Tag Archives: marital fights

Things Fall Apart

So, I’ve finally worked out the “Mystery of the Chipmunk” i.e. why hundreds of people are being directed to my blog every day when they do a search with the word “chipmunk”. I don’t know if this will work on your computer, but if I do a google image search for “chipmunk”, the second picture that comes up is on my blog – the day I wrote about having an infected wisdom tooth and looking like said rodent.

It’s quite heart-warming really. Even on my old blog when I wrote more about sex work and just sex, in general, I never got so many hits.

So, are you all having a very merry Christmas? My Christmas hasn’t gone, um, exactly to plan.

I was – as you will know if you have been following my posts – supposed to have taken off yesterday for the Midwest with “MM” but, shortly after my blog post two days ago, things fell disastrously apart. I am currently sitting at home and “MM” is with his family over a thousand miles away. It’s not as bad as it seems, though. I have spent more Christmasses alone than I care to remember, and it doesn’t bother me all that much. The worst thing about spending Christmas by yourself is telling people you’re going to spend Christmas by yourself. You get so many pitying glances, and then people feel obligated to invite you to their house because they feel sorry for you…when all you really want is to be left alone! Mercifully this year I was spared that because I didn’t know I would be spending Christmas by myself up until the very last moment.

Of course you will all want to know what happened. Well, the short answer is that I was just too stressed and too broke to be able to leave town for ten days. Of course, it wasn’t like my emotional and financial state was a surprise to me or anything. I mean, I knew I was fucking broke and almost at breaking point but I had decided just to take off anyway even though I hadn’t managed to save a single penny of my rent money. There were also several other bills I would have had to have left unpaid and then, of course, there was the matter of the road trip home. I had no money for that – for gas, and motels etc. – and I also had no money to spend in the Midwest either. Of course, “MM”, as my husband, could have given me some money but as he’s also broke, I would have never heard the end of it. Over the course of our relationship, he’s lent me $3000 (a lot of it is my share of our wedding expenses) and, whenever he’s strapped for cash, he bitches about how his life is so hard because he gave me that money.

I knew, knew, knew all of the above, and I knew even more that I would be horribly stressed out upon my return, scrambing somehow to get money together. It wouldn’t have been a good way to start of 2010 at all, but I thought that it would be worth it because the road trip would be so fun…

And then…something happened…which pushed me over the edge, and I freaked out, and realized I just couldn’t go. I had reached my breaking point, and if I left town I knew all I would do would be worry, worry, worry about money and have a horrible time.

The “something” that happened wasn’t that much of a big deal in itself. It involved my pit bull dog whom I was going to be taking with me for the first time ever (my chihuahua came with me last year, and this was the first time for me to take both my dogs). If I had known how much time, effort, money and hassle it was going to cost me to bring her with me on the plane, I would just have left her in kennels, as I usually do, but, well, hindsight doesn’t help you at the fucking time, does it?

Let me describe to you the saga of the pit bull…

(1) “MM’s” parents agree to allow me to bring my pit bull with me. They weren’t too keen at first, but “MM” persuaded them, and they also remembered how they weren’t keen at all on my bringing my chihuahua last year, but really enjoyed having her around in the end.

(2) Our flights to the Midwest were on Continental, and Continental has banned all pit bulls over six months of age and/or over twenty pounds. Like a small detail like that would deter me, though! I did some research and found out that Staffordshire Bull Terriers were NOT banned, so I decided to pass my dog off as a Staffordshire Bull Terrier mix. (Indeed, for all I or anyone else knows she fucking could be exactly that). A Continental employee confirmed, on the phone, that my dog would be allowed to fly.

(3) Take my dog to the vet for an exam, and to get a health certificate to allow her to fly. Cost – around $150.

(4) Buy a crate and accessories for the crate on Petco’s online website. Cost $150.

(5) Despite buying the crate on November 22nd so that my dog could get acclimatised to it in plenty time before the flight, the fucking thing doesn’t turn up. Fedex said they delivered it on December 1st, but it never arrived.

(6) Spend countless hours on the phone to Petco’s customer service in the Philippines (!!) who are fucking useless. They re-order the crate, and this one is “delivered”, too although it is nowhere to be found.

(7) Spend ages on the phone to Fedex, and finally establish that both crates (the original order and the re-order) had been delivered to the wrong address up the street. And this despite having verified my address with Petco on numerous occasions!

(8) Go to the neighbours’ house where my crate has been delivered, and find it sitting on the lawn. The neighbours appear, looking gormless, and say they sent the first delivery back because they didn’t know who it belonged to. Didn’t it fucking occur to them to ask around their neighbours to find out? I mean, jesus, my house is just diagonally across from theirs. Stupid fucking white Americans. I know nearly all of my African-American neighbours but these white cunts prefer to isolate themselves instead of getting to know those around them. Ugh! I tried talking to them once when they first moved in, and they thought I was a weirdo.

