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  #211  
Old 10-07-2011, 04:20 PM
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Oh, seeing BU's post just reminded me that I'd wanted to respond to your thread when you added your last message. Sorry...

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Originally Posted by AnnabelMore View Post
. . . he's in between contracts at work, so he has all day free... and he'll say he was bored. And I just boggle at that. Life is so big and exciting and there's never enough time to do even a part of all I want to do. And he's bored. How can he be bored?
I don't know, I think you can cut him some slack here. For someone who is always busy, a long span of time with nothing planned can seem overwhelming. And if he's not a "smell the roses" type of guy who can wing it comfortably, I can see how a free day seems boring. He probably just doesn't know how to be okay with doing nothing, or being spontaneous.

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I talked to him about it all, just a little bit, the other day... about feeling uneasy, about not being sure if I wanted to move in together. He said he understood, but that he thought he would need some commitment and stability in the next 6 to 12 months . . . I want Davis as my best friend and my lover.
Why can't you just tell him that? Your statement is definitive about what you want and how you want it to be. There can certainly be a commitment to that. And it certainly can be stable as "best friends and lovers." Since he's able to be patient and not demand some kind of answer for six months to a year, I don't think you really need to fret about it. However, it's probably helpful to note that there is an element of unease or dissatisfaction with the situation -- or having to define it. Perhaps you sense (or imagine?) some pressure coming from him about this, and maybe it's more gratifying to you to just have it BE what it is rather than have a defined role, and that's what's bothering you. In any event, there is good, rich, informative stuff here to look at as you move forward.

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Originally Posted by AnnabelMore View Post
I just think less and less that I want him him to be my life partner.
There is nothing wrong with that. When you rekindled things with him, was there any promise or even implication that it was supposed to head toward life partnership?
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Last edited by nycindie; 10-07-2011 at 04:42 PM.
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  #212  
Old 10-08-2011, 03:46 AM
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Is there passion in the mix? ... Many good friendships, even loving ones, would be totally ruined if you force them into a couply mold.
Hmm. Passion. Yes and no. We have strong physical chemistry, my body seems to know and recognize him -- I get wet very quickly when things start to get sexual between us, we fit together well and have good orgasms together. We're, at the same time, rough and tender.

But I'm not always 100% engaged mentally. The very idea of him doesn't get me all chilled and thrilled like it's been with some other lovers, y'know? I'd say it was just because of our long history together, but it was actually never quite there with him, that encompassing excitement.

You have some good points about loving friendships... food for thought. I just don't think a lower level of involvement/commitment is going to work for us here, he's been so into me for so long and he's longing for stability right now. If I truly can't give that to him than I probably just need to step away and allow him space to move on.

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I don't think you should make any lasting commitments unless your hand with Gia is played through, and you see what sort of form your relationship with her will take post-Bee.
I think the thing that makes that idea hard, for both Gia and me, is that she definitely can't commit to me more deeply right now (and who knows, we may well never get to that point), and she has a full-time life partner in Eric. So the idea of me putting the rest of my romantic life on hold indefinitely while I wait and see, it just seems a little too unbalanced.

I see what you're saying, and it's tempting... but if I *do* stay with Davis then I owe it to him and myself to let it progress naturally and not to miss opportunities because I'm holding my breath waiting to see what someone else might at some point be ready to offer me.

Then again, six months post baby might not be too much to ask... this does seem, in some ways, like the exact wrong time for this, with so much up in the air. On the other hand, if things were smooth between me and Davis then his support and presence during this crazy time might be just the rock I'd need. *sigh*

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Wouldn't that be better for everyone included? If Davis is mono, he will be wanting a life-partner of his own that really puts him on top of their list.
...
Or I could be totally of the mark and you just need to give it time.
I'm trying to figure out how I'd prioritize Davis and Gia in my life if I stay with Davis. Could he ever really be the most important thing to me when Gia and Bee are so incalculably precious to me?

I don't know, I don't know. :/ Balancing the logistics, the tide-like pulls, of various partners seems less complicated when I'm giving advice to others, heh. In my own life, I'm baffled. But yeah, I think you might be right about what Davis will want/need versus what I can give.

Or it could be the time thing. :P
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  #213  
Old 10-08-2011, 03:50 AM
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Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
Sorry...
Aww, no need to apologize, certainly! Every person's time and thoughtful input here is a gift.

