My emotions have been a little out of sorts the last two days. My best friend of almost 20 years, who has worked in the same company with me for 15, and on the same team for most of those, left the company on Wednesday. Because he went to a competitor he had to leave immediately. There was no two week transition. We were friends before work, and will continue to be friends, but it was a big blow to my day to day life. He was always just there. Now he’s not.
Also, it has impacted my team in a negative way which has led to many uncomfortable conversations at my desk over the last 24 hours. Emotionally draining.
Then my wife jumped on me for something last night which led to an argument. Arguments are fine. They are. We all have them. But the tone, and attitude she brings to an argument does not work for me. She gets very aggressive, and escalates them into yelling matching and tit for tat explanations. It’s very unhealthy. I did not engage, and just left her fuming on the couch. Later she came up and apologized, but the damage was done.
This morning I realized that her aggressiveness during the argument has a huge impact on my desire for her. Before the argument I was already planning our next encounter. Afterward, and even through today, even though I’m not angry with her in the slightest, my desire is gone. As soon as she took that aggressive posture it went away. I think in her mind sex is separate from our daily life, but it is not for me. Everything is intertwined. She sees it mostly as a physical act, but for me it is almost all mental. I did my best to explain that to her this morning – which was also emotionally draining.
Then I was sitting here at work, and a colleague was asking me about a report. Sure enough it was built by Meredith. It was good too, standing the test of time. All her work was good. I started to miss her. Think about her. I’m nearly the only one here today which does not help. Just sitting and thinking. I feel really low, and want to reach out to her. I know she can make me feel better.
I started looking for her on the internet. I know I shouldn’t but I can’t seem to stop myself today. Maybe, due to her job, there would be some news of her from her hometown. Nothing. But after a few image searches there she was. A new picture from last month.
I followed the link to the page. I’m not really sure how to describe it. It’s not a church or a woman’s group or an activist group, but it’s sort of all three at the same time. It’s something new. I remember her saying near the end of our relationship that she found this woman who she really connected with. They had kids the same age, she was passionate about things, and starting a new church with her husband.
It was this woman who was in the picture with her. It was this new “church” that was the website I was viewing. But it was not really a church. At least not the part I was reading. It was more of a woman’s group, plus they were very much involved in several different activist campaigns. It did seem like something Meredith would be interested in. On the page there was a picture of her friend, who is the founder, and a picture of Meredith listed as an artist and co-host. That was it. No other people. Apparently Meredith has signed onto to this woman’s vision wholeheartedly.
I really can’t blame her. She is very idealistic, especially about women’s issues, but many others as well. She is passionate about church, but not in the traditional sense. This “church” seemed very much in Meredith’s form. It made me happy for her. I know when she has something in her life to be passionate about she is much happier, and she can look past all the shitty things in her life.
I was also really sad. Bear with me here. Part of me still wants to have a future with her. I’m not sure that this passion for activism would work for me. It makes me very anxious. In fact it’s the one part of us that we always had a bit of trouble with. In many ways I feel that her marriage with H frees her to be herself in these external roles. I’m not sure she could do all of that with me, but she would be free to be herself internally. I don’t know which is better, perhaps one is a mask for the other.
Of course Meredith is well aware of all of this. She mentioned on several occasions that it would be different with me. She would find a middle ground to these external activities that would work for both of us. She wants me. She is happiest, she said, when she is taken care of first, and then she will take care of her idealistic passions. She knows where I am comfortable, and she is fine with it. She would still find a way to follow her passions, but be cognizant to not make it a problem between us. I believe she would as well. She was always good at showing me through the years where she would set limits to make things work for me. She enjoyed that structure I provided, actually.
Admittedly, today I fell down. I had been really focused on my wife, and with all these other things I fell. I went looking for her. I still feel very low today. Like I did many months ago. I’m sad. I’m frustrated (both sexually and with life). I’m low on energy. I really just want to go be alone with my thoughts, and let it all wash over me. Yet I know I can’t do that. There is life happening all around me.
And oh god do I want to see her. To touch her. To hear her words. To listen to her explain how it will all be OK. To tell me about this new passion of hers, and how she will weave it into our lives. To see her smile that coy smile when I hold her hand. To see in her eyes how much she needs me and loves me. Just one more time.