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  #11  
Old 07-10-2012, 05:10 AM
AnotherConfused AnotherConfused is offline
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Originally Posted by SNeacail View Post
I don't agree, if the plan is to cut all contact with you once he does find a full time partner. If the plan is to scale back to a close platonic friendship if the new full time partner can't/won't do poly, that's different.
He keeps maintaining that all we will lose is the physical intimacy. But he finds so little time for me now, I don't expect much at all when he has a new partner. He's amicable with his ex-girlfriends, even says he still loves them, but he doesn't make time to spend with them.
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  #12  
Old 07-10-2012, 05:18 AM
AnotherConfused AnotherConfused is offline
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You are the one committed to another.
You are the one who can't offer him more than a secondary deal.
You have someone to cuddle into every night, he doesn't.
You won't be alone when this ends. He will.
I know this isn't easy for him, but I think he knows I do everything I can to mitigate these things. All the hard work in my marriage to make this relationship even possible. Offering to spend far more time with him than he has ever chosen to accept. Wanting to keep this up for as long as he is willing. We've both always known this isn't likely to last forever, but he's the one with the game plan for ending it.
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  #13  
Old 07-10-2012, 05:41 AM
AnotherConfused AnotherConfused is offline
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Originally Posted by WhatHappened View Post
I hoped I didn't come across as critical because I definitely don't mean to be.
Not at all.

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Funny thing is, I wouldn't say I'm dissatisfied. For many reasons, this situation suits me very well.
This is what C seems to feel too, except that he seems intent on finding a full time partner as soon as he can find someone he likes, in spite of how well this situation seems to fit his needs.

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I make sure I keep my own life and my own friends. I make plans with my own friends...It seems foolish to invest a lot of time and energy building a bridge to nowhere
I don't get the feeling this is his intention. In fact, I asked if the reason he gives me so little time has been to protect his own heart, and he said no, not at all -just that his lifestyle doesn't reflect his priorities, and he wants to work on changing that. I simply think I am no more a priority than his commitment to his band, the travels he is accustomed to doing with his sisters and friends, the festivals and camps and fairs that have become traditions for him -and I don't want to take priority over those things, that make him who he is. In fact, it works out better for my family that he does spend so little time with me. I just don't see how he could fit a "full time" girlfriend into that.

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The problem is rarely between him and a 'vanilla' girlfriend (which I very much am), but between a married and single person because there is such an inherent imbalance, because one person's time is full with two or more partners and all the resources and emotional support they bring; while the other person is left half the time at least to live life on their own, to find emotional support elsewhere.
He's been single so much of his life, I think he has a rich support network (4 sisters and at least a dozen friends he has mentioned knowing for a decade or more). As for resources, he quite literally has more money than he knows what to do with. And his time is obviously more filled than mine. I know it's not the same as having someone to lie down next to every night... but on the other hand, I spend most evenings emailing him or chatting online with him a bit before bed, because my husband is hard to engage in end-of-day chit chat.

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Again, offering what insight I can from my own experience, I feel much like (I think) C does; I feel I need to go find a full-time partner, quick, now, before I fall in love completely with BF and find myself miserable because I can't be with him, etc.
I wonder if this is true of C. Although he already says he's never felt in love like this before. Cliche, I know. I think he might be right, but I'm starting to wonder if he never allowed himself to fall in love with someone who was available, and he only surrenders to this because he knows it's a dead end. Maybe he has commitment issues.

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I very much don't want BF to ever feel disposable. It's not how I regard him. And yet I just feel at this stage that the situation is so inherently flawed, it can't possibly last forever as it currently is, and someone is going to go through a great deal of pain when it ends, quite possibly both of us. I kind of feel like I'm flailing and scrambling to get out of a net that's slowly tightening, and yet it's a net I don't really want to get out of. I don't want to hurt him, I don't want to be hurt myself. I just feel that as pleasant and wonderful as it is right now, I don't really see how it can end on a happy note for both of us.
Yes, that's it in a nutshell. Hey, you could be C's primary! Problem solved.
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  #14  
Old 07-10-2012, 05:44 AM
AnotherConfused AnotherConfused is offline
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Originally Posted by LovingRadiance View Post
My boyfriend is monogamous to me and we live together with my husband and kids... So, to answer your question, yes it can be fully satisfying. It simply depends upon what exactly is available and what exactly is wanted-whether or not they match.
It seems like living together would make a significant difference (as it does in any kind of relationship). I don't see that ever happening, since my husband doesn't want anything to do with C.

