I had this good talk yesterday with an old friend. Talking to her, I remembered again how things were, even 6 months ago, but also how some things had been for a long long time. It’s funny the things you get used to and the things you’ll overlook or gloss over. She was talking about how she’d been in a situation with a lover and she’d loved the good so much that she kept glossing over the bad, trying to forgive it, or see it as her being too critical or how she needed to be more understanding or more patient. “He’s just going through so much”, “he’s tired”, “this is hard for him”. It’s how both of us had been in a relationship that wasn’t right with somebody who had a ton of wonderful qualities, and a few really bad ones that made being with him toxic.
Things came to a head with Hubby, and he asked for a divorce, probably days or weeks before I could ask for one, about 6 months ago. So I’m just slightly further on this particular path maybe than she is. She’s still where I was very shortly ago.. wondering if her life is really going to be okay. And I found it hard to explain, but I really think it finally will be.
Letting go, even of something that isn’t right, is so fucking hard sometimes. Sometimes we get so used to bad things that they’re comfortable. I spent my 20’s undoing a lot of my tendency for that, but I have to admit there was obviously still a little bit of that there in me to have taken so long to get out of things with my husband and then so long to get over them (still working on that) and so long to see that I was better off without him. This last bit is new.
That hard work in my 20’s helped in one really nice way though. No, it has actually helped in many. I won’t stay in a bad situation. I know I did a while with my husband, but then again it took over a decade to get bad. That’s a lot of credit to burn off. Kinky boy, the guy I dated a few months, I walked away from when he lied about sexual safety things. Great Date was hard to let go of, but I wouldn’t stay with a person with an untreated drinking problem. That work in my 20’s allowed me then and now to make decisions about what is right for me and to do things that are healthy, even if they are hard. And I have to admit that this conversation with my friend made me grateful. I feel like I’ve been living in gratitude lately, and I like it. Don’t get me wrong here either.. I know it’s partially the benefit of work and growth to be in a place to be ready for this goodness, but I’m also very very very lucky.
But here I am in a very nice place and I’m not waiting for the other shoe to drop. My friend described that feeling and I totally understood and related to it, but not now. I marvel at my fortune and I know most things don’t last forever, and that is more the lesson I’ve been learning lately. I found myself constantly surprised when things went well. I made disclosures to my lovers and they didn’t freak out or punish me or have their feelings come out sideways. They were encouraging and loving and supportive, and when they had feelings they talked about them, like a human. They just talked to me about how they felt. They can ask me for love or reassurance or time or whatever.
In my marriage, I have to admit that I often had to deal with dishonesty. I don’t know most of the time why he did it. It was so infuriating and incomprehensible. He’d lie when the truth was easier. Leave it to him to find a way to cheat in a polyamorous relationship. And with the clarity of time and distance I have to admit that he was always that way. And I put up with it time and again. Sure, I’d balk or be upset or cry or fight at times, but generally I let it go pretty quickly. There was so much good that I swallowed the bad over and over and over again, thinking.. it’s close enough, and just wanting peace and to be loved. Looking back, the end came when I’d realized again, after some growth, that I don’t need to put up with being lied to, or verbally abused, or mistreated.
I told my friend about my how amazed and enthralled I’ve been with simple goodness. When I go on dates with Cleveland and he is so consistently loving to me, I’m kinda surprised. It’s been 6 months and he’s been a human.. had bad days at work or whatever.. but always been consistently loving to me. I know that he can be a grumpy puss and he’s got the flaws all of us humans have. We sniped at each other in a swing club once, and I’ve heard him being a tiny bit jerky in other situations, when overtired or worn down, like all humans, but the thing is even with that he was consistently decent.
With Traveler I am touched by his simple kind and loving gestures. He offered to skate with me to help motivate me and spend time with me while I work on skating better for roller derby. As far as I can tell too, he’s never lied to me. We’ve been together a little under a year and a half now and I can’t remember him ever lying to me. This shouldn’t be ridiculously surprising.. I mean.. I never lied to him either. But it amazes me that my partner isn’t dishonest with me. He too has had his shortnesses and his grumps. He’s been tired or overworked or annoyed with me at times. I got a pretty good talking to once, and I’ve called him on things a couple of times, and honestly I HATE calling him on anything. He’s a real human too, with flaws, but again so utterly decent.
I know I shouldn’t be so amazed, but my brain boggles at my good fortune. I think about the people in my life.. my friends and lovers, and I just tear up. The family I’ve made is so good to me and I love them so much. I’m not waiting for the other shoe to drop and I’m learning not to be afraid that I will lose this amazing thing. I might, but I’m learning again to just kinda keep my feet and let the joy wash through me. I don’t want to miss a bit of this by being in tomorrow. I’ve worked really hard to be here, and I’m lucky on top of that.
I went out last night with Cleveland his wife, and my good friends, and it was just a nice evening. Good food and good people and a few laughs and peace. I remember this moment, holding Cleveland’s hand and looking across the table at Cleveland’s wife. She was animated and talking to my friends and they were smiling and listening, having fun, and I thought about how nice it was to have my life filling with good people, and maybe I shouldn’t be, but I’m amazed.