Michael seems to be retreating into Hermity mode more as time goes on. I feel very distant from him. No hugs today. I have been trying to leave him alone, but apparently I'm not doing a very good job of it. He told me tonight he doesn't feel his privacy is very private, that I keep popping in on him. To be fair to me, I have to say that I have left him alone nearly all day, and only popped in this evening when our internet was acting up. And each time was less than a minute. But to be fair to him, he is not used to that at all and it must be like a pin prick each time I do it. It hurt when he told me, but I'm glad he did. It will be a week tomorrow since we got home and about day 2 or 3 of not drinking, and I'm sure, or at least I hope, that this is just adjustment. He is also out of cigarettes and doesn't want me to buy him any more. That may be playing into this as well. He fixed dinner tonight, and wanted to do it alone. I don't know how long this will last, or if this is the permanent situation. It is way too early to tell, but if it looks like it is going to be the norm, we will have to have a talk at some point about what he wants to accomplish. No good coming here and doing exactly what he was doing in Minnesota. He did say today that when he “gets his head together” he wants to start exercising, maybe walking. However, as I said, he is still adjusting and this depression is no doubt normal for that. Tomorrow I am going down the hill for a pedicure. I will extend that time, do some shopping, maybe see a movie. I don't know, but I will give him as much space as I can right now. I suspect it is a good thing surgery was postponed as I doubt he would have been able to get through that very well at all.
I didn't see Michael at all today until dinner. It was a rough day for me, not knowing what was going on. I tend to blame myself for everything that happens and that may be a form of hubris actually. Not everything is about me, and I discovered that this situation was like that. At dinner Michael started to talk about yesterday and last night. First he apologized, then he told me he had had a very bad headache, he was feeling very hermity, and he had not been very good in telling me he needed more space. He asked me if we could have some sips and just talk. Of course, I said yes, in fact, I was on the verge of suggesting it. I'm glad we did. I poured the drinks so while we had more than we wanted to, Michael had considerably less than he might. He is still slightly drunk, and will probably suffer for it in the morning, but now I know what is going on. He says the more space I give him the more loving and affectionate he will become. He told me he doesn't need drink to love me and be affectionate, but there are times when it is just hard to show that. And he told me that before we started sipping.
We discussed how we need to understand each other and meet in the middle. I am very social and he is antisocial. We are both adjusting to that. I did nothing wrong last night by popping into his room, he just wasn't able to tolerate it. I told him that I have had a hellish week, with the cancellation of the surgery, and the rescheduling of it for August 3, 3 days before school starts. My own state of mind has been very fragile. I told him that what he said to me last night hurt me, but that I needed to hear it and to act on it. Somehow we got started talking about masturbation. I think it came from his concern that I would just walk in on him while he is “fapping.” We have talked about masturbating before and he has even given me tips when I was stressed and not being successful. Michael hasn't had real sex for about 6 years, and apart from my short visit to Hawaii, I haven't for even longer than that. I shared my own experiences with masturbation with him, how since I have experienced what I call my “sexual renaissance” I no longer feel guilty about it and indulge in it frequently. He told me about some of his experiences too. He calls himself a “fapmaster.” and some of his stories are hilarious. But we both agreed that it is a means to an end, just sort of “gets it out of the system” as he put it. There is no lasting feel good feeling that comes with cuddling after sex with someone you care about. But, for that very brief moment, it does feel good and does reduce stress. Under different circumstances, with a smaller age gap between us, we could probably have comforted one another, but as that isn't going to happen, we do what we can. The fact that I can write this down, for other people to read, is a strong indicator of how far I have come recently. An old friend helped me come out of my sexual shell where I had been hiding for a long time. He did it by a lot of “talking.” We have been friends for years, but it wasn't until I asked him about flirting and how to do it that the tone of our conversations changed. They got very hot at times and then he would encourage me to go “take care of myself.” It was probably one of the most liberating experiences I have ever had.
Now, after tonight's talk, I think I can give him the space he needs and not feel as though he doesn't want to be with me. I have my own demons I need to tame, and I think Michael will help me do that, just as much as I can help him. Only he and I realize the reciprocity involved in our relationship. I got lots of hugs tonight and lots of “I love you”s as well. Tomorrow will be another quiet day, with me leaving Michael alone. Actually that won't be hard because my guess is he will be up most of the night with Mary, now that he is in a talkative mood, and will sleep much of the day.
We realize that this is the first of what may be many episodes of hermity behavior, and we need to keep in mind that we each have needs. I will leave him alone and he will, in turn, show me the affection and love I need from him. But we now understand each other better, and that understanding will continue to grow. Our relationship is unique, different from any other relationship either one of us has had before. As our understanding continues to grow, it will ultimately bring us even closer together. We are the Odd couple, for sure.