A couple of weeks ago, Ranger and I were having lunch together. We were engrossed in one of our many conversations about our relationship and how it's different from others we've had.
I don't recall how it started, but the topic became how words and actions can say different things. See, in my romantic past, I've had a handful of men profess undying love for me. I've had them tell me they've never met anyone like me, that they can't imagine life without me, that they've never loved anyone like they love me.
Then, I'd be ignored. Or I'd be put down. Or they start meeting other women. Or outright cheating.
As I was talking about this, I said, "I really started to question why it was so tough to give me what I wanted, when it was so simple? Why wasn't my love enough to accept and return? I really felt like something was wrong with me, that no one was happy with loving just me."
I looked up, and Ranger was looking away from me. His eyes were sad, as he watched the snow outside. I thought I'd reminded him of something equally painful. He hadn't realized I was looking at him.
I touched his hand. "I'm sorry," I said. "Did I say something wrong?"
He shook his head. "No," he said, holding my hand. "I just realized that I made you feel like that, too."
If you're like me, your compulsion in moments like this are to reassure and say, "It's okay." I didn't say that. I stayed quiet. Yes, he'd made me feel like that. And no, it wasn't okay. It was getting better, but it wasn't okay to have done it. My eyes were misty, so I just nodded.
He saw the tears I was trying to control. He got up and moved to my side of the booth. He put his arms around me. "I never wanted to hurt you like that. You should never have to feel like that. Then, now, or ever. I love you like I've never loved anyone. You love me like no one ever has. You love me like I've dreamed of being loved. I'm going to spend my life making your dreams come true, if you'll let me. I swear. You'll never feel that hurt again."
A few days ago, we finally talked about the details of what exactly happened between him and the roommate. I'd realized that I was "stuck" in some ways, in trying to deal with this situation. I needed to have some answers, and either they came from him or I'd have to assume the worst and see if I could get over that. I told him exactly that.
"Don't assume the worst," he said. "Please don't. That's not what happened."
So, I gave him an opening to tell it all, in a safe environment. He would have just this one opportunity to tell it all to me. The whole truth and nothing but. And no matter what he told me, I wouldn't walk away from him, from us.
However, I had one condition. He had to explain it all. It had to make sense. It needed to include everything he didn't know I knew. If I were to ever discover something he didn't tell me or didn't tell me the truth of, my trust would be too broken to recover from. And I do have a proven and uncanny knack for finding out these things. It was a do or die, now or never situation.
I think he also needed to experience telling me the truth of something and not having the huge explosion he feared. He had a twenty-year marriage, in which he spent lots of time and energy figuring out how to avoid the explosions, which happened frequently. He needs to unlearn those avoidance tactics, to keep things honest.
So, we talked. I heard it all. Yes, it was sometimes painful for me, and I didn't hide it. Seeing my pain, raw and in front of his eyes, tore his heart out. It will probably turn out to be a big deterrent for him. And I saw his deep shame and self-disgust over the whole situation.
I've mentioned before that after he turned her away, she moved on to another roommate, without missing a beat. In recent weeks, her ex-husband moved in with her, they reconciled, and have subsequently moved out. While Ranger and a couple of the roommates were chopping wood the other day, they started talking about her. Turns out she also propositioned yet another roommate - while her ex-no-more was asleep in her own bed.
Ranger is ashamed that he let the friendship with this girl get so close. He is embarrassed to have behaved so badly. He is disgusted that he put me on the line for something so...cheap.
And so, we move on. He told me that he understands that this is by no means the last time we'll talk about it or the end of the issues I might have. He's open to anything I want to ask or discuss. Anything to help heal this. Anything to keep us together, always and in all ways.
Friday, we had a "date night." Our night where my family doesn't expect me home until very late, and they know to leave me alone (except for emergencies). Ranger was really anticipating our date night this time. (And what's written below is why my blog has an "adult" warning.)
"I want so much for you to see and feel how I see you," he said. This is his new mission in life, lately. As part of this, we now often surf lingerie sites together, where he shows me the pretty things he thinks would be pretty on me. And he explains why he picks them.
The reasons aren't just "because it turns me on." It's more like, "This fabric would lay so smooth on your breasts," or "This style would hug your curves so nicely." There's a particular style of boyshorts he saw that has a little slit and bow at the hip. "That slit is such a tease and the bow is so cute at your hip," he says. "And I love how your hip curves right there." I have about a dozen pairs of that particular style of panties now.
In the past, I've experienced men telling me that having a baby "ruined" my body. One boyfriend in college looked at a magazine model, then at me, then back to the magazine to say, "Too bad women like this don't exist." Old BF sent me naked pictures of Ashley Judd and said, "Look how pretty she is." Putting on lingerie felt like I was pretending to be something I'm just not - sexy, sensual, erotic woman. It made me feel foolish.
Now, here's Ranger. Trying so desperately to show me how he sees me. Friday night, our love-making was astounding. He was so passionate with me, so erotic, that I had a bit of a breakthrough. See, I always have this self-speak in my mind during sex. I have to because my body is very difficult to get to a climax. I've frustrated every lover I've had. Except Ranger. He understands that I have to concentrate on what my body is feeling. I have to imagine what I feel but can't see.
In my mind is an erotic dialogue.....that I never share. I moan, but I don't speak. To say it made me feel, again, like I was trying to look like something I'm not.
That night, I spoke. I voiced my dialogue. Ranger has a gifted tongue, and I told him so. I let my fingers trace his face as he went down on me. It drove him wild. And when I returned the favor, I let my pleasure at exciting him become known, too. I also made sure he knew I was concentrating on his pleasure, hitting all of his preferred spots and strokes.
See, it's a little known secret that I'm really good with a penis. I pay attention to what a man likes best, where he is most sensitive, and I've learned how to exploit it. I just hold back too often because, again, I feel foolish to be pretending to be a woman I'm not.
But I broke through that with Ranger that night. I saw myself through his eyes. And there, I'm beautiful and sexy and erotic, and everything I wished I could be. I became that woman. Or rather, I finally let that woman in me break free.
Later, as we lay spent and satisfied, he told I was something else I never thought I could be. The best a man has ever had.
It may seem strange to you that a sex act could mean so much to a person. But that night, a door to my self-image was kicked open. And stayed open. I'd say I'm a different woman, but that's not exactly true. That "other" woman existed in me, but I was ashamed to let her out. Now, the shame is gone. The foolishness is gone. Ranger helped her step out into the light. And I've finally let her be a real, significant part of me.
12 hours ago