I am sorry you hurt and are struggling.
Is the right to support and nurture not an expectation in your relationship agreements? Is that why you have to cope with your feelings on your own? Is he neglecting your needs because all the attention (his and yours) are on his? Do you need a talk with a good friend? A counselor?
What does he plan to do to address his fears? What's the "insecure" stem from? What need does he have that needs feeding, and feeding from WHO?
- If the need is external, you might be able to meet his need. (ex: He needs to hear more words of affection from you in reassure.)
- If the need in internal, only he can solve that. (Ex: Talks down to himself, "what ifs" doom and gloom scenarios to himself.) Or with the help of a doc. (ex: anxiety/depression or other health conditions.)
You do not have to understand him coming with "monoamorous" wiring. You have to accept this is how he's wired -- he is wanting to love only one at a time. He does not have to understand your polyamorous exploring desire. You want to love more than one at a time.
What you DO both have to come to agreement on? Is the shape of your shared relationship.
Is it going to be OPEN relationship model?
Or remain CLOSED?
- What do you need meeting in order to be ok being closed?
- What does he need meeting in order to be ok being open?
You could talk to each other about those sorts of things. Then discern -- what serves BOTH your needs best? And if Opening does not serve both well, and Closing does not serve both well? Break up clean, and be friends instead so you can both be free to seek elsewhere in the romance department.
You have a long list of incompatibles there already with this:
(and much of our views on sex, love, and relationships clash too!)
What holds you together?
It ended up turning into an hour of me reassuring him that I'm a big girl and can turn people down. He knows these things in his mind of course but his heart won't listen and he still fears that I'm going to leave him for someone "better".
Could this help? Even if you are CLOSED right now, the tips help with emotional management.
But if most of this trouble is caused by INTERNAL things, if he doesn't want to work on it, with or without a therapist? Nothing you do will fix it.
Sigh. I had a BF like this and after a while it felt draining and like I was throwing "reassure" down the black hole of need while my own needs were going unmet -- my need to be with a stable, secure partner who did not require so much propping up.
I don't know what to do. I'm struggling with waiting. I'm struggling with being monogamous when I want to try this new thing. I don't know how to reassure him any better than I already am. He says he's going to try to read The Ethical Slut but it scares him.
That's why I mention that. You sound weighted down. What's your time limit? How long do you want to give him to demonstrate that he is indeed working on this and making some kind of progress? Because if it's been brought up several times and he's doing nothing to work on it? You could break up and move forward on your own.
I guess I'm just looking for support...general thoughts....thanks.
It is not easy to discern when it is your first serious rship.
BTW, that was my first serious BF too. I think I had to have that experience to LEARN where my limit line was. And once reached it, I had to learn HOW to break up. It was spectacular in how it dragged on. I was trying to be nice and he was clingy. That's there I got "3 strikes" as my own personal limit. It helps ME to not hang around longer than I need to. If I see progress, that is one thing. If nothing is happening -- I may love you, but I don't have
to have endless patience for people who do not want to own their responsibilities in relationship
, put in their part of the work, or neglect MY needs. I do not exist to just be someone else's propper upper. Neither do you. There's nurture and support of your partner and then there's being in a one sided relationship where you give and give, and they just take.
It was just easier the next time with the next BF to break off fast, clean and then not be available for a while. No answering calls, emails, etc.
I'm still friends with my exes but that break up time -- best everyone deal with it on their own with their other friends.
So I guess I'm suggesting is something like this:
1) You could make up your mind about what your time limit of tolerance is.
2) Let him know that, and let him know you expect him to work on his things. If you see progress/effort being made alright. (specify the progress too into measurable things -- "you go to a therapist weekly" is measureable. "Get better" is not. Focus on behaviors he must do to honor your agreement, not feelings he must feel.
3) Give it time, see if he follows through or not on your agreements.
- a) If yes -- keep going, adjust the bar as things are met.
- b) If no -- give him a strike. 2 more strikes? He's out. (Or whatever number you pick, but pick one.) Break up fast and clean.