Monday, August 24, 2009

Men vs. Women, Part Five

Rather than this post addressing one gender or the other, this one will address both groups. Eleanor Roosevelt once said, "The most important thing in any relationship is not what you get but what you give." Only 7% of communication is verbal. It stands to reason if your spouse is talking, you should be listening with your undivided attention.

Main Entry: com·mu·ni·ca·tion Pronunciation: \kə-ˌmyü-nə-ˈkā-shən\ Function: noun Date: 14th century1 : an act or instance of transmitting2 a : information communicated b : a verbal or written message3 a : a process by which information is exchanged between individuals through a common system of symbols, signs, or behavior ; also : exchange of information b : personal rapport 4 plural a : a system (as of telephones) for communicating b : a system of routes for moving troops, supplies, and vehicles c : personnel engaged in communicating5 plural but sing or plural in constr a : a technique for expressing ideas effectively (as in speech) b : the technology of the transmission of information (as by print or telecommunication)

Communication. It should be so simple, right? It should be so easy to say, "hey, that hurt my feelings" or "I feel. . . . "

But it isn't. For whatever reason, as much as we talk, when it boils down to important relationship stuff, we fail miserably. I am not certain why we have such difficulty telling someone how they've made us feel (good and bad) or sitting down to talk out an issue, but some of us -- in fact, most -- are riding the short bus when it comes to communication.

Conversation is a must in any relationship. You need it to be connected to each other. You need it to have your feelings respected. You need it to sort through issues and problems and find solutions. You also need it to truly know someone. If you aren't communicating, chances are your spouse doesn't know who you really are.

Ladies first.

1. Men are not mind readers. I agree that if you are stomping around, slamming cabinet doors while doing the dishes he should have done, that he should at least have some clue as to why you are mad. Unfortunately, he's sitting there thinking "What in the Sam Hill is her problem?" Will he get up to find out? Rarely. Why? Because he knows asking is going to cause a fight and he'd rather sit in the recliner and play on myspace, thanks.

If you have a problem with your significant other, spit it out. Do your best not to be accusatory or whiny or vicious, but do tell him what is going on so he is not sitting around clueless and then blind-sided when you explode like a sleeve of Mentos dropped into a 2 liter of Coke.

We are all guilty of this. What I am now realizing is why on earth would I think someone can read my mind when he has already proven he can't manage to do things when he is specifically asked to do things? He can't. Period. It is unbelievably unfair to expect him to do so.

2. WHY, when a man does have the stones to ask us what is wrong, do we ALWAYS say "nothing?" Again, they are not mind readers. I understand it is uncomfortable to open up and talk about what is bothering us for fear of being ridiculed or dismissed. But if you trust your spouse the way you should, then you will know he or she will listen with his or her whole heart and work towards a solution with you. Unless they're jerks, and we will discuss this one further along.

When I say "nothing" it means one of two things. I am mad because he hasn't read my mind (which just makes me a moron) or I do not want to talk about it right now. So I must learn to say: I do not want to talk about it right now. When I am ready, I will let you know. We should *all* learn to do this. And if we say nothing for my first reason, we deserve to be unhappy for a bit because that is just foolish behavior.

3. If we want something, we must say so. As we have already discussed, they can't read our minds. However, let me tell you what else they don't do. They do not do subtle hints or mind games of any sort.

I have noticed we have a real problem telling him we need him. Why, I am not sure. For example, a wife doesn't feel well. Hubby is out goofing off with friends.

Wife says: I don't feel well.
Hubby says: I'm sorry, baby.
Wife says: The kids are driving me crazy.
Hubby says: Oh, honey, I am sorry.
Wife says: No one is here to help out.
Hubby says: Do you want me to come home?
Wife: It's up to you.
Hubby says: I will come home if you want me to.
Wife says: No, it's clear you don't want to come home.

I *know* why she is irritated, but he doesn't have the slightest freaking clue. She is irritated because she feels like he should have immediately volunteered to come home, because that is what she would have done if he were the one feeling poorly. Plus she feels like crap. However, now *he* is irritated because she has snapped at him after she told him it was up to him, and so now we have both parties angry with the other.

