Yes, I was avoiding my demons. I saw my boundaries as a list of demons to get over, and getting over all of them at once was too much to swallow.
But when you say "of course you could cope," you're missing that I wasn't coping at all, whether she was following bounds or not. So I agree, she was between a rock and a hard place. And I was heavily triggered.
I did not intend for the boundaries to stick forever. It was what I needed to pace out this experience because it was waking things up in me that I hadn't anticipated.
You're right, her needs should be equally important. So what do you do when you're struggling hard and they go ahead and meet their own needs against yours?
Yes, freaked out about all the ways she could be better, stronger, prettier, more fun, and on and on. And I was fully aware that those feelings are natural, and needed work on my end. But every time I looked up, more was happening. I didn't feel I had any time to adjust.
The waiting was more torturous than the event and I could finally deal with the reality.
Funny you say that. When she finally came clean, yeah I cried, and freaked out, but then I got really really calm. I had this crazy feeling of relief. Even though her approach was shitty, it happened, it was over, and the world hadn't imploded. And my irrational brain was totally confused by this lack of implosion. But the rational side that had been there all along was like "see? that wasn't so bad!"
I do see that she's human and has her own set of needs. And I think bunchy girls (and dudes) have a challenge of initiative on their hands that more passive gender roles (like femmes and straight women, and yes I'm making awfully broad generalizations but bear with) don't have to worry about. For instance, she is the one who asks people out, while I wait to be approached. She is the one to make first moves, I tend to wait until someone woos me. So I could see that the pace was, in essence, asking her to protect me in ways she isn't equipped/obligated to, while at the same time asking her not to be herself on a date. And herself is to sleep with people. Fast. I know cuz that's how it was when we met, and that's how it is when we date.
I never intended to give her such hard rules. But yeah, I freaked, and when I did, she asked what I needed to feel secure. So I was like, for now, let's try it within these bounds. I honestly thought (though she didn't believe) that it would help me with the next steps. And if she stuck to them I could trust her and start to feel safe to take them down. Was that a wrong approach?
Our strictest guideline is 'no overnight stays', as we want extra sexual partners, not extra people to be in love with and we feel overnights are too intimate. However, this rule has been adjusted in certain circumstances.
Let me point out that my partner is very much looking for other people to love. I am, for now, just looking for people who like to undress me, but haven't really explored anything this intense myself. We do love people, together, and she was pretty well emotionally invested in this third party. But they called it casual, as said third party was invested in other people as well. The threat wasn't real. But I did need time to make sense of how I was feeling, and I didn't get that, so it all came out sideways.
Personally, I'd rather have my bed to myself for once than sleep next to someone who's been fucking someone else just an hour before. So I'm not sure why that needs work, but am all ears if you want to elaborate.
I love the rating system. I'll definitely give that serious thought, it sounds like something we really needed then, and could be useful in the future.
I was actually heartbroken that it had to end because I struggled. Well, because I struggled and she fucked up. And I told them both, I was sorry it turned into this, and that I really wasn't pleased with how it ended. Yeah, sure I'm feeling much better now, and safer. But I do not feel good about removing a positive experience from my partner's life. I actually never did veto, but I talked about it an awful lot. And she does hope to have that freedom again in the future, so it's not really over in the scheme of things.
How exactly does one "confront" a "deal breaker situation" in a productive way?