Category Archives: fighting

Super Steff Pseudo-Single on a Friday Night

And what do I choose to do with it? Sleep. It would seem Girl has pathological bed tendencies. Someone get a shrink.

No, no. I had a migraine-ish thing. On the list of 817 things you don’t really know about me is the fact that I am the Human Barometer. Yes, a weather front shift looms, and so does a giant barometric flip of the switch in my head, and sometimes I’m felled by these mondo-mofos of a headache.

The Guy is being demonstrated the Evil Mind-controlling Superpowers of that arch-villain, The Office. While he’s out there battling Evil, I’ve been taking a break from my Autocrat of the World role. I “laid down” at nine and just rolled out of bed at 11:32. What am I, 12? I haven’t been to bed that early in quite a while.

Stop the presses, people. We may be on the verge of a mini Dating Dilemma. You see, there is now a great disparity in Me-Time ratios. Me, I’m drowning in Me-Time. I’m all lazy in my Joe Boxers and my hooded sweatshirt, curling my red-painted toes in the chilly spring night air, yawning, and debating between the merits of Bath versus Shower.

The Guy? Trapped in death-defying battle with his dreaded arch-nemesis, The Office, as he slays Deadlines and mocks the Greatly Abhored Accounting Department on the dreaded conundrum of Mandatory Overtime.

Tomorrow, I will be well-rested, and he will be bone-tired, having worked nearly 18 hours or more in a row. Thus, the Great Relationship Inequity shall begin.

[Please, someone, break through the Space-Time Continuum and break my shift-key, will you?]

He is likely to be short-tempered, low-energy, and unwilling to do much. And understandably so. I am like to feel sorry for him, then feel sorry for me being all Boyfriend-Deprived. And understandably so. But it can’t stop there.

This is life. My job as an adult, for this 72-hour period, is to realize he’s having a hard time of it, and I’m, well, lying around in my Joe Boxers and my sweatshirt, having eaten a good bowl of butter chicken . This means, no matter how I slice it, my weekend’s a let-down. But guess what? Guy’s weekend really went from zero-to-blows in about 60 seconds, long, long ago.

The additional fall-out is that sex may or may not be on the books for a few days. And understandably so. Does it mean I’m happy about it? What do you think, Junior Einstein? Oh, that’s right – that’s a big “No!” But I’m an adult, and I’ll deal just fine. I can’t even fathom having to work 17 hours in a row using actual brainpower like the Guy is now. To expect him to function at all like a human in the next couple of days is a tall order, despite whatever superpowers might reside in his pants.

Tonight, I understand. Tomorrow, when my body remembers it’s female and thus emotionally needy by nature, I might feel a sniffly sad thing or two that I’m not going to have the weekend I deep-down-inside want. Whatever. Grown-up powers, activate! (Okay, if you’re one of my collegiate readers and you missed the Justice League of America and the Wonder Twins, well, that’s your problem. You missed the minimum age requirement for riding, but we chose to overlook it. Feel grateful!)

Relationships are full of disparities, and the hard part is being perceptive enough and adult enough to realize when the scales have tipped drastically in one direction versus another. The other challenge is remembering that, while this “weekend” feels like forever when I can’t be with a lover I crave, in the long run, it’s a couple friggin’ days in the life of my relationship, so I need to keep perspective on just how troubling I feel my times really are.

It’s hard to pull your head out of your inner child’s ass sometimes in order to remember just how much there is a big world that rotates around your itty-bitty little existence. If you don’t manage the cranial extraction though, you’re fucked. It’s really that simple. A “woe is me” attitude only gets you so far.

No woe-is-me here. I’ve just been handed the opportunity to get my place dealt with, get out on my own a bit, and live my own life, hence pseudo-single. The Guy’s stuck being whipped by the Man, and those lashes are gonna sting for a few days. This is how the vicious circle spins, and my secret superhero Activator powers are just kicking in. (Insert powerful whooshing SFX here.)

Wonder Twin powers, ACTIVATE! In the shape of… grown-up!