(9) Joyously carry the long-awaited crate home, only to find that it is far too fucking small (not to mention a flimsy piece of shit) for my 39 lb dog – despite being advertised as being good for dogs up to 55 lbs. So what do I do now? Spend around $40 on a taxi taking the damn thing back to store for an exchange? Or call a friend in the hope they won’t mind giving me a ride? Choose the latter option. Thank you, friend!

(10) Finally get the new, better and bigger crate home, and call Continental to book my dog as cargo on the 24th, but now, according to the customer service agent, Staffordshire Bull Terriers ARE banned! I explain, patiently, that they are not, and she must be thinking of “American Staffordshire Terriers” (an entirely different breed) but she refuses to book my dog. She even goes off to check with somebody else, and comes back still insisting they are banned. I ask why the fuck Continental couldn’t have told me this ages ago before I went through all of the above hassle and expense.

(11) Call Continental back the next day to make sure Staffordshire Bull Terriers are truly banned. This time I speak to a manager who tells me the last person told me a load of crap, and that I can indeed bring my dog as long as it says she’s a “Staffordshire Bull Terrier” on her health certificate (it does). Hurrah! Book my dog on the flight.

(12) Minutes after booking the flight, receive a phone call from “MM’s” parents who have just received my Christmas card telling them that I, their son, and my two dogs are looking forward to seeing them. “Two dogs?!”, they say. “We didn’t know you were bringing your pit bull!”. What the fuck do they mean they didn’t know I was bringing it?! I was sitting right beside “MM” several weeks ago when he persuaded them on the phone it would be OK if my dog came. “Oh”, they say, “we’d rather she didn’t come…because we’re scared she’ll hurt our little grand-daughter”. I fucking hate this prejudice against pit bulls but, if they had a problem with my dog, why the fuck couldn’t they just have told me, definitively, that she couldn’t come?!

(13) “MM” answers that question by telling me (as he often does these days) that I am so pushy and aggressive and that I “forced” his parents to let my dog come – all of this despite the fact that I never even once spoke to his parents about my dog coming! He was the one who mentioned it to them. He says I’m selfish and that I make people do things they don’t want to do, and that his parents are so lovely and accommodating that they just wanted to make me happy. Make me fucking happy?! Happy?! I would have been sad if they’d told me my pit bull couldn’t come but I would have accepted that (it’s their goddamn house, after all). How is it making me happy agreeing to something, and then backing out at the last minute after I’ve gone through so much trouble to get my dog on the plane?

(14) Realize now more clearly than ever where “MM” has learned his atrocious communication skills and passive agressive habits. It’s clearly the MO of his family to “make people happy” (because they’re so “lovely” and “accommodating”) when it would be far better not to do something if they’re going to be all resentful all about it, and guilt-trip me.

(15) His parents agree to let my pit bull come after I tell them that I’ve spent so much money and time on her travel arrangements.

(16) On December 23rd (one day before we are due to leave), I get a call from “MM” telling me that his parents have just mentioned to their son, “MM’s younger brother, that my two dogs are coming. He had just informed them that his little daughter, who has bad asthma, and will be spending a lot of time at her grandparents’s house, is horribly allergic to dogs. Whether my pit bulls comes or not, “MM’s” brother knew that I brought my chihuahua last year, and could have assumed I’d be bringing her again this year. Why it didn’t occur to him to mention her allergies to me? Why am I only finding out one day before I am due to leave.

(17) Realize where “MM” got his horribly annoying flaky and thoughtless personality from.

(18) Finally have some sort of mini-nervous breakdown due to stress and decide not to go.

(19) “MM” calls me a selfish bitch (as he often does these days), and says I’ve ruined Christmas for him and his family.

(20) “MM’s” mother tells “MM” that I’m a very selfish person, and “MM” tells me what she said.

(21) I call “MM’s” mother and tell her, in no uncertain terms, that I will not tolerate being called selfish especially when I’ve nearly worked myself into an early grave to be able to afford to come to visit her and her family for the third time in eighteen months (when I haven’t been able to afford to go home to Scotland for 4.5 years!).

(22) Crying! Drama! More crying! Drama! Crying! Crying! Crying! Everybody wants me to come, tells me the dogs can come too, but don’t they realize it’s not about the fucking dogs?! The dog situation was just the last straw. It pushed me over the edge after weeks and weeks of stress and worry. I don’t want to go because, quite simply, I just can’t afford it. “MM” tells me that family is the most important thing in the world to him, and that it breaks his heart, and his mother’s, that I’m not going, but I just don’t get why people who claim to care for me would want me to fall into an emotional and financial abyss just so I can come for Christmas.

Maybe I am selfish. I don’t have a family, so it’s hard for me to understand why people are so attached to theirs, and events like Christmas. However, if being part of a family means going somewhere, being miserable, and spending money I just don’t have to be there, I’d rather be by myself, thank you very much. Anyway, didn’t “MM” tell me it was wrong of me to “force” his parents into letting my pit bull come? If this is the case, then why isn’t it wrong for them to force me to come home when I just don’t want to?

