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bunnyb
I agree with zoya. Although I said that I thought your honesty here would be therapeutic, it's only the beginning. None of us are professionals and we do think that you need further help talking through your problems.
LoveMyPugs
we are cancelling the wedding. i just sent most of the necessary emails. i have to make one phone call when i get home. i also called the therapist we talked to years ago. left her message and i await her call back. i don't think i'll be back on bust. i won't say for good but it will be a long time before i post again. i'm sorry. nothing against all of you. everyone was helpful with their concerns and suggestions.

thanks,

sheena
culturehandy
((((((((((pugs and Mr))))))))))

I don't want you to go, but if you feel that's best, then do be it. I am truly sorry that you have to cancel, but right now I think it's best for the both of you. I think you are both wonderful people, and I don't want to see you loose each other. Sometimes, in situations like this, it's hard to see the forest for the trees.
pixiedust
(((the pugs)))
Wow guys, you really do have a lot to sort out. I hope you guys are able to work things out because it does sound like you truely love each other and want what's best for the other person, but that may not necessarily be in line with what's best for youeself and that is a very hard place to be in.
I do agree with GCK too.
Once I was out on my own after being with my ex for 11 years I learned so much about myself that I didn't know beforehand. I was able to step back and look at things from another percspecitive, I could see where things went wrong and what I could have done to save things. In my case, I am glad I moved on, but I definitely use what I learned from that to make my relationship with Mr. Pixie better.
You know, even though I was in the same situation with the last guy where I was desperate to get married, i didn't feel that at all once I met Mr. Pixie, because I felt the committment from him very early on. To us getting married really was just signing a paper because we were already there emoptionally. And I think it really sounds like that might be part of LMP problem...she's not feeling it.
Religion is a hard issue to get over too. Mr. Pixie had a very bad experience with a church that hurt him and soured him on the whole experience and it took us a very long time to find a church that we both like. It's still struggle that we go through, but religion is very important to me and it is also important to me to expose my children to the right kind of religion.
I think you both have very valid issues and I don't think there is a quick and easy fix. Going through with the wedding isn't going to be the band aid that makes it all better.
I wish you guys luck and hope you both find the happiness you deserve.
girltrouble
(((((((((pugs))))))))))

so sorry.

you know the funny thing is reading both of your posts, you are both so concerned with each other but there are things that you've just missed hearing. but there is a LOT of love there. i think the therapy will be good for you.

but if you two do read this, i'd like to say something to you and the mr.

mr.: you said you think there might be someone more suited for pugs, and rattled off that funny list, but i think on some level, you have to trust your partner to know what they want, and what makes them happy. i'm sure pugs could write a list like yours for you too, but the thing about those lists-- they omit the chemistry that you and pugs already have. that history, those experiences you've shared, that bond is something that transcends just those boxes you could check off. you guys have been thru so much. trust pugs that she knows well enough what she wants most, ok?

pugs, with the bdsm thing-- everyone is like that. even me. there is something that i always say about everything, but it is even more so with bdsm--"works in theory, not in practice." thing is not to take your experiences and reject them totally, throwing out the baby with the bathwater. you take the little bits that you like and you expound, expand and explore them. but the things that don't work you note, and move on. for me atleast it's about learning and self knowledge.

i'm going to email you bout the rest pugs. don't leave, you are a very important part of the lounge and i know we'd all miss you terribly. we all just want the best for you, k?
neurotic.nelly

delurks
Edited for drunken cheesiness... over to the confessions thread I goes.

Good luck to the pugs...

((((LuvMyPugs)))) (((((Mr. Pugs))))
relurks
roseviolet
I've been off-line a lot over the past week, so I wasn't able to keep up with the up-dates in here. Personally, I'm glad that LMP & Mr. P have chosen to take this issue off-line again. This situation is just too important & heartbreaking.

As I read their posts, I could not help but draw parallels between their situation and my relationship with my ex. It would be so easy for me to make the assumption that they should do what we did, but for some reason I just can't do that this time. Maybe because they've been together so long. Maybe because people told me for years that I should leave my ex, but it didn't mean anything until I was ready to it myself. But mainly it's because I could be wrong & what was right for me may not be right for them. Only they can figure out what they need to do next. Whatever fate has in store for them, I wish them both strength, love, & peace in the future, no matter where their paths lead.
girlygirlgag
Hi Pugs,

I think you have the right to tell Mr. Pugs to seal the deal, or get to walking. I know how hard it is to NOT feel like a failure when the man you love drags his feet to commit to you. But the truth of the matter is, is that you are not. I have been in the same position, and almost left Mr GGG, over it. There was no secret that marriage was important to you. You didn't lie about it. You didn't spring it on Mr. Pugs. His reluctance and cold feet are a failure on his part to the promises he has made you.

I don't care that that woman "put a bunch of gibbery god corinthian hoo ha" in your head, because she didn't. It was already there, she just brought it out. You have a right to be upset about a four year long engagement. When shallow reasons like money situations, are brought up as a reason to not get married, it's disingenuous. How is money going to change the foundation of your relationship? The last thing I knew was that marriage was for better and FOR WORSE. For richer and FOR POORER. A lot of people who are not Rockefellers, get married. A lot of marriages have good times where both people are working, some endure job losses, sickness, bad moods, pimples, stomach flus, depression, weight gain, weight loss, crying jags, laughter, babies, life changes, going back to school, graduating, and then death.

That's life. That's marriage.

It sounds like the two of you have been through a lot of that already. Marriage shouldn't be an obstacle and it is quite telling that it is.

Mr. Pugs, LMP will change. So will you. You can't stop that and you have to appreciate and deal with it. People grow and people change. There will be bad moods, new trends and phases. That's life. Trying to control your relationship, by giving reasons why you can't get married, even though you proposed, isn't going to work. I'm not trying to be callous to your feelings, but everything you mentioned, every reason you have given to break the promise of marriage, is really just a way for you to keep control of this relationship and a way to keep things the same. I think you are terrified of change.

You can't stop change, it is going to happen. That church didn't ruin 12 years of a "great" relationship. 12 years needed to progress to 13 years and 13 was sick of the stratus quo and wanted to be different than the preceding 12 years. That ultimatum didn't come out of nowhere, and it was not the plant of some religious zealot.

Relationships are living, breathing, entities.

If they are to survive, they need to change, to evolve and to adapt. If you don't want to marry this woman, you need to let her go. You own a house together, she has stood by you through so much good and bad already, so it is time for you to do right by her. If that means marriage, you need to get the both of you to a counselor and get ready to make this plunge, or you need to let her go, so she can live her life and find someone who holds the same values and wants the same thing she does.


The tricky thing about ultimatums are that 95% of the time, they don't work and if you make them, you have to stick to them. You both are at an impasse. It's time to decide whether you continue this journey together or apart.

It's not an easy process for either of you and it hurts my heart for both of you. I spent the entire fall going through the same thing. Mr GGG would hold marriage on this pedestal, yanking it away whenever I did or said anything he didn't like, and he kept it up until I damn near lost my mind, and packed up my bags. I got the engagement, and we are making the strides towards the marriage, counselors in tow. I am hopeful we will make it, but it has not been an easy process.

Much love to both of you....... back to lurking.




dayglowpink
My relationship is going to shit, and I'm losing my mind with paranoia and jealousy and anger and fear. We have so many problems I couldn't begin to list them all here. I just wanted to vent and get a little Bustie love. I've been so angry, hurt, and depressed about things that are going on between us that I've been "being shitty" to him in his words. That makes him pull away and not want to be around me, and somehow he thinks that's okay to just take off and not deal with our problems cause he doesn't feel like being around me when I'm not in a cheery mood. I can only see negative repercussions on our relationship from that. How are we supposed to work together and get back to being close with each other when he's running off at any sign of negativity on my part and making me even madder. I seriously question whether we can make our relationship work, but I'm being a hardheaded idiot and continue to put up with his crap. I don't want to break up, but a lot of the time I feel like I should. I txted him some really shitty things tonight, and now he's not coming home, and I regret it, and it's making me so sad.
neurotic.nelly
*the curtain opens and neurotic.nelly is sitting out on the porch as the sun goes down with a glass of red wine...*

nn speaking to dayglowpink: your situation would drive me buggy, and then he'd know that leaving the domicile when I am not feeling well without support isn't the best solution to our problems. I'd communicate it to him and see how it goes. I feel your frustrations. I have many these days, some similar and some not. Relationships.

