A brief snapshot

Social media is something that simultaneously astounds and appalls me. At times it brings out the lowest common denominator in some, and yet for others it coaxes out a true humanity and the love we all have inside of us.

There is a gentleman I follow on Instagram whom I have never met nor have ever conversed. It has become apparent with his recent posts that he is going through a breakup. At first it was all subtext (a lot of selfies and cheeky butt shots) or the sporadic vague post about “going through stuff.” He finally disclosed his and his husbands break-up in his Instagram story and my heart broke for him. I have watched with interest as this stranger shared his life through photos: spending time with his boyfriend as they travelled the country, to their marriage at the site of a plane crash (no joke), and as they spent time together with their son. I have “hearted” almost every snapshot into his life. And now as he goes onto a new path I eagerly watch hoping and praying for his happiness, all the while never really knowing him.

I have been blessed to have been on the reverse of that, as people who happen to read this little blog or follow me on twitter have asked me how I’m doing. They barely know me, yet something compels them to care and reach out. Their little messages bring a lot of light into my world. And because of their loving curiosity I find myself wanting to share more.

As of late life is good. Wonderful in fact. Things with the husband have greatly improved since our little Palm Springs excursion, during which we laid out all our bull shit on the table for he other to inspect. I will admit, after all the sordid disclosures it took me some time to get through the following mess of emotions, but I have since arrived at a happier place. One in which I don’t ever want to leave. There is power and peace in rigorous honesty. And the communication since has flourished.

Then there is my awesome boyfriend. He is the kindest, most understanding person and I don’t know how I lucked out twice to get such amazing men in my life.

I shared all of this with my therapist during this last Tuesday’s session. She participated in my joy, but like any good counselor she didn’t just accept the good she also asked probing questions. For whatever reason, the one that stuck with me the most was: how do I not compare the two. My immediate response was that I don’t. The two of them are so different that there is no way to hold one up to the other in comparison and to do so would be a disservice to each of them.

After having more time to mull over her inquiry, my answer is still the same but I am more confident in my response. I truly can’t compare them because neither has what the other offers. It is trite to say but they’re like little unique snowflakes. And what I realized is that to break it down into such black and white ideas is not how this works. Polyamory (if that is what this is) is more complex. There are levels and layers to affection, emotions and multiple relationships that can’t be easily described in terms of “oh he’s so much better here.”

I don’t have my fears like I did. The thought that I would somehow be replaced by my husband’s boyfriend have left me. And my fear of us “just fooling ourselves and drawing out the inevitable divorce” has waned. It still lingers at the back of my mind, but it is a faint nagging that I scarcely ponder. Much like the zen attitude of just enjoying the moments with either one, I don’t let these negative thoughts cloud my present.

So, if you’ve wondered or worried over this stranger, as of right now there is no need. But your concerns have touched me more than you’ll know.

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Inebriated Confessions

The truth is something we all think we want but very rarely do we accept it or really even want it. Most of the time, people hear what they want and it turns into something else by way of preconceived notions or baggage.

This weekend I got something I’ve been longing to have for some time and that is: the truth. The real truth. For whatever reason, my husband felt fit to offer it to me. It could have been his own want to have no secrets but it could have been the liquid courage. Honestly it’s probably a combination of the two. Regardless the reasons, he poured it out and I accepted what he had to say.

The thing is what he told me I already knew in my gut. After all the bull shit and infidelity on my part there was no way any normal person would put up with my shit. And I don’t blame him. The only thing I felt was relief. Finally I had the knowledge that while my transgressions are terrible I am not alone.

In the morning, in mild sobriety, I told him (whether it needed to be said or not) that I forgave him. It wasn’t for him, because I don’t think he needs or wants it. I did it for myself, plain and simple. From that moment on I wanted to go forth with honesty and integrity. The only way to do that was to leave all the baggage in the past and move forward. I don’t want to hold resentments. (Which is my default, by the way.)

While, I don’t remember all he told me (unfortunate side effect of being thoroughly fucked up on vodka redbulls) I remember some and it was the stuff that my brain and gut had sensed forever. Now knowing, I have the peace I need to move past my worries and fears. It also gave me a glimpse into my husband. And it was nice.

It’s hard being vulnerable. The truth/honesty leaves one at the mercy of the listener. I again wonder what prompted it, or why he felt it was the time to do it then, but I am thankful for that moment. And I will be forever I think.

I just wish I had at least taken notes to remember it all. Some of it lost in the inebriated crevasses of my brain. Maybe I don’t need to be reminded. Most likely the latter.

