Feeling a little secondary, in the moment...
My partner and I have been together for almost a year and a half, and I'll be moving in within (2) months.
I'm not sure if it's cold feet, or my fear of abandonment, or if I'm overlooking an opportunity to take a step towards feeling compersion for my partner while letting some of my demons go...
But I sure do feel bad.
He can spend a good amount of time having texting conversations with someone while I'm there. I'm not passively asking him to stop, I ask him to stop (after a while, especially when we're at a party with other people, or I feel like he's just not listening to me as I'm talking). And he will stop for a moment just until the person gets back to him, then the phone is back in his hand, texting away.
I know when he spends an evening with someone and it's hot, passionate, for a while with chemistry and all, I've repeatedly asked for reassurance and a little attention afterwards (later that night or the next morn), and this doesn't seem to stick. I'll even ask a question or put out communication and won't hear back until the next day, mid-day.
These are some excuses for him: He rebels against any kind of authority, people telling him what to do (tough to work with... things have to be his own decision a good amount of the time)... he also likes any attention he can get after having been very overweight for many years (along with being celibate), almost to the point where it can be compulsory to feel that. And, he's not always forthcoming with communication (with as much sweetness). It comes and goes. When the sweet moments come, they are full, potent, and awesome. Then, there's a dry patch, which seems to be usually around the time of his encounters, of course.
I was going to text him today with 'Sometimes I feel with the texting full conversations with someone else while I'm there, with my asking for reassurance after you have an elongated evening with someone (and usually not getting it) or not hearing back from you for a while after these encounters... I tend to feel secondary. Not as much a priority as these encounters can be for you'.
And then I think... am I being passive aggressive? Am I being manipulative? Am I acting out of jealousy? I know (to some degree) these things need to be addressed with him, and many folks on here seem to have amazing partners that reach agreements, compromises, are able to talk about these things, and come to an understanding... these are things that I repeatedly bring up, and I think I need a new approach or something.
I hate to think of moving in as part of the solution, but it really might be. I wouldn't have too many doubts, concerns, questions at the end of the day when he climbs into bed with me.
I'm just wondering if I'm overreacting (as I said, I can have a fear of abandonment and my own issues). Maybe this is what polyamory is, and I need to accept this and these challenges in order to be with my partner (the good does outweigh the bad, of course)...
I don't know... and not sure if I should send the text. Any words of advice on my situation would be helpful!
I can relate, but in an opposite way! I think I'm more in his position. I have a husband and a boyfriend. Both of them complain about the same thing "When you're with me, you're texting him too much"
Ok... well, that's fine and dandy. The kicker? In the same moment I get the "You don't text me enough when you're away from me"
Ok. So. My solution: apologize. I'm constantly saying "I'm sorry, let me wrap this up and then we'll ____" whatever it is. So, I have some 'rules' per say. If I know I'll be out to dinner, I text the other "Hey, headed to dinner, going to be MIA for a while" and then during dinner, I try really hard to steal a moment to text "<3" or some kind of hey I love you message. I try REALLY HARD NOT to be attached to my phone. However, it's a level of reassurance that I can FEEL vibrating off of the unattended lover, and I CANNOT ignore that need.
How could I ignore someone saying "Hey, I'm feeling left out, I miss you" ???!!! There's no way!
But yes, I see how you're feeling! I haven't had to experience that side too often. For a while my boyfriend was / I guess still is / seeing someone else. He wouldn't always warn me when he was about to "drop off" so to speak, and I would be HORRIFICALLY offended if he didn't respond. I convinced myself he didn't love me. I convinced myself he was off making a life with this other woman! Crazy, right?!
Maybe share this story with him? Explain that if you went out and didn't say "hi" every now and again, he'd be hurt (especially if he was sitting at home alone!).
As for moving in being a "solution".... it might be! I'm very content crawling into bed with either option, but they are definitely much more content when I'm there next to them.
Poly is a lot of things, forcing yourself to accept an uncomfortable situation, should not be one of them.
Have your bf read these posts
Here are some wise words posted a while back by Sagency, a member who hasn't been here in a while, but he struck me as someone who found a way to balance having multiple relationships without letting his wife ever feel slighted or dissed. Have your honey read some of the posts Sagency has written. I bolded and enlarged the parts I think will help him most (the first quote is from a thread that's also a good thread in its entirety):
So you have needs he is not meeting. You would like to make him aware of that.
Could be like this:
"When you text full conversations while I am in the room? When you have a date elsewhere and do not take time to reconnect with me even after I ask for reassure? These behaviors do not demonstrate considerateness toward me.Could keep it to the behavior done/not done and focus on what you want more of. Not leave the focus on what you do not like.
Hey, SrAh... thanks for pointing out what the other shoe is like! That's a bit helpful. And I do feel like that on occasion (convincing myself of crazy things):... He'll be with the newbie soon enough instead of me. Why are we moving in together, when he clearly wants to be with them instead, etc., etc.