It's like girlygirlgag says, they are living, breathing, entities. Yes, I agree. Sometimes, my relationship intensive care.
ETA: this post should go under inebriated ramblings.
(((dayglowpink)))
kittenb
I don't care that he does not "like" to be around you when you are not in a "cheery" mood. Relationships are not just about the good times. Gods, if I have learned nothing else this past year it is that being in love can sometimes really suck because you don't have the freedom to just run away from problems. You have to consider the needs of someone else. Yes it can be difficult but that is what being a grown up is about.

{{{dayglowpink}}} I'm sorry that it all feels so wrong right now. sad.gif Do you know what it is that is making you paranoid? Is he giving you reasons not to trust him?
roseviolet
((((((((DayGlowPink))))))))
Sounds like a pretty vicious cycle you've gotten yourself into. He pisses you off, you get cranky, he doesn't want to spend time with a cranky person, which just makes you more cranky, and on and on, over and over again.

I won't offer you advice since it sounds like you just want support (although I have some advice if you want to hear it). However, I will make one suggestion:
Make some Frustration Cookies! I've also heard them called Aggression Cookies. They're great because you can beat & mash the cookie dough as hard & as much as you want & it only makes the cookie better! And when you're done, not only will you feel a bit better, but you'll have delicious home-made baked goods. What could be better?

dayglowpink
Thanks guys. I think we broke up for real tonight, so I'm moooving over to the moooving on thread. sad.gif
musicfit
I don't know if this belongs in the Family Problems thread, since my husband and I are in no way dysfunctional, we're just in a huge rut right now. I'm just wanting to yell, help! I was told that this post would work better in this thread, so here goes.

At this point, I don't know where to turn. I have talked my friends' ears off and I don't want to bother them anymore. So...I guess the best I can do is post on an anonymous thread and hope that someone has advice.

So, here goes...I was recently dismissed from the graduate program that I originally started. I spent 5 years preparing to be a therapist and now I'm going to graduate with a general masters' degree and am scrambling doing a makeshift "internship" and hoping that I can skate by on the concentrations the original masters program came up with for my general masters degree. I will never be a therapist. Ever. Now I'm back at square 1, looking for another career. This has been (of course) devastating for me. My sweet husband has been wonderful. He has stayed strong for me and supported me through the whole horrible ordeal.

My husband is an adjunct instructor who has been looking for a full-time teaching job for the past 5 years. He's working an office job just to make ends meet and is getting frustrated with his stale routine. He grew up in a poor family and now he is realizing that he is still poor and is just wanting out of that kind of lifestyle, wants to actually for once feel secure. We don't feel secure in the money we have...I hope it isn't this way forever.

But tonight he collapsed in sobs and started berating himself, saying how he should have obtained a better job and how he feels hopeless and helpless, like he can't affect anything or make any difference. The problem is, I feel the exact same way. I had no idea his self-esteem was still so low, he has been holding it in for so long. I love him so much, but it was like every compliment I gave him, everything I said to console him he just brushed it off. I feel like he might have what I have (ADD/ADHD) but whenever he has completed an assessment online, it says he is borderline, but that isn't enough to convince him to get help. I feel like he's so much like me in that his mind just crashes at times. He struggles to form words sometimes (just like I do) and he has been fired from more than one job (just like me).

The most painful part of all of this is how successful our friends are. It's like rubbing my nose in how pathetic I look compared to them every time I talk about my situation with them, or hear about how great and wonderful and easy everything is for them. My husband was realizing that by not going to the gym (because he hates gyms) he was not doing anything to improve his health and therefore he felt terrible about it.

This all came about when I went to work out at the gym with some friends and my husband didn't want to go. He hates gyms, I'm beginning to feel that he might have a phobia of them. I returned home to find that he was a mess. Saying that he's sad and has never truly been happy. It scared me. He has seen counselors in the past, but I need to be able to convince him to see an honest to God therapist...someone who can work with him for the 20 sessions our insurance covers and help him get out of his rut, because I can't help him...I can barely help myself.

It's just scary to find out that he's in as much despair as I am. Most people I know who are married have at least 1 partner who is completely together and has a strong career, so the other's career can afford to fail. We don't have that, since we're both in a rut. My hubby is an adjunct instructor who is looking for a full-time teaching position (which I know he will eventually get, he has some of the highest student evaluation scores out of all the adjunct instructors at his community college. It's just that I didn't realize he was so lacking in self-confidence. I'm lacking in self-confidence, so I can't help him in that arena. Btw, I'm currently seeing a therapist (I've been seeing her for the past 5 years). My hubby has benefited from therapy in the past, but past therapists were interns that he saw for a few weeks here and there. He needs someone more permanent, that he can see for 20 sessions each year, when his insurance runs out.

Speaking of his insurance, we're afraid he's going to get fired again. He's been missing details at his job and they are taking responsibilities away from him. If he loses that job, we lose our health insurance. As an adjunct, he can't obtain insurance. We both have the problem of getting fired from most detail-oriented office jobs.

This is probably too overwhelming for any of you to come up with productive advice, but any thoughts you are having that you think might be helpful, please share them. I'm at my wit's end.
auralpoison
(((((Musicfit))))) I'm sorry you haven't gotten a lot of responses yet, but that's just a whopper of a sitch to chew on for a civilian. I DO want you to know however, that we are here, we are listening, & we do care even if we don't exactly know what to say. Come on in & vent any old time.
roseviolet
((((((((((((((((((((((((Musicfit & her husband)))))))))))))))))))))))

I'm so so sorry you two are going through this. I wish there was something I could say or do to make it all better.

We talk a lot about the expectations heaped upon women - pressure to be young & beautiful and successful, the perfect wife and mother and hostess, blahblahblah. As feminists we know that a lot of that is a bunch of crap, yet we still have days when we feel pressure to conform to those old fashioned ideas. Well, men have those days , too. Because society has expectations for them, too. There are these old notions that tell them that they're supposed to be strong & reserved, that they should be the primary providers & breadwinners. I'm sure your husband sees you as an equal partner & doesn't usually buy into those old roles, but he's bound to have bad days when he feels solely responsible for the problems & financial difficulties you're having now.

I think you're right. He probably needs to begin seeing a therapist regularly. It sounds like life is taking a toll on him & he could use some help getting through it. Maybe it'll also help him to take some anti-depressants as well. As you know, therapy & even medication is a process & not a quick fix. Maybe that's one of the reasons why he's hesitant? Maybe he's afraid of what the therapist will say. Maybe he's afraid of being judged. Has he mentioned anything like that to you?
stargazer
musicfit, i'm reposting what i wrote to your original post in the family thread in case you didn't see it.

(((musicfit))) sad. sad.gif

i think you are correct that your hubby needs to speak with a therapist. maybe see a therapist yourself. this way, you are not taking out your frustrations on each other in the relationship. my heart goes out to you regarding your school situation. i'm almost in a similar position as you. i had a major shit setback while attempting to finish my doctoral degree in clinical psychology. feel free to PM me if you need to vent/rant about your school situation.
angie_21
Musicfit, I wrote on on the family thread too, but I had a few thoughts after re-reading your post here, and what rovseviolet wrote:

Those online tests are only meant to give guidelines if you think you might have a problem and don't know what it is. They can't replace an actual evaluation and professional help, especially since a diagnosis is only a starting point. If he tests borderline, I think that justifies further evaluation, if he really feels he might have a problem (and you can maybe use this to try to convince him to see a therapist?). However ADD runs in my family, and in my experience medication has never done anything but complicate the problems. If he does get an evaluation, it is important to survey all the options including good old fashioned therapy to learn coping strategies and re-program the brain.

