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I CONFESS: Secretive partner leaves me baffled


BARBADOS NATION

I CONFESS: Secretive partner leaves me baffled

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I AM A VERY MISERABLE WOMAN and with just cause. My partner is the most secretive individual I have ever come across and despite our living together for the past ten years I am no wiser about so many things concerning him. I am at a loss as what I should do.

I met this man while we were working in the same building about 12 years ago and we struck up a relationship. He had been working with the company for about eight years previously. Our relationship started out rather simple; we ate around the same time in the lunchroom. At that time he lived at home and his mother or his sister prepared his lunch. He very seldom ate out and it would tend to be an occasion when he was invited. I had always taken to school my lunch and when I went to work continued the habit. Just about a year after we started working together I left to work with another private sector firm.

After our social interaction for about a year we started to commit to each other. During our courtship, we did a lot of things together, from going dancing to sea bathing to even travelling overseas. We were cautious in the way we spent money, ensuring that we did not waste it, that neither were we misers. So when we decided to start living together it was not difficult to rent a decent but affordable house.

The union has produced two children whom we both love dearly and who are two nice children seemingly destined to do well academically. My partner and I have never formalised the relationship by tying the knot and the truth is that I have never seen it as a priority. Perhaps, because I grew up in a household with my mother and two aunts and none ever got married and yet lived rather happily, or so it seemed. I was never under pressure to walk down the aisle.

Yes, like any woman in a relationship, I suppose I would have responded positively if the offer had been made. But such is life. So I have made the best of my situation and we have been very happy, indeed happier than some who have formally exchanged rings. And, yes, we have exchanged bands without the blessing.

I cannot quarrel about my partner in terms of looking after the house and most of the expenses. I do my share and we have been able to purchase a house together. But the guarded way my partner behaves is at times unsettling.

I do not know how much money he earns and it is not for wanting to ask him to do more or even less. I do not know which bank he has his money on. He works in the private sector and never says if and when he gets a bonus.

One year, to be precise, seven years ago, he got a hefty bonus and was so elated that he did a number of things and when I saw the money flowing and questioned him he indicated that he had gotten his bonus. It seems to have sent him into a shell.

He has two insurance policies and the only thing I know about them is when the notices come via the post and I receive them. I know he has bought some shares in two companies still listed on the Barbados Stock Exchange, but do not know anything about this venture.

Last year he was paid out by the company after it undertook a restructuring/downsizing exercise. I cannot say whether his payout was hefty, average or otherwise. He had also made some money when he sold all his shares in the company.

I did not question him when he bought an open-back pick-up following the payout as he changed my car for a newer second-hand one. The children were happy and so was I as we were also able to go to Disneyworld on a family vacation.

My partner is back in the workforce, having gained a job, about which I knew nothing for the first few weeks.

I eventually questioned him and his response was he was trying to see how things would work out before saying anything. But I reminded him that if something were to happen to him while he was out, neither the children nor I could say that it was him or not him.

His cellphone he keeps locked; his computer he keeps locked. This is the nature of the man. He loves dogs and raises birds and he alone deals with them. He does not want anyone around them unless he is taking them to a show.

My partner does not have two friends. In all the years we have been together he has never had more than ten people over at any given time and when we had those numbers it was because of a Christmas gathering.

Unless there is something special happening, besides the calypso tents which he loves, my partner is in the house by 7 p.m., not to go out again. He will get up and go out with his dogs by 5:30 a.m. and return home. His routine is very predictable for me. When we went to Disney we went shopping and he absolutely refused to buy anything, but returned the night and bought what he wanted while we sat in the restaurant, ate and waited for him. He likes to do things his own way.

When my mother died, he looked after the funeral arrangements and to this day I do not know what it cost. I gave him $3 000 and asked him what about the remainder. He said not to worry, and never spoke a word about it since then.

I love this man, but his ways cause me to fret and complain and be irritable.

I must confess his quirky ways sometimes drive me nuts, but even my quarrelling with him seems not to bother him.

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