Grasping at Straws

Thought and emotion dump.

Premature resentment
Today is my fiance's birthday and I do have a couple things planned. I got him a card/present, I am cooking lasagna with garlic bread for dinner and I got him a maple bar donut for his "cake". It's not much, but I have no idea what else to do/have little interest in doing much more. I already feel like this is even more than I will get come my birthday (if we make it that far, I don't know). He's getting the gift he asked for, a meal he likes made for him and even a treat I know he likes once in a while. I haven't gotten any of that in a while. I still feel that I won't even get what I really want for my birthday (even though I'm willing to combine holidays for it because I know it's on the expensive side). I still feel like he will "reason" his way out of getting it AGAIN. Do I know if this will actually happen? No. I understand that I am worrying/resenting prematurely and thus am getting it out here so I can find a way to work past it and focus on other things. Another thing that's been bothering me is now that he's making an effort to take our daughter out for a couple hours on Saturdays all of a sudden all the things we couldn't do because "we can't afford it" or "it's a waste of money" are being done....without me. I doubt this is on purpose in the sense of maliciousness, but this very irritating for me. I'm restricted to spending little to no money on activities because of the aforementioned reasons, but now that HE has to take care of her outside of the house for an extended period of time those things are on the table for him? The first weekend he took her to Chuck-E-Cheese's and some other similar style establishment. I think they only visited the first and left when it wasn't what he was looking for and actually spent the time and money at Chuck's. Regardless that was a first time experience for our daughter that I had to choose to miss out on for the sake of our relationship. Last weekend we ended up babysitting Makenna so we all went to the zoo, paid for, graciously, by her parents. So I chose not to have my alone time because I felt he wouldn't have handled two kids on his own too well. The zoo trip would have likely been a lot shorter than it was too. Regardless, even though it was paid for by someone else, that was ANOTHER activity that would have been done that he's expressed in the past we "can't/shouldn't" do. This Saturday he wants to find and take her to a community pool. Something he will have to pay for to get in to. Now, that one is not exactly a "first" for her. Our previous apartment complex had a pool we would go to in the summer. So, in that regard I am OK with that activity, but in another regard here is another activity that will have to be paid for that he's willing to do, but I am still restricted to free activities such as the park or the mall or if there's anything else I can find/manage. He can't do the free stuff, he claims, because he gets bored too quickly. I suggested taking and playing his DS then to help with that, but that wasn't good enough. I know things take time to change/get better, but his patterns he loves to talk about so much have set expectations in a not so good place. He may or may not realize it, I don't know. All I know is that this may intentionally be one of his efforts to help our relationship, but is unintentionally putting yet another strain on it in a different way. I am doing my best to give things time, but everyone I have talked to/knows about things all feel I've given him way more time then he deserves already. I will do my best to keep trying though, we do have that couples counseling appt coming in July. It's very hard for me still, especially when he likely feels/thinks he's doing a fantastic job. He's making some slow progress, I'll give him that, but it's not as much as he seems to think it is.

