Our Friday

We have ‘the annual meeting’ coming up in one week. The one that started this whole story in Alaska. This meeting will involve drysuit dives again. We went to the pool together yesterday, just the two of us, to test our drysuits and refresh our skills. We are getting our gear together, it is hot. I change to my swimsuit and he is in his swim shorts. We gear up together, side by side, and then step outside to cool off before we zip up and seal ourselves inside our drysuits. I don’t need help but he zips me in anyways and I do the same for him. We don our dive gear and enter the pool. Its much cooler now as we descend together. Underwater we test our buoyancy skills, he shows me a few things, I do the same for him. He jokes around and makes me laugh. 30 minutes later we ascend together. We laugh about a few things and comment on others. He finds a shell from Alaska in his pocket. Sigh…we are a team. The dive is seamless. I brought swim goggles so we can do laps afterwards. The two of us pound out 30 minutes of laps in lanes next to each other.

When we are done he gets out of the water and I see him standing there, dripping wet, shirtless, and smiling. He looks like a giant boy who just received the birthday gift he always wanted. Oh to have a man who will do laps with me.  This is what I love.

He is hungry and we get lunch at my favorite place. We sit at the window and make up a scenario about the people at the table outside. We laugh a lot. On our way back we talk about many things. He comments on something he said and how his dad would have said the same thing. I ask about his dad’s sense of humor. I say how nice it is to be around his laughter.

We get to the office and talk between work. Somehow we end up talking about learning from our past. I tell him about my therapist’s take on marital baggage. I say I have so much and its a good thing to recognize it for what it is. To understand my hypersensitivity to things is to acknowledge these things matter to me. He said its also important to understand, because I am so sensitive to these things, they might not be what I think they are.  I agreed and tried to continue my point and he restated, things might not be what you think they are. Was he just talking or was he making a point?  I have no idea.

I am trying to normalize our relationship in my head but its not working.  Its Friday so I say goodbye without much ado and then leave when we are finally done for the day at 6:30.  He texts me later that night saying there is a show on TV I might want to watch. We text back and forth a bit into the night.  This type of interaction is why its all so difficult.

Just the day before I find out he has been to two summer concerts, one I would have love to have seen. He didn’t ask me to join him or even tell me about them when he went. Who is he going with? Why does he hide it or not tell me? It hurts because I don’t know. It could be innocent or he could be going with someone he doesn’t want me to know about. I have no idea. Its Saturday night. What is he doing and who is he with right now?

Should I give up on the one man I love? He is my boss so the answer is yes. But what about when he is no longer my boss? It will be too late. He will have blown my trust by then. Or are things not what I think they are?  The only thing I do know is he is making me crazy and that has to stop.

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Crash

Monday I get his weekend update. His friend from Hawaii was in town. He had her over to his  house Saturday evening. He  made her pizza. I sit there and listen, trying not so show my heart breaking. She was married and divorced twice. One marriage lasted 16 days. I ask how is that possible, he says it fell apart at the honeymoon. I say she must have been young, he says no. I stay out of his office for the rest of the day and he is in mine of course.  I can’t see him loving someone who never had kids and had such failures in her relationships. I am making excuses. He had her over on a Saturday night, just the two of them.  We walk out together at the end of the day but I don’t look at him when we say goodbye.

The next morning I get in early and his coffee is already on his desk when he comes in so I don’t have to sit and talk with him. The moments I loved yesterday become today’s dread. I am in my office all day and he comes in often. It is Tuesday and I will be on vacation for a week starting tomorrow. At the end of the day he is on the phone with a  friend. I get ready to leave and he is still talking. I panic at the thought of saying goodbye. I think of him with her last Saturday night. I bolt out of the office while he is still on the phone without a goodbye.

He is texting me by the time I get home, telling me about the friend he was talking to. Asking why I left. I said I needed to get out of there. He said wow, he was sorry to hear that. I said don’t take it personally. We texted some more then I didn’t respond anymore.  We texted the next day as I traveled to see my daughter, then again the day after, him letting me know about his brother’s advice to me about seeing the eclipse. He is being very sweet and attentive.

