Originally Posted by Mya
So what did that teach me? If you make people do stuff for you when they really don't want to, it will not be a nice experience for either of you.
Ah, this really rings bells for me. Sometimes I need solitude, for my own mental health - sleeping or otherwise. If I don't get space when I feel I need
it, things go rough for me.
Grotto from time to time needs me to be close, to spend time "with him" when I really need to spend time by myself. This causes a lot of frustration, but it sadly boils down to him having a need that I actually can't meet.
It's hard to compromise, but it's important to find one that actually works (if possible) rather than having the horrible but so understandable situation of one person feeling obligated to go further than they are comfortable, and resenting it.
Are you a heavier sleeper than he is? I'm sure you've thought of this, and maybe already do it, but depending on how he sleeps, it could be that he could sometimes sleep by you while you fall asleep, and then move to a different bed.
Or maybe (cheesy!) he could get you a soft toy to stand in for him. It's obviously not the same as a live human beside you but I've found the symbolism can be quite powerful, when I've been missing someone.
You say you feel like a jerk over this, but I guess it's more a lesson for both of you than a lesson for you alone. Yeah, you did ask him to do this for you, but he also (albeit against his better judgment, perhaps) agreed. I've been in his position, and felt resentful and angry... more around the fact that I had felt pressured to abandon "my own assessment of my capacity" and replace it with "someone else's assessment of my capacity, in light of their needs", and took a risk I regretted in retrospect. In the end though, even though there can be a lot of pressure from a partner, it's your choice what you do.
It sounds like you and Hank have pretty good communication (and yay for the warmth of his family towards you at Christmas!) so no doubt you'll tease this one out!
I've been thinking that growing to the "boundaries" (where you are less compatible, and so experience conflict) is somewhat inevitable, when you're emotionally open to someone. Because the relationship freeranges until it hits those walls, and then it's like a puzzle you need to solve together.
rory - sounds like the decision with Alec is feeling positive for both of you, although the end of things can be melancholy at times... Glad you're in a good space and looking forward to the future