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  #11  
Old 07-24-2012, 07:26 PM
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Lovescribe Lovescribe is offline
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Hey, nycindie, that's a great point - it most definitely wouldn't be a good precedent to give in to him when he was the one to break the rules.
Thanks for the food for thought. I have never had to deal with a similar situation - and of course I can only base my advice on my own personal experience. I am afraid I failed at expressing that clearly. I believe in communication - it's absolutely fundametal for a good relationship.
I also believe in challenging my own boundaries whenever it feels like I am just giving in to my own childish ego. Does it make any sense? Now, I am not saying your feelings were childish, Prudence, or irrelevant. I just suggested taking some time to look at them with some distance. If they still appear as serious and relevant as before, then it's time to do something about them. I don't know about you, but my feelings are not the most reliable of things.
But, again, nycindie was right about the precedent thing. As far as rules go, you was right. I guess one could argue that your partner didn't break the rules, but actually asked you for a favour..... but no, no, I am not going to defend it, he could have planned his day better.
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  #12  
Old 07-25-2012, 05:38 AM
Prudence Prudence is offline
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@Lovescribe - Ah, that makes sense. Yeah, I wouldn't have calmed down. I would have gotten more worked up. I very much need to prepare for things. Like, that night he said he'd be home by "6 or 7." I have to ignore the "6 or" part because I know he won't actually be home until 7, but if I take to heart "6 or 7" then I start looking for him at 6 and by the time 7 rolls around I'm already halfway to stressed. I doubt I will always be this way but for right now I need plans I can count on, and he knows that. As to how I responded to his request, I said, "No." That's all the goodwill I could muster.

@BaggagePatrol - Thank you. It is heartening to hear that my experience is resonating with somebody, and maybe even inspiring a little. I don't feel very inspiring at the moment. I wish I could say I am always as full of grace as my posts might indicate. Generally, I wait until I am calm and can see both sides before I post; today I am not calm. I am not unbiased. I am hurt and I am angry and I know it shows. Regardless, I'm happy to speak candidly on any topic of your choice, and I agree, now is not the time to suspend these particular boundaries. He and I discussed this earlier and it's his opinion that structure should remain in place until such time as things are running continuously smoothly within them.

@Cindie - Thank you for your kind words. And this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
And you probably would have been seething afterwards, which is not good at all, because you would have gone against what you wanted and then felt manipulated or victimized by him, and betrayed by yourself.
...this is exactly me. This is not good for my mental health, LOL. I appreciate the support on standing my ground.

I do want to note, no, he didn't break any rules; he didn't even pressure me (although I feel pressure to be obliging, but that's hardly his fault). He accepted my "No" without argument and he was home on time. He acknowledged that asking for more time was not a fair request; he knew it as soon as he got my response, before he even got home. He recognizes it was his/her problem (time management), not mine. I'm not trying to say he was being shady or manipulative or pushy... he wasn't. He just wanted more time, and didn't think before he asked for it. I sincerely doubt this is a problem that will be repeated. It was just one that shook me, when I'm trying to get over that hurdle of relaxing the rules.

Now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lovescribe View Post
How do you feel about it now?
Hurt. Like I'm less important. Like I have to be the bad guy if I want my boundaries honored.

They spent the evening together last night to resolve their stuff (at my suggestion). All day today I was in an incredible funk. After mulling it over awhile, there were a few things that stuck out as really bothering me.

First: that they attempted to reconnect via sex (some difficulty there, but that's another story). That stung because we didn't. (Ongoing insecurity related to the fact that I do the vast majority of initiating sex around here.)

Second: he spent Friday, most of Sunday and then Monday with her. That's... a freaking lot, people. I realize it's strictly within "the rules" (because it's a new week now!) and I realize Monday was even at my suggestion, but that's still a lot, and a lot more than I got, and it felt unfair.

And third: I felt like I was the only one looking out for me, my needs, and my comfort. I try really, really hard to think about her and her needs. I suggest she come to our house for a movie on Friday, because they don't really have a lot of places they can go, and I encouraged them to cuddle as they liked and I made myself scarce so they'd be comfortable doing so. I suggest they have a date on the weekend so they can have plenty of time together and not feel like they have to choose between hanging out and having sex. I suggest switching our plans around so they have their date before our dinner, so they don't feel rushed against curfew. When he gets home, I suggest he talk to her before we have even really had a chance to resolve stuff, because I felt like their issue deserved attention and she sounded more upset than I was at the time. I suggest he go see her the next day to talk things out and reconnect because I know they'll need that. I offer a free pass for physical contact, knowing how important that is to reconnect. And while he was there with her, the two of them were just so wrapped up in each other that nobody said, "Hey, you know, I think we're ok now, and Pru might really want/need an hour or so with you tonight since we've had 3 of the last 4 days together, why don't you go home and spend some time with her?" Nobody said that. Nobody thought that. Nobody thought about me, what might make me feel wanted or needed or important or comforted. So he got home at 3:30am on the dot, exactly at curfew. And I was just so tired and lonely and my bucket was so empty that I couldn't even do anything besides say I was glad they'd worked things out, and go to bed.

I'm actually still really hurt, really angry and really saddened by that.

I need him to take the initiative, and do stuff that shows me I am important to him. I have said this repeatedly. I'm trying hard not to expect him to read my mind, but if I have to ask for everything, it just feels like he's doing it because I'm asking. I need to see the initiative.

Yes, I have said all this to him already.

He spent the day with me and I feel like we've repaired things, but I also feel like I'm just kinda waiting to see if anything actually changes or if I still feel like I have to squeak if I want any grease. And I know I've made him feel awful, like he "fucks everything up" and "can't do anything right." And that's not my intent. I just.... need him to act like I'm a priority.

