This morning, I woke up drenched in a cold sweat of misery. What if T had been right, what if we had been unsuitable? What if our relationship had just been a celeb-style whirlwind romance turned sour (-even though as far as I know, we never made it to the cover of Closer)?
What if he and The New Ms T ended up sailing into a sunset of happy ever afters, leaving the children and me ashore, peering forlornly from a Past Mistakes recycling bin?
This is almost certainly T’s conviction, and the thought stabs me with every breath, but rather annoyingly on top of everything else, it makes me doubt myself. Because the truth is we did spend a sizeable proportion of our two and a half years together making each other unhappy. I can see how we fell into some traps of expecting things from each other in return for our love, accumulating misunderstandings and failing to communicate effectively on difficult topics, such as how to cook pasta, or sexuality.
Ok, so in that case, why I am not doing the Merry Dance of Relief for being rid of such an inadequate partner? Well, … Because even though he did overcook pasta, T was not an inadequate partner. He surprised me by learning fast to overall become a good step-dad, dad, and even a good husband…
Indeed, eight months on, my conviction remains that if you take any couple, put them through a boil-wash of moving countries, moving-in together, having a baby, coping with an over-demanding job for one, being jobless for the other, you will get two sodden, shrunken people, covered in lint and resentment no matter how well-matched they were in the first place.
Tonight I watched the stars lying on a pile of gravel, feeling the immensity of the waste. Time is somehow healing, or at least blurring the edges of the pain, but my regret remains as sharp as the first day.
In the interest of ethnological accuracy, lying on piles of gravel is not yet another French peculiarity, from the same range as bumper car parking, or herb tea drinking: I was trying to spot shooting stars. Piles of gravel are great star-gazing facilities -in fact, they could practically sell them in Ikea, because a) They shade the moon, b) Lying on their side saves your neck (and yes, for those who are following, well done, my neck has been feeling rather delicate thanks to the crap mattress which has outlived my relationship with T – You may give yourselves a sparkly star sticker on my behalf).
Dubstar – Stars: