Unraveling

You’ve pulled back again. You sit back, arms crossed in front of your heart and you give me that smile your eyes don’t reflect. I reach out to touch your hand and you pull further away.

“Is there something going on?” I ask, “or am I just imagining this distance?”

“They’re my issues, but I think they’re probably worth talking about.” Holding the pint glass with a white-knuckle grip, your eyes hold on something far away, “I guess now’s the time to talk about it.”

I nod, believing that what is to follow will be a matter of offering understanding, an exercise in empathy.

“We have some issues,” you say, “with our relationship — pretty big ones.”

Blink. Nod. “What’s on your mind?”

Back and forth we go, discussing the lack of security in all aspects of my life, and your need for concrete solutions and solvable problems. We discuss the differences in our standing. You have your career, your home, and your education while I’m trying to escape from an unfulfilling job, my home feels like anything but, and I’ve just dropped out of college.

Yes, we’re at very different points in our life — right now. “I’m working on it,” seems to be all I can say; a nod at stern glance seems to be all you can return.

“You’re a variable I can’t account for, one that I cannot and should not control. And this is where it comes back to being my issue, my hang up, my road block.”

We don’t talk about ways to help you cope with this insecurity, about ways to accept that which is out of your control. All I hear is blame and accusations, while not unfounded, they’re all about what I’m doing wrong, about all the things I have to change. In between your words, all I can hear is I don’t have room for your unpredictability in my life, for your slow progress, for your mess.

“I don’t know if I’m okay with all of this,” you say coolly, “I don’t know if I can even become okay with this.”

There it is: the start of our unraveling.

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4 thoughts on “Unraveling

  1. It didn’t hurt so much that he was unsure of my future, but that we weren’t addressing the “issue” that was the guise for the start of that conversation. We both got angry and defensive and it started to devolve much more quickly than I had expected.

  2. pam stanek says:

    Sorry for the platitude, but even the best relationships are difficult. But I guess it’s good to remember that what one person thinks may be valid to him/her, but it doesn’t make it gospel. Life is ever-flexible. Believe me, what we think now, will most likely change in the future. I used to hate pink…now I love it. Purple was bleeck! Now, not so much. Not sure what my point is, other than my mantra: this, too, shall pass.

  3. Thanks Pam. This last week I’ve been a mix of missing him and what we had and still being upset over how I was treated and spoken down to. Ultimately, I know we would have had our disagreements and if he couldn’t accept that my decisions were my own now, it likely wouldn’t have worked out much longer even if it hadn’t devolved this time. I’m of the “live and let live” mindset when it comes to minor disagreements. Resolution isn’t needed every time, and I certainly don’t need to “win” arguments either. It’s enough for me to know that I’m being understood and that I’m understanding — that wasn’t enough for him, sadly.

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