In Sex Love and Obesity Part 12 – Peter had decided to move to North Carolina so that we could begin our life together. It was April now and Peter and I were just about to move in together.
I admittedly wasn’t handling things very well. My life was an emotional roller coaster. I had relapsed into smoking cigarettes again the previous June & July when the grief of Father’s Day and the Anniversary of my Dad passing away rolled around. I was in a cycle where anytime I got stressed, I rushed out bought a pack of cigarettes, chain smoked them all and then quit again. In my mind it was better than stress eating Twinkies and Cheetos.
We had one more trip together planned before he moved in. We were headed back to Disney to do a Half Marathon alongside a couple of my friends.
That trip turned into a bit of a fiasco when I didn’t do everything he wanted.
I am pretty sure we had an argument each day we were there. He’d get upset if I decided to have a drink when he wasn’t having one. He threw a temper tantrum when I snuck an e-cigarette I was using to try to quit smoking again into the bathroom of our hotel room after I had conceded to not used it when he bribed me with the promise of a Tinker Bell Pandora charm he knew I wanted as a “reward”.
He told my friends that I was mean to him and that I wasn’t supportive enough at the finish line of our half marathon. That was probably true. I was frustrated. We had ended up walking the last 6 miles because he had done everything I told him not to do; Not getting enough rest. Drinking alcohol the night before an event. Running faster than he should in the first 5 miles because the adrenaline levels are high and in turn, teetering out on the tail end as a result.
I was angry. He had asked me to re-arrange my entire run schedule so that he could be with me for my 26th half marathon, a number that was monumental to me, because it was important to him that he was a part of that 26th half marathon with me. I had done so to please him. Yet the entire time we were running it was all about him and not at all about me. Never once during the entire event did he even acknowledge that it was my 26th half marathon.
I enjoy taking other people to run their first half marathon. I don’t mind running someone else’s pace with them. But if I had known how this all was going to go down, I definitely would have saved that marathon of marathons for my own race. I ended up resenting him for stealing the thunder of that experience from me. I wasn’t the typical cheerleader and motivator I would have been because of it. He whined about the entire experience to one of my dearest friends at the finish line.
Later that night he told me that my friends were concerned about me and thought I had a drinking problem when we all went out to celebrate together at a fancy Disney dining experience and I had a little too much to drink. Something that to this day, both my dear friends swear they never said.
One of my friends didn’t quite have the happy ending she wanted at the Half Marathon. She was a little embarrassed about it at first and didn’t want anyone to know. We had plans to run a half marathon together a month later. He convinced her that she shouldn’t run with me on our next half together because it would ruin the run for me. Then in a later conversation where she didn’t agree with what he said, he threatened to tell all our friends that she didn’t get the finish time she wanted at the Half Marathon we had all done together and embarrass her.
You’d think, all this would have made me go, wait a second, what the heck is wrong with this guy. But he loved me, and I REALLY wanted someone to love me. He wanted me, and I REALLY wanted someone to want me. We had amazing sex, and my life was just way overdue for amazing sex.
I let it all go and accepted whatever blame was laid on me for how he behaved.
I accepted the excuses, reasons and tireless explanations he gave for why he acted the way he acted and trudged on.
May ended up being a nightmare month in our relationship – perhaps a foreshadowing of things to come. It started with a fight while I was away for a weekend with my girlfriends running the Diva Half Marathon when he berated me for not spending enough time on the phone with him practicing my presentation for an upcoming convention. He really didn’t handle me being on me own and with my friends well at all.
A couple of weeks later I was off to Disneyland to run the Tinker Bell Half Marathon. It was the first Disney trip I was doing without him. I’d had it planned for over 9 months. He knew about it forever. It was an all-girls trip. One of the girls in our group was sharing a time share apartment suite with us and none of us had to pay for the room. But he had never been to Disneyland, he was jealous he wasn’t going, and he made a nuisance of himself the entire time I was there.
We fought until I was in tears. I can’t even remember what we fought over, this sort of thing was quickly becoming our normal. My friend and I were so twisted up about it that we were timid to even go into the park and post photos of it for fear he’d get jealous, get upset with us and have a temper-tantrum about it.
That trip ended with an epic argument when he found out that one of my friends had invited me to go run the Princess Half Marathon with her the following February. He didn’t want me to go on another Disney trip without him. It would be another girls weekend; he didn’t feel like I could afford it, and he was jealous that I had the opportunity to do another Disney run where I didn’t have to pay for a hotel room to go.
