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?
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.
We were running a training course in Florida at a research station. It was late, like 9:00, but I wanted to do yoga before bed. He had brought his matt on the trip so I asked if he wanted to join me and he said no. I went out to the pier, put on my headphones and strategically placed my matt in view of the deck where we were staying, then forgot about anything but yoga, my music, and the moon that was out. It was a beautiful night. I stretched and danced and did push ups and basically had a very good session. As I rolled up my matt I saw him out of the corner of my eyes on the deck standing up into the doorway. It was about 10:00 now and I was surprised he was coming outside that late, maybe something was wrong. When I went to the deck, he wasn’t there. That is when I replayed the vision I had of him in my mind. He wasn’t coming out, he was going in. He had been watching me do yoga and when I rolled up my matt, he snuck back inside. The next morning I commented on how he had missed such a good yoga session and he said, “no I didn’t, I was sound asleep and not missing it at all.” the liar…weeks later he was having back trouble and his doctor prescribed yoga so he asked me about some moves that he saw me do in Florida “or somewhere” as he tried to cover it up. He is a giant, adorable lousy liar.
Next week: Not there when I needed him.
He tried to back up their relationship. He would turn off the music when she came to his office. He was very formal. No teasing, no laughing, in and out and most conversations were on the phone. He stopped telling her about his life, what he was doing. He tried to be distant. She cried in the shower.
Give him time and space, she thought. He needs to do this. He needs to know that everything is okay. She also needed the time even if she didn’t want it. She realized that while she wanted him to succeed, she was actually destroying him. Distracting conversation is fun but he wasn’t getting his work done. He was hired for a purpose and was not making headway. And if they had gone there that could have ruined his career if someone found out. It would have undermined everything they were trying to accomplish. He had an additional responsibility as her supervisor and he almost blew it. So she understood and gave him space, stayed out of his office mostly, saw her therapist, went on long runs and cried in the shower, a lot.
Next week: Therapist explains why…
They didn’t talk much after that for an entire week. He was on leave at his old house getting rid of things. It was a bad week. And it gave both of them time to think.
She decided her marriage had to finally end. She contacted her marriage councilor asking him to help her get a divorce. While nothing happened and she didn’t have any intentions, that he felt that good and she was now keeping secrets from her husband was the tipping point. No matter how this story ends, she has no regrets about ending her marriage and if nothing else comes out of this, at least she did finally free herself from that.
When he returned a week later she said she wanted to talk about it. His response was awful. He said he didn’t know what she was thinking but there would never be anything between them. It stung. Badly. She said maybe they should talk about it later and left his office. Ouch.
Within a few minutes he was in her office apologizing. He said he can be too harsh sometimes. Then went on to say professionally it was not an option and personally they are different people. This was all true and she agreed.
She then thought about it overnight and realized he actually had intentions that night. Would he have actually made love? To this day I really don’t know.
The next day she said she thought it over and needed to explain. He stopped everything that he was doing and listened. She explained how it was such a wonderful week and wanted him to know that he made it that way. That she had no intentions of seducing him. She is married and he’s her boss. That it wasn’t about sex. That he makes her feel safe because they can be close and don’t have that. That she still needs their relationship, that laughter in her life. He agreed but said we can’t go there, meaning sex. She agreed and said that it would be a disaster. Even so, what he said hurt. It still does.
Next week: Rethinking
She had to catch the shuttle to the airport at 4:00 am to catch her flight. They were with a group at the bar. It was late and she hadn’t packed up yet so she decided she would stay up all night. A friend bought her a whiskey. She offered him a sip and he downed the entire drink. He didn’t want her to get too drunk, so he drank it.
They left the bar together around 1:30 am? The elevator ride was only two floors up but it was the longest two floors ever. He was staring at her then he leaned over to kiss her. She started to lean in for the kiss and panicked, turned away, covered her face into the corner and literally tried to hide in the elevator. FYI there is no place to hide in an elevator so don’t even try it. Realizing how silly she was being, she turned around and the elevator door opened. He said goodnight and stepped out onto his floor.
He was not going straight back home so she wouldn’t see him for an entire week and started missing him already. She texted him from her room. He texted her back. Texting with your boss while you both are drunk at 2:00 am in Alaska can be very dangerous.
After much texting, he ended up in her room. They just talked. She had no intentions of making love to him, she had a husband to go home to. She staying up all night and wanted his company. He said he wasn’t sleeping anyways so he came up to help her pack and pick up something of his that she had.
Moments she visualizes from that night. He sits in the other bed, looks straight at her and turns out the light. He opens the curtains to let in the view. He’s in his bare feet. He’s gorgeous.
They lay in different beds with the lights out talking. Mostly her talking. She says she likes him but finds it confusing. She asks him how he feels. He says he’s too drunk to talk about it and he better go. She walks him to the door. She gestures for a hug and he holds her for she doesnt know how long. With her ear pressed against his chest, she can hear his heart racing. She can feel her body melting. She panicked and shoved him out the door. As she walked back into her room she saw the bed where he was laying just a moment ago. He left behind a perfect cocoon in the covers. She had 1/2 hour until she needed to get up, so she set her alarm, crawled naked into his cocoon, and it was still warm.
