – or my heart – for sex, no matter how amazing it might be. He has started to get under my skin, and I want to be able to spend hours in bed with him, talking and kissing and touching. Pleasure is a powerful, addictive drug that can destroy me, but its influence is also positive. My friend Jeanne, who was also separating from her husband last year, says she can see how things have shifted for me since I got involved with this man. I’m more relaxed, flirtatious, soft and open. I tend to spend a lot of time obsessing about the evolution of the human race and feeling cynical about our prospects; these concerns are starting to recede in my mind. Everyone comments on how good I look. Apparently freshly fucked is a style that works well for me.
The unknown is always the killer. The idea that I may never again feel his lips on mine saddens and terrifies me. It would be so easy to continue to sneak around, keep our Tuesday night and Friday afternoon trysts, and hope that we fly under the radar. But his life is just too messy right now. I have worked too hard to achieve this much self-love and respect. I can’t allow myself to open myself up and make myself vulnerable to someone who lies to me. I don’t blame him a bit; it’s quite likely that if I had known what was really going on, I would have said no. But it can’t work this way.
Still, I’m so glad I have had this experience. Even while I feel my heart ripping apart, I am grateful for what we have shared. I feel more hopeful than I have in a very long time. I have hope that there can and will be more sublime sex out there, that connection and passion and pleasure is within the realm of possibility. Maybe I’ll spend the rest of my life looking for something as good again, forever comparing each new experience and having each one come up short, or maybe I’ll meet someone who rocks my world even harder. Maybe this will be the end, and I’ve had the joy of get to hear his beautiful, deep voice crying out as he climaxes for the last time. Or maybe he’ll free himself from his marriage and make his way back into my bed, without the subterfuge and lies.
(Postscript: she really wasn’t living with him. And we kept seeing each other. More to be revealed….)