Polyamory.com Forum

Polyamory.com Forum (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/index.php)
-   Poly Relationships Corner (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=4)
-   -   Comfort with particular people... (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=35022)

FreeSpirit 12-15-2012 08:35 PM

Comfort with particular people...
 
Hi. I've been with my girlfriend almost a year, living with her, and we're dabbling into polyamory. My views have been back and forth on the mono/poly spectrum for a long time, and believe I've settled into something that works for me (single committed partnership with emotional and sometimes physical freedom to explore closeness with others.)

Onto the issue I'm seeking input on: My girlfriend expressed interest in getting closer to a mutual friend of ours (who I'd known years before she did). The interest wasn't "serious" and seemed more on the physical side. I was uneasy with it, and told her as much, but told her she was free to do what she wanted, not wanting to restrict her freedom.

So the two of them got together, which made me feel even more uncomfortable with the situation. After seeing how much it affected me, she decided to call off the physical aspect of that, just remaining friends, despite me insisting that she shouldn't let my emotions interfere with her bonds with others.

Now, I'm not normally a very jealous person, so it struck me unusual that this incident bothered me as much as it did. After quite a few hours of introspection, considering various things that could have caused me to be so bothered, I settled on my discomfort with him in particular as the primary issue. I didn't find the thought of her being with other friends, or even strangers, nearly as upsetting.

I do have some good reasons for being uncomfortable with this particular friend...he's proven repeatedly irresponsible and dishonest in the past. Though I enjoy his company most of the time, he grates on my nerves a lot, and I just don't feel physically comfortable with him. Beyond that though, I know he's a good person.

Which brings me to my question...what to do about situations which one is uncomfortable with just certain individuals? Is "I'm just not comfortable with him" an acceptable reason to dissuade one's partner from pursuing something with that person? I find myself wondering if I should listen to my instincts and past experiences or just "get over it" and try to cope with the discomfort.

She's assured me that it's not the sort of situation where it's a big deal for her to just not be close to him like that, but I'd still like to get my stance on this sort of thing sorted out in case it comes up in the future.

I'd really appreciate any input that people more experienced with this sort of thing have to share. :)

LilacViolin 12-16-2012 06:20 AM

I think there is a difference between "I feel jealous because this relationship is happening" and "I feel uncomfortable because it is happening with a specific person." If you are uncomfortable with a potential lover of your girlfriend, I think you should voice your concern. It is her decision. But I trust my partner's instincts well enough to consider their knee-jerk reactions about a person.

I think the most basic principal in any relationship is the ability and willingness to communicate with each other. Be kind and clear, tell her why you feel that way, and then see how she responds.

Good luck!

GalaGirl 12-16-2012 08:13 AM

Does "get together with him" mean have a date or have sex in this context? I'm guessing sex? :confused:

Quote:

I was uneasy with it, and told her as much, but told her she was free to do what she wanted, not wanting to restrict her freedom.
Could it have been more honest/accurate for you to say "That guy? I'm not crazy about it. He's not been honest and he is irresponsible so I would just prefer you date someone else other than him who is more trustworthy. I'd worry about your well being with him."

If so, why not just state your preference from the start? You are partner to your GF. She's responsible to herself, of course. But you are also obligated to help watch out for her emotional health, mental health, physical health, and spiritual health.

You could be giving full clear information about how you feel and information about him that you know -- he's not an honest guy. Be aware, and be careful of your emotional and mental health, GF! -- so she could make her own choices from a place of full information.

And if this person is irresponsible and dishonest, why do you remain friends with him?

Sometimes it's not about "learning to get ok with something" but rather "accepting I am just NOT ok with this and won't ever be!"

Be pickier about who you enter into friendship or polyship with. (You and GF.)

HTH!
Galagirl

FreeSpirit 12-16-2012 09:12 PM

Thank you both for the input!

Yes, by "getting together with" I meant sex. Apologies for the vagueness.

I did communicate my concerns about him pretty thoroughly, and she did decide to not pursue it further, though I think it was more out of concern for my desires than out of my caution about the person himself.

I remain friends with him because he's not a bad person at all, he can just be immature. His irresponsibility and dishonesty in the past mostly came from depression and fear, and I try to be forgiving and understanding about such things. He's a good friend, and I don't give up on my friends easily. I've elected to just be wary about letting him TOO close.

Sometimes I think I feel too obligated to accept things I dislike and get used to them rather than trying to keep them out of my life.

The conflict that this particular situation caused is resolved I think. I just wonder how people in the community tended to deal with stuff like this. I know I might potentially be bothered by a partner interfering with who I wanted to be close to, and I don't want to be a hypocrite about it.

Thanks again for your thoughts on things. :D

LovingRadiance 12-17-2012 05:05 AM

Personally-I would rather be told if my partners have a 'sinking feeling' about a specific person.
I consider that warning for me to be a lottle extra cautious.

