It started out awkwardly as you can guess. What do we share, what do we say, what’s right or wrong and how do we not hurt the other?
Then his voice goes through me like a bullet because I’m in love with this man.
Interestingly enough, I left the conversation certain I have made the right decision. I felt the depth of longing when I heard his voice, tears fell during some of his words, but his absence of certainty about his future remained and that’s what’s keeping me grounded this time. I can love him and he can love as much as we want, but the situation must change for that love to have legs.
For the first time, he apologized to me. I could hear the sorrow in his voice and it meant something to me – I heard something I didn’t know I needed to hear. His apology meant the world to me for reasons I haven’t yet uncovered. He said he was sorry he got us both here, to a place where he causes so much hurt and pain. He said he was careless with my heart. He said for all the love I have given to him that he has returned it the worst way possible.
He admitted he can’t change. He called himself a coward.
Maybe I just needed to hear that he understood his responsibility in all of this. I can hear the anguish in his voice when he finally admitted to how debilitated and broken he has been the past 5 days (and oh how I know exactly what he’s talking about). He couldn’t describe his feelings except to say it was like the worst grief he ever experienced. I had a hard time hearing some of that because I recall that pain, and maybe even felt some guilt that I won’t allow myself to go there again with him. But I know, I know what he’s feeling.
I’m not saying I don’t feel it too…the conversation unleashed what was sitting dormant for 5 days and I felt my heart breaking within my chest. Ah, there it is, that familiar heartbreaking pain from last year. It sucks. It’s awful. It’s like a massive hole opens within me.
I think I needed to hear the words from him. I am a Words of Affirmation person (despite the Christmas gift debacle!) and these words let me hear “I mattered” and “I made a difference” and “no matter what happens, I will always love you.” I remember trying to pull these words from Bobby and I couldn’t get them. And I recall how much of hurt me to think I was irrelevant or dreamed up the love we shared. Bennett’s affirmation resonated with me.
He said many good things and I still hear “I don’t know what I can do”. He didn’t attempt to pull me back or make any promises. He acknowledged that he is living without me until he makes a change. He still said he has no life without me and he can’t go on this way. At that point I reminded him that the power is his. He knows.
He asked me if speaking to him hurt me any more or less and while it doesn’t hurt, I explained that as much I want to hear how he loves and misses me, it’s only keeping us both in a place we cannot stay.
He will respect my wishes.
How can I explain that as much as I need him to stop contact, I do want to know he misses me and loves me. It’s unbalanced, a dichotomy, I know. But that’s probably no more than the head and heart battling it out. We both know the right thing is no contact. I can’t penalize him for reaching out because I reached right back. But I am not sliding back into communication or relationship with him, I will not.
The conversation was a good one. I realize I will talk to him again at some point, but I don’t know when. I also see how the desire to talk to him will fade with no ultimate resolution and the last thing I want to do is create the frustration I created with Bobby at the end. Bobby was very patient and kind trying to make me let go while he went back to his marriage and I refused to listen to him. This time I am listening to Bennett say he doesn’t know what, if anything, he can do. As much as I love talking to him, I don’t need the small talk.
It was harder to say goodbye the second time. Of course I looked for any “in” any break in his pattern that indicated there should be hope, but he didn’t give me any other than to reaffirm his love for me and how I have changed his life. He has a thousand reasons to stay and only one to leave, and I know he will always choose to stay and take care of his responsibility. Much like ASV, I feel bad for his wife, having no idea or not caring that her (married) life is a staged show on his behalf.
Lucky for me my friends have kept me full and busy and banded around me. Between the girls and work, I don’t have down time. But today finally took its toll and I needed to stay home from work and just be broken. I need to cry, I need to absorb it and stop pushing the feelings down. The only way I am going to move on is to accept it.
Sidenote: he mentioned he stopped following me on Insta because it creates too much pain. Clearly he is smarter than many of us where his emotional well-being is concerned.