Maybe it’s wrong, but I am so fucking relieved to be at home with my cats and dogs. I love them (they’re my family) and I just can’t describe how wonderful it feels to know that I won’t start off 2010 with a lot of financial stress and money.

Why is this so wrong of me? Is it? I tried my hardest to come, I really did. I worked on my birthday; when I was sick and on many other occasions when I didn’t want to, or was just plain exhausted. Why doesn’t anybody get angry at “MM”, too? I mean, part of this is his “fault”. If he would just finally wake up and smell the coffee and get a fucking proper job instead of working in a café, barely making ends meet (so he can write this graphic novel he never gets around to finishing!), maybe we would have had enough money for this trip. I’m tired of him always harping on about the money I owe him. I don’t want him to support me financially, but it would be good if he could help me out a little bit financially without holding it against me.

A couple of days ago, I got an email from a new Mexican friend of mine who also married an American, and she told me how envious she was of me because I didn’t yet have a work permit. She said that for her those days in the immigration process were a bit boring but that, ultimately, she enjoyed just hanging around all day, watching morning TV, doing yoga, going to cafés etc. Well, lucky bloody her! How nice that she had a husband who could support her!

I’m getting rather tired of “MM’s” constant blaming attitude towards me. I’m always the one at fault; I’m always the “selfish” one. When it suits him, he invokes the ideals of marriage to show how bad I am at compromising (and he may have a point), but I just don’t see why his actions can’t also be described as selfish. Even if he does finish his graphic novel, there’s no guaranntee he’ll make any money at it. He has all these “brilliant ideas” for making money as a visual artist, but I never see him put an effort into any of them. As soon as he’s had one idea, he gets a new one, and then forgets all about the first one.

Why the fuck can’t he just be a teacher? Why the fuck can’t he just get a real job and work on his art in the spare time? That doesn’t mean he couldn’t still be a successful artist, and then give up teaching. “Teaching would take up too much time”, he says. He’d have no time to work on his precious “art” (the art he doesn’t really work on anyway….all he does is obsess over pointless details, and re-draw things again and again, getting nowhere and finishing nothing). Maybe a real fucking job would force him to manage his time better and would teaching really take up too much time? I don’t see how being broke, and being constantly worried about money, frees up much time for creativity. It certainly doesn’t for me.

As for my teaching dreams, according to “MM”, it’s OK for me to be a teacher apparently because I’m more passionate about teaching than him. This is true, but there is also this tacit assumption that I’m the least creative one in this relationship. He doesn’t seem to realize that I don’t really want to be a full-time high school teacher. My ideal life would be to teach, yes, but I would much rather do it part-time, and have the rest of the time for myself, to write and do other creative projects. Maybe one day I’ll get myself into that position but, in the meantime, I will be a full-time teacher because I just don’t see any other way to pay the bills. Why do I have to be the sensible one?

I sometimes wonder if “MM” would be better off single or with a much younger woman who still finds “artistic poverty” romantic and exciting. It’s lucky that I have got no desire whatsoever to have kids for a long time because where would he be if I wanted them soon, even in the next couple of years?! There’s no way in hell we could ever afford kids on his wages. And, oh yeah, a child would be too “time-consuming” and he wouldn’t be able to devote himself to his “art”.

Well, fuck, it’s nearly 4:00 p.m., and I’m tired of ranting. I’m going to go walk my dogs, and then I’ll come home, tuck into my “Tofurky” and watch “Barbarella”.

Hope your Christmas has been merrier than mine!


Is Arekino actually “Belle de Jour”?

Is it just me or do you also find it suspicious that Arekino (see the comments on my last blog post) returned to the blogosphere exactly one day before Belle de Jour finally outed herself? Could they be the same person? You never know. Anyway, whatever your story is, welcome back, Arekino.

Ooh, I have been naughty, haven’t I? I’ve stayed away for such a long time. I don’t know what happened really. I just got out of the habit of blogging. Also, I have been really sick with allergies, and too tired to do anything but the very bare minimum.

I don’t exactly have very much to write about either. The higlight of this month so far was finally saving up the $1600 I needed to file my immigration paperwork so I can adjust my status from a student visa to become a permanent resident in the US. I have no idea why it should cost so fucking much to send off four forms, but it does. It’s outrageous. If all goes to plan, I should receive my work permit by the end of December/early January. The next stage will be the interview for the green card in which Midwestern Man and I have to prove that we didn’t just get married for immigration purposes. Shouldn’t be too difficult to prove that, as it is a real marriage. Mind you, we definitely wouldn’t have got married so quickly if my visa hadn’t been about to run out.

There are times when I think we made a huge mistake getting married only a year (almost to the day) after going on our first date. No matter which way you look at it, we weren’t ready for it. Almost as soon as I’d fedexed my immigration paperwork off, we startred having huge fights. I don’t know if that was just a coincidence or if things suddenly seemed more serious now that we were making our marriage “official” (at least in the eyes of the USCIS – United States Citizen and Immigration Services). Things have calmed down a lot since then because I actually emailed Midwestern Man’s mother telling her how unhappy we were. Perhaps it sounds weird that I did that, but I just wanted somebody else to know about what we were going through. I think it helped us a lot not to have to struggle all by ourselves. We’re going to get counselling, too. We both have such horrible tempers and are incredibly stubborn, so we often end up in a stalemate with neither one of us wanting to back down.

