Relationships are about working communication and working together. If any of the work to maintain the relationship is one-sided, it can be a bit much for the person who's taken those tasks on. And with me unable to do a great deal lately, that which I was doing for our home has fallen to Becky...
...and she was never really set to handle those tasks to begin with. When we were not living together, she would make the statement that she needed to do some cleaning because her place was a disaster. And when she would make that statement, it would go through my head, Oh, it can't possibly be as bad as she makes it sound. Well, I was wrong. I mean, you can actually tell which side of the bed is mine because you can still see the floor. This isn't to say I'm some kind of neat freak. My old housemates can attest to that. 'Tis a fond memory, the vast tower of empty diet root beer cans in my room...
But that mess was in MY space, and not the rest of the house. Now that my personal space also belongs to Becky, I try not to let such great piles gather in my wake. My beloved...not so much. The thing is, I can understand to an extent the disasters. Her school semester just ended, but while it was in session, I knew that there were plenty of moments where she needed to drop everything and run off to class. The same applies to the paying job that she has.
The problem is that, upon her return, the messes get ignored, and she moves on to other projects that are guaranteed to create more trash. And so the piles grow...and grow...and grow. By the time it's decided that these piles need to be addressed, they're projects that will require a great deal of time to clear up.
Now, I love her with all of my heart. Unfortunately, I'm her husband-to-be, and not the guy who has to play the role of a parent telling his kid to clean up. It's humiliating for her, which makes me feel like a jerk. With neither of us feeling good about such chats, I keep trying to bring an end to the bad habit of letting a small mess become a large one.
The task of having such talks, however, isn't easy. Becky's past romantic interests had the habit of making her feel like trash. Their way was the right way, no matter what. And what makes it worse is that I am, in fact, right in this particular instance. To need to have this discussion...Well, my love was sure to become emotional and, at the very least, tear up. No matter what I say, no matter how gently I approach the subject, Becky gets upset. Offering her every opportunity to defend herself during such a chat doesn't help, as the wrongness of the messes themselves means instant defeat for her.
And so we had the chat this evening. She curled up against me, and I broached the subject as gently as possible, only to watch her sit silently, looking like a kid being reprimanded. I was feeling like crap at doing this to her, but then some of these piles can be dangerous to me. (I want to take trips WITH her, not over things she's left behind.) The tears began filling her eyes...
...and then she exploded. Well, it seemed that way. Her upset became a comedic moment because she seemed to LITERALLY burst into tears. One moment she was sitting there, taking the siftest verbal lashing I could dish out, and the next the tears seemed to squirt from her eyes. Thus, the seriousness of the chat was broken when I cried, "Oh my G-d, you a'sploded!"
We got past this needed conversation. And as a kind of retribution, Becky used my shirt to mop up her tears. It probably won't be the last such chat. This is bad behavior embedded in her, as is the occasional sarcastic comment from me. We both need to work on ourselves a bit to improve. Still, with the knowledge that there will be more discussions in the future, I can only hope her "a'sploding eyes" will be on hand to break up the tension.
Be well, all, and DFTBA!