Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Another Long Absence

There are times in your life where things take a turn and you just don't know quite what to say.

I am there now.

It seems that, after being together for 13 years, The Wife and I are on a collision course with divorce.

And yes, we have to get a divorce because we are legally married.  We are one of the 18,000 couples that married in California during the short time that same-sex marriage was legal.

At the moment, I live on a unique island.  Once I step off, I won't be allowed back on, even if I wanted to re-marry the person I am with today.

At this point, I don't know what's going to happen.  Things came to a head last month, when The Wife told me she wanted a divorce.  Coincidentally, the day happened to mark the exact anniversary of the date we temporarily separated 12 years earlier.  We managed to get back together then.  I'm not sure it will happen now.

In fairness, I should say that The Wife's desire for a divorce is not a total surprise.  We have been having problems for a while, and we've come to the point where we both recognize that we have reached an epistemological abyss.  We have some differences that seem irreconcilable.  She wants certain things in her life that I do not, and vice versa.  On some of these issues, there isn't a compromise position or a halfway point where we can meet in the middle.

I see a divorce as inevitable at this point.  It's not what I want, and The Wife has said it's not what she wants, either.  Unfortunately, the irreconcilable differences remain, and they aren't of a nature that we can simply agree to disagree.

The Wife is now looking for a job.  She's agreed to postpone making her final decision until the end of this year.  I wish she would wait for a full year.  By then, The Kid will be 18, and we won't have to deal with the headache of visitation, support payments, etc.

Sure, getting it over with now would probably hurt less, but it would create a whole lot of disruption for The Kid.  She has been a profoundly troubled child, so I know that a divorce will only make things worse.  Sadly, her troubles have included suicidal thoughts, violent rages, and physical assaults against both The Wife and myself.  As much as it pains me to say it, we are looking forward to the relief that will come when she becomes a legal adult and we are no longer responsible for her.

There's only a year left...

But that doesn't really matter.  That's the unfortunate part to no-fault divorce.  If one party wants it, the remaining spouse can do little to stop the process.  I see the wisdom in the law, as it isn't right to trap people in marriages they don't want, but it seems sad that a union created by both parties can be ended by one.

So now I'm faced with all the worries that face most divorcing couples, though our situation is slightly different.  Most couples fight bitterly over what they want to keep.  Our disagreements are over what we don't.  We own a home together, with an accompanying mortgage, and the real estate slump has left us in a position where we owe more than it is worth.  The house is old and run-down, in a neighborhood with increasing crime, so neither of us want to stay.

Although the possible end of a relationship and all the accompanying financial difficulties are on my mind, the issue that looms even larger is this question:

Will I find myself alone for the remainder of my life?

My relationship status is complicated by the fact I've never really identified as lesbian.  I've considered myself queer, because I've been in a unique relationship with The Wife that I'm not sure I would want to repeat.  Although I'd be content to remain where I am if there were a way to resolve our differences, I don't see myself as being interested in dating women in the future.

I think most people are probably bisexual given the right man or the right woman.  Certainly it was the case with me, as I've been living with a woman for the past 13 years.

I know, call me a traitor to the lesbian community, but there it is.

So, here I am, almost 47 years old, morbidly obese, and interested in men.  I fear I am going to end up like Plankton, the UK woman who would very much like to have a man in her life but has been so far unable to do so.  She, at least, has the advantage of being HWP (height-weight proportionate) which I clearly do not.

My mother and father divorced more than 20 years ago when she was in her 50's.  She has never found a partner, though she has claimed she didn't want another.  I can't imagine spending the the last decades of my life alone and lonely, which is what I know I am facing.  The odds aren't good for single women pushing 50, and I'm sure they are even lower for ones who aren't pretty.

And the sad thing is, even if I were thin, it wouldn't fix anything.  In objective terms, even when I was very young, I was never pretty.  After I graduated from high school, I was rarely asked out, or even looked at by anyone of the opposite sex.  And now, with a history of being a lesbian, guys will want me to do threesomes.  No thanks.  I am so painfully monogamous it hurts.