I think things will work themselves out. We’re both going back to Midwestern Man’s parents’ place for Christmas in (surprise!) a Midwestern City. I can’t say I’m exactly thrilled about going there again (it’s hardly a top holiday destination) but his family are quite adorable, and it’s lovely to see what a healthy family dynamic looks like. There’s just so much love to go around, and a total lack of judgement. My own family was exactly the opposite. We will also be buying Midwestern Man’s stepdad’s mother’s car, and we’ll be driving it all the way back down south! I’ve never been on a road trip in the US before (although I did go from Coast to Coast all by myself by Amtrak when I was eighteen), and the romance of it really excites me. I’m pretty obsessed with road trip movies and if I could somehow get by being on a permanent road trip, I would! The idea of constantly moving and never staying in one place appeals to me a lot.

The good news is that I will be able to post every day from the road with my iPhone, so hopefully there will be some more interesting posts coming up soon! Hurrah!

Hmmm, what else is new? Oh, I’ve been applying to alternative teacher certification programs again – I reapplied to the one I was in before (although the idea of actually being accepted and having to deal with that Southern Belle Bitch fills me with dread) and a different one, which might suit me better because it’s run by a non-profit organisation and is actually geared towards putting teachers in high-need schools. I’m also planning on applying to New York City Teaching Fellows and Teach for America. I don’t know how I feel about these programs, however, as I’d have to relocate if I got accepted, and I’m not sure I can handle moving to a brand new place right at the moment and having to deal with being a first-year teacher in a challenging school. Both Midwestern Man and I are totally broke so, even though we’re both tired of this city and want a change, it might make more sense for us to stay here, and build up some savings before taking off for somewhere new.

Well, I’ll let you know what happens as regards my teaching career.

Shall I meet you all back here tomorow night then, eh? Just a suggestion…trying to keep myself accountable.

Lost Voice

I spent most of yesterday’s post bitching about how I was getting more and more sick of my husband’s rants about my behaviour. There was nothing I wanted more than for him just to shut the fuck up, because he was wearing me down.

Today I got my wish! He has completely lost his voice! He can only talk in the tiniest of whispers, and even then it’s a struggle.

Obviously I’m not really happy about it, as I would never intentionally wish any harm on him. Nonetheless, it is pretty funny, and ironic, that he cannot speak. In a way, his lost voice has come at a good time because it means that we can’t argue no matter how much we may want to. We’ve basically been forced to be nicer to each other.

I spent a good part of this morning looking up couples therapy options online. I think it would be really good for us to learn how to communicate better with each other, as it’s pretty obvious we can’t do that.

An infuriating person.

Well, I missed posting last night for the first time in about six weeks. Technically speaking, I also skipped two other days this month but, seeing as those posts were published at exactly midnight, I don’t really count that as having skipped a day. Ach, so I failed the NaBloPoMo challenge this month. So what? At least I have a good excuse…for the first time in months, Midwestern Man and I actually went out on a date. It was to see one of my favourite singers…somebody I’ve been listening to for about thirteen or fourteen years. I wish I could mention who it was, but if I did, then you’d be able to google her, and find out where she played last night, and then you’d know where I live.

My husband and I are not getting on very well again. To be honest, I’m quite sick of him, and I find him infuriating. He constantly lectures me about all the things I do wrong which affect the relationship, and I’m fed up with it. I don’t mind him expressing his feelings but, ooh, it’s the way he goes about it. It doesn’t matter how tired I am, or how drunk, or if it’s 4:00 a.m. or if I’m in the middle of something, he will just start ranting about my bad behaviour. The ironic thing is that I generally agree with most of the things he says (generally, that I’m too much of a control freak and too critical) but when he just starts ranting like that, the last thing I want to do is listen to him and think about my behaviour. The main reaction I have is that I want to get away from him because his rants literally give me a headache.

I’ve told him again and again and again that it would be much better for us to schedule a specific time to talk about our issues when we won’t be tired and overly emotional, but he wants to talk about it on his terms.

I don’t know what to do because he wants me to make all these changes when I feel that he has just as many to make. He says I don’t listen to him, and that’s true because I find his ranting abusive and pointless. It achieves nothing and it puts me on the defensive. I also think he’s a huge hypocrite because somehow it’s OK for him to rant at me non-stop even though I’ve told him how much that upsets me. I’m supposed to listen to him when it’s apparently OK for him to ignore my wishes.

I know I have many flaws, but being too proud to admit them or to work on getting rid of them isn’t one of them. I don’t mind arguing if I feel it would lead to growth on both sides. However, I feel that we’ve reached a stalemate, and I honestly don’t think it’s my fault. I think it was emotionally healthy and mature of me to suggest choosing a mutually convenient time to discuss our flaws. However, the fact that he’s not willing to do that, and would prefer to call me up and expect me to drop everything I’m doing to listen to him rant shows that he has no interest in looking at his own behaviour.

