The Boyfriend Candidate is starting to unnerve me. And it boils down to this: he is a problem solver and I really don’t have problems for him to solve. Of course, there is a touch of control freak in there too – but that’s for another day. His solutions end up being the only solutions.
There was a time when I was a walking problem factory. Those days are gone and what’s left is your garden variety, typical functioning single mom. There are all the typical things, but nothing extraordinary and nothing I can’t handle Alone. By myself. With absolute confidence.
A few days ago I had a rough morning with the boys. I gingerly, with some apprehension, mention this to the BC. I want to talk about my feelings, frustrations. And he says to me, with sincerely earnestness, “Well, it’s not surprising. Your life is shit. You are alone. And those boys know they outnumber you. You have no power. Of course you feel that way.”
Then he tried to solve my problem. The problem he made up, defined and identified.
“What you need are better parenting techniques.” Then this man with zero children expounded upon the many techniques I could endeavor to apply. “Have you heard of something called ‘time out’?” Oh jeez. Or this one, “I’ve read that positive reinforcement can provide a road map to better behavior. A child told what not to do may not know what to do.” For crying out loud.
And my feelings were never discussed. I realized then that I almost never get what I need from this man. He’s a wonderful man, but he hands me a chainsaw when I need a Band-aid. It’s interesting, the rush to solve a problem that doesn’t exist, all the while an opportunity for intimacy is waiting. Let’s talk about my vulnerability and disappointment… in my own children. That’s big.
The ideal response from the BC would have been something like “You’re feeling under-appreciated. I appreciate you and one day your kids will too.” I probably would have cried and believed that he saw into my soul.
Nope, the moment passed him right by. But he managed to walk away self-satisfied.