Originally Posted by sparklepop
I have honestly felt like I am too sensitive for poly, that my expectations on being asked how I feel about something *before* it happens (she is genuinely good at asking *after* a date happens) are too high and that I have a more monogamous mindset. I have felt like I have an end goal of "someday, we will hardly ever feel jealous, threatened or neglected and nothing much will bother us".
Finally, she asked how she could have made her dating any easier, when I came back home to the UK in May. I told her that had she *asked* how Mark and I would feel about her hitting the dating scene again, *before* launching herself and us into it, I don't think there would have been as many problems at all. We could have said, "please give us a couple of weeks... it's been a big time of adjustment... then go for it; we want you happy." We would have felt part of it - whereas we ended up feeling like onlookers. Incidentally - her response was that I was making sense, but that she'd already put it off for long enough, for my sake, and waiting any longer would have gone completely against her needs, as she was already denying them. She feels that we shouldn't put time restraints or "permission slips" on each other.
In conclusion, to use G.Girl's surfing analogy - yes: there seems to be a philosophy that our poly V is slightly more weighted towards ensuring freedom and cheering on the person who is surfing the waves (whichever one of us that may be), than about working as a team to ensure everyone's having fun - surfing the sea, or sitting back on the sand.
So end of rambling... I think my epiphany is... she says that she considers us all the time, by holding herself back from doing certain things, when she would have jumped on them if she was single. But maybe the way that she considers us (i.e. denying herself rather than us coming up with a plan together) is the problem - it's ineffective. I don't want her to hold back - I want her to decide *with* us.
I certainly have trouble really seeing things well from her side, I am like you and Mark, I'd like a heads up from my life partner(s) about what is going on in their life, and that includes if they are actively ready to seek new partners if they hadn't suggested that they were interested in doing so. (Which is not the same as a surprise "OMG I met a person and unexpectedly liked them!")
This is something close to me, as my husband was poly for over 20 years when I met him (and a bachelor at 40, so used to living and acting as if he had nobody to answer to) and I was poly for less than 6 months after 12 years of a monogamous marriage when we met, so very used to running stuff by a second party. Still after 7 years we clash about his confusion and his hesitance to "answer to" somebody after so many years of just conducting his affairs as he saw fit. I certainly don't feel at all that this means I'm too sensitive for poly, I just like to minimize unexpected shit in my life, so I ask for things to be done in a way that keeps surprises to a minimum.
I think for me if my husband took the attitude your partner does, I wouldn't have stayed with him, I want to be a best friend to my partners, and that means I want to know where they are at mentally, and romantically, and that they share what they are noodling at in their mind with me. Finding things out after the fact for me just leaves me feeling adrift on the ocean without a paddle.
I'd feel guilty too, if he was constantly feeling he was"holding himself back" so personally I would've walked away because I don't need that guilt, just like I don't want him to be untrue to how he wants to live. It just isn't compatible with my comfort levels, so his willingness to meet me at least halfway is important.
Ergo, I don't have any answers or advice, just giving my perspective about my thoughts about how I'd feel in a similar situation.