If I didn’t have you, someone else would do, and other hard truths about relationships

Firstly, I hope Tim Minchin’s song puts a smile on your face:

On a more serious note, a couple of uncomfortable truths have been hovering on the edge of my consciousness lately. Such as the fact that perhaps, T’s decision to leave me cannot be judged.

I started exploring the possibility a couple of months ago, running a prudent finger on the fresh scar of our separation, then pain swept me up like an infection, enraging and blinding me, until the fragile peace of this last couple of weeks gave me a chance to have a go at being all boring  detached and rational again.

So ok, we could probably all agree that the effects of our separation were (still are) truly horrid for all involved (all reluctantly including T although on an altogether different log scale, let’s be clear), we may criticise the way he handled things (like a grizzly bear with two left paws doing work-experience in butchery), but really, who is to say he was wrong if leaving me was what felt right to him?

It comes down to two people wanting fundamentally opposite outcomes for one relationship, based on their own perceptions, value systems, and probably a million other mind-bogglingly complex reasons. The sort of complexity which means that nothing anyone could do or say would change either one of our minds on the matter. At least not for now. And the sort of complexity which means nothing is black and white, right or wrong (which is a shame, because I really like the idea that I’m right).

So all we’ve got left is the future, and us doing what is best for our daughter – when we’re not too busy playing war of the worlds by text messages that is. There is nothing I can do about the fact that he thinks life is better without me, or does not want my son to be part of the equation, and for things to work out, I have to suspend my judgment. Needless to say that while deep down I know these things to be true, they still make me gag.

Another truth which sticks down my throat is that one day, T and I will be far enough apart that we will wonder how we ever shared anything, let alone intimacy. This makes me horribly sad, and is a major reason why I find it so hard to let go, to stop keeping the memory of our love alive…  I think part of it is a reaction against the fact that  T is systematically devaluing what we shared, which hurts in ways I do not quite understand, and part of it is the pain I carry on behalf of the children, our daughter who was born out of this profound love, and my son who also believed in our family.

Thanks to Jo for the introducing me to the brilliant Tim Minchin


16 thoughts on “If I didn’t have you, someone else would do, and other hard truths about relationships

  1. So well written. A pleasure to read if not to feel. The unanswered questions always seem to remain and haunt our view of the future. In time I hope you find the peace and reconciliation with your situation which you so clearly deserve

    • Thank you so much for the compliments counting ducks, coming from someone who read English at Uni, I find it highly flattering. Yes I know, I’m totally shallow 😉
      Yes, I do hope to one day be at peace with what’s happened, and to no longer feel angry, or sad…It ain’t gonna be tomorrow, but one day…

    • “The unanswered questions always seem to remain and haunt our view of the future.” whoa! That’s so so so true. I am haunted by the fear that no one will ever love me again, that no one will even try, that men see a 40 year old and assume my best years are behind me. I know I am hurting myself with these worries, but I can’t shake them. Loneliness is the deep hole I’ve crawled into and now call home.

  2. And thank you for introducing me to Tim. He is indeed brilliant and he made me laugh.

    Your writing is brilliant, too. It makes me remember with a lump in my throat how I felt when my divorce pain was intense and seemingly never-ending. Thankfully the worst of mine is over now and one day, though it doesn’t seem so now, yours will be too.

    • Hey there, and thank you too 🙂
      I know, the song is so funny, and a lot of Tim’s stuff has me in stitches. It’s good to laugh actually!
      Take care

  3. Hoorah hoorah hoorah – we love Tim!! (a new blog perhaps?!?!). It was such a joy seeing you sit on my sofa holding your broken heart in one hand (you know what I mean), a glass of wine in the other and roaring laughing at Tim, I shall remember it forever!!

    You know what I’ll say about all the other stuff, so I’ll leave it there….now email me that salmon recipe please!

    • I like the idea of holding my heart in one hand and my glass of wine in the other… Let me know how the salmon turns out! xxxx

  4. Its always thought provoking when you see a torn relationship from afar, as in from someone ‘s else point of view, that has two people who were once as once and now as opposite as the light and the dark.

    But it illistrates that sometimes the paths of two people come together for a time then diverghe. The key to a long term relatiosnhip is maintaining enough closeness to keep the bonds of attraction strong enough to hold against the force of separation.

  5. Hello Larry, and welcome!
    Mmm, interesting thought that maintaining enough closeness is the key to stopping entropy from separating two people in a relationship…
    I wish it didn’t leave me with a miserable sense of failure though.

  6. That’s a different point of view. Refreshing to read it. In a way that every stick has two ends, and every story has two sides…
    And we don’t know, maybe what has happened has its purpose that we don’t see yet.

  7. Oh, this is good, good stuff. It’s well-written and perfectly expressed, especially the part about the depth of sadness upon realizing that the memory and understanding of past intimacy fades. It is a heartbreaking thing. The ex’s “systematic devaluation” of what you shared. That’s a great description of what (in my experience) the other person does. How well I know the sadness and frustration and general sense of bewilderment that comes from watching someone you love(d) do that!

    But this is oh-so-good on another level as well. You may still be hurting and grieving, but you’re becoming more objective. And that helps the healing in spades. You’re trying to see how to make the future work for your daughter (and for you and T, too). You’re trying to find a way to understand him and maybe even forgive him a little (not for how he did, but for what he did). You’re getting there, wherever “there” is. In my “I have no idea what I’m talking about, really” opinion, you’re on the right track. Stay the course.

    • Hey thanks Meredith, it’s nice to know I’m on the right tracks although I’m far from being able to practice that level of detachment daily. I spend way too much time still agonising on pointless hurtful stuff and anger, like some low-level masochist…
      But you’re right, the most bewildering bit is probably to see the person you loved minimise and devalue what you shared, convincing themselves that you were wrong for each other, or some other easy-way-out bollocks.
      Anyway, thanks for being some sort of cheerleader, in a bizzare way, it means a lot! xx

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