And then there's my marriage. I have so many thoughts rolling around in my head, I'm not even sure if they can come out in an organized fashion. I've been flipping through a book called Are You the One For Me? by Barbara De Angelis, and a couple of things have hit me. I don't have the book here, so I can't quote directly, but I'll go from memory as best as I can. One section talked about the wrong reasons for being in relationships, and one of the reasons was guilt. There were ten statements at the beginning of that section, things like "you grew up in a situation where your feelings didn't count (i.e., alcoholic, critical or controlling parents)" and "you have a hard time identifying what you need and an even harder time telling the ones you love what you need". If only a couple of the statements applied to you, the book said you probably have a normal amount of guilt attached to your relationship. If four or more applied to you, then you might have some problems with guilt in your relationship. I think eight or nine of the ten applied to me. AACK. So am I staying with K out of guilt?
There were some other things that struck me, too, but it's hard for me to talk to K about them (this ties in with the guilt - one of the statements that applied to me was something about not expressing opinions if you saw it would hurt or upset the person you were talking to - yeah, I do that). Some of them had to do with respecting your partner. I can't remember the specifics, but reading it, I thought that maybe K doesn't respect me, or at least not enough for us to have a healthy relationship. If nothing else, it's at least something we should talk about. Some of it was about your partner needing to grow up, and I thought some of the things mentioned there might apply to K. But how do you bring that up, how do you tell a 35-year-old man that he might need to grow up?! It will upset him, I know that - it would upset me if someone told me that. So how do I get past the concern about upsetting him to talk about this?!
And taking all this into account - do I owe it to J to try to put the marriage back together, even if I don't think I'll be happy doing that? Does K owe it to J to try that, even if he doesn't think he'll be happy? I'm getting back to what I talked about a while back - I grew up with the example of parents who were together but not happy. If I try to mend my marriage, am I doing it out of love for K (the kind of love that a marriage should be based on, not a friend type of love), out of obligation to J, out of just falling into the pattern I saw my parents demonstrate? If I decide I want out, how do I know I'm doing the right thing? Or *is* there any way to know? Is it all one big crap shoot, based on what you think seems like the right thing to do at the time?
I wonder, too, what effect the end of his friendship with JG had on his feelings about us separating. I asked him once if the fact that she was separated from her husband around the same time he said he wanted out (I don't remember the exact timing, but JG and her husband had been having problems for a bit, and he'd finally moved out) had anything to do with him wanting to separate, and he said not really, that anything to do with her was maybe 10% of the reason he wanted out. But still I wonder - on some level, does he think the separation isn't such a good idea now that she's not in the picture? And if he does think that, does he think that because he's decided he might want *me*, or because he'd want the security of the marriage rather than me specifically?
And then I feel guilty for even thinking all these things. Damn, I have some serious guilt issues. It's true, I do feel responsible for everything and everyone, and how everyone around me feels. How do I get over that?
Then there's the question of, are my thoughts skewed by society's notions of romantic love? Am I foolish to even dream of/think about/hope for a relationship where I feel swept off my feet, where my partner absolutely makes my toes curl? For centuries, marriages weren't commonly based on love - they were based on other, more practical considerations. Would a marriage based on friendship and a desire to raise our son be enough? Is that something I could live with? Is that something K could live with? Would it be fair to either of us to even try it? I don't know. And if the two of us could live with it, would it be right or fair to J to give him only that example on which to base his notions of what a relationship or marriage should be like?
And in the middle of all my musings, I'm trying to get stuff packed up for the big move at work, answer phones while the people who normally do that go tour our new space for a bit (we all get to do that today, but I'll miss my scheduled time because I'll be at a lunch meeting), and put out fires that are biting me in the ass. I feel so inadequate and incompetent at this job. I could just cry.