Part 24 – Goodby Billy, Hello Love

This is a serial about love and awakening. Previously: After a great trip with Billy on Cape Cod, I went to a retreat and he went to buy property. To see all posts in chronological order, Click Here.

His car’s not here. I ring the bell at his massive front door. No answer. I try calling Billy on his cell but it goes straight to voice mail.

What the…? I’d called him from the road, saying I’d be at his place in 30 minutes. We haven’t seen each other since we parted in Massachusetts, and I thought he’d be champing at the bit.

I pace for a while and call again. No answer. Should I drive home, wait? How long?

Twenty minutes later, he drives up, saying he took his car to be washed.

As he fixes us drinks, he tells me he found two properties on the Cape that he’s bidding on. “I’m going back in a few weeks.”

I’d love to see them, I say.

“Well, that’s the thing. I don’t picture you there.”

“What do you mean? I wouldn’t want to live there full time, but I could visit.”

“I’ve been having a lot of doubts since our trip. The fact that you went to the retreat on your own, and wouldn’t let me come…”

“Guests weren’t permitted.”

“Whatever the reason, that’s what happened,” he says. “And I made offers on two places. If I were in love, I’d never think of buying a piece of property without showing it to my woman. I’d be bending over backwards to make sure she was happy with it. He shakes his head. “I’m not doing that with you. So this tells me is: I’m not in love with you, you’re not in love with me, and that’s where it’s at.”

I tell him love unfolds in different ways. “We’ve only been seeing each other exclusively for 4 months. Can’t you just enjoy what’s going on, and not label it or worry whether it’s love?”

He puts out his arms and draws me close; as always, the electricity is mighty. “Are you just hanging out with me for sex?” he asks. I stare at him. Why would he ask this? Maybe he’s wondering, is he just sticking around for the sex?

“Would ‘Yes’ be the wrong answer?” I say.

He laughs, loosening up.

“I don’t want to be with someone who doesn’t want to be with me,” I tell him. “Shall we kiss and say goodby?”

He shakes his head no and pulls me closer.

Two days later, I have to go back to my house to take care of my cat. He begs me not to go. “These have been the two happiest days of my life. That’s the truth.”

“And you’re running away from me?”

“I’m trying to keep you, too.”

I know this sounds strange, but after two days of physical intimacy and joy, I’m in an altered state. In spite of Billy’s words, I know we’ve touched love. I’ve felt us connecting on so many levels, deeper than skin.

He calls me twice as I drive home. “The house is empty without you,” he says. “When can you come back?” I get stuck in traffic for an hour, but it doesn’t bother me a bit.

One of you wrote a comment recently: “Great sex always feels like love.” The corollary for me is that without love, there’s no great sex–the sex that bonds two as one and nourishes every cell. I assumed the same was true for Billy.

He calls that evening to say goodnight, then calls in the morning as he’s cooking breakfast. No word the rest of the day. No word the next. Or the next.

Stupidly, I had hoped it wouldn’t happen this time, but damn if he isn’t pulling away again, after the “two happiest days of my life.” And this time, it’s Waterloo. I can’t go on. Not because of him but because of me.

I can’t stay detached–it’s a great concept, a worthy goal–but I’m not there. As blissful and high as we’ve been, that’s how low I fall. The chest pain is excruciating and I’m struggling to breathe. I fly to New York to do an interview and then go to a reunion of college friends, but I’m just shuffling through the motions. I don’t really hear what anyone says. I walk past beautiful vistas and don’t see them. I chew what I know is delicious food and don’t taste it.

All the while, I’m aware that this reaction is way out of proportion to what’s happening. I haven’t been diagnosed with a fatal illness. No one I love has died. I’m being left by a guy I’ve been dating for a short time–a guy who doesn’t have the maturity or compassion to even be considered as a long-term partner. But here’s where my mind goes: I don’t want to live.

