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Old 03-19-2014, 04:21 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is online now
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Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 6,139

I'm not going to address what open model relationship structure you choose to participate in. I figure you know what shapes you like and don't like.

I see 2 problems.

1st problem? If you want to grow confidence in bringing things up wth your BF so you can build greater emotional intimacy -- could do that work. You short change him and you when you share these things here and not with the person it matters to. Could print your post, and give it to him. If you don't feel brave enough to say out loud, speak your truth in a whisper. If you can't whisper? Don't speak out loud at all. Could hit "print" and fork it over. Find a way. Confidence is grown by doing.

2nd problem? I'm going to address "voice of doom habit" I'm picking up on because I think that can affect you in ANY relationship you have, not just this one with the BF.

I think it's good you are writing things out to help you process. I commend you. But I would gently suggest that your replace "I heard" with "I thought" in your journal type writing there. It might sound persnickety -- but you cannot actually hear what your partner is NOT actually saying. If you are filling in perceived gaps, you could own that it is YOUR thinking behavior and not his speaking behavior that is doing that. This quote?

When I said I would miss you, you didn’t say it back, and said that the reason you didn’t was that you didn’t want to engage in socially conventional cue-response behavior.

Instead you stroked my eyebrows, whose perfect arches fascinate you, and gave me your half-smile. I know you love me, even if you can't say it yet.

What I heard was, “I won’t miss you, because I won’t be alone. I will be with someone else, the important one, the one who really matters, so I won’t have time or emotional space in which to miss you. There will be no void for me.”
I would reframe like this (and I quote just to set it off visually, not that I'm actually quoting)

ME: I miss you. Why don't you say it back?

YOU: I don't want to engage in socially conventional cue-response behavior.

My First THOUGHTS: "He doesn't say it because he won’t miss me. Because he won’t be alone. He will be with someone else, the important one, the one who really matters, so he won’t have time or emotional space in which to miss me. There will be no void felt from him missing me."

YOUR ACTIONS: You stroked my eyebrows, gave me your half-smile.

My Second THOUGHTS: I know from this current action and your past actions that you actually love me, even if you do not say it in the way that I want you to.
So to me the struggle here seems to be inner conflict:
  • you struggling with your thoughts. (First automatic thoughts of doom) vs (Second thoughts of self-reassure)
  • Perceived reality vs actuality (what you "hear/think" vs what is actually said)
  • (Wanting him to be mind readering your needs) vs (you taking personal responsibility for articulating your needs and making it known to him.)

When you said, as I left, “Have a good spring break!” I heard “We will not be in communication for the duration of the spring break, because I will be with someone else, the important one, the one who really matters. I will be completely wrapped up in them and not spare a single thought for you.”
If you want to know when next check in would be over spring break and desire more frequent contact, YOU could speak up and articulate it rather than not speak up and beat yourself up in your head.

Maybe something like:

BF says: Have a good spring break!

You: Thanks! Could you be willing to drop me a short text every 2-3 days? I just know I will miss you and that will help me feel close/connected to you even though we are apart.

Beating yourself up is not self-respecting behavior. It is more self-respecting behavior to speak up and let BF know you want contact.

I was surprised when you texted me the day before I left for another country on a work trip and your message said “Have a safe flight and a great time”.
He's checking in here. Why the surprise? He is your BF.
  • You expect and want zero contact but did not clarify that with him?
  • You expect and want more contact than that but did not clarify that with him?

You could "own" how much contact you want and make him aware of it so he is up-to-date on your current preferences/boundaries.

But what I heard was “I don’t care enough/I’m having too much fun with my partner to call you to wish you these things, and moreover, you now understand that we are not going to be in contact AT ALL for two and a half weeks, until you are back in fact and my partner has been back in his state for a couple of days.”
What's up with the voice of doom going on about him NOT calling? He actually did call. Are you struggling with jealousy? More jealousy?

Because there your FIRST THOUGHTS seem go to "jumping to conclusions" places again. Is this a habit? If so, could do more action behavior -- like speak UP for what it is you need in the first place and not give those First Thoughts the chance to pipe up with "the voice of doom."

Could tell BF something like:

"I need to feel close to you even when we are apart and you are seeing your husband or on business or breaks. Could you be willing to drop me an email or text or call every X days so I can feel connected to you?"

It's ok to be more assertive about meeting your own needs. Be afraid to speak up and speak up ANYWAY. Confidence is grown by doing.

And if any "first thoughts of doom" slip in from habit, you could could catch it and focus on behavior done/not done like this:
Second thought: "Wait! That's voice of doom! What's his behavior? He called me. So of course he cares. Shut UP, first thoughts of doom! I am not my thoughts. I am the person in charge of doing the thinking."

So you can learn to self-assure.

First thoughts could be wrong. If I see a shadow and think it is a burglar and it turns out to be a tree shadow from the window, I can update my first thought with a second thought and go "Whew! That was just a mixed up thought. REALLY it was a shadow."

You could do that here. Learn to TALK BACK to the voice of doom and put it down so over time you can be free of it!

I encourage you to speak from the heart with your BF about frequency of contact when apart. I encourage you to work on letting "the voice of doom" habit go.

You can handle this. It will be ok.

Hang in there!

Last edited by GalaGirl; 03-19-2014 at 05:00 PM.
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