There is so much more to explain than I feel I can do justice to in a post. Over the course of the last several years, I’ve wondered what I’m doing here more than once. This time is much more severe, and I’m not willing to let myself quickly decide not to decide anything.

I’m weighing out whether I stay or go for another time in my adult life. Only, the going? That’s complex. It’s not just yes or no, it’s also where and how.

We’ve had the fight, the discussion. 7 years worth in the last 7 months or so. Made it up until that point without much of one.

I was accused of being the bully in our relationship. It’s probably a fair point, but if you admit that you went along with whatever I wanted because you didn’t think your opinion mattered enough to share, I don’t sit alone with that culpability.

I walked into an airport Tuesday evening, to fly back to Utah from Dallas, and I was filled with such dread, such anxiety. My head, my gut and my heart still hurt, days later. Just a few days before that, I spent a birthday without speaking to the man I share a home with, and not by my choice.

We made conversation Tuesday night, briefly before going to bed in separate rooms in silence, neither of us sleeping. Lights on as alarms clatter, he brusquely mentioned things he has been hanging onto for years. Grudges I was not aware of, as examples of my lack of follow through. I was then told that these rights needed to be wronged soon, before I made any more travel plans. As the door clicked shut, I stood there in a t-shirt in my kitchen, clinging to the counter through panicked sobs.

I cried the entire way to work. I cried on the ride back home.

Who is this man? Is he simply so angry now, for everything that’s come before? Is it a realization, that he can finally stand up for himself?

I waited for him to arrive home, not sleeping that next night either, anticipating a continuance Wednesday night when he returned. We did talk. Several hours worth of talking, standing in the kitchen, refusing to get comfortable, or talk in the more relaxing areas, for fear I soften.

He speaks now, in text, of the possibility of a fresh start.

I don’t know what that looks like. I don’t think he does either. I don’t believe it can happen.

I asked him to make a list, to write down what he wanted from me, from the future and a relationship. I filled six pages of a legal pad with thoughts and notes. He has two thoughts down.

He talks of love, that same love-conquers-all kind of belief I passed over years ago, as I walked away from a previous life. Love cannot conquer deep-rooted resentments. Love doesn’t automatically remove hurt, distrust, fear. It can’t beat down significant differences in desires, in goals, in hopes. It isn’t the salve some people need it to be.

He has asked me not to give up. I am trying to look at it more as a matter of choosing us, as separate entities. If I give up, one of the options for doing so is a resignation to the way things are. Just keeping it going, the way it has been.

The pattern is easy enough to keep up. Struggle a little, regain some balance and keep going until something else disrupts the quiet. When I fuck up again, as I invariably do, he’ll be ready to again bring up all his hurt.

There’s other factors I’m not even counting here. Ones that both give him, in his mind, every right to react the way he does; and me in mine, every reason to consider walking away.

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