“He” is incomplete and still finding himself at forty-six; rebuilding a life from bits of broken existence and self fulfilling prophecy. “He” is moments of educated ignorance, complacent potential, clarifying paradoxes, and confident fear. “He” can be harsh and cruel then soft and loving, all in the same breath it seems, though never maliciously inclined even when provoked. “He” has an uncanny way of draining a room of all its energy in the same way an infant requires all your attention and affection, pushing you to the point of maniacal exasperation then being offended when there’s none left. But in “His” defense, “He’s” already set so much into giving you every last drop of himself without reservation that it becomes easy to see why “He” requires so much of you in return.
When I told “Him” yes I acquiesced to an ideal that looked good “on paper” but wasn’t really thought through. “He” was lonely, I was distressed and looking for an out. The initial fire that sparked our passion for each other blinded us both to certain realities we hadn’t anticipated, making disappointment inevitable and the bubbling over of tension a mask of accusation. Pointed fingers, snappy retorts, stinging expletives… Defense mechanisms aimed to erase self blame yet convey an unmistakable message: I’m scarred and I’m scared and I’m vulnerable. All I have is me and I’m “losing” that to you… I have to save me before even that is lost.
I had to ask myself if I ever saw us soberly from the perspective of one who understands fundamental human behaviour, not just the other half of wounded ego and emotion. I had to ask myself if I’d come to the table with preconceived notions of how I wanted “Him” to be regardless of how I knew “He” was. And in retrospect, I had to ask myself if I’d ever truly presented myself to “Him” authentically to begin with and not simply as a bundle of attributes “He” needed at “His” side. We’ve never been false with each other, just not really upfront with ourselves about the person we saw in each other’s eyes.
Some things are unforgettable, but few things are unforgivable once you’ve committed yourself heart and soul to the one you know you want to spend your life with. I’ve done that and so has “He”and from there all amounts of miracle can happen. We just have to recognize the opportunity, focus on those moments when less than our best is exchanged, and turn away from behaviours that defeat our purpose to one another.