Once upon a time in the not so distant past, I woke up every morning and was quite sure about what my day would look like. I would get up, pee, brush my teeth and get dressed for work. I’d put the harness on Lotto, my rescue mutt that two years later still doesn’t trust other humans or animals, and I would lock the door behind me and know that no matter what the day brought, I would end the day in bed with him, the man of my life, the man I have shared my life with for the past 5 years. It was a reassuring thought. Warming even. There is something incredibly comforting about knowing there is someone at home who cares about how your day went and what silly misadventures you encountered in the hours where you are not together. I suppose that it becomes so much of a constant that we forget how therapeutic it truly is.
And then just like that, in one moment, one sentence, and one look, it’s gone.
“I don’t want to be in this relationship anymore,” he said.
Now I wake up and my first thoughts still tend to be about him. But now they are more about the absence of him. I remind myself that I have to get out of bed and navigate through my day even though at the end of the day, he won’t be there to ask how it went and to really listen to my response. When something wonderful or hilarious happens, or something tragic and soul crushing occurs, I cannot call him to share it, to help me make sense of it, or to simply say it out loud to someone else who cares about my outcomes. Yes I have family and friends. But it’s not the same. It’s not the same as sharing the news with a person whom you’ve been navigating through life with for the last five years as part of an exclusive team. Friendships are different. I know that I can call my friends. And they will listen. And they will share their thoughts or attempt to reframe mine or simply just try to distract me. But I want to call him. The man I love. The man that I have loved for five years. The man who I have shared my life, my dreams, and everything in between with. The man who, inconvenient as it is, no longer seems to loves me in the same way.
It is almost more difficult to lose the partner than the lover. I of course miss his touch and his sweet kiss, and cuddling with him and the whispered promises of forever. But what really seems impossible for me to comprehend is this idea that I lost my friend. My family. My person. My confidante. I cannot grasp that I am alone. Without him. That I have lost him after five years of us. That I have to readjust my view of the word from US to I. We had a plan. A vision. Inside jokes. An entire world constructed between the two of us. And now it feels like I was kicked out of that world. Or perhaps he set fire to it and suddenly all of the pieces are crumbling and fading and in time will feel as if they are from a different time, a different life.
The strange part is that I am not even sure if “I want him back” is the most accurate phrase for my feelings given that my mind does believe that I should only be with a person who truly wants to be with me. A more accurate sentence would be more like, I want to forget this entire episode ever happened and go back to who we were together. Two people who work at it and it works. Two people who share a space and a dog and a ton of memories. Two people who were moving smoothly through life achieving goals and growing together until one moment, one sentence, and one look, changed everything.