Boundaries and Bubbles
I'm not sure if this is something that comes up a lot, but I live with my two significant others (J and C) and while I really do love them both to death, is it really wrong of me to need personal space as well?
I actually moved into their apartment, into the room next to 'theirs' which had been recently vacated. Originally, I had planned to get a new twin or full mattress as mine was not good anymore, but J convinced me to get a king so we would all have room to sleep together. This was primarily based on my cuddle-slutting ways, because I like it so much.
While that seemed like a great idea back in August, I'm having serious second thoughts.
Since my bed is now The Bed, my room has also become, by de facto, The Room. This also wouldn't be such an issue if J and C weren't so messy. As a writer, my room is my work space, and I need my work space to be clean, something I've talked to them about before. And they also always make a pretty big deal whenever I ask them to leave me alone so that I can do some work.
So I'd really just like to know, am I the only one having physical boundary issues with my SOs? If you have, how did you get the point across?
You should feel free to tell them exactly what you wrote here. I mean, if you can share your body with them, you should be able to talk to them. Personal boundaries are important and everyone has them. Therefore your partners need to respect those boundaries, not get huffy about it. If they get bent out of shape, it's their problem to deal with as grown-ups, not yours. You write, you need privacy, you like things neat. End of story - just tell them point blank. Why is it a problem for you to express your needs?
Well I am certainly a person who needs time and space for myself, I just told my husband that I wanted each Sunday to myself (sometimes its a 4 hour chunk of time, sometimes I take all day and night - usually it is to just do my own thing in my house. He will go out, or use the computer room if I am not, or go to his room to watch movies or play games depending on what part of the house I want to be in.) Sometimes I want even more more time to myself and so we have a second day a week scheduled to do our own things - don't often use it but it's nice to know that it's not a surprise for him if I want more down time.
Hmm sheesh - I don't remember exactly what I said, since we hashed this out 6 years or so ago, but it was along the lines of, I love you, but I need time and space to myself to be happy and keep my stress levels down. I need time to be able to do my hobbies, or to feel like I can watch movies you don't want to see, or listen to music you don't like without it having to be "a big deal" to ask for it, so I am going to schedule this regular time for myself so I know I can do that. Doing so will make sure we co-exist peacefully the rest of the time because I wont be walking around irritated and tense that I am not getting my needs met.
More it was probably like - dude, listen, I need to relax on Sundays or I'll stab you, so I'm taking that day for myself or you'll have a high strung tense person to deal with...and all the other stuff was discussed over time.
Can the king bed be moved into their room?
You have every right to ask for some personal space back if you need quiet and calm to write, that would probably be a firm boundary I'd insist on. If you need that to be happy, then I'd say "I need this to be happy/keep my sanity, so I'd appreciate if you two accepted that and didn't make a big deal out of it, I'm not doing this to hurt you, I just know that to be a good partner I need to make sure I'm meeting my own needs" or whatever it is you want to get across to them.
In your polymath there is the tier of
This needs tending too. A Shared Sweetie person (you) does not exist solely to care for the partners in those other relationship tiers. Have to tend to self too!
So why can't you just say to them:
" I need some quiet time alone to work in my room. I have to clean it too. Could go clean your part of flat. Then everyone is cleaning and taking care of business. Whee! Chore solidarity for the polyship! Love you! See you at 6 PM for dinner. Now shoo! Work time for me!"The other option is fine... your bedroom with the big bed is now the shared polyship bedroom. Can you have THEIR room then for your work office? Then you could say
[INDENT]"Bye sweeties! Going to work at the office! Will come home for dinner at 6 PM!"[INDENT]
And shut/lock the door and "go to work."
Personal space is definitely needed and like a previous person already mentioned ^ Why don;t you jsut tell them what you posted here?
My husband and I enjoy our seperate time apart. its lovely. even as we speak he is playing Call of Duty BO2 with MY sisters in the living room, as I sit here eating toast browsing the internet. But it is sooooo nice. Its even better when our boss gives us different days off(we work at the same place, and its not bad at all XD)) and I get to clean and organize things around oru bedroom. <3 SO YES Make it firm that you need personal space to attend to your own well being and CAREER.
And, btw, if you pay rent to live there, you have every right to establish "rules" for your room and even keep it locked whenever you want. You can have off-limits hours, rules about keeping it clean, shoes on or off, no food, etc. Just because it's the room with the biggest bed doesn't mean a thing. And if you don't like the bed, give it to them or sell it and get one you like. They are in a relationship with you - they're not your bosses. Express what you need and accept that you deserve to do so!
If I had a live-in partner, I would have my own bedroom. Period.
Actually, one of the main reasons I'm NOT seeking a life partner is that I can't imagine sharing a bedroom full-time, ever. Most people think that's weird, so I feel like I approach dating from a very different perspective than most people.
I love sex, I love cuddling, and I love crawling into a nice empty bed when I'm done with both of those things.
For me, one of the nicest benefits of polyamory is that someone I'm dating can share a bed with someone else if he can't stand the idea of sleeping alone!
Some people (extroverts, people who aren't writers, people who have no sleeping issues) cannot fathom that I really do need so much space to myself. It's VERY hard to explain this to them.
