Positive v negative

“Well son, I’m afraid life doesn’t work like that. You will have problems every day and you have to learn to deal with them.”

Oh yes.

My parent-wisdom words, no doubt regurgitated from hearing them myself as a child.

Is it wisdom though? Am I teaching resilience there or perpetuating negative thinking? As in, they’re not problems but a natural part of day to day life?

April has been a ‘problematic’ month for me.

I came home from seeing Wildcard, exhausted after travel and heart ache, and threw myself into work. Then a moroseness swept over me. And flu. So my solution was to stay in bed for four days. Yes I was ill, but equally I was down.

I got better, but within a week I was ill again. The annual, ‘Is it hay-fever, is it a summer cold’ debate resulted in a fever induced covid test which of course, turned out positive.

I’m grateful I didn’t have it as bad as some. But it was bad enough, despite my three vaccines. Head cold, fever, tight chest, aching limbs and neck, cough and absolute fatigue. As the days went on, a temporary well feeling would be quickly met with a need to go back to bed. My re-test only became negative after 8 days, and whilst I could have followed ‘Government’ guidelines after 5 days to return to work, as I am sure they are banking on, I couldn’t face going and infecting someone else.

Unfortunately, morals don’t always pay and I will be missing a week’s wage in what will already be a tight month. I will survive. And that is positive thinking for you. Or possibly sheer dumb avoidance. I can’t change the situation either way and it could be worse. Maybe karma will send me some better luck.

Of course, positive thinking doesn’t immediately help my daughter when she has been ‘dumped’ by another 18 years old who has decided after months of sweet talk and pursuit that he doesn’t want a relationship. It doesn’t help my son who is still waiting for his ASD diagnosis or not as the case may be. In these situations, a dose a negative actually does the world of good – in life, it seems that things always be a lot worse more often than a lot better.

This is my current and forced train of thought over the booked but no longer required trip to see Wildcard in the May Half term. As both sisters and my daughter are away themselves, there is no one to house and pet sit. I haven’t really got the money to pay for train tickets and a hotel and Wildcard didn’t even know I’d booked and nor has he asked if I am going. So, I’m not.

No, I haven’t yet tried to move the tickets and yes, I have longingly looked at my flights and train ticket prices. But it’s impossible at the moment so I need to just get over it.

On the plus side, one of his brothers is finally going over after three years (covid) and as this was one of the stipulations for Wildcard deciding that he is ready to let his parents fend for themselves so he can marry me, I guess this is another occasion for trying to see the positive side.

Advertisement

Trip 4 – day 6, hands (cont)

Read the first part of this post here:

https://startingfromthemiddleblog.wordpress.com/2022/03/28/trip-4-days-5-6-hands/

As Wildcard told me about his brother’s predicament and what seems to be an abusive marriage where his brother is the victim, I could see how marriage and a move to another country would be a scary prospect for Wildcard. He has made comments previously when his parents have argued, or even a rather disastrous marriage for his cousin where his wife turned out to be pregnant with another man’s baby.

I condemned what was happening to his brother but I’m not afraid to say that I took the opportunity to put my beliefs across in my favour. I want him to be happy, I would NEVER stop him from contacting his parents and I’m definitely not violent.

His parents arrived home from the shops and our conversation ended. Whilst his game resumed, I thought over everything he had told me.

I turned to him and said, “you know I am not like her, don’t you? All I want is for you to be happy and I would never hurt you like that.” As she is Irish and I am English, I hoped that he didn’t associate the behaviours culturally.

He playfully teased that I hurt him every second of every day and again and in that moment I saw that his way of dealing with difficult situations is to use humour. I don’t know why I haven’t noticed this before.

I finally took my shower and contemplated everything that we had talked about, everything that had happened this week, past snatches of conversations and my ever-constant anxiety. And there, in the shower, stomach churning and body trembling from fear, I decided that I needed to push a conversation possibly neither of us was going to like.

Luckily, when I got out of the shower he was in his room and I busied myself with drying, dressing and make-up application whilst plotting how to broach this conversation.

Was I tempting fate? Was now the right time? It was time to find out.

Moving my now packed bags, I sat on the bed next to him. He put away his laptop, and then got up and left the room temporarily. He asked if I was ready to eat and I said no, I wasn’t.

I could see he was a little concerned – not like me to turn down his mum’s wonderful cooking – and he sat back down next to me.

“What baby?”

I could hear the concern in his voice. Now was indeed the right time.

I moved to sit on his lap and we kissed a little before he made his usual cheeky comments about me, and whether I had finished or not.

I huffed a little and lay back down, back turned, until he wrapped himself around me and kissed my cheeks.

