Back Off, Love

So apparently I am not even behaving appropriately while watching a movie alone in my own bedroom anymore. Somehow that is code for talking to someone I’m not “supposed to” after hours, to my dear boyfriend. This morning at 6:10, I receive the following text interrupting my deep slumber:

Stop protecting me using dishonesty. We said goodnight at 10, you watched a film until 11? Why tell me this? I don’t care who you talk to… [note to the reader: totally not true; if it’s an ex, he is definitely going to have a problem] But why hide it from me? U can’t watch a movie in an hour. and I don’t like this feeling that u have something to hide. Anything but that.

I was confused and also a little t.o.’d, to be honest. Last night, as Mr. E and I began a Skype conversation, I had put in the movie, The Invention of Lying (no, the irony of the title is not lost on me), to load up so it would be ready to watch whenever we were done talking. It automatically started playing the film  after the previews–I had it on mute. When Mr. E and I said our goodbyes, I hit the top menu, expecting that when I pressed play, the movie would start from the beginning. Apparently it did not.

According  to Detective E., who actually got back on Skype this morning to check our transcript for when our conversation ended to match it up to when I texted him goodnight, I missed 36 min or so into the movie.  I did notice that the movie didn’t really begin but the character was starting a new chapter of his life, so I didn’t really miss enough to think “I need to rewind, I must have missed some scenes here.”  I was pleased it was such a short movie because I was sleepy and ready for some zzz’s.

Now, this simple misunderstanding might seem humorous if a) it hadn’t begun at 6 a.m. and b) if it hadn’t followed weeks of distrust, insecurity and lashes of jealousy, and almost two weeks of steady arguments.

Sparking one argument was an ex asking me if I can help him work on a set list for a gig coming up. He’s a one-man band, uses a lot of effects, and I’m one of the only people he trusts to be honest about his sound. Still I put off helping him because Mr E doesn’t trust him at all, and it’s not worth an extra battle.

Then, as the she-devil Former Dream Girl who tore his life in pieces repeatedly tries to contact Mr E and he showed signs of giving in (he’s since accepted calls from her twice), I ask him why he wants to be friends with her. I don’t give judgment or tell him he’s stupid for wanting to, I simply ask why. He immediately attacks me for my friendships with men, and says being friends with FDG is just fair if I’m friends with my exes (who actually, you know were loving toward me and didn’t deceive me for two years.) Comparing bananas to jackfruit.  Of course, this still doesn’t answer my question, but it ruins a perfectly good weekend.

Then I get the new job. He feels threatened because he loses the chance for me to move in, take care of him, and he loses the ability to keep tabs on me. He loses control in terms of when and for how long he gets to see me because the news does that for me. He also is extremely uneasy that the videographer I’m working with for the welcome video to launch the site is none other than the V-Man himself.

Mr. E is most threatened by V-Man because we have the most recent past, are still very friendly, and while the conversation is “appropriate” (according to Mr. E’s eavesdropping), we talk too often, for too long, and too late at night (10pm after is my phone curfew apparently).  I understand Mr. E’s uneasiness with us working closely together, but V-Man is a complete pro, the best at the job, is willing to do this as a favor in his free time, and I definitely am not going to pass that up. This is a short work project, not a couple of romantic dates.

Mr. E. is also panicking at the loss of control over my time right now as I plan and organize ahead of time for work, while finishing up a picture book series assignment due next week. He’s trying to have some control over my one week family vacation coming up, and he’s hijacked this weekend to take me down to Maryland with him to see his sick friend. I, of course, am under deadline, have a ton to do in the next week and half, and cringe at the thought of losing three full days. The 6 a.m. wake-up call of course means I have a migraine and limited productivity today.

So this morning’s diatribe made me lose it. I’ve tried to be understanding. I know his last girlfriend was a deceitful ho bag of the worst kind (who’s still trying to tempt him to be her man on the side of her marriage bed), so he has trust issues. I know she and his ex-wife didn’t make him feel needed and wanted enough. But just how many excuses am I expected to give for his constant accusations, negative inferences, and downright idiocy?

This was my final response in our hour-long texting battle this morning:

Lately you’ve been overanalyzing and second-guessing even the most innocent and simplest things I do–or don’t do. It’s not fair, it stresses me, and it needs to stop. I think it would be best for us not to talk for a couple of days and maybe whatever circular thought patterns you may be currently stuck in will have a chance to die out. Otherwise it’s going to choke us and kill the good thing we have between us. I’m not being dramatic when I say this, I’m merely speaking truth.