However this whole situation plays out, at least it won’t be bogged down by lies and secrets.

A Seer Reads the Stones

It’s going to be hard, but doable, not to read into the actions and words during this time. When I’m left with no answers and my mind is searching for some sense of stability or ‘realness’ I begin to look for the answers around me. Like when Charlie sleeps on the complete opposite side of the bed, where he used to hog all of it, is that a subliminal message that he’s trying to get away? Or when the last two days he’s been chatty and we’ve spent the evening holding each other and talking, and then it doesn’t happen is it different? Did something change?

The answers I divine to why are all stupid and probably not true. The further proof of this fact is that these are all my interpretations of perceived realities. For all I know the bed just feels bigger because of how I feel right now. I feel small and insignificant. Thus the spaces in between are vast and seemingly unending.

Then, like last night, charlie was tired and spoke very little and quickly turned around and fell asleep. Not at all like the past two nights. I could see that as he’s getting closer to this other dude or it was just that he’s a 40 year old man who is currently juggling a husband and a boyfriend. I could very well see how that in itself is exhausting and when you’re tired, you’re tired. (Not saying 40 is old.)

The thing about reading our own meaning into anything is that the pendulum can swing either way. It doesn’t matter what the facts are, they can be read in such a way that it is misinterpreted as negative. Case a point, Charlie was reading into my actions as wanting him to end the relationship because I couldn’t do it myself. In reality I was angry at him because I knew about the Derek thing and instead of talking to him or asking him about it I chose to keep it to myself which further drove a rift into our relationship. I was angry. As it also turned out, I was genuinely furious with and blamed him for our dog Klause getting out of the yard back in November. It was these things that made me angry with him and I was very cold to him as a response. It had nothing to do with me wanting to end the relationship, but that’s how he saw it.

Instead of talking to him and voicing these fears I kept them bottled up inside. They festered and made me feel something else entirely. If I had just done the “adult” thing and had a discussion about all of it, none of this may have transpired. My reality may have looked totally different. Yet, even that, right there, is me reading into it.

I want to think that “looking for answers” is a natural human response. It is our way of attempting to take the control back in a situation in which we feel we have none. We don’t like uncertainty and living in a “zen-like” state of letting life wash over us is against our usual factory defaults.

It’s a Brave New World…

…At least that’s what I keep saying to myself, and have been since December when I asked for an open relationship.

My husband doesn’t recall our conversation, in January, when we agreed to close it. I can specifically remember the location and how I felt in the moment in which I snapped and agreed. I then changed all of my stuff on all the apps and went back to that mindset. As it turns out, he was under the assumption we were still open which is when he started talking to this other dude.

We have talked a lot since our initial conversation on Saturday. What I have since learned, was that the reason he spoke to his mother about the state of our relationship and telling her about Derek (his boyfriend) was because he thought it was over between us. He had planned on ending things with me that night because he thought I was waiting for him to pull the trigger. However, when we talked on the car ride home from my parents, after St. Patrick’s Day dinner, his mind changed. What I told him was I wasn’t done. And I’m not. Like I mentioned in my previous post, regarding my midlife crisis, I was on the fence of what to do. I wanted to be single but I also wanted to stay in my relationship because at my core that is what I want. But, I also want to be single. Evenly distributed. (I’m kind of fucked up.)

After our conversation last night I have found further peace with this arrangement, which is basically a polyamorous relationship. I have my boyfriend (I hesitate to use that word for the baggage it brings) and he will have his. At least, for the time being. (It should be noted all four of us have deleted grindr and scruff, further upping the ante.)

A friend of mine, back when we were wrestling with it just being an “open relationship,” told me that we both have to be in agreement, and if one of us isn’t in it, the situation has to end. He is/was right. Which is why I have informed the husband that at the moment he is uncomfortable (and the husband said “I agree”) I will not hesitate to pull the chord on this arrangement. Now, whether he still feels that way in a few weeks, months or years (however long this fucking lasts) may be something else entirely. I just can’t be too concerned with thinking that far ahead. (I can hear the voice of my besty, Shelby, and her subsequent eye-roll, informing me how I’m being stupid.)

I have made peace with the notion that if he ends up ‘head over heels’ with this dude and would rather be with him I will be okay. I mean, of course I will. It will hurt like a mother-fucker, but I will remind myself I set this situation into motion. As he likes to remind me, I chose this. I asked for it when I wanted the open relationship and I chose it (yet again) when we talked the day after the car ride home. He set forth 3 options and I chose the ‘keep things the way they are and stay together but see these side pieces’ plan for only 5.99 a month.