It would have been so much simpler if she had said, "Honey, I really feel horrible and I wish you would come home." Providing, of course, that he said, "I will be right there." I've had this exact conversation with someone and after ignoring me for about 20 minutes, I sent another text and said, "Are you coming home or what?" At which point, he replied, "You didn't ask." This person is just being purposely antagonistic.

If we want something, we must let go of this insane idea that he will just *know* what we want and do it. I blame romantic comedies. While I do love a good chick flick, the guy always seems to just *know* what she wants in the end. So now all women are thinking if our spouse/partner know us well enough, they will just know what we want. *insert eye roll here*

Yeah, right. Losing that misconception in five, four, three, two. . . one.

4. Do not tell him it is "fine" to go do something if your intent is to punish him for the next week. If you don't want him to go, say so. But have a valid reason. Don't say no just because you feel like it. If you've been following along, you know men need their guy time, and if you deny it, it better be a valid reason. Because if your inclination is to say no every single time, it is past time for you to have some self-reflection about your control issues or jealousy issues or whatever else is going on with you. Also, guy's weekend is just that -- guy's weekend. You cannot go. Bachelor parties are for the guys -- not for you. Unglue your hip from his, take off the choke collar and leash, and let him go play. He's going to love you even more.

5. Women (some men, too) communicate loudly and forcefully with one simple activity: the heavy sigh. It conveys so much when one partner is trying to talk. You are telling your husband that you don't give a crap about his point of view, you think he is ridiculous and you wish he would SHUT UP. Let's look at this from the other person's side. How livid (and hurt) would you be if someone did this when you were talking? You have to show respect to someone else's point of view. Especially for your spouse.

6. You do not always have to agree – and that is okay. You are two different people. Of course you aren't always going to agree. That doesn't mean you can't reach some compromise or agree to disagree.

7. Leave the emotions somewhere else when you talk to your hubs. The absolute least productive thing you can do is start sobbing uncontrollably. Yes, your feelings are hurt. But hysterical sobs do one of two things to men: a) they feel guilty and will agree to whatever you want because you are crying and they hate it; or, b) they get angry because you aren't being logical and rational. If you know you can't be rational, then don't have the conversation. There is absolutely nothing wrong with agreeing to postpone a "discussion" for a day or two. Now, before you misunderstand me, I am not saying you cannot cry when you are having a discussion. Things are said during arguments/discussions that hurt. Some issues are very emotional for us. You must focus on being logical and rational because you are far more likely to come to an understanding or agreement when you are acting like a normal person. Men (usually) respond to logic better than anger or tears.

8. Nagging. Okay, I am guilty. So very, very, very, very guilty of this one. It never
occurred to me until recently that the reason nagging doesn't work is because nagging about what he's not done or done "incorrectly," comes across as demeaning and belittling. Not to mention if you do it in front of other people (again, BIG fault of mine), it's downright embarrassing. Try and focus on the positive. Looking only at the negative behaviors in your spouse can be self-fulfilling.

So Bradley, if you are reading this, I sincerely apologize from the bottom of my heart.

9. Stop bringing up past faults/arguments. Man, this is hard to do. I try and succeed sometimes and fail spectacularly others. In the past three months, I have *really* failed spectacularly. I am hurt, I am angry, I feel used, deceived, ignored, and controlled. However, that doesn't mean I need to take every opportunity to remind people what a POS Brad has been to me. Griping about it doesn't change it, and it only makes me look like a bitter, spiteful, scorned woman.

The bottom line is that what happened in the past should stay in the past. You deal with it, and you move on as a couple. If you've got a lurking issue that hasn't been addressed, you need to do so – as a couple -- and then move on. Bury the hatchet, but don't, as Garth said, leave the handle stickin' out.

Gentlemen, your turn.

1. Staring at the floor while we are telling you how we feel is disrespectful and childish. Get your head up. Look us in the eyes. Listen to us. Interact. Show us you are listening.

2. Do not sit there, thinking about what you are going to say whenever I finally shut up. You are so busy thinking about what you want to say that you are missing everything else. And definitely don't sit there and think about things unrelated to the discussion at hand.

