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Old 09-12-2011, 03:23 PM
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ImaginaryIllusion ImaginaryIllusion is offline
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Default Do you hear what I hear? - Bubblegum Crisis (2 of 3)

Ok, Flashback time. This is a retrograde into things that had happened, mostly since our anniversary, which suddenly made me feel like a real ass. Itís probably going to come across as angry and hurt, and insofar as the messages I received, itís probably rightly so. Thatís doesnít mean itís the same as the message that was sent, or intended. This isnít to vilify anyone, but an exercise to express the feelings that arise as a consequence of actions, and will hopefully be useful to those who wonder why their lover might be pissed off about something.



Part of our vacation this year was heading down to Polycamp NW. (Great time btw, and a well run organization down there, highly recommended) One of the things that occurred to me was the potential to meet new prospective partners. My wife kinda scoffed at this idea, and in terms of my luck finding partners, yeah, on an unlikeliness scale from 1 to 10 it would rate as ďpretty damnĒ. However, I had considered LDR partners in the area previously based on my travelling, although itís been tapering off recently. Notwithstanding, I tossed around the idea of talking to my gf about it, just in case, even though being a free spirit herself, sheís never expressed a concern about her partners exploring other options. And I hadnít been the one running out of time and energy, so if opportunity presented itself, why not? But I figured it would be respectful at least to make sure to talk to her first to make sure there wasnít any concerns. I ultimately decided not to bother her, since she had enough on her plate with family emergencies and all, so I opted for the equally respectful course of action, intentionally not to engage with anyone and consciously close off from the possibility. (I think my wife was momentarily perturbed that Iíd worry about talking to my gf ahead of time and not her, but my wife was right there with me, as was most of the rest of the tribe! So I figured communication on the subject would be easily accomplished if the need arose, so pre-discussion wasnít needed. When partners are in other cities or time zones, then previous arrangements become more important)

So after getting back, and finding out K have been fielding other people, without bothering to talk to me about it beforehand, or at all until well after the fact, and knowing full well that it would be hurtful. The message I received: I donít respect you enough to keep your feelings in mind while looking after my own gratification.
Result: My, donít I feel like an ass.


Over the last several months, there have continually been reasons not to be physical with each other. The specifics arenít important. But still I waited. I view it as an expression of love, not a requirement, so it would be asinine to insist. But it wasnít just the sex. It was time as well. Various other activities took precedence, including social diversions, while I waited patiently, as it always sounded like a plausible reason. Yet eventually the time runs out, and it becomes apparent that she doesnít want to make time for me, or our relationship. She found others to fill her time.

Message Received: The time you spend waiting for me isnít worth anything. There are plenty of others around, so I donít really need you.
Result: My, donít I feel useless & stupid.


Along with having fun with new friends, and spending time elsewhere, sheís stated very clearly that the recent relations were something she needed at the time, and doesnít want to have regrets about them, or be asked to. Free spirit remember. While I can empathise with that I suppose, and if those relationships filled some need, I can easily let go the idea that the encounter should be a matter for regret. But regretting the act is not the same thing as perhaps recognizing that any act can simultaneously have both positive and negative consequences.

Message Received: Itís not worth my time and energy to empathise or really consider the pain my actions have caused you, and Iíll resent being asked to be accountable for any of it, and if you ask me to, then Iíll probably just leave you...more.
Result: My, donít I feel like a fool (for giving you the guided map & compass for exactly how to hurt me).


A few months ago I got hurt in a motorcycle accident. Nothing overly serious, but it laid me up in the emergency room for a spell, and then at home for a few weeks. It was actually a really interesting episode for me as it was the first time I could really see how a poly tribe can be advantageous. IIRC my metamours beat my parents to the hospital, and were very supportive in helping my wife and I take care of some odds and ends. That part was awesome.

