A little help unscrambling thoughts.
I'm really hoping this post is going to be clear and articulate, because I'm not sure the thoughts I'm trying to convey really are (kind of why I need help in the first place.) I know one of my partners is on here and so I don't want this to become a case of airing dirty laundry but it would be really useful to get some varied and inside perspectives on the soap opera going on in my head right now. Also apologies, I think this going to be a lot longer than I meant.
This weekend has been a bit of a nightmare. I've had arguments with both partners that have essentially left me questioning whether i'm doing the right thing in exploring polyamory/non monogamy. I have one partner I've been with for a bit over two and a half years. In that time we've overcome a lot (including a very messed up first attempt at opening the relationship) and I have a flat and a life with him in my university town. I realised I probably wasn't monogamous pretty much when despite being very in love with M I fell in love with T, although things never developed beyond a couple of sexual incidents. I found out a lot more about polyamory through mine and M's exploration of kink (although I know polyamory and kink are not by any stretch synonymous). In July I moved to a new city where I became involved with the scene and met A. We were instantly attracted to each other and despite me being with M and he being with B, we ended up in our first truly poly situation in September. Mine and Ms relationship even strengthened for this.
This was all well and good but mine and A's dynamic seems to have changed since the breakdown of his relationship with B and also since M's attempts to try and explore for himself and basically everything has culminated in this weekends disasters. I think in truth the very heart of the issue is not knowing my own feelings and communication breaking down as a result, so I'm going to try and express these feelings now.
With M, I think I realised on hindsight that my reaction this weekend was so severe because I'd been drinking and emotional at the same time. I was unhappy when my friend E had told me that serious flirtation had developed between him her and C. I was unhappy because we'd discussed why E was a bad idea and I was annoyed that M hadn't been the one to tell me.
Now I'm a lot calmer I can't workout why I was so annoyed over a bit of flirtation- it doesn't really bother me at all- unless it was just the timing of it, as I don't see M often anymore due to distance. Either way, the arguement boiled down to "I don't feel like there's anyone I'm actually allowed to see here, I give up on this poly thing."
With A it's a little more complicated. The first night we announced ourselves in the scene as a couple and A met M, there was another girl, J. That night she'd flirted with myself, A and M. When I saw her and M flirting I was really happy. I'm not sure why, it just seemed like it could be really great for him. However, by the end of the night, it had descended into A and J discussing the possibility of dating. This caused me to be really upset. When myself and A spoke about it, we agreed that maybe it was too soon to be dating others- we'd only been together a couple of weeks and good foundations and trust (to me anyway) need to be established at the heart of a relationship before others should be considered. He also told me that she was the only other girl he'd looked at and that they'd been flirting the same night that myself and him had spent each other smiling at each other and txting under the table and all that romantic stuff that comes with a couple just getting together. Honestly, that made me really jealous, there I was so dosed up on NRE I'm hardly aware there's a room let alone anyone else in it and he was eyeing up someone else. That hurt, rightly or wrongly it hurt and I have said that to him time and time over. Thing is, it came up a few weeks ago that he still liked her then this weekend, whilst I'm in my university town, he approached her to say he'd ask me about dating her. I got a message on facebook asking about her and lost my cool.
a.) because I felt I should have been approached first
b.) because I found out through her that he'd spoken to her and not through him
c.) because we'd already discussed that I wasn't happy with it
In the end it boiled down to a lot of miss communication and him saying "I don't feel like I can date anyone here that you're ok with"
One thing I absolutely wouldn't want someone to do is change who they are to fit the relationship, I'd rather end it for both our sakes and I am definitely not asking that.
There is one thing unique to both situations and that's that in a poly/non monogamous situation I really feel the need to keep any relationships and partners very separate. I am more than happy for my partners to have other partners but I'd want to keep it away from my life. This basically means that I'd rather their other partners weren't in my social circles, which is an issue as with each partner, our social circles are so confined that people tend to know everyone.
