Friday, July 17, 2009

Trying All The Time

Not much happened last night. Varen was supposed to be home early to make dinner for us. I guess he was ... but still half an hour later than he was supposed to be. Is it just me? Am I the only one who can disconnect work from real life here? Unless there are supremely extenuating circumstances, whatever doesn't get done today can wait till tomorrow. With Varen it feels like (to me) that nothing work-related can wait till tomorrow, and he is the only person who can do any of it. I can feel he's coming to a break-down ... or we are. He's constantly trying to please. Be that at work while he's there, putting in all these extra hours that he no longer get's paid for (since he's no longer a contractor on an hourly rate), just hoping they'll remember all his effort in a year when bonus time comes round again (he started working there too late to qualify for this year's bonuses). Then he get's home just in time to eat the dinner I make or just in time to make dinner himself. Just trying to keep me happy and trying to get done his half of the house-related stuff.

You may think it's cruel of me to make him cook one night a week and have to worry about washing and house-related things while he's working so hard. But I'm sorry, I work too. Just because I'm content to work a regularly hour-ed day and am not trying to make any sort of name for myself does not delegate all house-realted tasks to me alone. He lives there too, if I didn't live with him he'd have to be doing it himself anyway ... and I really think sometimes he forgets that. Which is why I make a point of not letting him get out of doing his share of all the mundane house stuff. I think eventually you need to realise that there needs to be time in your day for more than just work, which is a lesson I think he's struggling with at the moment and just trying to keep his head above water, trying desperately to get everything done that he feels is expected of him. Sadly I think "expected" is the way he feels about everything lately and I think it's going to start wearing away at our relationship. (I think) He feels like I expect him to be involved in all the house stuff ... instead of him realising it's actually his house and he needs to be involved regardless of my expectations but because it's his life and he should take an interest in what's happening in it outside of work. And then there are the work expectations he feels ... which I'm not sure if they're really there or if he's putting the pressure on himself. Guys are weird like that in my experience.

And that's to say nothing of family expectations. Where he hardly has a free night at home to just relax, he has to also fit in dinners & visits with his family. Which I know he does enjoy, but he's not very good at saying no to someone else's request and postponing a visit to a more convenient time for him and his work schedule.

I feel like I'm just fitting into his life right now. It's kinda sad really. It's like I'm living this completely separate life from him and occasionally get to see him. And when we do see each other (like weekends, although this weekend he's away on a work conference), all he wants to do is nothing and relax after a long week. And then I want to get done all the stuff we can't do during the week (like cleaning the bunny hutch - which requires us both, and grocery shopping etc.). Sadly these chores have become our quality time together. And when we're not doing that we're usually slumped in front of the tv watching something because he has no energy or inclination to do anything else. Life is wearing him out, I can feel it. And I don't know to fix it, but I can feel a burn-out coming. I'm not happy with our relationship and the way it's going at the moment ... because although he makes time for it, I always feel like he's doing it because I want him to or because I've made some demand of him that because he's working so late all the time he has to comply with to keep me happy.

On top of that, he has all these other things he wants to fit in too, like go to gym and study. He's barely managing to have a life outside of work as it is, I don't know how he's going to fit in these extras. He goes thru waves of being positive that he can do it, but just a few days later it's like he's given up on all of it because he hasn't even had a moment to breathe. How do you teach someone that they are the only one in control of their lives and that they only get one so they have to make the decisions necessary to live their life the way they want to. I've managed to learn that already and it's so hard watching him struggle with all this when the solutions seem so obvious to me. (Which cause more arguments ... I'm very much a "well then just do it" kind of person). But I know in the back of my mind that when you feel like you're drowning in responsibility it's very hard to break out of it and make a change and do something positive for yourself. I've tried helping him, making daily schedules so that he can work his 9 hours days and fit in gym and studying, but so far none of it's helped because you really can only lead a horse to water. I can't physically make any of the changes, he has to do that himself. And right now, I think he's just too worn out by life to bother trying. It's a very sad thing to be on the sidelines of.

And I have all my own things going on, wrapped up in all my own issues and frustrated by his inability to control his own. I feel like we've become orbiting planets, no longer really involved in each other's lives but co-existing none the less. His 9-day hike in the Fish River Canyon (in August) can not come soon enough, the boy really needs some space and a break from life & work.

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