View Single Post
Old 09-19-2012, 08:29 PM
Anneintherain's Avatar
Anneintherain Anneintherain is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Seattle-ish
Posts: 826

Well you cant really plan for it. If D set R straight right away about what she said - here are the two plausible outcomes that would work for me.

1. R takes D's word that you weren't capitalizing on it to limit him, agrees it was just an idea she threw out there to see if it is possible, accepts it is not applicable, everybody moves on and R and D keep dating.

2. This does not happen, either because R is only interested in one upping others so she looks kinder, more loving, whatever better by comparison and thinks she D is just deluding himself about what a controlling bitch you are, or because D doesn't say "whoa R, that's just not how it is" and maybe enjoys having somebody else back up his feeling that he's in the right and deserves to do poly his way instead of in a mutually agreed upon way. Either way D stops dating R because he realizes a) she's a bitch or b)he needs to not date people who encourage him to think negatively about you, so dating her isn't healthy.

Regardless, it sounds like he DOES feel you are limiting him, and that is a perspective he needs to be willing to change. Has he put the shoe on the other foot? If you wanted to date somebody who talked about how D is selfish and would he just suck it up? However it is and feels, he probably needs to change how he represents your relationship, or to share less so early. There are things I would like to do that Adam is not OK with, but when I talk to a date I don't say - Man, I really want to do that but Adam wont let me - or I had to agree not to or Adam would be upset with me. If asked I may say I'd like that but my relationship agreements dont allow for it. If I want to complain about an agreement I made but don't like, I'll do it with a friend or the relevant partner, OR an established other relationship where there is already a solid understanding that my husband is awesome and any complaint is just a teeny bit of the big picture of our relationship. It sounds like D forgot to lay the foundation about how awesome you and your relationship is first.

Here is an example of how I tried to plan to avoid repeated issues of the same sort - I'm guessing D is passive like my husband Adam, which means 90% of the effort to change or negotiate will fall on you.

I asked my husband to not ask somebody he meets for the first time out on a second date until he comes home and we discuss it and make sure there weren't things about them that we'd agreed were things we would keep from bringing into our lives. He DOES get excited about people and has wanted to date people that CLEARLY tick some of our "no" list, and there are people are it's questionable if it's on our "no" list or not. Checking one or more of those boxes means he cant date them necessarily, but I want to discuss the date and ask questions before a second one, because he wants to say yes! when he has agreed to say no. Because of this I ask for this agreement so I have the ability to say my piece before a couple of dates have already happened.

He kept asking people out for a second date on the spot ANYWAY. It was a lot of talking and effort to get to the bottom of it - I was very hurt, and worried that if he can't do something as simple as that, how could I trust him to keep his word about anything? We had lots of conversations and for him it wasn't simple at all, he seemed to think if he didn't tell somebody he liked them that moment there would be no second date ever. He did not understand really why I wanted to discuss it first (and isn't good at saying "Hey Anne, this agreement isn't working for me because I don't really know why you want it, can we discuss it?) Also it turned out he actually had no idea how express liking somebody without feeling compelled to make that second date, so I came up with some things he could say - such as.

"Can I email you tomorrow? I really enjoyed spending time with you"
"I had a lot of fun and you made me laugh a lot, I need to check my schedule and hopefully we can talk soon?"

Stuff like that expressed liking, expressed intent and desire, did not break our agreement do discuss first while managing to avoid planning a date that would have to be broken soon after when I said "gosh honey, you know for time and financial reasons we agreed not to date anybody that didn't have their own transportation and lived a 45 minute commute on the other side of town, I have to hold you to that so please cancel the date".

Anyway I wrote such a long boring example because I get the feeling D might have some of these very tangled things you and he will have to unwind together - as from what you said about his reluctance to agree to certain things - he DOES feel you are limiting him, while you feel you are trying to negotiate something that works for both of you. People have a lot of trouble sticking agreements if they don't agree with you asking for them, or don't really understand WHY you are asking for something. That not asking for a second date immediately is just a LITTLE thing, I can't imagine what shit we'd be in if Adam liked to choose dramatic mean people to date, luckily his taste in personality is pretty stellar.

I just want to warn you to expect more trouble from that issue until you both really understand why you each feel the way you do. That is when he will have the frame of mind where he can agree to things that he would prefer be otherwise because you are important to him instead of doing it reluctantly. Counseling is probably the most useful way to get there.

edit: MusicalRose's suggestions are great, and I agree, the problem is he has to agree they are his limits too, so hopefully he will lose his reluctance to happily compromise at those suggestions.
Happiness will never come to those who fail to appreciate what they already have.

Last edited by Anneintherain; 09-19-2012 at 08:58 PM.
Reply With Quote