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Old 07-27-2012, 02:01 AM
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newtoday newtoday is offline
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I'm sorry that you are so frustrated.

Sometimes the best thing to do is just let things go until calmer, clearer heads prevail.

Quite often, the best response is no response.

I have been battling this with my bf for 2 years. I've come to accept that it's not personal, he's still thinking of me when he doesn't message. He's introverted, doesn't have alot to say and doesn't like talking for the sake of talking but he tries to reach out, because it's important to me.

And, if anything, absence makes his heart grow fonder. It really does. The longer we go without communication or dates, the more excited we are to see each other.

Have faith. And try to relax.

Good luck!
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Old 07-27-2012, 04:19 PM
sparklepop sparklepop is offline
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I can absolutely understand why you feel anxious, stressed and upset.

Am I getting this right - you dated him briefly a while ago, but there was some lying in relation to his wife... now you've been dating him again for about a month?

Despite the history, this is still a very young relationship then? Has he said that he loves you? Does he profess to feel the same connection that you feel?

It sounds very much like you don't want to rock the boat and I'm just getting this sense that you are very much attached to him and scared that he doesn't feel the same way. There's a slight feeling that perhaps he calls the shots and you're feeling a little bit sprung??

As other people have said - how much you contact each other really depends on the individual relationship.

Me personally?

If I am deeply in love with someone, I like to speak to them every day. My GF and I live (very) long distance and spend 4-8 hours a day talking on skype. With exes, I'd call at lunch time, or at least send a text or two, then call before bed.

As for those I'm not in love with, like my FWB/'secondary', who lives only an hour away... I struggle to talk on a daily basis.

My last secondary wanted to talk every day. She'd text every morning, every night and talk on skype in between. If I didn't reply for half a day, she'd text me again. I communicated again and again that this is not what I wanted... but essentially, she needed more than I could give.

When my current secondary started texting me every morning and doing a similar thing, I sat her down and reminded her that I am not that way. I told her that I genuinely care for her... but I'm not in love with her, not wanting to be in love, not wanting to talk every day... I don't even have the time. She understood this and was glad that I'd pointed it out... because now, she didn't have to worry if I disappeared for a day.

The harsh truth is... I don't want to make the time.

I am very much inside my own head and I am content to not speak to anyone, besides my girlfriend, for a good few days. I'm also very forgetful and I'll often get a text, read it and forget to reply.

My priorities of time are: my GF, my business, myself, then friends and secondaries.

The more someone texts me, the more claustrophobic I feel. I can be crazy about someone... and then if I feel pushed... my walls go up and I want to run away.

Now.. I'm not saying that secondaries should come at the bottom of the list by default. I'm saying that this is what works for me. I still think of my secondaries as being just as important in terms of being a human being. I owe the same communication and respect to them as I do my primary partner. But my desires and expectations are less for my secondaries. I think you need to find out what the expectations are between you and your guy.

Don't be afraid of being honest about your feelings. It's not only your right to be nurtured; but it's your responsibility to get your expectations and needs out there.

If he's reassuring about his emotions and it truly is a communication thing, you'll have to ride it out and see if you are getting what you want from him. Try backing off a bit with the communication and see if this creates a better balance. If he's cagey and not reassuring about his feelings, don't ignore it. You might not like the truth, but the truth is always better than kidding yourself...

Let us know how you get on.
Me: 32f, evolving

“Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without." ~ Buddha
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Old 07-28-2012, 04:08 AM
WhatHappened WhatHappened is offline
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Originally Posted by coolkat8 View Post
We have a long history, we were together for a few months a couple years ago but it ended because he was not being honest with his wife about us. He now is separated and finally we can be together without any secrets. We are great when we are together, he makes me so happy. The problem is he is not good about keeping in touch in between our meet up times.
In the past, he wasn't totally honest with me when we started years ago, indicating his wife was ok with us being together but later found out she wasn't. IT ended badly. We got back together last fall briefly, he was still living with his wife even though they were separated. They fought all the time, he thought he could handle seeing me but with the stress of the marriage ending he decided he couldn't and sent me a "text' saying he couldn't see me anymore.
... like we are supposed to get together tomorrow but he still hasn't responded about when we are meeting and where. I like to plan ahead and this is so hard for me to be patient!
He's lied to you a few times. He's lied to his wife. He's dumped you by text. He doesn't let you know if he'll be there until the last minute. What is it about him that's so great that makes you so happy when he keeps treating you like this?

My question is how often does everyone keep in touch with their secondarys?
It's interesting reading everyone's response and their reasons for how little or how much they keep in touch. I myself am the 'secondary.' My BF would like me to call him every day--he doesn't like calling me because he never knows when I'll be with kids, students, or walking into church or some other place I can't talk.