The Great Divide: When Relationships Falter

I read one of my reader’s blogs this weekend and found myself thinking about it afterwards. Now, there’s two takes on this posting of his, and this is the first of them. The other I need to write, and it’ll probably be shorter. Since this posting, he’s had awesome sex with the wife and things are looking more promising. (Again, two words: Cock ring.)

He said the following:

Lately my wife has a new habit of staying up as late as I do. She falls asleep early often, but it is on the couch, refusing to go to bed until I do, which is funny since we all know nothing is going happen there. If she goes to bed, she wants me to use the computer from the bedroom. It’s like she’s making sure I have no life to myself, that everything about me must belong to her.

I am married, not owned.

The last line really hit me. No, he’s not the first to say it, but it’s a powerful statement any time it’s spoken. We are not possessions. We are not commodities. We need air, space, trust, and faith. We cannot consciously be shown on a constant basis that we are not trusted, or not only will the fabric of the relationship shred, but so will our self-esteem.

When self-esteem goes, so does any hope of a genuine relationship. It’s a vicious fucking cycle, and one that’s often created out of the insecurities of one lover not trusting the other. Often, it’s simply communication issues, which I’ll talk about next time.

That previously mentioned distrust can be valid. Very. Infidelity isn’t some urban legend that wives whisper about around the water cooler, in daunted tones like they’re talking about the relationship equivalent of Boo Radley; it’s a pressing concern for many relationships, and something both parties need to work very, very hard to avoid.

Creating an atmosphere of distrust when you have no proof, when it’s just you being insecure or having a bad time of it, is dangerous. You’re creating a bell-jar effect for your relationship. Meaning, you’re conjuring a sense of psychic disconnection from your lover by forcing them to be guarded, defensive, or even secretive.

In talking about the article in question, my loverman and I were discussing how, technically, Haaaaa’s blogging manner is an act of defiance and untrustworthiness simply because he’s airing the dirty laundry without seeming to be working on it with his wife, but that’s arguable, considering that she doesn’t seem to be talking, and just pointing fingers. I commented that I felt he was doing the lesser of all evils; he either blogged about his anger and disconnection in a way to get to the bottom of it or would find some commonality with others out in the world, or would instead find himself an outlet or Band-aid out in the world, via an inappropriate relationship with a woman, or some other negative stopgap.

Let’s say this loud and clear: You do not own title on your lover. You simply have lease on a part of their lives, whether you’re married or not. It is always, always, always in your best interest that your lover maintain some of their privacy and “me” time.

Clichés are true for a reason; the law of averages states that, more often than not, that is the truth in that given situation. Such as, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder.” The more you see a lover, the more chance you’re running out of time for yourself. The less time you have for yourself, the more the likelihood that your thoughts are getting drowned out in your mind.

You may want to be with your lover every day, but it’s just not entirely healthy. Time alone needs to be had, not just by you, but by them. Men, in particular, need that time alone. Manhood is a fragile thing, and when men get too embroiled in their women, they can lose touch with part of themselves. It may not be an immediately pressing issue, but it will eventually become a problem for both people in the relationship. Women need to be more possessive about their alone time, too, because it’s far too easy to find “self”-worth through a relationship – also a very detrimental thing, and something all too common with chicks.

Personally, alone time is absolutely essential to who I am. I can do without a social life, but I cannot, WILL not, do without time alone. To do so would be to destroy who and what I am. To do so would mean you’d get no fodder to read.

Marriages, I presume, eventually have phases where things get a little crowded. We’re told that, because it’s a marriage, it’s a “partnership” and everything is co-owned and shared, etc. In the end, though, it can’t be. I’ve quoted Grandma Death from Donnie Darko before, and I’ll do it again now: “In the end, every living creature dies alone.”

Between now and your death, make certain that the person who finds their way into that pine box is a reflection of the person you’ve always been. Keep your passions, keep your loves, and allow your lover the time to maintain their own. Healthy people make for healthy relationships.

