Then when I left, he sat in a chair in the living room, only saying, “I hope you know what you’re doing.” About a week later, I tried to come back. He said no because of the bankruptcy and other things, with just a cold answer. About a month later, I tried yet again and he said basically the same thing—as well as, “Well, the mobile home is having to go back. We won’t have anywhere to live. I just don’t think it would work.”
I was packing things up in our mobile home when he wouldn’t be there. He started leaving me “notes” of how he doesn’t understand stuff. No ownership for anything. No “I love you’s.” No “I want us to try again.” NOTHING! Just a bunch of words that didn’t make any sense.
Finally, I’m out. But my question: Why couldn’t he love me? I was the perfect wife to him. Why didn’t he fight and try to make our marriage work? Why didn’t he fight to get me back? I would ask him these questions, but I hope you can imagine that I wouldn’t get an answer that would make any sense. He was cold and heartless like the pitiful apology I got from him on this past Sunday, yet I accepted it because it did give me closure of some kind.
I’m thankful to say I have met a wonderful man. He is amazing! He treats me and my daughter wonderfully.
Thank you for listening and for any input you may have. — Never Loved By My Husband
I think what you’re wondering, especially now that you’ve moved on and have found a new relationship, is: what did you do wrong? Or, what could you have done differently? It is so tempting when a relationship ends or fails or doesn’t work out or however you want to phrase the dismantling of a union to try to pinpoint an exact reason or moment when the unraveling began so you can avoid such a moment again in the future, so you can protect your heart from ever breaking again or your ego from ever being so bruised. But the truth is, there is never a specific event or reason a relationship combusts. There’s never a criteria unmet that keeps someone from giving his or her full heart to someone. Sometimes, yes, there is a last straw — an incident, an action, a word, however big or small, that finally breaks the back that’s been giving the appearance of holding everything up. But those backs are weak already for a reason.
You were only 18 when you married, you say there was never a true connection between you, you settled for him — a quiet man who never seemed comfortable with you or with “anything in general,” with whom you never shared any passion or affection — out of fear that he was your only chance for happiness. You didn’t even know what happiness looked like if you thought he — someone whom you felt nothing for — was your only chance at it. And now you want to know why he didn’t fight for you? You want to know why, after you left him, he didn’t jump at the chance of reconciliation after you asked for him back?
After 21 years together, you manufactured the drama you hoped would ignite the spark you’d waited all this time to find and were surprised when it failed to light. And then you wondered: where did it go wrong? The answer is in another question: when was it ever right?
If the failure of this relationship to grow into anything that would finally bring you the happiness you believed you only had one chance at can be reduced to a single mistake it was in marrying someone you weren’t in love with. There was nothing you could have done or said to force your husband to fall in love with you if the connection simply wasn’t there. But what if you changed your perspective on the marriage? Couldn’t it be said that it did, in fact, finally bring you happiness? Doesn’t the child you adopted together bring you joy? Do you not find in her an undeniable connection, a closeness, an affection, and the promise of a love so deep and unconditional that your heart could burst at the thought of it? If you hadn’t married Henry, would the path of your life taken you to that exact baby? Probably not.
And maybe that is the secret to risking the chance of heartbreak again, which I think is the crux of your question to me. There is no guarantee that love will stay in the way you want it to stay, or that it will ignite and grow in the way you want it to. There’s no assurance that a relationship will last. And every time we agree to try or to simply surrender to the waves of feeling pushing us somewhere we can’t yet see, we risk being hurt. And I don’t know what the percentage is of relationships that hurt us – maybe 100%? — or what the percentage is of relationships that end, but I have a pretty good idea what happens when you continue your pursuit of love and happiness: eventually, you do find it. But maybe it was over your right shoulder the whole time when you were busy looking over your left and saying it wasn’t there.