The other day at my counselling session, my therapist asked me how things were going in my relationship. I responded that things were okay. That I just needed to accept that it is what it is.
I was feeling fairly positive during my session. Everything seemed okay, which is part of the reason why this crazy roller coaster ride is so frustrating. It seems as soon as I voice my feelings about my relationship or my partner – on here, or to someone else – my brain goes into overdrive to disprove my words.
So it’s hard to get down to that kernel of truth. Even as I sit here typing this, I am having a text conversation with him about socks, and it all seems so normal that I find myself wondering what the problem is.
So, what is it that, as I told my therapist, I need to accept that gives me such great difficulty?
There is the gut feeling of knowing that he doesn’t really have my back. If that makes sense. That he would not back me up through thick and thin; he would leave me to my own devices and roll his eyes at me. And I know this because it is what he does. He wishes I would just get the fuck on with things and not bother him with my shit. When I approach him for advice or input, I am greeted with rolled eyes and sighs of exasperation. And we’ve discussed this and I’ve explained I find it really discouraging and unsupportive, and he has responded that I always catch him at a bad time. Like when he’s sitting in the loungeroom in front of the TV or on the computer or usually both.
There is the gut feeling that I am not first and foremost for him. I am a long way down in his priorities, and have been for a while. As explained above, his interests, watching TV, his forums that he is a member of, his work are all more important than me. And not just me, the kids too.
Related to the above, we neither of us attempt to spend time with other. I mean, when one or the other of us arrives home, we do have the obligatory “How was your day” conversation, but I don’t think either of us are truly interested. We don’t have date nights, or conversations about anything other than household arrangements. I know for my part, I don’t want to. I think for his, it wouldn’t really cross his mind.
He is, frequently, unpleasant. He seems to save his worst temper for home, and snaps at us for the slightest thing. The kids too. The boys, certainly, are immediately on the defensive as soon as he gets home, ready to be snapped at for something and ready to snap right back. Last night, my daughter told me that her father doesn’t like her. I told her he does and she said it didn’t seem like he did. It made me sad, but I can understand her feeling like that.
We are unable to make plans. We talk about things, like holidays, renovations, kids’ stuff, but nothing every comes to fruition. Nothing ever has. We are just stumbling through life. I can’t imagine what retirement would be like.
Our political values are vastly different. He is right and I am left. When I hear him voice something that goes against my beliefs, there are times when I hate him. And this is not the kind of hate that you feel when you have an argument about some household issue, where your partner has disagreed about something trivial. It’s the kind of hate you feel when you realise the person you are talking to holds beliefs that are uncaring/cruel/abhorrent to you. And it takes me a long time to reconcile with these feelings.
So, these are some of the things that I have been working hard, off and on, to accept. In summary, it means accepting that this relationship does not fulfil a lot of my needs. It means I need to look elsewhere for some of it. Which, you know, is fine. I don’t think any relationship can be all things to one person. But on the other hand, there are some things that I feel like I should have the right to expect in a relationship.
I don’t know.
I do feel, though, that we are both slogging it out in this relationship due to a sense of obligation rather than any desire to actually be together and build a life together. Maybe that’s why we have been in such a state of stasis for so long. Like, nearly our entire relationship.
I think maybe we have reached a point where it is better for us to accept that we simply don’t work. We have tried – we both have – from time to time to make it better, but it just doesn’t work.
And I want a life that is joy-filled. Where I feel like I am being the best person I can possibly be, and not just a waste of space. I want to be able to plan. I want to feel happy in my own space, even if there’s no-one there to share it with.
Maybe I am just crazy.