I knew from the first time I met you that I was supposed to be with you. I proposed marriage on the first date. We didn’t immediately get married of course, but when we did it was sudden, romantic, and a surprise to all. Our parents were less than thrilled that we eloped, though mine were more understanding. I loved your beautiful mind and your practicality. You were musically talented and unlike others that I had supposed I had loved in the past, you never acted like you were doing me a favor. You genuinely wanted and needed me. You met my passion and romantic whimsy kiss for kiss, and love for love.
You called me Robert. I had always gone by Bob. Robert seemed so official and distant, and I was never one for seriousness. It always seemed odd to be called Robert, yet the way you said my name was so endearing and genuine, that it made me so enamored by you. I was Bob to everyone else, but you my dear got to call me Robert. In my mind it still seems odd to be called this by anybody but you.
When we held hands they were perfectly matched. Mine were masculine and strong, and yours, petite and ladylike. I even used to say “It fits,” when you would place yours in mine. It sounds cheesy to think about now, but it was one of those foolish things you ignore when you’re deeply in love. Your hand would fit into mine, and you always fit into my arms. You were shorter than me, and I had to stand you on a step the first time I kissed you, but you were perfect to me. Your blue eyes were the most captivating that I had seen before or since. When you told the truth, or when you were lying, they gave you away.
When your behavior became erratic, I justified it. When accusations to your sanity and well being came to the light, I refused to believe them. I defended your honor and your mind with fury and rage normally devoted to a mother bear protecting her cub. Those people didn’t deserve my rage, but I’ll admit, I would still scream obscenities at them to defend you again. I lost jobs because of you. I would lose them again. You and I shared a lot of firsts… I would never take those back.
You called me at work a few weeks after your boss had fired you, and I hurried home to see you putting everything in suitcases. It was the day that Gordon B. Hinckley died. You said many things which were incredibly surreal to me. I won’t repeat them for they are near blasphemy, but suffice to say that you in your “wisdom” had placed a random assortment of our things into every suitcase we had, and were prepared to travel a great distance with no money and no reasonable chance of success. You claimed that you had passed out and seen a vision. You had not, you were not well.
Your blue eyes looked hollow. You weren’t yourself, and I couldn’t defend your behavior any longer. I ran to our bedroom and hid in the closet. I prayed for help, but my worry and fear overcame any comfort it gave. I called my Mother, but she rarely answers her phone, and this time was no exception. I called a family friend for help. He gave me some good advice, but I was so inside myself with fear that I couldn’t immediately process what he had said to me. I had never been so scared in my life.
The first time you were in the hospital, I came to visit you. The third floor was in the older part of the hospital. It wasn’t fresh and new like the other part, where people with physical diseases would go to be cured. It was in a darker and more foreboding part of the hospital, with old paint and carpet, and empty unused rooms. It was under lock and key, and I had to prove that I was your husband to get in. I hate hospitals on a good day. Between the pitiful decor and the fact that I was going to the psych ward were not helping my enthusiasm to be there.
Visiting hours were never very long, but I did my best to come see you when work would allow. As much as I wanted to, I couldn’t ignore work. Someone had to pay the bills, and it was all I could do during a day to keep from losing it. When I was getting ready to leave, you begged me not to. You cried every night, and I could see the real you, if only for a brief moment, hurting and feeling alone. I held you in my arms, where you had always perfectly fit, and whispered “I love you. I’ll see you again soon.”
I wish I could add more to this letter, but you and I both know how it ended my love. The long nights wondering where you were, the calls from friends, the cheating you did because you were crazy, and the cheating I did because I was hurt and vulnerable. Then there was the finality of it all when I dropped you off at your parents house and told you where to send the annulment papers. I want you to know how sorry I am. Sometimes I feel I gave up to quickly on you, yet I know that any further attempts to help you would have been detrimental to my health and sanity. Inside of you was a demon that was holding us hostage, and grinding our lives into the dust. Inside was a good heart, screaming to get out and be noticed, but the demon wouldn’t allow her to be heard.
My nights are lonely because of what I did, and because of what you did. Our beginning was never perfect, but our dream of happily ever after was a nightmare destroyed by a disease and my selfishness and impatience. I sit some nights and wonder why I am so lonely, and why I cannot find anyone who might love me. It is in those moments that I feel I deserve this, that I am destined to be lonely because I gave up on you.
From the deepest part of my soul I am torn asunder by the sorrow that I feel about this. I loved you. I still love you. I will always love you. I am sad that I couldn’t fix your hurt and pain and mental disease. At times I feel I did my best to help you, yet I still feel guilty that I didn’t try hard enough.
I hope that you are doing better, that you are getting the help you need, and that you are happy and well. I would gladly put up with the insanity again if I could be next to you each night. You would fit in my arms, and I would take away your hurt and loneliness, and you could take away mine. I wish I was as strong then as I am now, perhaps it would have been enough to make the difference.