This semester I’m taking a required psychology class; Sex, Marriage and Family that I need as one of my transfer requirements. So far it’s been pretty interesting and engaging, especially considering it’s a three hour Wednesday night class from 6:30-9:30pm. We’ve read the first four chapters of the textbook so far and in each chapter there’s usually one, if not more survey type sections where you can see on a scale where you fall in different aspects about your relationship, like how you feel about gender roles, your love style and such. I’ve taken all the surveys (but don’t remember my results) and I want to get my boyfriend to take them too, to see if our results match or if we’re different. The readings for class have been poking at me, stirring up questions about my relationship. Yesterday, while scrolling through facebook, my friend Evita had posted that (what I use to/may still consider) trite motivational quote about “if a man really wants you, he’ll pursue you, a woman shouldn’t be making all the effort, planning dates…” and all that. My assigned reading and that one stupid little quote has pushed me deep into the over analyzing part of my brain that I don’t like. The part of my brain that leaps, not just jumps to conclusions, the part of my brain that only believes the worst in people, the part where all my insecurity and doubt and anxiety call home.
When I say insecurity, I don’t want to give the impression that I think my boyfriend is cheating on me or that he’s too good for me or anything like that. I am very much secure in the fidelity and faithfulness of my relationship. When I say security I mean more like am I even in a relationship? Does he actively want to be with me or is that just convenient? Do I make things too easy for him? I proudly admit that I am a Type A, micromanaging, control freak. I don’t trust people enough to do things for me in exactly the way I want. In a relationship (and not just romantic, my friends often tell me that I should forget my child development degree and make the big bucks being an event planner) I like to make most of the decisions and find events and restaurants and other social things for us to go do and see. I have an old school paper, calendar planner for me to write down all my appointments, deadlines, and socializing. And I truly enjoy doing this. I love finding all the different events and happenings going on around me, trying out new restaurants, meeting up with friends, I love opening my planner and seeing something to do every single day. My boyfriend on the other hand is a hermit. He loves nothing more than coming straight home from work, getting a workout done in his gym in the garage and then playing video games or spamming YouTube or catching up on his varied online forums until he has to go to sleep. He revealed to me last weekend, which was yet another bit of kindling to the now roaring bonfire of anxiety that a big reason why he decides to hole himself up in his office everyday is that when he was younger, he made a lot of bad decisions. He self admittedly has an addictive personality and when he was younger he’d push the boundaries of being in the military and being a candy raver. I’ll let you go ahead and assume what he liked to do in his off days back then. But, now that he’s less than a decade away from retiring and getting to do whatever he pleases he’s learned to be more cautious. I jokingly said that he’s basically decided to repress himself until retirement and he simply answered, yes.
My point in all this, and very much what I told one of my best friends earlier this afternoon is that I feel like I don’t get very much (if any) consideration in his day to do thinking. I spend every weekend at his place. I find restaurants and parties and other fun things for us to do. I cook…occasionally. I write down his duty days, and underway dates. I schedule all my beauty appointments (all the different body parts that I wax, nails, hair, facials,), run errands, do readings and homework, laundry and other various mundane life activities during the week, which now that I have class in the evenings two nights a week is difficult. I do all that so when the weekend comes I don’t have to do anything other than spend time with him. I may have previously briefly mentioned this in a previous blog…I do occasionally feel underappreciated. I do sometimes feel like I put in more effort in the relationship than he does. I also do know that when I ask his opinion on things that he wants to do on the weekend, just to make sure he really doesn’t mind what I have in mind that his answer 90% of the time will be, “I don’t care,” or “If you want to,” because he genuinely is indifferent to whatever I’ve thought up. Which I enjoy because it gives me a lot more creative freedom. But which also bothers me because sometimes I do want him to care.
The biggest catalyst to all this happened this afternoon. I had originally told him that I had things to do tonight and most of tomorrow morning and that I would see him some time tomorrow afternoon. My plans got changed at the last minute and I now have the time to see him tonight instead. It is not until I text him to tell him this that he bothers to tell me (and I do mean bother as I was nearly livid afterward) that 1. Tonight he has to work till 7 or 8pm, 2. He may have work tomorrow as well and 3. If he doesn’t have work tomorrow he has to help a friend move an hour and a half up North of San Diego which is basically LA. My rage which has been at a healthy simmer since 3pm today just now momentarily spiked to a full boil as I recounted what happened. I wanted so badly to be petty and passive aggressive. I am so proud of myself for not. I wanted to say, “and when were you going to tell me this?” or “ooh thanks for the advance notice,” or what I really and truly did start typing on my phone, “you know what, never mind then.” And for the briefest second I had already started making excuses for him when he told me that information. Ooh they’ve been underway, he can’t text (bitch, there’s email!), he probably just found out (mmhmm, no one asks someone to help them move at the last minute), they have that inspection coming up, everyone has to work extra hours (I bet his shipmates told their girlfriends and wives). What pissed me off was that it wasn’t until I had told him about my change of plans that he bothered to tell me his. What if I hadn’t texted him? What if I had decided to surprise and had driven down to his place tonight after I had gotten off work? He wouldn’t be home. What if I hadn’t had a change in my plans and assumed we were still fine with Saturday afternoon and he was in the middle of driving on the 5 or 15 helping his friend move and would be gone all day?
Now, the only reason why I’m not making a bigger deal out of this and reverting back to my petty, passive aggressive ways is that I know my boyfriend is not doing this intentionally or maliciously. He is truly oblivious to many social graces, subtleties and taboos. He doesn’t know how much his tendency for last minute planning and confirmations on maybe utterly enrages me.
This is undoubtedly one of my biggest insecurities, if not the biggest, I hate not being thought of. I’m sure this goes back to my dad and him essentially abandoning me and my mom, but I get severely offended and hurt when someone, especially someone that I go so out of my way for, can’t even bother to extend me a fraction of the same courtesy.
I had told my boyfriend to come to my place tonight after he’s off work, but considering it’s nearly 8:30pm and he hasn’t given me any update on if he’s still working or not, I am going to assume that I won’t be seeing him tonight and consequently tomorrow. I’ve decided I will at least be stubborn and not drive down to see him this weekend. I am going to talk to him about all this and he will have to put in the effort to see me for once.