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Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
I don't know, I think you can cut him some slack here. For someone who is always busy, a long span of time with nothing planned can seem overwhelming.
That's well put, thank you. I should remember that just because his reaction is different than mine, that doesn't make it some kind of character flaw.

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Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
"I want Davis as my best friend and my lover."

Why can't you just tell him that? Your statement is definitive about what you want and how you want it to be. There can certainly be a commitment to that. And it certainly can be stable as "best friends and lovers." Since he's able to be patient and not demand some kind of answer for six months to a year, I don't think you really need to fret about it. However, it's probably helpful to note that there is an element of unease or dissatisfaction with the situation -- or having to define it. Perhaps you sense (or imagine?) some pressure coming from him about this, and maybe it's more gratifying to you to just have it BE what it is rather than have a defined role, and that's what's bothering you.
Again, all really well put. I think you're on the money here. You can see above in my response to BU my concern that it's not possible to get what I'm feeling like I want here (love, friendship, no commitment). I could just leave things be, I know that, but it's hard not to try to think it all through and work it out...

I talked all of this through with Gia earlier tonight (more on that later) and I think I'm finally getting to the point where I'm ready to say more of this to Davis directly. I've been afraid to let it all out and potentially mess things up between us when maybe I'm just overblowing things. But he deserves to know what's going on in my head and to not be blindsided if I do decide to leave.

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When you rekindled things with him, was there any promise or even implication that it was supposed to head toward life partnership?
Yes, we re-entered this relationship with the understanding that the goal was to move towards building a life together. Assuming everything went well, which is in no way a given right now, the idea was that we'd move in together in May when my lease with my roommates is up.
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  #214  
Old 10-08-2011, 05:15 AM
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Originally Posted by AnnabelMore View Post
I just don't think a lower level of involvement/commitment is going to work for us here, he's been so into me for so long and he's longing for stability right now. If I truly can't give that to him than I probably just need to step away and allow him space to move on.
Well, rather than “step away,” you could express what you want and see if he’ll “step up.”

I also think you need to get clear on what he means by “stability.” Does that mean you will have to be monogamous with him? Or committed to a pre-defined number of days per month with him? Working to support a household with him? Stability isn’t about the outward physical trappings. It’s about a steadfastness of feeling and dedication, I think, just as much. I am thinking of this guy I know. He’s an activist, and a performer, a husband who co-parents, and sheesh, he’s got quite a number of partners and “sweeties,” as he calls them. I don’t even know how many! His career as a singer and his activism has him traveling all over the country and yet, I have never had the sense that his home life is unstable, especially given the pride he takes in being a co-parent. He once met me for a drink and called his wife while we were out. I could tell that what they have is stability, because of his commitment to his relationship with her – it had nothing to do with how many other things he had going on. Of course, I’m sure managing his time and travel is an important aspect, and he does what he has to in order to take care of his home life, but believe me his plate is full. It is probably helpful that his wife is poly, too, but still – what does stability mean to you and Davis? Can’t you have everything you want and be stable, too?

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Originally Posted by AnnabelMore View Post
Then again, six months post baby might not be too much to ask... this does seem, in some ways, like the exact wrong time for this, with so much up in the air. On the other hand, if things were smooth between me and Davis then his support and presence during this crazy time might be just the rock I'd need. *sigh*
He’s already told you he’s willing to wait even a year before you give him any kind of commitment, right? So relax, darlin’!

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Originally Posted by AnnabelMore View Post
I'm trying to figure out how I'd prioritize Davis and Gia in my life if I stay with Davis. Could he ever really be the most important thing to me when Gia and Bee are so incalculably precious to me?
I would say they can all be at the top of your priorities, just handled differently.

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. . . my concern that it's not possible to get what I'm feeling like I want here (love, friendship, no commitment). I could just leave things be, I know that, but it's hard not to try to think it all through and work it out...
Look how long and patiently you waited (and are still waiting) to express your feelings to Eric, and how much time you gave to letting things with you, him, and Gia just simmer and become this gloriously delicious and nourishing soup. You know you have the patience, and the ability to sit through discomfort and not knowing how things will turn out. The difference here is that, with Gia and Eric, YOU wanted an answer. With Davis, HE wants the answer. I still wonder if psychically you are feeling too much pressure from him to fulfill a role, and that’s what has you befuddled.

