At the same time, my relationship with Kyle has been really difficult lately, as ze's been so stressed with school that interaction has been almost continuous conflict, without the healing time in between that we need to maintain our connection. Last week was SO bad; we spent three days really upset with each other (usually we have lots of conflict but it's quickly and easily resolved and we both feel happy after). A lot of distance grew, and I felt really upset about it, and I would tell Kyle that I felt upset and sad about it and ze would feel like I was blaming zir, which I don't do*. Our pattern before had been one of us would say "I feel distance and it's making me sad" and then both would turn attention to reconnecting, and we'd heal it up. But when Kyle is very stressed, it's hard for zir to have faith that I'm not judging or blaming or attacking (even when ze logically sees that I'm not) because stress triggers zir insecurities.
The emotional distance from Kyle and the physical distance from Abby combined to make both of them uncomfortable and frustrated when we were spending time all together, and they were both feeling really hesitant to talk to the other about their feelings on it. But Tuesday things sort of came to a head and the three of us sat down and they talked to each other about their desires and worries and everything came clear. I was a bit worried that I might become a go-between, which I didn't want, but that didn't happen. I encouraged them both to talk to the other beforehand, and during the actual conversation I only participated by asking if they'd said everything they wanted to say. It ended in really glorious cuddles ♥
Then last night Kyle and I talked out a lot of things. We shared how we'd been hurting over the past few weeks, and reaffirmed that we want to be radically open with each other and we want to be sure we stay in that habit, and that we'll be kind to each other and put extra focus into us-ness as we heal. And we agreed to have daily maintenance time where we're intimately focused on each other, because even if we're too upset or busy or tired or stressed to talk (or if we're in a negative loop), we can maintain connection with touch and eye contact. What we have is really magical and powerful but if it's not being nourished it will go into hibernation and we don't want that.
*My idea on blame is that even if it is "all one person's fault" (which it never is, 100%), that one person can't fix the tangle in the relationship alone, so it's irrelevant and useless to blame. It's always both people's responsibility to repair the relationship. Like a business run by two people -- even if one person makes a mistake that costs lots of money, both people work to make it up, because that's the most efficient way to get it fixed. If they put cleaning-one's-own-messes above making-the-business-better, it will fall apart. I don't care who makes the mess as long as both people put 100% effort into cleaning it. Of course, going along with this is figuring out how to avoid the same mistakes ;-)