Ben Esra telefonda seni boşaltmamı ister misin?
Telefon Numaram: 00237 8000 92 32
In Part 4 Ben gets a little help from his friends… and more than a little loving.
All characters engaging in sexual relationships or activities are 18 years old or older.
Ben sat in his living room with tears slowly rolling down his cheeks. Hannah sat on the ottoman in front of him. When she’d arrived first thing in the morning he’d been a little surprised. He’d let her in and taken her coat. As he turned back her open palm caught him on the cheek. It wasn’t a particularly hard slap but it rang his head as he’d been completely unprepared. Once he regained stability she stepped forward and hugged him fiercely, calling him her hero. His whole body locked up until she stepped back.
“Ben, which of those two things hurt the most?” Hannah said with compassion in her eyes.
The question was so odd he froze and actually thought about it. The slap had been a surprise but the hug and praise had a far more uncomfortable impact on his body.
He stared at Hannah. “The hug.”
“You see how backwards that is, right?” she asked hopefully.
He nodded and she led him into the living room to sit on the couch. She pulled up the ottoman directly in front of him. He had tears in his eyes as she sat before her friend.
“Ben, I spoke with a large and concerned group of your friends last night. We can all see you’re hurting. The source of the pain isn’t quite clear but I think I can make a few educated guesses. Much of your past is still unknown to us but from what we’ve pieced together, we see that you don’t believe you are worthy of being loved. You did an amazing job of bringing Beth back to her vivacious self by showing her what a fun, wonderful, and loving person she is. You helped me by reminding me I was a loving person who had so much to offer and deserved to be loved. Yet you continue to fail to take that same message into your own heart. I don’t know what experiences you had in your life that made that you believe you shouldn’t or couldn’t have love but that belief is wrong. Everyone deserves love. You deserve love and there are people who DO love you. You just have to be willing to accept it.” She squeezed his hands and looked in his eyes to emphasize the point.
“We want you to speak to someone with training in dealing with these kinds of self-esteem issues. We see your value, now it’s your turn. Will you do that?” Hannah asked gently.
Ben nodded, not trusting himself to speak.
“I will make arrangements today and I will bring you the appointment information; the place, time, and name of the councillor you will speak with. Alright?”
He nodded again.
“We want you to be happy Ben. You deserve to be happy. We will check in with you every now and then and see how you are doing. To remind you that you have friends that love you.” she said to him as she watched his tears slide down his cheeks. She was worried about the man. She didn’t feel she could leave him alone. It was too soon to subject him to Tina but she knew Gabriella was taking some time off.
“Ben, I’m going to call someone to sit with you today. I think you need the company.” Hannah said firmly and he didn’t argue which made her even more convinced she was correct. She dialed the number and Gabriella picked up on first ring.
“Hi, could you sit with our friend today?” Hannah asked.
“I’ll be right over.”
Hannah put away her phone and patted Ben’s knee.
“I’m sorry.” Ben said, his voice deep and gravelly.
“Ben you have nothing to be sorry for. Whatever got you to where you are now, please know you are surrounded by people who love you and want to help. The only way that could have happened was because you are worthy of it. You reap what you sow.” Hannah replied.
The doorbell rang and Hannah got up and answered it.
Gabriella stepped inside with a look of concern on her face.
Hannah leaned in close and spoke quietly “Ben has agreed to see a councillor but he’s pretty shaky this morning. He needs someone to keep an eye on him. See if you can get him to talk. I have to go to the hospital as I have a board of directors meeting at ten.”
Gabriella nodded and slipped her coat and boots off. She had on the black knit sweater and black yoga pants. The sweater was long on her and reached just below her bottom. She wore it for comfort when she was at home.
Hannah poked her head around the corner and looked in on Ben who was still on the couch. “I’m heading off to work now Ben. I’ll see you later with the details I promised. Gabriella is going to spend some time with you, ok?”
Ben nodded and gave her a small smile.
With that and a look at Gabriella Hannah headed out.
Gabriella locked up and walked into the living room.
“Hi Ben!” she said and saw Ben straighten up his posture on the couch.
“Hello Gabriella, how was your trip?” he asked.
