Octopus - it's always comforting when something resonates with other people, thanks for your message I don't know
where self-sabotage comes from, but in the context of relationships, one of my favourite movies: The Price of Milk. It's a NZ film, so may not be easily available in other places, but really worth tracking down if you can.
Jane - yup, you're right. I'm growing to understand things more on their terms. It's actually been beautiful to watch the reality of "DADT" unfold for them. Still no confronting conversations but Ocean's stayed over at the in-laws, Bert occasionally makes himself scarce for the two of them to have alone time. In a way they're dealing with the physical reality first, rather than discussing the conceptual things... Hey, if it works, all power to them.
rory - I hear what you're saying. Talking with Menrva about the DADT this is a great idea and one that's on my to-do list for next time we catch up the two of us. One thing I left off about my dessert story was that, five minutes after those emotions welled up for me, Ocean looked across the table and asked me if I wanted to share some of his. He had obviously taking it for granted that things were casual enough that he could be free to move around the table and change ideas re: food. Which, given our usual dynamics, made perfect sense. In fact, for me, when a partner trusts our connection enough to rely on it to feel relaxed about doing risky things (however simple) is something I really value. That gesture (of offering me the dessert) reminded me that I wasn't unvalued or forgotten but just "taken for granted" in the best sense. It broke through the blech I'd been feeling instantly.