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  #11  
Old 10-12-2012, 11:04 PM
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I suppose I may as well use this thread. This first part isn't poly related so much, though when poly is involved it can sure be more of a problem.

Adam started seeing a counselor every two weeks, the one most often recommended by poly people in Seattle whenever anybody asks for suggestions. Today is his 4th visit. Two weeks ago was supposed to be his 4th visit, but she forgot to write it down and double booked, so he had to turn around and leave when he got there. Right now I'm hovering between amused and pissed off. I was chatting to him via IM at work, and at 12:43 I said "So your appointment is at 2?" and I get back "oh shit its at 1 today, gotta go!"

Last month there was a thread on scheduling or something, I made my response and it prompted a discussion with Adam about how I didn't like being the schedule keeper/mother for his dates, appointments, plans. He didn't have any proactive suggestions for making changes (which is normal for him), just listened to my concerns, said he'd "try".

So since then it's gotten worse instead of better. Last night we were having a discussion about upcoming plans, and it turned out in this three week period. He's got an all gaming tomorrow and three work events (all scheduled on our Friday date nights) and 2 counselor appointments (all scheduled on our date nights since he works half days Friday so he doesn't have to miss work), none written in Google calendar or our paper calendar. He'd mentioned all of them to me, just not written them down anywhere. I like knowing the plans because it affects me - whether its dinner prep or a better chance to go catch up with friends where it wont affect us hanging out. Also my bf Brian & my sister know Friday's our date night, so if they were available to hang out, wouldn't mention it since that's supposed to be my never-free time. I don't like keeping a day off limits to making other plans then having him schedule things during it.

So I'm upset that he missed probably 1/3 of his session, and if I hadn't mentioned anything he would've missed it totally. It just doesn't seem... adult to have to do what I consider "micromanaging" him. I know my choices are
1. stay out of it totally and let him forget and miss plans (and rack up $100 payments for missed appointments left and right) which isn't a viable option financially. However it is my preferred option. I'd like to think if he didn't have me as a fallback reminder he'd find a way on his own to take charge of his calendar, right now he seems dependent on being reminded of things, one week I didn't remind him it was the night to put out the garbage, and I spent the night with Brian, and came home and he hadn't put it out, even though it's been the same night for 5 years, it's backed up by it being on my date night with Brian for the last 1.5 years, and well..all the neighbors put their garbage out so that should help too. But he said since I didn't remind him it just didn't occur to him.

2. remain irritated when he remembers last minute that he has something he has to do that impacts me, write down his stuff on MY calendar, remind him of medical and dental appointments to make sure it's on his work schedule so he doesn't book a meeting during them, then remind him the day before/day of to make sure he remembers to get there on time. (pretty much what we do now)

3. try to happily & non resentfully take on all the scheduling, if he mentions something, write it down, and remind him about it as needed and the day before (and in some cases of) the event. make it something I want to do so I don't get resentful about it.

There are probably other options, but those are probably the three most practical ones. I think what is bugging me most is last month when we talked about it I offered #3 to him, but he said he was going to try to manage his own things, and it seemed pushy to insist otherwise. I don't WANT to have reasons to be upset when I could turn it into something that it makes me happy to do FOR my partner instead. I admit a more awesome human would just do #3 and not even point it out to Adam, but I'm not that awesome, I want him to verbally agree that it is going to be my job to keep track of that stuff. Largely because it feels like being "mom" and I want to make sure he isn't resenting me being "mom". A small part is probably that I like crystal clear agreements and I'm like a dog with a bone until I feel everybody is on the same page. I want agreements to be made by both people, not unilaterally, which is what things usually default to since Adam doesn't have much of an opinion about most things. This isn't serving me so well in agreement making though, since I'm B&W and he's grey which is why he keeps finding ways out of abiding by B&W agreements. I'm working on becoming more grey accepting, especially since he can't seem to think of any suggestions for more grey friendly agreements to ask me to agree to so

Nevertheless I'm going to just state that it's #3 from now on. I brought down the second calendar for his scheduling, and will stand there with him today and make sure all current things are written on it. From now on I'll go write down something immediately if he mentions it, and I'll have MY google calendar remind me to check up on if his tentative plans have been confirmed or not.

