Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Only the lonely, part 2

the next few weeks were full of dinner dates, some with Ari, some without. he absolutely loved her when they met, she was one going on two and was a fun addition to our outings. even from the beginning people mistook her for his daughter, and most of the time he would laugh it off with a thank you.

things weren't as swell at home. we were bumping heads constantly, and my parents felt it would be in my best interest to move out. i was heated at first, my job sucked big time, i would bring home about $700 a month, not even close to what i needed to make to get my own place. by then, Nelly and i had been together for about two months. since he had just gotten his apartment, he invited me to move in. i was skeptical at first, not because of him, or the situation, but because we hadn't known each other nearly long enough to move in together. i cared a lot for him, and i assumed he did as well but i would hope that it wouldn't ruin the way things were.

it worked out okay for a while. the rent was cheap, the apartment was cute, we had company come over all the time, celebrated his 25th birthday that following February. we got to know the lady at the Chinese restaurant up the road very well. all in all, things were going pretty well.

eventually, the stress of my bad job started to catch up with us. i searched high and low for a new job so that i could contribute more. the lack of me being able to help out more combined with me not being the "housewifey type" started to wear on him. since i had never lived with anyone before i wasn't exactly familiar with how different things were delegated. i had been messy and unorganized my whole life and felt it needed to be accepted. what i failed to realize was that since i wasn't bringing in as much money, he felt i should do more around the house. he said as much, i think the exact quote was if he wasn't getting anymore help, he might as well do it himself. when he got home the next night, i was packing my mothers car with my and Ari's things.

as far as i was concerned, i was done. if it had to be that way, then oh well. i had done my part, uneducated as i was on this step in a relationship, i felt i was right. he called begging for forgiveness within a matter of days. i still didn't go back. i ended up getting a very good job in the next few days.

now throughout all of this, i always had questions of certain activities that went on. i never could prove anything 100% so i was constantly berated for checking behind him, going thru this things...a lot of the time it was right there in the open where anyone would have been able to see them. my women's intuition was not tingling, it was on fire. but i ignored it.

fast forward about a year. i was still back at home. we were working on things. we decided to move back in together, i was at my wits end living with my parents again, he was driving way out to work, so we decided to meet somewhere halfway and find somewhere. i was eager to get things together again, so that i could try and do things better than before. it started out well, we got a great place that we loved, Ari loved it too. we always had a party going on, friends stayed over frequently, and our jobs were going well. we started looking for jobs closer to home, this was right around the time that gas was starting to go up. it made sense for at least one of us to work closer, he found a job about ten minutes away, and i found one that paid more. within 2 months, i was laid off. and in a move i still don't understand, he quit his job. when you go from making close to 50k a year, to absolutely nothing in a matter of a month, it is a crucial reality check. not to mention certain "activities" had resumed.

i could never figure out what i was doing wrong. besides the fact that i didn't like cleaning up (our place was never dirty, it could have used a good organizational session, but was always neat enough for company.) i did whatever he asked. mentally i felt like we were equals. i never experienced that with a partner before. we could talk for hours on end about anything and i loved that. physically we were both still in pretty good shape, i had picked up a little weight, but he loved it on me so i kept things the way they were. sexually, well, things were 110% in that department. i was told by him that things were great and he would NEVER have to go anywhere else. hm.

...but emotionally? at times i felt completely played. an argument about anything (the dishwasher wasn't loaded right, a bounced check, shoes in the living room floor...etc) was draining. i found myself over and over again wanting OUT. if i could just get time away from him, i could think things thru, and put everything i had known/found out about him on a table somewhere and think. i couldn't think with him around. it was like reading the newspaper with someone hanging over your shoulder. i put on a good front for family. no one was the wiser. it was around that time i made a crucial mistake: i mentioned marriage.

don't get me wrong. at that point, we had been together for about 3 years. i have never been that kind of girl to crave a wedding. it just had gotten to the point where, if all these suspicious things were going on, was i wasting time in this relationship? was he serious about me? did he have any plans on EVER marrying me? of course, he took it like any man does. i was pressuring him, and he didn't want to be rushed. i didn't want a date set, i wanted to know what his intentions were, but i dropped the subject. he didn't forget though, and the damage was done. i think that is when things took another turn.

