Heartache is. I never knew it was.
It has lessened over the past two years when it first made itself known in my life. That’s when I knew something was wrong in my then 15 year relationship with PhD.
6’2″, 44, ginger, balding with hair trim close, big gym muscles he’s proud of making, wicked smart, artistic, creative, well-read.
We met in Richmond, Virginia just a few months after I finished my undergraduate work at the University of Richmond. Soccer was my favorite sport growing up, and once I finished college I wanted to play again. I joined a co-ed summer soccer league. His techie company didn’t have enough women and so I got placed on the company team to round it out.
He said he noticed me right away.
He was emerging from a divorce after one year of marriage in which his wife cheated on him. I was emerging from a three-year relationship/engagement in which I had cheated on my boyfriend.
The team went for beers after the games. We started talking and by the end of the summer he had asked me out. I happened to move into an apartment directly across the street from the one he and his sister and brother were moving in to.
We spent every day together.
After six months, we got an apartment together. Four years later, in 2002, we moved to Manhattan.
We spent every day together.
In 2005, after 10 years as a website designer and project manager, he decided he wanted to pursue a PhD in physics. When it was time to apply to graduate schools, we decided California would be a fun place to live since we were both from the East Coast. He attended UC Davis and I worked on campus.
As he was finishing up in 2013, so was I with my high stress fundraising job on campus. With some inheritance I received after my father’s death in 2008, I decided to quit my job and go to culinary school in St. Helena.
We moved from Davis to St. Helena with our two cats on December 31, 2013 to a crappy apartment right in town. He started looking for jobs in the Bay Area, and much to our surprise landed one that started the following March.
He found a furnished studio in SoMA and we moved him in. We saw each other every weekend either me driving to the city or him coming by ferry to Napa Valley.
In June 2014 he officially walked for his PhD, by November he was cheating on me with a young, blond from work. I didn’t find out for sure until six months later.
In December, we went back to the East Coast to visit our families. That was the first time I knew something was wrong. Since we were spending 24/7 again together, I could see more obviously there was a problem.
He was more agitated and quick to anger. He and his brother usually have some sort of big argument during the holidays owing to the fact they are both smarty-pants PhDs. But this year it was epic. At one point in the middle of the night, I got out of bed because the passion in their tone of voice made me think someone was gonna swing at any moment.
We also had sex nearly everyday, a quantity highly unusual for us, and it was rough, like borderline rapey rough.
When we came back and restarted our typical routine in January, he began wanting to leave early on Sundays to get back to the city. Excuses of running errands and doing laundry.
That was the beginning of the heartache. I missed him so much and didn’t know why or what was happening, just that something was wrong.
He didn’t want to touch me. He didn’t like it when I touched him.
A frequent time for sex for us was after the gym and a shower. I approached him from behind while he was in his towel, grabbed him and started kissing his back. We moved to the bed, and he was barely hard.
I started sucking his cock and that didn’t improve things. I sat on his cock and nothing changed.
He got made at me and told me he was tired and wanted to take a nap. I went downstairs and watched a movie in complete shock and confusion.
An hour later, he came downstairs and said he wanted to pack up and go early. I confronted him asking if he still loved me, did he love someone else, was he seeing someone else. Nothing in reply.