I took care of the scheduling things on our date nights (mostly) by saying he needed to keep at least 2 Fridays a month free of appointments be it counseling or work events. He works for a game company, and these events are at other gaming/tech companies in the area. He is the one initiating the networking happening, so it's certainly within his control how often he makes them happen. I'm guessing I wasn't clear enough with what my expectations are since well...he never seems to understand just what it was he was agreeing to the first time, so I suppose a follow up conversation is called for.

Well shit, I must have too much time on my hands, this was long.
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Old 10-13-2012, 08:07 PM
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Well that wasn't so hard. He had turned down my offer to manage all the social stuff because he didn't want to be a "burden". After explaining our current setup was much more of one, he gladly asked me to take charge of it.

And he wont schedule any Friday work events without checking with me first instead of after the fact.

Back to being uneventful I guess.
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Old 11-16-2012, 07:49 AM
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I have a lot of my mind lately about relationships, but I figure that's my stuff to work through. I just realized this week that my natural tendency (which I hadn't really been seeing objectively) is to bounce things off somebody before making a decision. I think it comes from marrying young, I never lived all by myself until i was 32, and never really got a chance to be independent, all big decisions impacted more than just I, so it was just habit to discuss and let somebody else have input.

Sometimes I ask for a second or third opinion because I'm happily open to multiple outcomes, sometimes I am indifferent or unsure so open to information that sway me one way or another (and as a married person, will one route make whoever I live with happier than the other route?) Sometimes I don't know if I can make an objective decision so I look for help instead of taking the time to look inside myself and be patient for an answer. Fuck, even for figuring out where to go to grad school I pinned different schools to a dart board because I didn't want to actively make a decision (best school in a crappy location vs OK school in a closer more awesome location,) so I know it's a more widespread issue for me.

Dating Brian has been refreshing in the way that he is a more private person. That means I don't bounce a lot of things going on with him by Adam to get his input or advice because I haven't asked for or gotten permission to do so freely. There are really only a couple other people I could talk to deeply about relationship dynamics, but they are people I've been relying on my whole life for feedback.

Both Adam and my ex husband are around a LOT of people and have a much broader view on how and why people act than I do. I learned the limits of that last year, my ex stated there was no way I could date Brian long term because he was sure I could not handle a relationship that wasn't my ideal type, where I was not best buddies with my partner and able to talk and share what was going on with me and them multiple times a week. It's odd to realize that even somebody who's known you 20 years is seeing who they think you are, the idea instead of the reality, and that they don't actually know or understand you completely. Odder still to have somebody insist they know you better than you know yourself, so when you say you are open to trying something new and seeing if it will work, say they are sure you will fail.

Adam is better about that stuff, (he knows me, he's been on both sides of these (and most) circumstances, he is almost always objective and unbiased (one of the things I was amazed by on our first date 8 years ago) but perhaps he too has been with me long enough that asking him for input would get advice based on a skewed view of who I am. I am just not sure I will see a clear border between objective advice and advice given because he is assuming I see things a certain way, so that has given me pause.

That gave me one more reason to really stop and think about this subject, of being independent and making decisions for myself. I realized that I did a lot of "What do you think" with my partners - several times in the last year or so I asked Adam if I should go on a second date with somebody, or if I decided I didn't want to, looked to him for affirmation that I was making the correct decision. I imagine there was a lot of that with my ex when we were poly too. This is a harder subject for me because with the wider people knowledge that he and my ex have - I am pretty sure that I would not still be dating Brian if both of them hadn't given me their take on things, when I was sure it was not going to work out - they gave me great reality checks. Because I listened and it worked out, it's very tempting to keep relying on third person advice, but I really think it just isn't healthy.

Thankfully some of the blogs in this section are really good reality checks and have made me think more. This is the first time I've had a "secondary" relationship actually, or a relationship that seems very unlikely for many reasons to never going to be more than that, regardless of feelings and good things about the relationship. Changes may be afoot with that relationship, and as tempting as it to talk about all the stuff going through my head out loud, I am trying to be aware. Even if I do talk about what is going on in my mind to Adam, I have to remember to say I'm just sharing what I'm going through, not asking for advice.

