My Primary Failure


Today I had a moment of extreme clarity.  I was looking through some old emails you sent me, and I came upon one from September of last year when you were stressing out about whether or not we should renew our lease together. The subject of the emails was “favor for me?”, and in it you expressed frustration that I never read the relationship book that you wanted me to read when you broke up with me a year before, and you asked me to take an emotional needs questionnaire online for our first counseling session. You even provided me with the links to the website and the questionnaire. You asked me in a very kind, loving, and generous way, and you asked me because you truly wanted to marry me.  You loved me, and you wanted things to be better, and you made a completely reasonable request for me to help you with the work of improving our relationship. And instead of honoring your request, and agreeing to complete a simple task, I jumped down your throat and told you that you were being ridiculous and that you needed to chill out. 

I am so sorry about that.  The book that you wanted me to read was less than 200 pages long, and the questionnaire only took about 30 minutes to complete, and all I did was make excuses as to why I didn’t need to do either thing.  I didn’t even make it halfway through the book.  And even when I snapped at you, instead of getting mad, you gave up on the idea and apologized.

Going back even further into our emails, I saw a few that we exchanged right around when you broke up with me in 2010.  In them, I blamed you almost exclusively for breaking up with me, even though you had a signficant number of very good points that were accurate and that you took extra care to present in a kind manner instead of an accusatory one.  I’m sorry for making your time at the weddings of two of your best friends, which were a year apart, unpleasant experiences, and I’m sorry that I didn’t respect your wishes and give you more space when you asked for it the first time. 

You also mentioned in one extremely insightful email that you couldn’t make me happy, and that I took much more from the relationship than I gave you.  I didn’t do a good job of supporting you in your career and when you had a rough day, and I just expected you to always play that role in my life. Your requests were very simple and reasonable ones, but I never admitted that to you, and I too often belittled you for asking for those things.  And then there was the email where you found my facebook messages to Sarah.  I can’t imagine how hurtful that must have been for you, and I’m sorry that I put you through that. I have no excuse for such selfish behavior, and I have absolutely no right to fault you for feeling insecure about us when you found those and other messages, and when you found my journal that wondered about my long term attraction to you. 

Now that you are gone, I see clearly how beautiful and amazing of a person you are, and I kick myself every second of every day for not telling you and showing you that all the time.  I was so hung out on little nit picky things that I wanted to control, and that were only midly irritating, that I failed to appreciate all of your great qualities, and all of the many ways that you made my life amazing.  I’m sorry for that.  You were so excited to be around me, and you just wanted me to be excited back.  You wanted me to be excited to spend time with you and your friends and family, and instead of reveling in that, I complained about, and made it into a dealbreaker when it was never even a major issue. 

I am sorry for everything.  When I look back on our relationship as a whole, I realize that I never deserved you, and that I took far more from you than I ever gave you.  I feel like I wasted the last five years of your life, and may have possibly even kept you from ever achieving your goal of having a family.  I just want you to be happy, and I’m sorry for everything. I’m finally seeing that the best thing I can do to show you my love for you is to let you out of my life and never see you again, because I feel like the only thing I give you is pain and confusion and a lowered sense of self-worth.

I’m sorry for everything.

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