One of the promises I made to myself, before embarking on this new relationship, was to prioritize my self-care and healing needs. In essence, I didn’t want to look towards this relationship as a short-cut through healing, but rather as something I could use to force myself to recognize what I need to change to be healthier. And a place to practice those new healthy behaviors.
I needn’t have worried, because simply having another man in my life provokes comparisons, questions and random revelations. My last relationship was so long-standing, and traumatic enough, I don’t want to find myself back where I began. Besides, if you haven’t noticed already, I have a tendency to endlessly mull over things in my life.
Is he honest? Yes, so far.
Does he respect my ‘no’? Hasn’t needed testing, yet. I’ve not been willing to play games to test it either.
Does he have a life beyond me? Absolutely, including volunteering a half day each weekend.
Does he have friendships? Many close friendships lasting many years, and good room-mates (who I have met).
How does he treat others? So far, kindly, including serving folks and waitstaff.
Ultimately, when I watch, and listen, and share … all my senses are trying to assure myself one thing. Is he still safe? And somehow, some way, in the last week everything has come together and seemed to point to a tentative conclusion. One that is probably ridiculous in its simplicity.
New guy is not my Ex. But I’ve been waiting for him to act like he is, and kept my running shoes primed. I suppose I can be forgiven the better part of caution, considering everything.
This hit me early this morning, however. About 4 AM, to be exact, when my cat woke me up for early morning cuddles and I found myself unable to fall back asleep. So I hugged that purring kitty close and let myself consider a little further.
My understanding of being in a relatively… healthy… adult… relationship… let’s just say my romantic experience is nonexistent. I am reminded once again how very twisted, is my version of normal. Which led to my next, dumbfounding realization. I stopped trusting my Ex in the first year of our marriage. The very first. Certain things he did were always suspect. Certain days I was wary.
We’re likely still in the honeymoon period yet with NG. I’m not letting myself fall head over heels, but I am taking this opportunity to practice healthy choices. Love is going to be a long time working it’s way back into my life. But… he feels safe, and he’s fun, and it’s nice to be appreciated. And I can actually let myself like the kind guy I run into now. I don’t have a husband back in the wings I have to consider any longer, or that I’m trying to force myself to love.
My divorce isn’t final yet, so legally speaking that may not be entirely true, as I suppose I am still technically married. (This bothers me a touch, but not enough to make me change my mind on anything I’m doing). This is due to the fact my Ex is either not communicating with his lawyer, or has explicitly told his lawyer to drag heels as long as possible. But worst case scenario I will have a court date in a few months and the judge can make his decree.
We’re not doing any shared holiday events or meeting families. Time enough for that later if things work out. I’m not sure if I have it in me to be married again.
All this to say… I met a guy, and I like him. He might end up being around for a while, but I’m doing my darndest to be smart.