Jan 10, 2001
Happy New Year everyone. I know it’s been a while and I’ve missed you all. I’ve been terribly busy at work and simply haven’t had the time to sit down and write a column.
I’m sure you’re all dying to know how I’m negotiating the wonderful world of coupledom.
It hasn’t been easy.
The wonderful, tolerant, secure and centred man I married has been having occasional (but increasingly frequent) bouts of irrational jealousy and sulkiness and has taken to fixating on some pretty strange ideas. Let me give you an example.
One morning over the holidays, I got up to make coffee and found my S.O. sitting at the dining room table. He glared at me sullenly when I entered the room.
"What’s up with you?" I asked, still half asleep.
"Nothing", he said.
"C’mon, you’ve got a face on you like an emu. What’s up?"
There was a long silence.
"You shunned me."
"I did what?", I asked, thinking that perhaps lack of caffeine was affecting my hearing.
"You shunned me" he repeated, turning to stare out at the snow.
"OK, how and when did I do that?" I asked.
"In your sleep."
"I went to put my arm around you this morning and you pushed me away" he said.
"In my sleep."
At this point, I think he got an idea of how ridiculous he was sounding but having committed himself to the argument, he was not going to give it up easily. He proceeded to explain (if memory serves) that this was merely a subconscious manifestation of my desire for freedom.
Kafka before breakfast. God help me.
What followed was a good two hours of "discussing" the incident, believe it or not. I kept expecting Rod Serling to knock at the door.
The big problem seems to be that my S.O. cannot get over the ill-advised fling I had while we were apart. (Oddly, his have never come up. Go figure.)
I explained this particular fling before, though the last time we spoke I believe I was at the "What was I thinking?" stage. I’ve moved on to the "I can’t believe I let that man defile me" point, though I can’t persuade my S.O. that this is true. According to him, I’m secretly pining for a man I haven’t clapped eyes on in nearly 18 months and haven’t been in touch with since last spring. I have no idea what he’s up to and I don’t care.
The ironic thing is that, while I’ve put the whole sordid episode behind me (and cringe every time it crosses my mind), my beloved has decided that it was The Greatest Love Story Ever Told, an idea which initially left me helpless with mirth but has since become a source of bitter amusement.
Jealousy is not something I handle well. During a recent busy period at work, my S.O. was convinced I was having an affair. He would call me at the office to accuse me of it several times daily. He wanted to know where I was all the time, who I was with, what I was thinking. You can imagine how much I took to that sort of thing. You know how I convinced him of my fidelity? Were my words persuasive enough to find a way to his heart?
Not a bit of it. One Friday night, after hours of denying his increasingly bizarre accusations, I grabbed him by the hand, sat him down on the couch and took one of my stockings off, revealing legs so lushly hairy that even Rapunzel would be envious. "Do you really think I’d be off shagging anyone with legs like this??"
You have to realize that this is bizarre behaviour for him. He’s usually quite rational and trusting and I never gave him a reason to question my fidelity when we were together. I am not the sort who would screw around on anyone, no matter what. There is such a thing as integrity and in relationships, it’s vital.
Another strange manifestation of the "getting back together blues" is his penchant for buying me revealing clothes. He claims to hate that other men look at me, then proceeds to buy me clothing that would immediately lead people to believe that I was out on the stroll. While I’m more comfortable with clothing that actually covers me, he’s fond of things that may as well be stamped "HEY! Have a look at these hooters!" He wonders why I’ve never worn the brown pants he bought me out in public. My answer: "I fear arrest". These pants are quite something: they start about 3 inches below my navel and fasten at the crotch with STRINGS. It’s odd to own clothing that the Happy Hooker would consider slutty and given my S.O.’s insecurities, I would kind of expect him to want me to go out in a shroud.
Men, eh, go figure.
I’ve been consulting the Font of All Wisdom, my friend Paulette. She’s had several long and involved chats with him and in truth, he does seem to be easing up on it a bit.
I’m certainly not ready to throw the towel in, because there’s way too much at stake and I remember how good it can be between us.
I just have to try to find a way to get past this speed bump because I do love the man and I want this to work. Perhaps he just needs a bit of time to let go of the hurt he feels about our separation and to learn to trust me again.
Whoever said that the path of true love never runs smoothly certainly knew what they were about. We seem to be getting through the worst of it, but the jury’s out on whether or not we’ll be able to get over it.
Keep your fingers crossed.
Till next time,