Girls cancelling dates on SO, he's upset, not sure how to comfort him.
I am very much monogamous.
He is very much not.
I don't like it, I'll admit it. It makes me all kinds of uncomfortable. I'm working on it, though. I love him, so I try.
He's not looking for other long-term partners, though. Just casual, short-term dating.
Earlier this year, he was seeing a girl for several months, maybe once a week if that often. Didn't see her for a couple months after our son was born. A month or two ago, she said wanted something more serious, he didn't, they stopped seeing each other. The end.
Since then, he's had first dates cancelled on him by at least 2 girls, seen 1 girl 3-5 times and stopped seeing her (I think she stopped contact? No idea. I ask some questions about those kinds of things, but not many.), and a week or so ago he went on a first date with one girl who.. I guess was a little too abrasive for his tastes.
He was supposed to go out last night, and the girl flaked out on him. Would have been a first date.
So, we cuddled up and watched a movie, and I thought everything was okay.
A few hours later, I notice it's late, he has to work in the morning, but he's on the other side of the room, super quiet, still on his computer. I asked him if he was okay, what was wrong, if I had done something, etc, and got a bunch of "I don't know"s.
That's frustrating. I can't hold that against him, though, really. I have all kinds of problems communicating, and a lot of the time he doesn't get much more than that from me until I am well past ready to talk.
But. He's not usually like that. And he was like that.. for a few hours last night.
I just let him know I was available to talk, even if it was other girls that were upsetting him.
Right before he went to bed, I asked him if any of it was something I had done, and he said "It's okay."
"It's okay" was not helpful, and led me to believe I had done something wrong, but I have no idea what.
(So after typing all this out, I recall after he told me his date had been cancelled, that the girl had flaked out on him, that he had his hand in the area of his man-bits, and this made me uncomfortable, so I moved his hand because we were cuddling. I think this may have upset him; he said it was something like swatting the hand of a child. It was bothering me because I was still in "He's going out with another girl tonight" head-space and it was making me uncomfortable. I realize this was pretty rude, now. I thought I had apologized for it last night, but I'm starting to think I just thought about it repeatedly and never did. Maybe that's part of the problem.)
Today we were texting while he was on lunch, and he opened up a tiny bit.
Told me it was flaky girls, finances, and some other things getting him down.
He did ask me why I would think it's something I did, and why I'd be upset about it now, but that doesn't help me at all as sometimes he asks me why or whether I think he should be upset when he already is.
He got home from work, put away some groceries he'd picked up, got on the computer for a while, came over and gave me a hug and kiss, then went to bed.
Rather, went to lay down. He doesn't sleep for long this early in the evening.
He's still feeling down, and I don't know what to do aside from waiting for him to come to me. He said maybe he needs to go out for a bit, or go to the gym. I guess maybe he just needs some time alone. It worries me, though. The last time he was this down that I am aware of was because someone he knew died suddenly. He was back to normal in a day or two, but he at least talked to me about that.
So I'm at a loss.
He doesn't like me worrying about our finances, because it stresses me out hardcore when I do, so I let him deal with it all, and I just hand in the rent and remind him when my phone bill is due since he pays that since I stay home with the baby. So we don't really talk about that.
We don't usually talk about the girls he dates because the topic is not a pleasant one for me, though I've been more inquisitive the last couple days, thinking maybe it would help since I've been pretty down lately. It did help a bit. I haven't been as negative about everything as I was. The world seems less dark and threatening, and a little more neutral, though it takes a lot of self-assuring thoughts which are not my strong point; I'm very much a pessimist.
It's a wonder we get along, I think. He's usually such an optimist.
I don't know what "other things" are, so I have no idea if we've talked about them or not. Other things could be me, how down I've been the last couple of weeks, could be the state of the apartment, could be work, could be politics, could be a show getting cancelled, or a product discontinued, or missing family and friends, or any number of things I might have no clue about.
But I would think we could talk about those things?
So I'm wondering if the main thing is the girls.
I just don't know how to talk to him about that.
I just told him I would, that I would listen, no matter what the subject, because I hurt when he hurts, and I worry about him, and I just want to help. :-/
I'm all kinds of open to suggestions from people who have experience in this arena.