How can I be the only one to change? Surely it takes two people for a relationship to progress?

My husband is such a know-it-all twat.

I just had a huge fight with Midwestern Man. He really is such a know-it-all twat, and there is nothing (I repeat…nothing!) I hate more than know-it-alls wankers who aren’t informed about a subject but who decide to open their mouth, anyway.

Somehow Midwestern Man seems to be an expert on teaching, and the American public school system, and its hiring practices; and, oh yeah, he’s apparently also an expert about immigration to the US, and the US’s immigration policies. It’s fascinating how one man can know so much. I truly am fucking blessed to be married to such a polymath! He’s a fucking 21st century Renaissance Man. That’s what he fucking is!


Tonight’s fight was caused by my innocently pointing out that there was an article about Baltimore in last Sunday’s “New York Times” travel section. I’ve never been to Baltimore but I have a sneaking suspicion that I’d like it a lot, as I generally enjoy more blue-collar, racially diverse cities on the East Coast. I’ve also heard that it’s got a thriving arts and culture scene. To be honest, I think it might be a lot like Glasgow.

Baltimore came up a couple of months ago in conversation when it was apparent that I’d have to drop out of my teacher certification program due to lack of a work permit. I could re-apply to that God-awful program for admission next year, but that would mean staying in a city both of us are bored of until summer 2011! We were considering places where I could apply to go to grad school, and Baltimore seemed like a good place because Johns Hopkins University is there – and it’s a good school – and the city itself appeals to me. I have since shelved the idea of applying to grad school to get certified as a teacher (well, at least this year) because, quite simply, I am broke. Also, it’s unlikely that my immigration status would be fixed out in time for me to become a conditional permanent resident, and be able to apply for financial aid.

I then thought about applying for “Teach for America” and “New York City Teaching Fellows” which, if you’re American, you may know about already. If you’re not American, well, these are just programs that basically take the “brightest and best” potential teachers and then throw them into some of America’s toughest and most under-achieving schools. You get practically no training (something both these programs have been criticised for a lot) but you start earning a salary straight away and, in many cases, you even get a subsidized Master’s of Education. “New York City Teaching Fellows” does not guarantee job placement, which could be a major disaster for me if I got accepted to the program, moved to NYC, and then didn’t find a job. “Teach for America”, on the other hand, does.

What, you may be asking, does this have to do with Baltimore? Or, more to the point, what the hell has it got to do with the fight you had with your husband?

Well, seeing as “Teach for America” guarantees job placement, this made me more keen to apply to them than “New York City Teaching Fellows”. “Teach for America” also allows you to choose certain specific cities or regions you’d like to teach in. I thought it might be a good idea to pick Baltimore seeing as it wouldn’t be as popular as somewhere like New York, and therefore might make it more likely for my application to be accepted.

Despite this, there are some glaring problems with “Teach for America”. Quite simply, I’m not really sure that I agree with their modus operandi. First of all, it’s incredibly prestigious to get accepted to this program, and it appears that most people who do are, for the most part, rich and privileged recent college graduates who have very little, if any, experience of working with troubled youth in the inner-city. Worse still, most people don’t apply to “Teach for America” because they’re desperate for a career in teaching. Rather, they seem to see it as a nice way to while away two years (getting a cheap Master’s in the process and a nice boost to their résumé – employers and grad schools look very favourably on “Teach for America” participants) before applying to law school or getting a job on Wall Street. Take a look at the “Teach for America” website and see what things their alumi are getting up to. Very few have stayed in teaching.

Now, I know I’m smart, and I also know I’d be a great teacher but, from the limited information you have about me from my writing on this blog, does it really seem like I’m the kind of person “Teach for America” would be looking for?! I am, after all, not a 23-year-old recent college graduate who wants to be a doctor or a lawyer. I may have an absolutely fantastic undergraduate degree, and a Master’s but, at the end of the day, I’m a 31-year-old, broke, hungry erotic masseuse with gaps on my résumé because I’ve been working in the sex industry, and have been unable to find a legal job due to immigration restrictions.

Add to this the “small” problem that if I were to apply and get interviewed, I would be unable to produce any documentation proving that I’m not an illegal immigrant to the US, as it clearly says on their website that I would be required to do. This is because, technically speaking, I am an illegal immigrant. I’ve yet to save up the $1,355 I need to change my immigration status. I’ve been trying for months to set money aside, but it’s been pretty hard to do given that I sometimes can’t even find the money for food.

I merely suggested to Midwestern Man that I was no longer so enthusiastic about applying to “Teach for America” only to be told that I “should just do it”. I probably will “just do it” but I certainly need to wait until my immigration status is fixed out. Apparently, though, Midwestern Man has insider knowledge about “Teach for America’s” hiring procedures because he seemed to know better than me that it would be OK for me to apply there despite my being an illegal alien. He also seemed to know that it wouldn’t matter about my age despite the fact that I’ve been told personally by two “Teach for America” graduates that they wouldn’t take somebody my age.

