He gets attention from other women when I’m not available. And often I’m not. You don’t get to the level I’m at by simply knowing the difference between a tulip and a tuberose. It takes drive, effort, long hours—the proverbial blood, sweat and tears.
And who am I to complain? I do the same thing. Sometimes from men who are legally bound to others. I suppose I should be thankful to his women, for filling in the gaps when I don’t have the time or energy. And most of the time I am. It’s when he laps it up like a happy puppy—lavishing innocent enough wags in reply to their praise and pats—that I get bothered.
I just have to figure out why I get bothered. “You’re the most important to me,” he says, “No one else matters.” Hearing that helps. And to give him credit, he tells me this knowing he won’t hear it in return.
The funny thing is, I pushed him to do it, to seek out other company. Part of it was my perverse way of testing him, to see how much I really mattered. I did a very good job of being an undesirable, unavailable, selfish brat on my end just to make the test that much more challenging. Test is the wrong word. It implies pass/fail. I think this was more of an experiment.
Well, the man did as I suggested. He diversified his interests, theoretically minimizing the risks for both of us.
But I’m still bothered. It’s like a yo-yo effect. One afternoon I may feel incredibly close to him, so much so that I would swear I’ve never been more real with another person. And then later, when he’s open and honest about what’s going on with other women, I’m jerked away, so fast I almost have whiplash.
This of course is my fault. He wanted to commit to me. And for me to commit to him. For us to be bound to each other by promises and agreements. But I can’t do that. The thought makes me feel strangled.
So I suppose, in the end, my choice is between being a bit bothered or feeling collared, chained and choked. Why can I not feel free to love inside of a commitment? I don’t know. It’s like having my wings clipped. And compared to that, the nagging I-really-don’t-like-this twinge I get on occasion is no big deal.