About the Author

Honey's main interests are online dating, long distance dating, and long term relationships. She met her boyfriend on MySpace and they have been exclusive since their first date over three years ago. Currently they live in Tempe, Arizona. Honey graduated with her PhD in Composition and Rhetoric in May 2009. You can contact Honey via email here or online here.

How to Deal When Things Get Rough

I won’t lie, peeps.  The last month or so has been pretty horrible.  I had just given Jake the go-ahead to look for jobs in other states because he’s so miserable and pissed off all the time at his current job that he’s afraid it’s going to be the demise of our relationship.  And while I currently have no plans to end things, I know why he’s afraid of that happening – he is terrible at compartmentalizing his anger and so when he’s frustrated he does any of the following:

  1. Avoids coming home (which he does to spare me his moods but which he doesn’t tell me about until the last second, which leads to me preparing intricate home-cooked meals he’s not around to eat, or me passing on invitations to go out with my own friends and then him calling me at 8 p.m. to say he’s going out, and it’s too late for me to resurrect my own plans),
  2. Comes home and picks a huge fight with me for basically no reason (like us being out of Propel or me cooking his favorite fish as a surprise for him when apparently he didn’t want fish that day),
  3. Plays video games for 5+ hours at a time and doesn’t talk to me (he bought a PS3 recently).

He (almost) always apologizes for these things, but it certainly isn’t stopping him from doing it in the first place.  We haven’t had sex in almost a month and a couple of times I found myself Googling apartments and hotels because I just didn’t know what to do.  (For the record, I still tried to initiate sex – after the fifth or so time he “rainchecked” me I gave up.)

And of course, we had out-of-town guests (his cousin and her boyfriend) for almost a week in the middle of this, and he threw his back out and was in excruciating pain for almost 2 weeks but his doctor would only give him prescription-strength ibuprofen, and no sooner had he decided to look for other jobs than they practically doubled his already terrible workload (he’s been going in on weekends again). 

Then last week, he had a HUGE showdown with his supervisor, who had asked Jake to do something that he felt was really ethically sketchy and lo and behold, legal action was almost taken against them and his supervisor tried to throw him under the bus for the whole thing (fortunately there were email records to numerous people documenting Jake’s objections to his supervisor’s plan, and Jake had also refused to sign off on what was produced so his name wasn’t legally associated with it).  But it’s hard to find the time to look for another job when you’re already working 80+ hours/week.

I’m not really sure what, if anything, I can do – it’s a hard line for me to tow because the only way I know to not be upset with how I am being treated in all this is to completely distance myself from him emotionally, which I don’t think is the best plan.  I already do all the cooking, cleaning, laundry, taking out the trash, and grocery shopping so he doesn’t have to worry about it, and while he thanks me every once in awhile, mostly I think he is too miserable to even notice all the things I do.  Anyone else out there been through this?

The Good News

We went bowling on Saturday for a friend’s birthday and had a great time (and I met someone who might turn out to be a friend for me), and then on Sunday we went to the Chandler Ostrich Festival, complete with petting zoo, ostrich racing, carnival food and rides, etc.  This is apparently his favorite annual event in the area (he used to go every year but hadn’t been since we started dating), and we had actually the best time that we’ve had in a long time, which was a relief.  I also sent him an email last week:

I know that you’ve been in pain lately because of your back and busy because of work, your cousin visiting, etc.  I am really glad that we talked the other night and I appreciated your thanks (for all I do) and your apology (for how crazy it’s been the past few weeks).

But the truth is, that the last month or so I have been lonelier and sadder and angrier than I’ve felt in a long time.  What I really need is for you to take the lead in planning a romantic date for us that is followed by hot sex.  Could we do that?

And he sent me the following reply:

Absolutely baby.  Not a problem.  It probably won’t be within the next two days because 1) I was super tired this morning and think a day of rest is in order (I have worked the last 6 days straight – remember I went in on Sunday), and 2) tomorrow is the Ostrich Festival, so that probably won’t work either.  But early next week looks good!  Sorry if I’ve been neglecting my Honey lately…

Love, Jake

So we’ll see how that pans out.  In my own personal news, due to not adjusting my withholdings last year when I had furlough, I got a $1500 tax return.  I am going to buy a bike (finally!) and a couple of other things I have been putting off (spending probably $350 total), but mostly I threw it at my debt.  I finally paid off the only cash advance I ever took out (in 2003, to pay the movers when I came out to AZ because they wouldn’t take a credit card and held my stuff hostage until I brought them cash) thanks to the new CARD act dictating that my payments would go to the highest interest balance first.  It also brings my total credit card debt to to just over $2K, so I’m on track to be credit-card-debt-free by this summer.  I’m totally stoked!

Also, the Fiji thing fell through…because they are sending me to London for a week instead!  It is a four-week study abroad, and I am teaching one of the four weeks (the other 3 folks teaching are tenured faculty, so I’m totally stoked about being asked to do this).  I get to determine all the readings and assignments myself, and they are paying for my travel, accommodations, and a $50 per diem for food (and breakfast is covered as part of the accommodations, so that’s only for lunch and dinner).  For my portion of the trip/course we are going to Stonehenge, Bath, Oxford, the Wellcome Museum, and the Science Museum, none of which I’ve been to despite having been to London before, so that’s pretty fantastic, though I am a bit nervous about trying to teach undergrads Foucault!

