Tuesday, April 20

great expectations

On a more serious note…

I need to preface this post with the fact that I’ve been very unsuccessful in love. I’m an extremely battered and wounded soldier. Indeed Love is a Battlefield.

I've dated my share of losers. Gun enthusiasts fanatics, republicans (gasp!), unemployed, unambitious, uneducated, and even one 19 year-old (last year *hangs head in shame*). Guys with kids. With ex-wives (never fun), ex-fiancés, and once one with a girlfriend (that I did not know about!!). Not to mention the guys who just seemed to find joy in playing emotional roulette with my heart.

Recently Mr. Man and I had our 3 month anniversary. I know that the “honeymoon phase” ends sometime, but I didn’t really think that it would be this soon. Here’s my basic dilemma I had, in a nutshell… (and no, he doesn’t read this blog)

He basically just stopped showing me almost ANY affection. I’m a fairly affectionate person, holding hands, kissing, etc, but it doesn’t have to be in public or anything, but alone at home is another story. I talked to him about it, and he said that's "just how he is" and that everything was “fine.” But it still just felt off, and being the over analyzer that I am, I couldn’t stop thinking about that there was seriously something he wasn’t telling me, or if he's just stressed and going through a rough time, or if things were getting "old" because we're getting really comfortable together, or if we're spending too much time together…

But during the last two weeks I had really been thinking about my relationship and relationships in general. I consider this to be my first real adult relationship. I’m trying very hard to be open and honest, so he sees the real me (as scary as that can be) and truly open with my feelings, which is incredibly difficult for me.

So I often wonder, do I actually know HOW to be in a relationship? I'm sure many of you have thought the same thing; what is normal? Is THIS normal? Honestly almost all my ideas about relationships are either from my own personal dysfunctional ones that didn't work out, from the movies and TV. shows, or from watching other couples. And I know that with other couples (including my parents) you never know what’s actually going on INSIDE the relationship; you only see what’s in public. Behind closed doors they could really be miserable and fight all the time.

The question I’d been pondering is it or is it worth sacrificing ONE thing (In my case, affection) to have someone who truly cares about you? Whom is essentially the “whole package” less minus one thing. And I’m not talking about “settling” but rather a compromise.

LUCKILY I spoke to another one of my recently married and very happy in her relationship friends about this situation, and she started nodding. She asked me if we had recently had any talks about being “serious” or “long term”, and I said yes. She basically told me that her husband is exactly the same way. But that he is honestly just that way. Her husband had been seriously hurt in previous relationships (just as my Mr. Man has) he’s just become much less affectionate, but that it doesn’t change anything about how he feels about her. She has to ask for kisses and has to grab his hand if she wants it held. She said it did take some getting used to, but she knows he cares about her by what he does for her and what he says.

Well needless to say I have felt SO MUCH BETTER since I’ve talked to her. And honestly since we spoke, things have been better much between me and Mr. Man. Now of course a lot has to do with my own state of mind. Being in a better mental place, simply makes me happier, which of course he feeds off, and is happier himself (not having to wonder why I’m upset)

Now, I know its early in this relationship, and that anything can happen. But since day one I’ve known that this really great guy. Someone to laugh with and have fun with. One that could truly be my partner for life. I guess I can safely say, that I am perfectly happy not having someone who is 100% exactly what I thought my partner would be like. And maybe that's a good thing. :)

Love does not consist in gazing at each other,
but in looking outward together in the same direction


Salt said...

You're lucky you had a friend to talk it out with and make you feel better. It sounds like you have a great thing going! Just remember to relax and go with the flow of it. :)

Mrs. Beer said...

The first thing my husband retracts when he is stressed or on overload is affection, so I understand where your coming from. It's hurtful and confusing! Does he have a lot on his plate right now? I don't think men can multi-task like we can so when something bothers them, they are wholly consumed in it mentally and physically. I have a feeling it will pass. Hang in there! Maybe some time apart would help?

Lisa said...

I agree with your friend that everything is probably fine. I've been with my husband (dating/married) for a combined total of nearly 10 years (I feel old.), and often we don't show a ton of outward affection. You'll know everything is fine so long as he's still doing things for you - little things, like picking up your favorite dinner for you on his way home, or washing the dishes just because he knows you hate it. :) Glad you've found someone special!

Cathy said...

I've been with my husband for 10 years, and sometimes you just go through phases. Maybe talking about "long term" stuff freaked him out a little. Ask him if he wants to talk about it(lots of men don't) or let him know when you need to talk. If you don't talk about it, you start thinking crazy things in your head that are most likely not true.

denise said...

I am SO happy you are feeling much better about about all that stuff. :)