OT: Week Two Begins
These blogs are purely selfish and I'm using them to try to grow as a supportive partner and to process my complex emotions that stem from my fear of abandoment and anxious attachment style while my SO is away for a month. Thankfully, I also have weekly appointments with my therapist and we met today. It is helping. woosah
In addition to working through this new territory, I also wouldn't mind tips from people who are in relationships where one or both partners spend chunks of time apart for hobbies or special interests. Particularly if you have an anxious attachment style like I do. How do you stay grounded and/or connected when communication is limited or not possible?
I've been thinking back to life before technology. Throughout time, there were people who tended to stay put and maybe never left their county or country, let alone their own town their whole entire lives. Then there were the adventurers, the explorers and those who had to seek their fortunes far from their families.
My lot is much easier because technology exists so that people can stay connected while apart. I have made sure my SO knows that my expectations are not high while he's off on his adventure and may be out of cell phone or wifi range, but it hurts when I can see he's active on social media, even if it's just briefly, but a text I've sent goes without a response overnight or for hours. It would be really nice to keep that loving connection going until it's not possible which is most likely during his event.
I get that he gets very focused - myopic. I know the event is a difficult one. But I am doing my level best to stay chill and accept that there are about 3 weeks left before I'll see him and communication will be slim either because he's uber focused or cannot contact me. I just wish he would remember that this is hard for me even if I'm not telling him I miss him or blubbing on the phone or signaling my struggle, somehow.
The one fear I have that I'm trying to shake is that he'll tell me he wants to REALLY take his time coming back from Colorado and won't be back for the 4th of July weekend. I don't want to be, but I will be deeply disappointed and hurt. I've made sure I'm busy or occupied all the other weeks he's away, but that's a 3 day weekend and it would mean a LOT to me if he would promise me he'll be back and settled before the weekend.
I won't ask because he bristles at the idea of having constraints put on his travel. This trip started out as being a 2-3 week trip, then became nearly a month due to needing to acclimate to the altitude - fine, cool. So I figured let's round it up to a month so I can get an idea of the MAX time apart and prepare myself. But, I would really like him to commit to being gone no longer than a month, THIS TIME. If he wants more time away at a future date, I'd be up for the challenge, but it HELPS me if he can give a "drop dead" date to be home. More time could be negotiated for something really fabulous that comes up, of course. But I am most comfortable with a loose timeframe and something I can count on to ease my anxiety.
I don't know what it is, but this stubbornness about not wanting to give a timeframe really pokes my anxiety. Personally, I will give people an itinerary. I usually follow it to the letter, BUT I do reserve the right to adjust my timeframes and where I'm staying. However, it's a basic framework. I wish he was less resistant to agreeing to an endpoint. Even if it was longer than I'd like, I'd like to be able to have some trust that we are only going to be apart without a surprise extension.
Let me clarify. I'm not saying he WILL extend. I'm saying I am afraid he will because he is resistant to agreeing to a drop-dead return date. In the past, he's come back early or roughly on time.
Relationships are about compromise. I'm doing my best to be a supportive, loving, non-grasping, non-weeping and non-depressed partner while he's off doing exciting things, but I need him to do his best to understand that this "muscle" will take time to develop and he can help it develop by showing me I can rely on him to be sensitive to my need for him to return "no later than" a certain date - the open-ended stuff is unsettling to me.
I'll say it. I miss him terribly. I miss going to sleep and waking up beside him. I've only cried once, so far, and I managed to put things in perspective fairly quickly.
If I could wave a magic wand, I'd change my attachment style and this would be much easier for me. It's not an attachment style I would choose for anyone!!
Thanks for reading if you've taken the time.
On a side note, I did text his daughter (first text ever) to let her know when I'd be at the mountain house and when I wouldn't in case she either wanted to join me and my visitors or have the place to herself. The text was just a statement, but I never got a response. I am not taking it personally only because it was a statement. Besides that, her father has a habit of not responding to statements by text, so she may have picked that up from him. Who knows.
The polite thing to do is say, "Thanks!" But I'm not going to overthink it or take it personally.