“Why do you do that?”

“Do what baby?”

“Pull me in then push me away. Love me, then take it back. Why?”

He was a little stunned, once again rolled out the humour, but I stood my ground.

I told him that so many of the ‘problems’ I have, the ones where he says I’m making a problem where there isn’t one, comes from my not fully knowing how he feels. I reminded him that he has admitted he doesn’t show his feelings and so I have to guess, and often I guess wrong. I told him I was talking seriously, and he needed to be. He wasn’t, but tried a little.

He asked me what I thought, then. I refused at first: knowing that I could be wrong, hoping that this didn’t end badly and conscious that he may just try to make light of it, as he does. As usual, he pushed: as usual, I caved.

I told him that I knew he loved me but had no idea what his plans were for the future. I reminded him that we had now been together 2.5 years and we had not had a serious conversation about our future for some time. What was the waiting for? He said “next year”, half joking, and I told him he had said this before and reminded him of the June trip last year where the promised conversation never happened. He was surprised, and laughed a little, but I could also tell he was listening and my words were hitting home.

I told him that I knew he was afraid of marriage and he didn’t need to be, and I said I also understood he worried about coming to the UK and starting again, he was concerned about his parents…at that, he told me he didn’t want to talk about that now. He also told me that lots of people ask him why he is not married and that he is only one of two in his friendship group who aren’t.

I asked him again what he was waiting for and that if he had no intention of marrying me, he should let me know. By now, he should know. I reminded him of his jokingly pushing me away when I had mentioned it the evening before, and said that had made me feel like he didn’t want to marry me at all. He was shocked and said he couldn’t even remember the conversation- as he’d been half asleep at the time. He genuinely sounded surprised but I can believe it only to a point.

He denied not wanting to marry me and said we could get engaged when I next came and asked me about a ring. I told him that I did not care for expensive jewellery as such, and pointed out that the ring I was wearing was little more than twisted metal and a pearl and that I loved it. He took it off my hand and tested it on his own fingers to gauge its size.

He also continued to joke a little – hardly unexpected as this is his go-to in most situations. But then he asked me to marry him with my own ring, hesitating putting it on my finger multiple times in jest before sliding it on to my finger. He told me he would buy me a ring next time and we kissed.

I can’t pretend I fully believed him: he’d had moments of sincerity amongst the joking but he had put my own ring on my finger -hesitantly – and I knew no more in that moment than I did before. Often the situation which caused my overthinking. We stood up for dinner and as we did, I began to pull off the ring to put it back on my right hand. He turned and exclaimed, and I started crying… when he asked why, I told him that I still didn’t know anything.

He held my hands to stop me from moving the ring any further, kissed me and told me that he loved me and that we were engaged. I dried my eyes and followed him into the dining room, still shocked and confused. I didn’t know what to think. Was he serious? Appeasing me?

As I sat down, I pulled the ring off my finger and played with it, unsure what to do next. He came back in the room as fate would have it when I threw it on the sofa beside me, and he asked me what I was doing. I replied that I didn’t know where to wear it so I wasn’t going to wear it at all.

He asked which hand was for engagement and I told him, and he again told me to put it on that one. So I did, and there it has remained.

I’m not naive to believe that this is official and there has to be an element of him appeasing me at this point. To be official, we would need to tell parents and that didn’t happen as we ate across the table from them.

This is what I know. He would not have gone as far as he has unless he wanted to. He doesn’t do, or say, anything that he doesn’t want to. He could have shut down the whole conversational at any point but didn’t. Whilst he was his usual humorous self, there was some sincerity there. So all I can do is be appeased with this pre-engagement commitment and hope than whenever I go back, there is indeed a ring and an intention to tell people. Until that point, I can be happy that there has been some clarity between us, I’ve called him out on a few things and I feel better for it. But, I’m not telling anyone until that ring is officially on my finger.

No, it wasn’t the romantic proposal that my head constantly conjured, hoping that each opportunity would be met with a planned declaration of his commitment. I wonder whether, if I had said nothing, he would have kept this status quo until forced to do otherwise by another force. He is aware that this happens in my own country- people live together, unmarried, and even commented on my own mother’s situation which gave me this idea. However, he has always said he wants to marry me in the future. How long in the future that may be, is in his hands.

Trip 4: day 4 …😔

It’s 5am. I did it again.

I’m finding this hard to write, pausing before every word because I don’t know how to explain. My feelings are undecided, confused. I don’t understand myself.

I don’t know where to start.

I will be succinct and factual. That’s something new for me, isn’t it?

I was angry with him. I lost my temper. OK.. so why?

