I guess we’re done

*this is the conclusion of a story. It will stand alone in many ways but for missing context please go back a few.*

I had a decent time at the cookout and I put on a good face. But I wasn’t fooling my friend Paul. Paul came up to me with a cold one and said. “Don’t bullshit me, are you ok?”
“Nope, not even close”, I replied.
He had met Cat. “Trouble in paradise?” I told him some of it. He was comforting, as a good friend should be. “You’re probably blaming yourself. I know you. Don’t.” He was right. He knew me, I was blaming myself.
I left soon after.
Several days went by. We had exchanged a couple of texts, mostly about how she was feeling. There was nothing that suggested any intimacy at all. Then we fell into the same pattern, if I didn’t reach out…crickets. The weekend came around and I asked what her plans were and I learned quickly that they didn’t include me. At the end of the second week I finally called her out. I asked if I should stop contacting her. She wanted to know why I said that. I replied that she was clearly ghosting me to which she objected by offering that she always answered me when I reached out. She didn’t get it…she never reached out to me first. Her pathetic answer was that she was going through some stuff. Weak. When I asked her why she didn’t tell me about it she said that it’s not about me. I was pissed at that point. I told her in as much as she was ignoring me over whatever it was then yea, it is about me to an extent.

We didn’t talk for a few hours, then I reached out and told her that I was going to give her some space. 3.2 seconds later she told me that was a good idea. I took off the gloves. “Wow”, I said. “You jumped at that awful quick”. I had pissed her off with that and she shot back “are you giving me fucking space or not!? Because if this is your idea of space then we’re through.”
I was stunned. But my thoughts and emotions were in synch and I shot back, “If you jumped right to ‘we’re done’ that quickly then that’s all I need to know. I guess we are through.”

Believe it or not, that is the last time we spoke. I texted her condolences when her senior dog passed away but I made no attempt at conversation. I don’t want to talk to her. Amazingly, the woman I once thought I was in love with disappointed me so badly, let me down so hard is now a person that even if she wanted to (she won’t) get back together, I wouldn’t want to. I saw too many things in her that tell me that she is bad for me. I thought she was loving, but she’s critical and judgmental. Things that I thought we could work through, her drinking (what was I thinking, that never happens), her fear of commitment, her erratic behavior, the list goes on and I won’t further bore anyone, all came to a head and I know in my heart of hearts that she is not for me.

Still, I miss her. Maybe I just miss the feelings I had for her, feelings that I had every reason to believe were mutual. I miss her falling asleep on my chest and waking up next to her. I miss the intimacy that I never was able to express to anyone, not even my ex-wife in all of my 57 years. And now it’s just plain fucking over. And I don’t know why. Nor do I want to because I know that I will overthink it and blame myself and just feel bad in general.

I have a theory. In all of my moments of neuroses over the job I think she lost respect for me. Because I thought that I could open up to her without being judged. That’s what relationships are about after all, aren’t they? I don’t think I believe that anymore, or at all. She was the first woman I felt comfortable enough to drop my walls and it fucked me over. It will be a cold day in Hell before I set myself up for that again.

To think of all the time spent, mind racing, being pulled between my desire to work and earn and the burning desire to be with someone who made me feel things I had never felt, that I would lose both of them. Wow, just fucking wow.

As I said at the beginning of this series, I once sold a standard shift car that was quite valuable, for one that I could drive with my arm around my then girlfriend. All these years later, I have neither the car or the girl.

If you ask me how I’m doing I’ll tell you I’m fine. But I’m not. Not even close. Big boys don’t cry, but that doesn’t mean they don’t hurt inside.

THE END

the end was near

*this post is a continuation of a story. It will stand alone in many ways but for missing context please go back a few…*

It was a dark time. My subconscious was beating me down. I had gone against character and left a job without notice, leaving a person that I liked hanging. It would be many days before I would stop replaying the argument that led up to my quitting in my head. I didn’t care about the person involved so much as I cared about my reaction to it. Those of us with anxiety are doomed to replay difficult events over and over in our heads. My only comfort was that I hadn’t changed my assessment of the situation. There was no way that I could show my face in there again. I still haven’t gone in. And this bothers me because I really want to offer Vinny an apology. He deserves that. I know that his behavior towards me, as disrespectful as it was, wasn’t personal. He liked me as a friend, at least in the beginning, and was fairly good to me. It’s not his fault that I refuse to allow myself to be treated poorly. I did him wrong and I will apologize to him. I’m not afraid, I just haven’t picked my moment. I suppose part of me is worried that he won’t let me get it out. It’s unlikely, but he might kick me out of the store and I wouldn’t blame him if he did. But it would bother me.