So not really a point to talk about the specifics as I am still noodling through stuff, but I feel the subject of decision making is pretty integral to poly when it comes to interpersonal relationships, so thought it was worth writing about.
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Old 12-12-2012, 10:01 AM
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Sheesh I kinda hate writing here, but I think it's important so share highs and lows.

The stable-ish part of my life seems to be at an end. My boyfriend Brian is actively open to dating other people after not doing so for going on two years. At about the same time I decided to reactivate my OKC profile because I am still interested in finding friends, friend/lovers/hobby partners and possibly a lover/person interested in kink in the same ballpark I am, though all of that may have already suddenly come back into my life in satisfactory measures from other sources than new people, still not sure how that's all going to pan out.

Tonight my husband who hasn't dated for the last year mentioned being interested in somebody he met (who lives on the other side of the country, so I think it's more practicing communicating with me than saying he's ready to date) and that a couple people at a work event today were cute. I take this to mean he's feeling the counseling he is going to every 2-3 weeks is helping him. It has been having positive effects on our intimacy in general and off and on in his interest in sex, which was the stressful point about him having other lovers or not.

We also had a conversation about time splitting. I've been clear that I was open to having two "primary type" relationships where both men (presumably) lived with me, and he was not interested in living with another man and pointed out some negatives to the situation like that meant two men having dates and friends over - I like my private space so I can see how that wouldn't be practical. I've been clear it's unlikely I'd want to share my living space with another female as I am very particular about interior design and other household stuff and don't desire accommodating another person in that, so if he wanted another live in partner it wouldn't work to cohabitate in a single family house.

I checked in a month ago about our agreement that up to 4 nights out of the house a week on dates/hobbies was OK and he said he still wanted that that. I think I'd prefer 3, but as we are usually both home at least 3 a week, I just said I would speak up if it started being an issue. I was surprised today to start a discussion about time splitting, to find out that Adam felt that if I met somebody I wanted to see very regularly it may be a problem. If I wanted to see somebody 3 nights a week it might be tolerable for him but 4 would be a problem for him. That if I was seeing 2 or more people 4 nights out of the house a week it would probably be fine as long as it was spread out and not time invested in just one person. That it might be OK if it was a friend of his where there was shared time but not OK if it wasn't. It was the first time I had an idea that he felt this way about multiple time consuming relationships. I feel I have more thinking to do about the subject, and more talking.

Though I was surprised to hear this as he's never been so upfront about things before when I've discussed this stuff with him, his preferences echo my preferences too, mainly because I like alone time and I can't see having it if I was seeing another person more than 2x a week. I know things could change and one of us could meet somebody that we wanted to be with more often but I imagine that's one thing I don't have to waste any energy thinking about unless it happens.
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Old 12-12-2012, 03:59 PM
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Interesting blog /story ...


It makes me feel I'm not "poly enough" for the liberal branch...

Who's "the liberal branch " Pm if naming names makes you uncomfortable.


I find this time split topic very fascinating ...thanks for sharing
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Old 12-12-2012, 06:01 PM
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You're so goofy DH
I don't consider being open to more or less stuff to be more liberal. I sure try hard not to worry if other people approve of how I'm living my life. I don't feel comfortable having an "anything goes" partner as a live in partner, and I don't want to be one. I don't expect anybody to do poly other than in a way that works for them. I am however fascinated to still be finding out new stuff from Adam after 8 years, especially on subjects we've discussed multiple times.

Probably a big reason I like the idea of two partners being a big presence in my life is because it's the only thing I've known outside of monogamy, and I'm more of a homebody and wary of overextending myself and getting stressed out, and that would solve that in some ways. Doing a lot of commuting to see multiple partners is not my idea of fun, having people at my place is more comfortable if they're friends with Adam.

This is the first time I have a non-primary relationship (or at least the first time to have a relationship that didn't at least have the potential for that) and I did not know what to expect. I am very surprised that it's creeping up to the two year mark with Brian. It makes me think I could be content very long term with a dynamic where I spend time with a person once every week or two depending on a number of factors like level of friendship, if we keep in touch by email and such. I also know every single relationship will be totally different that these two so I still don't know what to expect. I am learning new skills, and more about myself and I enjoy that. Probably at this time in my life growth is more useful for me than stability, though sometimes that idea is outside my comfort zone.

