Working with Meredith again?

My best friend left the company I work for last month. We had the same boss. I spoke about it here. There is now an open position my boss is trying to fill. She spoke to me yesterday about a couple ideas. Then she said “I’m also going to give Meredith a call and see if she wants to come back. What do you think of that?”

My brain kind of short-circuited at that point. Of course my boss knows we got along well, but not quite how well. I kept a level head but it was not easy. I told her my opinion which is that it is unlikely she would take such an offer. 

However I haven’t spoken to her in months. Before that we were barely talking. I really have no idea how her current situation is going at the non profit. Hopefully well, but maybe not. Then of course there is her husband who would not let her go back to my company simply because I’m here. Totally understand. On top of that she was trying to get out which makes me think she would probably go somewhere else first anyway. 

We will see but wow that was a bit of shock. 

A Party and Future Musings

This weekend we were at a party and there was a little boy there who looked strikingly like Meredith’s daughter. Yes I know that sounds strange, but the boy had long hair and I have not seen her daughter in a long time so I imagine she has changed a little. The resemblance was so similar I froze up for a bit, and had to look all around to make sure that Meredith and H were not somehow at this party. It wouldn’t have been out of the possibilities either. We share some mutual friends within this group and she used to live about four blocks away.  

Thankfully it was not Meredith’s daughter. My heart returned to its normal pace. I have no idea what I would’ve done. Avoidance at all costs. I guess it kind of depends on how H would’ve handled it. 

—–

Lately I’ve been thinking about what I would do if my wife and I did split up. More specifically in terms of Meredith. How would I handle that conversation? Or would there ever be one? This is still a somewhat unlikely scenario, but it’s something that keeps popping into my mind. 

I’m sure she blocked me via phone or email or social media. A quick text wouldn’t work. But I also wouldn’t want to put expectations on her. I think what I would want would be to let her know in a way that does not put any pressure on her. 

Perhaps I could wait by the coffe shop she frequents and “run into her” one day. Maybe with a hat and sunglasses on. Just a quick “Meredith do you have a minute?” I’m sure the question, and the voice would stop her in her tracks. 

I’m fairly certain she would give me the time of day. But when she recovered would she stick around for me to say anything or simply walk away? Assuming she stays I would tell her: “Sorry to bother you. I know we promised not to contact each other anymore. However I have news you may want to hear. You don’t need to say anything or even talk to me ever again, but I want you to know that I’m separated from my wife. I promised I would tell you when things changed.”

At this point her head would be going a million miles an hour and in many directions. Possibly even anger at me. I would not want there to be a long drawn out conversation or catching up or anything like that. Simply to give her the news and be gone. With that said I would stand up and say “That’s all. I’ll leave you be now. I’m no longer blocking you on any accounts. Have a good day Meredith.” Then smile and walk away. 

I would then wait. If she ever contacts me that would be wonderful. If she does not then I guess it would be time for me to move on. I expect she would contact me once she processes things. Because she would have questions. I didn’t answer as to whether I wanted her in my life again or what I was going to do. When she does reach out then we would have time to consider things. Also to hear how she is doing. If things are working out for her then I need to move on myself. 

Falling Down

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.

Journal: Romance

In this post Meredith is thinking about her relationship with her husband without sex. Can that even be a marriage? Because I have wondered the same about my wife. Meredith wants to be friends and coparents. Generally that means you are separated and free to have sex with someone else. Because she is not saying she is giving up sex. Just that she doesn’t want it with him. 

It makes me wonder how much of a marriage is defined by sex?

*****

How important is romance?

I love my husband. He’s kind and thoughtful and smart. He takes care of all practical matters effortlessly. He loves me and our daughter. He’s my dear friend, our shared history means that we can laugh about many things.

And yet.

I don’t want to have sex with him. I don’t mind cuddles and hugs and chaste kisses. But I don’t want sex. And now that I’m not drinking I can’t even pretend.

