Wednesday, October 8, 2008

baby steps

After I posted yesterday (and if you haven't read that one, you might want to do that first, just so you can catch up) I took a long nap. I woke up to a text message from Sgt.

"Hey, I think you're asleep right now but I'm still at school, should be heading home in the next 30 min or so!"

I wrote back: "ok! Want anything in particular for supper tonight? Drive safe, love you."

I'm trying....

Sgt: "Hi! No no special requests"

I notice that he doesn't respond to my "I love you" - ouch.

KJ: "Ok, well I think I'm going to head to Kroger in a few so if you think of anything you want/need, just holler!"
Sgt: "Why are you going to the store? I went grocery shopping Sunday"
KJ: "I don't know, haven't looked to see what we have yet and don't know what I want to make"
Sgt: "lol ok! your show!"
KJ: "lol not really babe, just thought I'd cook for us but it's whatever, no big deal!"
Sgt: "Grrrr"
KJ: "WHAT?! Stop trying to fight with me when I'm trying to be nice to you, please! Jeeze"

Now, it would appear that tone of voice and lightheartedness got lost in translation via texting... but it was just another piece of salt in the wound.

I left the house with the full intention of going to Starbucks for a few hours and just sitting. He still wasn't home and the selfish side of me thought something along the lines of "Ha, we'll see how he likes it when I'm gone and he doesn't know where I am." - I know, I'm a jerk, but I was also hurt. It doesn't make up for that thought process but I can see how I would come to that conclusion. As I'm driving though, it's raining and I start to think about him being worried.... and about how maybe I could just go home and be happy and the whole text message debacle could be forgotten. So, I went to Kroger and got Acorn Squash for supper, then stopped at Starbucks and got us each a coffee and headed home. Less than 30 min trip. When I pulled into the driveway his car was there, right about then he sends me another text message

"And here my cocky butt thought you wouldn't miss me coming in in uniform, haha! Still at the store?"

He's trying.

"I DO miss seeing you come in in uniform! I'm in the driveway :) see ya in a sec."

When I walk inside he is still in uniform. He waited to change just so I could see him, because he knows it makes me happy. In this whole coming out of the muck thing, I'm trying to see every little detail. I put the squash down in the kitchen and then go hug him, and we ask how our days were. He then says "Ok, now that you're here, I'm gana go change."

I followed him into the bedroom and layed on the bed, and we talked about the day as he changed out of uniform. Then he asked if he could come and lay beside me and if we could take a short nap together. "Of course" is my reply." "Let me go start supper first" as he's setting the alarm clock he stops and turns to me and says "How about, you not worry about dinner for right now and just lay here with me" - he didn't say it in a mean or snarky way.... just matter of factly, he wanted me to stay.

And as we're laying there he says "We still need to keep talking about all this" "I agree" so we start to talk. And talk. And talk. And we talked for the next two hours, in the bedroom, laying in bed. Sometimes laughing, sometimes crying (well, I cried), he's trying to keep it light as to not hurt my feelings anymore, I know it hurts him too when he sees me sad. We wrestle and cuddle and growl at each other. "Grrrr" is a common comment today. Slowly, painstakingly repetitive at times, we talk.

A lot of it makes me sad and is stuff I don't want to hear. He says "we just need to be honest about where we are in our relationship, we've been together for so long but really..... we haven't been able to 'be together' except for the last three weeks" - this hurts... and yet, I agree with him for the most part. Although a deployment and the short time we had together before that still constitutes as a part of our journey... it is almost like trying to learn about each other all over again. I think the Army calls it reintegration :). It still sucks though. What I keep hearing him say is "we need to take a step back" - not in a breakup sort of way, but we were talking about getting married. He was shopping for a ring, had already spoken with his family, and was going to ask my dad over thanksgiving.... (he told me all of this while we were talking) and now as all this is happening around us, he thinks we're not ready, that we still have issues to work on, and while neither of us wants out, or wants to take a step back, it may very well be necessary. This hurts a LOT. I start to cry and he takes my face in his hands "Baby, I love you, and I love you enough to believe you deserve to have no doubts, and right now you do, so we just have to work on it. Our faith and our trust in each other... before we continue with any of those plans... please don't cry" "this is just hard... sorry, I'm trying not to. It's just, two weeks ago you wanted to marry me and now you don't so I'm just trying to take it all in"

