Immense Emptiness

I’m home. I’m supposed to be in Lynchburg, Virginia. But I have all day to get there, and I really need a little time at home. I have an immense emptiness in my chest, like my heart is missing or something.
I don’t know why I went after Mara the way I did last night. I guess mostly it was because she was ignoring me, and I’m so tired of being ignored. Since she came home it’s like we’re living separate lives, and it doesn’t feel like there’s a place for me in hers.
Could this marriage really be over? Is this how it happens? Not with some melodrama or an incredible betrayal, but simply with a realization that, while no one big thing has happened, all those little hurts have added up?
If I doubted that I love Mara, this pain in my chest confirms to me that I most certainly do. The idea of not having Mara in my life in my life leaves me with a panicked desperation. But something’s going on between us, and it has to be resolved. Either she’s found someone else and is distancing herself from me, or she’s orchestrated something that will see us lose the house so she can be out from under that responsibility, or she’s just simply tired of me and this marriage and wants to move on with her life.
When I came home Mama said that Mara seemed kind of hurt last night. She had asked Mama last night if she had talked to me, that I was acting strange. Mama said that Mara’s eyes looked “really sad,” like she’d been hurt. In fact, I said nothing to Mama about my brief exchange with Mara last night. Mama asked me if something was going on between us as soon as I walked through the door.
A part of me wishes I’d never said anything, and that I could just keep on with things the way they are. But I feel like a ghost. I’m a memory drifting along on the breeze and no one recalls that I exist. In this, of course, I mostly mean Mara.
Right now the image that comes to my mind when I think of her and our marriage is an image of Mara sitting in front of her computer playing Everquest II and me sitting on the couch watching television. The concerns that I voiced when I realized that I was no longer going to be able to play EQII have proven well-founded. While not the sole issue, I’m sure, it does apparently seem that without Everquest II as a middle-ground, Mara and I don’t have very much in common anymore.
This is not to say that we don’t have similar tastes. It just seems that Mara is more interested in hanging out with her friends in Everquest than she is in having a marriage and spending any time at all in the real world. I’m not foolish enough to believe that all this will magically change when Mama moves out.
It’s been a long time since I looked at a beautiful sunset and saw anything other than the sun going down. I am numb and cold. Disconnected. I don’t want to be the thing that sits by the lake and stares at the water. But even that is a weak analogy. At least that thing felt something. Pain, yes, but at least the pain was real.
Simply put, I feel like I’ve become a background character in Mara’s evolving melodrama. That either has to change, or it has to end.
And if it turns out that there’s someone else, it’s over. Simple as that. I don’t care if she contends that “nothing happened.” Betrayal is in the mind and heart. If you are married and you feel an attraction for another person, and you are consciously willing to explore where those feelings may lead, it’s rather beside the point when you wind up in some seedy hotel somewhere to consummate it. The real betrayal happened the minute you chose to see where the attraction would go, because every path after that takes you away from your spouse.
I hate to even bring up the ghost of Bobby, but I think it fits here. Whether or not it’s true that nothing physical happened between them is beside the point. My wife left our home on the pre-text of visiting a friend and instead went to see someone who she thought she might be in love with. Once you’ve done that, does it really matter that you go home again? If I hadn’t stumbled across Mara’s entries in her blog about Bobby, are we really to believe that she would have stopped seeing him? Her doubts and melodramatic musings about her sacrificing her happiness for her marriage didn’t start in her blog until after she discovered that I knew about Bobby. Before that, there isn’t a hint of regret or hesitation surrounding the issue of Bobby.
And while we’re on the subject, whetever Mara may like to think, I never monitored her blog. I was testing an Internet connection and trying to get different web sites to load, and none of them would. Just in the course of trying various things I put in her web site address, and it did pop up. And right there in that current entry was Mara’s ruminations about her feelings for Bobby. If it had not been for that random occurrance, I would never known about Bobby.
Sometimes I regret that I didn’t end the marriage right there. We certainly had a very different relationship after that. Mara paid no price whatsoever, and I never again felt like Mara really loved me. I have to admit that some of the problems we have now stem from that. And I’m not sure what to do about it.
However it may sound, I am hopeful that Mara and I can get some things talked out this weekend. I’m in no rush to end this marriage. But I’m beyond frustrated. And if our talk immediately turns into a forum for us to discuss Mara’s wants and needs, to the exclusion of anyone else’s (like it always has before), I don’t see much hope of saving this marriage. If, however, she uncharacteristically is interested in what I have to say, we might get somewhere.
It probably says a lot about how I’m feeling right now that I’m having a hard time closing this post. This is something that’s going to eat away at me all week, and my ruminations won’t end when I stop writing. But in some way it feels like my life has paused, and it won’t be able to move on until something gives. Unfortunately, I have to wait the rest of week to see what’s going to happen. And yes, I set the schedule here, so I only have myself to blame.
Mostly I just wish I could go to sleep and never wake up.
I’ve felt that way for quite some time now.

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