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-   -   my relationship is my relationship - or is it? (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=50710)

westVan 07-25-2013 03:20 PM

my relationship is my relationship - or is it?
 
Thank you for all your helpful advice in the past.... so I hope you can help me on this one too.

I am very good at compartmentalizing my life and relationships. Basically I live with the “I manage my life/relationships, you manage yours” way of thinking. But I feel that my partners other partners are trying to tell my partners (one in particular) what and how our relationship should be, when we can see each other and what is permitted.

Been there, done that and not going down that road again so...

I have repeatedly said “I can manage my own relationships, thank you very much” but they don’t seem to get it. How do I help them understand that? I am single, run a successful business and have relationships with 2 men. I don’t really have allot of time for a primary relationship and don’t want one at this point, but I will not allow anyone to dictate what my relationships will be or not be.

Now don’t get me wrong, I get that their relationship has its limits that must be incorporated into what my relationships are but they cannot define my relationships. Or am I just a selfish person for wanting them to understand this.

Flowerchild 07-25-2013 03:34 PM

pardon
 
Sorry, I have.no.idea what you mean. Examples?

westVan 07-25-2013 03:58 PM

sorry
 
Example: because their past relationship model looks one way they think every relationship should follow the same direction, as in -they see eachother x number nights a week so I should have X number of nights a week - to be "Equal and Fair". I don't want that and dont need that, I want to have my relationship evolve naturaly and not dictated. Because their relationship involved doing things they enjoy doing with their other partners - ie camping, boating (whatever) they want me to do these things with them . Helloo give me a 5 star hotel with room service and I'm in but hell no to camping.
If I want to spend time with them I will but dont dictate that I have to.

nycindie 07-25-2013 04:00 PM

Westvan, I am in total agreement about what you're saying. The way I put it is, the only people who have a say about any relationship are the ones who are in it. My own personal boundary is that no metamour will dictate the terms of my relationships with anyone. Who the fuck do they think they are if they try? Grrr.

Those who are not involved with you, should NOT think they can dictate any terms about how YOU are, what YOU ask for, what YOU should expect, or what YOUR goals are, etc., in YOUR relationships. It doesn't matter if they are your metamours, the only things that should impact you about their involvement with your SO would be issues relating to time management.

I would gently let her know that if she continues to try and tell you AND HIM how to run your relationships, you won't be talking to her anymore. That shit should be stopped immediately!

Edit: I just read your second post, and re-read your first one, and I have to say that she is treading on dangerous ground if she is telling your partner terms for his relationship with you. She should only be asking for what she needs out of her relationship with him, not telling him what he can, cannot, should, or should not give to you. I would also have a serious talk with him and let him know that her attempts to dictate these things to him are undermining how you two relate, and you would appreciate it if he not allow her to interfere in that way! If you have a hard time telling him or her these things, then maybe they should come here and read this thread.

YouAreHere 07-25-2013 04:02 PM

Thanks for the clarification - I wasn't sure if you meant that a metamour's time constraints were impacting your relationship, but this sounds much different.

I may be mono, but isn't part of having a poly relationship embracing the variety and differences among your paramours? If my partner doesn't like camping, I could theoretically date someone else who DOES like it. I don't see the point in asking everyone to fit the same mold.

Marcus 07-25-2013 04:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by westVan (Post 216988)
they see eachother x number nights a week so I should have X number of nights a week - to be "Equal and Fair". I don't want that and dont need that

I think your approach to relating "I'll manage my life and you manage yours" is fantastic; a diamond in the rough. However, don't forget that part of managing your own life is to decide who you want to associate with and what treatment you will endure.

What I mean is, if you have communicated "Hey, I don't want your relationship advice. I'm sure you mean well but you need to drop that shit" and they still insist upon butting in to your life... what are you prepared to do about that?

1. Stop complaining about it and learn to live your life by their rules
2. Extricate yourself from their lives to whatever degree necessary

LovingRadiance 07-25-2013 06:19 PM

I prefer to be friends with metamours (not requirement-just personal preference).
Because of that I do tend to issue *invitations* directly to metamours to participate in activities we have planned as a group. Camping for example.
But-that invite doesn't come with expectation of participation.

I'm wondering if there might be a communication issue coming through?

Not saying there is-you could be 100% right that they are absolutely treading on your ground. I only bring it up because sometimes people misconstrue my intentions. ESPECIALLY if Maca is trying to tell them what I said. Somehow that ALWAYS gets twisted around to people thinking I was issuing demands when I was in fact issuing invitations. *Eye roll* (don't send messages to metamours through him anymore but BOY was that a nightmare)

So I am wondering if maybe your seeing control where friendliness is being issued and/or they aren't hearing what you mean by your sentence of controlling your own relationships-because they don't know or intend to be controlling your relationship?

Its a tough line for some people to know how to express acceptance-because so frequently there is the assumption of possessiveness and jealousy.

Anyway-just a possible perspective to consider.

I absolutely agree that you don't need to go camping if you don't want to-and I think it's logical to assume that you design your relationship with your partner not their other partner.

But I know that it's so easy for people with great differences in perspective to misunderstand each others intentions.