Oh my god... I feel your pain!
I spend half the year in the UK and half the year in the US, with my girlfriend and her husband. In the UK, I have an unusual setup. Check this out - I live in a 600 sq. ft studio, with my ex boyfriend. No space, no privacy, no separate rooms. If I want to skype with my GF, he hears all of it. But... no rent, either ;) In the US, like you, I moved into the spare room of my GF and husband's apartment. It's a full house. Three adults, one toddler, two dogs and three cats. In a (very messy) two-bed, one-bath. Agh.
Their bedroom has a king bed, turned sideways, that they share with our toddler. For some reason, our toddler adores me and the inevitable recently happened - she wanted to start sleeping in my bed. Agh. I've managed to suffer it only twice so far and I'm hoping that is the end of that fad. My room has a double futon that sleeps either myself and at least three of the five pets who want to take refuge with me.... or myself, refuge pets and girlfriend, when she sleeps in my room.
Thank God I'm in a v and not a triad, because I could not cope with husband getting in as well. Though he often does; usually when we're trying to work, until he's kicked out. Double agh. My GF asked me to sleep in their room once, to be 'as one'. Myself, toddler, girlfriend, husband, two dogs and three fricking cats. All of their clothes all over the floor (and dresser and cat tree and table). Mess everywhere. Luckily, toddler woke up, started crying about me stealing her bed, and I've had a get-out-of-jail card ever since. ;)
Like yours, my room has also become The Room. It's our office and laundry room too. Though my gf doesn't sleep with me every night, she miraculously manages to create an ungodly mess whilst lying on my bed looking sweet on a daily basis. Our toddler follows suit. I am a writer, also, and I understand the need for personal space. Whether that's a writer thing or not, I don't know!
My gf's husband does not understand the need for space. He turns the washing machine on when I'm working. He leaves his dirty boxers on the bathroom floor until the pile he builds covers it. He gets into bed with us in the middle of private moments. He even admitted that he went through my underwear drawer last time I went home. (wtf).
If my gf needs space, she'll disappear. You'll suddenly look up and realise she's not there. You'll find her in her own room, with the lamp on, reading a book. I swear she doesn't even read it. The pages are most likely blank. But it's her way of saying... "fuck the hell off, you house of crazies, before I bury you under the patio".
When I need space, I'll sit on my bed and play guitar.
So, possible solutions to pick from:
- humour: call yourself a hermit, poke fun at yourself, as it can be easier on your partner's feelings. then use it as a code phrase - "I need a little hermit time; do you still love me? ~endearing face~"
- rules: they go out on a certain day each week and leave you in complete peace at home. It gives you a day to look forward to and helps them to learn to respect your need for space.
- basket system:
My girlfriend and toddler are messy and won't change, no matter how much I beg, persuade, negotiate, order, nag, entice, cry... so I have a basket for each of their stuff. I dump all their stuff in their basket and close the lid. When it's full, I dump it on their bed to sort out. (I took a harsher stance with husband's dirty boxers and said that if he leaves them on the bathroom floor one more time, I will actually tie them to his car with pictures of his face. He cleaned them up the next morning. hahahaha.)
- separate office:
There is something to be said for feng shui. Not only can it be hard to work where you sleep and sleep where you work, but when other people's mess interferes, it can be impossible to function. Can you make their old room your work room? Or screen off a section of the living room? Or find a nice coffee shop?
- separate bedrooms:
This is the best solution, I feel. You could have a rotational sleeping arrangement where you all sleep alone, as a couple, as a triad, on different nights of the week. Or they simply go back to sharing a room and you sleep with them less.
- how to communicate:
I find that the best way to talk about sensitive issues like this is to shift the blame onto yourself as much as possible and remember that they love you and wanted to help you out by accommodating your love of cuddling. Experience is the most valuable learning tool. You made a mistake. You thought you would love it, but you don't want to be a grumpy housemate all the time. You want to be a happy, likeable partner who isn't snappy. You have tried it and realised that it's not working. How about that? ;)
In short... personal space is extremely important and everyone needs different levels of it. It can be the hardest thing in the world to hear that your partner needs to be away from you - even if it's only for a few minutes. Especially if that request is delivered snappily. I think the best thing to do is sit them down, explain your feelings, tell them that you love them and work out a solution together.
Good luck and let us know how you get on!
We each have our own rooms. Since we created a room for me, I rarely use it. It's as though me fighting for that was enough for both guys to realize that without alone time and personal space I couldn't be the woman they really love.
Now my grandson uses my room more than I do. BUT its there if I need it and both guys are very good at leaving me be when I need me time. ;)
First, no, you're not unusual to need your own personal space. That's perfectly reasonable.
I don't see why it's such a problem though... Presumably "their" room is the Master bedroom of the house. Why not switch the beds around, making the Master bedroom back into The Room? That leaves the smaller room to be your personal room. Let them know that your work habits and personality require you to have your own private space. Have them agree not to come in there without your permission, and never to leave anything behind. If they don't follow that, put a basket outside your door where you can chuck their crap when they leave it there. Empty the basket into their closet when it gets full. They'll probably get the hint eventually.
|All times are GMT. The time now is 12:54 PM.|