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-   -   Overcoming Objections (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=62222)

Hathor 10-31-2013 07:48 AM

Overcoming Objections
 
I'm new to the site so thanks in advance for the help! Other than reading books I don't have a lot of ways to get help with my poly relationship as I don't know anybody else personally who is in this kind of relationship. It's hard to ask advice when none of my friends have ever experienced a similar situation.

The situation I am dealing with is frustrating. I have a friend who I have known for a very long time, longer than I've known my husband. I was in love with this friend way back when, he didn't know this at the time. We lost touch for approximately 10 years and we just started hanging out again 2 years ago. I quickly fell back in love with him and I talked to my husband about starting a relationship with him. I got the green light. So I explained to my friend about being in a poly relationship and essentially asked him if he would like to start a relationship with me. His answer was no.
We talked about it for a while but I'll highlight his objections: 1) "Open relationships don't work" 2) "What is the end goal for us? We wouldn't be able to get married/have kids." 3) "I would get jealous"
I don't really like the idea of pushing the issue and trying to convince him because ultimately that would create insecurity for me that he had to be persuaded. So we moved on, did not start a relationship, and have maintained a great friendship for approximately 6 months. It has come up occasionally, he knows that its still something I want, and despite my best attempts at honest communication, I have never gotten him to express how he feels about me. However, during the last 2-3 months he has gotten increasingly more physical with me. The big issue is that if I say anything about this or try to talk about it he shuts down, but if I just accept it without comment it continues. This is so hard for me because my husband and I are all about communication and I have a really hard time not just asking him whats up.

So here is the problem.... I don't want to officially bring up the idea of starting a relationship again because we've had this conversation 3 times and he hasn't changed his mind (however, the last time we talked about it his only objection was his potential jealousy). However, his actions towards me have changed significantly over the last couple of months and despite the fact that he has rejected me I feel its clear that he does actually want something more out of our relationship. My best friend summed it up best: "He is more honest with his actions than with his words".

Has anybody dealt with this type of situation before where you have had success overcoming a potential lovers objections to being part of an open relationship?

Also, any advice in general would really help because at this point I'm considering ignoring my usual approach (communication) and taking a page out of his book and start being more aggressive physically and see what he does about it. This to me seems really risky because he has rejected me already and I don't really need to create an awkward situation by ignoring the fact that he said no to a relationship.

Thanks for taking the time to read this, I know it's long, sorry about that! :)

Dstone 10-31-2013 08:23 AM

does he know / hang out with your hubby?,...If not, then it might be an option for them to interact more as friends. If your seeking a full time relationship with him, then they will eventually have to get to know one another anyway. Just remember, Its better to have loved once, than not to have loved at all. If he is not an 'Open' kinda guy, then all the reasoning in the world will not change it, but rather drive him away from you. Sex and affection can be a powerful tool, but will ultimately not change someone long term.

Mya 10-31-2013 09:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hathor (Post 243906)
My best friend summed it up best: "He is more honest with his actions than with his words".

I have been on the other side of someone thinking this of me and in my case it wasn't true. I acted a certain way because I really liked the person, but I still said I didn't want a relationship with him, because I really didn't. The thing is, you can like or even love a person but still realise you wouldn't work as a couple. Trust his words. I know it might be confusing if he's acting affectionate towards you, but believe what he says. He hasn't said that he has no feelings for you. He might have them. That doesn't mean he should start a relationship if he feels that wouldn't be the right choice for him. If you feel uncomfortable with him being affectionate without wanting to be in a relationship, you can tell him that. "Please don't touch me that way if all you really want is friendship." But if you enjoy the increased closeness, just let that happen and let him come to you if he ever chances his mind.

Magdlyn 10-31-2013 11:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mya (Post 243941)
I have been on the other side of someone thinking this of me and in my case it wasn't true. I acted a certain way because I really liked the person, but I still said I didn't want a relationship with him, because I really didn't. The thing is, you can like or even love a person but still realise you wouldn't work as a couple. Trust his words. I know it might be confusing if he's acting affectionate towards you, but believe what he says. He hasn't said that he has no feelings for you. He might have them. That doesn't mean he should start a relationship if he feels that wouldn't be the right choice for him. If you feel uncomfortable with him being affectionate without wanting to be in a relationship, you can tell him that. "Please don't touch me that way if all you really want is friendship." But if you enjoy the increased closeness, just let that happen and let him come to you if he ever chances his mind.

