Originally Posted by maritalloneliness View Post
I wanted to ask you a question regarding your response that she's not under any obligation to love you, doesn't being married claim that justification?
I think Bibi's follow up to your question said it nicely, as well as your elaboration here:
Originally Posted by maritalloneliness View Post
I want his love not his obligation. How sad it is to remain due to being obligated not because you want to remain.
In the beginning of our disconnected years, or even during most of them, it never occurred to me how far apart our intents were, and how 'gone' her love for me had become. It has been important for me, for my own health and sanity, to get as accurate an understanding of what is left and what is gone. It is probably the most challenging aspect of all of this, because there are lots of involuntary and unconscious attempts in my own brain and in hers to keep the truth of the matter hidden.
And as startling and sad as this sort of truth can turn out to be, it can also be liberating. If we are trying to relate to each other via lies we don't dare let ourselves see, how can we ever get traction on anything; instead, we spin our wheels, and complain about not moving anywhere.
I guess what I'm saying is more recently, I have consciously tried to make our conversations be a safe place to 'give me the bad news', or 'give me the truth'. It's hard for me to let go of something if I think "maybe this is going to work" or "maybe she is going to try this or unfreeze her heart, or finally let go of some long-held resentment that has been blocking her love all these years". You know, my life, and the lives of so many here with partners who have a different agenda, has been like Charlie Brown's, where no matter how many times Lucy promises to keep the ball in place, she always choose to pull it away at the last second.
I can see others playing that role here, and I can see myself doing it too. Over the years (yeah, years) of observing this, I feel like I'm closer to more or less comfortably walking away to play ball with someone else or no one at all; I feel like I have stayed, more recently, for reasons quite a bit different than and with perspective and daily experience quite changed from those earlier times of our disconnect. It's a choice, and I plan to choose differently, if that's what it takes (and it almost certainly will).
When my wife and I wrote our wedding vows almost 20 years ago, it never occurred to me how things might change, or how she would turn away from me and quit the marriage willfully, and only go through the motions enough to keep me from walking away. I expected it to be challenging, because life can be hard, but never expected her to quit, and refuse so many attempts to close the distance between us.
I don't hate her for it. I like to think I view her compassionately, and have empathy for what it has been like for her -- and I suppose had I found the capacity to have handled some things better perhaps both our experiences would have been extraordinarily different. But, I want to be free of all the should've and could've beens, and I want to see current reality and current likelihoods and potentials as ruthlessly objectively as possible. So, I seek to make it safe for her to tell herself and me that there is no love left, no attraction, and no intention to revive it. I also seek to say it myself. I'm trying to make it so both of us get used to hearing it, if that's how we feel.
Odd, but the risk I see in doing so isn't that it will lead to us finally filing. Rather, there will be an inappropriate/ill-advised/reflexive resistance to that. (There has been before, and this most recent "frank discussion" led to such a reflex a few days later -- though the holidays have left me a bit reluctant to pull the plug -- like so many things before).
It does feel better to be in a place, though, where I feel it is my choice to make, not hers, and any positive action on her part does not an obligation make. I'm not sure when the shift occurred, but it is a relief.
Sorry -- just rambling on. I hope you found a way to find some peace in this holiday season.
ETA: It's like the song by Bonnie Raitt says: 'Cause I can't make you love me if you don't
You can't make your heart feel something it won't
Here in the dark, in these final hours
I will lay down my heart and I'll feel the power
But you won't, no you won't
'Cause I can't make you love me, if you don't
I'll close my eyes, then I won't see
The love you don't feel when you're holding me
Morning will come and I'll do what's right
Just give me till then to give up this fight
And I will give up this fight
It's a process. I've gotten to the point where I have given up that fight, and it is a huge relief. I'm no longer frightened by what that means (or at least not remotely close to the degree I was before). I think I have found what some all 'acceptance'. It is what it is.
ETA2: I think there are other unfortunate reasons why folks stay besides "obligation". Fear of the unknown, laziness, cake-eating of various kinds including the sort where the relationship is one-sided and he or she is happy to get his or her needs met as long as one doesn't have to reciprocate, lack of awareness of what one is missing, fear of the impact on the kids, financial concerns..... It really takes conviction and courage to demand something more meaningful. I admire those who finally find it.