It’s never good when someone says, “We need to talk”. It wasn’t good when my husband said it last night and it’s even worse because his complaints were completely legitimate.
You see the title of this post is about uneven relationships but the problem is me, not someone else. He had several areas that he wanted to discuss and while I disagree with his assessment in one area, the other two were pretty much dead on. One thing that pissed me off though was that he started by saying that my work in therapy is damaging our relationship. That is not ok and that’s not the problem but I didn’t get into it because I was more thrown by the abrupt way he started the conversation (I was hiding in the bathroom and he told me to come out because we needed to talk).
First he brought up that we need to spend more time together (shouldn’t that be my line as the woman?). I told him that I thought we had done so this weekend but since it was a obligitory event he disagreed. I reminded him that I’ve been trying to at least put myself in the same room as him instead of staying upstairs while he’s downstairs. The bedroom can be a very comfortable place for me when he comes home; he’s downstairs, typically watching something on tv, and I go upstairs to do something else. After talking to my therapist about ways to be closer without using sex, I started going downstairs to sit with him even if I was reading a book while he watched tv. It was supposed to be a compromise so that we were at least near each other, sharing the same space. This isn’t enough though and he says we’re living separate lives because I’m in one area of the house and he’s in another.
I asked him if this was really about sex. He said no but that sex was another issue. Of course it is! Great…
I told him that I haven’t been feeling physically sexually at all and I was more honest than usual by saying that I don’t really enjoy it. I clarified that I can feel physical pleasure (he has no idea that I have to use terrible fantasies to do it though), but I told him that I don’t enjoy the touching or talking or anything. This of course did not make him happy. I told him that if he needs sex, he’s going to have to initiate it for the time being. He said things like “You need to work this out in therapy” and so forth and it really irritated me that he thinks I can just go in and talk about it about for a little while and be “fixed”.
He wants me to want to do it and he wants me to initiate it and he wants me to enjoy it and he wants it at least once a week…well I told him that he can’t just demand what he wants and that if he wants sex once a week, he’s going to have to carry the responsibility of asking for it for a while.
But my knowing that he wants sex at least once a week and that he’s not happy with the lack of sex is making me feel immense amounts of pressure. I mean A LOT of pressure. The problem is that he’s also right though, because we’re married and sex is a part of our relationship, especially since he’s not the typical guy who just wants the release and that’s it. He needs all the factors: the touching, the words, the emotions, all of that.
Another complaint he had was that he’s doing everything as far as housework, cooking, shopping, and gardening, besides working full-time. He is 100% correct. I’ve noticed it and been perplexed by my inability to get past my lack of motivation.
Usually if I see that something needs to be cleaned up or whatever, I can make myself get up and do something about it, unless I’m just really having a bad time and can only stay in bed. But these days? No matter what, I just sit there. And going to the grocery store is out of the question because I find it overwhelming with anxiety to step into that place. In the more recent past (a few months ago?) I may have been able to put some meals together using the crock pot to do most of the work. Now? I haven’t cooked in ages and that’s not like me.
We started a garden because I wanted to, and it ended up being more work than we’d expected. I did help in the beginning by clearing out tons of dirt and digging and getting rid of weeds and cleaning up a large area in the middle of our backyard so that we could plant flowers. But my stamina wasn’t up to the challenge of the physical upkeep. I can water the garden because my husband put up a watering system but I haven’t been able to get out and do a lot of the physical work needed. When I go out there and try to work I end up having a flare up and being in pain for days.
The point though, is that he is doing everything. I don’t know how to help myself to at least do more housework and cooking. I have to do something because this is really unfair to him.
This led me to a very sad place mentally because our relationship is uneven. It’s uneven in more than this way though. I realized that he was able to express his needs to me but I can’t do that with him.
I think I have needs. I know that when he brought up therapy and mentioned that I’m talking about things with my therapist and that no, he didn’t expect me to talk about it…I felt very, very alone. I felt like he could tell me all the things I’m doing wrong and what he needs me to do but that I’m on my own when it comes to what I’m dealing with. I don’t feel like I can share that with him for many complicated reasons. One of those reasons is my own inability to “complain”.
So you see, our relationship is uneven because 1) I’m not doing my part when it comes to giving him attention, having sex, and doing the housework and 2) because I can’t talk to him about anything I’m feeling which leaves me feeling alone and overwhelmed.
I had a thought last night after our conversation, that if I just killed myself, then neither of us would have to deal with this. That’s always lovely.