Fortunately, I’ve retained a large enough shred of sanity to grasp that this has to be a major turning point. The problem is not with Billy–he’s not “bad” as I’ve been calling him, he’s an imperfect human like the rest of us, doing what he does. His frantic need to run has almost nothing to do with me. And my panic, my chest-crushing pain and wish for oblivion, have almost nothing to do with him.

I’ve read a piece recently in the New York Times by Laura Munson, about how she responded when her husband demanded a divorce. When he told her, after 20 years, he didn’t love her and doubted he ever had, it was like a sucker punch to the gut. But she ducked the punch and said, “I don’t buy it.” She let him rage, run away, ignore her birthday and miss family events, and she kept saying she knew the marriage wasn’t the problem. He was forced, ultimately, to confront his own demons, and after six months, returned to the family with gratitude.

If I’d been able to say that to Billy when he declared he didn’t love me–“I don’t buy it”–who knows what might have happened? But at that moment, I was incapable of ducking the punch. It landed smack in my most tender and vulnerable place, like the soft spot on a baby’s head: the fear that I’m unlovable.

The good news, the fortunate aspect, is that this episode with Billy brought me so low that I knew there was no one out there who could help me. I would have to find my own way out of the ditch, the rut I’d been running in: a man pursues me, I fall for him, he runs and I want to die. Because the pain gets worse with each recurrence, even if I hardly know or care about the guy. It’s coming up in extremis, I believe, because something in me has to change, to heal, to be made fresh. And I’ve resolved to do whatever it takes to accomplish this.

I ended my relationship with Billy a year ago. As the pain has subsided, my goal has changed: from yearning to connect with the right man, to yearning to experience and savor life and love in all their fullness, whether I have a partner or not.

So ends Part One of Sex Love Enlightenment. We’re going to take a break as I do more research and field studies. The next part will be the road to Wellville, to healthy love and sexuality, and a commitment–like the one Laura Munroe made when her husband said he didn’t love her–a commitment to the end of suffering.

It will be about cultivating many sources of love–besides a romance with one person that’s supposed to last forever. Among the sources that are giving me that same sense of aliveness and joy as a romance are: learning to play piano, singing with a rock ‘n roll choir, hanging out with friends I adore, and writing, of course, always writing and reporting.

Thanks for coming this far and sharing your ideas. I know we’ll make it to the light.

PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT. Where do you find passion, love and aliveness, other than with a mate? Have you healed yourself of a destructive pattern? How?

 

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34 thoughts on “Part 24 – Goodby Billy, Hello Love

  1. Debbie

    Sara,

    I feel left a bit hanging here…so, did you and Billy just never talk again after you realized that you couldn't continue the relationship any longer?

    Regardless, I'm glad that you are off to a new adventure…you need that after a relationship like you had with Billy.

    We are all such different people, aren't we? Some women would have moved heaven and earth to “become” what Billy wanted…kudos to you for resisting that and hanging on to the shreds of dignity you had left at the end.

    From the time I read your first book (which has always been a favorite of mine, by the way), I have seen you as a “seeker” – and seekers are not bound to Earth like the rest of us mortals. Something tells me that you will always “seek the divine”, whatever form that takes. You found it momentarily with Billy, but now its time to move on….

    Be safe in Afghanistan, Sara, – I will look forward to hearing about the direction your life goes from here. Namaste…

    Reply
  2. Anonymous

    Stop putting yourself down for being in love with this guy after being with him for “a 4 short months”. Love is love sister. And clearly you had it for this guy no matter how evolved or un-evolved he was. I have found that once I have been with a guy physically I am toast. I really believe it's in our biology. Once, maybe twice but never thrice.
    You are obviously a WAY AMAZING woman, and I am sure at some point you will look back and be glad that Billy was not your soul mate. Honest.
    I don't see him sitting next to you when you walk up the carpet to pick up your academy award for best screen play. Do you?

