Friday night M and I had one of our most honest conversations we’ve had so far.
He and I were supposed to meet one of his friends for dinner at 7:30 but opted to reschedule as the weather was crappy and getting to the city and back was less than attractive to either of us (but points to me for gently letting him decide…without letting on that I secretly did want to stay home, but if he did want to go out, I would have gone. He made the decision to cancel. Baby steps, right?)
So, my assumption was that he’d leave work and head up my way (as he had said he didn’t want me drive in the sleety-snowy weather, and i was happy to oblige!). He said he’d stop by his place, grab a bag and then head to my place (his job is 15 mins from his house, which is another 25 to my house. Still following?). He said he’d leave in about 20 minutes, which was around 6 (so my assumption was that he’d be at my place at 7 or so). 6:15, he was still there. 6:25 was the last text I received.
Then I waited for him to call (as he usually calls once he leaves work).
7:15 rolls around and he was just leaving work.
At that point, I was starving, annoyed and frustrated that he hadn’t even left yet. If we had dinner plans at 7:30, he would have had to have left earlier. The fact that he didn’t leave as he said he would and stayed longer at work made me feel like I wasn’t a priority.
But at the same time, I know his job is important. I mean, he takes care of patients all day, how can I be upset if he runs late? That was my internal battle. And the fact that I didn’t want to sound like his ex-wife, who hated his job and long hours.
Thus my conundrum.
But when he called, I couldn’t hide my frustration.
I told him exactly how I felt (and started to cry as I had pent up anxiety over my abbreviated weekend, and trip ahead, plus trying on a new bathing suit for Jamaica and being less than pleased).
He felt awful, and apologized. I started to minimize it a little by telling him it was that, compounded by everything else that was bothering me, not just that.
His response – it bothered you enough to make you upset and not feel important. That’s why I’m sorry.
He finally got to my house around 8:15 and we talked some more. I told him that I know his job is important. I know it comes with paperwork he has to catch up on after patients have left, but what I just wanted more of was a realistic timeframe for when he thought he’d be heading out. Not an overly optimistic version. I’d rather be excited that he got out earlier than frustrated than he didn’t leave when he said he would.
He admitted that it ‘sounded a little familiar’ *insert cringe* but that this was different than the past and he knows he needs to work on this too.
I know this will be a struggle, because his job isn’t very predictable sometimes and he doesn’t always have a hardfast time that he knows he’ll leave every night. Truth is, it varies. And part of the struggle is that I need to be okay with that, just as he needs to be able to ‘shut off’ for the night more than he has in the past.
But it was a start. I was honest. He was honest. We had a good conversation, and it ended with much more clarity on both of our needs and expectations.
The rest of the time we spent together, in spurts on Saturday and today, were wonderful. I love this man so much. Which is why it was even harder for when he dropped me at the airport a short time ago and he had tears in his eyes.
Which made the tears stream down my face even more.