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  #11  
Old 12-19-2011, 10:51 PM
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SoCalExile SoCalExile is offline
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Ah, gotcha. I can see how it would be confusing.

I don't think my wife actually understood that I want a discussion-only phase either. I've been trying to say that but for some reason couldn't make it come out as plainly as you did.

Part of the issue is that she has been thinking that since I've kicked the poly-or-not question over quite thoroughly for myself, and she doesn't want to hold me to monogamy, then the next step is opening that door.

Over the weekend she asked me to give her a "second chance" and be mono, with the idea that we could talk about poly again if I felt it just wouldn't work.

I dunno about that.

But we'll see. We're talking, and that's the important thing. We're closer than ever now, and we'll be in counseling together... soonish. Not before the new year, that's for sure. Decembers are always so hectic...
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  #12  
Old 12-20-2011, 02:41 PM
dingedheart dingedheart is offline
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Its good that you both are going to a counselor because she sounds like this is her failure.....or needs a second chance to change into the person she thinks you want her to be. Sad stuff. Good luck.
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  #13  
Old 12-20-2011, 06:11 PM
OpenandCountry OpenandCountry is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoCalExile View Post
Ah, gotcha. I can see how it would be confusing.

I don't think my wife actually understood that I want a discussion-only phase either. I've been trying to say that but for some reason couldn't make it come out as plainly as you did.

Part of the issue is that she has been thinking that since I've kicked the poly-or-not question over quite thoroughly for myself, and she doesn't want to hold me to monogamy, then the next step is opening that door.

Over the weekend she asked me to give her a "second chance" and be mono, with the idea that we could talk about poly again if I felt it just wouldn't work.

I dunno about that.

But we'll see. We're talking, and that's the important thing. We're closer than ever now, and we'll be in counseling together... soonish. Not before the new year, that's for sure. Decembers are always so hectic...
You guys sound like such a thoughtful, loving couple. I wish you the best of luck with counseling.
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  #14  
Old 12-20-2011, 06:51 PM
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Thanks. We've been through a lot.

Last night she talked again about working on letting go of jealousy. She's really working hard and I feel kind of bad for "inflicting" this on her.

I find there's three emotional states I'm feeling most:
  • An intense, tearful state that is a weird mix of happiness at how close we are, sadness that she is hurting, and joy at the possibility of living poly
  • Impatience at wanting to jump into poly RIGHT NOW
  • Guilt because of the aforementioned impatience
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  #15  
Old 12-20-2011, 08:43 PM
Luna393 Luna393 is offline
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Wow, so many intense feelings. I can totally relate. Some personal experience I hae with processig guilt is to except that I feel it and not try to push it away or rationalize my guiltlessness or otherwise try not to feel my feelings. When I except them completely they pass quicker.
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  #16  
Old 12-20-2011, 09:00 PM
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That is tough. For my part, CBT helped a lot. On hers, Buddhism. The two seem very nearly indistinguishable in some aspects.
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  #17  
Old 12-20-2011, 09:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoCalExile View Post
Last night she talked again about working on letting go of jealousy. She's really working hard and I feel kind of bad for "inflicting" this on her.
What can you do to help her re-assure her fears that are triggering the feelings of jealousy? She may not even know, but it could be a good thing to explore together.

I'm not a particularly jealous person, but add in just the right amount of variables and stress and it'll hit me big time (and it usually relates to my husband activities, not people ). As we have learned to talk to each other about such things, there has been a noticeable difference. It takes time to learn how to dissect certain high-emotional issues and if the other party is getting defensive in the process, nothing is accomplished. I found that when he got defensive, I reacted in kind and stopped trying to find the true root of why I was feeling a certain way. Then again, he would get defensive, because my approach was geared as an attack...
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  #18  
Old 12-20-2011, 10:51 PM
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What can you do to help her re-assure her fears that are triggering the feelings of jealousy?
That's a great question and one I don't know how to answer. I'm hoping the MFT can assist with that. The only thing I can think of is to keep telling her I love her. While that's great and all, it's pretty short on specifics, isn't it? At some point it's just going to sound like a platitude.

She's asked me some very direct questions like "how many lovers do you think you'll end up having?" and "will you wear a condom?" and "will you be spending the night elsewhere a lot?" (!)* These are flustering me and while I actually have thought about them and do have answers I'm afraid of triggering more jealousy with them and seeing things spin out of control. I'm very conflict-avoidant and, as I've mentioned before, don't want to lose her. That would be a disaster.

So here's to hoping couples therapy will help me/us navigate that.





* I can't believe she's even entertaining this sort of notion this early. She's really facing things head-on.
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  #19  
Old 12-20-2011, 11:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoCalExile View Post
That's a great question and one I don't know how to answer. I'm hoping the MFT can assist with that. The only thing I can think of is to keep telling her I love her. While that's great and all, it's pretty short on specifics, isn't it? At some point it's just going to sound like a platitude.
It will sound like platitude until you guys (both of you) can get into specifics. The MFT should be able to help.

Quote:
She's asked me some very direct questions like "how many lovers do you think you'll end up having?" and "will you wear a condom?" and "will you be spending the night elsewhere a lot?" (!)* These are flustering me and while I actually have thought about them and do have answers I'm afraid of triggering more jealousy with them and seeing things spin out of control.
These are very good questions and likely are part of her fears. Tell her what you said here and give her your thoughts to her questions and ask for her input. She may be imagining things you would never even consider doing, but she doesn't know that because you are afraid to talk to her.

Quote:
I'm very conflict-avoidant and, as I've mentioned before, don't want to lose her. That would be a disaster.
Tell her this. Look up "non-violent communication" and discover how to actually have those hard discussions without putting each other on the defensive (also how to diffuse a situation that starts to get out of hand). My husband is also very "conflict-avoidant" and it has caused a great deal of harm to our marriage. Stuff that could have/should have been addressed and dealt with immediately got pushed aside and avoided. This just led the way for a shit load of resentments to build by both of us. We are still working on the hard discussion thing, but have made progress and it makes a world of difference.

Here again, the MFT should be able to help, but you might have to bring it up so it gets addressed sooner rather than later. I think this is a big and very important issue to deal with.
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  #20  
Old 12-21-2011, 12:24 AM
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SoCalExile SoCalExile is offline
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Originally Posted by SNeacail View Post
These are very good questions and likely are part of her fears. Tell her what you said here and give her your thoughts to her questions and ask for her input. She may be imagining things you would never even consider doing, but she doesn't know that because you are afraid to talk to her.
Very likely true. I did actually start making a list of things I do want in a poly arrangement versus things I am not looking for or am completely willing to negotiate on. And some things that, while they sound like fun (sex commune, anyone?) are simply too far out there or impractical for me to really muster up anything but the most theoretical interest in them.

Yeah, I gotta show her that list.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SNeacail View Post
My husband is also very "conflict-avoidant" and it has caused a great deal of harm to our marriage. Stuff that could have/should have been addressed and dealt with immediately got pushed aside and avoided... We are still working on the hard discussion thing, but have made progress and it makes a world of difference.
You're completely right about this. We have, though, cracked open that door. Over the weekend she apologized for asking me these questions that make me uncomfortable, and said she would try and not ask them. Well, I didn't like that idea at all and told her so. Told her that I wanted to hear everything she's thinking, even if it hurts me. I told her that we could have been so much closer decades ago if we'd been this open from the beginning, and that even though it's scary I wouldn't trade what we have now for anything we had in the past, even though it seemed so much safer.

So.. progress on that front, anyway.
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