The pressure is mounting. I feel it in every phone call, every conversation, every letter: Come to me. I want you here.
Husband #2 tells me about the weather forecast, the real estate market, the employment outlook, and the coffee shops. He compares his area with a black and white photo I have in the kitchen – Parisian couple romantically sharing an embrace along the river banks, flowering baskets hang overhead, 40’s era bike leans lazily against the stone wall of the dyke, cathedral in the background. “Remember when we were in EPCOT and ate pastries in the French section? It’s like that here.”
He tells me how I can bring my job, which allows me to work from home a large majority of the time, out to his area of the country. After all, the only thing I need is internet service, right?
He lures me with fertile soil, thick brown loam where I can grow tomatoes and cucumbers and melons and raspberries. Soil that contains few rocks and where the word “clay” is met with quizzical looks from the locals.
But mostly, he reminds me that we would be closer together, allowing us to have dates and sex and drives in the country more often than our current once a month visits. He tells me how we are more affectionate than most couples, which plays on my (very) touchy nature.
He’s doing his best to wear me down…
Even if I were to let go of all of my current commitments (damn those kids and their final years in school) and sell the house, I wouldn’t be moving to the relationship I want. In fact, I know that Husband #2 doesn’t really want me to move out there.
After one particularly honest round of talks and vulnerability, I felt the familiar pressure again. Taking a deep breath, I looked him in the eye and said, “I think if I moved out there it would scare the pants off of you. You would run away like your hair was on fire.”
Husband #2 (sigh), “You’re right”.
Side note: I hate being right. Sometimes I would really like to be wrong.
I suggested, “Move back here for the remainder of the 3 years and then I’ll go where you want me to go (with the caveat that it be in the cooler part of the state).” HaHa, silly girl. What are you thinking. I know he would not agree to that compromise at all, so I don’t even seriously consider it myself.
In the words of Husband #2, we have a timing problem. He wants to live where he wants to live and I’m committed to stay where I’m at for the next three years as I get kids through school and raise them to be independent adults with their own lives. As I say “see you” to my children and send them out the door, Husband #2 wants to move closer to his children and be more involved in their lives.
Second side note: Husband #2’s children are married and each has produced grandchildren, so the age difference between his offspring and mine are off by a decade.
You say you want me there but you really don’t. What you like is the dream of having me there. The dream is romantic and perfect and…well…dreamy. The reality of having me there would be too concrete. The debris of everyday life would get in the way of the rose-colored view. The pressure of being in a relationship would be too much to handle.
Maybe someday, but right now there isn’t enough incentive for me to take the risk. Husband #2 is still wrapped up in his own personal universe and doesn’t seem to understand the enormity of what he is asking from me. I don’t feel as if he would take an equal amount of risk for me and my desires.
I think I’ll stay right here.
At least for three more years.