    Reply
  3. Beauregard

    You might benefit from reading Judith Sills' book “A Fine Romance.” She speaks to the stages of romance and makes the point that true love happens after the lust/chemistry/first blush wears off and hard work begins.
    That happens after 18-24 months.
    I was dumped by the only woman I ever loved in my 65 years last year just at the two-year mark. I recently read Laura's article and it made me wonder and gave me hope. Then I got an email solicitation for an e-book, How To Get Her Back, or some such nonsense, which gave me another faint hope.
    But I know it's not to be.
    Laura had a marriage and long history.
    You had a fling.
    I had love for a woman who wasn't ready.
    In my and your case the other party wasn't “ready,” something Judith Sills explains in great detail.
    I broke up with two women years ago, lovely and loveable women, because I wasn't ready, so I understand.
    Now, I'm ready and will find a partner, of that I'm sure.
    Billy, and many like him including women, will never be ready for a mature, loving relationship.
    I see in you an extremely desirable partner.
    It puzzles me that you are drawn to a Billy, apparently time and again, when you knew going in and every day along the way exactly how this would play out.
    I have to conclude you want this pattern or you would change it.

    Reply
  4. Chellie

    It's coming up on almost a year now when my husband of almost 17 years pulled the whole “Don't love you, don't think I ever did” trick and moved out. Moved back in a week later, then continued to waffle for 6 more months. It's tough.
    He's been back for a few months now, as a full partner, engaged fully with this life that he's chosen… and it finally feels like he's CHOSEN it, instead of getting it by default because he wasn't paying attention.
    Because of the cycles of infatuation, I'm not going to make a final decision on whether this is a real change and a permanent, healthy thing for me for at least 18 months till his re-commitment. I've enjoyed your story, and it's just highlighted the differences between different people. A guy like Billy would never have drawn me in. I guess we each have our kryptonite, huh?

    Reply
  5. Dora

    I don't think that you can find any of these qualities in a mate if you cannot first find them within yourself or by yourself. I think that if you are looking to find them in a mate, you are doomed to be disappointed. We are not halves that need to be mated up with another to become whole. We are each whole by ourselves. The trick is to realize this before you take on baggage!

    Reply
  6. Arielle

    It wasn't until I realized I was going to have a great life, whether or not I ever found my soulmate, that I truly began to enjoy my life fully. And, soon after I had this awakening, I did meet and marry my husband…falling in love with myself and my life WHILE surrendering completely the notion that I had to have a man, unexpectedly brought me even more love.

    Reply
  7. Lily

    I think everyone is missing the point it is not about Billy —it about you. I have felt the same and could not figure out why I felt so hurt by any hint of rejection. I think I am better but who knows. Thank you for your story I enjoyed it, learned from it and will miss it. Be well and I look forward to your blogs from Afghanistan.

    Reply
  8. B

    Wow Sara, my heart bleeds for you knowing the pain you were in. Bravo for pulling yourself out and up to into life again. It is a most difficult road when our hearts are not pumping to give us the energy we need to live. I too, am in the final stages of climbing out of the abyss after my recent failed relationship. Yes, it takes two to create a relationship, but when it ends, it takes our own inner strength to move on. After three months of wrangling the inner chaos of human fallibility, I am feeling a greater sense of awareness and understand that I no longer need to learn the lesson of unrequited love. However, connection is one of the most worthy pursuits of the human experience. Therefore, connecting with one's spiritual self first and then forgiving, yourself and others, will allow love to flourish once again. We just have to make sure that anyone we are close to is of the highest integrity.

    I am looking forward to following more of your adventures through life. Thanks for posting.

    Reply
  9. ZenAjax

    The underlying question that continues to raise itself is simply as you noted, “Why would you want to be with someone who doesn't want to be with you?”

    Wash that player right out of your hair. It's never time to just settle.

    Reply
  10. Michie

    So you're going to Afghanistan! Great, really–I can't wait to read your blogs.
    I hope that in the fog of war, you don't fall in love again—–but I have to admit that I am looking forward to the next time—-your Billy blog was a page turner, mainly, I think, because you tapped into all the emotions so many of us go through in this reaching out for partner/soulmate + sex. I wonder how much of that intertwining of love & sex is hard-wired & how much is created by advertising.
    Did you ever read the Autobiography of Alexandra Kollontai? The Russian Communist who scandalized everybody by saying that having sex should be no more unusual than drinking a glass of water—-or something like that. To experience having sex as, in effect, just another form of conversation is a concept with great intellectual appeal—-why is it so difficult to practice?
    Have a safe & amazing trip.

