I am sorry you hurt. Let me try to reflect this back to you in the way I understand it so far, ok? Maybe that could help you. I am guessing in some places.
I could guess wrong.
Where / When: Laying in your lovers arms in the afterglow of sex.ISSUE 2
What: he's talking about his wife’s partner and how that relationship isn’t going well.
My Willingness: I am not willing to talk about Ann stuff at this time. He might be feeling close and connected to me at after sex to disclose his feelings about things in his life, including his wife's stuff. But I am not receptive at that time.
WHAT I COULD DO ABOUT IT
- If not willing ever -- I could tell him I am not willing ever to talk about his wife stuff.
- If willing, but not at this time -- I could tell him I am willing, but not in the immediate after sex time.
- If I am willing to change my mind after consideration? I could tell him I am willing to listen to wife stuff right after sex with him after all. (What does it take for me to be willing to change my mind? Are my needs being affect by "ANN BEHAVIOR" or by how "BOB DEALS WITH ANN BEHAVIOR" in other areas of my life I do not like that make me unwilling to gift Bob my listening ears?
My own preference at this time in this issue is _____?
I have a need for my time with Bob to be my time with Bob free from interruptions. ISSUE 3:
I am willing for him to check in when he arrives with his wife and meet basic considerateness needs toward wife.
I find him giving her frequent updates "along the way" of our dates like
- he has to call her before we go out for dinner
- when we return from dinner and give her updates of what we are doing.
not meeting my need for uninterrupted time when we are on a date. I do not feel appreciated or valued when he does that because he demonstrates a willingness to meet her needs, but not a willingness to also meet mine concurrently.
What I could do:
What I could ask of myself:
- I could ask me to check in with my partner about issues in our relationship FIRST before asking his wife about issues in our relationship. She's not in the (Me + Bob) tier of relationship.
I could ask him to talk to me about finding a way to meet wife's need while meeting my need at the same time.
- Check in with her NOT in my presence -- do it when you are in the bathroom?
- Limit the check in times to this number (a number I can live with that is more than my ideal but less than what I am getting right now so I can feel improvement in my situation)
- Limit the check in times to a TIME -- bedtime goodnight checkin with the wife.
So far I have asked the wife to not need her need. She's not willing to not need her need. (And when I ask her to not need her needs, I set me up for being perceived as a threat and her fearing her need will go unmet while I'm around. Maybe that's why she has to "make all the rules" in the polyship. Food for thought, eh?)
- I could ask her again in a different way -- "Could your need for connection with Bob still be met with another method? I have a need to have uninterrupted dates. Could a goodnight check in at the end of the date serve your need and my need at the same time ok enough so both of us get needs met? Could you be willing to try that out next time to see how that flies?"
I would like to see Bob when I am in their town. At the present time, it is a LIMIT I previously accepted. I find this limit hard to deal with at this new point in time. I could...ISSUE 4:
- Talk to Bob about renegotiating the limit. Is he willing to change the limit so he can spend time with me when I'm in town?
If he is willing for the limit to change, we could then ask Ann if she is also willing for the limit to change. What are her needs that still would have to be met by a new limit agreement? (Discretion? Chores done at home? What?)
I want to spend time with Bob. There is opportunity at this business trip coming up to make the time to spend together if he's willing to extend his stay.
I am not willing to bring up the topic and ask him if he is willing to extend his stay. Though I want to spend the time with him, I am not willing to bring it up because:
- I am disappointed he has not suggested it first. I am afraid to find out that it has not even crossed his mind. I've been feeling undervalued and struggle with wanting to meet my need to be considered with / without my actually having to state the need out loud.
- I feel like I would be begging for his time if I try to meet my own need for companionship from Bob by making him aware I have that need. I expect / do no expect myself to articulate my needs to my partner.
- I feel undervalued because he does not share more of his time without my having to ask for it. I want/ do not want him to mind reader my needs.
- I want to be considered by Bob and valued by Bob. (Does Bob do considerate behaviors toward you? Does Bob do valuing you behaviors toward you? Do you do considerate behaviors toward yourself like meeting your own need? Do you do valuing behaviors for yourself? )
(Do you note how these mixed up feeling things can be separated by going with "behavior done/ not done by WHO? To make sure all things possible are being done by all people in the polyship?)
- Bob choosing to spend extra time with me could mean he has to change time spent at home with his wife because he would not be at home if he's somewhere else. (Yep. He cannot be in two places at once.)
- I do/ do not like dealing with Ann's reaction to sharing Bob time. (Info not given.)
- I do/do not like to have to watch Bob deal with Ann reaction to sharing Bob time. (Info not given.)
So I do / don't meet my own need to spend time with Bob by asking him if he is willing to spend time with me. When given these choices...
A) Expecting myself to assert myself in making my needs known to my partner Bob
b) Expecting Bob to let me know if he is willing or not willing to participate with me in spending time together once he is aware of my need
C) letting my needs go unarticulated and unmet
I pick.... ?
So what do I do? Do I continue this relationship the way it is because this is what poly relationship are or is it that I am with a selfish man who only wants things his way and the demands of his wife because she is the “Primary” and makes the rules.
Well... assess all the players.
Are You making your needs known? Yes/no?
Is Bob, once aware of your needs, willing to try to meet both your needs and Ann needs? Yes/no? Why/why not?
Is Bob meeting the needs/not meeting the needs of both his partners. Yes/no? Why or why not?
If you are in a primary-secondary open relationship model and you signed up with "Ann makes the rules" in place? Those are the rules you agreed to, dude.
- Primary people get X.
- Secondary people get Y.
Your options are
a) deal with the rules staying how they are.
b) Ask Bob and Ann if they are willing to meet with you. Make them aware of your changing needs. Ask if the polyship agreements in this model could change a bit to meet and accommodate your needs -- could they be willing to entertain that? Still a primary-secondary model but adjust enough to meet all the people's needs? Change to a new model that could meet all the people's needs better at this point in time?
c) stay in the polyship
d) leave the polyship
e) Something else I cannot think of right now.
Or some mix and match thing from options above. Life is not a dress rehearsal. You only get the one. Choose how you want to live your Life well.