Maybe just getting this off my chest
Thanks in advance for letting me vent a bit here - I'd love any advice you have to offer as well.
I'm in a bit of a weird place with one of my long time partners. I've been with him for over a decade, and I've been with my girlfriend for 3 years. I have been the hinge of a V, and both he and she have recently started dating other people (not serious, mostly sexual). All has been pretty well with this, and in general I felt there was good communication and felt glad for both of my partners that they have been exploring poly.
In the last week, he has been incredibly busy at work, and I've barely seen him at all. He's also about to leave town for a week. I've been doing all I can to support him in this really crazy time, not asking much of him, letting him know we are solid and good and taking care of things for him. Not making him feel pressured to hang out, because I know he is really, really stressed out.
In the last several months before this week, though, we haven't spent an extraordinary amount of time together - we have had some really quality moments here and there, but overall our hangouts have been mostly just watching TV together, because he finds this really comforting when he is highly stressed (he's in grad school btw, so it's been kinda crazy for him for a while). We chat online occasionally while at work, then sometimes (when I'm not with my other partner, I try to split time equally) we lay around and are just in each other's presence. I am happy to play a comforting role for him, and I want to be there for him when he needs me - but these circumstances are starting to make me feel like I'm more of a cozy blanket in his life than anything else. We haven't been having a ton of sex (some, and some really good times mixed in there), and there really hasn't been much romance, but our relationship has never been uber romantic so that isn't too out of the ordinary.
Ok. That was the background. Here's the problem - I am a horrible, no good partner who decided to snoop on his phone this morning. I know, I realize that is very fucked up. I didn't do it because I think he's been cheating or anything, I have trusted him to tell me anything I need to know. I guess I just was feeling like I was left outside of his life, and yes I kinda wanted to see if he was giving attention to other people at all when I felt a bit neglected. Anyway, shitty thing to do, not trying to justify that.
So all I was going to do was look and see if he'd been talking to this girl he's been sleeping with, that was my only intention. The moment I turned on his phone, I see he had a grindr app open. Now, the thing is, I would be completely happy and supportive if he wants to be with men - I've encouraged him in the past and he's always, even recently, told me that he was strictly hetero, and if he was at all attracted to men he'd be down but he simply isn't. so this leads me to feel very confused - I'm not upset he's on grindr or exploring this...I just feel so completely left out of his life because he didn't feel like he could tell me this. I understand why he might not want to, and I know we all have a right to our own fantasies that we don't have to share (unless it translates to sex, and then I firmly believe I would need to know that). But it makes me feel totally isolated from him that he doesn't want to talk about this with me.
So then, of course, I move on to my original task (I know, I'm an asshole). I find that he's been in pretty regular contact with this girl, even though she's out of town. He's planning all kinds of sexual adventures with her, he's telling her how he's thinking about how hot their experiences were, he's communicating with her during these times when I have been trying to give him space because I know how busy he's been. We are non-monogamous so I totally approve of him dating this girl, but it hurt a little bit just because even though she isn't in town, I feel that she's getting whatever ounce of availability he has and I'm not. I know love is not a starvation economy, until those unique circumstances when it is. Really, the only times that I've talked to him lately are when I text him or chat with him, and sometimes he doesn't respond. This is unusual for him, and I know it is mostly because he's busy. It just makes me feel really bummed out that it comes easy for him to write her often and flirt with her, and I don't get much of that.
So again, I feel like the cozy little blanket, and I don't like that. He's planning all these sexual adventures with other people, seeking out all these experiences - which is wonderful, except I don't feel like I am much of a part of his sexual desires lately. This is complicated for me because I am not having sex in my other relationship either (for totally different reasons, and ones that we are working through and are not as problematic as they sound), so it's making me feel totally sexually inadequate. I'm not bad on the eyes, I feel pretty confident in my attractiveness...but it takes a toll.
I talked to him today, but not about the snooping. I told him that I wanted to support him through this crazy time, but I am feeling like we are really distant and we need to talk soon. He is feeling guilty, I know he is (that's not what I want), but I don't feel like he's reaching out to me out of anything but guilt. He tells me he recognizes that I've been really there for him and he feels bad about not being there, and that he's thinking of me. The thing is, I don't feel very convinced that he's thinking of me except as a part of his guilt. I don't know, I could be reading too much into it, but that's what it feels like. I don't mind that he doesn't have all kinds of time to put toward our relationship right now, we are long term and will have time. It's just the time he's not giving to me and seems to want to be giving to other people.
At the same time, I know he's on the edge with his mental health. He has too many stressors, and while I'm hurting I don't want to add that now if it's a bad time for him. I want to have this conversation, but I don't think it's the time.
But I guess I do need to tell him eventually that I am a dirty snoop and have this conversation.
Thanks for letting me vent.
Last edited by mmmothra; 07-10-2013 at 11:46 PM.