Those seemingly mundane words were the last that Darren ever spoke to me as my partner.
The next words out of his mouth were, "I have to tell you that I don't love you anymore, and I'm ending our relationship."
And just like that, 14 years with the man I loved more than life itself came to an abrupt, excrutiating end.
Not so abrupt for him, of course. He told me as I sat in sick, mute horror that he'd been feeling this way for a year or more--gradually growing more distant from me emotionally, sexually.
But for more the last 18 months, I've had a broken leg, and I was trying to heal from two botched ankle surgeries. I wasn't really picking up on subliminals too well.
Did I miss signs of his discontent? I'm sure I did. But there certainly weren't many. True, we'd had two (as in exactly 1 more than 1) conversations since Christmas in which he stated that he wasn't as happy as he'd like to be. But there was no hint that he was looking for an out, eager to pull the plug on us after so many years.
So. He moved out a week ago. Much remains to be decided. There's the house, shared finances, and Hudson, who still waits in vain by the back door for his other dad to come home in the evening.
All relationships, especially ones as long as ours had been, go through rough patches. I felt we could work out our problems. But now that's a moot point. We're in counseling with a really smart, no-nonsnse therapist whom we both really like. But our goal isn't reconciliation.
It was MY goal, mind you. But he's not having any of it. Apparently there are great new adventures to be had.
With new men.
So, we work now to bring the swiftest, least destructive end to the relationship I had thought would sustain me until I died. And though I feel as though I have died, it appears I will go on living.
Now, the question is simply, "How?"