I think I love him more than he loves me
Hello fellow polys! :) I come seeking your perspectives and I thank you in advance for helping me with a problem that has caused me many tears and many anxiety stomach cramps. I'll be replying to other people's posts to ensure reciprocity, that I give as well as ask/receive.
I have been in a poly relationship with my life partner for five and a half years. We are very compatible, have a lovely relationship, and I know he loves me (he tells me daily, he treats me very well, I see it in his eyes, and innumerable other indicators.). But I believe that he does not love me as much as I love him, and I find that really painful.
He insists that he loves me as much as I love him, but I don't believe him. There are many examples I could give, but there were two incidents recently that seem clear evidence that he doesn't love me as much as I love him. He thinks I'm blowing them way out of proportion and that they aren't evidence of anything.
I want to get the opinions of people here to give me some outside perspective on if these incidents do indeed seem to indicate he doesn't love me as much as I love him, or if he's right and they don't indicate any such thing.
For about a year we've discussed moving in together in the future and in mid-April I told him I was ready. It was awful timing because he had just recently promised a friend that they would move in together. They were looking for June 1st and since there was still a month and a half to go I asked that he cancel moving in with his friend to move in with me, but he didn't want to leave his friend hanging.
So we applied to a few co-ops instead. He said we'll move in together when we get a place in a co-op, but the waiting lists can take one to three years. I told him that if we don't get into a co-op by June 2013 I want us to find a place together. He insisted on waiting until we get into a co-op. He says he is emotionally ready to move in with me, and his reason for wanting to wait is that he deeply despises moving - the time it takes looking at apartments, the stress of looking on a deadline, the cost of moving, packing and unpacking.
I then told him that I am finding it quite difficult and even painful to NOT live with him, and the thought of waiting more than a year makes me sad and anxious. I also told him I'd pay for the moving expenses and do most of the apartment hunting. He said that in a year from now we can re-assess and if it seems we would have to wait another year or more to get into a co-op then we can move in together, but if we would only have to wait less than a year then we should just wait. That means waiting up to two years from now. I told him that I don't want to pressure him but he should know waiting this long is difficult and at times even painful.
The way I see it, if he loved me as much as I loved him he would want to move in together sooner.... his desire to live with me would be stronger than his hatred of moving. At the very least, he would think about the fact that I'm finding it painful to wait, and would go through the month or two of pain of looking for a place / moving in order to spare me the two years pain of waiting. I know that when I really love someone I'm willing to go through a relatively small amount of suffering to spare them greater suffering.
Somehow we wound up having a hypothetical conversation about how it would impact our relationship if I became a trans-man. (Note that I don't want to be a man.) He's straight so I said obviously you wouldn't want to have sex with me anymore, but would you still move in with me (in a 2 bedroom apartment)? He said yes. I asked if he'd still be my life partner minus the sex and he said yes, we'd be friendship life partners. I then asked if his girlfriend wanted to live with him would he be ok with the three of us living together and he said yes. (This is our current understanding, that although we'll be living together we're open to having other partners move in with us.) Then I asked if that girlfriend wanted to live with him but not with me would he move out to live with her, leaving me behind, and he said yes he would.
This really devastated me because if the positions were reversed I would never do that. If he became a woman, decided he was gay, or for some other reason sex was no longer part of our relationship, I would still want us to live together, spend the rest of our lives together, and if another partner of mine wanted to live with me, it would have to be the three of us or not at all. If my newer partner asked for just the two of us to live together, I would be very upset at them that they would even suggest that I stop living with my other partner, because that indicates disrespect for our relationship.
Sorry I wrote so much, I tried to be brief. I'm very curious what others think. Am I overreacting and thinking irrationally, like my partner says? Or is it reasonable to suspect that the love in this relationship is unbalanced?
I think you spend a lot of time setting yourself up for emotion crazy because you do not keep your thoughts in good order? Why do you feel the need to keep "testing" his love for you? When is it enough? What does he have to do to finally pass? When do you just accept that YES, you are loved?
1) The moving? That's just being practical about timing/expenses. And maybe the unsaid fact from politeness -- he's not ready to move in with you emotionally yet.
And he is trying to let it go with a more graceful reason. You cannot push him to be ready faster than he is ready.
2) That's a non-reality hypothetical imagining. And you are letting it color your actual reality. What for? Why do you play let's pretend and get bent out of shape over the let's pretend answers you asked for? You pretend you have become trans and it is now a friends forever thing. You get upset for real when the pretend him moves out to live with his pretend lover? Because the pretend friend you wants to live with pretend him and his pretend lover in the pretend game?
Weird that you get real upset over a pretend game YOU initiated. It's all pretend. IT IS NOT YOUR REALITY.
I'm going with your partner. You are being really... weird with the overreact and irrational thinking. Do you have a good self esteem? Self Assurance? Why this chronic need for external validation from him? It sounds baffling to me.
Love is not a contest. He loves you. Believe it. And if you cannot -- fix your broken believe-ability button. Not make him jump around some more.
Asking him to jump through a endless hoops for you is not proof of his endless love! And what's the proof of YOUR love for him? Is it a love expression to torment your loved one with weird like this? Always testing their love but never satisfied with it? That gets tiresome you know. Never getting around to doing the fix on your internal wiring with the broken believe-ability button?
