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Old 06-26-2010, 11:44 AM
Propast Propast is offline
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Amsterdam
Posts: 20

Thanks and good to hear from you all on this. My one IRL friend I have to discuss with is good at forcing me to discover what I want and what my boundaries are, but doesn't really have poly experience. Your ideas and approaches and perspectives are valuable.

From Irene: If I may... it sounds like you did do a teeny thing wrong, in asking C out before you'd gotten your primary partner's full go-ahead. From what you've written, it sounds like S has never gotten comfortable with the idea of your seeing someone else, and from her perspective it might look as though you used her being out of town to go behind her back and do something she wasn't okay with.
It is one of the things S got really mad about. I have mixed feelings about this. At the time and considering that S was aware and C wasn't "blacklisted", it felt reasonable to make sure C would even consider it before pushing the isusue with S. In retrospect YES I agree, I should have approached it the other way, dealt with my partner's feelings first.

What I can learn from this (and Irene & Redpeppers reinforcement of that) is that I really need to clear up with my partner before I go approach C to resume friendship. You have saved me from a bad potential slip this week, I was hoping to meet up with C for the first time in a month, for some casual friend/talk time. This would have turned into an after-the-fact fight with S, a "Well you can't cut me off from my friends!" argument rather than a "How can I make this acceptable to you?" talk. So thanks.

From Redpepper: was she angry because she didn't want to know about you finding love elsewhere? Or was it other reasons? ... I would wonder what is going on for her that she is lacking in confidence. What has gone on that she is so fearful of you finding another love.
A lot of anger came out, and like a hydra there were always more heads. Part of it was as discussed above. Another big part of it was a reaction to fear: things were now changing, fear that I was leaving her for another, fear of going through the painful upheaval again, fear of losing D or me over this. Another (I think) was guilt at her own reaction: when push came to shove, she realizes she can't share me and feels bad about doing this to me.

I had to spend a lot of time listening, and then clearly reinforcing that I wasn't going anywhere, that she is my partner. When that settled, I had to also get clear and remind her that while I'm flexible I'm not her sub, I will figure out my boundaries and needs and stick to them. Still working on that one.

I'll follow up with her on the "why so fearful" question in future talks. I have some ideas, but it's a good idea to help her get them out in the open.

From Irene: "Life isn't fair, but it can be happy." The sooner you can let go of what would be fair and focus your attention on what would help you be happy, the better this process will go.
I agree. I'm trying to learn if I can be happy and feel my needs are met in this closed V. I may not need balance in the sense that "I have equal rights", but simply balance in the sense that "the paybacks for this life are worth the costs over the longterm" (there are emotional costs to having your partner love another! hope that's okay to say on a poly forum)

We've identified that we weren't as strong as we thought: there were little jealousies, lack of attention, poor communication that were creeping in. This was causing a growing feeling of imbalance. Because we tend to overthink and talk ourselves into downward spirals, we're taking time to just ENJOY life and time together again. (and only have serious talks about once a week) This summer is a good time to focus on us as a couple, because incompatible travel schedules mean D is apart from us for long stretches.

I'm kind of hoping that as part of this strengthening and rebuilding, we can figure out a way to make her comfortable with opening the V. But I don't expect it, so main priority is deciding if I can live in the closed V.

D is now back in town with us for two weeks, so it's a good time to put all this to a test. We're planning our time better, to make sure we all get the 2-person, 3-person, and alone time we need. Hope it works. It felt good hanging out with him last night. (Still, and I hate to say this, part of me is really scared.)
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