Something changed on Monday night. Something big.
Since I was getting in so late on Monday night and the Metro would be closed, SCL offered to pick me up from the airport, which is only 5 minutes from our apartment. I think both of us wondered if that was a good idea, but wanting to save the cash and the time, I agreed. I'd be seeing him anyway at the apartment, so why not get a free ride out of it?
When I got in the car, he began talking about his week, his latest therapy session, and how he's confronting some of his unhealthy behaviors and thought patterns. This was sort of weird, I thought. I couldn't understand why he was being vulnerable with me, opening up freely and without me pushing him. He never did this before.
We got home, and he asked to talk. Against my better judgment, I agreed even though it was incredibly late at that point. His sharing continued and eventually he wandered off into random topics as he often does. I brought it back. "I don't understand why you want to share with me, be open with me even more than when we are together, so what's shifted for you? What do I mean to you now?" He confessed that he'd been confused about that very thing. I was thinking to myself, it's crazy that he broke up with me, only to then attempt to be more connected and more open. This doesn't add up to me.
I asked again about why he had broken up with me. He began to share some bullshit excuses: that his parents don't care for me, that we have different personalities, that we don't share enough interests. And with each thing on the list, I got more angry. I could feel myself tensing up. When he was done, I said, "Well, that says a lot about what you value." What I meant was, you're a fucking idiot for breaking up with me over such minor things that could have been negotiated and worked out. I said, "Don't you think I have a list like that for you? Good luck finding the perfect woman." And then the hurt came, "What did you give ME in this relationship, SCL? I gave you everything. What did you ever give me?"
And I don't know what came over me, but a moment later, I found myself throwing my cup of ice water in his face, drenching him, the couch, and the wall. I was screaming at the top of my lungs, "My love meant nothing to you? You broke up with me over these bullshit reasons?" And he started sobbing, telling me it wasn't true. that he felt like he was being a fucking idiot. I screamed back, "You ARE being a fucking idiot! You are so smart in other areas of your life, so why are you being so FUCKING stupid about this? Why are you throwing this away, throwing ME away?"
I looked at him, sobbing and drenched in the water I had thrown at him. But I didn't say anything. I wasn't going to feel sorry for him, no matter how pathetic he looked.
But then in between sobs, he wailed, "I feel like I had blinders on. And now I see what it really take to have a relationship with someone." And he told me about how he valued my love and commitment so much--and how ambivalent he felt about this decision to end things with me. I couldn't believe it. Was he shifting? Was he saying what I'd been hoping all along he'd say, that he'd made a mistake?
He told me that he'd been wrong, that he'd been a jerk to me, that he'd lost so many opportunities to love me and care for me over the last two years. He wished he'd paid more attention to me, returned love to me. Regret, deep regret. And he was saying all of this without me having to ask him anything. It was pouring from me--this sorrow, this regret, this clarity about what we had together. And he was telling me that he made a mistake. I was so confused, and yet a little hopeful. We were so connected again. I said, "SCL, this is what is essential to a relationship, this connection to one another. The other things can be worked on, but this is something that must be there."
Could this really be the beginning of a new start with him?
SCL can never take back what he did, and he did some really hurtful things that will take me a long time to get over. For us to reconcile, he will need to show me confidence about this new perspective on our relationship. But honestly, if we are to get back together, he is doing every possible thing to show me that this is what he wants and that he's incredibly regretful of the pain he's caused me. Finally, he's being vulnerable, open, and honest with me--the very thing I had wanted all along. He's going to counseling regularly to work on the issues that he has that kept us from having true intimacy. He's committed to making those changes in himself and in our relationship. And he wants to go to counseling together as well as separately.
Things will not be as they were. They couldn't be, and neither of us wants them to be. We both lost ourselves in the relationship before, and we want something else. We want our own identities, more connection, and more openness. But this could be the beginning of a new start for us--a slow, cautious, hopeful, healthy start. I'm scared out of my mind, but he is the man I love. I'm blown away by the changes I see in his attitude and his perspective on me, on us, on himself. I'm not saying "Fuck you, you hurt me" and I'm not jumping in headfirst. But I am open to the possibility of a second chance for us.
I'm not telling many people who are close to me about this. I don't really want to hear what they have to say just yet. This is about me and what I want. What I want is to continue caring for myself and to be open to the possibility of letting SCL back in. I'm not sure what'll happen, but in my heart this is what I need. So, let's take it slow...