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Old 07-26-2012, 02:28 PM
coolkat8 coolkat8 is offline
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Default How often to talk to secondary?

Greetings all! I'm new here and been poly for about two years. I've learned it takes a while to really learn the best way to balance having two relationships and you really need to be flexible. My question is I've started seeing someone about a month ago. We have a long history, we were together for a few months a couple years ago but it ended because he was not being honest with his wife about us. He now is separated and finally we can be together without any secrets. We are great when we are together, he makes me so happy. The problem is he is not good about keeping in touch in between our meet up times. This is very difficult for me to understand! I am someone who likes to text or email daily, just check in say "I'm thinking about you" or let them know how my day is. He does not do this. I'll text him and maybe get a text 6 hours later or even the next day. This week was particularly bad, he didn't respond to me for 3 days which kind of hurt my feelings. I just don't get it. He always has an excuse, "I'm busy" "I'm sick" but even when I'm both of those keeping in touch is a break for me and it honestly doesn't take that long to send a sentence in a text! Its frustrating to make plans, like we are supposed to get together tomorrow but he still hasn't responded about when we are meeting and where. I like to plan ahead and this is so hard for me to be patient! My question is how often does everyone keep in touch with their secondarys? (I know there is some discussion about using that term but I'm not sure what other term to use!) Am I asking to much to keep in touch daily or even every other day?? I sometimes feel like I have no right to make demands because I am married and he and I can never be more than what we are now. I also get a lot of anxiety when I don't hear from him for days and worry "what if he is losing interest" "what if he found someone else" and my imagination gets the best of me. I appreciate any thoughts!
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Old 07-26-2012, 02:49 PM
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Dagferi Dagferi is offline
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If you do not like the way you are being treated then DO NOT allow it to continue. Period.

Why be in a relationship that causes you stress and heartache? If he can not give you what you need in return then it is time to move on.

I personally like to hear from my boyfriend at least once a day. I do not need his constant undivided attention but I like to know how his day went.
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Old 07-30-2012, 04:40 AM
AutumnalTone AutumnalTone is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dagferi View Post
If you do not like the way you are being treated then DO NOT allow it to continue. Period.

Why be in a relationship that causes you stress and heartache? If he can not give you what you need in return then it is time to move on.
This bears repeating.

I text both of my partners and my bestie daily. If I don't hear from one of them for a day, it's no big deal. Even if they're traveling or ill or really busy, they do make an effort to check in and say so, so it's rare to go a day without hearing something. My wife and amorata each do this without prompting; it's a negotiated thing with my bestie.

If they weren't willing to communicate enough for me to be satisfied, I doubt I'd still be involved with them. This is one of those things that is very important in serious relationships, for me.
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When speaking of various forms of non-monogamy...it ain't poly if you're just fucking around.

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Old 08-02-2012, 11:34 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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If I want to stay with him I will have to think of him more as a tertiary person since he doesn't want as much involvement. Still trying to get used to this and process this.
Bingo. There ya go. You hit it on the head. I don't use those words -- primary, secondary, tertiary. But since you do... maybe you could sit with him and decide that yes. This is a tertiary thing now in this time and in this place. And probably for the next (what 6 mos?) timeframe. Fly it like that and draw up your formal rights/responsibilites for the thing that now is.
For the next 6 mos, this is a tertiary relationship. In this tertiary relationship we agree to be together like THIS -- my wants, needs, limits. Your wants, needs, limits. We expect these things ______. This contract will be revisited and reviewed on ____ date____.
There.

Whether or not you can hack this -- that's something else. YOU have to decide if you are in this or not, and HOW you are willing to be in this.

I thought I heard this limit expressed in your post. Was it expressed this clearly?
"I need to hear about any change in plans at least 24 hrs (a day?) in advance. And if not hearing within 24 of the appt, I move on without your input.

I think that is a reasonable limit to have. Because other people's lives are knit in here. Can't be dicking me around when all it takes is a phone call to SAY. Sheesh. In my universe, dumb things like that could be time to break out the 3 strikes you are out if this is a CHRONIC lack of consideration.

As you saw your own DH's cranky at HIS life being put on hold for your BF being all shilly shally (if he is dragging on calling with schedule stuff) or YOU being all shilly shally (not liking the call and hoping he'd change his mind and not wanting to move it forward) -- there are other people around with wants, needs, and limits. More when BF gets a new GF.

So own your own baggage! Wherever there is baggage to be owned.

It just sounded like perhaps you hadn't stated that limit super crystal clear to him or yourself and you were struggling to do so?

Get your limits clear. What other limits need to be brought into SHARP focus?

