As I mull over to myself how to talk to Jon (and possibly Lora too) about why I’m still unhappy about us living together, I promised myself that I would do better at proactively pointing out (to Jon, at least) situations that are upsetting and stressful to me. Instead of-a couple of weeks or months-dumping on him that I still really don’t want to live with Lora and why, it seems like a good idea to be continuously giving him examples of stressful situations that occur in our home, as they come up.
Tonight, originally, Lora wanted to come home and go to the gym, so Jon asked if he and I could spend time together early in the evening and then he’d spend time with Lora after. I said OK, packed up work to do at the end of the night, and came home. Once home for about half an hour, Jon let me know that Lora was having a kind of crappy day at work, and changed her mind about going to the gym. She wanted to spend time with Jon first, and then go to bed early. He asked if I was OK switching.
I immediately got tense. I got tense not because of changing things around time-wise (that was annoying, but not a deal-breaker), but because a Lora who doesn’t feel well is a Lora who is much likelier to lash out at Jon. So while the time switching thing was generally fine, in and of itself, Lora coming home sick was pretty stressful.
I told Jon that the time moving around was fine. He looked totally unconvinced of my fine-ness – which I didn’t blame him for. I didn’t look or feel fine. But it wasn’t the time itself that was the problem. It took me a few minutes to internally work through all the stuff that I just relayed in the above paragraph – I knew that I felt tense and stressed right off the bat, but not why. So I slowly talked through how the time part of things was a bit annoying, but that I was actually stressed now because when Lora is miserable, she frequently takes it out on Jon. She’s nastier to him. Picks more fights with him. Finds even more stupid faults to dramatize and demonize. It sucks to be around. I really, really hate it and now I was worried that a goodly part of the evening would involve listening to Lora yell at Jon.
Jon, to his credit, didn’t try to minimize her behavior. He didn’t make excuses. He gingerly told me that he appreciated me being honest about what I felt stressed about. He said that he understood why that would be stressful. And he said that he hoped it wouldn’t be like that, but that he couldn’t promise it.
He also decided to go meet Lora at the car. She had some stuff she needed help carrying in, and asked if he could meet her. He also thought that she might like him to sit in the car and just talk with her a little bit. So he went out to do that and I settled in to do work.
When they came in, she seemed less angry and more sad, which is…kind of good from a “taking it out on Jon” perspective. She’s less likely to take things out on him when she’s sad, though sadness can sometimes switch to anger and attacking. Thus far, it’s been pretty quiet. Hopefully it’ll stay that way.