More excuses: I overheard a call he received the Friday before. He said, yes 12:30, okay bye.  So maybe she was the one that pushed it into the  evening. Maybe he had invited her for lunch. I can see someone with so many failed relationships and no children being pushy like that. I can see him saying okay, then drawing the line when she pushes too far. He did not seem to happy about his weekend so maybe the evening went bad. Its not like we are dating so he has every right to have a date, but he knows how I feel.  He knows I am looking to get out of my job. He didn’t have to tell me at all though, so why did he? To be honest about things for when we go forward some day or to let me know he is dating someone?  I wish the first, but have to accept it might be the last.

P.S. Afternoon theory is a bust. I just saw his calendar on that day and his 12:30 was a dental appointment. He invited her over on a Saturday night. Hawaii here I come. I can’t do this anymore.

Back to Panama

Two and a half years later, we are going back to panama tomorrow. Panama. Where I first got to know him. Where we shared desserts every night. Where we first worked side by side. Where he first turned my head. That panama. Where do we stand? I don’t still know!  All I know is this.

  1. I still love him
  2. he still enjoys my company and I his
  3. we still have long talks
  4. he has “a girl he talks to”
  5. he compares her to me
  6. he says she is “a mess”
  7. he has no idea if I am dating
  8. We laugh together a lot
  9. we act like a couple when we are together
  10. i miss him when we are apart

Recent moments include:

  • teaching a class together where he demonstrates a skill by holding me from behind and his body touches mine and feels like magic
  • doing dishes together side by side me washing, him rinsing – so domestic
  • him introducing us as a team and calling us the yin and the yang

Sprinkle in between these moments my usual rage resulting in breaking up with a man I have no commitment with. How long can this go on?  What will happen in panama? A lot of work, that is for sure, but I am staying an extra day to relax and recover, will he stay too?  I will let you know in my next post

 

 

Deep Talk

Its Friday at 5:ish and I end up in his office.  He wants to ask me something and is clearly not sure how to start. He has a friend who is very religious and married a man who is into porn. By what he said I know who he is talking about and don’t think he is interrested in dating her, but she is an old friend so he cares.  He can’t reconcile She knowingly married a man like that and still seems okay with it.  She is still married and has no intention of leaving.  He is asking me because my husband had the same problem. I didn’t realize he had such a problem when I married him and when I finally came to the conclusion things would never change, I left. I explained many things to him that night about what I went through and why it took me so long to leave. We talked about sex and what it means to us and what we want in our next relationship. I’ve never seen him sit and listen to me quite like that before.  It turned into an explanation of why I put up with it so long and what my values are.  I referenced a relevant book of his that he had shared with me.  He said that he sent it to her. So that means this was not some recent conversation with his friend.  Why was he asking me about it now?  Why was this conversation about my expectations for love and relationships and marriage and sex? Is that what he wanted to know?  Was he judging me and wanting to understand why I put up with it so long?  Again, like so many things with him, I don’t know. I do know it was a beautiful conversation.  Face to face, looking into each other’s eyes, for hours, sharing what we think is important about relationships. OMG, what next with this guy?

10 Stages of Loving Your Boss

1. You don’t. Your terrified. You resent the control he has over you and you which he wasn’t there. 
2. He makes you laugh and seems genuine. What color are his eyes? You don’t know because you have been afraid to look. 

3. You both have a lot of questions and are in each other’s office, a lot. He is new so it seems reasonable but did he really need to ask you that or did he just want to visit? His eyes are blue. 

4. Stop thinking about him. I’m mean it. Stop. Okay stop now. Can’t stop thinking about him. 

5. This will pass. It’s because he is new. Give it time and the day will come when you wonder what the hell you were thinking. 

6. It’s not going away so what exactly is the attraction? You make a list of likes and don’t likes and the like list is huge. 

7. Jealously kicks in. What is he doing over the weekend? Who is that calling him or texting him. You start to imagine the worst and it makes you cry. 

