"Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let the pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness. Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be a beautiful place."
-- Unknown

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Feel free to skip...

Sorry for the sad (but indeed lovely) quote from earlier. Those few words seemed to sum up my thoughts perfectly. But I fear it's time to dig within and type things out. I hear Blogger can be quite therapeutic.

So, if you'd like to skip this post, feel free. No hard feelings. This is more for me than anything else. I'm writing another post about my first guitar lesson that will be much more upbeat. You're welcome to wait for that one.

But if you're still here, let's get started.

Anyone that knows me, knows how much I care about my boyfriend. It's no secret. He's been my best friend for years. I love him beyond words. When we started dating, I knew things would be difficult. He has a daughter (who I adore) that is a big part of his life (as she should be). He also has a job with the county that keeps him from moving. A job he loves. A job he doesn't want to leave. A job working nights, 10 p.m.-7 a.m., to be exact. I work days. At a job I love. In another county. Which is why we've been living an hour and a half away from each other since May. Needless to say, that makes things extra difficult. Not to mention the fact that he has 100 acres of land and 40 something head of cattle to tend to when he's not working. His time is stretched pretty thin.

Then there's the fact that he's emotionally challenged. Conversations become routine. Mundane. Repetitive. Predictable. We talk, yet barely speak.

I've kept myself from making friends in this new, unfamiliar town for fear of putting even more distance between us. And as a result, I've made myself pretty miserable. My life becomes bland. Stale. Boring. Monotonous. I live, yet it's no life.

The bottom line is this: I want more. I want someone to talk to over dinner. Someone to hold hands with while we watch a movie. Someone to go on walks with (that doesn't require a leash). To laugh with. To fuss with (when necessary). To just be with. And I don't see that life with him. He seems so set in his ways. I know he's had a tough life, but as a result, he's put up walls that even I can't seem to break through. And as patient as I've tried to be, I'm reaching my breaking point.

And it kills me, because I really do love him. I hate to see him hurt. I don't want to be the cause of that. He's a good man. He's funny, sweet, intelligent - but at the same time, he's stubborn, and seemingly unwilling to compromise about a lot of things. Important things.

We talked about a lot of this today. Really tried to hash things out. It's funny how eager he is to talk about feelings when he thinks he might lose me. Suddenly, instead of all walled-up, he becomes a gushing fountain of emotions. Promising me the world and all it has to offer. Whatever it takes to make it work. But my question is this: Why does it have to come down to me ending things before he's capable of showing me this side of him? It's so frustrating.

What do you do when you're afraid the person you love can't give you the life that you want? Do you compromise your love for your life, or your life for your love?

Which is it?



Anonymous said...

There are romantics out there that are going to disagree with me but
giving up on what YOU want and need in life for love IS wrong.
Eventually you will began to resent
the sacrafices (as you seem to be doing now) and you'll wonder what could have been. You are a young and beautiful woman with so much to offer in a relationship and you deserve more than a part time boyfriend.
I know how you hate to hurt him, I hate it too, but better now than ten years from now when the "what could have beens" begin to consume you.
I love you dearly,

Jill (Sneaky Momma) said...

This is a toughie. I don't know you very well, so I am just going to say that I will say a prayer for your situation, that the Lord will make it clear to you whether he wants you to spend the rest of your life with this man or if he has someone else in mind for the role of your husband. Hang in there.

Diane said...

Oh, sweetness, my heart hurts for you. I have to go with Mom on this one (she's a wise lady, our mom ;)... compromising for love is one thing... completely ignoring what you want and NEED is something else. And, as young as you are, you seem to know pretty well what you want and need.

I put everything I wanted and needed on hold for more than a decade because the person I loved was busy with the things he needed to do. I let myself sit on the back burner... I was no one's priority -- and eventually I stopped even being my OWN priority. And then it fell apart and I was left with nothing but the shell of the person I had once been. I'm still filling the hole, just to get back to the person I used to be.

Don't put yourself on the back burner. BE a priority -- be your own priority and eventually you will be someone else's. You deserve NOTHING less than that. I know the popular thought is 'love is all you need.' But I can tell you that sometimes it isn't enough.

Thinking of you always and sending you warm, fuzzy thoughts... xoxo

Anonymous said...

Well said "my other daughter" Diane.

Mel said...

Oh, darlin'...you can't sacrifice your life for your love, because you'll change the person you are. Of course that new person could be a better person, but it sounds like you're already having trouble being the new person. I hope you figure it out, but do what's best for you because whether he's hurt or not now, it will be the best for him too in the long run.

Jessica said...

oh heather.. I hate that you are going through this. It's a very hard place to be in, but I agree with all above comments. Of course you have to do what YOU feel is right, you have to follow YOUR heart, and do whatever it is that you decide on YOUR time, but I do feel like I should add my opinion.
I don't think that love is all you need. In fact, so many people depend on love to get them through a relationship and especially when it comes down to marriage, that is exactly the idea that lets people down. What keeps you together is more of a decision to stay commited and to see things through. It's a decision to stay in love. And if you are not 100% COMPLETELY happy than that decision is going to be very hard to stick to.
You deserve the absolute best and to be the happiest you can be. And to be with someone who wants the same things you want. And who will comprimise a little with you. I'm sure Kevin is a great great guy, but that doesn't necessarily mean that you should spend the rest of your life with him.. you shouldn't be settling!
Sorry for such the long comment... maybe we do need to exchange phone numbers!! I'm here if you need anything :)

hebba said...

