Thursday, October 09, 2008

Now What?

So last week my uncle A - now married to my best friend D - had to go out of town on business. Since that left both of us on our own, D ended up more or less staying with me. We'd go out together after work then go back to my place and stay up late talking or packing or cooking or trying on clothes & make up, just basic girl stuff. And then she'd be too tired to go home and well, I do have plenty of spare beds. In the morning she'd borrow something to wear to work from me.

The whole working week went by like that. I thought it was really cool. Me and her haven't had the chance to spend quality time like that with each other in ages because we both had a lot going on in our lives & stuff. It made me feel about 15 years younger. And let's face it, I hate living alone. Always have and always will.

Friday morning, we suddenly decided to spend the day in Dubai, just for old times sake. We followed our time-honored tradition of spa in the daytime. We had Morrocan baths, facials, manicures and pedicures (with hot parafin). In the evening, we had our hair cut (trimmed in my case) and blowdried. Afterwards, we went shopping in Festival City, had free professional make-overs in Paris Gallery (not completely free because I ended up getting the foundation they used on me). Finally we went for a photo shoot - just to document the hair & make up for future reference.

Afterwards, we debated whether to eat something in Festival City, decided we weren't hungry and so we had ice cream and headed back to Abu Dhabi.

It was about 11:00 pm when we got there. D said that she missed her own place and wearing her own clothes so why don't I stay with her for a change? I said fine.

We didn't go to bed right away though. We went through our shopping, then ordered take out. After we ate, she fell asleep.

Up until that point, it had been a great day.

Then it started to go downhill from there.

I couldn't sleep. I got up, walked around their apartment, stood and stared out of the window, tried to watch TV. But I couldn't settle down to anything. I was feeling overwhelmingly hot, restless and claustrophobic.

At around 1:30 am, I started to feel nauseaous. For the first time since I found out I was pregnant, I threw up like there was no tomorrow. So much that I was completely exhausted afterwards. And thirsty.

I had a glass of canned fruit juice that I found in the fridge and it seemed to help.

D - who is a notoriously heavy sleeper - never woke up. And suddenly, I just wanted to go home. I didn't have my car with me. We'd decided to take her car to Dubai. And so I ended up taking a cab home.

In the lift on the way up to my apartment, I looked at my watch. It was just turning 3:00 am. At that point, all I wanted was to get home, have a shower and get to bed.

I walked in, switched on the lights. And in the living room, sitting in an armchair facing the front door, was my husband.

I couldn't see him very clearly because the lights in the living room were off but it was him alright. I had no fear of an intruder breaking in to sit in my living room - in the dark.

For a second in there, I wondered if he was asleep. He was so still.

Negative again, he was awake. I was being watched. I could feel his eyes on me.

I walked into the living room & switched on the lights.

He didn't move, just kept staring at me. I asked him how long he'd been there? He said he didn't know. So I asked why he didn't call me. He said he wanted to wait & see when I would come home.

And I lost my temper. That he would come home and just sit there and not tell me. That he would waste time we didn't have. For all I knew he could have been there all day. I'd been in Dubai all day.

And then when called on it, that he could just sit there like nothing happened and give me smart answers?

I was suddenly too angry to look at him anymore. I just turned and walked off into the bedroom, figuring that if he didn't care about spending time with me I didn't care either. I was just going to get on with my life like he wasn't even there.

Still furious, I was in the bathroom, removing my contacts and the make up, when he came in and stood behind me. I ignored him. But I was so angry my hands were shaking and I slammed my bottle of make-up remover so hard on the counter I could hear the bottom crack.

He said so that must have been some party. Or something stupid like that. And it hit me that he was angry because he thought I'd been out partying. After I promised so many times to stop that.

The make up and the hair would have made it look like that. Not to mention the coming home at 3:00am.

It was my cue to explain. But I was still angry and decided he didn't deserve an explanation. So I continued to ignore him. He stood there watching me for a second then he went out of the bathroom. A few seconds later, I heard the TV in the living room.