He came home at lunch and everything was fine after the previous night’s hiccup. We spent the day on the sofa. He watched a national football game. We played a game of draughts. He watched a series on his phone and played his football computer game. Later, I asked if we could watch a film together and he said we could, in the evening. But when that time came, he said he was too tired and we would do it Sunday.

I got a quick kiss and a goodnight and he went to bed. I was disappointed and angry. I sent him a sarcastic message.

He didn’t see it. I then heard the music from his game and I lost it. I stormed out the bedroom, stood at the end of his bed, glared, and stomped back.

He followed.

I was angry. I said that I wasn’t his wife, I was his girlfriend and he needed to make an effort. Ouch. He replied that they are the same thing, aren’t they? I said: “I’m your wife when you put a ring on my finger.” Ouch. (I would still want an effort if we were married though, surely? I’ve been down that road.)

He was genuinely confounded. He laughed at first as we rolled off what he had done that day. But he had absolutely no idea what we could have done instead. He was confused and surprised.

Problem is, neither could I. This is why I am confused. This is why I am writing this at 5am to work it out.

Did I feel happy? Yes. He spent most of the day on the sofa with me, his feet in my lap. I enjoyed when we played the game and when we took 10 minutes to take a walk on his rooftop. I would take this over not being with him any day.

Was I frustrated? Yes. I’ve come a long way, spent a lot of money, to be sat on a couch watching him play a football game on his phone. I felt like I had made all the effort. Throughout the day, I sent pictures of him on his phone (with humorous but clearly frustrated captions) and at one point danced around the room to get his attention.

Did I enjoy the day? Yes. Did I want more? Yes.

Does effort = feelings? In my head, at that moment in time it certainly seems to.

He told me, there and then, “I don’t show my feelings.”

So, let’s unpick that right now.

I undoubtedly show and tell my feelings probably too much. Losing my dad taught me the importance of telling those you love how you feel as often as the feeling hits you. He shows his feelings, of course he does. But he is very guarded and I feel like there is a whole well of emotion hidden that I don’t comprehend. So, if he doesn’t or can’t spell it out for me, my over-imaginative brain makes up its own mind. As I’m anxious and afraid, it’s often negative.

He’d told me that he hadn’t wanted to cuddle and kiss in bed with me because it always leads to sex and he didn’t feel like having sex (you can imagine how my self esteem dealt with that one at first!) because he was tired and ill.

He’d told me that he hadn’t felt well all day (which I should have known, apparently) and that he had said we could watch a film on Sunday before my flight home. He said we had spent all afternoon and evening together on the sofa (true) so what did I want? What did I want to do?

What did I want…

Alone time. Holding hands. Cuddles. Kisses. Not worrying about his parents walking in. Being unguarded. It didn’t have to be sex. So that’s intimacy, overt signs of love.

What feelings did this situation trigger?

I associate low effort with low interest. My ex husband didn’t try, took me for granted. I eventually walked away. Alongside that, I believe that if we are not making an effort he will get bored and find someone else.

I don’t need taking out BUT if we had gone for a walk (it was raining) or a coffee, I would have felt special. If we had watched a film, it would have felt special because we were doing it together and his attention would have been on me, weirdly. We would have been alone in his room.

My self esteem states that if he doesn’t make an effort, he isn’t interested because he doesn’t tell me otherwise.

So….although I’m not usually bothered about material things or being taken out, when there is no other evidence (like him telling me) I have no other choice but to associate an engagement, a date, a gift, an activity, physical intimacy to his feelings.

Is that it? Is that the problem?

The argument ended with his frustration and my fear that I’d caused another row. I didn’t understand my own behaviour. Why was I arguing about something that deep down I wasn’t actually bothered about? I genuinely don’t care about going out if he doesn’t want to. Material objects are worthless without the thought behind them. I now realise, on some levels, that it is true. I do believe that, even if I seem like I am contradicting myself. I wasn’t bothered. I enjoyed sitting on the sofa with him, his feet on my lap or getting warm between my thighs. I enjoyed him winking at me when he caught me looking. But, as I have to use his actions to understand the depth of his feelings, perhaps I by extension am looking for the substantial always fearful that we are not.

He sat on the edge of the bed frustrated and said he didn’t understand me. Eventually he lay down, his arm draped over his eyes. I was knelt between his legs and rested my head on his lap, gazing into the distance and trying to figure what the hell was going on in my head. It raced from explanation to excuse, trying to understand that rush of anger over something so silly.

With my head on his lap, I kept apologising and telling him to go to bed. He didn’t and said nothing.

After a few moments he sat up and ran his hands up and down my arms. He then planted soft, soft kisses on my lips and cheeks. The kisses became more passionate. He half lifted me and twisted me towards the bed.