I'd wonder if he one day starts to go "Ultraviolet is NEVER satisfied with me or my love. I guess it's a bottomless pit here and I ought to take it elsewhere. Somewhere it is valued more and BELIEVED. Because Ultraviolet will never believe that I love Ultraviolet and lack of belief in me and my love saddens me. I wanted to love not jump. I'm tired of jumping. I am not believed when I love. So what is here for me? Nothing."
As to #2, it's a losing game to pose such hypothetical questions and push and push and push the hypothetical scenario to greater extremes till someone finally says no, and then think it's proof he doesn't love you.
If a man I loved changed his gender or became gay, we might be friends forever, I might value him and love him as a human being forever, I might live with him for a long time...but to be told that when a man comes along who can offer me a full relationship, including sex, but he'd like to actually have a standard-package marriage and not live with another man--no, I would not throw away my desire to marry someone I truly loved and wanted to marry in order to prove to this other man that I still loved him. I'd think there are approximately zero people in this world who would do such a thing, give or take a few.
Love as much... like keeping score... really?... to love as much? What the? How can love be quantified? Love is. It just is. Yes, there are different shades and qualities to love, but real unconditional love knows no bounds. How can one's love for another possibly be measured... and then compared? For what reason? Love and the self are one.
Think about what a waste of time, energy, and spirit it is to try and count the love felt and love received just to add it up, like piles of buttons, as if someone is owed something if one pile looks higher (from their perspective). I couldn't answer your poll - my choice would have been: "Love is not a thing to be measured."
In quantum physics, as I understand it, the only action that can prevent something from being infinite and everywhere at once is the moment when somebody tries to measure it. Measuring something (an energy/vibration/force/substance) is what actually limits that thing, because you are putting parameters around something that actually has no end!
Don't try to make love a competition. Feel it, be it, express it, but don't measure it!
I agree with the three previous posters, and urge you to read them again.
I do have something else to add. I think you probably are finding your situation painful. I just don't think you've found the right 'cause.' I find it pretty painful that neither of my men want to live with me. I am very much a 'live with' kinda gal. However, one of them is an extreme introvert, and loves very much to sleep with me, and loves very much for me to go home in a day or three. The other is a perfect slob, and won't change to live with me. I didn't stop loving him because he's a slob, but I asked him to leave.
I urge you to look inside, maybe with help of a good friend or therapist, and own your pain, and see what it is that you're doing that causes you to test and never be satisfied (as galagirl proposed).
big virtual hugs of support from someone who has definitely been there and done that (and I promise, if you look and do your work, you will feel better and get better)
I happen to agree with the above posters. But, let me give you a little perspective if I can.
Recently I had the trans conversation with my husband (hypothetical also as neither of us has any interest in changing sex). It was triggered by a friend who is in process of a sex change.
He point blank would not ever have sex with me again if I switched-because he is a heterosexual man and I would be a man and that doesn't interest him in the least.
I on the otherhand am bi-and regardless of his being a man or a woman-I would still be interested in HIM.
BUT-if he changed sex-making both of us women, I would be angry and hurt, even though I wouldn't leave him, because it would also mean our marriage was annulled in the state we live in and I would lose my medical benefits! (he's employed and I am not).
On the other hand, my changing wouldn't mean he lost that benefit-it would still mean I lost it!
But-my final analysis of our relationship, even with the knowledge that whilst he would remain friends with me, he would not commit to remaining a partner to me if I had a sex change;
is that he actually loves me "more" than I love him if one was going to measure it.
I don't believe it's reasonably measured-
BUT if it were, he's put up with shit from me that he said from the get go was a deal breaker for him-and he's still here, trying to become a person who can manage to deal with me...
So, I question your perspective on the grounds that you are using unrealistic measurements of "love".
WHAT is "love" and how does one "love" more/or less?
Now, if we put it as love is a verb, an action word, I suppose one could tally the actions and decide which partner "does love" more or less.
But, I don't see that as your question.
Also, the bottomline is that we all express love and we sense the expressions of love differently-so he could be doing 1000s of things you don't even take note of that are signals of his love for you. But, you are so busy tallying up the things that frighten you, that you don't notice.
My husband spends a lot of time in "fear mode" reacting instead of choosing to consciously act. I can tell you from experience-it's destructive to him and to his relationships.
YOU need to stop yourself. Just stop and stand still. Just breathe. Then, think of what you want to do in that moment-and do it.
Learn to consciously choose your actions-instead of trying to react and manipulate the world around you in order to "protect" yourself from the fear of abandonment or being alone that is driving you to destructively attack your relationship.
Agreeing with the general consensus here - I would not answer your poll, it makes no sense. If its a "are you or your bf right about you being irrational" question though - yes I'd agree you are being somewhat irrational, it seems like you are trying to make trouble where there is none.
I think it's great that he told you that you two would talk about moving in, in another year. Much smarter than moving in too soon for one of you. How about if he asked the question "Do I love my girlfriend more than she loves me because I care about us enough to not move in before I'm ready, but she's upset and pushing for it, regardless of my feelings?
Saw the poll, didn't even read the post. It would never cross my mind to try and see if I love someone more than they love me or the other way around. What do you care?
Either he makes you feel appreciated and loved, or he doesn't. If he doesn't, talk to him about it. How much you love him vs how much he loves you is completely irrelevant, and just mentioning it is... well, pretty immature. It makes me think of little kids making sure their piece of cake is as big as their sibling's.
Wow! I'm surprised by the responses. But thank you for taking the time, energy, thought to try and help me out. I'll think about what you wrote here.
More responses and poll votes are still welcome!
Thanks again. :)
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