Friday, July 8, 2011

butting in


Yes - the whole thing is about communication - lots and lots of it - at a deep and soul baring level - and all that...

Yes, I know, but...

It is one thing to be expected to answer, honestly even, when he asks a straightforward question, to respond to him when spoken to, to have the "shrug it off" option taken away.  It is even one thing to be expected to come to him with concerns, questions, things i feel i need to or should say.  It is hard sometimes - but it makes sense.  Those are important, useful, open lines of communication, and more to the point - things i think he probably does need to know.

It is another thing entirely to have him demand access to and intrude, at his whim,  on any of my thoughts, ideas, curiosities, passing fancies...  It makes me bristle having him read over my shoulder when i email or chat, having him watch what i google or what i browse.  It's the same with his having/using my passwords, or asking what my plan is for my day, or what i did today, or, or, .....  My least favorite question has become "whatcha doin?" in that singsong tone. 

I know most people don't like to be eavesdropped on, or have someone read over their shoulder, or feel intrerrogated.  The phrase "butt out" exists for a reason.  It definitely makes me defensive and sets me on edge.  It feels very, very different from answering a direct question about a specific issue.  It feels instrusive and invasive. 

It is the same feeling i fought against when i was learning to let him touch me at his whim.  It was easy to give him access to my body in the right context - when it made sense to me, when we were clearly engaged in that kind of activity.  It was extrememy difficult to give him that access when i couldn't see the point, when he felt like it but i didn't, when i thought it was the wrong time.  I still occasionally have to fight back my impulse to protest, but i'm learning and i'm better.

I have learned to be open and honest when we are having a discussion that i feel is important, also when i can take time to craft the response or the message.  (That doesn't sound so open and honest though does it?)  This is a whole 'nother thing though, and i'm finding it very hard to learn.


  1. That is an area that we are used to keeping private from everyone in the outside world. It isn't something Lash does in our relationship but I would certainly feel as you do if he started checking on me that closely. Why is it easier to give my body than my thoughts? You've really given me something to think about.

  2. I am pretty sure I would feel the same way. Grant does not have or want my password, but has looked over my shoulder, and it's very hard not to minimize the screen, just a kneee jerk reaction..."mine...go away"..I whisper in my head, but don't say outloud. But I freeze and make myself hold very still. There's nothing there he should not see...but it feels invasive. Yes, it's almost instinctive. It's all about our boundaries, right?

  3. If I'm not ready to share, if I don't have my thoughts organized in my head or am in the middle of writing something it is so hard to submit in this way. Also I tense up if the answer to his "what are you doing" question is nothing. I bristle up on that one.

    I think sara used the perfect word with this when she said it was "instinctive."

  4. I'm right there with you.



  5. Meow,
    Welcome back, i was wondering the same thing.

    Exactly - it is hard to fight the impulse to hide ourselves.

    I know part of it is defensiveness. Am i doing somethign he would see as worthwhile, does he want me to be doing somethign else?

    Ally and Turiya - thanks - i have a feeling it's pretty universal.

  6. I don't dispute that we need to learn to relax, be open and honest and let them in - to give them the kind of access they want and we've agreed to.
    But our defensiveness is not all our fault, either.

    I think it's the singsong tone that puts me over the edge. That ratchets up the degree of deliberateness, sort of rubs our nose in the fact that they're being intrusive, they KNOW they're being intrusive, and yet they have no intention of NOT being intrusive.
    And what are we going to do about it, by the way?
    It's bratting..., because they can.
    And we don't have to like that any more than they do.

  7. Jz,
    I agree completely, and as Sara said - it is about our boundaries, and it is very instinctual to protect them. He and i talked abotu this and why he does look over my shoulder sometimes. I told him i think it is because he can - he disagreed - and he did have a range of reasons, from boredom to curiosity about what's in my head, to wanting to see if i should maybe be doing somethign more constructive. I still think it's because he can - not in a spiteful way - but becuase i wouldn't have allowed it before - and for all the reasons listed above he wants to - now he can - and so he does.

    I think you are absolutely right - sometimes it is a version of bratting - but just as my sass and pushback/play work for him most of the time - i would say that this contributes to the controlled/contained feeling most of the time, even though it's hard and it rankles. It's all just so perverse.