I have gotten so much good advise on here. Thank you so much!
I figured an update would be good.
So I did go over and help with food prep. It was much more pleasant than I'd built it up in my head to be. She and I got a good talk in and it turns out she took something he said when voicing his concerns differently than he intended. She said she thought that because he said she wasn't the only source that had him concerned.
Hold up wait what? I set it aside rather than grow angry over it. He has gotten so transparent in his deeds I just couldn't take that information on its face without talking to him.
We did hash out what we could without him as far as trust and open communication and our differences in style goes. She is better at answering direct questions than she is at offering information. I'm better at offering information and waiting to see what gets offered in return than I am at asking direct questions. I fear coming off as nosey when people don't seem forthcoming. I told her that long ago but - as GG has pointed out (thank you!) that is not clear communication. It is not a question or a request. It is just a tidbit of info and doesn't mean people get my aim or even if they do, they don't always see it as something they have to act on.
I also talked to her about trying to expressing myself clearer moving forward. I wanted her to know it might seem different and could be perceived as growing bossy or demanding compared to my normal style.
She asked if some of the choices he has made in regards to date nights and frequency is due to my struggles and I let her know that in the beginning that was more likely but not so much of recent. That stuff falls mostly due to his go big eliminate all troubles reaction if I have anything to talk to him about at all habit. I assured her we are working on that not even just for how it plays out for her but how it plays out with us; it simply cannot continue.
She seemed relieved. She was having trouble with hearing my words and then seeing his actions being overboard compared to what I'd said were my limits. I guess she was hearing my words better than he has been and noticing it too!
that means I've not gone completely mad yet!
The rest of the night was enjoyable till the gift opening. Most were just funny and small but one ended up being something I'd really wanted to get him and figured I would come xmas since I couldn't for his bday. I'll get over it; he is always wanting something. I didn't fuss about it or anything. The boys wanted to play a card game after that and I stepped out for some air. She was nice enough to check up on me and make sure I was okay. I didn't see the point in telling her I'd intended to get the item for him. I didn't think about it that she might buy it even though it was on his amazon list. No villain. No sinister motives. No point in making her feel bad when she only got it wanting to make him happy. And that was why I was still doing okay. Stepping outside was just to have a quiet moment to remind myself of the facts of the matter.
It was run by him about what he'd said that had her thinking I'd gotten in his ear with worries. I'm so glad I was able to recognize that he has been doing the extra effort with being earnest and sincere and not just get pissed. It turned out to be he meant that the class reunion trip wasn't the only instance that had him concerned. THAT TRIP she told him about wasn't his only source. It was well worked out and did a lot to ease my concerns about her.
I appreciate the advise I've gotten here for adjusting communication. Change the approach to circumvent the triggers. And it really helped steady me for giving it one more try. It feels good to have handled it and he took note of it too that "doing it my way" instead worked out better than his plan. It might have been the belly full of yummy cake talking. We'll see.
Could this be moved to journals or blogs? It feels like a good start.