Each partner must be able to indulge in passions and enjoyments on their own, or soon, they will lose some of their sense of selves, and while the relationship may continue to seem decent in an average kind of way, it’s not going to be same as it once was. Ever. Instead, the relationship becomes a tug-of-war, or worse, routine. Never, ever settle for the routine, and tug-of-wars aren’t worth the energy expended on them.

We can easily forget about the things that make us tick. Face it, life is designed to distract us from unhappiness. Not thrilled with life? The new Audi will solve that problem. Things getting too difficult? The airline has a 2-for-1 deal on flights. Insecurities getting you down? Bedhead’s got great hold in their hair products, and they smell nice, too!

When we’re unhappy in relationships, in life, we fill the gaps with things, with television, with sleep, with food. We do everything we can but face the problem itself, fearing that the cure is worse than the illness – which is often anything but true. Talk to your lover. Trust them. Give them space. Go listen to Sting’s “If You Love Somebody (Set Them Free)” and remind yourself that the song’s just echoing an eternal truth. Love comes back to you. And if it doesn’t, it was never yours to begin with. Again, clichés are true for a reason.

Why it takes so long to leave an unfulfilling relationship is that we can sometimes forget what it was like to be single, and we forget the sense of fulfillment we can take from ourselves. It’s scary, the notion of being alone versus being unhappy and together. The devil you know, etc. Relationships have a way of falsely making us feel whole – until the relationship’s flaws begin to become evident and we remember that, once upon a world, we were a different person with different needs and somewhere, somehow, who we were began to murkily assimilate with who our lovers were, with the lines dissipating in the dark of it all.

We are not possessions. We are flawed, imperfect beings who sometimes need the space to remember ourselves, for our lovers’ sakes. But, mostly, for our own.

Stress and Relationships

Life’s hard. We’ve all come to learn this through our own experiences. Adversity finds us, and it finds us with ease. Sometimes we deal well, and sometimes we don’t.

Almost always, the ones who bear the brunt of our emotional duress are those around us. Keeping our heads straight and keeping our emotions intact are what we’re told ‘adults’ do. So, we struggle. We keep ourselves under control, or at least we delude ourselves in thinking we’re managing to do so.

But then we snap. Little things piss us off, bend us out of shape. Inconsequential things, like other people’s bad driving, meaningless comments from our lovers, or so-called disappointments like the movie we’re wanting to see being rented out already. Then we grumble, moan, erupt.

Last week, a couple things sort of sent me headed towards Tizzy Land. My lover snapped at me once, and then said something a little crass and thoughtless the next day. Two things, two days in a row, was enough to make me start thinking, “Is this worth the effort? Don’t I deserve better?”

In reality, though, each of those moments couldn’t even amount to a molehill. Considering the weeks since we started seeing each other, all the adversity thrown at each of us, the fact that we’ve managed as well as we have in the face of those, and have had as many long and good and wonderful conversations as we’ve had, and that we have only had these two itty-bitty things to grouse about, things are going pretty fucking good.

The problem I’ve found with my relationship is that, with any new relationship, you get the “honeymoon period.” How doth I love thee? Let me count the ways. It’s the period when everything is bliss and sunshine, when you feel you’ve been blessed with something wildly great. It’s that time when everything you do is interrupted with those too-frequent giddy little thoughts of, “Mm, I’m seeing him/her tonight. Boy, I can’t wait! Mm… kisses!”

This relationship didn’t really come with a honeymoon period. It began with my being sick, followed by mutual money fears, followed by his short-lived good luck of being hired on permanently to his job, and then, whammo, a couple days later, he was felled with a serious broken leg that required two operations done same-day. Now, he’s on crutches still for about another month.

Me, I’ve been playing nursemaid, and I thought I wasn’t resentful about it. I really did. I’m the kind of gal who wants to be of use, who wants to help. Even more importantly, I’m a gal who spent a total of 20 weeks on crutches over about 13 and a half months, the last instance being just over a year ago. If anyone can relate to how fucking hard life on crutches is, it’s me. So, help I have, and as much as I’ve been able.

