Confusion

Like much of the country, weather here sucks. The snow is pretty but it makes me feel claustrophobic after a week of continuous snow. Maybe it’s the claustrophobia that is making me feel some sort of way.

I’ve been seeing Scott over the course of a year at this point. Next week would be one year and we were set to celebrate with a couple nights in a hotel.

But I haven’t heard from him in 2 days now. Dead silence. And as I sit here and contemplate how I feel about this, I come up empty.

My friend says I’m selling myself on a less than ideal relationship and some days I feel that way and other days I don’t.

Have you ever been so confused that you don’t know how much of the issue is because of you? I know I have some negative traits. Lots of them. Scott had tolerated a lot of my negative behavior and makes me want to be a better person. I try very hard to stay positive and not be critical. I try to be very aware now. The problem is, oftentimes my behavior is a result of his and we can’t see eye to eye. I’m not blaming him, I just think it’s both of us creating a discomfort which linger between us.

Let me start with all the good things, the reasons I stay with Scott:

We laugh, so much and all the time. He just makes me crack up even when I don’t want to. This has always been one of my most highly coveted traits in a person.

He’s smart, and the kind of smart I admire. He just knows a lot of things. And when he doesn’t know he researches. He is one of the rare people I defer to for knowledge about many things. I admire this trait greatly.

He’s practical about many things but can also be impractical about others. I like this balance. He has his own Bougie side and isn’t cheap. He knows what he needs to be serious about (like diet and exercise) but will break those patterns to have a Cocktail and a snack.

He’s fun.

He is healthy and very fit. This is an immense turn on and he keeps me on track. We cook and workout together.

He is a good Dad and very close to one of his two daughters. They are like best friends.

He’s great in bed. We had a slow start here but it’s gotten really good.

Things that concern me:

He is stubborn. And once he gets stuck he is immovable.

While he isn’t always quick to anger, once he does he gets mean. I think he has underlying anger issues but he won’t address it. When I see the anger flare I try to immediately back off whatever topic got him to that point.

He can be inconsistent and that plays into some of my worst fears. I like to know where I stand which requires a lot of communication.

He doesn’t have good emotional communication. This dead silence for 2 days is a good example.

I feel he is immature because he doesn’t have friends who are peers. Because of this he hangs out with his daughter who is 24 and her friends. He doesn’t see this as an issue. I think a 46 year old man hanging out at bars, bar hopping and getting very drunk with children is a concern.

He drinks and smokes. He admitted (while drunk) that he knows his drinking is an issue. He doesn’t smoke around me and does his best to hide the smell and taste before he sees me.

He doesn’t have family traditions and strong family values. He is close to one of his daughters and one of his sisters but his family is dysfunctional. In his marriage he didn’t celebrate holidays and such and didn’t establish traditions, so he gets weird around traditions I have (or want to establish with him). this makes me feel as if nothing should be celebrated.

I sometimes feel stressed when we are together for long periods. This is primarily due to the fact that he’s just not busy. His work is very light. If he actually works 3-4 hours in any given day it’s a lot. So that means when I have any break he’s full on with me. I mostly don’t mind but I don’t think he sees how consuming he is. Alternatively, when he’s not with me his communication is highly inconsistent. Those two behaviors don’t reconcile well for me. I don’t expect him to text every 5 mins but I do expect a good morning, good night and a phone call each day. Or at least communication why I wouldn’t hear from him (I don’t feel well, I’m going out etc). These last 2 days are an example. We have had discussions about this and he is aware (and is ok with) my expectations for communication.

Here is what seems to have happened:

Monday: He left by train after 2.5 weeks with me. I text him twice to see if he arrived home safely (not happy he didn’t communicate this without me asking first) and he said he was out with his daughter. He text again to say they were home and chatting so I told him to enjoy his night. No reply.

Tuesday: I received my normal good morning. One text during the day and then nothing. I text him when I was finished with work and he told me he had a headache. I said I will leave him be and said goodnight. I know he doesn’t like to be bothered when he doesn’t feel well. But he could have text during the day to let me know why I wasn’t hearing from him.

Wednesday: I received a normal good morning. I asked how he slept and how he felt. I didn’t hear from him again until a photo of his dinner. I asked how he cooked it. I text when I was done with work and he said he was at the food store and would call when home. That was 7:45. He called at 9:15 while I was getting ready for bed. I replied by text about 15 mins later that I was going to sleep and said goodnight. He said goodnight. I have not heard from him since.

This has happened before. Where I may have not been as receptive as he expected so he determined I was “in a mood” and wanted to “let me have my space” and I would “reach out when I was ready”.

However, I wasn’t in any mood. I was tired and wanted to sleep and said so (I didn’t have my glasses on so I said “robbed” instead of “to bed” but otherwise was clear. There was no good morning on Thursday or Friday.

Is he angry I said “late night at a food store”. Is that the driver here? Who knows.

So I’m sitting here somewhat upset and anxious and not knowing what’s going through his mind. I question if I should be holding out like this but I have my reasons.

We have had a few arguments and hurdles to overcome. Each time I have made the effort to reach out and smooth things over. Every time there is conflict I am the first to try and resolve it. This has made me feel like each time is also somehow my fault. I did something to upset him, he withdraws and so I must soothe. Of course we know not every conflict can be due to one person, and his withdrawal is on him. I have always felt like it was worth it to smooth things over regardless of the conflict and how it started. I felt that he may not know how to Manage conflict within a relationship – and I’m no expert but I felt like the relationship deserved it. I was willing to be the one to set an example of how conflict can be resolved with love.

