Friday, 29 January 2010

The Undercurrent

There has been a bit of an undercurrent in my life since Christmas and New Year which has been somewhat overshadowed by general festive activities and new year and The Americans trip over.

Because to be honest, 2010 didn’t get off to the greatest of starts for the boyfriend. And in turn, that means my 2010 didn’t get off to the greatest of starts because I guess when you live together his problems = your problems.

It all started at the end of last year when there began to be rumblings at the boyfriend’s firm (he’s a big bad solicitor) about the future of the branch that he currently works for. We kind of put them to one side and tried not to think about them over Christmas and New Year but on his return to work it became clear that things were potentially pretty serious and that come April, he may not have a job.

He’s had his CV out there in the mix for a few weeks now when another opportunity presented itself. The chance for most of his department to be moved, en masse, to another firm in Manchester. Normally this would make me dance around like a loon because I love the Manchester. But unfortunately it doesn’t come at a great time for me in my job. I can’t leave just yet because I’m on the verge of getting my name on a real-life publication and yet at the same time I don’t particularly want to stay because I’m not really a happy bunny. And it’s not fair to ask the boyfriend to commute 4 hours every day; I feel guilty enough that he goes back and forth from Sheffield at the moment.

So everything’s a little up in the air. It could be that he takes the job but doesn’t have to leave for a few months, then he’s happy to do a few months commuting while I get things wrapped up at work and then we move to the city of dreams. No idea what I’ll do there, that’s a whole other bridge I can’t even think about crossing just yet.

Then add to this the fact that we found out just after New Year that his Grandma has terminal cancer. She’s had a great life, she just celebrated her 90th birthday and she actually fought off cancer once before about 20 years ago, but this time there’s nothing to be done and even though she has had a long fulfilling life, it’s horrible to even think about. We’re basically in a situation where everybody is just waiting for her to die.

At the same time as all this exploded, the boyfriend had just gone cold turkey and come off the cigarettes. He wasn’t a chain smoker, probably about 5/6 a day but there’s been a definite change in his mood since coming off them.

Job uncertainty + relative dying + nicotine withdrawal = tense times.

And I’m at a bit of a loss to be honest. I don’t really know what I can do to make things better or make things easier at least. I’m not great in situations where there’s pressure involved, it tends to make me run away. And I’ve mentioned before that I’m rubbish at saying the right thing or expressing real emotions so I don’t think that I’ve been the best partner at the moment.

Luckily the nicotine withdrawal has now subsided and his mood is definitely better, which is a relief. My lovely, even-tempered, laid-back boyfriend turned into a moody git that I wanted to punch in the face so badly that at one point I told him to start smoking again because I couldn’t be dealing with it.

But there are still times when he is quiet and obviously contemplative and it’s those times that I struggle with. Apart from asking him if he’s ok (which he clearly isn’t) and telling him that he can, and indeed has to, talk to me about anything then I can’t see what else I can do. When he’s quiet should I be quiet too? Or should I prattle on like a demented woman, desperate to lift the mood?

These are the times that aren’t so much fun when you’re living together. If we weren’t I could leave him to it and return back to my Mum’s house and escape from the feelings of inadequacy but right now I have to stick with it. Don’t get me wrong, things aren’t all bad, we’ve been smiling and having fun and there have been plenty of happy moments but, like I said at the start of this epic post, there is an undercurrent which occasionally surfaces, before dipping back down below. I guess I just have to ride it out until it submerges itself for good.


P said...

Why is it that when one bad thing happens, things just seem to snowball and everything goes wrong at once??? Soooo not good.

It'll all work itself out somehow though, things always do.

Keep smiling. :)

sallyrose45 said...

Word up.

Sit on the troublesome eggs, wait a bit, and they will hatch.

I think, as females, we all try to solve problems, lift the mood or 'figure things out' when they go a bit wobbly. We like to talk and air out our inner feelings because translating things from thoughts to words is somewhat like therapy for us.

For guys? It seems to me that they like to withdraw, mull things over in what seems like an unbearable lifetime of silence to us and then eventually they come back to life again.

It's so difficult waiting for a guy to end the silence.

Your best bet? Offer him a cup of tea occasionally and just keep a low tone and secretly call all your girlfriends to let off steam!

You can't make things move any faster, you've just got to wait it out.

Sucks, but if you go along for the ride, it makes it a hell of a lot easier than procrastinating and waiting for things to happen, because they inevitably will happen anyway.

PHEW! All this before I've finished my lamb and cous cous.

Hmm, much love, xxx

Trish said...

Oh careful for those undercurrents....don't let them pull you under. After 30 years (yep...coming up this summer but I'm actually very very young...grin...)....after 30 years of living with a very very very quiet and reserved man, I have learned to just be me...fret and worry...but give him space. Yep.... I think if our personalities is what drew these fine men to us...they don't expect us to become suddenly complacent and someone else. But giving space for someone is so important anyway n'est pas? Especially when it comes to how men handle careers....death etc. I can so relate sweetie...been to these exact places in my life. Hang in there...I can tell you are a sweetheart of a partner for your boyfriend!

Trish said...

of course, my word verification had to be...."slugem"...grin!

Diane said...

Oh dear, thats not a good start is it. I have no words of advice, but the downs in life are what make the "ups" worth living for. I hope that his nan is not in too much pain, and I am glad she has had a good life. Bless. xxxxxx

Petit Filoux said...

Hum it's really not an easy one.... I'm not very good either when my boyfriend has problems, it's usually me who does, so I don't always know how to react, and i certainly can't seem to read his mind very well, which doesn't help. I guess if he's like any other guy, it might be best to leave him to it when he's in a funny mood, give him a bit of time to himself, but other times, when it's not too bad, then try and cheer things up. Good luck with the job thing, it's not easy trying to both get jobs in a similar area, especially at the moment - but Manchester is a big place, so if you followed him there there's a good chance you could find something there (or even Liverpool which isn't far) x

The Curious Cat said...

Hey, I hope it has helped to write it all out and reflect on things? Life is never easy but if you can get through this, it will make you stronger. I think, as cheesy as it sounds, you should have a delve into Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus. I was fascinated with how men deal with break-ups when I first broke up from my boyf and did some research into male thinking and how they handle issues/problems. It appears that a lot of people who write on the topic - John Gray being one - say that men often go quiet and seem distant because they are slowly chewing/sorting out the problem and issues in their heads. So...if this is true, then it is probably best to just give him some space and quiet to resolve it internally... but hey, I'm no expert. I'd do what you feel is best and I'm sure it will all sort itself out soon. In the meantime, when he is grumpy, I'd personally get out of the house and go for a walk to get some fresh air - visit a friend or someone else. Thinking of you and hope you'll be okay - feel free to write more if you need to! xxx

The Curious Cat said...

PS Do you realise Sally Spoon is my sister?! :) xxx

Florence and Mary said...

Sorry to hear 2010 hasn’t started off too well, I do hope everything works out for you

Victoria xx

sallyrose45 said...

Ha ha, good to see that the Curious Cat took my advice on Men are from Mars... It's a bit cheesy, but has some good little bits!

Hmm, xxx