What seemed a little peculiar was Kís reaction, having been very quick to call her and let her know I was ok. This was both because it would be better than finding out on FB, but also because I was aware of a previous episode in her life that I was concerned that the news might be taken badly. Apparently I was wrong. She was very cool and seemingly neutral and matter of fact about the news. There was no mention of coming to visit, either at the hospital, or afterwards when I was at home. Itís not that I wanted a big deal made out of it, I didnít. But the reaction wasnít what I would have expected. I ended up with more attention and concern coming from my bosses at work, and they didnít even like me that much. Fortunately I had a lot of support between my family and the metamours on my wifeís side, so I wasnít lacking for anything, at least for a few days. At the time, and right up until the email a week ago, I figured it might just be a defensive reaction to not want to be involved with me and my injury because the episode from her past might make that too painful for her, or something.
But then I got the email from last week where she tells me that a new friend from a social activity sheís been partaking in has gone into the hospital, and her new priority is throwing herself into helping care for him. Unlike my injury the friendís case is similar enough to be palatable. It was also jumping into this with both feet that apparently led her to find distraction with the second of the flings.
So now Iím left wondering why a guy she has only known briefly gets so much of her attention that it exceeds her capacity to take care of herself, or her other relationships with NN and I, while my injury was treated with a casual nonchalance.

Message Received: Your health and wellness donít matter to me, and isnít worth the effort to divert from my regularly scheduled social activities. Iíd rather voluntarily sacrifice our relationship and my own welfare in the process of helping out someone I just met at said social activity.
Result: My...donít I feel special.


I said earlier that I couldnítí fault the honesty of telling me about the truth about the new guys. Our last conversation we had, I asked who the other two people were, and get an idea of what happened and when. Something has been nagging at me for a while since that though. While getting physical with the first guy didnít happen until recently, apparently the fling started earlier... much earlier, before my accident, and before the check-in where I told her that this sort of thing would be hurtful. When I look at the timeline, (as near as I can recall anyways) it would have started before those conversations, and around the same time as the calendar details disappeared, and she started avoiding our dates and pulling away.
I donít recall her mentioning at the time. It might be one thing when she was avoiding me entirely. But she never mentioned it during the conversation when I asked her taínotíta. Perhaps it seemed unimportant at the time since the fellow in question was geographically separated, so itís not like it would have been an immediate concern. But something NN said to me recently makes me wonder if she wasnít consciously hiding it from me. Either from fear of my reaction, avoidance of the discussion that would result, or perhaps just playing the usual script. I donít know. But if itís true that she was holding back, how far does the honesty really go.

Message Received: Can you really trust me as much as you have?
Result: My...just...oh...my.



Iím going to reiterate here that these are not the things she said, or the message that may have been intended. These are just the messages I seemed to receive from the actions of a lover, and the feelings that resulted, especially before real communication could take place and circumstances could be taken into account.

(To be Concluded...)
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  #82  
Old 09-12-2011, 03:42 PM
TruckerPete TruckerPete is offline
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Message Received: Your GF is acting like a twat.
Result: DTMFA
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  #83  
Old 09-12-2011, 04:48 PM
Minxxa Minxxa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TruckerPete View Post
Message Received: Your GF is acting like a twat.
Result: DTMFA
+1. And kudos for the nice usage of twat!
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  #84  
Old 09-13-2011, 12:13 AM
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ImaginaryIllusion ImaginaryIllusion is offline
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Now now...I appreciate your support, but please try to be nice. She's at a disadvantage here because I can't really go into her justifications for anything without divulging details that aren't mine to give.

Pt 3 might take care of some of this as well, but I want to clarify that when she says my being upset is my problem, it's not because she doesn't take responsibility that her actions would have hurt me, or deny that I should be upset about some things. But rather that she's too busy with her own stuff to bother worrying about whatever it is that's bothering me about it.
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  #85  
Old 09-13-2011, 12:14 AM
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Originally Posted by ImaginaryIllusion View Post
Now now...I appreciate your support, but please try to be nice.

Pt 3 might take care of some of this as well, but I want to clarify that when she says my being upset is my problem, it's not because she doesn't take responsibility that her actions would have hurt me, or deny that I should be upset about some things. But rather that she's too busy with her own stuff to bother worrying about whatever it is that's bothering me about it.
Kind of boils down to the same thing, doesn't it?
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Old 09-13-2011, 12:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Derbylicious View Post
Kind of boils down to the same thing, doesn't it?
Well, I get what she means, I think...

