Ain’t no sunshine when he’s gone…

Lately I’ve been getting into a couple books by Dr. Warren Farrell, beginning with the audiobook about how women can’t hear what men don’t say, and now about 70 pages into reading his book The Myth of Male Power. Just letting some of his claims and ideas roll around in my mind. This is also the week that my companion got the news that his best childhood friend died last weekend, presumably from a heart attack, and so I’ve been trying to handle my companion’s testiness and irritability. He doesn’t want to talk about it, refuses and gets angry, so I haven’t been bringing it up. But just any little thing is setting him off and tonight he started yelling at me seemingly out of the blue. So now I’m sad and upset. I don’t know what to do when he gets like this. Won’t let anyone help him, doesn’t want to talk, doesn’t even want any company to just watch television or eat a meal. When he calls, I try to keep the conversation light and away from the topic of death or anything upsetting, but he’s depressed and in pain so he’s just quick to get frustrated right now.

We take a lot out on those closest to us, I guess because we can. I’m no saint in that department either, and he and I’ve been through countless fights over the time we’ve known each other. Just drives home how incredibly different we’re natured. When my family member died a few months after I met my companion, I needed emotional support and help but he didn’t really understand that. And now that he’s dealing with a loss, he prefers to just be alone and shuts everyone out, and I struggle in coming to terms with that. When I hurt, I pull closer to my people and seek comfort. When he hurts, he pulls away from people and says that nothing can comfort him. It’s really hard watching someone go through something while not letting you hold them or help them in any way, and when I make the mistake of trying, I catch hell and am told to leave him alone, that my interference will only compound his problems right now. That really does hurt to be pushed away, and no, I don’t understand it. He says I never will, and that’s probably true.

This sense of alienation shows up on so many levels. He hurts, and that hurts me, and then he pushes, and that hurts more. Leaves a person not knowing what to do. I’ve consciously been giving him space and not calling and stopping by, per his request. Makes me feel lonely, but I guess that’s just the way it goes. Also makes a person feel helpless and in the way just for trying to offer up some small comfort. I really don’t like being snapped at by him. Can’t say I’m sorry for worrying about him, and I just wish he wouldn’t see my concern as aggravating his circumstances. That’s not my intention at all.

Maybe he’s right that we’re just too different as people to firmly grasp where one another is coming from. Hence why we remain broke up. Still talk daily though. It’s just a sad situation all the way around. He doesn’t ever want to feel like he needs anyone, and I just can’t comprehend that way of being. But then again, I’m not so easy to love either. Just an unfortunate situation even on a normal day.

And now his friend has died and there’s something about how their last communications went that really is bothering him, but he doesn’t want to talk about it. Transfers it into anger instead. I hear his voice and know he’s been crying a lot lately, and the last day I saw him he seemed pretty emotional and didn’t want me to stay the night. Some people say men go to early graves because of something we women are doing to them, but some of it’s stuff they’re doing to themselves by preferring to drink instead of letting people in. What can I honestly do about that? I don’t know. Wish I knew. Makes me feel like a selfish bitch to reach out to him when that’s not what he wants, but I don’t know what he really wants. He keeps calling, so I take that as a sign of wanting some sort of camaraderie. But then he gets mad, and he’s not afraid to show that to me. Then I feel defensive because I didn’t do anything wrong and am just trying to be here for him. Then I get to crying, which then makes him feel guilty, which makes him angrier because he can’t deal with that right now. Is the only answer in a situation like that to completely leave a person alone? What am I supposed to say when he calls? I try to keep it light and focused on daily trivialities, but then that feels calloused, like I’m pretending he’s not hurting inside, so I feel guilty. Doesn’t want to see me, gets frustrated with me easily, and I don’t know how to react. Grandma says be patient with him, and I’m trying, but I don’t like feeling like he’s taking it out on me either. Creates a conundrum.

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