1,889 days later

To my Twitter friends, thank you. I appreciate all the kind notes and e-mails. Please don’t take it personally if I didn’t directly respond. For some reason, I find it easier to talk to a blog post window than an individual person right now. I’m sure it will pass, and I will take you up on your offers to talk. It’s good to know I have so many wonderful friends out there.

Editor’s note: Written Saturday, mid-afternoon.

Five years, two months and three days. I did the math. That’s 1,889 days.

On that 1,889th day, he came over unannounced, which wasn’t that unusual. At the time, I was warming up a leftover tamale as a way of delaying the decision whether to go for a run. I figured he wanted to watch the basketball game, but he kept pacing and pacing, and I knew something weird was going on. So as I sat down to dig into the tamale, I asked him what was wrong.

I love you, but I can’t marry you.

He preceded it with the usual “I’ve been doing some thinking …” I don’t really remember the rest. I think he said he was unhappy and our personalities didn’t go together.

Of course I started crying. I couldn’t stop. I eventually left the room. I tried to say some things to him, but words could not come out. I told him to leave. I couldn’t look at him, and I didn’t want him looking at me.

Excuse my language, but it was out of the clear fucking blue. Just a few hours earlier we had been chatting nonchalantly online and sharing stupid funny websites that seemed worth looking at. A half a day earlier we were sharing a meal, drinking wine and pretending to be aghast at Alabama’s poor Sugar Bowl performance.

I’ve known that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him for about two years. Changing jobs and moving to the city where he lived? It wasn’t completely for him because I wanted the job at the time, but his presence tipped the scales toward me deciding to sell my house and take a new job and move. I wanted to show to him I was committed to him, but more simply, after a couple of years of living in different cities (it didn’t start out long-distance), I just wanted to be with him.

I kept waiting for the same expression of commitment from him, but it never came. He did plenty of nice things for me on a near daily basis, but they were things I think he would have done for anyone he knew. He talked about letting me move in permanently with him, but I started to realize he and I weren’t in the same place on the relationship plane when I realized moving in with him was just talk, not an actual option. Still, I thought he was just slower to develop when it came to a relationship or that the year difference in our age – I’m the older one – was just somehow magnified when it came to where we wanted to be with our relationship. I thought we were at least moving in the same direction. For the longest time I’ve just thought he didn’t have the balls to admit that he could make such a permanent commitment.

I thought he just couldn’t work up the courage to say yes. Now I realize he was trying to work up the courage to say no.

The part-feminist in me says it shouldn’t matter whether he wants to get married. Why is marriage so important anyway? Sure, I was fine with our arrangement as it was, and I was immune the fact that most of my real-life friends are married and either contemplating or having children. But my family is still the most important thing to me in the world, and I want to have one of my own. Marriage didn’t have to come now, but it has to be an option. I want someone in my life who is willing to make that kind of commitment.

It wasn’t a case of me just wanting to marry someone. Despite his flaws, I still wanted to be with him. I enjoyed his company. I had fun with him. I was thankful we shared the same religious beliefs. I appreciated the fact that someone (so I thought) wanted to be with me despite my own flaws, which I’m aware are many. I know you can’t make someone love you and sometimes love ain’t enough and all that crap. I just wished I’d had the power to see what was obviously missing. Unfortunately he would always – ALWAYS – conceal from me when he was unhappy about something, so I guess there was no way for me to know. Still, I feel like a fool.

So now, after 1,889 days, I’m completely and totally broken. I feel like I’ve been shot in the back. I feel empty. I have absolutely no idea what to do. I have very little reason to want to be here, doing what I’m doing. I do have a few friends in Knoxville, and they’re wonderful people. But my family is in Memphis, some six hours away. My best friend is in South Carolina, some three hours away. My other confidants are all at least a three hour drive or flight away. I’m working a job I only somewhat care about these days. Without him, I have hardly any roots.

We didn’t really talk about what any of this means, but I’m wondering if we even need to. I certainly don’t feel like talking about it right now. What’s there to say, anyway? It’s not like he needs to be encouraged to take more time to think about it. HE’S HAD 1,889 DAYS TO THINK ABOUT IT.

If this post makes me sound like I’m collected, don’t be fooled. I’m typing through tears. I can’t pick up the phone to call my mom or my best friend because I can’t even form words with my mouth right now.

I was at a place in my life where I was content and at many times happy. The only thing that seemed to be standing in the way of full-out happiness was how I felt about my job. I’m guessing that’s not going to be the case for a while.

1,889 days. Something like 20 percent of marriages dissolve before they ever make it that long.

Happy new year to me. I guess this year can only get better.

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23 Responses to 1,889 days later

  1. Kate says:

    What an entry. It almost got me into tears. Sending you lots of hugs.

    Remember, when one door closes…

  2. Emily says:

    Oh honey. I don’t really know what to say.

    First off – big huge hugs to you. Please make sure you take good care of yourself right now.

