I was married a long time.
To me it was a long time.
Over 13 years with the same person.
That isn’t a quickie marriage.
When you’re with someone that long you learn a lot about them. You create a type of intimacy that goes far beyond sex or anything physical. You start to finish each others sentences, you can buy an entire houseful of furniture without them there because you know what they like, your styles start to mesh and you have the same tastes. We could play Pictionary and win hands down every time with the worst drawings you have ever seen. We knew what the other was thinking.
I could tell you his favorite foods, candies, songs, colors, outfit. I could tell you what he would say, whether he wanted to do something or not and why just by looking at his face.
It has absolutely blown me away to realize how unimportant all of that “stuff” is though. I thought it meant we had a sort of force field around us. A bubble like Violet in The Incredibles would put around her family to keep them safe from everything evil on the outside. Nothing could burst that bubble, nothing could get in and hurt us.
We were connected.
Two people wound into one.
In some ways we were.
I really felt like I lost a chunk of myself when he left; but now that I have most of that chunk back, I realize the pieces that connected us were nothing more than what happens when two people spend so much of their lives together. Any two people really.
At 32 or 33, 13 years is a good chunk of your life. We grew up together. We matured together. We learned a lot of life’s lessons together. That bonded us. Our intimacy was based on growth, comfort, understanding, a partnership, a life we had built from the bottom up together.
He was my friend. My life partner.
I knew something was missing and I know he did too.
When you’re married or you have a long-term partner, I think you get so comfortable in your day-to-day that you forget something very important.
We forget that we need a deeper connection. We forget, or maybe we don’t even know that it’s possible to look into our partners eyes and just lose ourselves.
I had a selfish lover. An inexperienced lover. A very close minded lover.
I didn’t know that at the time. I didn’t know that it even really mattered to be completely honest.
Sex was sex. It wasn’t normal for it to be mind-blowing, amazing every single time.
I don’t know… I don’t even know where I got that idea from. I don’t think it was something anyone ever told me. It just seemed pretty normal based off of what I had grown up seeing and from what my spoken for girlfriends had told me. It just seemed normal that you would “fake it” sometimes.
Speed that sh*t up so I could go fold laundry.
That was alright though because he worked hard while I stayed home with our babies. It was a trade-off.
For a long time I wondered when I got like that.
I wasn’t always…
I remembered having feelings with my first love that I hadn’t felt in a long time. I remember when he took my hand and walked me into his room and I experienced what it felt like to have someone send you spiraling out of control into a tornado of feelings that I didn’t even know existed.
That moment was what every experience with a lover was going to be compared to. That moment that I can still see as if it was yesterday…
I wanted to feel that every time.
That was it for me.
Until it wasn’t anymore.
I grew up.
I started to think that life didn’t always allow for us to have those crazy, out of control and just plainly put, amazing feelings.
I had kids and a job and laundry.
Lots of laundry.
We waited a long time to even kiss when we started dating. I was young, hurt; I had already been though a nasty breakup that involved child support and court hearings so I was much older than my actual age.
I didn’t want to make that mistake again so I took my time.
(Yes, I know that obviously made no difference whatsoever, but that’s another topic)
We were several months in before we even had our first kiss.
That kiss was terrible.
There was no tornado. No spiraling anywhere.
I can’t even try to sugarcoat it.
I had little butterflies in my tummy but that was based on emotion, build up and not feeling. I can only explain it by saying I had already fallen for him, I had butterflies because it was happening; not because it was a great kiss, because it wasn’t.
I actually told him goodbye at the door to my apartment and then cried to my roommate that I didn’t know what to do.
I didn’t do anything.
I liked him.
He was my boyfriend, we would work on it.
Except we didn’t.
We just didn’t have that connection.
There was no looking in each others eyes or exploring. There was no getting lost anywhere.
There just was no spark. So cliché but so very accurate.
He didn’t like to kiss, I did. That turned into feeling like he just didn’t like to kiss me…
Sex was just as bad.
Was it me?
Lots of fighting and weight gain followed by lots of loving and weight loss gave me so many ups and downs that I eventually fell into the path that I blame my boring, routine intimate life on.
I felt fat, ugly, undesirable…
In my mind it made sense. I understood why we didn’t have amazing, mind-blowing sex.
It was me.
It had to be.
During our fights he said it was, when we made up he took it back. I just didn’t know what to believe so I slid backwards into my shell. My shell that was full of self-doubt and self-consciousness. It was sad in there. Sad and lonely.
Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t always terrible, there were days where I could just look at him and he would pull me to our room. We didn’t have fireworks in there but we had love. We had cuddling and we had laughter. I couldn’t fall asleep if a part of me wasn’t touching a part of him. I loved that man. He was a piece of me, a big piece. That meant so much to me that the rest just fell back into the shadows.
How important could it really be anyway?
Really important as it turns out…
After my divorce I wasn’t sure what would be out there. Talking to some of my girlfriends I realized that had I lived the rest of my life with the same selfish lover I had grown so comfortable with; I really would have no idea what amazing sex really was or what a true soul to soul connection could feel like…
I would go my whole life not knowing what it was like to have a lover so in touch with you that just looking in their eyes could send you to another world.
Maybe I just had so many self-esteem issues I would never have it anyway. Plus, how would I know if I had it? I thought I had experienced pretty much all there was to experience.
I mean, it couldn’t vary that much…
It was just dinner.
Dinner that was filled with such a tension I don’t even know that I have the words in my vernacular to do it justice.
I don’t even know if the plates made it to the kitchen.
All I know about that night is that I got it. I understood what they meant.
I had found a very unselfish lover.
Somehow after all this time I really saw him.
He was the same guy that I guess I kind of knew way back when, but I saw him differently…
I was addicted.
He became my drug.
I had no idea. None. It didn’t matter though. I was hooked.
I really think that some people have that connection.
They have that clichéd spark. It’s real.
An invisible tug of war had begun.
It was physically difficult to stand back, to not touch him.
He could look at me and I would become jello.
All of the things that I had been so self-conscious about for the majority of my adult life he wiped away without even needing words. He built my confidence up and helped me to feel beautiful, desirable, sexy and wanted in a way that no one has ever done for me before.
He was a magnet, I couldn’t stay away.
Nothing else mattered.
Not the future or any plans or the lack thereof.
All sense of anything else went out the window.
The way that man made me feel was incredible.
He worried about me.
I was the priority.
I was amazing without needing to be anything more than present.
Looking in his eyes took me somewhere else.
He took me somewhere that felt both very far away and foreign but just like home at the same time.
A place where nothing made any sense but everything made perfect sense at the same exact time.
Time literally didn’t move but went by far too fast at the same time.
Maybe that was it.
Or maybe sometimes two people just have it together.
Whatever it may be.
An immediate trust without reservation.
A force pulling you together in a way that it physically hurts when you have to pull back.
If I had any idea that feeling that way was even possible, that it even existed, I can only say that my life would have been a lot different.
I’m not careless. I’m not neglecting all of the things that shouldn’t be neglected; but I know so much more about myself from really letting go than I could have ever imagined.
I had no idea that something physical would teach you so much about yourself emotionally, mentally, internally.
Eyes wide open, frantically trying to close the force pulling you, a moan telling you that you’re beautiful does something to you.
Something so much more powerful than hearing it any other time.
Some experiences as a single woman bring you to a halt.
A freaking dead stop right in your tracks and makes you think, “Your life is seriously Starting At 34,not 33, what were you doing before this!?”
An unselfish lover; that is definitely one of those experiences.
One that every single woman absolutely must have.
Over and over again.