Leaving, But Not For Good

Sometimes you have to knock down everything you’ve created and start from scratch

Fourth night in a row sleeping in separate rooms. Longest we’ve done that. Tonight is the hardest. Nora cried because “everything is changing.”

I start a new job tomorrow and am going to look at a room for rent in an all-women’s eco-village.

I packed up our truck with the only thing I could lift on my own while Brad was at work today – my dresser and half my clothes. My bed was too heavy. I wasn’t sure where I was going yet, but I wanted to let the Universe know I was going somewhere.

I was afraid to post about it on Facebook again for fear that people would think I was insane with my back and forth. What if it was just my PMS making me hate men again? What if when it passed I changed my mind and wanted to stay?

A number of people have expressed annoyance with my flip-flopping. They don’t seem to care which option I choose – leave or stay – they just want me to commit to one, as if it’s triggering their own fears of abandonment that I keep making empty threats.

I have good news and bad news for those people. I am committing to leaving. I will move out of this house if it kills me. But I am not committing to cutting Brad out of my life for good (or his annoying sidekick Ben for that matter).

I am simply committing to my own happiness. I am not happy in a monogamous relationship with Brad. He is not happy in an open relationship with me. It’s that simple. Given our current desires, we cannot be happy living under the same roof.

The last time I came this close to leaving was Feb. 3. But on Feb. 5, we tried an alternative therapy that created more intimacy between us than we’d ever experienced in our near 7 years together. I convinced myself it meant that he was my twin flame, and all we needed was that moment to tear down the walls between us.

I called that night our cosmic wedding. Two days later we left for what felt like a 7-day honeymoon in California. I had never been so in love with him. I felt like everything I’d been waiting him to become (emotionally vulnerable, sexually attracted to me, affectionate, empathetic, understanding) was finally happening. I was on Cloud 9. After our first night alone together since our daughter was born, in Palm Springs that week, I proposed monogamy to him, as if I were proposing marriage.

“I’ve never been so happy with you or felt so close to you,” I told him. “I don’t want to ruin it.”

I thought maybe if I committed to being monogamous until he felt comfortable opening back up, it would deepen our newfound connection. I told him I honestly didn’t mind if he wanted to have sex with other women, but that I would remain monogamous until he felt safe enough to “share” me.

I broke that commitment almost as soon as we returned to Asheville. Making Ben off limits made him irresistible.

Everyone hated me for that, but there’s a piece of the story I left out. Brad had sex with a new woman the day before. He told me he was craving novelty, which I’ve always reassured him is completely natural and encouraged in hopes he would someday understand I have the same needs. And just after that casual sex encounter we had an unexpected foursome with friends.

So, even though I knew I was breaking my commitment, I was hoping he’d be sympathetic.

In March, he had sex with the same woman again, and I was careful not to break my commitment again.

Then, on March 29, he said he’d like to reconnect with the only woman he’s been on more than two dates with  (5 or 6 to be exact) in the last 2.5 years since we opened up – Carrie. He said part of him wanted to and part of him didn’t, because if he did, he felt like he’d have to give me his blessing to be with other men.

That was fine. He was being honest. Feelings are never wrong.

But what sent me over the edge was that he so badly didn’t want me to be with other men that he deprived himself of his desire… and then… went on to demonstrate that he didn’t desire me sexually either. Let me repeat – He didn’t want me, he just didn’t want anyone else to have me either.

As a sex-loving Scorpio with PMS, that was just more than I could handle. You are basically repulsed by the idea of having sex with me right now, but you are so afraid of losing me you don’t want anyone else to have sex with me either?! The more I thought about it, the more livid and resentful I became, and I’ve barely spoken to him in the four days since.

Today, after some sun-gazing and meditation, I got clarification that I really needed to go this time. People keep asking if I’m OK, as if he did something awful to push me over the edge. He didn’t. He’s a good and honest man – better than the vast majority out there.

I just finally have the courage to stop being codependent. It’s become resoundingly clear that we are no longer meant to be lovers…. family, always… but lovers, not for now.

I’ve had an ever-increasing need to further my sexual/spiritual journey, and I believe that will involve connecting with many people.

If I stay, I could wait years, or my whole life, and only to find Brad still isn’t ready. If I go, not only will I get to discover all the unexplored parts of myself, he might also find sexual and romantic fulfillment, which he might not ever seek out if I’m sitting at home acting like his wife.

I will always love him – as I still love each of my old loves, but even stronger, as he is the father of my child. I’ll love him until the day I die and beyond. But for now, I know we need space between us in order for us each to grow to our full potential in this lifetime. I love you so much Brad. I’ll never stop. <3 <3 <3

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