We Made It Work

I’m writing out my life in a timeline, so to experience my story the way its supposed to be told, start at I Was That Girl In School… then proceed chronologically by post date.

I can hear your thoughts… So what happened with you and Boyfriend? How did you move on? 

Slowly but surely, we picked things back up from where we started: we would go on dates, he would come spend time with my family at family game nights, and I started attending church services with him at Mrs. Saintly’s church. We fell in love all over again and felt that this love was so much stronger than our previous love. We felt as though our bond was indestructible having survived what we had. Apologies were exchanged and we were looking to the future.

For our 5 year anniversary, I wanted to do something special for him, so I talked a family friend into letting us borrow his beach condo for a weekend. It was early March, so we weren’t going for the typical beach activities, but he had never seen the ocean, so I figured it would be a nice surprise. We woke up early, walked the beach during sunrise, spent the day at a museum,  had dinner at a nice seafood restaurant, and that night, Boyfriend and I consummated our relationship. The sudden change in his celibate lifestyle was not what I was expecting out of that weekend, though I was happy that he chose me to be his first. But for me, it was too late. I enjoyed my first experience with him, but afterwards, while he was sleeping, I locked myself in the bathroom and cried. I wanted more from the experience; I wanted it to have been my first time, but the past changes for no one…

The weeks that followed, I felt a desire to share my thoughts with Boyfriend, but didn’t know how to bring them up, so I kept them to myself.

It came time for me to fly the coop. I had received my Associate’s degree while living with my parents and it was time for me to head to university to work on my Bachelor’s, which meant moving. I was only moving to the next town over, so Boyfriend and I were able to see each other over the weekends. We made it work.

One year into my two year stint at university, Boyfriend got accepted to university himself, but his was 200 miles away. The distance wasn’t the only strain that this move provided; he was joining a military university that had strict rules. The first week he was there, we had no contact. That may not seem like much to some, but it felt like the end of the world to me. We made it through the first week and continued talking, texting, Facetiming, whenever possible. I even sent him love letters, because, well, I’m a romantic. He wasn’t allowed to leave campus, so when I was able to get away from work and school and had saved up enough money, I would take trips to see him. I always cried when I had to leave. I hated being so far away from him, but we made it work.

I finally graduated with my Bachelor’s and decided to move to be closer to Boyfriend since he still had 2 more years left at school. I lined up a job at his university only days after graduation and moved in with a mutual friend from high school until I could find a place of my own. Things felt like they were finally coming together: I had graduated with my degree, I had a good job, I found a place to live, I was back to living in the same town as Boyfriend; I was turning into a functioning adult. During Boyfriend’s summer break, he had a hard time finding a job in the area, so he decided to move back home to work his old job. He left and I was on my own. He returned for the fall semester and I was happy to have him back, though with him having to live on campus, his classes, military events and me working 9-12 hours a day between 2 jobs (to provide for the two of us), we saw each other very little, but we made it work.

We both started feeling the strain on our relationship, but we didn’t talk about it. Instead, when we had time to spend together, we would revel in one another’s company. Let me tell you: that is not how a healthy relationship works.

I finally got up the courage to question our relationship with Boyfriend. “We’re acting more like roommates than a couple now a days, don’t you think?” He shrugged it off. He obviously didn’t see how much I was hurting. I wanted his approval. I wanted his praise. I wanted his thanks. I wanted him to show me he loved me, and not just say those three meaningless words out of habit. I wanted him to reciprocate the love I showed him instead of expecting it from me.

Some would say we celebrated our 8 year anniversary; though it was quite a milestone, it didn’t seem as joyous an occasion I had once hoped for. It was just another day filled with work and school between the two of us, but that evening, I was determined to make it more memorable; to show him that I thought the world of him and that I was lucky to have him in my life. I took him out for a night on the town. He was on his phone throughout the evening posting pictures and commenting on friends’ posts. He knew that that was a pet peeve of mine; it’s rude, it’s disrespectful, it’s tactless. My concern was met with defensiveness when I asked him to put it away. “You have a phone, too,” he said without so much as looking up to address me.

Weeks after our anniversary, I felt disconnected from him. He wasn’t so much my Boyfriend anymore as I felt responsible for him; almost like I became a maternal figure:

Did you write your paper that’s due tomorrow? Do you have any laundry that needs done? Have you talked to your family lately? Do you need money for tuition? For books? Do you have enough money on your meal plan?

I didn’t sign up for this. It was one thing to take care of someone and make sure that they want for nothing, but when that generosity was not acknowledged, there for, not appreciated, that’s when I gave up.

14 thoughts on “We Made It Work

  1. Pingback: We Made It Work – I'm not a keeper

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