Category Archives: Relationships

Too Many Emotions, Not Enough Time

I try so hard not to delve into specifics about our relationship troubles here, but as I explained to Brad last night, this blog is my therapy, my outlet. It’s how I connect to my friends and family, it’s how I gain and share insight into the crazy life that is single parenthood.

 

Denial, anger, depression, bargaining, acceptance. In no particular order, though the way I listed them is the commonly referred-to order, are the stages of grief. Everyone spends different amounts of time in those stages, some skip right over a stage or two. But no one is wrong about how long they stay in a particular stage or which ones they go back to.

I was in denial for a very long time, it’s what contributed to this problem going on for so long. Monday was anger: anger at Brad, anger at myself, anger at the whole situation in general. Tuesday I moved into depression, certain (as I always seem to be during these moments) that this was the end. Yesterday I moved into bargaining, kind of. It wasn’t so much a “I’ll give you this if you’ll give me that” but more like pleading with Brad and with myself to dig deeper, to try to find something we can hold onto while we try to figure out if we should continue trying.

Today I moved back into anger. Anger at myself for ignoring the big items every couple needs to discuss before getting too serious. You know, the important things like how long we each want to wait before (or if we even should) moving in together, how long we each want to wait before we get married, if we want to have kids or not, where we should live. The BIG stuff. Things that we should have talked about in-depth before we got this far. Some of these things we talked about earlier on in the relationship, but I was so afraid that my absolutes would contradict Brad’s absolutes, that I refrained from saying the whole truth. And I’m so mad at myself for that!

I’m mad at Brad today, too, because I don’t feel continuing this conversation is important to him. I understand that he is busy with work, that his job requires a lot more of his time and attention right now, so I know why we’re not talking right now. But a little acknowledgement that he’s seen/read my message and will get back to me when he has time would be nice. But what I’m really angry about is that he has plans tonight that conflict with continuing our conversation. Plans that were made DURING our talk last night! I’m so fed up with being pushed to the sidelines. Of course, I told him this in my last message to him, but I’ve received no acknowledgement, no, “Hey, I’m busy, can we talk about this when we both have a lunch break?” No response.

We both speak a different language. I’ve read the Love Languages book and understand what language I speak and which language I need to hear, but I cannot figure him out. Our languages are so different, the way we cope with things is so different that we infuriate the other with our processing.

We are not compatible. Or, at least, we cannot see how we are compatible and how we need to focus on that.

My feelings are bouncing from hysteria at the thought of losing him to anger/frustration and wanting to just throw in the towel now to anger at myself for letting this go on so long when clearly it’s not working to hysteria again. I can’t focus on much else.

I feel like the decision we’ll make will be made shortly, though I do not know it’s ETA. I’m feeling so much all at once and I don’t know which emotion to trust.

What do you do when you’re not sure you can stay with the man you want to spend the rest of your life with?

We Can Do This

I’m scared.

Scared out of my mind that we will not recover from this. I’m scared of living my life without you in it. You are my best friend. I always feel like I should tell you everything. But I get scared that things like this will happen when I tell you my truest feelings. I think I’m afraid of my feelings. I’m afraid of getting hurt again. Not hurt by these arguments but I’m scared of a deep hurt if you leave. I’m afraid of being completely honest with you because it’s caused us so much stress many times. I’ve loved you since the first time I met you. Not as deeply as I do now, but something inside of me knew that we belonged together.

I believe my friend was right when she said that we both have a tremendous amount of love for each other. I think perhaps we are afraid of that love. Afraid that it’s progressed too quickly and too deeply. We’ve both become so afraid of the potential for more pain we have become hesitant to show our love for one another.

I want to marry you. I want to spend the rest of my life with you. That scares the crap out of me! I was so hurt and scarred by the end of my marriage that I never thought I would ever love somebody the way I love you or have their love in return. I did not think I was capable of that kind of love and I never thought that I would deserve it. I spent so many years alone that I just gave up on thinking that I could ever truly love someone again, trust them implicitly, and give my whole self to them. Feeling the way I do about you scares me because I don’t want to lose that, I don’t want to lose you. Your love for me through all of the good and bad times we have had has shown me that I am not only capable of loving you that much in return but that I am worthy of your affection. I mean it as a compliment when I say that I am no longer in awe of you, I no longer consider you better than me. I finally feel that I am your equal, that I deserve your love. We both deserve to be happy with each other. We need to be more expressive of our love.