HTH!
GG

Last edited by GalaGirl; 08-02-2012 at 11:38 PM.
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  #5  
Old 07-26-2012, 02:53 PM
KyleKat KyleKat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coolkat8 View Post
Greetings all! I'm new here and been poly for about two years. I've learned it takes a while to really learn the best way to balance having two relationships and you really need to be flexible. My question is I've started seeing someone about a month ago. We have a long history, we were together for a few months a couple years ago but it ended because he was not being honest with his wife about us. He now is separated and finally we can be together without any secrets. We are great when we are together, he makes me so happy. The problem is he is not good about keeping in touch in between our meet up times. This is very difficult for me to understand! I am someone who likes to text or email daily, just check in say "I'm thinking about you" or let them know how my day is. He does not do this. I'll text him and maybe get a text 6 hours later or even the next day. This week was particularly bad, he didn't respond to me for 3 days which kind of hurt my feelings. I just don't get it. He always has an excuse, "I'm busy" "I'm sick" but even when I'm both of those keeping in touch is a break for me and it honestly doesn't take that long to send a sentence in a text! Its frustrating to make plans, like we are supposed to get together tomorrow but he still hasn't responded about when we are meeting and where. I like to plan ahead and this is so hard for me to be patient! My question is how often does everyone keep in touch with their secondarys? (I know there is some discussion about using that term but I'm not sure what other term to use!) Am I asking to much to keep in touch daily or even every other day?? I sometimes feel like I have no right to make demands because I am married and he and I can never be more than what we are now. I also get a lot of anxiety when I don't hear from him for days and worry "what if he is losing interest" "what if he found someone else" and my imagination gets the best of me. I appreciate any thoughts!
Have you tried telling him how you feel? Something like, "I want to keep in touch more frequently without sounding needy or clingy. What works best for you?"
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Kyle: 27 year old male
Katie (rymmare): 25 year old female
Kids: girl: 5 years old, boy: 3 years old
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Old 07-26-2012, 04:21 PM
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AnnabelMore AnnabelMore is offline
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There is a different balance that's right for every relationship, whether it's primary or secondary. I agree with the other posters, if this balance is not working for you, you should speak up. His excuses seem pretty lame and his behavior seems perry thoughtless. On the other hand, he's far from the only guy to act this way. If he won't reform, the only other option is for you to try to give yourself a little distance, invest less, find other things/people to focus on, etc.
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Old 07-26-2012, 04:46 PM
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LovingRadiance LovingRadiance is online now
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Ultimately, the ideaology and point behind poly (as I understand it) is honestly and upfront relationships (with however many).
The honesty and upfront part comes in to play regarding your question;
it's about stating what we want/need/expect from a relationship (both parties) and then deciding if those wants/needs/expectations are compatible.
Instead of just saying "i like you so lets go" without communicating wants/needs/expectations; like monogamy.


Therefore, you two need to do that-and clearly, this is a topic that hasn't been negotiated to both peoples satisfaction and needs addressed asap.

Personally, my answer would be daily. But, my husband, is more of a weekly kind of person (unless he's caught up in NRE, then its hourly).
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Old 07-26-2012, 05:06 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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"I want to keep in touch more frequently without sounding needy or clingy. What works best for you?"
This. In my world?

You'd have the RESPONSIBILITY to know and articulate your wants, needs, and limits. He'd have the right to clear communication.

So you'd speak up to HIM. Not to us.

You'd have the right to nurture and support.

You'd have the right to feedback though -- so if he says you feel too clingly, needy with the volume you want, you have to be willing to take it to the negotiation table to find the happy medium compromise even if it is hard to hear that feedback.



And this work... would break out thus.... in my world.

Quote:
I sometimes feel like I have no right to make demands because I am married and he and I can never be more than what we are now.

Fine. We acknowledge you cannot marry him legally.

Call him (O)ther (S)ignificant (O)ther then. OSO.

But for your "me+ OSO" relationship tier in your polyship's polymath breakout what ARE the rights he will/has granted you if you play ball with him? The responsibilites you expect to undertake? And vice versa? So you function in right relationship to each other?

Has this framework conversation happened yet? Why not? I keep mine short and sweet. Can't hack that mission? Don't play with me, don't choose to accept it. We can be friends.

Why don't you feel you have the right to needs in that tier?

You can't ask your daughter to pick up the towels from the floor because you ask your son to do the dishes? That's silly.

So is this. You can't ask for respect and good treatment from your OSO because you have DH? Equally silly.

Speak up. TO HIM. And formulate your game book. I keep mine short and crystal clear. My conflict resolution framework is another page.

Areas of discernment, I expect to discern with the concerned parties at the Negotiation Table.

Quote:
I also get a lot of anxiety when I don't hear from him for days and worry "what if he is losing interest" "what if he found someone else" and my imagination gets the best of me. I appreciate any thoughts!
Stop what iffing yourself into a tizzy and demystify the fear.