I don't know, Maya, you could be projecting, and so your advice might be incorrect.

I don't really get how a friendship with sexual attraction is NOT a relationship. Depends on how deep of a relationship the OP wants. If she just wants a secondary, or wants more but can happily settle for what her old friend/love can offer (ie: not move in together, not have kids together, the usual expected outcome of being in love), I don't see what's wrong with letting things progress as they are.

Friendship, bonding and SEX can be good enough. Maybe his "I'd be jealous" idea is working though in his own psyche as he sees how Hathor makes space for both the men she loves in her life.

Maybe the old friend/love really wants a wife, house, kids. But here he is all wrapped up in you, Hathor. Do you have kids? Does he want to hang out with them? Maybe some day he will find Ms Right. So what? At least you'll have had this time to be together, emotionally and sexually. Maybe when/if he finds her, she'll be open to him still loving you, while also getting serious with her.

I'm a sort of live in the moment, seize the day kind of person though, so, that's how it looks from here. YMMV.

GalaGirl 10-31-2013 12:31 PM

Quote:

However, during the last 2-3 months he has gotten increasingly more physical with me. The big issue is that if I say anything about this or try to talk about it he shuts down, but if I just accept it without comment it continues. This is so hard for me because my husband and I are all about communication and I have a really hard time not just asking him whats up.
Could respect your own limit and go for communication. Rather than ignore it.

You wouldn't be posting if it wasn't a problem for you.

If he "shuts down" when you call him into account for his behavior, let him deal with it.

We are free to choose. We are not free of the consequences of our choice. If he chooses to trespass on previous "friends only" agreement with non-friendly behavior and you call him on it and he feels yucky? That's his problem. Not yours.

It is not appropriate to be all touchy when you guys are friends. It seems to make life difficult for you right now and friends don't do that -- ADD to burdens.

I think you could be letting your own crush on him let him slide in his behavior because you enjoy the titillation... but then you end up confused yourself in the end. That behavior does not serve you well.

If you want to be free of confusion you could change your behavior and stop letting it slide. Could tell him to dial it back down. Either play ball or don't play ball. None of this "in between" business creating confusion. Again... friends don't ADD to burdens.

Could help him keep it in the friend zone. Could enforce the limit. Could ask him what's up with that behavior. Something like...

"Hey. We've talked several times and agreed to keep it in the friend zone. When you ____(insert recent physical thing and time it happened)___ that's moving it into non-friendly areas for me. Please stop doing that. It is not respectful.

If you have changed your mind, then we could talk again first. Not go all touchy first. That does not work for me. Please respect my limits. "
Quote:

Also, any advice in general would really help because at this point I'm considering ignoring my usual approach (communication) and taking a page out of his book and start being more aggressive physically and see what he does about it.
That would make it really easy for him to blame shift it all on you wouldn't it? If you go pounce him and then he freaks out he can now shove all the emotional responsibility on your head. Because you KNEW he didn't really want to be in an open relationship because they never work, you KNEW he gets jealous, you KNEW he wants a wife and kids. You "evil" poly person you!

Sigh. Could not go there. He's not seeming like a solid poly partner who is firm of purpose at this time. He's not approaching YOU honorably here and respecting the previous limit either. How does that bode for respecting boundaries once IN polyship when he can't hack it in friendship?

I like low stress living. To me you have two options:
  • Enforce the friend zone limit and remind him of past talk.
  • Have a NEW talk, come to agreement to explore polyshipping, THEN act.

He's not sounding solid to me. So I color second option grey. Just enforce the limit sounds better than having ANOTHER talk that you already have had several times and still comes out "No."

And from your bottom line?

Quote:

This to me seems really risky because he has rejected me already and I don't really need to create an awkward situation by ignoring the fact that he said no to a relationship.
You seem to know it already. He's not solid. Friend zone it and you respect HIS limit even if he's not respecting yours.

Disappointing for you because of your crush, but infinitely better than signing up for confusion and weird. You could spare yourself a lot of grief by not taking up with a shaky poly partner who doesn't even want to poly straight up.

