Doomed Romance: The Silencer

A John Legend cover of the ultimate “Doomed Romance” song, Lauryn Hill’s “Ex Factor”

As part of my series “Doomed Romance,” I’ve been sharing journal entries and short stories by myself about my failed, but brief and emotionally brutal marriage. The following is a series of vignettes about the emotional turmoil of the relationship before we married. The biggest issue between Harold and I was always the lack of communication, as in, he didn’t think that it was important that we communicated — ever, and would punish me with his silence.

December 31, 2000

Unlike other times when others casted shadows of doubt in my mind, this time it appears to be all me coming to grips with the harsh reality.

He will never smile just because smiling is a natural reaction one has when another person they like smiles at them. He will never be able to get along with my family. He will never be able to adapt or fit into my world. He will never enjoy art films and art galleries. He will never celebrate any holidays, religious or secular. He will never be able to ask me questions or engage in conversation with me in the manor that I am accustomed to and enjoy.

He will never be “talkative.” He will never be hopelessly, foolishly romantic. He will never dance with me. He will never know or understand why I need to be talked to, consoled and loved in a particular way that he cannot perform. He will never learn how to handle his money in a responsible way. He will never pay back the money I loaned him. He will never learn how to communicate. He will never understand me, or if he does understand me, he will never have the ability to prove this to me because his behavior hints at either ignorance or he knows and is not willing to adapt.

He will never show interest in what I am doing and trying to become.

I both want him to be the one and don’t want him to be the one. If he is the one I think of all the things I need and want that I will have to learn to live without. And I don’t want that. If he isn’t the one I wonder if I will ever met a man like him again in a million years. So brilliant yet so conflicted. So fascinating and memorizing. He’s like a novel that I’d love to read over and over again. He’s amazingly complex in all the ways I like. He’s intelligent, spiritual, independent, strong sense of self, mature, logical … most of the time, physically strong, nice teeth, beautiful hair, dark skin and patient. He loves animals. He loves his people – in a love/hate sort of way. He’s honorable in a way that most men are not honorable anymore.

But is he what I want?

February 4, 2001

My father thinks that it’s pity? Is it pity?

Harold thinks I want them to undermine me? Do I?

But this isn’t about them, right? Its supposed to be about me. All about me. Only me. If everyone did not exist and it was me and me alone what would want to do? If only I could tap into my subconscious to rediscover how I feel. I know that my love for Harold hasn’t been as manic and bizarre as my love for other men. I’d pay money right now to be hypnotized and have a hypnotist discover how I truly feel. I can’t tell where my own emotions begin and theirs end. I keep telling myself I have to go through with it because I said I would. And I know that once I’m around him again I will love him again and wish to only be with him.

Cruel fate brought us together. Star crossed lovers destine for trouble. I search for a sign from God, anybody of what to do. Saying is not doing. In the end you must simply chance it all on a roll of the dice. Stop hemming and hawing on fate. I have delayed this decision for far too long.

Tried the magic 8 ball – 3 out of 3 for Harold. But what the hell does it know?

I need facts. Decisions should be based on fact.


My sister does not want me to marry Harold
I have given everyone mixed signals
I’ve given everyone mixed signals because I want to please everyone and can’t make up my mind
I originally predicted our relationship to last two dates and end in friendship
I want to die whenever I think he is going to leave me
I can’t imagine my future without him
My parents think I don’t know what the hell I am doing and believe I will chicken out
I believe in Harold even though my family does not
I am wishy-washy

This all started because I didn’t want to lie to my family, but I lie to everyone all the time — about how I really feel. About what I want. It is time to stop lying to them and myself.

I don’t want a wedding
I was immature and angry
It’s not my fault things are as fucked up as they are
We can make this work
We are … supposed to be together … I think?

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