Romper Room

Something happened during a conversation with Bennett on Saturday night that gave me pause.

I would say it’s something like a trigger.  He says something that doesn’t sit well with me and it raises negative feelings.

I wish I could articulate exactly why it bothered me or how, but it did. And it sat with me into the next day.

Worse yet, it came out in my behavior in perhaps less than what I perceived as subtle ways.  Bennett noticed and immediately called me on it. I refused to talk about it.

I was stomping my foot.

I didn’t want to talk about it because it was like a mist shrouded around something intangible. I couldn’t identify what was bugging me but it was there.

I couldn’t understand the point of discussing something ambiguous with him because I believe that just leads down paths not meant to be explored. Perhaps in some way my unconscious isn’t ready to talk about whatever it is that bugging me.

Or, more likely, it really wasn’t a big enough deal to make something of it…but I can see how my response reads like a negative behavior…which isn’t good.   I have done this more than once with him lately and I partially feel like I am creating something out of nothing.

The result was a disjointed conversation that perhaps picked up midstream when he started singing my favorite song (yes, my knees go weak when he does this, and he sings often but this one song is special).  After the song I suppose whatever was eating at me loosened its grip enough for normal conversation to flow and he soon remarked “now I feel like you love me again.”  I took pause and qualified that I love him ALL the time, even if  something was bugging me.  He said he was joking but I called him on it saying there was some truth in there.

I should have paused and acknowledged that he knew singing to me would make me feel calm and he is perceptive enough of my behaviors that he picked up on the nuance of my being unhappy about “something.”

We spoke normally for a bit and then I asked him something about something else that was on my mind and he gently teased, but it pushed my buttons and I abruptly ended the conversation.  I heard in his voice he wasn’t happy.  I slowed down and said I love you and goodnight with an appropriate tone of voice.  I don’t  like to ever end on a bad note, but I was clearly fussed about something.

Last night was the Walking Dead premiere (holy fucking God!) so I put down the phone during that time and looked after the show was over expecting my typical goodnight text. There was none.

I sent one with a note preceding:

“Hmmmm. I know I was upset when I hung up but no goodnight text from you is out of order.  I love you, Bennett. Goodnight ❤️⚡️❤️”

The hearts and lightning are our sort of signature.

He sends a goodnight every night and every morning. Almost without fail.

But I know he withheld because I ended a phone conversation.

It just has me thinking.

Thinking more on top of thinking about whatever nugget spurred me from the night before.

Something’s bugging me and I can’t quite put my finger on it and I think it made him mad (?) that I couldn’t share it with him and then ended a conversation.  I think he is retaliating.  Like tit for tat.

I did behave poorly, but it’s not a license for him to behave poorly as well, is it?

It’s not sitting well with me.

You know how some puzzle pieces fall into place and you suddenly see something more clearly.  Perhaps that’s why my image is still misty.  I feel that I am about to have a moment of clarity about Bennett that I may not like.

I suppose we shall see what the morning brings.

I have a strong feeling things are unraveling.  I don’t know why and some bad moments are normal, but something doesn’t feel right to me.


8am this morning and no good morning text.  Rare.

My thoughts spiral, am I mad or upset?  Is he doing it on purpose or is he simply late to work this morning?  Is he mad or upset?  And, over what, really?

Do I also send a good morning text?

I’m not sure what this is turning into, but it seems that because I was unwilling to discuss what had been bothering me and also because I ended a conversation abruptly that I am being penalized but not receiving my goodnight and good mornings.

Maybe that’s not what it is.

If he is upset with me, withholding my favorite things isn’t good behavior.

Truth be told, I feel a bit sick waiting on him this morning, like I know something is about to happen.


By 9am, still with no Good Morning text, Bennett sends a message full of frustration that he is growing tired of the small conflicts we have been having lately because he feels they are over minor things.

My stomach turned when I read the message and I didn’t know how to reply.

I now knew he was frustrated and withheld his good night and good morning.

I called him when I arrived to the office, again unusual as he always calls me, and we spoke about it.  While he said his love for me isn’t any less, he is concerned that we seems to have a behavior between us of these “triggers” that set us both off in the wrong direction.

He’s not wrong in saying that, but I don’t know how we fix this.

I wonder how much of this is created from my mind being more frustrated with the situation that I allow myself to properly think about.

I don’t have good conflict resolution skills and I am unsure that he does either as it seems his marriage is quite sedate.  I didn’t find myself frustrated with Bobby the way I seem to get with Bennett over minor things.

I still can’t get over the feeling of unraveling, like things coming apart at the seams, though there is no true indication of that.


