Yesterday was a bit rough – hence no post. And today I am having a hard time thinking about anything except why yesterday was what it was – another bump in the transition that Brian and I are making together. A move to a more regularized partnership where we see each more days than not. A shift from being separate entities (him and his daughter, me on my own) to more “family” planning and time. And as much as we anticipated this period of adjustment, I can’t say that Brian and I have been all that understanding of each other in the last couple of weeks.

For my part I will say that there is a lot going on and I’m not sure which needs to be addressed first – but the issues for me include:

  • Feeling increasing pressure around time – my life being a fairly busy one already, two more people means a lot less time for just me. I have twice run into situations recently where I asked Brian to wait for me and then couldn’t get out of union commitments to meet up with him.
  • A sense of having “two against one” in decision making. Brian and Mica being a unit, I feel I potentially have less of a say in every interaction. Because Brian is also not used to a dynamic that includes his daughter and me I feel that I am scheduled around rather than with at times.
  • Feeling like Brian always has the moral high ground because it’s his child and really I’m just a selfish person who wants her own needs met.
  • General neurosis around my fitness to parent. Fears about the role his ex will continue to play in my life as the bio-mom (who of course has all sorts of rights in this situation that I don’t).
  • A deep-held belief that any conflict between us spells the end of our relationship.

I would like to stress that all of the above are *my feelings* – and not necessarily the result of anything that Brian is doing or not doing. But in the process of bringing things together, a lot of my underlying issues around relationships, loss, security and attachment are being triggered. For his part Brian is frustrated with it, doing his best but at a loss around my emotional reactions – which I get, I have been surprising myself with the stuff that is coming up for me lately.

It seems though that we are very quick about getting back on track. We might argue for a short period, have a cry (or not), have a talk to resolve whatever the argument was about, and then go right back to planning the next outing or errand. Which is good on one hand, but on the other it means that our processing is always happening in the context of “making up”. One thing I realized yesterday is that it has been some time since we have sat down while in a positive frame of mind to discuss this transition and what the expectations we both might have for the fall will be. And I think it’s probably this lack of proactive communication that has lead to a series of small upsets.

I do recognize that partly this type of a shift is generally difficult for all people involved – and that a lot of my angst will work itself out as I feel a place as a part of a family with Brian and his daughter, and more secure overall in our ability to navigate conflict without things coming to a grinding halt. But I am also grateful that I have a partner who is willing to recognize these issues as they come up and work through them with me. I really am deeply in love with this person, and believe more than anything that he is the right partner for me – but we both come to the table with complex histories and stuff that needs to be worked on. I suppose that everyone does right?

Given all of that I am feeling pretty good today about this stuff and our ability to work on this communication gap before it becomes and ingrained an unhealthy pattern down the road. I’ve changed my trip to Nanaimo plans to go over tonight so I can spend the night with Brian at his parent’s house in Fanny Bay (will drive back down in the morning for a meeting and then spend Saturday back with him and his family). I’m not sure how better to show him that I want to be with him and resolve things than going there a day earlier than planned. And I’m sure he gets that.

Damn these relationships are sometimes hard work! I’d forgotten all about that part after the falling in love swoon. But I suppose it’s this stuff which actually brings us closer. More like a family and less like a fleeting affair. That is a big change after all.

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