Bonus points if you're a mono who is also uncomfortable talking to your partner about your partner's other partners. ._.
This is going to sound like I'm completely ignoring your question, but bear with me.
You mention he pays the phone bill because you stay home with the baby. Does that mean you never go out?
You mention you've been feeling down lately. Do you have friends? Maybe a Mum's group? A life outside your SO and child?
Now you're wondering, what does any of this have to do with why my SO feeling down?
A lot, potentially.
I know that when my husband is down in the dumps, I feel like it's all on me to cheer him up. Most of the time, the reason he's feeling down has nothing to do with me, so there's nothing I can do to cheer him up. In your case, if your SO feels like he has to keep your mood up, to be the optimist in the family, that could get burdensome.
So although it sounds unrelated, my suggestion for cheering up your SO is to join a Mum's group, make some friends, and find ways to cheer yourself up outside of your relationship with him. I'm not saying it's your fault, not by a long shot. But it's amazing how much your partner's mood can affect your own. So while it's not your fault that he's feeling down, maybe making an effort to be the optimist for a while can help pull him out.
I see the relevance. It could have a good deal to do with it.
We live about 1300 miles away from my friends and family (he doesn't have any here, either). I don't really go out. I don't have the money, nor the transportation. Also, all the mom groups seem to be "full."
I've never been good at meeting people and making friends, so that doesn't help either. I'm not sure I'd make many friends in a mom group, anyway. Somehow I imagine they're very child-oriented, and while my little boy is one of the most important things in my life, I don't want that to be the only interest I share with someone, you know?
I did go shopping with him last week, which I haven't done in months, so that helped improve my mood a bit, being out and about.
I do what I can to keep myself in a good mood given limited resources, but for a while there it felt all doom and gloom, and I'm sure that did take a toll on him.
I understand you just had a baby, and are focused on being a mom, but it would behoove you both to sit down together and:
1) Why do you think it is something you did?
2) Why are you upset about it now?
3) When he asks you for feedback/reality check -- why not tell him what you think?
You sound very passive in your style. Do you avoid conflict?
But if it boils down to this...
What does working on it mean if you don't share in his inner life and talk about things? Share your OWN inner life?
Don't compromise yourself if you are not happy and thriving in the open relationship.
Between the isolation from family and friends, a young child in the home, and the shaky communication between you -- sort yourselves out first.
I have no fear of dealing with the finances myself. I can manage money. I just get anxious when things are tight, regardless of which one of us is doing the budgeting.
He occasionally mentions something when he's actively working on the budget, but that's about it. He knows I would listen if he wanted to talk about it.
For the record, we're not married. Just want to put that out there.
A lot of my fears are hard for me to articulate, and the ones I manage to get out into words are about things that could happen, but not things he's actually looking for.
I don't really think we can negotiate much further.
He goes out once or twice a week, if that. Less so recently, cancellations and such. We have one date night a week to ourselves with no communicating with other girls.
I suggested closing for a few months to work on us, but he was not particularly receptive to the idea. He said he'd consider it, and it hasn't been talked about since. That was on the 9th, I think.
I'm trying to face things, but it feels like I have to face everything at once, and I just can't bring myself to do that. Right now I'm working on keeping myself occupied while he is out, and not reacting negatively when he is talking to girls when he's at home. The latter is proving more difficult overall, unless I start to think about what they may be doing when he's out. Then it's harder to get back to a neutral place.
I understand he views sex differently depending on who is is having sex with at the time (vs overall), but it's difficult for me to see it that way.
For me, sex is sex when it's casual and you're not in a relationship. No big deal. When in a relationship, it's special, and helps with bonding.
I can not have both of these at once without the former threatening the latter, in my head.
I suppose that's a case of cognitive dissonance on my part.
I know I have a lot of growing to do.
I am upset because I don't know exactly what I did, or if it even is something I did. I'm upset because he's upset and I don't know what to do to help him feel better. I told him those things.
I am passive in a lot of ways. Overall, I'm a fairly submissive person. I do tend to try to avoid conflict, especially if I am already upset.
Thank you for the link, I'll look through it.
I went over the finances thing for NYCIndie. I'm working on stress management on my own. It's helping me to deal with other things.