I don’t mind somebody encouraging me to do something, but it’s galling when they ignore what you say even though they’re quite ignorant about a topic.

Earlier this year, he told me that I “didn’t try hard enough” to find a job despite the fact that, um, I didn’t have a work permit and that many teachers with years of experience couldn’t find one either. This was, without a doubt, one of the worst years ever to be looking for a teaching job but, according to Midwestern Man, they were just growing on trees.

I wouldn’t mind taking career advice from somebody who actually had a career but Midwestern Man doesn’t. He’s been working in the same fucking coffee shop for four bloody years while he “works” on a graphic novel that never seems to be nearing completion. Tonight he told me that he was angry about my wavering about “Teach for America” because I’m “incapable of finishing” anything. He has a point in that, yes, I do have a problem with deadlines and finishing stuff. I’m not particuarly proud of that but, in my defence, I want to say that nearly all the stuff I didn’t finish was stuff I didn’t really care about in the first place. Somehow he includes my aborted teacher certification program among the things I didn’t finish despite the fact that I had to drop out because I didn’t have a work permit.

When I filled out my immigration application, I often checked online to get help for filling in some of the questions. There are lots of online immigration forums, and I’d always be reading about “Brad” bringing over “Tatjana” from Russia to get married. Clearly, “Tatjana” wasn’t paying for the immigration process herself. I don’t expect Midwestern Man to help pay for me to become a conditional permanent resident but sometimes I can’t but think that if he wasn’t such a big loser he could have lent me the money, and then I wouldn’t have had to drop out of my teacher certification program. But he can’t because he has no money.

I really do feel that he’s a fucking loser and, yet, I have to hear all about what a failure I am.

He’s also been getting chubby again lately. When I first met him, he had a huge belly but he lost it once he started running with me. He soon got out of that habit, though, and now barely does any exercise. I find this deeply unattractive. And he wonders why I don’t want to have sex with him!

Honestly, sometimes I think I should have an affair….Maybe with the gorgeous teller at the bank I met earlier this week. You don’t really expect bank tellers to be cute but, ooh, this one was…and he was very witty and smart. I found him extremely charming, and, unless I’m sorely mistaken, I think he was flirting with me, too.

The fact that I’m even thinking about having an affair with another man, no matter how whimsically, makes me wonder if I even love my husband. I don’t feel particularly passionate about him, and sometimes I feel that I only want to hang out with him because I’ve got nothing better to do. I know I don’t have the feelings about him that I should, but I always just put that down to my being emotionally fucked up and afraid of commitment, or being wiped out by financial worries. But what if it’s not that?

What if it’s not that complicated?

What if I just don’t love him?

More relationship doubt.

It’s still raining here. In fact, it’s been pouring for days. On the one hand, it’s starting to get annoying, as the public transport system here is pretty abysmal, and it’s too wet for me to cycle around. On the other hand, though, I love the feeling of melancholy that the rain causes me to have. I don’t really understand people from my country of origin who say that they could never move back there because of the weather. I think that the most beautiful thing I have ever seen is the dark orange glow of a streetlamp glistening on the surface on a puddle on one of our wet streets…

Tonight is supposed to be “date night” for Midwestern Man and I. I should have already planned something interesting for us to do, but I haven’t. I will, as I promised him I would, but I just can’t be bothered. I would much rather be by myself. Even though we got married five months ago, we still actually live separately. The main reason for this is that I see clients in my home, and it would be pretty awkward for him to live with me if he had to leave every time a client came round, or couldn’t come home until I was finished. The other reason is that he owns a large dog (we found him in a graveyard in November) to which I am very allergic. This dog also killed one of my cats a few weeks after we found him (my fault really – I didn’t realize that he had such a strong prey drive…I will write a post about this most traumatic of experiences at some point) so he can never come in my house again. Midwestern Man will have to find him a new home if we are to live together – either that, or we need to win the lottery, and buy a house with lots of land where his dog can have a huge run outside, safely penned off from my cats.

It doesn’t bother me in the slightest that we have separate places. In fact, I am rather dreading the day we have to move in together (probably when we move to a new city). In May, a friend of mine arrived home from several months abroad, and she moved into Midwestern Man’s place for a couple of weeks while he moved to my place. These two weeks also unfortunately coincided with my two weeks’ student teaching, which was an incredibly exhausting time, as I had to put in a full day’s work at school, come home and try to see at least one client (the student teaching was, of course, unpaid) and then write lesson plans. I probably only got about three hours sleep each night. Midwestern Man was helpful during this period in that he cooked dinner for me but he also made it even more stressful because he would insist on having an argument about something, and he just not could not let it go. No matter how much I begged him, and pleaded to let me go to sleep, he would just keep on at me.

