The relationship my MM and I have is NOT typical. Most relationships like ours is limited to maybe one day a week, sometimes less. I have the advantage of seeing my man almost every day. It wasn’t always like that, though.
In the beginning, I would see him once a week when he came to work in the garage he rented. This was before we actually had a relationship. It was at a time when we were getting reacquainted as friends. Even when our relationship turned into a romantic one, we still only saw each other once, or maybe twice a week. Back then, we didn’t go out. Our world consisted of my little patch of property. We got take-out and watched movies.
I always knew his family, but didn’t spend time with them. Our contact was usually just a wave in passing. I never saw him visiting them, with or without his wife and daughter, so one day, I asked him why. His wife refused to to see them, even though, at the time, they lived only 2 miles away. She never liked his family…and there was a bit of an issue when his mom passed away, so she used that as an “I told you so” kind of thing. He stopped talking to that side of the family. I convinced him that they really weren’t bad people and it was time he got to know his aunts and cousins again. That’s when our world expanded to include his aunt’s house.
I knew that he was unhappy with the school system where he lived, and that he was looking to buy a house, with a yard for his daughter, in a town where there were no gang problems, and the schools were highly rated. I told myself that if he bought his wife a house, I would end our relationship. I couldn’t grasp the idea that he was buying the house for his daughter, so she could have a yard to play in. Obviously, his wife was moving in too, and that bothered me. I couldn’t understand why he would want to further tie himself to a woman he claimed to no longer love. When he finally did find a house, I told him that I was done. I made sure I wasn’t home on weekends so there was no chance of running into him. I wouldn’t answer my phone when he called. This lasted about a month.
One day, I came home from work and he was here waiting for me. We had a long talk about how I was feeling and how he was feeling and we both realized that without meaning to, we fell in love with each other. This was about 2 years into our relationship. Our world was still only this tiny area. We didn’t even talk on the phone at this time.
A few years after he and his family moved into the house, we were talking about how it sucked that if we were having a good conversation, we had to end it when he had to leave to go home. He told me that if he could, he’d call me all the time. I decided to test that, so I got him a phone on my cell family plan. I really never thought he’d call as much as he does. That’s when our morning and evening commute calls started. He would also call me when I went on vacation. Every time he had a break at work, he’d call to find out what state I was in (I drive to Florida twice a year…alone).
On one of my vacations, I was in the pool with a couple other condo owners and we were talking about restaurants. One of the guys was there alone because he had to come down on business and his wife and son couldn’t make it because of school. He asked if I had ever gone to one particular restaurant, which was his favorite. I hadn’t been there, so he asked if I would go with him the next night. He was having a craving for their duck l’orange and he was leaving in two days. When my guy called later that day, I told him about the next night’s dinner plans.
Dinner was great and the guy I went with had no expectations of any “after dinner activities” (which was good because I know his wife and son). The following morning, my guy called and asked about dinner. I told him about the place and what we had and then we moved on to discuss other things.
I got back from Florida a couple days before my birthday. On my birthday, my guy came over with a present and told me to get dressed because we were going out. He took me to my favorite steakhouse! We had been together for almost 5 years, and we were laughing that this was our first “official” date. The present was a really pretty necklace with two hearts, one inside the other, and a diamond. As we were in the middle of dinner, he leaned over and touched the hearts and said something about how the larger heart was his heart protecting my heart…sappy, but sweet…and when he finished his little speech, I looked at him very seriously and said, “That’s sweet and all, but, I still don’t f**k on a first date.” I should have waited until he swallowed that sip of Coke…..
After that first date, we decided that we needed a date night every week. Once a week turned into dinner almost every night. On date night, we go to a nice place where we have to wear grown up clothes, while on the other nights, we’ll just go out for hot dogs, hamburgers or wings. We have our regular places and the servers all know us as a couple. We go to the local Dunkin Donuts so much that they know what we want without us having to say anything.
In those first years, there were the discussions about why he can’t be with me if he’s so unhappy with his marriage. I would tell him it was over, he would convince me that we belong together. The worst part of it was his vacation time. His daughter deserved a fun vacation even though her parents didn’t get along, so every year, they all go on a family trip. I’m still not happy with that, but, it is what it is. Even when he’s away, he brings “our” phone and calls me whenever he can.
I don’t even remember when it happened, but there was a time when I realized that I actually liked our arrangement. I got my bed to myself. I could come and go as I please. If I wanted to go shopping, I didn’t have to OK it with anyone. I don’t have to either lie awake tossing and turning or leave my bed to go to another room to read when I can’t sleep. I don’t have to clean up after anyone else (even though HE does most of my housework). I can cook when I want to, not because I HAVE to.
The one thing that I regret to this day is that I don’t know his daughter. Whenever she has some extracurricular activity that he goes to, I wish I was able to go. We’ve had talks about what will happen when she finally does find out about me. Personally, I think she’ll resent me. He thinks differently. I worry about how she’ll react when she finds out that her childhood has basically been a lie. I worry that she’ll grow up thinking that it’s “normal” for a married couple to not share a room, or show any affection to each other. I went through that when I was a kid and it wasn’t easy to get over it. It took me a long time to be able to openly show affection for someone. Some therapist is going to make a LOT of money! It’s sad, but I can’t tell him what to do when it comes to raising his child. I also feel bad that she has cousins she doesn’t even know, but that’s also not up to me.
All in all, we’re happy. He does realize that I may not be around forever. Who knows what the future holds? I could decide that I don’t want to be left out of the little things anymore. I also realize that if his wife decided that she’s had enough of him not being home that he could end it with me rather than chance losing his daughter. It’s been a long journey getting to acceptance, but I’m there now. I’m not “settling”…I just decided to stop stressing over what I can’t (and don’t really want to) change.