I need you to show me your love. Not in grand, sweep me off my feet displays, but little things. Kisses on my forehead, cheek or lips whenever you feel like I need it, when you feel like you need it, or just because. Flowers not just because you’re sorry or because it’s a special day, but just because. Hold my hand because you want to. Tell me I’m beautiful when I’ve dressed up, when I’m in my regular clothes, when I’m having a “fat day” and I feel none of my clothes fit. Cook me dinner. Surprise me.

I love that you will spontaneously tell me you love me. I love that you make the bed or move the couch back where it belongs or help me clean the dishes after dinner. I love that you cuddle with me as we watch a movie on my incredibly too small, uncomfortable couch. I love that smile on your face when you bend down to kiss me. I love that you laugh at me when I feel bad that you “die” in a video game. I love that when we say goodnight you tell me that you will talk to me in the morning. I love that you get along so well with my daughter, share in my parenting frustrations and don’t correct people when they assume that she is yours. I love that you enjoy spending time with my family. I love that you drive a 140-mile round trip to see me each weekend.

I have faith that we can make this work. We need to listen to each other more, accept the compromises the other makes and not make the other’s feelings a dismissal of our own. If we ask each other for their honest answer, we need to accept it and not try to make the other feel they like they gave the wrong answer. We will disagree on things in the future, but rather than take it as a personal assault, we need to acknowledge our differences, take a little time to see if we can come to an agreement and not get upset if we cannot find an agreeable compromise. Sometimes things just won’t fit our schedules or one of us won’t be comfortable with a situation. And that’s OK. We need to not look at that as a failure of ourselves or our relationship, we need to deal with it gracefully, accept the other’s feelings about it, acknowledge that it didn’t work, learn from it and move on to the next part of our lives.

We can do this. We have focused so much on how our past solutions didn’t work. Perhaps they were more complicated than they should have been and we set ourselves up for failure. Perhaps we didn’t give them enough time and trial to really see results. We want to fix this, we want to avoid these situations as much as possible. That speaks for the hope that we both have for this relationship. We’ve not given up yet, we’re still willing to try.

We can do this.

Pain In My Soul

I’m breaking my promise. I’m a horrid person. But I cannot keep this inside. I have to write. I have to share. I have to grieve.

I honestly cannot tell you if I am still in a relationship with Brad or not. I just don’t know. It’s been 17 hours since we last spoke and 6 hours since I wrote a 2.5 page letter to him, which he has yet to acknowledge.

I over-reacted. Again. How Brad has managed to stay with me this entire time with all of my over-reactions is just amazing to me. Except that this time I may have finally pushed him away.

We had another of our disagreements. Disagreement isn’t really the right word. Misunderstanding isn’t it, either, although it did eventually turn into a misunderstanding. To put it plainly, he asked if we could help a friend. I told him my concerns but agreed to helping. Brad focused on my concern rather than my compromise and it turned into a heated discussion about my reason for attending (or not) an event with him next month.

Which turned into a disagreement about how needy I am in our relationship.

Which turned into a misunderstanding about what he meant and really said.

Which turned into me yelling at him and saying things I didn’t mean.

Which turned into me crying.

That hasn’t turned into anything else, yet. I’m still crying.

My heart is breaking because I know that we truly love each other with all of our hearts. My soul hurts because the man I’m certain I belong with for the rest of my life is hurting from the horrid words I threw at him last night. And for once I’m not over-reacting when I think that this might truly be the end of “us.”

So many times we misunderstand each other or try so hard to make the other happy at our own expense or misinterpret body language. We are so in love that we try so hard not to hurt the other, but our attempts backfire and cause more pain. We are both so afraid of the next “disagreement” that we walk on eggshells. We decide to be more open with each other. We decide to not be more open with each other. We decide to respond right away with our feelings. We decide to give each other time to figure out a rational response.

It seems we each want different things out of this relationship, but we’re so afraid of hurting the other’s feelings about it, we bottle it up. And then it explodes after the slightest tremor.

I asked a friend for an honest opinion on what seems to be happening and I received wonderful, if not painfully truthful, feedback. But the only people who can fix this are the two that are in this relationship. It seems there is no easy answer for us. And, by his silence, it seems that the answer I didn’t want is the one I’m going to get.

And it hurts. It hurts so much.