Earlier today I got a text from Mr. Waffle: "I love you tons. I'm sorry for this winter. It was horrible. I wish I was a stronger, better person for you." I immediately texted back, asking if he was okay and wanted to come take my break with me. He said he had a huge breakdown this winter, and just wanted to be over it.
We sat in the car and talked, and he started to cry. I asked if he'd been thinking about my friend again, and he said he didn't want to talk about it, because I'd be mad and him and he doesn't want me to break up with him. I took his hand and asked if he wants to be with me. He said yes. He assured me he hasn't been in communication with her, which I know. I asked if it's sexual, or that he's craving a connection. He said it was connection. Since getting sober, he's had to cut a lot of people out of his life, especially friends, and being married certainly hasn't expanded our social circles. He still has AA, but he can't find someone to hang out with who doesn't just talk about when they drank, or when they found Jesus. He's lonely. I get it.
He said he just wants to be over the feeling, and I told him as long as he's not acting on it, it's totally fine and normal to have a crush. I offered to tell him about crushes I have and have had. His eyes opened wide at the revelation, and I told him about a Facebook friend I used to work with. I had a crush on him then, and it still lingers. I'd kissed him when we were working together, but it was during a drunk bacchanal, and it wouldn't have been a good time for us to get together, despite the fact that many of our coworkers predicted that we would.
We kissed and we hugged, and I told him that if he still wanted to be with me, that I'm not done with him yet and I still want to be together. My break was over, so I walked into the office. And there she is. Mr. Waffle's crush, my friend and coworker. She's cute, and bubbly, and talented, and effusive, and warm, and everything a person could possibly want in a mate. I get Mr. Waffle's feelings—the gal has an undeniable draw. Once you realize her enthusiasm is real and not layered sarcasm, you get sucked in. Hell, sometimes I want to make out with her. In fact, she knows about Mr. Waffle's crush, and told me she'd be more likely to invite me into her bed than him.
Which adds a whole new layer to the cake, because she and I have certain things in common, and she and Mr. Waffle have certain things in common, but Mr. Waffle and I have very different things in common. I have a feeling a lot of her appeal is around the arts, which is something I've never really been involved in. Mr. Waffle loves music, all kinds. He's expressed interest in going to see an orchestra—I said I don't enjoy classical music. He wants to go to art museums—I don't find modern art all that interesting.
I know the onus isn't entirely on me, and that I'm not necessarily driving Mr. Waffle away, but I feel like I need to start bending a little more, and at least try to be interested in some of the things he's interested in. I've gone to auto shows with him (Detroit, in the winter), I've gone to arboretums and gardens galore. I really want to find something that we both can enjoy, and I hope he can start enjoying some of my interests, too.
I'm not mad at him, or my friend. I'm not mad at myself, really. However, I feel like it's time to move again, and start over somewhere new. As much as I don't want to leave my friends and loved ones behind, I feel like we need a new start again.