i look at the silver streaking your hair and how the brown is still so shiny and soft to touch. i think about the years i’ve spent looking at you. sideways glances, seeing you in profile. knowing the outline of your forehead and nose, the turn of your lips and how your chin balances everything. you’re so handsome. decades have passed and you look like you did at 20, just more weathered and it has changed you from a prime virile young man to deeply masculine man of stature. i’ve always found you so incredibly attractive. a combination uniquely designed to be all i find desirable in a man. you know, i’ve never had a choice when it came to you. i’ve always wanted you. always fought for you.
and i was always disappointed that you would never open up to me. i’ve spent a lifetime with you. a lifetime. and yet you and i share nothing personal, nothing of value. we run a home and we spent neutral time together if we happen to be in the same place at the same time. we share no common interests and you have no desire to learn about what makes me happy. instead, you have let me go to do everything on my own, thinking that would appease me. it hasn’t. being lonely while being married, is one of the hardest things i’ve ever done. it’s pushed me into other mens arms, when all i wanted was yours.
i’d never hurt you on purpose. i don’t think you know how to love someone like me. so i don’t fault you for it anymore. i no longer blame you for not listening. i haven’t said i love you in over 8 years. which means you haven’t had anyone say it to you. i stopped loving you when you emotionally abandoned me during the worst period in my life. i simply could not cope with the magnitude of my loss, by myself. and it changed things for me, towards you. irrevocably.
over the years which have passed, i have become content with who you are because i lead the majority of my life alone and with you knowing nothing of what i do or who i am. our marriage is simply the thing we did that one time a long time ago. you think it means paying for house renovations and i think it means sharing emotional content and being vulnerable to me. we are not even in the same hemisphere when it comes to knowing who the other is.
as i look at your profile, i realize, that’s all you ever wanted to share with me. the surface of who you are. the skin you present the world. there is nothing in you to give to me, and nothing i can do which can force it to happen. i wonder if the only time you’d ever talk to me, is if you saw me happy with someone else. maybe then you’d believe me that i am unhappy with you. and it’s not because i don’t want to be. you’re all i’ve ever wanted for as long as i can remember. but i can’t make you want me. not i the way i need.
saying you love me, means nothing without the actions to support it. paying for a hot water tank is not loving me. sighing and acting like a teen forced to spend time with their parents, is not loving me. it’s not hard you know. doing those little things which mean the world to me. it’s my not asking you to wash the dishes you dirtied instead of leaving them for me. it’s about putting the bag back into the compost or cleaning the bathroom without my telling you to, then going to tell you to do it again because it was done so poorly. it’s about not muttering under your breath like a child when i ask you to do anything, because you don’t want to do it and so you passively aggressively start acting like a petulant 5 yr old child.
i never wanted the job of being your mother, yet it was the only one you wanted me to have, since you had such a piss poor one yourself. we’re in a funny place you and I. the reason for staying together is now gone, really. i’d miss you if we parted ways. you were not the love of my life. just the man i made a commitment to stay with. and that came at an incredible personal sacrifice because i am not who i was supposed to be or who i might have been, if i had the support of a loving husband who placed me before his mother or work or commitments to other people.
knowing you rank last, does something to you as a woman. besides altering your perception of your spouse, it makes you feel unworthy, unattractive, un-lovable. it makes you seek out that need with other men and that in turn changes how you feel about yourself morally, sexually and emotionally. i shouldn’t have to wonder how you feel about me, considering the years we’ve been together. i shouldn’t have to look at you and wish your actions matched your words. i shouldn’t have to resent every time i am forced to act like your mother because you won’t act like a man.
i don’t know what’s between us. or what’s worth saving. i don’t know if i leave or stay or if i stay and live separately as i have been. i simply don’t know. and that is the most unsettling of ways to feel at this point in your life. because life is getting shorter by the day. and all of a sudden, i feel the weight of that, like never before. the urgency to live before death claims me.