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Yes, we re-entered this relationship with the understanding that the goal was to move towards building a life together.
Does that mean, specifically, to give up everyone else you hold equally dear? In other words, “to forsake all others” as they say in typical mono marriage vows? If so, that does seem rather unfair and cruel to you. Is he unable to budge at all? Hasn't he already come a long way in understanding that you need/want/desire the other people in your life, or do you think it would be too much of a battle?
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  #215  
Old 10-09-2011, 11:23 AM
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I also think you need to get clear on what he means by “stability.” Does that mean you will have to be monogamous with him? Or committed to a pre-defined number of days per month with him? Working to support a household with him?
...
What does stability mean to you and Davis? Can’t you have everything you want and be stable, too?
He's not asking monogamy of me. When we decided to date again, he assured me that he respects my relationship with Gia and didn't seek to limit it in any way, now or in the future.

We also agreed to wait at least 3 months before talking about me re-engaging with the casual partners I'd been seeing, and at least 6 months before talking about me initiating any new potential intimate relationships. The idea was not necessarily that we'd move forward with those things at those spots in the timeline, just that we'd wait at least that long to open up the conversation, moving at his level of comfort, with the promise that he would work at being more comfortable.

So, yeah, just to be very clear, there's no monogamy requirement, just some built in time for him to get used to the idea of me being with people other than Gia and Eric.

[For the record, yes, according to the "timeline" he and I could be talking now about me hooking up with Harry again. I haven't brought it up to him, though, because the whole point of giving it time was really to allow our relationship to find a good, comfortable rhythm and a sense of (that word again!) stability, and I don't feel like we're there yet. Also, while I missed Harry a lot at first, right now I've just got other stuff on my mind.]

He himself, however, is quite inclined to be monogamous -- he's tried to be interested in other women in the 4 years since we split up, but he couldn't ever really feel it. So, if we stay together I will very likely be his one and only partner. I don't know about numbers of days per month, but I would certainly need to be able to build a household with him and spend a significant amount of time with him in order to meet his needs as his sole partner.

So, I think that's what stability means in this context -- that we've set in place a firm foundation for a future we could share together... starting with, most likely getting a place together, blending finances, maybe making some long-term plans.

You've got a point though that it couldn't hurt to clarify this with him.

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Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
He’s already told you he’s willing to wait even a year before you give him any kind of commitment, right? So relax, darlin’!
Haha, good point.

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Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
I would say they can all be at the top of your priorities, just handled differently.
Yeah, that's a good way to think about it.

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...letting things with you, him, and Gia just simmer and become this gloriously delicious and nourishing soup.
Wow, love this analogy!

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Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
The difference here is that, with Gia and Eric, YOU wanted an answer. With Davis, HE wants the answer.
Excellent point... it's funny for me to realize how much more comfortable I seem to be with the former versus the latter.
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  #216  
Old 10-09-2011, 02:45 PM
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^Reading your last sentence it sounds like we're a lot like in that respect. I have a hard time with people expecting things of me, while I'm quite flexible with what I need from others. I'm working on the first part, though, in making boundaries I feel comfortable with. Maybe the distressing part for you here is not so much that he may want/need more than you feel you can give, but that you don't know what it is you want..?

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Originally Posted by AnnabelMore View Post
He himself, however, is quite inclined to be monogamous -- he's tried to be interested in other women in the 4 years since we split up, but he couldn't ever really feel it. So, if we stay together I will very likely be his one and only partner. I don't know about numbers of days per month, but I would certainly need to be able to build a household with him and spend a significant amount of time with him in order to meet his needs as his sole partner.

So, I think that's what stability means in this context -- that we've set in place a firm foundation for a future we could share together... starting with, most likely getting a place together, blending finances, maybe making some long-term plans.
I think it's quite relevant for these considerations to know more specifically what his needs are. What are you comfortable with? What are your needs? What are you able, and willing, to commit to? Other than wondering if you want this kind of a relationship with him, are the above things you'd like to have with somebody or some people?

I'll disagree a bit with BlackUnicorn about waiting until you see how things settle with Gia, since no relationship is really ever in an end-point, where you can definitely say how big a part you'll play in each others life in the future. Things change, always.. However, it might be good to consider (and discuss with him) the place of Gia and Eric, as well as possible future partners, in your life. What is it that will make you both happy; how much of a part of your life is he happy with other people being? It's not just a question of what he (and you) can live with, but also what both of you want from life.