I prefer the idea of neither Adam or I dating other people more than 2-3 nights a week, it is so easy to get unbalanced with making sure to tend to each other and all the domestic crap. I know views can change with time and I am not invested in anything being any set way in the future. It does however, happen to be nice to find out Adam and I are on the same page right now.
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Old 12-15-2012, 07:10 PM
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How are the holidays going to be handled ...time AND gift wise ? Do you enlist their help for buying for the other? Do you have a hierarchical poly relationship ?




Did you answer the liberal branch question ??? if so are you planning to run for office
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Old 12-16-2012, 09:26 AM
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Oh DH I don't know what you'd like to know. If you consider there is a liberal spectrum of poly from rigid to anything goes, I am where I am, and I don't really care where anybody else is unless it means dating them wouldn't be sensible, or I think somebody is being hurt by it. I don't like the "anything goes" when both partners aren't OK with it, and I don't like OPP or I get to date and you don't stuff, but as long as the people involved with it are comfortable with their agreements, it's irrelevant to me. I don't think I'd date somebody who was "anything goes and you don't get to know anything" and I sure wouldn't be married to somebody who wanted that because it wouldn't work for me.

How do we handle time and gifts? We made an agreement before we started dating again that for holidays/birthdays, budget wise spending up to $20 was fine and if we wanted to spend more we'd talk about it first. Adam tends to IM me links to things he thinks Brian might like because he likes giving things to people he cares about and wants to enable me to do the same. When we go on vacations we tend to shop together for souvenirs or gifts for people we are dating so so we find the best items for them.

My date night with Brian is the day after Christmas, if Brian has other plans, we'll change it. If it was on Christmas I would change it because I have plans with Adam to sit around in pjs in front of a fire putting ribbons and bows on our cats. Adam was too busy killing monsters to tell me what he would like to have happen if my date night fell on Christmas eve, if he wanted me to reschedule it I would likely do so, most all my dates on holidays have been rescheduled because Brian has things to do. If Brian said he wanted to spend a particular day with me when I asked about rescheduling, I'd talk to Adam about it to see if it conflicted with what he had in mind. Both of them seem much more easygoing about things like that than I do. I think I'm making a turkey for Brian next week. If I or Adam were dating somebody who wanted to invite us both over, or I wanted to invite them/their partners over, we'd do that and I'd make Adam wash the dishes. But I kinda like it to just be Adam and I.

"Do you have a hierarchical poly relationship ?" My view on that is not so much, Adam has more of an hierarchical view of poly than I do. I mean I have a husband I am married to, and I married him because I thought we would be a great lifelong partners who were compatible in most of the important things I cared about. I'm 99.999% sure Brian and I are currently enjoying a long term non co-habitating regular dating partnership where we enjoy each others time a lot when we see each other but aren't craving any more time or involvement in each other's lives. I use the terms primary and secondary sometimes for ease when trying to communicate about things in writing, but that doesn't mean somebody I start dating tomorrow won't be as important to me someday as my husband/boyfriend/best friend/ex husband are today. Doesn't mean they will be, but I haven't had enough partners to figure that out yet. If you mean if I had to make Sophie's choice? Adam is more important to the stability and well being of my overall day to day life. If he moved for work I'd move with him over staying here for a relationship where I see a person once a week and there isn't a desire to live together.

On another note, I learned a lot more about Adam's feelings and whatnot this week, some very surprising things. Which I'd have written about but I've ran out of steam talking about who buys what for whom
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Old 12-22-2012, 09:55 PM
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The only time Adam and Brian met was a brief introduction when Brian picked me up for dinner last year. Adam comes home sometimes on nights where Brian is still here, but usually goes onto his computer so they haven't crossed paths again. It's been going on two years and it's been bothering me a bit as the longer goes by the weirder I feel about them seeing each other in passing in the hallway or something...

Adam just didn't think they'd hit it off as friends & didn't have much interest in getting to know him, Brian seemed willing to meet but didn't seem to really care either way. I am HORRIBLE at being a hinge with people in general...never introduced friends to each other, or boyfriends to friends, if they weren't in the same social circle already. I get nervous enough just inviting a person to hang out at my house one on one if I don't know them really well. Don't mind if Adam has people over if I don't have to act as hostess unless I choose, but to co-host an event I really have to be in the right mind space. This means even though I would've liked to comfortably swing some casual get to know each other thing, with both of them lukewarm about it, it didn't happen.

