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There is such a striking distance between us – I can see it now.

We were never going to be forever. You want such different things. Your communication is so different to mine.

You are rigid, calculating, determined, much less emotional. I say none of those things to be critical, or to shame you for who you are. You just are those things, and I am not.

I am flighty, I am fluid, I am emotional. I am forgetful. I am determined, but much less able to be single-focused in my pursuits than you are. I am passionate, I am fiery, I feel everything at my core. All things i now see you made me feel less-than for.

I am not less-than – nor are you. We are just so different.

I’ve just come back from two days away with Thunderbolts.

I was working, which was the reason for the trip, but he was with me. We spent 4 days before that curled up at home – the house that you and I own.

When him and I left, you and her moved in for the weekend. I came home to 100 tiny containers of precooked meals in the fridge and my home smelling like someone else. I suppose that’s how you feel when you come back to the house after days away and Thunderbolts has been here.

It’s truly bizarre the way this has played out. We are living two different domesticities. Three part time relationships swarming and growing and building mass in the same structure – our house: you and her, him and I, you and I.

Seeing her mashed potatoes in our fridge, in our containers, makes me irrationally uncomfortable. It’s as if she – or rather, her fucking mashed potatoes – are testament to the woman I couldn’t be (for you) – subservient, exclusive, dedicated – the perfect Stepford wife.

I bet her mashed potatoes are fucking delicious. It doesn’t matter though – I’ll never try them out of protest.

Being around you makes me tense.

Not being around him makes me long for him.

He listens. He asks questions. He’s attentive. He’s preemptive, caring, generous, giving. He’s firm and he’s fair. He is the only man I have chosen not to argue with, or fight with – specifically for the sake of fighting, or even where a fight is an option to resolve something.

We just talk. We resolve things by talking.

I can tell him how I feel, good or bad or ugly, and he truly listens and he truly responds. He can do the same with me. It’s as if we are in another universe, one parallel to the universe I have lived in my whole life – where narcissism and substance and mental illness have trained me, taught me, molded me into a reactor.

I am not a reactor with him. I am calm. I am considered. I am patient.

The other day he was particularly short with me. We work together, and he was heated about work. He reverts to his military form when he’s frustrated, which is not often, but some days I forget he came from that world and that that world required him to be something drastically different from who he is with me.

I told him he was being short and asked him to stop. And do you know what?

He did.

He apologised.

He explained he was frustrated and didn’t know how we could collectively work through the pains in the business, most of which revolve around the other party in the business, and we talked it out. Together.

Without any screaming, or low blows, or attacks on character.

We moved on.

And just like that I saw it, clear as day. This man really loves me. I really love him. We are genuinely a complementary fit.

He makes me want to be a better woman. He makes me want to expose and share the parts of me I have kept locked up for 30+ years, and when I do, he receives them and me with such care, and concern, and such grace. He never shames me or belittles me or asks me to change. He accepts me for all that I am, whether it’s beautiful or messy or moody.

You and I are in the throes of planning a 3 week OE with my best friend (and ex), and nothing has ever highlighted so clearly how different we are.

Your idea of compromise is getting what you want; my idea of compromise is giving.

We were once a single ship, bobbing in the same harbour. We evolved, becoming two ships, moored near one another, weathering the same storms.

We broke free and drifted, away from one another, carried by the tide and winds to less familiar oceans.

Now we are nothing but two distant blips on the horizon, one twinkling light hundreds of kilometres from the other. Some days we’re pulled slightly closer together by tides, other days we are obscured from each others views.

I am in new waters, and I don’t mind if you drift from my horizon.

The future is bright.

The past is full of highlights – like study notes in a book full of learnings.

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