Friday, August 27, 2010

Partner Wanted

Today is "move" day, meaning the rental truck will arrive at 4:00.  Things are more or less ready for loading, but I'll be leaving shortly to head over to the Hell Hole to take care of other stuff.  

I woke up this morning to a phone conversation Roi was having a few feet away.  He was making lunch plans with a friend. 

Lunch plans. LUNCH plans. A get together to leisurely chat with a friend. 

On move day. 

What am I missing? Am I wrong to think that this is kind of inappropriate? Am I wrong to expect that partners share the burdens equally?

His reasoning for such things run along the lines of, "well I have to eat anyway", "I haven't hung out with this guy for a while", and "I've helped a lot and I'm paying for a lot". 

So let me just take a moment and thank Roi for all that he's done so far. Let me let it be known that I acknowledge all that he has done and that I am indeed grateful. It's taken me a few days to figure out what is bothering me about the "non-helpy" parts.

It's that he's still acting like all of this is a favor. He doesn't see that, but I do -- to which he would respond that I was only seeing the negative, which is partly true because I'm DEPRESSED. He sees that he's doing "a lot" like making me smoothies in the morning (which he makes anyway, so it's not like this is an extra in his life), and he cleaned out an office space to be converted to a bedroom, and he's carried a few things, and he's driven the van over a couple of times for loading. That he cleaned the extra bathroom for his use so that Lexi and I could have the big bathroom to ourselves. 

These are all nice and helpful things, and I'm not ungrateful for them, but if I bring up that it doesn't feel like he's really helping, he brings up those things as proof that he is. 

And I'm depressed, and still sick, and definitely exhausted, and I'm probably PMSing too. So it's hard for me to sort this out. 

But these things don't feel right to me. 

  • Last weekend he went to an NA camping event.  Not because he's in danger of using (at least not that he's expressed) but because his friend needed him. His friend who ended up being high when he went to pick him up and Roi ended up coming home early because it was raining and left his friend there. The one who needed him so badly that he couldn't help me for two days -- one for packing, one for driving to and from.
  • A few days ago while I was at the Hell Hole by myself, sick and moving heavy things around, he called to give me a "pep" talk. "Just power through it. I've just come back from the gym, going to the farm stand to pick up some fruit, and now I'm going to take a nap because I'm tired."
  • Yesterday he went to the beach to swim. His hip is bad and swimming helps it. But this is also the same beach frequented by college students and I've been right there to see him staring so long and hard that he's not even aware I've just said something to him. He tells me I'm exaggerating and I need to get over my resentment about his frequent trips to this beach because he's not going to stop. Swimming is important to the health of his hip. Never mind that 80% of the time he goes there he doesn't actually swim. Or that there are pools he could go to that would take far less time.
There are more examples, but I don't need to beat this horse to death and I've got to wrap this up and get back to work. All I know is that this doesn't feel like two partners sharing a burden. This feels like me carrying the brunt of the hardest parts, him taking care of himself, and with what time and energy he's got left he'll do me some favors that render any resentments or complaints I have as silly, overblown, and selfish.

So last night when I went upstairs to have a good cry, he just didn't understand why.


  1. I think your feelings are totally valid. It is hard when we want something that we aren't getting, and that our partner is oblivious to the fact that we are missing something.

    Have a good move!

  2. Kelly, thanks. I do need to make a correction since writing this. The "lunch" turns out to be a lunch to discuss his friend staying at the 'Ole Hell Hole for free in exchange for showing it to prospects. So, my bad.

    I think what it comes down to is that on occasions I've had of talking to friends who are in long-term, committed, and healthy relationships, they are often appalled at his lack of being there for me during certain key times. They can't wrap their head around it.

  3. As far as Roi's attitude, I totally know what you mean about—what did the Qualifier call it that one time? Addicts expecting "extra credit" for just doing what any normal functional adult would consider...normal social behavior. They seem to think, if they're not working a program, that when they help out at all, that entitles them to some kind of free pass from any other helping behavior.

    If Roi is working any kind of program at all, though, even one that looks mighty crappy and half-assed from where you stand...then he's doing something. And something is better than nothing. And you'll have a little more time/space to get your own program back in gear, when you're moved....

    I know you have serious doubts about whether it's healthy for you long-term to live with him, but I'm *SO* glad you're leaving Ye Olde Hell Hole! It sounds like it truly was a millstone around your neck. Brava, chica—