3. Remaining stubbornly silent when we are finished is also disrespectful and childish. Act like a man. Show you are worth her love. Tell her how you feel and show her that you understand or are trying to understand how she feels. Clamming up is counterproductive and will destroy your relationship. Try to come to an agreement or concede when you've never thought about things her way. Sometimes I wanted to take Brad by the shoulders and shake him until his teeth rattled because he would not show passion about anything related to our relationship. Argue with me, for Pete's sake! Show me you care!

4. Give her your undivided attention. Continuing to watch TV or text or play your game or clip your toenails is ridiculous. Again, act like an adult. Most of us have kids and are going to get to go through that crap with them. We did not, however, give birth to you. Think of this as a business partnership. I'm pitching an idea that could make or break our company. You'd pay attention then, wouldn't you? Marriage is no different, and definitely more important than your job.

5. Immediately becoming defensive and angry instead of listening needs to stop. So do temper tantrums. You're how old? Sure, no one likes to be criticized or be made to feel they are doing something wrong. But guess what? We aren't perfect. We hurt others. We anger others. When we are in a committed relationship, the person we've chosen to be with is going to see all of your nasty habits and faults and if anyone is entitled to criticize, it is her. If she is trying to be gentle, give her some credit and pull your head out of your butt. Also, trying to intimidate her into giving up is only going to make her hate you, stupid.

6. STOP INTERRUPTING. We aren't finished! Shut up and let us finish. Most of the time, you are jumping to some conclusion without listening to the entire thought process, and you are probably interrupting for no reason. Perhaps if you would shut your piehole and let us finish, you would realize there is no reason for you to throw your two cents in as the issue you *thought* was an issue isn't really. Also, talking at the same time to drown us out only gives us fleeting visions of your mouth + Duct tape.

7. Stop stonewalling. We *know* you don't want to talk about it. We *know* you'd rather play dead. Stalling a discussion serves what purpose? Rip the Band-Aid off, gents, and cowboy up. The issue isn't going to go away and stalling only makes her angrier. Refusing to answer questions is another form of stonewalling (not to mention passive aggressive), and it is unacceptable, too. We know you can think for yourselves. You proved that when you picked us. Flat out refusing to cooperate with your wife shows her you are rejecting her and trying to drive her away. Eventually, we will leave you. Because who wants to be rejected every time she opens her mouth?

8. "I don't know" isn't a freaking answer. I've told you how I feel, then I ask how you feel about it and you say "I don't know?" That's horse pucky, and you and I both know it. You know how you feel. You know what you are thinking. Saying you don't know is thoughtless and selfish. You are telling her you have a complete lack of concern and in fact do not care about her feelings and what she has just said to you. It's just rude and irresponsible. You are married now! You don't get to be irresponsible anymore.

It is also a cop out. You don't want to discuss the problem, so you are going to say "I don't know" in hopes she will get discouraged and quit the entire discussion. Unfortunately, with me, this usually works. Man, I hate being controlled.

9. "Because" is not an answer to any question. Period. You can't spend the majority of our married life trying to get us to mother you and then pull this move. Not only does it tick us off, it shows you have so little respect for us that you think you can treat us like your word is final. For me, my knee jerk reaction is "screw you, buster."

Both men and women:

1. Show appreciation. When he has done something sweet/special/helpful, tell him. I know it is annoying when a man puts a cup in the dishwasher and starts it and then acts like he "did" the dishes, but thanking him for starting the dishwasher is something we should do. Men, say thank you. It's not going to kill you to tell us you appreciate all we do for you. You notice that your drawers miraculously stay full of socks and underwear and t-shirts. Say something about it. Regularly.

For example, I am a huge fan of cards. I love giving and receiving them. I have sent cards to my ex on numerous occasions and it was very rare that he even acknowledged them. Is it any wonder that I felt unloved? It would have taken five seconds for him to shoot me a text that said, hey, I got your card, thank you, I love you. But you guys send pictures of your poop instead.

2. Don't place blame. It only creates defensiveness. It's really hard to do when you are *convinced* the other person is at fault, but if you want to resolve the issue, you must refrain from saying, "This is your fault, you jerkface." Tempting though it may be, the point is to communicate and resolve problems.

