24. The breakdown of a relationship
The opposite of love
People often mistakenly think that the opposite of love, is hate… but they are so, so wrong. Hate, like love is something that involves passion, there is true emotional feeling behind it. You can hate something or someone with so much passion, that it might as well be love, for the sheer power or strength you put behind it to bring those feelings out.
The opposite of love, is surely indifference; you simple don’t care anymore, it doesn’t matter to you, you don’t ‘feel’ anything, it’s almost irrelevant.
I did love my ex-husband. However, I am not sure if I ever truly fell ‘in’ love with him, for me to fall ‘out’ of love with him!
The vicious cycle
But I knew my feelings for him became less and less, as time went by. It had become a vicious cycle, I saw too much of his ugliness, to appreciate what good was left. The endless number of futile arguments/ discussions/ debates, always about the same things, took care of that. And they seemed to revolve on a quarterly basis. I got tired of having the same conversations repeatedly, that would eventually, (in spite of any initial well-intended attempts to achieve balance again), lead nowhere. Until another 3 months or so passed, and we would have the same conversation all over again, each time trying to gauge if we had moved forward, backward or stayed the same. I never felt any motion.
In the meantime, he continued with ‘his’ life, and I neither moved up or down on his agenda. In fact, I always told him that I took position no: 8, in his life. It was a position I soon realised I had to learnt to accept, there was no point in insisting I be higher up than that. It was made abundantly clear to me, that his work, his hobbies, his friends and his family came first. Always. And on those very few occasions when I held his time or attention, I began to question his sincerity, doubted his actions, and always knew there was an ulterior motive. He had a “get round to it” attitude, and that was used toward me as well. So therefore, I always had to wait – for everything. But if I didn’t put him first? Oh my goodness, he became like a brattish child, constantly whining, and wanting attention.
I wised up to his game a long while back, and every time these ‘chats’ happened, I took another step further away from him, creating distance in all senses.
I should have heeded my silent alarms, that in fact this was his second time round.
All the time he was busy blaming his ex-wife, I couldn’t help but notice and acknowledge reasons, why she would have been unhappy; and why things had perhaps gone wrong for her. He was completely blameless, of course. As he had said himself, he just “worked his arse off”, to earn a living. But that was all he did. Even when she was suffering with depression, and needed his love and support, he did nothing. He gave her no support, no help, no love, no kindness whatsoever. And then wondered why she picked up and left, leaving him behind with 2 kids. Especially as it was after a number of affairs on her part, and they had been ‘trying’ to ‘save’ their marriage.
History repeating itself
I once said to him about 4 years ago, that he was repeating his own history, his own life story all over again. He was shocked by my intuition, but then he always was. But he was never ‘ready’ to talk about his previous life and marriage. Even after 16 years of being with me, he still took no blame, and still couldn’t bring himself to admit that he’d ‘fucked up’. Harder still, was his denial that he was doing the same things to me. But in the end, it cost him dearly, he had already started the process of losing me… about the only thing he ever actually got round to doing.
You can spend a life time with someone, and still never really know them. Or you may have suspicions about certain personality traits, and wonder where they came from, what was the influence for a persons’ behaviour. But all the time we are happy, we never really see the ugly side, and we certainly don’t go looking for it. But it’s when things are not so good anymore, for instance during or after an argument, that we notice their negative qualities. That’s when we see their selfishness, tightness, temper, and experience the venom they can spit or speak – I suppose all the qualities of hatred.
My ex, became very ugly. Ridiculous almost, with some of the things he did to ‘get at me’. Initially, I was so hurt and frustrated by his actions. I couldn’t get my head round why he could do the things he was doing, or the fact he would sink so low. But each time he did something, it usually backfired, which meant he was the one left worse off.
But it didn’t stop him, even now that we are divorced, (but forced to live under the same roof), he still does petty things to wind me up. He is like that child, forever burning his fingers, and I wonder why he still hasn’t learnt.
I had learnt my lesson well with my ex, I had learnt him well, I had seen the hidden dragon on too many occasions to ignore its’ existence. But he didn’t frighten me, not with his words or his actions. He already knew he had no way of winning any war with me, so he just made things awkward. He knew all the time he lost his head, I just got stronger. I refused to respond to him in the way that he wanted. And that made him even more angry, but there was nothing he could do with his anger, to hurt me.
Relying on my fears
At this point, I was physically in a bad way, my health problems were savage and prolonged. But I truly believe, that he was relying on my fears, that:
- My fear of managing due to not working
- My fear of being on my own with my failing health
- Or the fear of starting over again at the age of 49
Would all be enough of a deterrent for me, to stay put to continue with living this life.
But I had become brave. And all because ‘the lady who saved my life’, asked me one simple question:
“Why are you with him?”
That question burnt a hole in my heart. As the only answer I had to give, was that I felt responsible for him..
The wake up call
I had picked him up when he was down on his knees, and somehow I still felt responsible and continued to do so. That was the wake up call!
So, he never had a clue just how elated my heart felt, on the day when I told him:
“We don’t have a marriage anymore”.
I had known it for so long, but finally I could no longer hold the words back.
When a relationship is ending, someone has to be responsible and admit that it won’t work anymore, that you’ve come to the end of the line.
No one wants to be the be first to say it.
But someone has to.
To this moment, that day has been the most significant one in my life to date! There are course other meaningful days, but none that made me realise the absolute power I hold within myself.
That day, brought about a change, that would be forever lasting. It was the day, I took control of my life again, and decided that I valued my happiness over all else.
So now, whomever enters my life, has to keep the smile on my face and not wipe it off. Simple as that. Sx ❤️
Link to: I thought you were my hero