“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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Why, why do I do this? Why do I have to cause problems? Create problems? Why can’t I just take each day as a gift and be happy?
It’s clear to anyone who reads my blog (thank you by the way 😊) that I am deeply in love with Wildcard. I’ve told you that he is everything I want and dreamed and yet my all-encompassing fear of losing him clouds the good that we have.
Last night, I got upset. Again. I hate myself for writing it and saying it and feeling it.
After a moment of perfect intimacy and love, fear took over.
It seems to be a pattern.
I get excited, so excited.
I arrive. I’m so happy.
And then I realise, despite it being impossible, that I love him even more than I thought. Every moment of being close; his joking and teasing, our laughter; our talking and eating and sharing every moment; our love making….my heart and soul swell like they will just burst. And as soon as I feel like that fear comes rushing in.
He doesn’t feel the same. Always that, always.
Where is my evidence? Well, my brain, trying to protect me in this very vulnerable state, finds it. Seeks it out.
Of course now, after sleeping and more love making, I see the idiocy and error of my ways. But at the time? At the time I feel like my world is falling apart. I even looked for an early flight home. Ri-di-cu-lous. As if I could tear myself away from him.
Expectation is the route of all disappointment. I know this. Yet I fall for it whether I want to or not.
I seek out evidence of him feeling like I do, constantly forgetting that as a man, as a man from a completely different culture, he will not show it as I do, how I expect, or even how I want. So when I don’t see it, I let that goddamn tsunami of fear sweep over me, obliterating rational thought. Every. Time.
I need to find a way of explaining this to him so he doesn’t think me completely crazy. I’ve tried to explain that these are my problems, not his and that I recognise that and apologise for it (thank you Tony Robbins).
But. He isn’t entirely innocent.
I suspect, and long have, that he has his own set of demons and past relationship trauma. Whilst he tells me and shows me he loves me every day, he’s never allowed himself to be truly vulnerable around me. He’s never completely let me in. And it’s no good asking him – the more I ask, the more he refuses. He won’t be forced to say anything unless he wants to say it.
I don’t dislike that about him. I would rather something was said heartfelt than half-heartedly because it is forced. Unfortunately, that doesn’t help when I’m drowning in the anxiety-tsunami.
He’s at work now. Things were OK, good, between us this morning. He text me to ask about a deleted message I sent last night. It simply told him I couldn’t sleep. He knew it wasn’t just barking dogs.
Another issue, is that whilst a part of me knows I am being unreasonable, and tries to hide this from him, he always knows. And then I have to try, but often just avoid and then fail, to explain in any way where I come out positively.
And so, here I am. 12 o clock on my 3rd day here and I’m nervous that he is well and truly fed up of me. Because even if my initial thoughts and worries were false, they have now caused an actual problem.
So what could change this ridiculous cycle? I have no idea. Last night, after he repeatedly pressed me to tell him and I repeatedly avoided..we had a tickle fight, he refused to tell me what I wanted to hear (in his head he’s thinking, why? Why do I need to say it again – have I not just proved it?) I was sad, and then he held me and kissed me over and over, telling me he loves me. He loves me.
He had warned me the day before that there were issues at work and I was aware of the possibility that I may have to wait for him.
When I landed, over-brimming with excitement, I sent him a picture of the airport from the aeroplane window. Within moments he told me he had just got out and would be there within 30 to 40 minutes.
Knowing that his time is not like UK time, I expected him in an hour. I waited in the airport for that hour but as the place emptied – it is small despite being international – I started to feel uncomfortable and a little sad. Why could he have not made the effort to be here, waiting, like he always did?
I went outside and wandered amongst the flowerbed and trees outside the airport. After what seemed like an age but was only 15 minutes, I spotted him walking towards the airport. My heart lurched.
I can’t pretend a part of me wasn’t put out. But on the drive to his home, I reminded myself that he had warned me about this and I had repeatedly told him it was ok. I know there are things going on in his workplace.
Apart from that, the ride home was filled with laughter. He has a knack of making me laugh. It was so lovely to see his parents who had wanted to come with him to pick me up, and I hoped that this meant that their recent feud was passing.
When we arrived, I gave out presents and was happy they were so well received. He apologised that he hadn’t bought me anything. Again, I’m not materialistic and presents are not important to me. I didn’t expect one. And yet, when he said that – acknowledged it- it hurt.
And so, that inner voice is talking again. She’s been fed now and has the strength to whisper in my ear. My brain likewise is looking and finding evidence that what she says is true, because that is what our brains do.
She told me that his kisses were not passionate enough.
She told me that he didn’t sit close enough to me at dinner.
