No matter how hard I try. I just can’t bring myself to chain people down.
What am I talking about?
Picture this: one night, my partner and I are chilling at home. The baby is sleeping, finally. Then, all of a sudden, there’s a phone call. It’s from his workmate. It’s his workmate’s birthday. And he turns around to me with those longing eyes. Obviously, he wants to go out. Arguably, some people would say that I should let him stay to keep things fair in the parenting department. But nothing ever is fair in my world.
So I let him go, albeit very reluctantly. I silently go to our bedroom and cry my miserable eyes out. It hurts to know he’d still want to go out with his friends, leaving all the responsibility of our child to me again.
It has been this way ever since I got pregnant. Since I got pregnant, I would want to go out, too. Spend some time at night in bars. Drinking, probably smoking. But I stopped all that. And I naively hoped he would because we were both “pregnant.” But I guess it’s just the girl whose left to carry it out alone. So, no. There is no such thing as both of you getting “pregnant.” It’s really just the girl. Period.
And when I gave birth, I still couldn’t hit the party scene because I’m breastfeeding.
It’s my choice to get pregnant. It’s my choice to breastfeed. It’s my choice to stop all vices that could be detrimental to my child’s health.
And I guess, it’s his choice as well to continue living life like he doesn’t have me, much less a child with me. It’s his choice to go out at night and not come back until daybreak. It’s his choice to not answer my calls and text messages.
And even though I know he could do that all over again if I let him go out, what can I actually do? Tell him to stay? Two things could happen: 1) he would still go out (which is painful) and 2) he would stay but then sulk throughout the night probably wishing I were dead (equally as painful).
I choose to let him go. I can’t bring myself to chain anybody down. It hurts like hell knowing he would choose friends/ workmates over me. But, as cheesy as it sounds, loving is letting go. I firmly believe that. One day, I’m gonna have to let go of my child, too. If I don’t let myself get used to letting people go, I will always be hurt. I will never heal. I will never be happy on my own.
We can’t hold people down no matter how hard we try. It is always their choice to stay. If they leave, then good. You can do other stuff to make you happy or focus on work that matters to you. If they stay, then better. It means, given their freedom of choice, they decided that you’re better company than anyone else on the planet.
You don’t have to be happy all the time. One of the things I learned from Mark Manson is that the things that do good don’t always feel good. But that doesn’t mean you should stop doing good. Letting go feels bad but it does good for your heart, for your mind, and for yourself.
I let him go because, slowly, I’ve realized I owe it to myself to be happy on my own. After so many years of trying to keep him with me all the time, I feel exhausted. People leave. People change. Situations change. It would do me good to just accept things for what they are. Whether he makes good or bad choices is entirely up to him. And whether or not I let him control my happiness is entirely up to me.