As I have mentioned before, J is the absolute love of my life. He compliments me (not completes me, as I have learned) in a way that is both healthy and positive. He is an amazing man who I thank the Powers that Be for every single day. There’s only one problem in my almost perfect fairytale – his job.
Every person is entitled to their own wants and standards of expectations in relationships, and each couple is different. Because I grew up with an absent father, I very much value quality time and physical touch, which are my love languages (a blog post on this later). Luckily for me, J’s demonstrations of love match my needs perfectly. So where’s the problem, right?
J works in the entertainment industry. Specifically, he does the sound for movies and television shows. It’s an amazing occupation that allows him to meet all kinds of celebrities and make fairly good money. The nature of the beast is, though, that his jobs are sporadic. Because he is so new to the industry, he often stresses about where his next paycheck will come from. That means he is almost desperate to take whatever gig comes his way, no matter the details. That level of dedicated commitment to your job becomes difficult when you are already committed to a family.
Enter me. I met J way before he started in production, back when he was still planning to make music. Once he graduated from his art school in Hollywood, he was dead set on meeting and signing with major record labels. Unfortunately, with the advances in technology, the need for a music producer is dwindling. Most artists are creating their sound on their own these days. So when a door opened up for him to maybe try out the world of movies and tv, he jumped in without a second thought. And he’s been nonstop ever since!
As his best friend, I am so ecstatic for J. He has had such a difficult past filled with dead-end after dead-end, and now things are really starting to come together. But as his live in, 2 year girlfriend? I am struggling way beyond he even realizes. See, the problem with production is, you have to go wherever the job takes you. Thus, in this past year alone he has been out of state a total of 9 weeks on and off. Now, to me, that is too much time away from home, but to J, because he grew up in a family that was always moving around, this was normal.
I have honestly tried to make it work thus far. I’ve tried to compromise, to just stifle my feelings and my needs (as any deep Codependent subconsciously would do), but every time he was gone on another trip, it always took such a huge tole on me. Since I’ve started my recovery, however, I have been able to at least vocalize my hurt and my discomfort to him, and we are working to find a setting in which we are both happy. We decided on this a few months back: he would only accept travel gigs that were under 3 weeks. That seemed reasonable to me!
Then last night happened:
He told me that a sound supervisor on the set he is working on told him of an opportunity on another show. The problem is, it’s 5 weeks in The South somewhere, 2 weeks home, then another 5 weeks on location. Instantly, my heart sank. If it comes down to it, I will have to stand up for myself and leave the man I planned to spend the rest of my life with. That makes me so angry. Angry at my Higher Power for allowing me to be in such a difficult situation, and angry and J for even considering the part. Now, I do understand that this is his career we are talking about, and as a man, all he wants to do is be able to provide for our future. But He is missing the importance of working on the now aspect of us, and I really don’t want that in a lifetime partner.
So I am in a state of anxiety. He assures me that he is trying to negotiate for 3 weeks, and that he won’t take it if it’s a day more. But the damage is already. The seed of doubting our future has already been planted in my brain, and I am struggling. He and I will talk more about it tonight, but even as I type this, I know that I have to make a conscious decision to remain calm; to not let me emotions get the best of me; and to receive what he has to say with love and an open heart. But more than those things, I have to remember to stand strong for me.
Wish me luck!