“Is this what you want?”

I told him that I had been happy with the kisses and that I knew he didn’t want to have sex so it was fine, we didn’t have to.

We made love instead.

Enough (cont from previous post)

How to explain?

I told him that my last trip with him was the happiest I had been. I was so happy.

But that trip had signalled a ‘mental’ end. For me, I had decided that once I got back there would be no more relaxing and dilly-dallying. No. It was time to start work.

When that didn’t happen (my DBS wasn’t back), I faltered. I mourned not being with him and the life I wanted with him. But I couldn’t motivate myself wholeheartedly to do much else. Whilst I couldn’t explain this to him as eloquently as I have just now, he understood. He told me not to worry – I would be working soon. He told me to fill my time, and my mind, with other work. He’s always right.

I continued. And then…and then there was the incident with my London friend. I hadn’t told him what she had said but he pressed me and so I did. 

This was hard to explain – naturally, he took the affront and felt that she (and I) were accusing him of being bad and of not loving me.

But that isn’t it. I told him that I know he is a good man. Her words, her belief that I was an option actually made me feel bad on me. That I wasn’t good enough. The reason he hasn’t made a commitment or a decision was that I wasn’t good enough.

“Did I say that? Have I ever said that to you? You must understand my thinking.”

He was angry with her for inserting herself so negatively in our relationship. He talked of his culture and the ‘white thread’ that family brought to support a couple when they were struggling.

He said there were no problems between us.  That he just needed time to get everything right where he was, before he made the final move to commitment and leaving his country.

He told me…he told me that he had never met a woman like me before. He told me that I was beautiful and gentle and a good woman, and that his parents had said the same. He said he was the bad one – he didn’t do half of what I did for him and so I had no reason to think bad of myself. When I asked him why he didn’t, and I say that not because I want him to do those things but out of curiosity, he said he wasn’t in the position to do it. It wasn’t his way and I knew his situation. (I repeat, I don’t expect those things from him. I don’t need gifts as such. I perhaps just need a symbol.)

He talked about how we shared our life, and how we had done so for two years now. He told me he had never spent so much virtual time with a woman, none of his ex girlfriends. And I was the only one who knew his family – didn’t I realise that was something special?

That is what he had given me, I concluded. Not a token. He had made the decision to give me his life, of a fashion. Outside of me, and his parents, and his Instagram aspirations he does little else. This isn’t a man going out all the time. He rarely goes anywhere.

I am enough. He told me I am enough. What actually said is that I’m better than, more than that.

So….

Enough already. Stop with the mopsing and the worrying and the overthinking.

I am enough.

Jealousy and regret

It is a rainy day here in the UK. We’ve enjoyed weeks of sunshine and it appears to be over. I think I just heard thunder too.

I don’t feel great today. I’ve been letting things slide. I feel…yuk: tired, woozy head, little energy, little motivation. My head is racing with a million thoughts and possibilities. I’m not sleeping properly. I know I need to sort my diet, exercise, career, finances, house, love life…. I feel out of control. Not in a way that I am going to go and do something stupid. Just that there is no clear path, structure, plan. And I hate that.

We could, and probably should, talk about how I regularly make a plan and I never stick to it. I go back to this base point then try again.

This tells me two things:

  • At least I keep trying
  • I’ve not made the right plan yet

I feel like I am on the edge of finding the secret formula to a happy life but I need to find it in the swirling mess of possibilities in my head.

Last night I felt very low. Beaten.

My London friend has successfully traveled to her boyfriend’s (and Wildcard’s) country. I’m really happy and excited for her, and was glad I’ve been able to help, particularly when the airline staff tried to prevent her from boarding from sheer ignorance and arrogance.

Oh the symbolism!

Yesterday she messaged me to say she’d had an amazing first night with him and that he had proposed. I was so happy for her as I know that is what she wanted. But my goodness, it was like a punch in the stomach.

She’d had the experience I had hoped for and dreamed of. They discussed everything, and will get a ring in the next few months (he wants to save up for a special ring) and they plan to wed next year.

I wasn’t expecting a proposal on my visit but I wanted a conversation. I got neither.

I can’t describe in enough depth that heart heavy-soul sinking-accompanied by physical pangs of pain, that I felt. Jealousy is never a good emotion to have. This was more. It was complete and utter self loathing. I wasn’t as pretty as her. He doesn’t love me enough. I’m not good enough. Blah blah blah.

I know we are different people in different circumstances but it feels a little like I am in an alternative universe where I get the counter story to hers. I’ve explained our similarities- both divorced mothers of three, both work in education, been with our LDR approximately 2 years, LDR in the same country and similar ages. She has the promise for forever. What did I get?

