‘My motivation is simply to have her understand a little more what it is like to be me. So that she is a little more accepting, and if she finds something lying around (and I have an unfortunate habit of that happening), it doesn’t cause her more anguish.’
Just quoting this as it’s quite interesting (to me).
You’ve written a number of statements about your motivation:
* to have her understand a little more
* so that she is a little more accepting
* so that she isn’t upset by finding things lying around.
In your mind, you’ve linked all of these things and I’m guessing they all follow on from each other and go together for you?
That’s actually quite a lot of different things there you’ve put all together…
I’ll unpick them to be more specific.
You can explain things to her, but she might never understand what it’s like. And she might never accept it either. So you can explain is all to the best of your ability, but her reaction is outwith your control. Do you see what I mean?
Similarly, you can have explained things, and in your mind you can therefore leave things lying around without being too worried about it, but she might still be upset by coming across these things.
So, what to do? I honestly don’t know. I think just explaining things as best as you can, honestly and very openly, including the reasons why you’d not said anything.
I think one of the most valuable things a person can do is ask to try and understand where the other person is at. How they feel, what they are thinking, what they are comfortable with. Not with the intention of manipulating that, but with the intention of understanding. And with understanding comes empathy…
But she might not want to say anything back. It’s the risk you take unfortunately.
If she doesn’t want to talk about it, or if she’s saying things you don’t want to hear, then it’s unfortunately one of the consequences of having been open and honest. And you absolutely must respect that (speaking as someone who has had their boundaries trampled over quite badly in my past relationships).
But I’d much prefer those sorts of conversations (open, honest, direct, no games) than any other sorts (including sweeping things under the carpet). It’s just a more adult way of behaving and everyone knows where they stand.