Where I stood

‘Cos I don’t know who I am,
who I am without you
All I know is that I should**

As some of you know through my tweets and bleats and moans and groans, things are changing for my sweet girlfriend and I.  More than a year after we started, our relationship is going through a transformation.  She’s found someone who she wants to spend more and more time with, someone who’s much more available than I am.  And I’m happy for her, I don’t want her to be lonely, I want her to have the love and attention she’s been looking for and that I can’t give her.

There were sounds in my head
Little voices whispering
That I should go and this should end
Oh and I found myself listening

Throughout the past year, there have been several times we’ve almost broken this off, only to shy away from the precipice at the last moment, not willing to let go of what we rediscovered in each other.  We have loved each other, we have supported each other, encouraged each other, confided in each other.  I knew all along that my part-time availability wouldn’t cut it forever.  And truly, though it wrenches me to consider not being her lover anymore, I want her to be happy.  I want her to have someone who makes her the top priority, who is there to warm her nights and dry her tears.  She deserves this and I want it for her and it breaks my heart that I’m not the one to give it to her.

And I don’t know if I could stand another hand upon you
All I know is that I should

It’s not easy, it’s the hardest emotional task I’ve undertaken in a long time.  It’s freakishly difficult but we’re determined that this is not going to be the kind of break up where two people walk, run and fly away from each other, severing all ties and hoping for the cessation of feeling for each other.  We are choosing the harder route.   She’s not just my lover, she’s my best friend, my confidant, my coach and cheerleader.  She’s the first person I ever fell in love with, first kissed, first made love too and to have her disappear from my life now is not what either of us wants.  So we are working on disconnecting a part of our relationship, while retaining the rest.. like pulling velcro apart fiber by fiber, but keeping most of it bound together. In contrast to our breakup of 25 years ago, we want to choose how this happens. It’s difficult but very powerful. It’s always a powerful, amazing thing to determine your own course and I’m happy to have the privilege of making this choice with her.

‘Cos she will love you more than I could
She who dares to stand where I stood

No one will ever replace her, no one ever has since we first met.  It took a while for me to convince her of that, because she saw me flirting up a storm online and figured I was looking for her replacement.  I don’t see anyone as a replacement for anyone else, it doesn’t work that way.  Everyone I’ve been with has had their own special and unique place in my heart, or as Roxy has expressed it, they plugged into different ports.  There will be other lovers for me and they will all have their own place in my history.  But she, my first love, is one of a kind, and I’m happy to keep her there, in her warm cozy spot in my heart.

I also don’t believe anyone will ever love her the way I do, no one has the history I have with her.  I have no doubt she’ll find someone to love her a lot, hopefully as much as she deserves to be loved and adored and treasured.  But the way I love her is mine and mine alone, and that won’t ever change.

And I won’t be far from where you are if ever you should call
You meant more to me than anyone I ever loved at all
But you taught me how to trust myself and so I say to you
This is what I have to do

Yeah, we know it’s not easy, it hasn’t been and we’ve been working our way through this for several weeks.  We are now at an interim place that we hope will let us ease through the transition.  This is something she and her new girlfriend have agreed to, that she and I will continue to be lovers, but not on as heavy a rotation and not forever.  It helps her and I through our transition and it keeps them from renting a U-Haul too soon.

‘Cos I dont know who I am, who I am without you
All I know is that I should
And I don’t know if I could stand another hand upon you
All I know is that I should
‘Cos she will love you more than I could
She who dares to stand where I stood
Oh, she who dares to stand where I stood

This is all well and good intellectually.  I know this is the right thing for her and I’m proud of how far she’s come in the past year and how much stronger she’s become.  The emotional acceptance is still a work in progress.  I’ll hear one of our songs on the radio and the tears will come as I sing along.  I’ll see a picture of her and my heart will jump and sink rapidly.  I’ll remember the feeling of her skin next to mine, the look in her eyes when I close in for a kiss and the pain in my chest becomes excruciating.

This is not easy, but it’s the right thing to do, for both of us as individuals and for her and I as lifelong friends.  I wish the very best for her.  My greatest hope is that she achieves the professional and personal goals she has for herself.  That she finds someone worthy of her, who loves her and respects her and accepts her for herself.  I know she wants the best for me in my life as well.  And I want our friendship to deepen, to be loving and respectful and non-judgmental… which has been our strength this whole time.

I’m not doing this alone, I have people who love and support me everyday. I thank my girlfriend for her patience and bravery and undying love.  I thank my wife for her love and strength and understanding.  I thank the wonderful new friends I have made through this blog and through Twitter, who have supported and encouraged me and cheered me up when I come on moping and moaning — special shout outs to the Sweltering Celt, the Diva, Hussyred and maxlagos for going the extra mile. And I especially want to thank Roxy, who is reminding me on a daily basis that life will continue and even be fun again, eventually.

** Where I Stood, by Missy Higgins, from the Where I Stood EP, 2008,

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