I realized this last weekend that there's this thing I do with relationships. Not a good thing.
When the other person does something that truly hurts me, generally I will confront them about it. If they are not receptive when I first talk to them about it, though, I will eat it up. I try to move on, forget about it, deal with it. I'll act forgiving, laid back, cool with things, and I'll think that everything is okay. I won't bring up the issue again.
But it's like a poison. As much as I think I'm over it, I'll change the way I act in tiny, minute ways. I'll do little things, destructive things that eat away at the relationship. Termites eating away at the foundation, down where nobody can see. I'll not put into the relationship in the same way that I did before, and will allow myself to do things the other person might find to be hurtful. It's not that I'll be noticeably destructive or that I'll act out towards them -- it's just that, having lost some little bit of trust or faith in them, I'll be more guarded of myself. A tiny bit more about-self and less about-them. And for a relationship to really work, I think it has to be strongly about-them in addition to about-self. The worst part is that I won't even realize I'm doing that. I will honestly believe that everything is fine.
The Denver Lindy Exchange last year was just this sort of turning point in my relationship with Mike, I think. It took half a year from that time for things to really start dying off and falling apart, but that's when things really changed for me. It didn't seem huge at the time but I don't think there was any going back from that point on.
Looking back now, I can see points like that in other relationships, too. With Louis, it was when I found out that he'd cheated on me a second time with his ex-girlfriend. Again, it took months and months after that for things to finally implode, but that was when something in me turned off, when things changed somehow. With Jon, I think it might have been the argument in Montreal about bus tickets. With Jeremy, maybe it was Ashley? I'm not as sure about Jeremy -- it might not apply there.
I hope that since I see the pattern now, I'll be able to break out of it in the future.