She smiled at him and saw his eyes light up just a little. Her heart made a little zing sensation when she saw that. “It was lovely! ankara escort Have you ever been to Europe?”
“No, I’ve never travelled anywhere.” he said, thinking about the trip to Hawaii he’d planned for Wendy.
“I highly recommend you plan a trip somewhere and someplace in Europe should be one of your first destinations. France, Spain, Germany, Italy and England are all excellent first trip candidates. Travelling broadens your perspective and gives you a real insight into different ways of living and the people who live there.” she sighed. “You can take a group tour or travel with someone who has experience in the place you choose and can act as guide.”
“I’d like that.” Ben said. “Maybe I will.”
She smiled at him and he smiled a little back at her.
“So I hear you’ve agreed to speak to someone.” Gabriella said gently.
“Yes.” he said nervously.
“I think that is a brave and smart move, Ben. It will help a lot!” she said, smiling.
“I’ve never talked to anyone about my past. I- I feel uncomfortable about telling… a stranger… personal things about me.” Ben fidgeted.
“The councillor keeps anything you say to them in strictest confidence. You can say anything to them. It should feel easier to open up to them.” she explained.
“The only time I’ve felt comfortable talking about me was with you and Catherine… and… I don’t know why.” He said looking down at his hands with a confused look on his face.
Gabriella looked at him. He really didn’t see that they loved him or even could. That hurt her a little and it must have shown on her face as Ben noticed.
“What’s wrong?” he asked.
“Nothing Ben, it’s fine.” she said and forced a smile onto her face. She hoped that after his counselling he’d be more receptive to their love.
“This is why I’m going to see this councillor. I can’t seem to stop hurting people I care about!” he growled at himself.
“No Ben, you’re going to see the councillor to find out why you feel you’re not worthy of being loved. To find out what events in your past led you to that conclusion. Those of us who do love you… who are IN LOVE with you… feel pain when we see you hurting because of your misconceptions. But you shouldn’t worry about our pain because healing yourself will eliminate ours.”
“In love?” he whispered.
“Yes, you silly man! You have a few women who are in love with you and they accept the fact that others are in love with you too. Something else you need to understand is that love CAN work that way.” Gabriella smiled and shook her head. “I wasn’t supposed to be here as your councillor, just a friend. What else would you like to talk about?”
He’d only had bad experiences with people who said that they loved him, Wendy being only the most recent. These experiences went back… a long way. He looked at Gabriella’s open and friendly expression. He wished she WAS his councillor but then he’d feel bad about burdening her with his baggage. Maybe he should do some ground work to prepare for his sessions with the councillor.
“What is love?” he asked her.
Gabriella snorted gently in surprise.
“I mean, what does love mean to you? I’ve been ‘in love’ a few times in my life and it’s never worked out for me so maybe if I could hear what love means to others I could see what I’ve done wrong.” he amended quickly.
“Why do you think you’re the one who did something wrong?” she asked. “You weren’t alone in these relationships, were you?”
Ben blinked at her and she smiled.
“When I met Daniel in University I was smitten. He was young and dashing and so in charge of his future. I came from a very poor family and I found his confidence with money and finance to be very attractive. He also said the right things to me and made me feel important. I was completely dazzled. He played the courting game very well. That doesn’t mean I was faultless the eventual state of our marriage. I put Daniel up on a pedestal. My expectations of him didn’t match reality. When I discovered that I tried to work with him to recapture what made me fall in love with him but some of that never existed outside of my mind and his passions had moved on from me to money. He had no desire to change anything as he had what he wanted. Instead of leaving Daniel who genuinely loved his children I gave up on finding happiness for myself so my children would have a stable home.”
“I’m sorry.” Ben said.
“My point in all that was that the two young people we were when we met in University weren’t honest with each other. We let our expectations and desires cloud our decisions. During courting, people always present their best attributes and hide the negative. Human nature I suppose. But we should have taken more time to get to know the real people we were before making the decision to get married. I don’t regret having my two wonderful children. There are other things I do regret but now I get to start over.”
“Find happiness.” he said
“Yes Ben. I’m going kızılay escort to find happiness!” she smiled at him.
“OK, so maybe I’m not solely to blame in the failures of my relationships. But maybe my expectations are interfering with my ability to sustain a healthy relationship.”
