15 September 2016

Premature Positivity

Life as a Pollyanna

It's so pleasant to live life looking for the positive in all things.

Except when reality rears up and smacks one in the face.

So, yes, I thought things were pretty smooth with the gal.  I thought we had weathered the worst of the transition to living apart and now everything would move easily along.  Ha.  Silly me.  There's lots more drama stored up in that woman than I was expecting.  She had a huge meltdown this past weekend.

It started because I went to a soccer match with a friend.  A friend, yes a lesbian friend, but still a friend and not a fling.  T knows this friend well and knows that I have zero interest in her except as a friend.

And, here's the thing that really bugs me: this particular friend, Ang, has been a consistent and regular and welcoming person, inviting me/us over for drinks or meals or game nights, etc.  I've known her longer than I've known T, and she has been a better friend than any of T's friends.

The soccer match (Go Thorns!) was last Wednesday.  Then, because summer is almost over and time's awasting, Ang and I decided to can peaches on Saturday.  It's a long and laborious project, but we did it last year and wanted to do it again.  As to be expected, it took hours and hours to get through 3 boxes of peaches.  (Boy, do they look good!)  However, my squirrel-brained partner decided that I was avoiding her and surely looking to 'hook up' with Ang.  Oh, good grief.

The real kicker was that there was another soccer match on Sunday.  I had planned to go to it, again with Ang because she has season tickets and offered.  T knew this.  But, on Sunday while we were watching football, she had a meltdown about how I was choosing Ang over her and why didn't I just admit that I wanted to break up with her and be with someone else.  Much drama ensued.

Here's the thing, people: I'm 57 years old.  I am not interested in playing these stupid relationship games.  It's like fucking high school around here, sometimes.  I DO NOT LIKE THAT.

And, I do not like having to justify my life.  I get to have friends.  I get to have other interests.  I get to live my life the way that I want to.  I'm 57!  I'm not going to spend the next couple of decades making sure someone else is 'ok' with the choices I make.

Here's what I want:  A partner who has a life of her own but enjoys spending quality time with me.  Someone who doesn't assume that I'm unfaithful just because I have friends and a life of my own.  I'm not certain that T is that person.

Now, I know that I can swing back and forth on the relationship pendulum.  There are things I love about T and reasons I want to be with her, but when shit like this blows up - all I want to do is shut it down.  I'm in  a shut it down mood this week, for sure.

But, because plans are made long in advance, we just happen to be going camping this weekend with our friends and best neighbors.  We are going on Friday and coming home on Monday.  I'm not worried about how we will get along.  We are champions at smoothing things over.  And, we are all looking forward to getting out of the city and into the woods.  It's a good thing, and it's one of the things we both enjoy.  Hell, all four of us enjoy it!  We will definitely have a good time.  Our issues will not go away, but we will be able to put them on hold for a few days.

Long term, though, this situation may be asking too much of T.  I know that she would rather be in a more traditional relationship than I am offering.  I know that this is better for me, but it's up to her to decide if it's going to be enough for her satisfaction.

In the meantime, bring on the camping!  Bring on the Forest Bathing!


Jan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
8thday said...

Silly you!

I would find it very, very difficult to have a relationship with someone who has trust issues. But you have known this to be the case with T for a long time so I suppose it is really no surprise now.

But as my daughter correctly pointed out when having similar issues with a boyfriend - their trust issues are NOT your issues. You cannot be responsible for her issues and she has to work them out (or not) on her own. To concede to her insecurities would only enable her more.

In the meantime, you have to take care of yourself and do what makes you happy. I'm glad you will still be able to go camping together and enjoy some beautiful woodsy time with friends. Especially as you say, who needs this kind of drama at this point in life?

Enjoy the forest bathing and toast a marshmallow or two for me : )

path of stars said...

Yeah. This is a dilemma. It's the part of one partner wanting one thing, and the other wanting another.