Can he go on stress leave from work without fear of losing his job? Because it might be better than being at work and performing poorly because of the stress.

And big *hugs* for your own problem. Don't forget to take care of yourself now too! That is a really crappy thing to have happen, but remember you have accomplished so much, even if it doesn't feel that way right now, and with guidance from the career counsellors at school I think you should be able to work something out.

tankgirl
I don't even know where to begin.


My boy and I have been in a committed relationship for 5 years. We have our ups and downs but are in general pretty strong. We both have depression and sexual abuse issues that we need to work on individually, but they hardly ever interfere with our relationship.

About a month ago, I came across an email that he had wrote to one of his good friends. He left it open on his computer when he went to work (by mistake?) I read it. I don't feel bad about it either. At the time he had been really depressed and distant with me and would never talk to me about what was going on. I was really worried about him. So anyway, the email. The email was written at like 4am probably when I was already asleep in the same room with him while he was really drunk. It was pretty much a goodbye, I really think I am going to kill myself email. At the end of the email he wrote to tell some girl, that he barely knows, that she has a beautiful soul. When I read this email, I was distraught. I thought for sure, that this was going to be the end of our relationship. I thought he was unhappy with me and wanted to go back to MA. Lots of things make me think this, not just the email. This friend, who is a very bad influence and I dislike because he hit on me in front of my boyfriend during the first month we were dating.

Anyway. I confronted him about it. He confessed to me that he was depressed because he had finally found a job only to be treated very badly there and felt he needed to keep it to support me. (BTW he doesn't support me, we make equal amounts of money, contribute everything equally.) He said he felt guilty about having an emotional crush on a girl and hiding it from me. We are usually really open about this stuff, and it doesn't affect our relationship. So, even though i felt pretty numb about the whole situation, decided to work things out.

I continued to feel completely numb for about two weeks. This is rare for me. I am a very sensitive emotional person. It was the most awful feeling (or not feeling) ever. I had no idea where things were going. Were we going to just pretend this doesn't exist, or are we going to fight over it forever or are we going to go our separate ways in a matter of days? I had no idea. I really had noone to talk to when this happened either. My one friend that I confide in was away in an intensive school, so I couldn't bother her to talk.

In the past 2 weeks, things have gotten better. But I still have days where I get completely and uderly lost and feel like my relationship will need to end. I want nothing but to be with this man. I can see myself growing old with him, it has been that way for a while. All I want is a happy healthy relationship with him, and noone else. The problem is, right now I don't trust our relationship. I can't look at it anymore and see us getting married, having a baby, starting a business together, spending the rest of our lives together. I can't see anything. I know that all it will take is time for me to get over it, for us to talk it out etc. But right now, I'm not feeling it. What I am struggling with, is should I tell him how I feel? I have already told him how I felt about what went down a month ago, but I am afraid to tell him that he needs to regain my trust because I think I will lose him. How do you tell the person you love the most that you need help finding your path again without hurting their feelings?

I'm going to reiterate that we have a very strong relationship. We have been through a lot together. More than most people should have to go through together this soon. We confide in each other with everything normally. We also have a very open relationship and are accepting of each others faults as long as we are honest about them. We are also very different people but fill in each others holes nicely i.e. he goes through spurts of feeling nothing, I go through spurts of feeling too much. We talked about that a lot last night when I was upset about something entirely unrelated to our relationship.

I feel like I have this giant rock just sitting on my chest, that I can't take off yet until I know it is safe.
roseviolet
Tankgirl, I have developed a couple of personal policies purely for the interest of self preservation.

1. Never discuss important issues between Midnight and 9am.
2. Never discuss important issues while under the influence of alcohol.

I don't know about you, but I am sometimes very maudlin and overly dramatic under those circumstances - doubly so if they're combined as they were in your boyfriend's case. I do think that if he's suicidal he needs to talk to someone (those urges should be taken seriously no matter the hour or chemical influence) but perhaps you shouldn't focus so much on the other particulars of the letter he wrote. He was feeling EXTREMELY emotional and vulnerable at that moment. He may have written some dramatic things that he didn't really mean.

I think that you, too, should seek some professional help. Your description of feeling nothing for weeks makes me wonder if you're experiencing depression, as well. This may not be the right time for you to make any huge decisions like breaking up. Perhaps you should just focus on getting into a healthier place mentally-speaking first. The same goes for your boyfriend.

Then again, it's after midnight here and, according to my own rules, I shouldn't be talking about this stuff in the first place.
kittenb
QUOTE
How do you tell the person you love the most that you need help finding your path again without hurting their feelings?

I'm going to reiterate that we have a very strong relationship. We have been through a lot together. More than most people should have to go through together this soon.


As you have a strong relationship, lean on that as you tell him what you wrote above. You might not need to work on yout abuse seperatly, either. If it seems to be affecting things now, maybe you can look for couple's counseling together and learn what you can help each other through.
ananke
I agree with Kitten - a strong relationship will grow with the changes. I had a really bad thing happen with my partner last NY, and I told him that what he did not only was wrong, but it meant there was a certain amount of trust damaged by his actions. We worked through it and we're stronger than ever because we know we can work through even damage to trust.

I think damaging trust in a relationship is the hardest thing to deal with.
solaria
I had a relationship years back where I was the one who damaged the trust, and even though we loved each other so much and had opened our hearts to each other so much, and wanted so badly to heal, he just couldn't get over it. I thought that time would heal it but it didn't. the wound just kept festering. we split, painfully, and I still feel very connected to him on a soul level, but we've both moved on to great relationships with other people.

that heartbreak definitely was the hardest I've ever gone through but 5 years later I can say that it forced me to grow up, and ultimately opened my heart even more.

tankgirl
Yah, I too think it would be helpful if we worked on our abuse together with couples counseling. Now to just get insurance... sigh.

The thing is. I know I will get over it. I know that I overreact to things like this when really they aren't the things I should be focusing on. There are much bigger problems that need to be addressed. I just think I will take longer than most to get over it and I don't want to hurt his feelings over something that is mostly an insecurity within myself, you know.
solaria
tankgirl, you seem pretty conscious of your situation. if you are intending to heal than you ARE healing. i admire you for being strong in yourself. i didn't mean to imply that your situation would be like mine, i just wanted to bring to the table one of many scenarios that has turned out to be ok. if you have faith in your relationship i'm sure that you can get through it.
ananke
I don't know that you're being oversensitive here - he wrote a suicidal email to another woman. That's some serious shit. Kitten's right on with the therapy thing, but don't tell yourself that to make the relationship better you need to feel things less. That you need to have less feelings. That you need to do all the work and never do anything that hurts his feelings. That your needs aren't worth it.
kittenb
QUOTE(tankgirl @ Mar 16 2009, 10:32 PM) *
Yah, I too think it would be helpful if we worked on our abuse together with couples counseling. Now to just get insurance... sigh.


