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the girl who waited...and waited...


careymarie

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Alright, so -

 

My boyfriend and I have been dating for going on a year and a half now. We are very happy, we don't fight (we have little misunderstandings every now and then, normal relationship stuff, nothing violent or relationship-threatening). We have separate places but really only out of convenience and prior commitments to other roommates, and we spend our nights at my place or his place, depending on the night. Essentially, we live together, but in two places. We're happy with the situation and have talked about taking our time and waiting for the right time to get a place that's just ours (in a year or so when our respective leases are up). I love him immensely and we're on the same page as far as long-term commitment and whatnot. The sex is awesome. He gets me little things or does things to cheer me up when I'm down and takes care of me when I'm sick, etc, and I take care of him when he's not well, etc.

 

Anyway, yes, we are phenomenally happy. But there's one thing he does that irritates the heck out of me - he is constantly late for things (and a lot of the time this means I end up being late for those things too). A large part of this is due to the fact that he has a hard time getting up in the morning (he has sleep problems and has seen doctors for it, but it's sufficient to say that when he does sleep, he doesn't sleep well). When the alarm goes off, he hits snooze multiple times and is usually rushing to get ready to leave the house for work. He plans to leave exactly on time to arrive where he needs to be, but most of the time things happen and leaving "exactly on time" means getting there late. He's not a lazy person - when he gets to work he's one of the hardest workers I've ever seen and he's very good at his job. He's smart, and determined, just chronically late

 

I used to be the same way - but I adjusted my habits and now I'm consistently on time or early to anything I'm supposed to be at. I leave earlier than I know I need to, and it works. I've been at the same job for a year and a half and I've never once been late. This isn't something I want to brag about, it's just something that I've worked very hard on and I'm proud of it.

 

When I bring all of this up to him, he says he knows I'm right and he's sorry and wants to do better, but it hasn't happened. He says "don't let me hit snooze" - I told him that's something he needs to take responsibility for himself because sometimes I'm in the shower or already gone to work and I'm not there to boot him out of bed. I honestly don't want to make a huge deal out of it - like I said, we are really very happy and as things stand, we plan to spend the rest of our lives together, it's just this one thing. And every time it happens, I get a little more upset about it because it just keeps happening.

 

Does anybody have any ideas on how to talk someone into being more punctual?

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You know its a medical condition - its not like he is apathetic or mentally being lazy. I would adjust adjust and plan things for later in the day with him, or go to things like open houses that have rolling arrival times. If he was just a bum, I would say, just go do things without him if he doesn't wake up in time, but this is not something he can just will himself better on. He can't exactly run on 4 hours of sleep, you know?

 

The only thing you can do is be understanding. If you can't tolerate it and he can't change easily, then you have to decide if you can live with it. Also, is this also exacerbated by weight? Apnea usually is. If so, is he trying to lose weight to help it? But for some people, they need surgery. Maybe he needs to see a different doctor.

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I know he's not being lazy, that's one of the reasons I don't want to make a big thing out of it. If it's just stuff I wanted to do in the day and have to postpone, I don't have a problem with it. The times when it's really an issue are times when it's something important - mostly his job. Postponing a recreational activity to sleep in and make up for lost sleep is one thing - not really an option with a job. I really don't want to be a nag about it, I just don't want him to lose his job over it.

 

Yes, it's weight-related - we're both trying to lose weight but we're both awful at it and it's slow going. It's happening, just very slowly because we have really busy work schedules and it's very hard to find time to exercise. Eating healthier has been working, but yeah, slowly.

 

We do sleep in separate places occasionally, but he's had this problem since before he met me when he was single and sleeping alone every night.

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Ack, your bf sounds exactly like how I am in the morning, except I don't have weight issues, so I'm not exactly sure what it is. It's been a constant struggle for me as well because I can barely clock in four hours of sleep due to the constant waking and/or being semi-conscious and always have to catch up on sleep during the weekends. I think in the end, it is his responsibility though. Just like it's mine to get to work on time. You've already addressed the issue and told him how you felt about it. I think you should let him take care of it and stop worrying so much. If it becomes a really big issue with his company, they will be sure to let him know. I think that will probably give him a good jolt.

 

Leave it to his boss to do the reprimanding. Just be his sweet girlfriend like I see that you are.

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Some people just run late. I'm very punctual and have about 5 different clocks for different people in my lives because I can count to a minute how late they will be. It used to bother me very much and I would even get offended but that got exasperating so I just tell my bf to to show up at 8 if we have to be somewhere at 830 and I tell my Mom to be somewhere at 745 if we have to be there at 830 etc etc; different clocks for different folks Less stress on me and they are (unintentionally) on time. The only time I start running late is if I hate where I'm going usually that has only accounted for a few jobs I was miserable at or really uncomfortable social activities. Lateness is not all about lack of discipline but sometimes the subconscious at work.

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set the clocks in the house ahead 15-20 minutes

 

put the alarm clock accross the room from the bed so he has to get up to go shut it off.

 

You know he is this way and that until he shows initiative to change, he's not going to change, so is his being late the hill you want to die on with regards to this relationship? Considering everything else about it is on target, will you be so filled with resentment over his tardiness that it will eclipse all of his good points?

 

In the meantime, he's an adult. If he loses his job because he's late for work, then he will have to suffer all of the consequences for that. You can't be his mother about it. He's a big boy now.

 

with regards to the soundless sleeping issue---have you tried listening to delta sleep sounds or use hypnotherapy for relaxation into sleep? I've begun using it (I"m battling menopause and one of the symptoms I'm dealing with is waking up constantly) and I can fall asleep with in 20 minutes using it and stay asleep. I have them on my iPod and use a iHome dock. I have about 7 different types of sleep music (Dr. Jeffery Thompson: link removed ) I also take 2-5 mg of melatonin 2 hours before falling asleep some nights. He might benefit by using this.

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I want to add that my brother suffered bad from this. It was not all weight. he wasn't obese. He had a longer palette than most that would block his air passage. Anyway, I don't think it should be addressed as merely a respect thing. The difference between hitting snooze for someone like this is the difference between being late, or being so tired you get into an accident on the way there by leaving early. He has got to do everything he can medically - getting a C-Pap machine if he doesn't have one and also being very aggressive with his weight loss - finding if there is any other cause like thyroid and going cold turkey on soft drinks, chips, etc. For some people this is a life or death condition. The lack of good sleep makes people more prone to accidents on the road and they also have a somewhat higher risk of death if he does have apnea than someone who does not have it.

 

It is a matter if he is willing to do these thigns.

 

But you cannot be his "mom." If he is late for work, its not your concern. He has to suffer his own consequences and you have to decide whether it bothers you enough to walk away, or you just take your hands off of it and let him learn on his own - but set boundaries in the stuff that you do together - leave if he is not awake, etc. Also, commit to not bringing junk food into the house so that you are helping him out without pointing out his weight, and if he sees you in better health and weight he'll get there too.

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