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-   -   Still feeling NRE, he has it with someone else now (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=25715)

miossotty 07-17-2012 10:07 PM

Still feeling NRE, he has it with someone else now
(I posted this in "life stories and blogs". Meant to post it here. ::facepalm!:: )

Hi, all. I'm a mono involved in an LDR with a beautiful poly (he's had the feelings but this is the first time he's decided to fully embrace the lifestyle). He came out to me a few months into our relationship and there is someone else who he met before me but it's pretty on and off because she's also a mono (long distance as well) who tries to not acknowledge his lifestyle. When it overwhelms her, she leaves and then comes back when she misses him. Because of that and because I've stuck by him through all of it, it felt like it was just the two of us for a long time and he never really mentions her. So as aware as I've been, I wound up shelving it in the back of my mind because we didn't talk about it anymore after he came out. That was probably not the best idea. I could have used the time to start adjusting.

Because of the distance, the NRE was going pretty strong and gets rekindled with each visit. About a month ago, he found someone locally that he has a really great connection with. I'm not sure if he's come out to her and things haven't gotten physical but the emotional bond got strong pretty fast. It was the same for us. He has a tendency to be pretty intense. Now his NRE is directed towards her and I'm here with all of this existing NRE from my end that at times feels ignored.

I explained to him that while I think it is fantastic that he has found someone he connects with on a deep level and I don't mind that he talks to me about her, it would be nice if the affection between us didn't disappear just because she's shiny and new. I feel like I'm the one initiating all of our affectionate moments and sometimes he doesn't reciprocate. It's been especially scarce the past month except for two days last week that made me feel like I was in heaven. He once explained to me months ago that because he gets so busy with life sometimes, he can forget to tell me what I mean to him but that it doesn't mean I'm not important. I brought that up to let him know that I know he's not doing it to deliberately hurt me but that it still does hurt sometimes.

It's especially hard because of my mono wiring, this being my first poly mate, it having been just us on a deep level for nearly a year, the distance, and I'm still trying to get over my jealousy issues with his lifestyle. I told him that someday I might not need the reassurance but that while I'm getting used to everything, having both of our needs met instead of everything seemingly going one way would make me feel a lot better about all of this. Of course having both our needs met after my adjustment period is required as well because that's how any relationship model should work but I don't think that needs explaining. He said he understood and everything seemed to go well after. Affection initiated by him acquired!!

That was yesterday and today things seemed to have slipped back as if I never said anything. Am I asking for too much and is it bad to get upset about it after only a day? I definitely don't want to bring it up again a day later because I don't want to overwhelm him with all of these back to back emotions. We wound up in a much deeper, emotionally intense conversation about his lifestyle and the fact that he's egalitarian instead of hierarchal over the weekend and that's what prompted me to join this forum. I knew I was going to need to do a lot of research and find some support aside from him.

Like I said in my intro post, any feedback is greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Marcus 07-17-2012 10:28 PM

That Was Quick
So yesterday was magical but today the situation is as it was before? Can I ask what transpired in the period of a day to cause the relationship to appear to backslide so abruptly?

miossotty 07-17-2012 10:49 PM

I know he has some other stress (work, some day to day life things that have nothing to do with his relationships) that he's going through. Part of me wants to say it's that and I'm making much ado about nothing but another part of me is wondering if it's fair to use that as an excuse. It doesn't happen a lot but this is not the first time he's been stressed since we've known each other and he was still affectionate the other times. Sometimes the stress made him more affectionate because I make him feel so comfortable. It's just an odd change. Nothing between us happened though. We talked, went to bed, and then it was a new day.

GalaGirl 07-18-2012 12:42 AM

Well, every relationship has rights and responsibilities.. Those are mine.

To me? You seem to be exercising your responsibility to know and state your needs and wants and limits for some attention in the transition time even as he undergoes NRE. You are reporting your inner emotional weather. Check.

He's trying to hear your need and respond. You seemed satisfied with the response yesterday. Check.

Today you feel in the pits again. Before you go thinking he's shirking and denying you your right to support and nurture... step back a bit.

Seriously? In a day? I'd chalk it to emotional storm and not anything he's failed to do. Let the feelings blow on through and don't stress over it and make it more than it needs to be.

There's only 24 hrs in a day. There's 8 hrs to sleep, 8 hrs to work, 3 hrs to cook and eat his meals, that leaves 5 hours for work commute, chores around the house, bills, gym, and connecting with his people -- even just his friends to go play soccer or something.You also mention he's stressed out at work and things.
It's not all about girlfriends!

