In the meantime, it still sucks to be on the receiving end.
There he was, showing up outside your castle window every day in his mostly shiny but frankly also a little rusty armor, strumming his lute and warbling his troubadour songs. Now, I don’t know exactly what was going on in your particular situation, Sheila, since I wasn’t there. But it wasn’t that she wasn’t giving me love, it just seemed to come at different times. I don’t think I noticed this consciously for a while. And after each time, there would be this look she would give me. It wasn’t something I could force, just something that would come about as a result of my giving. And how much I’m sure those messages are bouncing around in other people’s heads as well. Living Disney movies in our minds, and tragedies in our lives. And even worse, it seemed that the harder I tried to be sentimental and lovey-dovey, the less it was reciprocated. Or, once we had a daughter, when I shared the responsibility of watching over her. Because as our marriage progressed, I found myself offering to help out around the house more and more. It took me longer than I care to admit to understand what was happening. Through giving, through doing things for my wife, the emotion that I had been so desperately seeking naturally came about. An emotion that, once had, somehow magically stays within a marriage forever. And I’m saddened to think about how much those messages bounced around in my head for so long. Why wasn’t I getting reciprocal lovey-doveyness when we were first married? From Disney movies to my favorite shows like “The Office” to practically every pop song released, love is constantly sold as an emotion we have before we’re married. And that’s why my wife just gave me that half-smile. And now that I’ve tried to change the way I look at love, the more I become shocked at the messages of love I had gotten when I was younger. The next day came and went without a text and again I reached out to him. It was true ghosting because back then social media didn’t allow me to keep tabs on him. The fear you get when a guy you like isn’t reaching out to you.