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-   -   Question for the emotionally sensitive (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=45109)

Elorahd 04-19-2013 09:42 PM

Question for the emotionally sensitive
I'm curious about something when you have several dedicated couples going. Say your mate is having some stress in one of his other relationships. Do you feel that when he comes home? Does it change the quality of the time you spend together? Is he distracted and therefore cannot be as intent on you? I'm worried about this because I am an incredibly self-aware person and guys are not always known to be incredibly aware about what they're feeling and how that's affecting the people they're with. I'm also incredibly sensitive to changes in other people's behavior. I will know immediately when something's wrong but when I try and broach it I get an "Everything's fine." I know it's not and it severely tanks the quality of the time we spend together because his head is somewhere else entirely. So if you run in to this problem and it's caused by the extraneous relationships, how do you deal with it? Do you have rules in place to keep this from happening?

YouAreHere 04-20-2013 02:51 AM

It does happen. The drive home can put my partner in a bad mood, work can do it, of course having a rough moment in his other relationship can do it - the things in our lives affect our moods, and there really isn't any other way around it.

How do I deal with it? Well, it's the sullen silence that I have a hard time dealing with. I don't need details, but if it is something to do with his other relationship, I try to be supportive, and just be there for him (and FWIW, I'm Mono). We don't trash each other; we listen, maybe try to offer alternate viewpoints, and we get through it

I don't really see how rules could stop it, other than he would be in a bad mood and not be able to tell you why. If he tells you about every other bad mood, but can't tell you about this one, I suppose that's going to tell you something anyway... Elementary, my dear Watson.

Elorahd 04-20-2013 02:59 AM

I'm mono, and not poly, and so for this to work for me I'm going to have to get what I need out of it or it's not worth my time. The guy is 43 and so I'm expecting him to be an adult and deal with this stuff himself. I don't want to be involved. It just feels like all the poly relationships could really bleed over into the others and cause a great big mess.

GalaGirl 04-20-2013 03:10 AM

By "mono"...

Do you mean monoamorous (desire or capacity to love one person) and poly friendly? Because you could be the partner to a hinge person in a "V" shape thing? But don't want to be a hinge yourself? You just want one partner for you?

Or do you mean monoamorous and monogamous (where you prefer your romances to be 1-on-1 exclusive in configuration?)

If the first scenario -- you could be ok in a polyship if all your wants/needs/limits are met.

If the second -- it's going to rub against the grain at some point. Perhaps best not to go there?

It just feels like all the poly relationships could really bleed over into the others and cause a great big mess.
That is part of the deal. That polymath. If one of the "mini relationships" inside the greater polyship is wonky, ripples will be felt in the other tiers. For good or for bad -- depends on the people in the polyship in question.


Elorahd 04-20-2013 03:39 AM

I would say I'm the first. I wouldn't call myself poly "friendly", but maybe poly "accepting". Like I said, I don't really care what he does as long as my needs are met and at this point, that's not a lot. The problem is, this guy has a habit of inventing scenarios/fantasies in his brain and, by his own confession, they never turn out the way he imagines they will. He's still very optimistic about all this and I'm trying to be grounded in reality. I don't know that I want to become involved in something that is likely to crash and burn. That's why I'm doing all this research. I want him to go into this with realistic expectations. Do you think it would be helpful if we explored our relationship a little further before he started dating anyone else?

GalaGirl 04-20-2013 04:01 AM

I wouldn't even date him more without getting what kind of open model relationship he's offering me at the very least!

Because if that's a mismatch, the rest doesn't even fly.


Elorahd 04-20-2013 05:12 AM

Well, that's part of the problem....he has no idea! Really the only exposure he's had to this is he has some guy friends in open relationships and they seem happy. (Mind you, he's never talked to the women in these relationships to see how they feel about it.) That, and he's just had a desire to date other women when he's been in a monogamous relationship. He has not researched it, he has not explored it, he basically has no idea what he's doing. He just feels like what he's done in the past hasn't been completely satisfying, so why not try something different and unconventional? I've actually seen other guys go through this process. They weren't happy in old relationships and somehow came to the conclusion that they weren't cut out for monogamy. (Huh?) That seems like a strange conclusion to come to, for me. Anyway. All of these guys have since gotten remarried or are in long term mono relationships. And it didn't take long for them to leave poly dating behind. You know what happened? They found one person that met their needs. They didn't think that existed before. And maybe for some people it doesn't. But my gut is telling me this is what J is going through. Also, he never got to get just dating out of his system. He went from one serious relationship to the next. He was also a late bloomer and it takes him a looong time to figure things out. Think Leonard from Big Bang Theory.
So part of me wants to hit him with the reality of how much a responsibility this is because I don't think he's thought this through. He's already up to his eyeballs in responsibility and he wants to add more?? The math does not work on that one.
In the end, he's looking to be accepted and understood. Aren't we all? When he finds that, I think he will be at peace.

Emm 04-20-2013 05:19 AM

You sound a little like you're contemplating this relationship from the perspective of "open for now, but he'll realise I'm all he needs and we'll both agree to close it later". Is this at all correct?

Elorahd 04-20-2013 05:45 AM

I can see how it would look that way, but no, I'm not looking to have him all to myself. That would be too much for me right now. I'm kind of exploring new territory here because the last time I dated, I had an agenda. To get married. I don't have that agenda anymore and so I really don't know what I want my relationships to look like now. I'm just trying to take it one day at a time and move slowly so I don't become overwhelmed.
What I know is that I enjoy spending time with him. It's easy and comforting. It fills me with happiness. And there is nothing else in my life like that, nor has there been for a very long time. I would like to continue to explore our relationship.

LovingRadiance 04-20-2013 06:48 AM

Anything bothersome that affects a persons mood will impact their relationship to one degree or another.
Its impossible and unrealistic to expect a rule to alter that-its nature.

That doesnt mean that they cant or shouldnt manage the issues that arise, but managing thigs doesnt mean pretending they dont exist while in the company of your lover.

Yes-I am the hinge in a V. Been with bf for 20 years and dh 15 yrs. at times dh has had other women. Bf is mono. At any rate-yes-any time something strains one person, it affects everyone to one degree or another.

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