People change and grow and develop new needs as they mature. Beodude, just because Jen has needs that another man could possibly fulfill doesn't mean you don't give her everything she needs from you. She is simply a person whose needs have grown and changed as she has. That doesn't mean you have to twist yourself to fit what you think J. is giving her, or could give her. He can give her those things because he is J. and you give her what she needs from you. We all have a rainbow of needs.
As far as sex and boundaries: a boundary is defined as a demarcation of the "farthest limit," or something that limits, confines, restricts, or restrains. Are such restrictions never negotiable? She was obviously willing to accept them at some point but as a person grows and changes, some boundaries and restraints become uncomfortable, perhaps even feel oppressive. Would you be comfortable sitting at the same desk you had in the sixth grade? I'm sure it would be too small and confining for you. Maybe you can look at it that way to understand what she is asking for in wanting to change the boundaries you set.
About sex -- for me, sex is a form of communication, a way to connect with another person via the body and not just words, that lets them know who you are on another level. So, as I see it, when you set boundaries against sex, even though you have accepted and to some degree welcomed the rest of their relationship, the restriction against them having sex prevents a deeper level of communication between them. Now, it's perfectly reasonable to ask for a slower pace, but you may not necessarily benefit from seeing such a liaison as a thing that will wound you. It could enrich you.
Try looking at the situation from different perspectives and asking yourself if the boundaries you have set are coming from things like a belief system you have been taught, a protective behavior against the idea that you will be hurt by it, insecurity, or what? Not to judge but to understand. Get to the heart of it and that is the only way you can have a real, productive dialogue with Jen about it without closing up and feeling at the mercy of what she wants.
Saying you feel stuck between a rock and a hard place seems to indicate that you feel if Jen has sex with J., it will victimize you in some way. If so, try imagining a "worst case scenario" -- what would you need to feel safe and taken care of by Jen, if she and J. were to move forward into a fully sexual arrangement? You and she might choose not to relax those boundaries, but either way, don't let yourself be terrorized by the mysterious unknown looming behind you. See if you can confront it and communicate to her exactly what scares you about the possibility.
To you both: be kind to yourselves, while also being brutally honest, in the process of dealing with all this.
Last edited by nycindie; 02-21-2011 at 10:00 AM.