Relationships. I think I have always sucked at them.
It’s difficult for an introvert who lives 75% of her life inside her head to blast outside her skull enough to really do justice to a connection with another person. Hard…so hard to go from implode to expand. It takes a monumental effort of will. Constant pep-talking and second-guessing and trying to keep yourself going in the face of uncertain results… So much easier just to not bother. The older I get, the easier THAT gets—the not bothering.
And then there’s this: when you do it, when you actually make contact…or you think you have…you expect WAAAAY too much in return.
Maybe nothing less than an eternal commitment. Maybe an understanding and at least a pat on the head for the herculean effort it took to put yourself out there.
People come and go out of each other’s lives all the time. I know that’s the way of it.
But for those of us (those of me?) for whom investment in a relationship costs almost more emotional capital than we possess, the parting is so difficult. It’s like, once we finally get the connection flowing, it’s hard to shut it off and reel in the cord. Because it’s not just a little skinny extension cord. It’s a big, herkin’ 220-volt rubber-encased cable that has the capacity to transmit more emotion and attachment than any normal person would want with another. You don’t reel those in and out with wild abandon.
And that says nothing of the tangle of cables, wires, ropes and pulleys that develop over three decades of marriage. Nearly all of which were broken, severed or seriously frayed between July 1, 2006 and May 10, 2011.
But, you know…we’re working on it.
Or maybe we’re not so much working on it as that the connections are finding their way back together through the kind of magnetic attraction that develops between two people who live together for a very long time. And we have finally—after 3 ½ years—learned to leave them alone and quit yanking them away again when they get close to reconnecting.
I write this because it struck me, the other day, how long this reconnection has taken. How many months had to go by before I could once again feel as if my husband does not just stay with me out of loyalty or the constraint of the wedding vows or just pure inertia.
There is at last that glimmer of recognition that we do actually still like each other.
A little more time…a couple more months or years…and we might find ourselves in love again.