Alternative title : Relationships are just an endless collection of Sophie's choices between yourself and your partner.
The past week has been tumultuous when it comes to my relationship and though events transpired at three different points in time, the theme was similar all throughout. Ever since therapy boyfriend and I have been working on letting each other in. Sharing our concerns and feelings and becoming closer. There have been bumps in the road but on average things have been getting better and better. There's just one area that seems to fall behind. Affection. Mine, to be specific.
On thursday night I got home tired, hungry and a bit headached. Boyfriend was clearly feeling some heat and after making out I decided that maybe I should go with it. I wasn't particularly into it, but sex has been a hot button issue for us. It's been awkward, bad, unsatisfactory but has been getting better. I haven't felt much attraction to him since the breakup and for the life of me I don't know why. I've written about this in the past. Is it because of the issues we've had? The pain I've felt in this relationship? The insecurity he portrays? Am I just guarding myself or has my libido died? Or is there an even more awful reason?.. I decided that this was not the moment to overthink it but to underthink it, to approach sex differently. I thought if I could approach it as a many faceted thing where being intimate was the goal, I could do that. And maybe we could get our groove back. So lazily we made out, messed around and I gave him a hand job. When he went down on me I told him no, I didn't feel like it. (to much work and pressure and I was hungry anyway) This turned into a long conversation indeed. We spent hours with him asking questions about particulars but more importantly, conveying that he still felt incredibly insecure. I hadn't hidden the fact that my attraction to him had dwindled at the point of our breakup and he knows that I hold back for various reasons, amongst which my attraction to him. He feels insecure about my attraction to him and needs me to show him, tell him and make him notice that I feel attracted to him. Initiating sex. Giving him compliments. However. I felt like I'd been caught in a catch 22 where I didn't want sex and nothing would have made him happy, if I had turned him down he'd have felt heartbroken, the way I did it he also felt heartbroken, there was no way to win except faking total enthusiasm. We closed the conversation on a positive note. It didn't sit well with me but for the past while I've been thinking that I was okay with having a lower libido. If the other stuff was okay then I was okay with not being that attracted to him anymore. I love him and care for him. Maybe it'd be enough. I was probably attracted to no one anyway.
Friday night I went out with coworkers. We had a great night. We danced, we drank, we laughed. Then right before I went home a coworker and I kissed. Objectively it wasn't the best kiss but it was all-consuming and electric. Something I've only dreamt about for.. I don't know how much. In fact for a bit I thought I was dreaming and it wasn't real. As soon as I did I grabbed my stuff and ran out of there without another word. I got home at 4.
The day after boyfriend was mad at me for staying out so late. He feels like he spends all of his time waiting on me. Waiting until a day that I have no headache and a good mood and am not tired (I am often tired and although boyfriend never tries to push it, he does often have more energy than me) and then when I finally do, I spend it with other people. Friends, coworkers. Like I don't want to spend time with him. Which I do. And I often do spend my energy on him. But he only feels like he gets the shell of me.
So boyfriend is feeling underappreciated. This man who tells me, without being corny, without any sign of sarcasm, that he thinks I'm the most important person in the world. That I'm beautifull, always. That I'm smart and passionate. This man is dating an ice queen who can't even show him the affection that he needs.
I feel sick of what I did. Today we saw each other at work like nothing happened. I need to know that he won't tell anyone. But we didn't discuss it. We said good morning like every other morning and I wished him luck with his meeting and nothings changed. And I feel sick. I feel angry. At myself and at him. At knowing that I could have such a passionate kiss with someone but I can't feel anything similar for the man who would do anything for me. And no matter what I do, every choice I make seems like either a choice for him, or against him. To spend time with friends is to not spend time with him. To do what I want, is to not do what he wants. To be reserved is to hurt his feelings. To be honest is to hurt his feelings. For him to be honest is to hurt mine.
I feel sick and guilty and like I could never give my partner what he needs and deserves. And I don't know how to go further from here. Boyfriend is at a conference until thursday night. And I don't know how to decide to flip the switch in my brain that makes me be the partner he needs to be. That I want to be for him. Because at a time when he shared feeling vulnerable and hurt. I did the worst thing I could possibly do..
How could anyone with a heart do that?