This time, there was no conflict. This time I simply didn’t answer the phone when he called and I have no idea why I haven’t heard from him. I’m angry, upset, anxious, hurt and confused. I could reach out as easily as he could. I’m not because I’ve reached my limit of being the one to always smooth things over. He broke routine, two days in a row, and he must have his reasons. one partner in any relationship cannot always be the one to attempt reconciliation. This isn’t even a reconciliation though! I’m frustrated and tired.

Things were not this way before Thanksgiving. The period between Thanksgiving and New Years was fraught with tensions and arguments. I felt these were resolved in early January and we have been spending quality time together and both of us were happy and connected. maybe that’s not the case. Maybe he wasn’t. But if he wasn’t he didn’t communicate it.

So that brings me to emotional communication. I over communicate. I ask a lot of questions and I’m curious about everything in his life. I realize he does not have the same curiosity. He says he doesn’t need to ask questions because I will tell him everything I want him to know in my own time. While some of this may hold true, I believe when someone has a strong emotional communication style, they are inquisitive about their partners moods, experiences, and day to day – especially in a long distance relationship.

I’m disappointed. I believe I have tried really hard to maintain this relationship. I do not feel the same from him. I always feel like he is willing to let me walk away. I have told him how I feel about abandonment snd how I have to work within myself to resolve this type of anxious attachment. What if he is avoidant attachment style? Unable to dig deep for the emotional connection. He hasn’t experienced a relationship where someone consistently demonstrates their love for him and says it out loud. I tell him I love him, I miss him, I’m happy when around him. I make sure he hears these things from me because it’s important I hear them too. When he’s here I’m sure to be close to him and touch him (quality time and physical touch are his love languages). Perhaps he doesn’t need the affirmation I do, but I have discussed with him how important the words of affirmation are to me and when he withholds like this I can’t help but feel it’s intentional.

I worry something is wrong yet I can’t be the one to reach out this time. I strongly feel he needs to demonstrate the interest to maintain this relationship.

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.

12 thoughts on “Confusion”

  1. Sounds like he gets wrapped up in his goings ons with his daughter, and just spaces off. I sure hope he reaches out to you soon and tell him that when he does this, it makes you worried about him and makes you wonder if you may have said something wrong. But there again you are right in the fact that you shouldn’t always be the one to smooth things over, or the first to reach out. I can relate to being made to feel forgotten. Hurts!! Sure, sure we know kids come first and all that, but he needs to find a balance.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. He does get a little wrapped up with his daughter when she is at home, and I understand why – he doesn’t have any other family close by, and he missed a whole lot of her childhood with his work travel and they are two peas in a pod Sometimes I feel that he treats her more like a partner than a parent, but that’s not any of my business, Since he has always lacked a successful adult relationship, had a poor model in his own parents, I just don’t think he sees parenting the way I do.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Um. I think this relationship has been very good at showing you how to be in something without letting it consume you. You have been working hard. It’s possible that… it’s in your world to help you learn these amazing and hard lessons and develop those skills and now you’ll be learning how to let it go. You’re a highly attentive leader lady, you’re amazing at putting your mind to things and making them work. But this isn’t one of those things. Know your value. You deserve someone who wants to talk to you every day. You deserve someone who if they are upset, knows how to say it. Or will work on it. He may be a good man, but he may not be YOUR good man.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. And if he’s literally ‘spacing’ for two days and forgets to be in contact, well…. ‘he’s just not that into you’ . He won’t make you a priority if you don’t make you a priority.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. He didn’t space, except for maybe the first morning. He needed a break after 2.5 weeks full on with me, but then it became a “lets wait and see when she reaches out to me” We also see priority differently (him and I). he was angry when I said he didn’t prioritize our communication – and he said he put his life on hold to stay at my home for 2.5 weeks – isn’t that priority enough? I can see his side, I just not how to cross the chasm.

      Like

  4. Disclaimee: I dont k or the whole story. 😇
    This post reads like there’s a lot of blame, and an expectation that he will be like you. The former may (or may not) be justified, but if he is not like you it’s your choice how you deal with how you feel about it.
    From my own experience of marriage counselling, there are also hints of a Parent/Child dynamic: I may be reading more into that than there really is.
    FWIW The text message typo would have confused me. If I’d received that from my Wife I would have wondered if She was pissed off at me and I would have stepped back to avoid the anger I would (rightly or wrongly) have expected from her. Obviously your relationship may have a very different dynamic

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your perspective. Interestingly enough, when we spoke he said the one thing he realizes that he’s doing (which isn’t doing either of us any favors) is not asking me clarifying questions. If I say something which confuses him or conflicts with a previous statement or behavior he lets it pass, but when I do it again (over the same item let’s say) he gets angry that it’s not what he thought I said (maybe I did or didn’t, every case is different, but he wouldn’t know because he didn’t ask any questions). For some reason he doesn’t ask questions as a way to avoid any perceived conflict.

      He didn’t have any decent parenting. He was kicked out of his home by the time he was about 15. Coupled with a long term marriage which the wife seemingly never spoke. While he may be an excellent mediator, he had no experience dealing with emotional conflict.

      Blame – I don’t know who I’m blaming more, him or me. Strangely (for me) I see both sides. I don’t want him to be me. I like many of his differences. But I do want to be met half way on many things.

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      1. I can relate to his difficulty with emotional conflict, though Our counsellor seems to imagine that is because I grew up with parents who never shared a cross word. Oh the irony – perfect marriages are damaging to kids! 🥺🤣 Who knew!
        Anyway, I may be all wrong – I only know a tiny part of the picture. I hope you find a good path.

        Liked by 1 person

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