I screwed up last night. And I did it despite some good examples set by people here - Marcus, NYCIndie - who have been struggling with similar issues.
Z (boyfriend) is going through a really rough time now re work. It is quite possible that he will be out of a job in a few months, without obvious options for finding a new one. He is the primary supporter for his family, and financially they live on the edge even now. And to be out of work would be to fail at what he has invested more than a decade of his life it. And he's under a lot of pressure at work to get things done. So we have seen each other less, and he has been rather unreliable.
I have tried really hard to be supportive, understanding, non-pressuring, and mostly I think I have succeeded. And I help with work when I can, by editing and proofing his writing. There have been a number of weeks where I spend more time on his work than I do actually seeing him.
I have trust issues with Z though, and though they have gotten better over the last year they still flare up. We have different attitudes towards telling the truth; he is much more inclined to hide things that he thinks would hurt someone and that they don't need to know.* And we came into this relationship with very different expectations, which took a while to become clear, probably in part because clarifying would require difficult conversations that he would rather avoid. (Also probably because of unreasonableness and willfull blindness on my part - looking to be reassured that things were as I wanted rather than accepting how they actually were. Anyway, that's another long story.)
*Actually, this is less of a problem than that I think he is inclined to lie to make things easier, when he doesn't feel like dealing with something. Hard to know for sure though when this happens. Sometimes I am pretty confident; sometimes I am probably being paranoid when I suspect it.
So in this time of stress, the relationship feels rather one way, like I am doing all the supporting and being flexible and not getting much consideration. And sometimes (most of the time?) I recognize that this is just all he can do, but sometimes it triggers fears that I have just been a fool all along to be involved. And I start wondering whether the unclear communication and unreliability are hiding something. And once this cycle starts, it can be hard to tamp down - my lack of complete trust feels like a burden, a barrier.
So last night I acknowledged that one of the recent shifts in plans had triggered this again. Really I should know better - not surprisingly, he was upset as well as angry that instead of being supportive I was adding a new burden. But having to hide it is hard and feels false too. Despite feeling badly for upsetting him, there is a little feeling of relief at letting this be know too. Fortunately we seem to have gotten through it.
Going to be some rough months ahead though.
Last edited by wildflowers; 03-22-2013 at 11:58 AM.