I also kind of realised that in my partners having other partners, i'm terrified of the NRE situation. I love the thought of them having that concrete relationship and deep foundations of love with someone because I think that can be so beautiful and rewarding. When A was with B, I was so happy for him and the fact that she just made him happy and smile. But now I'm suddenly acting like a jealous school girl? I think it's easier, at least when searching for someone to be a secondary to be their secondary as well.
Anyway, I hope that's clear. I'd be really keen to hear peoples thoughts, have I been unreasonable? Placing too many constrictions? Should I quit this whole non monogamy concept altogether? As much as that would break my heart in a lot of ways, I'm feeling more and more like it would be best.
I AM SO GLAD YOU POSTED!
I read the other persons post and made the mental connection between the scenarios. I also replied on his post.
So I will also reply on yours.
**short answer, apologize for rash responses while drinking and emotionally flooded. Ask for a little time to read through what on earth emotional flooding is if you don't know what it is. Ask if you can speak to each of the guys individually about the topics in a day or two. Sit down and consider what the concrete actions were that were upsetting for you (not the person involved) and possible ways to resolve those upsets.**
Here are some thoughts-in the order they arose, not necessarily the order of pertinence or importance-as I read through your post:
A) Discussing anything serious while drinking or emotional is usually not a great idea.
Would be good to read up on "emotional flooding". I KNOW Galagirl has posted about this A LOT and quite probably in her blog on here. Would be worth you looking it up.
B) It sounds like you don't handle "surprise" information well. There's nothing wrong with that per se. I happen to be someone who doesn't handle suprise information somewhere. My initial reaction is almost always negative (even if it's a good surprise!) but when I have time to process I usually find the news isn't really a big deal.
That sounds like what happened to you to a large degree.
I have found in dealing with that a few things help. 1) I have to let my partners know this about me. So that if I do have a negative reaction, they know it may be temporary and I ALWAYS need time to process surprise info.
2) I created an agreement with them, that if they have information to tell me that may come as a surprise to me (like "I think I am falling in love with someone who up to a week ago I've always hated"-to which my brain went WTF?!?!?!) it helps me for them to lead in with something like "I need to talk to you about something that may come as a surprise, is this a good time?" So I can at least take a few minutes to prep myself.
3) I have to accept that OTHER people don't know me and understand this-so they will surprise me and if it negatively affects me; I need to GIVE MYSELF TIME TO PROCESS before reacting. (like someone one else says "I have been flirting w/ your partner he's so amazing" and I am shocked, hurt, angry, whatever- I need to take time to process BEFORE I go confronting partner. EVERY TIME)
C) I agree with you on the need to create a steady bond before moving forward; some people don't; but it's important to me. But it's critical to have concrete understandings of what that means, because we are ALL different. That means when you feel like "we're there" the other person may not yet and vice versa.
I couldn't tell if you felt like you have gotten there with the newer partner (I'm terrible with letters I apologize, I don't recall which is which). But it is important that you are both on the same page with that.
D) The other lady(s)... I find it IMPRESSIVE and maybe you can consider it from this alternative viewpoint; that someone your partner is potentially interested in, came to you to say something. EVEN IF you prefer to hear it from your partner first (as would I). It's still important to acknowledge HER effort to be upfront and honest with you. SO MANY PEOPLE find it easier to be sneaky and lie. She was upfront and honest with you-that deserves some positive feedback from you.
Also-it bodes well for her reliability and trustworthiness.
I don't know about you-but I know I DEFINITELY prefer my partners date people who are trustworthy and if they choose someone who CHOOSES to be upfront, honest and open with me directly-even better.
E) reacting to your partners interests: At least the one who is on here, he's hurt and feels like you have veto'd his right to date the one other person he has felt anything for. I asked him in his thread, but haven't seen a response yet, is there a reason you feel she is unacceptable? A concrete reason that you aren't ok with them dating?
I ask-because "feeling unsure" isn't concrete. But it sounds like there may be some history there.
