Relationship

THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM

elephant 002

I am driving to pick up my grandson from school the other day, this old Beachboys classic comes on the radio,

I may not always love you,

But long as there are stars above you

You’ll never need to doubt it

I’ll make you so sure about it

God only knows what I’d do without you.

——-

If you should ever leave me

Though life would still go on, believe me.

The world would show nothing to me

.So what good would living do me?

God only knows what I’d do without you.

..and I am immediately transported back to  1964 and the 14 year old me, sitting with Linda Whitehead in the park, with her portable record player.

…and then, suddenly the lyrics really pulled at my heartstrings and I begin to cry.

because Michaels recent illness has highlighted the fact that I am terribly afraid he will not survive long.

There,…  I have said it,.. the elephant in the room is out in the open.

——-

You see, like lots of,  survivors of doomed relationships, twenty three/four years ago, ( can’t exactly remember)    I came into the relationship with lots of baggage, lots of emotional scars and “trust issues”.

I needed to protect myself from the previous  all consuming affairs which had ended so disastrously and hurt me  so much.     So I always thought I had held something back.   I found I  was not  quite able to give my all.   A  subconscious form of self protection which I  complacently thought  kept me secure.

 It was never meant to be a permanent thing, just a but of “fun” in the afternoons!  a relationship was not what I wanted. Vulnerability was not what I wanted. Commitment was not what I wanted.  Emotional involvement was not what I wanted. Maybe even a “friend” was not what I wanted.  So I chose the most unlikely man because I felt it was safe.

Because we are very different, not least of all our ages. I never thought it would last.

 After eleven years I felt  we probably were in it for the long haul and I thought it was unfair not to marry him, but I still thought  I had kept something back emotionally.

Ten years makes us different generations.  In our relationship  we developed as two individuals.  We have different social circles, different interests, different tastes.  but somehow it worked.  As friends and lovers we walked together through life and now I find myself against my better instincts.bonded to the man.

I try very hard to develop a separate life. Thinking that if anything happens I will still have my life, my friends  my interests.   But I find, to my annoyance , I am missing him after a few days away from him.  I find that he is the first person I want to ring when I am away solo,  to share the joy at a concert or the pleasure of a good meal.  Or just to hear the sound of his voice.

He has got a chronic condition and he IS nearly 73.  He had been well since May when we returned from Estonia and I thought the medication was keeping things under control, so it was a shock when the ulceration of his mouth on our return from Paris was a sign that his immune system is failing and I was reminded of how serious the condition can be.  Not only that but another of his friends had died and I am reminded that he is now an old man.

This is the price you pay for love,  ( and also the downside of a relationship with an older man…. which does have many advantages.)    I am achingly aware now of how much I love him and how much I would lose if he died .. and it hurts.

 Despite my best efforts, the pain is already there and it is quite raw at the moment and as I go off to Paris, I know the bitter sweet truth that I will miss and worry about him more than usual

The price you pay for love.

Love Denise

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20 thoughts on “THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM

  1. Love is a funny thing, isn’t it. When you love someone you immediately open yourself to anxiety (and sometimes anguish) about them: their happiness, their safety, their health, etc. But look at the alternative: living a life without particularly caring what happens to others, (well at least not deeply caring), as doesn’t affect your own life that much. I’m sure you wouldn’t trade the 24 years of life with Michael to be rid of the unhappiness you are feeling currently. You have done the best thing in reaching out and talking about it. Fretting and brooding on your own wouldn’t help Michael and would definitely do your own health no good at all. I’m sure he would hate to think of you worrying about him and he’ll be wanting you to enjoy the trip you’ve been looking forward to so much. Easier said than done, I know, but still. Wishing all the very best to Michael and to you. GM x

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    • Oh Bossy, I can see you understand perfectly where I am coming from. You are right that I wouldn’t trade the happiness that caring brings to be rid of the worry of today. I suppose I didn’t really realise I cared that much. Thanks for your good wishes

      Love Denise

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      • I have just come across a quote which made me think of you right away – “Grief is the price we pay for love” – attributed to (believe it or not) the Queen. Hope Michael is OK.
        Best wishes
        GM x

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  2. HI Denise,
    I keep saying how astonishly brave and honest your posts are, but this one is so special. It’s truly a reminder of how important love is in our lives and what it costs us to let it into our lives. I can only send you hugs and prayers that Michael will be fine. I am thinking of you both. Love, Jo

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    • Thanks Jo. It’s not really brave. I really find it a comfort to get things out on paper for some reason. This also made me acknowledged how I feel. Thanks for your hugs and prayers.
      Love Denise

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  3. Denise…

    I’m at a loss for words right now. I am so sorry to read this. Truly. My heart is hurting for you both.

    There is absolutely nothing I could write to undo this pain you are feeling, but please know that my prayers are with you both.

    Love,

    Lisa

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  4. Glad you have your “elephant” out – so difficult to lay your emotions and fears out there and yet so cathartic – like the others, I’m not sure what to say except to tell you to take it a day at a time, enjoy each moment with your dear Michael – and as I am also married to an older man, I can empathize with you – one can try not to worry and fret but it’s always there in the back of our minds! We have been saying a prayer for Michael and you every day that his condition will not worsen, and we will continue to do so! Just hang in there, treasure your time together and know that you have the support of many friends!

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    • Thanks Sandy…..I know you too are in a similar position and as you say all I can do now is put it to the back of my mind and try to live one day at a time. I actually do feel better now I have put my anxiety out on paper. Thanks for your praters.
      Love Denise

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  5. Ahhh Denise, I couldn’t stop crying when I read this, it must have been so difficult for you to write it. As the others say it is such a sad situation. Can only send you positive thoughts and love and hope for the best. Love Janet x

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  6. Such a brave, brave post, Denise. There’s not a lot to say that others haven’t already said. Wishing you all the very best, Merilin

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  7. Denise, I’m only reading this now (Wednesday night) for the first time and wishing that there was something that I could say that would ease your pain. Please know that Michael and you are in my thoughts. I hope that his condition will remain stable and that he’ll be by your side (and in your heart!) for many years to come.

    With love and good wishes for both of you,
    Mary Kay

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    • Hi Mary Kay… well update is that Michael seems to be well again after some heavy drug therapy, at least he sounds cheery when I ring him from Paris. Thanks for your good wishes.

      It just helped to get it out on paper as I had been bottling this anxiety up.

      One day at a time!

      Love Denise

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  8. That brought a tear to my eye, Denise. I’m glad you’ve realised how much he means to you, even if it hurts. sending you both lots of good thoughts xx

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