3. Stop being passive aggressive. When we bring something up that upsets us, "Sorry I've disappointed you AGAIN" and "I can never make you happy" is your attempt to twist things around and make it somehow our fault for failing to find you perfect. "Fine, you're right, you're always right" in a shitty tone is also unacceptable. Oh. And pretending you are asleep to avoid having a discussion is unbelievable. Grow some stones, for the love of Pete.

4. Get to the point. I am not sure why people do this, but we tend to hem and haw and delay getting to the point as long as we can. By the time you get to your point, you've lost your audience. I like to make a list. That way I can start off with my number one complaint and work my way down, without forgetting to tell him something so that I have to come back and mention something else later. Not only do I get it all out, he doesn't hear new issues every day.

I am sure all of you have communication issues you wish your partner would or would not do. If I've not addressed them above, then please, leave a comment.

Any way we can better ourselves as individuals and as a couple is worth the time. As couples, we have to be unified. There are many ways the outside will scratch, claw and bite at our relationship. If we're unified, we will survive. If there is infighting, we don't stand a chance in hell.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Men vs. Women, Part Four

Let's talk about sex, baby/let's talk about you and me/let's talk about all the good things/and the bad things that may be/let's talk about sex ~Let's Talk About Sex, Salt N Pepa

This one is directed to the ladies. Gentlemen, breathe easy. Sit back, read and enjoy. You guys should love this one.

Girlfriends. Simply put: you aren't giving it up like you should.

I realize things change. I realize when you're working all day then taking care of the kids and the house and all the cooking and cleaning, the last thing on your mind is having sex. You're tired. I get that. If you've been following along, you *know* I get that. A lot of you are reading this and thinking, "Well, if he'd get up off his dead ass and help me, maybe I'd want to do it more often," And for you gentlemen following along, that is absolutely true. However, for you women who are thinking it -- since when did two wrongs make a right? Just like it is wrong for him to sit on his ass and not help, it is equally wrong for you to give it up once every 6-8 weeks. Here's your opportunity to be the better person.

Sex is integral to a relationship. For women, it's an emotional thing (and a pleasure thing). That's why when it's really, really, REALLY good, some of us cry. We cannot help it, and you should not freak out. In fact, getting up and beating on your chest Tarzan style would be appropriate. This is also why we need some cuddle time. Get over it. You can give us five minutes (anything longer than that is excessive, ladies). For men, not only is it a pleasure thing, it is primal. They *need* it. And for both sides, it reminds them that you think they are sexy and good at it and that you love them and want to keep them happy. Either way, both people need the connection. So ladies, by refusing to do it, not only are you doing your spouse an injustice, you are doing yourself one, too. You need the connection. Because if you don't have sex to look forward to, all you've got is a lazy stinky man sitting on the couch playing video games. How are you supposed to stay in love with that???? I am sure it can be done, but it's going to be a heckuva lot easier if you're getting the Big O several times a week.

Women, stop complaining that you don't feel like it. Stop complaining that your libido is gone. That's utter crap. Remember that old Frito Lay's commercial? You can't eat just one? Sex is the same way. Get it once, reach the finish line. . .and you'll be surprised the next day when you are ready again. So what do you do? YOU DO IT AGAIN. Every time you're in that mood, DO IT. Remember back before you had kids and reality hit you like a Mack truck? Remember how you wanted to do it all the time? Remember how you could be at work and think OMG, I want him NOW? Remember the freaky little text messages you'd send? Your libido was out of control then -- because you were doing it regularly. If you don't do it for a while, it becomes less and less and less. It's like any gift -- if you neglect it, you eventually lose it.

So how do you crank your libido back up on your own? Well, the hubs helping around the house would *definitely* help, but take matters into your own hands, so to speak. There are all kinds of fun lotions and potions and lubes, etc., out there for you. Start by molesting your hubby. If you need help getting turned on, figure out what works. As something to note, women are usually auditory, meaning that what will turn most of us quickest on is sound, rather than a visual (men, naturally, are visual).

And make no mistake -- sex is a gift. NOT a chore.

