Jon is definitely benefiting from having his own area in the communal bedroom to relax, play games, and work on his laptop. He’s decorated it with some knick-knacks and prints that he hadn’t previously put up anywhere. It looks and feels very him, and it seems like he really enjoys having a chunk of space to totally call his own.
I am feeling a million times better both in terms of privacy and in terms of not feeling isolated from Jon. With the old bedroom set-up, as I had a lot of feelings of unhappiness with the spare bedroom, I never spent time in it because it didn’t feel good to me to be in there. Although I’m not a person who usually wants/needs a totally private place to hide out, feeling like I really had no comfortable place to hide out during those few times when I want to hide out was bothering me more and more as time went on. Now, I do sometimes spend time curled up in the bed with a book or my laptop, relaxing and enjoying have a private place to go. Additionally, Jon and I spend time in the communal bedroom, not just for sex, but also just to hang out or cuddle – something we never did with the previous arrangement. So that feels really good too.
Lora is both happy with the switch and a bit concerned that it’s going to eventually feel like the communal bedroom is more mine/Jon’s, and not really hers. On the happy side of things, she’s really liking having the spare bedroom be “her” room. She and Jon spend nearly all of their private time together in that room (whereas Jon & I spend time that we really want to be totally private in the communal bedroom, but spend some of our time also in the living room or the kitchen), and no longer having the pressure/dissonance of her private room also being the communal bedroom is really helpful to her.
On the negative side, she is afraid that the communal bedroom is going to feel more like me and Jon’s room, and not like her room at all. That’s a tough one – When Jon brought up to me that Lora felt a bit left out of the room, we had some amount of friction – he brought up how he and I narrowed down the paint choices for the communal room, and then asked Lora to weigh in after we’d already made the biggest color decisions. Then when we picked out curtains, we didn’t really ask her opinion, we showed her what we picked out more as an after thought.
I told him that I agreed with the curtains, that we should have asked Lora for more feedback, but given that Lora entirely picked out the colors/curtains for the smaller bedroom herself (without Jon or me playing a role in deciding those things at all) AND also was the major decision-maker in which pieces of furniture were going to go in each bedroom (with Jon and I agreeing on that, but Lora calling the shots based on what felt most comfortable to her foremost), I felt like we were balancing things out fairly well. Not that I don’t want Lora involved in the big bedroom decoration (more on that to follow), but if the smaller bedroom is becoming entirely her bedroom, with Jon and I entering in on an invite-only basis, then it feels better to me that the communal bedroom has more input from me and Jon, and a bit lesser of input from Lora (though still a significant amount), especially since Jon and I (who do have lesser privacy/alone time needs than Lora) are going to be sharing the communal bedroom as a place to have totally personal time, since Lora is exclusively using the other bedroom as her private place.
This really isn’t an ideal situation; ideal would be either having three bedrooms, or having two bedrooms and a third (very) small room to be Lora’s private hangout-space. But since that isn’t currently possible, hopefully we can make it work with more inclusion of Lora’s things into the communal bedroom.
On that note, we haven’t done much of the overall decorating/putting up art on the walls/etc (other than Jon’s area). When we do, I want to make sure we all do it together, and see what art/decoration Lora wants to put up/display on shelves. Additionally, we’re going to make a little reading/hangout area for Lora in the communal bedroom, so that she and Jon can sometimes spend time together in there and hopefully that will give it more of an inclusive feeling to her – I think that’s going to be hard, or maybe something she ends up not really doing, because she does tend to pick one space as her territory, and that’s where she wants to spend nearly all her time. We’ll have to see how it goes.
When it comes to where we’re having sex, as I’m not spending any time in the spare bedroom now, that’s pretty much Lora and Jon’s space for sex as well as time together. I assume that there are times when Lora and Jon have sex in the communal bedroom after I’ve left for work (which I’m totally fine with, and have been all along). Jon and I are only having sex (and sleeping alone together) in the communal bedroom now – I’m not sure if that might modify over time. Oh, and by “only having sex in the communal bedroom”, that statement relates only to the bedrooms and sex. There are plenty of other rooms in our home that have seen their share of sex, which I assume also happens with Jon and Lora when I’m not home (Though since I’ve never asked, I guess I don’t really know. Hmm. I wonder if I should ask? I don’t really care, per se, but now that it’s on my mind, I guess I’m curious? Ah, whatever, not a big deal either way as long as I don’t find something like a sweaty butt-print on the kitchen table).
For the time being, Lora has said that no longer having the pressure of her private room also being the communal room has made a big difference to her in terms of security and comfort, so that’s a good thing, and hopefully a positive thing that will help balance her more ambivalent feelings about the communal bedroom. And we’ll continue to work on making the communal bedroom feel really communal, both in terms of making sure Lora’s things are in the room, and in terms of encouraging her and Jon (or the three of us) to spend time in there together. So still a work in progress, but thus far, the progress feels good and like we might be able to make it work!