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-   -   Three way communication issues (From A to B via C) (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=16451)

suziesue 11-01-2011 02:06 PM

Three way communication issues (From A to B via C)
 
I am in a 'possible developing triad-ish situation' with Alan and Bridget, where we are all interested in each other. (For reference my original thread explaining my situation is here.)

Recently I've been feeling like sometimes the dynamics of the communications between us feel a little weird, there's been a few similar incidents, all of which are quite small, but build up to make me feel a little uncomfortable. One example:


Last time I video-chatted with Alan we said we'd probably chat again Saturday night. Bridget subsequently asked me if she and I could chat Sat night, and I said I already had a vague plan to do so with Alan, but I could talk to her before hand, if she didn't mind that I would have to sign off at some point.

On the day, Alan and I exchanged a few emails to work out timings, and he asked me if I was talking to Bridget first (he and she had obviously talked about it) which I confirmed, and he said he would text me when he was available.

But then, while I was chatting to Bridget, she suddenly said that she had to go, as Alan had texted her to say he was available to talk to me.


I feel sort of odd that he contacted her to tell me he was available to talk to me, instead of directly texting me as we had arranged, but at the same time, it feels like making a mountain out of a molehill to bring it up. It was just a text, and the information did get to me.

I'm not entirely sure what it is about it that makes me uncomfortable. A feeling that it was a matter between him and me, and not directly involving her? Or possibly discomfort with getting information second hand, because I feel that messages can lose something if they go by other people? And what if I'd decided to change plans with Bridget, and hadn't chatted to her after all?


So, more-experienced-poly-people, is this something that would feel wrong to you and need dealing with? Or is the weirdness just an inherent part of having multiple relationships that I'm not used to because I've only been with more than one person at a time before?:confused:

nycindie 11-01-2011 03:37 PM

And you chatted with him... but didn't ask why he texted her instead of you? You could have said, "Oh, I thought you were going to let me know when you were ready. Did I have that right?"

Personally, I don't see it as a big deal. For all you know, he could have just texted her by accident when he meant to text you. But if stuff bothers you, why sit on it?

suziesue 11-01-2011 04:56 PM

You seem to first say that I should have made a big deal of it, and then say it shouldn't be a big deal.

As I explained, this was one of several similar incidents, so it would be a pretty weird coincidence if he's repeatedly 'accidentally' contacting the wrong person and it only happens when contacting me and always happens to be to her, don't you think?

AnnabelMore 11-01-2011 05:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nycindie (Post 108771)
You could have said, "Oh, I thought you were going to let me know when you were ready. Did I have that right?"

Quote:

Originally Posted by suziesue (Post 108781)
You seem to first say that I should have made a big deal of it, and then say it shouldn't be a big deal.

Nyc's suggestion was to bring it up and seek clarification, which is not the same as making a big deal of it. In any relationship, but perhaps especially in poly, it's important to feel comfortable enough to communicate freely and not hold back little questions or issues until they become big ones.

nycindie 11-01-2011 06:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by suziesue (Post 108781)
You seem to first say that I should have made a big deal of it, and then say it shouldn't be a big deal.

Really? Does the way I worded it -- "Oh, I thought you were going to let me know when you were ready. Did I have that right?" -- actually sound like making a big deal out of it to you? That's interesting, because I wrote it in a way that I thought was simply asking for clarification directly, without being infused with drama. And to say, "Did I have that right?" would put the responsibility on yourself in making sure you understood things correctly, so it doesn't come across as blaming. If you see that as making a big deal out of it, then perhaps you may need to look at getting more comfortable with being assertive and expressing what you need.

Quote:

Originally Posted by suziesue (Post 108781)
As I explained, this was one of several similar incidents, so it would be a pretty weird coincidence if he's repeatedly 'accidentally' contacting the wrong person and it only happens when contacting me and always happens to be to her, don't you think?

Yeah, well, when you said there were similar incidents, I didn't get that they were all about texting. Sorry about that. But how would I know what you meant by "similar?" They all could have been similar misunderstandings, but... ??? Another example of the importance of clear communication.

So, basically, whether it's this issue or another, if something is bothering you, let them know. If you feel like you don't want to receive communications from Alan via Bridget, then tell him. You have a right to your feelings and to express your needs. There doesn't have to be any drama or fight about it to simply say something like, "You know, Alan, I'm uncomfortable when you promise to get in touch with me and instead call Bridget. I feel left out when you do that. I would rather you communicate with me directly, especially when you say that's what you're going to do." And if you also make sure Bridget is aware of your needs, she can say to Alan when he calls or texts her, "Hey, please tell SuzieSue yourself."