She's saying that she can't really help what he's feeling about it. She is responsible for her part, but has no control over his reaction or how he handles it, which is his responsibility. And that's true, but unfortunately, she apparently does not have the time nor energy to comfort or support him as he processes what's going on inside him about this.
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  #87  
Old 09-13-2011, 12:24 AM
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ImaginaryIllusion ImaginaryIllusion is offline
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Default What to do now? - Bubblegum Crisis (3a of 3)

I had a lot of questions when I talked to K last, getting to the Who, What, When, Where. The Why remains, as I donít think sheís ready to tell me, and possibly doesnít know her own self. Some of the things I suspect may be subconsciously motivated. Whether sheís pushing her partners away because she wants to be alone, or to scream for attention, I donít know. I donít feel close enough to the root of things to trust the surface answers I might get. And with the current crisis ongoing, I donít expect she is inclined to do that kind of digging right now.

Why? Why did she do it? Why did she choose to disregard my request? Why did she choose to do something that she knew would be hurtful? Why does she act as if she doesnít want me anymore? Why go through the trouble of trying to ditch me in this manner, when she could just tell me to go away?

This of course may influence the answers to questions about me:
How do I actually feel about all this?
What did I do to cause or contribute to the situation?
Should I keep fighting for this and when should I start cutting my losses?
Where does my metamour stand in all this, and whatís the possible fallout for the primary relationship?
The big question remains: What should I do now?



I wonder if some of this could have been avoided.


One of the things K keeps talking about is this ideal relationship that we had discussed. We talked about what it would look like, and it involved things like spending time with the family as well as each other. The key point thatís come up a couple times talking to K was that she was avoiding the work that it would take to get close to the family. Iíve tried telling her a couple times that it wasnít necessary to be best friends with my wife, or be involved with the kids for us to carry on our relationship. Iím not sure she heard me. Or the part where I didnít we needed to worry too much about the ideal version.


I find ideals are a fine tool to figure out wants or attitudes towards certain things, to figure out what someoneís ideal of perfection would be. However since people are not perfect, I think attempts to pursue ideals suffer from the same fallibility inherent to the people who imagine them. Like a mirage in the desert, which might look good in the distance, but weíre never able to reach. But that doesnít mean there may not be an oasis or two on the way. A place one should be content to stop and rest a while, before carrying the journey. I figure that the ideal relationship we envisioned a year ago may not be realistic, and by now it may not even be what weíd want now. And it doesnít mean we always need to chase it...but can spend some time figuring out where we actually are, and where we can be happy to rest for a while.


Iím not sure K ever heard that part either, and the effort of chasing illusions seems overwhelmingly difficult for her. Itís not like Iíd be terribly keen to trek across the dessert until my feet bled either. So it seems our paths may have diverged, or at least weíre not agreeing on which way to go. In addition, the initial problems end up being the topic of discussion whenever we talked, so is it possible that our relationship just became to arduous because we were spending all our time talking poly and our relationship, instead of just enjoying our time together? Did I stop being fun to be around because I was at home and falling into my usual routine instead of being interesting? Itíd be an easy vicious little cycle to fall into if the attempts to fix the relationships became the cause of the deterioration, resulting in more attempts to fix it...etc, etc, etc. Was that why she wanted to avoid our dates and find a new diversion? Was I just weighing her down?


If this is the case, how do I convince someone with tender feet that we should continue walking over the hot sand to get to the next oasis? Especially if weíre already stranded under the scorching sun with nowhere closer to go?



What should I with the messages received. Some may be false. Some may be true, whether intentional or not. Some can be resolved eventually once thereís a chance to talk about things, and get some clarification. But thereís a couple that Iím having a hard time trying to reconcile. Things involving some basic pillars to any relationship, poly or not...trust and respect.


I could be wrong...in thinking that Iíve shown K plenty of consideration and respect in my attempts over the better part of a year of trying to keep our relationship going. Iím sure Iíve made some mistakes, and while Iíve tried to make things easier, I canít make it effortless.

