Heartbreak lies in “then” vs. “now”. Then, not even surgery and snowstorms could pry away time from our passionate love. Inseparable, seeking each other multiple times every day, many different ways. I didn’t like being touched before him. Cruel people had broken my spirit so that even cuddling made me flinch. My nightmares made HIM flinch. He wasn’t affected though; he simply loved me harder. Hell, even our first “date” was him surprising me while I was in the ER. I looked and felt a MESS, but he still rested his head on my body and held me the whole time. It was a very short amount of time before he scaled my defenses, teaching me not only to enjoy intimacy with him, but to NEED it. In all of my 28 years, I’d never experienced this wholesome but fiery hot kind of connection.
Over time, we have certainly had disagreements, heated arguments, and even a couple of breakups, but we’ve always mended, seeking each other like oxygen. We’ve always made time to keep dating each other, to give flowers and love notes, to say I love you every single day, to maintain our passionate sex life. I’d often catch him staring at me, to which he’d reply, “You’re so beautiful.” He had a folder in his phone off random, candid pictures of me. He’d make me breakfast before I rushed out the door, after he gave me a very welcome very lovely start to the day. Random sweet texts. Waited for me after work with flowers to take me on a surpise date. Left flowers on my vehicle seat for me to discover. Talked about wanting me to be his wife one day. Brought me popsicles, soup, and medicine when I was sick. Apologized easily, made up for transgressions tenfold.
That was then.
Now (and for awhile now), anxiety and depression are at a serious high (low?). I’ve questioned myself entirely from my own behavior, to whether my medication is working properly, I even went to my doctor and had bloodwork done; everything is flawless, and truly never better. I am as gentle and loving as I can be, even when I’m feeling sad, irritable, angry, or hurt. He has always told me to express my feelings, and “then”, he was the best nonprofessional listener Ive communicated with. Now, I give him frequent reminders to please look at me when I’m talking, to which he gets defensive. If I remain quiet, he’ll ask what’s wrong, and when I speak the truth (gently), he shuts me down or criticizes my feelings. He often will quickly change the subject and fails to remember the conversation even the next day. During recovery from breaking my leg and tearing ankle ligaments, his impatience and at times his outright temper have stunned me because this is NOT the man I fell in love with! At one point, after a breakup, I asked if he’d try counseling with me. He said yes. That was ALSO “then”.
Since then, the major contention points have been 1) Pokemon Go 2) His online flirting 3) our intimacy. Here’s a rundown:
– While playing Pokemon Go, he began staying away from home for lengthy periods of time with no communication. A couple of times when I was upset (he’d been gone until the middle of the night), he lost his temper and broke his two cell phones and threw them “in my direction’. We actually broke up for a time after that, but then he offered to go to counseling with me. Then I got injured, putting counseling on the back burner. When I brought it up again, he informed me that he “doesn’t have time”.
– I caught him flirting heavily online with other Pokémon players in our city. One of them he even “joked” with that she could find a certain Pokémon at our house. I was so crushed and cried asking him why. He apologized and held me, deleting that Facebook account and Pokemon Go. 2 weeks ago, I found out that his old FB account was reopened. When I asked him if he was using that account, he lied to my face. I presented him with screenshot proof, and he continued to deny, even saying, “You know what? FUCK you!” He deleted the account in question that night, but no apology.
– Intimacy has been a struggle for a couple of years now. When we first met, he was very affectionate and very much into sexual intimacy. I never enjoyed or wanted sex much…until him. His love, understanding, and gentle persistence brought me 180 degrees. After a year or two, however, his sexual appetite and adventure became extremely inconsistent. Over time, I’ve been turned away so much that I rarely try to initiate because frankly, rejection SUCKS! Even when I’ve worn lingerie, even on vacation, even trying new ideas, even talking about the sudden drawback, he often gets an attitude as if I’m bothering him. He’s even LITERALLY told me to “get over the sex thing”. I am FAR from a morning person, but that’s his favorite time so I’ve focused on that time to no avail. I’ve completely removed myself from the topic and, after a 2 week spell, HE became upset because he “knows this isn’t (me)” and that I shouldn’t hold back what I feel and want!?!? It then became a weekend morning thing…then he started getting out of bed and making himself busy before I wake up and discovery an empty bed. Quite frankly, the empty bed feels more fulfilling than lying next to someone who barely wants affection anymore. Even cuddling and making out are prehistoric memories; the quick “peck” kisses are no different than how I kiss my mother. Hugging hurts his back. Cuddling makes him too hot.
“The end” is always a rough road, but knowing I’ve done my best, and DESERVE the best, will see me through. I read a poem earlier that inspired this post; the woman talked about how the man made her a better person in the end, even if he couldn’t love himself enough to be the change they both needed. We can’t force others to change, but we can carry the lessons on wherever God intends us to go. These lessons shape us for the best relationship of all.