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Contemporary Sad Speculative

This story contains themes or mentions of suicide or self harm.

The two people in our story were teenage sweethearts. In the beginning he loved her free spiritedness and she loved how their conversations were light and easy. In the end, after just three months, it wasn't enough. Their problems outlasted their love. He became jealous of the way other boys looked at her and of how she chatted to them. She found him to be dull and boring and dumped him after three months. There were no other parties involved though she found a new boyfriend in two weeks. He found a new girlfriend in a year. 


They met again aged forty one and this is the story of that love the second time around, after each had been married before. Of how love means completely different things to different people based on their childhoods, their adult experiences, and their previous relationships. The two people in our story were undeniably and extremely in love at the start of this tale. Probably too much. They spent each and every moment apart thinking of each other, wondering what the other one was doing, wishing they were together all the time.


Their conversations were easy, full of banter and laughter. Each could say anything they liked to the other without fear of offence, without blame. The following is a continuance of that story after he had moved in with her and the part that his jealousy, which had increased with age, plays in it.


She thinks love is to accept the other person as they are. They are both adults with different life experiences and they shouldn't have to change the way they were when they fell in love. (He thinks that love is to mould her, morph her into someone completely different, someone compliant, someone reliant, totally on him. That way they will always be in sync.)


She thinks that he loves the fact that she is a free spirit, with lots of friends. Friends who were with her during difficult times and who mean a lot to her. She sees them regularly. (He thinks that she should give all her attention to him. That's what he thinks love is and he very quickly separates her, one by one, from all her friends until it's just the two of them, just as it should be. That's love.)


She knows that he loves her and believes that it is unconditionally. Yes, all her friends have gone but she is sure that is only temporary, and that perhaps he is just a bit needy. He doesn't seem to be as confident as her. He has no friends. (For him love is an exclusive relationship between two people. There should be no need for friends. They serve no purpose in a loving relationship, they just get in the way. She should focus on him, no-one else.)


Occasionally she feels stifled, like the free spirit that she's always been has been curtailed. Yet she thought it was one of the things that he loved about her, but it's still early days. Before they met, both of them had experienced bad relationships. Maybe the dust just needs to settle. (He feels the fact that she still has this free spirit even without her friends is a threat, therefore he must tie her to him even more closely. The free spirit extends to her being completely self-sufficient even to the extent of decorating the house, something he enjoys. Bit by bit, slowly, slowly he will offer to take over some of the jobs she does around the house.)


She feels loved and cared for. 

No- one else has ever looked after her the way that he does. She supposes it was only fair that he took on his share of running the house, but she's also begun to feel he's trying to change her and she doesn't know why. (His plan is working and he feels relief. It wasn't fair the way things were before. It made him feel less of a man. It reminded him of things from his past, things he will never share with her.)


Little by little, bit by bit she is conscious of him taking over their lives. He no longer does this surreptitiously. She feels he will never be happy until he totally controls her. (He is in heaven. For the first time in any relationship he feels truly in love. Many times he has tried to make the perfect woman for himself and failed. This time he has the perfect life. The one he's always dreamed of.)


At least they have full time jobs so she doesn't have to spend all her time with him. She is the Financial Director of a company and is used to steering the ship, something she has lost control of at home. Her ship seems to have no rudder. (He hates his job. He has no control there at all and he hates the fact that she is not with him full time. She talks quite a lot about the men in her office and he is jealous but says nothing. Maybe she is romantically involved with someone behind his back.)


She knows that their time together can be wonderful but he is beginning to be unpredictable in his attitude towards her. She knows of no reason why this should be. She works really hard to maintain the good parts of their relationship whilst at the same time resenting the fact that she has to do it. (He doesn't know why sometimes she is happy and sometimes she is sad. It can't be anything to do with him, he's not doing anything wrong. In fact he is doing so much that is right for both of them. She's so unpredictable.)


She is beginning to wonder if he is worth the trouble, when unexpectedly, and in very nasty circumstances that were in no way her fault, she loses her job. Thankfully he still has his but as the major breadwinner he assumes even more control. On the positive side she can spend full days at home alone, and this makes her happy. There are signs of the free spirit returning. (He quickly does his best to maintain his powerful role. She is not a kept woman yet but at some point in the future she will be and he longs for that day when she will be fully beholden to him.)


He did not give her any support or love when she lost her job. He did not put his arms around her or try to convince her that none of it had been her fault and that she should still have her job. She is irreparably, mentally hurt by this and within weeks her pain starts. (He is in his element. Not only has he taken control of so many parts of their life but now she is beginning to show signs that her health is failing and she will have to rely on him more and more.)


She loves her nine to five weekdays alone when she can do what she likes and be who she likes, her increasing pain notwithstanding. She knows that there is one thing that has bugged him from day one but she still refuses to have joint bank accounts. She has had a bad experience with this before. (Aside from not having the access to her bank accounts he is the happiest he has ever been in his entire life. For the first time ever he is the big man, the man who has the control, the power, unlike his father, a wimp of a man who had let his mother, an invalid, walk all over him.)


She is fairly certain her pain is psychological but it continues to get worse and worse as the years go by. Instead of encouraging her to try to do things he just brushes aside that idea and does things for her. It is only later, much later, that she realises her pain gradually increased because of his actions and because she let him do things for an easy life. One that did not require her to leave her chair. (He intervenes every time she tries to do something for herself which ensures that the increase in his power over her is becoming relentless. However she still will not agree to joint bank accounts so not only is he unable to know what she is personally worth, he has no control over the bills account either. He is enraged by this.)


She is horrified when he takes disability retirement years before retirement age. Gone are those happy days of being quite alone of doing what she wanted of being her true self albeit behind his back. (He is relieved to give up the job that he hated and in such a way that his ability to do it was never questioned. He's also in seventh heaven as now he has her all to himself 24/7.)