    Reply
  11. El Gallo Viejo

    Hey Sara,

    Had a similar deal to the one that you detailed during my relationship with my wife of eighteen years and three kids.

    With my five years of recovery from alcoholism in 1986, I had fortunately learned not to get between her and the edge of the cliff she had begun to run toward.

    In 1987, after a year of the self-imposed mono-lateral celibacy that she used to conflict our relationship, she disclosed to me that she had been trying to get me to kill her for eighteen plus years and since I had not done that she felt only anger and hostility toward me,

    Within three days of her pronouncement, I moved out of the house and filed for divorce.

    During the first year of the divorce, she over medicated on her prescription drugs and went into a two day seated coma. The position that she assumed during the coma had cut off circulation in her legs below the knee. As a result of this, her two limbs were amputated.

    She then asked me to take her to Narcotics Anonymous meetings so she could get, as she put it, ' fixed '. Well, I did that yet NA did not ' fix ' her so she stopped going to meetings.

    My next contact with her was when I answered the phone at home in 1989 and heard her introductory salutation to me, ' YOU MOTHERFUCKER ! '. I did not respond, just hung up the phone, That was the last time that I heard her voice.

    Ten years later, in 1997, after prior vacations in Costa Rica, I moved there. Permanently ? Well, I have now lived in Cosa Rica, the Land of My Dreams, for twelve consecutive years. My soul partner Costa Rican wife and I celebrated our 11th wedding anniversary last month. I also celebrated 28 years of continuous contented sobriety that same month.

    Life is wonderful if you don't weaken. :- )

    Reply
  12. Toni

    What a lovely passage. Thanks for sharing it, and it comes at a time, that it INSPIRES! You inspire. Please take care if you go to Afghanistan.

    Reply
  13. KatHH

    I am not responding to your question of finding passion without a mate (too big a topic), but wanted to point out that the Munson article described a very different situation than yours. Munson had been married to the guy for a long time and had a history to fall back on. They had both made and kept commitments to each other for a long time and she viewed his pronouncement as an anomaly or a phase in his life. She decided to wait it out and let him decide if that was want he really wanted.

    You had no contract or understanding with Billy to fall back on. When you start a relationship it needs to be overwhelmingly positive in your attraction to each other in order to go the next step of commitment. I think it is totally normal to want this and to get sucked into the back and forth from the mixed messages. The only issue is deciding when to quit. Some people go longer than others before they finally call it quits.

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  14. Anonymous

    I know a lot about the sex, the push and pull, the games, etc., but I really have no feel for Billy or for any other part of your relationship. Those are the parts that would indicate if there truly is a relationship to build–with anyone.

    What gives me joy outside of my long term relationship? Me. And I am eclectic. I enjoy gardening, learning the scientific names of flowers, movies, reading, walks, friends, relatives, dolls, calligraphy, travel, studying about religion for starters. I'd love to learn the piano, French, meditation, and who knows what else would catch my attention along the way.

    As I see it, my husband will predecease me, and I will have to fall back on all those things for the rest of my life. When I was 21 or 22 and a maid of honor at my best friend's wedding, the rabbi said to me that you don't find the right person, you become the right person. I've been working all this time on becoming the right person and will continue to do so but not so that I can be a better wife or find another mate. It's all for ME.

    You've done wonderful things, learned a lot and have cultivated many friends. You're there already, but it doesn't seem as if YOU know it. Enjoy YOU. I want the best for you. -Linda P.-

    Reply
  15. Anonymous

    Yippeeeeeeeeeee! At Last! An awakening! Couldn't be happier for ya, Doll!
    I recall the day I declared to the world and to myself,
    “Love is all there is. Love is everywhere present! Just turn around and see it right in front of you…in the eyes of another person, or in the mirror”.
    Nice going, Sara!

