Since RJ got back into town, it has been great to spend some quality time with him. And I am going to stress the quality part, over quantity. I think that is important and goes along with the need for healthy space to cultivate a relationship. It might seem like common sense, but this is part of a re-learning curve for me.
I feel there are some unhealthy habits I am learning to undo from my past relationship with my ex. It is something I am becoming aware of because now I am in a more serious relationship. I am not sure how well I would be able to feel them or notice them without being in a relationship. Yep, I've got baggage (not like I didn't know that), and it is my task to sort it out. This relearning how to be in relationship is a healthy thing.
For example, one reason why I think my struggle with quality over quantity in a relationship is based in part on how time was so restricted and planned with my ex. Residency is brutal on a relationship. I found myself planning my life around his demanding work schedule so I could maximize my time with him, especially given how little time there was. It could be difficult not to do that when I knew that one dinner might be my last with him before heading into a month long stretch when I would not see him because of his schedule. For more than half of our marriage, there would be three months each year that I would literally not see him, barely a phone call. Then after one of those months of not seeing my ex, we found ourselves trying to overcompensate to reconnect. It was just so intense. There were times when I did not give into that pattern and chose to continue living my life, which would sometimes lead to conflict.
Then once the pattern was set into motion, it was difficult to break after residency. He just came to expect it. And the more I gave, the more he demanded. I was loosing myself and didn't see it. Then the infertility hit and everything began to become unglued and messy at warp speed. It all went so badly so fast. I was confused, depressed and hurt.
There were other unhealthy factors that contributed to the mess with my ex. But I don't feel like getting into that right now. What is important is to realize that my life does not have to be and should not be like that with RJ. Sometimes I think, "Oh, that is okay? This what it can be like?" My relationship with RJ is different and that is a very good thing.
We haven't "talked" directly about the stuff we talked about before his trip, but I don't feel that is needed right now. I did get to express how I don't want him to feel like I am relying on him and that I am my own individual person. So for now, live it one day at a time and see where it goes!