Just some thoughts.
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  #217  
Old 10-10-2011, 02:08 AM
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Maybe the distressing part for you here is not so much that he may want/need more than you feel you can give, but that you don't know what it is you want..?
Totally. :/

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I think it's quite relevant for these considerations to know more specifically what his needs are.
...
it might be good to consider (and discuss with him) the place of Gia and Eric, as well as possible future partners, in your life. What is it that will make you both happy; how much of a part of your life is he happy with other people being?
Yeah, I am thinking I need to have a big talk with him about this stuff this week, and that I need to talk a little more with Gia as well...
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  #218  
Old 10-10-2011, 02:37 AM
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A friend of ours held an early Halloween party Saturday night. Gia had come up with an adorable group costume idea for her, Eric and Bee, and she'd invited me to join them on it.

I left work early on Friday and went to her place so we could work on our costumes and talk. I poured out all my concerns about my relationship with Davis, everything I've said here and more, and she listened as we sewed.

She pinpointed Davis's recurring depression as something that might be causing a lot of issues between us. Eric has seasonal affective disorder, and it used to be that when he got depressed each winter she felt like he was someone else, not necessarily someone she wanted to be with. For a while, she made it a condition of their relationship that he start and continue therapy. He's since developed some coping strategies and it's easier for both of them now. She suggested that I consider insisting that Davis get help if we are to continue to be together.

She also had a lot of other helpful little things to say, but mostly it was just good to get all of my worries out. Saying everything out loud made me feel like I could talk to Davis about it all too. Gia said that she sees a lot worth in my connection with Davis and that she hopes we can work it out -- but I know she'll support me either way.

I came back to her place Saturday morning and we spent all day finishing our costumes and juggling Bee while Eric and his brother worked on the house. It was a very pleasant, productive day for everyone. Bee sometimes stops fussing when I sing, so I spent a lot of the day singing.

As we were getting ready to leave the house, I noticed a copy of The Five Love Languages. I recognized it from people mentioning it here and asked if I could borrow it. Gia said yes, and mentioned that she'd borrowed it from Liza for the purpose of understanding me better (I rely heavily on touch as a way to convey and accept affection, she doesn't). I took it as a very positive sign that in the midst of everything going on in her life, she's actively thinking about how better to relate to me.

At the party, everyone got what we were going for and I think we all looked awesome (especially Bee, of course... babies in costumes!!!). The whole costume thing made me really happy -- it felt good to be included, to have Gia's help in making it happen (she's miles better at sewing than I am), and to present ourselves as a group to all our mutual friends.
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  #219  
Old 10-10-2011, 02:41 AM
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Originally Posted by AnnabelMore View Post
Gia had come up with an adorable group costume idea for her, Eric and Bee . . . At the party, everyone got what we were going for and I think we all looked awesome (especially Bee, of course... babies in costumes!!!).
Okay, okay, I call Time Out on discussing relationship stuff here because I MUST hear more about those costumes! Details, please!
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  #220  
Old 10-10-2011, 03:09 AM
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I'm working hard on untangling my desires for my future with Gia/Eric from my desires for my future with Davis.

One example -- living arrangements. Could I ever live with G&E&B? We're not there in our relationship(s) yet and there would be some major logistical issues, so it's not worth seriously considering right now -- I wouldn't accept if they offered, mainly because A) I think it would really be rushing it and B) they live in the county and I love life in the city. But, maybe, some day, it could make sense. And, in my hazy daydreams at least, it could be so beautiful.

However, if I'm living with Davis and building a household with him, it would probably be a lot harder to fit that life into a life where I'd live with G&E&B. Does that knowledge affect my willingness to consider living with him?

I know that it shouldn't. The future is a big question mark, for all of us. I can't put my life on hold because of something that could maybe some day happen. Like, let's look at a different question -- could Gia and Eric and I ever be a closed, equilateral, polyfi triad? Er, sure, could happen in a possible future. But we're nowhere near that point now, so I sure as hell haven't let that stop me from taking other partners both casual and (now with Davis) serious.

The future, man. How the hell am I supposed to figure out what I want it to look like?? And how the hell am I supposed to move forward if I have no idea what I want my future to look like??

I know, let it go for now, I know... urgh, I'm just *so* bad at leaving things be. I'm going to at least talk a little to each of my partners soon about this question.
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