Let’s peek behind the curtain of my relationship with the Hunter and reveal some of the hidden truths (and some of the recent insights and changes that have taken place over the past several days since our break-up).
At the onset of our relationship, I had some niggling questions about the Hunters’ attraction to me. My lifestyle was a nice improvement for him. I did ask myself if this street savvy guy saw an opportunity to improve things with a lonely woman.
The answer at the time was I was OK with that. He wanted to take care of me and went out of his way to do so. I felt loved and taken care of, but over time the red flags began accumulating. I did not confront these head on and we have been discussing these issues more openly now. What, do you ask?
He’s not social. OK, I’m no social butterfly, but when we got together I was good about keeping my calendar mostly full with outings. We don’t’ really have the same interests and even though he didn’t care if I went out, I allowed my calendar to grow empty. That’s on me, I will take ownership of that.
His pot-smoking. I have written about this in the past, but a self-professed pothead is never going to have enough fire in the belly to achieve a decent success in his career. He likes a 30-hour work week. He doesn’t have a desire to push. He hasn’t felt pressure to make more substantive contributions to the house and I have been shouldering the burden alone.
This topic has been much more openly discussed over the past few days. He has apologized profusely and is taking immediate steps to correct this. He has stopped smoking pot and we are taking that one day at a time. I realize that it’s a very difficult habit to quit, but I am proud of him and relieved that he loves me enough to immediately stop. We both realize that we both may have drug tests in our future, so we need to have a very clean household.
He has apologized for being lazy (his words) and he is changing up his schedule so that he is more active in his work. Once I had the courage to open up and bare all my feelings about finances, work, etc., he has stepped up like a real man and has promised to contribute more. We talked about the balance of housework along with my frustration of being both the breadwinner and the major housekeeper.
The Kracken showed me his Red Flags of selfishness and failure to compromise. He had told me this would be a 45-lb dog. The Kracken is 85 lbs. That dog destroyed my patio furniture, shoes, living room sofas and the list goes on. We talked about his typical reaction to my entreaties of help around the house, dissatisfaction with our situation, the dog, etc. The Hunter has been doing what he wants to do with no apologies and little discussion. His typical reaction has been one of “that’s simply the way it is” and not discussing any form of compromise.
This Red Flag came up again as I explained I applied for a job out of state and he emphatically said he wouldn’t move with me and I was creating the end of our relationship with that type of move. I said that it was only an application, too soon to make that type of statement. He backtracked and we were able to talk about it along with sussing out his reactions when he doesn’t agree with something.
On my side, I compromised too much and too soon. I did not stand up for myself more. I did not open up to the Hunter about all the turmoil going on inside my head. Examples of over-compromising include: moving before he passed his 90-day probation; I let him move in too quickly – we probably should have considered dating more before that big a move and I agreed to that damn adorable puppy too soon.
I’ve learned a lot about myself. I’m moody at times and I tend to keep my turmoil bottled up. In my childhood and marriage, showing my feelings only provided ammunition for my “loved ones” to use against me. I’m not much of an initiator when it comes to sex – I much prefer someone else to take the lead. I know that the Hunter has made some compromises when it comes to our sex life. He is too much of a gentleman to give specifics, but he has hinted at this. I know that if it becomes a deal breaker, he will let me know. We have discussed a couple of things that I am addressing on my side.
It’s time for me to really sit and think and be open about my feelings. The Hunter is a good man. He’s smart and perceptive. He has been nothing but loving and supportive as we unpack how our relationship fell off the rails and how we neglected it. We both have areas to improve upon. I’m glad I reached out to my therapist. I need her in my corner as I freak out, recover and move ahead. Today I feel like I’m headed in the right direction. Time will tell.