Half and Half

Posted on September 5th, 2019

Meghan and Charlie were 32 when they met at a college reunion. They talked through the reunion and into the night, and for many days and nights after that. They quickly realized they got each other in ways neither had experienced with anyone else before, important ways which made them matter deeply to each other. Life was more possible now.

This didn’t mean the end of all the incompleteness, awkwardness, and sense of not fitting in which they each often experienced out in the world. But they were a haven for each other. And when there was some confusion between them, they could easily clear it up. Even when no one else understood them, they understood each other.

Flash forward 10 years. They’re married, have two children, he’s a social worker and she’s a teacher. Their life together is settled, comfortable. They often tell each other how thankful they are to be together, still remembering how misunderstood they felt before they met. 

That was the year Charlie met Larry, a dynamic ER doctor he became close friends with. Meghan and Charlie both had friends they spent time with, but Larry got Charlie almost as much as Meghan did, although in a completely different way. It was as if there were two Charlies. Aspects of Charlie which had not been that important with Meghan were heightened in his friendship with Larry. They hiked and biked and talked about cars and photography obsessively.

But of course there weren’t two Charlies, so the energy Charlie put into his friendship with Larry inevitably left less for his relationship with Meghan. Meghan tried to be accommodating, because she saw how important this friendship was to Charlie. Truth to tell, he had been becoming somewhat stuck in his life before he met Larry. But she suffered a loss. 

Charlie’s new, expanded world left Meghan feeling less whole. Something seemed missing in her now. It had always been missing, but her life with Charlie had allowed her to slide by it. When some difficult situation at work made feelings of inadequacy pop up and stare her in the face, Charlie was always there to wipe away her tears. He still was there, but she increasingly felt he was different from her. She was alone again.

She thought about whether they would end up divorced, but he was still Charlie, they still had a relationship she wanted. Yet she saw now that her life with Charlie had enabled her to avoid growing stronger by facing life on her own. She didn’t know quite how she was going to change that, but it was going to take a lot more than another yoga class. 

She had been a half person when she had found her other half person in Charlie, but now she had to face that two halves don’t make a whole. She needed to be whole in herself, not through relying on someone else.

Life was about to change. For once, that seemed exciting rather than frightening.

Posted in Individual Counseling

Please remember, this is a blog. It is not psychotherapy or treatment of any kind and is not a substitute for the individual treatment you can get from going to see a good therapist.

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