I gave my best shot at an 8 year long monogamous happily ever after type relationship. The house, the ring, the dog and cat, and the future of children all with one man. I should point out that the man loved me in his own way, and that was made even more apparent after I ended things, but back to the point. He was strong, intimidating, opinionated and a very sociable male. I slowly turned into a woman who no longer felt attractive and free, but rather just a woman on a pedestal whose life was turning into that of woman in the 50's.
Let me explain, we had many mutual friends and friends of friends which happens when you are together that long. Each and everyone of them was afraid of flirting or taking anything too far with me for fear that the ex would "kill" them (melodramatic I know). I was only around these same men, over and over with absolutely bare minimum attention from anyone, and in public even less from the man I was with. So I had to make the first move to get that ego boost with these men. I was not looking to cheat, just to get a high that flirting gives. That adrenaline burst, or better put, that rush and excitement.
I found myself in compromising positions that I initiated and the guilt and remorse that followed was unbelievable, but the longer I went without that rush the worse I felt. Well lets just say I ended things around year 7 to chase what I needed and keep myself from "cheating". I was getting that much needed attentiveness and kindness from a male friend who was not a fan of the ex. It was exhilarating to have something new, something fresh, someone seeing you with whole new eyes. However shortly afterwards the ex and I got back together, but inevitably ended things a year later, permanently.
It took me a long time to add everything up about why that relationship failed so miserably. He was jealous every time I was alone or slightly flirty with any other male resulting in my complete isolation. The only male giving me affection was him, and he was bad at it. The self esteem and confidence was being replaced by an emotionally starved stranger whom I hardly recognized in the mirror. And I now know why. Men and woman need that extra in life, that something new, fresh and exciting. It also strengthens and keeps fresh that love you have at home. That love that I am missing terribly right now.