What Kept Me Going?


Luke kept me going through all the hell I was going through in seeking my divorce.  We texted during the day as his work schedule allowed and we’d sit up late into the night, texting back and forth.  

Not once did we speak on the phone.  There was an unspoken boundary there that we didn’t cross.  I wasn’t free and avoiding the phone, for me, kept too much intimacy out of our relationship.  Besides, I could still hear his voice in my head, even after two decades.  I could shut my eyes and imagine him standing on my parents’ back porch, laughing with me.  In those moments, he was as real to me as if he’d been standing in front of me.

After about four months of texting, I remember lying in bed one night and trying to figure out how I’d let him become so important to me.  Every time he would text and I would look at my phone and see “Luke,” I would smile like an absolute fool and I could feel myself lighting up.  My heart would skip a beat.  I found such pleasure in texting with him, knowing that he found me desirable – even while knowing I’d never have a physical relationship with a man again and even as I didn’t believe he found me desirable.  I pretty much thought he was just being nice.

It was very confusing for me and I wrote in my journal about it:

Texting with Luke.  He said he was getting naked and reading for a bit.  Dammit if that didn’t get me thinking.  Why tonight?  I decided today to shut down everything for the month.  Liz is off for the month, so there will be no counseling for at least that long.  Now all I can think about is that he is naked!!  I want to see if I’m as replused by him as I was by Bubba.  I already know the answer.  I wouldn’t be.

Luke represents safety to me but how realistic is it?  We’re at least a thousand miles apart.  I haven’t seen him in at least 20 years.  I haven’t even talked to him on the phone.  He’s safe from this distance.

I want this divorce to be final.  I still feel like I can’t even think about another man because I have a legal piece of paper saying I’m married.  I know the marriage is over.  It has been dead and on life support for a long time.  I finally just pulled the plug.  I’m just waiting to have the death certificate signed.  It just feels like a huge block to my healing.  Legally, I’m still tied to Bubba.  I hate this.

I know I can’t see Luke until this is totally over and I have my Emancipation Papers in my hands.  It wouldn’t be good for either or us.  It would set back all the work I’ve done and I would end up hurting him.  I will go the rest of my life without ever even kissing him because I don’t want to hurt him or lose his friendship.  But for tonight, I want to dream of a “what if” world.  

What if I was healed?  What if I was divorced?  What if we started dating?  What if we had a really good time together?  What if we kindly and respectfully settled our differences?  What if he treated me like I deserve to be treated – with respect and kindness and love and caring?  What if we fell in love?  What if he asked me to marry him?

That is where it ends.  There are obstacles.  Huge ones.  The main one being that he is there and I am here.  Let’s say we find a compromise.  What if I say yes?  What if we get married?  Would I actually be able to have a sexual relationship with him or would it be a sexless marriage?  Well, that’s a stupid question because we’re assuming I’m healed.

So, let’s get down to it.  I want, desperately want, the mind-blowing sex we’ve texted about.  But I don’t want it to be sex.  I want to make love.  I want it to be a give and take.  I want it to be a sharing of each other’s bodies.  I want it to be everything I never had.  And right now he is in his bed, naked.  And I want to be there with him.  Fuck.  This just pisses me off because it seems impossible.  Completely, totally impossible.  Yet he’s in my head.  Firmly planted there.  How did he become so important to me?  How did I let this happen?  Probably because I gave him a piece of my heart when I was in junior high and he’s had a hold of it ever since.  He’s the one who got away and now, soon, we’ll both be free.  And that’s another thing.  What if, by the time I’m legally free, he finds someone?  I don’t even want to contemplate that.  

What am I doing?  How can I be so repulsed by the idea of sex and yet so intrigued by the idea of sex with Luke?  I may go out of my mind.  

Yeah.  I was one confused woman.  Thinking about Luke got me through my days and my nights.  I’d lay in bed and wonder what it would be like to roll over and see him there, all sleepy and sexy and smiling at me before he drew me into his arms.  Since I had such a rich, vivid imagination it was almost painful to think about because I would reach out to feel nothing.  I could plainly see him there, but when I extended my arms and met thin air, the fantasy would disappear and I’d be alone.   Yet, he’d text and my heart would sing.  

My goal was to get my Emancipation Papers so that I could actually call Luke and hear his voice.  I wanted to be free to decide whether or not to try for something with Luke.  

I just wanted to be free. 



  1. Vesper

    I had a long distance friend when I was going through the ending of my dead marriage. Two, in fact, though neither was a physically flirtatious chat or text friend. One was actually an ex that I’d hurt badly in high school. He was married but, his wife was very understanding about me needing a friend and not being a threat. I have rarely heard of a more loyal friend. He helped me see things more for what they were, and encouraged me just the way I needed in order to leave. The other was the man who became my husband. We chatted late into the night until Mr Sinister was asleep and it was safe for me to go to bed. I was like you, there was a thrill every time I saw his name on text or chat online. We’d been crazy about each other when I was 16, but things had pulled us apart romantically, though we always wrote letters and stayed best friends. I remember the strength it gave me in between texts or chats. It was enough to think, “Okay, after this is done, I’ll see him online” or “Just get through the day and we’ll be able to talk.” After leaving Mr Sinister, I was sleeping at my brother’s house. One night, I woke up reaching for my friend. Not that he should have been there, just that somehow, the comfort of him was that real. I couldn’t think about sex. I just wanted to be held.

    • I hear you on the wanting to be held. I still long for that. I had a particularly bad evening last night and snuck out to cry alone in my laundry room. I was out there, sobbing, just wanting a strong man to hold me. I’m doing it on my own but wish I had someone to just physically hold me up when I feel at the end of my rope.

      I honestly don’t know how I would’ve gotten through all this without Luke. I feel so blessed to have him in my life, even if it is just through texting right now.


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