When There is Nothing More to Say to Your Lover

At a certain point, there is nothing more to say. You can repeat yourself, of course, but if you have not been heard the first thousand times, the next 250 probably won’t matter anyway.

They will grind up your insides and do the same to the one who is tired of your pleas, complaints, and sadness. The logic and reasons you spray at him are like the water in a hose over grass already drenched, changing nothing.

You live together. That’s the sad thing. You are touch starved amid thousands of opportunities for touch. You used to try. Now you’ve given up, but still, the topic arises. The one you are with doesn’t listen but interrupts while you ask why. He gives no answers and doesn’t seem to have them.

He looks at you, hears you, and has no idea what you are talking about.

The man lives in a world of books and television, work and buddies, small bets on football, and hobbies. The rest of the world, the life you shared, the youthful passion — all that was — is unremembered and unthought. Oh yeah, it was like that, wasn’t it? It all happened in the time of cavemen, a now-distant epoch that seems to have vanished. I’m not a caveman, he says. Is that who you want? Uhhhh…

But he’s an excellent provider; there’s that. And a swell father and you do your part more than ever. Taking care of the social end of the family, helping with homework, and much more.

Does that matter, or is it assumed, you wonder? He never says.

Your integrity falls into the category of qualities taken for granted. You would never cheat anyone, never lie, never be unfaithful. You are honorable, though sometimes unkind when the frustration and loneliness, the craving can’t be ignored.

He won’t go to marital therapy. His life satisfies him.

Sometimes you feel like a male honey bee — very strange since you are female. But the male — the drone — mates and then dies. At times you sense you are dying inside.

How was it for you? You asked the insect. You wanted to know.

Let’s just say we drones mate once for less than five seconds. Heard enough?

The tiny fellow expired before he could say more.

Yet you love him, the man in your life, and know he loves you — in his way. You have grown out of sync.

Was Tolstoy right when he wrote about families in Anna Karenina?

All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.

Nobody’s fault. It’s nobody’s fault, you tell yourself. I shouldn’t complain, you say; look at all that is fine. But, just to check things out, you speak to your dearest friend. 

For the first time, to anyone.

You want her assurance that your life is good, even though there are things it lacks in the department of the heart. So you speak, and when you finish…

You: Everything is ok, right?



(More silence).


More silence, then…



Both paintings are works of Joan (pronounced Juan) Miro. The first is The Escape Ladder (1940). The second is  Persons Haunted by a Bird (1938).

17 thoughts on “When There is Nothing More to Say to Your Lover

  1. Wow, I have a feeling a lot of women out there are going to be nodding their heads wondering how Dr. Stein got into their’s, perhaps some men, too.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. I feel what Evelyn said – so much so. I think your perspective on the quiet suffering resonates…sounds familiar. I wish that was not the case, but I see what you see, Dr. Stein. The Tolstoy quote from Anna Karenina is perfect and I’ve leaned into it a time or two when I’ve been in helping mode with others. 💗

    Liked by 2 people

    • drgeraldstein

      Thanks, Vicki. The world is what it is, whether we choose to see it or not. It is a particularly difficult moment on the question of choosing to see. As Yeats wrote:

      Turning and turning in the widening gyre
      The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
      Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
      Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
      The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
      The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
      The best lack all conviction, while the worst
      Are full of passionate intensity.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. We do like to fool ourselves into believing all sorts of things, even when those things are very plainly not working. I certainly did it for a long time- too long Dr. Stein. Yes, this post resonates with me for sure!

    Liked by 3 people

  4. I must say, Dr. Stein, that you have become a master at this craft we call writing 🙂 The agony of an unfulfilled married life seeped through each line of the woman’s voice. The exasperated response from her dearest friend echoed mine.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. drgeraldstein

    Your praise means a great deal to me, Rosaliene. Thank you.

    Those shared experiences that are a part of many lives sometimes feel very personal when expressed in the words of another. Would that they could better connect the people of the world on shared missions to save it.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Tamara Kulish from https://tamarakulish.com/

    It seems to me like you have truly seen and heard the people who you write about, and being seen and heard when one has not been is so very important.

    My second husband slowly changed from being a friend to me and attentive when I spoke, to shutting me out. He had led us to move from Canada to the USA, following his dream. When success eluded him and he felt responsible for the financial struggles he put us through, he could no longer look at me or hear me. He ended up reverting to the toxic communication patterns his parents lived, for he felt he was worthless and deserved to have his life in shambles. There was no way out of the corner he had painted himself into, and he became like an animal trapped in a corner. My only choice was to leave, for I could not help him any longer, and I needed to protect myself and my own sanity.

    Unfortunately that is how it ends with many couples, because there aren’t the skills to get out of those corners.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. There’s nothing lonelier than a bad marriage and then the courage it takes to broach the subject with someone else? Wow, you’ve captured it perfectly!

    I just started a thriller whose premise mirrors your post. Maybe you are writing novels in your spare time – because you certainly have the talent and insight to do so!

    Thanks for another interesting and thought-provoking post!


  8. drgeraldstein

    No novels, but I appreciate the thought, Wynne. In fact, I don’t even read thrillers. Looking at life is thrilling & scary enough! Thanks for your praise.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s