The bigger problem was my deteriorating relationship with my girl. I was making an effort but she was slipping away. I really couldn’t figure out what I did or was doing wrong (my go-to is always to blame myself) but something was definitely off. We argued at least once every weekend, the sex was decreasing in frequency and in passion (that part was always good) and when apart we barely spoke on the phone. When we did it didn’t feel right. As for our texts, I made the sad realization that if I didn’t reach out I wouldn’t hear from her at all. I knew it was over when I offered to come down during the week and she said no. I finally decided to call her on it. I knew we would fight soon enough and the next weekend didn’t disappoint. During some stupid drunk argument (her not me) I finally said, “Don’t people who are in a relationship want to talk to each other, and to see each other? Don’t people in a serious relationship think about the other when they wake up and go to bed?”
She made a face that said it all. Sort of a self-defeating “you’re right” face. She then began to tell me that we’re going too fast, that I’m too intense (I seem to remember her being the aggressor both sexually and in the ‘I love you’s’ department but whatever). She wanted to slow things down, let it flow organically. I thought it was bullshit but I said ok and asked her to define it. She wouldn’t, and as I knew it would be, going forward I had no fucking idea how to act around her. Which only added to the tension. She didn’t get that I needed more, that knowing the truth would really help me. It was then that she told me I was too sensitive.

A week later I arrived on a Saturday. I went to sit next to her on the sofa to watch a movie with her and she freaked out, started accusing me of “invading her personal space”. I was at a loss and was not prepared for the argument that ensued. She went to bed pissed off and I sat on the sofa thinking real hard about just leaving. But we had plans the next day to go to a cookout where I had (operative word) been excited about introducing her to my Mason friends. So I stuck around until morning.

I wasn’t very surprised to see her stumble out of the bedroom the next morning as pissed off as she went to bed. Like a frickin’ idiot I still stuck around for a couple of hours to see what would happen. Those hours consisted mostly of her playing with her phone as her hangover subsided. Then she went to the bathroom and when she came out she announced that she wasn’t feeling well and that I should leave. No hug. No goodbye. She just closed the door to her room. At that point there wasn’t much doubt. This ship had sailed. So I left.

I went to the cookout as planned. All of my buddies who had seen our supposedly great relationship play out of FB asked me where she was. I lied and told them that she just wasn’t feeling well, despite the fact that I knew what was really going on.

It’s not you

Three powerful words from my daughter.
“It’s not you.”
I added another creamer to my coffee, took a sip and let it sink in. She’s right, it’s not a good look for me. Cheater. Adulterer. No thanks. It was then that I made the decision to end it. My daughter always keeps me on the straight and narrow. I trust her for the truth. And there I had it.

She’s known about my relationship from the beginning and knows all of the details. She kept quiet at the beginning because she wanted me to be happy. But she had an opinion waiting for me. When I told her that I was feeling conflicted and was thinking about ending it she put it right in my lap by calling me out on my character. In a way only she could. Blunt and to the point. And also correct. That’s not who I am.

I ended it, whatever it was, yesterday. It was heart-breaking. We had spent some really special times together. We had real potential as a couple, if not for one minor detail.
Her husband.

I did it by text. Texting is all we have had lately. She works full time and isn’t around for me to see her on weekends. Those rendezvouses we had, fleeting and precious, were few and far between. While I didn’t use the words “break up” she knew where I was going with my words. As if she was expecting it. Just like that, it’s over. We wanted it to work, we really did. But there was just no way. At least not now.

I can’t believe what I just threw away in the name of “doing the right thing”.

A person who thinks and acts along Grey lines may have been able to pull this off. I tried to be that guy. The Grey lines guy. Who practices “relative morality”. It was a perfect situation for that. They were unhappily married. He was horrible and controlling in everything he did to her. Grey lines guy could rationalize all of it. I can’t.

I’m not black and white in everything that I think and do. But I have a firm grasp on right and wrong. I believe in codes. The Guy Code, for example, which clearly states that you do not fuck another man’s wife. I may not know him personally but I respect him enough to honor the code. It’s tragic that he is too ignorant to see what he has before him.

She’s amazing. If I actually thought I had a chance with her I’d fight with the strength of 20 men to get her. She always deflected but I think she’s beautiful. We were wildly attracted to each other, when allowed we couldn’t keep our hands off of each other. We shared so many interests and activities. We liked the same music and movies. We waxed poetic about the things we wanted to do.
Be seen together in public. Go for walks. Socialize as a couple. Snuggle on the sofa. Watch silly movies. And of course see each other whenever we wanted to.

None of it could ever happen and I began to realize that unless I saw some serious signs that she was actually able (she was willing, we talked about it) to leave her husband then it was just unfair to all involved to continue. She needs her husband right now for what he can provide. Things that I can’t.

So it has to be this way. Love is just not enough…