“List them.” Gabriella said.
“What?” he asked.
“You’ve just said you have expectations. What are they? If you can itemize them then maybe you can see if any truly are holding you back.”
“Fidelity.” he immediately said.
“You are particularly sensitive to that one based on how your marriage ended?” she asked.
“Yes. Discovering she’d been having an affair for potentially years hurt me more than I thought possible.”
“So maybe honesty is more of a critical item for you. If she had come to you before she had the affair and told you why she felt the need to have one, maybe you might not have been as hurt as you were?” Gabriella asked.
Ben thought about that for a bit. “I think it would have still hurt a great deal but… yes, I think if she’d been honest the pain would have been far less.”
“What else?” she asked.
“Communication.” he said.
“I think we just described that. Open communication but it needs to be truthful.” Gabriella said. “Next.”
“Uh. Loyal, friendly, kind, caring…” he struggled to name other expectations he had.
“These aren’t really outrageous expectations. Where are the ‘must be a nobel prize willing scientist, run a humanitarian aid station, and bench press 300 pounds’ requirements? How about must be able to cook, do book keeping, and laundry.” she smiled.
Ben smiled. “Reasonably intelligent, genuinely compassionate, and fit will do. The rest I can do myself.”
“So it sounds like your current expectations may not be as big a factor as you thought. What were your expectations when you got married? You said were planning on having a big family. When that turned out to be not in the cards, how did you react in your relationship? You still had a chance at being fertile with someone at that time, just not your wife. What did you do?” Gabriella pushed.
“I told her it wasn’t important. And it wasn’t.” he murmured.
“You adapted your expectations to protect what you had, right?” Gabriella clarified.
“So maybe your past expectations weren’t so rigid and difficult to live with either.” She said looking him in the eye. “What about sex? Did you want it more often than her or less often? Were you incompatible with how you wanted to have sex?”
“The only time she complained was after she discovered she couldn’t have babies. She wanted to cut back significantly. Then near the end of our marriage she wanted sex much less often. She even cut back on the cuddling before sleeping.”
“Near the end she was likely trying to distance herself from you. Limiting the intimacy in preparation for the separation.” Gabriella suggested. “But before that, generally, you two were compatible?”
Ben frowned. “Uh, I’ve mentioned that my body acts like a teenager. My libido has always been a little… over active. Wendy was sometimes annoyed by that. Not angry, really, just annoyed.”
Gabriella smirked. “More than one woman could endure?”
Ben smiled then caught the nuance of Gabriella’s question. Her frowned again.
“What?” she asked, seeing his quick mood swing.
“I’m not that kind of man.” he rumbled.
“What kind of man?” she asked.
“I don’t- I’m not promiscuous! I’m not unfaithful!” he growled.
“Have you made promises of fidelity to any of the women you’ve been with recently? I understand you’ve specifically told one the exact opposite yet she still wants to be with you. Another promised you no strings attached relationship. Neither calls you unfaithful. Neither has anything but praise for what a good person you are. Why do you think that is?” Gabriella asked gently.
Ben scowled and thought hard. Obviously she was talking about Tina and Trish.
Gabriella pressed on. “You did mention in your expectations that fidelity is the most important one. May I suggest that may have a lot to do with the type of relationship you were in? A traditional marriage is a contract with terms specifically defining the promise of fidelity. That’s a traditional marriage. There are open marriages that don’t have that clause and allow the spouses to seek emotional and physical enjoyment with other partners.”
“That’s unrealistic!” he growled.
“Really? We’ve talked about expectations. Let’s talk about beliefs. Do you believe the heart can only love one person at a time? Do you believe the traditional marriage is the only successful kind of relationship between adults?”
Ben thought about his complicated feelings for Gabriella, Catherine, Tina, and Trish. She saw it on his face so he couldn’t deny it. “No, people can love more than one person. But that leads to heartache when one partner feels unfulfilled!”
“That could polatlı escort definitely happen if there was no communication. No relationship will last in a vacuum. People just aren’t built to function that way. We need to be constantly in touch with each other to see if we can do something to ease the other’s way in life or if they can ease ours. That’s what make a rich relationship! Were you unwilling to communicate your feelings and needs with your wife?”
