Well, it finally happened. The combination of the trip, the awful, horrible, mind-stealing jet lag of returning from the trip, the end of the school year, my daughter’s most recent (and probably final) separation from her husband, the boys getting out of school and questions of day care, my new responsibilities at work, planting the garden, cleaning the house and now, the new dog finally hit me. For the first time in 8 years, everything that G said or did simply grated on my last nerve. She was all twittered about the garden, the yard, the plants, the whatever. I was like, if it puts so much stress on you, DON’T DO IT. I had an emotional reaction to the dog, she took it as a PTSD flashback, and MY reaction triggered HER reaction and she was blaming herself for making me feel like I had to turn the dog into the pound. I’m still pondering that one–how it’s possible to SAY something that you feel is completely innocuous and the other person HEAR something that is awful and portentous.
Then, my daughter said she had someone to watch the boys, but this person was also going to class 2 hours a day, so could we watch them for that time (10 am – 12 noon) 4 days a week. I asked G, she said she was okay with it, but in retrospect, she was like, well, there goes our summer. Then the boys came over a day or two before school was out and they were whiny little brats and G went into sergeant mode which sets my teeth on edge. She just has this “way” she gets when people come over–well not everyone but sometimes. I can just feel her tension and her, I don’t even know how to put it into words, but it make ME feel like I’m in a room full of cats scratching black boards with their claws. Like that. On edge, cranky, snappy, unable to be pleased or satisfied.
What is UP with that?
And there was “stuff” around the house–magazines, clothes on top of the dresser, things left over from unpacking, etc. She wants it all gone, I can tell, and frankly it just doesn’t bother me. I mean, it’s not DIRTY, just cluttered. I do get to it, it just takes me a while and it takes me a lot longer than her, because I start going through stuff and I read an article or I see a picture or recipe I want to tear out and I’m like, no, I don’t WANT to toss the Curve magazines, I want to KEEP them, so an hour or so later and I’ve whittled down the stack a few inches, whereas she would just toss the lot into the car and take them to the chiropractor’s office or the VA on her next visit or just dump them all in the trash.
I SWEAR I’m not turning into my mother, who could never relinquish a magazine, even if it was 15 years old (seriously), but I would like to at least READ them or even glance through them all the way before they’re out of the house. Otherwise, why do we buy them?
We’ve had these discussions before. She’s a neatnik, I’m not. And, to be fair, she has relaxed A LOT since we’ve been together. But the combination of all of the above has just sent us into a fair tizzy since we got back to the US. I’ve NEVER wanted to snap at her and this week, I was damn near drawing blood, I was biting my tongue so hard, because I SWORE to myself when we got together that I would never yell at her or use my unique ability at sarcasm at her if I got pissed off. I know too well that words said in anger or frustration simply can never be taken back and knowing her past history, she is WAY too vulnerable to that. I won’t do it, no matter what.
On the other hand, regarding the dog, she took my meaning totally out of context. What I said was that I hadn’t felt like this about a dog since the one my ex husband got me that died. So she went to the dark places of HER past where HER ex husband did things to animals that I won’t even put here because they are so despicable. I only used the ex husband as a description of time–meaning that I hadn’t felt this way about an animal in nearly 30 years. It had NOTHING to do with the ex-husband or my life with him. It was a way of putting things into a time perspective for me, but for her, it was like a flashback to hell. So, she’s spent the last week thinking that she’s done this horrible thing to me.
Finally, last night we kind of had it out. I just said she HAD to quit obsessing over what I said about the dog. I told her if the dog was going to put this much stress on our relationship, then the dog could go to the pound. I do love the dog. But I love her and our life more and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that.
I told her that I had no idea why I was having such a hard time getting back to “normal” after this trip. Maybe it was jumping right back to work within a few hours of getting my feet back on US soil. Maybe it was lack of sleep. Maybe it was just trying to wrestle with all the things that happen at the end of the school year, beginning of spring/summer with the house/garden, etc.
G is so intense about “what needs to be done” with the house and yard. Things that have to be done and how they need to be done. I mean, my parents lived in the same house for over 30 years and my dad NEVER did half the things G does. Okay, the house did need some work when my mom died, but it was all minor stuff. She’s like if these things don’t get done, the house is going to fall down around our ears tomorrow. I know better than to say something like “lighten up” because then I’m just the lazy one who doesn’t care about anything. I do care, but I don’t feel my whole life needs to revolve around weeds and hoses and other things like that all the time. I cringe to think how life would be if both of us had to work full time outside the house (or even inside the house NOT taking care of the yard, etc.)
She always wants me to come out in the yard and “be” with her when she’s working out there and while I do love “puttering” I am not into the INTENSE way that she goes about things. Plus, it’s June in Colorado now, which means when I get done from work at 3 p.m. it is NOT the time to go outside and “be” with anyone who’s crazy enough to do yard work! Right now it’s just after 5 p.m. and it’s currently 96 degrees outside. No effin’ WAY am I going outside to weed, water or do anything until the sun goes down. Please.
MY time to do yard work is between 5 and 6 a.m. and she is snoozing away. I took Sunny for a long walk today at that time. Perfect walking weather, even tho it was going to get hot later. I can’t do heat. Especially 96 degrees!
So, yesterday, we went out to our friend MJ’s house so G could help figure out what was going on with her swamper (Colorado air conditioning). On the way there and on the way back we hashed things out. G had seen some show the night before on relationships that said about every 7 or 8 years, people go through these life changes and sort of emotional “growth spurts” and if their partners aren’t with them or even aware of it, a relationship can grow apart. We’ll we’re at 8 years this year, so that made total sense. We’ve been through a lot together and separately in this time. We’ve delved into our spirituality and our sexuality and just about ever other -ality you might have. We’ve shared intensely with each other and trusted each other–and still do. But we ARE different people now and we have to take stock and make sure we’re caught up with each other and still going along the same road.
In the end, we were good. This was no real threat to anything, but it was a good wake up call, a good chance to pull back from the distractions of everyday life and realize what is most important in our lives.
And that is each other, hands down.
Off to dinner with my love,