Regular readers, you know this information dragged me down. I was exhausted – I had been at the zoo all day with my family and am feeling yuk at the moment. But this had hit me hard.

I went for a lie down and just willed myself to sleep, process and recover. But he called.

You know I couldn’t hide it. You know he demanded I told him. You know there is no point trying to lie about it. He always knows.

I told him repeatedly that I didn’t want to talk about it. He asked for a headline. I said ‘jealousy.’ I think regret is probably more accurate – so is the power of hindsight.

Of course, once he had that headline he wouldn’t settle until he had the full story. I explained. He asked “what is the problem?”

“He told her how much he loved her and missed her and then proposed.”

“Ahhh.” The moment of understanding dawned on him. “Well if you want a boyfriend who tells you he loves you and misses you, go find one. That isn’t me.”

Wow.

Notice his comment didn’t even mention the proposal?

He then proceeded to ask me a lot of questions – their age, length of their relationship, when they would marry etc. I don’t think the similarities were lost on him. But we then continued our conversation as normal and this morning’s call was normal too.

I’m calm now also. I want him to want me and love me. Forcing him to my way of thinking is not the way. Changing him to fulfil my needs is pointless. If he wants me, he will tell me. I don’t want to lose him so I will continue, as is, for now.

The focus is back on me, where it should have been for some time. The end of my current school career is days away and I no longer have the pull of needing a visit to Wildcard.

Time to sort myself out.

Confused but not crying

Those who know me or who have been reading my posts for a while will know that I have a little epiphany from time to time. It’s like the jumble of thoughts that are in my head finally clear and everything fits into place.

That is not to say I won’t get anxious about Wildcard again – I will. My anxiety is a part of me as much as my freckles are: whilst they almost disappear sometimes, in other times they are vibrant and unmissable. So it will be, I guess, with my anxiety.

It is also hard not to let familiarity and ‘routine‘ (and I say that for want of a better word) continue. This is some of what I read about and watched a few days ago… I’m anxious about a certain thing. I allow myself to think about it repeatedly, unchecked. My brain registers that and almost comes to expect it. So then my brain will look out for signs and reminders for me so I continue thinking about it. And so on. This is my daily life and what my brain expects and plans for.

I need to re-route my brain.

I need to let my dreams of the future be the focus of my thoughts but not of a future with him.

Wow that hurts.

But I have no control over that future and until he is ready to talk about it at least, I can’t keep dreaming about something he may not want or may never happen. No, instead I need to dream about a life for me.

Today has been a great day with him. The tension has lifted and it was like we were back to how we were a few months ago – before his family troubles, the sad loss of his grandmother, covid-visit stress and the recent arguments. We laughed today, a lot.

Pexels

I wrote the above yesterday. This morning I have waved off my sisters and my youngest as they go on a little trip with a family friend. They offered to take him months ago as we thought I would be going to see Wildcard. Huh.

As I predicted, my buoyancy has waned a little. The anxiety is at bay but my overthinking isn’t.

Whilst sitting drinking coffee with my brother in law and our friend this morning, he asked for an update on Wildcard and my return to his country.

I could hear myself trying to explain what happened. I heard myself say that when he first gave me his reasons I couldn’t understand but subsequent discussions have clarified it for me. In short, I heard myself explaining away the situation. Neither of them knew what to say. Our friend said “but surely he wants you to come when you can?” which of course were my sentiments too. I tried to explain how he worries and overthinks. It sounded a little like excuses to my own ears, even though I know it is true.

I’m so stuck between thinking that he isn’t ready to commit, isn’t sure about me or that I’m rushing things and putting pressure on through my anxiety and in typical female fashion of wanting commitment and a label, yesterday.

I’ve been with him for 21 months and we have talked multiple times every single day

But I have only visited him, seen him in person, twice for a total of three weeks.

I believe we are in a serious relationship, but not yet serious enough for us to discuss our future.

A commitment in this long distance relationship is bigger than a normal relationship. He is commiting to starting again career wise, moving away from his family and friends, moving to a new country.

He is still calling, still wants to be with me but just wants breathing time between visits.

His parents like me and want me to come. He would allow me to come in August even though he would prefer it to be delayed.

Yesterday he asked me to remind him to do something in early September.

Am I holding out for something that will never happen? Or am I letting my anxiety and insecurity ruin something good?

Confused, but not crying. Is this progress?

What I want

I’ve heard some hard truths over the last few days.

That I’m being too patient, too nice. My belief that he is too good for me is clouding my judgement.

I’m a simple person. I’ve never desired riches or designer brands or fancy cars. I believe in working hard, family and showing/sharing love.

