Signs of progress!
So, I'm not sure if anyone recalls since I'm so new, but I went through the apparently pretty typical poly journey of cheating partner/discovery/hellacious fighting/honest discussion/newly opened relationship.
Since then, with my husband's encouragement, I've been slowly looking for a partner of my own. No lovers yet, but some lovely friendships are developing, which is very beneficial. My husband has a girlfriend he's been seeing roughly once a week, for the past 3 months or so.
The whole cheating thing was really pretty recent so I had some rough times and emotional jitters with his GF. Only a one month gap from cheating to seeing her, which felt awfully quick. She's been pretty easy, though - mature, well behaved, friendly (though I can tell she feels a bit awkward). She has all the positive qualities his mistress lacked.
In the middle of all of this, I was lucky enough to land a great new job about 600 miles away, and we're moving next week. Yesterday was his last meeting with GF, other than infrequent LDR visits, not even on the horizon yet. She was understandably sad, but thinks it's a great opportunity and knows we have to jump on it.
And after all my stress and tweaks, when I woke up this morning, I found myself thinking "I'm really sorry GF is sad about the move". Not even a little jot of "good riddance" or "thank god THAT'S over". Just some empathy for her. I even talked to hubby (oh hell, let's call him Finch), about the things I liked about GF and why it was working so well for me, things I want to carry over into Finch's next relationship.
I know this is so hard for so many of us, especially we who started as mono partners without a clue. I was just really happy that I was able to come this far. And Finch is proud of me for my efforts, and trying so hard to make him happy, and in turn is willing to go even farther to make ME happy, and has opened up a LOT in communicating with me.
Next I'm working on the idea that GF can come visit us, and since it's so far she can be a houseguest and they'll have time together while I work (different schedules for me and Finch). I'm not quite comfy with it yet, but it's only been 24 hours, and I haven't melted into a puddle of tears and snot, so it's a good start!
I know there will still be tough times, possibly lots of them. But I'm starting to feel like this really can work.
Fantastic, I am very happy for you. :)
The roller coaster continues, and I should have known better than to think it was all clear ahead.
GF and Finch had a funny, witty little email exchange, and he read me one of her responses. 99% fine, but in the middle was a fairly explicit joke about her favorite position with him. He didn't even notice, or think to edit what he was reading.
Goddamn it. This is all new, and I do NOT want to hear intimate details. It immediately pushed several of my buttons, cratered my self esteem, and reminded me of some harsh truths Finch had dished out during one of our fights. (Apparently I am boring in bed.)
Now I'm a puddle of tears and snot. I am just going to hang on and wait for it to pass. I just don't know what else to do.
Any handy self esteem references anyone would like to point me toward? :(
The first thing to do is to breathe through the bad pinches and ride out your emotions. I really like what GalaGirl always says - emotions are like weather. They just are. Rain is rain. Wind is wind.
You can get to a point where you're really good at dealing with the weather and know how to put an umbrella up... but if you're in a panic, scrambling around to find the umbrella won't help you find it faster.
There are many times when my girlfriend blurts something out that I don't want to hear. I scream inside and wish I hadn't heard it... but I tell myself "this too shall pass" and ride out the feelings until they fade away.
The intensity of your emotion is down to the fact you've only just stabilised yourself after a rocky time. Part of the stabilisation was that things changed for the better. Then the original thing that bothers you slaps you in the face.
I have this idea about fighting poly demons. Here's an example.
I really struggled the first time my GF slept with someone a few weeks ago. It was her first fully sexual partner outside of our 1.5 year relationship.
A few days later, she told me that the sex wasn't the best, it was fun, not mind-blowing, not awful.
That helped ease some of my demons.
But I was disappointed. Why was I disappointed? Because I wasn't given the chance to think "this guy is amazing in bed, yet I'm not threatened." I know that sounds strange... but I felt Demon Cheated! I wanted to grab the most scary demon by the balls and shake him out!
I'd actually rather tell myself that someone is better, or as good as, me in bed... because I know that what we have is still good enough for her to stay. And if she did find something better and left... that I could handle that. Does that make sense?
So what I'm saying to you is... your brain had just thought... "oh finally, a breather"... but the demon was still there. And it got poked at by reading that message.
Being told that you are boring in bed is a very, very, very harsh thing to hear. Boring is probably the worst way someone could put it, because it can destroy your confidence.
That being said.... I try to look at every criticism as a gift. I've realised so much about my self through my girlfriend pointing out painful things... and I've grown from them.
If what he's saying is true... that for *him*... you are 'boring' in bed.... well, now you know and you have the chance to work on it. It's far worse never to know, in my opinion.
Also, just because he *might* have found you a certain way... doesn't mean that everyone else will. I can say for definite that what I find boring in bed can thrill other people. Sex is about compatibility as much as anything else.
As for Finch showing you that message.... it's taken over a year to get to this point, but I've finally accepted that I don't want or expect full disclosure from my GF, in terms of her other relationships.
Remember that what you read or hear can only be warped by your perception. Things are always taken out of context.
Once, I went on holiday with my ex GF. It was the first time I'd ever, ever been away from my ex BF, my best friend, my soul mate, for longer than a couple of days. We didn't want to get back together. There was nothing sexual or romantic in it. He text me and said that he watched my train leave, crying and that he loved me so much. I told him that I loved him so much. My GF went through my phone whilst we were away and read all of our messages. She blew it out of proportion. She never trusted me regarding him for the rest of our relationship and it's one of the main reasons we broke up.
