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Love on Life Support

Everybody has a breaking point; some much further than others. When most would have given up, there are always those few who continue to hope.

Photo by Daan Stevens

She sat on the bathroom floor, trying not to make a sound. Her muffled cries were incredibly depressing. Another fight, more hurtful words exchanged. She wished she could really know what was going through his head.

Loving her wasn’t so easy, but she knew it couldn’t have been that difficult. She did everything to please everyone, putting those she cared for before herself at all times. It made her happy to make others happy, and it had been that way since she could remember. But these days with him, she would question her worth. She would question the validity of their connection. He had said so many breathtaking things before, showed so much love toward her, revealed her things no other man she knew ever had, and all with so much sincerity. And now to be cut down with such vulgarity and harshness, she no longer knew what was true. To question one’s own significance can really dishearten.

Still, he was the one. She knew it. He was the one who made her honest; the one who caused her to change her ways of thinking, her ways of choosing, her ways of doing things. He had a way of giving it to her straight and although it stung, it also made sense. He was what she needed to turn herself around and come out stronger and better than before. He was the one unlike any of the others, and she was grateful. Finally, someone to match her own; finally, someone who came only with honesty; someone who wasn’t afraid to tell her exactly what he thought and how she made him feel; finally, someone she could spend her life with.

And then… everything changed. What used to be fun and light, and exciting was now scary and anxious, and nervous. What used to be warm and welcoming was now cold and detached. What used to be honest was now questionable. What used to be gentle was now violent. She was madly in love and she was senseless to be.

She rarely shared her pain with anyone for fear of judgment toward the love of her life. She hoped things would get better, and they did. And then they got worse again. It was up and down, and a hell of a ride she desperately wanted to get off of, but not without her beloved. She just wanted things back to the way they used to be, and she prayed for him to see her patience and understanding.

She recognized he had demons in his past, forever scratching at the surface, as she herself struggled to fully trust in anyone. Both afraid of putting their guard all the way down, they were deterring their relationship from flourishing again. She was dying to find a way for him to realize her intentions were true. There wasn’t much he could say that would give her the comfort in knowing she was safe from betrayal, and she was sure it aggravated him. There weren’t enough words she could think of to say that would change his mind, and it broke her every time. The things they could do if only they could fully have faith in one another…

Despite their doubts in each other, there was still enough magic to last… well, a lifetime. Or so she thought. Where did it all go wrong? When did the magic stop? How do they get back to that place and out of this dreadful one? She searches for any solution, any explanation, and she comes up short. Is it I? Am I that bad? Is it that hard to love me? Surely she knew there were qualities in her even she loathed, but nothing so atrocious that anyone would run. At the same time, he definitely carried the makings of a not-perfect-at-all man, but there was nothing about his personality that caused her to shudder. She was accepting, and thought maybe he was too. Was she wrong?

She pored over daily about herself and thought, what can I do to make me more appealing? Wasn’t I already loveable enough? Was I not as selfless and giving and tolerant as I thought I was? Was I someone he no longer looked at with such strong love and deep affection? What did I do to him? Where did the spark, the excitement go? What once was an enthusiastic admirer – anxious to know when the next time they’d see each other was – is now an impassionate, disinterested stranger, not looking to revel in his prize, as he once made her feel as such. And it ate away at her spirit.

Still she held a sliver of hope that things would eventually make their way back to the way they used to be, despite the amount of questions and doubts she held inside. She knew the man she fell deeply in love with was still in there, and she waited around for him to return. She also knew the woman she once was had somehow drifted, and struggled to bring her back. All this conflict would drive anyone insane, but it would take an immense amount more for her to throw in the towel. And so she kept their love on life support, waiting for it to pull through.

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