There are many places that work with sexual assault counseling for no charge or sliding scale fees. I think you are in North Carolina. You could try the North Carolina Coalition Against Sexual Assault.
jupiteregg
musicfit,
wow that is a lot to process. It's kind of creepy how parallel our lives are, from the money issues, to the career in higher ed, to the gym meltdown.
The only advice I can offer is to keep reminding each other of what you do have. When I couldn't pay a bill my partner would say "it will work out. It always does." She was right. I always had a roof over my head and I may have only been able to afford oatmeal, but I was eating.
If something seems overwhelming break it down and go back to something happy. You guys must know you are good at something. Maybe plan a "date." Say, "we are just going to hold hands and be together." We liked to go sit and watch people. Before we knew it we would be whispering and giggling again. When you feel better you can slowly attack some of the things you are facing.
That said, you're husband can only start to help himself when HE wants to. I know you know that, but I also know how helpless you feel. Just keep telling him you are there for him. Help him break down the big stuff so it's no so scary.
I completely sympathize with the money issue. I feel like at 30 something I should have a savings. I should have a "grownup job." Then I see people all around me with "real" jobs struggling and losing them right and left. So many people are struggling right now. You are not alone. If all your friends are lawyers and doctors you are not any less of a human. You deserve your own respect too. I went to a high achieving high school and most of my friends went Ivy league. Now they really are doctors, lawyers, and film producers. It is really hard. It looks like everyone is better than you. The one thing that I've found is that a lot of them are emotional wrecks just like us. This generation is struggling with some sort of emptiness I can't explain.
I hope some of my ramblings made some sense and more than that I hope they helped you feel less alone. I have found that as unique as we are there is usually someone feeling close to the same thing. Things will get better, they have to. Hang in there.
tankgirl
cool thanks kittenb
kittenb
You're welcome. That is actually a big part of my job. smile.gif Always glad to help.
kittenb
This thread hasn't seen much action lately. I hope that it a good thing.
This weekend I am moving in with The Geek. It feels right and good and I really cannot wait to do it. It is what I have wanted for a very long time and I really believe that now is the right time.
All that being said, I am still nervous. I hope that is normal. I know that I want this and I know that he wants it. It is just such a big change that I get a little light headed sometimes.
it isn't just the moving in thing. I am quitting my job and he is going to take over the responsibility of supporting me for a year while I do my internship and pick up office temp work as available. I will be responsible for the house keeping and cooking stuff. He is making an investment in me and a committment too me. IT IS HUGE!!!!! And I am afraid that I am somehow going to screw it all up. But I know that that is my insecuries talking and my lack of faith in myself. It is only the shrill and scared voice saying these negative things. The calm center of myself is handling things much better.
Tonight The Geek was supposed to come over but work is making him crazy. he said he would come over but couldn't stay (early meetings on Thursdays and my apt. is further away than his.) I told him if he needed to just go home and sleep and start fresh in the morning I would miss him but I understood. Now I am kicking myself a little. I really miss him. It is one night for goodness sake! But I always see him on Wednesdays. I would go to his place but I bet this is going to be a "work from home" night. So.
But, by next week it will be okay. Even when he has to work from home, I still get to see him every night. It is going to make things so much better. I am nervous but not doubting. I just wish the work was over and I was living there tonight.
auralpoison
Good luck on the moving in thing, KittenB, I'm sure ya'll will work it all out with a bit o' time & patience.

I just need to bitch & moan for a minute.

Y'know, just when I think I *might* have a handle on things, the man changes things up. One of the things I always liked about the 'ship with HB was that on many levels it was predictable, but that he'd always manage to pull something great out of his ass at a weird time & completely blow me away.

This last time . . . I pretty much admitted to Zoya over drinks that I could take or leave it at this point. The stresses of the LDR just weren't worth it anymore because quite simply I didn't/don't know when I'll be going permanently home again. I don't even know if I want to go back to the CO! Then he swept me off my feet for two days & has been as sweet as pie since.

Yesterday I had to sign for a box that I didn't order via post & it contained something clean, simple, elegant, & VERY expensive. And I don't know what it means or how I should feel about it. And I can't seem to find him via phone or IM, which is weird, too. We IM a LOT. He's been curiously absent. Which means a) he's done something that warrants a HUGE mea culpa (Unlikely.) or cool.gif he knew I'd freak out & is laying low until I get my head together.

So now I'm all spun. And spun hard. I liked it so much better when things were easy.
anarch
kittenb and aural, here's hoping that your respective situations are turning out fine.

I've been meaning to post here for a while, to get whatever observations, feedback, and suggestions any of you wonderful women have to offer on the situation with mr anarch and his mother. Recap: we lived in his mother's house (technically, it belongs to his mom and one of her relatives, though in practical terms, the relative bought it and lived there long before my MIL moved in, so the relative's preferences take precedence regarding how the household is run) for the better part of a year while we found a house of our own and had it repaired to the point where we could move in, which we did at the beginning of Feb.

Living at the MIL house traumatized me for various reasons that I've written about mostly in the Grossies and Letters You'll Never Send threads. The main things I'm concerned about now that I'm out of there (still thanking Cod every day for that) are that she could import fleas and staph into our house, and the fact that she doesn't think either of them are a big deal to live with. She didn't think the fleas were a big enough deal to warn us that her house was full of them before we moved in, and same with her chronic staph infection, she didn't think it was a big deal to have boils (though ok, she only got them one at a time and infrequently, and had trouble getting the concept that the infection manifested in me in bunches of them constantly for months...even when told about this directly, she responded with "Oh your body will develop antibodies against the bacteria eventually" - she's a microbiologist, see, so she knows all about bacteria).

Here's the problem: when we first viewed the house with the realtor, the MIL walked into the back room and said, "Hey, this would be perfect for an art studio!" (She paints as a hobby. She has a room at her own house to use for a studio, but it's the one we were living in. When we moved out of it, the relative's son moved back in. So the MIL doesn't have the use of it any more.) We said, "Of course you can use it for your art studio!" I did know about the fleas at that point, but I didn't think through the implications of having her move her stuff in to our back room (flea eggs are non-sticky, so they fall off of the infested animal whenever the animal jumps, rubs on or lies down on things, etc). I did NOT know at that point that the boils were caused by a staph infection.

My dermatologist refuses to say that I could have caught the infection directly from the MIL (I think he sensed a potential family brouhaha in my questions about how I could have gotten this, and decided to steer clear), but he conceded that if she had abscesses, there was certainly potential to get re-infected from her.

mr anarch and I have had several arguments where he insists that I got the staph from living in that generally filthy house with its pets and that his mother couldn't possibly have anything to do with my having acquired a staph infection while we lived there, and I'm "irrational" and "have convinced" myself that I got it from his mom.

The week we moved out, we argued about my idea to ask her to not move in for a couple of months. We had just finished what the derm calls a "decolonization process" (scrubbing under fingernails with a nail brush and prescription antibiotic cream for a week, and putting the cream up the nostrils, where staph like to hang out, and an all-over antiseptic body wash), and so had his mom. The derm told me that the decol process was NOT guaranteed to work, that if it didn't work the first time then I could do it a second time (I just finished the second, at the beginning of Apr), and if the 2nd decol didn't work then he'd give me oral antibiotics (which I'd like to avoid if I can get rid of it otherwise). I told mr anarch this, but he insisted that "She did the decol, that'll take care of it, she shouldn't have to wait to move her art stuff in."

WTF? I said. He explained: "she would never want to go where she's not wanted, and if she's told she's not wanted there for the first couple of months, she's likely to never want to move in at all, and I WANT her to have a studio in our house. I want her to feel happy about being there." Because she's in her early 70s, and the reason we moved out here in the first place was to spend time with her, and last spring she had a mini-stroke (no lasting effects), and now everybody's conscious of her mortality. Her personality is really sweet and I used to describe her as "I couldn't have designed a better MIL," so if it wasn't for her nonchalant role in my spending several months flea-bitten and boil-ridden, I'd be perfectly ok with her being here. But she did have a role in my misery, and I've got qualms about her being here even though she won't actually be living here full-time.

In the end I finessed the issue by asking her to not move in for a couple of months because 1. we need some time to settle in, and 2. I wanted to keep all the boxes in the back room to a. keep the mess under control and b. inspire mr anarch to unpack several boxes of his personal crap that he's been promising me he would unclutter for the past several years, because otherwise I know damn well those boxes will turn into furniture that we'll end up moving to the next place we move into, and there's a much better chance he'll actually go through them if they're living in the room that he insists his mom should be able to move into. Truthful reasons, though not the whole truth.

So, my couple of months are gone now, and I'm expecting her to start inquiring any day about when she could move into her studio. mr anarch hasn't touched his boxes, thank cod.

I'm thinking that when the issue of when she can move in comes up, I'll tell her 1. I'm concerned about the possibility of her importing flea eggs on her stuff, so I want to vacuum her stuff before she moves it in (at first I thought I would just tell her "You have to vacuum your stuff first" but then I realized I can't depend on her to do a thorough job), and 2. "So, have you had boils since doing the decol in Jan, and at what intervals did your boils tend to come?" because if they used to come, eg, one every 3 months, then we have no way of knowing if the decol worked on her unless she's boil-free for longer than 3 months. (This was something else mr anarch and I argued over - he insisted I was being unreasonable.)

