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Old 10-14-2012, 06:00 PM
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rory rory is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Europe
Posts: 497

Wow, PhilosophicallyLost, I feel for you.

I am similar to you in that I am an introvert, and I also have two extrovert partners. However, our situations are different in that both of your partners seem to be acting pretty selfishly. I struggle with the time management even with two non-selfish and supportive people, I cannot imagine how difficult it must be for you.

My socialisation is that of a people-pleaser, so I've had to do a lot of work with this, and I still need to. What it comes down to is entitlement. Just because you are in a relationship with somebody doesn't mean they are entitled to your time. It seems like both of your partners feel like they are. That's why they are comparing and counting. Here's something I wrote earlier, which I think is relevant here:

Originally Posted by rory View Post
A radical thought (to me, maybe others will go "DUH" when reading this): what if the best thing to do is to drop the the notion of equality/fairness altogether?

Here's the problem with aiming for equality or fairness; it includes entitlement, a right to something from me. When actually all my partner has a right to is what I have a right to from them: to be respected, loved, and to be taken into consideration. Not that those are small things, they are huge. But it is obvious to me that I treat anybody I care about like that.

Equality/fairness includes assumption of entitlement. It will no longer be my aim. When a partner of mine tells me they want or need something, I will make it a priority (again, not the but a priority), as I always do. I will try to focus on that more.
This was all written mostly regarding time management. Things like how many nights I'm spending with whom etc. For me, the pressure came from internalised notions of fairness (as symmetry). For you it seems to be coming from your partners, both of whom are treating your time as something they have automatic right to. The comparison game is actually going to absurd lengths in that they seem to be more interested in the other person not getting more than them than they are in what they get themself. It is not respectful of your wellbeing or your autonomy, nor is it appreciative of the time you do spend with them.

I think you need some boundaries. You need to think "what do I want" and "what do I need". And then, start acting in a way that will get you those things. With your partners it will be either a matter of informing them or asking them for whatever it is, depending on the issue.

There are probably some concrete changes you'll want to make; for example, you need to get enough sleep and you want time alone. It seems neither will come easy, but it is not complicated. These are matters in your control, and your partners do not have a right to stomp on them. You need to figure out what your preferred arrangement is, inform your partners about it, and then demand they respect it. You will probably get some push back from them (since you are getting some about things like your days off - seriously!), but you need to enforce the boundaries and demand the respect they should be giving you.

A more abstract thing you also need is for this childish score-keeping to stop. Or, in the very least, for them to stop directing it towards you. This is something you need to ask from them, and tell them how much it bothers you (if you haven't). I would also think about whether I am doing something to reward the behaviour. Maybe ignore requests that come from that place of comparison, and only take seriously if somebody expresses an actual wish to spend time with you?

Just some thoughts I had. The situation doesn't sound happy or healthy, but I'm sure you can improve it with good boundaries. Good luck!
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