Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The reason I never believed in marriage:

Guilt
I'm starting to feel very guilty. Too many reasons right now, but the one that keeps coming back to me is guilt over leaving people. There exists tremendous guilt about putting someone you love through so much heart break.
I never wanted to put someone that close, that important through that much heart break. That is why I never believed in marriage in the first place. The reasons are not political, not religious, not about gay rights nor having a problem with an institution or monogamy etc. The hidden reason, all along, was that I did not want to let someone else watch me die.

I have been conscious of this guilt since I started dating and becoming seriously involved (romantically) with people. At 20 I was engaged. For various reasons it didn't work, but I do remember "coming out" about my heart condition (he knew about my fluid sexuality) and that there was so much guilt around the possibility of leaving the person through death. At 20 death doesn't seem real. I don't think it ever seemed real to him. I did not know then what I know now (that I would live at least another 15 years). Because this illness has always lingered in the back of my mind, in the echo of my heart, I felt it only fair to divulge to those that wanted a more complicated involvement with me than an acquaintanceship.

This 23 year old man elicited my very first experience of guilt (of that kind). By that age I had had a highschool best friend but I never had guilt in leaving her because at 18 she took sick. She developed lung cancer. It brought me closer to her even though physically we drifted. I lived in another city. I felt closer to her because I felt she understood what it was like to be ill, because she herself was ill. I would never wish it on my best friend, but it was my best friend that got sick. I felt like she was part of my secret club.

Today I am married to a woman that already watched a loved one die of cancer during her teen years. I feel guilty that I am her next Pisces waiting in the lineup to eternity. I know that she made the choice to marry me when I asked her. I don't know what possessed me to ask someone to go through this with me. I can argue about the power of love, about compatibility etc. however when it comes to my guilt about dragging someone down this road of illness, it's not love that brings suffering. (This can be argued and I probably will at a later date.)


Perhaps I knew that she was the one that was strong enough to go through this (again).

Guilt.

I've broken her heart before - our relationship has not been an easy ride (that's no secret to anyone that knows us) but this, this will be the ultimate betrayal.