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-   -   Communication, a double edged sword. (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=50081)

Amnati 07-15-2013 03:46 PM

Communication, a double edged sword.
 
So,
I have read through a few books now on polyamory and I've delving deep in these and other online message boards. Everything has been saying to communicate, communicate, communicate. However, it seems that every time I open my mouth I need to stick my foot in it. Every time I try to broach a sensitive issue that is emotionally affecting me I get shoved in the dog house. My wife and I have been married for seven years now, and we have been poly for about 2 months. However during our time together I have always been the emotionally stable one, the one that was able and willing to compromise. Now that she is in the throes of NRE and I'm an emotional wreck, I'm not getting the compassion I need back to make it through this.

So what I'm considering doing (and had to sneak into her email to undo before she read my retardedness again), is laying the communication cards at her feet and stepping away. I will not ask about her weekends with her boyfriend (although my imagination is going to drive m nuts) she can tell me only what she wants to share, I will not volunteer any of my emotional bullshit that is going on unless she asks about it, and I will not approach her in a physical way (any physical way, sex, touch, kiss, hug, anything) I will wait until she comes to me. This way I am not exerting any attempts to control her, I am not invading her space and I am left alone to deal with my crap that is obviously bothering her so much.

I realize this is probably a very retarded approach to the situation, but that's about all I've got right now as talking about it gets me into a mess as well.

Thank You

Dagferi 07-15-2013 04:46 PM

You plans for the withdrawal of intimacy is just emotional blackmail and passive aggressive BS.

GalaGirl 07-15-2013 04:49 PM

I am sorry you hurt. :(

I don't know how to best respond, because you sound like that was more of a "vent" than a request for input somewhere.

It is true that if she is not willing or able to provide you with what you need, you can't make her. But I wonder if you asked her for her willingness. Like "Are you willing to help me by doing ____? Are you able to do that at this time?"

It sounds like you need reassuring.

I wonder too if any these could help you:
It's ok to take a time out to gather self back together. But don't withdraw so completely that you are checking out of your marriage by putting up walls between you from fear of being dinged again yourself. She's not a mind reader. Sooner or later you have to come out to express yourself and communicate if you want to meet not jsut your own needs but the needs of the marriage. Not your need to be safe from dings, but the what the marriage needs from you to be healthy. It's not gonna be healthy with you hiding.

I assume you still want to be in it since you seem to want to talk and reach out to her. Does she still want to be in the marriage? You could ask if she's still willing to be in the marriage and do the work required so it can be healthy.

I could be guessing wrong here but it seems like there's several layers at once:
  • You seem to want to but not know HOW to best communicate with her. So is the problem with how you broadcast, how she receives it, how she broadcasts and how you receive it, or some mix and match thing?
  • You seem to not know HOW to handle it if she acts out at you (Aggressive moves?) and want to be free of having to endure being bullied?
  • You seem to not know HOW to handle it if she "punishes" you by putting you in the doghouse (Passive Aggressive moves?) and want to be free of "walking on eggshells?"
  • You seem to not know HOW to cope when your need/want is greater than she can provide at this time.
    • If not willing to provide... could you turn to friends to meet the needs? Family? Someone else?
    • If not able to provide at this time ... could you hang on until time when she IS free to provide it?

Is that in the ball park?

HTH?
Galagirl

Marcus 07-15-2013 04:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Amnati (Post 214940)
This way I am not exerting any attempts to control her, I am not invading her space and I am left alone to deal with my crap that is obviously bothering her so much.

Dag is right, this is just passive aggressive retaliation.

I encourage you to move away from taking action based on hurt feelings and confusion. Actions should come from your understanding of the details of the situation at hand and the intention to bring about constructive resolution. Anything else is just going to cause more wreckage.

Amnati 07-15-2013 07:20 PM

That's why I deleted the email before it was read. However, I need to give her her own time to approach my most recent fuck up (a stupid email about my emotional concerns). It just has seemed like every time I open my mouth, I really shouldn't have. But that just means my emotions don't get expressed and I stew in a pot of creatively inspired doubts, envy, self loathing, fear, sexual anguish, and pity (jealousy is too broad to really describe my thoughts). I need to be told about what is going on this new relationship, I need to be told what I'm doing or not doing that is screwing things up, I would like it if she attempted some things that I have mentioned to reassure me and improve our relationship. But none of this is under my control. I'm learning that I get to sit back and "enjoy" the ride and let NRE ride out its course before I can get much of a say in things again.

Dagferi 07-15-2013 07:57 PM

Honestly what goes on in her other relationship is none of your business. She doesn't have to share every nitty gritty detail with you. Murf would have a stroke if I shared every aspect of our relationship with my husband. All my husband needs to know is where I will be.. when I will be home.. etc. Not the fine details.

It is NOT her job to make you feel secure. Stop being a needy emotional vampire and learn to deal with your feelings yourself. Stop the emotional hissy fits all you will succeed in doing is pushing her away and or make her resent you.

