I count myself as very fortunate that I have experienced romantic love in my life. As a child I was in love with my friend’s big brother, as a teen I was in love with a long haired drummer in a band, as a young woman it was a man too old for me who stole my heart, a grown woman it was my husband, and now it is The Boy. Not all of those instances were reciprocated love, not all were healthy love, but there was love and whether I was a child or an adult that love still has value and meaning. That love shaped me, changed me, and because of those relationships and those emotions I am who I am today. As an adult that love came with sex, and I also had sex without love. I had heartache, pain, betrayal and sadness. I had happiness, joy and excitement. Those experiences too shaped me and my behaviour, my attitudes.
Ultimately my past, the love, the pain, the sex, the experiences, they are a huge part of who I am and therefore to love me today means loving those parts of my past.
I am in love with The Boy, and therefore I know that, just as he has to love those parts of me, I have to love those parts of him. I do, and I also accept them. I am completely comfortable with the fact he was married, and loved his ex wife enough to marry her. I am okay with his experiences as a young man falling in love, with his sexual experiences growing up, be they short or long, and I know that without them he wouldn’t be the man I love now. That said, and I accept the irrationality of this, I hate the image that is in my head. So much so that when we share tales of our past, the image in my head of him in the stories has no face. I cannot comfortably picture him feeling things or being physically intimate with other women. It’s horrible.
The loves he had are gone. The memory of those feelings might remain, a shadow of what it once was, but the actual love and passion has disappeared. I am not “jealous” of those feelings he had because a) that’s crazy b) he didn’t know me then c) I was in love with other people at the same time as he was and d) that’s crazy. So what is it? Why does the image of him being involved with other people make me uneasy? Because I know he has loved before me, that means I know he could love after me; his ability to love does not live and die with me. I know that should our relationship fail then he will go on to love someone else, and she will love him back if she has any sense. And feel bloody lucky for the chance. I know it, I accept it, but I hate it. I hate feeling replaceable.
When the EH (ex-husband) and I were first separated there was not one tiny part of me that expected never to love again. I felt no expectations of forever being single, he had not “ruined me for other men”. I knew I would love again and it was just a matter of getting over my marriage and finding my emotional strength again enough to be ready for it, and I knew it was true for him too. And when I did, when I was there, I met The Boy and the EH has met his lady. Rationally I know this would be the case for me and The Boy, but I hate it.
It comes down to the fact that the image of The Boy, as I know him and love him, with other women is pretty damn vile. Present day, as we are, I don’t want to share. Whilst I know the relationships are in the past, it’s present day me in our current relationship that is picturing them. Whilst I know that they’re long gone and those feelings are lost in the sea of memories that make up who we are, feeling the love I do now for him it’s easy to imagine the feelings he had in the past. Because it’s not past him I picture, it’s current him. It’s not past love I think about, it’s today’s love.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not a crazy jealous person. I am not naturally inclined to jealousy at all. I don’t have problems with his female friends, I have no drama about his ex-wife, and totally accept his past with women. Rationale always wins out. When the niggles of discomfort bite, I can push them away with logic and rationality that tells them they’re stupid and should not be indulged. To let these feelings win or cause me to behave towards him differently would suggest there is a problem with his past or a problem with our future, and neither is the case. However, I can say this for damn sure, the chances of us going to any swingers parties is damn near impossible. Bleurgh.