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  #11  
Old 04-10-2012, 08:11 PM
Fiona Fiona is offline
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Thanks again for your thoughtful replies. I feel like I have a lot to think about and process.

I've realized that part (though by no means all) of the problem is due to my insecurities as well as past hurts and distrust, and it's sort of been exacerbated by my husband's and his girlfriend's behavior of late.

And my partner has decided recently that he wants to talk to me more about other people. I have no desire to limit or control anyone's behavior, any more than I want that done to me, but I'm a bit overwhelmed by everything that's been happening. Between my husband's behavior and my partner's insistence that I talk about the people he's interested in (I do tend to just sort of shut down when he mentions these things - I'm not angry, and I want him to be free to do what he wants, I just have no idea how to respond to him talking about other women) I'm just sort of sad and panicky. I've been feeling like I won't be important to the people I love anymore and that my needs and wants will be ignored.

So, lots to think about. I just keep thinking that the only person I can control is myself, and I'm going to take care of myself and choose to be strong and as calm as I can. I will get through this, and probably be better for it. I had a lovely night out last night with my partner, which helped immensely.

Other thoughts or advice are of course very welcome.
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  #12  
Old 04-10-2012, 09:26 PM
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You know, you should clearly state that you are uncomfortable hearing too much detail about women he is interested in. Many people in poly situations have a boundary about that, and he shouldn't assume that in the interest of honesty and full disclosure that he MUST tell you everything. He should respect your tolerance level, and it's perfectly reasonable to only want to know who he's with, when he goes out, when he'll be home, and if he had a good time, and general stuff that would affect you and your time together, without describing issues they deal with or the nitty-gritty details. He doesn't need to report back to you, let him develop the relationship on its own. There are also privacy issues for his girlfriend - maybe she wouldn't like every little detail shared with you, either.

Is he looking for feedback or approval from you or is he just excited? He may be so excited about her, and wrapped up in NRE, that he doesn't realize how much you don't like it. And he'll never know if you don't tell him. You can say something like, "Honey, I'm happy that you're so excited about this relationship and I want to be supportive, but there is only so much information and details I can handle. I would rather you not tell me so much, it makes me uncomfortable. But I would like to hear about such-and-such" and tell him exactly what you are willing to discuss or listen to.

And perhaps you could look for a local poly group to join so he has other people to talk to about it, which would unburden you.
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Last edited by nycindie; 04-11-2012 at 12:48 AM.
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  #13  
Old 04-10-2012, 10:35 PM
Fiona Fiona is offline
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Sorry, I feel like I wasn't very clear in that last post. My husband doesn't tell me much about his girlfriend, beyond need-to-know stuff; he knows what I'm comfortable (or not) hearing/knowing.

My (male) partner is the one who seems to want a different reaction from me when he's talking about other women. We've discussed this a lot recently; I've explained that I have some insecurities about this, which have only been exacerbated lately by my husband and his girlfriend. He wants me to be able to talk about this stuff with him and "be happy" about it. I feel like I can't right now; I would never expect him not to be interested in other people, but I'm having a hard time with it lately. (We've also been together for nearly a year, and he's been pretty focused on our relationship, to the point that he hasn't really been dating much at all. I think he's fearful of the idea of loss of autonomy, but that doesn't really make sense to me - I don't want him to be with only me, but I also have little to no experience with him being with anyone else, and sometimes new = scary.)

Oh! And a local poly group is a fantastic idea. Thank you.
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  #14  
Old 04-10-2012, 11:04 PM
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I think that one of the key things in here is about having negotiated consequences as well as negotiated boundaries.

At the time you both agree on the boundaries, then you need to put a "and this is what's going to happen if those are broken" in there, so that consequences are understood. Sometimes those aren't easy to come up with, and they're usually easier if they are logical and concrete (and stuff like this rarely is). Poly is a learning process, because each individual has different requirements and boundaries - looks like you are most definitely learning yours. An example is what happens if a condom breaks when he is with her...

Your husband has broken your trust and your agreements at the very start of this relationship - that's going to make it an uphill battle. I'm really not sure that this is standard NRE stuff - this goes well beyond the cute silliness that is associated with that and into some far more serious territory.
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  #15  
Old 04-11-2012, 12:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fiona View Post
Sorry, I feel like I wasn't very clear in that last post. My husband doesn't tell me much about his girlfriend, beyond need-to-know stuff...

My (male) partner is the one who seems to want a different reaction from me when he's talking about other women.
Well, I think my suggestion works for either one of them. Just tell him that, although you'll probably eventually be more comfortable with it, for now you just don't want to hear all that stuff! What keeps you from telling him you have a hard time with it?
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The world opens up... when you do.

