Patrick and I are in the midst of a major paradigm shift in our relationship - we are still very much in love and still very much plan to stay partners, we're just going to do it from separate hobbit holes. He'll be moving out as soon as he can find a place for the solitude he needs.
Sadly, I need no such solitude. I LOVE living with Pattycakes. I am, by nature, wifely as fuck. I like knowing what time he'll be home so I can have his dinner waiting, I like doing his laundry and touching his butt while he shaves his head. I'm just hardwired to enjoy domesticity. I have a suspicion he's wired in a very similar way, but since he went directly from a 23-year marriage to our relationship, he has no way of knowing if that's true. He has no way to distinguish his unhappiness with life in general from his unhappiness with me. He's frustrated by a lot of things and we can both agree that it's time for him to foster his own personal control group by living alone.
I'm a pretty sad panda about all of this, but I saw it coming. I knew he wouldn't be happy in a house that was MINE, not his, or even ours. And that's what this move meant - it was for my kids, not his, like our last house was. It's only the timing that hurts: right on the tail of an unresolvable disagreement. Definitely not the IDEAL time to point out your girlfriend's shortcomings and why you need space. But it's been said and it can't be unsaid: my favorite man on earth wants LESS of me, not more.
(I could write a novel about how much better it would be for me to hear complaints as they happen rather than when I finally wrench them out. But now I know what I'll require of future partners: BLUNT TRANSPARENCY. No part of my personal resume boasts mind-reading skills.)
If he'd been the first to say so, this would be news to me, but it's been written in my cards since birth: I am always too much and never enough. I'm just glad I've had enough perspective and therapy that this idea no longer makes me feel lesser or smaller. It just reminds me that very few people are big enough for me. And that's okay. I don't need to shrink myself small enough to fit anyone's palate. I'm a bravely acquired taste and I plan to stay that way, even through the grief of whatever this is. I certainly look forward to parsing it.
**Planning to make this my next tattoo. In my own handwriting, which is remarkably similar to my mother's handwriting, making it all that much more fitting.