I’m left with a feeling of immaturity, and not on Bennett’s behalf but on mine.  The sick feeling in the pit of my stomach is fear that I have done something wrong, maybe unforgivable, and he will leave me.  That’s utterly ridiculous. I know how he loves me, so why I am acting like this?

Maybe I feel sick because I realize I am acting immaturely and I don’t know how to fix this behavior exactly.  I need to grow up and I’m not so sure how to do this.

I need to explore what triggered me and why on Saturday night, and then why I allowed it to continue into Sunday.  Why was I acting like something is a big deal when it isn’t?  Why am I needling?  And what am I so scared of …. him leaving me?  Yes, sure.  But, why?

Does this all go back to “I’m not good enough?”




Author: Madeline Harper

My journey through divorce and an emotional and sexual reawakening. Love, laughter, friendships, family and heartbreak included. And there is sex, lots of it, so close your eyes and turn the page if that's not for you! While I started this blog as an endeavor to journal my thoughts and feelings in an attempt to better understand myself, it has become an amazing platform from which I have met some of the most interesting and wonderful people in my life. My path is often crooked, but I hope you will share in the journey with me.

21 thoughts on “Romper Room”

  1. I believe your feelings as described above will continue as long as he’s not coming home to you each night. This is neither your fault or his. Don’t be so quick to blame yourself. We are not in control of our feelings, but we are in control of our behavior. If you could only just not care about who he’s actually sleeping with each night. I think that is what brings the anger up with the two of you.
    In any event, the fact that he’s “punishing ” you for your feelings should be a red flag for you.


    1. Yes it’s that not caring where he lays his head at night that irks me so. I wonder why it eats at me. And you are right I do notice how he wants me to be whiter than white while he is not. I do not disregard that at all. I have just made a choice while I am in this I will try to do the right thing by him and how I feel.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. “I did behave poorly, but it’s not a license for him to behave poorly as well, is it?”.

    I think this attitude says it all. Why wouldn’t it be a license? Do you only travel on 1-way (your way!) streets with him? You have been used to getting your way ALWAYS with Bennett, and now it’s beginning to grate with him. Perhaps there was a little bit of him punishing you by not sending good night and morning texts, but the greater reason is that he’s just pissed off with you. You have pushed him too far. Either you apologize and start to back off, or this really will be the beginning of the unraveling.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. “I refused to talk about it.”

    Did you explain to Bennett as you have in this post, that it’s something you cannot articulate or put your finger on? You state that you perceive it as a small thing, not a big deal, yet it’s manifesting in your behavior to the point where Bennett calls you on it. If the tables were turned, if Bennett was acting in an unusual way and refused to talk to you about it, would you let it go as well?

    “We spoke normally for a bit and then I asked him something about something else that was on my mind and he gently teased, but it pushed my buttons and I abruptly ended the conversation.”

    Twice in one phone call something has triggered a negative reaction and/or behavior from you toward him. First you shut him down and did not want to discuss it, second you abruptly ended the conversation. I can understand his frustration and perhaps not wanting to interact with you in normal fashion because your last conversation contained unresolved issues.

    While not commenting much lately, I have been reading and following along, M. With Bennett being married and mired down in circumstances that make the timing of an honest conversation with his wife about their marriage and his long-term life desires even more challenging, there is a new fissure and exposed layer of friction laced into your relationship right now. Whether you can ride it out or it will part of what ends the relationship only time will tell. But being transparent that you’re bugged or irritated by something even without being able to identify it is better than simply shutting down the conversation or allowing it to be pushed away from the table by him consoling you with song.

    You are also only a few months into this relationship. The honeymoon period could just be winding down and the realities of what it will mean to be a couple are starting to break through the fog of new love. I can understand not wanting to deal with those hurtful realities, but avoidance and denial do not make the issues fade away.

    Liked by 5 people

  4. Ok I am just gonna blurt out my spontaneous thoughts, cause I don’t really agree with anyone else here, perhaps, I dont know.. 😉 (I just think they were way too focused on you “abruptly ending a conversation” and whatnot. I think that might be the wrong focus… OK here goes, honest: A) I think what is truly bugging you might be (very likely), that he has not begun the conversation with his wife. Even though you have made it very clear to him that that is what you need. And made it clear here on the blog that you would basically hate going through the holidays like this…. This is a clear indicator to me that all this that you are “bugged”, very likely is just your subconscious reminding you to be true to yourself…. and not “let him off the hook that easily”, sort of. And B) I think it was actually quite childish of him to “withhold” with his usual texts. Withholding normal tenderness gestures is at best extremely childish, at worst it is narcissistic punishment methods (believe me I have been through all of those methods….).