12 thoughts on “Back Off, Love

  1. I admit, I’ve been a bit sceptical of Mr E since the whole Sara saga but you seemed so happy and so sweet together that I couldn’t help to feel pleased for you.

    The past few posts seem to have taken a turn for the worse. It’s getting to be a bit much now hun. Yes he’s had bad experiences in the past but… like you said, how many more excuses are you expected to give for his constant accusations? You aren’t even doing anything wrong!

    Something that sticks in my mind throughout all of this is that it’s still only been a few months…

  2. I know control is an issue in your relationship with Mr. E, and I think you hit the nail right on the head with one of your tags — insecurity.

    I hate to think this, BUT if he gets this upset about something as small as whether or not you were watching a movie (I know it’s slightly more complicated), how upset is he going to get over the big things? Just something to consider.

    Also, I thought this part was really telling: “I’ve tried to be understanding. I know his last girlfriend was a deceitful ho bag of the worst kind (who’s still trying to tempt him to be her man on the side of her marriage bed), so he has trust issues. I know she and his ex-wife didn’t make him feel needed and wanted enough. But just how many excuses am I expected to give for his constant accusations, negative inferences, and downright idiocy?”

    It’s true that people who have been cheated on, etc., in past relationships can be more hesitant in later relationships. But YOU are not a “deceitful ho” at all, nor do you deserve to be treated as such (or as though you might be such). He shouldn’t punish you for something someone else did.

  3. First I’m glad you stood up for yourself. As I’m reading this I’m sick to my stomach when I read that he wants to control certain areas and time with you, and the 10pm phone curfew???

    Sorry I didn’t realize you were a grown woman capable of making decisions for yourself, but I guess I was wrong as he feels the need to monitor what you do at home on your phone, that you pay for.

    This could all be simply him reacting (not well I might add) to the fact you have a life outside of him.

    He has to get his trust issues under control before he should be in a relationship.

    After reading a few blogs and living with the experiences of friends who have been with men like this, it makes me a little jilted and weery to get invovled with anyone again.

    I do not mean for all this to sound grrrrr. I”m sorry that this is happening with someone you care a lot for. But then you shouldn’t have to repeatedly explain yourself when he doesn’t like the answer you’ve given him.

    Good luck, it was smart to tell him to back off for a couple days.


  4. as an aside, I saw Ricky Gervais in a coffee shop this morning in Hampstead, London…. thought it was funny as you mentioned The Invention of Lying.

    look, communication and trust are the be all and end all of relationships. If you can’t communicate or trust properly you have to ask yourself some serious questions. It doesn’t seem fair to you to cross question such a trivial thing. Alarm bells should be ringing off.

    If I notice trust issues early on in any relationship I have been involved with in the past, I kill the relationship.

    Mr E needs to get his act together if he hopes to keep you! You deserve something real and something based on trust.

  5. Ok Mr. E is doing the classically insecure thing by blaming his present for his past. Meaning he can’t let go of what his former relationships did to him & will make you suffer for their mistakes. We have all been hurt but you can’t keep using that hurt as a crutch or an excuse. By taking the leap into a new relationship you are saying “I trust that this will be new & different.”

    You already know what to do. Mr. E sounds like a mess & you don’t have the time for that kind of nonsense in your life. Cut your losses. It’s way too early in the relationship for that kind of crap & furthermore there is no point in a relationship
    when it’s ok for your partner to control you.

    • Amen, sister. Thank you so much for saying what’s in my head. We had “the conversation” last night and I need to reiterate it today for it to sink in fully for him. I appreciate your support and words of wisdom!

  6. Red flags are flying – cut your losses and RUN while you can. Someone that controlling, jealous, insecure, and untrusting (is this a word?) isn’t going to change anytime soon. I think he needs some time to heal from his past relationship – and then he can think about being in a relationship with someone as wonderful as you. You definitely deserve better than he’s giving – and you honestly don’t have time or energy to deal with this right now. You need to focus on your new awesome job!

  7. I’m really glad to hear you sticking up for yourself….though I’m concerned at how often you mention his need for control over you in the same way that say someone might have a need for affection…any need to control you is a HUGE red flag. Now maybe red flags mean run or maybe they just mean take a step back and address them. But either way while taking part in a discussion may require your involvement it sounds like most of the red flags are issues he needs to fix with himself (and not something you can fix with/for him).

  8. run AWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY from this guy NOW. i’ve dated him before (well, not him exactly) and the control only gets worse. if he’s doing math and grilling you over something as dumb as that no matter how horrible his last relationship was, he is NOT who you want in your life. he is toxic. you will not be able to help/”fix” him and you shouldn’t have to deal with this. he needs a counselor, not another relationship.

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