    Reply
  16. Anonymous

    Not only have I not healed myself of a destructive habit — i am embracing it. it is simply a bad way of doing a good thing which is one step removed from doing the right thing. Progress!

    Reply
  17. Sherrie

    I have really enjoyed these serials. In response to your question of where do you find passion, love, and happiness my answer may seem cliche but you really do find and make your own happiness. Someone else can enhance it but the core has to come from you. I look forward impatiently to your next series.

    God Bless,

    Sherrie

    Reply
  18. Tracy

    Whew! What a relief! No more Billy (but it made for a great read). I can't wait to read your pieces from Afghanistan. Anyway, I too had a really, really low moment before I finally swore off for good. This person was an epileptic who always had short term memory loss after a fit. He was doing the whole avoidant dance thing but immediately after a fit he'd say all the “right” things – they were so beautiful! I hung on to them for dear life, thinking these words were evidence of the “real” person under all the avoidant behaviour. What was really spooky is that he completely forgot everything he'd said. I was truly hanging on to a mirage. I went through a whole mad, mad loop. It was so mad that it became my rock bottom and the only way since then has been up. I'm now with a partner who is utterly dependable and has not a shred of the “charisma” I always went for before.

    PS I read Loose Change as a 14 year old in 1978 … one of my all-time fave books.

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  19. Eileen

    Sara-

    I enjoyed reading your adventures with Billy. There was something there for many of us to identify with. It is true we all seem to behave in patterns. Once we recognize it in ourselves and others, it is easier to begin to change those patterns. You knew from the very beginning who Billy was. He is a push you then pull away kind of guy. He enjoys the hunt, and the sex, but not the long haul. And there is something about that that intrigues you.

    My story is a bit different. After being married for 30 years to a man who took a swan dive into a bottle of pinot noir and never came back up, I left. Probably way too late. Now, I am living in a new city, and have to start with nothing but a job, and a little rental house.

    Sometimes, your integrity is all you have. And maybe it's all you need. Maybe you find happiness with yourself, your work, and everything else will flow from that. That's what I am hoping anyway.

    Best of luck, I am looking forward to reading about Afghanistan.

    Reply
  20. Sylvia

    Well, Sara, I read this story and I felt that mixture of hurt, anger and confusion when he dropped out of sight. Men can be puzzling in that way. My theory is that they feel threatened by what they can’t control, and in this case Billy could not control his feelings for you, but that’s the way feelings are, and he would benefit from waking up to the wondrous reality of that. Feelings underlie everything we think and do. It is a scientific fact. Read The General Theory of Love to learn more.

    What I’d like to share with you, in answer to your question, is that at the age of 54, I am finally learning how to relax into happiness. I am learning to accept being happy and to notice when I am happy. For me, that word has taken on a meaning that allows me to savor the different ways I disappear. The other day I was reading Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf and was having difficult with a particular passage, so instead of just driving ahead as I would usually do, I slowed down and went backwards. I re-read the difficult passage at a slower pace, and I played with the emphasis of the words, accenting them differently than the first time I read it, like a musician might replay a section of music, elongating slightly different notes to see the effect. As I played with this, I started to feel in synch with Virginia Woolf’s rhythm of speech and found myself effortlessly merging into her voice and eventually, disappearing. Needless to say, her writing became completely lucid, no longer a difficult thickness to force my way through with an act of sheer will. And I felt completely happy.

    For me this is one small yet I hope powerful example of how I am healing myself from a lifelong pattern of striving really hard to achieve something. I have achieved a lot in my life by powering through challenges and I have not given up my valuing of achievement, but I am letting myself achieve things in a different way, a way that is slower, less driven but no less powerful. As a former French horn player, I compare it to the difference between playing really loud and playing really soft. They both require tremendous strength and the ability to move a lot of air through the instrument, but the quality of the effort is different. The loudness requires a blast of force, like a fire breathing dragon, but to create softness requires a steady, smooth stream of air, like water moving silently through a garden hose. The first is more exciting than the latter but the latter is more nourishing.