She whispered that he didn’t need to take his phone down to the car when he went to pick up the papers he had left.
I counter argued with the tender kiss he pressed on my neck as he moved past me as I looked out the window….
We had an amazing dinner – his mum had gone all out to make my favourite foods.
He then suggested we went to relax. We went to his room, cuddled, and soon intimacy followed. He laughed that he wouldn’t be able to sleep next to me as we would not get any sleep. See, I told her.
Later, we went to have tea and cake with his parents again before bed. He couldn’t do enough – checking I was OK, making sure I had everything I needed.
That’s being a good host, she said. He doesn’t have to do that, I replied.
I lay in bed and after 30 minutes he messaged, asking if I was OK. I replied I was, and told him I loved him. He sent a stream of hearts and kisses and hugs emoticons.
He hasn’t told you he loves you, yet, she pointed out.
I slept fitfully, waking repeatedly for no apparent reason. At 5am and got up to go to the toilet and went back to bed to read a little. I heard noises outside my room and felt a little guilty that I may have woken someone.
My door opened and he was there, asking if I was OK and saying that he couldn’t sleep too.
He climbed in to bed next to me and we bundled the blankets around us to keep out the cold. I instantly felt more content with him there and started to feel drowsy…until I was the opposite. What followed was the most tender and intimate love making we had ever had. We then lay together, limbs entwined. Even when he turned over, his legs wiggled back to find me and envelope mine.
See, I told her. He still hasn’t said he loves you, she replied. Buthasn’t he just shown me? I exclaimed. Perhaps, she retorted.
Hearing his parents stirring, he got up to leave and gave me a kiss.
I wish my inner voice, my imposter, would just shut the hell up.
If you’ve read my last post, you’ll know that I commented upon the challenges of a long distance relationship and the sheer amount of organisation needed.
Mistake me not, he is worth every second. Barring the first trip, Covid has been ever present in our relationship. Multiple tests, multiple heath forms… this week’s trip pales in comparison. But I will say it again, he is worth it.
I’m on the plane now. I’m tired but comfortable. I started to question myself and my feelings, wondering at the changes I feel and what that actually means. My conclusion is that the absence is not excitement but fear. I’m not nervous or scared. Ok, my connecting flight bothers me a little, but in general there is no anxiety at all. That has to be a good thing.
In a way, its kind of left a void. An empty space not filled with any emotion right now.
It’s two hours later. I’m still on my flight but we are starting to descend. I then need to check-in for my second flight and wait for the final hour’s journey to be with him.
As we have got closer, I feel like I’m slowly awakening…unfurling like a rose bud. My heart and body and soul are calling out to him and waiting for his answer. I need to touch his skin, look into those deep brown eyes with all their mischief and…love. Yes, love.
No number of hours on video calls can compare with being 5 minutes in his company.
I’ve listened to my music on replay and have been reading my book. I’m now bored and impatient. I want him.
I’ve seen his face. Yes, still on a screen but I’m so much closer now. I could see that little twinkle in his eye and know he is excited too, no matter how much he teases me otherwise.
Considering my anxiety, the stop off at this airport was relatively stress free. I didn’t know where I was going and neither did a few of the staff, but check in and security was easy. I’m about half an hour from boarding my last flight. I can’t wait.
I should be used to the insomnia by now, but I’m not.
I dread going to bed because I know I will lie there and think of him. And my situation. Equally, I dread going to sleep because of how often I dream about school. No closure there then.
I’m not sure why I posted my last post. I mean, yes, those thoughts and feelings were valid at the time of writing. It’s funny how you see things differently after a sleep. Or seven, in this case.
Wildcard, unfortunately, wasn’t seeing anything differently. Ever since that last outburst- which was 100% my fault – he’s been off. Yes, I know, we’ve been here before. And yes, I’m probably being a little oversensitive/paranoid/self absorbed but he half admitted it last night. He also keeps saying “so, you’re starting again…” which is a bit of a give away. I haven’t started anything …in the past week.
Of course, at this time of year, everyone starts evaluating and analysing their life. I’ve recognised just how hard this year has been for me and I’m determined that next year I will be more positive and proactive. Mel Robbins is leading the way in my thinking and I highly recommend you looking her up if you want some excellent coaching and life advice. I’ve been dipping in and out over the past 18 months but I’m committed to seeing things through to the end this time.
Some of her advice hits a little hard at times, mainly because you realise she is right. A lot of my ‘issues/anxieties’ with Wildcard are actually anxieties about myself. It’s not his place to make me feel good about myself, neither consciously or subconsciously. More and more I’m realising that I have to start loving myself and who I am. I feel like I’m in the eye of the storm at the moment. Things are ok, but I have some real tough decisions to make. I need to trust myself and my judgement.