I'm sick of drama, so exhausted by it that all I want is the smallest sort of life there is at this point. The tiniest, simplest, richest sort, of woods and canned fruit and sitting by a river (or in it) and walking a dog. Maybe the drama of Scrabble and trying to write a book, paint a picture or two. Right now, I hear the coyotes in my back yard every night, and the neighbors dogs barking and barking in return to their howls. That's pretty much the level of drama I can handle.

Everything else feels too overwhelming. Honestly, I can't even imagine trying to have a relationship at the moment, so you're far ahead of me and I feel as though I have no advice whatsoever.

This was bound to be a transition with ups and downs, any huge change always contains both and can be rather dramatic.
I know she is important to you & you do love her. How the future looks, I think you'll figure out. I have full faith in you.

Thinking all the good for you.


Middle Girl said...

Oh mah werd. 8th and em covers it. Ditto. Plus . .

Have fun camping. May your bathing soothe you but good.

e said...

8: Yes, silly me. Hopeful me, in fact. Silly, deluded, Pollyanna me. Sigh. No, it doesn't come as a surprise, and really, the most irritating thing about the trust issues is that we have already hashed that one out - in therapy, even! I don't feel like doing it again.

em: Partners wanting different things. I think that's how it will eventually go. Some differences matter more than others, I guess.

MG: Thanks! We WILL have fun camping. Looking forward to the forest soothing!

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Yes, My Rare One was convinced I was looking to date someone/anyone else too. But as time went on and I obviously was not running after other women, she felt more secure about that aspect. Actions speak louder than words. Things are bound to be bumpy at first until the new arrangement settles into its groove -- good luck and you know I'm pullin' for ya!

e said...

Thanks for the encouragement, Debra! I'm not giving up. I knew there would be bumpy parts, but I am tired of the ridiculous accusations. Maybe someday T will feel more secure in life. I hope so, for her sake. These issues predate me, but I get to keep dealing with them. I think she could be happier if she let herself.

Tree C said...

oh my gosh, I wrote what I thought was a very good and helpful comment and damn thing was lost via google problems! if I can, i'll try to rewrite later today.

Tree C said...

I don't know that I have the energy to try to re-write what I wrote. Basically I made the case for the value of routines. I told a lot of my own story to explain the value of this.

Predictability helps us manage anxiety levels. T's levels exploded on her and she flipped out. That's understandable.

In a situation like yours, I suspect it's hard to be both compassionate and realistic about the magnitude of the change you've initiated and are navigating - and set good boundaries and take care of you.

I think routines would be helpful.

By routine, in this situation, I mea a predictable, regular, sacrosanct time when the two of you connect - be that every Monday night, every other weekend, whatever. It just has to be regular and dependable and both parties adhere to it.

You are actually asking her to do a lot psychologically. That's going to trigger a lot of stuff for her - which will probably then trigger a lot of stuff for you. Hard! I think a routine could be helpful.

I try to use this routine method with kids, old people, etc.

I'm single mom of teen and I have aging parents. I was in a relationship for a long time. I shared more details on all this in my first effort at a comment. I have lost steam for recreating it!

You and T both have my empathy and compassion.

I do think... in order for your new situation to work, you'll have to navigate a lot of "stuff." T won't "get better" - in other words, face her fears and shit and become more secure - without having all her shit come up for both you to chew on. That will be - is hard!!!

You both have to be brave to navigate this. And yes, you have to set boundaries on her shit.

But you also have to do the work of maintaining the connection as well as maintaining the boundaries - otherwise you may as well break up.

I suspect that on some level, you do consider that second option and she and you both know that.

Again, you have my empathy!

I'm providing all this unwanted unasked for advice as someone who is currently single. I'm not trying to navigate all that right now.

Honestly, just dealing with aging parents and teen and work stuff and rising rent and racism and my own shit is enough for me right now!!!

My first effort at a comment was funny and better. This one is not great but I felt impelled to share it.

With much support and respect, ZC

e said...

Tree - thanks for the comment. You make a lot of good points. Of course stuff is going to come up, I had just hoped that it wasn't the same old stuff that we have already hashed out. But, she is still insecure and that's sad.

I like your idea of the importance of routines. We'll build some new routines and that will let us get into a groove.