I have been deeply in love twice before, so deeply that I felt like the other person completed me. And both times I was badly abused. (The non-abusive ex-love was someone I decided was what I wanted at the time and decided to make him love me; I loved him, but not like that.) Now that I’m older I don’t want that. My sweetheart is not the Earth and I her moon, which is how I’ve felt twice before. I’d rather be half of a binary star than just a mere satellite.
(She is a Thelemite, and Crowley wrote that “Every man and woman is a star.” My metaphor extends into the spiritual as well as the emotional.)
When I lose myself in love, I accept all kinds of terrible treatment and allow myself to be manipulated. I knew my ex-wife was abusive when I married her, but I loved her so much I was willing to overlook it. It horrifies me to remember how I glibly wrote it off as the price of love. I refuse to pay that price again. I love my sweetheart, and she’s the most important person in my life outside of a few blood relatives. I trust her far more than I’ve trusted past loves. Yet I feel I keep a fraction of a distance between us, compared to past loves. Just enough to not lose my identity to her. I’m used to giving up my identity for love. I don’t ever want to do that again. Nor would she let me, which is one of the reasons I appreciate her so. It’s strange to know that if she took advantage of me, I would probably stay anyway, but I trust that she won’t.
She is one of the most kind, loving, generous, trustworthy people I have ever met, and she makes me very happy. She is everything I need in a significant other: someone who knows me even better than I know myself, who knows what I need and can give it to me. The thing is, I’m not that for her. Which I’m okay with, usually. I’ve known ever since we got together that I can’t be everything she needs. Sometimes I feel a little inadequate, but mostly I wish she could find someone who fulfills that role and is comfortable with polyamory. Even better if the person and I could be friends, so we could all enjoy hanging out together. It would make me happy to know that even when we’re apart she has someone to give her things she needs.
Her happiness is important to me, and I feel no sense of ownership towards her. I’ve been in poly relationships before, and been happy to see my loves happy with others as long as I’m not neglected. (I still remember being 18 years old and left alone in a new city on Thanksgiving Day so he could be with his girlfriend and her family. If I had been with my family I wouldn’t have minded a bit, but I spent the afternoon alone at a Denny’s with my feelings hurt. That’s neglect. She wouldn’t do that.) When my ex-wife’s lover lived with us, I was happy to have her there until things went south between them. Sharing comes easily for me.
I’m totally rambling. But I’m waiting for my iPhone to finish restoring all my data, so I have nothing to do but think. (If I put my computer down and pick up a book, I won’t notice iTunes prompts.)
One of the ways I show love to people — friends, family, lovers — is to do nice things for them. I love giving presents. My first paycheck at my first after-school job as a teenager went to buy my mother a handmade wooden corner bookshelf she was admiring at a craft fair. No occasion. Just because she liked it. (And she still owns it, too. It’s in our living room.) My sweetheart’s birthday is coming up in a few weeks. I’ve always been very good at giving presents. Example: One ex lived in New York for a number of years in his youth. He desperately missed NYC bagels. So for his birthday I paid a friend who lived there to buy a dozen bagels and overnight them to me. My boyfriend was astonished and delighted. (I ate one. Not bad.) I’m hoping my sweetheart likes the gift I’ve chosen for her. All I can tell you is that it’s not bagels. I’ll post after her birthday and tell you if I chose correctly. Waiting the three weeks to give it to her is going to kill me, though. Such exquisite torment…. Speaking of which, I need to finish my sister’s birthday present. Hers is coming up too.
And my phone is finished! I’m going to go sell my wedding dress at a consignment store. We’ll see what I can get for it…