When I found myself single at age 30, I was dateless and celibate for almost three years.  Finally, I cast myself into the online dating pool.  I managed to go on quite a few dates, but they were all disasters.  Some of the problem, I can fairly blame on my weight.  At the time, my BMI teetered right on the fine line between being overweight and obese, and many men just don't like fat chicks.  On one particularly horrible date, I had a man actually berate me about my size over dinner.

The dates were bad.  One guy spent our date complaining about his terrible life.  Another just turned and walked off, leaving me speechless, in the middle of the date.  Another bluntly told me he wasn't physically attracted to me and didn't want to see me again.  (He did get points for honesty, though it still hurt.) Another met me for dinner at a Mexican food restaurant, but decided he didn't want to eat.  He stared at me like I was a hippo, while I nibbled on the chips.  I was starving, and I didn't feel right ordering dinner when he wasn't eating.

There was only one man who asked me out on a second date.  He was much older than me, but I thought he was charming and sweet, and we shared some common interests.  It was on that fateful second date that he told me he was a sadist looking for a slave.  His idea of a good time, he told me, was to give his woman a sound whipping.  I ended up in tears by the end of the evening.

Now I am open-minded, and I do have friends who participate in various fetish communities, but I'm not into receiving pain.  Needless to say, I passed on his offer.  Interestingly enough, we did remain platonic friends for quite a few years.  For a sadist, he was a heck of a nice guy.

It was at that point I decided to give up.  I figured I was doomed to be forever single.

I ended up meeting The Wife online one evening.  I made an offhand remark in a chat room that I needed a wife, and the next thing I knew we were off sending private messages to each other.  I had to instantly confront what had just come out of my mouth.  Since my relationships with men (I'd been married once and in two other long-term relationships) all seemed to end with failure, it occurred to me that I might try switching teams.  What started as simply a stupid, offhand joke, turned into a relationship of 13 years.

So after my nightmare dating experiences in my 30s, I'm not sure I can expect anything better now that I'm in my 40s.

The idea is terrifying.

Faced the knowledge that I will want to seek out a new relationship, the need to lose weight seems even more urgent.  On the plus side, a recent change to my thyroid medication has finally made it relatively easy to lose weight.  After gaining a bit from my low at the end of 2010, I'm now within two or three pounds of that weight again.  My jeans are loose, and by the end of the day the denim stretches and they are slipping down.

Sadly, I still haven't been able to get into any of my smaller pairs of pants.

The weight is coming off, and I'm not having to try very hard anymore.  No more walking around starving to death in order to lose half a pound in a week.  That's great, and I'm happy about that.

The last change in my thyroid medication has finally repaired my health.  I feel good for the first time in years.  The great part is that an end has been put to the weight gain, hair loss, lethargy and brain fog.  The bad part is that my libido has come back with a vengeance.

I suspect I have been hypothyroid for most of my adult life.  Certainly I've had symptoms, and my sex drive has always been extremely low.  It is only now that I understand why people do absolutely crazy things for sex.  I never understood the phrase, sex is a powerful motivator, until now.

Perhaps it's just karma coming to bite me on the ass.  In the past, when I was with my male partners, I just wasn't all that interested.  I frequently turned them down, which I know contributed to the problems we had in our relationships.  I wonder if I'm now getting to experience how my frustrated ex-boyfriends and ex-husband must have felt.  Sorry.

Is there really a cosmic payback for past bad behavior?  Who knows.  I just find it ironic, during the only time I've ever been really interested in sex, that I don't have an enthusiastic partner.

I should probably say, because I know some nice gent will offer, I'm not looking for a boyfriend until my divorce is final.  I may be a lot of things, but I'm definitely not a cheater.  I figure I've earned plenty of bad karma for the stupid stuff I've done over the years as it is.  I don't need to go out and do something I know is wrong to earn more of it, even though I might be sad and lonely right now.

I really want to be in a relationship where I am loved.  I want a relationship where I can give love.  I want a relationship in which I can enjoy a satisfying and passionate sex life.  I want a relationship where I can live and grow old with someone,  I want a relationship where I can be intimate and vulnerable with another person, and where we know each other so well we can finish each other's sentences.

I am scared to death it will never happen.

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