Falling

It began with a hike.  Each time I would lose my footing she instinctivley reached out to steady me.   As we hiked I thought back to our time together the week prior when I had visited her in Massachusetts. I am a person who cuddles with many of my friends and our last night there at the B&B on Walden Pond it felt a little different as she spooned me. I convinced myself that I had been imagining things. We'd been friends forever after all.  Still the question popped back into my mind as we hiked the gorgeous trail on the Oregon Coast. We reached a plateau after a steep climb that provided a gorgeous view of the ocean. I stopped  to catch my breath and exclaimed at the beauty. She stopped behind me and rested her hands on my shoulders. As soon as I felt both of her hands on my shoulders I knew in my heart that she had feelings for me that went beyond “just friends.”




Later that day I  was surprised when she joined me, with little coaxing,  in the freezing cold ocean to laugh and jump in the waves. We were walking back toward our spot on the sand and I looked over at her smiling face, her hair glistening with seawater, and it honestly felt like the clouds parted, the sun shown down on her and there was a chorus of angels or something. (I know that is cheesy but honestly that is excactly how it felt) In that moment I thought she was the most beautiful person I had ever seen. In that moment I saw her differently than I ever had. In that moment I knew that my feelings also went beyond “just friends.”

We didn’t say anything that day, we didn’t do anything that people who are more than friends would do. We both carried on as if nothing had changed and she left to fly 3,000 miles home the following day.

I had been struggling in my marriage pretty much since the beginning. I rushed into a marriage with someone I did not know well and almost immediately regretted it.  Our relationship felt like a struggle from the moment we shared a home, but I kept thinking it would get better, kept making excuses for my former wife, kept forgiving and trying harder because I was not going to fail at marriage again.

A few months before the hike with my friend, I had discovered that my wife had broken my trust on a colossal level. This felt like the final blow to a difficult marriage but we decided to try counseling to see if we could repair the trust.  

Then the hike happened and I sat with the feelings for my friend, a little unsure of what to do.  When I met my wife I had been polyamorous and agreed to monogamy with the proviso that if I ever needed to change that we could talk about it.  When I realized my feelings for my friend were not fleeting, I told my wife and asked if we could consider opening up our marriage. That did not go over well.

In the months after this conversation our marriage continued on its downward trajectory. I hid the truth of how bad it was from most of my friends, only telling pieces to different people so no one had the full picture. I put up with gas-lighting, with lying, with emotional abuse. I told my former wife countless times I was not able to continue and each time was convinced to try again, to forgive again. Last fall, I finally plucked up the courage to make it crystal clear I was done and wanted a divorce.
We had promised to let each other go with love and respect if either of us ever came to the conclusion that it was not right for us. This was not a promise my wife was able to keep. Things became scary and ugly in ways I never imagined possible.

Throughout it all my friend has been a constant source of strength and support. She has kept me sane when I felt like the world was falling down around me. She has held me while I sobbed. She listened without judgment as I confessed I had relapsed as a cutter, an unhealthy coping mechanism from my youth. She has held space and given me space. She housed me when I had no home for months while I waited for the divorce to finalize and my former wife to move out. She is helping me clean out my trashed house now that I was finally able to evict my former wife.  She has reminded me to take time for myself and the things that nourish my soul.  We have had so adventures, many deep conversations, and experienced many beautiful moments in the midst of all of the chaos.

It didn’t really begin with a hike. It began at a backyard fire pit 9 years or so ago when I sat down next to her dog and spent a few hours petting him and talking with her. Periodically friends would ask if she and I were more than friends and now looking back at old photos I see what they saw and we somehow missed.  We were friends who said “I love you” to each other and really meant it. Now that love has expanded into something I never dreamed possible.

Does this mean we are a couple? Nope. It is vitally important to me that I feel independent, that I live on my own. I am in the midst of picking up the shattered pieces of myself and putting me back together. I’ve found that I don’t want to pick up some of these pieces; I’d rather fill in the gaps with new ideas and ways of being in the world.

I choose to move forward in my life as an independent person who is free to love people in the way that is natural to each relationship. I get to decide how to spend my time and who I want to invite to my bed. It is so freeing and natural for me to love in this way and to be loved in this way. I’ve never been a conventional person; life is too short to march to the beat of anyone else’s drum.  I am fortunate to be in love and to be loved by someone who sees me, who has always seen me, and who doesn’t ever try to change me, someone who’s actions match their words every single day, someone who I trust more than I thought it was possible to trust another human.

Life is beautiful, love surrounds me, and I am well.




Comments

  1. I am so proud of you. So proud to be your friend, proud to be a witness to your journey and so incredibly proud to be loved by you. It is my honor and privilege to support you through this difficult time. I'd walk through the fire with you again without hesitation. From that first night in front of the fire I have always felt a connection with you and an intense protectiveness of you.

    Through our years of friendship we've always been real with each other. Real, open and honest. Thank you for always being open and honest with me. This is what has made our friendship one that I cherish the most. You have always been my favorite.

    Watching and feeling this friendship deepen and grow into something so beautiful and free has been so much more amazing than words could ever describe. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I love watching you live and love freely and un-caged. Your beautifully bright soul and your tremendously big and warm heart are gifts to this world. How lucky am I to a recipient of those gifts, to be loved by you and to have the privilege of being a part of your life? :) <3 So incredibly lucky.

    Life is beautiful! So many more beautiful moments and adventures await!

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    Replies
    1. The words I love you are inadequate, but they are what I have. To quote Poe, we live with a love that is more than love.

      Thank you for being so amazing and for accepting and loving me just the way I am and never trying to cage me. 💙

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  2. I love you both. <3 May you live in wonder, joy and adventure for many years to come <3 ~a

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, I think that is an excellent idea 💚

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  3. I've been reading both of your blogs, and am happy to hear about your deepening connection. You deserve it.

    ReplyDelete

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