Retroactive Conversion

I had a long phone call with Ann the other night.  We’re still sorting through injuries, it’s kind of hard to see the forest for the trees right now but we’re talking.

We were trying to figure out why everything was fine then suddenly wasn’t.  I went from 0-60 almost immediately.  There wasn’t any build up, where did it come from?  There weren’t any warning signs, it was like the ground just dropped out from under my feet.

I didn’t communicate better because it caught me off guard as much as it did her.  So, we’re trying to understand it.

Basically, I was completely fine with where we were until she went out with another guy (do I need to remind you that it’s not about sex?).   There were a hundred little things over the previous month but I was okay with them, they were completely understandable and acceptable at the time.  I thought we had a solid foundation, rationale, and everything made sense.  Then, suddenly it didn’t.

Why didn’t I tell her I was feeling neglected beforehand?  Because until that moment I didn’t feel neglected.  A switch got flipped that I didn’t even know was there.

A few examples:

Ann has a crazy work schedule and she just became a single mother.  She’s busy, busy, busy and doesn’t have much time to spend with me- totally understandable and justifiable.  I’m okay with that…  Until she made time for someone else.  In one moment all those understandable things over the past month got converted into pain and resentment.  She made time for someone else but hadn’t made time for me.

I went out of my way for her dozens of times to try and make her feel special and loved.  She was really busy and stressed and didn’t have much time and energy to go out of her way for me- totally understandable and justifiable.  I’m okay with that…  Until she went out of her way for another guy.  In one moment all the imbalanced effort over the last few months got converted into pain and resentment.  She put energy into another guy instead of me.

Ann’s hormones were out of whack, she’s stressed, her body and her head were having a tough time.  She’s not feeling sexy, doesn’t feel up to sending pics, dirty messages, or spend video time with me – totally understandable and justifiable.  I’m okay with that…  Until she went out and spent the night with someone else.  In one moment all those understandable things over the past month got converted into pain and resentment.  She was feeling so un-sexy that she didn’t want to chat or send pics with me but she spent the night with someone else?

In one moment, everything I thought I knew got turned on its head.

Add all of that to three sleepless nights, personal and work stress, problems in just about every aspect of my life and it was a perfect storm of fucked up.

So, there wasn’t any build up.  There wasn’t any warning.  I didn’t have a problem with any of those things until very suddenly I did.  How could I have known there was a switch that could be flipped until it was too late?

That’s part of why I went from 0-60 in a couple of hours instead of having a gradual build up.  That’s why it was so difficult to communicate with her.  I was fine and then suddenly I wasn’t.  Everything that I had been justifying and understanding of suddenly didn’t seem justifiable or understandable.  That’s why I went from totally fine to feeling completely neglected.

But at the time I didn’t know what was going on.  It was like my world turned upside down and I didn’t know why.  I just knew I was hurt.  But my whole life was having problems in the same week, I wasn’t sleeping, had huge work stress, life stress, etc.  I couldn’t pin point what was wrong because it felt like everything was going wrong.  And I couldn’t handle all of it at once, that’s why I started drinking.  If the whole ship was going down, I might as well enjoy the ride.

Was it smart?  Absolutely not.  I made everything worse.  Not only am I hurt but I’m dealing with the fall out of my own actions.

Yeah, it’s been a bad week.

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15 thoughts on “Retroactive Conversion

  1. I meant to reply to an earlier post of yours and somehow didn’t…my mind is adrift this week. But that is exactly what I thought when I read the text “his switch flipped”. It happens. Maybe not to everyone, I tend to think it happens to those of us who try to be logical thinkers and then the emotion rises up and gets the best of us before we really have any opportunity to think our actions through. You had a quick reaction, and Ann also went to an extreme in her response. The fact is, you felt it, both of you…and now you acknowledge and work through it. It’s the best any of us can do. Wishing you both hugs and positivity. A+J=❤️

    • Thanks. Yeah, as logical as we are, there’s only so much we can do when we feel hurt all the sudden. Hard to stop, take a deep breath and think it out before making dumb decisions. We’re all human, it’s amazing any relationship ever works out, let alone one with so many challenges. But we’re trying and that’s what matters.

  2. I am in a bit of a different situation as I have been with a MM on the sidelines for a long time. When I read this post it really hit home. I too have felt that way…my guy tells me I am number one, but often many things come before me and I get jealous…super jealous. However, this post just helped me sum so many things up I feel like…I haven’t spoken to you in over a week, but find time for football, why not me…or I haven’t seen you 6 wks, but I know that your family is important…. Quality time is my love language, as long as that is satisfied most things don’t bother me. I have done what you have and all of sudden be set off by one thing that seems trivial, but it is actually a build up of several things….things that better communication can resolve…the problem, I haven’t always known why it set me off. Your very enlightened post helped shed light. I hope it helps Ann to understand the “why” too! 🙂 I wish you both the best of luck!

    • That’s why I write so much, it’s my way of trying to understand things. If I write about it I have to figure it out for myself so I can explain it in words. This is more about me than anyone else but sometimes the words apply to others in similar situations. So, I’m glad that this was meaningful to you as well. Thanks for the good wishes.

  3. Sounds pretty normal overall. As you both are figuring out how to be together and as life continues to do what it does (i.e. go on), you’re finding that certain things trigger you in ways you didn’t know about before this point. So what you do with this is talk about it, mull it over, really think about it and retrace how it happened and why (which it sounds like you’re already doing) so that the next time this issue recurs you can recognize what’s going on and address it before you explode again.

    You might have to go through the “What just happened here?” process again for the same issue if you discover a trigger for this same issue from another source, and you will almost definitely have to do this again when you discover a different issue.

    I know for me personally I don’t ever have enough warning before the big blowup so for the first few years of being married, we were doing the “What just happened here?” thing at least every month. Sometimes every week. Six years in, we are much more proficient at recognizing when we are at risk for a blow-up, so we are much more deliberate in checking in with one another and offering to help the other one.

    For example, this last week, the baby was not. sleeping. at. all. We were both sleep-deprived, frustrated that the house wasn’t clean but too exhausted to do anything about it, I hate my job right now … It was not good. We ended up having a blow-up anyway, but it was only after a full week of us both being extremely conscientious of the fact that we were both just short of our wit’s end.

    It’s a process. You’ll get better at it.

    Hope that helps.

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