She is caught between a rock and a hard place. She feels bad about it but she doesn't want him around. She wants her really old life back. For the first time she accepts that he is the cause of all her problems, both physically and mentally. She wishes she had never met him. (He is caught between a rock and a hard place. As time goes on she becomes fully housebound and he realises for the first time that his actions have also made him housebound, without a life. He still has no friends, no one to go places with, so he has to sit in the house with her all day. He resorts to blaming her for everything regardless of what that might be. It is important to him that nothing is his fault and he is always right.)


She finally realises that he is the king and she is the pawn and always has been. He had a plan from day one. The friends he discouraged her from seeing, she has not seen since. Her pain increases daily. His favourite occupation seems to be shouting at her. He has a very short fuse. She thinks about taking her own life many times. (He finally realises that his plan was flawed from the very start. He didn't intend to end up in this situation, as her carer, having to do nearly every single thing for her whilst having no intimate contact with her whatsoever. He thinks about taking his own life many times.)


She sees that there is no solution to this problem. She desperately, desperately wants him to leave as she hasn't loved him for years. Just the thought of him touching her in an intimate way is unbearable. However, him leaving her is not an option as she has neither the funds nor anyone to look after her if she returned to living alone. (He sees there is no solution to the problem that she has created. He feels like a slave now and the house they have always lived in is not even his own. She owned it before they met. He still loves her but never says that he does, expecting her to realise, and cannot understand why she does not reciprocate.)


She hates him, cannot even bear to look at him. Sometimes even doing that can set off one of his unbelievable rages. How did she end up here? How did he do this to her without her knowledge? She feels as if she has no one left to turn to and that even if she had everyone has their own life to live, has made their own mistakes, but probably not as catastrophic as her own. (He still desires her and that both frustrates and annoys him. This was supposed to be his perfect life. His reward for staying in his previous marriage. His first wife could not, would not, be moulded. In fact she turned it around on him, moulded him instead. He was still a living breathing slave but he did her bidding whilst she was healthy in every way. Just lazy. Peel me a grape dear.)


She wants him to go, but can't let him, as he is indispensable, just as she now realises he planned from day one. As he cannot leave she needs to find ways of being her old self without him preventing her. Most of all she needs to be alone. (He needs her to be with him as he cannot be alone. Deep down he believes that he is unlovable and not deserving of her. He will not accept that he has serious mental health issues from his childhood, nor will he ever discuss them.)


She searches for a way to leave. (He searches for a way to make her stay.)


At the start her love was clear, growing deeper every day. (Throughout his love was green, growing deeper every day.)


How Green Is Your Love?





August 05, 2022 16:35

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11 comments

John K Adams
21:13 Aug 12, 2022

This is so well observed, it is excruciating to read. I hoped its obvious truth might be a work of imagination. Sorry for you it is not. It is tragic what people do to each other. and we do to ourselves. Been there, done that. Had to get out. Am happier now than ever in my life. Don't be a martyr.

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Graham Kinross
08:50 Aug 09, 2022

His dependency is toxic. They both need out. This is well done and too accurate to life.

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Caitlyn Kilbee
09:21 Aug 10, 2022

Thank you Graham. It's my life so it's 100% accurate. I knew his dependency was toxic when I first went out with him at fifteen but I was too young to understand those words. I've never heard that description of him before but it describes him perfectly. Fancy a second career as a therapist?😄😄

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Graham Kinross
10:08 Aug 10, 2022

Maybe, not sure I can be bothered doing a course though. Maybe I can be an agony uncle with a column in a newspaper. I think most people have been in bad relationships at one point, knowing it doesn’t work but trying to make it work because they’re dependent or in love.

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Caitlyn Kilbee
15:29 Aug 11, 2022

Very true Graham

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Beth Jackson
18:34 Aug 08, 2022

Wow, Caitlyn! The way this story progresses is masterfully done - at the start we see both sides of the story but with each step we see his true intentions come out and the main character becoming more and more trapped. I see in the comments below this is your story - thank you for sharing, this is an important story. I admire your honesty and courage. 💕💕

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Caitlyn Kilbee
21:42 Aug 08, 2022

I think writing is about the truth, no matter how painful that might be. It's the first time I've written entirely my own story but there's always something in each of my stories that actually happened. Thanks Beth for your words. Life isn't easy or what I thought it was going to be but it is what it is. It's just annoying that my teenage self had more awareness than my adult self. Should've kicked him to the kerb again😂😂

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16:50 Aug 07, 2022

An interesting way to use the prompt. Kind of an overview of their relationship from a detached, emotionless, almost clinical perspective. I would've liked some sort of real interaction between them to feel the dynamic of their relationship instead of reading a case history. I think it's a story many can relate to; however, I disagree with the line, "How did he do this to her without her knowledge? " After all this time and recognition throughout the story, how can she ask herself this question? Of course she knows how, she let him.

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Caitlyn Kilbee
22:24 Aug 07, 2022

The reason I chose to do it from a clinical perspective is for distance from it. There is no real interaction. This is the story of my own married life to my second husband. My therapist loved it. What's done is done and we're both stuck in a situation we'd rather not be in. The difference is I'm the one who's been in unbearable pain for the last 15 years. Thank you for your comments though.

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14:40 Aug 08, 2022

Cool! It's cool you were able to write something so close to yourself. I'm not surprised your therapist liked it. It's a well drawn case study type story which must have been very difficult and yet cathartic at the same time. Thank you for sharing. I hope you get some relief from your pain.

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Caitlyn Kilbee
21:44 Aug 08, 2022

Thanks Jeanette. It was cathartic in its own way.

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