BLT and I took a little drive into town today and along the way we discussed loneliness. In the past several years we've both felt intense loneliness. For him it was being surrounded by friends, but not having met anyone special that he connected with on a romantic level. He had a house full of single room mates and there was always someone there to grab a beer with or watch a movie...but he didn't have anyone to confide his fears to, anyone to make love to, anyone to share his hopes and dreams with. He wasn't alone, but he was lonely. Dating occasionally wasn't anything special, and sex was more a complication than an expression of love.
For me, well it was different but very much the same story. I had the kids, but X worked out of town a lot. Nearly 20 days out of the month sometimes he was off in some other corner of the country schmoozing clients. I was left to do the mommy job all alone. I didn't have time to socialize, and nearly all my friends had been alienated by his social awkwardness and outright anti-social attitude towards people. When he was home I avoided him. I didn't like him or myself when I was with him. He made me feel anxious and tense and irritable. There wasn't any romantic feelings left on my part for several years, and I avoided sex for years since I simply wasn't in love with him any longer.
Plus... to be honest... there was little to no sexual attraction to begin with. That was never really a part of the equation for me. I married young to have stability and because I thought a nice house, a family, and financial security would bring me total satisfaction and a sense of belonging I had been looking for my whole life. Over the years X had gained a lot of weight...as had I. But I got my ass to the gym, started eating healthy and eventually lost nearly 60 lbs. No matter how hard I tried X wouldn't exercise with me, he wouldn't eat healthy, he blew off all my efforts at helping him shape up... and in the end I just didn't care any more. He didn't give a shit, why should I? If he didn't care, fine... but why should I force myself to have unfulfilling sex with a balding, overweight, lazy piece of work who didn't even treat me well when he was home?
So... I was lonely. Surrounded by people who all wanted and needed my attention, and still feeling the most basic human need for companionship and love wasn't being met. It was a horrible feeling. I think this is one of the things that pulled BLT and I together. We recognized in one another someone who understood what true loneliness was, and right or wrong we filled a deep need in each other. Like two starving people, we were each the food the other needed to survive.
And we have survived, and thrived. We are both really happy right now. Admittedly we are in that "honeymoon" phase where none of our annoying habits are, as of yet, annoying. But we really are enjoying working and living together. We have come up against an issue here or there, and we've talked it out. We're working on keeping up the honest, open, and kind communication. We are making time for ourselves as a couple, time with the kids, time alone for some space and personal freedom.
Neither one of us is foolish enough to think that this will always be smooth sailing, but we're very much in love. Having been so lonely in the past, and then having our relationship start off as a long distance/who knows where this will lead/God I miss you SOOO much kind of thing - well it makes us appreciate the time we have together. It makes us thankful that life worked out so that we can be together. It makes us sensitive to the needs of the other person. All good things, all key components to a successful relationship. Every day I wake up, I reach over to him, I breath in his scent and I'm so thankful he's here. I hope that feeling never goes away.