Behind Closed Doors: I hope

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I don’t know how to change the time on the alarm clock, and so it woke me up and I switched it off again, and stared at the empty space. The little things are becoming the cruellest reminders.

I had suspicions you were unhappy. I thought that you were struggling with work, or life or something. I have been struggling with work and life and something. I knew that our relationship was changing, that pressures were adding up. I thought that they were the symptom and not the cause. They are for me. But overhearing you talking through things with your friend, her asking how the mortgage is arranged and suggesting you packed a bag first, hearing myself described as pragmatic and stoic… I wish I hadn’t gone to bed before you. I wish I had joined you for a nightcap. I wish I had sneaked back to bed and pretended I hadn’t heard, and held you so closely that you would change your mind.

Perhaps you are right. Perhaps we would have come to this soon anyway.

I want to be angry, and I can’t. I was angry with you yesterday, when you came back to collect some clothes, when we talked for hours and hours. But the anger was there for a minute, and gone the next, replaced by numbness and the ever present nausea. I can’t get my head around what you are saying. You don’t know if you love me any more. You don’t look forward to spending time with me any more.

I get angry because you haven’t tried to save this. A lull in a sex life is normal after several years, you said. Nothing wrong, just very tired, you said. I don’t feel like going out, let’s stay in, you said.

You’re coming back to talk more on Friday. I asked you to see a counsellor, to make sure this isn’t something else speaking, to be sure that you mean it. I am not sure that you will. I gave you a letter which talked through my feelings, with a quote – the ubiquitous wedding reading from Captain Corelli’s Mandolin.

“Love is a temporary madness, it erupts like volcanoes, and then subsides. And when it subsides, you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is.”

I am not ready for goodbye. I want comfortable. I told you that you have this whole thing easy and I meant it. You stayed on a friend’s sofa and I stayed in our home. The wonky wallpaper in the bathroom was a sign that you loved me. Now it is a sign of your pretending, carrying on as normal, hoping your feelings would go away, trying to compartmentalise your troubles like you always do. No talking. No trying.

And so I wait, calling in sick to work because the sudden retching hasn’t gone away, staring in to space for hours. Crying on friends who say everything I need to hear, but who would be better saying it to you. They make me tea.

I have told you that the love does ebb and flow and that the most important things are the trust and knowing that we are the only people in the world that we can be ourselves with. I don’t know if that is enough for you. You don’t know if that is enough for you.

The hardest part is that the person I need the most is the person who is breaking my heart.

And so I wait for Friday. I hope.

Categories: Behind Closed Doors
10 interesting thoughts on this


  1. ChirstyMac
    Posted August 21, 2014 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    Anon, this is heartbreaking writing. All the more so because its so beautifully written. My heart goes out to you and I wish you all the strength and love in the world for tomorrow; the best resolution and the swiftest healing, whatever the outcome. X

  2. M-J
    Posted August 21, 2014 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    My goodness, this was a tough read. Beautifully written and heartbreaking. I hope it all works out for you, as it sounds like there is much to fight for. xx

  3. emma
    Posted August 21, 2014 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    I’m so sorry you’re going through such a tough time. I really feel for you and hope it is all ok for you whichever way friday goes x

  4. Hannah
    Posted August 21, 2014 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    I am so sorry you are going through this pain and confusion. Sending you lots of love and strength for Friday xx

  5. Sarah
    Posted August 21, 2014 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    I really feel for you. Sending you lots of strength to fight for it, sometimes that is what it takes.

  6. Emily
    Posted August 21, 2014 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    This made my heart break a little bit. I am sending you strength for tomorrow and hope that everything works out, whichever way it goes. x

  7. Caroline H
    Posted August 21, 2014 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

    Oh Anon, so so sorry you’re going through this. Sending all love and strength for tomorrow, and the coming days. xxx

  8. Rachel
    Posted August 22, 2014 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    Oh Anon :( You write beautifully for something so painful and horrible. Your words are like a reminder to me of how numbing and shocking this kind of news is, and my heart goes out to you. I don’t want to get a reputation of offering my email to anyone in need – but if you want an anonymous person who doesn’t know you or your husband to speak to, any time, then please ask the lovely AOW ladies to pass on my email address to you. 8 months ago I made the same offer to another BCD poster, and have made a firm and lasting friend. There is light, I promise. Thinking of you today, and share your hope for a brighter future for you both x

  9. Posted August 25, 2014 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

    This is from the heart that hits straight to the heart. Wow.

  10. Posted August 27, 2014 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    Coming to this late after a weekend away. Fantastic writing, almost visceral in the way you describe the feelings -takes me right back to when it happened to me. Wishing you all the love and luck in the world for the future, whatever it may bring you x

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Hello! We're Clare, Aisling and Anna and welcome to a corner of the world where smart, flawed, real women talk about the bigger picture; about their experiences, stories and opinions on all aspects of being a woman today, from marriage to feminism to pretty, too.

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