First of all, thank you to everyone who wished me well on the trip and with this cycle. Sunday is our test day and so far, no symptoms to speak of, except some moodiness/sadness. And wanting to eat a lot. but that is likely stress and progesterone.
Regarding the trip, there is good news and bad news. We made it through the family trip to Oregon in a LOT better shape than the Tahoe trip and I was able to take a quiet, candle-lit "time-out" when I really needed one. And S was generally more centered and supportive, though he had to do a few hours of work while we were there - thinking about it now, I wonder if that helped him stay centered? In any case, overall, much better trip in terms of fighting less and staying relatively balanced.
The bad news is that I still had a LOT of critical thoughts come up about S, in terms of physical flaws. I think I'm seeing the connection pretty clearly between family time and increased anxiety about S being "good enough." I do recognize how arrogant and mean this sounds... I so wish I could control this evil part of my brain.
As the weekend wore on, S could feel distance and I ended up sharing that I wasn't feeling connected to him physically, which was hard for him to hear. Then, at the end of the trip he pressed me to say more about what was up for me that was leading to him feeling distance. So I shared more details about where my mind was going (fitness, age-difference, etc.), but that was very painful for him to hear. :(
I think there are factors throwing fuel on the evil fire in my brain including: as mentioned, the anxiety and lack of self-acceptance that comes up with family; the progesterone supplements - and likely the dhea and other long-term supplements I'm on; and the added pressure of us talking about living together and marriage.
In our talk on the way home, I had some grief come up again about missing out on that "young love" and commitment experience of falling in love with abandon, knowing this is the right person for you - the love of your life - and easily moving forward and deciding to settle down together. I had the falling in love with abandon thing in my early 20's with someone who was not available (and not even a good match in retrospect) - the ex I've written about here. But it never got out of the gate and other relationships didn't come close to that. Well, maybe one college boyfriend, but it was definitely immature love, and when I graduated a year ahead of him, I met someone else.
S and I do have a more mature love, but he's pretty restrained in the ga-ga romance department and has understandably been affected by being married twice before. And, though I feel a lot of love and attraction for him, I would ideally like to feel more consistent chemistry.
I'm obviously feeling some confusion. This week, I will make another counseling appointment to get some help in sorting it out. I wish it were more simple - or that I could remove part of my brain! I am open to feedback or advice.