advice on something bothering me..
OK, so my husband and I have been in an open marriage for 4 months now. We decided on poly when he was falling for another person. I had yet to have feelings for someone but its over between him and her now due to her not quite grasping the concept. But recently I've started to fall for someone and he lives in California, I am in Michigan. I have asked if I can go to see him and husband gets very mad and thinks its a bad idea. I don't really know how to handle this or talk to him to know that its OK... someone help, give me advice.. please!
Why does he get mad and think it's a bad idea? Can he explain himself?
He doesn't have a valid reasoning, its just he gets mad, and says so will this happen all the time? I say I'm not sure, and he says would you be OK with me doing that and I say yes. Then he will get quiet and stop talking. I can clearly see he is mad but doesn't say why...ugh
Well, it sucks that he's not being clearer, but you can work with what you've been given. So, he doesn't like the idea of this happening often. Maybe he's afraid that, with a long distance lover that you have to fly to visit, he'll be missing you for longer periods of time than with someone closer. Overnights will be a given, and many newly poly people have a hard time with that. Maybe he's afraid you'll end up living two lives, and he'll lose you often. Maybe he's thinking about the expense... will he be expected to bear a portion of the plane ticket costs? How often do you and he go on vacations... will you be investing vacation time and money in trips to see your lover that will take away from your ability to get away from it all with him?
I would sit him down, tell him that you need this to work for both of you and so you need to understand what the problem is, and then bring up these possible factors and see if any rings true for him. Ask him what a workable compromise would be.
Of course, he could just be jealous. Maybe he would've had the same reaction with a lover in your same town... being poly doesn't make you immune from natural human hypocrisy... it's not an excuse, it's something he needs to work through, but it's not uncommon.
Another way to conceptualize it...
Maybe he sees all the ways this could reduce your time and opportunities together if it were frequent, moreso than a local lover would, and the thought of missing out on time and experiences with you saddens him, and then it saddens him further that the same thought doesn't make you sad, because he thinks that means you don't care about him as much. Maybe he's expressing his sadness as anger.
Could be he is grieving his break up. He feels emotionally raw and not ready to invite a new person in and spend emotional energy on supporting you through a new thing. Maybe he wants your support and help right now first in getting past the old thing (relationship with his ex) before starting a new thing with you (supporting you in your new relationship with CA dude.)
Could also be the COST of maintaining an LDR with visits and what not. It is one thing for you to be out for a few hours on a date. It's another to be gone a month. It's not just PLANE ticket costs.
Could discern what your human/non-human resources are for poly dating and the limits on each:
Stuff like that. I'm sure you could add more. Could figure out what you have on the table before you try growing new stuff with it like a new relationship for you.
Is he struggling with jealousy? Coming to find he is not as well prepared as he thought? Could reading resources together help?
Don't put a value/judgement on his reasoning at this point. (valid vs not valid) Feelings are not logical all the time. Just focus on getting him to let it OUT. If you start putting value judgements that could clam him up and defeat the greater goal of better communication with him. He needs to feel emotionally safe with you. He may not have the same emotional articulation skills as you or even the same emotional maturity as you. People are different. I don't know either of you from adam but again... could stop to identify WHAT you have here on the table before trying to move the communication forward. First you could disclose and IDENTIFY. Then you could assess and reality test/ reasonableness test. If you are good communicators could ID and assess at the same time, but if he struggles, could just go for disclose and ID first to see if that helps put it into bite size he can deal with.
Can't ask a blind person why they cannot SEE. They are BLIND. Work with what you have there. What DO you have there? Could ask him.
Because what YOU perceive it as is not what he perceives it as. When you go on to say "I'm not sure" maybe thinking you are talking about apples and he was going on about oranges? You run the risk of misunderstandings and hurt feelings. He then withdraws.
Take the time to learn to clarify, verify and do active listening. Nip it in the bud by clearing up the confusion in the moment.
Could repeat back to him.
Could validate him.
Could note and set time.
Could reassure and ask for willing.
There's lots of ways you could go about sorting it out. Keep trying.
Wow! Thanks for all the great input! :) I have a lot of great ways of going about this.
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