Mysteriously I knew the relationship wasn’t right, yet we had a baby

Statue of Sasa Ustuja

Annelies (56): “I can laugh without wondering if he still likes me—that’s one of the many gems of the perfect love I’ve had since 2000. In my previous relationship that wasn’t obvious at all, my husband didn’t like me when I was Too noisy. Without wanting to complain or criticize him, I have long withstood his fierce criticism, and I can say that I now have the love I wish for all. I’ve been on tiptoe for eight years, and it’s crazy how something like this works. I knew vaguely that the relationship wasn’t right, and yet we had a child. I took care of him all day. He found interesting strangers, so after a while I didn’t invite anyone anymore. If I was shopping and didn’t buy what was on sale, he would go crazy, as if I was losing it. Only after others repeatedly explained to me how I absorbed his thoughts as if they were mine did my flakes finally fall out of my eyes. Before that I was thinking for a long time: all relationships will be the same. I didn’t realize there was something wrong between us. This is perhaps the strangest thing. Not that our relationship was not good, there are a lot of bad ones, but I accepted more and more. More and more mellow, I felt less and less strength to resist, and I constantly tried my best to please him.

what is love? It is clearly not a simple and unambiguous concept. Love is not an absolute thing but something like the seasons, summer can be cold, then suddenly the sun rises again. So it was with this guy. I loved him, he was smart and funny, that’s what I loved. I tried to see the fact that everyday life with him was no longer going well for me as a side effect. But when I tried to list what I loved at the end of those eight years, I couldn’t think of anything anymore. shocking; Everything indicated that life was done with the two of us, but my stubborn head was lagging behind and I somehow still believed in the love that once was. Looking back, I am very surprised at my naivety, because after two years the first cracks appeared. If only I had known, this love can happen on its own, and this love doesn’t have to be an “act” at all, as it has sometimes been claimed. When terms like “persevere” and “do your best” started popping up, I should have been concerned.

So I needed others, especially my one-year-old son, to make the decision to leave. I myself could bear the compulsion under which I lived, which was not violent, which was too occasional to be called terror, but which nonetheless stuck to my whole Kenny. But I have allowed my son a life where he can be unimpeded, edgy, laugh out loud, and not afraid to break something or get dirty. It became more and more apparent to me that I would be happier without my husband; clear idea. I saw around me women leaving their husbands for useless reasons. I felt the urgency of my impending decision so badly when my husband got off work one day and I heard myself thinking: Oh my gosh, here he comes again. no more. Then you are sure. I called my parents and announced that my son and I would be staying with them for a while. I told my husband the next morning that he was still in bed. He cried so hard, I thought that was terrible, but I also knew: Now there is no turning back. Sometimes I still think: Did he really see it, or did he just not want to see it, just like me all these years? In the end, I quickly found a home and my ex-husband moved nearby to facilitate co-parenting.

Within a year I met my new husband, who is now 21, and my son is now 22. The contact between me and my current husband began by phone, we were colleagues. He worked at the headquarters. I loved the way he spoke, his voice and his flowery language. When I first met him he was smaller than I could have imagined and moved differently than I had ever imagined, but how fun it was. This man enjoyed his French toast with tapenade and his glass of wine on the veranda. My son’s father used to eat only to satisfy his hunger. Oddly enough, in fact, this experience about how someone else is having a good time can also become a form of love. I sat on that porch and felt an instant relief: how nice men can be. And also: this man can take responsibility for his happiness, I don’t have to do my best, I can relax in himself. Now, after all these years, I’m still in love. Loving is in the ordinary moments when we clearly belong together, like the other day, sitting on the couch together, talking about something to sit with at work. He tells me what’s on his mind. I think with him. We’ve been together for a long time and every time I’m glad how we came up with a solution while talking not to me or his solution, but our solution together.

And effort is also love. He reads a review of an exhibition and is delighted when I order tickets, and I am glad that once we are there he can tell us so much about the paintings on the walls of the museum.

At the request of the interviewee, Annelies’ name was changed.

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