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  #11  
Old 01-09-2012, 05:42 PM
ThatGirlInGray ThatGirlInGray is offline
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Originally Posted by zylya View Post
To me, it sounds like she doesn't actually want to spend much time with you, and I can't see her making any effort to spend QUALITY time together. For that reason I think you should break up with her. If meeting your family makes her MISERABLE (as in literally makes her upset) then I'd suggest that you have compatibility issues. If she's unwilling to do things to spend time with you, then do you even have a relationship at all?
This. As I read your posts I found myself wondering what benefits each of you are getting from the relationship. If one thing that's important to you is someone to spend time with (which is very much the case with me) then it certainly doesn't seem like she is fulfilling that need. To me it sounds like she's failing to realize that relationships involve compromise. Sometimes you may do something that's not really your cup of tea for her, other times she should be doing something for you. Neither Monochrome nor TGIB are the sports fans I am, and I am not as much of a comic book geek as either of them. But we all try to show at least a little interest in things that are important to the other, because we care about each other. In what you have told us I don't see the evidence that she cares.
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  #12  
Old 01-09-2012, 06:53 PM
bookbug bookbug is offline
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Originally Posted by avoidscauliflour View Post
Is this really a poly-mindset? As poly-couples go, do you the rest of you really not make any sacrifices for the other? I really don't get the benefit to so much unbridled freedom. How can you show someone you care about them if you just do whatever you want without regard for the other all the time? I get that I'm responsible for my own happiness – but the more I take this to heart – the less of a presence she is in my life. I'm now asking myself, do I need her at all?
Excuse me for being blunt, but imo her attitude has nothing to do with a poly mindset; it has to do with not giving a shit. Relationships ~ ALL relationships ~ require a certain degree of compromise, of doing some things that may not be our favorite. While sure, I can see not joining you on poker night. However, your family is an important part of your life and therefore she should give it some due consideration.

I can see why you're questioning whether you need her.
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  #13  
Old 01-09-2012, 06:55 PM
InfinitePossibility InfinitePossibility is offline
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Hmmm - I would wonder if your partner actually wants to be in a relationship at all? I spent around 7 years being single and very happy. What I loved most about it was the freedom. I didn't have to make time for a partner's family or engage in activities that I wasn't interested in because it was important to a partner.

I spent my time and energy on the things I wanted to do and on developing relationships with people who shared those interests. The time was lovely and I think the most free I have been in my life.

I also wonder about your partner's perspective that doing things for other people has something to do with monogamy. I have a wonderful and trusted friend. I love her. My relationship with her is very important to me. She's a platonic friend and has always been that way.

Anyway - like I say, that relationship is important to me. So sometimes I do things that I'm not that interested in so that I can spend time with my friend - typically this means spending a Saturday afternoon shopping. My friend's hobby! Not something I find fun at all.

And sometimes I spend time with people I'm not that fussed about. My friend has a friend who can be hard work on nights out so if she is around, then usually I go along to to make up numbers and help balance out the negativity from the difficult person.

And sometimes she does things that she finds difficult for me. We arranged to go walking together once and I was keen to bring one of my dogs along. My friend agreed to that even though she is terrified of dogs - she said she trusted me to make sure it would be fine.

I don't see these things as restrictive, as a sign that my friend owns me, as unhealthy. I just think it's what you do when you are in significant and important relationships - regardless of type of relationship.

I hope you are able to work things out so that you can have a more fulfilled life.

IP.
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  #14  
Old 01-09-2012, 09:02 PM
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I don't visit PN's family, well part of it, if I can possibly help it. Nor would I be entirely interested in poker. In fact there is not a lot that we like that is similar, yet we love each other and stay together. We like to dance sometimes, but he likes to go home WAY earlier than I so usually dance around at home with LB (our boy). We have a great stereo for such dancing. We like to look at videos on line together. I read his tarot cards the other night for our date night.

We FIND things to do together and sometimes we HAVE to do stuff we don't want to. Mostly though I make it up to him in other ways when I don't want to do something and he does with me. It works along side our other relationships well. Or would if he had a partner right now

I think that people are mostly reading in to what this woman is thinking/feeling here. Maybe she is like me and is just fine with her independent life yet loves you avoidscauliflour. I don't think it has anything to do with monogamy (although what you are rerquiring of a partner does tend to be a monogamous perspective). I think its more to do with the nature of your relationship. Maybe you need someone more compatible. Maybe you need to think about what she says and go about finding more friends and possible other partners to spend time with doing some of what you like. I would think more friends would be a better option here. Especially for poker.

