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-   -   What's good for the goose???? (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=105)

carolinapoly 03-15-2009 10:32 PM

What's good for the goose????
Hi everyone!
I've been in my current relationship for 7 years. We've been through everything together, the ups and the downs. During the course of our time together we've experimented sexually with others. It was exciting and afterward we had a greatly renewed physical attraction. We called our situation an open realtionship. I found it easy to find men to play with. He backed down and said he wasn't into it given his work schedule and other things going on. 8 months ago I met a man and just fell head over heals for him. We clicked! Caleb realized what had happened and and reassured me it was fine with him. They met face to face and got along great. I have always been open and honest with him about our meetings. I've never lied to him about J. We talk on the phone almost every day about everything in life.

Recently, Caleb met someone online. They seem to have clicked and really get along. Last night he announced at 8pm he was going to her friend's house for a visit with her. It was short notice, but he went. Today, he decided to go into work for awhile. His colleague called and asked if he could speak to caleb, he was at the office and needed to speak to him. SO, he obviously isn't at the office and he didn't answer the phone. When he did call, he said he met his new friend and they went out to dinner and back to her place. Sunday nights are our night to be together. I feel cheated and let down. How do I deal with this issue as an intelligent adult and not a crybaby? :(

AutumnalTone 03-16-2009 05:41 PM

Sit him down and talk about it. If Sunday nights are supposed to be just for the two of you to bond, then you have to address that issue. All the NRE (New Relationship Energy) in the world doesn't excuse him for blowing that off for a new person if you've made it clear that's a requirement for your relationship.

When you do discuss it, to avoid sounding like a crybaby involves not sounding like a crybaby. ;) In other words, state the situation clearly, state the problem you have with it, then ask if he has an issue with that, and negotiate how to deal with such things in the future.

For example:
"As I see it, you blew me off on Sunday. Sunday is supposed to be dedicated to us being together. Spending that time with X--particularly without warning--appears to me to be disrespectful. I was hurt by your actions. I would like to avoid hurt feelings in the future, so I need to know what you were thinking, and we need to figure out what we are going to do."

carolinapoly 03-16-2009 11:09 PM

Time To Talk
Hi Seventh Crow!
Thank you for your reply. We sat down today and talked about what happened. After reading your reply we talked about the NRE and how it feels to be so thrilled and excited about a new love interest. We've decided to take a few days and seriously look at our schedules. There are many things we enjoying doing together. We are making a list and scheduling times to be together for enjoyment's sake and not to do household chores. My schedule is more able to tolerate meetings with my others during the week, while his would be better on the weekends.

I have moved past my need to constantly be with J. We talk often, almost daily, on the phone but only see each other about twice a month given the distance between us. I know how it feels to need to be in constant contact. I'm doing my best to remain understanding of these feelings. This is going to be a journey of discovery for sure and I look forward to learning all I can from everyone here at the forums. Thanks again!

River 03-17-2009 05:57 PM


Caleb sound like a fine person. Though imperfect--as it is with most everyone--, it sounds like the two of you have good communication with one another.

Your posts have me thinking about my own exploration of polyamory. I've not yet had a lasting addition to my "romantic" life, just a sad ending to a short-lived love affair with a man who was previously my friend and who ultimately even ended our friendship. (Now we are basically on small-talk terms, since we are next door neighbors in a duplex appartment.)

Anyway, my mainsqueeze of about a dozen years and I have for some time embraced polyamory -- in theory. Neither of us has had a lasting and significant 2nd partner. So the two of us haven't had a lot of opportunity to be challenged by the other falling in love with another--and having that be mutual and sustained. The challenge that will likey result should one of us have such a sustained "2nd" is the movement from "theory" to "practice" concerning nonpossessiveness and non-fearfulness that this 2nd indicates some sort of depreciation or rejection of the other. In theory, we're good with this. In practice it seems likely that he or I will on occasion feel some rejection or non-appreciation--even though we theoreticlally know better. By which I mean that we're both on the same page as to the question of multiple loves: we understand that having two loves does not halve the amount of love! (The explorations we've had with others--brief 2nds--and discussed with one another actually had the effect of opening us to *more* love between us!)

I'm saying this as a sort of riff on what you said about your Sundays with Caleb, and the dishonesty toward you that followed--but which was apparently discussed and resolved. He was probably afraid that you may feel some rejection or abandonment..., if he was honest and direct with you about his choice to spend time with his friend that Sunday. That same fear may have been doubled by the fact that the two of you usually spend Sundays together. I think he was wrong to be dishonest and legitimately hurtful to choose to spend so much of Sunday with his new love-interest. But not wrong, or less loving, to open to a possible new love. And that's the trick, for me, for many of us, to keep these issues segregated. Our society profoundly inclucates us with messages which equate "romantic" love with monogamy. It wouldn't be surprizing to me if it took any of us years of effort to see through the fog to the clearing where the truth lies.


carolinapoly 03-17-2009 09:35 PM

Hello JRiverMartin,
I agree 100% This enlightenment thing with learning to accept others into a relationship and the conversion from mongamy to polyamory is not an overnight adjustment. One thing I am discovering is where my feelings of jealousy and loss come from. I fear lossing him completely. Even though I am in another relationship with someone I love very much, I don't want to lose Caleb. One of our pivotal discussions has been about the increased need for both of us to hear I love you more often and keep our bond close at heart. Suprisingly, we have gotten closer over just the past few days. Change is scary...this definitely counts as change! Thank you for you insight and I look forward to hearing more!

River 03-17-2009 11:00 PM

Whenever I really get to know another person I find that they, like me, have fears which trouble them even if they are not particularly "rational" fears.

I think it is always good to sit with these fears and take note of them and to know that they are just that: fears. They are not predictions based on solid information, often. Often they are "ghosts", unresolved and often not very well examined quasi-beliefs... that we will be abandoned, that others will not and cannot know and understand us, accept us, embrace us in our inevitable differences....

Fears transform or die in the good bright light of day, unless they are based on some reality. Example: I fear running out into traffic suddenly. Why shouldn't I?

carolinapoly 03-17-2009 11:45 PM

I never really understood the quote,"I have nothing to fear but fear itself". Recently, I returned to college to finally pursure my degree in psychology. For years I have feared doing this simply because I wasn't sure I could do it. Its tough, but well worth the effort. Fears are, most of the time, not rational, but they may seem very real at the time. Keeping everything in perspective is a great help for me.

River 03-18-2009 12:49 AM

It seems to me that while many fears are irrational that many are legitimate and real enough, rooted in facts. The difficulty is a matter of sorting these from the irrational ones. Fear seems to be about as biological a function as any. "The organism" wants to protect itself from harm. Perfectly natural.

A lot of psychology--or psychotherapy--seems to be about the process of learning how to distinguish between those fears which are an accurate and honest assesment of genuine threats and those which aren't terribly reasonable. The latter, it appears, tend to result from two factors: social conditioning and trauma. These, unfortunately, don't appear to be all that separate. For example, I was traumatized sexually-emotionally by growing up a queer boy in a queer-hating society. I'm well along the path of recovery from this truama, but it would have been much better if I could have been comfortably and honestly (and openly) myself from an early age.

Sadly, this does not bode well for our society's antipathy toward non-monogamy, whether homo- or hetero.

Courage, everyone!

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