Back and Forth?
It seems that every time I have a poly talk with my husband, I have to break something within us both and rebuild it each time. Like the conversations are potentially damaging, but then we heal up stronger than we were before it.
My issue is that he seems to make progress after each one of these talks, but then as time goes on he slowly recedes from our agreements and discussions. It feels like we just keep going back and forth, from, "Ok, this is our Poly plan" to "Wait, why am I not enough?"
Has anyone else dealt with this back and forth progress? I wouldn't worry if I felt that we were keeping any form of headway, but we just keep jumping back to square one. Is this typical? Tell me about it please?
Can't help you with any past experiences of my own. wanted to send you a hug and say that I feel for you. Must be frustrating >>> MADDENING!
I can imagine 2 reasons for his acting like this:
1) He accepts the idea in theory, but keeps getting cold feet.
2) He doesn't accept the idea at all, doesn't want to have a show-down due to his saying a firm "NO!", and is using the back-and-forth as a delaying - or, really, evading - tactic.
Which does it seem like to you? (Or is there another reason?) What's he stalling on - that you have another lover, that you each have another lover, or that you form a triad with one other person? Have you got anyone in sight, or is this a case of setting the ground rules before the search for another?
I can't really guess, but I know that I'm finding for myself that my intellectual thoughts on a matter and my emotional, visceral reactions can be quite different.
For example, I am intellectually all on board with nonmonogamy. I have been for 16 years. But sometimes I get emotionally f-ed up by situations and it takes me by surprise. And usually-- for me-- it's because ultimately deep down I have a lot of feelings of being deficient, and because of that I don't feel all that secure in ANY relationship I'm in, so adding in another person just pushes all of my "I'm not good enough" buttons.
Maybe, instead of working on talking about poly-- he needs to do some therapy for himself and investigate his self-esteem, self-worth, and feelings about being "good enough". Because in the long run, he is feeling deficient, then he will always *feel* like you are doing this because he's not enough-- even if intellectually he understands that's not the case.
And I recommend Radical Acceptance if he wants to investigate the possibility of this being the case without therapy.
Or it could be something completely different. :eek:
How are you communicating with him? Maybe he doesn't quite "get" that this is something you seriously want to pursue. Are you being assertive and saying directly that you want a poly relationship, or are you wording it more like, "what do you think about..." which might not seem like it's something you're actually considering? On the other swing of the pendulum, are you expressing yourself in such a way that he might feel steamrolled into agreeing to move forward, only to backtrack later because it wasn't really something he was ready for? Perhaps he's been holding back in expressing fears or concerns, or in saying what he really wants, during your conversations -- then, when it comes up again he needs to slow things down so he can be heard.
I'm not making assumptions in the above, just throwing out some ideas.
Another possibility is that it just doesn't seem like a real option to him. Do you have any poly groups in your area that you can connect with? Maybe taking him along to a poly group's organized gathering would help for it to really sink in, in his mind.
I feel your pain on this.
My husband and I set a plan and work on it. then things change and he acts as if I am horrible for being who I am and wanting to find a poly partner(s)
However: here's OUR biggest issue: He wants to find someone to fit into a perfect mold.. and one of the BIGGEST Don'ts that I have read is dont try to form relationships that fit into a pre-defined mold, and thats exactly what he wants. (and thats not what I have found)
I agree with the therapy part... but I also think that he needs to be honest with you about his needs (does he need to know 10000000% that you are not trying to replace him? and how does he want you to show that??)
Sending HUGE hugs your way and positive thoughts that you are able to break his barriers and work thru this in a healthy way for the both of you.
Wow, thanks guys! I really appreciate your insights, it could be any one of those, lol. Looks like I have something to talk about with him tonight :)
We communicate effortlessly, I have expressed my feelings directly in a variety of ways and analogies (that seem to just work for me, lol), I even went as far as reading an excerpt from my journal to him, so he could truly grasp my inner emotions. He is good at talking with me, but he has issues with naming and defining the emotions that he feels. So we usually take a long time, trying to understand where he is coming from and what his major hangups are.
It would be surprising to find an insecurity in there, as he is pretty self-loving, but perhaps that is an underlying issue for us to delve into. He is also of the school that if he tries hard enough, he can fix this. He thinks it is an internal relationship problem and that it has nothing with my innate need for multiple partners. After reading him my journal though, he is starting to get how strongly I feel about it. He is still reading "Open" and I saw him lurking on this forum, so there is hope. He is trying. I just have to keep the conversation going. It really helps having you all here supporting me/us with great questions/topics to talk to each other about.
Thank you! (Oh and thanks for all of the HUGS!! Love is great)
The part I put in bold I really understand-- I have always felt that way about things that I was emotional about, yet intellectually thought I shouldn't be. This, for me, is what causes the "back and forth" thing. I feel like I should be fine with something in my head, so I agree to it because it makes sense. But emotionally I'm not okay with it (for whatever reason), so eventually the emotions build until I freak out in some way. Back and Forth. :)
Talking about it intellectually is a good thing-- but you have to respect the emotional part, too, because it will come back and bite you in the ass if you don't! :eek:
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