He got upset when we talked about it. He’s hurt. And I understand. But it bothered me that he didn’t say anything along the lines of “I want sex to be enjoyable for you. We won’t have sex if you don’t want it.” He just talked about how it hurts him that he puts effort in and doesn’t see it making a difference.

I understand that kind of hurt. That’s what I’ve been dealing with for years in a variety of manners in our relationship. Making him feel loved but not having any of it come back to me.

I’m done. I’m done trying. I want to maintain the parts of our relation that work: friendship and co-parenting. And I want to end the part that isn’t working: romance.

I need to talk with him. But I’m going to wait until after our vacation. Otherwise that’ll be super awkward.

The problem is that I really do love him. I feel tenderly toward him. I care about him as a person. I care about his feelings and his heart. He’s such a wonderful guy. But we aren’t a good fit anymore. Really, I don’t fit here.

There’s still a lot here. Between us. Maybe romantic love would grow again?

But really, I don’t want to have sex.

I’m so scared to move forward. Staying will hurt. Moving forward will hurt.

Oh and my daughter. My sweet daughter. Fuck. Can I do this to her?

But I really don’t want to have sex.

Creating Fantasies

I recently had a big fantasy jump into my head, and it’s been there all day. I thought you might find both the fantasy and the process interesting. Throughout any given day I have many small fantasies that fly in and out of my mind. Sometimes though a big fantasy comes along and stays awhile. Generally these big fantasies will be front and center of my mind for weeks at a time. They never really die, but they do go dormant after awhile. 

These big fantasies require three things: a specific woman; a setting; a reason for the power exchange. In this case the specific woman is my boss which is also the reason. The setting is a hotel room on a business trip after a day of customer meetings. Once those three things are established then my mind takes over. The fantasy takes root and grows. It may go in many directions. Over the course of weeks it will slowly progress, and I will try out new elements. The new elements may force me to go back and reform earlier elements of the fantasy. In the end I am left with a near work of art. Something just inside the realm of possible so that my mind can feed off of it, but clearly in fantasy land. 

I’ve only had one fantasy like this ever come true. It was with Meredith, of course. The last time we had sex. In a hotel. I day dreamed about that one for weeks. In the end all that dreaming was put into a plan, and executed to great success. Even though I’m married and could execute many fantasies with my wife she will have none of it. That thought makes me sad. 

These multi-week fantasies I’ve had for decades. They predate porn and marriage for me. They are very creatively inspired by my mind. 

Let me give you a taste. I’ve been stuck in a meeting all day with about 20 people. My boss is running the meeting. She’s the boss of everyone in the room and it’s mostly men. She is about 10 years older than me and extremely sexy. She works out nearly everyday; snacks on raw vegetables; and puts an incredible amount of time into her appearance. Her wardrobe is all Nordstrom and changed frequently. She predominantly wears skirts and sleeveless tops. Some end up showing a lot of cleavage. I believe she was a cheerleader in college, and I know she had fun. She is fun. High energy and very sexual, while also being a terrific and devoted mother of two. 

As I’m sitting across from her and able to see her sexy bare legs coming out of her tight and slightly too short skirt, my mind starts to wander into very dirty places. I start imagining my hands going under that skirt. Then going under her shirt. 

All of that leads me to start dreaming of us both on a business trip. We stop at the hotel bar one day after work and have a few and talk. She gets flirty and I return the favor. At some point we both end up back in her hotel room where I immediately slam her up against the wall. One hand to her throat and another wandering her body. She can feel my body pressed into her, holding her into the wall. Let the games begin. 

Other fantasies in the past have included teachers; my sister in law; the lady who used to own our house (she still lives nearby and rarely wears a bra when I see her around the neighborhood); a couple of coworkers. They all have turned into long fantasies for me of various descriptions. I can still picture them too, even many years later. 

I don’t really know where I’m going with this. I’m sure I’m not the only one with intricate big fantasies. It does help show how long I’ve felt these BDSM desires. It’s been a long time although I really didn’t have an idea of what they were until recently. 

