I know it’s been more than a minute. But I started work and the relationship with Scott took off.
Dating during Covid changed the way anyone would date long distance. There’s no spending a night in a hotel or a weekend because you don’t want to possibly carry Covid back and forth so we tend to switch off weeks at a time. This created a semi-living situation which his friend dubbed “marriage-lite.” It’s pretty accurate.
And oh is it tough.
I was never entirely sold on Scott from the beginning but ultimately made the decision to try because of many good reasons. There were some outstanding reasons that might have been big enough to stop sooner but I figured times are different, I’m different and maybe it was time to try a new approach to the way I handled things emotionally. I’m not unhappy I did. But ultimately, I’m don’t really feel any different than I did back in the summer.
Scott and I are different. I may have articulated some things that sounded frivolous and judgmental to others. Some of those things have actually lost their bluster as the relationship developed. But as with any couple that spends a lot of time together, the polish wears down and the shiny new thing gets dull.
Were the cracks there all along. Yes. They were. No doubt about it. Some more obvious than others. All highlighted by the inordinate amount of time we are spending together. If we make it past the New Year, we are going to need to slow it down or there won’t be a chance of survival. I’m not even sure there is now. I frankly don’t know how much of this is from the compressed living situation or if it would have happened regardless of current circumstances.
I’ve done things I’m not so sure he can really ever get over, the resentment is already there. He has now done things I’m not so sure I can get past, though mine are not built off resentment. If I were to list everything we’d be here more than a minute, so let me try and recap as best possible. As usual, I need this brain dump because I’m not feeling so great about him/us at the moment.
His resentment is easy to guess. I wasn’t impressed with his job or the money he earned and I voiced hat pretty early on. That ate at him because he believes he has “arrived”. In particular his comments have included “everyone else thinks I’ve got it made except you!” When I pick at him about the things that bother me (and I will get to those) he will say “get my foot off his chest” and get angry, really angry. Add in alcohol and we’ve got an immediate dumpster fire. He consistently says he’s has never been or felt so wrong in his life (this one resonates with me because it is my kids and my x’s complaint as well).
Because his three big ones are accurate (about his job/level of success and my critical and controlling nature), I backed up, a lot. But I’m left feeling that I haven’t made the right choice for myself and I’m overlooking other concerns I have because I’m trying to course correct the concerns he has about me that I agree with. In other words, I acknowledge I have some real crap parts to my personality that I would like to change and this relationship gives me (or gave me) the space to be a better person. The problem with this approach is that almost ANY issue I have now becomes related to me being critical and controlling. Perhaps its true. Or maybe it’s not. That’s where the confusion lies.
So I have just learned that some of the things I deem important have no bearing on me in the context of our current relationship. They might if we have a long term relationship, but they don’t right now. And if the relationship has any chance of survival, I have to keep that in mind and keep my mouth shut.
Do I think this is fair or right? No, I don’t. But I’m willing and ready to try something different. However, as I mentioned, his resentment may have already built to a point where he can’t let go of what has passed. So when other tensions pop up, the anger and resentment from past issues spills out. I don’t know how to fix that or if I can.
The money/job success piece I can’t retract. I voiced my feelings and he already felt the resentment. He didn’t mention it for a long while until he got really angry with me over something else entirely – so that means it’s there, under the surface, waiting to rear its ugly head. I know that right now this has no bearing on our relationship. I have a lot of opinions about his work but I need to shut my mouth. He is very proud of himself and he does like to often say “I’ve made it to the top” or “I’m the best at my job”. It makes me cringe but it has no impact on the relationship. It’s not what I would do.
As far as this goes long term, yes, I see an issue. I equate success with long, hard hours and earning potential. He has no desire to chase that. Now that I’ve spent more time with him I see exactly how much free time he has during a day of work. Does he work hard when he’s working? Sure. But he works 4 days a week for about 6 hours a day. So the money he makes for that level of effort is pretty stellar.
