Well, this is a post I never thought I would be writing. When is it time to say goodbye to a relationship? Is there ever a right time to say goodbye? Is it ever really over?
For the last almost 10 years, I've been with someone I, to this day, consider my best friend. He was my everything. He was my whole life. But for the last four years, I wasn't made to feel like I was the same for him. I loved him like anyone would love their husband. But, it was tiring. It weighed on me day after day as I felt neglected in our relationship. I was being treated like a best friend or a roommate. not as a wife, partner or even lover. This post isn't to shame the man I once loved with every fibre of my being. A large part of me still loves him unconditionally, but my love has shifted. After being made to feel like a best friend and roommate for so long, my love turned into that of only friendship.
So, what went wrong?
We both fucked up.
He started to behave in ways that made me feel like he took me for granted. He made me feel like I wasn't worthy of the love and affection a "good wife" deserves, and I, in turn, pulled away. I looked for people to tell me I was "pretty", "beautiful" or simply worthy of someone's attention. Was this right? Hell no! But I didn't realize how much I needed that attention from the one person who wasn't giving it to me.
Even after the last fight, he has no idea how to interact with me. He has no idea how to be with me. He has no idea who I am. And how could he know? He doesn't really talk to me. He doesn't really know me. He doesn't know about my struggles. He only wants to hear about the superficial stuff, because as soon as I get deep about anything, he freezes. He doesn't know how to handle it. So I don't share.
We had the same fights every three months, like clockwork, about how we were both failing in the relationship. But as I would try to work on myself to be a better partner in our union (therapy sessions, doctor's appointments, etc.), nothing changed with him. No therapy, no doctor's appointments...nothing. I started to feel like I was the damaged one in the relationship and that I wasn't worthy of someone taking the steps to help them be a better partner. It was always me. I had to try to fix everything. I was the one that needed fixing. Of course, I didn't tell my parents about this. How could I? Tell them I'm failing at another thing in my life. Have another disappointing conversation with them? Hear them tell me how fucked up I am all over again.
The thing is, all the shit they hated about my first husband (yes, there's the first one when I was 19 years old, but that's for another blog post), my current one was doing the same thing. Everyone who has met or heard about my mother says the same thing - she's controlling, unbearable, attention-seeking and jealous. She and I are very similar in personalities, and that terrifies me. I want to be nothing like her. She claims to be bi-polar, yet doesn't even attempt to seek treatment, yet preaches the gospels of what I need to do to become better. She gets angry fast and makes all the conversations about her. She's always the victim. So, how can I, in good conscience, tell her I'm struggling in my marriage?
She wouldn't understand. She wouldn't even attempt to understand. She'd tell me all about the hard times she and my father went through and how they're still together. Spoiler Alert: They shouldn't be together. My dad gets treated like an emotional punching bag from her. She barks at him for the smallest things. I don't want to resent the man I still consider my best friend.
But all of this has been leading to something negative. And it was only a matter of time until it came to this point. All this self-doubt, the idea of being "unloveable", the notion of being "not good enough" led me down a scary and dangerous path. Those voices I fought so hard to push away 12 years ago while at Homewood started to make regular appearances. The many voices of ED (my eating disorder) started to attach themselves to every thought I had.
"He doesn't love you because you're fat...Why would anyone love you like this? You are unloveable until you lose weight."
And so I started skipping meals, binging after almost 24 hours of no food entering my system...purging out of the guilt of having eaten so much. All my hard work every day since I entered those doors at Homewood 12 years ago vanished. I was a failure in this too. I am a failure at this. But, no one is listening.
I was a failure at being a wife. A failure at recovery. I was starting to feel like a failure in life. My parents and husband both trying to guilt-trip me to stay in the relationship that's causing me so much harm. But no one actually is listening to me scream out in pain asking to be free from these chains so I can just be healthy again.
Yet, I'm in the wrong.
Everything came to a head when I said I changed my mind and wanted a child.
He doesn't want any because he doesn't like children. He claims that is 15 different situations change, then he might be open to the idea. I don't want him to force himself into wanting a child. I don't need to have a resentful husband who stays extra late at the office to avoid spending time with his family. But he says it's his process. I don't believe him. To add insult to injury, as you may have read in another post, it would be a significant struggle for me to have a child, so I'd most likely have to adopt. Well, his mother is completely against the notion of adoption. He says this shouldn't matter because she's so far away. But this matters to me. Adopted or not, that is my child. That would be our child. How can she not acknowledge our child? How can she be so negative what could be her future grandchild?
Why is it that I always have to up a piece of myself to make this work? Why do I have to change who I am for him to be happy? For my parents to be happy? I'm damned if I do and damned if I don't. There's no winning; no easy out; no right time to say goodbye. But when do I get to say and feel like I've actually tried everything in my own power to make this work? When do I get to say, "It's not me, it's you."
I'm no angel in this fucked up scenario that I have to call my life. But, I'm made to feel like the worst person to walk this earth by my parents and husband. I think I just need out. I need a separation from him, from them, from who I was turning into. And that is fucking terrifying. I'm no longer someone I'm happy with. I hate who I've started becoming. But, if I do what I want, nay, what I need to do, I risk losing the best friend.
So, what do I do? Do I follow my own heart and gut instincts or do I follow what he and my parents are telling me I need to do?
I've never felt more confused and alone than I do right now.
When do I say goodbye for my own well-being? Or, when do I say goodbye to me?