I realize that there are single people who are content and fulfilled. When I feel utterly miserable in my marriage, I sometimes wonder, what’s wrong with me that I can’t just manage as though I were single? I’ll try harder to find ways to have a good life, a good day, or a good moment in which I’m mindful, thankful, and responsible for my own state of being. Lately I’ve been wondering if I would even be able to be one of those healthy single people. Would I be happy and content if I was always single, or would I still feel this lonely? A friend of mine that left an abusive marriage once told me, “The worst pain is when you’re alone with someone.”
Maybe it’s the ongoing and repetitive wounds of someone being lukewarm about me. The message that says he can take or leave me regarding intimacy. Maybe it’s feeling like I’m never good enough, that my efforts to please always fall short, and that I’m resistable. My inability to fathom how he can seem entirely unmoved during the times when something has hurt my heart, when tears are silent but unstoppable, or grief has dropped me to the floor to weep.
Maybe it’s that stuff that I try to accept, but somewhere inside of me, I can’t. What if he really did change? Has there been too much pain now? Could I forgive and heal at this point? If we end our marriage, am I capable of even being happy and content? What about being able to put it behind us? Do I magnify a small offense because the past is littered like a graveyard of bones?
I guess I won’t know unless I know one day.
It’s also possible that the love I crave isn’t real and isn’t possible. Maybe no one has it. What if I’m just unrealistic about men and relationships? How would I know?
We have a cat that is insatiable for affection, cuddling, and attention. Maybe at this point, I’m love starved and scarred, and even something good would bounce off my emotional scar tissue. (I enjoy this cat very much. We fit well.)
On the other hand, a man wouldn’t have to do too much to raise the bar my husband set. Celebrating my birthday, or giving me a Christmas present would put him a giant step ahead. Engaging me in conversation because he enjoys my mind, values my perspective, and misses my company? Blue ribbon! Leaning in to touch me and breathe me in? Hall of fame. If he consistently wanted to make love (unless he really was sick), that would give him a Superman cape in my world. Being consistent, caring more about my state of being than his being right? My trusted friend. Believing in me and finding happiness in my joys and pleasures as we thrive together and cheer each other on? My beloved.
That’s what I doubt exists. That’s what I should probably write into a book and sell as a dream. I’ll even read it when I’m lonely. For so many years, I’ve always told myself that I believe that a man and woman could have a great love. Now, I’m not so sure. If it does exist, I doubt even more that I’m capable of being part of it. Still, I long to be someone’s dearest.