New Years eve was the day after she asked me to give her a final answer. They were also celebrating her roommate’s engagement at B’s house. B was helping to throw that party.
I went over there feeling pretty good. Although I knew that when her other friends were around, I often got triggered. My “relationship OCD” compulsion is that I’m usually afraid she’s not smart enough. And I usually get triggered when we’re around her friends. I think it’s because they sound smart and I like way they sound and when B speaks I’m disappointed. It sounds uniformed, ditzy, nasally, and naive. It just sounds really dumb, if I were to speak with my emotions. And of course this is probably me blowing things way out of proportion. That’s what our counselor told us; that my triggers by definition are me blowing things out of proportion.
Now, to be fair to my doubts I did have her roommate tell me in a private conversation that B is “ditzy, Naive, and sometimes she says things that make me think “where the f***k did you come up with that idea.” Her roommate says she often has to hold her tongue not to make B feel stupid. But her roommate is also very opinionated, smart, thinks a lot like me, and also admitted that she has insecurities about her own intelligence and had to learn not to correct others all the time.
B was doing a great job of putting up banners and setting up the fondue and she presented her roommate with a basket full of ‘bride to be’ type things. But something about it made me feel like “this is her thing, because she isn’t smart enough.” She has to go overboard on celebrating others and I don’t value that very much. What a waste of money, this stuff will only be able to be used once. It seems like she wanted others to make sure they saw how hard she worked to put it together
But later when she said, ‘would you like to talk about it’ she pointed out that it was a group effort to put together the gift basket and many of the girls had brought or sent things to put in the basket for her. And she pointed out that although that’s not my value, she happened to know that her roommate valued being celebrated very much.
Later at the dinner table B’s conversation just seemed so naive and uninformed in comparison to the others at the table. The others were smart, articulate, and funny. This is where I totally tanked and it lasted the rest of the night. She got about as many trivia card answers as I did for one of the categories but I got way more for one of the other categories. She probably got the least out of anybody.
Then we were watching the new year’s eve celebration and she said about one of the dancers, “her ams look so toned.” One of the guys says, “she just looks skinny to me.” I looked up and she just looked skinny to me too. I barely saw much tone. We went to bed in a funk, and messed around. We woke up in the morning and I was still in a funk.
We were watching a movie the next day and she asked, “You’re not doing very well, are you?” I said no. She asked do you want to say what you are feeling? I hesitated for a moment and whispered “disappointed” I guess.
After the movie she said would you like to talk about it. I hesitantly said okay but said I was hesitant because I didn’t want to say mean things to her. I brought up all the things I mentioned above and she humbly reasoned with me. This is when she told me the basket was a group effort and her roommate likes being humbled. She also pointed out that when she bought all the presents for my nephews and nieces, although that’s not how I would like to be celebrated, and I was afraid of spending money, the little kids really enjoy that stuff. She was right.
She said, that one of her other friends also affirmed that the dancer had toned arms, but I didn’t hear or remember that. She didn’t feel like she was left out of the conversation at the table or anything and noted that she could tell I was totally shut down during that conversation.
She said, you know how I know this is OCD? “How?” I asked. She said, there were things you did tonight that totally annoyed me and I let it go. I asked what they were and she pointed out how she asked me to help cook and put away dishes and she pointed out like five basic things she asked me to do and which she ended up having to redo or do for me.
I said, That seems super concerning to me and I would like to work on that. I said, one thing that is hard for me is that she almost never apologizes or wants to change the things I see wrong with her. Now, I’ve hesitated to ask her to change because these things are her personality. And some of them are just preference differences (like her celebrating people with gifts), but they disappoint me.
She said she’s open to changing and we can just talk about it when it happens.
It was so hard. So hard. My feelings were so torn between my disappointment and my desire not to hurt her.
At about this point I held up our little paper rings and said, “wow this is a cool feeling that we are committed to be in this together. But I’m so sorry this is so hard.”
She later said, “I was hoping New Year’s Eve would be a good night.”
It was fun in a lot of ways. There were memories like running out the door banging pots and pans at midnight. And playing fun games with her roommate and her fiance, except when I was being triggered by her not seeming to be able to do basic multiplication of the crowns by how many cards of one type she had, and not able to count five blocks across (she counted one diagonally).
And the walk together after our hard conversation redeemed it. It’s just so, so hard. Why is it this hard? I guess it is a very hot and powerful engine to conform us to something better. I hope I can become better through this if it doesn’t destroy us.
I woke up this morning very scared. We had two hard days after I said ‘let’s do this for the rest of our lives.’ What have I gotten myself into?
But there are moments that it is so beautiful. Either way, I love her. I know that. I just wish I liked her more sometimes.