“No.” he mumbled.
“So communication shouldn’t be an issue for you.” she smiled.
“You can’t marry more than one person!” Ben argued.
“Back to the question of marriage then. Is that the only viable outcome of a relationship for you?” Gabriella asked.
“Well, traditionally. You meet someone. You date. You fall in love. You get married. You start a family. You grow old together.” Ben said.
“What about friends?” she asked. “How do you see that relationship working?”
“Friends you nurture for life.” Ben replied.
“That’s a really nice way of putting it. I think I like your idea of friendship more than that model of a traditional marriage. The idea of the nurturing never ending but being an integral part of the relationship sounds lovely!” she smiled. “Can I ask you how you define friendships? What are the benefits and limits? Can you love a friend, romantically, physically?”
Ben thought about friends. He thought about how he had been interacting with his neighbors, his friends. About how he was emotionally connected to them and cared about their well-being. How he HAD used sex to help them feel better. The light came on behind his eyes and Gabriella’s smile grew wider as she saw him understanding.
“Yes, you’re already there. It’s working and no one is hurt. Everyone wants you to feel as happy as you make us feel but the only one stopping that from happening is you.” Gabriella said gently.
“I hurt Tina.” Ben said through gritted teeth.
“And how did that happen?” she asked.
Ben looked at Gabriella sharply.
“Tina told us the whole story of your evening of dancing, minus the intimate details, so we are aware of the circumstances but I’d like to hear your opinion of what went wrong.” she added.
“I led her on. We had a wonderful evening and in the morning she told me how sad I’d made her. How I’d ruined her!” Ben said in anguish.
“Tina believes you don’t want her. Is that true?” Gabriella said bluntly.
Ben rocked back. “Don’t want her?!? Of course I want her! She’s beautiful, smart, loving, but SHE’S NOT FOR ME!” he barked.
“Who says?” she asked sternly.
Ben’s mouth opened but nothing came out at first. Then he recalled something. “Ah… I do… and Trish! Trish agrees with me! Tina is almost half my age! It’s unfair to her!”
“I think if you spoke with Trish now that she’s had time to understand Tina better she’d give you a different answer but let’s leave that alone for a minute. Instead let’s take a look at the word you just used. Unfair. I think you’d agree with me that finding a compatible mate is difficult. Someone you can love. Someone that loves you back. The push and pull of personalities, wants, needs, and desires can make that very difficult. Tina is a special case. She’s a submissive. Her needs are very specific and the risks for her is much greater. How much more difficult do you think her submissiveness makes it for her to find a compatible mate. She’s had a very bad experience in her marriage. In you she’s found someone who is willing to give her what she needs without fear of abuse. Then you pushed her away because you believe she needs to find someone else.” Ben began to protest but Gabriella held up her hand so she could continue. “Do you understand she doesn’t need to be the ONLY person in your life? She just wants to be part of yours. You’re right, she’s young. She’s going to be going to University. She will meet people. Maybe she will meet someone closer to her age that can fulfil that special need she has. Wouldn’t that be easier for her if she had a support system in place until it happened?”
“But- but she said I ruined her for everyone else. How would I make that better by allowing it to continue?” he argued
“First true loves are always the best. That doesn’t mean life doesn’t move you along. Sure you always compare new relationships to the first and Ben you are pretty tough to beat, but life goes on. Tina is YOUNG! Everything is a little more immediate and dramatic for the young. Don’t be trapped by her current angst.” she said with an understanding smile.
“So… are you telling me I should let her live with me and be my lover?” Ben said, confused.
Gabriella still felt a little uncomfortable with the idea but realized that was exactly what she had to be ok with it for everyone’s sake including hers.
“Look, you set out a life plan for Tina. It’s hugely generous of you and truly demonstrates you care about her future. I’m not saying you change the plan significantly. Just let her into your life on the condition that she keeps her heart and mind open to possibility of love in the future from someone she may meet. You in turn will have to be aware that what you two have may not be permanent. Kind of like friends with benefits. Someday she may meet ‘the one’ and you two will just remain friends. Special friends.”
Ben Esra telefonda seni boşaltmamı ister misin?
Telefon Numaram: 00237 8000 92 32