My boyfriend Cody claims he feels suffocated and gets zero alone time or guy time. But I feel like he gets away from me a lot . He’s constantly out golfing or drinking with his friends or trying to figure out where in our house I hide the plastic bags.
I told him I thought this “I’m being smothered” feeling was something we could talk through, but he said he couldn’t because of the pillows. I suggested he use a safe word so that I’m not always having to guess what’s “too much” (his words). He got all mad and said, “Last night in bed I begged you to ‘Please stop trying to suffocate me while we’re having sex.’ How much clearer can I be?!” When I explained that I thought that was part of the game, he practically screamed “SUFFOCATING ME IS NOT A GAME, Brittany!”
As I re-fluffed all my pillows and put away my belts and ropes, he shook his head and threw his hands up in the air and tried to walk out of the bedroom, leaving this whole situation unresolved. But I followed him and jumped on his back, which is part of this game I invented called “forced piggy back.” He started yammering on about consent and other fads, but it didn’t matter because part of “forced piggy back” is that I hang on by covering his mouth.
When I finally got tired and he could talk again, he said that I need to learn about boundaries, but how am I supposed to learn about boundaries if he’ll barely talk to me about this? He said we could talk if I refrained from touching him for the duration of the conversation and if I poured my chloroform stash down the drain.
I did those things, but even then he seemed irritated and easily startled. He laid out a list of things I’m no longer allowed to do, and it seems pretty unreasonable. For example, we’re not allowed to do couples yoga anymore because I can’t do it “appropriately.” And I’m not allowed to knit him any more scarves or buy him any more ties. He said his work is business casual and he has no need for ties at all, and I was like, “Well, except for . . .” but he cut me off and said, “No, Brittany!! We both know why you’re buying me so many ties, and it has to stop.” He said no more bandanas, either, that nobody needs that many bandanas to soak in chloroform.
As if all this wasn’t hurtful enough, he said he no longer wants us to have a joint Facebook account. He wants his own account that isn’t associated with the “Auto Erotic Asphyxiation Experiment” group that I got us added to on our joint account.
He said he’s tired of having to do EVERYthing as a couple, that sometimes he just wants to go fishing by himself. I asked him if fishing line is very strong, and he got all upset again. He said we need to seriously renegotiate the terms of our relationship.
I’m not really interested, though. I think he might be a psycho.
Jennie Young is an English professor and humor writer based in Green Bay, Wisconsin. She’s studied at The Second City and has work in McSweeney’s, Points in Case, Slackjaw, HuffPost, Little Old Lady Comedy, and others. Twitter: @jenner_young