In a relationship, fancy restaurants and expensive gifts whilst gratefully received are not the be-all. Something simple which shows thought is much more valuable.

I’m well aware of my flaws. I can wish I was more beautiful or thin or intelligent and I will work to be the best I can be. But I know that I am just an average girl. It is who I am.

I want someone who sees the beauty in me, who will tell me I am beautiful even when I wear no make up and need a shower.

I want someone who will give me the gifts of love and care and respect and forgiveness. To feel loved and wanted every day, no matter what I’ve done wrong or what mistakes I’ve made. To make me feel appreciated and needed.

The only man who has even got close to showing me that much love is my dad. And my dad is gone.

Life is so unfair.

I can’t remember the last time Wildcard told me I was beautiful. I can’t remember the last time he said he wanted me or missed me without me asking.

In being angry with me, in sulking with me, he took away the only thing I’ve asked for: his love.

Am I not worthy of that? I ask for so little but even that is too much.

Time and time again I am let down by men who take my love for granted. Men who fail to see, until it is too late, that just because what I want is free and simple to give, it still requires effort.

And this is why I don’t feel good enough.

He is probably 98% back to normal now but there is still a lingering tension in the air.

My friend is adamant I’m giving too much, forgiving too much. But I don’t know any other way to be. This is who I am.

Boyfriend advice.

I don’t care what job you have. As long as you have one and take pride in what you do.

I don’t care how much money you earn. Just be careful with how much you spend.

I don’t care about your qualifications. Pieces of paper do not truly show a person’s intelligence or wit. It’s shown in their ability to listen and communicate and their willingness to keep learning. It’s shown in their tolerance and respect of diversity.

I don’t care what car you have. They all have four wheels and an engine. Keep it clean and safe and take me places and I will be happy. Oh. And make sure you can afford it.

I don’t care if you find other women attractive. Other women are attractive and most are more attractive than me. I know that, so you don’t need to tell me that they are – I just need to feel like you want me, regardless of that and that you will always be faithful and loyal.

I don’t need you to tell me I’m beautiful every day. Tell me when you notice things – remember to mention, now and again, when you like my smile, or my hair or how I’ve dressed. Those little moments add up to a lot. If I’ve put effort in to look nice, you need to put effort in to tell me you’ve noticed.

I don’t need you to like my family and friends. Just respect that I do, and be polite and courteous to them. If I want us to spend time with them sometimes, do it to make me happy. Because it will.

I don’t care if you don’t wear designer clothes. Just be clean and dress up when the occasion requires it. I will always tell you when you look good.

I don’t need expensive gifts to feel loved. I can buy things myself. A small thing that shows a lot of thought is much, much more important to me. The thought really does count.

I don’t care if you don’t go to the gym regularly. If you enjoy going, go. If you need to work out to be healthy, great. I don’t care about ripped muscles, six packs etc. Just look after yourself and encourage me to do the same.

I don’t care about going to fancy restaurants, hotels etc etc. Those places mean much more when they are for special occasions. Just be with me, focus on me – look at me when we talk, not your phone or the TV. Hold my hand when we go for walks. Give me a kiss when you walk past me. Ask me how my day has been and care about the answer. Cook with me, clean with me. Watch films that we both like – ask me to watch something with you. Suggest places we can travel together – I just want to experience life with you, from the boring to the spectacular.

I don’t need you to spend every moment with me. I like that you have a life and interests outside of me. Just make sure you keep me involved by telling me all about them – I want to share your happiness. And let me know you miss me when I’m not around.

I don’t need to orgasm every time we have sex. I can feel pleasure without an orgasm. I do need foreplay though. Every time. Focus on that instead. Make me feel like you want sex because of me. That you want me. If you do that, I will probably orgasm most times anyway.

Tell me, show me, that you love me, every single day. Forgive me when I’ve done wrong and I’m sorry – you don’t need to punish me as I will do that myself. Every day, make me feel like I’m yours, that I belong with you, and I will be faithful and loyal and loving for the rest of our lives together.

Underestimated

You know that I love words. I love it when you find the perfect words or word to sum up a situation. My title is just that.

Last night, I told the whole truth of my situation with Wild Card to my fifteen year old daughter.

My daughter is my eldest child. As such, I don’t know how typical our relationship is but it is certainly changeable. She is very close to her Dad and considers herself a ‘Daddy’s’ girl yet we are close too, to a certain extent. She certainly doesn’t tell me everything – what teenager does, I guess? – but there are moments when she will come and confide in me.

My daughter compliments me more than any other person I know. She tells me I’m beautiful and compliments me when she thinks I look nice. She tells me how proud she is of me, for all I have achieved.

