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  #1  
Old 04-16-2012, 02:16 AM
Precious1 Precious1 is offline
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Default Time alone coping skill suggestions (mono in poly)

What skills do you employ to stay sane when your partner is with their OSO?

I am currently mono with a poly partner (Sunshine) whose only other partner (his wife) is also poly. Sunshine builds his schedule with me around that of his wife. I have been actively poly in the past (hinge in Vs), but am finding myself falling more and more into mono thought patterns of wanting only him, and more of him in my life.
I do NOT want him to give up the relationship with his wife, if that's what you're thinking.. he loves her and I respect their relationship. There is no jealousy towards her.
But I find myself wondering, would it do me good to change my thought pattern from where I am now.. in an awesome relationship where all my needs are met other than time, headed towards our commitment ceremony... to perhaps thinking to myself that he is simply a Beloved FWB who visits when he can.
It would be a major step backwards for me, but I'm thinking it may be the only way to keep sane and stay with this otherwise immensely gratifying relationship.

Has anyone tried anything like that?
What other ways of coping have you found, when you want more than time allows...

Thanks in advance for sharing what has or has not worked for you.
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  #2  
Old 04-16-2012, 03:13 AM
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lovefromgirl lovefromgirl is offline
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So what's stopping the three of you from forming something more... committed, I suppose? It'd be one thing if your metamour was mono and inclined to keep you at a distance for her own sanity. She's poly. In theory, if not in practice, that obstacle is eliminated.

That leaves personality clashes. How do you and she interact? Do you fight like cats? Could you take or leave the other? Would it be so difficult for her to let you be a larger part of your partner's life? How does he feel about your growing feelings? Is he perhaps not as committed as you are?

And how long have you been together? Just curious.

It's not what works or doesn't for me that's going to help you. What works for me is unique to me, unless you, too, are a TV Tropes addict. There's more to this than coping. Sooner or later, emotional Band-Aids will quit working, and a tourniquet can only stay on for so long until the limb dies. Better to address the gaping wound.
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  #3  
Old 04-16-2012, 03:32 AM
WhatHappened WhatHappened is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Precious1 View Post
But I find myself wondering, would it do me good to change my thought pattern from where I am now.. in an awesome relationship where all my needs are met other than time, headed towards our commitment ceremony... to perhaps thinking to myself that he is simply a Beloved FWB who visits when he can.
It would be a major step backwards for me, but I'm thinking it may be the only way to keep sane and stay with this otherwise immensely gratifying relationship.

Has anyone tried anything like that?
What other ways of coping have you found, when you want more than time allows...

Thanks in advance for sharing what has or has not worked for you.
I've only been seeing my friend for about 4 months. But I have sort of stepped back to regarding him as a friend who's fun to get together with when he has time, which means I've sort of stepped back into my own life a little bit more, making sure I'm not neglecting my female friendships, and so on.

In a way, yes, it does feel like a step backwards, but I see it--at this stage, for whatever my perspective is worth 4 months into this--as a choice between that or sitting around pining. I'd rather enjoy life than pine! Maybe others have other, better? answers.
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Old 04-17-2012, 08:35 PM
PaperGrace PaperGrace is offline
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Dang it. I was watching this thread and really hoping more people had suggestions.

Perhaps they don't because, in my experience, coping strategies don't work. I'm as busy as I can be, out most nights of the week having dinner with friends, playing sports, going to parties, movies, etc., and I'm even searching for another parther, but the time without a partner gets frustrating and lonely.

My solution to my problem is another partner. In the meantime, I cope. *sigh*
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  #5  
Old 04-17-2012, 08:50 PM
km34 km34 is offline
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My only suggestion would be working on yourself to get to a point where you're happy that he's happy. The whole concept of compersion is very interesting and attainable with a little work, I believe.

I'm a pretty needy person when my husband isn't at work. I am currently a homemaker so when he isn't working, I want to get out and do stuff. When he has another interest, that takes time away from me that he usually dedicates to me 100%. Do I struggle with it? Yes, but overall the fact that he is happy and getting to do something that he enjoys (whether it be dating or some activity that I have no interest in) makes me happy so I just use the time to do things he doesn't enjoy doing - watching tv shows he doesn't like, listening to music he doesn't like, etc. I usually end up enjoying the time immensely and then when he walks in the door with a grin on his face, it makes me look forward to the next time that we both get to do something we love without making the other one suffer through it.