Somehow it made me even angrier that he could watch TV at a time like that. I slammed the bathroom door shut as hard as I could and locked it. Then I had my shower.

The shower calmed me down a bit. I was able to get into bed. I lay there in the dark, fuming. The more I thought of him sitting here, waiting for me, setting some kind of trap, the angrier I got. It was cold and manipulative and I couldn't see how he could have done something like that if he missed me half as much as I missed him.

Eventually, of course, I was crying. I thought of how happy, how excited I would have been if I had known he was coming, how I would have dropped everything to come rushing home to him.I thought of how hard it is sometimes to just get out of bed in the morning and get through the day without him. I just felt so sorry for myself.

I was hurt & humiliated and depressed.

I could still hear the TV.

I don't know how long it was before he finally came to bed. To me, it felt like I'd been in there crying for hours but it couldn't have been that long because it was still dark outside.

I turned on my side so my back was to his side of the bed. I could hear him behind me, undressing and then getting into bed. He said stop crying.

I didn't like the tone of voice. I didn't say anything.

Him: So where were you?
Me: K, why are you here?
Him: To see you.
Me: Right. Is that why you can't bring yourself to even touch me?
Him: Do you want to be touched? I'm not picking up any signals.
Me: I'm angry. But I'm your wife. And it's been months.
Him: You're angry? Why are you angry?

Which made me even angrier if at all possible. That he would ask. That he couldn't see why I might be angry. So I told him to forget it, that I was exhausted and had to get some sleep.

And I did go to sleep.

When I got up, it was noon on Saturday. He was still sleeping. I got up, used the bathroom, making sure all the time that I didn't wake him, putting off having to deal with anything as long as I could.

On the way to the kitchen, I caught sight of his luggage in the hallway. And I had a moment of panic. How long was he staying this time? All of a sudden I couldn't bear the thought that we'd wasted a whole night barely speaking to each other or that he might leave on the terms we were on.

In tears again, I grabbed his suitcase. A big one. Not the overnight bag and backpack he'd brought last time. I tried the combination number we use for all our luggage and it worked. Suffice it to say, there was enough stuff in there to convince me that he was here for a long visit.

Relieved, I dragged his suitcase into the bedroom, threw it open and started unpacking for him. Not caring about waking him this time. Wanting to wake him. It felt so good to be putting his clothes back in the closet where they used to be.

When I saw him open his eyes in the mirror I started talking, telling him what he wanted to know. When he got out of bed and came to take me in his arms, I said no wait. I couldn't stop unpacking his stuff. All of a sudden it was compulsive. I must have been hysterical at that point because all I could think was that everything would be alright if only I could get all his stuff in the closet and get the emptied suitcase out of my sight.

He looked confused for a bit then he left me to it and went into the bathroom. I guess he must have thought I was still mad at him. I finished unpacking and took the suitcase into the spare bedroom & locked it into one of the overhead storage spaces there.

Next I went into the kitchen to make something for us to eat. He came into the kitchen and said we have to talk. Still in the middle of cooking, I said I was listening.

Him: I should have let you know I was coming.
Me : Why didn't you?
Him: I just don't know anything about your life anymore.
Me : Well, I know even less about your life, K.
Him: I know.
Me : And I still trust you.
Him: What does that even mean anymore?
Me : It means I wouldn't do what you did yesterday.
Him: Ana asif. (I'm sorry)

I was so frustrated. With my husband, an apology is his way of closing the subject. Whatever I say after that he'll just repeat I'm sorry like a broken record. And if I push it he'll blow his top and say I said I was sorry what more do I have to do and it will just turn into one of our famous screaming matches.

He's been here for a week now. Things haven't improved much. We can't seem to stop snapping at each other.

He is tense all the time. And he does things like be openly ungracious to people he decides he doesn't like around me because they had me on their Facebook or sth.

