Originally Posted by Anneintherain
From what you say it seems like you are sad you are advocating for them, but don't feel either of them are advocating for YOU.
Yes, this. I am also advocating for myself, as well as I know how; sometimes I don't realize I have a need until it appears as a raw spot (such as, them fixing their stuff via sex made me realize that we didn't and I would have really liked to), and sometimes I delay my needs because someone else's are more urgent (and I am sincerely fine with this; if my need was also urgent I would speak up, I make a lousy martyr). But I don't let my needs go unheard.
I think for me it's more a matter of, this is what I believe should
happen in a relationship. I take care of you, you take care of me. This is how the Captain and I have always worked, and I love it. The freely given courtesies that demonstrate you are thinking about someone else and are trying to make them happier, their life better in some small way. I see this as a different exchange from self-advocacy. Advocacy establishes a baseline, to me; you make clear what you need, the nonnegotiables. Courtesy is the karmic paying-it-forward of goodwill in the relationship. For example, without the courtesy cycle, if the Captain and I were sitting down to watch a movie for the night, he'd say "I want to watch this action thriller" and I'd say "We watched an action thriller last
night, I want to watch a RomCom!" But because we exist on the courtesy cycle, what happens is I say, "We should watch that action thriller you've been wanting to see," and he says, "Well, we watched that other action thriller last night, I picked up this RomCom for you, would you like to watch that?" And we both get what we need and then we ALSO get the added bonus of it being freely given by our partner, just because it makes us happy, rather than feeling like we have to fight for every consideration.
Right now, I'm hurt that the exchange of these courtesies has been suspended, or that there is a hiccup in the cycle of them somewhere. So I feel like I'm paying into the system, but not being given any disbursements, if that makes sense... and that sucks, I want my dividends back. =P But that's not something I can ask
for; the nature of the system is that they must be offered. But
I don't necessarily feel that ceasing my own contributions into the system until such time as the cycle resumes in full is really a great idea, either... because then everybody is just looking out for themselves and I don't think selfishness is a healthy trait in a relationship.
Originally Posted by Anneintherain
It sounds like you are both doing an awesome job. I envy that he realized he'd not done well by asking for that "favor" and didn't try to squirm out of it, you have a great partner there. I'd also think you're a great metamour. Just make sure you don't let yourself say yes to things when you want to say no, it can be a slippery slope, but you sound like you are trying hard to keep yourself honest.
Thank you. =) Yes, he is a great partner, and yes, I'm trying to keep myself honest! I feel like I beat him up over this yesterday so I'm trying to just relax and let him move things forward, now.
I do think she and I should probably talk about this so I'm going to reach out to her again for some more girl time. She is nervous around me still so I'd like to develop that comfort there, and I think it will make things much easier for all of us.