Remember this?
Quote:

I don't really like the idea of pushing the issue and trying to convince him because ultimately that would create insecurity for me that he had to be persuaded.
Could be more true to YOU. Call him into account and let him deal with it.

Galagirl

PaperGrace 10-31-2013 02:44 PM

Yes, I've been there.

I had a friend of 3 years. He had a more conservative/religious upbringing. He believed in monogamy. He wanted to get married and have kids soon and we both recognized that we weren't life partnership material. We were good friends, mutually supportive of the other's relationship attempts for those 3 years.

There had always been some mutual attraction. We started sitting closer and closer on the couch. Cuddled. He got "handsy." I'd fallen for him despite some misgivings - those reasons why we'd said we'd just be friends when we met.

I have a hard time calling it a relationship. Entangled is a better word for it. I tried to be more vulnerable with him. Create a deeper emotional connection. Integrate him more into my life. He wasn't going there and he wasn't a great communicator. I got lots of mixed signals. It was frustrating and oddly embarrassing.

We would get entangled, then I'd feel used and disconnected and call it quits. We'd stay friends. We'd get closer on the couch again. Get entangled. That was the pattern through four "break ups."

We had a lot of chemistry, but very little compatibility.

My friend/lover/whatever-he-was justified continuing to make advances after I'd ended that part of our relationship (over and over again) because my being poly meant I was "promiscuous." His word. Frankly, I think he had feelings for me, he could be very thoughtful and tender, but he didn't want to actually be in a poly relationship. To him, that would be wrong.

We didn't talk for a year and a half after the last break up. We're talking again now. He recently got married and I'm happy for him. I learned from the experience.

Vinccenzo 10-31-2013 04:22 PM

Yeah.

He has said it isn't the relationship style for him.

But it doesn't mean he won't flirt, let you make regretful passes, have regretful sex or watch for you to leave your current relationship to be with him because you know, if you were really happy you wouldn't want him right? :rolleyes:

I'd create a little space for a while to let things cool. Then consider him just a friend and treat him accordingly. See if he continues to seek you out anymore if you're just offering friendship.

Natja 10-31-2013 08:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mya (Post 243941)
I have been on the other side of someone thinking this of me and in my case it wasn't true. I acted a certain way because I really liked the person, but I still said I didn't want a relationship with him, because I really didn't.

Yep, me too, I am a terrific flirt but I am very honest about it, tbh I am more likely to be close and affectionate with friends than people I am interested in.

WhatHappened 11-01-2013 02:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hathor (Post 243906)
We talked about it for a while but I'll highlight his objections: 1) "Open relationships don't work" 2) "What is the end goal for us? We wouldn't be able to get married/have kids." 3) "I would get jealous"
I don't really like the idea of pushing the issue and trying to convince him because ultimately that would create insecurity for me that he had to be persuaded.

Has anybody dealt with this type of situation before where you have had success overcoming a potential lovers objections to being part of an open relationship?

How about respecting his wishes? Respecting his thoughts on the matter?

This open relationship may work very well for you and your husband. But what is your answer for how well it's going to work out for the person who goes home to his own home and bed every night?

He's right. You won't be able to get married. Most people feel that's a pretty big reason for having a relationship in the first place, and apparently he's one of them.

Are you planning on having children with him?

Do you plan on this being just an interim thing until he finds a real girlfriend who can offer him marriage and family? How do you see this ending?

Have you considered that the more energy he devotes to you, the less energy he has to devote to those who might actually be able and willing to offer him what he really wants?

What's up seems fairly obvious to me. He's tempted. You're offering him something he wants, and it's hard to say no, even though he knows you're really only offering him part of what he wants.

Honestly, your question about overcoming someone's objections sounds to me like, "How do I keep pushing and pushing like a salesman who won't take no for an answer until I get my way?"

london 11-01-2013 04:15 AM

Quote:

Honestly, your question about overcoming someone's objections sounds to me like, "How do I keep pushing and pushing like a salesman who won't take no for an answer until I get my way?"
Honestly, your question about overcoming someone's objections sounds to me like, "How do I keep pushing and pushing like a salesman who won't take no for an answer until I get my way?"

Totally agree. It reminds me of predatory, abuser like behavior. I can't think how any adult would find this.acceptable behaviour on any level. Seriously, no means no. Accept it and move on. Stop asking for tips on manipulation.


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