I'm sure it's a little different with a partner that you don't live with, but I think the concept would be the same: Try to get to the point where you're happy for him and focus on how the situation benefits you.

If it's a situation where you aren't happy and don't think you ever will be, that is something serious that needs to be addressed. Either by figuring out a way that you get more time with him or by ending the relationship if you two can't work out something that satisfies you both.
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Old 04-17-2012, 09:44 PM
nllswing nllswing is offline
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I am not sure if this will work for you, but it has worked for some. Develop your own interests and personal life to the point that you "need" time where your partner is away. Now, writing this down, it occurs to me that it may be more of a personality thing. Those who need their space and freedom would cope more easily because it is not a bad thing for them to have the place to themselves every once in a while.
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Old 04-17-2012, 11:15 PM
Precious1 Precious1 is offline
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I was hoping for more concrete strategies. But am mulling over what's been posted thus far.

One thing I have requested recently that has seemed to make a huge difference for me today...
I asked him, when feasible, to add in a call or text when he gets up in the morning, and before he goes to bed when he is not staying here.
It really seems to start my day off on a better foot.
On his working nights, he already was generally giving a call or IM before work, and messaging on his breaks in the evening (multi-texting can make for some frustrating errors.)
I did ask him to just a quick "goodnight" text, to NOT call, on the work evenings when he gets home and his wife is awake because I felt guilty like I was taking away from time they could have alone together (great co-dependant thinking there, eh.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by km34 View Post
working on yourself to get to a point where you're happy that he's happy.
I am happy that he is happy. No problem with compersion towards his relationship with his wife. I love hearing about their happy moments. The strength of his commitment to her is one of the things I admire about him.

Papergrace said
Quote:
My solution to my problem is another partner. In the meantime, I cope. *sigh*
I don't want another partner, though yes it would be both easier and harder for me. Sunshine fulfills every desire I ever knew I had and few I wasn't even aware of, with the exception of time.
I have been actively poly before, when I was with my (abusive, emotionally & more) husband.. but my OSOs then filled the physical and emotional black holes I was coping with. I was able to overcome, for the most part, my co-dependence and low relationship self-esteem issues and begin to detach from that. I wasn't even looking for a partner when S came back in my life.
If I *were* to add another partner I would be shortchanging myself of some of the limited time S and I have together (damn mono thinking - LOL)

Papergrace commented
Quote:
in my experience, coping strategies don't work
Curious, what did you try that didn't work?
That can sometimes be just as beneficial to hear as what does.

Whathappened said
Quote:
a choice between that or sitting around pining
I do pine, but I don't sit around pining. I have friends, work, professional activities, family, hobbies that can more than fill the time.
But so often I just want to share those with him. I want to wake up,get a snuggle or hug, and read the paper together, to be able to stroke his back goodnight. I don't want to be joined at the hip, or together 24/7 - that's just not healthy.. all people do need personal time and activities to varying degrees.

lovefromgirl asks
Quote:
How do you and she interact? Do you fight like cats? Could you take or leave the other? Would it be so difficult for her to let you be a larger part of your partner's life? How does he feel about your growing feelings? Is he perhaps not as committed as you are?

And how long have you been together? Just curious.
I've delayed addressing your post to try to keep it more generally focused on suggestions, but will go ahead now...

We have been together a short time, 8 months. But we both loved/longed for each other initially for many years in grade school/high school (starting 34 years ago.) Then we essentially lost contact, joined the military, married, moved away, had kids, and moved back to the home area again.
We never lost what we both had back then, but were afraid of pursuing further in fear of losing the friendship.

