Originally Posted by rory
Seems like a tough situation for you emotionally. *hugs*
I think you need to take a bit of a step back. I see that you feel very strongly that his relationships are his to manage, and you don't want to affect them. You don't want a say in what he tells his sub and you don't want to affect the DADT in his marriage. The relationships are separate entities, and as long as you are happy in yours, the rest is his to manage. Is that correct? If so, I interpret it to mean that you have little influence/power when it comes to his other relationships, and you want it so. That is okay, and a valid place to be.
But why is it then that you worry so much about what you might cause to happen in the other relationships?
With power comes responsibility. If you have power to influence, you should use that wisely, and you should be concerned about more than yourself.
But you don't have/want power to influence. If you want to let him manage his relationships, let him do the work of managing the relationships. You focus on you.
Right now he is having his cake and eating it too, at least when it comes to your relationship (and by the sounds of it, at least with the sub as well). He gets to do whatever he wants, and you have/want no say in it, but then you worry about the consequences. Doesn't that seem messed up?
You are not responsible for his other relationships going well or going badly, especially if you have/want no influence.
If you ask for what you want, you aren't directly causing anything. Do you see that? He has choices to make. He has chosen to be in multiple relationship. That means that sometimes he may have conflicting commitments. He is responsible to manage that, not you. He also has a choice if you ask for something. He can choose to say yes or no. If what you ask for is something that will affect his other relationships, he needs to take that into consideration, and answer you accordingly. You don't need to pre-emptively worry about that. You aren't responsible for his other relationships. But you need to be true to yourself to be happy.
Are you sure part of your motivation in not asking what you want isn't coming from fear that if you do, he will say no? Fear of finding out just how much (or little) of a priority you are to him and how much (or little) he cares about you?
I can totally understand that. It would suck to find out that he doesn't care. But doesn't it also suck being with somebody who doesn't care and not knowing that? Or being so afraid to ask that you never get what you need and end up miserable, even though had they known about it, the other person would have been happy to do it?
I have a hard time asking for what I want, too. And most of the time there is fear in the way, that's why I'm suggesting it. It can be fear of abandonment. For me it's fear of not being accepted/understood as I am. Anyway, the first thing is to admit the fear, and the second is to face it. It's really a choice between misery and potential for happiness. You can sometimes even find that what is making you miserable isn't in fact not getting everything you want, but the fact that you can't express your feelings/wants to your partner. I.e. sometimes you feel better for speaking up even if the other person says no. Other times, it's a dealbreaker for you, and you have some difficult choices to make. You might still feel better, though.
I wrote a reply but the internet ate it. Second time around is never as good but I'll do my best.
Thank you for this post. It gave me a lot to think about.
I've been having trouble sleeping because I have been pretty upset about everything.
This is my first poly relationship. Any time in the past where I have developed feelings for a new man, I lost my desire for my current partner. That didn't happen this time. So I am sure I am making lots of mistakes just because I don't know how to handle the situation. I know I am; early in my relationship with L, I thought that I needed to keep things light and fun and drama free otherwise he wouldn't want to spend time with me. So, that's what we did for a few months. But you can't fit a square peg into a round hole, and we developed feelings for more. Actually, he thinks they were there right from the start. We had a discussion and he said he thought you could have good sex, or sex with no emotion, but not both. I said that we had good sex the first time we were together, and he said that it wasn't without emotion and I couldn't tell him that because he knows better. And I think he is right about that- we had something right from the start. He told me that relationships come with the messy stuff and it is what it is. He's always demonstrated that he cares about me and my feelings. But obviously, this wasn't the best way to go about having a relationship. Of course, I was trying NOT to have a relationship at that point!
Last night I was thinking to myself that asking him to acknowledge me on FetLife would solve both of the big issues that are bothering me. The honesty issue would be taken care of de facto because she would see me on his profile, so he'd have to talk to her about it. And I would get the validation I want so much for our relationship.
On the other hand, I can see his side of things. I still think he made a mistake by not telling her about us early on, but I can kind of see how it snowballed given that it wasn't supposed to be anything. And this is going to cause him a lot of extra stress if he tells her now, which he really doesn't need right now. And I'm not sure that this is something I actually NEED, or if it's just something I want right now since my needs aren't being met by him. It didn't really matter to me before all this external stuff started because he was giving me what I needed from him, so it didn't matter to me if he was keeping me a secret. I don't want to be selfish about something minor if in 9 weeks it won't matter to me anymore.
So I'm not really sure what I want to do. But my feelings keep shifting day by day so I'm just going to try and sit on it for a while. I don't think I'll be hearing much from him over the next couple of days anyway since he is now sick on top of everything else so I won't have to pretend everything is okay when it's not. But on the other hand, I certainly don't want every conversation between us to be a heavy, loaded one. That really isn't fun and I wouldn't want that either.
I know he cares about me. I also know that right now, I am a pretty low priority. It is what it is. There are other things that are more important right now and I understand that. He's married and has responsibilities. If I don't like that, well, I'm married too right? At some point he has no more to give and I just have to suck it up. Time is a finite resource and so is emotional energy.
Sometimes, things really are complicated and I just don't know what to do.