So, regarding my head still no improvement, those headaches are a pain in the ass. It's one week now and I am fed up with it. But well, they fit the rest of the things going on, it hasn't been all roses the last days. (Sorry in advance, this is going to be a long read this time.)
My BiL came over on Tuesday to chat a bit. I wasn't in the mood for his (from time to time) unreflected talks. Didn't stop him from telling us about how he was pressed to inform the publican of the bar where the marksmen meet (all of them, the gun range is in the basement of the building) about our situation. As he seemed to have approached him to get to know, what the thing with Sward and me this new guy is all about. The publican of all persons. I was like head → desk. Well, we told my BiL that we won't keep it a secret if someone really would come to us and ask questions, that he shouldn't feel forced to lie about this, but in this case, I was just hoping for some common sense, I guess. Well, I hoped in vain. Let the gossiping begin.
The second thing he told Lin and me was that he and my sister talked about the whole situation, how it of course can't last forever and was bound to fail, how he and her would always (of course!) defend us if someone would attack us for this, but how they believe that one of the relationships will suffer and not survive, sooner than later. Their educated guess: the marriage was bound to fail, Sward has been so different, there has to be something going on, we couldn't be as happy as in the past. I just looked at him in disbelieve. He was talking about it in a kind of 'Ah, poor thing … there there, everything will turn out alright, just let me manage this for you' manner. Maybe I should add that this patronizing and know-it-all attitude is typical for him. It's the trait that gets Sward worked up in no time, every time the two of them talk.
Lin stayed calm and tried to explain that this reaction of the two of them was understandable, because all they are able to see on a day to day basis, was Lin and I, as Sward was working so much. Of course they had to have the impression of Lin's and my relationship to be stronger. BiL skipped in: “Well, no he has been changed during times when all of us are together as well.” I explained that this could be due to the stress he is constantly exposed to at work. That indeed, he has changed a bit because of the constant pressure, but not because there was something different or 'not OK' with our marriage. No, there just had to be something else, from BiL's point of view. And I was like, if you think so …
I told Sward about those three points (the one from the last entry, that he should finally find some time and space to talk to my mother, that there may be something going on at the marksmen association and that my sister and her husband are kind of weighing the potential of our two relationships and see ours at a disadvantage). That's when the quarrels between the three of us began.
Sward is really stressed right now. I know that. But I can't keep the rest of the not-work-related-world from him because of it. I understand that he is unnerved by the need to talk to all those people (my mother, his best buddy among the marksmen and our neighbor, the more official persons of the association, maybe my sister and her husband). He doesn't want to. The only thing I explicitly asked for was the talk with my mother. The rest is his decision to make. He is the social animal in our relationship, has always been the one to go out and socialize with everyone, I can't change that now, as he is pressed for time all the time. And I can't fix this issue with my mother either and her view of him being manipulated into this. I don't want some huge misunderstanding building up in my direct surroundings. He felt cornered and was totally irritated by this, what made him give unmotivated, so-so decisive answers to my demands and made him just leave the room in the end.
I utterly hate this behavior. When he feels pressured and doesn't know how to handle things or doesn't want to be bothered by tings any longer, he just leaves. And everything just because I wanted to hear a clear answer to my request of looking into things with my mother. He himself felt he had already answered that, but his mumbling and briefness didn't come across as cooperative, or that he understood at all what I was asking of him.
Well, after a quiet dinner some minutes later, he left for some hours. Lin tends to tune up his headphones as soon as he notes that Sward and I talk in private about some matters and I informed him why Sward had left and what the matter was. That was the point when I realized that Swards behavior of the past weeks had not only bothered me but Lin as well.
Lin is the type of guy who always balances pros and cons before going into an argument. (Unlike me, I just blurt out what is on my mind and why.) There have been many situations during those weeks when he thought about the necessity to talk to Sward about something bothering him about the way he handled certain things or how he behaved in certain situations, but he always decided to gauge it for the time being, as it didn't seem important enough to make a scene because of it.
What Lin detected was a general attitude in Sward's behavior that was bugging him more and more. He called it the 'whipped puppy'. Yes, Sward does have it hard right now, but the only thing he does to counter that (if you can call this 'countering' at all) is vent about how bad the situation at work is and how exhausted he fells at home. This doesn't change anything. Sward isn't drowning in self-pity, but there is a quite a bit of it in his daily talks. And Sward's tendency to sweep things under the rug was bugging him big times. And that Sward wasn't able to just stand up for himself and say right away if something was hurting him, or if he didn't agree with something or if something was just rubbing him the wrong way.
I guess Lin isn't feeling that great right now as well, normally he would just regard this as something that is typical for Sward without loosing his calm about it. He isn't someone who gets involved in the business of others that fast. I don't know what it is that is bugging him, but I guess it's the overall situation with work and the things going on on our 'coming out poly front'. When Sward came home later that evening, I was already in bed because of my headaches, Lin tried to explain to him, what he thought of the situation, but Sward didn't wanted to talk about it again and snapped at him. Lin decided to stay calm and not answer right away, as there has been enough tension going o that day and talked to Sward the next evening on Wednesday.
Sward and I didn't talk about the issue till the next morning. When he left the house he went to attend the weekly meeting at the pub and talk to some of his acquaintances. No one said a word (didn't expect anything else) and he came home with the confirmation that those meetings aren't something for him any longer. He didn't attend them for nearly two years, it's just internal politics stuff and such and most of the members are really old. Well, be that as it may, we talked again and cleared the miscommunication from Tuesday evening.
As I said, I understand that the situation isn't great for him right now, but he can't deal with it by postponing things endlessly just because they are difficult and inconvenient. And concerning the communication part, that he finally had to learn to just say “Stop right there, you are getting on my nerves big time, leave the issue be, I understood what you want to tell me, but I won't discuss this any further right now.” It would really help if he finally managed to do this in time and not wait until he is so on the edge that he feels the need to just leave the situation in general.
After Lin and Sward had their talk in the evening, things are civil and sorted out at the moment. I don't know what they talked about, but both seem to be satisfied for now. The tension is gone.
I was just thinking about the difficult situation for both of them. There is whole different level between friends living together than between lovers living together. I think that you are more willing to overlook and put up with negative behavior if the other person is as important for you as a partner is. But in the case of friends, I tend to be a bit less tolerant. Or at least, I don't need to be as I don't live with them. I can overlook something bugging me or not regard it as that important, because I don't have to deal with it 24/7.
This was the first time, a personal trait was the cause for some friction. I hope that things are really sorted out, it's not that I don't trust them to have solved the problem this time, but when talking to Lin about the things disturbing him in regard to Sward, I noticed that I started to protect Sward and explain why he was this way or the other. Lin hasn't lived this long with him, Lin is a whole different person than I am and I don't know if he is able to put up with some of Sward's traits the way I do. I guess we reached a point where things are finally at a stage of looking really into things. I guess we will find the answer during the next year or so, if this is going to last for a really long time or not. It depends on the two of them arranging themselves with the respective other on a level of partners that are as a matter of fact just … yeah, what are they? I am kind of nervously awaiting to put some kind of stamp on their relationship. I am unsure if the connection between them is that of roommates, some looser family-like structure (similar to brothers) or real friends on the best buddy level. Time will tell.
Facts: 30, female, bi, v-type relationship with Sward (husband, straight, mono) and Lin (boyfriend, straight, mono), poly-fi and co-primary.