maybe I should buy earplugs (overheard words IV)

I went shopping at a home appliances store today. Our toaster had started doing that thing where it either doesn’t work or turns bread into a lump of coal, plus we decided we needed a bigger soup pot so that we could make enough soup or stew in one go to feed us all for a few meals, and we also needed a few other things around the home. As I am the least bustiest person right now, I volunteered to go pick the things out and then have them delivered (because of my health issues, I’m having enough trouble just carrying my own weight unassisted. I’m not permitted to pick up anything heavier than 10 lbs). So that’s what I did; pick things out, get them delivered.

In overheard words III, I mentioned that Lora and Jon fought off and on through the day, but didn’t recount all the fights – they weren’t all germane to my concerns at that time, but one of them has possibly (I think) become a new fight theme for Lora to have, in regards to how much better Jon treats Lora than me.

The initial fight was about how Jon doesn’t pay enough attention to Lora. Lora wanted to talk to Jon about something important while they were spending time together, and Jon was distracted. When Jon didn’t immediately switch his focus entirely to Lora, when she said she wanted to talk, she got very angry and told him that she’s tired of him not paying full attention to her. Jon told Lora that he was actually working on a work project, and he just needed a few minutes to finish up. He also apologized for not clearly saying that when she asked for his attention (instead of  saying “give me a second to wrap up this work thing and we can talk”, he said “ok, what’s up” in a distracted manner, but continued to focus on the computer). This turned into a fight (where Lora had concerns about their relationship) because EVERY time that Lora tries to get Jon’s attention (black and white statements), Jon continues to ignore her or only give her half his attention and she’s tired of it.

It’s probably needless to say, but this isn’t true. Sometimes Jon is distracted, yes. Because he’s finishing something up. And he should absolutely state clearly, yes. Especially since Lora doesn’t seem to realize that she could take a little initiative and say something like “hey, it looks like you’re really focused on something, when can I have your full attention?” instead of immediately getting angry and using polarized language and making references to their relationship being at risk.

Anyways, I’m not sure what Lora actually wanted to talk about, because once this fight started and was clearly entrenched, I wandered to another area of the house where I couldn’t hear them. I was just all out of desire to listen to them fight.

But back to today. Today Jon and Lora were spending alone time together in one of the bedrooms. Our package of appliances got delivered to the front door – I was waiting nearby for it to arrive. The delivery guy left it at the front door, and I went to get Jon to grab it for me, since I can’t left heavy things right now.

I go to the bedroom and tap. Once they say it’s ok to come in, I stick my head into the room and ask Jon if when he has a moment, can he please come and get this package for me and bring it into the kitchen. I tell him it’s not super-urgent; if he’s busy, it can wait a few minutes. Jon says sure, he can come now, and he gets up from his computer to come get the package. At this point, I had stepped back from the door (which was half-closed), but was standing in the hallway waiting for Jon, when I hear Lora say that something isn’t fair. What’s not fair? Well, it’s not fair that when *I* need Jon, he just gets right up and does whatever I need done, but when Lora needs Jon, it takes him ten minutes to pull away from his computer.

Jon explains to Lora that he was just fooling around playing Solitaire, so it’s easy to get up and help me, whereas when Lora wanted to talk to Jon the other day, he was in the middle of work, and needed to finish what he was doing before he could talk. That was not good enough. Jon getting right up to help me immediately isn’t acceptable, or fair, and it’s really obvious that Jon cares about me much more than Lora and is willing to do things for me much faster than he is for Lora.

I’m standing in the hallway overhearing this and I think to myself: This is the kind of stuff that really worries me. Because I don’t know if it’s a mental illness thing or if it’s a “Lora has horrible self-esteem” thing or if it’s a “Lora is a high-maintenance, demanding person” thing or some combination of those things or something totally different. But the important thing is that I go and ask Jon for about a minute’s worth of help for a thing that I cannot physically do right now and it turns into this pointless, needless fight that I am unfortunately listening too.

It’s been a bad pain day, my pain kept bouncing between a level 2-3 and a level 7-8, which is (in some ways) worse than just solid 7-8. Solid pain I can sort of plan for, and brace myself against, or talk myself through. And I can take pain medication. This bouncing pain is like being in the ocean playing in the waves blindfolded – you can kind of get an idea of what’s coming by how the surf feels against your legs and the sounds of the water, but you’re going to get unexpectedly slapped down a lot, and the unexpectedness of it makes it even more painful.

After I realized that this fight is going to take at least a few minutes, I wander back to the front where the package is waiting. Jonathan eventually comes and takes the box. He doesn’t say anything about the fight. I don’t say anything about the fight.

But I do think to myself, if I get to a point where I say “Nope, sorry, this isn’t going to work for me” it’s going to be because of things like this. Things like how me asking for help turns into a comparison/contest/stupid fight – and I don’t ask for help often, in part because of my own pride and because I don’t want to disturb Lora and Jon when they’re having alone time. And I’m going to doubly not want to disturb them if doing so turns into a fight over whether or not Jon is more responsive towards me or Lora.

I do not want the rest of my life to look like this.

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lizeden

polyamorist, cat-lover, hopeless optimist when I'm not being a firm realist.

2 thoughts on “maybe I should buy earplugs (overheard words IV)”

  1. I just wanted to say I’m going through almost the same exact thing you are right now except I don’t live with my partner & his wife. I haven’t read much beyond this post but saw your comments on More Than Two and felt compelled to make contact because your words are my exact words.

    I feel lost sometimes because how so you navigate this?!? And not having much of anyone who understands is isolating.

    So yeah, I get you 100%.

    Like

    1. Hi TBK!

      Was there a particular part that you were wondering how to navigate? Or is it more the whole situation, loving someone and having a hard time with their other partner?

      I definitely haven’t figured out any answers yet – hopefully in a few months (or years or decades), things will be more figured out – or maybe I’ll have figured out that there are no answers, but maybe there are certain paths that I’ve found to be more successful than others.

      Right now, it’s still a roller coaster ride with ups, downs, twists, and the occasional level area. I think the best thing I can say is that it’s really important (for me, at least) to know that everybody is being authentic, trying their best, and respecting the humanity of the other people involved. Meaning – I don’t worry that Lora is secretly trying to get rid of me, and I don’t worry that Jon has double-standards in the behavior that he expects from me versus what he expects from Lora. I don’t believe either of them is out to deliberately deceive me, just to get what they want from me, without a regard for my feelings.

      And on the other side of that, I am doing my best to treat them as people – people who make mistakes and have problems (sometimes big problems), but are truly trying their best. And I see them treating me as a person too – someone who also makes mistakes and gets frustrated and isn’t perfect, but keeps on trying. If it wasn’t for that, I think I’d have walked away a long time ago.

      Does that make sense?

      Like

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