I don't know what exactly is available, only what we have at the moment. I think that could grow, but I don't want to let it if it will never be enough.
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  #15  
Old 07-10-2012, 03:32 PM
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AC - I'm going to post as I too, like Whathappened, am in a similar situation as C and can also speak for what my polyBF feels.

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Originally Posted by AnotherConfused View Post
I know this isn't easy for him, but I think he knows I do everything I can to mitigate these things. All the hard work in my marriage to make this relationship even possible. Offering to spend far more time with him than he has ever chosen to accept. Wanting to keep this up for as long as he is willing. We've both always known this isn't likely to last forever, but he's the one with the game plan for ending it.

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Originally Posted by AnotherConfused View Post
This is what C seems to feel too, except that he seems intent on finding a full time partner as soon as he can find someone he likes, in spite of how well this situation seems to fit his needs.

This seems reversed. For many of the other 'secondary' relationships spoken candidly about on here, the primary already accepts that a part time deal is less than ideal for the secondary partner. As much as it hurts them to let that person go, if they can't offer a full relationship, they can't expect them to stay put indefinitely. It's selfish to restrict that.

There are a few red flags here, as 'secondary'. Your husband doesn't accept him. You two don't have sex. Why would he want to commit himself deeper and into this long term if the risk is there that this doesn't move beyond where it is now or the risk that your husband decided to veto this relationship? You want a commitment from him long term, but what does he get in return? An extra date/few hours a week? I understand you want to develop a deeper bond with him but it seems unfair.

We all justify why we settle into these secondary relationships - career, children, life circumstances, but that doesn't mean that we will want that forever and it's only fair to allow us to keep our options open. My bf encourages me to find a more normal relationship that can offer me all the benefits he enjoys with his primary partner as he knows it's hypocritical to keep me from that option while he enjoys it himself. But he is honest that it hurts him so much to think of me moving on. I appreciate his honesty, and I don't ever want to hurt him.


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Originally Posted by WhatHappened View Post
I fear coming to a point where I'm deeply in love with BF and it is painful, rather than peaceful, to be going to bed alone every night while he is with someone else. It seems foolish to invest a lot of time and energy building a bridge to nowhere...or worse yet, building a bridge to a place where he and I are even more emotionally invested and will both be hurt even worse when it ends.

Again, offering what insight I can from my own experience, I feel much like (I think) C does; I feel I need to go find a full-time partner, quick, now, before I fall in love completely with BF and find myself miserable because I can't be with him, etc. Yet I also worry about BF. He's very heavily invested emotionally. I worry about hurting him, and yet I feel we've worked ourselves into a corner in some ways where someone is going to get hurt. I just feel stuck in a situation I didn't ask to be part of (although obviously I've gone along and said yes every step of the way he's invited--because I like him and enjoy his company so much).

I very much don't want BF to ever feel disposable. It's not how I regard him. And yet I just feel at this stage that the situation is so inherently flawed, it can't possibly last forever as it currently is, and someone is going to go through a great deal of pain when it ends, quite possibly both of us. I kind of feel like I'm flailing and scrambling to get out of a net that's slowly tightening, and yet it's a net I don't really want to get out of. I don't want to hurt him, I don't want to be hurt myself. I just feel that as pleasant and wonderful as it is right now, I don't really see how it can end on a happy note for both of us.
All these things that WH said. All of them.

I am two years into this form of relationship now and WH is right, it's past the point of no return. We have fallen in love with each other and ending things will hurt us both very deeply.

I know where your heart/head is at. My bf stresses about it often. It keeps him up at night wondering how he's going to cope if/when I leave. He gets sad, depressed, worries alot about it. He had a dream a couple of weeks ago that we were breaking up and we were both crying in the dream, broken hearted. He told me about his dream as I woke up, and I was very quiet. I asked him "Is that a sign? Is that what you want to do?" He was stunned and replied 'No, no I don't, but I was worried that you did when you were so quiet." So we reinforced our commitment to each other. I had to reassure him as much as he had to reassure me of the strength and importance of our relationship despite it's challenges.

I don't know what the future holds for us.

Like WH said, I have a great guy who I cherish, who treats me well and loves me so much. We have an amazing time whenever we are together. He fills my heart with such peace, comfort and love. Maybe one day, if my circumstances change, or when I can't deal with not having him by my side every night as we sleep, I will move on. But it will devestate us both. No question.

That said, I can understand why someone new going into this, as C is, would be hesitant.

