Jonathan has been working a lot of late nights, as that’s a frequent requirement of his kind of work. I’ve been musing on something that happened a few nights ago, after he got home.
Jon got home an hour earlier than expected, which meant that he got home right as I was getting up to go shower before bed, so we decided to shower together. While I was finishing washing dishes, he went to get undressed and start the water. On his way to the shower, he asked me if I knew if Lora had gone to bed. I told him that Lora had told me earlier in the day that she was going to go to bed by nine, because she had to be up early for work. And I’d noticed when I walked by the bedroom earlier in the evening that the door was firmly shut and the light was out.
When I went to shower, I walked by the bedroom door and noticed that it was now ajar. I assumed Jon went into tell Lora that he was home, and would be coming to bed soon. I hopped into the shower with Jon and we talked about our days while we were cleaning up. In the middle of laughing over something, Lora came in to use the bathroom (we don’t have many boundaries between the three of us, when it comes to all of us needing to use the bathroom). Jon finished showering, and when he got out, I could hear him asking her what was wrong.
This segued into an argument where Lora told Jon that she was angry with him for lying about coming into the bedroom to see her when he got home. Jon told her that he did go into the bedroom and speak to her, but she had clearly been deeply asleep, and barely woke up. But he had spoken to her, and she did respond.
Lora disagreed, and told Jon that he definitely hadn’t come in, because she would have remembered. It ended up being a cyclical argument of Lora repeatedly telling Jon his was lying, and Jon repeatedly telling Lora he wasn’t. As I was still washing my hair during the back and forth (and they were speaking in very low voices), I think Lora assumed that I couldn’t hear them.
After Lora left the bathroom, I told Jon that it really bothered me when Lora accused him of lying, and that I felt really conflicted, because I didn’t want to butt into their fight, and I also didn’t 100% know that Jon had gone in to see Lora (but his words and the ajar bedroom door would both indicate that he had), but I did know that he wouldn’t lie about something like that. Jon said that he felt like Lora would be more upset to know that I had overheard than anything else. And he said that she reacted the way she did, because she came in to hear us laughing, and felt jealous and left out.
There’s a lot of thoughts that come to mind when something like this happens, and I have a hard time knowing what parts of it (if any) should be addressed. One aspect is if I should have spoken up and let them know that I could hear them. Another aspect is that I was pretty darn sure that Jon did go to check on Lora, and I wonder if I should have spoken up about that. I also understand how Lora felt jealous and left out about Jon and I laughing together. I’ve been there; it’s a thing that happens. It feels bad. Lashing out about it makes it feel even worse for everybody, and lashing out by calling your partner a liar makes it even worse, to me.
So I sit here and muse about what (if anything) to do about this situation as well as future situations. I ask myself “Once I realized that they were arguing, why didn’t I say something?” To be brutally honest, I was curious. I was curious, and I’ve overheard Lora lashing out at Jon in the past. I want to know if she’s still doing it, because knowing that she does it tells me how much I can trust her about certain things.
Jon and I have talked before about whether or not Lora and I would ever possible have more than friendship between us. When we talked over this exchange, I told him that knowing things like that is part of why I feel strongly that Lora and I will never have more than a friendship. I would react far more strongly than he does to being called a liar. And if Lora and I began a romantic relationship that went sour, the potential for the harm to spread through all our relationships would be large.
So, in light of this, one question I ask myself is that if I know that Lora and Jon have arguments where Lora unfairly accuses Jon of things, and that they have a history of these arguments, is it really necessary for me to continue to want to know about them? Or is it fair to assume that they will continue, as they already have been happening for years. Next time, should I speak up when I can overhear something?
And if an opportunity to tell Lora that I believe that Jon doesn’t lie comes up, should I take it? Past conversations with Lora have indicated that she believes that he has lied to her about certain things. Maybe he has; I feel very strongly that he hasn’t lied to me, and that he wouldn’t lie to her. If I challenge her belief that Jon sometimes lies about these things, what will she think? Will she think that maybe Jon lies to her, but not to me? Will she think I’ve being naive? Will she think that *I’m* lying? Or will she take it in the spirit that the conversation is meant in, which is that I do feel like she lashes out at him unfairly at times, when she’s feeling worried and insecure, and that not only is that harmful to their relationship (and my relationship with her also, if/when I overhear it), it’s additionally harmful that the lashing out takes the form of calling someone that she loves a liar.
If she had come into the bathroom and said that she was surprised to see us awake and laughing, and didn’t remember Jon waking her up and telling her he was home, then I would have expressed much sympathy and love toward her, and asked what I could do in the moment to help with that. Does she want to jump in the shower with Jon a bit. Or, would she like to spend a bit of time cuddling in bed with Jon before I join them to sleep? Or something else?
I have a feeling that, at some point, situations like this will come to a head, because they do bother me, and they do make it hard to let my guard completely down around Lora. But figuring out what parts I do have a right to express an opinion on, and what parts I don’t is a really tricky ground.
I don’t have any answers right now, but it’s a good thing to think about, and start figuring how to handle in the future.