I don't know that it would benefit the situation pointing out how he would be hurt about things... in the Meyers Brigg personality type, he's an INTJ (basically Spock or Sheldon from 'Big Bang Theory'). Not much phases him.
It would probably serve me better to tell him what behavior I want (as GalaGirl recommended): Please pour your energies into us when we're together. An occasional text (not a full conversation) is okay.
Thanks for replying and being helpful!
Hey there nycindie... those are wise words indeed! Very direct and up front! I think I will let him know (in my own way) the bolded parts, which did speak to me...and what I'd like to have as a reminder that I'm his primary priority, remind himself of why we're in it to win it together...
And I do like the call-to-action things to think about 'Be the type of person someone would want to be with' and 'comfort=confidence=sexy', etc. It's inspiring, and a good reminder in itself.
Thanks for passing those thoughts on... :)
I am wondering, though, why you plan on addressing the issue over text rather than just asking him in person? It seems like the kind of thing that might be worth having a real conversation about. This is a great thing to cut your relational teeth on, so to speak. You're getting vulnerable and sharing your insecurities with him. How he chooses to react to that is important.
I'm not sure if I'm doing this correctly, or I should've done just one reply box addressing each before me... but anywho,
Galagirl: I read your response after I sent a text and had a text conversation with him. He could tell I wasn't in a great mood... and his opening this morn wasn't really helpful to my mood after I sent texts last night to no response:
Him: Omg, just woke up. Late night with F.
Me: :-/ I don't know what to say.
Him: I'm just telling you why I didn't see your message until now.
Me: Thanks. (passive agressive, I know, but I just didn't know what to say at that point, and was/am feeling frustrated).
Him: I'm sorry, things went late and I went to bed.. you knew they were coming over. Are you angry?
Me: It's just a point I've talked about before, really liking the reassurance after these long encounters, especially when I know they're happening. Sometimes I feel a little secondary (not the priority) if I don't hear back for a bit, as well... and it's the second 'school night' this week where you've had an encounter, where with me you say you don't feel sexual or romantic on 'school nights'. Just feel a little less than... and/or just not having a good morn.
Him: Sorry sweets, I haven't had time to be reassuring... I woke up late. I love you!
Me: I love you too...and I think it's fair for us to say now that it is possible to feel sexual or passionate on school nights, depending... not to the contrary. (Then another sentence of a different topic inserted here).
Then, I haven't heard back in a few hours. I've worked with kids before, and totally forgot about asking for what you want instead of what you don't want (obviously applies to adults, as well). I think I tried that a little bit in the above messaging. This will bear reminders, though, to hopefully sink in...
Still not feeling great. I think I do have demons that need to be let free. There are 2 different ways of looking at the reassurance thing overall... it's a normal part of a relationship, and a partners job, or it should be organic and I shouldn't look for the attention and reassurance from my partner to make me feel better. I should find that within. Torn between both... I'm trying to grow in the latter reasoning, because I'm certainly not getting the reassurance I need from him on a consistent basis, and am finding myself begging for it sometimes.
AJ1... thanks for the response. I agree with you, the texting etiquette is pretty poor. And I like the compromise of doing it once an hour. I might recommend that to him. It's incredibly tough for him to not react to a message on his phone, though (his own baggage of being without many friends for a couple decades of his life, very overweight, celibate)... his need to keep the ball bouncing sometimes in the moment is, I think, compulsory.
I suppose I do feel a little jealous. I think it's the wind down into year and a half land (honeymoon coming to an end) and his NRE with people he's meeting taking up a good amount of energy and sexual stamina...while I'm feeling slighted by his reasoning that he doesn't have that energy with me on a 'school night', yet he had 2 long encounters this week on 'school nights'.
And I agree... having the conversation over text isn't the best. We won't see each other until tomorrow night, and he doesn't prefer phone contact. He would rather wait until we're in person to have these conversations... while I'd rather get my thoughts out sooner than later... and I think I come across better when I can edit, correct, and think out my intentional thoughts...
But it is better to communicate in person, by far, of course...
Thanks for your thoughts... :)
1) Why are you doing serious relationship talks over TEXT? He has a phone in his hand. Could he call? Because then at least you get tone of voice and immediate back and forth. Not "pausable" texts without the paraverbal communication.
2) Your conversation? My comments in blue.
Him: Omg, just woke up. Late night with F.Again... could not text on cel phones for serious relationship talks. Could use that to make appointments for dealing with serious relationship talks.
This one pending? Is about his poor time management and his poor keeping of shared agreements/meeting needs, and your expectations. Maybe also your date making style with each other. Something in there could change.
Because if he has a cel phone in his hand? There's a thing called an alarm clock on it AND a thing called a calendar on it. Shape up, dude! That is on him to deal in. Only he can change his ways. You cannot control that.
Otherwise you? You get two choices here that you can control.
Which is it? Could sit with it for a bit and discern how you feel about these things in a dating partner.
Hang in there. It's hard to feel -- but take it one layer at a time. You will be ok.
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