I don't get it.
I really, really don't get it.
Every time that I think I have a handle on my life and that I'm putting the pieces back together, I get confronted by something that reminds me just how far I still really have to go. It's not right and it's not fair. But then, no one ever said that it had to be either I suppose. It's moments like this one that make me confront two things that are extremely difficult for me to face.
The first of those facts is that my now ex-wife is completely and utterly selfish, and that she always has been. We've been separated since May of 2004 and divorced since May of 2005. In all that time, she has not hesitated to ask...no, to expect me to reassure her that everything is going to be okay for her. That everything is going to work out and that she'll be able to find someone to be happy with.
Funny thing, she was the first person to bring up divorce when we were having problems. I'll admit to having been the one that suggested we try separating for a while, in the hopes that a little space would help us both figure things out, but I only did that after she mentioned divorce. More to the point, the night that we had "decided" to separate I begged and pleaded with her. I didn't want it because I thought we could figure out a way to work things out. I tried repeatedly to find a way to reconcile, and all for naught.
She filed the papers. She wanted the divorce. She decided when to call it quits. I did what I always did, I gave her what she wanted, or what I thought she wanted. That's what I do. I have so very little confidence and self-esteem, that in a relationship I always put my wants, needs and desires second to the other person. I know, it's not healthy to be that way. It's not what I should do, but it is what I always end up doing.
This leads me directly to the second thing that this situation forces me to face. Despite everything, despite her selfishness and her lack of compassion for me, I still love her. And that is a painful admission to end all painful admissions. Saying that is one of those things that rips my insides out. But it is the truth.
The one good thing that has come out of this though, is that I now understand that loving her isn't enough. That this marriage was doomed to fall apart, not because I didn't love her or because she didn't love me. I honestly do think that she loved me, as much as she has ever loved anyone. My marriage failed because love by itself is not enough to sustain a marriage. Marriages are sustained by compromise and personal sacrifices on the part of both spouses. I managed to keep my marriage alive for almost 8 years, but it ultimately failed because I was the only one who was willing to compromise or to make real sacrifices.
And even now, she still turns to me, expecting me to make sacrifices to reassure her that everything is going to be okay. That everything is going to work out fine. The question that this really leaves me with though, is who's more pathetic, her for asking, or me for answering?