Thanks, Dan Savage, for contributing this word (and not just Santorum) to our language.
L is working through her shit. She and her husband are on a road that’s not the same one T and I are on, that doesn’t have the same history, or the same participants.
But she’s not in a place where all that stuff can continue, and she’s not in a place where I want it to (as much as I want it to).
She apologized the other day for “leading me on,” for the volatility that characterizes her and her husband’s thinking about stuff. “Don’t be silly,” I said. “This shit is complicated.”
And it is.
Sometimes I write about fucking other women, about knowing my wife fucks other men, about sometimes our doing all that together, as if it were the most natural thing in the world, as if it were simple, as if it were easy. And sometimes it is. But more often, it’s not. It’s really complicated. The emotions that get stirred up are intense, and often painful. There’s not just jealousy – there’s fear, anger, resentment, envy, sadness, inadequacy, insecurity…. All that and more. So why would anyone do it?
Because, to be honest, for me, all those emotions are omnipresent anyway – they’re not really a feature of the monogamish path. Rather, they’re a feature of life, and the monogamish path just demands that they be acknowledged, that they come to the fore, that we communicate about them.
Just like you, I imagine, I always had insecurities about myself – I have them today, and I had them twenty years ago. The difference is, today, I can talk about them with my wife, I can see her fuck a guy who activates those insecurities – and I can see her come home from fucking him to me, demonstrating conclusively that she loves me, that she isn’t going to leave me for another guy.
I know that L and her husband have a lot to work through, and I don’t presume for a moment that I know how it will end up, how it should end up. Or even that “end up” is the right way to think about it. T and I haven’t “ended up” anywhere – we are where we are. We’ve been other places, and I expect we’re not in our last place. I’m sure they’re not in theirs, either. From what I’ve seen, they’re two smart, creative people who love one another terribly much.
I hope they travel safely on their path, and I miss L.