I'd have asked her the boil question before now, but I can't seem to come up with a graceful way of introducing the subject. Suggestions? I guess it's the kind of topic I'll just have to throw out there, awkwardness and all.

And something else that's on my mind is, when we gave her a tour shortly after we moved in here, she looked at the guest room and said, "So this is where I could come when I need an escape from the other house?" and mr anarch said enthusiastically "Yep, right here!" and I smiled politely. I can bleach the bed linens, so the thing that worries me about this is sharing the one working shower stall. (We ran out of money before we could redo the other bathroom, which has a tub but there's just naked cement board at the head of the shower wall, no tile or anything.) I have visions of running around after every time she visits here, rubbing everything she's touched with a Clorox wipe ("kills 99.9% of staph"), shower walls, sink taps, doorknobs, spraying the couch with Lysol... but of course if her answer to "Have you had boils since the decol" is "No" then I suppose I don't have to worry about that.

One more thing. At our last argument, mr anarch ended up saying that, while he still felt I'm being irrational and obsessive about this, he'll support whatever I feel decision or course of action is necessary. Which was the right answer, but I was still feeling hurt and angry and resentful, and it took me another day to figure out why I couldn't bear to even look at him much less respond to anything he said in anything but the bare minimum monosyllables necessary. but when I did figure it out, I told him: "I'm grateful that you said that you'd support me even though you disagree. And, the fact that I had to make a case to you in order to induce you to say so, well, that just makes me feel like I'm the only person in this relationship who's looking out for my health and safety. Who's putting my health and safety first." I mean - this is my life partner we're talking about here, the person I've entrusted to, you know, take care of me, and I take care of him in return, that was why i married him, because I trusted him to do that, without have to persuade him first, yeah?

He was silent for about 5 minutes, looking down at the table with his hands folded together supporting his chin, and I wondered if he was suppressing things he wanted to yell, or biting back sarcastic remarks or comments about how irrational I'm being, because that's how our previous engagements on this topic have gone. Then, "I'll endeavour to not disappoint you again."

I accepted that and was able to start treating him normally again. But that trust has been broken. I haven't said so explicitly to him - I think from his response that he may have figured it out himself - but I feel like it's put the nail in the coffin of having kids with him. I may be wrong. Time could certainly repair the damage if he continues to make progress on handling his anger and if I don't have to persuade him again to put my health first - but I'm not holding my breath.

On top of which, if we did have a kid, and the MIL's decol didn't work and she's still having boils every few months (or whatever interval it is - frankly I'd only reluctantly trust her response, considering her contradictory reactions when I first showed her the boils, "I had one on my arm just like that, I don't know what it was but it went away eventually" vs "Oh yeah I had one on my boob, it's caused by staph" - not saying she'd lie, but she's monumentally NOT TOGETHER enough to be consistent) - I mean, I know for sure that mr anarch wouldn't even remember to even ask her if she was still having boils. And if I asked and she was... well, since he was so emphatic that I couldn't possibly get re-colonized from physical contact with her, I couldn't trust him to ask her to not hold our baby even if she still was having boils every few months. His "I'll support you even if I disagree" suggests that he wouldn't fight with me about ME asking her not to hold our baby, but he wouldn't be happy about it. Or maybe he WOULD care enough with a baby that he would care that she still gets boils, so even if she didn't have an active one, maybe he would ask her - and that still makes me feel like shit, because it would mean he could get past the issue for our kid, but not for me.

I guess I mostly wanted to just share this part and am not really looking for advice on this issue, because it's not like I've ever felt I particularly wanted kids. Only if I was with someone who wanted them and if I could trust him enough to take that leap with him. It just makes me so sad that, now, "with someone" doesn't automatically imply "I can trust him enough to take that leap with him." It always used to, when I thought about "Maybe one day..."

So I guess I'm looking for suggestions on how to phrase things to the MIL, and what would you do if you were in this situation. And if I'm being unreasonable about any of these issues as mr anarch says I am, perhaps you could explain the logic please?
angie_21
How did the move-in go, kitten?

anarch - wow, that is a tough situation. It would be so much easier if the MIL was annoying or obnoxious! I can't imagine the idea of having to ask my (one-day) MIL not to hold her own granddaughter. That is big. I'm assuming you've done all the research on staph that you can and know about how it spreads - would it be safe for her to hold the baby as long as any boils are kept covered up by bandages?

First thing I would do is try to find a second opinion from a doctor about how the staph may be spread, to use as ammo in any future disputes. They shouldn't be concerned about causing family disputes, they should be concerned about your health, and if you tell them a baby may be involved in the future, they might be more likely to give you a straight answer. From my very limited knowledge, I would imagine it could be a combination of both exposure to unbandaged boils, and dirty living conditions.

I imagine that your hubby probably feels caught in a very precarious position, trying to keep the 2 most important women in his life healthy and happy. This seems to happen pretty often with families-in-law, and although it feels bad to you, especially given the situation, remember that this is where the painful part of compromise comes in. You do have the right to ask for what you believe will keep you healthy, end of story. But he also has the right to be concerned about his mother's feelings, and to want her to be happy, too. If he is willing to make her unhappy to keep you healthy, you never lost his support, don't worry! It sucks that he left you feeling that way though. But in my own relationship, I have a very strong feeling that I am responsible for my own health, because only I know how I feel. If I tell my bf that I think something is wrong and he could help me out somehow, I expect him to do it, but I don't expect him to understand or even agree with all the reasons why.

I think one thing that is important for the 2 of you to establish is about living arrangements, not just the studio.. when you say she will be moving in, you mean in to the studio but staying at the old house, right? I got a little confused about that. But anyways, if she starts staying in the guest room too, I would consider that being a pretty important place to draw the line - never mind anything about health or cleanliness, you two are married and considering children, and deserve your own space to be adults and have your own life! It sounds like this is something that might be very important to your relationship, since you aren't always sure of the hubbys ability to say no to her.
stargazer
(((((anarch)))))

I'm sorry that this situation is following you into your new home. It sounds like your main concern is about your health and well-being. You care about your MIL and appreciate being close to her; however, it sounds like her living conditions and poor health regimen are what troubling you. It sounds like what you went through medically caused you alot of pain. You shouldn't have to deal with fear of returning boils and etc. in your own home.

From your post, it sounded like your partner was receptive to your feelings and respecting your concerns. I think with the MIL, it is a concern of how to manage your relationship boundaries (the mr. and you) with her. It sounds like your partner and you need to talk not just about this relationship in conjunction to the health concerns, but the sharing of space, your lives, etc. I swear they never tell you that a committed relationship also means entering a relationship with your in laws.
anarch
thanks star & angie, you both make the same excellent point that I have to talk with mr anarch about space-sharing with his mom and what boundaries to set, well before anything actually happens.

Main thing for me is, I want to have this house to ourselves until I'm pretty sure I've gotten rid of this. Otherwise, if I break out again, I'll never have an idea whether I just didn't get rid of it in the first place, or whether I did get rid of it but she's still a possibly asymptomatic carrier who's regularly importing fresh populations into the house. (Yeah, I know that link is about MRSA and mine's not methicillin-resistant, but that doesn't mean the same precautions re sanitation and transmission don't apply.)

How many nights per week in the guest room. Hmm. Would even one night a week be too much? Hmm. I feel better about once every 2 weeks.
Use of our laundry machines? The laundry situation at the other house is dysfunctional due to all the residents incl. her, but one resident in particular is really bad, leaving their clothes in the machines for up to a week at a time. Really the main thing here is that her clothes smell like a combination of perfumed detergent and cat pee (I think she must have tried washing cat-peed-on clothes in her regular-dirt load at some point, and not noticed that the smell migrated throughout), and the times that she's taken my laundry out and folded it, the smell clung to my clothes for several subsequent washes. I never mentioned it of course. How does one tell one's kind-hearted MIL something like this? There wasn't any need to mention it. Now, though. I'd rather keep the laundry machines to our own use instead of having to buy regular supplies of pee-smell-eradicator products. I guess I'll hash out the hypothetical with mr anarch and hope she never brings it up.
Use of our shower stall? No.
etc...

