“You know what he said to us before you moved down here?…” my neighbour turned friend continued, “…he said, ‘I can’t wait for my girlfriend to be here! She is really beautiful!’ ” Instead of my heart leaping for joy, pain stung the back of my throat. I swallowed hard, avoiding the tears and putting on my best fake smile. She was searching my expression for happiness. Normally hearing such sweet sentiments would make me thrilled, but this was nearly 5 years ago, a stark contrast to what my spouse feels about me today. I had no will to fake it anymore and confessed, “Well, that was then and the novelty wore off. I’m basically a novelty, just like his video games.”
2 months ago, my spouse and I were working on a much-needed relationship repair. It was a miracle how the basic act of hugging (over a minute) 5 times a day solidified our bond. We became closer in intimacy, trust and companionship. It was so successful, I questioned, ‘Wow! How did we not get along so well before?!’ Soon after, the hugs dwindled down to zero. There was no more intimacy, no touching only the occasional hand holding and quick peck goodnight. I had mentioned to him during our walk that that we should hug when we got home. He somehow twisted my innocent plea for rebonding into a fight. Apparently to him, this was a passive-aggressive remark, no matter what I tried to say afterwards. I felt hopeless and depressed, and that was the last time I tried any sort of relationship resuscitation.
I am completely baffled with this one question: ‘Wow! How did we get along so well before!?’