Saturday, July 20th, 2024

B Book Excerpts by Jean Loxley-Barnard
The Hope Trap -- Separate Bedrooms



THE HOPE TRAP -- SEPARATE BEDROOMS

The following is an excerpt from The Hope Trap, Jean Loxley-Barnard's forthcoming book.

I needed the relaxing weekend at my sister's home â€" my safe haven. On Sunday morning I was surprised when Matt asked me if I'd like to go out to breakfast. I was pleased to get such attention from him.

Matt had been there for me at other significant times in my life. It was always a surprise to me when he would sit down across from me and begin a serious private conversation. The last such had taken place just after I left Rob the last time, before the intervention. Matt had been the one who made me think through what I would require in order to take Rob back.

He had been very serious in giving that last advice. "If you take him back," Matt had cautioned then, "you must acknowledge that you will get more of the same. Rob will never change." He said I could choose to take Rob back, but I must not be Pollyanna, expecting anything to be different.


I assured Matt that I would not take Rob back.
I told myself I would not take Rob back.
Let go, I told myself. Let go now.
A tiny little voice inside of me refused to agree.
I pretended it wasn't there.
Deep down, way deep down,
I heard its silence.



I had made a commitment to myself then, spoken aloud to Matt at his insistence. "I will not take Rob back unless he stops drinking, goes to AA and has therapy."

All of those things had taken place. Even Matt had come to believe that things would be different. Now my brother-in-law knew the other shoe had dropped.

"I know I'm climbing way, way out there on a limb," he began, "but I have to tell you: this time you can't take him back."

I was stunned. Never before had Matt made such a direct statement. Always, he'd left the choice up to me, with cautions and options.

I didn't think I showed my hope of reconciliation when I told Matt and Lee about Rob's letter of the day before. But I must have. Matt clearly wanted to blow out my little candle and make me see the black hole of reality.

Matt was so intense, so concerned. I knew I needed to listen to his counsel. He was always level headed, conciliatory, always willing to see the other person's point of view. This time, there was certainty in his voice.

I assured Matt that I would not take Rob back. I told myself I would not take Rob back. Let go, I told myself. Let go now.

A tiny little voice inside of me refused to agree. I pretended it wasn't there. Deep down, way deep down, I heard its silence.