=/
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  #13  
Old 07-25-2012, 08:37 AM
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Anneintherain Anneintherain is offline
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Firstly, I think you were very right to say no, both because of the agreements you'd made, and because if you'd given them more time so they could have sex, you may have resented it when you went out to dinner and felt badly, or it would be awkward for everybody. From your followups to the situation it sounds like you were ideal in your behavior and caring for both of them.

Secondly, as it's gone on, I think you are putting her or them ahead of yourself, don't bother being grumpy about the time they've gotten together this last week, but don't be an active participant in giving TOO much, and worrying about her needs, or his needs, tell them, and let them be their own advocates. From what you say it seems like you are sad you are advocating for them, but don't feel either of them are advocating for YOU.

You need to be your own advocate. Try not to worry about them, think about want you want and need. 3x a week where he is home? 2 date nights where you focus your attention on each other and phones are off? Him to program his phone to remind him to initiate sex every Thursday night with you?

It sounds like you are both doing an awesome job. I envy that he realized he'd not done well by asking for that "favor" and didn't try to squirm out of it, you have a great partner there. I'd also think you're a great metamour. Just make sure you don't let yourself say yes to things when you want to say no, it can be a slippery slope, but you sound like you are trying hard to keep yourself honest.
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  #14  
Old 07-25-2012, 03:05 PM
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Ditto what Anneintherain said!
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  #15  
Old 07-25-2012, 03:53 PM
Prudence Prudence is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anneintherain View Post
From what you say it seems like you are sad you are advocating for them, but don't feel either of them are advocating for YOU.
Yes, this. I am also advocating for myself, as well as I know how; sometimes I don't realize I have a need until it appears as a raw spot (such as, them fixing their stuff via sex made me realize that we didn't and I would have really liked to), and sometimes I delay my needs because someone else's are more urgent (and I am sincerely fine with this; if my need was also urgent I would speak up, I make a lousy martyr). But I don't let my needs go unheard.

I think for me it's more a matter of, this is what I believe should happen in a relationship. I take care of you, you take care of me. This is how the Captain and I have always worked, and I love it. The freely given courtesies that demonstrate you are thinking about someone else and are trying to make them happier, their life better in some small way. I see this as a different exchange from self-advocacy. Advocacy establishes a baseline, to me; you make clear what you need, the nonnegotiables. Courtesy is the karmic paying-it-forward of goodwill in the relationship. For example, without the courtesy cycle, if the Captain and I were sitting down to watch a movie for the night, he'd say "I want to watch this action thriller" and I'd say "We watched an action thriller last night, I want to watch a RomCom!" But because we exist on the courtesy cycle, what happens is I say, "We should watch that action thriller you've been wanting to see," and he says, "Well, we watched that other action thriller last night, I picked up this RomCom for you, would you like to watch that?" And we both get what we need and then we ALSO get the added bonus of it being freely given by our partner, just because it makes us happy, rather than feeling like we have to fight for every consideration.

Right now, I'm hurt that the exchange of these courtesies has been suspended, or that there is a hiccup in the cycle of them somewhere. So I feel like I'm paying into the system, but not being given any disbursements, if that makes sense... and that sucks, I want my dividends back. =P But that's not something I can ask for; the nature of the system is that they must be offered. But I don't necessarily feel that ceasing my own contributions into the system until such time as the cycle resumes in full is really a great idea, either... because then everybody is just looking out for themselves and I don't think selfishness is a healthy trait in a relationship.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anneintherain View Post
It sounds like you are both doing an awesome job. I envy that he realized he'd not done well by asking for that "favor" and didn't try to squirm out of it, you have a great partner there. I'd also think you're a great metamour. Just make sure you don't let yourself say yes to things when you want to say no, it can be a slippery slope, but you sound like you are trying hard to keep yourself honest.
Thank you. =) Yes, he is a great partner, and yes, I'm trying to keep myself honest! I feel like I beat him up over this yesterday so I'm trying to just relax and let him move things forward, now.

I do think she and I should probably talk about this so I'm going to reach out to her again for some more girl time. She is nervous around me still so I'd like to develop that comfort there, and I think it will make things much easier for all of us.
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- and in a 3yr online LDR with the Ninja.

Still very much feeling our way in this world.
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  #16  
Old 07-25-2012, 04:08 PM
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nycindie nycindie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prudence View Post
Right now, I'm hurt that the exchange of these courtesies has been suspended, or that there is a hiccup in the cycle of them somewhere. So I feel like I'm paying into the system, but not being given any disbursements, if that makes sense... and that sucks, I want my dividends back.
I think this is a perfect example of how dynamics can change between a couple when one of them becomes involved with someone else. Not that these changes will always be negatives, that's not what I mean at all. However, I feel that when another person's energy enters the mix, it is impossible for all things to just keep going the way they have without any shifts. It is like the chemistry of baking - when you add this ingredient, that happens, when you add that ingredient, this happens, and so on. Eventually, as long as one does not hold on too tightly to the way things were, everything levels out again and it is possible to regain equilibrium and stability.

Just think of his relationship with the gf as the grain of sand in your oyster. What is an irritation now could very well become a pearl.
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  #17  
Old 07-25-2012, 11:57 PM
Prudence Prudence is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
Just think of his relationship with the gf as the grain of sand in your oyster. What is an irritation now could very well become a pearl.
I like it. =)
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- and in a 3yr online LDR with the Ninja.

Still very much feeling our way in this world.
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