Breaching the dam a little
I was finally able to reach someone on his side of the family to let them know what's been and is going on for me and my fiance. Will it help? Unlikely, but I feel better knowing SOMEONE knows on his side because they would otherwise be blindsided if I make the final decision to leave. His grandmother (which is who I was able to speak to) was surprised to hear some of what's been happening. She did say that based on her experience and what I was telling her it sounded a lot like what everyone went through with my fiance's mother. She told me a little more about his sister and how her and her husband had to gently work with her through these obstacles, but they never saw any displays quite like what I have been experiencing. They honestly thought he was just as bad off as she was and that is clearly not the case. I explained to her the things I have tried to do to help, how I shouldered everything before and now I'm trying to make him shoulder some things (not everything) and how neither seem to alleviate his constant state of stress and procrastination. How he handles people in social situations has resulted in him no longer having friends or people he sees. It's become just me (and our daughter). When I explained what happened last Easter she was floored. That was exactly his mother's behavior. She made the decision to not tell her husband because she knew how much it would hurt him that he hurt his grandson like that and he would thereafter never be himself again around him; i.e. the walking on eggshells I have been dealing with for years. She offered to babysit for our couple's counseling appt in July, which was very nice. If he continues to refuse to grow and make the changes in his routines for our sake (mine and his daughter's) then I will choose to go. I know these changes are not easy ones for someone who is so set in his ways, but they are also not hard ones. They are necessary for the betterment of our family as a whole. Breaking up his online game play and youtube watching intermittently for activities with his daughter, activities that are not all video game related, is exceedingly necessary for our daughter's growth. I am not telling him he has to stop doing these things entirely, I am just telling him he needs to take breaks and do more age appropriate and interactive things with his daughter. I am also not saying our daughter can't play video games, but I am saying they can't be ALL he does with her. That's not helping her growth with speech or social skills. I not only don't want her as stunted as he is but I won't let her be that stunted. If he can't grow with her then she will grow without him. Sad as that is, I have to think of our betterment. Telling me these explosions are who he is and he will likely keep having them is unacceptable. Everyone blows up in different ways, that much is true, but not everyone lets themselves stay at a constant elevated rate of stress so those explosions keep happening. Turning consistently to MMOs and youtube for hours on ends to "de-stress" isn't the answer either. Last Mother's Day he spent all day here with our daughter playing an MMO all day (I was at work) while our daughter played alone in her room. For an hour or two is ok, it's good that she can entertain herself, but all day is not only unnecessary it's bad. I don't want that happening anymore. I want more for both of us. I want him to get out of whatever rut it is he's in (if that is it, I don't know) and start making things happen for himself too. We all deserve better, I'm just still not convinced if we're going to achieve that as a family if things can't start and continue changing. This year is still my deadline.

More wrong than right
The more I think about things the worse they really are. Not that I shouldn't think about things, it just makes me more sad/distressed at how wrong they really are. I talked to my other sister this morning. It started as mom advice because my kid is in the pushing stage, but it ended up talking about how her relationship with her husband worked. My current relationship (as it is and has been apparently) has little trust, almost no respect at this point and in my eyes he isn't functioning as a father should function. I hate to compare, but when other people can accomplish even a little more than he does it makes me question. He sees it as comparing or "it not a competition" or "not everyone's the same" which the last two are true, but he is not being the father he thinks he is. He is being a "father" when it's needed (as in discipline) and when it's convenient (when he isn't too tired to be). My sister's husband works twelve hour days, five days a week, and STILL comes home and does things with his daughter until bed. Granted, I am sure not all of that time is devoted to his daughter alone, but some is everyday and Derek isn't even managing that. Derek has worked 12-16 hour days before, and does once in a while. Personally I don't expect him to be a model father those days because yes, he is tired. However there have been days he's been off at 11 or 1 and has ample time with her while I work and still barely manages much time with her, let alone constructive time like flash cards or reading or playing with toys and creating dialogue. I'm still pushing for the counselling, but it really is feeling doomed to me. I am really missing my family at this point. This is so sad for me, but I can't help him any more than I already have. If he continues to see/do things in the ways that he has then he will never see things wrong and thus never fix them. I have been working as hard as I can on my things, and I am working on Delilah's things too. I'm reaching the point where all I care about is her when it comes to certain things; like food. I make what I like/think she might eat and if he eats it too, great. If not, he's an adult and can/should fend for himself at that point. I can't let up, I need to keep fighting for betterment for all of us; even if it means we go our separate ways.

