imgresI have never felt more alone than when I‘ve been in a relationship.

Love makes me stupid. I have made a handful of life-altering decisions while in that initial giddy state of passion. Most of these were situations I came to regret. A few ended badly because I did not take time to consider the practicalities. This is an enormous, rather forceful instinct, a human failing of biology. Like other species, we have imperatives to attract and be attracted, to reproduce or have fun trying.

There were a few who got away and a couple with whom it ended gracefully. One I just ran from, only to rekindle later, then quickly recall why it didn’t make sense the first time. There is the one who was the man of my dreams who eventually dumped me in a hideous way. I wandered in a very dark and dangerous place for a time after coming unglued in the process. Finally there was the disaster of marriage between two people who were ill-suited, tried to pretend it was normal to be toxic, and lived with it for too many years.

The husband was my age, and far too young emotionally. The more successful partnerships were with men some years older.

But I am no longer a young woman. I am still vibrant and attractive, and capable of companionable behavior. But the reality is I am midlife, and by choice alone. Lately I have been considering if this isn’t the best way to live out my maturity. I have responsibilities. I have certain duties and projects to occupy me. At the end of the day, I no longer wait anxiously for the husband to come home, obligated to listen to his drivel and neuroses. He of all men I’ve been with had the most distinctive defining character of a high maintenance housemate. I feel relief.

I don’t ever want to feel that way again. I don’t want to live with a man who keeps tabs of my failings and throws them at me when he is upset with himself.

There are other considerations. Can I afford to live alone? Will I end up homeless and destitute. Not having supported myself (although contributing from odd jobs and volunteer work) in over twenty years, will I be able to carve enough of a living to make it?

When I become conscious in the mornings, my first thoughts are always a flood of anxiety and despair over these frights. It is the smell of fresh coffee, the machine responding to my programming, that breaks through the haze.

Do I believe in fate or chance or serendipity? Fairy tales? Not any more. For this reason, I am wary. Men always show up when you are not looking for a relationship.

I truly hope I have gotten over being stupid.

3 thoughts on “Stupida?

  1. Sister goddess, I do not envy your present situation or, most especially, the toxic marriage. At least you have the rest to ponder… At 54, I’ve given up on the idea that I will ever experience even a semi-serious romantic relationship – the kind where he considers me his girlfriend. Okay, I had it once for 14 months, but the sex ended at the 5-month mark after I made the fatal mistake of telling him that I loved him. He still remains the one true love of my life, though I now realize I was far better off to have lost him. I also can’t imagine being dependent upon a man, because it’s never been an option. (A female friend once marveled at my ability to set up stereo equipment. I told her that if I didn’t do it, who would?) As I age, I only get more frustrated when I hear assumptions that we’ve all had these wonderful sexual lives, unless we’re living under a rock or seriously damaged in some way. No, there are some of us who, short of trawling for one-night stands, simply never were given the opportunity. Bridget Jones called herself a love pariah. I totally got it, but prefer quirkyalone.

    In short, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – despite the pain, own all that you have experienced. It’s helped form you into the formidable woman you are today.

    Love you!!!

  2. One day, you move back here. We each get a double wide, keep 5 cats, and teach until we croak. Trade off 2pm cups of tea three days a week, and root cuttings for each other’s container gardens.

    I am handy. Something I got from my dad. Can change out electrical switches, etc. But I recently learned that when the Ikea box shows 2 people lifting the back of a small fold-out sofa bed, they really mean it!

    I love you, too. Never forget that. One way or another, we will always have each other, Sister Goddess.

  3. You’re too sweet! Thing is, I’ve no problem with being alone. The teeny-tiny shard in my side – one I rarely sense, but is ever-present – is the knowledge that I’ve missed out on something major in life. I’d alter the famous adage like this: “Better to have known requited love, and lost it, than never to have known it at all.”

    The great irony? The love of my life is back in it, albeit in a very tangential way. Let’s just say that his next girlfriend – a very serious one, who also ironically shared my name – took him on a journey to some very dark places. Five or so years later, I understand that they split up and he got clean. Long story short, I long wondered if he’s stayed clean or relapsed, even died. Through the glory of Google, I found out that he’s still alive. Thanks to my efforts, my cousin tracked him down, and they’re making music again. It’s not unreasonable to think that our paths may cross. I’ve no idea of his relationship status, and I don’t ask. Just don’t want to risk opening up Amfortas’ wound… What I am glad to know is that he truly pulled his life together, has stayed clean, and is working with my cousin. Much as they can kvetch about each other, they’re musically good for each other. I respect that, though he knows how to contact me, he doesn’t, and I will not reach out. My days of trying to get a guy’s attention are over. At the same time, I know that I was their fairy godmother.

    As for that double-wide, it may not be quite that big, but I may already have the trailer. Not sure where it stands now, but there’s a possibility that I’ll get Mom and Papa Jess’ mobile home. It’s fantastic! Not quite a double-wide, it has two beds/baths, 1200 sq. ft, and a deck. Perfect!

    Okay, back to work. Love you!

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