When I told him that she had also offered me a spot in her room in Paris for the Inaugural Paris Disney half marathon and I was going to try to do that too, he flipped his lid. We spent the entire evening on the phone fighting with me in hiding in the bathroom crying rather than spending the time with my friends.
I left that trip and headed to Nashville TN for a weight loss convention that I was scheduled to speak at.
On social media, the posts would have made you think that everything was perfect. You would have thought that he was super supportive and ridiculously proud of me.
This is a great example of how when you’re following someone on social media, you’re only reading what someone wants you to know. I wasn’t about to post about what was going on and cause more conflict and more arguments, so I stayed silent about what was happening in the background.
In reality, behind the social media posts, I was getting emotionally sandblasted for securing a sponsorship to Paris that didn’t include him. In private messages our friends were getting an earful of how and why he didn’t want me to go to Paris. Then when he was done talking to them, I was getting emotionally bombarded with how none of our friends thought I should go in an attempt to change my mind about the trip.
I almost told him not to bother moving to North Carolina.
I almost pulled the plug on the entire relationship right then. I felt smothered. I felt controlled. I didn’t like the fact that appeared as though the relationship became volatile anytime I was doing something without him.
But he talked me out of that with reasons and explanations for why he behaved the way he did. Once again, desperate for the love and affection and blinded by the amazing sex, I accepted them.
But it only got worse, and it got worse fast.
Things were already a financial mess for me before he moved in. My hours had been cut drastically at my job starting in the beginning of May and I had taken a second job working as a cashier at a grocery store to try to make ends meet. I was working from 8am to 8pm almost every day. I was stressed out beyond belief, trying not to let anyone see me falling apart, and then just a few days before Peter was supposed to arrive, one of my nearest and dearest friends passed away.
I don’t do grief well. We’ve established this. I came home from work early that day, called in to my second job, and watched Clark pack up the rest of his things to move out of the apartment while I drowned myself in a bottle and chain smoked my way through my emotions.
I had a few days alone in the apartment, only I don’t do alone very well either, so I asked one of my close friends to come over. We decided to have a little girls night pity party. She was going through some pretty horrific relationship issues at the time. A girl’s night was just what we needed.
She was supposed to come over the next morning and help us unload the truck when he got there. But we’d been drinking, and I didn’t want her to drive. I suggested she just spend the night and already be there in the morning to help us unpack. Peter called from the road and the next fight ensued when he wanted me to ask my friend to leave. He wanted time alone with me. Of course, he still wanted her to come back later and help unpack the truck. My friend wasn’t impressed.
Of course, there were good reasons for his lack of appreciation and gratitude towards someone who was about to do him a favor, and we should understand that. All he wanted was a little time alone with me when he first arrived in his new home. Translation: He wanted to have sex as soon as he got there. Not to mention he was going to buy us sushi for lunch as a thank you. He got his way, we had the rug burns to show for it.
After listening to the argument taking place on the phone, my friend decided to leave the house and give him what he wanted. She didn’t want me upset and fighting over her being at the house. This argument set the precedent for how my friends handled my relationship with Peter. In the months to come, they would simply avoid being around, avoiding inviting me to do anything that didn’t involve him because they didn’t want to put me through the argument that would arise if they did. This ended up meaning I was pretty much isolated from my friends, because either they invited us both or they didn’t invite me, and they really just didn’t want to be around him.
Throughout June and most of July we spent half the time peacefully enjoying our new life together and the other half fighting. It was a roller coaster of amazingly high highs and dramatically low lows. Our arguments centered around me wanting him to be a responsible adult and unpack the boxes of stuff he had brought and filled the spare bedroom that was supposed to be my home office with.
We fought about me wanting him to get things done around the house and be out looking for work rather than gallivanting around a new town, taking in the scenery and going on long bike rides. He wanted time to have fun before he got a job and was working constantly. I wanted the house in order and wanted him to have a job that was bringing in money before the modest savings he had moved with ran out.
We had very different priorities. Maybe he was right. Maybe I was right. Maybe the truth lied somewhere in the middle. But no matter who was right, we were wrong together and that was starting to become abundantly clear.
Pandora Williams author of Desperately Seeking Slender is an ISSA Certified Personal Trainer and Cooper Institute Approved Wellness Coach Trained in Weight Management Strategies. Her training and coaching services are offered exclusively through GoGirl Fitness Studio.