It’s true. Today would have been-or still is, legally speaking- my second wedding anniversary. I’ve mostly been trying to keep so busy that I don’t have time to dwell on this small fact and avoiding giving myself into full fledged wallowing/self-pity/grief. Work has been busy, so the strategy to ignore today’s largely unknown, yet, ominous meaning had been, so far, fairly successful. Until something completely undeniable comes and smacks you right in the face. Such as this article from Thought Catalog, I Don’t Feel Anything When We Have Sex Anymore appearing at the top of my Reader when I logged in today.
The piece speaks from one person’s perspective how they feel completely numb in their relationship (presumably marriage since there is later talk of rings), but is still working up the courage to let go.
“I look at you and somehow just don’t see a man I used to love. Maybe he was never there. Maybe it was always just you, and it was my love for you that made me see someone different. It kills me because I know you are finally trying – to appreciate me, to be a better person, to make up for the mistakes you made. Yet I wake up empty and I fall asleep empty, the feelings are gone. When it’s bad, I feel annoyed by your presence, I feel like someone took my heart out and tries to squeeze the life out of it. When it’s good, I feel indifferent.
I can’t work up the courage to tell you that it’s over. When did I become this scared? Every morning I tell myself that it has to be today. Every night I fall asleep thinking that it has to be tomorrow. I feel guilty and I can’t make myself hurt you that bad. That’s what brings the tears to my eyes – that I will hurt you. Makes me feel that maybe we’re not done yet, but just for a second, before the emptiness takes over.”
Rewind to last spring and these were the exact thoughts I was trying to make sense of. The exact thoughts I was so terrified of that, for months, I couldn’t bear to say them out loud, not even to my closest of confidants in the drunkest conditions. Thoughts I only allowed to creep into the corners of my consciousness in the darkest hours of the many nights where I would lay away for hours listening to D*’s rhythmic breathing. I was so confused about what these thoughts meant; if they were temporary, if I could get them to go away and what it meant if they never did go away. I was so lost and my mind such a whirlwind, I could have never strung together a cohesive thought about this, let alone something as articulate as this article.
Nonetheless, even after all this time, it’s comforting to finally find the words to explain what was going on in my head, as these words may as well have been legitimately lifted directly from my brain a little over a year ago.
It’s even more ironic that this popped up on our anniversary, especially considering that, while a year ago, I had moved out about a month prior to today, the final conversation that put the proverbial nail in the coffin was had today, on our wedding anniversary. It went a little something like this (thank you Gchat for unbeknownst to me, saving all conversations, ever):
D*: I feel like I should talk to you today, but I’m note entirely sure what to say
Me: I know, me too
D*: I was just curious if you had made up your mind already, because all your messages have been clearly, “friend, friend, friend, friend”
Me: I do still feel like we are just friends. I feel like we always have been. But that doesn’t mean I don’t love you.
D*: That statement right there says it all, which is the decision I was waiting for.
Me: But there is more to my decision than that. I need to decide if I can give up my entire life, give up my life with you and all we have together.
D*: No, the decision isn’t if you can give up your entire life, the decision is you can love me more than a friend. If the answer is no then the rest goes away. It’s not one or the other.
Me: I can’t help how i feel…
D*: So the answer is no, you don’t love me more than a friend. Am i understanding that correctly?
Me: I guess…yes, I’m sorry
D*: Then that settles a lot
End of conversation. And that was the last civilized, real, conversation we have had. On our one-year wedding anniversary. Over Gchat. While at work. One year ago today.
Perhaps if I had had this article, it would have been easier to just hand it to him. Hell, it would have been easier to hand to other people who’s mouths dropped when I told them I had moved out or we were breaking up. Especially since in my overwhelm of emotions I had little to no explanations to offer as I was just as confused as ever and was still reeling from the shock that I finally spit out the words I thought that I never could admit to: “I don’t want this life anymore. I want more. I want real love, not just a best friend. I want to feel, not be numb.”
This anonymous author sums it up so well:
“You took me. I don’t know when and how it happened. You took me and you lost me, so now I’m an empty shell, a shadow of a person I used to be. You took me, but now I want me back. So I’ll tell you tonight. I’ll watch you take off the ring I once put on your finger, probably I’ll cry. We’ll do the paperwork. You’ll move out. I will never see you again. It will take long months of emptiness and loneliness, but I will find myself.“
And the thing that people don’t understand-that I don’t think he still doesn’t understand-is the poignant last line of this article is exactly the point of why I did what I did and my only hope for the future: “We’ll be better people without each other.”
Happy Anniversary D* wherever you are. After all the tears, yelling, lawyers, words left unsaid, misunderstood gossip and heartbreak, a piece of me will always miss you and love you. But I know we are both going to be better, happier, people because of this.