Alright back to my meetings. Only 3 more days of those legs. 

Journal: Trying to meditate but…

In this post Meredith thinks about how well her husband knows her. Going off of the last post where she acknowledged that I know her more deeply than the man she’s been with for nine years. The way he treats her is almost like a pet. When she does something great “Good job Meredith!” with a pat on the head. There is no further inquiry into her thoughts or feelings. He doesn’t respect her as the intelligent woman she is. No wonder he doesn’t know her. 

Pairing that with how he thinks he knows her and it’s a disaster. Without knowing her well he inserts his own desires for hers thereby making assumptions about what she wants rather than asking. He gets it wrong! This happens with my wife and me all the time. She will get little things and big things wrong. After 18 years how could she not know what kind of mustard I like or what my dreams are for the future? Meredith is asking the same of her husband. It’s because they don’t pay attention. It’s not core to their own world. In my case my wife will say confidently that I like X when in fact she is the one who likes X and I never have. I will look at her quizzically and wonder where that came from. She inserted her own tastes for mine. 

Meredith kind of nails it with what H desires. You know who else desires that? My wife! I sometimes think my wife and H would be perfect together. Whereas both Meredith and myself want and need someone who will delve deep into our minds with us. Someone to push us to be better. All those things that piss off H and my wife when we try them. Yet those same qualities drew Meredith and I together. 

I cannot tell you how strange it felt to say the things I said to Meredith about my inner world and about how she should improve herself, and to NOT be met by major resistance. In fact it was met with love. My brain had a hard time comprehending such things. It is what she needs though. And she did the same for me. 

The direct lecture analogy! Both my wife and H are this way, “just tell me what you need!” they will say. They don’t know how to go find it. They don’t know how to do the project. They both just want us to tell them everything we think they should know unprompted and they sort of expect that we will. In fact I think they are both offended that they don’t know us that well. As if it is our fault they didn’t learn who we were. 

*****

I can’t. I need to get these thoughts out.

Last night H and I had a long talk about how I’m feeling and what we both want from marriage. It came because he made a few assumptions about what I would want yesterday and I had to tell him “no, that’s not what I want!”

H wants comfort, someone to balance him, someone he admires, and respect.

I want to be known: mind, body, and spirit. I want to be respected, loved, and help being my best self as a result of the deep knowing.

Pretty different.

This morning I’m thinking about H knowing me. And what is so frustrating is that I feel like I’ve been trying to get him to known me for 9 years. So I was thinking about the difference between how he’s trying to get to know me and how I’m trying to let him know me. And the best thing that comes to mind is an education analogy.

The most common way to teach is where the teacher has all the information and just tells the students what they need to know. The best way to teach is where the teacher sets up a project so the students can discover the material and then fills in the gaps as needed.

H is expecting a direct lecture but I’m asking him to engage in a project.

And I kind of feel like that teacher who has a student that doesn’t see the value of the project and has to deal with a student stating “can’t you just teach me whatever is going to be on the test?!”

No. I can’t. I want you to learn the material so you remember it. I want you to have a deep knowing. I want you to explore. I want you to ask questions when you’re truly stuck and I’ll fill in the gaps. I didn’t prepare a lecture. I prepared a project.

My daughter is crying really hard. I guess no meditation or exercise for me today. Bummer.

Journal: Happy Mind but Sore Muscles

Perhaps I’m reading too much in this but she loved my massages. I’m very good at them as I’ve had lots of practice. I do deep tissue massages, and H doesn’t have a concept of that. He doesn’t want to “hurt” her. Idiot. 

*****

I need a massage. There is tension from this really specific point in my neck all the way down my back and then also radiating into my shoulder. I wished I lived with a masseuse.

The tension is pretty distracting.

I meditated this morning but decided to do exercise tomorrow. I want to go for a long walk in addition to some yoga. My friend is coming over tomorrow so that should be possible and fun.

My mind is at ease today. It’s a pleasant feeling.