ALSO-I have found personally, that often times, good communication and clear discussion of the EXACT issue makes a "NO WAY JOSE" situation, a feasible possibility.
It often helps to segregate the action that was a problem from the person who was involved in the problem.
As an example; "I am not ok with you dating x because he/she lied to me" is not separating the issue.
Whereas "I am not ok with being lied to. I don't trust x because he/she lied to me. I understand you want to consider the possibilities of dating them. I need us to figure out what boundaries we can maintain to ensure that the lying isn't going to be a continued problem." discussion ensues.
"I've been talkign with so and so and I think there is potential there and would like to pursue a relationship."
"you know so and so, I think I'm starting to have feelings for them and am interested in pursuing it."
Some people just want to know "i'm going to start meeting people to see if I can find someone I'm interested in"
Others want to know when someone specific is of interest.
Others only want to know if sex is going to be pursued.
Others only want to know WHEN sex is being pursued.
WHAT exactly is it that you were hoping for?
IF the same situation were to arise in a month, what difference in HIS concrete actions would alter your upset over this?
I tend to be a send a text "wow, I just met this person and they are amazing I think I'm interested" in the moment or within a few minutes of the moment.
But neither of my partners is prone to do that.
We discussed time frames. I pretty much want to know the next time I see/talk to you (outside of work) if you have met someone that you are interested in pursuing.
ONCE YOU TELL ME THAT-I don't need specific updates until you decide either a) you are going to be sexually involved or b) you decide to be a couple.
The guys are similar.
But-we also have agreements about not dating certain people, like extended family and certain friends.
I would LOVE to know NOW, in the minute, when shit is goign to change. But-realistically, that isn't always feasible and certainly isn't reasonable. There have been times when an outside party had free time to talk socially to me before one of the guys and I have heard things I would have prefered to learn from the guy directly-but it wasn't there fault. It's ok if I feel emotional about that-but it isn't ok to direct that AT the guy. Because he isn't to blame.
Does that make sense?
Also-can't change the past.
So-in the future, how to handle this? How does he address a topic like this if there isn't a good time? Send you a text? Send you a letter or email? Drop it over a quick phone call? Tell you that he has some important thing to discuss with you? Etc.
For example; if the issue is that you simply aren't as social and don't want to add so many people to your personal circle. NO PROBLEM.
But if the issue is that you don't want to address dealing with jealousy, insecurity or fear-not so much. That can be a BIG problem.
Does that make sense?
(I always like to consider the good AND bad consequences of getting my way-because too often I find that I actually prefer the "bad" consequences that come with not getting my way-and so I change my preferences after knowing the consequences)
Instead of waiting for the problem to arise, addressing that NRE IS a reality-so what are the expectations and rules? What are the agreements for keeping it in check?
For example; we have an agreement about time frames for spending away from family. Like-in the first dating months-once a week in evenings or weekends-once a week for a lunch date. If they want to see more of the person, they can invite them over. Obviously-inviting them over doesn't work for you. But the point remains-it limits the "running off in NRE and disappearing whilst others deal with the responsibilities left undone at home".
Also-we have an agreement that there are certain "no phone/computer" times; such as in bed, shower/bath, family meals, our dates.." That means we aren't talking to others while we are spending these times together. It's OUR time. Which helps keep NRE from taking away all of our time.
These types of agreements made in advance-and one we don't have, but I've heard of and love is; in a relationship where one person is being an NRE-idiot, the other partner has a special word, like "sunset" and if they say it-the NRE partner knows that they aren't being sensible to their CURRENTLY existing agreements and needs to stop and refocus. Obviously-that only works with someone who is good at stopping to refocus in such a way.
But actions are a choice. You CAN choose not to act like a jealous school girl, even if you FEEL like one.
Also-there are some clear cut topics that sound like they have gone unaddressed. Which if addressed may clear up some of those emotions.
It is not unreasonable to have preferences. But-some of your preferences don't seem reasonable *in light of the circumstances*. But again-some discussion about creative ways to adapt the situation may resolve that.