QUOTE(stargazer @ Apr 21 2009, 08:56 PM) *
I swear they never tell you that a committed relationship also means entering a relationship with your in laws.


I did know that, from watching my parents argue about my dad's relationship with his birth family, and actually it was a significant factor in saying "Yes" to mr anarch, the fact that his family is so nice. I had no idea serious problems affecting my health could crop up like this. Yeesh. Life is full of surprises.

angie -
QUOTE
First thing I would do is try to find a second opinion from a doctor about how the staph may be spread, to use as ammo in any future disputes. They shouldn't be concerned about causing family disputes, they should be concerned about your health,


great idea. I haven't yet, because this health care system is new and bizarre to me - you can only go to in-house MDs, so I kind of felt like what would be the use of seeing another dermatologist from the same facility because wouldn't they just have similar opinions anyway, but someone who knows how the system works told me just this morning that no, dn't worry about that, and she gave me a reference to her derm, so I'll go get that 2nd opinion. Armed with everything I've learned about staph. MDs must hate the internet since it makes it easier for patients to challenge them.

QUOTE
If I tell my bf that I think something is wrong and he could help me out somehow, I expect him to do it, but I don't expect him to understand or even agree with all the reasons why.


Disagreements roll off my back if his reasons are logical, but when they don't make sense yet he's accusing me of being irrational, that bugs me. Ah well. I should let go, I know. Thanks for the reminder.

QUOTE
when you say she will be moving in, you mean in to the studio but staying at the old house, right?


Yes. Though as you both observe, what "moving into the studio but staying at the old house" mean will be a grey area unless I make sure that the details are hammered out.

Thanks, ladies. Hugs!
angie_21
Out of curiousity, I didn't want to pry earlier, but the living conditions at your previous home sound just awful to the point of being mentally as well as physically problematic. Perhaps the MIL would be healthier and take beter care of herself in, say her own apartment? I know that this is not always feasible in terms of money, but a 1 bedroom or bachelor would probably give her more privacy than she currently enjoys. I know that's probably going way out on a limb since none of you would have been living there in the first place if it wasn't necessary.

It's always good to have these discussions with the significant other. I find that my bf often just assumes everythig is ok until I say otherwise, but he always wants to listen and try to help. Sometimes I will not say things because I think it's no big deal, and by the time it becomes a big deal, it's been months and he still has no idea. Cliched, I know.

I hope things work out. In your own house you will have so much more control over what is clean and keeping the place clear of other people's clutter will make such a huge difference in terms of your feeling of control over your own health and happiness! If you can put the decision off for long enough to be reasonably certain she is clear of infection, even better. You have every right to suggest she get re-tested for asymptomatic bacteria, for her own health as wel as yours.


I think MDs do hate the internet very much.. there is so much information out there, and so much of it is conflicting. I know I've gone on circles trying to figure out my own problems online, mostly because I just can't get a lot of answers out of my doctor. Stick to your guns, you deserve answers! It's amazing what kind of crazy things our bodies will do to us, and sometimes one doctor will be familiar with things another doctor has never seen before, even within the same clinic (I've experienced this myself).
anarch
QUOTE(angie_21 @ Apr 23 2009, 06:52 PM) *
Perhaps the MIL would be healthier and take better care of herself in, say her own apartment?


She's in a codependent relationship with the relative. She won't hear of leaving the situation. Full stop. It's a no go. Thanks for the suggestion anyway!

QUOTE
It's always good to have these discussions with the significant other. I find that my bf often just assumes everythig is ok until I say otherwise, but he always wants to listen and try to help. Sometimes I will not say things because I think it's no big deal, and by the time it becomes a big deal, it's been months and he still has no idea.


Coincidentally enough, I recently had a great talk with a friend about just this subject. We agreed that one of us, or both, will publish something about it: "our partners signed on to know what fucks us up, it's vital to the relationship for them to know what stresses us out and the effects it has on us, so that together we can resolve the cause of the stress. So if they don't pick up on it on their own, it's vital for us to tell them."

QUOTE
If you can put the decision off for long enough to be reasonably certain she is clear of infection, even better. You have every right to suggest she get re-tested for asymptomatic bacteria, for her own health as well as yours.
sometimes one doctor will be familiar with things another doctor has never seen before, even within the same clinic (I've experienced this myself).


Makes sense. Thank you!

I'm feeling much better about the situation having posted here and gotten pointers from you guys.
edie52
I thought we'd lost this thread! *bump*

Sigh. I don't know where to begin. I guess my relationship is on the rocks, for the first time. We've been together just over 2 years, living together for 6 months. We were also long distance for a while. All of these thing that have been said here in the lounge and also IRL are floating around in my head. Like what Zoya said about how things (in the big picture) should be easy, and generally flow. That's what it was like for the first 2 years of our relationship, even when I moved overseas. It was hard, but we never questioned whether we wanted to be together, and I see now that it was working because we were both putting in equal effort. Then, after I came back and we'd been together for over a year, we started to bicker and argue a bit, our relationship changed a bit, but we both accepted that this was natural and healthy and we dealt with it fine. We decided to move in together, and the first few months of that had some predictable bumps in the road, but everything was still fine.

That brings us to about a month ago. I had been noticing that he was getting really distant, but when I questioned him about it he said he just needed some space to be introspective, was trying to figure out what to do with his life, having a bit of a personal crisis, and that it had nothing to do with me. Now, I knew when he said he was generally "disappointed with life," that it must have SOMETHING to do with me- I'm a big part of his life. But I also knew that I had to respect his feelings and try to be there for his and help him through it. Also, when he started acting distant, I became more needy and kind of mopey- which threw a wrench into the balance of our relationship, or more like exaggerated the slight unbalance that was already there (with me being the one who always "wanted more").

Things grew more tense. We started talking about it, and both admitted that there is something off in our relationship that wasn't before. We both have a bad feeling in our gut. He used the words "spiritually wrong," something that had always been right before, and I agree with him. Everything that was easy is hard, everything that was clear in confusing. He also said he thinks it's turning into a friendship (this really stung). I can see the friendship aspects coming out more, but I thought it was just our way of coping with a tough time, by trying to at least get along and be friendly in the day-to-day, and I also know that it's a normal progression of a relationship. He said he misses the mystery and excitement that we once had- of course this can't last forever in any relationship. But he said he still loves me and is still attracted to me. However, it's SO different from before- he doesn't really look at me or touch me all the time like he used to. I think he needs to be distant while he's trying to figure things out.

Here's the thing- at first I was devastated, and thought this meant he was "falling out of love" with me. Maybe he is. But I'm trying to remember that maybe it's not anything I did that was unlovable, but just that relationships change. Apparently it's scientifically proven that the "love chemical," the one that causes that euphoric feeling when you fall in love, can only last about 2 years. I'm not a cynic, I believe that you can still have passion and excitement after years of being together, but it makes sense that the crazy infatuation would fade, and (ideally) be replaced by a more stable kind of love and companionship. I'm guessing everyone is long-term relationships have experienced these kind of growing pains (this is where you all chime in "yes" to comfort me). I also realize that we both need to be committed to navigating this and if he isn't, I can't really save it. I don't really know where he stands right now. I've asked him, he's just not sure.

I've been reading about relationship stages and it's helping me cope, knowing how normal and almost predictable these bumps are. I think the past few months of fighting were "disillusionment," us discovering very different sides of one another, beyond the idealized ones that we had for the whole first year of our 'ship. Now, we're definitely in distress, though I think he got there first, which left me wanting. I know this doesn't mean it'll work out, it's just helping me not freak out and feel prematurely heartbroken. Because if there's any working this out, I need to be somewhat more relaxed than I have been (I've been seriously tense and emotional for weeks, literally worried sick, and no fun to be around).