The minutes drag on and I am unsure of how to feel. I know he's right... and I know it's OK to take a step back, to just be in love, to work on us, and to not feel pressured to jump to the next step if we're not ready. And maybe we're not ready, but we did everything we could... I feel a little bit like a failure. It's not like we haven't known each other for a few years, we've seen each other at our best, and at our worst. We've talked about what we want in our lives and what we don't want. We've done all the questions and we've done the devotional together and I am ill prepared to believe that none of that counts. Not that that's all that matters, but just because we're at a point in our relationship where we're trying to sort through something doesn't mean that everything we believed about ourselves and about where we're going, is wrong.

I kept asking him "so what now?" and he didn't ever have an answer other than "I don't know" but we agreed to just work on us as a couple, and not talk about or put pressure on ourselves to be the "almost engaged" couple or the "moving in together" couple and even though I'm a little heartbroken about the loss of those goals for the moment... I am trusting that this is going to be better for us in the long run. God, I hope it is.

When it was all over with he hugged me for a long time and said "I'm not going anywhere, I don't want to go anywhere, this does not mean I love you less, it just means we get to take time - you just have to get to a place babe where you believe that." How do you convince someone that you know they love you and you know that they want to be with you, when they are stubborn and only think that deep down, I doubt it?

We both have work to do, I will agree to that. And I'm very thankful that he's patient enough with me and that I love him enough to be patient. Every day it gets a little better... and we still have 3 weeks.

After our long long talk I made the squash and we cuddled on the couch and watched the presidential debate (cause that's the kind of nerdy thing we like to do together). We went to bed and this morning I woke up and made us breakfast and it was wonderful. We had a really good morning, so here's to hoping for a good day and a good evening when he gets home. One day at a time, right?

All prayers, as always, are very much appreciated and welcomed.

4 comments:

Lindsay

Oh KJ- I've been there. I've so been there. It was about 5 months ago. Only the situation was somewhat reversed. *R* was pushing to get engaged and I had to tell him no. Not that I didn't want to marry him, I just wanted it to be the right time.

If we would have done it then, I would have doubted us. I would have been worried about what was happening, and if we were making the right decision or an impulsive one. So I said No. He was so angry and hurt, and I can understand why. But he eventually came to understand, and now we can laugh and joke about it. He even will admit that he is glad we have waited this extra time.

Now, 5 months later a lot has changed but not the fact that we love each other. And now we know for a fact, that we are ready for the next step. I feel confident and happy. I feel like when he actually "pops the question" I can be ecstatic just like I had always pictured instead of being happy but worried behind the smile.

You may have just inspired me to post about this change in our relationship. I know what you're going through hurts, it hurts so much. But try to keep in mind the end goal. To be in a relationship where both you and Sgt. are happy, fulfilled, in love and feel free to be honest with one another. In the long run, this can help strengthen your relationship.

If I can help at all, please feel free to email me! We're here for you!

Roxanne

I think this will def be better for you two in the long run. No sense in rushing it like you said! Don't worry girl, soon you'll settle into a dull boring ass relationship :P Grow for now and everything will fall into place!

Becca

Hey KJ! I've read your blog for awhile, but have been too lazy to comment.
Moving in together is the hardest adjustment ever in a relationship. Now I did mine after getting married and spending 2 years of dating on opposite coasts. It is ROUGH! You have to learn to fight face-to-face, you have to learn how to balance couple time and personal time.. you have to learn what it's like to be with each other face-to-face during the good, bad, and ugly. And it can be HARD! But like everything in relationships, you'll find a balance, a way that works for you as a couple and you will come out stronger because of it.
And while it hurts to hear Sgt. say that he wants to "take a step back" don't fret! Everyone gets cold feet about things, I remember getting a cold feet phone call 3 months before the wedding of K. completely freaking out.. but it was fine, it was normal to freak out. Getting married is a huge step, and when Sgt. asks you to marry him, you want to know that there is no doubt in his heart! You want to know that he is happy and excited and can't wait for the next step, rather than doing it out of obligation, etc.
I have faith that after every thing I've read about the two of you that you will come out on the other side of this stronger and happier as a couple.. just keep doing what you are doing, and you will find your stride!

Lindsay

And I forgot to say that I think Carrie Underpants (as *R* calls her) should be smacked for that song.