I agree with the idea of finding friends and creating community around you actually. It seems to be the best bet for getting ones social needs met. I wouldn't be putting this on her. Good for her sticking to her guns and not becoming co-dependent because you want her to do certain stuff with you. Find what she and you both like to do and do those things instead. Get her talking about things you DO like to do together.
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  #15  
Old 01-10-2012, 11:19 AM
avoidscauliflour avoidscauliflour is offline
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Hey thanks everyone,

This is literally the first time I've been able to have an adult conversation about this. Even among my best of friends, they never really get past the “see, THIS is what happens when you sleep with other people”

Anyway - Red

Quote:
Maybe you need to think about what she says and go about finding more friends and possible other partners to spend time with doing some of what you like.
A lot of what you said was stuff my S.O. said to me. I felt a strong need to reply to it. Hope none of our conflict rubs off in my language, its not my intent.

Yeah – I took her advice, literally. For me its had the opposite effect. Did guys night – totally fine. I started going out by myself (cool) – started leaving for weekends by myself (cool) – separate set of friends (ok) – started taking separate vacations (less cool) – now I'm at the point where I don't ask her to DO anything just to see when she'll take the initiative.

I know what means to be codependant. I'm not arguing that couples need to do everything together - but I connect with people by sharing experiences – sometimes that means sharing an abundance of time. It can also mean spending little – but quality – time. The way I see things – were doing neither. Doesn't like to go out, constantly reschedules, dinner dates get 5 friends added to it.

Having private time with my s.o. Isn't about shutting her out from the rest of the world. It's about creating a space where I feel space to share things that an intimate to me. I don't like opening up to people – I need privacy to accomplish that. With live with 5 other people – so the fact that this doesn’t happen by virtue of us living together AND she has no natural interest, or worse, dislikes creating that space with me is really bad.

If the effect of being more independent strengthened our relationship I would have been cool with it. But I already had a problem with how we spent our time together – and adding new people into the mix while I was out “working on me” wasn't changing anything. It was just making LESS time and doing nothing to address the quality of it. Worse – I feel like persuing a poly-lifestyle is her solution to the problem. Given that I suck at dating when I'm single, going poly is certainty not going to be my solution to it.

I have a feeling someone's going to jump on me for this next part – but this is how I see it – so hell... I've never believed that if two people do exactly what they want all the time that they'll be all the better for it. The numbers here are just to illustrate the point – not actual values I'm placing on our relationship.

The issues of fairness here are legitimate – she's free to come and go from our domestic lifestyle as she needs, she has 100% of her needs fulfilled. But I have different needs – and they’re dependent on her so maybe like 50% of mine are if she's going full 100%. I feel that we could meet somewhere in the middle so maybe I could be a little happier (85%) – is it fair of me to ask that? I don't know it depends on your perspective. I could leave – and maybe we'd both be at 65% - not great, but its better than my original 50%
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  #16  
Old 01-10-2012, 03:35 PM
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avoidscauliflour- I will write more later, but is this a post you could show her? Its concerning that there has been a slip from doing things independently to doing nothing together. There's a huge difference there that I wonder if she is aware of and I'm wondering how she feels about it.
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  #17  
Old 01-10-2012, 06:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avoidscauliflour View Post
now I'm at the point where I don't ask her to DO anything just to see when she'll take the initiative.
Be careful, this becomes a vicious circle and no one wins.

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I know what means to be codependant. I'm not arguing that couples need to do everything together - but I connect with people by sharing experiences – sometimes that means sharing an abundance of time. It can also mean spending little – but quality – time. The way I see things – were doing neither. Doesn't like to go out, constantly reschedules, dinner dates get 5 friends added to it.
I had similar issues with my husband (we're not poly). One of my love languages is "Quality Time" and that wasn't happening. We had to sit down and have a serious discussion on what that means, in detail.

Part of our problem was that I would constantly complain that he was "never home". So to him as long as he was in the house, I would be happy, even if he was glued to the computer all day, sat in front of the tv without any concern for what I might want to watch or had 3 or more people over to work on some project (but never stuff I needed done). He thought he was satisfying my request for him to be home more, when in reality he wasn't any more present than when he was physically gone and it all just pushed me further away.

It got to the point when I planned an outing, even dinner and a movie, I had to specify that it would just be the two of us (or us and the kids) or I would find myself surrounded by a group of his friends. I still resent it and still feel like I have to state out loud that I don't want him to invite others. However, by stating these preferences ahead of time, as much as I hate it, it does avoid any misunderstandings.