Don't take it personally, it's the nature of the poly beast. Love him the best you can, while you can.
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  #16  
Old 07-11-2012, 01:49 AM
WhatHappened WhatHappened is offline
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My bf stresses about it often. It keeps him up at night wondering how he's going to cope if/when I leave. He gets sad, depressed, worries alot about it. He had a dream a couple of weeks ago that we were breaking up and we were both crying in the dream, broken hearted. He told me about his dream as I woke up, and I was very quiet. I asked him "Is that a sign? Is that what you want to do?" He was stunned and replied 'No, no I don't, but I was worried that you did when you were so quiet."
Interesting to hear this. It helps me understand BF. He frequently expresses the same fear, even as he tells me he doesn't want to hurt me and I need to do what's right for me, and not to worry about him. I recently sent him an e-mail expressing some thoughts that were all positive. He read them with that fear and thought I was saying it was over. Reading your experience helps me to understand just how deep his fear is.

It's ironic...or sad? That both people have reasons to have so much fear. I often find it hard to believe that I'm really anything other than a new toy to play with while his wife is off with her boyfriend. I realize that even though it's highly unlikely, his wife could announce one day she no longer wants to be poly and then it's over in a heartbeat. And yet...it's eye-opening to see that the person who in theory should be more secure seems to have even more fears than I do.
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  #17  
Old 07-11-2012, 02:46 AM
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Originally Posted by WhatHappened View Post
It's ironic...or sad? That both people have reasons to have so much fear. I often find it hard to believe that I'm really anything other than a new toy to play with while his wife is off with her boyfriend. I realize that even though it's highly unlikely, his wife could announce one day she no longer wants to be poly and then it's over in a heartbeat. And yet...it's eye-opening to see that the person who in theory should be more secure seems to have even more fears than I do.
You are not a plaything.

I had a tough time quantifying my risk versus his, too.

But in the end, feelings are still feelings. And loss still hurts, despite the label on the relationship.

Last edited by newtoday; 07-11-2012 at 02:16 PM. Reason: Damn iPad always skips the N's :)
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  #18  
Old 07-11-2012, 02:57 AM
WhatHappened WhatHappened is offline
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You are not a plaything.
As time has passed, that possibility has slipped from my mind, although I still can't wrap my mind around a couple going out on their respective dates and coming home to one another, talking about their evenings, and it not seeming as if the other people were pleasant diversions while the couple is the 'real' relationship that really matters. I guess I'd love to hear from a poly couple how that works.
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  #19  
Old 07-11-2012, 03:10 AM
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Originally Posted by WhatHappened View Post
although I still can't wrap my mind around a couple going out on their respective dates and coming home to one another, talking about their evenings, and it not seeming as if the other people were pleasant diversions while the couple is the 'real' relationship that really matters. I guess I'd love to hear from a poly couple how that works.

Good point WH. I'd love to hear feedback on that, too.

I'm sure there are different variations of answers. There will be some that don't discuss, they keep their relationships entirely separate from each other. And others who love to tell all...and many variations in between. It's a matter if now people really feel about their "secondaries", valid member of the relationship or varietal diversion?
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  #20  
Old 07-11-2012, 03:33 AM
ThatGirlInGray ThatGirlInGray is offline
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Are the friends you go out with diversions? Playthings? Or do you enjoy spending time with them because of who they are?

MC is part of a writing group and has a good friend he works on writing with. They spend 1-2 evenings a week, usually, doing this. This is something that matters to MC. It's important to him that he spend time on this, so I support it as best I can. Yes, there have been times when one of the kids got sick or something else came up and rescheduling was necessary, so in that way I can see that me and the kids, his "primary" relationships, come first.

So what difference does it make, to me, if he's spending these 1-2 evenings writing at a cafe somewhere or out on a date? It doesn't. I would similarly support a relationship that was important to him, and he does the same for me.

He understands that time with TGIB is important to me. It contributes to my happiness, which is important to him.

As far as the couple being the relationship that really matters, for MC and I, at least, our relationship is the easier one! We've been together much longer, don't have the same stressors, and have already worked through a lot of our rough spots. Yes, our relationship is important, because of the commitment we've made to each other and our kids, but more time and effort gets put into my relationship with TGIB at the moment because it's the relationship that needs it.

Ironically, TGIB and I were playthings to each other many years ago. A relationship is MUCH harder. We both know we really love each other and are in this for the long haul, otherwise we wouldn't be bothering to do all this WORK!
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Last edited by ThatGirlInGray; 07-11-2012 at 03:35 AM. Reason: typo!
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