How many times have we asked our lover, partner, SO, or ourselves those very questions and more or less thought that we already knew the answer. I just finished an excellent blog by Richard Rothstein, over at AOL’s LGBT Community Blog called QueerSighted. He also has a “picture” blog over at Manhattan Details.
I have to admit that this well written article hit me like a ton of bricks and made me realize how one-sided my current relationship has been all these years. I won’t go into too many details of what he wrote because I think it’s a great read for everyone. Basically he describes how the “love” in many of his relationships over the years has been one-sided on his part. He realized that in many of his past relationships he has had given more love than he received and sometimes loved for the wrong reasons.
Richard talked about his last long term relationship and how although he loved him no matter how hard he tried, that loved was never returned completely and fully. Although it was a relationship that lasted 8 years, as it turned out there were things that were hidden all those years that to this day still has left him “gun-shy” of ever committing to another person again. His lover not only cheated on him (w/both sexes), Richard never even knew his real name until the relationship was almost at it’s end.
Although I don’t share those major points with Richard in my relationship there were many smaller points that he brought up that hit way to close to home for me. Things such as always being reminded that although he “loves” me, this relationship will never be lived to it’s fullest since he will never admit to anyone (even to himself) that he is gay.
Over the years, some of my most cherished memories have been those times when we were able to be alone, whether it be for a day, a night or a weekend. Yes many “lies” were told so that we could get “our time” together, but in my mind at least, we at least got to be together. They were the few times where he could let down his hair and sex was (IMHO), secondary to our being alone. To me we were making love or so I thought. Now that I think about although the sex was mind blowing, we didn’t share what most other “couples” share when they are alone. We never talked about our future as we both knew there wasn’t one for us. We never cuddled in bed together and fell asleep together, as he was so worried about appearances that he insisted we fall asleep in separate beds. When we go out for dinner, even if it is nowhere near to where we live, it’s almost as if we are two business men on a business trip. Basically our relationship lacked the intimacy that most other couples share OUTSIDE of the bedroom.
I could go on and on with other examples, but I think you see where I am heading with all this. I was in effect the “other woman” all these years and although I gave my heart and soul to this relationship, in many ways it was one sided. Many women (and some men) who have been and still are in similar relationships, can understand where I am and why I fell so completely for him.
You live in a fantasy world where you dream about what life could be like rather than what it is. You live in a world full of false hopes, promises and dreams and you become an expert at denial. You learn to believe and hang onto words and phrases such as “soul mate” and “love of my life”. And those are the things that you hang onto in the darkness of the night as yet again, you are alone with your thoughts and demons.
Yes, I could say that he used me all these years, but I allowed him to. I was the one who looked for something that never could be. I was the one that entered into this relationship knowing it’s limits and yet still dreamed about what could be. I was the one who chose to wear blinders and I was the one who clung to the smallest of shreds of a love everlasting.
Does he or should he take any blame in all of this? Yes, he knew my vulnerabilities and weaknesses and he played on them during those time when I would share my innermost thoughts and fears. He allowed me to view a movie in my mind that would never be produced. At the same time, he allowed me (as I him) to become a part of his family to the point where we were “uncles” to each other’s children. He took all the gifts I showered on him all those years knowing full well that the meaning behind them for me at least was an expression of my love, and again I allowed this. I gave and gave and expected little in return other than he be there for me and sometimes he was and other times he wasn’t and I still clung on to him always believing that this was the best I could expect out of life. How wrong I was…
Yes, there are times when I could kick myself for allowing him to use me, but at the same time I used him. And when all is said and done, was it really love to begin with or just someone to to hang onto for the illusions that I created in my mind? I do have to admit though sex can lead us down paths that should never have been trespassed upon but in the end no matter what path we choose, they are lead to lessons in life that must be lived and learned.
Hopefully, someday “Mr. Right” will come along and hopefully I won’t allow myself to be blindside if not, well that’s something I will have to accept.