Whatever this was with Wildcard has blown over now. He often tells me that he just needs time and he will soon forget – he laments his terrible memory. I, on the other hand seem to store things in my head to make inaccurate equations with later.
My London friend’s words are still rattling around. I thought my conversation with Wildcard mid-December had banished them, but apparently not. They’ve been resurrected now more times than a tacky Hollywood villain.
My head just can’t seem to process my current situation. I do suffer from anxiety and due to previous relationships, I have anxious attachment. But there are fundamental things that my head can’t figure out. Like…
We’re in a long distance relationship – do these things just take longer? How is covid impacting on what would have happened? Are we following his culture or mine in this? Or, is he just commitment phobic and I’m being stupidly dragged along? Or, am I putting on too much pressure because of my own low self esteem – I need his formal commitment to make myself feel valued? My London friend thinks he is just waiting for someone better to come along. It’s easy to believe that when you dislike yourself.
My biggest problem is I cannot trust my own judgement any more. It is affecting every area of my life. I thought I was a good teacher. I thought I was doing well. I thought I had finally ‘cracked’ the weight loss. I thought I had got myself in to good habits. I thought I had found the love of my life and dreamed of him being with me and being a family.
I love him exactly the way he is – I love everything about him. And yet sometimes I crave more, but I know this is more about my insecurity and self esteem than anything else. What I crave is confirmation that I am not imagining anything- he loves me, completely. We will be together one day. In these moments, it doesn’t matter how many times he has called me or told me he loves me. My mind craves more.
Problem is, I’m never satiated because it’s coming from the wrong person. It needs to come from me. What I mean by that is he tells me he loves me, every day. He shows me he loves and misses me, every day. I know that. But I’ve recognised that when I’m feeling insecure and anxious, I crave the ridiculous over the top stuff. But that isn’t him: I just want it because of how I feel.
It is not the first time I’ve thought something along those lines. I remember writing a post about how my past relationships had caused me to be anxious – it wasn’t my fault! – but I’m a toy train on a circular track. I stop at the same stations, only to move on and come around again. I’m hoping this real focus on coaching, such as that by Mel Robbins, will help me change the tracks and send soothe my cravings.
So went my conversation with my London friend a few days after my last post.
I’ve floated about in no man’s land ever since.
Long Distance Relationships are hard. Most people don’t believe in them or trust them. They can be isolating. There’s lots of advice out there telling you to ‘continue to live your life’ and I do. But you don’t want to miss a minute with your other half, set in the knowledge that this is all you have.
My London friend is in her own LDR with a man from the same country as Wildcard. So you can imagine the effect these conversations have had on me.
I haven’t been the same with Wildcard since. Or her for that matter. Her words play on loop in my mind whenever I speak to him. It’s not that I think she is right. It’s just that she could be. She found an anxiety I already had and amplified it. Now I can’t drown out the noise.
Without telling him what she has said, we have talked about our situation. And equally, some of what he says could be true too. I can’t underplay how much of an upheaval moving to the UK would be. He talks of starting at zero, nothing, of having to rely on me. He talks of leaving his parents alone, his career, his car, his friends.
And this is where the sharp edge of words come in to force – I am an option.
Whether he loves me or not, I am still an option. One that he hasn’t yet decided on.
He says he wants to be with me. He just hasn’t decided yet. For me there is no option: I don’t want anyone else. The course of our life isn’t decided though and there are decisions we need to make together. I suspect that his culture has brought him up to believe that he makes the decisions. I can’t be sure.
(She also says I make too many excuses for him)
Yesterday he posted a video on social media of him and his cousin’s little girl. It was cute. Adorable. He looked happy. And sexy.
And herein lies the next problem. If he waits much longer to make his ‘decision’ the option to have a baby may be taken away from us. I’m not getting any younger.
How long do I wait, then?
At what point do I realise that he is never going to commit, and move on? Or do I wait for him to find a better option and leave me?
He can’t win, really. If he had proposed too soon (which isn’t soon for his culture) my family and friends would have had the visa thief banners out. If he doesn’t propose then people accuse him of not actually loving me and seeing me as a option.
When is the right time? What time is actually acceptable?
Monday is our two year anniversary of meeting. Two whole years of multiple daily video chats. But I have only spent just over 4 weeks with him in person. He hasn’t physically met any of my family, including my children.
Am I making excuses again?
Tonight, as I dropped off my children, it occurred to me that I will be spending another weekend alone. That if I had someone closer, I would have arranged a date with him. Instead, I’m alone. I’ve had my videochat and we have said goodnight.