Time to really sit down and get clear with yourself-and then with each other about "how can this work" instead of "this, this and SHE won't work." Maybe "she" could work, if you had some clearer boundaries regarding concrete needs instead of boundaries about vague conceptual needs.
HOW MANY TIMES did you fall on your ass before you gave up trying to learn to walk?
(does that make sense? Are you smiling at the image? Keep smiling, and then think about it, HAVE YOU actually put in the necessary work to find out if you can make non-monogamy work? Or are you considering bailing because you feel silly that you keep falling on your butt?)
LovingRadiance, thank you so much for taking the time to respond in such detail and for giving this side of things such consideration! I went to respond to the initial response then saw the second response with quotes so I'll try and address each issue at a time.
A) I do know a bit about emotional flooding but will look into it some more. I've made a pact with myself for about a year that if I know i'm not in a great place then I shouldn't drink because it seems to be the inevitability that emotional flooding will occur. Unfortunately, Friday I broke that pact with myself.
B) I think you're spot on, I really don't. In a lot of experiences in my life surprise news has always been bad news. I think I do need to communicate that to my partners - now that I'm aware of it.
I also really like what you said about making sure I process it first. I can be a very impulsive person and react and in the heat of the moment and then end up full of regrets.
C) With regards to being on the same page, we have had a serious discussion about how we need to work on our communication skills to make sure we're both on it. I think I felt really hurt and angry because I felt like this was a discussion we'd had and I felt really like I hadn't been listened to (this feeling has been a reoccurring one that I think has been a major obstacle to our communication skills).
D) Yes I agree 100%!! With the case of E I was thanking her all night for her honesty, my respect for her is through the roof. With J it was a little different because I had instigated the conversation and I thought all of us who were involved were on the same page that it wasn't going to happen so I felt angry that it had come up again - and a little betrayed that this all happened the one time i wasn't at the meet up because I'm at the other end of the country.
E) My issue with them dating is kind of in two areas; the initial fear and the lack of trust now.
The initial fear I think came down to feeling threatened by her because, as I said in the original post, at a time I was being swept up in all this NRE that gave me tunnel vision he was looking elsewhere and that sense of inequality is a really hard thing to look past. If it had been a month down the line when we were starting to settle I don't think I'd have felt so jealous. There's also my issue with dating people within a mutual social circle. I can't figure out if that's a justified issue or reason, but it is how I feel. So that felt like another boundary ignored.
The lack of trust now comes from the fact that, from my perspective, we're now on the third time that this has been an issue. I felt that I'd said I had an issue with it but he was constantly trying to push that when I wasn't ready for that to develop between them. Then I turn my back for five seconds and this has happened. My trust in his ability to respect my boundaries and for us to communicate properly, at least for the near future, is shot to pieces. I know that this is something that we can work on generally speaking, but with this particular person I doubt it will ever be ok now.
r.e being approached first.
I think I want to know basically as soon as is reasonably possible and in a means that we can have a proper discussion about it. Which sounds contradictory, but I mean I wouldn't want to receive a text there and then. It's horrible maybe, but I'd expect at that time for self restraint to be shown between the him and the other person.
As soon as we have that chance to have a proper discussion over the phone, face to face or on skype etc, I'd like to be told that they have an interest in someone and are interested in taking it to dating level.
Compared to this time, it shouldn't be someone I've said I'm not ok with him dating and he shouldn't say to her that he's going to ask me if he can take it further, until he's actually asked me.
r.e finding out from him not her
In the situation with M there was plenty of time. In the situation with A, in hindsight there wasn't. I'm trying to let that one pass me now but it certainly contributed to the way I was feeling at the time.
I would say as soon as there's a discussion that needs to be had, even if there's no time for a discussion at that point, I'd rather know sooner rather than later that we need to talk so that when we both have a chance we can. At least then if I do hear it from somewhere else I know he was going to tell me and not keep it from me.
r.e not being happy with it.