Personally, I don't think it is unreasonable to want it 3-4 days a week at the minimum. Sometimes it doesn't work this way, and I know that. But it should most of the time. And I do not believe we've got to do it at midnight every time. In fact, with me, 10 p.m. is when my nether regions turn into a pumpkin -- usually. Don't wait until I am in bed half asleep to even mention it. And sure, you can wait until the kids are asleep. Or you can park them on the couch with a video and go get it on in the shower. Or you can get up half an hour earlier every morning. Or here's an idea -- lunch hour. If it is feasible for you to meet at lunch, then do it. You don't have to do it in the bedroom, either!

And not to be crude or anything (although if you are reading this blog, you probably know me pretty well), but what is it with you ladies skipping the oral activities all together? I realize it takes a lot longer to warm up our engines, so to speak, but dang. He needs some foreplay, too. Not every time, but certainly more than just on your anniversary! I realize sometimes you are so hot for each other, there is no foreplay whatsoever, but most of the time, unless you are very, very fortunate, it doesn't work that way. Just because he can salute you within seconds of seeing you naked doesn't mean he wants you to skip his fun parts.

Another issue: why rush? The "climb on, do your thing, get off me" attitude isn't scoring you any points with him, nor is it helping you at all. Sure, if you can both win a gold in seven minutes flat, go for it. Just not every time. Nor is it acceptable to fake or not even try to get yourself there. If you are someone who truly has issues achieving the Big O, then you need to see a doctor. If everything's copacetic, then you have to be willing to try other stuff out. Because just like it sucks for you not to be able to get there, again, your man probably isn't impressed with it, either. He probably feels like a failure to some extent. Sometimes you've got to send the kids to a sitter's and take your time with it and play. To hell with dinner. Light some candles and get naked! Relax and enjoy. That's what it is supposed to be about, you know. Enjoyment for both of you.

The benefits of having a regular sex life are phenomenal.

1. You will be in a better mood. Who can have an orgasm and *not* feel like a million bucks?
2. You will feel sexier as a woman.
3. It can also be quite powerful. In the beginning, I could bite my ex in one particular place on his neck, and he was ready to go NOW NOW NOW.
4. He'll be in a better mood, which totally affects you.
5. You will be closer as a couple.
6. Ladies -- it's exercise. No matter how you go about it, you're working your abs, hip flexors, thighs, etc. I don't mind sweating on a treadmill, but for those of you that do, this is a much more enjoyable way to do it, no?

So stop saying no every time the man gets frisky. Do you know what you are doing when you say no? You are rejecting him. Oh, yes, I said it. You are rejecting him. I am sure you remember what it feels like to be rejected. Now think back to how many times you have told him no about sex. How on earth do you think he feels? This man is the love of your life. You made babies with him. And you're rejecting him? I hope you perpetrators of this crime feel guilty as hell. You should. In fact, you should feel so guilty that you go home and attack him. Twice for good measure. *

No one wants to be rejected. And never, ever, ever, EVER forget that there are buzzards and vultures out there, disguised as women, just waiting to steal your man. Why open that door?

Now, before you get all huffy, I know that sometimes you just cannot bring yourself to have sex. Migraines, for example. Regular headaches? Not a good excuse. You know why? Because sex will get rid of that headache. No kidding. If you are truly, physically ill, then you are excused. If the kids are ill and you've been home with them all day, you are excused, too. However, if you want to, then do it. Stop squelching that urge!

In addition, I do not know where it is written in Woman Law that we cannot initiate sex. We can, and we should. This isn't the 1900s. We've discovered the G spot, for heaven's sake. If that doesn't give us the right to be wanton, I don't know what does. It might be the man's job to carry out the garbage, but it is certainly not his job to initiate every single time we have sex.

I also do not know where it is written in Woman Law that we must *only* do it with the lights off. Okay, okay. We are uncomfortable with our bodies (thank you, Playboy and porn). I get that, and I empathize because I've been the same way. But when you are in a comfortable, loving relationship with someone, why is it so hard to believe he loves you just like you are? He doesn't care about your stretch marks from the baby or the dimples on your butt. He loves you because you are a real woman. So turn the lights on. Light some candles. Whatever. But let him see you. And take the opportunity to see him and pay attention to him. I promise you'll like what you see.

Also, last but not least, it is not against the rules to "direct traffic," so to speak. If something doesn't feel good, then speak up. There is no need to be hateful or embarrassed. A simple, "you know, try it here" or "that other thing felt better" is fine. And if it does feel good, say so. You ladies have got to stop making the poor guy run blind. His anatomy is pretty simple. Yours is like a Rubik's cube with half the stickers missing - and everyone's is different!