A lot is not enough
I am entirely uncertain how much progress is really being made over the last few weeks. I am certain he thinks a lot of progress is being made. Yesterday I had to remind him that he and our daughter hadn't said Happy Mother's Day to me yet despite the fact that *I* made and had breakfast with them before work. Before I left I saw him trying to get Delilah to say it with him, but when she wouldn't/couldn't he said "Maybe later then." Which was fine until later came. I got home, confirmed dinner plans and got settled in and they still hadn't. So I prompted, not mad, just trying to get acknowledgement and they both sat there on the spot trying until they said it. Afterwards I asked what they did all day and he told me she played in her room and he played FFXIV. It's unknown to me if he spent ANY of that time with her at all, and he clearly didn't spend any time practicing how to say "Happy Mother's Day" with her. Everyone who knows/loves/cares about me are concerned for both Delilah and I. They don't want to doomsay, but they're about as hopeful as I am at this point, which isn't as hopeful as I'd like. With him it's always about "relaxing" or "calming down" because "work was long/rough" or something is "stressing him" which I'm not saying I don't believe, but that he's still consistently like this means he's still holding on to things he shouldn't be OR he's not admitting to himself what's actually wrong. Maybe he doesn't want to admit our relationship isn't working, I don't know. I honestly have no idea if he feels that way at all or not. I do feel very strongly that he's keeping himself in a state of denial to whatever it is because he's still needing to spend so much time "entertaining" or "distracting" himself. I have been pushing myself to do better in everything. I have been more firm with our daughter, spending more time with her either playing or practicing words. I have been trying to cook healthier (slowly) and if they eat it, great. Now I am working extra hard with our daughter, mixing in healthy with the unhealthy she is sadly used to so she can transition. However, with him, if he eats what I make, great, if not I don't care really. He's an adult who can fend for himself if necessary. It's sad though that it's come to this with me. However he wants me to LIE to him about what is and is not in the things I cook. A man who is so vehemently against lying wants me to lie to him. This doesn't ring right to me at all. It also doesn't ring right that he admitted that he would lie to me about how much money we were making (like my dad did to my mom recently) if we made enough for him to squirrel away money too. That's not right either. He's against other people lying to him, but he's OK with lying to other people. He had, what I can only assume was a mini freak out when I sent him a different heart this morning. I got questioned about it and then he apparently went back in his messages to notice that the last 3 were different then the one I normally used. Well, I was honest, I recently found the other heart....emojis? Is that what they're called? And have been playing around with them. Switching things up for fun, which is true. He accepted/understood, which is good, but that that unnerved him is only further proof (to me) that something deeper down is bothering him, whether he knows what it is or not. He told me he was "not as well as he could be" today because he tossed and turned last night, when he tried to wake me this morning (likely for sex) I didn't wake (which means he's STILL not trying hard enough to wake me) and various things at work are adding on to all of that. That tells me I'm going to have a tired man once again who isn't going to want to do much again. However, I am still going to talk to him this afternoon about his upcoming birthday because I am sure either his aunt or his grandmother will text/call ME about it and I will need to know how he wants to handle that or if I should be directing them to him. He still is "uncertain" how he feels about seeing his grandfather again. Knowing that it makes it hard for me to know what to do when that comes. I just have to keep going.

