Warning - I'm writing this because I have to get this out of my head and down. It's probably going to be horribly self-indugent and not about diets etc so not appropriate for this blog. But I need to talk to someone and I don't know who - my friends are wonderful but we don't have that sort of relationship and I don't want to lay my melodrama on them, their lives are so far from this that it would feel odd - this is the only thing I can think of.
Where to start? I met with a friend on Wednesday and we were talking about He's Just Not That Into You and she said that on leaving the cinema she'd said to the friend she was with something along the lines of 'You know you're in a bad way when a chick flick seems profound'. Oh yes. It was a depressing film for me because there was a couple in almost my scenario - they'd been together for ages and she really wanted to get married but feared it was never going to happen, he didn't want to. Well, because it was a chick flick it all turned out all right in the end - maybe because she was Jennifer Aniston with perfect hair (and I am a scruffy frump with kinky hair, sadly)! And this is kind of my problem with fiction - be it book or film - have I read/watched so much that I have a wholly unrealistic view of life? That I expect relationships in real life to be like they are in books and films? I'm sure that Darcy would have been extremely difficult to live with, moody, withdrawn and sulky and Aragorn would have been distant and preoccupied -my childhood crushes there (rather than pop stars like a normal girl).
I'm 38. I've been with bf for 14 years. For about the last 10 years he's said we'll get married 'one day' - although this has varied a bit as he had said he didn't want to marry me whilst I was fat (I'm less fat now) or in debt (I keep buying the lottery tickets), now he says he'd 'like to marry me one day'. I know in my heart of hearts that this day will never come - and I've probably passed my sell by date on a white wedding in any case. And, on a practical note, we could never afford it anyway. But I'd love a wedding - a curious thing for a girl who doesn't really like being centre of attention, finds dress shopping traumatic and is very unphotogenic - but I'd also like to be married. Mainly for the security I imagine it would give me and also because of my weirdness that I feel that at my advanced age not having a ring on that finger badges me as unwantable - it does actually do that to me, but I fear it also does to others. I think, if I am brutally honest, I'm simply not the sort of girl men would marry - I don't have that special unattainability that would make a man feel they had to hold on to me, I'm very girl-next-door. If I were in a film I wouldn't be the heroine, I wouldn't even be the supporting cast, I'd be peripheral (if I were unlucky, and it was a thriller, I'd be marked out for death early on in the plot!)
But I'd like to feel that bf wanted me. I think in his way - an abstracted, slightly disinterested sort of way - he does love me but I always feel he has one foot out of the door. He'd argue vehemently against this and point out we have a joint mortgage (oh the romance) which he also points out I insisted on (he wanted to go for an 'in common' one) - I so wish I hadn't insisted now and then I might feel that that was some indicator of feeling, freely given.
So what's prompted all this? Well he came home last night, slightly pissed, having had a bad day at work. He's got a rotten situation at work at the moment but he loves his work - I would say (and I think he would agree) that it's one of the most important things in his life, maybe even the most important. He got very angry with me because he said I wasn't sympathetic, I have no empathy or even the ability to be interested. I was very tired and slightly wrung out from a difficult day myself. I was wary because he was a bit drunk and because I couldn't read him and he's been very criticial of my 'abilities' in this department before (it's something we have in common - criticism of me). In the past he's got annoyed when he thinks I'm trying to solve things - I was very careful therefore to ask neutral questions last night (he says I'm so self-absorbed I never ask questions). But what I didn't do was express sympathy. It was wrong of me, it was, I know. And he was annoyed that I didn't go and sit at the table with him (he was eating during this conversation) but remained on the sofa. He told me - in an angry raised voice - I was no use to him, was "f-ing sh*t" and he'd know never to try and talk to me again. I tried to apologise and he was almost in tears but he shook me off angrily. He then went to bed. I finished my cup of tea and went to bed too - and spent most of the night awake, miserable. I apologised again this morning (at 6am - he got up about 4.30am) but there wasn't much softening - he just repeated that he knew not to speak to me about anything again, I was useless at this, but that he appreciated the fact that I apologised for failing him - which I clearly did. I then went to the gym and did a run - I'm not even sure why other than the alternative of doing nothing in the flat, waiting for the time to go to work. I couldn't summon up the energy to walk up the escalator on the tube commute though.
I don't think I can ever be good enough for him - to meet his approval, I mean. I take on board his criticisms and try and change my behaviour accordingly but I never seem to get it right. It also irritates him that I 'try too hard' but presumably because I get it wrong - if I tried hard and got it right I guess it wouldn't be such an issue. I can't imagine this relationship is ultimately going to last - maybe because I'm overtired and feeling unhappy, maybe I'll feel differently tomorrow. Or whenever. He says I stay because I don't want to be on my own - I'm not actually bothered by that and would prefer that to another relationship (never again - I don't think I'd actually get the chance to but even if I did). I do love being with him when he's not like this - he's funny and clever and we have alot in common.
I accept in a slightly bewildered way that my future is likely to be pretty lonely and, frankly, impoverished - I won't be able to afford to buy a place, I have looked to see in the past when I thought we were at breaking point and I'd have to rent a bedsit somewhere a bit dodgy (if I'm lucky) or go and live with my mum (which I really don't want to do - as well as we get on). I'm just not sure where I made the turn in my life that took me to this place - was there something I could have done/should have done that would give me a better chance of a happy future? I just don't know and I don't suppose it's helpful to try and work it out really. The best I can hope for is that I can get it right more often and we stay together - and then I have to accept the feelings of sadness, inadequacy and emptiness that intermittently come with that. There will be no Jennifer Aniston 'suprise diamond' ending for me.