I have no illusions to the contrary that this is absolutely playing with fire. Emotions WILL run high. And someone will be hurt in the end. The gamble is, who is going to be hurt. In the effort of full disclosure I have let my guy, Josh, know everything. I have not hid the fact of what is transpiring. I even want to send him the contact info of my previous ex for further reference to the agony that comes with dating me. I am trouble, plain and simple.

One of the changes I am making, to keep myself sane in this insanity, is to not read into the actions he takes and any assumed underlying message in what my husband says to me. My previous post was me reading into what he said way more than I should have. My therapist said that if we do this there has to be trust and I am just going to trust that he will be honest with me. What he says is what he says. If it turns out that there wasn’t any honesty in his words I imagine I will find out by our relationship ending.

I just find it odd that my husband, who has such anxiety about the future and how things will play out, is okay with this. For once he’s living in the moment and that is some major change. We’re both changing evidently.

The one thought I came to today was that we had previously known of similar situations with other couples in the past and we poo-pooed them and judged. I think we were just belittling them in an effort to tamp down our own desire for something similar. I probably shouldn’t be thinking that because it’s reading into things I shouldn’t. (It’s going to be a hard habit to break.) I just can’t help but look at it the same way I did when I was denying my sexuality. I vehemently hated gay people because I thought if I hated it enough outwardly it would kill that part of myself inside. Well, we see how that worked out.

I probably shouldn’t be airing my dirty laundry, but I have only one story to tell honestly and speak on with certainty and that is my own.

Stay tuned for further episodes of “Gays of Our Lives.”

Conundrum of Age

This week has been something else. I have quite a few things to discuss with my small collection of readers. However it’s all going to have to take it’s time. The most demanding of posts is in regards to a small twitter “feud” that occurred between Armie Hammer and James Woods.

We’re gonna let the name slide for now… but just know, I am not a fan. What I am in favor of is his portrayal of a young 24 year old college professor that falls in love with a 17 year old boy in the film “Call Me by Your Name.” While I have yet to see it, I am aware of what it’s about, and I eagerly await the opportunity to do so for the simple coincidence of the character’s ages.

My husband and I met when I was in the final days of 17 and he was in the twilight months of him being 24. Our meeting was an accident. He had messaged me out of the blue during the AOL instant messenger days, thinking I was someone else who happened to have a similar screenname to mine. (My internet handle was “Melancholyschaos,” good god was I such a hipster emo.) He was dating someone at the time, his first message to me was in fact “Diego and I are still together.” I carried on the conversation like I knew who he was and what he was talking about before I finally just asked him who he was.

For some reason I had a hunch he and this Diego would not last long and every time he appeared in my “buddy list” I would message him. Finally, he ditched his former and I swooped in. We ended up meeting near midnight at a Denny’s, close to where we live now.

My husband hates this story. He also hates the fact that I was 17. It brings him more shame than it should. In the end it was just a number, and I turned 18 only 3 weeks after we first met. He did the legal thing and waited until that magical age to take our relationship any further than just talking.

I understand his discomfort. Yet it’s strange to think that numbers play such a significant part of public perception. In the case of James Woods, I also see how that seems young. If he were a year older somehow that makes it miraculously better and no one would bat an eye. However, that wasn’t the point he was trying to make with his comment. He was equating that to NAMBLA, which is an entirely different organization; one that should be shunned from every corner of the globe. He suggested that this group was “getting their way” and destroying public norms. Mr. Hammer’s response to that was “Didn’t you date a girl that was 19 when you were 60?” Well said, Hammer. Well said. James Wood’s response was to block him on twitter. So, I guess he won that argument.

I hesitated for so many years to divulge our ages at our first meeting. Mainly because of his insecurity, but a small portion of my own. But, seeing as how we’ve been together for so long it’s just part of our history. There’s no reason to be ashamed. I knew what I was getting myself into and what I was pursuing. Most would say, “Well, you were immature.” Yes, but was I? At what point do we just assume someone is an “adult” and stop treating them as if they “don’t know.” Is it when the clock strikes midnight and I roll over to 18?

The best portion of this “ twitter fight” was of a young actress that chimed in with a story that Mr. Woods had invited her and some friends to Las Vegas for a weekend. Her response at the time was that she was 16, to which his reply was “even better.” Since her tweet, he has said that her retelling is an outright lie, but when one looks at his dating history, it would appear that he has a taste for the young ones. So, who is to say? (Oh, he totally did it.)