IDK What to Feel
It's tough for me right now. I don't know what to feel about things because I can see both sides of this or that and it makes sense both ways. Some of these things relate to me and my fiance directly, some deal with other people I know and love. So this isn't all about me personally. However, I am, in this particular way especially, in limbo with my feelings. I know I have been using the phrase "in limbo" a lot lately, but at the moment I can't think of a better way to describe it. For example, my parents are having a difficult time with each other over, what at the basis I believe is trust essentially, my father squirreling away money (by squirreling I mean saving) and my mom not knowing about it. Now, there's more to it than just that but I'm just going to stick to the bare bones of it here. From my perspective my mom's spending habits over the years have been both fine at times, and bad at others. One bad example that comes to my mind when I was younger was when she bought two dining room tables because "the cats would ruin the first one and wanted to have a replacement when that happened". Now, that is not verbatim, do not quote me here, but that was the gist of her reasoning. To me that was an unnecessary purchase, but had it been something more reasonable price wise, like my $20 tea tumbler which I bought two of because my fiance broke my last two tumblers, no one would've batted an eye. However it was a dining room table from an actual furniture store like....uh...damn, I forget the name at this point so lets use Rooms To Go. That's not high end as it can get, but it's not cheap either. So things like that over the years have added up, I'm sure, in my father's mind, and after his scare with cancer and my mom still being my mom (I'm not trying to make that sound like a horrible thing mind you) he finally must have grown scared or had enough or something and just started squirreling away money without telling her or her knowing about it. Well, somehow my mom found out eventually and was hurt, understandably, by it because he was basically lying to her about how much money they were making/or had, whichever (I wasn't there). I can see and understand both sides, from my perspective, and what got me further was when my fiance asked about it and I told him what was going on he basically said he would do the same thing if he could with us. Now, the difference, I don't know if it's major or minor I'll admit, was that it wasn't just me, it was him as well he would be squirreling away money from because he admitted to some unnecessary spending himself. Perhaps that softened the blow a little, I don't know, but I tried to express that I was OK with the idea of squirreling away money as long as he didn't lie to me about it, but, I don't know, not telling isn't lying or something else. I'm afraid I don't remember clearly at this point, a lot more than just that was covered yesterday. It's just odd to me. I have been working harder on putting my foot down on things and it has resulted in him getting creative to still get what he wants. For example he still wants more magic cards for this or that deck, well I put a limit on cards now. As a result, since a lot of the cards he wants are over that limit, he finally started digging through his plethora of cards to sell/trade for what he wants. He is still getting what he wants and we aren't spending any more money out of our account for it. Is this something he should have done a long time ago? Yes, but it was always "Not right now" or "I'll do it later" or "I don't have time" or "I'm too tired right now". So I let it go and go and go. Well, I'm not anymore since I have been feeling better and thus, results (of a sort). I'm still not sure how to tackle getting the new 2DS XL that's coming out this year for myself. He's shot me down about it already, but here he wants a $55 magic card (CARD, singular) for his birthday. On the one hand I'm really happy to hear him voice that he wants something because he's spent the last several years not doing that, leaving me to come up with something he doesn't really like/appreciate or getting him nothing. On the other hand here is something expensive and frivolous you want that I am willing to get you, but this is something expensive and frivolous I want and you won't let me get it? I still need to tackle this topic again with him, to be honest, but this is something that hurts/bothers me. Why is it OK for him to want things that are higher priced but when I do it's a list of reasons why I can't have it? There's still a lot to work through and to wait and see about, in the mean time I have to keep trucking, it's all I can do.

Still trying
In a way it feels like we may be making progress, and in a way it feels like we're not. We're still going to try counselling, but talking things through has only really helped him feel better. I am definitely taking his advice about this or that to help, but I myself don't feel any more certain. Are we truly starting to make progress? Or have we just found another way to coast until the next blow up? I seriously don't know yet. I do know time will tell, of course, and I am more than willing to try. I just don't feel the least bit convinced myself yet. This is on top of what I am still working through with my ears, and I personally feel like I've lost a bit more hearing. We'll know for sure on the 31st though. So, yes, I am still in a state of elevated stress. I am doing my best to dole out responsibilities on him, to also encourage him to find a way to socialize with other people once a week, hell, I would settle for once a month at this point. However, even I know that's not really enough, but if it gets the ball rolling in a direction than that's more than we have now. I've also been encouraging him to make at least one friend somewhere, one person to talk to about things like what we're going through to help him get perspective like I do. I told him there have been times I've turned to my best friend and my youngest sister with things with us and they've called me out when they think I'm actually in the wrong. It's hard when you're the one involved to see things objectively. This is why having some people in your life is important. Do you need an entire network of friends, no, but more than just me is crucial. We will continue to get nowhere if all he has is me, the other person he is at odds or having trouble with. As I said, I don't really know if anything I'm saying is truly getting through to him. It might be, but I'm uncertain based on his reactions/words. All I can do is keep trying whatever I can and wait and see. I still fear, if I'm honest, but I have to keep trudging through this to reach a more definite answer in my mind.

