Not until I hear an apology

Rethinking fifty-six years of being the “nice guy”

I can already hear all the backlash. “Don’t you DARE. Who the fuck do you think you are?” And I get it. You’ve had quite enough of guys who treat you like shit. Guys who think they can do no wrong.

I’m most assuredly NOT one of those guys.

I never have been.

When the shit hits the fan, I’m ALWAYS the first to apologize. In fact, in my relationships, I’m mostly the ONLY one who apologizes. It has ever been thus. And those days are over.

I loved my wife. Like the moon loves the sun. And I would have done, and actually did, everything I could possibly do to bring her dreams to life. But I couldn’t keep ALS from killing her.

Still, we were together for over twenty years and the one and only time she ever apologized was a month or so before she died. And then she apologized for leaving me alone, with four kids to raise. As if there were anything she could do about it or that it was in any way something she had done wrong.

Of course, that’s not to say she had never done anything wrong. It was rare, but she knew just how to push my buttons, as everyone in a long term relationship eventually learns to do. But not once did she ever accept responsibility for causing me pain. And I let that go. Because she meant the world to me. Pick your fights has always been my motto. More often than not, I let everything go. And I apologized for whatever I might have done to ruffle her feathers. Because nothing was ever more important than keeping the peace with the woman I loved.

I’ve had two very serious, intimate relationships since she passed. And after a whole lot of soul searching, I’ve come to realize that neither one of those women ever apologized for anything that ever happened between us either. I’m beginning to sense a pattern. One that isn’t at all flattering to me. I take responsibility for everything that goes wrong. All the time.

Those days are over.

I pull my weight. I always have and I always will. When I’m wrong, I admit it. But no longer will I accept the responsibility for the WHOLE relationship. It took me fifty-six years, but I’ve grown up. I will no longer accept a one sided relationship.

You probably shouldn’t either.

father, motorcyclist, old retired guy who’s just a little lost on a blue marble corkscrewing its way to oblivion

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