Plus it looks like if Jake wants to go, he can probably stay with me at my accommodations for no extra cost, so for him it would just be the plane ticket and food.  Next on the list is seeing if we can fly in early or stay late and spend a couple days in Amsterdam.

How are things in your neck of the woods?

If you enjoyed this post on the ups and downs of dating, you might also enjoy:

  • http://www.beforewisdom.com beforewisdom

    I know jobs and money are scarce. I had a friend was working 90 hrs a week. Real go getter. Well, it got to her. She wanted better work/life balance. At 90h hrs a week she couldn’t think of what she wanted.

    She saved up a stash of cash, gave notice, quit, took some time to decompress, decide what she wanted and looked for a new job.
    .-= beforewisdom´s last blog …Old Souls =-.

  • http://katwilder.com Kat Wilder

    This economy and the extra work most of us are dealing with at work because of layoffs are adding a lot of stress on relationships.

    You have to keep coming back to the core of each other, and realize this, too will pass.

    As for holding off on making plans, Honey, I used to be very guilty of that, and then I’d get pissed — I’m putting my life on hold to put him first, why doesn’t he do that for me? etc.

    Now, I just go about doing what I want to (after checking in on the weekend, asking, how does your week ahead look?). The pressure’s off him and me. Whenever I worry about how little it sometimes seems, I remember, hey, we have a lifetime to do that …
    .-= Kat Wilder´s last blog …Can you be too pretty? =-.

  • http://honeyandlance.com Honey

    @beforewisdom, yes, Jake’s new plan is to make just above the minimum payments on his credit cards and save up a big emergency fund, rather than trying to pay off his remaining credit cards as fast as possible, which has been his plan up to now. That will give him a lot more flexibility.

    @Kat, yes, I totally forgot to add that it is sounding like we are going to get a 2.75% pay cut at my work this year….which is the exact same amount that was “cut” last year through furlough EXCEPT WE DON’T GET 12 DAYS OFF. We expect more news soon.

    But yes, I think I am going to start just making my own plans a bit and just checking in with him.

    Oh, and we totally had hot sex last night and set a date night for this Saturday. Hooray!
    .-= Honey´s last blog …How to Deal When Things Get Rough =-.

  • http://demetershouse.wordpress.com Demetershouse

    There’s nothing worse than being in a miserable job. I think it’s even harder for men because they tend to not compartmentalize work . . . if there’s a problem at work, it leaks into all the areas of their lives.

    You have an open invitation to call me for drinks whenever Jake decides he has to stay late at the last minute (starting a few months from now, lol).

  • http://cheekiebacktalk.blogspot.com cheekie

    hang in there darlin’…it will get better.
    rough patches happen to the best of us, and a relationship
    is a marathon – not a sprint right?

    you have a lot on your plate, so don’t forget to do some nice things for you too. hard I know, but you have to.

    a crap job can really affect you, I know I’ve been there, and really play with your mind. you start to feel unappreciated, insecure, hopeless.

    keep the faith, and London sounds like a blast. I’m jealous!


  • http://honeyandlance.com Honey

    Demi, I seriously can’t wait until you get your sweet tushie moved here!

    Thanks, cheekie. I joined Massage Envy and have been treating myself to some massages on a regular basis…and I have my own plans 3 nights this week.

    I know he doesn’t like to confide in me about how much he hates his job, partly because he doesn’t want to whine, partly because there’s nothing I can do about it, and partly because I love my job, work half as much as he does, and am paying off my credit cards faster than he is. He’s happy for me, but we can hardly commiserate!
    .-= Honey´s last blog …How to Deal When Things Get Rough =-.

  • http://simonandcole.com Simon

    I think I may have mentioned this on your blog before, but I really like how I can get lost in these posts, especially after not having read for awhile. You and Jake seem like TV characters that I haven’t been watching lately. It’s always intriguing to watch TV obviously, but I think what makes this much better is that I KNOW the situations are real and truly affecting people. Knowing that makes it much easier to follow.

    Good luck with everything, Honey….I’ll be back much more frequently. I look forward to hearing about the ups and downs of London. I lived there for six months awhile back and I can’t wait to read your stuff and get incredibly jealous.

  • http://www.financialsamurai.com Samurai

    Honey, hope you two can get busy soon!

    Just wondering, did you ever read my article entitled “How To Get Your Super Motivated Boyfriend To Marry You?” I don’t know how old Lance is, but the article will hint at what’s going on in guy’s minds, for a stronger relationship going forward.

    .-= Samurai´s last blog …“Capitalism: A Love Story” DVD Review & Giveaway =-.

  • http://honeyandlance.com Honey

    Thanks for stopping by, Sam! We actually had hot sex 2 out of the 3 nights since I posted this and he’s taking me on a date Saturday (and is very excited and dropping hints about how much fun we’ll have), so things are looking up.

    I read your post and left a comment – I really liked it! Jake and I have set a date for May 12, 2012 and we’re very excited!
    .-= Honey´s last blog …How to Deal When Things Get Rough =-.

  • http://www.financialsamurai.com Samurai

    Oh wow, congratulations on the engagement!!!!

    I will have to re-read your comment, sorry about that.

    Glad things are working out for y’all. It’s so funny to compare our writing styles and openness levels in the blogosphere :)


    .-= Samurai´s last blog …Treat Your Job As If You Won The Lottery =-.

  • http://www.backmassagershandheld.com/ riz @ back massagers hand held

    It’s hard to deal when things get rough, generally. But if there will be specific problems, which you know the solution already, even if it gets rough, you can deal with it.