Thanks for your comments, and yes, you are right. Nat doesn’t care that much about his birthday and tends to get really focused on whatever he’s focused on, typically one thing at a time. Multi-tasking, whether literally or mentally, is not his strong suit and I’ve known that since the beginning. Just because I operate completely differently doesn’t mean I’m right and he’s wrong, and wishing he could be more like me (rather than evaluating whether or not I could be OK with him just as he is) was causing pain for us all. James and I are a lot more alike and so I had tons of habit around good relationship meaning you do life the same way. I’ve really had opportunity to grow by being with someone who is so different from me in so many ways.
Open, honest communication is just absolutely key in non-monogomous relationships, but also in the regular old kind. Opening things up to include others really forced us to do that in a way we might not have otherwise.