Talked with Jess briefly before going to sleep. Told her how I feel like I’m the cause of all her misery and problems. She said this is essentially true and suggested ways I could improve.

I didn’t feel very angry. This is history repeating itself. But sometimes it still astonishes me that she doesn’t ever ask me how she might better herself in our relationship. Oh, she’ll admit that there’s things she “needs to work on,” but these are never defined. It’s just really obvious to her that if anything’s wrong, it’s my fault and she’ll be ugly and gray on the inside until I change. I was washing the dishes last night and reliving my childhood: I even told my kids, “Let’s clean the house — your mommy’s mad.”

She really believes that if I do X, Y, and Z she’ll feel happy and fulfilled, and that’s where her energy and thinking stops. I lay awake for awhile after she said all that; I had more to say but figured it was pointless because I’ve already said everything a million times.

What more could I say or do to get the message across that I don’t appreciate the imbalance of our relationship, that it’s codependent bullshit to think your happiness or sadness depends on another person or that you should try to manipulate, control or change them into something they’re not? Does she give any thought to me at all except for what I’m supposed to be DOING for HER?

She doesn’t seem to understand that this attitude of hers is what killed my sense of romance and made me feel trapped. Because it wasn’t me coming to a whole person and wanting to share in her world, and her in mine. It was me coming to someone looking to be completed by some kind of dreamy ideal, an image or a stereotype of some kind.

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