It's with a certain amount of nervousness that I'm returning once more to write my boring-ass updates. I've written countless posts in my head over the last many moons, and I've always been hesitant to post them because of who I perceive as reading them -- I'm stuck in this loop of not wanting to air my true feelings out of the concern that they might hurt someone's feelings.

But enough time has passed that any readers I might've once had are probably long gone. As well, I need a place to air my frustrations and fears. I've friends, of course, but it's not the same. Here, well... sure, there are people on the other side of the screen that are just as likely as anyone else to be judging me, but ... I've just come to a place where the need to vent is overruling the fears of who might read it.

Granted, it's still tough to get up the urge to write after spending all day in front of a computer doing just that, but government writing lacks the creative output that this place does.

So, without further ado, here goes. Check your sensibilities at the door -- no one said you had to read this.

In less than five months' time, I am getting married, and the closer it gets the more scared I get.

Not because of who I'm marrying or my fears that I'm not ready. Hell, I'll be 30 a few short days later -- if I wasn't ready by now, I probably would never be ready.

And yes, sometimes the dear fiance (I'm writing this on my laptop, so forgive the lack of accent) drives me crazy. Some days I want nothing to do with him, and I just want to be alone with my junk and my cats and my peace and quiet. Some days I just stare at him, thinking annoyed thoughts and frustrated at his utter inability to answer a simple question with a direct answer.

And then he'll make a ridiculous face, or he does something sweet for the cats, or he shows those qualities that made me fall for him, and he gets to live another day. Even when he wakes me up in the middle of the night holding his breath and then gasping it out again as he does, while I lie beside him and try to fall back asleep and think to myself that a pillow would do the trick quite nicely...

But of course I exaggerate. Except on the breath holding/gasping thing -- he does do that, and it drives me crazy. But unlike some of his other quirks, that one's unintentional.

No, it's not because of these things that I'm scared to marry him. We've been together nearly 3 years, which matches the longest relationship I've had -- which spanned from when I was 15 to 18, and set the low bar for relationships and boyfriends and mistakes. We moved in together pretty much on our 6-month anniversary, and we bough a house together 13 months later. I was asked then if I was sure I knew him well enough to buy a house with him, which I thought was a pretty ridiculous question, but no matter.

I know him. I can predict how he'll react in most situations, and I know he's stubborn as a mule. When his coworkers were telling me I should just tell him to propose, I looked at them askance -- did they not know this man? Certainly, his stubbornness can be tied to a sense of obstinacy and general pain-in-the-assedness, but I also wanted him to propose when he was ready.

No, it's not a fear of uncovering some deep, dark secret about him that scares me. I've had two ex-boyfriends confess to periods of incest in their pasts. I've had an ex-boyfriend confess to an interest in watersports. I do my best to keep an open mind while simultaneously making sure it's closed enough to keep at least a few brain cells in place.

It's more the relationships around me that I see that cause me fear. I see relationships around me dissolving, turning into infidelity and divorce, and it scares me. I don't want to grow to the point where I resent this man I've chosen to spend the rest of my life and have babies and grow old with a houseful of cats. I don't want to tire of him and look for new excitement to alleviate whatever I feel is lacking in my life with him.

But beyond that, bigger than that, I don't want him to tire of me. I see so many people online complaining about their spouses -- more often men talking about how much they hate their wives -- and I don't want that for us. I watch Mad Men and I know it's a different time and it's fiction, but the infidelity scares me. I see my coworker's relationship with her husband disintegrating and I see her talk about the on-again, off-again relationship she's had with another married man in our office, and it terrifies me. I know she's separated from her husband at this time, and so there's that circumstance, but he's not.

And of course, it has nothing to do with him, my pain-in-the-ass dear fiance. I trust him. And our relationship is built on mutual trust and monogamy. I have friends who've chosen to open their relationships to more than just their spouses, and I wish them well. I feel sometimes as though I'm judged as lesser-than because I prefer a relationship model that features only one other person, and I get resentful of that perception. I don't feel that my friends are flawed because they've gone outside their primary relationship to find fulfillment, and so I don't want to be perceived as flawed because I don't have what it takes to do the same.

