When Love isn’t the right love, and you first realize that, there are no words to describe the despair.. this unforgiving, unbending, non – transparent road block that plants itself in your life, that stops you dead in the water, wondering how the hell you’re going to survive a life without any parole.
Nobody ever gets married, expecting to fail – not if they’re smart – and I ‘ll allow that there are some who have those doubts, but who are forced by tradition, or a warped sense of honor, or the weight of expectations to proceed, praying that their gut instincts might be wrong. I certainly didn’t get married, all those years ago, with any thought in my mind, that I would come to a time when I felt ” indifferent.. ” ..
I guess if i’m brutally honest with myself, I will allow that I did wonder to myself ” is this all there is ?”, before the wedding. I knew I had a lovely friendship.. I had, so I believed, a man who loved to touch.. hold.. cuddle.. A man who had the same work ethic. A man who, like me, was a book worm. One who allowed that we didn’t have to live in each others pockets, or spend every moment together or cling to each other in desperation. I did believe I Loved Him..
But, did I have romantic love? No.. but I accepted that he was not a romantic sort of man.. Did he make my heart skip a beat? .. No…. But I’d believed in love before, to have it come crashing down, and I’d given up on any belief in heart-stopping-adoration. Did I dream of ways to entice him.. to lure him to my bed.. Did I plan clandestine pleasures for his enjoyment ? No… and this one – well it’s harder to explain.
Why.. you might ask.. It’s simple. He didn’t want them. We began to live together, about 9 months before we married. Before then, we had lived in separate cities, where , to see each other we had to either drive for 8 hours, or take an 11 hour overnight bus trip, to spend weekends together. We filled our weekends with so much laughter and socializing. We had a lot of fun.. and a lot of bedroom romps, so I thought, but in retrospect.. even then I should have seen the differences in us.
When we bought our first home, and then lived together for the first time, I remember clearly, reaching for him, in our very first nights. I remember cuddling close, and whispering a sensual invitation to him…. to be rebuffed. ” I don’t want sex to become boring.. ” .. he said.. I remember stopping dead… thinking about that, and accepting it. Looking back upon that now.. Gods, I have to tell you I’m shaking my head at me. What was in my mind!!
How could I possibly think that sliding into middle aged familiarity, and not being worried about a disinterest in making love as a newly engaged couple was ok ? So, the tenor of our lives became where sex was on his terms. Once a week, barely.. No intimacy. No cuddles, no holding hands.. no comfortable leanings on each other, while discussing things. Foreplay was pretty much a ” suggestion” that I might want to ” lay down”. Honestly I’m surprised we managed to conceive two children, somewhere in there, and I ‘m ashamed to say that everything I’m typing here, today, is a travesty of what I would have hoped for my life, if I’d known any better.
So, the question has to be asked.. Why did I permit this ? What possessed me?.. It’s easy…
I .. didn’t… think… I .. deserved.. any… better…
I had been engaged in earlier times, to another. A long .. sordid .. story.. First boyfriend.. Classic abuser behavior .. i.e. He isolated me from my family, he relentlessly hit on my friends (so I found out later) until they all leeched away into the sunset – which I couldn’t understand at the time, but came to light later. I was a frugal, and ordinary bank teller, with a musical gig, as a moonlight job, earning great money, and zero debt, which descended rapidly into a world of his debt.. his whims.. his lies. He “lost” his job, soon after we met, he lived at my apartment, he drank, I supported him – believing that he’d had such a hard time, and I had so much – it was the right thing to do.
He went out often, and when people identified themselves to him as ” my friend” he would come home at 2 in the morning, and wake me and interrogate me, about my friendship with them making all sorts of disgusting allegations of things they’d said, but which I realized later – was simply the truth of the precept that if someone ACCUSES you of things that you aren’t possibly doing – its a damned fine indication that they’re doing it THEMSELVES.
Life was hell, but, I didn’t wise up until we’d broken up 4 or 5 times, and I’d requested finally a transfer to a city 1000 miles away – only to be tracked down by him, and convinced to give him one more chance, only to know immediately I signed a lease on an apartment that I’d made the biggest mistake of my life. That was the beginning of the end.. when I FINALLY to get the balls to tell him to get out as soon as his behaviors started all over again..
So in my mind, I was NO authority on romantic love. I’d made disastrous decisions. In between getting my freedom, and meeting my husband, I had partied HARD. No holds barred. Drinking.. drugs.. and very risky behaviors, which have repercussions to this day..
I .. didn’t .. think.. I .. deserved.. any .. better…
I had tried to tell my husband, at the very first that I wasn’t a good person to be with… He refused to listen… How was I ever going to find such an easy acceptance again? I settled…
I forgot the most important thing in the world..
If it looks like a rose, and smells like a rose, it’s a rose.
If it feels like a ” bargain” and looks like a ” bargain” .. then where love and loving, and a lifetime partnership is concerned.. It’s not enough..
Loving shouldn’t be a bargain.. or an ” I can live with this!”.. Loving should be something that.. if you were to turn away, would be like leaving your heart and soul behind.. Loving shouldn’t be something that gives you a choice.. Loving shouldn’t have any doubts.. or second guessing.. or second thoughts..
Love needs to be a compulsion.. it needs to be irresistible.
Otherwise you end up with a housemate… and.. indifference.. if you’re lucky..
Or hell on earth, if you’re not.