I have felt as if I have come to a turning point more than once in my relationship. Some more significant than others, as I look back and reflect.
This may be the first time in my history with him that I truly feel as if I am making one of the most important decisions of my life.
Early 2015, I was reexamining my relationship, what I wanted from life, from my life, from the future. I spoke with a few friends over meals about struggling with still wanting a family, wanting to have that sense of one, even if that didn’t mean children.
One friend in particular reminded me that perhaps he and I weren’t meant to be together forever, and that perhaps that wasn’t a bad thing. That maybe God had something else in store for me and I should pray on it. I was a touch insulted, and at the same time intrigued. Wasn’t it too late to still be thinking about a new life, one with a husband and possible children gotten by whatever means the universe would lead me to? It seemed painful to even think about it, honestly. You want people to root for your relationship. I think she recognized that he and I are / were quite different in many ways.
Determining what one wants from life is the everlasting twist. It changes and evolves until you barely remember where you were where you started. Or maybe, until you come around full circle.
Months later, I feel as if I’m standing on a precipice. I have a few options. We have more than a few choices to make. Conversations to cry through, decisions to hash out. That all seems so complicated and overwhelming.
He says we love each other and that we’ve always been able to talk through everything, but it isn’t just us anymore.
With the kind of irony that life enjoys thrusting upon you sometimes, we have reached other places in our relationship as well. As he continues with a therapist online, he has found his legs a bit. Able to speak up where he felt stifled, we are arguing when we rarely did before. He felt his feelings didn’t matter for a very long time, and so he went with whatever I wanted. Now that they do, it’s difficult to realize you may have been the bully in your relationship.
We still want very different things. We want fewer overlapping.
Walking away from my ex, years ago, I knew he could find happiness elsewhere, and as delusional as this sounds, I thought I was keeping him from it. Without me dragging him down, I thought he’d find someone better suited to his personality, his needs. It’s easier to consider yourself noble than to walk away because you believe you could be happier, not because you think you’re doing someone a favor.
Leaving this pairing, I don’t honestly believe he’d move into a relationship without a lot of struggle. I believe he would feel proven right – that everyone leaves and he doesn’t deserve love and happiness. Though that burden seems like a poor reason to stay.
I’ve put in time, and history, and it seems a waste to have nothing left of what we made. But, in looking, whatever was that time? Companionable at times, perhaps. Kind, loving, but certainly not happy. Knowing happiness is the ultimate con, is the lack of connection enough reason to consider walking away?
Can it be restored, reignited, especially given the distance and hurdles we’ve chosen to give it?
If one wants to get through day-to-day, and another is envisioning a future, where’s the balance? While opposites attract, can they serve as glue? One needing intimacy, both from a relationship standpoint and the small social / familial circle, one preferring the company of just you two. One wanting to adventure the world, the other choosing to never move from a place they call home.
It is frightening and frustrating.
Our relationship has changed drastically since those conversations with those friends. Much has happened, in both the little ways things unfold and in the unsettling faults left from arguments lasting days and miles. There are more crucial elements, more complications and more concern that these two people remaining are remarkably different from the two that came together years ago.