I think I'm about to be single. Or, at least "separated". Lady declines to join me when we hafta move back into Mom's house.
"I can't be a nursemaid, and I can't bear her times ten following me around and digging through my stuff," she sez.
Overwhelmed by her empathy and compassion, as well as her can-do spirit and commitment to our almost 13-year-old marriage, I say little. Inside, I fume.
I could write a caustic diatribe on how this is a betrayal on every significant level, but I won't. I won't point out that when she was diagnosed with MS I took it in stride. I won't mention that in one of his last acts on this earth my dad had a wheelchair ramp built around the side of the house for her, anticipating the day that the house would be ours. I won't point out that Mom made the down payment on our nice little condo as a late wedding gift. I won't point out how fucked-up and selfish it is to abandon the person you ostensibly love right when things get tough.
I love her more than I've ever loved anyone. (Not true. I loved Laura Billings more, but she's dead, by all accounts. Lupus. I have a knack for picking the afflicted, I guess.) But still, I love my wife deeply and sincerely, but this pronouncement makes me question everything. Maybe she's off her meds. Maybe she's just on the rag. How sexist is that? Yeah, well.
I was implicitly counting on her help. I need her. For her hands and back and brain, sure, but also for her delight in the Simpsons, her love of the New York Dolls, the smell of her hair. For the way she makes the best coffee on earth. Her unerring ability to locate anything I've misplaced, a trait we attribute to "the homing uterus". For 13 years of in-jokes and do-you-remembers.
At the moment, I'm kinda numb. In a way, I feel liberated. Unfettered. But I also feel very, very alone. I've become accustomed to being half of a dyad, and this is going to take some getting used to.
I love her. I wish her the best. But without her, I'll be better able to make snap decisinos, to suffer minor indignities, and to grit my teeth and push on through.
So I tell myself.