“I don’t want to marry that girl!” This is what Todd said to me in August of 2009, on an afternoon when we got together for lunch. Lunch turned into sex. Sex turned into a conversation about regrets.
On that afternoon in August, Todd was frustrated and feeling cornered. Kim was forcing his hand. According to him, she first gave him an ultimatum regarding allowing her to move in. Once in, she gave him another ultimatum about marriage. He was frustrated and fearful and unloaded on me.
And I hate to say it: I was heartened. Maybe we would get back together. Maybe there was still hope for us. After all, that same afternoon he told me that she really didn’t even turn him on, and that he often thought about me when he masturbated. He said just the thought of me excited him, and that it took much more to get excited by her.
And yet… a part of me knew he had moved on. He had closed a door on us, because she wanted to have his baby. And be in business with him. And simply take care of him. I was never the nurturing kind. It taxed my energy to go through his depressive stages and deal with his lethargic nature and propensity to procrastinate. The lethargy and procrastination increased when he was depressed, and there times I felt like I was the only one contributing to the upkeep of the house.
But, she enjoys these things. And I have a feeling she thrives in this atmosphere. According to him, she only wants to make his life easier. And while I didn’t want to make his life harder, not at all, I believe I inadvertently did so.
“I don’t want to marry that girl!” I thought of that when I saw their wedding date posted publicly. It hasn’t even been a year since he uttered that sentence, and there it was in black and white: Todd and Kim are getting married. In fact, they did more than announce it – they filed for a marriage license.
I shook with loss after reading that. And yet, in all honesty, I knew this already. Intuitively. I had a dream about it in March, and another dream about it last week. You could say I knew without knowing. However, seeing the official evidence of it was jarring and upsetting and left me feeling like a failure.
I have never tried so hard to make something a success as I did with that relationship. He wanted me to be more this. More that. I did my best to be more this and that, to no avail. It still wasn’t good enough. I was still not enough.
He would often tell me that he loved me more than I loved him, and that bothered him. Twelve years later, I realize that all the time I was the one who loved him more. After all, I was the one who tried to make it work, despite all odds. Despite his disability. Despite his continued ambivalence about our future. But more than that, my love for him was unconditional. I loved him even though – and I never asked him to change.
“I don’t want to marry that girl.” I remember the frustration and anger in his voice when he almost yelled that sentence out. In fact, his emotional outburst surprised me. I hadn’t even asked about their relationship – and yet there it was. And when I thought about that outburst last night, I cried. Another lie – maybe to himself, but a lie nonetheless.
Why can’t I be over him? Why can’t I let go emotionally? Why does this still hurt so much?
I’m not sure I know all the answers, or maybe I do and I’m not ready to write them all out for fear the answers will expose me as being a loser. All I know is that when I read the news last night, I heard the door lock and I felt lonely, lost, and left behind.