His letter came Saturday.

We spoke a bit on Sunday and I also spoke to my therapist Sunday.

He agreed to therapy and to read 2 books she recommended.

Since then, we have had basic communication. He sent a lot of flowers to me Monday morning in an effort to acknowledge small gifts are important to me and he had stopped doing anything like that for me since last October. He also sends sweet little messages during the day to let me know he’s thinking of me.

But I’m feeling removed and deflated. I’m still confused about what I want.

I turned on Bumble for a minute last week because I was angry and I matched with a guy quickly. we started speaking and he asked me out this week. While I thought “fuck it” I realized two things: 1/ I don’t want someone else; 2/ I won’t be a jerk and cheat for no good reason. So I sent the nice guy a text, being honest, saying I wasn’t in the right headspace to be dating. I had already pulled my profile down within 24 hours of putting it up. It was a childish and immature act of rebellion.

Here is what’s bugging me:

He hasn’t mentioned if he bought the books, so I’m pretty sure he hasn’t.

He hasn’t mentioned therapy and I haven’t given him her number so he hasn’t contacted her.

He hasn’t asked to see me.

He hasn’t asked any questions about me (friends, family, life) his standard question is: how was your day, what did you do?

I realize in dating him it isn’t enough to expect your partner to tell you everything organically. You must ask questions and show curiosity. You must pull out information. It’s unfair to think “if you want to tell me you will tell me”. We haven’t spoken about one thing you couldn’t speak to a bartender about. I feel myself turning further inward and creating an even bigger chasm. His standard response to this challenge would be one of two things: I tried and you stopped me or “you women don’t like to talk about those things” which is the biggest load of bullshit I don’t even know what it means. Either of those two things are bullshit, he doesn’t know how to ask questions because he has no emotional depth.

I don’t believe it’s because he doesn’t care, it’s because he doesn’t believe it matters.

He has mentioned being physically close to me several times, but not asked to see me even once.

In hindsight, I can’t actually recall if he did this early in relationship. I feel like he pursued and I wasn’t always making the suggestions. Now I feel like he’s dropping hints I’m supposed to pick up on. In the book I’m reading it talks about dropping “coded” messages from your language. Say what you mean, don’t say words that are meant to be interpreted and decoded.

I speak to my therapist on Friday. I don’t know how much longer I can handle an in between with him, or if at all. It’s not like we were married and committed.

But there is a large part of me that wants to experience therapy with him and through his eyes. I want to understand myself through a partnership eyes. What have I been missing al these years that I’ve been unable to correct – because there IS something. Doesn’t seem to after what I think it is or isn’t, the same issues keep rising to the top and I don’t seem to be cognizant of them happening. Maybe there is a real opportunity for me here. Maybe there isn’t.

My two cents is that he will poo-poo therapy quickly. He’s “doing this for me” and “doesn’t believe in it”. I heard all that before with my x. He’s been in therapy for 2 years now and dating a psychologist and said it’s the best thing he’s done for himself. You can only lead a horse to water. I have a very strong suspicion Scott doesn’t want to shine the light in the corner.

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.

4 thoughts on “Contemplation”

  1. I am very proud of you, for having so much self reflection, so much control- hello 👋 big high five for not pulling trixie out! And also because you’re willing to let this marinate and see what it can be. You know that you aren’t perfect. And Scott is admitting he isn’t either- and he sounds like he is willing but clueless to try. There is something weird about starting your life over … you have all these thoughts and opinions about how things are, and you have ideas based on how things were, or weren’t in the past. And sometimes shattering the ideology that we should have things a certain way comes because you stand back and realize- even though I like that, I may like being happy, now, more than I need to search for that perfect thing. I am not in any way saying Scott is your guy or that you should settle. I think that I don’t know you at all, but I have read your story for years, and you intrigue me and you need someone who just wants to be in your corner, and Scott sometimes seems to be that. He also is a guy. Sometimes that means he’s less emotionally intelligent. Sorry, I’m genderizing and generalizing but I’m pretty sure I’m not super off base. He doesn’t seem totally outside of it- but he may need help knowing where those touch points are. How often should we talk about therapy, and do I tell her I am reading or is that too much like I am reporting on my homework- he seems a bit emotionally immature and while it isn’t your job, it might be your pleasure to help him see that things can get deeper than the banana and the peel. Open up the right fruit and it’s a pomegranate full of wonderful.

