Steve left today for a solo motorcycling trip. I had actually encouraged this trip and up until last week, I was excited about him going off to wander about on his own.
"There's no reason why you can't continue to ride just because I'm stuck here. I WANT you to go! Really!"
I meant that when I said it.
Then last week I was blindsided with new information like a semi plowing through an intersection over me.
Steve had decided he wanted not only to take a trip, but for the most part, we would to stop having contact during the time he was gone. Steve will let me know when he is ready to speak and I am not to contact him at all. This "Radio Silence Solo Ride" came as a shock to me in our therapist's office.
"Steve needs time alone, and by alone, I mean, he doesn't want to be required to text or call you. I think it's best for him. This is what he wants and needs," our therapist informed me as the three of us sat in her office.
Steve simply nodded, staring at the floor.
Stunned, I simply agreed to the terms. I would never want to stand in his way, take away his freedom, or stifle him. I reasoned what's best for "us" as a couple is to make him happy.
I never wanted to be one of those selfish, demanding wives who confined her husband, taking away the things he enjoyed. As a people pleaser it is my habit to please others first, before even considering how I feel. So I really meant it when I told him to go and ride solo.
But the "Radio Silence" has left me feeling hurt, manipulated and cheated. It's as if I signed an agreement and then someone pointed out the small print on another page. I couldn't go back on my word. I couldn't sit in the therapist's office and say, "Oh no then! If that's the deal, I'm out!" That would make me a "bad wife", the kind of bitch I don't ever want to be.
So I swallowed my feelings and wished him well as he left this morning. And even though I was terribly sad about him leaving, I never shed a tear.
In my life I've learned these painful times can often bring the greatest opportunities for realization and growth. In fact, it seems the worse it hurts, the greater the life change that accompanies the pain. Now that Steve is out on the road and taking this time to himself, I hope he too sees what he couldn't see with me around and experiences his own kind of growth.
I also hope he realizes he will be returning to a different person. Having gone through this pain of feeling rejected and unimportant will have an impact on me. In fact, it already has. We have hit a fork in the road and only miles will tell where we will end up.
I have no intention of sideswiping him when our paths intersect again, but I'm making no promises, because right now, I can't see the road ahead. I can only see what's in my headlight and this is a brand new road I'm on.
I guess we'll both know when we arrive.
My book Rude Biker Chick: Lessons From My Daddy is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Smashwords. Give me your feedback on it once you've read it! I look forward to hearing from you.