As for his wife, she encourages our relationship, even commenting how it has improved their relationship as well. She knows how committed we are to each other, and of our plans to have a commitment ceremony in the not too distant future. She and I do not have more than passing interaction with each other as her schedule is very, very full to the point of stressful, and she wants to keep what little "me time" she has to herself. I would like to get to know her better, but will not push other than occasional invitations to things I believe she would enjoy. She has agreed to perhaps having a double date sometime when her main OSO is visiting, but does not feel comfortable just the three of us going out and will not consider the just two of us getting together socially in the foreseeable future. Feels a bit odd, considering we all seemed ok together the evening when S and I snuggled on the couch, while she IM'd her main OSO, and their youngest son sat next to her playing videogames. But, we all have our own comfort levels and I respect that.
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Old 04-17-2012, 11:49 PM
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idealist idealist is offline
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For me, when I start feeling disenchanted with a relationship, I begin to look at my own life. It is a flag for me when I begin to look towards something outside of myself (even if it's my primary relationship) to help me feel fulfillment.

Intimate relationships are extremely rewarding and I do depend on them. Most of the things I value in life can only be realized in relationship, so relationships are extremely important for me. That said- any time I begin to feel like I'm not getting enough from a particular person, it is a flag for me to take charge of my life. I like to consider things like- what is my purpose in life? What are my strengths, gifts and talents? How can I contribute to others? Perhaps I could focus more on my clients and develop more meaningful connections with them which will enhance the services I am providing to them. Am I happy with my career? What about my retirement plan?

Once I begin to take charge of my life by getting in touch with my essence and starting to make choices and decisions to manifest positive changes in the other important areas of my life (other than my primary relationship) then my satisfaction level with my relationship shifts magically!

In fact, I then notice that my concentration on the relationship can actually be a way to avoid the issues in my life that really need to be addressed.

This may not apply to you, but I'm just sharing my true experiences that I have struggled with in my life.

Thanks for posting and sharing! I'm sure you will get a lot of good feedback here!
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  #9  
Old 04-21-2012, 02:34 AM
PaperGrace PaperGrace is offline
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Some things I have done to cope...stay involved in a lot of activites, even take on a few extra. I try not to turn down any invitations. I play sports, I go on outings with friends, I sit on a board of a non-profit, I volunteer my time, I keep busy. I didn't drop everything when I started this relationship and most days it's all I can do to keep up my house, my friendships, my work, and my relationship with my SO. Doing one of any of the above things usually means something else has to give.

To cope, I have read books. A friend recommended a NLP book and one I just started called "Be Who You Want, Have What You Want: Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life." That book is about finding happiness in your life and taking deliberate steps to achieve happiness. It has exercises to do at the end of each chapter. I stumbled on another book that I really liked called "If The Buddha Dated." I think I found it on another thread around here, actually.

That dating book led me to my third coping path which was learning about Buddhism. A friend recommended Zencast, a podcast about Buddhism, and it's been fascinating. I'm not a religious person, but, to me so far, Buddhism looks like more of a practice than a faith. I like the idea of letting go of my attachments to some things I really want, things that I long for. If I could let go of my pretty idea of a future, I think I could cope better with being a secondary who doesn't know where this relationship could go besides where it is now.

I also talk to my SO about my feelings all the time. He is loving and patient, but sometimes it gets to the point where *I* don't want to hear it anymore!

Most, if not all, of the activities above are adding to and enriching my life. I'm not regretting any of them, but what tends to creep into my thinking...wouldn't it be great to do them all WITH a partner?

So, coping doesn't really work since it doesn't solve the problem, but it leads to other good things.
Quote:
Originally Posted by idealist View Post
Intimate relationships are extremely rewarding and I do depend on them. Most of the things I value in life can only be realized in relationship, so relationships are extremely important for me. That said- any time I begin to feel like I'm not getting enough from a particular person, it is a flag for me to take charge of my life. I like to consider things like- what is my purpose in life? What are my strengths, gifts and talents? How can I contribute to others? Perhaps I could focus more on my clients and develop more meaningful connections with them which will enhance the services I am providing to them. Am I happy with my career? What about my retirement plan?
Idealist, I really like your approach of putting other aspects of my life under the microscope to see what I can do there to alleviate any dissatisfaction. I know that my recent restlessness has caused me to repaint my dining room and rearrange my furniture in my living room, both things I've been meaning to do for years. What else can I reorganize? Hmm.
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  #10  
Old 04-21-2012, 03:33 AM
PaperGrace PaperGrace is offline
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Oh, and I cope by checking into this site frequently. I read about everyone else's struggles, triumphs, and journeys. It helps to keep my own issues in perspective. Every once in a while, I might even have something useful to say.
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