My Continued Correspondence to my Love. E3

Subject: My Continued Correspondence to my Love. E3
From: Dean Ardwen
Date: 14 Sep 2019

Good morning, K. Or, well, whatever time you happen to read this. You will see a stark difference in my tone from the last letters, I guess I've found some measure of peace. Don't get me wrong, my feelings for you are still intense, and I don't see them abating for quite some time yet. But I think I've at least adjusted somewhat to not being in contact with you any more. I miss my lover, and my best friend, but I digress.

Anyways, I did the math. Congratulations on being reunited! I'm genuinely happy for you. I know how much you hated being alone, and it makes me smile to know that you're happier. I didn't really want to email you again and tear open new wounds after your last message, but now I won't let myself. What's said has been said, you are the master of your own life, and I know you'll live it. If you ever do get the urge to contact me again, please be careful. If he's as possessive as you made him sound and he really DOES kill you, I'd have to do something about it. something unpleasant.

So I guess if anything, I'm your insurance policy. You said if you ever tried to leave him he'd kill you? Well, if you ever muster the courage, you can drop a hint that there's someone very dangerous who would be taking a keen interest in him should anything ever happen to you. Now you have ME paranoid, thinking maybe I should check the obituaries for you every week or so. I don't know what you'll say or not say, what you will or won't be able to live with. My hope is that if you're going to drop something big on him you'll at least give me a heads up so I can brush up on my body disposal training. Hell at this point I'd just flat-out pay for a ticket out here for you. To hell with her opinion, honestly. I know it's so unlikely to be needed that it's worth little more than a kind gesture, but it IS sincere.

I'm seeing this counselor, as part of the fallout mitigation process from what happened earlier this month. It's not absolutely necessary, but it looks good on me, and talking about your feelings to someone who has literally no impact on your life can be kind of refreshing. She likes me, though. She invited my wife out for a "couple's counseling", and offered her individual sessions as well, but she is FAR too stubborn to ever go. So be it. I may have a little bit of depression, but it's nothing I can't work through. Her, however, she is an entirely different situation.

Her depression is getting intolerable. She refuses to take medication, because it would disqualify her from the armed services, which is something she wants to do once we return home and go our separate ways. The problem is, you can't enlist if you're dead, either. And she makes suicidal comments multiple times a day now, and not even jokingly. I would worry about her, but I know that as long as our daughter is alive, she will be too. It doesn't make her any easier to live with, though. I'm convinced now that she has absolutely no desire to do anything anymore. She doesn't leave the house, and she doesn't clean the house either. You can imagine how bad that gets. She won't even make the bed. She'll sleep until our daughter's crying annoys her enough that she can't deal with it any more, she leaves food, dishes, trash everywhere. It was so bad that last night I cleaned the house for hours while she just sat in bed up stairs. She even asked me to stop cleaning because it was stressing her out.

She has turned into the very definition of a slob. I don't do well with slobs. If there is any single thing that makes me lose my mind and drive off a cliff, it will be over an argument we have about how dirty the house is.

Speaking of arguments, we had one last night, a result of her ever-present victimhood complex and spitefulness. The subject was actually benign. It was an idea that I had been turning over in my head for some days, now. I would have spoken with you about it, but that isn't really an avenue of communication that's open to me anymore. Here's the basic gist:

I think that people, myself included, are subject to tailoring ourselves and our personalities in order to better get along with those in our lives. That doesn't sound like a bad thing, does it? No, but I think it could have negative implications, and that's why I brought it up. Because I've spoken at length about how one-dimensional she is. How vulgar, how crass, how simple. But I seemed to remember her when we met, and she didn't come off as any of those things. Of course, it could have been me just not paying attention, and that in fact is very likely. But my point is that at some point, very early in our relationship, she was normal. At least, normal enough for me to find attractive.

I think that she was like most people. Reserved, guarded, self-aware, with an image and identity to maintain. Over the course of years, however, she adjusted herself to me. She adjusted to the culture. At first it started with cute pet names and such. I didn't really mind those. I think a lot actually happened at that time, I may just not have let this theory mature enough in my head to pick them out. But then comes the adjustment to behavior, and with it, the death of relationships: EXPECTATIONS.

Boom, there's my point. Allow me to explain. I believe that when you become adjusted enough to someone that you expect certain behaviors out of them, you kill any hope for romance then and there. I could be wrong, but I have evidence. Take you and I for example. On one hand, it's easy to chalk up our courtship as nothing more than loneliness and physical attraction. But I think there is something far more profound going on than that when you begin to fall for someone you've just started dating.

I think back to all the best times we had. Us in my car, us in your car. Listening to our favorite jams while driving. You sitting on the counter and singing along to "Angela". And of course, when we were having sex. I think back on it, and not a single time can I point out a moment, not one moment, when you weren't being yourself. That's what I loved about you. You were so... Authentic. So much more real than anything I had grown accustomed to. And that may have been a big factor as to why you fell for me, as well.

This theory has it's origins in, you guessed it: another argument she and I had. During this argument, she pointed out that whenever I leave for any extended period of time, I come back someone different. Someone completely strange to her. She tells me I don't have a personality, that I have no emotions, et cetera. But that's just the thing: I have MORE of a personality when I'm away. I get to be myself. I get to drop all the cutesy bullshit pretenses and meme-based humor that I don't really like and I get to be ME. That's who you met. Me. After a month or two home, I normally re-adjust and become bearable again (to her), but I just hate myself. I hate myself because I don't go out with friends, I don't enjoy life, and I just sit pinned up in my office all the time because it's the only shred of individuality I have left to hold on to. And she's just weird, k. She's a really weird person. Again, I digress.

But this all leads me to believe that when you grow accustomed to someone, you filter your personality subconsciously in order to be more agreeable to the people in your life. You've heard the saying "you are who you associate yourself with"? I've always disagreed with it before now, but now I think I actually get it.

That explains to me why what we had was so much better, so much healthier for me. I'd like to hear your thoughts on it, honestly. Of course, only contact me if it's safe, and if you want to. I refuse to be the reason you end up in an early grave. That said, It's technically morning for me now. I know you're a night owl, and now you have an entirely new reason to stay up late. I, however, can't pull those hours anymore. I'm too old.

So, good morning, k. I hope your day is as beautiful as you are.

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