an uneven match

The beau snuggled in, wrapping his arm around me tighter. He leaned forward for a kiss and held his face in front of mine, gazing tenderly into my eyes.

“Get off,” I moaned, “I can’t breathe.”

Okay, so it’s hard for me to be affectionate when my forehead is throbbing and one nostril feels like it’s been plugged with concrete. But the sad thing is that I’m like this when I’m feeling well, too. I don’t like anyone too close to my face, which makes kissing kind of awkward when I can no longer tamp down my discomfort and begin deftly ducking and wriggling out of my partner’s grasp. I don’t like anyone touching me when I’m trying to sleep, so there goes those nights theoretically spent blissfully wrapped in a loving embrace.

Sounds awful, huh? I sound like an automaton who was never programmed with the capacity to love. I think I am, sometimes.

Sad xylophone.

What? Trombones are over. Forget trombones. I’m trying to start a new thing.

Oh! You know what makes the joke better? Sad kazoo. SAD KAZOO, you guys.

The thing is, Beau comes from a let’s-suppress-our-feelings reserved Protestant family, and I come from a let’s-repeatedly-air-our-grievances talkative Catholic family. I always joke that he doesn’t know what emotions are, while he jokes that I don’t know how to act like a normal, non-goofy person. Yet he’s the one who buries his face in my neck while I cringe. He’s the one who rolls over every time I get in bed and pins my arms to my sides in an epic bear hug as I desperately play dead. He’s the one who attempts daily to fuse his face with mine as try to remain calm and breathe, oh god, I can’t breathe.

I’m gagging right now, just typing about it. I’ll bet a kazoo that you are, too.

He may not talk about his feelings, but he sure as hell shows them. Meanwhile, I will gladly talk you to death from a polite distance. This is a physical manifestation of the differences between us, and admittedly something we were finally able to acknowledge as a thing only a couple of years ago. And since then it’s been a challenge for us to meet each other halfway — for me to remember to use my hands, and for him to remember to use his words.

How do you match up with your person of choice?

10 Responses to “an uneven match”

  1. I’m a talker and he’s an enabler. Sometimes I think I’m married to his mother.

  2. We’re creepily like you two, that’s how. It’s the worst when we are fighting – well once we’re at that stage when we’re ready to talk somewhat civilly. John wants to be all touchy and feely and get right up in my space which I CANNOT HANDLE. I need to sit on the OTHER SIDE OF THE ROOM so I can wave my arms around freely while I air my list of grievances. I’m slightly less claustrophobic in other, less emotionally charged circumstances, though god help him if he tries to pin me down in any way to kiss me. I will instantly crawl out while making bothered noises.

    I’ve actually been thinking of getting that Love Languages book lately to understand this a little better.

    • We had to read that as part of our pre-marital counseling! It was very enlightening.

      M is touchy-feely, I’m the talker. I think understanding this about each other helps a lot. He sits through my rambles and I’ve learned to let him into my personal space. It doesn’t always work, but I do find I’m more open to it if my needs are being met (and vice-versa for him).

  3. I’m huge on figuring out those ways in which we’re total opposites about expressing stuff and how that works out for us.

    Bring on the kazoos, I say!

  4. Jason is the cuddler of our relationship whereas I can sometimes get oversaturated with touch (something I worry about when it comes to having children – little hands all the time!). He’ll leave me alone when that happens, but there’s always a perplexed, puppy-dog look in his eyes, like “How can you get oversaturated on THE BEST THING EVER???”

  5. The Candyman says I’m made out of tissue paper and glass because I’m constantly complaining that he’s crushing me with his love.Literally. Because 190# of 6’6″ dead weight is fucking HEAVY. And he has this very loud, very annoying Darth Vader-ish breathing thing he does when he sleeps, so all up in my face is NOT good.

    But I don’t mind the face-to-face snuggles and smooches.

    And while I’m the emotionally suppressed Episcopalian, he had 4 brothers, a dad and a mom who passed when he was 11, so every issue is the “fight it out until one of us is dead” method. Pre-marital counseling helped us over that hurdle. 🙂

    And when I first read KAZOO, in my head it was KUDZU and I was all, “Greenery is an odd thing to be sad with.” But then I decided to read better.

  6. Wow, it really sounds like non-touchy wives and SUPERTOUCHY husbands is a thing. Which makes me feel better, because it took me a long time to not jump like a scalded cat every time he wanted to rub my back. Ooops. But! I mostly got over it, though sometimes I still reach a saturation point and nix the tickling.

    • Erin, I think we may just be drawn to other women who are like us cause as I was reading Lyn’s words and some of the follow up comments I was nodding my head and saying “Yes, yes, me too!” in my head.

  7. I’m totally the kissy, touchy-feely one. Tony doesn’t care for kissing much for some reason, and because it’s All About Me (right?!), I wonder what I’m doing wrong. This is a good reminder that it’s not necessarily personal.

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