Also worth noting is that his longest relationship before me was just over a year (with a few break-up/make-ups, too), so this loss-of-mystery/friendship phase is new to him, whereas I've been through it twice before (both relationships ended after about 2.5 years, though). I don't love it, but realize that it's normal, whereas to him it's bad and strange. He's had a lot of intense short-ish relationships, so he's used to having that falling-in-love feeling at least once a year. Knowing how he feels just makes me more worried that he's going to meet someone new. But I guess if we're going to be together long term I need to trust him.

There's also the fact that we used up so much emotional energy on one another in the first 2 years, and unwittingly started neglecting other sides of ourselves. So it's definitely time to take some space to socialize with other people, refocus on our respective paths, maybe take trips without each other. I know that if it's "meant to be" we'll end up together, and figure out how to grow together. I'm just so scared that he'll slip away.

I guess I'll cut it off here, sorry this is sooo long, but I really felt all of this info was necessary to give an idea of where we're at now. I'm really looking forward to hearing from some of you who have experienced this, for better or for worse. Other peoples' relationships are often mysterious to me and new perspectives really help me cope.
roseviolet
Edie, your post reminded me of a song by Susan Werner called "I Can't Be New". In the song she lists all the marvelous things she can do and be and all the great things she can offer in a relationship. The song ends, "I'll be anything for you, baby, but I can't be new". Ain't that the truth! So no, it isn't just you. It's perfectly normal for relationships to mellow over time. It only makes sense that the more you know someone, the less mysterious they are. The issue is whether you (and he) can find happiness in that.

Personally, I got to the point where I did not like the lusty new stage. A couple of bad experiences taught me that mystery was over-rated. When I started up with Sheff, I longed for the comfortable stage because it's during that stage when you learn what real love is about & whether you're going to make it. I love that easy comfort. But hey ... that's just me.

Note that there's a big difference between entering the Comfort Zone and experiencing a lull. Lull's are a real drag, but they're also temporary. I wish there was some fool-proof way to fix them. Sometimes you just need to break out of your routines (Doing new things together can satisfy that craving for newness and excitement). It can also be good to do things separately. I have found that if Sheff and I spend just a few days apart from eachother, we miss one another and remember how much we like being around each other. When we reunite, we're so happy to see one another and we have lots to talk about. Plus, the reunion sex is fabulous!

I don't know what I can say that will help you get through the transition. I guess the best thing is be on the same team. Be one another's biggest support. Embrace the feeling that friendship can be good - and intimate friendships are especially good.
stargazer
Oh rose, I love your feedback about relationships. Makes me feel like the things I want in my next partnership is not out of reach. wub.gif

QUOTE(roseviolet @ Jun 12 2009, 03:32 PM) *

Personally, I got to the point where I did not like the lusty new stage. A couple of bad experiences taught me that mystery was over-rated. When I started up with Sheff, I longed for the comfortable stage because it's during that stage when you learn what real love is about & whether you're going to make it. I love that easy comfort. But hey ... that's just me.


I will say that my desire to want that level of comfort is what ended my LTR. My ex and I would still be dating and living separately right now if we didn't move in together. She was happy with that arrangement, not me. I want the good, the bad, and the ugly that come with living together and a commited relationship.

edie, I will say that I was extremely impressed with your post. You sounded both insightful and grounded when discussing your relationship. I'm sure you are feeling very differently, but, it sounds like you are trying to be aware of both your needs in a relationship, especially in a relationship together. Do you both want the same thing and are willing to make a commitment to work on it? I'm glad you are noticing the need to take some time apart to socialize with others, reconnect with yourself, and reflect on your relationship. I hope things work out for you. Let us know how things progress.
edie52
Thanks for the responses, ladies.

Stargazer, I was experiencing a moment of clarity when I wrote the post, and I took a long time to write it, which is probably why I seemed grounded. I think I actually figured some things out in the process of writing the post. I'm trying to be grounded because I want this to work, but really I'm confused, frustrated, and mad. I'm irrationally angry at him for not showing me the love that he used to.

Rose, I don't mind the comfort zone either. But this is definitely a lull, a bad lull. I like the period when you're beginning to know each other really well, and get really comfortable, but are also still really thrilled to see each other and do mundane little things together. Now the mundane errands and routines are actually mundane, not romantic.

I'm confused about how I feel because in my mind he "started" this- the restlessness and dissatisfaction. I don't know if everything would be fine if he hadn't started feeling and acting weird. But now we're both dissatisfied, so I would be victimizing myself if I held onto the attitude that I have to do something to regain his interest. At this point we both need something to change for this to work out.
edie52
Now he's saying that we aren't compatible, we're not meant to live together, and he doesn't think we connect spiritually. But he still wants to wait, talk about things, and let these feelings digest. He's big on gut feelings, so that gives me hope. We're both still hanging on and willing to try to get through this.

So frustrating though. I know we're compatible. Compatible enough to have spent two years together. I know we did connect, amazingly well, as soon as we met. I think he's forgetting all of the great things we had. I do see what he means though, the living together isn't going great because we both tend to be passive, introspective, and kind of lethargic. Right now we aren't energizing one another, at all. We have stuff in common but we aren't connecting properly right now. We aren't what the other needs at the moment. However, I don't want our relationship to get all messed up and broken because of what may be a temporary problem.

I can't blame him for being honest with me, and we both agree that we're glad that we're talking about this. I can't help but feel he's being pretty negative, though. When I ask him what's keeping us together he can't really answer. It scares me. Every time he says these things it feels like it's a break-up talk.
stargazer
(((edie))) ugh. i think you are right about the good thing that you are talking these things out as scary it is to hear them.

QUOTE(edie52 @ Jun 14 2009, 02:45 PM) *
Now he's saying that we aren't compatible, we're not meant to live together, and he doesn't think we connect spiritually.


i guess i'm left scratching my head about his vision of a spiritually connecting relationship. is it anything that can be applied to your relationship?
edie52
Stargazer, I asked him, and he said "someone who knows how I'm feeling and doesn't have to ask." I guess lately I've been second-guessing my intuition more and more and started asking him how he was feeling all the time. I also thought it was something people were "supposed" to do in mature relationships, communicate even the obvious and talk about our feelings all the time.
kittenb
QUOTE(edie52 @ Jun 15 2009, 05:58 AM) *
Stargazer, I asked him, and he said "someone who knows how I'm feeling and doesn't have to ask." I guess lately I've been second-guessing my intuition more and more and started asking him how he was feeling all the time. I also thought it was something people were "supposed" to do in mature relationships, communicate even the obvious and talk about our feelings all the time.


Yikes, there are still too many days that I can't read my guy at all. He used to be a reporter and has perfected his "reveal nothing" face. It is just what he does when he wants to think about what is going to say. We don't talk about our feelings all the time. I have finally realized that he often isn't actually thinking of anything other than comic books or DDO. While that comment might make him sound stupid, I don't mean it that way. It is more that he doesn't spend all of his free mental time dwelling on us and how we work and how we could work better, etc. as I tend to do. However, when I need to share something I can and if he needs me to know something, I trust that he tells me.

We actually had one of those moments this weekend. My cycle has been changing a lot since I started the Nuva Ring. Mostly my period has either been early or just really light. This month it was 4 days late, not unprecedented but very rare for me. I didn't mention it to him until I finally took a test. Thank god, not pregnant! But this did lead to a conversation about what would have happened if the test had been different. We both agreed that this is NOT the time for a baby. I'm only half way through grad school, we are still learning to live w/each other, the list goes on. However, I want to have a child and he is not sure if her does. It used to be that he wanted one but as he got older (he's 38) he isn't as sure now. I think it has to do with his demanding job and the fact that he is involved in his improv groups. He isn't ready to give that up yet and I am not going to ask him to. I told him that while I know waiting to get pregnant a few more years might mean that I don't have a baby after all, I would rather wait until we were both totally sure than have a baby now just because I wanted one. I told him that I do think we will get married some day and after we knew that for sure, we would know better how to handle having (or not having) a child. It was a scary conversation and he had his "reveal nothing" face for a lot of it, but I felt positive when it ended.

