Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Council of the Somewhat Educated and Relatively Well-Prepared

So...about that non-husband thing.

If you go way back to the beginning of this blog, you'll find an entry - Date...It's a 4-Letter Word - in which I wrote about my feelings on dating. If you'd rather not go digging through that trash, although I kinda hope you do because I think it's kind of funny and there are pictures...embarrassing grade 8 pictures, I'll simply state I hate dating. Dating sucks. I think dating is like wearing pantyhose and I avoid pantyhose like I try to avoid typhoid.

Sometimes I think I'd prefer typhoid to going out on a date.

I digress.

The truth of the matter is, literally every one of the successful - and by successful I mean lasting longer than 6 months - relationships I've been in did not involve even one single date. In fact, in nearly every case, the progression was this...

Friends first-> Add Booze-> Oh-hai-I-never-noticed-but-you're-cute-let's-have-sex-> WHAM! Relationship.

I'm not lying.

It's only when I actually try to do that whole normal meet a boy with the intention of finding love, go on a few dates, and fool around that things feel awkward and weird (like pantyhose) and the relationship ends quickly in a fizzle.

Yet, even in my successful relationships, eventually they ended...usually because there was some major incompatibility, needs not getting met, communication breakdowns. You know. Just...the stuff.

And I don't even know when I consciously began formulating my thoughts on relationships, monogamy, marriage. At least, not as far as those topics concerned me as a principal player - I could likely philosophize all night about it. However, at some point, I came to realize there was simply no way one person could ever satisfy all the needs and wants and desires I had any more than I could satisfy every single solitary need/want/desire he had. It seemed to me then that the most logical solution to meeting all the things was to divvy that up across a handful of people.

Enter The Council of the Somewhat Educated and Relatively Well-Prepared. The Non-husbands.


All of them contribute something significant - deeper than friendship - that I need and, in return, I like to think I give each of them something just as significant back. I don't always know what but I'd like to think they hold me in as high regard as I hold each of them.

Lex: My first truly successful transparent, honest, trusted relationship. We anchor each other. We help each other. We plan "future" together in terms of "us".

Acry0nym: My best friend, my amiable escort, my near constant social companion. We've got the transparency and the honesty down pat. I sometimes struggle just a bit with trust but I'm working on it. He's worth it.

Spux: My decidedly undecided gender-neutral non-husband. What a weird and wonderful surprise he was! Maybe one day I'll have full permission to tell you the whole story but that's not now. Regardless, Spux is my spontaneous inspiration, the artist, and also the best mix of girl and boy. A stupendous sounding board for all things irrationally girl with a solid balance of boy to keep me even.

4K: The work spouse turned non-husband. He said it best to me the other day. He said, "Jane? You're like one of only 2 or 3 people who knows all of me. You know the professional, the good kid. But you also know all the rest of me I have to hide in order to keep people's opinion of me in high regard." Yep! Plus, he makes amazing coffee for me every day.

TC: He and I have a common bond that I haven't really found with any of the others. We can talk about certain stuff in a way that I don't want to talk about aside from my conversations with him. He alone is married. Happily so. I love his wife. She, I'm pretty sure, likes me. It isn't about that. It's something I have no desire to explain. But he also puts up with my shit just as well as all of the others. That's certainly plenty to cherish and admire.

So that's The Council in a nutshell. Each one fills a unique role, a beloved purpose in my life. They are certainly somewhat educated and all are relatively well-prepared (and well-armed) to handle just about any situation. Even better, all but the first are somewhat intimately connected and have genuine affection for each other and like spending time with one another - even when I'm not present. Each one loves me in his own way and each one has at least one (most of them multiple) more relationship outside of me where their other needs are getting met.

Do I have room for more?

I was asked recently by two different people on two separate occasions how they could get in on this non-husband gig. Which kind of took me by surprise because really? I'm not sure of the appeal. I answered both with a standard, pat answer, "Fill out the application in triplicate for review and remit the non-refundable application fee".

Yes, I was trying to be funny and cute. But there isn't a good, serious answer to give and I didn't know what else to say. I certainly have a wish list. But you either have potential or you don't and only time tells whether a person is non-husband material or not.

The question really boils down to this: Do I have an unmet need that someone not listed above can't meet and the person inquiring can?

Possibly. The most obvious answer is the need for physical affection.

Unfortunately, that's the one that is the easiest to find and the hardest to fill consistently with a non-husband.


Because even though sex, physical attention, and affection are easy to come by generally, they also, typically, come with all sorts of loaded expectations (aka pre-determined resentments), jealousies, and demands. Sex does weird chemical things to people's brains and creates awkward insecurities where they don't realistically belong.

I, frankly, don't have time for unrealistic expectations, jealousies, and demands. I've got five other non-husbands to dote on and get carried away with. Five irreplaceable, amazing, fulfilling guys who need me for their own reasons as much as I need them. Furthermore, I don't want to give any of them up.

So there.