"Oh, oh, can't you see? Love is the drug for me." ~Bryan Ferry
"Love and the self are one . . ." ~Leo Buscaglia "

An excellent blog post on hierarchy in polyamory:
solopoly.net/2014/10/31/why-im-not-a-secondary-partner-the-short-version/
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  #16  
Old 04-11-2012, 01:05 AM
Fiona Fiona is offline
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nycindie, I have told my partner this. He tells me that he wants me to be happy about his other involvements (if/when they happen) and wants to be able to talk to me about them (to a point; I have also expressed that I don't need/want every single detail.)

I feel like we're at a stalemate here. I do believe that time and acclimation will be the only thing for it, but I'm having a hard time right now and kind of dreading a festival that we're going to over the summer; I've never been in that kind of environment with him and am worried about feeling displaced or abandoned. And he seems to feel that much of my reluctance to discuss this means that I don't want him being involved with anyone else. I've never been in a situation like this before, and I'm not really sure how else to deal with it.
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  #17  
Old 04-11-2012, 01:52 AM
opalescent opalescent is offline
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Compersion is nice but not required. It happens or not and it is certainly not something to be commanded or demanded. Your boyfriend cannot require you to be happy about anything, much less his other relationships. You can be supportive and loving of him and his other relationships of course but that is different from being happy for him. Maybe he does not feel as supported as he would like? Otherwise it just strikes as such an odd thing, to demand a particular emotion from someone for a certain circumstance.
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  #18  
Old 04-11-2012, 04:31 AM
Fiona Fiona is offline
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opalescent, I imagine he probably doesn't feel as supported as he'd like right now, but that's less to do with him than I think I've been able to make him understand. And yes, it strikes me as a bit odd too, but there is a significant age difference at play here (10+ years) and I don't think that he's experienced the sort of societal/familial conditioning about relationships that I have. We're coming from very different places, and sometimes it really shows.
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  #19  
Old 06-26-2012, 10:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redpepper View Post
Poly with heirarchy and veto rights is not how I roll, so it would be out of the question. I am not okay with someone telling me to dump someone because THEY are struggling. Not my husband, not anyone. So I don't ask for that in return. I have earned my integrity and my partners trust that I have their best interest in mind in all that I do. Vetos are built out of fear and lack of trust. I don't find that a useful way to live.
RP - I just wanted to THANK YOU for saying this.

I just replied to another post on here by a girl who was veto'd and is hurting because of it.

Nothing about veto'ing someone you have invited into your partner's life sounds right. You trust your partner to go down the poly path, you should trust that they make the decisions they need to make to respect both individual relationships.

If you don't trust in their decision making abilities, you should question your decision to participate in a poly lifestyle period.
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  #20  
Old 07-15-2012, 10:57 PM
Fiona Fiona is offline
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Resurrecting this because I'm still having issues. I am at a loss. As I posted in another thread recently...

"(My husband and his girlfriend) are both extroverts and don't seem to understand my need for privacy and a bit of distance. I've tried to communicate this to both of them, with mixed results. At first, she was overly involved in my life and wanted us to be close very quickly; I'm simply not comfortable with this and said so. Now, after a few incidents in which I felt she was being pushy and rude, she has been extremely distant and communication, never good to begin with, has suffered because of it. My last straw was her talking to MY partner (not my husband) and telling him that I had said/done things that I hadn't (i.e. Fiona said this is a rule and I can't do it - which is ridiculous, my husband and I don't conduct our relationship that way.) My partner was puzzled and uncomfortable by her behavior; I'm at a total loss as to what to do (or not do) and am pretty angry and frustrated about this."

I just. Don't. Like. Her. I don't really like who my husband is when he's with her. He does seem happy, but I'm puzzled as to how he can be with someone who is so immature and drama-llama-esque. She's rude to me, and very rigid in her views of how poly relationships should work; when our interactions don't fit this, I feel like she takes it out on me. I pretty much just want to be left alone at this point, but when I saw her at a party last week, she blurted out that she thought we needed to talk at some point. I half-agreed (I'd had a few drinks) and am now regretting even that.

What do you do when one of your partners is dating someone you don't like? I don't discount the possibility that we could end up being friendly, but I'm damned if I can see just how that would happen right now. Sigh. My husband is all stressed out by this, and so is my partner (can't blame him, after Girlfriend had that totally inappropriate conversation with him) and so am I. I'm just sick of the whole thing. It's getting to the point where I get knots in my stomach just thinking about it.

I wouldn't ask my husband to break up with her, any more than I would break up with my partner if he asked - we don't work that way. But I don't know how to handle this either.
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