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-   -   Time Limit... (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=25006)

nightrush 06-24-2012 01:39 AM

Time Limit...
Well, we have been together almost 8 months and the one partner had a break down, almost wanting to end everything and go back to it being him and the other partner, as i joined the relationship.

The other parter made it very clear it will never go back to the way it was... as he was not happy and i make him happier than he has ever been. It made it clear that if the three of us do not work, that we may all end up single or him and i together.

The partner who had a meltdown is feeling like he is being replaced, as i am more affectionate and am willing to share it equally but he pushes me away. The parter who accepts it, i give it to and he enjoys it ( snuggling, handing holding, sex, anything)

So after crying for days all of us, talking though this, the partner who had the blow up turns it on and off.... i am making as many emotional deposits into him as i can and trying to make him happy and bring back our spark. I try and try to give him affection, i tell him i love him and he will no longer say it, but just says i know and i care for you.

So.. this coming weekend Thrus- monday night, i am taking some time off work, taking him on a date alone on friday to the zoo, which he loves animals, then all three of us out to dinner. I told him we could do what ever he wants, and friday night we can all snuggle up and watch a movie together, that he wants.

I told the parter who is happy with me and I'm happy with that there is a ticking time clock. i can not keep giving deposits, and not getting them... I'm sick of crying and doing all the work here...i am willing to take off my ring, gather my things, and say my final goodbye if i do not hear the one parter tell me he loves me again by monday...

am i stepping over the line here ???

Tonberry 06-24-2012 05:08 AM

Looks to me like the triad may turn into a vee.
If the partner who had a breakdown doesn't feel like being intimate with you (physically or emotionally) I don't think you should force it. I agree that you can't keep giving and not getting anything, but it seems to me you can stop giving him attention he doesn't seem to want.
That does not mean your relationship with the other partner needs to pay for it if it's a happy relationship. Similarly, the two others can have a fulfilling relationship together, too. If you were forced on one of the partners and he's now pushing you away, I think it might be time to break that branch of the triad. Who knows, maybe he'll feel better after a break and come back to you. If not, there are still two relationships left, I'm not sure why you'd have to break off just because one of them isn't working out anymore.

nightrush 06-24-2012 12:57 PM

With this being all of our first attempt at being poly, their agreement was all or nothing... That is why i would have to leave the other one as well... I know that put me in a bad place if this happens, but that is what we all decided... At the time i had great hope and trusted that this would never come... sadly... here i sit... in a very dark place waiting to see what happens...

km34 06-24-2012 01:24 PM

Ok, so there is you, partner A (accepting of affection and overall happy with you), and partner B (doesn't accept affection and refuses to say "I love you" now).

Partner A and Partner B decide to add you to their relationship. They decide that it is either all of you, or you get kicked out so they can return to the way they were before. However, the way they were before was that Partner A was not very happy.

Partner B decides he doesn't want to be with you anymore. Or if he does, he sucks at showing you, to the point that you are unhappy in the relationship. You agree to work on it, but feel that it is unfair that you are treated so poorly. Partner A agrees that it is unfair and thinks he could be happy with you, but couldn't be happy going back to being just with Partner B.

Now, I understand that Partners A and B entered into this together, but does that mean they have to leave it together? I don't think so. If Partner A isn't happy, he needs to figure out what would make him happy and go for it. If it means breaking a promise to Partner B, so be it. As long a Partner B is made aware of WHY things are happening and still chooses to do nothing to change it, he doesn't deserve to be in a relationship with either of you. I also don't understand why in the world Partner A would even plan on staying in a relationship that he didn't feel happy in.

On that note, have you communicated to Partner B that you have put a time limit on your relationship? I have no idea how long this has been going on, but if he doesn't know that you are threatening to leave, what good does it do? Do you expect him to magically change just because you've told him you're unhappy without telling him how incredibly unhappy you are? Ignore all of that if you have informed him. :D

I could also see a vee being a possibility, if Partner B was willing to work on his insecurities. If you and he just aren't compatible, you aren't compatible. It sounds like he has a lot of fear and that may be where all of this is coming from. Have the three of you thought about seeking some sort of therapy or counseling to help your communication? Also, the love languages book/assessment is really helpful for people who have different modes of showing affection.

nightrush 06-24-2012 01:39 PM

Yes that sums it up... I don't see a Vee as being an option at all in this sadly... The time limit is more so for myself, as i torn and i can not continue to cry and be upset every day for the next month.

nycindie 06-24-2012 04:04 PM

I have learned that hearing the words "I love you" are not nearly as important as the actions of someone I am involved with. I gauge the success of a relationship on how I feel when I am with that person. If I am being treated in a caring, respectful, and honest way, and receiving the affection I want, what difference does it make that they tell me they love me? Hell, often the most nightmarish relationships are supposedly based on love, but so what? Love isn't enough to make it work.

Being treated in a loving manner is much more valuable than hearing those words. Actions speak louder, as they say, and love can be expressed in many different ways. Some people just do not have an easy time saying it, nor in being physically affectionate, and I don't feel it's fair to pressure someone into saying "I love you" or being more physical than they are comfortable with, especially if most of what we have makes me happy.

If you're getting what you need from one partner, why do you think the other partner, a completely different person with their own set of baggage and modes of expression, has to give to you and treat you exactly in the same way? Why turn your preferences into demands? They could say it is quite unloving of you to not let them be who they are and express their feelings in the way they see fit.