My heart just broke for you when I read this post. Love is never easy. I'm not going to try to give you advice, because I suspect that deep down, YOU know the answer that you are seeking. (I do not)

Just know that even though we have never met in real life, I feel you are a friend through this blog thing. I (and I'm sure others) am here for you. Pour your heart out (or not) We'll be reading and hopefully helping you through.

Jenners said...

Oh Sweetie! I feel for you ... and I would NEVER EVER skip a post of a fellow blogger who is feeling down -- especially one as giving and supportive as you.

I'll tell you what I learned and maybe it will help you in some way. I don't think I've mentioned this before, but I was married before my husband now. I got married the first time when I was about 27 to a great guy -- but who had a lot of problems and some issues similar in tone to what you are describing (lack of communication, commitment to a job that made it hard to be together). The marriage was very unhappy for me and all I saw was this life I didn't want to lead stretching out in front of me if I stayed with him. I thought the world of him but I was truly truly unhappy. It wasn't the life I wanted and needed for myself. I finally was able to tell him that I didn't think I could be in the marriage anymore, and, to his credit, he let me go. I felt horribly guilty and sad because I truly loved him and think he is a good person but we were not good together -- I needed more than he could offer.

You seem to be in a similar situation, and I know it is hard to do but I think you realize that -- as great as this guy is -- you need and deserve more from life ... a true partner who can and will and is able to be there for you 100% -- emotionally, physically, and spiritually.

Making these choices are very hard to do -- especially when you don't hate the person or they didn't do anything "wrong." But when you only get what you need when you threaten to leave, your needs are not being met and you are setting a precedent for the future that will lead to more unhappiness, frustration and pain. My guess is that if you decide to stay with him, you will keep coming back to these issues over and over and will end up leaving him anyway eventually.

You are young and you have your whole life ahead of you and so many opportunities and people to still meet. I think you know -- deep down -- that this relationship is not what you need. That feeling came out so strong in your post. You need to take care of yourself. Although you will feel bad, eventually you will find those feeling fading. I delayed leaving my marriage for 2 years because I was terrified my ex would commit suicide or something. But he moved on ... quicker than I ever thought. And then I found my husband now -- who is able to give me everything I need and deserve.

I wish the same for you. Good luck with this. I know it totally sucks.

Rachel Cotterill said...

I learnt a long time ago that giving other people relationship advice is a way to ruining friendships and not much else, so I'll restrain myself :) But wanted to let you know I read to the end, I totally understand how you're feeling (I've been there), and that I think 'compromise' is not compromise if it's one-sided. Good luck making the right decision for you x

Anonymous said...

Sweet Heather, I agree with your mom and Diane and the others, too. You need to think about yourself and what you need. I'll be praying for you about this.

I love you,

Lacey said...

I'm so sorry, I know this is a horrible situation to be in. It will work out for the best, though, whatever that best may be.

The only advice I can offer is that if you continually make sacrifices (especially without sacrifices being made in return), you will end up regretting it, and maybe even getting bitter about it. And whatever love you have for this man will become tarnished, tainted. You don't deserve that, and he doesn't either.

Whatever you decide to do, you know we're all here for you, Heather!

Jen L. said...

I'm so sorry you're hurting, but everyone's right. You have to do what is right for YOU. This is such an exciting time in your life. You're independent, young and free. Enjoy it! Don't compromise a single thing you want for someone else. Make YOU happy. That's the only way you'll ever learn how someone else can make you happy.
Call if you need to talk.
Dean says he loves you and sends you slobbery, 4-toothed kisses.

J Cosmo Newbery said...

Ouch! I feel for you but have no real words of wisdom. I'm not even the praying sort so I can't invoke any imaginary friends to help either. But bear in mind that you have many years ahead. You may be able to put up with something for a week, a month, a year. But 50 years?

Dan said...

Life is about knowing what you can compromise on and what you can't. You have to look within and answer what is important to you. Once you know that, the future will become clearer.

I'd also add that separation is hard. My wife and I are currently living 350 miles apart due to business concerns. Even after 33 years of marriage, it is hard, very hard. But, and this is important, we value each other and the life that is us enough to know we can handle it. Do you and your boyfriend have that feeling/certainty?

Missy said...

If this guy is the farmer type, get away now! He will never love you more than his farm or his cattle! You will live a life of farm sh*t comes first! My parents own a limousine cattle farm and I have seen my mother make such sacrifices! Your heart will tell you what you need to do, if you will patiently listen! I will say a prayer for you!

LiLu said...

Wow, this post is fantastic... in a brutally open and honest kind of way. So many women deal with exactly the kind of thing you're dealing with; maybe not the distance and scheduling, exactly, but the man who can't open up until you threaten to leave? BEEN THERE. I don't know what to tell you except that I hope he can change!

Bethany@MyLifeinBlackandWhite said...

Heather, I'm so sorry you're having a hard time! No relationship will ever be perfect, and long distance changes things a lot, but just remember 2 things from a not-so-experienced but very happy married woman:

1. Whatever annoys you now will multiply by 10 once you're married. So will the things you love and good points you didn't realize existed.

2. Never underestimate the power of good conversation. When the affectionate feelings aren't so strong at times or grown-up life gets a touch on the boring side, conversation is what you'll have to connect the two of you. It's also going to mean a lot when it comes time to work through issues in the marriage, raise children, survive hard times, you name it.

Southern Dialogue said...

ok..i haven't been on here in forever, but i can honestly relate to everything you said. i'm blogging now!