This is going to ramble a bit but you’ll understand because I’m getting a divorce.
My wife and I take care of each other. We adore each other in spite of those thing we hate about each other. Over the last few years, the hate outnumbers the love. There is no need to say what the breaking point is because over time the breaking has been going on for years.
I didn’t understand this till Friday night. She was mad. She was upset and she unloaded on me. She said that she felt like I split my attention between my writing, my readers, my play partners, my friends and her. She said that all her attention is on me. She said that I hurt her, and for the last 8 years, that I have not taken care of her and that I am too selfish to really care for her.
Then she took it all back. She was just upset. She didn’t mean it.
The thing is, this was a continuation of the same fight we have had for ages. We were picking right back up from the last time we had this fight and this was years old. She resents that so many of our friends like me better. She resents that I do not want to live like a hermit just with her on some lonely mountain. She resents that I don’t submit to her tastes and interests.
So this really tore me up. I realized how unhappy she was for the past decade. See, I thought that no matter how unhappy I was, at least she was happy. I thought I took a good job taking care. I feel like I break my back taking care of her and now I knew that I sucked at it. The question became, if I was doing such a bad job as her husband, why was I making myself miserable for so little results?
We talked about it and we both agreed that we were both working really hard for so little happiness. We love each other and we care about each other but we are not good for each other.
The weird part is that I feel like I have lost my identity. I saw myself as that husband guy who loved and took care of this very special woman and made her happy. I made choices every day with her in mind. I made decisions with my inner voice sounding like hers. I have worked, played, loved and wrote with her influence and approval or disapproval.
And now it’s just me. I haven’t been me in 14 years. Even in my writing, there are large bits of her. I’m not saying it in a tragic, oh-she-will-always-be-with-me way, but in a very serious, I did everything with her in mind. I was not myself, I was what she demanded of me. And now I’m not. I’m me.
Who the fuck is me?
I have friends. I have close friends. I have people who love me. I will not be alone in this. I’ll be moving this week. I will keep writing. Something. I just don’t know what that writing will be. It will be all me. Or a lot of me with less of my wife. But this will take time and well, practice.
I’ve never been me.