It may sound funny, but when K and I need to have a difficult conversation, we many times turn to technology to get the ball rolling. One of us will write out what we are thinking and then we...email it. Yes, We have known each other almost 20 years and sometimes we have to resort to email to get us talking.
Last night I sent K an e-mail tell her about the despair I have been feeling for a while. I know she has been feeling it to and I also knew she is losing patience with me. I told her that I feel like I am walking in a dark tunnel with no light at the end, it's just endless. All the while there are 2 branches in the tunnel I can take. The one that least back into the closet and a "normal" life and the one leads to and open and honest life, but at a very high cost. It's more complicated than that, but I don't have the time or patience to write it all here. If you have been where I am, you know what I'm talking about anyway.
K has been showing frustration because I cannot tell her what I want to do. The cost of staying married is high to me and the costs of leaving the marriage are high to others (which in turn makes them high for me). I can't commit to either and that is really pissing her off. She sees most things as black & white. There is very little grey in her world, sometimes it's a blessing because it gives her clarity. Sometimes it's a curse because she cannot see the nuance that makes some things more complicated than others.
The reason I wrote the note was not to give her new information, she knew everything I wrote already, but this might have been the first time I put all the thoughts, worries, pros and cons in one place. I wanted her to see all the thoughts swirling in my head, every minute of every day.
I think she got it. She told me that if I forced her to make the decision for me that she would ask me to leave. She said there were a lot of reasons she would do that, but the biggest was she thought that's what I wanted and was just too afraid to tell her and do it. She might be right. Hard to say.
We had a very nice conversation (that did not end in an agreement for me to leave) and then we both went to sleep. Tonight I plan to ask her what her other reasons are. I'm not sure it matters but on almost every other matter in my life, I have relied heavily on her judgement. It makes sense to hear what she thinks about this too. (Damn, if only she was a man.)
We do not have enough money to maintain 2 full households, so either I need to find someone looking for a room mate or I need to find a really cheap 1 br or studio apartment.
I'm not sure I feel great about it, but if I step back, remaining in the marriage really will amount to an extension of limbo for the rest of our lives. If we accept that we have to separate, then at least we have a chance of keeping our friendship on solid footing. Even if I move out, I can still see myself stopping here after work every day. Kids will need homework help, K is a very good cook, and I like to be around them.
I am not out of the woods yet, but it does seem that the trees are starting to thin out.