Communication about sex and feelings is the weak point in our marriage.
So is it about poly, and wanting to have other romances concurrent at some point?
Or is it about craving greater emotional intimacy/trust in THIS relationship? So you can freely share all your thoughts from the light side or dark side of your psyche with her and feel safe and secure? Still loved and wanted, but better able to be the authentic you?
Or maybe BOTH?
I, in particular, have difficulty telling her "I want X," because it feels selfish. That's my own hang-up. The acknowledgement of the need to communicate is something that impresses me about the poly community. It's a skill that I know I have to work on.
My DH was that way. But he worked to move beyond it. I have no prob putting it out. I had a prob LISTENING to the other guy's turn. Esp when I'm a shouter and he's a whisperer at best. We each had to work to bring the volume down/up so BOTH were being heard.
I can't be a mind reader. He actually has a responsibility to the partnership to speak up and spit it out!
And he can't do that and feel safe if I'm all stompy shouty in my style, so I had to crank it down a few notches. I have a responsibility to the partnership to see that he feels safe/secure.
Decades later he's so used to me having my "Latina waving hands in the air shouty" moments he doesn't bat an eye any more. He knows I'll come back to reason soon. Doesn't mean I don't like him, just... whaddaya want? I wave my hands around all DRAMATIC! Part of my process. What use to baffle him now amuses him. LOL.
We feel however we feel when we feel it. (emotion). That's not under our control. How we behave and react in response to it is under our control and we can CHOOSE how to act.
So I tend to view it like being the Weather Channel for my spouse.
- "Yo, sweetie! I sense a storm brewing. Not sure yet how bad or how long, so heads up."
- "Hey, I need help/time processing this. Can we talk on _____? Does that work for you?"
- "Listen, I sense you have a thing. Wassup with that? Or is my weather radar off?"
- "Listen, I feeling the need for more____. Can we talk about it? I'm wanting more ___ right now. Do you have any needs/wants I could meet better for you right now? We haven't had a check in for a while. So... let's! "
- "Look, I'm feeling nuts. I'm gonna act like a brat and be totally unreasonable for the next hour. Can you just let me do that, and not interrupt and correct or suggest or anything? Mostly I want to dump. THEN you can help me be reasonable later when I have to decide how to act. I really just need to steam valve here and have you validate that feeling all UGH right now is normal and just... FEEL IT! And let it blow through first. "
Then some time later after the THING...
- "Ok, that was a thing. Could I have reported in a better way? Did we handle that well? What could we do next time to be better prepared for that kind of weather? Or did we basically do good there?"
Not bring out old sores and rub salt in, but a discussion about coping style for how to improve THAT side of it for next time. Or maybe just even a compliment! Something came up, the partners handled it with good grace and you want to go "Way to go, partner! You rock! I love you!"
It's not selfish-osity. It's just being a good weather reporter. You know. So the relationship can successfully weather whatever it is that popped up this time.
If you have a hard time talking about feelings, maybe add more feeling words to the crayon box?