Many of us know what it’s like to be kept awake all night by hot searing knives twisting inside our stomach with the knowledge that this could last all week and the doubt that we might not survive it. Of course it doesn’t help ease the pain to walk into the kitchen to make a cup of coffee only to squash the dog turd waiting for its groggy victim, or the cold shower that follows because the thermostat is broken, again, or the realisation that your boyfriend left some defamatory post on Facebook before drifting blissfully off to sleep the night before. Yes, a lot of us have been here, but what about the person on the receiving end of this moody, cold, sleep-deprived woman? Well, here’s his account.
This month might have been one of the most traumatic cycles we’ve experienced together. I awoke disorientated at 8am after five hours of sleep to doors banging. I thought this must be the neighbours again because it couldn’t possibly be my considerably sweet girlfriend getting ready for work. Although, she hadn’t given me a kiss to say she was leaving yet… I called out for her. No answer. Called louder. Nothing but the distinct sound of the flat door slamming and footsteps descending the stairs. What was going on now? Did I wake her up when I came home from work last night? Did I wash the dishes yesterday? Straight out of bed and bounding after her in my underwear I caught her by the entrance into our block. She nonchalantly continued to manoeuvre her bike outside. I grabbed her arm and demanded to know what this was all about.
‘We’ll talk about it later,’ she dismissed me while avoiding my eyes. Great, then I could sit agonizing over the reasons why my morning came to me standing half-naked in the frost outside our flat.
‘What’s wrong?’ I persisted.
‘We’ll talk later, I need to get to work,’ she dodged again. Getting a little impatient now, I started raising my voice.
‘You’re not going anywhere until you explain!’
‘Well, you need to look at what you posted on Facebook and then delete it! Don’t you realise that whatever you say there also reflects on me? I’m with the guy who posts stuff like that!’
‘Fine, I’ll delete it!’
‘I’m sick of it! I’m sick of convincing everyone that you are a perfect gentleman and then there you go giving them all the ammunition they need! I can’t keep doing it.’
‘So you’re breaking up with me?’
‘I’m going to work.’ I shoved her bike as a last ditch attempt to provoke her to carry on with the conversation or argument or whatever this was, but that probably reinforced what she was saying. Then she was gone. I was so confused! And bloody freezing! Five missed calls and one message threatening to throw all her stuff out of the window and she called me back. It transpired over the phone that my Facebook activity had made her rethink our whole relationship, our living arrangements, and our decision to get a dog, and she wanted to ‘take a break’. What did that mean? So she could sleep with other guys? Well, if that was the case, she could have more than just a break and I’d make the whole separation permanent! The thought of separation stabbed me in the chest and twisted my stomach. Did I screw up again? Why did I feel like we were playing this cruel game where we see how happy we can make each other in a month and then end the happiness abruptly like a blow job that climaxes with a kick in the balls? It was déjà vu, except last month it was because she couldn’t cope with my unsociable work hours and lack of time together, which naturally meant she’d rather not see me at all. After a lengthy conversation over the phone and lots of tears (on both ends I’ll admit) we appeared to have resolved the Facebook debacle and confirmed our love for each other was still stronger than her other emotions. So I got to keep my wonderful girlfriend, well, at least for another month.
“Why did I feel like we were playing this cruel game where we see how happy we can make each other in a month and then end the happiness abruptly like a blow job that climaxes with a kick in the balls?”
There is simply no guessing when exactly this outrage might erupt, only that it is hardwired to happen every month. Sometimes there is a cold silence before the storm and I can see the lightening in her eyes warning me that trouble is on the horizon. But without knowing the cause of the trouble (because let’s face it, there is no real or one cause) there is nothing I can do to prepare, postpone, or avoid it. There is certainly no reasoning with it. So what can we do? Play some FIFA? I think we must try maintaining the balance. If one of us loses it, then the other person must remain stable and rest assured that the storm will pass. Problems still need to be discussed in any healthy relationship, but there is no point in competing with their emotions and adding fuel to the fire. In my experience, the issue is never terminal but sometimes they do need to make themselves heard, and unfortunately, their volume is often controlled by their hormones. Alas, I receive a whole month’s worth of things I’ve done wrong spat back at my face in one week!