In LDR? How is "affection" normally expressed? Does he have to text you/call you at certain times? What's missing today that you got yesterday? And why are you feeling so blah about it?

Are you "what iffing" things in your head too much? What needs of yours are still unmet?

My anthropology friend told me once that women take 30,000 words a day and men take 15,000 words a day to feel healthy/good. It also takes 7 people interactions per day to feel alright.

So if he's a guy, and you had a big talk yesterday could he just be tapped on his wordiness for a bit? Are you seeing your 7 people interactions a day? At work, friends, relatives, etc? Or expecting him to be all 7?


miossotty 07-18-2012 03:45 AM

I gave myself time to think everything over after replying to Marcus and I came to the same conclusion. It's emotional storm. I'm adjusting to accepting a lifestyle I've never come in contact with before and with all of the little things that normally wouldn't bother me, it triggered a bigger negative emotional response than it should have. It got a bit overwhelming but I'm feeling a lot better now. With that, I'm still going to answer your questions.

When we started, we had a tendency to be all seven for each other and thankfully that has died down. It's important for us to have our own lives separate from each other. We encourage it and it's nice to swap stories when we talk again instead of being trapped in this bubble of each other's existence.

I think every long distance couple has to find what works for them. For us, it was random loving words or emoticons, Skype dates (scheduled in advance, varying in frequency, and late at night so that we're not interfering in our personal lives), and what we refer to as "text cuddles" when we want to "go to bed together". That is supposed to be all romance, no sex talk. There are no set talk times daily since he works at home on a pretty lax schedule. It gives us the opportunity to talk periodically while we're working. When we don't talk for a few hours, we both know it's because we need to focus on our work at the moment or he's using one of his many breaks to hang out with friends, workout, or get errands done. My schedule is more set so I use my days off and time after work for all of that.

It's ok for the frequency of random loving messages to die down and I've never expected him to respond to every little thing. It just started to feel weird when he stopped sending them without me doing it first or stopped responding to any of mine, especially because he is normally very loving and expressive. There were a couple of broken Skype dates in the middle of all of this. Considering the way we schedule them, breaking them with no notice two nights in a row kind of got to me. The first night, he fell asleep. That was fine because I can't blame him for being tired. So we rescheduled for the next night. That was broken because he was with the new girl and got home around 3AM which was several hours after I asked if we were still going to Skype. A response saying "Can we do it another night? I'm still out." would have been a lot better than not saying anything. He apologized and we had our date the night after. As for our "text cuddles", he's been less participatory as of late.

Again, these are all small things on their own that I'd normally not even think about. Happening all at once combined with the adjusting I'm going through to accept this part of him, I got into my own head too much. Thank you for your perspective and your rules are great!

dragonflysky 07-18-2012 04:47 AM

Polyamory is about the ability/capacity to love more than one person at a time. I was at the losing end of someone who was convinced he had that ability/capacity in terms of having equal or co-primaries...only to have him back off when he was stressed out from work or other aspects of his life. (He and she were a couple before he and I were. All three of us got along fine. No romantic relationship between she and I.) He continued his level of commitment to her, which was only right. But, "love" is an action. If someone says they have the ability/capacity to love more than one person at a time (in a primary capacity in my situation) then I am not very accepting or understanding of their backing off on loving behavior towards ANY partner when the going gets rough. I start to really question their claimed ability/capacity because life will always have some type of stress.

miossotty 07-18-2012 06:09 AM

Before I met him, I had the same mindset. The old me would have left already! He's increased my capacity for tolerance and patience just by being an incredibly tolerant and patient person himself. Does this mean I'm going to be a doormat every time there's a bump or a new partner who he gives a lot of attention to? Absolutely not. I am going to give him more time before I let the old me take charge. Not all of it, though. Old me has a tongue dipped in poison. I'd rather not do that to him.

I've expressed what I need from this, he understands it, and needs to apply it. It's only right considering I'm pushing past certain boundaries to meet his needs. This is all new to him as well so he has a lot to learn on his own. So he gets time to sort things out and learn how to balance everything. I'd absolutely hate to leave him but if there is no change, I'd have to.

GalaGirl 07-18-2012 01:50 PM

Sounds like you are working your way through it then. Hang in there!


miossotty 07-18-2012 02:28 PM

Thanks! I'm trying. I've never had a connection like this with another person and I have to understand that he's different from me in this aspect. I don't see it as a reason to give up such a good thing. As long as he doesn't expect me to do it alone and we continue to nurture each other's needs, it can work. I'm hopeful but I'm another flawed member of the human race. Some days are going to be harder than others.

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