    I hope this sparks something in you.

    Sending you peace and happiness

    Reply
  21. Bluekelpie

    You are amazing, Sara! Good. Now you love yourself enough to allow the healing to begin and direct all that love inside you towards your beautiful spirit. You are a wise and brave woman. Respect and Blessings, Joey
    PS: Wonderful news about the piano! Music is sooo healing!

    Reply
  22. Anonymous

    Geez, I just lost my job today………61 years old, relationships are so much bigger and more meanful than sex, I've been married 35 years, theres such a richness in a touch, a hug, just holding hands in bed before you go to sleep, it goes way beyond sex, a mate can not and should not be expected to fulfill so many needs, if we didn't have our own interests outside of our marriage it couldn't and wouldn't work but we are interested in eachother, sounds weird but it truly works. My touch stone is my horse, my husbands is his golf and we continue to talk about everything and anything after 35 yrs. thats comittment and love, it takes work. I like you Sara, I don't personally know you but I'm sure I'd really like you. My friends and I read your books and discuss them, you are a real person who is totally honest with your public, I like that.
    Happy trails
    dp/Tucson Az

    Reply
  23. Anonymous

    Hello Sara,
    I went to Georgia a few weeks ago to visit my daughter prior to her deployment. I spent most of the tie traveling alone. I absolutely loved it. I didn't have to accomodate anyone else's needs or agenda. I was truly free, and not lonely in the least. I never thought I would enjoy this kind of adventure after being married for 28 years. Savor your freedom, your own space and yourself. Enjoy being with yourslef. We are our own best friends!

    Reply
  24. B

    It is a wonderful heartfelt experience for me to see how many women have resonated with your blog entry “Part 24 – Goodbye Billy, Hello Love”. In some way, we are all there for you, understanding and knowing your pain. We also welcome your willingness to move forward into the unknown. Obviously, we are all sisters in this world of love and learning. Thanks for your insight and putting it out there for us to share.

    Reply
  25. Roberta

    Hi Sara, several thoughts:

    You say: “this reaction is way out of proportion to what's happening. I haven't been diagnosed with a fatal illness. No one I love has died.”

    I think your reaction was perfectly normal. You went through emotional abuse with this man – you never knew if you were going to be kissed or slapped. He didn't just “dump” you, he did it in the cruelest way possible. He had no regard for your feelings at all, only what was going on with him. I see a personality disorder of some kind written all over him.

    And – it's nice to be able to say “I don't buy it” when someone treats you that way, but most of the time we're so emotionally overwrought that we can't think that way. Unfortunately our brain and our heart are not connected when it comes to emotions (i.e. emotional intelligence). We may WANT to be able to react that way, but we just can't. The emotions take over.

    Thank goodness he's out of your life!

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  26. Anonymous

    I think there can absolutely be great sex without love. I also don't believe that love needs to be shared with only 1 person.

    Reply
  27. Dr. Barbra

    Yes, I have healed myself of enmeshment, which was love to me, which is what leaves us wanting to die when we feel abandoned.
    I was an adoptee, so that was my abandonment issue. I'm sure you know what yours is.

    Since then, I have cultivated attachment to my God, who loves me unconditionally and never leaves me, and a healthy detachmnet from everything else.
    When I need the physical intimacy , my last ex-husband comes to visit and kisses and cuddles me and tells me that I am his Goddess, who he will always love. I am always glad when he leaves and I have had my fix of the physical stuff.

    Needless to say, the work is never done and ,as a therapist, it behooves me to stay in therapy from time to time and continue to grow.
    I can only take my clients as far as I have gone myself.

    My joy comes from my friends, my work, my readings, my work on myself, my children, my grandchildren and from you.