It's not that I'd rather him deal with finances, it's that he is the one working for the money, he is the one doing the budgeting, and he generally will tell me if there is something I need to know about it. If I was working, I'd gladly do these things myself.
I'll look through that link as well.
I am in this relationship because I love him. Because we share a lot of similar goals, political interests, parenting philosophies. Because it wasn't open from the start, and I told him I would try because logically, it makes sense. Logically, I couldn't tell you why I should have a problem with it. Emotionally, it just doesn't seem to work that way.
Working on it means getting to the point where none of this strikes me as negative. Getting to the point where it is at least neutral, where he can share these things with me and I don't become upset.
I'm dealing with some compromise because I think it's possible to become comfortable with it in the long run, it just may take a long time. I don't know how many posts I've seen here with a relationship starting closed, even with one partner staying mono when it opens, and it taking years for that partner to adjust. I don't really like the idea of it taking years, but I am at least willing to try.
I told him I'd like to close for a while to work on us. We haven't brought the subject back up.
What stops him from going bananas one day and kicking you and kid out leaving you both homeless and penniless?
What is logical about plunging on without both people on the same page?
I was asking about concrete DOINGS. Not FEELINGS.
What BEHAVIOR does he ALREADY DO to help you feel secure, respected and considered in this couplehood?
What could he do MORE of?
What BEHAVIOUR could he do less of?
What BEHAVIOR do you ALREADY DO to help you feel secure, respected, and considered in this couplehood? How do you consider him in the couple hood?
What BEHAVIOR could you do MORE of to help you feel secure, respected, and considered in this couplehood?
What BEHAVIOR could you do less of?
Things like that. Actual things to DO. Make your lists.
You will feel whatever you feel. But DOING things?
You can check off what he is doing/not doing
You can check off what you are/are not doing
Then whenever you feel blah you can pull out your checklists and reassure yourself that YES, he is doing all he can that you asked for to help meet your wants, needs, and limits. You are doing all you can. With your BEHAVIORS to each other. Then you can learn to feel better because the behavior shows your reality. It's not clouded by moods/feelings.
Or if he isn't or you are not doing your behaviours you agreed to do for each other, you can hold the right party accountable.
See if any of that helps you. Esp the opening a monogamous relationship and "safe enough" with the communication and boundaries.
I worry you are too passive and getting run over.
I should probably wait to reply as we're not doing so hot right now.
The first poster was right. It's me. It's me being down a lot and it brings him down and now I guess it's too much.
Sometimes it feels like he thinks I can just flip a switch and be happy with the way things are.
I have told him I didn't really have time to adjust to this before it started, and he says that I have been telling him that for months. I'm sorry? Doesn't make it less true.
I asked him if he wanted me to leave because it seems like I'm just not progressing fast enough for him and what I got was something along the lines of, "it seems like you're always upset with me and I can't be around all that negativity," only more wordy and less blunt.
I'll come back and address your post later, Galagirl. All I'm in a right mind to answer to right now is he always takes his phone calls outside to his car. They're very infrequent, and not a big issue with me except when they run into being hours long.
Tomorrow was supposed to be our date night. I'm getting the feeling I may be spending tomorrow on the phone with my mother making moving plans.
He's not going to want to Close. His freedom to do whatever, whenever is more important to him than any one person, I think, and if he feels like I am asking him to do things that restrict that freedom, I don't think I have a place here.
Sigh. I'm very sorry you are going through this. :(
You state several times you are willing to try. If you aren't trying to foot drag but are lacking in support/education/nurture to help you transition well from a Closed thing to an Open thing on top of new motherhood? And as the poly person he's like "Just lump it on your own. And don't be sad at me because I cannot deal with negativity" -- that's just not right.
The kid is not even a year old right? Could you as the mother have post partum depression? You def. are isolated. And you are struggling with Opening on top of new motherhood.
Is this REALLY the best time to be Opening anyway? How can he tend to other partners when he doesn't tend the one he already has well?
Something is just not right there.
Best to call your mom and get yourself out of there and move toward healing space for you. You are not comfortable with being Open, and you certainly are not going to get better at it with a partner who treats you with such little concern.
Hang in there.
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