I know I am taking a risk but I think this relationship is worth it. Not being sure about having kids isn't the same thing as "No! Never!" and I think he would be a great father. I also think that what we have is fantastic and rare and not worth risking over a decision that I am not ready to make anyway (having kids.)

All in all, it was kind of a long weekend but I feel good today.
roseviolet
QUOTE(edie52 @ Jun 15 2009, 06:58 AM) *
Stargazer, I asked him, and he said "someone who knows how I'm feeling and doesn't have to ask."


No no no. That is NOT what it means to be in a spiritually connected relationship. That's called being a mind-reader. He's expecting you to have super-natural powers which, frankly, is rather immature of him. It also sounds like he's making up excuses to not keep up open communication. That's immature, lazy, and selfish.

Sorry if that sounds harsh, but GRRR! That boy just pissed me off!


QUOTE(edie52 @ Jun 15 2009, 06:58 AM) *
I guess lately I've been second-guessing my intuition more and more and started asking him how he was feeling all the time. I also thought it was something people were "supposed" to do in mature relationships, communicate even the obvious and talk about our feelings all the time.


See, THAT - what you described right there - is what it means to be in a mature, spiritually connected relationship. You want to know why I feel like I am spiritually-connected to my husband? Because we talk. We talk about the good things and the bad. We're willing to put it all out on the table. We show eachother the warts. And in return, the other person listens and accepts and supports. Notice that there is a lot of communication that is required in there. We have to make the choice and take the effort to keep up this connection. At any time, one of us could shut down and not talk. And indeed, we have times when that happens anyway because maybe we want to try to sort out our problem on our own first or we don't want to burden the other person. I've found, though, that it isn't a burden afterall. I want him to open up to me. To share with me. I want to be there for him. And I've discovered that he wants to be there for me. When I open up and talk to him, it makes my husband feel needed and trusted. That's HUGE!

We are very much not into mind-reading. We just can't do it. I love Sheff to bits and I know we have very similar opinions when it comes to politics and religion and such so there are some things that I assume to be true about him. But I try never to assume how he's feeling all the time. I have to ask him. And if there's something I want from him, I have to tell him. Yes, it would be WONDERFUL if he just instinctively knew every little thing I could possibly want or need & just do those things without me saying a word. But that is pure fantasy! That's the kind of shit that people expect when they take movies too seriously! You want to know why people in the movies know exactly what to do and say? Because they're working off of a script. I guess the reason why you can't read his mind is because you didn't get your script today.

Grrrr. Sorry. This sort of unrealistic expectation just REALLY upsets me.

Spiritual connection is about communication. It's about maintaining communication. And it's about the way you communicate. If you manage to say things to one another that is empowering and helpful and makes you feel better or stronger, then you have a good spiritual connection. A good spiritual connection means that you are better, stronger individuals because you are in this relationship. Some of it happens naturally (that's why you can't feel that spiritual connection with just anybody, no matter how much you talk). But a LOT of it is about effort - not only being willing to make the effort, but WANTING to make the effort and then DOING it.

Making a spiritual connection seems easy at first. It just flows. That's because everything is new and you KNOW the other person doesn't know everything about you yet. If you want to continue that connection, you have to do more. And I'm sorry that's the way it is, but it's true. It would be fabulous if everything could be like a magical fairy tale and my husband could always predict my every desire. It would be great if he instinctively knew when I'd had a bad day and would offer to take me out to a nice restaurant just to cheer me up. But unfortunately, I usually have to tell him I've had a bad day. Then he may offer up some ideas of things we could do to cheer me up - and one of those suggestions may be a nice night out at a restaurant - but he still has to ask first. Because I don't always want to go to a restaurant when I'm stressed. Sometimes the only thing I want is a nice new ball of yarn. Or I just want to go to my favorite store and wander the aisles. Or I just want to go on a nice drive through the countryside. I'm unpredictable like that. We ALL are. And the sooner you both know this, the happier you'll be.

Understand, though, that there are some things you both should offer to do without being asked. You should take the initiative. That's a nice little way of injecting that little bit of the fairy tale into a normal, ol' relationship. In my relationship, I do this by flirting with my husband or buying little things for him from time to time. Nothing fancy, though. Sometimes I'll leave a card in his car just to say I love him and appreciate all he does for me. Or I'll buy him a Toblerone while I'm at Trader Joe's. Or while he's laying about just reading a book, I'll ... well, I'll give him a reason to put that book aside for a few minutes, if ya know what I mean. I might perform grander gestures, but Sheff doesn't like surprises so I find that the little treats are the best way to his heart. And how did I find this out? Did I read his mind? Of course not. He TOLD me. Even when it comes to happy little surprises, you usually have to have a foundation of good communication just so you'll know the difference between a good surprise and a bad one.

But no matter what, it all starts with communication.

roseviolet
Kitten posted while I was composing mine and she made some really good points that I'd like to comment on.

I agree that you don't have to have deep conversations about your feelings all the time. I very rarely confront Sheff & ask what he's feeling or thinking ... probably because he's pretty good about telling me what I need to know. If he seems down I may say, "You okay?" and with a little encouragement he'll start to open up, but that's all. It's certainly not something we feel the need to do every single day. If I ask him what he's thinking, it's usually because I'm bored & I'd like to chat with him, but I don't know what to talk about. wink.gif Sheff does the same thing. Sometimes if I'm staring off into space he'll ask me what I'm thinking, but usually I'm thinking about something totally mundane like a knitting pattern I want to alter. See? Nothing earth-shattering.

But then again, sometimes I'm thinking about the audition coming up in a couple of weeks & that maybe I shouldn't go because it's just too much pressure. Then he'll talk with me about it & try to help me figure out the best way to handle the situation. Then again, sometimes he drives me nuts because I don't want a solution yet - I just want sympathy! Then I have to tell him to stop trying to fix everything and just hold me, dammit! Of course, it's harder when the thing you're thinking about is a problem in the relationship. I still get a lump in my throat sometimes when there's something we need to talk about. I'm sure Sheff does, too. But we're always better off afterward when we talk about things, so I force myself to do it. Stewing doesn't seem to fix anything, so better to just get it out, right?

Note that this is a VAST improvement over my last relationship. With the Ex, he kept most of his feelings locked up tight. Sure, he could be fun and he could talk about movies and such for HOURS and he told me he loved me all the time, but it was nearly impossible to get him to talk about anything meaningful. If it wasn't a cheerful or silly subject, he wasn't interested in talking about it. I felt like he was blocking me out of a part of his life. I would ask him what he was thinking or feeling ALL the time! He got so annoyed with me, but I didn't know what else to do! He wouldn't share things with me. It was as if I was prying too deeply or invading his privacy. Not good.

I guess that shows that this is a two way street. You both have to be willing to put forth the effort when necessary. When you don't make a big deal about it and you just do it freely, well, it just isn't a big deal. But when one (or both) of you isn't willing to go through the effort, it is a very BIG deal.
edie52
Rose, your post made me laugh and also served as a reality check. I think you're right. And I don't want to feel as though it was wrong for try to communicate openly and ask him what he was thinking when I was confused. I think we're both very confused right now, and I think he was just saying everything that was on his mind, just to get it out in the open and see how I'd respond. As I said this is the first crisis we've had and it's not exactly bringing out the best in either of us- I actually made a comment to a friend of his that my boyfriend had said "mean things about me" and that "we hate each other now." I was just being glib, because I thought it was obvious that something was up, but I realize now that it was incredibly tacky.

Today was better. I'll keep you guys posted.
roseviolet
Edie, glad I could help and make you smile along the way. Just so you know, I told Sheff about your post. He thinks your boyfriend may have confused having a spiritual connection with having a psychic connection. There were some comments about the Psychic Friends Network as well, but I'll spare you. wink.gif All joking aside, though, I'm sorry you're going through such a hard time. The good news is that your boyfriend is talking now, even if it isn't exactly what you want to hear.
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