Friday, February 29, 2008

John, Part Two: Adult Relationship

Just before John and I moved in together there was a day that was far too perfect.

I slept in until an unreasonable hour and took a long hot bath-- long enough to get through an entire magazine. And when I got out of the tub I had a message from John: "hey-- this is weird, but I can't seem to stop thinking about you. I can't wait to see you tonight." Simple words, but I won't ever forget them. I felt so valued by him.

I remember laying on my bed and thinking that I was seriously the luckiest woman to have ever lived. We went out together that night and had an amazing evening, and that was the night he asked me to move in with him. I practically saw stars.


On the flip side, I had convinced myself that the kind of passion and attraction we had for one another required all the arguing we did. I mean- passion in the bedroom carries into life, right? So because we were so intense with each other when we liked each other, we had the same level of intensity (if not more so) when we fought. We both said really stupid hurtful things to each other while we were upset, and that is why we were not able to keep ourselves together. We couldn't be respectful in an argument, so we drove ourselves apart.


Matt and I have been quite the opposite. I think a strong factor in my decision to marry him because I was attracted to the stability and his even-tempered nature. He generally is extremely calm. That was part of how I knew something was going on leading up to my discovery of the affair-- he started having these crazy temper tantrums that were so out of character for him, and then when they continued as long as they did I stupidly assumed that it was something I'd done to cause it.... why do some women do that to themselves? Why do we assume it is us to blame at all times?

We have been talking in therapy about recreating passion, and it has been a hard topic, because to be honest, "passion" is not one of the words I would use to describe our relationship-- at any point in time. I can now say that I love my husband again, but I don't feel that "can't wait to see him" thing. I suppose that is what we are trying to recreate.


So how exactly does one define an "adult" relationship? How do you balance that need to have someone desire you with the need for comfort and stability? It is always a work in progress, I'm learning, so what do you do in your relationship that works or doesn't work?

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

John, Part One

Mind if I talk about my past relationship in pieces? I need to sort through some things, and as I've started writing about it I realized that there are a bunch of different aspects to this. So here is the first part.

Before I met Matt I was engaged to someone else. Just to be nice and plain, we'll call him John.

It was a bad relationship. It was too fast and we were too young and stupid to manage an adult relationship. We had amazing fire and passion, and while that was really good when it was good, it was also really bad when it was bad. We fought quite a lot in the few months we were together and in one bad fight he hit me. I left and never went back. I talked to him a few times after- once to arrange to get back into our apartment for my things without him being there, and another time when he called me drunk a few months after everything was over and told me how sorry he was and how I was the best thing to ever happen to him and all the drivel that sorry drunks say.

This is the story that Matt knows. It's none too exciting. I think a lot of us have a bad relationship like this in the past. I haven't told Matt details about it, mostly because he hasn't asked, and a little because there are parts of that relationship that I keep to myself. I felt really good in my relationship with John until those last few weeks. I was confidant in myself, I felt sexy and desired and amazing. Don't get me wrong. The fighting was awful. I hated that part. But when things were good between us, I felt like John would put the world at my feet if he could.

If I could cut and paste from past relationships, I would use Matt as my template. I would cut some things from him and from John I'd paste that passion and devotion.

I know Matt loves me, but I want more than that.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Back Again

Sorry it's been a few weeks since the last post. To be honest, there has been nothing to write about. It's nice to say that! We had our ceremony and everything went well. We went away for the weekend after the ceremony and it was nice to just be a couple for a few days. We want to make more time for that.

Life has been, well, normal. I'm getting back into work, the kids are doing well, Matt and I are great. We took a short break from counseling and started back last week talking about individual issues rather than couple issues. Last week was just the prep work- talking about what we want to discuss at future visits. Matt specifically asked that I speak with the counselor about a past relationship of mine. I don't know that I can yet- I haven't even really told Matt much about it. This whole thing has me really nervous. It's so weird to be moving in a different direction now. I know these things have to be talked about, but that doesn't make it any easier.