    Reply
  28. Stuart

    I am a Sanskrit translator. So, I get a peek into the tantra that others dont know about, but is centermost in tantra: The puberty (urdhva retas, shamanica medhra) of the pineal and its orgasm (ananda) of “amrita” (nectar) which is the body's own LSD MDMA

    Every single yogic practice has the ultimate aim of cultivating this puberty, whether for monks (brahmacharya) or couples (pariyanga). Love Sex and Spirituality merge in this MDMA orgasm —but this is Not the westernized yoga, but its 1000years old original basis as spontaneously ecstatic communal dance (sahaja bhakti kriya) as is carved onto many temples in India (Khajuraho is only one of them)

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  29. Nan

    of course there is good/great sex without love. college kids have this as hookups, elders on cruise ships find their freak, singles in bars with beer goggles – some of these sudden unions are steaming. of course they are.
    and then, during and especially after, women crank out oxytocin or whatever it is and – they bond. many of them. and men do not, usually. they're delighted with the free and easy lay.and up and off to golf or work or sports center on ESPN, with no link established besides “I could tap that again.”
    so be it. I disrespect neither gender here, nor do I judge a lonely and/or adventurous soul out on the loose of an evening. I have been there.
    But at 51 I want the tender love and respect I see my brother extend to his wife, my college pal to his wife and my elder uncle to his bride of 58 years. I want, well, love. Lying in a stranger's bed for the “benefits” as they say is just not it. Thanks, but no thanks. The issue is – so I age by myself waiting for this lightning bolt? That is what makes the quickie appealing, to some. They throw up their hands and say “well, this is better than nothing.”
    And they think I am a prig to wait out round after round. Maybe I am?
    but won't I fritter time away on quickies, get a bit hardened and shopworn and even further from my goal of a loving and reciprocal marriage? I doubt my chances improve with age and mileage. and I doubt I look more marriageable with a row of notches on the bedpost.
    this is the middle. there are layers to the 'go nuts or wait' decision. layers that keep me from knowing how to live, and how to love. layers that can wrap you up in lonely. layers I want the right guy to unwind….
    Nan
    p.s. have you seen Chris Rock's comedy routine, 'married and bored, or single and lonely?' it is really good and piercingly accurate, to my way of thinking. I think you can get it on you tube, will look.

    Reply
  30. Anonymous

    This email couldn't have come at a better time for me. After being in a relationship with who I thought was my “best friend”, I put the friendship to a test to see if it weren't for ME reaching out to him, would HE reach out to me?? Well, it's been 6 weeks and I haven't heard from him yet…

    You are absolutely right… we need to be our own strength and our own best friend. Relying totally on others is only harmful to our soul.

    Reply
  31. Michael

    Thanks for the very interesting serial. To answer your question: As you may remember, my 22-year old son drowned in a boating accident in April 2007, and I found that reading Leap! was quite helpful to deal with the situation. (You kindly autographed the book at a book fair in San Jose, and one of my comments about it managed to get in the paperback edition.)

    In June 2007, the week after my son's memorial service, I started taking guitar lessons. I have been taking lessons and have been playing the guitar daily since then. I have found this to be very therapeutic to deal with a very difficult, life-changing situation.

    Most of my life I have done what other people have told me what I was supposed to do with my life — school, career, marriage, parenting, etc. So for a change, I started playing the guitar so I could do something to please myself instead. You can judge for yourself if I have any talent at all, see:
    http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=mbarclay623&search_type=&aq=f.
    But really, at our age, we should not feel guilty about doing things that we want to do. There is only so much time we have on the planet. So do not stress about this bad relationship, carry on with life and do something that helps you get through it all.

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  32. Anne in Oxfordshire

    Hi I found you on middle-aged diva's blog. I couldn't of found it at a better time.

    My husband and I are going through a massive rough patch..something happened a few years ago and was not resolved or looked at properly..which means now, if we have a problem, it keeps coming up…he works away from March to November coming home for either a week or maybe two weeks, and then off again..He seems to have a huge problem when he gets home, and I find it hard..and so does he. Not sure what to do really.

    Reply
  33. Anonymous

    You have been a real inspiration for me. I re-read your blog often reminding myself that I am not alone. I am searching for strength, like yours, to get me through my love addiction and finally feel worthy of love, by hopefully being able to one day love myself. Thank you for sharing your story.

    Reply