Love... respect... kindness... partnership... and passion.
But 4 out of 5 ain't bad, right?
Now that Lee is getting better, we have the first four again. Lee is now a good co-parent, a good financial partner, a good roommate, a good best friend. He respects me again, thinks about my needs again (most of the time), listens again. He is a man I want to build my life with, build a family with. (Of course, it's way too soon to tell, and this could all just be honeymoon phase, but proper medication CAN be and seems to be a life changer).
But he isn't my lover. And I'm not sure he ever can be. Because at the very core of who he is, passion is not something he feels. Or rather, it is something he feels, but he feels it in such a way that it is invisible to me. His version of passion and my version of passion are incompatible.
We had a discussion about it last night. And I said, and he agreed, that my version of passion feels to him like trying to take a drink from a fire hose. And his version of passion feels to me like being parched in the desert and offered a drink of water from an eyedropper.
He is not wrong for being the way he is. I am not wrong for being the way I am. But at our cores, I'm not sure we can make each other happy.
He's made his choice. His love for me is such that he'd rather deal with feeling drowned under the onslaught of my passionate desires than live without me. But that's easy for him to say, because passion is such a compartmentalized part of his life. He can have 4 out of 5... which for him looks like 5 out of 5 because his capacity for the reception of passion is overflowing. But he could have 4 out of 5 no problem because to him passion is a separate component.
For me, it is an integral part of my life. And I don't want to be with someone who feels like they are drowning under the weight of my passions, which are part of the core of who I am. I want to be with someone who accepts them, appreciates them for the gift that they are. And I don't want to constantly feel like I'm starving, parched, dying for a little bit of the fire hose I'm directing at him to be returned to me. I'm not sure I can be happy with 4 out of 5... I'm not sure I can HAVE 4 out of 5 without the lack of the fifth poisoning the first 4.
And right now, my fire hose isn't really directed at him anyway. The passion I felt for him, specifically, is a dying ember. My body doesn't really respond to his touch anymore. I no longer look at him and feel butterflies, feel my heart skip a beat, feel my breath catch in my chest. His touch no longer inflames my skin, his kisses no longer make me weak in the knees. My passion, directed at him, was flung back in my face, rejected so viscerally, so many times that it is going... going... gone? I hope not totally gone.
And the thing with Bobby didn't help, of course. Because with Bobby I felt passion in a way I've NEVER felt with Lee, probably because with Bobby it was mutual, it was returned in a way Lee has never returned it. And I don't really know how much of that was real and how much of it was fake and how much of it was circumstantial but I still know exactly what I'm missing... the physical feelings and the passion that I'm missing, that I want to experience again and if I stay with Lee probably never will.
But 1 out of 5 is no good either.
I'm not asking for the moon here. I know that in a relationship with longevity the passion will and does fade. I'm not asking for butterflies and rocketships and fireworks every single night. Just sometimes. But when even on my honeymoon (and keep in mind we had NEVER had sex before, so it was brand new to both of us at the time) I'm being rejected and told not to ask for sex so much, not to think about sex so much, not to talk about sex so much... I have never had a passionate lover the way I so desperately crave and want.
For the first six years of our marriage, we kept trying to convince the other that THEIR way of being was wrong. He is not wrong to be the way he is. I am not wrong to be the way I am. But what if we really, truly are incompatible? What if he can never satisfy me, what if I will always overwhelm him, what if the reason he can't satisfy me is because I can't stand having the gift of my sexuality thrown back in my face all the time BECAUSE it overwhelms him?
Because here's the situation in a nutshell. Last night, after a tearful conversation about all of this, I felt it sweep over me again. The passionate desire for the man in bed with me. The best thing that could have happened in that moment (even if I hadn't been personally feeling the desire, but especially since I was) would have been for him to reach for me for a passionate kiss (and maybe more, but he worked a 12 hour shift yesterday and I'm not an unfeeling monster). The second best thing would have been for me to be able to go with it... to go with the feeling... to attack him and to kiss him and grab him fiercely, pull him as tightly to myself as possible and let the passion sweep over both of us. But I didn't, because I knew I would be rejected, pushed away, as I have been so many times in the past that I don't even try anymore.
Instead I started crying harder. And in bewilderment Lee asked what was wrong. And I told him exactly what I said here. And he STILL did not reach for me to give me the reassurance of a kiss, nor even give me any sort of hint that my advances would be favorably received if I were to reach for him. And we both went to sleep, and we both slept badly.
I want a partner. I want a best friend. I want a LOVER. All three in one.
Mostly, I want LEE... so badly do I still want him that the thought of life without him is bleak and unbearable. I want LEE to be my partner, my best friend, and my lover.
2 out of 3 ain't bad, right?