A little more discussion and he says it's not that I went back to that partner at the end, but that I started with someone else in the first place, rather than sitting with him while he finished eating. He says most couples would have waited out together. I figured we were attending in order to improve our dancing, so if at least one of us was out there learning the new steps, it would benefit us both.
I'm starting to think dancing is not an activity we should do together. I know I have a tendency to get critical of his dance steps and I don't know where it comes from. And he has these expectations that don't feel comfortable to me. Next weekend there will be a dance where he, C and L all plan to attend, and again I'm getting paranoid he's going to have some reason to be disappointed with me that I don't see coming. Almost to the point where I shouldn't even dance with C or L, to avoid it. Although now these issues even come up when I dance with total strangers, so social dancing has become a land mine when he's present. When I go dancing without him (which is most of the time, 2 or 3 nights a week), I can just relax and enjoy it and not worry about how much attention I'm giving to any one person. I have seen other married couples who manage to exist as separate individuals on the dance floor, so I know it's not impossible.
I want him to feel special to me, and important, and that I enjoy the time I spend with him. Yet the more I feel confined by expectations, the less loving I feel -I have the urge to push away, not draw close. Not sure how to get around this.
Married to a monogamous man 15 yrs, mother of 2, dating C 3 yrs, and in a romantic friendship with L more than 20 yrs