As seems to be the way nowadays, I write a post, pause so I can edit and then….I don’t. So this update comes two days later on a bright Monday morning.
Saturday came and went. I couldn’t tell you what I did exactly. Half heartedly cleaned the house and fed my children – which is pretty much what I’ve done for the last six months – until it was time for them to go to their Dad’s.
Yesterday I was alone. I lazed in bed until a ridiculous hour, because, why not? And then, in a fit of frenzy, I decided to put some makeup on for the first time in a week and get the hell out of the house. I took myself off to a local pop up artisan fair – spent money I don’t have, reminisced about all the fairs I had done with my dad, considered whether I could actually start my own business this way and annoyed Wildcard because he couldn’t understand why I had all of a sudden put a face full of make up on to go to a market. He got over it.
I don’t mind his controlling behaviours. And the reason for that, is that I am actually stronger than he (and my London friend) think. He has never stopped me from going anywhere I really wanted to go. His sulking bemused me and makes me feel wanted. Once his own insecurities are resolved by showing him that yes, I did go out to a market wearing that make up alone, he relaxes. It’s no different to how I feel when he goes out wearing his sexy black jumper and dark blue jeans.
In the evening we had our usual chat and we discussed my anxiety with the slow start of my tutoring. He reminded me that there was a lot I could be doing (and what had I been doing for the past six months?) Whilst I waited. Whilst joking, he managed to call me out on a lot of my behaviours this last few months. Whether he realised he was doing this or not, I don’t know. But it set off a series of truth fireworks in my mind.
Seeing my distress, he probed my feelings. He said I hadn’t been the same since I had returned from my last visit. He asked why, what was wrong?
I’ve been here for six days now. For those of you (and I thank you now) who have read about my last two trips to see Wildcard, desperately trying not to repeat myself. So if I do, apologies.
As with last time, we have now got into a rhythm of sorts. I can’t deny though that things feel different, in a good way.
Each morning I wake and freshen up before lying in bed and reading or listening to music. I wait for him. There’s no point lying about it, that’s what I do.
He’s surprised me by coming in as early as 8 o clock which is wonderful from every angle. He kisses me good morning and then we cuddle, legs entwined, my head on his chest and hom stroking my hair or my back. We talk a little. Sometimes he falls back to sleep (he is not a morning person) sometimes we make love. Then eventually, he has to get up and go to work. He kisses me before leaving and I watch him drive away from the window.
Why am I telling you this? Is it even interesting? I tell you this because when you are in a Long Distance Relationship (LDR), morning like that are gold. I love every second. Without trying to generalise too much, I’m guessing that most couples after two years don’t get that feeling each morning. For us it is a novelty and it is special. My advice is treasure those moments, LDR or not. It is too easy for life to get in the way of precious moments like that.
Needless to say I hate him going to work but he has to. So I get up myself and get washed and dressed and have breakfast with his parents if we didn’t have it before Wildcard leaves for work. My conversations with his parents and mum in particular are going really well.
After helping to clean up, I then do some drawing or reading or listening to music. I offer to help with housework each day, and each day I’m told no. So I relax and enjoy and…honestly again, wait for him to come home for dinner.
I get that thrill as soon as he walks through the door. My eyes cannot take him in enough and all I want to do is kiss him and snuggle up to him. To me he is still the most handsome man I’ve ever met.
He then lies on the sofa and I sit by his feet, often with them in my lap or he teases me by softly kicking me when I’m reading, only to stop when I look his way. Sometimes he gains my attention by making funny noises until we are both laughing.
I remember feeling really frustrated last time. He was always watching TV or something on his phone and although I like the physical closeness I admittedly get a little bored. Plus I wanted attention. This time, I go with the flow. I’m on holiday, he’s not. This is his routine and I am now a part of it. So long as I keep myself occupied, all is good – and the more I’m occupied, the more he disrupts me with his tickling, kicking and funny noises. Life is so much easier when you just lighten up.
To my surprise and delight he has actually initiated some amazingly intimate times on this trip, when his parents are out shopping. Last time, he didn’t at all and I wondered why not as it was the perfect time. These moments are extra special and loving and intimate, perhaps because we are so relaxed. The sex is different too than before. I can only put it down to this deepening connection we have: I’ve never felt anything like it.
Deepening is the perfect word for what is happening, for me at any rate. I knew I loved him a lot and knew I was completely in love with him. But the more we are together, the deeper it is getting. It takes my breath away, makes my heart pound and my stomach lurch.
I don’t want to leave. I never want to leave, I know that, but I’m going to feel a wrench this time that I’m not sure I can cope with. He’s attached to me in the deep depths of my soul now and to be apart from him seems impossible.