Physical affection then usually takes the back seat for me. It's the one savage beast that can be somewhat soothed with a massage and, later, thrown a battery-operated party of one. While it does not replace cuddling, hand holding, kissing, giggling, caressing, and, let's face it, there is no foreplay with a vibrator, in a pinch, it is acceptable. Passable. Uh...occasionally lonely and cold.


Do I have room for more?

Yes, I suppose I do.

The geek in me fantasizes I have room for a total of 9 non-husbands so they can be the Fellowship of the Jane (one does not simply walk into Jane-dor). But then life itself is just a fantasy.

Realistically though, I just really would like the one more. The one who comes and cuddles and giggles and kisses and holds my hand and we have the hanky along with the panky...and then he goes away and does something else for awhile, has other things to do, other relationships to nurture, other hobbies to explore, and then comes back for more. One who doesn't get jealous of the others who take my time. One who genuinely likes the others who take my time. Wouldn't it be extra-specially nice if he knew and liked the ones I love so that we could all go to supper - just like Acry0nym, Spux, and I sometimes do and exclaims - as we all three do - "Look at us! Just one little happy non-married family!"

A girl can dream.

Likely, I digress.


Ernie Hendrix said...

It's amazing how different lives can be. Yours and mine are truly polar opposites. I've been married to the same guy for almost 47 years and don't feel the need and don't want any other men in my life except as friends. The thought of having to please five different men just gives me the heebie-jeebies. Having said that, I think you and I would be friends. I love your willingness to live your life the way that works for you (and even to try things that don't). I can't say I understand the way your mind words but then I'm not really sure I understand the way mine works either!

(Ms.) Ernie

Anonymous said...

As I read, I wondered if any of the non-husbands were married. I think it would take a very special (and highly unusual) woman to be okay with her husband being super-close friends with another woman. Friends? Sure. "He and I have a common bond that I haven't really found with any of the others. We can talk about certain stuff in a way that I don't want to talk about aside from my conversations with him." kind of friends? Not so much.

Friendships sometimes (as you noted) morph quickly into something more--or at least something different. Emotional connections are fantastic. Sex is fantastic. Sex with a person with whom you share a deep emotional connection is as good as it gets. Put that all together and it adds up to why most married people don't pursue super-connected friendships with members of the opposite gender and why most married people would prefer their spouses don't, either. In most cases, that's probably wise.

Mrs. TC must be one of those rare birds.

Lucy said...

I have to admit I am not sure I totally understand the non-husband thing but then again I have been married for almost 25 years, so I think that it is why I don't get it but the only person that has to 'get it' is you,well,wait and your non-husbands too LOL.

Oh, I will say this, my husband knows that I would never, ever tolerate him being a non-husband but I am a Scorpio, remember? I have those jealousy problems LOL

Enjoy your non-husbands but don't give up on a husband or soulmate, one to cuddle with and more... They really are more fun than battery operated thingys.

Gaelyn said...

I so totally agree about one person not being able to fulfill another's needs. My x-husband didn't get it either. Actually I have to fulfill most of my own needs, but with outside help and influence. Mike is my friend and lover yet I see no reason to marry him. I think you have the best of all worlds with multiple non-husbands. Er, I mean the council. Especially with the truth of each not only knowing about the other but knowing them and even being friends. Awesome package. Please send the application. ;)
For me the friends, booze and sex game always ended, maybe not badly but over just the same.
Sure cuddling etc is great, but eventually gets less and less with age so better make sure the council is around for the long run. The other itch can be taken care of.
Don't think I'd have time for more than three in my local council. Maybe could add a couple more in distant countries.

PLEASE don't let me Ever wear pantyhose, or date.

Graciewilde said...

I am envious, Jane. I would love to have your council. I have been married a long time - more than Lucy, less than Simply Red - he's a good person but there are so many gaps. As Word Nerd pointed out, spouses don't like it when you spend too much time with friends of the opposite sex and yes, emotional relationships can be minefields. But your non husbands give you so much. Frankly, I think I was meant for more of what you have than for what I have - I like men a lot. I find them engaging and entertaining. I like to laugh with them but I can also cry with them. I have had my share of non husbands but then I have to put them away. Maybe it's b/c I grew up with all those brothers? My non husbands are like my brothers....

Unknown said...

what wonderful reading. I loved it. I left an award over at my blog for you. Stop by anytime and pick it up :)

Masked Mom said...

I think it's fantastic that you have somehow created this patchwork quilt of individuals who help to keep you covered. I have a few fairly close male friends, in addition to the Hubby, who has always been very open-minded and understanding where these things are concerned.

And, Graciewilde, I think you make a good point about your brothers and your ease at bonding with men. That just makes sense. ;)

NGS said...

Egads! This sounds too complicated for me! My husband doesn't fill all my social and emotional needs (how could any one person do that?), but I have girlfriends to support me in whatever way he can't. I don't think I could keep track of all those other men, but I'm happy to hear it works (mostly) for you.

ScooterLass said...

I really, really, really like this. I have these philosophical conversations with myself all the time... I don't think just one person CAN fulfill all the needs of another, and (I believe) it's an unfair expectation that leads to so many relationship endings.

And I envy you your non-husbands.