Normally I don’t write much about my personal life.
There are certain boundaries I set in my writing to maintain some semblance of privacy. I haven’t shared about the time I had triplets and sold them to the circus. I couldn’t believe you could still do that, by the way. In 2008, no less! Also, I never wrote about the time I got into a fistfight with my grandmother because she totally wasn’t being cool. Oh, and I felt the need to quiet that whole “keeping several mistresses” thing. Those gals are crazy!
I will share, however, that I am presently scared. I have fear that my relationship will end because I’m not stepping up and making my girlfriend a priority. One of the things I’ve learned about choosing a partner is that you ought to pick one with reasonable needs. Nutty broads make great girlfriends – for someone else. As such I am proud to say that I pick well. Even my ex-wife’s needs were not outlandish.
But she still took off.
The bottom line is Jessica is frustrated about feeling that this is not an equal partnership. She contributes a lot and perceives that she isn’t getting a reasonable amount in return. Some of this is probably her not noticing when I do contribute. But, by and large, she’s right.
I mean, this is the woman that rebuilt my closet when I was at BlogHer just for fun. That’s a solid lady.
One of the issues is that I perceive by calling her every night that’s pretty much all I need to do. We live in different states, and there isn’t much more I can do on a daily basis. But what if I decided that every day, at least once, I would think of something really wonderful about her and say it to her. This would be in addition to the normal, “How was your day?” stuff. Also, I could do one special thing each week like write a personal note or record a rap about how much she brings the boom.
The other thing I need to work on is not criticising. The challenge is that I don’t realize I’m being a dick until I’m halfway in. I constantly try to change her behavior to match what I think she should be doing instead. I’m not proud of this, but in the moment I think it’s all perfectly logical. This pisses her off and simultaneously shreds her self-esteem. Imagine your significant other constantly suggesting that you do things a different, better way. You’d knife them in their sleep after a few months.
When she broke the news that she was nearing the edge, it was a very serious wake-up call. Now, not to beat myself up too much; I’m a good guy and I do nice things. But when someone has reasonable needs and feels like they’re putting in way more than they’re getting, it’s time to reevaluate your perception of what you’re contributing. I’m sad that I let it get this way. But it’s solvable.
I’d ask you to wish me luck, but it isn’t luck. It’s just the equivalent of losing a few pounds. Count calories and exercise. The math is pretty simple. Be present for her, praise instead of criticize, and do some nice stuff.
If nothing else, I should do it for Christmas is a few months away and I’d like a nice gift.