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  #11  
Old 10-27-2011, 11:22 PM
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wow, this thread has been incredibly helpful to me already. THANK YOU!!

the insight about my relationship with Alex is fairly right on. i don't think i have been putting enough energy into that relationship, partially because i have been feeling ambivalent about the relationship in general, and partially because i probably have been out of balance with getting really focused on my NRE for Sam. generally speaking, there has been a lot of processing with Alex and very little sexy energy, but i do feel a renewed love for her since we have been exploring this together and our communication has improved tremendously. i can totally see why people describe this as a path of spiritual growth.

a bit of an update: recently Sam did tell me that she has stronger feelings for me than "fuck-buddy" status. in fact, she told me that she thinks she is falling in love with me. i was floored and muttered something about how i had been thinking i was feeling that too, but to be honest i wasn't expected her to say anything like that so i was really taken aback. since then, i've been feeling really intensely about her, missing her when i haven't seen her for days, but trying to be respectful of the boundaries and agreements i have set up in my primary relationship with Alex.

i guess my question is, when i do feel like i want to see more of Sam than my current agreements with Alex permit, how do i give myself permission to ask that of Alex when i know she already stretching herself A LOT to even be exploring this with me? i don't want to get back into the habit of not being honest about what i am doing, which was what i used to do before exploring being poly. i find myself being tempted though, to see Sam without explicit permission from Alex, and that is terrifying. i DON'T want to go back to my old ways.
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  #12  
Old 10-27-2011, 11:40 PM
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Wait a minute - you have to ask Alex for permission each time you want to see Sam? Why??!!!

Edit: Oh, I just reread your post and so I gather that you and Alex have an agreement regarding how many days per week you see Sam, or something to that effect. Sorry, I thought you were going to Alex before planning each date and asking permission.

I think there is probably a moment in every relationship when re-negotiations take place regarding boundaries. But it doesn't seem like you're really ready to re-negotiate yet, and are just trying to be prepared for when you do. I would say to get real clear about what you want, first and foremost. If you just have in your mind some vague concept of seeing Sam more often, it will make it a little hard to express what you want. So take some time to feel what you feel and see what you want before asking for changes.
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Last edited by nycindie; 10-27-2011 at 11:46 PM.
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  #13  
Old 10-27-2011, 11:45 PM
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I do have to ask Alex for permission each time I want to see Sam. That is our current agreement. I guess becuase she wants to be looped in at all times. It has been very frustrating for me, and I suppose I just haven't had the courage to make a strong request to revisit this agreement because Alex is so adamant about needing to rebuild her trust for me and wanting to have a say in everything I do with Sam. Does this seem crazy???
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  #14  
Old 10-27-2011, 11:50 PM
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Here's another aspect of what is coming up for me... I have been seeing Sam and having this really mind-blowing sex, and often I tell Alex beforehand "I won't see Sam for such-and-such amount of time after this" but then I find it REALLY hard to stick to that. Am I being selfish and just need to suck it up and not see Sam for the period of time I said I wouldn't?? Or is it fair for me to say, wow, I thought I could go that long without seeing her but I really want to see her again sooner.

I'm feeling like I am haivng a hard time knowing what I want, asking for what I want, and sticking to what I say I wanted.
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  #15  
Old 10-28-2011, 04:44 AM
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The thing about poly is that it's about loving, real, important relationships. I get that that wasn't the "plan" with Sam but it's what you've got and you'd do well to honor it. That means, to my mind, letting it grow at its own pace. Not getting sucked into NRE and forgetting about Alex, by any means, but also not letting her entirely dictate what pace is ok for *your* feelings... I mean, how must that feel for Sam?

Do. Not. Lie. To. Alex. You'll be violating both her trust and Sam's by saying you're in an honest, open relationship and then not living that way. Do the brave thing, the thing that will ultimately strengthen your relationships rather than weaken them, and just communicate!
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  #16  
Old 10-28-2011, 04:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beginninglove View Post
Or is it fair for me to say, wow, I thought I could go that long without seeing her but I really want to see her again sooner.
Um, YES, it's ok to express your feelings and ask if compromise if possible. What would make you think it wasn't? Are you holding onto guilt from the cheating, or do you often have problems expressing your needs, or is this just a hang-up related to poly?
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  #17  
Old 10-28-2011, 12:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beginninglove View Post
. . . often I tell Alex beforehand "I won't see Sam for such-and-such amount of time after this" but then I find it REALLY hard to stick to that.
Why, when saying you want to spend time with Sam, do you add in the idea that you will go a certain amount of time before you see her again? That sounds like you feel really guilty about what you're doing. You know, like when Lucy wants Ricky to put her in his show, she says, "I promise I won't ask you again." It's a childish way of asking for what you want.