I genuinely thought we were both on the same page that it was a no. But then I guess it's part of our communication issues. I really don't know how it could have been communicated differently though. I would have thought the amount of time talking and amount of tears spent had been enough, but then I suppose politicians spend hours talking without really saying anything...
r.e seperating partners from my life / different social circles.
I think it would be naive to say that jealousy isn't a factor, I am afraid that i'll get jealous if we end up out at the same thing. However, I think a bigger thing for me is that I need a sense of order in my head of how things are and I just kind of categorise things like that to make myself feel at ease. So, when I'm with someone at a certain place, that's our space and time. When a partner and their partner are at a certain place that's their space and time.
I really hope this is making sense... I think it's kind of like people who are OCD about their food touching. There's the sausgage and that's all great, and the potato and that's all great and then there's the peas that are nothing to do with me. I don't want to be the sausage and then be like oh there's peas here, is this the sausage part of the plate or the pea part of the plate? (my sincerest apologies if that's the worlds worst analogy ever)
I think this is something myself and my partners need to talk about. I also kind of think it's hard to talk about it because we've neither of us been on this side of it so it's hard to know exactly the best way to handle the situation for us. i think that's part of where my fear comes from, because it's so unknown and i'm the sort of person who likes to go issues>solution>execution>sorted. and i'm tripping up on the issue /solution bit because i have no intel.
I think a lot of it really does boil down to things that need discussing and hopefully we'll make a lot more head way now, especially if i'm able to pick apart what it is i'm feeling to be able to communicate it in the first place
(the image made me smile lot's and has made me feel alot more confident, thank you)
Can you see it?
Our emotions for who we feel for-they come or they don't. It's not a choice. Our actions are. He did choose not to ACT on his feelings for her. THAT is what is most important. He wasn't impulsive. EVEN if the topic took you by surprise and scares you-he was considerate to your needs/boundaries/relationship-he didn't act. (This may make more sense when you read my response below) :)
1st (and most important) NEVER assume anything but the best of your partner. That ruins relationships. Period. Assume the best until you see PROOF of the worst. In this case-you are assuming he didn't listen and that is the cause of his actions. In a healthy partnership model you would assume there was a misunderstanding of some sort. Because OF COURSE if he cares about you-he wouldn't ignore you.
step 1- person a states how they FEEL about something and what they believe the issue is (no more than 3 **normal length* sentences).
step 2-person b restates it IN THEIR OWN WORDS AND asks "is that correct" to be sure they understood.
step 3-person a answers if it is or isn't what they meant to convey
*if yes-go to step 5
step 4-if no, person a then restates it again in a NEW way and person b restates it again in their own words a new way and asks if that is correct-repeat until yes.
step 5-person b expresses understanding of how whatever the topic was could make person a feel (whatever they said they feel) and then explains 3 ways it could make THEM feel that way.
THEN person b gets to address how they feel about THAT SAME ISSUE and what they see as the issue with it. Then follow the same steps.
YES this SSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSLLLLLLLLLOWWWWWWWWWWWWWWssss down the process. But the thing is-true communication IS SLOW. This speedy conversation stuff we do-isn't communicating.
Try it-with one of the issues.
We did this in counseling and it truly helps with ensuring both parties know what the heck the other actually meant. Which-MOST of the time-we really don't. We get a general gist-but not the deeper meaning. Then we go along our merry way and create a bunch of havoc-without intending too.
IF there is a something that really bothers you. You state it as a concrete action. "when you are late home from work I feel like I don't matter to you".
THEN suggest 3 concrete actions that would help you not FEEL that way.
"I would be reminded I do matter if you a) called me to tell me you were going to be late or b) brought flowers with you when you are late or c) made plans to "make up time" the same week for us to spend together after being late.
THEN the other person gets to CHOOSE which one works for them.