Writing things down now
This has been exhausting. I'm trying to keep and open mind but also stand my ground. Doing both things feels like I'm trying to have my cake and eat it too. Last night it felt like we were having a bit of a breakthrough, yet here I am still feeling like I've been subjugated. I do know now, more than ever, I want us both to see a counselor, even if we have to pay for it. I'm not saying there aren't things I need to work on, I know that there are. However, I feel like he uses his "logic" to explain why things should be done X way, and X is more often than not in his favor. He did concede defeat on a couple things, but it wasn't enough to make me feel like we REALLY got anywhere. We got further, I think than the last few times we've tried to talk, but I don't feel like we got far enough for me to feel hopeful. I wish I could record our conversations so that other people could hear them. I'm still feeling "choked" here, for lack of a better descriptor. I mentioned the connectedness with other people being necessary for me. I mentioned being spread too thin, that I need him to be an adult, not another child and that I need to be treated like an adult and not a child. He actually wrote these things down, but in all honesty, I don't hold much hope for anything coming of this for long. We both have exhibited the "make progress than regress again" habit. Maybe all of this was the push we needed to break that habit, idk yet. All I do know is that I am writing everything down, getting everything out and seeing where it all goes. Maybe this can be salvaged, maybe it can't. I just don't know.

It's Time
I didn't realize yesterday how distant I was being until he noticed with his attempts at affection and said something. I apologized, of course, because while I have good reason I was not intending to be that way with him. My mind is still abuzz with worry and doubt. I'm 100% torn: 50% of me wants things to work and 50% of me doesn't. I am GOING to make every attempt to make things work because my heart still loves, but I am finally done with certain aspects of our relationship/certain aspects of him. It's make or break time now. I need to pick up what little slack I have (because I do some) and see if he will pick up ANY slack. The opinions of others (what few I talk to about intimate matters such as this) have all said that I do WAY more for him/this relationship than I should. He should have chores he does everyday. He should handle or help handle the budget more with me. He should have way more involvement with his own child (playing with/teaching) than he does. He doesn't even want to handle his own phone calls for bills or doctors, he has me do all of that as well. The word that comes up a lot is "lazy", but what also comes up a lot is "you let this happen/go on for so long" and I have. I can give reasons or excuses, but the bottom line is still "I have". It's time to fix that. My worry stems from me now fighting back on that. He's said there are certain things he will never change, for the life of me I cannot remember what exactly if he even said, but it's time to see if those "certain things" are understandable or unworkable. Moving back to FL is looking more and more appealing, even if we all move together as a family. I will have people again, babysitters, the way FL does things with housing we could get a house there (unlike here). Jobs might be a little tough, but there's still more opportunity for growth there. I haven't brought this up to him yet, it's a little soon. First I want to see if we'll even manage to be cohesive as a couple because there have been a lot of indicators that we aren't. Finances are a reason we haven't officially gotten married, but it's not the only reason. We both have had a lot of doubt about the other that we kept trying to deal with or swept under the rug because there is love there. However, we need to be a better example for our daughter, and we can't be a good example for her if we keep going the way we have been. We all deserve better. We all deserve patience and happiness and it is hard to be patient or happy with others when you're unhappy yourself. I have been making progress towards happiness with the headway I've been making with my ears; I know I'll get there. Will he though? Can he figure out what really "ails" him? Can he work on whatever it is so he can feel better and in turn be better? We'll have to wait and see. I do hope so, I just don't have confidence in it.