Everyday he seems to come up with something new to piss me off. I don't know what's on his mind or what he is pushing for. So am just trying to get on with my life as usual. If the complaint is that he doesn't know enough about my life then ok, I'm letting him find out. The kind of mood he's in he's not exactly making me proud with his charm and social skills but well he IS my husband for better or for worse and so I guess my friends just have to cope with him.

Last night we had sex. For the first time since he arrived. He hasn't wanted to do it before because he's been worried it would damage me or the baby. That I understand and even appreciate. What I don't appreciate is that following a seperation of 4 months, we're back at that place we sometimes end up in where we only acknowledge each other's physical existence or approach each other physically for sex.

It's kind of like having a series of one-night stands except they're all with the same guy. Seriously. That's how cold it feels.

Now that we've checked with the doctor and everything I expect it will happen again. But the kind of relationship we have, sex is really not much of an indicator as our sex life seems to exist on a seperate plane from the rest of our relationship. I mean, we don't even have to be on speaking terms to be sleeping together regularly.

It's strange how easily you can do it - and even enjoy it to an extent - with someone you're mad at who you know is mad at you. How long is it going to be like this? I have no idea. As long as he wants I guess. The ball is definitely in his court on this one. I don't have the guts to even try and get romantic or sentimental with someone who is so unapproachable. I just take what I can get and draw on past experience to believe this will pass and things will go back to normal. After all he can't be enjoying this either so he can't keep it up forever. At some point he will decide he's punished me and himself enough and we both need more than what we currently have.

I don't know how long he's staying because everytime I ask he says something to the effect that it's his house and I'm his wife and he can stay as long as he wants.

I've tried speaking to his mother. And he hasn't told her anything either. His younger sister is taking a semester off from college and is staying with her parents so his parents are not on their own. If K is relying on her to take over responsibility for their parents then his stay could be indefinite. He could be here until my visa comes through and we can leave together.

Knowing his opinion of his sister's reliability though, I don't know how long he could take that.

And I should be ashamed of this but despite all of the above I'm glad he's here. I'm not even that upset that he seems to have turned into this jealous maniac who wants to be informed about every breath I take when not in his company. I pushed for this. By acting up, by being provocative, by hiding things and then springing them on him, I wanted to worry him enough to make him back. I wanted him to be less sure of me, to not just take me for granted. And I guess it worked. Finally. He is here with me -even if he's barely speaking to me. I do have all his attention. More attention than I can handle if he keeps this up.

All things considered, for now, am just glad we're back together again.So glad I can't really care why.

The question is, now what?



Blogger Miss X said...

wow! what an unfortunate scenerio :(
what would he have thought if you hadn't come home at all!?

10/10/2008 11:57:00 AM  
Blogger Um Naief said...

i wonder what he'd do if he found out about this blog!!?

i feel relief for you. relief in that you're not alone, he's there w/ you... exactly as you say... you did all these things to get him there, now he's w/ you, so let go, be pregnant... share it with your husband. imagine what you want, how you want the two of you to be, and be that way.

i think it's good that his sister has left college to be w/ the family. he should be w/ you. you shouldn't be alone, no matter.

egyptian men are a breed all their own... don't ya think??!!!

10/11/2008 01:27:00 AM  
Blogger Um Naief said...

oh yeah, wanted to add... don't think you should be doing moroccan baths while pregnant. that should probably be your last one.

also.. if you have massages or anything, don't let anyone put a lot of pressure behind the knee and that area.

10/11/2008 01:28:00 AM  
Blogger LouLou said...

Um Naeif,

'i wonder what he'd do if he found out about this blog!!?'

Once I asked him how mad at me he'd be if I misplaced or lost my diary and someone we know read it. He said he'd very uncomfortable of course but he couldn't exactly blame me if it was an accident, that we'd just have to live it down.

He knows I have always been a dear diary person. K has read bits of my written diary. From before I started blogging.