LovingRadiance 07-25-2013 06:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Marcus (Post 216993)
I think your approach to relating "I'll manage my life and you manage yours" is fantastic; a diamond in the rough. However, don't forget that part of managing your own life is to decide who you want to associate with and what treatment you will endure.

What I mean is, if you have communicated "Hey, I don't want your relationship advice. I'm sure you mean well but you need to drop that shit" and they still insist upon butting in to your life... what are you prepared to do about that?

1. Stop complaining about it and learn to live your life by their rules
2. Extricate yourself from their lives to whatever degree necessary

Or choose to give them a more specific example because some people really do need a specific example... ?

If I told Maca "I don't want your relationship advice..." he would probably stare at me like I was speaking French.
If I told him "I don't want you to tell me what you think I should do in my relationships with other people." He would understand the words-but still not necessarily grasp what he was doing to upset me.
WHEN I told him "GG and I don't enjoy the same activities together that you and I enjoy. Please don't try to plan dates for us-we can plan our own. I know you were trying to be nice but we have our own way of doing things."
He understood exactly what he was doing (he WAS trying to be nice and plan a dinner out for us at a 5 star restaurant-but we don't DO those things together) and he stopped.

It's a little more complicated when dealing with a metamour-you may not know their communication style/abilities.

I would be more concerned with why your bf isn't handling it-why it's coming to you at all if it's that upsetting. If you and he are on the same page-he should be capable of telling his other partner what HE doesn't want them doing with the relationship he has with you.... :confused:

(Marcus-was just using your words as a reference point for my thoughts-that wasn't aimed at you. ;) )

JaneQSmythe 07-27-2013 08:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by westVan (Post 216984)
I am very good at compartmentalizing my life and relationships. Basically I live with the “I manage my life/relationships, you manage yours” way of thinking. But I feel that my partners other partners are trying to tell my partners (one in particular) what and how our relationship should be, when we can see each other and what is permitted.

...I have repeatedly said “I can manage my own relationships, thank you very much” but they don’t seem to get it. How do I help them understand that? I am single, run a successful business and have relationships with 2 men. I don’t really have allot of time for a primary relationship and don’t want one at this point, but I will not allow anyone to dictate what my relationships will be or not be.

Now don’t get me wrong, I get that their relationship has its limits that must be incorporated into what my relationships are but they cannot define my relationships. Or am I just a selfish person for wanting them to understand this.

Quote:

Originally Posted by westVan (Post 216988)
Example: because their past relationship model looks one way they think every relationship should follow the same direction, as in -they see eachother x number nights a week so I should have X number of nights a week - to be "Equal and Fair". I don't want that and dont need that, I want to have my relationship evolve naturaly and not dictated. Because their relationship involved doing things they enjoy doing with their other partners - ie camping, boating (whatever) they want me to do these things with them . Helloo give me a 5 star hotel with room service and I'm in but hell no to camping.
If I want to spend time with them I will but dont dictate that I have to.

The situation is still not entirely clear to me...but I did have a few thoughts.

I, too, am good at compartmentalizing various parts of my life. When it comes to relationships, though, I can go either way. It sounds as though their particular flavor of poly may be of the "poly tribe/poly network" variety where everyone is friends and the group functions as an extended family/friend group? (the core of our Vee functions a bit like this). Whereas, in your flavor of poly you prefer for each relationship to be a distinct entity to itself - with only enough feedback to coordinate things and know that everyone knows/consents what type of relationship they are in (which is how my FWBs/dating relationships in the past have functioned).

I think that you are really going to need to lay it out on the table with your partner(s). A discussion of what boundaries they have in their current relationship that directly affect you is mandatory - so that you can make the decision as to whether or not these are acceptable to you. Sometimes looking at what they are trying to accomplish with the boundary is more telling than the boundary itself.

For instance, if a rule is that they have to meet new partners within three dates...where does that come from? Has their partner dated crazy serial killers in the past and they don't trust their judgement? Or, have they had problems with insecurity in the past and found that meeting the person helps them weather the change with more grace?

They may have rule that they need their partner home on Wednesday for their regular date night and Sunday morning to go to church. Fine. That is different than - "You can only see him for two hours on Tuesday while I am at work - even though you both have plenty of other free time.)

JaneQ

Note: you may be interested in this post I made to my blog about the early days of our Vee when we were working out what our Vee would look like and what "boundaries" meant in this context.

(Hmmm...I should probably write an update on the boundary issue...I have much more nuanced opinions now...)

sparklepop 07-27-2013 09:38 PM

Mmm... I was actually thinking along the same lines as L.Radiance...

I don't know the background, so like she said, perhaps this is off-kilter. You don't think that you are being invited to activities out of friendliness? You don't think that your partners' partners are perhaps trying to be kind?

Those are just questions.

But the crux of the matter... no, I don't think that one person's relationship is down to the dictation of another person.

The only difficulty is that in poly, one relationship does tend to effect another, even in some small way. That doesn't mean that metamours have a right to decide what goes on *within* the relationship.... but of course, they do have a right to freedom of speech and voicing their needs and wants.

It's strange... usually, people post because their metamour is trying to take time *away* from their relationship... ~grins~


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