hi. so i'm looking for advice/reassurance on trust and space and boundaries in order to respect both myself and my girlfriend.
we've been together for a year and I LOVE HER SO MUCH and we had the stereotypical lesbian 6 month glorious hormonal uhaul and then things have been different, and part of the difference i think is in us learning to trust each other in good ways. in my previous relationship my husband was emotionally abusive and i still worry that i will be unknowingly replicating patterns from that relationship.
we both manage our anxiety and depression differently and something that gives me heart is that we are both getting better at saying what we need, though i find it super challenging and she says so does she. last month we had a big heart to heart, she had been pushing me away and she said she always got to this point and freak outs and her skin crawls and she pushes whoever she is with away. but i pleased the case for what if we could learn to do it together and she agreed, because i don't know if that is depression or her.
part of what she says she needs is a lot a lot of space, she says she doesn't want to put her yuck mood on me. i see her making an effort to do little things i ask eg. yesterday sit with me a while because in my anxiety i felt like i really needed company, and i so don't want to overwhelm her and i so don't want to overthink it. i also see her make a huge effort to be sunny and social when she is in her day to day, like putting the happy face on (like i used to).
space is good for me too and in my less anxious mind i see we are learning to talk to each other with a deeper level of trust even over text even though that means less heart emojis which i miss.
complicating factor - she is very close with her ex girlfriend, and spends a lot of time putting her and her needs first. i broached this with her a few months ago, out of concern for her own wellbeing and also our relationship because when i have energy i want to spend it on us and i think i am right to be concerned about it because she said there can be no boundaries between them. but then since then i have seen and heard her put more boundaries in place and i hope this is helpful for her. i have worked/occasionally have to keep working through my own insecurities over their closeness but it still bothers me because i guess at the back of my mind it is the thought that wow she wants space from me but not from her.
thanks for the space to share this.