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Old 05-15-2012, 09:29 PM
PolyCurious4 PolyCurious4 is offline
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Default Feeling threatened...

Hubby and I have moved forward from our failed quad experience and feel like we have learned some lessons. We're giving a try at establishing completely separate relationships.

I had a new friend that started out as purely friendship. She expressed an interest in more. So, we've been on a couple of lunch dates. She's a great and I'm taking things very slow considering our last experience caused hurt feelings and I think a lot of that was because I/we rushed in too quickly.

Hubby didn't have as easy a time initially as far as finding someone. He met a girl. He did finally find someone of interest. They texted for a week and met for lunch. From there it was fast fast and I'm having a difficult time adjusting.

The day of the date things went really well. I was worried I would be uncomfortable because I didn't have a distraction of a date of my own. I didn't feel uncomfortable. And was happy it went so well for Hubby.

All went well until I got my feelings hurt. Our daughter had been away for a week with her grandparents. The last night before she was to come home Hubby and I planned to have one last date night together. Hubby asked me if he could see his gf again instead of our date night because he wouldn't be able to see her the following week because we had a week long family engagement (his parents were bringing our daughter back & we were all spending the week at their condo on the lake). I declined his request because date nights for he and I are fairly limited because we rarely have a babysitter. I felt because he had just seen her that day & we had these plans already a week shouldn't be an issue.

Honestly it kinda hurt my feelings because he wanted to bail on our date night. He said no big deal and it was all fine.

Since they began talking they have texted very frequently. Initially he was discrete & it didn't interfere with our time. Our prior rule has always been that we didn't text while during family get togethers. Because this was a week long event we agreed no texting rule wouldn't be reasonable and agreed we could but needed to keep it discrete.

Hubby wasn't so discrete and I noticed he was texting a lot. I told him I was feeling a little uncomfortable and requested he tone it down a bit. I told him I'd work through it but I was feeling a little insecure because things were moving quickly with them & it was infringing on our family time and I need just to time it down with the frequency of talking for a couple of days. Hubby said he understood and could tone it down.

Well, the next day he texted her and told her he was going to try to arrange to see her & asked what her schedule was that he just needed to run it by me. Well he the asks me. I was very hurt by this and am feeling very hurt. I had just told him I need him to tone it down and the following day he was arranging to see her. I was hurt also because I felt like he put me on the spot by asking her before he talked to me.

He said he can stop seeing her. That's not what I want but want to feel secure as well. Am I being overly sensitive? I knew there may be growing pains & we may make mistakes along the way. I'm trying not to feel threatened but I do.
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Old 05-15-2012, 09:56 PM
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I was very hurt by this and am feeling very hurt. I had just told him I need him to tone it down and the following day he was arranging to see her. I was hurt also because I felt like he put me on the spot by asking her before he talked to me.
Is that a rule you have? That everything he wants to talk to with her about has to be run by you first? I'm sure you can see that sounds restrictive and unrealistic. Just because he mentioned it to her doesn't mean it's a commitment or puts you on the spot for anything. As far as toning it down, perhaps he saw that request as regarding frequency but didn't mean he couldn't talk to her at all. It sounds like he just wanted to solidify future plans, knowing that he would not be talking/texting with her as often. Yes, I think you are being a bit over-sensitive here. How much of his relationship with her do you think you should have a say about? Or did he mean that he wanted to get together with her during your hectic family week? Even so, that might not be that unreasonable if everything else is in place and taken care of, and there could be a window of time.

Also, remember that we choose to feel hurt. When we say someone hurts our feelings, we are actually saying, "I feel hurt by ___." A very definite choice to feel hurt (albeit an unconscious one). There are a myriad number of ways you could react to this situation. If I were you, I would take a step back whenever you realize you are feeling this way, and try to examine the mechanics of how you wound up feeling "hurt." If you can see the steps and rationalization you tell yourself that lead to that, you will learn a lot about your default ways of handling stress.

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Originally Posted by PolyCurious4 View Post
He said he can stop seeing her. That's not what I want but want to feel secure as well. Am I being overly sensitive? I knew there may be growing pains & we may make mistakes along the way. I'm trying not to feel threatened but I do.
I think you are doing great with your communications with him. All of the stuff you addressed with him seemed reasonable, and it seems that you two are talking and being as clear as you can. But perhaps there are just some areas which you each interpret differently. This is a good thing to find out, as now you have the opportunity to deepen your understanding of each other and improve communications even more. He may need to express more of his wants and needs more clearly.

As far as you feeling insecure, no matter what he does or how much he fulfills your requests, your insecurities are your responsibility, and it will be an inside job to overcome them yourself. Of course, you and he are working to keep building trust between you and communicate about your feelings, but you need to address your insecurities with your own inner work. And I think you need to make sure that there isn't some part of you that just wants things to be "even" or "fair" as if it were a race, and making boundaries for that purpose, because that will just kill all good feelings about living poly for both of you.

