We have problems. I admit this freely. Sometimes these problems seem overwhelmingly impossible. Sometimes so overwhelming that we both feel beat.
Other times, it's hard to remember that we do have problems.
I could list a dozen or more good things about you. You like to brush them off as "just how it is," but I think we both agree that while maybe it should be that way, it often isn't. I could list the things you do, or say, but that isn't why I stay. That's only how it started.
I stay because I know you. You're a good man. You are a match for me. In every way. When I'm not so crazed with emotion I can't think straight, I understand you. I know who you are on the inside, even when the outside frustrates me. I stay, because no matter how bad it gets, I know that without you is worse. You are my Mate.
No matter what the problem is, I have faith in our ability to get through it. I stay, because you never make me question your love. Because you are the best thing that has ever happened to me. You are the best thing that has ever happened to my children. You understand me. And when you don't understand me, when I don't make sense, you try anyway.
You are the only person I have ever felt safe being vulnerable with. The only one I have been able to be fully open to.
A few bumps in the road aren't enough to shake me off. Heck, a canyon wouldn't be enough.
I stay because the good always outweighs the bad. Your best always outweighs your worst.
My writing has fallen by the wayside, along with most of my other creative outlets. I really need to pick it back up. That in mind, I am going to try to do one writing per week. Most of them will probably be from prompts. Starting now.
Today, I will look at myself in the mirror, and really see me. Today, I will listen to my child with my full attention. Today, I will give my partner more than a peck. Today, I will hug someone with my heart, because we both need it. Today, I will stand tall. Today, I will be mindful of the moment. Today, I will put down my phone. Today, I will log off. Today, I will be present. Today, I will reach out to a friend. Today, I will express myself. Today, I will take a risk.
Today, I will be more of me than yesterday. I will set aside my bad habits, and learn new ones. I will not let the stress win. My stubbornness will be a strength, instead of a weakness, and I will give in when appropriate. I will not hang on to the past. I will not beat myself up over mistakes. I will take criticism and praise with equal grace.
My best friend just told me that she loves me.
Well, let me put that differently. We have exchanged "I love you"s for months. That's part of being friends with me. I love people. What she revealed is that she loves me as more than a friend.
A straight, monogamously married woman is in love with me.
What do I do with that?
She told me, and I have been sitting on it, unsure how to even begin to process the idea. Normally... Normally, this wouldn't really phase me. My criteria for dating are basically the same as for a close friend. (Physical attraction may be a sticking point, in theory, but I've yet to be close emotionally with someone I wasn't attracted to.) Yet this throws me for a loop. Not because I can't reciprocate, but because I drew such a solid line. Do not cross. Now I'm not sure what to do with that line.
The pragmatic part of me says nothing. I do nothing, because she is still monogamously married, and a "maybe, someday" does not merit current action. I respect her husband, and her marriage, and I would not want to mess that up for her. If I were a friend advising her on how to swim these waters, I would tell her to wait. Talk to him, be patient with him, and wait. As her friend, I do nothing.
The emotional part of me says there must be something I should be doing. I love this woman, I don't want to leave her unsure. I want her to know that I am here for her, whether that is as a friend or someday something else. No matter what. The emotional part wants to hold her, and kiss her, and thank her for being brave enough to open up about her feelings.
The answer, I'm sure, lies somewhere between. But where? What do I do? What do I say?
For now, I mostly don't think about it in her presence. To think about it would cause awkwardness, and that was one of her fears in the first place. Still, it deserves thought. So here I am. Thinking.
And still at a loss.