But that's my perception, my impression, my inference based on nothing more than ... nothing, really. I've never had someone who was polygamous or polyamorous tell me their relationship model was superior to mine, and I would never say the same to them. I suppose that's just yet another insecurity of mine, along with the belief that no one really likes me, and I'm still that obnoxious kid I've always been (okay, that last one is true).

But I'm also fortunate that I can look at relationships in my family tree and see long-lasting success. My parents, my grandparents, one aunt and uncle -- they've proven that you can be with someone for the long haul, through all the ups and downs. Not everyone becomes restless or resentful or unhappy and strays. There are people that find someone that works for them and with them and makes it work.

Me? Well, I've found someone that doesn't bring me flowers for no reason, and never will. He wishes I didn't have so many books in the house, and insists I'll never read them again -- despite never knowing what I'm actually reading at any given time. He makes fun of me for my inability to remember certain peoples' names, and declared a moratorium on jewelry for gifts after buying my engagement ring.

But he's someone that slept on the couch so that the cats and I could have the whole bed when I was scared and stressed about Venus being sick. He complains about the cats hogging the bed, but won't move them because that would be unkind. He went with me when Digger had to be put down, and made sure I ate afterwards. He has witnessed a few awkward emotional moments with my family. He listened to me babble on about nothing every night when I was away for my grandfather's funeral, and he didn't make fun of me when I got upset feeling as though my cousins were making fun of my father.

He's supportive when I'm in the right and calls me on it when I'm being unreasonable. We argue, we support one another, and above all else, we laugh. I still can't help my fears, but at least I know they have nothing to do with the person he is.


RockG said...

this is my feeble attempt to offer an enlightened opinion, as you have done for me WAY more times than I have over the years (I apologize since this is unsolicited):
The fears don't go away. The occasional resentment, the head-shaking the "I just want to be alone" feeling never goes away. There WILL be moments where you will miss being single.

But for all those times, there will be moments when the last thing you want is to be alone. And you never will be. There is very little that could ever outweigh that security.

I still remember you telling me about the boy before the relationship was was relationship. All I can say is: Ya done good, kid. Ya done good.

Anonymous said...

That gasping for breath in the middle of the night thing.......

He should get checked for sleep apnea, seriously.

Jen said...

Anonymous - I've considered that could be the cause, but it's actually more that he's holding his breath, not gasping. He does sleep more than me on average and seems to be more tired, so maybe it's another way of sleep apnea presenting itself. I'll bring it up to him and nag him for six months until he actually get himself checked out. ;)


Jen said...

And Rock - I never expected that those feelings would go away, and I don't expect them to. Fortunately for me we're both wired similarly, so we usually give each other a fair bit of space. But at the same time, I know he's in my corner, which is always good.

Shawn M. said...

I can relate when it comes to insecurities, as for most of my life mine have paralysed me. (I think the evidence speaks for itself.)

I will only note that though we don't really keep in touch (I am assuming that Facebook pokery does not count!), that was because I became a self-conscious hermit (feeling more or less loathed himself). But then, you know all about this already!

My point is that you're cool beans and always have been. I can't remember a time when I didn't think of you as a pretty cool lady, and I miss that rapport we used to have, back in the day.

Shawn M. said...

Oh, and as a fellow with sleep apnea, I can tell you that it can seem that a person is simply holding his or her breath - especially when it's the obstructive type, where the trachea collapses and air simply stops moving through! It's a thought, anyhow.

Prospero said...

You sound pretty sane and grounded to me! Of course you have fears and worries. And of course you see the failures. But you also see the good things and the successes. So... I think you're right on track. It's a leap of faith, perhaps for the faithless. But it's a leapable leap. Get Moon Shoes. Go! :)