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Old 10-29-2013, 09:11 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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So, I asked him not to bring her up unless I asked about her (a boundary I thought we were already operating under, which he brought up in our first chat about boundaries—he didn't remember this, apparently).However, in the few times I have seen him since that discussion, he continued to casually and consistently bring her up in conversations. I have expressed displeasure at this, and have been met with well, disagreement. He doesn't think I should feel this way, and that it is "unfair" to ask it of him.
Could remove the focus from your feelings and return to behavior done/not done.
"How is it unfair for me to hold you accountable to a boundary you agreed to uphold?"
Because when he tries to change the focus on to what you are feeling, it takes the spotlight off HIM and his behavior. It's the spotlight game. If we keep moving the spotlight around all over, we don't have to shine it on his behavior do we?

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The above is me being cynical. I know he cares for me, I just wonder how deeply.
It's being realistic. You articulate what you want very clearly. Several times. His behavior fails to meet agreements and in turn, fails to meet your needs.

He might be willing. Or not willing at all and just painting it like he is willing so he gets what he wants. Only you know -- you are THERE.

But it sounds like experience is showing you he is not ABLE to meet your needs.

So whether he's really willing or not, he is not ABLE. So you are not getting a "Willing AND able" partner here.

When you get mixed messages between what he says and how he behaves? Could believe the walk. That you can SEE happening because you experience it. "Pretty talk" is just words in the air when not backed up by actions.

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I have a bad habit of bailing on relationships when things get the least bit hard....
Hard how? Hard to FEEL? Or hard in SKILLS -- like able to negotiate? Come to compromise?

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and I feel in order to honor these feelings I have for him, I ought to put in the effort and not give up just yet. It may be that we are ill-suited to pursue polyamory together, as we are now. But damned if I'll ever say I didn't try.
So what did you decide on as your personal limit for you trying? For how long? Or until what point? Because you don't plan to be here forever giving endless second chances, right?

What is the limit for you? 3 strikes you are out? Or time based like 3 mos?

Could decide on a limit so you can honor YOURSELF and your own well being in there also. Like... "Yep. I gave it my best shot. But he won't play ball BACK, so... we're done. My long term health needs me to accept this isn't a runner."

And you can walk away feeling good about your effort. It wasn't because you weren't holding up YOUR end of the stick. YKWIM? It is limit reached -- a relationship takes all people playing ball there. Not one guy doing it all. One sided relationships don't last.

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How to go forward (if at all) with a pushy lover?
I'm not up for pushy lovers. I expect them to respect my limit. I call them into account direct and up front when lines are crossed. They can't hack it? Constantly create friction with their inconsiderate/thoughtless behavior? 3 strikes they are out.

Saves grief all around.

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What are your methods for having "serious" talks without their being daunting, exhausting, frequent?
Agree on conflict resolution method -- face time, phone, email, whatever it is to be.

I happen to prefer face time because communication is not only the verbal -- there's paraverbal and nonverbal cues that could be missed. But sometimes email provides the emotional distance to actually stay on topic without blowing up so... YMMV.

Meet first time to create agenda. Make the bullet list items of areas of concern and group into common themes. Talk for 1.5 - 2 hrs max. The length of movie -- that's tolerable to anyone.

Then in followup talks -- use the list to stay on track. Keep it on behavior done/not done. Needs met/not met.

If someone floods, take a 20-30 min time out or table it til next week, depending.

Accept not all problems get solved in one round. So keep talking once a week til it is all talked through. Live normal life in between. Finish talking, create an action plan, then try the plan out and see if that serves better.

Then everyone knows to block out the time in the schedule, and things move forward bit by bit.

And living normal life in between helps reassure those who need it that NO, nobody is bailing here. It just takes time to arrive on some issues.

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How do you deal with a lover who is resistant to "serious" talks?
Ask the questions that need asking and avoid asking in in "WHY" terms. Use WHAT or HOW instead.

Could not ask "Why don't you want to have serious talks?"

Could ask --

1) Are you WILLING to have serious talks with me? Yes or no?
  • If yes, when is a good time?
  • If no, what blocks you? How could it be removed so you can become willing? What could I do to help make it easier for you to become willing?

2) Are you ABLE to have serious talks with me? Yes or not?
  • If yes, when is a good time?
  • If not, what blocks you? How could it be removed? What could I do to help make it easier for you to become able?

3) How can I help create safe space for you when we talk so that you can openly share what's on your mind?

And if the person is just not willing AND able? Then I have to decide if I can live with that or drop the relationship. Trying to hammer a square peg into a round hole just wears everyone out. If it won't go, it won't go. Easier to accept it as limit reached. Then move on to decide if I still want to be here.

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How do you handle uneven affection?
  • Could focus on what YOU need. Not what the other guy gets.
  • Could ASK for what you need. Is hinge willing/able to provide it?

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Has anyone struggled with falling in love for the first time in a NM context, and how did you cope?
Falling in love is easy. That requires very little thinking power. It's mostly emotional.

Creating relationship boundaries/structure/agreements -- whatever you want to call it -- so that the people IN the relationship can agree on what kind of relationship they share and how they want to be in it and how they want to treat each other? So that they thrive together rather than merely surviveDealing in time management? Emotional management? That stuff requires thinking power, interpersonal skills, intrapersonal skills.

All that said? There's red flags here to me -- but I'll lift just this one up.

If he cannot respect your simple conversational limit of "Don't talk about your other GF to me unless ask" --- and this gives you headache/heartache?

Don't even put yourself in a kink scene where you have to depend on him to look out for you or vice versa. Don't kink at all with him!

Don't get in a bottom situation where he pushes you beyond your limit in body and it costs you damage to your body or to your life.
Don't get in a top situation where you have to hold your own leash and he's pushing your limit from that side -- maybe being a sassy pants bottom egging you on and then unresolved resentments pop and you cause him some damage inadvertently.

You haven't been with him long hon. You don't have to keep going here. If you decide to go a bit longer -- tread carefully.

Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 10-29-2013 at 09:20 PM.
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