I moved into the Marriott on Friday. Hunky went with me, as the room was on his credit card, etc., plus he wanted to be sure I was taken care of.
It all went fairly well. He wanted to stay a bit longer than I allowed, but quite frankly, I didn't see the point. 1) We already had plans to get together on Saturday and 2) Long drawn out good-byes just don't do anybody any good.
Earlier on Friday, we went to lunch together at Claim Jumper (this has become our Friday ritual). Over a glass of wine, we had a very adult (i.e. drama-free) discussion about what this separation is about, etc.
One thing that came out in the conversation (again; this is no surprise to me) is the fact that hunky has been unhappy for quite some time. I say he hasn't been happy since we first started dating, but I think he sees it otherwise. Still, the outcome is that he isn't happy, and he (finally) realizes that I have done all I can to compromise and change, and that I'm at my limit. He also acknowledged that I have sacrified a lot to make the relationship work (left my home, my friends, my job; gave up a style of living I was accustomed to and comfortable with to live with him, etc.). I think that last part meant more to me than the other... for years he just hasn't really seemed to see the sacrifices I made to join him. Not that I'm martyrish about it or anything... but it sometimes bugged me that he didn't see what I gave up to be with him as a sacrifice of any sort.
We've talked about this unhappiness before. My response is almost always "If you're unhappy with me, then we should break up." I've changed all that I can, and if those changes haven't made him happy, then the plain fact is that he will never be happy with me. Time to cut his losses and move on.
However, he has always seen my response as abandonment. His response is always something like "That's not the answer." And in some ways, he is right: running away is never the right response. However, I'm not running away. I'm jut not able to give him what he needs/wants, and in that case, it's probably best for him to find someone who can.
The thing is, though, the thought of losing me terrifies him (his words). I don't think he'd ever lose me, though, not really. It is clear to us both that we'll probably be in each others lives as long as we're both alive. We're just wired to be close to one another. That doesn't mean, however, that we're the right partners for each other... but that's another discussion entirely.
Friday, when we had this conversation again, he finally acknowledged that maybe I've been right; maybe it is time to cut bait. But, he's not willing to give it all up yet, hence the temporary separation.
We discussed dating, and it was decided that he could date others during our separation. I suppose I could date as well (what's good for the goose is good for the gander), but seriously? I have no interest. I would much rather spend the time getting back in tune with myself, then getting to know someone (or a bunch of someones) else.
We will also date each other during this time frame. Plus, honestly, there is no way I can absolutely be free of him; I'll have to go to the house periodically for changes of clothes, etc. And of course I want to see the cats once in awhile as well. But, the point is to keep home contact minimal. Dating outside the house is fine. Staying overnight at home defeats the purpose of whatever it is we're trying to accomplish with this separation.
We decided to have periodic check-ins, and should we decide that we belong together, we will seek counseling to help us get through some of the issues that we can't get through on our own.
I'm not really sure what direction we're headed in right now. A part of me thinks it's over; after all, this is the second break we've had in almost 8 years. But, another part of me felt that we had a really productive heart-to-heart on Friday, and that maybe we'll get through this just like we did six years ago.
All I can say is, only time will tell.