Just some food for thought.

nightrush 06-24-2012 06:25 PM

I wish it were that simple... We went from total happy, to train wreck. There is no signs of affection, other than him saying he cares deeply about me... the words mean nothing if there is nothing behind them. The one partner yesterday spent part of the day with me working on my rental condo repairs that needed to be done... He has no financial interest in the condo but is always willing to help... I always try to find out the why things happen, incited of the how to make them work... His why... is that he gets happiness out of making others happy and when he sees how happy i am when he does even the littlest thing ( i am easy to please, he will pick be up a box of ranch wheat thins when he goes grocery shopping and it makes my face light up and that makes him happy)....

The three of us have been through hell and back trying to get things to work and now this was kinda blindsided me and the other partner...I have been spending every other week at "our home" and last Saturday the partner who is not feeling as good now was more than happy to walk in the door, get naked, and leave a surprise inside me, and this week he was upset that the other two were naked in bed waiting for him to get back from his workout and did not want anything, but he had it with the other partner last night...

nycindie 06-24-2012 06:38 PM

Maybe what is needed is not to make it about you and what you're not getting, but to find out what is going on with your unhappy partner and see if there is something bothering him, or some specific consideration he is looking for. Obviously, it seems he is going through something, and may be in emotional pain, but you seem to be taking it personally. Maybe a heart-to-heart among all three of you to see what he needs, and how you can all be happy again, is called for. It sounds like you aren't all communicating together, and you kind of sound like you are holding onto resentments. Maybe you have had enough and are ready to end it with that partner, but maybe there is also a more compassionate solution.


Originally Posted by nightrush (Post 140757)
With this being all of our first attempt at being poly, their agreement was all or nothing... That is why i would have to leave the other one as well..

Well, to only have all three or nothing is just an unreasonable agreement from the get-go. Perhaps this is what needs to be renegotiated.

Also, people's desires have peaks and valleys. If you can find it in you to be more patient and empathetic, and allow for him to have his own natural progression in things, maybe you don't have to feel so slighted.

Tonberry 06-25-2012 02:13 AM

I agree with nycindie on both counts (B seems to be suffering, if you're all supposed to be loving partners then you should try and figure out what's wrong and how to help; and the "all or nothing" policy seems like an incredibly unfair, unbalanced and unreasonable one that you should see about talking through and possibly renegotiating... or at least talk about so that even if it ends, all three of you know the downfalls of that kind of agreement and can make an informed decision about them in the future).

GalaGirl 06-25-2012 03:39 AM

I wanted to hold this up. When DH and I were dating we were not exclusive. We were open (now we are in a closed time.)


He was ready to say things like "I love you" much sooner than me. I told him I am a slow burner there and not to take my lack of words as "not love" or "lack of interest." I'm just a slow burner and well... yah. If people are mind, heart, body and soul? I find sharing my body or mind a whole lot easier than sharing my heart and soul. It isn't that I do not want to, it's just that these things come online at different speeds with me, dude.

Where he's wired pretty close together -- he gets those things online much faster.

For a YEAR he'd go "I love you." And I'd go "I know." Sometimes with a smile, sometimes with a look of terror. Like "Aaaaah! He's in love, and I'm faaaaallllling too and aaaaah not READY! Don't expect so much of me, I'm not ready!"

I asked for a year of space and he gave it. By then I was not totally confident about dealign with hurts, but I was more ready to try, and yes. I was ready to say "I love you" back.

So... I think an honest talk with B about his inner world state is in order. How are his buckets? Mind? Heart? Body? Soul?
Esp if he's not super emoter -- I get it. But the trio convo has to happen. Don't put THAT off or not be accountable. Shoot, maybe there's a friend 4th pair of eyes/ears he could practice organizing his bucket thoughts with before talking in trio?

However it gets organized... have the "What's this all about here? What now? How to proceed with grace?" convo

Is his own bucket stuff ALSO mixed up with his feelings sloshing about at seeing you and A together? Jealous you guys are fast burners? Is he feeling left behind like a third wheel? It's unfair to push him to burn faster -- he's the one feeling the burn. And maybe he wants to love, but he feels inadequate at his speed?

If DH had told me "hurry UP! Just love me and say it already!" I would have been terribly hurt, horrified and rather than allowing myself to simmer and open up into loving him more I would have clammed up. Threatening to leave me when I was at a vulnerable emotional growing place. And the reason for a year? My previous ex had bombed in a year, so I wanted to have some distance from THAT before opening up to the risk of hurting again. Two break ups too close together would have just STUNK for me. DH respected that and was content to say "I love you" while I responded with "I know."

Perhaps it is another thing. A case of "well, gave it a try and now feeling it's more friend level than not. NOW what do I do?" in B's head.

Maybe if spoken word is no good, just written word? He needs to give a report on the buckets -- all of you really.

Be a friend first. And really? If there's a break up looming? Prepare to be a good ex. You agreed to "all in, or you go."

(I don't think that was the contract I'd sign up for, but I'm not you. So honor this contract, exit gracefully, be a good ex then. Steer clear for a bit and let them sort their dealio.)

Then see what happens. Maybe you and A end up together. Maybe not. Maybe the trio wants to renegotiate a new contract and try again. Who knows.

But allow yourself to end ONE contract WELL before plunging on to another thing. Even if it's some of the same cast of players.

The tending of heart gardens can be painful, seem bleak, barren. But for new things to grow, gardens must be tended, the glunk put in the compost, and then new seeds planted. Everything in turn, in season. Can't harvest anything before planting seed, can't compost anything without pulling out, etc. One thing at a time.

Hang in there.

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