Conversely, however, this also creates a source of conflict between us. She absolutely refuses my help. I’m an English teacher, she will be taking GCSE literature and language in two months, but she refuses any help from me at all. She won’t let me help her plan her revision. She didn’t not want my input in discussing colleges and college courses. She wants to prove to me, and I guess herself, that she can do this without me. That’s a bitter pill to swallow. How can she be proud of me, but not want my help? It’s something I have had to accept and be confident that she will ask if she needs me.

Lying to her this past month has been really difficult for me. She of course knew about Wild Card, partly because of the extent of our communication and also because I had confided in her that I was ‘online dating.’ To be fair to her, she had encouraged me to ‘put myself out there’, but I also know she feels conflicted because of her loyalty to her father. But I did not tell her that I was going to visit Wild Card.

This was for two reasons. I see no point in telling my children about my situation with Wild Card until I am convinced it is serious. For them to get attached to him, which I think they would, and then for him to disappear at some point… Well, that would double the hurt for all of us. (Although, I recognise that them talking to him now is probably creating that situation anyway.). Secondly, I didn’t want to put her in the position of lying to her father. It’s none of his business, but she should not have to lie to him on my behalf.

When I returned from my trip, I was on a high. I wanted to tell her everything but still wasn’t sure it was the right time. About a week ago, I did tell her that Wild Card and I really liked each other and that we had met recently. She laughed at me. ‘That’s pretty obvious mum.’ She asked when I had met him but I didn’t tell her.

This week, she has confided something big in her life. I was driving her to her Dad’s alone – her brothers were already there. She said she needed to tell me something, then blurted out that she was bisexual. Yes it was a surprise – I had no idea – but I was touched that she was able to tell me. She hasn’t told her dad yet.

Her honesty has plagued me all week, and last night I decided to confess all. Only problem was, she had worked it all out already. She said she was suspicious when I booked my trip. She said there were clues about his nationality, of which I hadn’t shared, and she had guessed that he may have lived where I was visiting.

I completely underestimated her. She went through all the clues she had used to work out what I had done and I was astounded by her intelligence and thought process. She said that by telling her I had met him, I had confirmed her suspicions.

I also underestimated her feelings about the situation. We lay on my bed and I showed her all the photographs from my trip. I told her about him and his family, and how they had cared for me. I also told her some of my fears – that I have no idea how this will all work out.

She told me that he sounds like a good man and that it is obvious that he cares about me and likes me. She said that she would love to meet him and his family (I was really surprised about that). She was genuinely happy for me and actually reassured me a little. She did talk about the future and asked what will happen if we got married (!) and whilst I told her that was so far in the future that it wasn’t worth thinking about, she was enough aware of his culture to know that it is a possibility. We are serious about becoming serious. She told me that if I decided to live with him, she fully supported me but she would not come with me. I told her that, even if that was a consideration, we are talking years and years from now.

I feel like a weight has been lifted. She has the facts and I have her support.

For me, there are three things that need to happen for me to be 100% confident that he is serious about me – even though, by considering his culture, me visiting him and knowing his parents is pretty serious. The first is that I book for my second visit. Whilst we have talked about my coming again and he has told me I am welcome, he has had to confirm a few things with his family before I book. Last night he confirmed one thing, but didn’t actually tell me to book my flights and I won’t until he does. The next is that he tells his whole, extended family about me. (I fully accept this is a big step and one for the future, but that will be confirmation). Finally that he changes his social media to acknowledge his relationship with me.

Today I will tell Wild Card that my daughter knows everything. Before my trip, he had asked me what my children know. When I told him they didn’t know I was visiting him, he had said that was probably for the best. Since then, he has repeatedly suggested that I bring them to visit him. When we had our ‘serious’ talk earlier this week, he said that I needed to tell my family. I replied that my sisters and mother knew already, but maybe he was talking about my children.

Maybe I have underestimated his need for security too. The fact that I haven’t told my children yet does not prove my commitment to him and us. Every time we speak he asks if I have missed him, how much, do I love him, how much. At first I thought that this was just conversation, a routine of ours. Perhaps he needs this confirmation as much as I do.

Part of me is scared that he will panic when he finds out my daughter knows all. To me, it is a big step. But it was a step that had to be taken and I am glad I have done it. I underestimated how important it was for my daughter to know, and how much it was playing on my mind that she didn’t.

In my next post I will let you know how he reacts.

My worst enemy is…

Definitely myself. Or my errant, spontaneous and often negative, thoughts.