To be clear-this isn't about negotiating terms for a relationship or boundaries for poly. THAT is a much deeper conversation. This is about little things that come up in a relationship and a more healthy way to address them. ;)
But-in the big scheme of things-what you are saying is that his interest in her at the time it cropped up (which he doesn't have control of) is UNFORGIVABLE.
Is that fair?
(just consider the question, no need to respond to me).
Small background on me-VERY truncated.
I met my bf (GG) 20 years ago. We were best friends and on again/off again lovers. I married my husband (Maca) almost 15 years ago (1999). GG walked our children down the aisle in our wedding. Our relationship hit the rocks soon after due to outside bs. I had a long-term affair with GG. Maca knew and war existed in our family. In 2009, I came clean AND told Maca I was poly and I couldn't pretend or try to be poly any more, I would respect him if he chose to leave me. But that wasn't what I wanted. I loved him and I wanted to find a way to make it work. I promised never to lie to him again, to negotiate reasonable boundaries AND earn his trust (meaning shitty boundaries until I proved myself).
This man-honey, what reason did he have to trust me or GG? (just think about it).
I can assure you-his gut reaction was stronger than what you are writing and I think if you search his login on here, you can find some pretty harsh writing he did about GG and I. He hated GG and he hated me even though he also loved me.
But-I DID want to get my shit straight.
The bottom line is-you can't dictate who someone loves. Because they can't dictate that. You also can't expect someone to "respect a boundary" that makes it impossible for them to survive and thrive.
You are hurt because YOU were completely wrapped up in him-but he was simultaneously finding himself interested in you and someone else.
FEELINGS are never wrong. But they also are NOT logical or reasonable and holding him accountable for that is completely unfair. It could have just as easily been you who was interested in two people and he was all wrapped up in you. It didn't happen that way-but it could have.
He's made himself very clear here that he is willing to forego dating ANYONE else in order to be happy with you.
So OBVIOUSLY he isn't wanting to "jump off the train" in your relationship.
Your reaction is (with all due respect) based upon the lessons society teaches us about monogamy and they are crap. He wasn't wrong to be intrerested in both of you AND you do need to work through that in your head and your heart. Not for his benefit-for YOUR benefit. His dual interest in NO WAY detracts from YOUR value or specialness or anything.
Finally-lack of trust-your own explanations tell me he was REALLY trying to play the cards the "right" way in your dynamic.
***never assume the worst-always assume the best about your partner**
This is a NECESSARY component to a healthy relationship. ASSUMPTIONS should always be for the best. That doesn't mean ignore the truth-because the truth isn't based upon an assumption.
But-you aren't assuming the best. You are assuming the worst. You are assuming that he didn't care about your boundaries. Instead of assuming he didn't understand OR he COULDN'T meet them (*because they were unreasonable*).
Nothing he (or they) have done warrants your unwillingness to work through the fear and distrust. Your distrust is based upon his inability to STOP being interested in someone. That is unfair. He didn't DO anything with her. He didn't overstep boundaries. He expressed interest. If I express interest in someone at the bar-and they respond "I'm sorry I'm married (and mono)"; does that mean that their spouse should not trust me because I expressed interest? No. IF months later I find out that they have opened their marriage and I express interest again; is it reasonable for the spouse to say NO WAY because I expressed interest when their relationship was closed?
Do you see?
This lady-she was totally upfront and honest and cordial and friendly it sounds like-with you. THIS IS A PERFECT METAMOUR!
Especially in light of your fear about NRE!
THis is someone who IF the NRE goes crazy-you could say "HEY, pause-wtf" and she's likely to listen.
This is someone who has already shown respect for you.
This is someone who ACCEPTED that he was interested BUT UNWILLING TO ACT without your ok.
This is EXACTLY the kind of lady you want as a metamour.
Trust me-you don't want someone who doesn't give a fuck about fucking you over. Even if HE wouldn't. You don't want to deal with the drama of a metamour who would.