in 05, he went out of town to bike week with his friends from college. i felt like it was an unnecessary trip, due to money issues he almost couldn't go, but someone said they would loan him the money, so he went. i personally felt insulted that he would make that much effort to go out of town to bike week. where were all these "loans" when your car note was late and i had to pay it? or the rent was due? or for my birthdays? promises of half naked girls and cars did the trick though...but i was being "that girlfriend", the one who didn't understand all his friends were going and that he wanted to go too. of course i understood that, i have a child. i understand "all my friends are..." kids say it all the time. i made up my mind a few hours after he left, that i was going to go stay with my parents for a while. i should have left when i planned, because he made it back early. he saw the suitcases, a hellified argument ensued, and he stormed out.

i should have left anyway. but i didn't. i stayed. to this day i wish i had still rolled those suitcases out to my car and left.

we ended up moving out of those apartments and stayed with friends of his for a while. it simply added to the hell and heartache i endured for him. the situation was bad enough to write a completely different story about, but lots of lessons were learned and things started to work out, again. sort of. we moved a block from my parents house around that Christmas, had new jobs, new outlooks, promised to each other and ourselves that things would never get that bad again. we were wrong...

looking back, i notice times where things weren't 50/50. honesty, faithfulness, efforts. sure, i didn't like washing dishes, but it wasn't a deal breaker. i might like to shop and buy things i didn't necessarily need, but i bought things for him. i might have had lonely nights while he went out with friends, but i was here when he got home. he never had to worry about me. i could never say the same.

i told him not too long ago about an ex i had. he was perfect in every way possible, and we had stopped dating a good while before Nelly and i met. this ex wanted to get married. he wanted to swoop Ari and i up and whisk us down south, where his job had transferred him. he would buy a house, another car for me, help me finish school down there, he had a serious master plan. but we had been through so much, that i decided to take a break and see how things would work out. when i met Nelly, i decided to give him a chance and see if life maybe had other things in store for me. i was only 21 at that time, and leaving my friends and family for a new life 3 states away scared me. where is the ex now? still living down there, dating a girl who isn't me. she has the life i would have had. sometimes i get mad at the life i would have had, because i sacrificed it all for someone else. and that someone else hasn't always appreciated it...

i sat in our new apartment in the dark on Christmas, just a mattress and a lamp. Ari stayed with my parents so that her holiday wasn't a gloomy one. it was cold and miserable, our holiday meal was a sub from the Wawa around the corner. not where i would ever have imagined myself. once we got settled in, things were quiet for about a month and a half. not long after Valentines day, we started planning a wedding. there was never an official proposal, unless a cocktail straw at TGIFridays counted. (once again, where were those loans then, huh?) As it just so happened, my car died, and plans had to be put on hold. i had never really felt like i was getting married anyway, and i didn't know if he was agreeing just to appease me, even though the idea was his to begin with. he was very quiet about the whole thing, he wouldn't talk while we were looking at the room, just nodded and said whatever. i went and picked out a dress alone. there were going to be no bridesmaids or groomsmen, just our immediate family and two best friends a piece. it really didn't scream HAPPY or MARRIED at all. it was almost like we were being forced into it, and we weren't. i wasn't excited and screechy when people asked, i just smiled and nodded. he rarely referred to me as his fiancee, i was always his girl.

i think my car dying was a sign. we had to cancel the festivities, thank goodness no money had been put into it. my dress was not expensive at all, and the plain wedding bands i purchased went into the closet. our attitudes went south a bit. he started to always be with co-workers in the evenings, i would be at home, alone, helping Ari with her homework and putting her to bed. time we spent together alone was rare and quiet, usually on the couch watching TV in the evenings. i wouldn't say i was miserable, but i wasn't happy. i was tired.

it wasn't too long after that time period, that i peed on a stick and watched two lines appear...