my best friend

Two and a half years ago…

One of the turning points in my decision to admit the failure of my marriage was this:

I was in my OB-GYN’s office for an annual. She asked generally about my health and specifically about my stress levels, which I admitted were pretty high. I told her my spouse and I had been having marital problems and were discussing a split.

“I’m sorry,” she said. “When did he stop being your best friend?”

This simple question had blown me away. I was stupefied. Dumbfounded. I had long since forgotten that we were supposed to have been on the same team, working toward the same goals, cheering each other on. I had forgotten what it felt like to have someone there supporting me.

And then it dawned on me:  he had been my best friend for the first year. Something changed after that, and he turned me into an adversary. Everything I said seemed to be filtered through a different lens, interpreted in a way so negative that anyone who knew me would surely know it couldn’t possibly have been meant that way. Was it because I had become comfortable and less careful with my words? Was it the stress of starting a family? Or moving to a larger home?

Whatever the case, I recall it being distressing at the time. I recall trying to remedy this disturbing change. And I recall hoping it was a phase that would pass. Instead, I must have just grown accustomed to it.

I wonder:  is it even realistic in today’s world to believe that we can find a mate who, years later, will still be a best friend and confidante? Is it a pipe dream to think that maybe I, too, can be that elderly woman holding hands with an elderly man as they stroll companionably through the park, their love worn and comfortable, having together weathered years of adversity, triumph, joy and loss?

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About failedatforty


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