To some extent, I donít want to. My personal philosophy is that not only that some things are worth fighting for, but also that in some cases the fight is what can make something worthwhile. The effort put forth imbues a value. Iím not talking about fighting with violence, and values in dollars here. Iím talking about the satisfaction that can be enjoyed of something which actually took some effort to earn. I donít fear the effort that relationships require...and I think Iíve gotten less tolerate in recent years with those who arenít willing to ante up to keep the game going...be they friends, or whatever. Am I wrong or overly selfish in not wanting to be the only one ready to take responsibility? To put in the effort? To be willing to work through things? To have the self-control to make sacrifices of my own desires to respect another?

Did I miss something? Am I suffering from the myopia of someone who feels wronged? Was I being unfair in making my requests? Was it unrealistic to expect her to honour her agreement? (These questions arenít entirely rhetorical, so anyone who can provide some illumination is welcome to speak up).

By the same token, would my request have been necessary if our relationship had been in a better place to begin with? If we both could have been content with where we were at the moment, and been present in enjoying ourselves at the time, would there have been the need to burden our time together with heavy poly discussions which K found so wearing?


Even now, itís not the idea of the sex thatís bothering me. As I said before, I always figured it would happen eventually, and with little warning if any. Itís not like I want to be upset about it, or wouldnít get over it quickly. Itís the part where I asked for something and I feel let down.

When we last talked, the issue of asking her to limit such things came up, and she said something to me, about how she figured I wouldnít want to ask for hard limits around these things because Iíd know Iíd lose her. At the moment, Iím wondering if that shouldnít be the other way around...should she not also be afraid of losing me? I donít say this to sound like an egotist, but rather that I have some self-respect, and value my own time, so should it not be spent in the company of someone who actually wants me around?
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  #88  
Old 09-13-2011, 12:25 AM
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ImaginaryIllusion ImaginaryIllusion is offline
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Default What to do now? - Bubblegum Crisis (3b of 3)

Itís clichť, but true, that actions speak louder than words. While motives remain uncertain, and there may be half-decent reasons to justify certain event, there will remain some lessons from recent months that may be hard to unlearn, and thatís assuming that they even should be.


Iíve learned that regardless of what she told me or agreed to, when the chips are down my gf will do as she wants when she wants with whomever she wants. When the chips are down, I will not be the priority, or even a priority. I wouldnít dream of getting in the way if she needs priority for herself, or her primary, or her family. But apparently I donít show up on the radar at all unless I start forcing the issue. Her words may say she loves me, but the actions tell me that I also take back seat to social outings, new friends, and various other things, so I just really donít know where I stand at all.

Iíve learned more about my wife...as usually happens on any day that Iíve known her. More specifically, I always knew she cares about me, and she has some pretty strong feelings about me and thoughts on how I should be treated...which is a handy perspective since I donít seem to hold myself with half the regard she seems to give me. On some previous occasions Iíve felt caught in the middle between her and K, which has really not been the case this time. But my wife has been a great source of reassurance for me, an awesome sounding board though all of this, and I think will be invaluable as a backstop both now and in the future to remind me from time to time that I might deserve better than I give myself credit for. She rawks!

And speaking of my wife, Iíve learned I can depend on the metamours on her side of the tribe when the shit hits the fan. Iíve learned that when things are rough, theyíre the kind of people I can lean on, at least a little bit, and theyíll be there. I donít think I can actually describe how important that is to me...any such friends I used to have I left at home when I moved away for work over half a dozen years ago. Some of those friends are still there and available, have been for over 25 years in some cases, but the geography makes it difficult to ever make use of that. Iíve found precious few of that quality where I live now.

