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  #11  
Old 10-28-2011, 12:41 AM
onoma onoma is offline
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So... new development. She asked me point blank tonight if I wanted to see other people. I tried to ignore the question, then dodge it by saying "not right now" meaning that I was thinking through it for possible future discussion... but she pressed forward with it. (I really need to stop watching Desperate Housewives with her...)



Here's what she envisions:

We schedule two nights a week where we are not home, to avoid having to explain when we're going on a date

We can't have sleepovers with anyone else

We set a time limit on how long this goes for

We either continue having sex with each other OR have sex with our dates... but not both

I feel like that complicates things more than just going with a full poly relationship, right? Not having sex in a relationship is a bad thing from everything I've ever heard... yet dating seems like it would naturally lead to sex at some point. She's frequently on record as saying the only way to avoid cheating is to avoid being in situations in which it could happen... so we'd pretty much have to stop having sex with each other and fulfill all those needs outside our relationship.

I know a big part of it is her being worried about diseases. I mentioned we could just always use condoms but she's afraid of getting HPV even with condom use...

So what do you guys think? It seems like pseudo-poly and like it's only going to make our relationship worse. (And yes, I'm aware you all recommended against it anyway and I brought that up too... but she's aware of my lack of experience and doesn't think I'll ever be able to settle in without seeing what's out there.)

I don't want to give up sex or risk losing my gf...
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  #12  
Old 10-28-2011, 10:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onoma View Post
We're fighting on a weekly basis, and sometimes I feel like we're adversarial with each other. Worse yet I think our flaws are similar and we feed into each others' weaknesses.
This is what has me worried. It sounds like the relationship is important to both of you, and that you love each other. But, sometimes people just aren't compatible. In my opinion, relationships should bring you joy, happiness, growth, and other positive things. If you really feed into each other's weaknesses, it may be that your relationship makes you both less happy. And maybe you aren't the best people to help each other grow, but rather your dynamic reinforces the negative aspects of your selves.

About the pseudo-poly approach: I agree that it is very likely to only make your relationship worse.
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  #13  
Old 10-28-2011, 12:11 PM
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Do you and the gf live together?
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  #14  
Old 10-28-2011, 01:31 PM
onoma onoma is offline
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Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
Do you and the gf live together?
Yes, we do.

@Rory: We started seeing a therapist to try and work out our issues... but yes, that's a big worry for me too. One of the reasons I hadn't brought up poly even before now is that I was worried things just weren't working.


In some ways things seem to be getting better, but it's still hard to tell.
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  #15  
Old 10-29-2011, 05:30 PM
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It seems to me that you two need to work on your relationship first. This arrangement just seems like a transitional thing to getting out of your relationship. I think I would not even attempt dating others until you are fully connected again. If that is possible if not then I would say you are done. That doesn't mean you can't bring it up later and now that its a known, you can suggest that you work on that later. Right now there seems to be more work for the two of you to do.
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  #16  
Old 10-29-2011, 08:58 PM
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I think she's hoping that you're going to "get it out of your system" and then settle down with her. If that isn't going to happen you need to let her know that now. All I see happeing at the moment is that you're delaying the inevitablity that the 2 of you are going to split up.
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  #17  
Old 10-29-2011, 11:38 PM
kirsten kirsten is offline
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Default Codependent red flags

I got out of a very codependent relationship recently. So I am speaking on this from a place of familiarity and compassion. There are a few things that you have said that hints that your relationship is codependent.

Quote:
Originally Posted by onoma View Post
So last night when she tells me I just need to tell her how we can fix this, and that she'd do _anything_ to make me happy, it was all I could think about. I just needed to say that I'd be ready for kids if things worked better between us.
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Originally Posted by onoma View Post
As a general rule I don't think she's manipulative. If anything I think it's hard for us both to separate... but I could be wrong.
This just does not sound healthy to me. I think that you are grasping at straws, trying to find a way to save this relationship. I don't blame you at all. I did the same thing. I kept trying to figure out a way to make it work. Leaving was probably the hardest thing I ever did in my life. I felt terrible, and I felt terrible that he felt terrible. I couldn't eat, I couldn't sleep. I thought I would be a ball of icky emotions forever.

But I wasn't. I'm living independently now and am quite happy. I'm starting to examine all my codependence issues in therapy and in Codependents Anonymous. Although I still have a lot of work to do, I haven't felt this self-empowered, self-sufficient, and FREE ever in my life. It was probably the best decision I ever made, although it was so hard at the time.

People on this board are telling you, "do not get into poly when you have problems in your existing relationship." I feel like you are ignoring those people because it's not what you want to hear. This is more than just the words of a few people, this is practically Polyamory 101. There are several bits of wisdom that are repeated so often in the poly community that it could be a handbook for newbs. This is one of them. Here are more.

