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Old 05-18-2012, 06:31 PM
wannamakeitwork wannamakeitwork is offline
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Default New But Trying to Make It Work

Hi all,

I've been reading some of the threads on the forum and they usually really help with my doubts and questions, but for once I felt I should share my own experience.

I have been with my partner for two years now (give or take a short break due to our own doubts about opening up the relationship). This year he broke up with me as he wanted to be poly and I had my doubts. A couple of weeks later I asked him if he would still like for us to do it together and about a month later we were back together, now in a polyamorous relationship. He had not explained to me fully at the time that he was now seeing someone who he had a very strong connection, but even that has become an acknowledged and welcomed fact with me. I have known her before and we get along very well, as we are very similar people.

However, due to the pressure of the demands of two intense lovers, my partner decided he needed some space - a week now. He says he does not want to break up with me or her, but I certainly feel very left behind. His low levels of affection are starting to get to me, specially as I feel like the disengagement is not as much towards his new lover.

I am worried he does not actually have what it takes (time, patience, emotional stability, energy, etc) to make this work. His lover and I have discussed what we want out of life and out of him and our wishes are not contradictory. I want to live in with my partner, eventually in the future think of children, grow old together, all that (something he has initially expressed to want to do too). She is happy not to live with him and she does not want children. She is also OK with spending less time with him (imagine something like he'd spend 3 days with her and 4 with me, or whatever), which I am also happy about. I don't know how I'd feel about less time than that (and certainly less time than with other lovers) but that has to do with my own needs and wants out of the relationship rather than jealousy.

So is this him (and us all) just getting used to things? How long does the accommodation period last? When do you know if it isn't working?

I want to know where I stand so I can also explain to my own lovers and dates how it rolls, how much time I have available, etc.

If someone has any ideas, please let me know!
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Old 05-19-2012, 02:53 AM
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nycindie nycindie is offline
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Well, it's only been a week, so you might be reading too much into it. All you can really do is keep talking, with him and other people who understand. Maybe take a look at why you are feeling like this week is so tough for you that you are starting to compare how he is with her to how he is with you. What I mean is that you should start with examining your own feelings and thought processes rather than focusing on what's happening out there with him. Just to start unraveling the discomfort. Do you have a need to be in control and know where things are heading? If that is the case, then when things are unpredictable it is easy to feel disoriented and negative.
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Old 05-19-2012, 08:13 PM
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Hi Wanna Make It,

Just wanted to say welcome to our forum. I think you're doing fine so far; you're communicating with his lover, etc.

I would straight up ask your partner how much more space he needs. Tell him you feel left behind. Point out that it's been a week so far. Has he stopped contact with you altogether? What is the nature of this space that he's taking?

It sounds like he's been a little distant toward you. Do you know for sure what's going on right now with him and this other lady? Good communication usually requires specifics, so make sure you ask specifically for what you want/need when you talk to him.

I think you'll know if it isn't working. It will be pretty obvious. Don't be too quick to give up on things without doing a lot of communicating (with both him and her).

Each person is different, and each relationship is different. You may find that you're better at managing your time/energy than your partner has been. And he may get better at this over time.

Hope that helps a little.
Sincerely,
Kevin T.
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Old 05-20-2012, 12:20 AM
wannamakeitwork wannamakeitwork is offline
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thank you both for the kind replies.

the problem with my partner is that he (ironically the one who wished to go into polyamory) is not the best communicator. his "meltdown" was due partially due to life stresses (job, money, etc) and partly due to having two people demanding him to communicate and express his affections, his commitment and put in the time. could this be a sign that he is not the right person to enter polyamory? is this just his own adjustment?

he never had problems being affectionate and caring and passionate, but he always has this 2 months a year in which he becomes detached. he calls it "becoming bored of being with the same person" - reason why he expressed the wish for us to become polyamorous. now i am wondering if the root of the problem isn't really the multiplicity of people, but his own issues.

he seems to be ok again, showing affection and even telling one of our friends (who then secretly told me) that he loves me and that he likes this person he is seeing but it isn't the same. it made me wonder if somehow some problem he might be having w her spilled over and that is why he collapsed last week.

if you have any further ideas on this, please let me know. I am getting in touch with some people in the poly community where i live (specially through okcupid) which is great because i get to exchange ideas, and obviously meet potential new partners.

the funny thing in the end is that, i was the one who thought i could not do polyamory and here i am, enjoying the experience, being out there, meeting people, etc. i still am not sure if i could have significant others besides my partner (that is, lovers who are more than just friends and sex) but that remains to be seen.
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Old 05-20-2012, 11:56 PM
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Re:
Quote:
"The problem with my partner is that he (ironically the one who wished to go into polyamory) is not the best communicator. His 'meltdown' was due partially due to life stresses, and partly due to having two people demanding him to communicate and express his affections, his commitment and put in the time. Could this be a sign that he is not the right person to enter polyamory?"
I'd say that being "communication-challenged" makes polyamory more difficult, but not impossible. You'll have to find some middle ground here. Try to be aware of his "handicap" and not demand too much communication of him, but at the same time he should be trying to push himself to communicate a little bit more.

Re:
Quote:
"He never had problems being affectionate and caring and passionate, but he always has this 2 months a year in which he becomes detached. He calls it 'becoming bored of being with the same person' -- reason why he expressed the wish for us to become polyamorous. Now I am wondering if the root of the problem isn't really the multiplicity of people, but his own issues."
That's very possible. Finding a new person to "fill up the boredom gap" isn't much of a reason to go poly, especially if the only thing that will fill the gap is NRE (New Relationship Energy). How would that make the new person feel, to know that they're only there to "ease the boredom?"

Re:
Quote:
"I am getting in touch with some people in the poly community where I live, which is great because I get to exchange ideas, and obviously meet potential new partners."
That should help a lot.

I think you probably just need more time to get things figured out. Be sure to let your partner know you need him to try to be as communicative as he can.

Regards,
Kevin T.
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Old 05-22-2012, 12:57 AM
wannamakeitwork wannamakeitwork is offline
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thanks for that - it is definitely reassuring in many ways.

Can I also ask:

- Is there a point in which you know you are (or are not) cut out for it?

You see, since I was not the one to come up with the idea, and because I decided to give it a go as (once broken up) I still felt comfortable being with other people as with my partner (with who, albeit broken up, I was on occasion with as well).

Ultimately, it is not the being with other people that is difficult, but the dealing with my partner being with someone else or not being with me. For instance, I am hosting a party to which I invited his lover (as mentioned, also a friend of mine), who told me she'd only be ok coming if she could also be with him to a degree. I can understand her point, but I don't know how I will react. I can deal with a kiss on the sly, something subtle like that, but the idea of them being affectionate in front of me is honestly hard to digest (in fact it is nauseating). Is it because I am new to this? Is it jealousy? Will it go away/be managed with time? Ultimately, when will I know?

When his birthday comes around in a few months time, how can we deal with this as both os us will undoubtedly be there. I am the "primary" partner, but she doesn't like the term. Should we erase such distinctions at all? If he is not in love with her (nor me with anyone else) should this not be the terminology for the time being? And if so, in circumstances like these do I have "priority" (i.e.: in common events, my partner and I are a/the couple and our lovers are at that point more peripheral)?

I want to make this work but not at the cost of my happiness, obviously. When will I know that it is no longer us dealing with the natural jealousy triggers, and just me that isn't cut for it?

Sorry for the long post, but these feel like the quintessential questions that keep popping into my head. Your feedback is sincerely appreciated (in fact it makes my life much easier and me, consequently, much happier - thanks a million in advance)
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