Again, I don’t understand why age plays such a huge role in a relationship. I mean, it does 100% when it comes to the maturity level and “making it work,” but what I don’t understand is an outsider’s perspective when learning the ages of the couple.

Now, don’t for a second think I am advocating the dating of underage boys or girls. Quite the contrary. I don’t think teenagers are capable of grasping the idea of monogamous relationships. I know that in my early years I was still discovering who I was as a person or what I wanted out of life.

The simple answer to this is that there is no cut and dry response. It is a murky topic that goes into a downward spiral quickly. I guess, it just boils down to intent. What is happening with the relationship and what is being gained.

I will say, if you’re old enough to be that child’s grandparent, you probably shouldn’t be messing around with them. Okay, Woods?

“Do what you want, BUT …”

I’m really mad at my husband, and since he happens to be up in the mountains out of cell reception I have decided to air my grievances here. After all, someone might learn something from this because God knows he probably wouldn’t even if I told him.

That last part may seem like a dig at my husband, and it is (not gonna lie), but it is also the truth at the same time. He has this character defect that causes him to tune out anyone that “yells” at him. I say “yell” because his and my definitions are drastically different. While I have a habit of raising my voice because I am a very passionate person from the theatre (who projects) he takes that as me “yelling” at him. When I yell… well it as an ugly affair that does not paint me in a pretty light at all. I think he’s seen me “yell” maybe three times over our 13 years together. But I can’t help but get loud when I am super passionate about something. I am not one that holds back my feelings, I wear everything right on my sleeve. So when I get upset, I “yell.”

It helps when I practice my speeches beforehand, so I can find the beats I want to hit and the points I want to make to make certain he knows where I’m coming from and can understand. What’s worse is the dude is johnny-on-the-spot and no matter how much preparation I invest he can throw a curve ball question at me that sends me back into my rage. Honestly, the dude should have been a lawyer.

So I have spent most of the day practicing how I want to go about telling him that what has just transpired between us is something I do not appreciate and has thus made me very angry.

I was asked to be a guest on this little talk show that broadcasts on Facebook live. It’s called “Canoodle After Dark” and you can find it on “Canoodle Studios” Facebook page. (I promise I’m not plugging for them.) The topic of the show is basically a rip-off (see, not plugging) of Love Line. It’s three woman all talking about sex. The topic for tonight’s show is supposed to be anal sex, so it makes sense why she asked me to be a guest. In addition to me just being hilarious, remember I am the face of the gay community now. Self-appointed.

Now, the situation reeked of “you’re going to be in trouble” from my acceptance. So I phoned up my husband to ask if it was alright. He gave the usual ho-hum “do what you want, BUT…” and that’s where I take umbrage with the situation.

Look, if he didn’t want me to do it for the “but” reasons and flat out said, “Hey, it will make me uncomfortable for you to do this because x, y, and z, I’d really prefer you not to do it,” I would probably be annoyed but I would understand his logic and not do it. However, he took the manipulative route which drives me nuts. You can’t tell me I can do what I want and then give me some small print that will basically be setting me up for a fight. In my mind, I want to do it and it will be fun. He said I can do what I want, but…

I’m not one to play games like these. If I do not like something I will tell you, to your face, that this makes me mad or uncomfortable. I’m not going to pussy-foot around the subject because I “don’t want to look like the bad guy who’s controlling you.” Um… That’s exactly what you’re doing, you just have somehow convinced yourself in your head that because I didn’t flat out say you can’t do it, I’m not a controlling husband.

To me by doing that has made his response an ultimatum, without being an ultimatum. The situation set before me is “do what you want, but… if you do it I’m going to be furious.”

I get his reasons. He’s a private person. I understand. If he had laid that out and then said I don’t want you to do it, I would have been fine (annoyed, but fine.) I know how petty I sound that I want him to do it my way. But, at least my way doesn’t force anyone to do mental gymnastics to understand the true route to take. It’s a weird “Sophie’s choice” game. Like he’s testing me to see how much I “really care about him,” when me wanting to do this show has NOTHING to do with him. It’s all how I love being the center of attention and look amazing on-camera.

I love my husband. No relationship is perfect, ever. You’re trying to put two different people together to make a life work. There are going to be bumps. But unlike my husband, I’d rather say “hey, stop doing this cause it makes me mad,” than manipulate him. I guess I just respect him more than he does me. (Did you see what I did there? Manipulation.)