I've been turning things over in my head these past few days, trying to understand what happened, exactly. I know that I started saying things that may have seemed out of the blue Thursday night. In some ways they were, and in some ways they weren't, but I owe you an explanation.
I hope that you will be ready to talk to me at some point in person, though I understand that may not be right away. In part, that's why I'm putting these thoughts in a letter--I want to give you the space and the privacy to process this alone or with Simon if that's what you need, rather than showing up on your doorstep. I also think that no matter how fluently I read your lips, and no matter how fluently you sign, some things are easier to say on paper.
I never doubted your trust or your love, and I never hesitated to give you either of those things. When I said that depth of feeling isn't enough, I should have also mentioned that I do trust you, that I have fallen in love with you, and that I've been happy to have you in my life. I also never doubted the values you brought up, or that you've approached our relationship with integrity and love. I do love you, and I am grateful for the positive things you've brought to my life for the past couple of years.
I recognize that I'm in part to blame--especially for not asking myself some of the hard questions that I needed to ask. As I've said before, I'm rarely the one leaving, and I think in a way, that's why I didn't think hard about what a very long relationship with you might mean. I had the luxury of thinking about the future without questioning the problems in our relationship, or whether we'd be suited for the long-term in a practical sense, because a part of me always expects a relationship to end with the other person pulling away, or for it to go up in flames. I apologize for not being more thoughtful about things, and talking them out with you over time. I apologize for bringing them up suddenly like this.
The conclusion I've come to, going over the argument we had in my head, as well as some of the past problems, is that I was right when I said that depth of feeling isn't enough. When we had that fight back in the spring, and you tried to pull away, I pulled you back in a kneejerk reaction, dug my heels in and tried to cement the relationship in a deeper way. I gave into my habit of being contrary, not letting someone have the last word, when I should've asked why you were pulling away, and if there might be some reason for it.
I didn't want to address the ways you've made me feel sometimes, because you are a good person, and sweet, and loving, and I didn't want to confront the ugliness. In a way, I don't want to bring it up here, but maybe in a way it will help you in future relationships, or in some other ways.
The idea of me playing with other people has always been a sticking point with us. You've never said no, but you've always seemed uncomfortable. Particularly, you've seemed uncomfortable with me playing with men, as opposed to Pauley, or Bridget. When I told you about the scene I had with Bridget, you seemed excited, and like you said, you delivered me right to the scene with Pauley. You once asked me, seemingly out of the blue, whether I wanted a girlfriend. I didn't understand why you were asking that at the time, but now I kind of get it. Sometimes it's good to be chivalrous, gentlemanly, etc. But sometimes it's harmful, and in that way, it was. It plays into the idea that women who have sex with many men are sluts. I know you don't believe that, and I understand that you can't control your feelings about what feels comfortable and what doesn't, but I couldn't control that when you kept making that distinction between male and female play partners, I felt judged. The place I'm at with kink right now makes it particularly difficult to handle that kind of feeling.
I felt the same way sometimes about kink. Several times, you've brought up kinks that you're into that you felt I'd never want, and cut me off without giving me a chance to say how I might feel about them. What I was hearing from you was "not for you, Marlee." When I asked you to be more dominant, you got angry. All these things made me feel that there were limits with you, that good behavior meant sticking with my kinky starting point. I don't understand why, if you want more kink, you would put your partners on a pedestal and decide that they should never do those kinky things--it seems to me like you're judging your own kinks, judging yourself. I hope not. There's nothing wrong with liking those things, and if you keep telling partners that your kinks are too much for them, without letting them find out, you'll never get what you need. You'll also make your partners feel that if they misstep, they'll fall off that pedestal, into slutdom.
This sounds harsh, I'm sure. But I'm angry about some things, and I kept trying not to go too far into anger, and now I'm realizing that I probably should have. You can hate me for it if you want to. I hope you won't. I do care for you, and I do want you to nurture yourself and feel good about your kinky desires and have fulfilling relationships. But where you are, and where I am, just doesn't match, and I have to be honest about that. You were right to say that we keep talking around each other.
I'm sorry that the timing isn't better. I hope that moving was a good thing for you, regardless of the fact that your original intent was to be closer to me. I know you wanted to leave that house, and I'm sure it will be good to be close to Simon.
If you want to talk about this, you know where to find me, in person or by replying to this letter. In a way, this is goodbye, but I hope you'll consider me a friend. I value the time we've had together, and I know how much of yourself you've given to this relationship. I hope you know that you've affected my life in good ways, and that it wasn't in vain.