I’ve come to the realization that I can’t be 100% myself nor that I will have even an X% (variable since it does change on a regular basis) of my needs met within my relationship. I’ve looked pretty clearly at what I am getting (or not) and my motivations.
I’ve come to an uncomfortable place that this is just life and that the pros outweigh the cons.
Maybe I’m just buying into all the cliches: I’m just being realistic, nothing is perfect, relationships are work (from both partners in said relationship), etc. But there is a grain of truth to all of that. Let’s face it, reality is harsh and if you search for something ‘perfect’ (in quotes because it just doesn’t exist) you’ll be chasing forever.
I’m done chasing. I just want comfort and stability. I like the majority of the picture that I see in a realistic future, it matches with some of my personal goals… so I settle.
As I told several folk over the past few months, I’m miserable. I am happiest doing my own thing and not thinking about, let alone waiting on, my partner. There was a long time when their charm and charisma made it enjoyable to be with them, but that has worn off. I don’t enjoy spending time with them.
Let’s unpack that a moment. A part of not enjoying time with them is that I’ve grown weary of their schtick. They just aren’t that funny to me anymore. I don’t really care about some things they clearly are, and just smile (if I can force myself to) and nod, offering comments like, “Oh,” “Ok,” “that’s nice,” etc to make them feel like I am listening even if the attempts are so half-hearted they know I don’t give any fucks. Then there is the fact they seemed to stop caring about me – always on their phone, talking with others (either separately or on said phone) that I wonder if I even exist in their presence. The big things are how when I’m with them, I’m reminded every few seconds how angry, hurt, etc that I am.
Side trip, they have remarked several times how they wish I would wear the engagement ring more. I’ve got so many snide remarks churning through my head… “If you had asked what I liked and provided that maybe I would wear it…” “I’ll make a deal with you, you do more things that I want, then maybe I’ll want to wear it more.” But, similar to things previously said, just seeing it reminds me of all they promised and I’ve said I need that just… aren’t happening. Wearing the ring proverbially burns me and just brings pain.
The other day I was busying myself doing my own thing and they decided to stop what they were doing to just lean against me. Between all the anger and hurt, there was the added layer of, “Oh, so you are trying now? And this is the only effort you have? Really?” While I didn’t share those thoughts, I did state how it was nice to FEEL they care in a way that I feel love. (Harkening to the 5 love languages.) Similarly, for the first time EVER (in the 20ish months of being together) that one morning as they woke up they rolled over to cuddle, sorta, with me. At least this time I held back the tears of hurt, frustration, and anger until after they stopped and got up. Yes, there are often tears on a regular basis.
During that sorta cuddling I started to have maternal feelings. That was a warning sign right there. (Ok, not like there haven’t been a metric shit tonne of them, this just flashed brighter.) It harkens back to thoughts I’ve had about how, since there isn’t much romantic, physically, between us, that while we aren’t just roommates, it’s more like we are siblings or some other familial relationship.
I still wonder if this is the right thing to do. I’ve been down this road of anger, hurt, frustration, and any romantic love devolving into a sibling type care. I’m right back where I was feeling stuck. At least this time, so far, it isn’t suicidal. Part of that is compared to last time I have a better work team and load and doing something that fits me better. That and we aren’t married yet, so, there is still time to break free. (Yes, insert Free Bird here.)
Life is all about balance, right? How much feeling lonely, unwanted, unloved can one take? How much is having a dual income to accomplish goals of housing, travel, etc cost in this currency? (Not to mention the digs about kids, which is a similar cycle of hurt, frustration, and anger that is all it’s own.)
For now, I settle. I’ve uprooted my life before when I needed to after giving it everything I can think of. I can do it again. I will survive. I’ll be me no matter what. This works for now. I am hoping it’ll work for a good long while. I’m hoping that I can put up with it for a few years to get back to the financial independence that is important to me and that I was working toward (and so close to!) before them and moving to have a place I am happier with and can see myself in.