Sunday, November 8, 2009

Separation Anxiety

Sometimes there's a certain irony to life, or a circular logic that just keeps coming back to the same points.

At the time, Nikky's hand down my pants in the movie theater was simply a highly entertaining distraction, but in hindsight you can turn anything (even a hand job in a theater) into something deep and figurative [I returned the favor, but that's not what I meant ;) ].

A year ago, instead of having a lot of fun I'd have been freaking out.

Separating was a difficult thing for me. I just couldn't understand what I'd done wrong. I'd been a good provider, I'd been an attentive father and husband, I'd done absolutely everything I could to make our lives better... What more could she want? Who did she think she was going to find that was better? I was in a kind of denial for a long time. She moved on with her separated life and I wallowed. (Irony: this is almost exactly what is going on in Nikky's household right now)

Then, when I moved for a new job, we were living in different locations for a while and something inside of me snapped. If we were going to be separate than... gulp... I was single.

Picture this, being almost thirty years old, over-weight, depressed, mostly broke, driving a crappy 'family' car, married, living in a crappy little efficiency apartment, and trying to be single in a new place with no friends. Oh yeah, all the women were fighting to get to me. It wasn't pretty.

Then picture Cat (granted she had our daughter with her), as an attractive, outgoing, intelligent, available woman in her twenties. It made me feel so much worse when we'd talk on the phone and it would come up in casual conversation about how busy she was with her new fling.

As a kind of survival mechanism I started working out and eating well, mostly because those things helped balance the depression rather than because of any health reasons. Next thing I knew I'd dropped twenty pounds, felt great, and didn't have a problem with taking my shirt off at the pool anymore.

Dating was still an issue because I kept imagining picking up some hot young woman. It took me a long time to realize that "hot young women" fall into the laws of supply and demand. There's a limited supply and incredible demand. It was like walking into a bar and having a sign posted "you must be this tall, make this much money, have a penis this big, or have six pack abs to even get a conversation here". Waaaaay too much effort.

Eventually I gave up on the dating and concentrated on myself. I took up meditation, exercise, reading, writing, art... and just focused on being as whole a person as I could.

I met an attractive older woman in her mid thirties, she had a kid which seemed really weird when we started dating. Then I had kind of a revelation. Older women, divorced women, women with kids, married women... the supply is higher so the competition and demand is lower. Besides, they were more interesting, more mature, and more experienced. Most of them were already set up, they already had lives, they just wanted something to spice it up a bit. I was younger, fit, available... so I shifted my dating focus to women my age or slightly older and what a difference that made.

Young women play coy, reluctant, they're expensive, they play games, they play guys off of each other. They're a pain in the ass. Women in their thirties know what they want and aren't afraid to go for it. If they think you're hot, they'll tell you. If they want to get laid, they'll put your hand between their legs. Holy God, what a relief they were in comparison! And half the time they'll treat you to lunch!

For the first time, I started to realize what Cat had been talking about all those past years. She wanted to go out to feel sexy, to feel wanted, to be treated at like a woman and not a wife/mother. I mean, talk about an ego boost! From loser ex-husband to fucking sex god in six months... well, that's how it felt the first time I had hot women calling me up, asking me to make time for them, going out of their way to be with me instead of the other way around.

It made me look at the separation in a totally different light. It took a good part of a year but I finally figured out that it had absolutely nothing to do with me. I didn't do anything wrong. When I said she was hot, it was expected. When a stranger in a bar called her hot, it was exhilarating. We'd been emotionally and physically stagnant and I hadn't even realized it.

I've found boundaries inside myself that I didn't even know existed, some I realized were unfounded and others were reinforced. I've learned a lot about myself, I've learned a lot about women, respect, sex, and relationships. Hell, I've probably learned more about all those things in the past year than I did in all my previous years added together.

Obviously, those things didn't cross my mind while Nikky fondled me in public, or even when we found a quiet place to go afterwards, but today looking back... I've been re-reading the texts we've sent and it's obvious how similar her situation is to what mine was pre-separation. It's fascinating, scary, and educational, looking at it from this perspective.

She tells me about things that her husband does, the things that he thinks, and I can relate in ways that scare me. I can tell he's paranoid, depressed, closed-minded, over-reacting, and controlling, all of the knee-jerk reactions that seem oh so familiar. That he's right about his fears changes nothing, so was I.

After the separation so many things became clear. I really wish I could transfer some of that understanding to him, to my past self. He'd be so much happier. Of course, under the circumstances I don't think he'd be particularly interested in what I have to say. In his place, or my place a year ago, I wouldn't have been either.

((P.S. I'm sure there are people who might read this that look at me like the world's biggest asshole. I mean, specifically dating married women, divorced women, women with kids? That sounds awful. But really, I'm very upfront about myself to them. I'll tell them that I'm married, separated, and I'm not looking for anything serious. Most of them feel the same, though their situations might be slightly different. If they're interested than I treat them incredibly well, we have a good time, and everyone leaves happier for it. It's a terrible rationale, I know.))


  1. i don't think there's anything terrible about that rationale. it's funny how our minds evolve and we learn what we need to know as time goes by. some people just don't get it.

  2. I think my rational part doesn't get it sometimes. I'm still learning to understand myself, what I want, which is why I decided to start the blog.

  3. No, you know, I haven't read too many of your posts, just a few, but this was the best so far.

    Speaking as a woman in her late 30s, (which I am still perplexed by, totally, I think of myself as being about 22), I can say that what happened to me this summer, with a guy like you, who was willing to go there with a married woman, really gave me back a lot.

    Self esteem, courage, willingness to see my own life as not working, the way it was going, etc. I was liberated from a lot of my unhappiness, and although when he dumped me, I was mad as hell, and it hurt like crazy, I can see the immense gift of it.

    So yes, on one level, that is a rationale, but on another, you are offering a gift, because you went through it, you know. 'Healer heal thyself'. You can only offer that as a gift, if you have learned the lessons, otherwise it is a hollow rationale for what is seen conventionally as 'despicable' behaviour. Sometimes we do have to look at these things from a different angle. ;-)

    I thought this was a great post.

  4. Thank you.

    I've often found myself wanting to post as thorough as response as yours to some of your posts. ;)

  5. Yeah, after some asshole left me a nasty comment on my first venture out with that, I haven't dared since. Silly as that sounds, it hurt. Even though nobody knows who the fuck I am, it still stuck in the old ego.

    One day soon, I feel comments coming back again. Not quite yet, I still need to find my feet here. Thanks though. :-)

  6. Oh thank God you're not fat! No I'm not that shallow. I’ve read all your posts now. (I sent an email too, did you get it?)

  7. lol, no, definitely not fat. ;) I've been tempted to put up an HNT or two but I have some tattoos that might be identifiable.

  8. Identifiable tattoos are a bitch, I have some. My profile photo had to be carefully cropped.

  9. Shaktiforce, now I have an almost overwhelming urge to see what's been cropped...

    lol, I'll show you mine if you show me yours ;)