I think that, instead of requesting permission from Alex as if she's your mother, figure out how often you want to see Sam, and stick to it. Then just set up an agreement that you will plan ahead, put it on the calendar, etc., so that Alex is aware of when you'll be with Sam. Set up a Google calendar. So, let's say that you and Sam want three nights a week together, or two nights and one full day on the weekend, or an overnight somewhere in there, whatever. You can designate specific nights for that or play it by ear, but Alex will know she agreed to that amount. This way you don't feel like you're this bad girl begging for a little fun. Then, if there is something Alex wants to do and it happens to be a night you have scheduled to see Sam, you can negotiate: "Well, that is my night to see Sam, but I'll see if she'd be okay with switching it because I'd really like to do this with you."

Just approach it like adults who are making their own choices, since that's what you are, not like you're doing this terrible thing and are hoping to get away with it. Ultimately, if you are acting ethically, honestly, and without hiding anything, the only thing left is for Alex to forgive you fully and completely -- and that's up to her -- so you can both move on.
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Last edited by nycindie; 10-28-2011 at 12:27 PM.
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  #18  
Old 10-28-2011, 07:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beginninglove View Post
...i read another thread about how its not really possible to feel NRE for more than one person at a time....

That notion is pure bullshit. It may be true for some individuals--it certainly isn't true universally.
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  #19  
Old 10-28-2011, 07:32 PM
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It sounds to me like the three of you are just about at the point where sitting down and hashing out times to see each other on a regular basis is in order. No one has the right to give the other permission, but its time to get real here and come forward with what you all want to see happen. Each person will have to be willing to make themselves vulnerable about their feelings and needs in this in order to go beyond compromise into agreements about time and boundaries.

It does sound lilke you feel guilty. I suggest dumping that feeling if you can and be empathetic instead. It isn't useful in negotiating to feel guilty because people who feel guilty usually make promises and agreements they can't keep. It pepetuates guilt when they find themselves unable to keep them.

The best one can do with that, I have found, if you can't drop the guilt, is to agree as you see fit and if it doesn't work then say so and change it again. Make sure that everyone knows that negotiations are fluid and everything is on trial for now so that there is room to come back to the drawing board and so everyone knows that it is expected.

There should be room for "mistakes" and trying stuff out as long as it doesn't get to a place where someone becomes resentful because they have neglected to speak up when its not working for them. They are responsible for that. No one else is. Good luck hard work ahead
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  #20  
Old 10-28-2011, 09:30 PM
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Wow. This is really super helpful and I am SO glad I found this forum. Nothing has been more helpful to me in this process so far than reading your words here and on other threads. Thanks again.

I really appreciate how you all are able to call me (and other people on this forum) out on stuff, in a straightforward yet supportive way. I DO feel guilty about what I am doing, and I DO end up asking Alex for things like a bad girl asking for permission to be naughty. It's true, it doesn't feel good to anyone. I suppose this may be left over from old ways of being (i.e. lying and cheating) and also from the sense that Alex is agreeing to things because she is afraid of losing me rather than really truly being invested in poly. But the reality is she probably would lose me if she were to insist on being mono, so I guess she is also choosing what she feels is best for her in this situation.

By the way, I hear that a number of you are objecting to the idea that someone cannot feel NRE for more than one person at a time. That is not my personal thought or opinion, just something I heard on a clip of a researcher speaking about different types of love (there's a link to it on this forum somewhere), so it was just something that had just stuck in my mind. I get that people have had experiences that contradict this idea. I am just so IN IT with Sam and I was fantasizing that maybe she only has NRE for me, but that is not very mature of me and totally contradicts what poly is about, I get that. She is so super hot and amazing and we have INCREDIBLE sex, and its okay that other people find her hot and amazing, and maybe even have incredible sex with her too.
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