GalaGirl 12-17-2012 03:53 PM

Quote:

Sometimes I think I feel too obligated to accept things I dislike and get used to them rather than trying to keep them out of my life.
Why?
Quote:

The conflict that this particular situation caused is resolved I think. I just wonder how people in the community tended to deal with stuff like this. I know I might potentially be bothered by a partner interfering with who I wanted to be close to, and I don't want to be a hypocrite about it.
For me I would want feedback. For me to be able to date, my spouse would have to be on board. Because time is a resource. If I'm spending time elsewhere with someone else, I need to know his needs are met in the relationship tier of (me + Him) -- otherwise I'm spending time with another while neglecting him.

I also would value his feedback if I'm too NRE drunk to see the character flaws of another person I'm dating.

If he's feeling jealous about it -- I want to know. Jealousy is a flag emotion that some need is not met.

Galagirl

FreeSpirit 12-19-2012 12:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GalaGirl (Post 172506)
Why?
Galagirl

I suppose over the years I've grown accustomed to being the more adaptable on in my relations with people and finding that it's simpler to adjust myself to the situation rather than try to ask others to adjust to my desires. In this case though, I just felt I had no right to ask my partner to not to do something with another person.

Quote:

Originally Posted by GalaGirl (Post 172506)
For me I would want feedback. For me to be able to date, my spouse would have to be on board. Because time is a resource. If I'm spending time elsewhere with someone else, I need to know his needs are met in the relationship tier of (me + Him) -- otherwise I'm spending time with another while neglecting him.

I also would value his feedback if I'm too NRE drunk to see the character flaws of another person I'm dating.

If he's feeling jealous about it -- I want to know. Jealousy is a flag emotion that some need is not met.

I don't have a lack of time with her. Nor can I really think of any need of mine that isn't being met properly. If it was a matter of taking something away from our relationship for the sake of that one, I might have been more outspoken, but it wasn't. I think I was just uncomfortable with her being with someone that makes me uneasy.

GalaGirl 12-19-2012 02:20 PM

Quote:

I just felt I had no right to ask my partner to not to do something with another person.
Quote:

I was just uncomfortable with her being with someone that makes me uneasy. (implied: I felt I had no right to tell my partner how I feel about things.)
That's two different things there.

Has she or hasn't she given you the right to reasonable and realistic support and nurture in the relationship?

Do you or do you not have the expectation to be able share your feelings with your partner in your relationship with your partner? Even the yucky one?

Galagirl

FreeSpirit 12-20-2012 07:20 PM

Well, I did voice outright that I was uneasy with it, but in such a way that implied that it'd be fine after I got used to the feelings, which I thought was true at the time. After more thought, I realized it wasn't really something I wanted to be comfortable with in regards to this particular person.

If I could have gone back and changed things, I would have asked her to hold off on it until I had more time to figure out my feelings, but doing that went very poorly in a past relationship, so I told her to just go for it and not worry about my current feelings on the matter. If nothing else, the experience has taught me that I shouldn't and needn't be afraid to ask such things of her. :)

nycindie 12-20-2012 09:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FreeSpirit (Post 172342)
I did communicate my concerns about him pretty thoroughly, and she did decide to not pursue it further, though I think it was more out of concern for my desires than out of my caution about the person himself.

I remain friends with him because he's not a bad person at all, he can just be immature . . . I've elected to just be wary about letting him TOO close.

Sometimes I think I feel too obligated to accept things I dislike and get used to them rather than trying to keep them out of my life.

The conflict that this particular situation caused is resolved I think. I just wonder how people in the community tended to deal with stuff like this. I know I might potentially be bothered by a partner interfering with who I wanted to be close to, and I don't want to be a hypocrite about it.

Hmm, that's too bad. I wonder if she didn't feel empowered enough to pursue it with him anyway and make her own choice about whether or not he was a good fit for her. Do you think she listened to you and dropped it out of fear of reprisals from you, or of making you unhappy, thereby having forfeited her own agency in the matter?

I am a solo, so I'm not entangled with a partner, but to my mind, nobody is required to like or get along with their metamour, nor expect that their partner relate to the person in the same way they do. I would hate to be involved with someone who couldn't stand on their own two feet with their partner and stick up for being with me, if a guy I was going out with had an SO who objected for some reason.

The fact is, even though his personality clashes with yours or some behaviors of his bugged you, you have no idea how enriching, inspiring, or fun a relationship with him could have been for her -- and now she'll never know that either. Perhaps she would have handled issues with him, that you see as problematic, in ways that would have been good for both him and her. You and she are two different people, you know. Can you trust that she can make her own decisions and see things from her own perspective, which is just as valid as yours? Were you, perhaps, being a bit too over-protective of her?


All times are GMT. The time now is 11:21 PM.