8. Acceptance that this is love. Years have gone by and it’s not going away, in fact it’s stronger. That list of likes doesn’t shrink, it grows, and the dislikes get smaller. 

9. Acceptance that there is nothing you can do about it that doesn’t turn into you losing your job. This equals sadness. 

10. ? I don’t know. I am stuck at 9.  

Jealousy

I’m at the gym running on the treadmill. I am training for a triathlon so I have to run for 36 minutes. I have my tunes on high and I am lost in my music and thoughts. A sad song comes on and I think of him without me. With someone else. This makes me so sad I start to loose my breath. It’s emotional asthma. I stop it from happening by changing my thoughts or I would have to stop running to catch my breath.  I calm down and a happier song comes on. I rock out the rest of the run. When I am done I turn around and he is on the machine right behind me. How long was he there?  Did I almost come unglued right in front of him?  I get so horribly sad at just the thought of us not ending up together and I am ridiculously jealous over the smallest things. I think I know why. 

At this point we are so close. We are like a married couple who don’t live together. We cohabitate at work. We share a kitchen, we share our thoughts feelings, talk about our kids our Families . We don’t manage a household but we do manage an office and a complex program together instead, just the two of us, we are a team.  When two people this attracted to each other get this close, the relationship progresses into something more. They become intimate. They make a commitment to each other. We have the closeness, the togetherness, the progression, without the intimacy or commitment.  This kind of closeness is so risky without that commitment. It feels like my husband could walk out on me at any moment. He could show up with another wife and I would have to smile and introduce myself. It would be horrible. That’s why I panic and think the worst and have emotional asthma. I am preparing myself for what really could happen. I have nothing from him that says it won’t. 

Deeper and deeper

We travel together to a trade show. The same one we went to a year ago. We laugh about many things, including old times. It’s nice to have old times with him. We arrive early to the hotel and go for food late in the afternoon. It’s happy hour in fact. Unlike him, we partake in food and drink. He has two martinis and I have two mohitos. I show him the pictures from our last trip that I posted on Facebook. He hasn’t friended me. He doesn’t use Fb much. So I pull them up on my phone with my account. Once he gets through the trip pictures he keeps on going. Who is this? Where is that? Is this your mom? Etc…  He goes through my entire life sitting there at the bar. 

For the rest of the show we connect constantly. Hanging out together, acting like a couple. He points out a bowl of resses cups, knowing they are my favorite. I grab two and hand him one, knowing he wants one too. We are a couple. He leaves early and txts me goodbye from the airport. We stay in slow txting contact while we are apart. Something fun happens to me at my moms and I txt him a picture. He has good luck (a rare event for him) and txts me about it. We are a couple, except we are not. 

Back at work today he tries to be all business but that doesn’t last long. He comes into my office and sits down and doesn’t remember why he came in. We distract each other. 

I ride home with him to pick up my car. We talk about very personal things. We stop for pizza. We go to his home and I have to remember it’s time to leave. So I grab my stuff and go. 

Its a strange thing to be so close to someone then suddenly not. To feel a deeper and deeper connection. To share personal feelings about everyone but each other. It’s a very strange thing. 

Roller coaster of love

He took me with him to see a house he wanted to buy. We looked at it together. He clearly intends to live alone. It’s small. It’s all he needs since it’s just him he says. There is a lighted corner in a room downstairs. He says a nice chair and you can have a perfect reading nook. He catches himself and says “or me, but I’d have to take up reading.”

Back at the office he is showing me pictures on his phone of the outside of the house that he took the night before. As I scroll back to the beginning I go one too far and there she is. I immediately go forward again. He is watching me look at the pictures but I realize he can’t see what I am looking at, so I go back again. She is very pretty. I go one further back and it is a picture of him. They are exchanging pictures, this “old friend”.  She is the one who called him at the airport. Her picture came up when she called so they talk often enough he has a picture assigned to her. He said to her in the airport “I have it buried here in my bag” so she gave him something to travel with. She texted him a picture of herself while we were away. And did it again just the other day. She sounds high maintenance to me. I’m sick about it and try not to dwell on it. He doesn’t treat me any differently. We still act like a couple most of the time.  We still talk about personal things. We seem closer than ever. Yet we can’t offer each other anything at all. I am in complete despair over this entire situation. 