Now, gentlemen, a word of advice for you:
1. Please, for the love of Pete, if you've been working manual labor all day, shower before you try to get frisky. And brush your teeth. We have no desire to taste what you ate for lunch or smell your sweaty butt.
1. Grabbing our boob is not foreplay. Look it up.
1. You can get creative, too, you know. Your woman might not be ready to go at it outside in the backyard, but I bet if you throw a towel down, you can convince her to do it in your rocking recliner. It's a start, right?
1. Compliment us more. Again, it's an emotional thing for us. Make us feel pretty, and you're going to get it more often.
1. Go back and read the post about laziness. Now read it again. Bookmark it. Read it every day. Now take what you've learned and change the way you behave.
1. If you are the one holding out, stop it. Unless you are gay. And if you are gay, let her go. No straight man should ever turn down sex. If you seriously don't want to do it and you are seriously not gay, take yourself to the doctor. Something could be wrong physically or mentally. Go and have things ruled out.
1. Take your time. I realize every man's goal (and mine, too, shutup) is to beat your fastest time, but you have to remember in this case, someone else is along for the ride and you need to focus there.
1. And if, by chance, you launch over the finish line and leave her still climbing the hill, DO NOT STOP. I don't care if you are hungry. You finish what you started; a sandwich can wait. You've got hands and a mouth. Use them. Heck, let her do it herself because she knows better than you do, but you stay with her. Help her finish.

And yes, I realize those are all labeled number one. They are all equally important.

Next week? I'm not sure yet. But it will be a continuation of Men vs. Women!

* This goes for the male hold-outs, too.

Thursday, August 13, 2009


In the past seven months, I have written seven blogs on myspace in which I talk about the things that are wrong with me. I've written about my anger issues; my poison pen; my depression; my ability to hold a grudge; etc. A former acquaintance said yesterday: Reading through your blog re-illustrates that you still don't think you did much wrong and once again, it is only one side of the coin.

I guess I could re-post all those other blogs from my myspace to here, but that seems like a lot of work to prove someone I don't even like wrong, you know? Plus, he's proven he cannot comprehend what he reads, so he wouldn't get it anyway.

So let's talk about my issues.

1. Anger. Boy, do I have a problem with this. In the past, I've exhibited what my therapist refers to as a "hot rage." I lash out, usually verbally, and pile on the abuse for whatever poor person managed to anger me. If someone insults me publicly, it used to springload me to the pissed off position FAST. In fact, said person from above has seen that with his own two eyes. I have one hell of a poison pen. Now, unfortunately, I have "cold rage." This is when you turn the rage inward instead of outward. Instead of lashing out at others, I mentally lash out at myself. Until I cry for hours. Before we got my meds straightened back out after having Connor, it would get so bad, all I could think about was killing myself. I am working on finding a happy medium. I have faith I will get there. I just hope I do it in time to not teach this behavior to Peanut Man.

2. Grudges. This goes right along with anger. I will usually give you three chances to screw me over, then I'm done with you. And I mean I am *done* with you. Sometimes this isn't such a bad thing, depending on the offense. But if I cut someone off in the hot rage phase, I figure I need to revisit the issues. Like a girl who my best friend and roommate and she lost her mind (she owns that this was her fault). I cut her off for two years. Now we are close again. This has happened with several people -- but only people I liked. If I didn't like you from the beginning, AND you screwed me, yeah, I'm still done with you.

3. Logic. I am always logical. This is a great trait, in that it means I rarely run on emotions (except that pesky anger one) and I have great problem solving skills. On the other hand, I am too logical. I do not just play. I keep myself grounded, never use my imagination or creativity or play games. Can you imagine how boring I am going to be as a mom if I don't stop this? OMG. We've started playing board games (like nightly, seriously). I am having a blast, and it feels really, really good to just play. I think I can get the hang of this. :)

