Friday, 2 October 2009


Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York

I need help.

The other night Marie was on the phone talking to a friend of hers. She was going on and on about a guy from a few weekends ago from a party at The Waterfall House Upstate that she'd done the cooking for. I wasn't there, and I hadn't heard about this guy before. So when she got off the phone I asked her who this guy was, and more pointedly, if there was something that I needed to know about this guy.

She said that he'd kissed her.

I wasn't expecting to hear that.

What transpired after that turned into the same old thing with us: me asking for clarification or explanation; her telling me that there was nothing to talk about; me getting upset that she considered what she'd just told me to be nothing; she then got upset that I had a problem with what she'd told me and her refusal to acknowledge it as "something". I felt dismissed. I felt angry. She felt accused. She felt attacked. She said she was scared. I felt betrayed. I felt disrespected. She felt criticized.

And we fought.

We said awful things to each other.

We tore each other and the relationship down.

At one point I said we should stop and talk about it at our therapist's office. She said that she didn't even consider "it" a subject worth mentioning.

Exhausted I let it go for the night.

Another stalemate of silence.

I had a feeling when she came back from Upstate. I'd had a feeling that there was another guy. I'd almost asked her two or three times over the past two weeks out of the blue, but I didn't want to come across as jealous or possessive. And I let it go...

I didn't want to get up the next morning. I didn't want to go to work. I didn't want to go to therapy. But I did.

When we got home from work I brought it up again, as we'd each seen our respective therapists and thought we could come at it with some insight and less hostility. She said she hadn't brought it up with her therapist. I told her that I felt she treated me with disrespect in regards to the whole thing. And we fought again.

She broke down, fragile, angry, on the verge of tears. She wanted to know what I wanted her to do. Acknowledge. Accept. Understand. Empathize. Anything but stonewall me and try to sweep it under the rug. She didn't get it. She wanted me not to have a problem with any of it. I had a problem with all of it.

Awful things were said.

I wanted to leave.

She told me not to go.

I wanted to get as far as way as fucking possible - Texas; Utah; Alaska... numb... dead again.

I told her to leave.

She packed her bag and left, giving me a forlorn look, and sad goodbye as she walked out the door.

I couldn't respond.

The next day she text me, telling me that she'd made an appointment with our therapist.

We met at five the next day at the therapists' office. Nothing was resolved. She tried to defend herself. She said that she knew she wasn't going to win this one. The therapist wanted to know what she what she wanted to win. That's what it was about to her - winning. She said that she was scared of me, and that my anger reminded her of her mother - irrational. I said I was done. It was somehow being turned on me. I said it was too much. I couldn't do it anymore. Marie said that she didn't want to give up.

And our time was up.

I was just as confused as before we went in. She'd done something hurtful. Then she'd lied to me - or withheld information from me. Then she'd refused to acknowledge or even admit that any of it was wrong. She didn't want anything to change between us. Yet she hadn't even said that she was sorry, or accepted any responsibility. She showed no remorse. I felt I couldn't trust her.

On the way out she said that we could work it out, that it meant nothing, that I shouldn't go. She said that I was like a child, running, always running.

She was right.

I didn't want to run anymore.

But I didn't know if I could trust her either.

And she came home.

I don't know what to do.

I don't know if I know what love is anymore.

Should I stay or should I go?


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