Ever feel like you’re just treading water? Holding onto a cliff and neither climbing up nor down as your arms start to shake from the grip needed to just stay put? Or maybe you’re expending energy waiting for something or someone to go or do something? Anything?
Waiting is exhausting!
As I wait, I have noticed how sensitive I am to anything that seems like a ‘go’ sign – an opportunity to go somewhere, do something, be with someone, anything. Doesn’t he know, I’ve just been waiting for the sign? Why does he tease me with random moments of ambition and inspiration only to withdrawal after an initial frustration? Doesn’t he know I’ve just been waiting in the wings for him to get this show on the road called life? I’m moving restlessly from foot to foot, watching the game, thinking to myself ‘put me in coach. Let me show you what I got. I can do this. Let me do this. Let us do this.’ Instead, I grasp on to any bit of ambition he gives me (or I take it?) and feel like I have to ride it for all it’s worth. It may be the last little bit I’ll see for a while. I want to do this with him not despite him. That’s no way to make a like together.
It’s not his fault that I don’t have any family, friends or mentors in my life. That I rely on him to be both my lover, my best friend, my confidant and my partner. It’s not his fault (entirely) that I’ve lost all but the most superficial of relationships with my parents. It’s not his fault that my sisters got caught in the fall out with my parents and now, with young families of their own, have little time for the insecurities of their big sister. It’s not his fault, I moved away from my close-knit family church and as a result lost contact with the wonderful mature women who should have continued to mentor someone like myself through these new trials of life. It’s not his fault (entirely) that at the same time, I left a long-standing commitment to music and youth and, following several other transitions, am left with not a singe artistic outlet – other than Pandora playlists while we’re making out. It’s not his fault I never formed close relationships with my fellow college or high school students. I was too busy working, performing, pursuing two degrees and volunteering in church to hangout with anyone and actually do those ‘get to know you’ activities. It’s not his fault (entirely) I’ve owned an incredibly needy business for the last 8 years and probably only had time to get together with him, because I saw him and worked together pretty much everyday.
But . . . I like spending time with him dang it! He IS my best friend. He IS my business and life partner. He IS my only confidant. <sigh>
I might need to go back to being ok with just being by myself. Stop caring about what he’s doing or wanting every minute of the day and letting that determine what I am going to do or say. Maybe I’ll start volunteering again. I just realized today how much I don’t do in a night or week just so I am available for if he wants to do something with me. How ridiculous is that! I’ve stepped down from every nonprofit I’ve ever participated in. I have no hobbies or classes outside the home. I no longer belong to a church. I have no friends that I would hangout with apart from my husband.
I tell myself that it’s all good for me. This is teaching me to loosen up, to go with the flow. I like to control the situation around myself, maybe this is an opportunity for me to mature, be more flexible. But that’s just not reality. We are not called to ignore our gifts and talents and I am a planner by nature. I am all about process. I wake up thinking about what I’m going to do in a day, including how it will end. I think about the most efficient way for us to leave the house. I think about what the kids should do when they get home from work with the 20 minutes we have before we jet out again. Do not get me wrong, I adapt well. I have to with a husband that won’t plan more that 20 minutes ahead. But because the times are so few, I find myself tripping over myself to jump on ANY wagon he finally gets hooked up. We’ll talked about it off and on for a while. Me trying to be the supportive wife, encourage the positive and trying not to respond too negative in response to some of the more unorthodox or outrageous ideas. ‘You want to go somewhere, anywhere, do something, anything, let’s go’, I say. Controlling? I don’t think so. I have desires left unfulfilled so long I don’t remember what’s it’s like to be filled to overflowing with happiness, peace, belonging, being loved, being cared for, being taken care of, secure, sure of myself, confident, inspired, and committed. That’s what is really happening. I am going to need to see some maturity here real soon, or I will have to start protecting myself. Pearls before swine, right?
So . . . what am I supposed to do? He arranges to have his shift covered 7 days before Christmas, wants to go into town and I’m not supposed think we’re going Christmas shopping? Apparently, he wanted to shop by himself. Didn’t sound like fun to have me (or Joshua) around. I don’t think he meant it as hurtful. He was just expressing HIS frustrations. Apparently, I don’t let him do things. I’m always trying to control him even with something as simple as watching a movie. Am I that needy? Maybe I am. Maybe, I’ve allowed my entire life to revolve around my husband. Maybe every plan I make has one end goal – to get done or get home so I can be with him. Is this too much? I just thought my energies should be given to those I care about most. Is that so wrong?
Maybe we each need to prioritize the other’s alone time? Then it’s something we are doing for each other, not making for ourselves. I feel guilty for ever hour I’m not at home. I don’t feel like I can just pop off and go shopping any ole free afternoon. I don’t feel like I can take off for a cup of tea or lunch with my sister. I DO need permission to have some time to myself. And . . . I think it is a partner’s job to empower the other to do what is healthy for themselves. Do I hold him back? Maybe. I feel like he is naturally inclined to be that social butterfly, life of the party. I probably do hold him back. Without me and the kids, I am sure he’d be at Adam’s one night, jamming with Michael one night, watching football with his dad another, work a couple of nights, and then veg the last. Sex? Sure. But it’s I that get the kids ready and headed for bed each night. It’s I that makes decisions all day about what I eat so I can, again, be available. Why isn’t it about whether I’M in the mood? Why can’t I be the priority? He is my priority ALL THE TIME! I am constantly thinking about making his life easier, happier, more fulfilled. I am constantly thinking about his physically and emotional comfort.
I don’t think there is a single person in my life who thinks about my physical or emotion comfort like I do for him. And that’s pretty sad. He listens better to strangers in our business than he does to me. He goes out of his way to remember their likes and dislikes, to anticipate their orders and remember what was talked about the time before as well but can’t ask me nicely for help when he knows he’s messing with my time and a project I’m in the middle of. Nothing is every as important when he has needs, certainly not whatever I may be doing or needing. A misunderstanding with a long time customer led to his disturbed rest for days. Our misunderstandings end in him walking away, refusing to talk or going to sleep if I can’t just get over it. To the best of my knowledge, he’s never lost sleep over me.
Yeah, I matter.
I can’t remember the last time he massaged me. Take that back. It was about a month ago and led straight to sex. I can’t remember the last time he cuddled me in public. I can’t remember the last time he said he appreciated me. Take that back. He appreciated that I was willing to go through thrift shops for clothes for him and the kids ’cause he can’t. Great. Even now, as I write, he is taking a nap. After leaving me crying silently in the car on our trip home following our aborted shopping trip, he leaves me to go to work, or not, as he watches his movie and now, takes a nap.
Like I said, he’s never lost sleep over me.