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-   -   Feeling odd (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=3334)

dearprudence 07-29-2010 02:44 AM

Feeling odd
 
Had a conversation with my husband tonight, and it's left me thinking about this one particular thing. I'd like to hear your opinions/experiences.

My husband, C, is currently seeing someone, and we've talked about the three of us going to the local Ren Faire together in September. And I'm not so eager. In thinking about that, I realize I'm not comfortable being affectionate with him when we are with his other partner. He and I are typically affectionate - holding hands, hugging, touching - but in this scenario, I hold back.

The three of us have spent time together hanging out at our house. This feels good, and after we eat or watch TV or whatever, I can go do my thing and let them to do theirs. We've been out together a few times, and it's these times that I feel myself stepping back. Maybe it's to show respect and allow them their time together, as I have other time with him. Maybe I feel like a third wheel and it's just not my favorite way to spend time with them.

I do feel compersion when I see them together. I guess I feel weird showing her how he and I are together. There is a reserve that I feel, and I don't know where it's coming from.

Have you ever felt this way?

Mohegan 07-29-2010 02:59 AM

That sounds very similar to things with me, Karma and his g/f. I usualy let him show the affection. When we go out as a group we do tend to all hold hands, and when he kisses one of us he then kisses the other. But I do tend to pull back a bit here at home.

I do a lot of the same thing, we usualy have dinner together, hang out for a bit, then I disapear with a book or whatever to leave them alone. I partialy feel that if I show him affection when she's with us, I am taking away from their time together. Or like I am trying to show my dominance over the situation. That's not what I want, so I just slip away.

I don't have any words of advice, but I hope things smooth out for you.

jkelly 07-29-2010 03:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dearprudence (Post 37827)
I guess I feel weird showing her how he and I are together. There is a reserve that I feel, and I don't know where it's coming from.

If it's getting in the way of the three of you doing things that you enjoy together, it's probably worth figuring out and changing. What's your relationship with her like? Could you just ask her, "How does it make you feel to see me being affectionate with C?" and expect an honest answer?

HappiestManAlive 07-29-2010 04:31 AM

We're going through more than one variation of this theme right now, lol. Violet and I have always been very affectionate, in private, in public, wherever. Now Adrian is HYPER afafectionate, at home, in public, doesn't matter. Violet doesn't mind - most of th time. But it can seem overbearing or even disrespectful to the other girls sometimes, they've said as much.

Now Lana - she's usually much more reserved. But as we're getting more physically close and working on moving the romance forward, she's becoming more affectionate. And while Violet does't mind this at all, drian is threaatened by it.

So now all 3 are becoming more and more comfortable showing such affection - and in some dynamics, less comfortable with the others showing it.

Grr.

In your situation DP, I would just ask her! Maybe she appreciates your laid back approach; maybe she wishes you were more affectionate, like she's "in the way" or even wishes she could feel the compersion when you two snuggle up or hug in public. Dunno till you iscuss it or *gasp* try... ;)

LovingRadiance 07-29-2010 05:04 AM

I feel that way too.
I pull back and isolate myself a bit in any situation of 3 (my other or his is arbitrary).
I just worry that I'm going to step on toes or come across as being "needy" or "demanding" or something, I don't know what.
:(
This bothers me as well and I'm not really sure how to break the cycle either.....

redpepper 07-29-2010 06:46 AM

I think its a matter of time. I don't know how long your love has been with his other, but it takes time to feel comfortable with such things. Maybe it just hasn't been long enough. Trust needs building and compersion needs to reach the level where you don't even notice that the other in that conscious way when they are around. It all comes I think. Give it time and respect that there is a reason that we go through this stuff. Its all part of it and all our own protection and sorting things out.

I am reserved when roly is around. I don't want Nerdist to touch me or show her what we are like together in that way because I don't know her and don't trust that I should invest in knowing her. I get that. But with Mono and Derby and Nerdist there are no indications that energy exists. I don't get that energy from us being together. We all touch when it comes naturally and it is as if it has always been. Just as in a mono relationship of some time, things just become natural and not a deal at all.

SayYes 07-29-2010 07:00 AM

I agree with redpepper. I've been with my boyfriend for over 7 months, and have gotten to a place where everything feels super comfortable when my husband, boyfriend, and I are all hanging out, but we still pretty much avoid the physical affection entirely in those situations, and that's working fine for us right now. I hope that eventually we get to a place where it doesn't feel weird to me to be affectionate with them in front of each other, but right now I'm just not there yet. In the meantime, I would rather still all spend time together at least every once in a while, even if it means holding back with the affection in those situations.

EugenePoet 07-29-2010 01:35 PM

So it sounds like nearly all relationships are showing some restraint in displays of physical affection when at least certain other partners are present.

That's my experience too, very much so.

Might be a semi-subconscious manifestation of respect: as some have written, a feeling of not wanting to assert possession, or dominance, or just do anything that might make a respected partner feel uncomfortable.

A natural feeling and nothing to worry about, in other words!

Ilove2men 07-29-2010 07:13 PM

In my situation my boyfriend lives 3 1/2 hrs away. I see him twice a month if I'm lucky (that changes Sunday!) Way back when my fiance dropped the pda boundary. Before he dropped the boundary he felt uncomfortable sitting to close to me in front of my boyfriend. Budkep and I both encouraged him to be as he normally is, but he was reluctant. So I took the bull by the horns and would grab his hand and pull him into a big hug and i'd let go when I felt him relax... Now this worked for us because he doesn't mind me being aggressive and the little pushes I gave helped him.

After he dropped the boundary it was my turn to feel uncomfortable. One thing, I was used to my affection with Budkep being... Idk.. It felt like a secret because there was a rule against it and when the rule was removed it still felt like it was supposed to remain a secret. With the help of my fiance I was able to let go of that. I came to realize that both have said they are okay and if I do anything that triggers them here on out is their responsibility to let me know and we discuss it.

So far we have all done well and I must say one of my favorite things in the world is sitting between them hold each of their hands. I took it one step farther last weekend and pulled them both closer to where I was sandwiched between them. (it was my birthday and figured I could get away with it :D ) It was heaven! So my point is that while you may worry you are taking something away you very well could be adding a new level of happiness by doing so.

dearprudence 07-30-2010 12:23 AM

Thank you, everyone, for offering me your words. A lot of this resonates with me, and it makes sense. I don't want to miss time the three of us can spend together, as it always feels good when we do. There is good energy in this situation, kindness, respect, and fun. While C and I have both had other partners, this is the first time that a three-way friendship seems to be growing, and I really don't want to step back from that. It's a new situation, and I'll allow myself the time it takes to let it evolve.

Communicate and do what feels right... true mottoes for poly :-) I really appreciate all of your replies. Got a lot of help from this thread :-)


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