So I mentioned that I’ve been wanting to leave since February, although to be honest, I’ve fantasised about it for far longer than that. But when I finally found the courage to tell my wife, of course she wasn’t happy about it. She was cool with me staying at my parents’ house as that was a short-term arrangement, but got into her head that it was exactly that; a quick break from reality and then we’d all go back to normal.
So when I came home and told her this wasn’t the case (or rather reinforced this), we went backwards again. There were suicide threats, angry outbursts, name-calling, and essentially being at home was not a nice place to be. The girls went to my parents while I tried to sort things out and get her out of bed. After a couple of days she did under duress, but by now the damage was done and my resolve was set.
I was going away for a week shortly after this episode so nothing could happen immediately but I had every intention of getting on the case to find somewhere new as soon as I got back.
And then the emotional blackmail began:
“Don’t leave just as I’m finally getting somewhere with my therapy. Give me a chance to get better first.”
“Don’t do this to me now as it’s making me waste my therapy talking about it instead of getting better.”
“Have you even read up on BPD? I can’t believe you’d do this to me when being abandoned is one of my biggest fears.”
“I was looking forward to the summer holidays as a family. Please don’t take that away from me.”
“How could you do this to the girls? You really are a selfish bitch, aren’t you?”
And so on. Making leaving harder and harder. So her therapy’s finished, the summer holidays are over. I expect the next line will be something to do with our youngest starting school. It’s a bad time and not fair on her, etc. etc.
And then I get caught up in things being ok for a while. We’re getting on. Maybe I’m so caught up in all the bad that happened, I’m missing the good that’s now. Until she rants at me about something. Or criticises me again. I daren’t make a decision lest it be wrong. I daren’t think for myself. And that is why I can’t stay.
I can’t live the rest of my life in a relationship that is more friends than lovers. Every single day my heart breaks a little more when I read other people’s Facebook or Twitter posts wishing their darling partner a happy anniversary after x years. That is not my experience. We got a card from my parents and sisters the first year, but have not celebrated since. And no-one else seems to remember either.
I have no romantic ideals about our relationship. We share a bed but I take care to ensure there is physical space between us. And I find being naked in her presence uncomfortable. So much of it feels wrong that I just know it is. Which is why I still have to leave. I don’t know if it’s forever, but I do know that forever like this is already too long.