Nobody wants to talk about the falling out of love part, the long, lonely nights spent lying beside the man you once pictured yourself walking up the aisle towards. Nobody wants to hear stories of how you dread him returning home from work because the mere thought of spending the evening curled up with him on the sofa makes you feel trapped and panicked. Or how just getting through each day pretending to be in love with him is exhausting.
It’s not a quick process, this slow dying of your feelings for him.
You do not wake up one morning and decide you are no longer in love with him, that the thought of your naked bodies colliding makes you feel empty or that you would simply rather being anywhere else than here, with him.
No, instead the love seeps out of you over months, years even and you spend every waking moment wondering how in the hell you ended up here, and every night dreaming of another man and another life.
You argue with yourself, you convince yourself that of course you love him because how could you not? You tell yourself that it’s just a phase; you have been together a long time and you are bound to have wandering eyes and wandering thoughts, it’s only natural.
Love is never a steady stream, it’s a changing current, forever rushing forward and creeping back, and if you just stay, if you just go through the motions of being in love then maybe, just maybe, all of those feelings you once had will return.
But they won’t. Deep down you know that.
It’s been a year now and you can’t even remember the last time you had sex sober and spent the duration thinking only of him. Instead it has become a chore, one which is only endurable with a bottle of wine and dim lighting. And you can feel him pulling away, you can see the hurt in his eyes when you say, “not tonight” and roll over to the cold side of the bed.
You begin to notice things which you were oblivious to before, little habits which were once adorable become irrationally irritating and you can’t help but feel annoyed by his very presence. Weekends are no longer something you spend the week waiting for so you can be together but something you dread, avoid even, because you don’t know how to keep up your act for that long.
You go over and over your life with him, all of the times you believed this was it, he was it, you were done.
You try to remember how to love him but each time you’re left feeling empty and frustrated. And worse still, all of those things you imagined for the two of you, they begin to fade; the cities you were meant to visit, the engagement you were meant to have, the children you had already picked names for, they disappear and you struggle to see how your life will look now, without him.
So you lie there in the dark with him beside you, tears rolling down your face as you hold yourself and you scrunch your eyes up real tight and imagine a future without him.
You say goodbye to the house you bought, the fictional children you already love, his family, your mutual friends, the wonderful future you were meant to have and you choose yourself. You choose passion and romance and that horrible feeling where the thought of losing someone makes your breath catch in your throat and your heart drop low into your stomach.
You choose more than mediocrity, you choose greatness.
You roll over on to your side, your eyes dancing along the silhouette of your past love, the man who holds some of the best years of your life and you let go. You stroke the back of his head and run your fingers along his arm and you know you have fought for as long as you can, you know you have tried but the heart cannot be swayed nor tempted, it cannot be pushed, it cannot be made to feel things it doesn’t want.
Because, brave girl, your heart, it will always know you better than you do.
It will always choose for you. And you loved him, you did and he taught you what is important in a relationship, the things you absolutely are not willing to sacrifice. He was exactly what you needed at one point in your life but you have changed, and this love, it’s over now, so its okay.
Just let go.