You say that the relationship was great before you lived together, but if you two can't live together, then how can you expect to start a family together? You say that she has had a rough couple of years, but if she is still having a rough time, then now is not the time to start a family.

If she is trying to tie you to something that you aren't willing to be tied to, and she is putting a timeline on it, then the kinder thing to do may be to end it now. Rather than hem and haw for a year or two while she keeps getting older (and surely more stressed out about the relationship). Or worse yet, having kids and then splitting up!

I just think that you want to focus on the poly question because you are avoiding the real issues in your relationship.
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  #18  
Old 10-30-2011, 06:39 PM
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Very good points Kristen. Co-dependency does seem to be part of the problem.
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  #19  
Old 10-31-2011, 01:27 PM
onoma onoma is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kirsten View Post
two can't live together, then how can you expect to start a family together?
That's what I keep saying, but she says that it's normal for a couple to have problems when they first move in together. I think that's true, but weekly fighting (or even week-long fights) seems like more than normal adjustment problems. Especially when it lasts for 3 months...

Quote:
You say that she has had a rough couple of years, but if she is still having a rough time, then now is not the time to start a family.
I agree. But biological clock and all...

Quote:
If she is trying to tie you to something that you aren't willing to be tied to, and she is putting a timeline on it, then the kinder thing to do may be to end it now. Rather than hem and haw for a year or two while she keeps getting older (and surely more stressed out about the relationship). Or worse yet, having kids and then splitting up!
I want kids. I'm just not sure I want them next year. BUT, here's where the poly thing is coming in: If I had kids next year, and could still sleep with a few other women I'd be more comfortable with it.

Quote:
I just think that you want to focus on the poly question because you are avoiding the real issues in your relationship.

No, I think I mentioned we are in therapy to deal with the "real issues." But I would consider my... hmm... fear? of never getting to know anyone else one of our real problems. The options on that are: Poly relationship until I calm down, or I convince myself that there's no reason to ever want to sleep with anyone else.

So I see this as one of the real problems I am trying to work through. I can't find the quote, but in "Polyamory in the 21st Century" says something to the effect of "a person can't be truly ready for a monogamous relationship until they've experienced other relationships." Maybe I saw that somewhere else?

Anyway, that seemed to hit home for me.



For the record, though, we talked the other night and I told her we're not doing any form of "seeing other people" until we've worked out our other problems. I also told her I'm reading a book on polyamory and asked her to read it with me... which was NOT an idea she was fond of. She eventually accepted though, after realizing there were books I had read when she requested. She seems pretty adamant that she would never accept this lifestyle though... so I still need to figure out if it's even what I really want, and then it might have to be without her. I am hoping the book helps her see it in a better light though...
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  #20  
Old 11-01-2011, 02:55 PM
kirsten kirsten is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onoma View Post
No, I think I mentioned we are in therapy to deal with the "real issues." But I would consider my... hmm... fear? of never getting to know anyone else one of our real problems. The options on that are: Poly relationship until I calm down, or I convince myself that there's no reason to ever want to sleep with anyone else.
That is part of the problem that I see here. She wants something that will tie you to her for life, and she has a deadline. You want to try poly and she doesn't seem too keen on it.

What you have to keep in mind that there is nothing that *you* can do to "convince" her to be poly. Have her read about it, and talk through it.

I'm glad you are in therapy but therapy takes time. Even without the other problems in your relationship, you guys could easily spend a year just sorting through this poly question. This deadline just doesn't seem realistic to me. I don't think that either of you are willing to really be honest with yourselves about how long it will take to sort through all of this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by onoma View Post
For the record, though, we talked the other night and I told her we're not doing any form of "seeing other people" until we've worked out our other problems. I also told her I'm reading a book on polyamory and asked her to read it with me... which was NOT an idea she was fond of. She eventually accepted though, after realizing there were books I had read when she requested. She seems pretty adamant that she would never accept this lifestyle though... so I still need to figure out if it's even what I really want, and then it might have to be without her.
Yup, you have some self-inventory to do too. I think that you are on the right path.

Quote:
Originally Posted by onoma View Post
I am hoping the book helps her see it in a better light though...
All you can do right now is wait and see. I would just be wary of any decisions that she makes in a break-up situation. The comment that she made that she would do anything to save the relationship is what concerns me. If she flips from "no" to "okay we can try it with these rules" in the middle of a break-up, just be aware that she may be compromising on something that she really can't maintain in the long term.

Which is why it's so dangerous to have a kid with her now. Even if she says yes, it may be motivated by codependence. My ex promised all sorts of things when we were splitting up which I know he would not be able to give me. If her "yes" isn't an HONEST "yes" then she won't be able to do poly for long.
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