4. Mean. When someone angers me or hurts me, I tend to be as mean as a snake. I say anything and everything that comes to mind. I am also an expert at sarcasm. Unfortunately, I am truly good at it. And then, after the fire is out, I am positively ashamed. O.M.G. WHY do I do this? What possesses me to be so damned hateful to those I love? I will let you know what the therapist says about this. I've got to get this one knocked out before Connor gets much older as well. And holy damn, I have a knack for writing nasty things. My old blogs were naaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaasty about people. I don't write like that anymore. For a long time, I stopped blogging altogether because they were always used against me. That was a bad, bad idea for me because that is where I could let it all out without fighting with my husband. When I stopped blogging, we suddenly fought every day. Coincidence? I think not. If I have something nasty to write out, only select people (if anyone) get to read it. I can't tell you how many shitty responses I have written out to Josh and Michelle. Like 100, at least. I just have to keep reminding myself they don't know anything about anything and they are beneath me. *I* don't have people like that in my life. I do have standards.

5. Apologies. Ooooooo, I *hate* having to apologize. I really, really, really do. Ugh. But if there is anything I learned with my ex, it's that sometimes, not only do you have to apologize when you do wrong, sometimes you have to apologize when you did nothing wrong, too, just to keep the peace. Boo.

6. Pride. Oh yes. I have WAY too much of this. It's one of the seven deadly sins, you know. I am way too proud. There isn't a whole lot to say about this.

7. I am slightly obsessive compulsive. I type my grocery list, by aisle, for heaven's sake. In chart form! One of the things I had to do while I lived with Brad was loosen my standards. I had to relax about clean. I bent as far as I could without breaking. Our pastor told us that we had to compromise. I needed to relax, and he needed to raise his standards. So I did what I could. In the end, he broke me. We never reached a compromise. I'd ask him to help and he'd throw a tantrum. So yeah. I did as much as I could. Anyone who ever visited my apartment and then visited my ex and I later will tell you that holy damn, did I ever relax as much as I could. So see? I can work this one out. It's cool.

8. Have you ever tried to reason with me when I am angry? Good luck with that. I am an obstinate ass. I refuse to listen. I cannot comprehend anyone else's point of view. Only mine. I figured out how to deal with this one, though. I walk away. Usually, I take a drive, until I cool off. If it is a huge offense, you're probably going to get the silent treatement for a couple of days. Then I will sit down and talk with you, when I am no longer angry and I can talk without saying something in anger that would make me have to do number 5. Most of the time, I can make it through it. Sometimes I cannot. But I am definitely getting better with that one.

9. I talk way too damned much.

10. I have a horrible penchant for falling for a man who needs saving. Heck, I do this with people in general. I pick the broken, wounded ones. I can see it in their eyes, and I'm a goner. I want to protect, shield, defend, fix. I am everyone's mom. I am the one people come to when they need help. It is very hard to do, but I am only nurturing and protecting Connor now. No one else. The rest of you are grownups and can do it for yourself. I will help you if I can, but when I start losing myself to you, I quit. That is what happened with my ex and I. I was so busy taking care of him that I forgot to take care of myself.

11. Failure. I have an irrational fear of failure. I think that is why this has been so terribly hard on me. Because I feel like I failed. I feel like I failed Brad, myself, my parents, our friends, and most importantly, our son. Is it all my fault? No. Is it all his fault? No. But I'm the one who feels like I failed. I'm the one who can't eat. I'm the one who cries daily. I'm the one whose heart was broken. No matter how many times I am told this isn't all my fault, and no matter how many times I am told I'm not a failure because I did try so hard, I still feel like I am. And it's killing me.

And as the waterworks just started again, I think that is enough self-reflection for the day.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Men vs. Women, Part Three

I realize I said the next episode would be about sex, but a comment recently posted on my first blog enticed me to change my mind. Danny said: "It's what typically goes UNsaid in relationships that hurts them the most. This is something that should always be said early, and adhered to. If someone changes their mind halfway in, then they either didn't give a shit about you before, and they do now... or vice versa. Either one is deceptive, and deception in a relationship is always wrong. Being wrong is okay, but being misleading is not. Nice work, Amy..."

This blog will be about deception.

Ladies and gentlemen, pretending to be someone you aren't in order to keep someone interested in you is BEYOND screwed up. Do you have such little self-esteem that you cannot comprehend someone could love you knowing all your flaws? Or is it some sort of power trip, knowing that you can completely con another person into loving you with all they have?