You need to tell your wife that you need to be able to spend quality time with her in order to feel loved and in return, to be capable of giving love back. If she is willing, schedule a weekly activity for just the two of you and alternate who gets to pick the activity.
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  #18  
Old 01-10-2012, 07:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avoidscauliflour View Post
...part of these issues are rooted in mono/poly mindsets. Or at least that’s how it was presented to me. I'll give you a concrete example. My partner wont join me in several activities, ranging from the completely mundane (won't join me for poker night) to serious (won't come with me to visit my family) in terms of my emotional needs.

...Really seriously she wont visit my family with me.

Well – its not that she wont. When I have convinced her to come – she's bitter and grouchy the entire time and pressures me into leaving early – or leaving without me. She feels coerced, like I'm stripping her of her freedoms.

I explained to her that it was important to me, and her reaction was something along the lines of “just because I love you doesn't mean that I should do things just to keep you happy if they make me miserable - find someone else to do it with” or like “why are you trying to change me?”

...I'm just talking about a boring weekend with my sisters so I can catch up with my nieces and nephews. More than that, I want HER to see ME with my family, to see how my sisters are an influence in my life. I also want my parents to see that she's a positive influence in my life. Her take on it is just kinda like “I don’t want to or need to”

Is this really a poly-mindset? As poly-couples go, do you the rest of you really not make any sacrifices for the other? I really don't get the benefit to so much unbridled freedom.
I am in the process of getting divorced, but even when my ex and I were in good shape, I never wanted to go with him to his family stuff; I didn't like most of them and their attitudes, and it was so-o-oooo boring for me. So I didn't go, and eventually he didn't mind it because he knew that I spoke a different "language" than his family does (not for real - we all spoke English, but I mean I just don't "get" them and what they're about). It was important to him in the beginning right after we got married, maybe just the first year, but afterwards, no.

It's not a poly thing. I have always been monogamous, and certainly my husband and I were mono. But I just never feel beholden to please family of anyone I'm involved with, 'cause to me, it's the people involved that count more than who else among the person's family likes me or not. I hate familial obligations in any way, my own family included. I guess this comes from my background - if my mother was mad or upset at a relative, she wouldn't speak to them anymore, or cut them off completely. Most of my relativesare the same way -- we either tell it like it is, tell each other off, or stop speaking to each other. My husband's family pretended to be nice to everyone's faces, yet bitched about them behind their backs. He knew I hated that, I'd rather have the honesty.

So, to me, I would rather choose to be with family members (whether mine or a partner's) because I like being with them or we'd be doing something I'm interested in, and for no other reason. To me, things like family functions are totally optional, unless it's super important to my partner. A wedding, christening, or milestone birthday party, okay, I'd usually go with him (most of the time). A boring weekend hanging around with my partner's relatives just for no reason when I could be doing something else, not important enough. Your gf may have a similar attitude, and you two just might be incompatible around this issue.

Not saying there aren't other issues between you, but I just thought I'd respond to that part.
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Last edited by nycindie; 01-10-2012 at 07:15 PM.
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  #19  
Old 01-11-2012, 06:52 AM
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It sounds like you are assuming and expecting stuff that she isn't aware of. Leaving her to take initiative... as said earlier is a slippery slope, but also not fair. Expectations that people don't know about are not fair. Why not tell her that you expect that she take a role in creating opportunities to connect with you. That you want a balance there. Don't assume that she doesn't already feel like there is enough connection. Maybe she has expectations of you that you are not filling. Ask her if that is the case and see what she says. That's what I would do anyway.
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  #20  
Old 01-11-2012, 05:39 PM
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Speaking to the family thing. Runic Wolf is an only child, his family is relatively small and has been spread out/ thinned out since we met in high school. I had a relatively large family in high school and when my dad came back into my life 11 years ago, he brought 2 more siblings and a side of the family that I'd been forcibly separated from by my maternal grandmother. My family is now huge and has historically had large family gatherings on holidays. I know that Runic Wolf is uncomfortable spending alot of time with my entire family and specific family members.

We spend alot of time with his family as a result of his mom being recently widowed and losing her father, husband, and sister over a 3 year span. So I have sacrificed spending holidays with my family (only spending an hour or so with them when we do) for a few years. This year, Runic Wolf agreed to spend Christmas day with my family and eat dinner at my Aunt's, although he fundamentally disagrees with her on almost every level.

I have had to make it clear that spending that time is important to me and that I felt it was unfair to spend so much time with his family and not spend an equal amount of time with mine.... I do think he finds it easier now that my siblings are all adults than when they were still kids/ teenagers, but we talked about it and reached a compromise. It seems to me like there isn't alot of clear communication about what you want/ need from each other and how to get it w/o leaving hurt feels, resentment, or disappointment.

Maybe it would help if the two of you took the love languages quiz together, as someone suggested. Or even if you took it separately, it might help you explain how you work to her.
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