He’s my husband - but even so, he’s gone some part of most weeks. And frankly, I suck at staying connected. I seem to be unable to shift to him when he calls - unable to step out of the reality i’m standing in and focus on being his. It’s a little better with chat/IM, but he doesn’t always have the ability to do that. He leaves tasks, and rules, and even a well worn t-shirt for me to wear to bed. I wear his collar always. That helps.
I’m never not his - but i do let my focus shift to so many other things. He doesn’t want me to be thinking all about him 24/7/365 - He likes that i love my job, he wants me to accept and work towards challenges, he wants me to focus on my children and family and friends and the whole great big world just like anyone. But he wants me to be able to come to him when he wants me.
This trip is 10 days and 6 time zones, and no chat. He left me the tasks of two pictures a day - one of me that i think he will like, and one from the internet that i want him to see. I’ve been sending them at night and he gets them when he wakes up in the morning. It’s actually been working pretty well. I’m thinking about what pictures to take, which ones to choose, what i want to think about and what i want to communicate to him with them - mostly that i’m fine (he wants me to be fine) and that i’m thinking about him and missing him - in general and in specific ways.
Over the years, I’ve gotten better at shifting between ‘him home’ and ‘him gone’ mode - and he’s gotten better at recognizing when i can’t and helping me get there. He’s also gotten better at shifting. He compartmentalizes soooooo much better than i do, but he has to work at it sometimes also. On the whole, this is just how we have always been - through more than 20 years together and more than 7 years M/s - so i don’t know how it will look or feel or work any other way. In theory i would love to have him around all the time - but i would still need to divide me among all the parts of my world. Maybe that is actually easier with him gone sometimes. Maybe that part is easier for him too.
I took off my collar and handed it to you - not as a test or a temper tantrum or to manipulate you - not in that kind of calculated way. Neither of us plays games like that. It was pure desperation.
In order to submit to you the way you want, i have to let myself be vulnerable. I can do strong and invulnerable - i did for most of my life. And in most of my day-to-day i can keep that. But i can’t with you and also be open and listening and following and submitting. I could in actions - mostly - but you want all of me, not just my actions. So, with you, I have to stop protecting myself and trust you to do that.
And - like everyone - sometimes we miss - sometimes spectacularly. This time, the things that are hardest for me lined up with the things that are hardest for you, and we each mis-understood and guessed wrong and, and, and… And I felt for all the world like you had walked away and turned your back on me. I felt un-protected and un-wanted.
I’m so glad, was so relieved that you didn’t walk away. I need you. And i want to need you. I will keep working to be what you want and how you want - but this piece i don’t think i can do differently. Trust must manifest itself in different ways for different people - for me, the hardest and most important trust is that you want me and that you will stay.