I give you that anecdotal advice because I want you to see that whatever you experience second-hand is never how it is first-hand. There is no possible way to step inside Finch's mind and see exactly every little feeling, thought or emotion he has towards you. I don't believe in 'don't ask don't tell'..... but I think full disclosure is not only an invasion of the GF's privacy.... it's a recipe for warped perception and disaster.
My advice is... from now on.... expect to be told when they have communicated, expect to be told if things are progressing, if they want to meet up, if he's falling in love.... basically, anything that effects you. But don't ask to read their messages.
If you still feel insecure about your sex life with him, you absolutely must work on that before you continue down the poly road. Maybe you should have another conversation with him about that and see if you can work something out?
Thanks, sparklepop - that does help.
And just to clarify, I've never looked for their messages or asked to read them - in fact, I asked him to set up a separate account that I didn't have access to, for their privacy and for my sanity. It's just this particular message, that for some horrible reason, he chose to read aloud to me. I think he just saw the witty parts, and didn't consider the rest - wanted to share how great she is. It would have been no problem at all had he just left out one sentence fragment.
I have asked him to elaborate on what he means by "boring", but he will only say he was wrong to have said it and won't discuss it at all. I don't know if it's true, or why he said it, or how I can change things. Kind of leaves me at a loss to fix it.
Stupid demon, wide awake and prancing through my hindbrain. When I find that umbrella I'm going to beat him with it.
sparklepop - that was a very good post - very helpful.
I am often caught off-guard when a random comment apparently short-circuits my demon-control wards and they run rampant. I realize that the best solution is to banish the demons and not keep them locked in the dungeon - but I am still working on collecting all four elemental crystals to unlock the key to the "Uber-magickal Umbrella of Banishment" (I'm only a level 13 Relationship Mage - I think you need to be a level 15 to get past the Self-Esteem-Sucking Sprites in the Caves of Insecurity...)
After a few of these triggering events I did find that when I chase down these demons (yet again) sometimes I find that they are not as strong and scary as when I first locked them up. Some of them have gotten down-right anemic and pathetic after being locked up for so long without being fed. Found one the other day that used to plague me incessantly - limp and unconscious. Don't need to bother with the Umbrella for that one - just toss him on the refuse pile and feed him to the pigs...
Yep-I get it.
Mine was reading (not digging, it was put in my face) that Maca's potential gf thought I was psycho.
Doesn't matter that I know the reason she thinks that is because he was venting his frustrations to her about dealing with my severe depression and anxiety last winter (medicated yes-but still not controlled during winters) WITHOUT letting her know WHAT WAS WRONG-so she knew how I was acting, what i was doing but not that I was fighting this MEDICAL ISSUE and seeing the doctors and having my meds changed etc.
It doesn't matter that he tells me he understands his mistake and that he doesn't think I'm psycho.
It just hurts.
So, I understand well how it must hurt that mid battle he pops off with telling you that you are boring in bed. Especially since now he won't elaborate.
I have a suggestion on that note though.
I used to be very "boring in bed". My oldest child's father (child is nearly 21) once said "someday you'll grow up and realize there's more than missionary".
Anyway, I HIGHLY suggest getting yourself some private time ALONE-and then looking at some porn. Not to watch porn per se.
But, to consider ideas.
I also suggest putting it on mute-cause the sound effects are usually really annoying.
But, seriously, "boring" is usually a result of having no idea what options exist! How on earth can one figure out the options if they aren't exposed? If he's not talking-that leaves it to you to do a little research. I would suggest books-but sometimes words just don't help give you a good mental picture.
Don't just go for any one kind of porn either. Go for girl on girl, guy on guy, girl on guy. Watch it all and consider the different activities from a personal viewpoint-"would I like doing that to someone? Would I like someone to do that to me? Does that look interesting? Does that look scary? Does that make me want to puke?" etc.
Also, it's not SEX-but one of the things I picked up a year or two ago for a gift for my husband and I was the red hot touch videos. http://redhottouch.com/
They are "how to" videos about massage, different types of massage and we picked up quite a few little additions to our sex repertoire from those. They were small things that we both enjoyed the sensations of that work well before, during and after a sexual moment. :)
Some more thoughts on the boring thing....
I finally got him to talk a little bit about it. I've been nervous and confused, because ... well, I have a pretty broad repertoire. I like to wake him up with oral sex, I'm down for some bondage and spanking if he's in the mood, I like a lot of different positions, and I have my favorite porn sites bookmarked already. I try to vary things as much as possible, no routine. And I'm a licensed massage therapist, to boot. Touch is one of my gifts. So to be called boring took me by surprise - I'm a very sexual person, with a quite high libido.
And when I got him to explain it it turns out to be worse than I thought. He finds our sex life boring compared to new relationships. So, I'm set up in competition with NRE - and that's a battle I am NOT going to win. The new and different will always be more exciting. It just shouldn't be a competition in the first place.
There has already been a metric buttload of "processing" today, so I am going to wait until later to fight that battle.
I really really appreciate all the input. I will check out both the book by Burns and the red hot touch website.
Um... that's just rude (on his part).
OF COURSE new and unknown is exciting-but that is NO EXCUSE for not acknowledging the excitement of the known and dependable!
He needs to practice up on ORE.
HUGS-were I in your shoes tonight-I'd need a hug, so I'm sending you a hug.
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