    Secondly, you are anything but a fool. We can only operate with the information we have – which is what you were doing, please don’t beat yourself up because of how he handled things.

    I know you probably don’t want advice right now (if you do I’m more than happy to give some) but I want you to remember that although things (your life) will never be the same, it can be better. Take some personal time, go be close to someone who can give you a huge hug and make you soup and focus on what MG needs right now.

    Lots of hugs and love coming your way. xoxo

  3. Coco says:

    I don’t know you that well but oddly I feel like I do, and I am so very sad for what you are going through. I know what that empty, shot in the back feeling is like, can’t even get a breath. Sorry, sweetie. You are awesome.

  4. jacquelyn says:

    Big hugs to you. Hope your mom comes to take care of you and pamper you for a while. I know when I have had the worst things happen to me having my mom around somehow made it all better.

  5. sugirly says:

    I know what it’s like to be somewhere without feeling like you have roots. I’m sorry you’re going through this! When you’re better or up to it, let’s get together.

  6. Playful Professional says:

    I’m so sorry. You’re right that the year can only get better, and I really hope it does.

  7. Vanessa says:

    Be gentle with yourself, this is a huge shift in your life. Don’t beat yourself up, you were working with the best information you had at the time. Lean into the energy of others reaching out to support you right now, there are many of us that care.

  8. Liz says:

    I’m so, so sorry you’re having to go through this. It’s just awful when things like this happen. I know this probably won’t help to hear it now, but just so you know, I had the exact same thing happen to me — dated someone for five years, thought he was the man for me, he broke up with me and it was awful. But a year later, I met the man I did marry and now I’m so thankful that I didn’t end up with that other guy. He wasn’t a bad person at all and I still like him very much, but he just wasn’t right for me. So I know what you’re going through is incredibly painful right now, but have faith: it will get better with time.

  9. CelticBuffy says:

    Oh honey, my heart is breaking for you right now. I went through something similar to this with Mr. Ex. right at the end of the holiday season a few years ago. You are one hell of a woman, hold your head up high, cry when you need to, lean on your friends and family and remember to . . . breathe.

  10. Single in Vancouver says:

    I am so so sorry your year isn’t off to a good start. It will get better, it takes time but it will most definitely get better.

    Big hugs for you…take care!

  11. LizSara says:

    I advocate drinking a lot, on a regular basis for at least a week and then cuddle Lucydog to you and know that, no matter what, you are loved x

  12. knoxstarbuck says:

    You don’t have to act normal, do whatever it takes to get you through the first week or two. I haven’t been through something like this, but I have experienced the kind of loss that makes you feel that your heart has been ripped out of your body. I wish I could tell you that it will get better soon, but it probably won’t for a while. Loss is hard – go ahead and grieve it out.

    Just try to keep in mind that there is the perfect man for you out there and obviously this guy was a bump in the road.

  13. nancypearlwannabe says:

    Aww, lady. I’m really sorry. I wish I could give you a hug! That totally blows.

  14. Ben and Kristen says:

    MG I’m so sorry! That totally sucks…if you venture over to Memphis I’m around!

  15. Allie says:

    Oh Lady! I am sorry to hear it! I know this is the beginning of bigger, better things, but I also know that it hurts so much right now. Sending good thoughts.

  16. alexa - cleveland's a plum says:

    i am so, so, so, so sorry. and that seems like the lamest thing to say right now – but it’s all i got.

    i know it will get better/easier even though i know that is the hardest thing to believe right now.

    we are all here for you and let me know if you need anything!

  17. The Dutchess of Kickball says:

    Oh no, I am so sorry. I’m sending you virtual hugs.

  18. Courtney says:

    Oh, my God. I can’t believe it. As lame as it sounds, I am so, so sorry. But good for you for keeping your wants and needs in perspective right now. I know how difficult it is.

    I know we don’t know each other very well, but I am always available if you need someone to talk to. I’m a good listener. 🙂 Keep your chin up, OK?

  19. Suzy Trotta says:

    I hate to hear that. And hey – you’re not a fool – just human. Let us know when you feel up to Tweet-her and we’ll take you out for a much deserved night on the town. Take care.

  20. Noelle says:

    I would also like to send you some hugs, reading this and relating to so much of it. I hope that you all can get some kind of shot in the arm to either make it work, or find an acceptable alternative. I wish I could say I knew what it was.

  21. ck says:

    man. i’m sorry! out of the blue is the hardest- i’ve been there. the contrast is too much to take, that the whole world can change in a few seconds. even with 1,889 days invested, all I can say is that you’ll be glad this came sooner than later. hang in there!

  22. ashleystravel says:

    That is awful. I am sending you hugs and love. And I second Suzy on the Tweet-Her suggestion. I know we are no replacement for best friends and confidants, but we are here for you too, should you need us.

  23. Miss Marie says:

    🙁 I know how you feel. I’ve been through it. I promise, things will slowly get better. Keep breathing.

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