Remember that you and he are two unique individuals with different needs and your own pace at how to move forward, and they may not always match up. Just be careful that, every time you feel insecure, you don't start issuing rules and pronouncements about how he is supposed to conduct his other relationship in order to make you feel better. Beyond honoring a reasonable boundary to limit texts during family functions, a grown man shouldn't need to get permission first in order to plan ahead or converse with his gf about getting together. At least, that's how I see it.
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Last edited by nycindie; 05-15-2012 at 10:18 PM.
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Old 05-15-2012, 10:07 PM
km34 km34 is offline
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I think that (especially with families) scheduling is everything. He shouldn't be trying to plan a way to slip in a quick date with her unless it is part of the schedule. Especially if it is during a time that is dedicated to family (which I am slightly unclear about - was he trying to find a time THAT WEEK or after you got back?). Especially when it is HIS parents that you're spending the week with. A certain amount of spontaneity is nice in relationships - being able to decide to go out to dinner or a movie or squeezing in lunch when it wasn't expected is great, but it can't take away from other obligations (in this case - spending time with parents, daughter, and you). Also, your relationship should get as much focus time as the one he has with his new interest. If they get a date night every week, it's not unreasonable AT ALL to ask for a date night too (even if it can't be a going out date night due to lack of babysitter - you two can do something special at home and treat it like a date). He has to spend time nurturing the relationship you two have, his family, AND his new relationship.

It seems like your discussions haven't really been discussions, either. You tell him you have a problem with x, he says "okay, I'll stop" and it's over. While that's all well and good for you, is he feeling like he's being heard? Is he afraid that if he responds with more of a discussion it will cause an argument? I always worry when people just roll over and give me what I want. lol

On that note, though, he really does seem to be trying to make you happy. He didn't push to cancel your date night (I'm hoping because he realizes it's important and rare). It is soooo easy for texting to get out of control. I fall prey to that vice ALL THE TIME. I have to put my phone out of sight/hearing range or I am tempted to look at it and respond every time it goes off.

The texting thing is also difficult because you live with him. You see each other a lot. You recognize that date nights for the two of you are rare, but do you realize that the times for idle chitchat are rare for him and her since he doesn't see her often? Also, what do you consider "your time?" Is it anytime you two are home together, or do you have set evenings/times every day that are "yours?" Asking him to only text when you're not around or otherwise engaged is a bit much, I would think. Asking him not to text during dinner, your date nights, specific family-oriented time (movies, games, and other activities you do with your daughter), and such is more than acceptable since he really does need to be focused and 100% there for those types of things, but during the down time if you're just sitting around relaxing or each doing your own thing, isn't it okay for him to text? Even if you notice it?
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Old 05-16-2012, 03:15 AM
PolyCurious4 PolyCurious4 is offline
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Thank you for the responses!

It happens that he met her very shortly before a family event and so the agreements that have been made are different than what we may do/expect on the norm.

On the norm I do not think it necessary to ask me before discussing with her about scheduling time for a date. However as we have a family consulting one another before solid plans are made to coordinate is necessary.

Texting isn't a sensitive issue normaly. Its the significant amount of texting that I meant by fast fast (coupled with attempting to see her very quickly after their first meeting despite previous plans/agreements). Honestly we didn't have a specific clear cut agreement with texting for the norm. I think it would help us both if we did come to a more specific preference there. It has felt overboard to me because he has his phone with him constantly. They have been texting form the moment he gets up til goes to bed. I think what rubbs is when he texted her during our date (we saw a movie & he texted while waiting for the movie) and he's had his phone attached to him while we're here with his parents. It stung when he told her he missed her during our date. Just feels like its invading too much of our space.

I don't expect relationships to develop the same. I know intellectually that doesn't make sense. Coincidentally that's been a non issue because they are both new relationships & so far are on similar levels. I am not thrilled that since meeting I feel like my time always involves her time.

I really think this frustration came up more when he asked to cancel our date night. My ego was bruised and the texting and asking to see again just added fuel to it.

For this week... Our agreement was that we would NOT see anyone because his parents rented a condo for us all to stay and we could schedule dates when we returned. (His parents live out of state so we have two week long visits each year) Because we knew we would be unavailable we scheduled dates right before. I saw my gf Thursday. He saw gf Friday. Hubby & I had date night Saturday. Family arrived Sunday.

So in this instance when it was already agreed we would not see others I think it would be very appropriate to ask me if I was ok with 1. changing that arrangement 2. If I minded if he went while I entertained his parents PRIOR to asking her. So I do feel put on the spot.

Yes, he does articulate what he feels. I told him why I was requesting him to tone it down. We actually had a very adult conversation about it. I only asked that he tone down the frequency of talking because I was feeling a little overwhelmed and it was put forth as "just gimme a couple days to work through my insecurities without it being so in my face with the constant texts. He agreed he was getting a little carried away. He is a very articulate person and has no problem speaking his mind. He said he thought the request was reasonable and would be happy to etc.. The next day rather than toning it down he tried to schedule a date despite already agreeing we wouldn't.

