Originally Posted by mostlyclueless
Do you have any other partners, or interest in other partners?
Do you feel resentful of the money imbalance?
You said that you have the "advance notice" boundary that she has respected. In your heart of hearts, would you also feel better if there was a "time spent" (or frequency of seeing each other) boundary?
I may be way off -- but my read of this is that you are upset about the new lover, denying yourself the right to ask for what you want (less intensity with the lover) because you think it's not fair, resenting her for not giving you what you want even though you haven't asked for it*, and funneling that resentment into housework/money issues.
*this is in no way a criticism; I completely understand your feeling that you can't/shouldn't ask her to spend less time with the guy when you're not even around. Just thinking the conflict between what you want and what you think you're supposed to do might be at the root of a lot of this turmoil.
I think that's pretty much right on the nose.
I do resent the money thing because she doesn't really respect or understand that it has been difficult me to adjust from 1 adult living on a modest salary in an expensive part of Seattle to 2 adults living on the same amount. She used to give me a few hundred a month for rent and utilities until she lost her old job. She's always made minimum wage or been paid under the table, so to her "$2000 a month is enough money to cover a mattress and roll around naked in." She wants new bedroom furniture and I can't afford it right now. I want to fix my car and save instead.
The other day we were at the grocery store and I put some frozen vegetables in the cart that were on sale. She said "I won't eat those, I want these instead" and put in something that I considered expensive. I said "No..." and she made a pouty face and took it out. This type of exchange happened with a few other items and I snapped and said "Well when you get a job and start contributing to the household again you can pick out whatever you want." She got mad and said "Oh I see how it is, since I'm just a leech I don't get a say in what we eat." Later I apologized for hurting her feelings because it was a nasty thing to say, but the damage was done.
I don't have other partners and I realize that's probably part of the problem, and I would have a different perspective if I did. Unfortunately I struggle with dating due to social awkwardness and self esteem issues, which is my own fault and shouldn't affect her own perogative to find partners and have her own needs met. I understand that. I feel like I shouldn't be looking to date until I improve my emotional maturity and my distress tolerance because it's not really fair to other people and I'd just be wasting their time. Honestly I wasn't looking to date when I met my current partner, we were really close friends for a year before we started a romantic relationship and I resisted for a while because I was afraid of becoming a big old manbaby (like I'm being right now).
One thing she really enjoys doing is to "close out the bar," meaning she wants to stay out as long as possible. In the past that caused her to miss the last bus home and thus have to spend the night, breaking the "advance notice" boundary, but that's not really her fault. I mean, with NRE she gets caught up in the moment and forgets until it's too late. I do resent that because it means for those moments she "forgets to care" about my feelings, which she said herself is accurate (forgetting to care). But it's not malicious or intentional, someone forgetting is a mistake, so I can't hold it against her. So that's why the boundary of advance notice is hard for her.
I don't know how to ask for less intensity with the lover because intensity is what it is. I don't think she can just turn down a dial or something. She has a really strong bond with this person and that's something that I can't change or alter. It is what it is.
She said last night that because I've expressed hurt feelings and freaked out in a non-productive way that I've polluted her thing with the lover so much she might as well just break it off, which makes me feel terrible because they're obviously falling in love with one another and I don't want to be the "bad guy."
Also yeah, I can't ask her to spend less time with the lover (she's actually a girl) because I'm not around. My partner pointed out last night that because of my work schedule I don't go out much, so what's the point of sitting at home waiting around for me? That's not time invested in the relationship. It's just her making a pointless sacrifice.