Emotional Masochism

Sometimes, on a particularly low day, I go on Facebook and look at Kane’s photos. Some I love. From time to time he posted selfies that are just…him. The man I love.

Others I look through for reality checks.

I never forget the fact that he’s married. I would love to sometimes. Would love to have him to myself, to be able to proudly show him off to my family and friends as much as he shows off me when we’re in a dungeon together. I want to be able to tell everyone and their mother that we’re dating, and that I’m madly in love with this man. That we talk about a future sometimes. That we talk about trips to Hawaii, and from time to time to see my family.

The reality of the situation is that I am the “other woman”. I have been since July. The moment emotions got involved he was cheating, and I cheated with him. The guilt eventually turned to resentment; resentment that this person that seemed horribly incompatible with the man I meshed with so easily had all the claim to him when I had none.

It wasn’t so bad in the beginning. In the beginning, I was spoiled. I got weeks with him instead of days and lived in this sheltered bubble that he was mine as much as I was his, and that we were meshing worlds. I cooked him dinner. We curled up and watched movies together. We slept in the same bed. We went away on an incredible weekend vacation that I never wanted to end, where for the first time in my life I felt not only like a princess but his princess.

Then the weeks turned to five or four days…then every other week..for four days.. Then weeks apart. Now this.

Each time I resent her, I go on his Facebook. There staring me in the face is his relationship status, the first check. “Married to”. I wince, I breathe. I click on his photos and scroll all the way to the end. The very first photos are from his wedding. I make myself scroll up and look at the photos of the two of them, happy and in love. I can hear his voice in my ear as I do this. “I married her for a reason.” I wonder sometimes if he can really understand my resentment.

I look, really look, at what I’m asking him to end. A life together, a real, acknowledged, merging of two people. A house together. Friends together.

The friends don’t know about me. No one does outside of the kink community. None of his friends know we’re together. His family doesn’t. It dawned on me when he left for Hawaii that if something happened, Godde forbid, I wouldn’t find out. No one would think to reach out to me because for all they know I’m a casual friend, if they know of me at all. I have photos of the two of us together… on my phone, away from the public. I don’t even post them on Fetlife for fear of his best friend finding them and him having to explain. I don’t want him to have to explain, to be stressed, to be uncomfortable.

It’ll be six months December 2nd since he first said he loved me. Six months since we recognized what was going on between us, and that it would be more than either of us ever thought. And for months we tossed around ideas. He could come home for Thanksgiving and meet my parents. By then he was sure he would have made progress with his wife and if he went to Hawaii it was just to keep things civil. Maybe by November we would be looking at places together, we said in August. Maybe a small transition place that we can start moving his stuff in. Something we could build together. We were going to go to Ikea and get a bookcase months ago. But timelines were never our thing. He didn’t want to give me time frames he couldn’t guarantee. I quit my job and suddenly my extra income was gone. Eventually, the frames and the talk that went along with them disappeared.

When I am ready to scream with frustration I force myself back on to Facebook and see the ways that she is compatible. That financially she is fifty thousand…more like three hundred and fifty thousand… times more put together than I am. She is established, with her life put together when mine continually splinters apart. She has the time put in, the established relationships, when I’ve been around less than a year. She’s the same age as him. I’m a lot younger.

Sometimes my mind decides to travel down hypothetical lane. Hypothetically what would have happened if we met before? She’s been around since I was a teenager… It’s very possible we’ve crossed paths in the city before. He lived there when I went in every other week or so. But he wouldn’t have looked at me, dressed vanilla and young as a pup running around the museum with my family. And after? Would we have crossed paths years from now when he finally pulled away and was on his own again? He may not have been looking for a submissive anymore…may have given up on that route, along with children.

There are so many mays, and maybes, and perhaps, and possibles. There are no more promises. Just hopes. Lots of hopes that help me sleep at night. We have this little app called You and Me on our phones.. It’s supposed to be for a relationship, to send things between the two of you. I go back and look through what we sent each other in August and September and I smile. I think about apple picking. About that long ride where we drove together for hours and talked about everything and nothing; I felt that zaa-zaa-zoo that drew me to him as a person in the first place. There was a moment, looking at the sunset in Santa Cruz at the end of a perfect day. He stood next to me, just for a moment looking at the horizon. As corny as it sounds, in that one moment I loved him so fully and completely. I saw how we would work together long term. I saw the future, and I smiled..it made all the other shit worth it.

I picture that when all the maybe’s raise their ugly head. When I sleep alone, knowing he’s sharing a bed with her, and I miss him so bad it hurts. When I selfishly want to scream at her to go the hell away so that I can start a life with him already. I never forget that she was there first..and when I want to beg him to give me more time, to finally tell people about me, to walk away from his wife, I check myself. I go on his Facebook and force myself to see the relationship there. I force myself to give her respect. He married her for a reason.

I don’t know what will happen when I see him again… When talking will begin again. But I continue to check myself. She earned that place in his bed beside him.. regardless of where they are in their relationship now I can’t scream at her to relinquish that right because I’m lonely. Because I miss his heat and his touch. She was here first. I never kid myself in that, as a submissive or a girlfriend. He picked her before me.

I ended up writing this whole thing because of a conversation I had with a friend I am quickly becoming close to. I had sent him a text telling him that I was trying very hard not to be bothered by Kane’s wife being in Hawaii with him. He immediately called in response. He’s in a poly relationship with a woman who’s in an open marriage for all the RIGHT reasons, and the first words out of his mouth were “I’ve been there. I understand exactly how you feel, and how illogical it is. And you just want to reign it in and put on a smile for that person and tell them everything is okay because it’s all your internal war… and that’s fine. But you are allowed to feel what you are feeling. It’s okay to acknowledge it. It’s okay to be jealous, and lonely, and not have words for how much you miss that special person. All of that is okay. Just let yourself feel. Put on whatever face you want to keep the person you love sane but let yourself feel“. And so I did. I’m hoping writing all of this down will get some of the non-concentual pain out of my body..

Sometimes, I really am a damn masochist.

Thoughtfully yours,

-Rena

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