Saturday, September 27, 2014

He Owes Me

I got a text from Steve a little while ago. It was short, just three words, but those three little words say a lot, especially in light of recent changes we have made in how we practice DD.


I owe you.


I wish I could say that was a good thing. I wish I could say it meant he's giving me a hall pass or something special for being good. But that's not what it means.


When Steve says he owes me, it's not a good thing. It means I've landed myself in hot water. It means we don't have the privacy or the time to deal with that right now. It means that the first available opportunity we get, I'll be face-down across his lap with his hand or an implement raining down fire on my backside.


As luck would have it, he's working all weekend. When he works, he's in bed before our daughter is, which means we won't have the time or privacy unless he gives up sleep. So I'm stuck waiting until Monday when he's off work and she's at school.


He owes me.


Yikes!



Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Thinking on Communication

I found myself in a unique position over the weekend. A friend of mine had called upset about an argument with her husband. I spent an hour on the phone trying to get her to calm down and hold off on making any drastic moves. About an hour after I hung up with her, I answered the door to find her husband on my doorstep looking for Steve. Steve was gone working on one of the cars so he talked to me instead.

Normally when a couple fights, you only get one side of the story, the side of whoever is venting to you. Since they were both venting to me, I ended up getting both sides of the story. Steve says it was good practice for my eventual career as a marriage therapist once I finish school.

While it was a bit of an awkward experience, it was also enlightening. I saw that one of the main complaints from both of them was the exact same thing. They were upset that their partner was doing something, but oblivious to the fact that they were doing the exact same thing. I also saw that they had two widely different takes on the same issue.

In the end, the advice I gave each of them was the same. Talk to him/her. Let him/her know how you feel without accusing him/her of making you feel that way. I sent him on his way with a bouquet of roses from my flowerbed to soften her up so she would talk to him (she was pretty pissed).

Later that evening. Steve and I were talking about their situation. We both agreed that their habit of making up without actually dealing with the underlying problem is a big part of their problem. We both agreed that their main issue is their communication or, more accurately, their lack of communication.

It's funny how it's so easy to see it in others, but we struggle to see it in ourselves. This mess we had last week could have been avoided if we had just talked to each other. Instead we both kept quiet. I kept quiet because I didn't want to appear needy or feel like I was burdening him when he had so much on his plate already. He kept quiet because he was scared of what my answer might be if he asked me what was wrong.

We're in our third year of DD. You would think that we'd have the communication aspect down pat by now. And yet we don't. When things start getting bumpy, we both fall back into our old patterns of dealing with it. Instead of talking, we both pull back. He acts like everything is okay and I bottle stuff up.

That's not to say that our communication hasn't improved over the last couple years. It has. We talk more than than we ever did before. But I can't help but wonder how long it's going to take before communicating is the first thing we try, rather than the thing we fall back on after our initial coping mechanisms have failed.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

How to Repair a Pothole

I don't know why it is, but it usually takes us a few tries before we're able to reconcile when we have a problem. It never fails. We'll sit down to talk, one or both of us get riled up, we separate for a little bit to cool off, and then try again. Sometimes it takes us several tries before we're successful. This time was no different.

The afternoon after I poured my heart out here, Steve texted, finally responding to the text I'd sent him the day before. He didn't say much, just that he didn't really think I cheated on him, that he knew something was bothering me, and that we needed to talk. I sent back a text agreeing with him. Since I figured we'd be sitting down to talk it out as soon as our daughter went to bed, I finally relaxed a bit.

But we didn't talk. Instead, as soon as our daughter headed for bed leaving us alone, he announced he was tired and was going to bed. No mention was made of talking. Now I know he was tired. After all, he'd just put in a 12 hour day. But being put off when I'm already upset is like pouring gas on a fire. A really bad idea.

Yesterday morning, I was a bit standoffish, but I relented when he asked me to tell him what was wrong. I told him how hurt I was by his accusation. He didn't apologize. He just kept saying that he didn't really think I was cheating and that I shouldn't be getting upset over it because it wasn't that big of a deal.

The more he tried to convince me how unimportant his comment was, the madder I got  I was so mad I ended up getting in the car and leaving for a while. I had errands I needed to run anyway and I figured a little time away would clear my head.

I came back a little calmer and ready to try again. I have to admit I was a bit ticked to find him asleep. Rather than let it get me wound up again, I let it go. I went to another room and started working on the schoolwork I've been putting off for most of the week because I couldn't focus.

Even though he didn't sleep long, I actually managed to get quite a bit done before he woke up again. When he did, he came to find me and asked me to please come sit down with him so we could talk it out. As soon as we sat down, he said the words I need to hear. He apologized. It turns out his comment about me having someone else was more him voicing a fear than a belief that I was actually doing it. He just knew that I was quiet and pulling away and he was scared of losing me.

So I told him exactly why his comment hurt, the fact that it showed a lack of trust and the worries it brought on based on the last time I was accused of cheating. Then I told him a little about what the things that had been bothering me and had me so quiet. I couldn't really get into it in depth because I had to leave to meet a woman.

