He stands at the ready. Strong, immovable force is he. No task too difficult. No problem will go unsolved. No climb too steep; no descent too treacherous. There can be trust had in this man. She can follow with comfort and ease. Her apprehension is dissolved slowly, yet it does dissolve. She is willing to let him in. She believes she can trust him and in her hesitation before she indeed allows his access to her heart, she tells herself this time, it is real. She is nervous, yet excited to finally yield to someone stronger. She tells her heart, he must be…he has to be. Her body, her mind, her heart say it is, indeed, time. It is time to let go and give herself over to him completely. So, she does.
Then he is gone.
No, this isn’t about his cheating. This isn’t even about his leaving. Though he may have played these roles; this is about who he is. He has gone. Gone from who he said he was and gone from who he promised to be. His words came and went. Alas, the promises that were given gave her hope that developed into full confidence, only to now see they were never real to him. Maybe they were real and he failed himself. Maybe he tried to not only convince her but even more so, convince himself. Whatever the reason, promises broken and confidence taken; he is gone. He still physically inhabits the relationship, but he is a shell, a mere ghost of himself. He is now unrecognizable to her.
They live side by side, going through the motions necessary for the relationship. They are together, yet they are not. The monotonous daily routine seems to fill the void left by their brokenness. They display a strong and joyful relationship in the midst of others, but their hearts are not in it. He, knowing he has failed. She, broken and bleeding. They are two separate where once they had been one. They are tragically stuck in an unmoving whirlwind, unfairly put upon them by society’s unspoken rules. Awaking every morning, they know what is expected of them and they acquiesce. For, what would the children do if they knew? How would the family react if privy to their marital conditions? Friends would be disappointed and possibly judgmental. So, knowing this, they endure. Each trapped in their thoughts; they succeed a little more each day to bury what they so need and crave. Almost perfectly, they learn to settle for what has become their normal. At times, at distinct times, they fail and yearnings of the heart surface. These moments are those that test your resolve for conformity. These are those clawing, relentless moments that tear you from the inside. You cannot hide from them. They will always strive to be heard, because they are you.
This charade will continue unless acted upon. Something must give or nothing will change. Where this road has taken them is not where they had planned to be and the end point of this journey is a sad and bitter closing of what could have been. What could have been or what will be is up to them. Whether they have the courage to reject adherence to an oppressive set of moral standards is the key. Will they persist in their tiresome and unchanging routine? Or will one of them do what he or she needs to do in order to turn the tide and change the course?
This seemingly immovable force of ethical willpower can indeed be broken. They must see this fact, or the droning circumstances, all too familiar, will never change. This awkward, sorrowful life is not worth living. For who are they, but sad and pitiful memoirs of lives that were once worth fighting for. Dreams they had that seemed to be at their fingertips, now..seem to have always been either a distraction from reality or simply delusion. Where do they go from here?
He, in his lack of confidence and feelings of failure, must break himself out of this fatalistic stupor. He must do what is vitally necessary to make himself a man of his word. He cannot be perfect, but he must always know and prove she is worth his every effort to try. He can be who he wants to be….IF he truly desires it. He must not give up on her or who they are together. His all is required of him and even more so. If he has the courage…
She will need time. She will need patience. She is now a hodgepodge of hastily self-built, yet soundly impenetrable series of walls. Her hurt is deep and her wounds severe. She has convinced herself to never…trust…again. Her yearning to let go has been silenced forever by the weight of the pressing distrust and bitterness. Her desire for more was deafened and deadened by her own hand. She has made vows to herself…again. How could she have let down her guard once more? She asks herself this until the void and darkness of the answer becomes the answer itself.
He has his work cut out for him. No one said it would be easy. Yet, is she worth it? Are they worth it? Maybe not. Maybe the humdrum of a surburbian picket fence fallacy of a marriage is good enough. Maybe they’ll settle for this grandiosely virtuous half-life. Maybe he will allow himself to sink deeper into this dimmed, phantasmal figure that barely outlines who he once was.
He doesn’t have to…he could come back. He could save them…