Go there within yourself and Name the un-NAME-able. Own it. Take the bull by the horns and do the first stage internal processing. Fill in the blanks.

"If you are losing interest, I want to hear the heads up by....I promise to react in this fashion..... so please just tell me in that way. So I can deal better."

"Hey, if we have to break up, here's my wants, needs and limits:______ I'd like to part as ____. I want to keep it real, and while I do not WANT to break up, if it MUST happen, I want to walk away with minimal dings and still be ___(friend?)___ in time."


Then when you square those up (one sheet of paper bullet list max forces you to think) present to partner OSO.

Have him sign off.

There. Now you can relax it down to the comfortable uncomfortable volume and just live with it. Butterflies in stomach CAN be pinned down so they stop fluttering so bad. In NAMING it. Then OWNING it.

Rather than amping it up to impossible volume you cannot stand just because you are what iffing it up into internal maelstrom winds making butterflies even crazier in there.

Everyone own your own bag!

HTH!
GG
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Old 07-26-2012, 05:17 PM
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nycindie nycindie is offline
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Hmmm. Here's another perspective . . .

I have never understood the need for daily contact that some people feel is necessary for relationships. Perhaps your bf is like me and it just isn't natural to him to be in touch every single day. That would be a total drag to me, as I don't like obligations placed on me just to reassure someone. I'm not the type of person who needs contact every day with people I'm involved with. Even in my marriage, my husband and I only called each other at work if it was necessary for planning something or dealing with something specific, whereas both of us knew married people who called each other every day or even several times a day just to say hello and whatnot -- I would scratch my head and wonder, "Didn't they see each other this morning? Aren't they going to see each other at home later?" Why such a need to check in? I just plain don't get it. I hear my next-door neighbor on the phone with her mother several times a day and I cannot understand why, since my mother and I only spoke once every week or two.

In romantic relationships, I do not assume that someone I care about, whom I know cares about me, isn't thinking of me simply because I haven't heard from him. People do have busy lives and shit to deal with. There are folks I think of many times a day, yet I am not in touch with them for weeks at a time, and then we just pick up where we left off. People who know me know that's just the way I am and don't get bent out of shape about it. Keep in mind that when you feel hurt over his lack of contact, it is you who are feeling hurt (a case where we produce feelings with our own thoughts), but he is not hurting you. This sounds to me like your expectations preying on you.

I don't currently have primary/secondary designations in my relationships, but even if a guy was my main squeeze (primary), I would not expect nor want daily contact. It just seems somehow like something excessive, oppressive, claustrophobic, and definitely overkill to me. That is not a criticism of anyone who wants daily contact, it is just how I feel if I were asked and expected to constantly be in touch. I like my alone time and have lots of introvert tendencies, though I am not sure I am totally an introvert. But for someone like me, to call someone every day just to say something like, "Hi, how are you today? Good? Yeah, me too... um... so, okay, talk to you tomorrow, have a good day," seems superfluous and dull to me. I'd rather wait til I have something substantial to share, or plans to solidify, so that the conversation is worth my time and energy.

Please note, all that I've said above pertains to regular communication. This doesn't mean I accept anyone's lack of following through on their word. The thing is, we lay our expectations and preferences out up front, so we know where we stand. Whenever I date someone new and we exchange contact info, I tell them, "Don't think that you have to answer my texts right away. I know that sometimes it's just not convenient to do that, so get back to me when you can." If it does take a few days and I need to get in touch, I text again or call, but it isn't worth it to me to get upset unless I found out that there was something I should've been made aware of.

Since you are obviously someone who really needs that day-to-day contact to feel secure in a relationship, and your bf may be more like me and does not need daily contact, this could just be a clash of communication styles or love languages. It may simply never have occurred to him that you would feel frustrated, abandoned, or forgotten over something like that. And he probably would never think it's a problem for you unless you tell him.

And although it is important to let him know this is a need of yours, I also believe you would also benefit from thinking of any compromises you can also accept, because he may not enjoy or be able to keep up with day-to-day reporting in. But I would also recommend you look at those insecurities that come up for you and try to unravel them, so that you and your sense of value in his life aren't at the mercy of circumstances beyond your control.

Hopefully, my perspective and how it works for me will give you some insight.
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Oh, oh, can't you see? Love is the drug for me. ~Bryan Ferry
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Last edited by nycindie; 05-01-2014 at 06:57 AM.
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  #10  
Old 07-26-2012, 06:00 PM
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LovingRadiance LovingRadiance is online now
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Nyc-
that sounds like Maca (outside of NRE). Just not a "everyday" communicator. If we didn't live together, (which has been the case several times) I would hear from him every evening SO HE COULD TELL THE KIDS GOODNIGHT-but he wouldn't talk with me every time.
We were still very much in love with one another and very much a couple. But, he can go a week before he needs that contact.
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