I had an hour long chat yesterday morning with Wild Card before I went shopping. I actually enjoyed shopping for once… Mainly because I discovered I have now dropped three dress sizes. Yes three. So shopping became pleasurable, particularly as I was buying clothes for my trip to see Wild Card which is now less than two weeks away…

I spent the afternoon with my friend, of course dissecting the situation with him. She’s supportive, honest, and not overly negative. She asked more about my thoughts for the future and I just told her that I am enjoying this one step at a time. And I’ve been telling my head that ever since. Can I cope with years of this? What if he doesn’t like me when I get there? Nerves, anticipation, paranoia… Just focus on one step at a time.

Back to being my own worst enemy…

I got home late afternoon and as I hadn’t heard from him all day, sent a message. An hour and a half later there had been no response. I don’t have to say any more do I? My head was jumping to its own conclusions as usual. But, thinking about my recent training, I tried thinking logically and sensibly… He always calls back. He never misses. He has his own life – maybe he was just busy. I’ve missed his texts before! And he’s told me to call when I want… So, I did.

And of course, everything was fine. He was out in the city with his family. His brother was getting his hair cut, so Wild Card took me on a little walk so I could see the surroundings. He kept asking me what I thought. As he got back to the car, he told me he would call me later.

Fifteen minutes later he was calling again, this time showing me a shopping precinct. It was amazing to see it and made me even more excited for my visit. In some ways it clarified my expectations too.

So, my stupid head thought the worst and in return he was as attentive and thoughtful as ever, showing me his world and wanting my opinion on it. He didn’t need to do any of that.

That should be enough, shouldn’t it? How many times does he need to prove those negative thoughts wrong? But oh no, my over active imagination decided to start again today…

I had my usual ‘good morning’ text. So far so good. I got home and the clock steadily worked its way to six and so the anticipation started to build, as usual. My kids are home, so of course their needs come first, so I work to get everything done before he calls. At half six, I sit down and I hadn’t heard anything… And then I heard the familiar ping of my phone.

Butterflies dancing in my stomach, I opened messenger to see that he has sent me a video. I waited, rather impatiently, for it to download.

It was an Ed Sheeran video of ‘Perfect’, with the lyrics in both his first language and English. I think it might be one of the most romantic things he’s done and my heart just swelled. (Read the lyrics and you’ll know what I mean.)

But was he being romantic or was he just sending me a song he liked? If I assume he was being romantic and he wasn’t, it will be really awkward. How to answer… I send a kiss face and said ‘I love that song’. Neutral, I thought.

Ten minutes later… No response. How the hell can he send that and then not respond or even read my message?

Oh. He had sent 45 minutes before it had finally downloaded. Grrrr.

Nothing for it but to call him…. And he’s on the phone.

To who? Obviously another woman. He’s probably sent it to all of us and she responded first. I actually stopped myself at this point. What on earth was I doing? He’s just sent something really romantic and I’m being negative. Again. So I reasoned with myself. He’s told you that he would not sit at home on the phone with another woman when his parents know about me. It’s probably his brother or his friend or something. He will call back.

Which he did. But when I answered, he wasn’t at home. He was out for a walk. Which meant he could have been on the phone to another woman. What the hell is wrong with me?! We spoke very briefly but it was hard to hear so he said he would call me when he got home.

So when he called back he knew instantly, instantly, there was something wrong. Even though I’d given myself a stern telling off for jumping to conclusions. But he knew. It didn’t matter how much I smiled and said I was fine, he kept asking. He said he knew me and I wasn’t acting the same. Did I not like the music he sent me? At this point I had even asked him if he sent it to be romantic. He replied that he loved me and thought about me all the time and he liked the song and found it in our languages… Did I not want him to be romantic? He asked if it was work, my family, had he done something to upset me… He even mentioned the fact he had been on the phone but I did such a good job of saying ‘what?!’ that he changed the subject and kept questioning me. Yeah, because you realised you were not at home… He even pulled the… ‘if you love me and want me, you need to tell me what’s wrong’ tactic.

Sure, I’m going to tell you that I became insanely jealous and paranoid when you’ve done nothing more than be on the phone when I called.

Luckily, for me, at this point my youngest came in to the room and dominated the conversation for a while. And yes, Wild Card is brilliant with him. Swoon.

The conversation ended not long after that as my son needed to go to bed and Wild Card had overheard his Dad in the next room saying something about a bereavement. He blew kisses at me and told me to not be sad. I told him I wasn’t, but clearly I hadn’t convinced him.

What is wrong with me? Really, I mean what is wrong? The facts speak for themselves. I’ve got to stop jumping to conclusions and stick with the facts. I keep hoping that a week with him, confirming that we both feel the same and I will stop worrying so much.

But. My own worst enemy isn’t so sure I can manage a worry free existence.