However, during the last 2-3 months he has gotten increasingly more physical with me. The big issue is that if I say anything about this or try to talk about it he shuts down, but if I just accept it without comment it continues. This is so hard for me because my husband and I are all about communication and I have a really hard time not just asking him whats up.
Could respect your own limit and go for communication. Rather than ignore it.
You wouldn't be posting if it wasn't a problem for you.
If he "shuts down" when you call him into account for his behavior, let him deal with it.
We are free to choose. We are not free of the consequences of our choice. If he chooses to trespass on previous "friends only" agreement with non-friendly behavior and you call him on it and he feels yucky? That's his
problem. Not yours.
It is not appropriate to be all touchy when you guys are friends. It seems to make life difficult for you right now and friends don't do that -- ADD to burdens.
I think you could be letting your own crush on him let him slide in his behavior because you enjoy the titillation... but then you end up confused yourself in the end. That behavior does not serve you well.
If you want to be free of confusion you could change your behavior and stop
letting it slide. Could tell him to dial it back down. Either play ball or don't play ball. None of this "in between" business creating confusion. Again... friends don't ADD to burdens.
Could help him keep it in the friend zone. Could enforce the limit. Could ask him what's up with that behavior. Something like...
"Hey. We've talked several times and agreed to keep it in the friend zone. When you ____(insert recent physical thing and time it happened)___ that's moving it into non-friendly areas for me. Please stop doing that. It is not respectful.
If you have changed your mind, then we could talk again first. Not go all touchy first. That does not work for me. Please respect my limits. "
Also, any advice in general would really help because at this point I'm considering ignoring my usual approach (communication) and taking a page out of his book and start being more aggressive physically and see what he does about it.
That would make it really easy for him to blame shift it all on you wouldn't it? If you go pounce him and then he freaks out he can now shove all the emotional responsibility on your head. Because you KNEW he didn't really want to be in an open relationship because they never work, you KNEW he gets jealous, you KNEW he wants a wife and kids. You "evil" poly person you!
Sigh. Could not go there. He's not seeming like a solid poly partner who is firm of purpose at this time. He's not approaching YOU honorably here and respecting the previous limit either. How does that bode for respecting boundaries once IN polyship when he can't hack it in friendship?
I like low stress living. To me you have two options:
- Enforce the friend zone limit and remind him of past talk.
- Have a NEW talk, come to agreement to explore polyshipping, THEN act.
He's not sounding solid to me. So I color second option grey. Just enforce the limit sounds better than having ANOTHER talk that you already have had several times and still comes out "No."
And from your bottom line?
This to me seems really risky because he has rejected me already and I don't really need to create an awkward situation by ignoring the fact that he said no to a relationship.
You seem to know it already. He's not solid. Friend zone it and you respect HIS limit even if he's not respecting yours.
Disappointing for you because of your crush, but infinitely better than signing up for confusion and weird. You could spare yourself a lot of grief by not taking up with a shaky poly partner who doesn't even want to poly straight up.
I don't really like the idea of pushing the issue and trying to convince him because ultimately that would create insecurity for me that he had to be persuaded.
Could be more true to YOU. Call him into account and let him deal with it.