He said if we run here we will end up at Totem Park. That was all he said, then they took off. He was always way ahead of her so she was surprised when she would see him at the turn, or across the street, or up the path. When she arrived at the park he was no where to be seen so she ran on into the park, hoping to see him. She did not so she went out onto the rocks near the water. A good 20 minutes later she ran back around the trail towards the park entrance, disappointed that he must have run on without her. Then two people and a dog saw her and yelled, “there is a large man waiting for you in the visitor center.” Oh my gosh, she had no idea, so she ran back towards building and saw him he was running out to meet her on the trail. He had never said exactly what he intended so she didn’t know to actually meet him inside and look for him. This shyness becomes a pattern that she still struggles with.
He had the trail guide in his hand and clearly intended to walk the entire park so they started down the trail, on the self guided tour. How adorable, she thought. They walked through the forest and when they found a totem pole they stopped and he read the panel to her. At each pole they stopped, he read the panel, and they discussed the symbols. One totem pole had a female with what appeared to be animal heads for breasts. This made for a great discussion and much laughter about how you shouldn’t touch them, they might bite. They missed one totem pole and had to go find it. How sweet, she thought, more magic.
Next week: That Last Night
It was raining hard. One of those long steady downpours. She was in her room at the B&B. He was standing in her doorway talking about work, or whatever, she hardly cared. There was vacuuming in the hall so he closed the door. He had his laptop and she hers. He was at the foot of her bed on his knees with his laptop on her bed, discussing work. The rain was coming down even harder. They were there all morning, all afternoon, all alone, talking, breathing, and listening to the rain.
They forgot about lunch so she shared a Kind bar she had in her bag. He is so beautiful, she thought, does he even know how beautiful this moment is? To have a warm steady rain drumming outside and a beautiful man at the foot of your bed? All day? To this day, the sound of a hard, steady rain brings back this vision.
The rain eventually let up. They decided it was now or never for a run. There was a trail across the road so they took off, he in the lead. He was being a sissy about getting his feet wet so she shoved him on. He took off and she didn’t see him after that for the entire run. Did I say it had been pouring rain? Oh yeah and the trail was soaked. The first creek crossing was a challenge, but she found her way by walking upstream and jumping. The second creek was more of a challenge and she was stuck. She couldn’t turn back because she was afraid she couldn’t cross back over the first creek again, so she stood there in the middle of the woods in Alaska, in the middle of the rain, all soggy and wondering what to do and where was he? A local man came by and guided her safely across the flooded creek. It was still raining by the time she made it back to the B&B and she was completely soaked. She didn’t see him at first and plopped her last steps with a jump into a large puddle in the driveway, then looked up and there he was.
He was standing on the steps, tall and totally soaked. He looked at her, not sure what to expect. She said, “that was the best. run. ever!” because it was. They both burst out laughing.
The owner of the B&B came out and said they were two kids out playing in the rain.
He told her about that second creek crossing how he had stepped in on the side and fell into the water up to his neck. She stood next to him and said she would have gone under and told him how someone guided her across. They laughed and took pictures of each other to share with family. She keeps that picture of him standing tall and soaked and smiling on her phone. OMG, she thought, this guy loves to play outside!
Next week: The Totem Walk
They had a meeting to attend in Alaska. It was going to be difficult, her former boss would be there. She was stressed over this but excited to go to Alaska. She had never been there and wanted to have some time to enjoy the location. He suggested they go early and enjoy the weekend before the meeting. And so they did.
Bed and Breakfast’s are the cheapest places to stay so they booked two rooms in a B&B. She was still married at this point and knew it was not going to go over well at home. She was starting to realize just how unhappy she was and nothing was going to stop her from this chance to enjoy herself. So she told her family what she was doing and off she went.
Describing the beauty of that entire week is impossible. The location was spectacular and he was too. I will share a few scenes with you in the next few posts as an example. The truth is she had been crushing on him up until that week, but that week, that very week, was the week she fell in love. That week seems like a dream but that week really happened. That week was magic.
Next week: The Run in the Rain
There were disappointments, of course. Their relationship was new, complicated, and still evolving. For example, she worked hard to make his first birthday in his new life a good one and he didn’t seem to appreciate it. In fact, he commented on how someone else in the office had tried to make his birthday great. He was enjoying the attention but it was insensitive and still stings. Then, he forgot her birthday completely. Maybe he didn’t care about her at all. When she told him it was her birthday he bought her lunch the next day, so that made up for it, sort of.
That spring they taught a class together. The students were the age of their kids. The students call her Mom and him Step Dad. They had different styles of parenting which caught both of them both by surprise and it probably disappointed him. No, they sure couldn’t have raised a family together, but at their age, that doesn’t matter anymore. And they were both very reasonable when they discussed it. The way he handled the difficult conversation impressed her. He was her supervisor but never seemed to use the “because I am your boss” card. He treated them like a team. She appreciates that every day to this day.
Next week: Then came Alaska