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Old 05-15-2012, 04:26 PM
GreenMom GreenMom is offline
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Default Struggling with secondary status. Not really sure what I'm asking.

I had trouble coming up with a thread title, and I will attempt to make this post as concise as possible, which will be a challenge since I'm not entirely sure what I am asking for, and yet pretty sure I alreadd know the answer.

I'm fairly confident after some recent conversations with Marty, that I am a helluva lot more invested into "us" than he is. But, bearing in mind how new I am to poly, and how relatively new our relationship is, it is also possible I'm just misunderstanding. As I've said in my blog, I tend to look at things thru what I call my monogamy filter. I don't know any other way to have a romantic or sexual relationship, though as evidenced by my behavior the past six months, I'm trying to learn new ways.

Thus said... I've been told that he would never want, for example, another wife, another live in partner, something that committed, its "hard enough" having one. He has asked for space - rather than seeing each other every Sat night/Sunday we are now only seeing each other every other Sat night/Sunday. And the thing which hurt me the most, though I'm sure it wasn't intended as a barb - the most important aspect of what we have to him is the friendship, he knows the romantic/sexual won't (may not? don't recall exact wording) last forever, but he wants the friendship to endure. While he enjoys stereotypical date activities with me, and enjoys sex with me, it wouldn't bother him if our relationship changed into a "regular" friendship, with no romance or sex.

I've lamented on this board before how its near impossible for us to get time alone. Young children make it a near impossibility without feeling like we are imposing on our spouses (though they don't mind... heh). I'm unsure how much of this is normal when you are dating someone who already has a primary, and a child, and how much of it is simply a disparity of feelings/priority placed/etc. I'm unsure how to broach this topic with him without sounding like a whiny, needy, clingy teenager. But I do know that I'm increasingly unhappy with how things are.

It's not all bad all the time. It's mostly good most of the time. But I want more. I want more time together, I want to talk more often, I want our communication in between face time to be more meaningful. I'm accustomed to a partner - especially a partner of less than a year - being as outwardly excited and eager to talk/see each other as I am. His seeming ambivalence over things is driving me mad.

He has an axiety disorder which is currently unmedicated. I wonder how much of this is due to that, since he was rather different the first month we were together (when he was on meds). I deal with depression, which I am sure is exacerabating things - I Know I am overanalyzing small things and being way more co-dependent than is healthy.

How do I wrap my head around being a secondary? How do I become okay with the fact that he has a life seperate from me and wants to keep it that way? How do I change my thinking to focusing on the positives instead of dwelling on what I don't have?

And yes... I am fairly sure the big "answer" to all my confusion and hurt feelings is to talk to him about it. Heck my husband has been trying to get me to do so for weeks now. I just have no clue how to even begin to approach this topic. None.

I hope this was cohesive enough to generate a few replies. Anything I was unclear about, please feel free to ask.
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Old 05-15-2012, 08:10 PM
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CielDuMatin CielDuMatin is offline
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Thanks for posting. I know how difficult it can be to get those crazy racing thoughts laid out in words like that - I think you did a great job.

Yes, of course talking to him is going to be the solution, like you identified. however, just sitting down and talking may not give you what you want...

I think the first thing you need to have clear in your mind is what you want - make a list for yourself of all the things that you need, want and would like out of the relationship and your life. try to create as many specific bullets as you can... don't just write "I want to be happy", for example - try to identify the things that make you happy, or, conversely, the things that take away from your happiness.

Sometimes, just this exercise can help you a lot, whether or not you show it to anyone or not.

What I get from your post is that you feel that there are conflicting priorities and desires in the relationship and are looking for a way to get those out there and sorted.

The next step is to get him (and maybe his partner) to do the same thing with the needs, wants and likes. This should be done not as a conversation, but as a "homework" exercise.

Then you need to sit down and compare notes.

I've written about this on my blog, and I often refer to it when folks talk about sorting things through in their relationships. It's at http://cieldumatin.livejournal.com/4437.html (last time I pasted this link I got it messed up, so hope this works).

This process, which admittedly takes some time and commitment by all parties, should give you a lot better idea of where everyone stands and how this relationship will meet your needs or not.
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Old 05-15-2012, 10:24 PM
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nycindie nycindie is offline
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To be honest, in all your posts about Marty (in this and your other thread), he sounds like a bit of a dud. This may not be the right guy for you. Nothing wrong with ending it and moving on to find someone who is willing and happy to give you what you want and be totally excited about being with you.

Why work really hard to make a dud light up your life, when you can have fireworks somewhere else?
The world opens up... when you do.

Oh, oh, can't you see? Love is the drug for me. ~Bryan Ferry
"Love is that condition in which another person's happiness is essential to your own." ~Robert Heinlein

Last edited by nycindie; 05-16-2012 at 05:00 AM.
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Old 05-15-2012, 11:54 PM
strixish strixish is offline
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 50

One big answer is, yes, to talk to him about it.

Another big answer may be a little harder-- decide if you're okay with the limited relationship he has to offer. Would you want to be friends, in a non-romantic way? Are you wired to be friends with benefits?

My advice would be to give up on your hope that the relationship be anything other than what he's offering. Maybe you can't stop wanting more, but stop expecting more. Maybe you can continue with the status quo of the relationship while you adjust to this, and maybe you need to break up so you can properly grieve.

Secondary relationships can be fulfilling, and definitely be more than just friendships. But in my experience, you have to be able to be resolved to the limits of them if you are going to be satisfied and happy.

This advice is only based on what you posted here, and I could be misinterpreting the facts. But you sound unhappy. If you're unhappy, you have to change something-- either change yourself, or change the relationship. (You can't change him.)
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Old 05-16-2012, 04:42 AM
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redpepper redpepper is offline
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Send him the link to this thread. It seems like yoiu don't have much to lose. Either that or start by saying that you haven't been happy in your relationship with him and then let him ask the questions.
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Last edited by redpepper; 05-16-2012 at 05:46 AM.
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Old 05-16-2012, 02:21 PM
GreenMom GreenMom is offline
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Posts: 94

Thank you for your responses. For personal accountability's sake I will post here that I am taking some time today to really think about what I want and need (thanks Ciel) as well as what things specifically have been bothering me and how I think they could be fixed, and I will be talking to him tonight. Not much sense in dragging things out further if we really are on two completely different pages. I hope we can meet in the middle but we'll see.
"This, too, is sacred."
I am my own primary.
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