Jon got back early Friday morning. The plan was for him and Lora to spend Friday morning together, and then he and I would spend a few hours together and go out on our date, and then spend the evening together. I thought this was the plan.
This was not the plan. This is not remotely how things worked out.
Lora and Jon did spent the morning together. They got brunch, then took a nap. Around noon, Jon came in to greet me (I woke up around 11:30, but stayed in best resting; I’d had a painful night due to my health problems, which at least worked out well in that I’d planned on taking Friday off anyways). We cuddled together for about half an hour and were kissing and nuzzling (I thought we were leading into having sex) when we heard Lora crying in the bathroom. So Jon got up to see what was going on.
He came back about half an hour later, and then we all started hanging out together. I was confused and upset and stressed. I thought Jon and I were having alone time together, and on our way to having sex for the first time in a week and a half. But Lora had just been crying – would it be shitty for me to tell her that I thought Jon and I were having alone time together, and ask her to let us do that? I didn’t know what to do. My heart hurts at the idea of telling someone who was just sobbing to go away. But my heart also hurts because all I want is a few freaking hours of cuddles and sex and alone time with my partner, and I feel like I can’t ask for it.
Eventually I went into the kitchen and made a cup of tea, and sat with one of the cats and tried not to cry. After a while, Jon and Lora noticed that I’d left the bedroom and didn’t seem to be coming back, so they came to find me and ask me what was wrong. I told them that I didn’t want to talk about it – I really didn’t want to talk about it with Lora there. Jon sort of motioned for Lora to go do her schoolwork and sat with me. I sat there and just…felt shitty. But eventually, I started talking.
And I explained to him how they’d have the whole morning together, and less than half an hour into us spending time together, first we’re interrupted by Lora crying, and then she comes to hang out with us. Jon let me know that Lora wasn’t crying because she felt lonely or because of us – she was stressed about something else. You know, I didn’t even think about what she was crying about – what I thought about was “gee, half an hour into spending time with Jon, and after spending several hours together, Lora starts doing something loud and miserable that pulls Jon’s attention back to her”. Which I told him. And he said that he understood the problem (I’m really starting to think that Jon and I either have different definitions of the word “understand” or he doesn’t actually understand). He went on to say that he was confused as to why I shut down when she joined us – he hadn’t realized that we were trying to have alone time. It’s not like the door to the bedroom was shut or anything.
So we had a productive conversation about how I need to say things like “I would like to have alone time with you” and signs that we’re having alone time, like a closed bedroom door. That was really helpful, because Jon’s right in that Jon and Lora don’t live in my head and can’t be expected to know that I was expecting we’d have alone time together. This also led to a really productive conversation about how Jon and Lora spend most of their time together in Lora’s room, and by virtue of it being a bedroom where the door is usually only half open, I assume they want alone time, and so I leave them totally alone when they’re together. BUT – it doesn’t work both ways.
And I can kind of understand that when Jon and I are hanging out in the living room or the kitchen, Lora wouldn’t automatically equal “Jon and Liz time” with “alone time” if we’re in a public room. I can understand it in that the kitchen and/or living room shouldn’t be off-limits, just because Jon and I are in there together. But on the other hand, it does bother me that I only interrupt Lora and Jon when they’re together if I really need something that I can’t do or figure out on my own AND it’s something that can’t wait. But that feeling of “only interrupt for important things” doesn’t go both ways. Or, if it does, Lora has many, many important things to interrupt us with. Like crying because she’s stressed about finding a job (which is what the bathroom crying was about). Which, admittedly, she didn’t actually come into the room and interrupt us with. But what asshole is going to ignore her crying increasingly loudly in the bathroom to spend time with his other partner?
I’m amazed that all this hasn’t given me chronic headaches to go with all my other medical problems.
But anyways, lesson learned. If Jon and I want to have private time, we need to go into the bedroom and close the door. Got it. Check.
Though I can’t help but wonder how long that door is going to stay closed the first time we’re having private time and hear Lora loudly crying from somewhere else on the other side of it.
The rest of the day…passed. Jon and I went out on our date and spent that time together. Then he came home and we all spent an hour or two together, than he spent most of the rest of the evening with Lora, until it was time for him and I to go to bed.
And I couldn’t help but feel like…he just got back from a trip. We hadn’t spent more than an hour or two at a time together in a week and a half, between the trip and him and Lora’s fighting. And yet…the end result is that Jon and I spend about half the day together. I feel like the best I can ever expect from Jon right now is fifty percent of his time. It doesn’t seem to matter if I’ve barely seen him for days, while he and Lora were able to spend hours together each of those days before he left on his trip. It doesn’t matter that on most of Jon and Lora’s date days, they spend the majority of the day together – it doesn’t seem to go both ways. Fifty percent is my maximum. Because more than that and Lora feels like things are unfair to her.
Why am I in this living situation again? I feel like my desire to make a loving home for three has turned into a nightmare where I see my partner far, far less than I did when we lived separately, and yet no matter how I try to address that, it never gets better. I’m really losing hope that they could be any improvement that generates more of a sense of equality here. Not when Lora and her needs and insecurities and problems take up most of the emotional space.