Wait and see?
Yesterday was another nightmare day. Woke up to a bunch of angry text messages from my fiance, spent the day stressed out because I had no idea what I would come home to later and when I finally come home it was to him leaving for a walk followed by a conversation that I felt went nowhere when he returned. He may feel differently, but I don't know how much longer I can do this. I did my best to express everything, never got an apology for how he "spoke" to me in those text messages, and all we ended up doing was I made dinner and we watched the Flash. He was dead tired from not only his job but all the energy he exerted being so pissed off all day that even while we were talking he was falling asleep. We got some talking in before that started happening though and he seemed both earnest and also unconvinced/disinterested. He would likely say the latter was because of how tired he was, and that may or may not be true. Still, I feel unresolved. I didn't sleep well last night and thus not feeling all that great this morning. I also don't know how long I should give things this time. I thought, for the last four months, we were doing alright/getting better since the blow up last Christmas. Sadly that doesn't seem to be the case. So how long should I give it this time? Until the next blow up? Which may or may not occur? I don't know. I do know I should give it a bit more time, see if anything improves at all, I just don't know how long a "bit" should be. It's silly to use this kind of a reference here, but I feel it's the closest fit I have. He cares for us, I know he does. However, I feel he cares for us in the same way the recent Magic the Gathering storyline has been writing Liliana cares for Jace. One of the story articles from Shadows Over Innistrad had Liliana describing to Jace that she cares for him as some people care for a pet. You love and care for them, but wouldn't go out of your way to stop it killing itself at risk to yourself (this is how I interpreted it anyway). I'm starting to see similar behavior from him. He cares for and helps us, but when he's "spent" he shuts down, regardless of what still may or may not need to be done and who for. When he shuts down he doesn't do anything, period. Sometimes he will do things for himself when he shuts down, but sometimes he just gives up entirely and goes to sleep or zones out on the internet. It's hard seeing things more clearly and not letting things slip under the rug anymore. It makes it seem that much more likely that this is all doomed to fail. I don't want it to fail, but at this point it's out of my hands. I already take care of our child full time (school, doctors, play, etc), I maintain the household (cleanliness, food, shopping), and I work part-time. Now, I don't bring a lot of money in, that is true, but I have a job that allows me to bring my child to it and thus not needing childcare which is rare. I also share some of his interests that we bond with (certain TV shows, Magic the Gathering, video games) and I do my best to take care of him (try to manage/mind his health and back massages, etc). I have been working on curbing my spending even more too, so I am doing everything I know how to do. It's on him, literally. I fear he won't rise to the challenge because he's too tired or depressed to care to. I pray I am wrong, but our conversation last night did nothing to ease that fear. I feel like I'm just waiting to see what I already see.

One step forward, two steps back
I have, overall, been feeling better than I have ever been in years health-wise lately. That, in turn, has made it easier to think more clearly. Sadly, I think my relationship may fall apart this year. I don't want it to, but I also don't know what else to do. I'm a little shaken right now, in all honesty, because I got several angry text messages this morning over a water bottle. The whole situation reminds me of the blow up I got over last Christmas. I'm scared I'm going to have to make a hard decision. Something came out of the last disagreement we had: "I can't walk away from you like I would anyone else." That is not verbatim, mind you, but it basically said to me that I am someone he would walk away from if he felt he could. I have never truly been able to shake that feeling since we've been together. I do feel his love and acceptance until something sets him off like this. There is almost no one I can turn to on his side of the family. My last few attempts in the past make me feel like there is no one I can turn to on his side, but again I have to try. This is very big to me. Admitting defeat would both be damning and liberating, but I love what I have here too. It's hard for me. I recognize it's been very hard for him too. An introvert with almost no upbringing. Strong willed, black and white kind of guy. Paired with me, a mess of color, extrovert, a little too rigid upbringing. It is night and day. However, life is about change and compromise, but we have both, perhaps, compromised too much or not enough in the wrong ways. The sad thing is, I'm the only one of us that will admit that. It's usually "I fucked up" or "I'm trying too hard" or "I'm not even trying". It's never enough. He DOES admit mistakes, but I noticed he doesn't admit ones that he should because he doesn't see them that way. That's hard. You honestly cannot admit fault if you don't see it as fault. You also cannot make someone see something as fault if they adamantly don't see it that way. I guess I will just have to wait and see how he comes home today. Maybe I'll get an apology, maybe I'll get the cold shoulder or maybe he'll blow up at me some more. I won't know until later.


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