I have to admit, I would like to talk every day. I'd even like to call a couple of times a day, and I think he would like that, too. I don't because, as the 'secondary,' and being otherwise single while he's otherwise with his wife, I feel a need--a very strong need--to keep some sort of independence, to keep (let's be honest) some walls up, not to wrap my life around someone who can never be that everything to me, around someone who's out partying with his wife while I'm dealing with a very heavy load of responsibility single-handedly.

It may sound cruel, and I don't mean it cruelly, it's more a form of self-protection--but I also don't call more often, even knowing he'd welcome it, because I feel like it keeps some balance in the relationship.

I sometimes feel like I have no right to make demands because I am married and he and I can never be more than what we are now. I also get a lot of anxiety when I don't hear from him for days and worry "what if he is losing interest" "what if he found someone else" and my imagination gets the best of me. I appreciate any thoughts!
This is the beauty of forums--to be able to hear each others' stories. See, I feel I have no right to anything because I'm 'just' this toy outside the real relationship, a diversion, someone that will come and go in his life. I know others who are in my BF's position of being the married partner say they do not feel this way at all about their single secondary relationships. But it's hard not to feel that way when you know darn well who he's made the commitment to, who has to come first, who he's going home to every night, who could pull the plug on this if she really wanted to (although their veto is not on individual relationships but on the lifestyle itself if either of them wants to quit.)

There's this disturbing feeling at the back of my mind that if I do anything to piss her off, I get the axe (more of a situational thing than about her in particular). It feels like a two against one thing, and even more unbalanced, in that he doesn't really have to worry too much about treating me well because he has her there every night anyway whereas I have to worry about pleasing two people. (These are only my feelings about this situation in general terms, btw, absolutely not how he or she has ever acted, and not a mode into which I'll allow myself to slip.)

And yet...reading your fears, I understand BF even more deeply. He keeps talking about his fear of losing me. And obviously he has reason to fear--he knows that this arrangement is hardly likely to be suitable to a single mother forever. We had a recent incident where I sent him a letter full of good things--but his fear is so deep that he interpreted everything completely differently from how I meant it and actually thought I was breaking up with him. I believe it was a direct result of his fear, and your words have helped me see it really is that bad for him.

I do like the idea of clarifying with him about telling me if he's going to end it and stopping my anxiety.
This is my bf's fear, too, that I'll end it abruptly, and I guess I don't really know what it is he's asking of me/ that you're asking of your bf. To give you advance warning? I don't at all mean to sound facetious, but relationships end often enough and neither you nor he can read the future.
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Old 07-28-2012, 04:57 AM
dragonflysky dragonflysky is offline
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For me daily contact isn't about insecurity. It's about the fact that when something/someone brings me pleasure...why wouldn't I want a regular dose of it/him in my life?? For me a large part of the joy in being in a relationship is having someone to share my life with...to talk with on a regular basis...share time with...
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Old 07-28-2012, 04:07 PM
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CielDuMatin CielDuMatin is offline
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Different people have different needs and things they are willing to do. One person's "wanting to stay in touch" is another person's "clingy".

It sounds like you have a realistic picture of this person - the sorts of things he does and is willing to do. You can and should certainly make your desires and wishes known, but if it's not something that he really wants to do, I feel that it's unrealistic for you to expect him to change.

Once you know that, it's then your turn to decide whether you still want a relationship with this person and, if so, what that relationship should be. Most folks that use the primary/secondary terms to describe a relationship, also add a "tertiary" - someone that you have only occasional contact with and who isn't much involved in day-to-day life. It might well be that the two of you are best-suited to have a tertiary relationship. The benefit of that for you is that the degree of trust necessary to keep the relationship in place is lower that for a secondary or a primary. The question is: do you trust him enough for even that? What is he doing to regain the trust that you have so obviously lost given previous actions on his part?

"Listen, or your tongue will make you deaf." - Native American Proverb
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Old 07-29-2012, 09:22 PM
coolkat8 coolkat8 is offline
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 11
Default Working thru it!