Do I try to date? He clearly is. Where will that lead us? Away from each other. Do I not try to date and be the patient one who is still here when the time comes? Whenever that might be and if that might be. If that never happens, I will have wasted a lot of time. Does dating means giving up on us? I am lost and confused.  

A sign from above to an athiest. 

If I was religious I would have to think we were being pushed on each other from above. First he comes into my life, exactly what I need when I am at rock bottom.  little by little he makes things right, at work and personally. Second, he’s divorced. Third, we work closely together. 

 But that didn’t work so now we share an office together, all alone, just the two of us. We share a kitchen and pick out furniture, just the two of us. What next? A week on a small island in the carribean? Oh yeah, that actually happened. 

Surely we won’t be alone there, that never happens. It’s a 1/2 acre research station filled with researchers. If we somehow ended up there alone, that would be a sign, I thought as I packed my gear, god’s will. 

Guess what? After the first night we were there everyone went to the mainland and left us alone for a night. They had to give a talk to the local community. So there we were, alone on an island. We spent the evening on the balcony overlooking the reef. There was a nice breeze and the moon rose beautifully over the water. He had a beer, I had a ginger ale. I did not trust myself. I was terrified. We talked and we didn’t. We just enjoyed the breeze and the company. Then I went to bed early.  Did I say terrified? I want this man like there is no tomorrow. 

At 4:00 am I woke him up. I saw something off the outhouse pier that I couldn’t explain. He got up and saw it too. He likes to solve problems so he had fun figuring it out. Then I got scared again and mumbled something about going to bed. He said there are only 2 reasons he gets up this time of night. I mumbled something again and went back to bed. The next morning he explained that he thought his comment sounded wrong and thought about coming to my room to explain. OMG I would have I don’t even know what if he had come to my room. Bathroom and fishing are the two reasons he gets up at that time. That’s what he wanted to explain. Adorable dork. Fishing. Really?

Norm goes on and on and on…

It is now one year since Alaska and we are heading back to the same meeting.  I reflect over the year with an ache that won’t go away.  Jealously has consumed me ridiculously and still does. I think it is because I don’t have any reassurance on how he feels or what he plans.  We don’t talk about it.  His attempt to back up the relationship failed and we are much closer now than we were then.  Highlights over the year include meeting his sons over the holidays, going to pick up my laptop at his house wearing a dress and seeing that loving look on his adoring face. Seeing the way he consumed my face after being away for 10 days, it was a look of love. He missed me. That is the look I will see when he first kisses me, one million years from now.

I feel like we are stuck.  He is my supervisor so he can’t even say how he feels.  Might all of this exist only in my head? I don’t think so but that is a possibility. How long will this go on?  I can see working for him for three more years.  Will we last that long?  I see no way out.  My therapist says I should try dating.  I have no interest in doing this so I am not going to try.  He does not seem to be dating either.  If he did, my heart would be ripped apart.  He reassures me when something comes up that smacks at all of another woman, by telling about whatever it was and adding in the information I need to know.  What is he thinking?  Some days he talks to me about very personal things, like his insecurities, his problems with his family.  Other days he’s all business or downright aggressive. This comes when he feels he is not getting enough done at work and blames it partially on me, I think.  He is religious so I can see him putting our fate in the hands of God. I don’t have that faith.  Faith might carry him through but it won’t help me.   At this point I feel like it is going to go on like this until one of us quits, which is years from now.  Every day is unbearable, every weekend is a heart ached.  How can I last that long?  Advice anyone?

Follow this epic tale of finding love over 50, based on a true story. The story is ongoing so the end is TBD. Follow, comment, and provide support to the main character as she finds herself in love all over again in her 50s, this time with her boss. Updates will be posted every Friday at 5:00. 

Next week: Who knows? Anything could happen.