Life is hard work these days. We shouldn’t have time to argue with each other yet it’s all we seem to do. All I want is to know how to make you smile. It feels like you don’t know how to when you’re around me. I wonder if I ever did make you smile. Then I think back to when we first met, you thought I was hilarious. I haven’t changed so why did the laughter stop? The things I did before that made you smile now just make you annoyed. Now all I feel like is as though you find me pathetic.
I am. I always have been, or at least I’ve always felt that way.
You used to be the one person who idolised me. You’d look at me with amazement, pride that I was yours. I can’t remember the last time you saw me this way. Although, I can’t remember the last time you saw me. I’m here, I’m standing beside you. I’m the one sharing the other side of the sofa, the right side of the bed but you don’t notice me. I’m just in your way.
Our daily exchanges have suddenly became nothing more than business negotiations. How much money have you spent? What time will you be home? Can you put a wash in? Remember about the bins? What’s for tea? Who is bathing the babies? Have you fed the dog? There’s no conversing anymore. I remember when we’d spend all night talking, planning, reading poetry to each other (we really did this, I wasn’t dreaming). Now, I can tell that my voice irritates you. It’s that irritable sound which burns your ears, makes your skin itch. I see you tune out as soon as I start to speak, I see your glances towards the TV, the hint for me to shut up because you’re watching something. I tell you things up to 8 times (and yes I’ve counted) yet still, I mention the name of a friend and am greeted with ‘who’s she?’ I go to tell you again then watch as you glaze back over, I’ve lost your attention.
I start to cry. You get mad at me. I’m too romantic for you, my idea of a relationship is unrealistic and unattainable. You think I want the world, you think I want courtly love. I don’t – I just want to be seen. I want you to look at me, notice when my hair isn’t stained with baby sick. I want you to think that I’m pretty, I don’t want you to think that I’m just ‘fine’. I want you to talk to me, even the big things in your day I only hear about when you’re telling someone else on the phone. I’ve stopped asking now, I know the one word answers are an indication that you can’t be bothered to share. I want you to laugh with me. We used to have so much fun together, you used to enjoy my company. I know that having children had changed our idea of fun, I want you start enjoying them too. They’re only little for such a short time, the mess will vanish soon, the crying will get better.
I want you to be proud of me. I remember the night we delivered Tristan, I remember feeling as though you were proud of me. A year on, now I only disappoint you. I disappoint you when I don’t manage to hoover, when I take our children out for lunch and spend money we don’t have. I disappoint you when I forget to do the things you ask me to, when I get anxious or cry at an advert. I disappoint you when it all gets too much for me, when I show my emotions too much. I don’t know what I can do to make you proud. You’ve never read one of my blogs, I only told you about them a few weeks ago. I’d been so scared to tell you, I knew you’d think I was stupid, wasting my time. Maybe I do expect too much, maybe I just need to feel more confident. Maybe I just need to know how you feel. I think that you still love me – you’ve never been one to say how you’re feeling but I also know that you’re not the kind of person who does something you don’t want to. You must be still here for a reason, I just hope I’m still part of that it. We made vows to each other, vows I hope you still cherish. I hope your heart still belongs to me, I hope you feel differently inside. My heart still belongs to you, I know it always will.