Furthermore-this is a learning curve for all of you and while he may not have done it EXACTLY the way you *prefer*; he did do it with honesty, integrity and respect for YOUR relationship. He didn't jump on this chick behind your back. He didn't cheat on you. He didn't lie to you. He didn't speak when he *should have* (but you didn't process before you spoke either-so pretty even there yes?).
I think you are selling YOURSELF short by veto'ing her.
I think you are cheating him of the chance to prove himself to you.
I think you are digging your feet in-where you need to be willing to say "I need you to hold my hand through this, because it's scary. But, I know you are doing your best, and I am doing my best, so together we can find a way."
BUT-understand, that self restraint means not ACTING on feelings. It doesn't mean the other person can't SEE them and HONESTY and integrity are IMPERATIVE in poly-and that means honesty to ALL people-not just you. He was honest in his interest to her-and his unwillingness to act on it. THAT is the kind of man you want in a relationship.
EVEN IF YOU WISH you had known first-the TRUTH (and this is something for you to really ponder at heart) is that you DID KNOW first.
YOU DID know he had a mutual interest.
You DID know before he said he would talk to you about it.
He had already told you that in the course of your relationship. It hurt you to hear it-but he DID tell you already.
Asking him to lie to her-that's unreasonable. Asking him not to ACT-that's perfectly reasonable.
Does that make sense?
Do you see the difference?
He was basically saying "I know this is the boundary you said when you were hurt and angry and insecure. But I feel like we've progressed from there. I'm still interested and I want to know if this is negotiable now. I feel like I've proven my love and loyalty to you and deserve a chance."
You're saying "no. There is nothing you can do that will ever make me ok with you dating this person who you are interested in, because that interest happened to start at a time that wasn't convenient to me."
IF that conversation were backwards-how would you feel?
Does it sound reasonable to you when re-worded that way?
I don't think it will. I think you can see that isn't reasonable.
BUT you are hurt, angry and scared and can't see a way to go through it without hurting more.
Ok. But-there IS a way.
AND if you two find it-your hurt will be healed. Instead of continuing to put neosporin on the broken bone. You could actually heal it....
BUT-this is a concrete action and you aren't considering concrete actions as resolutions, but large sweeping concepts.
Concrete resolution-you can have times there when the other partner isn't there and vice versa. I am in a V. We live together. But-they work opposite schedules. So they don't spend time together more than 2 days a week. I go out to date at the same restaurants with each of them, but not at the same time. We all have many of hte same friends-but we see them all together and in individual couples AND as individuals.
BUT-outside of that. It's not reasonable to keep it COMPLETELY segregated in that-the poly groups and BDSM groups you are all part of-are the same SMALL group of people who are open to that lifestyle. So expecting them to find dates in the mono, straight laced community is REALLY unfair, unreasonable and damn near impossible. There has to be give and take.
It's ok to say "I prefer to know if you and x are going to be there so I can do SOMETHING ELSE" but it's not ok to say "I don't want you to date anyone in the poly groups we socialize in...
Do you see?
This sort of feeling is common when people fail to see their partner(s) as individuals and you rather see them as extensions of themselves. It's a similar things that parents do with their children. You know, like when they take it personally that their kids have different interests to them and they actually have no interest in their pastimes/career/hobbies.
It appears that you are looking at this as if it is you and him....and everyone else is outside being invited in. It also appears that, from his perspective, he began dating you, and met her at about the same time, and feels more or less equally about the two of you.
I think you are more in "couple" mode; whereas he is still in "dating" mode, even if the two of you have announced as a "couple" in the kink community, you are still a new couple, and he is likely still figuring out what that means to him.
It might help if you think of it as how you, he, and she can work together. Instead of how you and he can work together to include her, or "others."
Also, I understand you feel strongly for him, but after a couple of weeks, he may get scared off if you get too serious too quickly....especially as it looks like, as several have mentioned, you expect to be able to control his relationships.....even as you have other, independent relationships of your own! Expectations of exclusivity, or even "being a couple," need to be built up to....not taken for granted. If that is what you, in fact, want (You and A to be the primary couple, and all others secondary).
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