But then I snapped last week, and all because he had a grumpy moment. It’s fine and dandy to relate to someone’s problems, but when you think they have a reason to be grateful to you for putting yourself out for an hour or two, it’s far too bloody easy to forget that their frustrations are much greater than the few you’ve encountered in the recent hours. So, I disregarded how hard his life’s been of late, and how angry he probably is at all this, and let myself feel sorry for myself as a result, and then took it out on him.

A few years ago, it’d have been enough reason for me to walk away from the relationship. “Mmf, he doesn’t appreciate me.” I’d petulantly walk away, all in a huff, and take it personally. This time, I’m an adult with a little accumulated wisdom behind my years. I started to realize my anger wasn’t at him, not really. It was because we never had a honeymoon period, and now, here we were, in a “real” relationship, with disagreements and miscommunications, and it dawned on me… we probably would never have that honeymoon period after all. We’ve gone from meeting to having a mature, measured relationship, without any of the carefree bliss in between.

Caring for a person doesn’t necessarily mean you’re always going to be able to treat them as they deserve to be treated. It’s hard to be honest with ourselves about how difficult our adversities are. It’s even more difficult to be honest with ourselves about how overwhelmed we’re feeling in the face of those adversities. And let’s face it, it’s brutal to admit our powerlessness to someone we’re hoping always sees us at our best, especially if you’re the guy and you’re supposed to be stoic and strong. But as a woman, it can also be really challenging to admit those feelings because we don’t want to be perceived as needy or overly emotional. Both sexes always have too much to lose from telling the truth, or so we seem to believe.

Admitting disappointments and anger and fear and hopelessness is akin to admitting we’re not tough enough to take life on. None of us wants to be that person, the one who’s being beaten by adversity. None of us wants to admit to embarrassment or failure. The one person we ought to be able to admit these things to is the one person we hope will never find it out. We don’t want their illusions of us to be shattered. After all, we know the truth: We’re not perfect.

Or, maybe it’s a little different from that. In my case, I didn’t want to seem petty. I didn’t want my guy to know I was angry he broke his leg, that I was hurt by the reality that we were suddenly thrust into this serious situation whereby our bliss was hurled out the third floor window of a hospital. The incisions in his legs cut into the heart of our relationship and made things complicated – when things should have seemed blissful and easy.

The thing about a new relationship is that it takes the edge off an already hard life for a little bit, and we didn’t have that. I found myself resentful about it, and as a result, I hated that I could feel such a way – feel so petty, so needy – when I really, really liked the guy regardless of the struggles he now faced.

It’s hard to tell someone you resent what’s occurring to you as a result of their adversities, and that resentment can really prove damaging to us. A great example of this is from the absolutely incredible and amazing miniseries Angels in America, when Louis leaves Prior because Prior’s been diagnosed with AIDS. Louis loves Prior as much as any person can, but he’s too fucking weak to stand around and watch his lover succumb to his horrid disease, so he walks, and in so doing, very nearly destroys himself as a result.

We hate ourselves for our inability to deal with life’s challenges, and it certainly can kill our relationships. We all know that stresses send our sexual desires plummeting sometimes, and with that, one of our healthiest forms of release takes a walk on us, and next thing you know, an already unpleasant situation escalates.

In my situation, I think we’ve overcome the worst of the Guy’s adversities. It’s not over, not by a long shot, and I hope I’m woman enough to continue admitting to him when it’s difficult for me, too, while still being there for him when he needs it. I’ve no illusions about the difficulties that lie ahead for us as he begins the slow path to rehabilitation, but then, I’ve been through similar struggles myself, and I know that if anyone can provide the support and understanding he’s going to need during this time, it’s me. And, fortunately, something inside of me says it’s worth it. I hope I’m right. But therein lies another struggle, that of unknowing and that of doubt. We just never know.

But we can hope. So, I do. I know there’s one great tool we both have at our disposal, and fortunately, we both know how to use it, and that’s communication. It’s the only thing that gets us through these times, and it can never be underestimated.