To Fall From A Great And Gruesome Height

Today is the first time that I’ve wanted to cry since this whole rock started crashing down the hill. I have staunchly refused to allow a single tear to roll, because I am finished with crying over things that I cannot control. Done. Period.

Up until now, I had essentially dissociated from the entire situation. Call it a protective measure (Freud did!), or coping mechanism, but it had served me well, to a certain extent. However, over the past week, Ron has made a lot more effort to spend time with me…little things like sitting on the sofa and using my tablet to read his forums and CNN, or even a couple of times, eating dinner in here with me. A few days ago, I actually felt comfortable enough to lay down on his bed while he studied for his upcoming exam. That was the first time I had touched his bed in over three weeks.

It seemed like things were getting somewhat better. The problem is that I already have serious trust issues after my childhood and two awful marriages. Before all this, I trusted Ron implicitly. Now…no. One marriage counseling session in, and it seems like the cure is worse than the disease. I can’t say that I was living in blissful ignorance, because that’s far from true. However, at least I wasn’t being actively hurt. Asking all the hard questions, and to be honest, answering the hard questions, is painful. Even worse is hearing the other person’s answers to the hard questions.

At the very least, our marriage counseling session opened the lines of communication. I’m still seeing my own therapist, and during our session yesterday, I explained my dilemma. How do I open up my heart to someone who is not committed to me or to our marriage? But how do I save my marriage without opening up my heart? Hard questions without easy answers. She urged me to tell him how I was feeling; not that he could change anything, but she said that since he’s making an effort, I at least needed to explain why I wasn’t very responsive.

When Ron got home last night (or I should say, when I woke up from my nap), he came in and we started talking. I have enough counseling theory under my belt that I am an expert at using “I” messages; “I feel like…”, “I don’t like it when…”, “I am uncomfortable with…” I told him everything I had practiced saying with Karen, and we talked for hours. Some of it was really good, like when he said that he really enjoyed spending time with me, and that he didn’t know why he had stopped. And then some of it was really bad, like when he said that he didn’t think he would ever be as enthusiastic about me or our marriage as I am (let me state, unequivocally, WAS). The next hour and a half was spent dissecting that statement.

Skipping over the minor details, the whole thing came down to the fact that he doesn’t feel like he’s capable of being as committed and emotionally involved as he believes that I want or expect. Four weeks ago, I would have made excuses (as I have done many times in our past) for him, and said of course I understand, but I love you and accept what you can offer. That was four weeks ago. NOW, I have some expectations.

I do want enthusiasm and emotional involvement and committment. I want to know that I can trust that I don’t have to be on constant perfect behavior and my partner is still going to be there. When things get tough, because dammit, marriage fucking sucks sometimes, I want to know that my partner isn’t going to immediately jump to divorce as the solution. I want my partner to be madly in love with me, madly lust after me, madly care about my happiness and wellbeing. I want to feel safe, protected, cherished. I want to be WANTED. That’s what it ALL boils down to is being wanted.

I do not want obligation, duty, and guilt to be why we stay married. I do understand that marriage brings a certain amount of obligation and duty, but that’s the “sucks” part of marriage, not the reason to stay. Our kids are grown. I have disability income. No, I don’t have health insurance and my medications are many and costly, but I’ve been on my own before and landed on my feet, I can certainly do it again. I am highly resourceful and a creative problem solver. I know that I’m not alone in this world, and that I have friends and family that will be there for me in a heartbeat.

Finally, I asked Ron what HE wants from a relationship. I told him to take me out of the picture, and if he could have his perfect woman, what would she be like? Would she play the same video games he does? Would she only listen to classical music? Would she live her own separate life but be in his bed at 9pm, ready to go? Does he even want a relationship at all, or does he just want someone who is conveniently available for sex? And that is where our evening ended. He doesn’t know, and said he needed to sleep on it, so I left the room.

So what is it about today that finally made me want to cry? Facebook, of course. I subscribe to a page and blog called, “The Purpose Fairy,” which is a sort of life-coaching site. Today, one of their posts was this:

“How I long to fall just a little bit, to dance out of the lines and stray from the light. But I fear that to fall in love with you is to fall from a great and gruesome height. So I asked a friend about it on a bad day, her husband had just left her, she sat down on the chair he left behind. She said, “What is love, where did it get me? Whoever thought of love is no friend of mine.”

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