Writing left handed

His Dream, Not Mine

I neglected to mention what happened when I called TWD last week to arrange the handoff.

“Do you have a couple minutes?” I asked.  “I was angry when I said I didn’t want to see you.  I didn’t mean it.  But there are some things I need to ask you.  Why did you wait so long?  You knew I’ve been having doubts about our relationship—why didn’t you just tell me that you were too?  Why didn’t you say something before the holidays?  Why didn’t you say something when we were out to dinner?”

The answers to those questions are not important.  I mean they were important to me, and I got the answers I needed, but they are not important to the point of this post.  What is important is what happened next.

“After we, you know…” he said, “I went back to the real estate listings.  I found my dream house.  Five of them actually.  They’re perfect.”

I could hear the excitement in his voice.  Five perfect houses.  Close to where he works, large enough for his children to have their own rooms, and ready to move in with a proper garage, a proper driveway and a proper backyard.

His dream.

Not mine.  Not even close.

“They’re not anywhere near the downtown, are they?”  I asked.


Of course not.  We were only looking in the downtown because it was my concession to him and his concession to me.

Had we still been together, I would have argued.  How could you want to live there?  You can’t walk anywhere!  The train station is miles away!  We’ll have to drive everywhere.  Plus its stupid to by a turnkey house—what about sweat equity?  What about making an investment?  And you’ll have to mow the lawn, and the house doesn’t have any character, and it’s boring.  It’s bad enough that I’m leaving Philadelphia— I am NOT leaving Philadelphia for the suburbs!!!

But I didn’t say any of that.  I didn’t even feel any of that.  I felt only happy for him, for the pride in his voice as a father looking to make a better life for himself and his kids.  And when I told him that I too was revisiting the real estate listings, and planning to move in with a friend of mine, I could tell he was surprised but nonetheless genuinely happy for me.

For the first time, all those silly, sappy, stupid-sounding platitudes about loving someone enough to let them go finally made sense.

10 Responses to “His Dream, Not Mine”

  1. omtatjuan

    You follow your path! If you had moved to the suburbs resentment would drop by drop build… When my wife at that time had us move 40 miles north of San Francisco, at first I was fine with it. Then the 2 hour commute made me resentful… I hope you find happiness:) It takes time to heal…

      • omtatjuan

        After all the excitement wore off it became an everyday struggle… I didn’t realize it but it wore on me. That led to a lousy divorce and 18 years of pain…

  2. Chicago-Style Girl

    It is the worst feeling when your dreams don’t match those of the man you love. I really admire your strength through this whole thing. Other people would have let the fear of being alone take over and stepped into a dream that wasn’t theirs.

  3. Fred

    Check out the song from , Avenue Q musical, “There’s a Fine, Fine Line”. Line, “there’s a fine line between love and a waste of your time”. I think It will hit a cord with all you are writing, all you are feeling. It was a go to song for me in a similar situation. Another song in the musical “For Now” is also very good, the refrain is , “for now, nothing lasts, life goes on full of surprises… , but only for now”.
    I also admire your strength, wishing you happiness.

  4. Jerseyite Lurker

    I think what’s most important here is that you both had the virtue of being able to do it with mutual respect and good wishes, something which (to put it mildly) doesn’t always happen.


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