I wonder if I would feel so sensitive if it weren't for the timing of his parents being here. It does kinda feel she's getting more conversation with him than I am. It is finals week so he's been driving back to our town to take an exam each day, he goes in early to study and he's studying now. So I'm here alone with his folks a good chunk of the day. We get a short bit of time to talk before we go to sleep. He texts me ocassinally while he's gone but with the excitement of it all she's getting a great deal of his attention. All our time is spent with his parents or with our daughter.
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Old 05-16-2012, 03:17 AM
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Maybe ask him to do some reading on NRE and set some temporary guidelines in the meantime (no texting her during dates with you, for example). Not very deep advice, but that's what I've got. It sounds like he's just caught up and needs to remember your feelings. He will almost certainly come around. Good luck!
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Old 05-16-2012, 04:05 AM
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Ahhh, NRE (love/hate/love/hate). Ya, he sounds smitten and a person smitten is hard to get the attention of. I have been going through some of this myself with a new love. Make some firm boundaries about texting, and date nights being a certain time, take a deep breath and smile at him lovingly. He's going to screw it up, such is the nature of nre. Don't take it too seriously, people are like children when they are on nre. They still love you, but they love their new toy in a "squeeeee!" Kind of way. He's got a new toy. Be happy for him but remind him you require restricted access as you believe that for you and him its healthy to keep a balance in life.
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Old 05-16-2012, 10:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PolyCurious4 View Post
I only asked that he tone down the frequency of talking because I was feeling a little overwhelmed and it was put forth as "just gimme a couple days to work through my insecurities without it being so in my face with the constant texts. He agreed he was getting a little carried away. He is a very articulate person and has no problem speaking his mind. He said he thought the request was reasonable and would be happy to etc.. The next day rather than toning it down he tried to schedule a date despite already agreeing we wouldn't.
Ok, here's my understanding of events:
  • He exchanges text messages with his GF at the rate of 427/hr.
  • You ask him to tone down the frequency of the texts.
  • He reduces communication to 3 messages/hr, one of which happens to be about a possible future date.
  • He runs the idea past you to check for schedule conflicts.
  • You become angry because he agreed to tone down the relationship while his family is in town.
Am I close? If so, did you ask him to tone down the relationship or to tone down the frequency of communication? From what you've written it sounds like you asked for the latter but actually wanted the former. He did as requested and reduced the number of texts, but didn't back away from the relationship at all because you hadn't actually asked him to.

Last edited by Emm; 05-16-2012 at 11:02 AM.
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Old 05-16-2012, 12:47 PM
PolyCurious4 PolyCurious4 is offline
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No. I asked him to tone down the frequency of the texts because it felt like it was overwhelmed with how invasive it felt. It was already agreed we would NOT see anyone this week while we were away with his parents. It wasn't necessary to ask for that - it was discussed and agreed. He said he would tone down the texts. He did not and then made tentative arrangements to see her & then asked me. That was not toning anything down. It was continuing at the same pace with texting and asking to see her in addition to when we had already agreed we would not and had informed our partners as such.
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Old 05-16-2012, 03:12 PM
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I think for me it is clear some of the things that you feel are triggering your response of feeling threatened.

I don't know if I could comment on if you are being too sensitive or not but I was thinking it might be helpful if you could expand on what feeling threatened means. What specifically are you worried about or what eventuality is it that you fear ..... And once you have verbalized that --- is that fear realistic?
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Old 05-17-2012, 12:12 AM
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Originally Posted by PolyCurious4 View Post
It is finals week so he's been driving back to our town to take an exam each day, he goes in early to study and he's studying now. So I'm here alone with his folks a good chunk of the day.
This right here would not fly with me. If MC's parents were visiting from out of state it would NOT be at a time when he had to be gone more than usual. HE needs to be there when HIS parents are visiting or the visit gets scheduled for another time. End of story. (can you tell I don't have the greatest relationship with my in-laws??)
Quote:
We get a short bit of time to talk before we go to sleep. He texts me ocassinally while he's gone but with the excitement of it all she's getting a great deal of his attention. All our time is spent with his parents or with our daughter.
This would bother me too, especially as it's his exam schedule AND a visit from HIS parents eating up extra time...and now more time is going to be taken by HIS gf?? No. Reasonable agreements were made before the visit. She can wait a week until the visit is over.

I dislike when people uses phrases like "sounds like it's just NRE" or recommends not worrying about it or not taking it "too seriously" because it's "only NRE". I understand NRE can lead people to act like jerks or asshats without realizing (I'm one of them!) but once it's been pointed out to the person, they need to be an adult and shape up. NRE isn't an excuse for inconsiderate behavior any more than dressing a certain way is an excuse for unwanted attention. Once the inappropriate behavior has been pointed out in either case, there's no justifiable reason for it to continue.
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