At one point, when we were walking our dogs around 1:30 a.m., he held onto my dogs’ leashes to stop me from walking away from yet another argument. Things escalated to the point that I actually kicked and bit him to try to get my dogs back from him. OK, so I know that resorting to physical violence is hardly healthy but I had tried to reason with him calmly to no avail. He often uses his physical strength to stop me from walking away from an argument. He doesn’t hit me or anything, but he’ll stop me from leaving by getting in my way, blocking an exit or by putting his foot in the door of a room I’m trying to escape to. I hate it, and eventually I’ll become violent because I don’t think a man has the right to do that.

I want to live alone because at least I can escape him more easily in such circumstances.

The terrible irony of all this is that I used to be the one chasing men in relationships, forcing them to listen, forcing them to love. At the time I thought I was so justified in behaving that way because they were causing me pain, and not meeting my needs. I would never have considered my behaviour abusive but now I realize the pain I inflicted because Midwestern Man has inflicted so much on me.

After one particularly messed-up relationship in my early to mid twenties (the defining relationship of my life actually), I read the book “Women Who Love Too Much” by Robin Norwood, and the veil of victimhood was suddenly torn from my eyes. I had always considered myself such a victim and, well, in many ways I was because I had had an abusive mother, and was bullied for much of my life. That book, however, forced me to see that I had also bullied and victimized people. I can still remember the psychic struggle I had trying to process that information. I knew it was true, allowed that knowledge to enter my mind, but then I pushed it back out again because it was just too awful. I fiinally managed to accept it, but it was hard.

I think I have been very abusive towards Midwestern Man. I know that his greatest fear is not being a graphic novelist , and I have had no qualms about going in for the kill when we fight. I’ve told him that he’s a loser, and that he’ll never get anywhere, and that he has no right to call himself an artist. Yes, it’s awful to say these things, and I have been trying to control myself better in recent months.

I accept the fact that I am most definitely the most abusive one in our relationship. My fucked-upness is undeniable. I feel, however, that this allows Midwestern Man to sweep his own (less severe, but perhaps just as damaging) problems under the carpet – his passive aggression; his inability to say no to me and others, and then to resent us for something he agreed to; his tendency to blame me for things that are actually his fault. Midwestern Man’s problem is that, compared to the vast majority of men out there, he is a nice, sensitive person. In his younger years, he didn’t get laid a lot because he was probably “too nice” and not very self-confident. His “niceness” has become a very important part of his personality, then, which he lets obscure the fact that he can sometimes be a moody, abusive cunt.

He says that I never listen to him when he bring up a problem he has, and that I don’t apologize for my behaviour and he’s 100% right. He prides himself “on seeing the error of his ways” and “trying his hardest to change” but his apologies mean very little to me because they don’t really seem sincere. He just keeps on doing the same shit again and again. On some occasions, he’ll apologize for something and then will do the exact same thing two minutes later. I don’t see a lot of true self-reflection occurring, and that makes me reluctant to try harder, too. I’m so sick of always being the bad one!

Sometimes I wonder if I love him. I realize it probably doesn’t sound like I do in these posts. I miss the passion and excitement I’ve had with some other men, and the way I would have done anything for them. I imagine what it would feel like if some invisible force plucked me from here, and deposited me (and the animals, too, of course!) back home…without him. Would I even care that he wasn’t there? I don’t know.

All of this is disturbing, and would suggest I don’t love him, but I can’t be trusted with my emotions. Yes, I have experienced more passion for other men, but did I love them? No. I was just completely obsessed with them. Yes, the heady feeling of having them consume my thoughts day-in, day-out was intoxicating, but it was like a drug. It’s no coincidence that some of my best friends are former addicts. Even though I’ve never been addicted to a substance, I know what it’s like to be destroyed inside by obsession.

It’s possible – very possible even – that my ambivalence towards Midwestern Man is because he is the first man who has ever truly wanted me, and loved me. When I first met him, I was literally blown away by how nurturing he was, and how non-judgemental. I had never experiened anything like it.

Wow…writing this post has actually made me feel tender towards him. I was filled with disgust when I started writing, but now I’m actually looking foward to seeing him.

God, how I’ve missed blogging!

Am I married to a loser?

Today has been a hard day, mainly because I nearly got arrested for attempted burglary (I can assure you, readers, that I was not guilty!). I was planning on blogging about my brush with the law tonight, but, alas, I have just had a fight with Midwestern Man and so I feel the need to blog about this instead to make myself feel better.

My dear husband was in one of his annoying, passive-aggressive little moods tonight. When he’s in such a mood, he doesn’t say anything, so I always need to probe to get him to admit to what’s bothering him. I hate this! Just say what’s on your fucking mind, for fuck’s sake! The result of my probing is that we always end up having a huge argument about a major problem in our relationship at an inconvenient time. I’ve told him repeatedly that if there’s an issue we need to address, we should set aside a specific time to talk about it when we’re both mentally, emotionally and physically ready and willing to do so. But, no…Midwestern Man will always start the discussion late at night when I’m already tired and irritable. Midwestern Man keeps all his resentment and anger pent up until he unleashes it…and then there’s no stopping him. It doesn’t matter how tired, emotionally worn-out or drunk I may be, or how late the hour; if he’s started an argument, he wants to resolve it there and then.