    I think you really need to think again about your previous posts and what is really at the root of your sudden irritation… just a well meant advice, dont short the messenger… 😁 If I am completely wrong, I apologize. Good luck ⚘

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I know neither of you – only what you yourself write. I mean no offense and these are only an outsider’s observations. I believe (or see) that you both are still caught up in immature behavior. You say you are in love as does he, yet it is obvious that he is still IN A RELATIONSHIP WITH HIS WIFE whom he at least once loved very dearly or they would not be married. How do you really know he will ever end it?

    I agree with the above post that I think you are troubled by underlying issues which are making you touchy, perhaps? But also, both of you must agree to terms of your relationship and how it will work (if it’s going to.) If he’s annoyed by something you say, or vice versa, do you both agree it’s alright to NOT text goodnight nor good morning? Or do you agree to say, “I’m frustrated with you now so good night and let’s chat tomorrow at first chance, ok?”

    For you guys to succeed at all, you must relinquish some sense of control here and allow him to decide what his destiny will be. Only he can do that – not you. As much as you love him and hope “this might be the one” you must admit that a few steps back, and a cool head and a dose of reality may be best to assess if it can work or not. I am not advising you to pick Bennett apart and decide he is wrong for you… or that you made a bad decision! Just that a wait and see attitude, without rushing and immediately jumping to the conclusion that ‘it’s over’ could be what you need right now.

    Bide your time a bit. Men are delicate creatures as much as we would like to think that we are! Hugs to you, sweetie.


    1. “Bide your time a bit. Men are delicate creatures as much as we would like to think that we are! Hugs to you, sweetie.”

      True dat!

      You gals really have no idea what you do to us.

      Even after a divorce many if not most of us, still really care about you. While many of you seem to not care at all.

      The opposite of love isn’t hate. It’s ambivalence.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. It may be a self defense mechanism. Men compartmentalize (or try to) as a way of not showing pain.

        I crossed paths with ‘you know who’ awhile back. If I hadn’t made a strong effort to appear ambivalent, I might have started to gush.

        And there’s a big difference between loving someone, and being in love with someone.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m just going to throw some things out here…
    Perhaps the fact that he is married and your future is unclear is sitting poorly with you deep down and it’s wanting to pop it’s ugly little head up but you are trying to push it down and just enjoy your time in the present..but you can’t. I’m not sure what he said that initially did not sit well with you..but I am afraid you are going to keep experiencing this as more time passes and no movement on his part. You will undoubtedly grow frustrated with his lack of movement.
    As far as him punishing you by not sending the goodnight and good morning, I would honestly just let that go. Perhaps he was just frustrated and needed space and just didn’t want communication for that short while and it wasn’t about taking away something from you..but more about giving himself space to not say something he may later regret.
    I also wonder if part of the fun for him in the beginning was the chase. .you were not an easy catch and he worked to have you fall in love with him…now that you are in love there will be expectations that he continue to do that work…and to also make movement towards leaving his wife…that sort of kills his fun. So many times relationships are so fun in the first few months and when reality sets in and takes hold the little squabbles eat away at the fun. It just happens.
    And finally: I think you may have taken Bennetts adoration of you for granted a little too much. You know he loves you and he pursued you so hard..but it doesn’t mean that it’s only your way when it comes to communication. If you are acting out of sorts he has the right to ask and to enquire about it…you don’t get to stomp your foot and determine when conversations needs to go both ways.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Don’t do something to someone else, and then be mad when they do it to you. If you go silent on him, why can’t he do the same to you? Yeah it’s childish, but now you know how he feels when you do it.

    This is kind of like a conversation I had with someone offline about leaving someone in a position where they couldn’t ask questions or get answers from me in the future. If they put me in that position now, why should I care if it’s like that for them in the future?

    Childish yes. But it’s simply mirroring.

    And men HATE IT when women just go silent on us. Especially when you nag us incessantly if we do the same.

    And I agree with sassygirl about maybe taking too much for granted.


  8. let me throw this out there as food for thought.

    i’ve read a lot of “relationship experts” say that one of the worst things a married couple can do, is to put the kids above their own marriage as the #1 priority. Kids learn from seeing partners who make each other #1, and take advantage of it when they don’t. Eventually the kids leave home, and the husband and wife end up with someone they may not really know anymore.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Amazing how we think we are doing the right thing, and may just be making things worse.

        It was like that with my ex. Always trying to be my kids friend and protector from things they should have been allowed to fail at.


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