Women. You play this foolish game all the time. You find out a man likes football. What do you do? You pretend you like the game. You buy jerseys, t-shirts, etc., all of his favorite team. Now he thinks OMG, how cool is she? But you aren't cool. You're just playing a mind game, trying to get him to like you, based on deception and lies. And you expect a relationship built on this to actually work? WTH is wrong with you??

Frankly, the women who do that absolutely disgust me. I *do* love football. Do not be blasphemous about my game. And while I never cheered for the Bears before I met my ex, I'm pretty impartial about pro ball (other than the Broncos). It wasn't a stretch for me to cheer for a team whose line up is made up of a ton of former Sooners. I'll probably still cheer for the Bears, to be honest. But at least I love the game and never used the Bears as some sort of jacked up leverage to make him like me more. Personally, I know I am fabulous just like I am. If you don't like me, too bad for you.

Here's another thing: sex on the first date. WTH. You barely know the man. Granted, you can live with someone for two years, and still not know who the hell he is, but at least there's some sort of relationship there. There are so many reasons you shouldn't do it on the first date:

1. He ain't taking you home to Momma since you're a slut.
2. You start the relationship off, making it about sex. Relationships based solely on sex will fail EVERY time. This is why booty calls don't work.
3. You have now become another notch in his belt, and don't think for a minute he isn't telling alllllll his guy friends about how he "banged" you first rattle out of the box.
4. You now have zero hope of remaining civil with each other when (not if, WHEN) your relationship goes south.

Men, you are just as bad. You pretend to be fantastic and wonderful, so we will fall for you, when you're really just dirty, rude, lazy, selfish slobs. Some women like that. Most don't. But rather than mislead someone, why don't you do something to change yourself? Being a slob is *not* part of your personality. EVERYONE can improve themselves. Everyone. Just because you have a penis doesn't mean you don't have to evolve as a person.

If you have no intention of showering daily and brushing your teeth regularly or wearing deodorant, how about you start off stinky? Don't start off smelling yummy and then turn into Yuckmouth with BO. If you have no intention of doing laundry and cooking and cleaning after yourself, don't start off doing it in the beginning. If you have no intention of being thoughtful and kind and selfless, don't pretend to be that way! Just be stinky and selfish and lazy from the beginning. At least that way we can make an informed choice. And if you discover no one wants to be with you, then examine YOURSELF. Not the women who have left you. Fix yourself and someone will want to be with you. Otherwise, just stay away from us. You only make yourself look like a complete jerk when you con someone. Eventually, you will have no one left.

Why must everyone play games? BE YOURSELF. Be who you are. Don't have your mother come clean your house so your new girlfriend doesn't know what a filthy slob you are. Don't hide the fact that you are a WoW junkie. Don't be kind and considerate if this isn't part of your nature. Be who you are.

I am cranky and moody. I have anger issues. I can hold a grudge from now until the end of time. I'm bossy, mean as a snake when cornered, and I have OCD. I want things my way, and my way only, end of story. I fart like a pack mule, I have a problem with tequila, I have a potty mouth, I smoke too much, etc. I am sure I have many other bad habits. Who doesn't? My point is, if you know me, then you already know these things. I'm not hiding my true self from anyone. There are very few people who actually understand me, and while that is tiring, who cares in the end? You all know who I am, the good and the bad. There's no sense in hiding yourself from others. It's going to come out eventually, and it's going to be ugly when it does. No one likes being deceived.

And, as Danny said, it's the things that are left unsaid in relationships that do the most harm. You are so busy trying to hide your true self from him or her, and trying to be someone you aren't, that all sorts of things are left unsaid. Talk about your expectations from each other. Talk about your goals in life. Talk about your stance on marriage, children, divorce, religion, politics, everything. Give yourselves the ability to make an INFORMED decision about each other and go from there. And by the way, families are important. Even if your family isn't a big part of your life, they're important, in one way or another.

Bottom line: stop lying to make yourself look good. It's immature and just wrong. Either be yourself or stay away from romantic relationships all together. And if who you really are is such a turn off to the opposite sex, there are books for that. Therapy also.

Next installment: may or may not be about sex. :)