How do you know when a relationship is dead? Even though you’ve torched the whole village and there’s nothing left but smoldering chunks of debris, is it possible there’s a phoenix waiting to rise in tragic beauty from the ashes?
I’ve spent most of this long holiday weekend wondering whether I did the right thing by ending my relationship with Mack. Why I’ve been running a post-mortem all weekend, now, when I ended it over two months ago, is a mystery. Okay, maybe it’s not a mystery. It’s a holiday weekend, and you’re supposed to spend it with family and loved ones. I spent it hunkered down in my condo with my cats. By choice. On top of it being a holiday weekend, my brother recently was diagnosed with mouth cancer. They did surgery to remove the cancer on Wednesday, couldn’t get it all, and so radiation is next. So I’m feeling sorry for myself. I’m all alone Thanksgiving weekend, my brother is sick, and I have no one to comfort me. And, of course, it’s always going to be this way and I’m going to die alone after a sad and lonely life. Alone. Sad. And lonely.
I try to get this alarming self-talk under control by reminding myself that second-guessing and regret is normal post-breakup. To put things in perspective, I remind myself why I ended it. Mack lives with Corinne. I was supposed to make a decision about whether I wanted a man to move in with me based on a half-assed relationship with a man who lives with someone else. Never mind Mack’s protestations that they merely were roommates at this juncture of their sixteen-year relationship. Even if they were merely roommates, Mack still tip-toed around Corinne and as a result, our relationship was never a real relationship. I have no flipping idea how polygamy works. How a man could ever make two women happy at the same time is beyond me. Big Love is bullshit.
So yes, I ended it for good reason. And there’s no phoenix struggling to free itself from the debris. I know this because, since I told him I’d had enough, Mack hasn’t once tried to fan the embers and free the sad broken thing from the pile of rubble. You see, he wasn’t too terribly broken up that I ended it. I don’t know why I was surprised. If I mattered to him, he would have made more of an effort while we still were together.