We were straightening the house. As we worked in the kitchen, I mentioned that my second day (of 90) of celibacy was going well, that I had encounters no problems.
“I didn’t have any problems either” was her statement.
I get it. She was trying to be funny. I didn’t find it funny at all. As a matter of fact, as she said it, I literally froze at the sink. That comment got waaaaay under my skin.
‘Please don’t make light of my situation.’
“I wasn’t. I was trying to make light if our situation.” She went on the defensive. Conversation- over. I felt avoided the balance of our time together even though we were 3 feet apart.
We finally got to bed. This is where our troubles always start. We chatted for awhile. It was really nice too. And then it happened.
“I’m glad you had a good day.”
Meh, some parts were good.
“What parts were bad?”
Every one of our interactions.
“What are you talking about?”
Your joke. I didn’t appreciate it.
“I think it’s strange that I can’t say that, but you can say that the no sex thing is the answer to my prayers.”
You said you wanted to be left alone sexually, you wanted no pressure.
“It doesn’t mean I don’t want to want sex.”
Well I didn’t appreciate the joke.
:::this went on a few minutes:::
“What else was bad?”
When you asked me not to go to my meeting.
“I just asked if you would switch nights.”
But you had to bring up the whole, he’s going to have a relationship with his recovery and addiction before you business.
“I was just pointing out the first instance of me noticing it.”
It didn’t have to be said. What good did it do?
:::way too much discussion over this:::
She asked you if you were ok with it.
“I am. You have to get better.”
Does it upset you?
“I’ve never been first, I don’t know any different.”
Does it upset you?
I think it does or you wouldn’t have mentioned it.
“It would be nice if I were put first for a change.”
DING, DING, DING, DING!!!!
I believe that it is painfully obvious that she is seriously hurt by this.
“This happens every night. We go to bed and it goes to crap. We start out great and when we go to bed and start talking, it makes me upset. I wake up with a headache. I feel like I’m being tested.”
You were, I wanted to see what you would say about it. When did this turn negative?
“I don’t know. I just want to go to sleep; I’m so tired.”
When did talking about our feelings become negative?
“I don’t know. I just want sleep.”
And the bitterness and animosity grows.
This is why I’m so big on couple’s therapy. My therapist asked me why I was so big on that. I told him that I was afraid that if we leave our problems alone too long, it might be too late. He said it was a definite possibility.
“I want to go to sleep.”
I just saw George Costanza’s face in my mind.
There are a few thoughts that I want to say. I’m choosing to keep them to myself.
“What does George Costanza have to do with us?”
I explained the Costanza Principle: Do the opposite of what you’re thinking.
“Isn’t that dishonest?”
No, it’s me choosing to keep my thoughts private.
“I’m so confused. When I leave information out, you accuse me of lying. You say you can’t trust me. How is this any different?”
I explained that there’s a difference between leaving out information, about an event, that you are hiding from your partner because you don’t want them to know it and me not saying all my thoughts.
“You and I both know we don’t say all of the thoughts in our minds. If we did, there would be constant fist fights in the streets, nobody would have a job. We have to keep some thoughts private. What I choose to say will be open and honest though.”
She obviously does not agree with this.
:::I rolled over as did she:::
I had started watching a show on my phone when I noticed a light. I rolled over and saw that she was on her phone.
‘I thought you were going to sleep.’
“I am. I have to calm down first. My heart is beating hard.”
‘When did things go bad?’
“I don’t know, but something got to me.”
I am very confident that it was either me setting boundaries and acting on them, keeping my thoughts to myself or (most likely) the discovery that she is truly hurt by me putting my recovery first.
I truly believe that she was hurt by the recovery part. I see it. Even I think I put my recovery first. As I was told to do by my therapist. When I told my bride, she agreed. “You have to get better. So you have to put it first.”
Why is it now, that I’m doing as told- by all parties involved, it’s no longer ok for me to follow through?
It’s because I think she has a desire to be put ahead of all other things in my life. That’s obvious by what she said- “I would like to be put first sometime.” I told her that recovery is not always first; that there have been times that I have put her first.
That didn’t matter. She had zero reaction.
Thinking again, I believe that keeping those thoughts to myself hurt her as well. She will have to get over that. I’m claiming moral high ground there. I do not have to share all of my thoughts in order to be open and honest.
I don’t care who you are, there are some things you keep to yourself. In this case, my thoughts would have poured gasoline on our little fire.
No thanks. I’ll deal with those thoughts in my mind. However, I reserve the right to put them out there if I find the need to. No additional pain necessary.