So. Things aren't really good here at the Snuggle Ranch. The hunkster and I have been fussing and fighting and arguing. He's unhappy. I'm unhappy. And neither of us comes right out and tells the other one we're unhappy, but we send signals of distress hoping that something will come and fix it.
The signals go unnoticed and the smoke surrounds us, trapping us in its thick, gray blanket, smothering the life out of us both.
I sometimes wonder about this relationship. How we made it this far (in years). How we haven't really gone far at all (in our journey together). How we'll ever make it another nine years. Or even one year.
In the beginning of our relationship, I did what I despise in other women: I changed to make him happy. Oh, sure I haven't changed my personality. But, I knew he was unhappy with certain things in our relationship, so I changed those things. He still wasn't happy, so I changed a bit more. I made a few concessions. I loosened up my (gulp) standards.
I'm a pushover for love. What can I say?
However, all that change happened and he still wasn't happy. Yet, he constantly asked me to run away and get married. My answer? A little laugh. A playful nudge. A kiss on the lips. But no real commitment, because I wasn't ready or willing to change even more.
Then one day he really proposed. And I accepted. I accepted, even though I knew our relationship still had problems. I accepted because I loved him, and saw the goodness and strength of character, despite the personality idiosyncrasies that is part and parcel with Asperger's. I accepted because I don't believe in fairy tales and perfect love and soul mates. I accepted because he is the best partner and best friend I've ever had.
And when I started to plan the wedding, he panicked, and before I knew it, we were no longer engaged.
He still wanted me to join him in Reno, and I dragged my feet for a full year, and finally moved. It's a move I often regret.
I don't belong here. I don't fit in. I have had a hard time finding friends. I have a hard time entertaining myself, because it's a cultural wasteland. So, I spend my spare time at Savers and Goodwill and buy things that are cheap and give me a thrill, until they clutter up my office so much that I can't walk, so I purge it all. Then I start over again.
My life has stalled here. Heck, maybe it would have stalled in Milpitas as well, but at least there I had a home. And friends. And I felt like I had a future. Here, everything is brown. The landscape. The houses. My future.
Todd has many complaints about me, but there are two that are huge and, in his words, deal breakers. One is financial. The other is sexual.
The state of the house has become a bone of contention between us. He told me he would take care of me if I moved here, and I have really dug my feet in on that issue. So, I haven't contributed much to the household. I buy groceries, and try to buy other things I notice he needs. When he mentioned he needed new slippers, I got them. When he has a cold, I buy him cold medicines and Kleenex and mentholated-rub. If he's on the road, I buy the dogs their food (which can be expensive). And yet...I know that my contributions are a mere drop in the bucket compared to what he puts in financially to the relationship. He pays the mortgage. And the cable bill. And the electric and water and sewage.
So, when he noticed that one of the cats had been peeing in corners (we think it was Lucy when she was so sick she didn't know what she was doing) he had a conniption fit. Last week he put his foot down and demanded that I start paying him 25% of my pay to help alleviate the cost of repairs.
I was offended.
He said that if I asked any of my friends who lived with guys, I'd discover that I actually had it good. He hadn't asked me for money up until now. He still will pay for the bulk of everything. But he wants me to contribute towards what he believes is the damage caused by the cat pee (which, btw, there is dog pee all around, too, but he doesn't seem to get upset about that).
I put my foot down as well, and said he'll get 20% and that's all. I reiterated that he promised me he would take care of me, and while I understand that the cats have caused some damage (and they have) and that I should pay for that, I would never have moved here if he hadn't promised he would take care of me.
And I know that sounds like a whiny, gold-diggerish thing to say. But it's true. I left everything I had to move here. Stability. A fairly decent job with decent benefits. My own house. Friends.
So. I thought it was settled. And then not even two full days later he aked "When do you get paid?" I got mad. He couldn't understand why, and I said it's because he acts as if he doesn't trust me. That he thinks I'll hide my paydays from him, and not pay him the money we settled on. We ended up in another argument about money, and while he admitted he probably did want some reassurance that he would get paid, therefore he nagged me, he still didn't think he was wrong.
Maybe he wasn't.
I don't know any more.
Of course, then there's sex. My libido flat lined about two years ago. Perimenopause. Lovely. I had absolutely NO desire for sex. None. And because I didn't want sex, I kept putting it off. "Maybe later." "After dinner." "Tomorrow afternoon...I promise." And the more I put it off, the more resentful he became. He didn't feel wanted. Or loved.
I felt guilty, and so would sometimes try to muster up some sort of sexual feelings so I could indulge him. And usually once we got started, I was okay, and sometimes even really got into it. But the moment it was over, I would think to myself "Well, that was a lot of fuss and bother, and now I'm hot and sweaty and I have sticky stuff all over me and I need to take a shower and get errands done and..."
Not romantic, right?
He has bugged me for years to see a doctor for hormone replacement. I did not want synthetic hormones in my body. I believe they cause far more problems then they cure. Then I heard about bio-identical hormones, so I tried them.
And you know what? They work.
For the last week (since I increased the amount of testosterone I was supposed to take), my libido has been on fire. I've surprised him a couple of times...pleasantly. But is it enough to fix the resentment, the hurt feelings, the rejection?
So where does that leave me? And where does that leave us? What happens next?
I have no idea, but the cards tell me to move.
I think I'm telling the cards that I'm not ready yet. I don't know if cards listen, though.