Tonight’s discussion centred around the very topic which causes the demise of many marriages – money! Or, more exactly, my precarious financial situation. There’s no denying it. I’m in a financial mess. I’m tired of working as an erotic masseuse and, even if I weren’t, handjobs aren’t exactly a priority for men in this economy. This week I’ve made only $360 and, well, OK, the week’s not over yet, but I’m not exactly raking the money in. Most of what I make goes towards rent, bills and my credit card debt, and the rest is for food and my animals.

I used to be a very fiscally responsible person but sex work has been my undoing. When I had a proper job, I was extremely anal about budgeting, and I was never in debt, but in this line of work you never really know how much you’ll earn per month, so it’s extremely hard to budget. From what I can gather, the women who are the most successful in the sex industry are those who merely moonlight as sex workers and keep their full-time or part-time jobs. I think it’s very hard to earn your living purely from the sex industry because of the high rate of burn-out. I’m not tired of the job exactly but I am tired of spending so much time at home on my own online, trying to hustle up some business. I’m also tired of living in “the shadows” and not really being a “proper” member of society.

To cut a long story short, there are just not all that many clients anymore, and I’m too burnt out to attempt to see any more than I do (two a day, if I’m lucky).

I don’t mind Midwestern Man pointing out my dire financial state, and expressing concern about my (probably quite impractical) plans to apply to go to grad school to get certified as a teacher. However, what really, really, really pisses me off is that he expects me to listen to him complain about how financially irresponsible I am without my being able to mention my own concerns.

I take responsibility for my money problems, but I also feel that there have been many mitigating factors: (1) I moved to a different continent to begin grad school…not cheap! (2) with an F1 student visa, I was for many years not allowed to work anywhere but on campus, thus severely limiting my employment option (3) I don’t talk to my parents anymore, so I can’t expect any help from them (4) US Immigration bureaucracy is so incompetent that I spent many months last year without a work visa while they got their shit together. I now have an invalid work permit, and I’m still waiting to save up the money to send off my “change of status” application. In other words, I couldn’t find a teaching job because I didn’t have a work permit.

I’ve been trying to leave sex work behind, and find a normal job, and a regular salary, but this is easier said than done.

What’s Midwestern Man’s excuse for being broke, though?! I’d love to fucking know. I mean, he’s never left the fucking country (a huge sore point for me actually…He’s thirty-two, and he’s never once been tempted to leave the US?! Jesus…), so he’s never had to deal with the expense of uprooting yourself. He did move to LA for several years after college, and then he moved here, but I don’t think that moving across the US has anywhere near the financial and emotional cost that moving to different countries does.

Midwestern Man’s plan is to be a graphic novelist/professional illustrator. I find it hard to be 100% enthusiastic about his career goals, mainly because he has had this dream for a while, and yet never finishes anything. I wouldn’t mind at all about his being broke if he was working diligently every day on his novel, but he’s always so distracted and unfocused. Instead of working on his book, he’ll take an art class because that will apparently give him “better skills” but it’s obvious he’s just taking the class to avoid doing any real work.

I don’t think it’s spoiled to want to be an artist, but I do find Midwestern Man’s lifestyle incredibly spoiled. He has a nice, easy job in a café (the kind of job you have when you’re twenty) because he doesn’t want to be burdened with any responsibility or stress. That would “take him away from his art”. As much as I do genuinely want to be a teacher, what makes him think that I want to do that five days a week?! Hell, I’d kill to work only three days a week, and then spend the rest of the time writing, but, guess what, that’s something that I can perhaps achieve later down the line when I’ve actually been successful in the teaching and/or writing field. The idea of having a job with responsiblity terrifies me, too, but I’m a thirty-one-year-old woman, so it’s time for me to be an adult, I think!

Midwestern Man also passes judgement on my supposedly “extravagant lifestyle”. My only extravagances are my iPhone, my two bedroom house (it’s kind of justified, though, as I need a spare bedroom for the massage room) and my terrible inability to avoid rescuing yet another stray cat. Besides that, I barely ever go out to bars or spend money on “entertainment”; I don’t own a car; I don’t really drink very much or take drugs; I don’t really buy new clothes (God, how I wish I could!) or go on vacation.

He thinks it’s spoiled that I want to have nice things in the future, and be able to travel as much as possible, but I’m a big girl now, and I’m tired of living like a student. He apparently is not.

A couple of years ago, a doctor acquaintance of mine scoffed when I said that I only dated artistic types. He said I’d rapidly re-think that when I had kids and found myself living on the breadline. I thought his comment was incredibly mercenary and cynical, but sometimes I do catch myself wishing I’d married a successful, wealthy man. I wouldn’t be happy being a kept woman, but if Midwestern Man doesn’t shape up, I can’t help but see my life with him being one of crushing poverty.