“Why do you suppose we only feel compelled to chase the ones who run away?” – Vicomte de Valmont, Dangerous Liaisons
Yesterday, my husband received an unexpected phone call. When the person phoned, they did not greet me on the phone. Instead they requested to speak to my husband. I have known the person for 20 years. I was hurt that someone I have known for so long, would not even say hello.
When I mentioned the greeting to my husband, he seemed surprised. He apologized for the person. But the truth was, he was glad the person had phoned, very glad. Although,the lack of greeting me was a concern, but he does not hear from the person often. In his mind contact, rude or not, was better than none.
Feeling hurt and angry, I told my husband.
“I cannot believe, Mick (fake name) did not say hello to me. We have been married almost 18 years. How could he not say hello?” – Me
“I don’t know. Maybe he was busy and did not think to say hello. You know how he gets sometimes.” – Husband.
Yes, I do know how Mick gets sometimes. The relationship between my husband and Mick has been a long-standing one. Over the years, there have been plenty of ups and downs. Mick and my husband were once very close and now my husband is trying to rebuild the friendship.
I expressed my concern to my husband, about pursuing a relationship with someone who may not be as interested.
“Why do you chase after Mick, when he is not always nice? I understand you have known him forever, but it seems you are making most of the effort.” – Me
“Why do you chase after Gemma (fake name)? She has been mean to you for years and yet, you continue to have contact with her.” – Husband
My husband’s response to my question was very unexpected. He obviously felt defensive about his relationship with Mick. Suddenly, I was put on the defensive. I now needed to explain my relationship with Gemma.
“Well, I am in contact with Gemma because we once were very close and now are not. I guess I am hoping she will come around, if I am nice enough to her.” – Me
The moment I said the words, a light went on. I was chasing after someone, who was clearly not as interested in having a relationship with me, as I was with them. I began to wonder why I would do such a thing. Was I nuts, desperate or just trying to control the universe?
My husband looked at me and realized I understood his reasoning for keeping in contact with Mick. His look softened.
“I miss hanging out with Mick. I do not know if it will happen again. But for now, since the contact is so infrequent, I will take what I can. You never know if something will change.” – Husband
One of the hardest things in life, is when a relationship changes, but you don’t want it to change. When you are happy, it does not make sense that suddenly things are different.
In my husband’s case, I felt sad that his relationship with Mick was different. I have known Mick for a long time. I know how important he has been to my husband. As for me, Gemma and I are not nearly as close as we were. Like my husband, I am willing to take any contact I get. No matter how small the amount is.
I told my husband I was sorry for saying anything. I realized I was experiencing the same thing with my friend. He told me he was not going to chase after Mick, but merely be open if he chose to return.
And so the chase goes on, but at a little slower pace.