Thread: Feeling bratty
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Old 09-08-2009, 01:56 PM
Karelia Karelia is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2009
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Well...

I was the one who wanted the alone time, back when she first moved in. There were a few reasons for this. One was that she and I were not working, so we had a lot of unstructured alone time that he didn't get with either of us. The other was that I felt I needed to learn to adjust to their individual relationship and become more comfortable with that concept. Finally, some poly people I know (not from here), strongly recommended it as something helpful.

As for it being rigidly scheduled, it's not as much so as it might sound. We do all have dinner together first - and in fact, that's something once or twice I've offered to back out of to give them more time, and they've both vehemently protested as they want dinner time to be about all of us. Once or twice I've had to run an errand and couldn't stay for dinner, and none of us liked it much. If a great conversation is going, we finish it... if that means our alone time starts later, so be it. We've never been in the situation where we were all cuddling and one thing led to another, but we've talked about it, and the theory is that if that ever happened, we'd finish what was started.

There is a part of me that really likes to know I have those two hours free each week to do whatever I like alone. It's just the anxiety that ruins that freedom for me... and not necessarily the entire time, but at least part of it.

I talked to them both last night, and explained that this anxiety is something I am working through and not something that I believe is actually related to either of them. I very much think that whatever I am feeling is related to something within myself... some insecurity or lack of sense of control or whatever that comes from my very troubled childhood.

I decided that I needed to let them know about this, however, because while I don't yet know what exactly is triggering these feelings (or even entirely what the feelings are), I do know a few things. One is that the "did they or didn't they" where sex is concerned makes me much crazier than simply knowing. So I have to ask. I want to get to the point where I don't have to ask, where I honestly do not care (except in so much that I want them to enjoy each other, and if that's part of it, I want to be fully relaxed, and comfortable with that and happy for them).

I needed them to know that if I seem particularly quiet, or take a few minutes to join them when they've finished (and we're all going to do something together afterwards, which is typically what we do), it's not because I'm upset with either of them, hurt by anything they've done or on the verge of a meltdown (which he in particular is still concerned about given my mental health issues related to stupid gabapentin early on). I might just need a few minutes to breathe deeply and get the anxiety under control so that it doesn't become something I take out on them.

As I talked to them I became more clear on what I know for sure, and this is what I let them know.

1) I am not upset or hurt by them having sex alone. I *want* that for them. I want the chance to have that with each of them, too. As much as I love it to be all three of us, there are times when it's nice to have just two of us. With my husband, it's important because our relationship came first, and is the foundation all of this has been built upon. With my girlfriend, it's because sex with a woman is still a new thing for me. It's the unexpected fulfillment of what was basically a lifelong fantasy... and it's nice to have her all to myself. I get something wonderful out of the moments all of Us share, but I also get something out of my time alone with each of them... and that's not just about sex. She and I do things alone that he and I don't, and vice versa.

2) I am fully secure in my relationship with him. I am also no longer worried that any of these "issues" that develop for me are things I cannot conquer. I have already come quite far. He's in full-on compersion mode... she's not quite full-on, but close. I'm not them, though. I am me. I need to recognize - and need them to, also - that I going to get there in my own due time. I have already changed quite a bit (it helps that I'm off that awful medication), and I believe that I will continue to grow as long as I am honest and own my feelings... and allow myself the right to feel them, too. The point, however, is that I am not worried any longer that she loves him more than she loves me or that he wants sex with her more than he does with me... or that I'm still so new at sex with a girl that I'm not giving her all she needs/wants. I've been reassured and have grown enough to see that they both love me and want me (and the things I've struggled with with him regarding sex are issues he and I had even before her, so I don't believe them to be a matter of him wanting her more or not wanting me at all... even if sometimes I get insecure and allow myself to obsess over that, I know it's not true).

3) I worked through major abandonment issues early in my relationship with my husband. Once I became confident he wouldn't cheat on me or leave me for someone else, I became paranoid about losing him because he would die somehow. I know the source of this anxiety... I was "abandoned" by all of my family members at one point or another. My father - following my mother leaving him - told me that if she didn't take him back, he'd drive into a brick wall and kill himself (I was six at the time). I didn't remember that until my mother told me she suspected it was the source of my fear of death of those I loved - a fear I'd been aware of since I was 8 and held our cat on the bed begging him not to die and leave me. When I saw these fears surfacing early on in my live-in relationship with him, I went to therapy and spent about four years working through those issues. I suspect that adding our girlfriend to the mix has made some of those issues resurface... and the reality is that I was spoiled by him for 9 1/2 years. I was his entire world, and now I'm not... which is okay, but I think that's where some of the "bratty" comes into play. There are times when I think my behavior is like that of a child (at least in terms of thoughts, if not actions), and I think that it's because I'm adjusting to this new reality... but I get something pretty major out of it, too... I'm not NOT the center anymore, as he put it. It's just there are two focal points (he's a geek). And I get to be one of those for her, too...

I *do* think that ending my "scheduled" alone time with him had an impact, and she told me last night that she was really concerned about that decision (which wasn't mine, btw, but his)... because she thought that it might not be the best thing for me emotionally. So she was very happy when he reinstated it after I started working part-time. I think that a lot of this anxiety has built up since she began working - and therefore ties into the end of him and I having scheduled time alone. As I said to her (and him) last night, before she worked she and I had lots of time alone... but it wasn't quite the same as the "alone time" that was initiated after I talked to them both about wanting that... just because we were alone didn't mean we made the best use of that time, and I think the same basic thing has been happening for him and I. We spent some of that time actually together, but very little of it in a setting that allowed for intimacy to develop, whereas their scheduled time almost always takes place downstairs in the guest room - a setting that naturally leads to that intimacy.

Anyway... that's what I know as of today. I know that I need to allow myself these feelings, while not allowing the feelings to control me. The only thing I need from them, the only thing I think they can do to help, is to understand that I am working through this, and at times may be quiet or need some time after they've been alone together.

And with that, I'm off to work. *sigh* I enjoyed the long weekend too much, lol.
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