I had a funny old year last year. It was a year of very mixed emotions, new relationships, parting of the ways and reacquaintances. This time last year I wrote this which was the result of a reacquaintance. Now, Dear Reader, I haven’t always been entirely transparent with you. For those of you who read this drivel and know me personally, you will know the true identity of TG. For those of you who don’t, you may think that he is a recent acquaintance. Well (drum roll) he is not a recent acquaintance – he is in fact my partner of 15 years and my husband of 8. Confused? Well yes you may be so I shall explain…
TG (The Golfer) and I went our separate ways 5 years ago for reasons that have only really become clear recently. We were apart for 8 months or so and then decided that we had been foolish and got together again. Fast forward 12 months and we found ourselves once more apart after reaching the point of no real return in our relationship. The reason for this no return was that we had never really fixed what was wrong in the first place and neither had we sat down and discussed exactly what it was that needed fixing. We had drifted so far apart within our own lives and our collective life that we just had nothing in common anymore. Added to the mix was an unhealty and obsessive interest in golf (him), a life that was far too busy to the exclusion of the relationship (me), far too much alcohol (both of us), depression (him, although we didn’t recognise it at the time) and a complete and utter lack of communication. It was a disaster. A complete disaster. Eventually and after many bitter words he moved out to a bachelor flat to have the life that he had convinced himself he wanted – out with mates whenever he wanted, wall to wall golf and no responsibilities whatsoever and I holed up home alone with The Child and threw myself into even more work, theatre and became more manically busy than before (which is my self protection mechanism).
Eventually life calmed down and I was on a far more even keel. I spent a year or thereabouts alone. I sat in at nights and watched crap tv and endless chick flicks and only went out with my good friends whom I trusted that I could be myself with. I had offers from men but I really didn’t feel able to deal with any of them so I turned them all down politely. There was a bet running with a friend that I would meet someone new within six months. That bet was easily won by me as was the double or quits. I had begun to enjoy my own company. I no longer felt the need to be with someone, anyone, just for the sake of it and for the first time in my adult life I was living alone and I was happy with it. My house was tidy and ordered and for the first time in a long time so was my head. And then all of that changed and I reacquainted myself with someone whom I had known in a different life 25 years before when we worked together.
On paper it was perfect. He is an intelligent and kind man who wrote me endless pages upon pages of e mails detailing his life, his thoughts and we spent many more hours on the phone doing the same thing. I told him about me, what makes me tick, who I am and he did the same. We met and got on well and so began a new relationship that was made difficult because of geography and because of his relationship with his ex-wife who was very much still on the scene. We persevered through these difficulties and he put much effort into coming over here and spending time although he has a career that takes him all over the world for many months of the year. He met my friends and they were cautiously friendly.
But, Dear Reader, this is the thing, there was something about it that for me was never quite right. Perhaps it was because I had spent a year alone that I didn’t appreciate having to answer to somebody. I didn’t want to explain to someone who lived in a different country that I didn’t know what time I would be home by, that I didn’t want to be constantly phoned and that if I didn’t pick the phone up that it wasn’t personal, I was just busy. I didn’t feel that I had to account for my movements to someone I hardly knew. What had looked so perfect on paper turned into a suffocating claustrophobic relationship that I had to end. It turned out that he didn’t know what made me tick and that he was more interested in having someone to look after him than anything else. The very last straw was him telling me which of my furniture I would have to get rid of / move when he moved in (moved in ??) because he felt that my house needed quite some reorganisation…..
In the midst of all this I bumped into TG in the supermarket. We had decided to get divorced (although I thought my heart would break as I signed the papers) and that was underway and in 4 weeks time we would have to sign the absolute. He was looking very awkward and just as I was leaving with my shopping asked if I would have dinner with him – really just for old times sake. I really wasn’t sure that it was a good idea – after all we were 18 months into not being together but I agreed and so we went.
When someone describes a situation as ‘like coming home’ then this was it. We got along brilliantly and talked long after dinner was over about our respective lives over the past year or so, and when it came to go home made another date to go out. And so that’s what we did. Went on dates. Stayed living apart for another 6 months and saw each other when we could and it suited us both and talked and talked about what had gone wrong. We went out with our very relieved and delighted friends, had a wonderful Christmas and New Year and in February of this year we moved back in together – just about 2 years after we had separated.
Before you feel that you have to go and throw up in a bucket – it isn’t perfect and neither are we. We have both said and done some things that we aren’t proud of and we work hard to keep the relationship going. But now we talk to each other – I mean REALLY talk, and that has made all the difference. we try to get over whatever the issue is by talking it out. Don’t get me wrong, there have been steaming rows and some stomping off (mostly by me this time) but we are getting better at it – even after 15 years!
This weekend last year we went to Devon for the weekend to see if we still got on away from the safety of home.
This is us on the Cobb at Lyme Regis on the way home. We had had a really great time of long walks, cold local cider and great food. And most of all we had reconnected, reacquainted and repaired. So it’s been a year since then. We have had our ups and downs but the one thing that we both know is that this is it. Neither of us wants to be with anyone else and we fit together like a pair of comfy old shoes. We have history and we know each other inside out exactly as it should be. I haven’t blogged about us before in any great detail because I just wanted to see how it would go and maybe not tempt fate (and I’m also not sure if anyone is really terribly interested). I just really wanted to let you all know, that sometimes the most obvious things are right under your nose and that the grass isn’t really greener, just different. So that’s it. If you have got to the end of this diatribe, well done and congratulations on your fortitude!
Oh yes. And just in case you wondered, we never did sign the absolute.