More to the point, he's seen it. He's seen the huge cardboard box full of notebooks and loose papers of all shapes and sizes. He knows how detailed and how intimate it is.

And really, u couldn't pay my husband to read all that. I love him to death but I just can't see him ploughing through page after page of my very feminine, mushy, every-detail-counts style of writing - even if knows that he features prominently in it.

Maybe one day when am long dead and he's feeling particularly sentimental and nostalgic he may be tempted to read them. But right now, this is the guy who unless I can keep my emails down to 2 paragraphs - 4 or 5 lines each - doesn't finish reading them and may even be so put off by a long email that he won't read any of it past the subject line.

I have now learnt that if I have something important to say to him I can't put it in the middle of a long email because he won't read it. I have to keep it short and concise and make sure it is clear in the subject line. Emailing my husband is sometimes like writing a business email that way!

Some of the content of this blog I have sent him as emails. And what he does is call me and ask me what it's about in the hope that I will summarize it for him. In response most of the time, he just says I obssess and overanalyze too much etc... My husband would never have the attention span to read - or to listen to - everything I write here.

He knows that I have stopped writing down my journal and that I now do it on my laptop. So yeah he knows I have some kind of virtual diary. And he's read my diary before so he knows what kind of stuff would be in it.

So that wouldn't bother him. It just wouldn't interest him much.

What WOULD anger him is if he knew that the virtual diary was online and other people we know could read it.

So far that hasn't happened. No one who reads my blog knows me personally. So I feel pretty safe and anonymous here.

There is the chance that someone who does know me will stumble upon this blog by accident. If that happens, and if that person lets me know about it, then I will have to tell my husband. And I will just have to hope then that he will consider it an accident as I really have no wish or intention to ever have to look anyone in the face who is familiar with the contents of this blog. I'd hate it as much as my husband would if that happened!

He may still think I took an unacceptable risk though. Let's just hope I never have to find out.

Re: Morrocan bath and pregnancy I didn't know there was a problem. I don't have massages but I usually have at least one Morrocan bath per month. It's just scrubbing your skin so I don't see why it would be bad. I scrub myself pretty rigorously at home too. It's exfoliation. Unless you mean the steam? I did wonder if it would make me feel dizzy or bring back the nausea but it didn't that time.

10/11/2008 02:39:00 PM  
Blogger The Queen said...

I would be so very hurt if my husband told me he didn't care enough about me to read every word that I wrote to him. Does he have ADHD or something?

10/13/2008 04:45:00 PM  
Blogger Um Naief said...

i just think that there are certain areas of your body that shouldn't be scrubbed w/ such rigor while you're pregnant. one area is behind the knees and the achillies tendon or so i've been told. and as far as steam, it would depend on how hot it is. some ppl believe that steam is a no no while pregnant, while others don't. i'd go w/ the advice of your dr.

10/13/2008 05:03:00 PM  
Blogger LouLou said...

Should I be hurt? If I really make a big deal of something he'll read it. But not because he wanted to. And that makes all the difference to me.

I don't take it to mean he doesn't care about me. He's just not comfortable with this particular form of expression. There are other ways to express yourself.

10/14/2008 12:28:00 AM  
Blogger The Queen said...

I wasn't talking about him reading your diaries or your blog. I was referring to to the fact that you can't write him a long e-mail pouring out your heart and know that he'll read it. That's what would hurt me.

Um Naief, did anyone give you a reason why those areas couldn't be scrubbed on a pregnant woman?

10/14/2008 04:06:00 PM  
Blogger Néphèle said...

Has to do with acupressure points, like in reflexology, specific anatomical points of the body correspond to different areas of the human body or body statuses and distressing symptoms, I guess the area behind the knee is such a trigger point referring to pregnancy or the general gynaecological area, or maybe causing weakness or instability. You can look up charts on the internet indicating such pressure points on the human body and what areas they correspond to

10/15/2008 06:26:00 PM  

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