    My current boyfriend is dutch. He is absolutely a breath of fresh air because he was never raised with the idea that ‘implying’ or ‘hinting’ at anything was functional. I might be a bit dim or maybe I just like telling the truth- I hate hints. My mom is incapable of actually just saying out loud what she wants. She always phrases it in a way that is about someone else ‘well, if you want, we could watch a movie, or we might go for a walk’ “what do you want?’ ‘It doesn’t matter’ ‘ok let’s go for a walk’ “oh yah, but it might be cold, don’t you think?” Just say you don’t want to go for a walk! This man has me in love because he just says yes for yes and no for no! And I didn’t think I was really about gifts. But he sends me flowers every single month. And now I love it, because it’s how he shows me I matter, even though I thought it was a bit gushy at first. Scott sounds like he is trying. And his message in his letter is he feels like he never was enough. So- before you totally decide he’s not trying, try to figure out what good will look like. And also ask you- how far are you willing to lower that bar, to meet him in the middle. And how are you changing your style to work with his needs. Can you commit to seriously tabling the deep think required about this relationship for at least one date every few weeks? Where you commit to just being fun and silly, and backburnering the big convos? He is always able to make you laugh- but if he can’t have those days where you are able to just focus on that, he will feel like he’s falling short and may just give up. Choosing to focus on the fun has to be a priority some of the time, to make sure the whole relationship doesn’t just become working on the relationship. I think. Maybe. I dunno. Don’t listen to me 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I am so happy you have someone that has a stable emotional base – what a world of difference it must make. I was lowering and lowering and lowering my bar constantly to meet Scott because he was making me feel as though my expectation were just too high (and I have heard that in this blog as well as from some of my friends) and while I learned there are places I can compromise, there are definitely places I cannot. I wish it would have lasted the summer so we could have had fun together and had our adventure, but the tension just never ended and I still don’t truly understand why. I realize I was not able to table the deep think, I tried, I couldn’t do it and I also don’t understand why I couldn’t do it.


  2. You mentioned dropping “coded messages.” Have you asked him, point blank, if he has obtained the books he said he would read? You said he agreed to go to therapy – did you discuss with him what that would look like? Is he supposed to meet with your therapist with you? Or is it personal therapy for him? If its couple therapy, how should that happen, as I gather he doesn’t exactly live in your neck of the woods.

    I learned in my marriage (too late) that no action is still an action. My husband said he would go to therapy, but after a session or two together and alone with my therapist, he decided he wanted his own therapist who “wouldn’t be biased against him.” However, that never happened. He kept promising me he would go to therapy, but then never would. Like an idiot, I just kept asking him when he was going to do what he said he would do — when in reality, he had no desire or plans to go to a therapist.

    As the saying goes, you can lead a horse to water… But I’ve always felt it was a nonsensical saying, because the horse knows if he’s thirsty or not…and he won’t drink if he’s not thirsty, so it’s an exercise in futility and frustration to try to force the horse to do something he has no desire to do.

    If it were me, I’d have a frank discussion with Scott and ask him bluntly if he even wants to go to therapy or if he is just saying that because he knows it is what you want to hear. If he says he really wants to go to therapy, then ask his game plan and timeline. And then don’t ask him again. Your job is not to force him to water. If he doesn’t take action by the time he said he would, then that is the real answer. And why see him while you wait for his timeline? That accomplishes nothing except to put you back in a situation you found intolerable. When he shows you by his actions (and I’m not talking sending you little gifts or messages) that he is serious about finding help and addressing the issues in the relationship (and learning skills so that you both can communicate better), then you can talk about visiting each other.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is a bit late since the relationship is over but, he claimed he didn’t want to do therapy due to the cost so that idea was abandoned. He did buy the books and didn’t initially mention them to me. I don’t know if he read them or not. I know he looked at some stuff on line. As much as he did that, he make negative comments like “this is cosmo stuff” or “this is all for you” indicating he wasn’t truly invested but would do it for me. His theory was I needed to relax and stop throwing temper tantrums and things would be fine. SO, everything you stated above was 100% accurate, he wasn’t invested, it was somewhat lip service, though somewhere deep in there, he wanted to please me and try – yet felt he was forcing himself to do so. This part of him continues to baffle me.


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