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April 9, 2005

Onward and Upward

Our goal was to come together to meet, to see if we might possibly be good friends -- leaving other stuff open; I was just glad to be meeting someone that I already had some much in common. Both being an (I)ntrovert on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator; we both wanted friends. However, online and over the phone we had flirted.

I arrived a little early. And was waiting, a little nervous, after all, whatever the reason -- this was a date. We did not play pool and both had sodas :-) really, I swear. We ended up talking for a couple of hours. For some reason, I had one hell of a time looking her in the eyes. I suppose it could have been anxiousness, the implications of meeting someone, and yes, maybe some guilt. But the feeling for me was like she was looking into my soul. You might say that I was a little self conscious. She kept kind of not letting me off the hook about it. She was good about that. As we left, we talked about meeting again. I shook her hand, and we decided we would. At that point, I began to realize that I was going know her for a long time as a friend. A little over four months from my wife filing for divorce, I was in a relationship to stay.

Next we met at a place for lunch that has tri-tip sandwiches; we had a good time talking. I was getting better at looking at her in the eye. As we finished, we decided to go over to the pool hall and actually played pool this time. For good or for bad, it brought out a competive streak which I had to temper. But it was clear that we liked to do things, and to not hold back (too much).

One of things I began to realize, was that I was different man at 40 than I was in my twenties. It is hard to explain. I realized that I must have friends. This not negotiable. I had some significant breakdowns (will not go into it here at the moment). My wife, showed concern then quickly dropped it (the concern). It was at this point, through a friend (happened to be gay) and my therapist that anyone that would be telling me who my friends could be was not in my best interest. No guys, they might be gay, no women you might be having an affair (I was working at a job where I worked in close quarters with a number of women -- none of which I was involved with.) For that matter, my wife never even visited me at work.

A slight diversion, but might be enlightening, is that friends, counselors (marriage and otherwise) felt we might have switched the "classing" male and female roles. I was the relationship person that needed intimacy with friends and family and particularly a significant other. She was one that worried about details, controlled around money, and did not show much emotion.

It was interesting that one week after she filed it was her 40th birthday. She gets her ears pierced, wearing tighter clothes and jewelry. To be fair, both of us had lost 10-15 pounds due to stress. Clearly she was striking out in a direction, and whether she knew it or not she did not seem to be taking me with her. Like it her or not, she did look good. But it was definitely done for my benefit. 40 can do that to you.

I hate to say it, but the different cloths had been unraveling for a bit. Sitting here, I feel kind of torn, here is a person I was with for half my life, that I loved, and still love in many ways. But for which I know, I cannot be with anymore. and I have moved on from some time ago. When I emotionally let go, that was it. I mourn, but I do not regret.

My new friend invited me to her house for dinner. I told my wife I was going out to dinner with a friend. Which was strictly true, but I was not happy about this white lie. A few months before, I had come to grips with the fact that my father was often not truthful (lying) in order to avoid conflict. I started realizing that I had been doing this. Oh, I could rationalize this away, but I was not telling the truth or at least not the whole truth. So not telling my wife was hurting, I also needed to work on this new friendship.


Posted by mlwhall at April 9, 2005 9:32 AM

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