I have been waiting to see if my communication with Mono's female friend continues as it would seem to me that if it stopped then I indeed was being used to smooth over any repercussions of the present Mono got.
I thanked her for the books she lent me yesterday and she continued talking to me and writing back and forth about what's in them. A GOOD SIGN! I felt much better about it after choosing to see her actions as nothing more than positive friendship building.
I talked to Mono about all this and he let me know that like everyone else in his office he quite often arranges birthday cards and gifts for people. He had done this for her as she is well liked and known to his co-workers. He thought she was returning the kindness with a birthday/retirement/christmas present of his own. He saw no motive beyond kindness between friends.
He also said that it doesn't matter what she thinks and feels, it matters more how he responds to it. I hadn't thought of it that way. I agreed entirely and will be reminding myself of that from here on in. I intend to watch his reactions rather than her actions.
Mono and I again had the discussion about his retirement and how I confuse his anxiety and pensiveness to be about her when really he is thinking about his retirement and concern about where to go next in his life. It helps me to have this conversation over and over again with him as each time I learn something more about what he is going through. He works hard at letting me know his feelings and I appreciate it. I know its hard for him to verbalize what is going on in his head, but it makes a huge difference to my connection to him and in turn, I am hoping, to his being able to process by himself without my questioning what he thinks about. Once I know something of his process I am more than willing to give him all the space he requires. I do it cheerfully and lovingly then.
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