Friday, January 14, 2005

Am I a bad person?

Back when all this separation stuff first came up, K and I talked and agreed that it was OK to meet new people, go out for coffee, dinner, etc. He went out a few times, but somewhere along the way decided he'd rather not do anything right now, that our status was uncertain enough that he'd feel more comfortable waiting until things were a bit more settled. I can respect that, and it's certainly his choice.

My problem is, he's said that he'd prefer I not date until after we're divorced. (Who knows when that will be?) He's said he can't tell me what to do, but that's his preference. And I feel like every time I go out, even something as simple as dinner, I end up feeling like he's somehow a better person than me because he's not going out at all, like he's taking the moral high ground and I'm just a bad person. Am I? I'm not actively looking to meet new people, but if someone I know (like my former co-worker) asks me out, I'd like to be able to go and not get the guilt trip from K about it. I feel like he's trying to change the rules mid-game - we agreed it was OK to go out early on, and now he's saying, hey, wait, I'm not OK with that after all. Is it wrong of me to think that's just a tad bit unfair? Is it wrong of me to want to go out, to enjoy a little attention and have a good time? (And for what it's worth, if he were to go out with someone this weekend, I'd tell him, go, have a good time, and I'd mean it - guess he and I are just wired differently in that regard.)

K asked me why I couldn't/wouldn't just wait until things were final to date (I think he and I have a different view of what constitutes "dating" - to him, going out to dinner means you're dating, not dating someone exclusively, but dating - to me, you aren't "dating" in the sense that I understand the word unless you're seeing someone pretty exclusively and pretty often, to me an evening out at dinner doesn't equal dating - but there again, maybe it's me who's wrong, I don't know). So I've thought about it. And I've come to the conclusion that I want to go out because I'm (and this sounds pathetic, but it's true) starved for affection. Even before the separation issue came up, K was devoting so much of his time and affection and attention to JG that I didn't feel like there was any left for me. I felt like furniture, something he noticed if I could be useful to him but something to step around the rest of the time. I told him that, told him he took me for granted - he agreed, but nothing changed. He kept on asking how high when JG said jump, and that did a lot of damage. In many ways, it would have been less painful if he'd just slept with her. But he got emotionally involved, to the exclusion of me, and that's what did the harm. Anyway, I felt like I was getting no attention from him for such a long time, I felt like I never got kisses or hugs (and I got to the point where I wasn't going to ask for them anymore, seems like if you love someone you should at least occasionally make a spontaneous gesture of physical affection), felt like he didn't demonstrate any affection physically unless he wanted sex (and I may not have been the most enthusiastic partner, or the most talented, but I never said no and I don't think I ever made him feel like a burden or an inconvenience about it). So my life has been devoid of affection from just about anyone other than my son for so long that I really, really miss it. I'd like to get a hug or a kiss just because someone thinks I'm cute. I'd like to know that someone is interested enough in what I have to say to sit down to dinner with me and listen when I talk, talk while I listen. And that's why I'd like to go out just a little bit now. It's not a frequent thing, not once a week, not even once a month - very occasional. But I always end up feeling like I'm doing something wrong by doing that, and it's not fair, especially since I feel like the rules are being changed on me in the middle of the game.

So am I a bad person? Just stupid and insensitive to K's feelings? Whatever your thoughts, lay 'em on me - I'm a big girl, I can take it.

8 comments:

StuckForNow said...

ok I'll take a stab at this one..it seems to me he's trying to change the rules of the game midstream. Unless there is something in your separation agreement that states you can’t date other people, his feelings shouldn't even be in consideration here. You are after all getting divorced from him. It sounds more like a power play or a head game on his part..trying to control what you do or even to a point your emotions. So no you are not a bad person...

Anonymous said...

I agree with Stuck. Stand up for yourself!!! Go out for dinner with this man. You are a woman on her own with a small child. K is past history and has given up any rights control to your behavior as you have given up the same rights towards K. Have a great time and let us know what happens.
Azalea

Lisa said...

Oh, I'm going. :-) If nothing else, I'll have a nice dinner with a friend.

L.

StuckForNow said...

you go girl :) have him give you at hug and a kiss from me...

Anonymous said...

Some people assume that "dating" quickly progresses to horizontal activities.

My understanding was that both you and K agreed it's over, you aren't working on getting back together, neither thinks that getting back together is what you want. If that's the case then you should move quickly to make the divorce final and in the meantime make the separation completely official (whatever that means, I don't know).

To me it is understandable for one partner to say that any dating while you are still legally married is wrong. I plan to never have to decide that one myself though.

In other words I keep commenting where I have no experience or knowledge. I do hope you figure out a good way to experience adult companionship in a form that is appropriate for you.

Jay

Jay said...

Aargh! Blogger seems to have changed so my default is "Anonymous" and not "Jay Loves Kitti"

Lisa said...

Jay, you make valid points, and I appreciate you sharing (and I certainly wouldn't wish being in this position on anyone, so I sure hope you aren't ever faced with the decision!). There are good reasons for not filing immediately, although I do have paperwork already (not filled out, not signed, but I have it, and it's really surreal to look at it - I think, wow, who'd have guessed it would come to this when we met back in 1993?). I can't help wondering, if K and JG were still spending so much time together, if they hadn't had a huge falling out, would me going out be such a big deal? I think not. I think if they were still friends, 1) it's possible that more than just spending inordinate amounts of time together might have happened by now, and 2) it might would be a squabble as to who'd get weekend time off to go out. (Maybe I'm wrong, and he'd probably disagree with my assessment, but there's my thought for what it's worth.) He and I have already agreed that no one will be getting horizontal with anyone before the divorce, and that's cool with me. (Please, running after the monkey man takes all my energy, what's a sex drive? LOL) Ah, crap, I don't even know what I'm saying, I feel like I'm talking in circles, it's late. Suffice it to say, I'm not going out seeking to meet people. If someone I already know asks me out to dinner, I'm going and I'm not feeling bad about it. And I will finalize this thing as soon as I can.

And I am not going into Sunday expecting anything more than dinner and conversation! :-) (Hoping, maybe; expecting, nope.)

L.

Jay said...

I had forgotten about K and his affair when J was just a tiny baby and needed his daddy. It doesn't matter what K did or didn't do physically, he was having an affair by sharing his time and emotions (intimacy) with another woman while his wife and baby were home.

Go have all the fun you want tomorrow.

Jay