Yesterday I saw a couple I know, just for a coffee. They got married just after I did, and have the same age difference that me and my ex- have. He has children from a former marriage but she does not, and they had none together.
She is my friend and is complicated as a person. The nice thing is, all the good parts of her are getting better. She’s decided to become a yoga instructor, and all the work that she’s been doing on herself is really working. She’s more “in the moment”, happier, kinder. These are all things she was before, too, but she could also be prickly and little things got to her more.
Her husband is not someone I’d like to be with, personally, although I like him a lot. He is a bit of an alpha male, but also intelligent and interested in philosophy and human nature. It’s more intellectual than practical for him. He’s not very affectionate.
But I’ve had talks with her, and I know that while they spend a lot of time hanging out together, they don’t necessarily communicate very well, and I don’t think they have much intimacy. It shows.
Yesterday when I met them for coffee, there was a lot of irritations on her part that were obvious, and none on his. However, he would never show that sort of thing even if he felt it because that’s how he is.
They function after twenty years together, but I don’t think they are particularly happy, or unhappy. I had a long discussion with my boyfriend (F-A-B) over the weekend about whether a couple should stay faithful and stick with each other, or whether they had the right to look for happiness.
I feel so incredibly sad and guilty that I left my husband. It would have taken very little to make it work in some way that we could have stayed together. But we would have been like my friends who I saw yesterday: maybe a bit irritated, talking at instead of to each other, together but not particularly enthused about the idea.
A year ago, I couldn’t get my husband to give me what I needed; I really needed someone to listen and to share my thoughts and life with me, and not just listen to him and be available for him. He needed and needed and needed and I couldn’t get a word in edgewise for months and months. If he only could have listened a bit more, and if only we could have made love or at least been intimate from time to time. And so I left. I felt so alone with him that it was an incredible relief to just be alone.
I see my parents who are very, very old but independent and in incredibly good health for 93 and 90. At that age, it’s much less about being happy, but looking out for one another. That, in the end, is always what made me sure I wanted to leave. Statistically speaking, my husband was going to go before me, being seventeen years older, and I was going to be alone at the end.
I tell that to the F-A-B; I want to grow old with him. I want to have fun with him now build up such a store of love and memories that we can stick together all the way to the end. He’s older than me, too, but only seven years, same age as my sister. There is such room to grow with him, to learn about each other and develop a relationship. I hope that we stay a happy couple for as long as possible, and respect each other enough that we can talk through the rough bits with love and compassion.