So, is there anything that keeps you from doing that?

suziesue 11-01-2011 09:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nycindie (Post 108797)
And to say, "Did I have that right?" would put the responsibility on yourself in making sure you understood things correctly, so it doesn't come across as blaming.

YMMV, I guess, to me saying 'Did I have that right?', when I am not in any doubt about what was agreed seems more like a passive aggressive ploy rather than straight talking.

Quote:

Originally Posted by nycindie (Post 108797)
Yeah, well, when you said there were similar incidents, I didn't get that they were all about texting. Sorry about that. But how would I know what you meant by "similar?" They all could have been similar misunderstandings, but... ??? Another example of the importance of clear communication.

It doesn't seem at all relevant to me whether the messages are texts or emails or whatever. How would it be any more likely to be a series of coincidental accidents if it wasn't mostly via texting??

The issue was me finding someone I'm intimate with contacting me via someone else weird.

Quote:

Originally Posted by nycindie (Post 108797)
So, is there anything that keeps you from doing that?

I wanted to find out if people with more experience of dealing with multiple relationships found this weird, or just considered it part of the territory, before deciding what, if anything, to do about it.

AnnabelMore 11-01-2011 10:15 PM

I would say that it's about little things it's no big deal, and yes it certainly happens sometimes, but it truly doesn't matter if it's "normal" or not -- if it bugs you, there's no reason not to say something, and you can do that without making it into a big deal whether you like Nyc's way of wording it or not.

nycindie 11-01-2011 10:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by suziesue (Post 108828)
YMMV, I guess, to me saying 'Did I have that right?', when I am not in any doubt about what was agreed seems more like a passive aggressive ploy rather than straight talking.

Fair enough. I see your point. However, you might have no doubt about what was said and still be recalling it incorrectly.

Quote:

Originally Posted by suziesue (Post 108828)
It doesn't seem at all relevant to me whether the messages are texts or emails or whatever. How would it be any more likely to be a series of coincidental accidents if it wasn't mostly via texting??

Oh well, I'm an old fart who has never Skyped and actually remembers how to use a telephone, mail a letter, LOL. I don't really like to text all the time, so I don't assume that all communications in a relationship are via texting.

You said in your original post: "Recently I've been feeling like sometimes the dynamics of the communications between us feel a little weird, there's been a few similar incidents, all of which are quite small, but build up to make me feel a little uncomfortable."

Now I understand, because you are making it clear with further posts, that the "similar incidents" are similar because they have to do with text messages. You could have meant similar in the sense that they make you uncomfortable, but wouldn't necessarily have anything to do with texting. These similarities could have come up in face-to-face conversations. Or it could be similar in the sense that Alan didn't keep his word, and again nothing to do with texting. There are so many elements about this "incident" that could be similar to other things, so don't rake me over the coals for not understanding you! I am actually trying to help, but I will back off now because I don't think I'm contributing in a way that you can absorb without getting a tad defensive. Sorry to fuck up your thread.

suziesue 11-01-2011 11:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nycindie (Post 108832)
Now I understand, because you are making it clear with further posts, that the "similar incidents" are similar because they have to do with text messages. You could have meant similar in the sense that they make you uncomfortable, but wouldn't necessarily have anything to do with texting. These similarities could have come up in face-to-face conversations. Or it could be similar in the sense that Alan didn't keep his word, and again nothing to do with texting. There are so many elements about this "incident" that could be similar to other things, so don't rake me over the coals for not understanding you!

No, that is *not* what is similar, it is nothing to do with the medium of the message, it is *not* all via text, the similarity, is the thing that feels weird to me - him communicating to her (via whatever medium) and expecting that to relayed to me. i.e. the thing that my post was about.

I'm not trying to rake you over the coals, just trying to bring things back on topic when you seem determined to make this about other things (e.g. technology, accidental texts, my assertiveness etc.).

Quote:

Originally Posted by nycindie (Post 108832)
I am actually trying to help, but I will back off now because I don't think I'm contributing in a way that you can absorb without getting a tad defensive. Sorry to fuck up your thread.

I accept that I have been overly defensive in my replies to you, and I apologize for this. I appreciate the spirit in which your comments where intended, even where I do not agree with the contents. Clearly the approach I took with this thread was not effective, and that is my problem, not yours. Sorry.

suziesue 11-01-2011 11:57 PM

Ok, I'm going to try again:


Dear people-with-experience-of-multiple-partners,

Do you find in your relationships there is inevitably a certain amount of communication that goes via other partners to get to you, or do you view this as negative or try to avoid this?

I am not looking to establish what is 'normal', I understand that different peoples relationships are different, I'm not going to try to directly apply anything from your relationships to mine, I'm just interested in hearing your experience.

Thank you.


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