I am really happy to hear so many responses, it means a lot and gives me a lot to think about. I was so upset Friday I could barely function (other things are stressing me out too and I was just overwhelmed). We finally talked Friday night for over an hour and got things on the table. SparklePop- I appreciate your insight on someone who doesn't want to talk to their secondary everyday. I have more understanding now. It has been hard to wrap my head around why you wouldn't want to stay in contact but I might understand it more now. He apparently did send a text earlier in the week about plans for Friday but I had cleaned out my phone and must've accidently deleted his unread text (my fault, oops! he resent me the text he sent). He admitted that he needs to be alone and is still getting over his marriage ending (which was really bad but lasted for 17 years, yikes). We are ok now but he is bothered by the fact that when he is ready for a long term girlfriend that he won't be able to find someone who can accept that he loves me and we are in a relationship. So that is a difficult question but this person doesn't exist yet so we decided to stay together for now and see what happens. Someone asked if I was unsure he loved me, I'm sure he loves me but his love style may be different from mine I think. I told him I would limit my texting and would remind myself it may take him a day or two to respond. (this is VERY difficult for me but I need to adjust because he won't change with this). I also told him I need to know about plans ahead of time, at least the day before because I can't stand being in limbo, he agreed. He said he'd always call if he had to cancel. So the difficult part is I feel like I am waiting around so much to hear back from him when I do text, like he said he'd let me know if he could come see me yesterday because he had been sick. Well I heard nothing from him by the afternoon and my husband was getting pissed because he wanted to make plans, it wasn't fair to make him wait around either. Finally I just texted him and said "guess you are still sick, we are making other plans". I was sad I couldn't see him but I went to a meetup group and actually had a great time. Even got some flirt time in with another guy which made me feel good and was very fun! I do realize I could find someone else and right now I'm on the fence about what to do. I tend to agree with Dragonflysky "For me daily contact isn't about insecurity. It's about the fact that when something/someone brings me pleasure...why wouldn't I want a regular dose of it/him in my life?? For me a large part of the joy in being in a relationship is having someone to share my life with...to talk with on a regular basis...share time with... "
If I want to stay with him I will have to think of him more as a tertiary person since he doesn't want as much involvement. Still trying to get used to this and process this.
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Old 07-30-2012, 04:40 AM
AutumnalTone AutumnalTone is offline
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Originally Posted by Dagferi View Post
If you do not like the way you are being treated then DO NOT allow it to continue. Period.

Why be in a relationship that causes you stress and heartache? If he can not give you what you need in return then it is time to move on.
This bears repeating.

I text both of my partners and my bestie daily. If I don't hear from one of them for a day, it's no big deal. Even if they're traveling or ill or really busy, they do make an effort to check in and say so, so it's rare to go a day without hearing something. My wife and amorata each do this without prompting; it's a negotiated thing with my bestie.

If they weren't willing to communicate enough for me to be satisfied, I doubt I'd still be involved with them. This is one of those things that is very important in serious relationships, for me.
When speaking of various forms of non-monogamy...it ain't poly if you're just fucking around.

While polyamory, open relationships, and swinging are all distinctly different approaches to non-monogamy, they are not mutually exlusive. Folks can, and some do, engage in more than one of them at a time--and it's all good.
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Old 08-02-2012, 11:34 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is online now
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If I want to stay with him I will have to think of him more as a tertiary person since he doesn't want as much involvement. Still trying to get used to this and process this.
Bingo. There ya go. You hit it on the head. I don't use those words -- primary, secondary, tertiary. But since you do... maybe you could sit with him and decide that yes. This is a tertiary thing now in this time and in this place. And probably for the next (what 6 mos?) timeframe. Fly it like that and draw up your formal rights/responsibilites for the thing that now is.
For the next 6 mos, this is a tertiary relationship. In this tertiary relationship we agree to be together like THIS -- my wants, needs, limits. Your wants, needs, limits. We expect these things ______. This contract will be revisited and reviewed on ____ date____.

Whether or not you can hack this -- that's something else. YOU have to decide if you are in this or not, and HOW you are willing to be in this.

I thought I heard this limit expressed in your post. Was it expressed this clearly?
"I need to hear about any change in plans at least 24 hrs (a day?) in advance. And if not hearing within 24 of the appt, I move on without your input.

I think that is a reasonable limit to have. Because other people's lives are knit in here. Can't be dicking me around when all it takes is a phone call to SAY. Sheesh. In my universe, dumb things like that could be time to break out the 3 strikes you are out if this is a CHRONIC lack of consideration.

As you saw your own DH's cranky at HIS life being put on hold for your BF being all shilly shally (if he is dragging on calling with schedule stuff) or YOU being all shilly shally (not liking the call and hoping he'd change his mind and not wanting to move it forward) -- there are other people around with wants, needs, and limits. More when BF gets a new GF.

So own your own baggage! Wherever there is baggage to be owned.

It just sounded like perhaps you hadn't stated that limit super crystal clear to him or yourself and you were struggling to do so?

Get your limits clear. What other limits need to be brought into SHARP focus?


Last edited by GalaGirl; 08-02-2012 at 11:38 PM.
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