New to the Board, but Not Poly... and in Need of Advice
I'm glad that places like this exist. Sometimes we find ourselves in a place where we can't quite talk to our friends for advice. I feel like I'm a bit stuck in that place. I apologize if this isn't the place for this and please let me know if there is a better place for me to put this. Since it's the reason I came here in the first place, I thought here might be appropriate.
I admit that I might have a lousy ability to choose partners. While my primary SO is probably one of the most wonderful people I've ever met, my current secondary partner is not. He seems to fall into a group or people who use poly to get what they want out of a relationship... or at least that's how it feels to me.
I don't want to make this TL;DR and go in to some length on this relationship. Suffice to say the problem I have constantly had in this relationship is lack of communication. When we started dating he would say he would do something and we would chat when he would get home. He would then change his mind, stay overnight with a play partner and didn't give me a heads up so I'm not waiting late into the night for him to come online. He didn't need to let me know that he was staying overnight to play. I just wanted him to shoot me a quick text or something where he says, "Hey, I'm sorry but I'm not going to be on tonight."
But that's been the general tenure of the relationship, at least in my eyes.
3 years pass, same general ability to communicate persists. He does things, then asks for forgiveness. To the best of my knowledge, he hasn't done anything that I would say was cheating, but given the lack of communication... it's hard to say one way or the other.
I'm at a loss on what to do. He likes breaking up with me when he feels like he's not getting his way in the relationship. The last time this happened he mentioned that me and my primary (who cohabitate) are "too intermingled". He knew going into this relationship the closeness of mine and my primary partners relationship. I have no idea how to react to this. It almost seems like he wants me for himself. I feel stuck and not sure what to do in this situation. The truth is, if I weren't with my current primary, he wouldn't be slipping into that spot himself.
So, can someone please help me? I really feel lost here.
Thank you, and I once again apologize if this isn't the right place for this (and feel free to let me gently know that).
I am sorry you are hurting.
You have brought things up before:
The relationship is 3 years old so you have a good gauge on his "typical behavior. It's been long enough.
What % would you give him for changing his ways to be considerate of you and not ding you on purpose OR thoughtlessly? 50% likely? Less? More?
If he NEVER changes, you are satisfied/unsatisfied with this relationship as it stands?
I get they vibe you are not satisfied, and you wish he would change but see he doesn't/won't. You wouldn't want him for a primary and don't love some of his behaviors.
Are you sad because you are thinking about breaking up and need comfort? How can the forum be comforting/helpful to you at this time? What are your needs?
You can't change people. It's one thing if someone agrees that they have a problem, and they are willing to put some work into changing themselves. But if they just manipulate you and describe you as the one with the problem, there's really no hope for improvement.
The way I see it, you have three options.
The first, and to me somewhat obvious, is to just leave him to his tricks and go your own way. What's in it for you? Why are you still with him?
The second, if you don't want to be that drastic, is to just cut down your level of expectation to something of a "casual" relationship. If he calls he calls, if not, that's fine because you're doing your own thing. Think of him as an accessory to your life, not an integral part. In other words, you put him in a position in your life where his inability to communicate won't affect you. I'm not convinced it can be done, but it's an option to try.
The third option is to continue on the way you have been, constantly disappointed and hoping things will be better next time. They won't. This path only leads to more sadness.
Welcome to our forum.
Can I ask, how much communicating have you done with your secondary partner? If he doesn't initiate the communication, do you? When you ask him to give you a heads-up when he's not going to be online as planned (for example), what does he say?
Make sure you have communicated to him the things that are bothering you in the relationship, before giving up on the relationship. If you've already communicated your concerns to him, and he's blown them off or otherwise been poopy about it, then it's probably time to start thinking about cutting the ties with him.
That or as SchrodingersCat said, you can downgrade your expectations and not wait around for him to go online (again just using that example). Do your thing, let him do his thing, if your things happen to intersect hey great, if not no big loss. But if that isn't an option that works for you, then it's still probably time to start thinking about cutting the ties with him.
I know breaking up sucks, but sheesh, if you've been putting up with bad behavior for three years, something needs to change.
That's my viewpoint; hope it helps.
I can see a bit of myself in your partner, except I don't make promises that I don't expect to keep.
My gf is the type to get attached easily. When we started dating, she'd go on facebook and just wait and wait for me to come online. I usually didn't, because sitting on facebook and chatting is not my thing. Her husband eventually made her realize that I'm not trying to dis her, I'm just not into facebook.
Her desire for daily communication (formerly a "perceived need") is stronger than mine, so she would (and often still does) initiate most of our conversations. That doesn't mean I'm avoiding her or that I don't care about her, it just means I don't think of calling her before she thinks of calling me.
It took her some to realize that's just because I'm a solitary, introverted homebody. It's not about her or me not liking her, it's about me being a loner.
So in our case, she really needed to change what she perceived as needs within her relationships in order to be with me; her husband explained to her that if she was too clingy, she would scare me away. He was probably right. So she dealt with it, and now she's grateful and credits me with "teaching" her independence within relationships. All I did was keep being myself, stubbornly at times.
Oh... but not all that manipulative "breaking up with you to get my way" crap. That's just stupid.
I had to laugh a little bit at one thing. My supervisor's advice is that if you want to do something that isn't covered by any policy, don't ask the administration for permission. They might say no. Just do it. If they don't like it, let them implement a policy against it.
That works, :)
Thank you for you replies. They've certainly given me more to consider than I have before. Thank you for responding.
And in response to the chatting thing: Actually, I'm the borderline hikikomori, super-introverted of the two of us. I would never actively chat before being in a relationship with him. He was the one who pushed the chatting every day. He's the one who set that expectation through the fact that he would ask me to chat, or text me when he was out with his play partner. I actually don't like to chat all that much. 0_0
Yeah, I'm not that big on chatting (or texting) either. What can I say, I like time to ponder just the right thing to say. I suck at thinking on my feet.
Ahh, I can commiserate. I feel like WK gets thrown in my face in my current dealing quite a bit - "but you have WK! You must like him more/he's more important/everything is unfair because you've got him!"
Good luck and I hope you find helpful stuff on the forums. :)
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