I’ve mentioned he is a storyteller. I knew some if not most of those stories are heavily embellished. Now, I’ve caught several inconsistencies and questioned him. These feel like “white lies” to me. For example, he left to go see someone’s new car one night when we were at a bar. He came back and smelled like smoke. I questioned him and he said the other guy was smoking in his car. I smelled both cheeks so I knew he was lying but I dropped it. The next day we were at his local bar and I ordered chicken fingers. When they were delivered to me the waitress laughed and made a comment about a story. I thought I knew the story (I did know a version of) but turns out a girl was involved. It was no big deal. But he didn’t tell the truth around this girl when he told the story the first couple times. These two things back to back had my hackles up because lying is a really big deal breaker for me and so is smoking. This was when I got the comment “take your foot off my chest” because he thinks white lies to not hurt someone’s feelings are ok and that everyone does it. Well, no they don’t. I don’t and that’s all that should matter. I didn’t penalize him about the girl or the smoking. He knows I’m allergic to smoke and detest the taste. And I could care less about the girl as it’s his past.
Until this weekend I really had implicit trust in him and now my spider sense are going.
But the big one, the really big one, that’s making me feel like it’s over is what happened when we got home after the smoking incident. He was very drunk. Too drunk. His drinking is a red flag to me as well but, again, not something I need to address right away since it has never had any impact on me before this weekend. We got into bed. There was a lot of tension. Then there was an explosion and for the life of me I can’t even tell you what caused it. I rolled over to go to sleep. He flew out of bed, threw the lights on and came right up to my face in anger and screaming at me to get the fuck out of his house. I was scared and I told him to stop being violent and that sent him into another whole kind of rage.
I left the room and slept in the guest room.
The next morning he didn’t address anything (he wakes first by at least an hour). I had packed my suitcase overnight while he was sleeping and my bags were at the door. I came down dressed. He had no intention of resolving the issue. He said he knew his actions had consequences and he would have to accept them.
The short version of this is I initiated a conversation. He acknowledged he flew off the handle but my use of the word violent was extreme and simply made him angrier. He did apologize for losing his temper and threatening to throw me out. I just gave up eventually as I realized he would not see my perspective. When I tried to explain he scared me and there were other concerns wrapped up in the event (smoking, lying, drinking and rage) I could see it was angering him and I wasn’t about to get anywhere. It defaulted to how I treated him in the past and that the tensions bubbled over but were gone now.
Do you give someone a pass for that?
I’m not positive how I feel. I was sad. Disheartened. Scott and I are genuinely friends and get along well. We have so much fun together and really enjoy each other’s company. But when the relationship pieces come into play, it feels like things get off the rails.
I can believe and understand much of what occurred was due to built up resentment. I will accept that he needed to get it out (not the way it happened but he says it’s out now). So, if it’s out for him, do I move on or am I going to always be afraid it eventually happens again?
I had to leave him earlier than expected this week as my son is having surgery. I felt immense relief upon leaving him. I needed the break and I would be surprised if he didn’t feel the same way. Writing this hasn’t helped the way I thought it might.
I don’t know if either of us can withstand another talk. I feel like I need to balance things and tread softly until we get through the holidays. I didn’t even bother to think through some of the other items that bother me because the ones above are the ones that really matter.
Drinking: he likes to drink. We like to drink together. I didn’t realize he likes to drink alone. I didn’t realize how much he drinks. I’m all for getting drunk and having fun, but not on the regular.
Smoking: at some point months in I tasted tobacco and questioned him. At first he admitted he was a smoker many years ago. Then he admitted he smoked cigars. Now I find out he smokes several cigars a day but still won’t say he’s a smoker. He has really made an effort to not let me taste it or smell it before I saw him until now. That was because he was drunk most likely. The next day he said he wanted to sit outside with a cigar (the day after the fight). I asked him later that day if that was intentional to kind of poke at me and he got really mad. But he never ever smoked around me or even suggested it. It felt intentional.
Lying: now that I’ve heard several white lies, I feel like they must be everywhere and wonder what else I’m missing. I can’t speak to him about this right now because it really makes him angry. I have always equated that kind of anger with someone trying to hide more cause that was my x. When anything triggers me and I explain the trigger his standard response is “I’m not them”.
Anger/Rage: there’s nothing to say about this. Damaged people behave this way including me. This takes so much work to keep down and change behaviors. It might not be possible between us if we both have that piece of our personality.
Scott feels his life is free and carefree and I have too many rules. I don’t know how to manage any of this and I truly don’t even know what I feel. Some of it is disappointment in myself for being unable to have an easy no expectations relationship. Why can’t I just let it go and not worry about the future? Maybe there isn’t a future. Should that even matter right now?