One of the hardest things about being in a relationship that’s undergoing severe strain is that it’s unpredictable. I can’t rely on myself to feel the same thing from day to day; and if I can’t rely on myself for that, it’s reasonable for me to expect that I can’t rely on my husband for it, either. Some days are good and it feels like maybe, just maybe, everything could get back to normal; other days I wake up in a black pit of unhappiness and despair, knowing nothing will ever get back to normal (and that inevitably even trying will simply cause both of us more pain) and wishing desperately for a way to end the pain rather than causing more.
It’s a funny thing, in a way. I can remember how the relationship made me feel when it started – how freeing and how liberating it was, how much it felt like it gave me space to be myself, how much it relieved my self-judgment and my anxiety to have this person who I admired and respected so much *like me*. I wish I knew where it turned sour, and I wish I’d caught myself when I started to fear his judgment and feel the need to hide from him to avoid the conflict that would come if I wasn’t being the person he wanted or behaving the way he wanted.
If wishes were fishes, Gurney Halleck would say, we’d all cast nets.
I don’t know anymore how I want things to end up. I don’t know anymore how much I feel a duty to keep trying. I don’t know anymore how much I want duty to control my life. All I know is I hurt, and my husband hurts. It isn’t in my power to take his hurt away without doing even more hurt to myself, and I don’t think it’s in his power to take my hurt away without doing even more hurt to himself, and neither of us is willing to draw a line in the sand and say “no more”, so we suffer alongside each other.
I could be filled with guilt and self-loathing at how my actions helped bring us here, and I could be filled with anger and other-loathing at how his actions helped bring us here, but fundamentally both are pointless: we are here, and no amount of feeling about the past is going to undo it. (I’m more inclined to guilt and self-loathing, and I can’t always keep that at bay, but I recognize its pointlessness).
There’s no way to undo the past, and there’s no hope for the future.