Whether itís because she doesnít want to because it would be hard, sheís preoccupied, or simply would be ďCRUSHED UNDER THE ENORMOUS WEIGHTĒ of my issues, it would seem my gf is not one of those I can lean on. Iím not sure if this would be as disappointing to me until finding out that while she wasnít willing or able to make herself available for me after my accident, she would voluntarily burn the candle at both ends for a new acquaintance. ( I know WHY this is so important to her, but it doesnít really make the snub hurt any less)



Thereís doubt in my mind, and a hole in my trust, and any sense of respect seems tattered. Where fault (by either of us) may lie in how it came about is yet to be determined, and so the whys may make the whats & hows become irrelevant. I worry about what may linger, and the next time she asks me the question ďdonít you trust me?Ē...and I might not be able to give her the answer I want. Not if I was to be honest about it. I think this is the fallout I fear most!



I think Iíve spun this around about six ways from Sunday by now, and Iíll probably end up repeating myself, ...assuming that I havenít already repeated repeating myself...myself.


I asked K that once she was finished with the current crisis, to come back to talk to me, and her primary as well, so that we can start figuring out what weíre going to do about all this. And maybe get to the whys. I donít know what direction weíll take, or if sheíll even show up looking to work on anything or just another way out. Iím not even sure which way I want things to go...or if I actually have much left to offer. (Though that would seem pretty asinine having just spent 3 posts angsting about it now eh?)
It could be that our visions of how we want poly to work in our lives is simply incompatible. I see no shame in that, so long as we can recognize it in ourselves.
I donít know how itíll affect her primary relationship either...but I donít think Iím the only one feeling a little left out in the cold. It could be that she simply doesnít have it in her to maintain a secondary like me...(whatever kind that is) in addition to her primary. In which case I risk becoming a liability to the primary relationship and I will happily bow out...a possibility, and responsibility that Iíve learned well from a good friend whom anyone around here should know well.
At the end of the day, I do know I have the need to be needed...or at least wanted. If thatís indeed missing, then there wonít be much else to worry about.


Anyone that started reading this, my final suggestion for the day is that anytime you hear or read the word ďLUBEĒ you will answer back ďLOVE IT!Ē. And now youíll wake up feeling relaxed and completely refreshed in 3...2...1Ö<snap>.
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  #89  
Old 09-13-2011, 04:21 AM
marksbabygirl marksbabygirl is offline
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I'm going to send you (((HUGS))) too. I enjoy reading about you and your tribe... I don't get to hear enough from you.

I've heard it said before... never make someone a priority who treats you like an option.

Everything I read (and I know its one sided, but like you said, actions speak louder than words) tells me you're an option for her. People put energy and time into the things that are important to them. They let the things slide that are not.

I will use myself as an example. I love piano. I love playing it. I love getting lost in the music. However, despite the fact that there's a piano in my living room, I haven't played in at least 6 years. Why? Because its become less of a priority in my life. I put my energy and time into derby because it is a priority in my life.

(((HUGS))) to you.
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  #90  
Old 09-13-2011, 04:22 AM
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AnnabelMore AnnabelMore is offline
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So... what do you get from the relationship with K?

We don't owe our partners *anything*, ultimately, except for respect and consideration. Everything else is negotiable. But if she won't give you those two things... why persist? Hell, I wouldn't keep a *friend* who wouldn't give me those things, much less a partner.

What you described about the physical distance between you two and her taking other lovers... that's my biggest fear in my relationship with my gf right now, that that might happen. :/ I think it does represent a really problematic alignment of priorities.

But it's not nearly as significant as the accumulated weight of all the many, many other things you mentioned... all those "message received's".

"Why? Why did she do it? Why did she choose to disregard my request? Why did she choose to do something that she knew would be hurtful? Why does she act as if she doesn’t want me anymore? Why go through the trouble of trying to ditch me in this manner, when she could just tell me to go away?

This of course may influence the answers to questions about me:
How do I actually feel about all this?
What did I do to cause or contribute to the situation?
Should I keep fighting for this and when should I start cutting my losses?
Where does my metamour stand in all this, and what’s the possible fallout for the primary relationship?
The big question remains: What should I do now?"

All these questions and for what? You said it yourself, actions speak louder than words. Lots of people are too cowardly to end a relationship directly, so they sabotage it. Lots of people are too callous to treat a person how they ought to be treated. Does it really matter which is the case here?

Show yourself the respect she won't show you and end it.
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