Amnati 07-15-2013 08:19 PM

I understand that my emotions are my own to deal with, I understand that I have no right to anything in her life. However, it is very hard to just stop feeling emotions, it is very hard to stop feeling like you need something from the other person to hang in there. We are very new to this, about two months, I've been struggling the whole time. We both come from standard mono families and lifestyles. So I would appreciate a little compassion and constructive criticism instead as I try to tread in these waters.

GalaGirl 07-15-2013 08:19 PM

To me it sounds like you need empathy, to be included, to be reassured, to be understood.

The other stuff is not "need." It is "want."

Could take a need inventory and use "need" words to help you better articulate your needs to yourself and to her.

Could also focus on the need on rather than on the method to achieve the need.

For example:

"I need to be included in her life." That is a need.

"I WANT to be told about what is going on this new relationship so I can feel included" -- that is a) not up to you and b) only ONE method of including you in her life. She can't include you in other ways? Of course she could.

Basically you can try your original plan and see how that serves you -- taking a time out to calm down in the short term is not a bad thing.

Then think of other approaches for the long term. (Because you can't stay "hiding" forever -- that's not participating in your own marriage. )

Could Google "emotional change" and see what that cycle looks like.

Maybe reading this thread could also help you realize you aren't alone in these roller coaster "we just opened" feelings.

What is it you fear? How do you see yourself getting through this?

Galagirl

Ariakas 07-15-2013 08:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Amnati (Post 214992)
That's why I deleted the email before it was read. However, I need to give her her own time to approach my most recent fuck up (a stupid email about my emotional concerns). It just has seemed like every time I open my mouth, I really shouldn't have. But that just means my emotions don't get expressed and I stew in a pot of creatively inspired doubts, envy, self loathing, fear, sexual anguish, and pity (jealousy is too broad to really describe my thoughts). I need to be told about what is going on this new relationship, I need to be told what I'm doing or not doing that is screwing things up, I would like it if she attempted some things that I have mentioned to reassure me and improve our relationship. But none of this is under my control. I'm learning that I get to sit back and "enjoy" the ride and let NRE ride out its course before I can get much of a say in things again.

This is speaking from experience, on your side of the fence. Being the controlled stoic one who lost his mind for a time I get it.

Some things I know work, but take work, and sometimes, you never quite get it
  • You have to find a way to feel confident in your relationship so you don't get this emotional swing
  • Remember, this type of swing is not attractive, just saying.
  • Passive aggressive is a great way to push someone further, not try to bring them closer.
  • Try and find something to do. This should be the easy one. Join a club, go to a sports bar, go to the gym. Something that can both occupy mind and body that you find fun. Your mind and body cannot be connected to her mind and body. That clarity will help you feel better.
  • Find confidence in yourself as a person/individual

Poly is less about working on your relationships and more about working on yourself. You also probably feel completely out of control since this isn't your usual mental state. Thats a big deal. People sometimes forget that side. Suddenly being crazy when you feel like you are the stable one.. just feels that much more crazy.

I will also be honest, try to avoid getting into another relationship in a time like this. You need to figure out how to be sufficient on your own, and then in time bring someone else in. Otherwise you will end up using the new person as an emotional surrogate.

There is also a codependency portion to this that happens to people in general. Especially couples. She has someone new and that "side" of you is missing. I would recommend doing some reflection and reading on co-dependency. Maybe dealing with it from that side will help as well.

And this shit is hard.. :)..

Amnati 07-15-2013 08:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ariakas (Post 215030)
This is speaking from experience, on your side of the fence. Being the controlled stoic one who lost his mind for a time I get it.

Some things I know work, but take work, and sometimes, you never quite get it
  • You have to find a way to feel confident in your relationship so you don't get this emotional swing
  • Remember, this type of swing is not attractive, just saying.
  • Passive aggressive is a great way to push someone further, not try to bring them closer.
  • Try and find something to do. This should be the easy one. Join a club, go to a sports bar, go to the gym. Something that can both occupy mind and body that you find fun. Your mind and body cannot be connected to her mind and body. That clarity will help you feel better.
  • Find confidence in yourself as a person/individual

Poly is less about working on your relationships and more about working on yourself. You also probably feel completely out of control since this isn't your usual mental state. Thats a big deal. People sometimes forget that side. Suddenly being crazy when you feel like you are the stable one.. just feels that much more crazy.

I will also be honest, try to avoid getting into another relationship in a time like this. You need to figure out how to be sufficient on your own, and then in time bring someone else in. Otherwise you will end up using the new person as an emotional surrogate.

There is also a codependency portion to this that happens to people in general. Especially couples. She has someone new and that "side" of you is missing. I would recommend doing some reflection and reading on co-dependency. Maybe dealing with it from that side will help as well.

And this shit is hard.. :)..

Throwing into the mix that we have a four year old is well makes it even more difficult. He and I get to "chill" without the car when she is at her boyfriend's and I'm feeling my most vulnerable.


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