- Thank you. I appreciate the compliment. My awareness mostly comes through the fact that I have been dealing with this for a while now. As I see the same scenario repeat itself, I refine my ideas about what the issues are.
As far as changing his mind about poly, that's definitely something I've wondered about. I've had a huge slew of people suggest maybe he wants to back out of it. As I've confronted him with this, he's always denied it and I think it might just be that he is an "ivory tower" polyamorist (a term him and I came up with). Before pursuing a poly lifestyle, he never struggled in his monogamous relationships but after learning about poly he determined that it was the ideal relationship style for him. He insists, however, that he's not backing out and if he was, he would simply end our relationship.
- Um, first of all, I love your handle. Very cool.
To flesh out the situation a little more, he didn't veto the relationship as much as he told me that if I continued to pursue it he would be miserable everyday and continue to start fights over it...essentially damaging our relationship beyond repair. We were about to move out of town and so my relationship with this other person would become long distance which to him, is not a strong enough relationship to be called a "relationship" if that makes any sense.
This situation left a big dent in our relationship which we talk about at least every few weeks. I think those conversations need to become more about "what needs to change in the relationship" in general as opposed to about that situation in particular. Thanks for the reference to the hierarchy discussions, I think that'll help a lot.
- I think your statement that sometimes it is necessary to pass up a relationship that is not viable for all involved is something he would agree with. I definitely think that there are circumstances where leaving a possible relationship behind is necessary and that is sort of at the heart of why I backed off when he told me all the problems he was having with that last individual I was interested in. However, something else that concerns me is that I feel like it is hard for me to come to him at all with my feelings for other people without him rolling his eyes and either 1) writing the people I like off because of some "flaw" they have, 2) getting defensive about my interest and if I want to sleep with them or not, or 3) challenging me on if I have a "serious" interest in them. This shuts down an awful lot of relationships from the start.
I agree that we need to figure out what the fears are that he has regarding my other interests. I'm not exactly sure how to start that conversation though without it becoming a huge, emotional mess. Any suggestions?
- Thank you for the support. I really appreciate it. I agree and I think that (this kind of ties in with what I was just saying above about fears) he has some fears about being replaced physically and perhaps emotionally. The irony of the situation is that when he has been more permissive, I have felt myself much more attracted to him whereas when he is defensive and judgmental, I don't want to hug him much less be sexual with him.
- Nope, no expectations of sharing other than maybe being friends with one another's partners.
I feel like if I asked him the question you asked about why I need to live my love life by his standards, he would reply with something about the fact that he does not like to see me as "loose" or "slutty" and feels that is what my behavior is. I don't really know how to get around this or if there is a way to do so. I see what I do as identifying people I can be intimate with and pursuing that. Sometimes it works out and I get a lot out of it and sometimes it is a disappointment. But I usually try to learn from the disappointments and I also feel like this is just the nature of life in general. You try and sometimes you fail. That doesn't mean you shouldn't try.
- I want to have a conversation with him about this sometime soon. Are there any suggestions on ways I might approach it? I want to avoid it getting too emotionally charged because it will take us off track but I also need to be firm (which I am not the best at). I was considering suggesting that he make an attempt for one month to allow me to conduct myself as I would ideally like to. I feel like it might be good for both of us in different ways. I would suggest this, of course, after a conversation and only if we got to the stage of figuring out how to fix things.
Thank you all so much for listening and responding to me. I really only have one other outlet to talk to about this stuff and he is only one person!
It feels so good to be able to speak my mind without fear of being judged.