A woman in our town started a group on Facebook last year where she auctions off stuff. She started off auctioning her own stuff, but now runs on donations. Instead of paying for your winnings in money, you pay in food items (canned goods and other non-perishables). The food collected is distributed to local families in need.

This week's auction included a lot with 4 bras in my size. I normally have to go to one of the bigger department stores at the mall in a nearby city to buy my bras since none of the stores here carry my size. I paid $70 for my last one. So when I saw the auction, I bid and ended up winning the lot.  It cost me 5 boxes of cereal. Since our local discount grocery had Cheerios for $1 a box, it ended up costing me only $5 for 4 bras. And they're nice pretty ones ones too, not the cheap plain serviceable ones. Yay!

Anyway, I told him I had to go pick up my winnings and he went went with me. Then since we were there anyway, we ran in the grocery store to pick up a few things. That is itself is huge because Steve hates shopping and avoids going at all costs. For him to willingly go and not make one complaint the entire time surprised me.

After we got back, we ate lunch and then picked up our discussion. Since I hadn't really opened up about everything that was bothering me, he kept prodding at me until finally I spilled. Once I got going, it was hard to stop me. He mainly just listened and threw in an occasional comment or question. A lot of it came down to me bottling a bunch of stuff up rather than talking about it because he had left me feeling like I couldn't talk. I'll not bore you with a list of stuff I was bottling, but I did talk to him about them.

About the time the conversation started winding down, he shifted and I found myself pinned face down on the bed. After a few swats over my pants, he pulled them down and started spanking in earnest. It wasn't too bad at first because he was using his hand, but as the spanking progressed, I found myself amazed once more in how solid his hand can be when he wants it to be. The whole time he was lecturing about how important it is for me to let him know how I'm feeling and not bottle stuff up inside. And how he always wants me to feel comfortable talking to him about how I'm feeling. I guess he wanted to make sure I was clear on that.

To someone outside DD, I'm sure it seems strange that our argument would end with a spanking, but for us, it was the right thing. It helped me let go of the hurt and anger completely and reconnected us. After the spanking, we reconnected in other more fun ways.

One good thing did come from all of this. For the past couple weeks, I haven't been sleeping well. That's the problem with bottling stuff. Even though you're pushing it down inside, it still keeps you up at night. But now that I finally let it all go and talked to him, I can sleep again. We had planned to snuggle up and watch a movie last night, but first Steve had to tuck our daughter in. The last thing I remember was him saying he'd be right back. I was out like a light before he made it back. I woke up at 8 this morning curled in his arms.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Potholes

We seem to have hit a rough patch of road along our journey.


To me, that says we need to pull over, check the map and see if maybe there's an alternate route we can take. One that's a little smoother and not as likely to cause damage. At the very least, we should be slowing down so we can carefully navigate the obstacles.

Steve seems blind to the dangers of this road. He's just forging ahead like everything is okay.


But it's not. Normally, I would speak up and say something, but some things he's said lately have me feeling like I can't. So I've kept my mouth shut, held on tight and prayed that we don't hit disaster.

Unfortunately, we already have.



I've been quiet lately, which is always a clear sign that something is bothering me. I also haven't been sleeping well, another sign that something is on my mind. Instead of asking me what's wrong or making me feel comfortable to open up and talk to him about what's bothering me, Steve decided to put his own spin on things.

Yesterday morning, he accused me of cheating on him.


I was stunned. Once I regained my ability to speak, I assured him that I was certainly not cheating. I've been cheated on in relationships in the past and the last thing I would ever do is cause someone the pain that I felt.

I kept waiting on him to say he believed me or apologize, but he didn't. He just left for work without another word. He didn't even say goodbye. Since our daughter was up and I didn't want her to see me upset, I locked myself in the bathroom for a few minutes until the tears stopped, then held a cold rag on my eyes to minimize how red and swollen they were.

We didn't speak all day. He didn't text or call on his breaks like he usually does. He didn't even respond to the text I sent him. When he got home, he was acting like everything was just fine. But it's not.

Being falsely accused of cheating bothers me on so many levels. For one, it tells me he doesn't trust me. If we don't have trust, we may as well just call it quits because a relationship isn't going to survive without trust. Secondly, and I'm struggling not to put too much importance on this one, the last time a guy was accusing me of cheating on him, it was because he had a guilty conscience about doing it to me.

Last night when we went to bed, I curled up on my side of the bed as far away as I could get without leaving the bed. My little protector must have picked up on how I was feeling because he curled up against my back facing towards Steve so he could keep an eye on him. When Steve reached to touch my shoulder, he growled at him. I shook off his touch. He didn't try again.

This morning he was back to acting like everything was fine. He even commented that he's getting low on socks. Where yesterday I continued doing everything like I normally do, I'm not feeling so inclined to do so today.

It's one thing to make a mistake. Lord knows I've made my share of them along the way. But to ignore it and go on like nothing happened without even apologizing or acknowledging the hurt he's caused ticks me off.

Please send some prayers our way. We're stuck in this pothole and until something changes, we're not going anywhere.