All that said, I was talking to Brian last week about what I am looking for in any other partners I end up dating, a brief summary is that a dream dynamic would be somebody who is a good friend to me whether it be FWB or a romantic partner, who also likes Adam's company and would enjoy playing console games with him, and maybe has a partner/friend or two that would be interested in board game gatherings with all of us or just Adam depending. Originally I'd hoped that the three of us and Brian's wife would hang out and play board games since she has similar tastes too, but it wasn't in the cards (pun...) I also talked about how the amount of time I've been spending with other friends and family was making me think I didn't have the energy for another partner with everything being so segregated. I want friends, I want people do to hobbies with, and I want plenty of alone time too.

Brian suggested he was interested in some board gaming and maybe we should make it happen, though when I let him know I'd be nervous so to be prepared he seemed to think just the two of them meeting for board games somewhere might be better (maybe he thinks I'm going to freak out?) ouch! I get it, I've enjoyed meeting the people Adam is dating and Brian's wife one on one, without a third party there. Had a blast meeting one of Adam's girlfriends and her husband for board games, but I think three person dynamics are a bit harder on the person who's the hinge in the situation. I was really touched that even though OUR relationship is very segregated from the rest of his life, he was willing to offer to see about filling some of the friendship/people to do stuff with gap I have in my life

I asked Adam about it that night, and to my surprise he was down for the idea, either the two of them or all three of us. It's Christmas break and I think he'd like nothing better to spend the whole time playing video and board games anyway. So it looks like we are going to meet for several hours next week and have lunch and play board games at one of the local gaming taverns.

I don't know how it will go, the truth is besides a few minutes spent with Brian and one of his partners, the only interactions he's had with other people while I'm with him are wait staff and store employees, I am sure he will act differently in a group setting than I am used to him acting. Adam has what I consider a "professional persona" as he spends a LOT of time meeting new people for work, representing the company or not. While he acts one way with people he is comfortable with, I've been surprised at how different he can appear when interacting with others in certain situations - more like being on stage, less natural. I don't really like it because it doesn't seem like he's being himself, but I know I can act a bit differently when spending time with new people too. Hopefully if it's awkward it smoothes over quickly, board games are good for that.

Really my favorite early poly time was my third date with Adam, when he came up to watch a movie with me and my then husband Heath. I got to sit between them holding both their hands while we watched a horrible Troma movie. Things like that, naked hot-tubbing with Heath and his girlfriend (who was Adam's ex girlfriend) and Adam, spending solo time with the same girlfriend taking walks and going to the nude spa (hmm there was a lot of comfortable nudity at that point in my life), going dancing with Adam's other girlfriend and having everybody friendly and comfortable with each other - that is what I want my poly to look like. I don't imagine Adam and Brian are going to hit it off like gangbusters and end up great friends, but I am glad to have the chance to move from them being two guys who are just involved with the same person to at least being acquaintances.

I'd been thinking more recently over the last months about seeing if Brian's girlfriend wanted to meet for coffee - we had that intent a long time ago after we met briefly, but I got the idea we were just glad to have seen the other in person, and it was enough to make her comfortable that I wasn't a dick. She seems like a warm and friendly person but I figured she was busy and neither of us made the offer so it didn't happen. I think if the board games go OK I will check and see if she might like to meet (Hey, I know we haven't talked for a year and a half, would you like to go have coffee? :| ) since she likes board games too. I think 2013 would be a good year to become an extrovert.
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Last edited by Anneintherain; 12-22-2012 at 09:59 PM.
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Old 12-23-2012, 12:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anneintherain View Post
I am HORRIBLE at being a hinge with people in general...never introduced friends to each other, or boyfriends to friends, if they weren't in the same social circle already. I get nervous enough just inviting a person to hang out at my house one on one if I don't know them really well. Don't mind if Adam has people over if I don't have to act as hostess unless I choose, but to co-host an event I really have to be in the right mind space.
I so totally get this! It is very rare that I hang out with a friend and partner. That was one poly challenge: I was in LDR with Mya, and she would come to visit me, so obviously there was quite a lot of hinge time for me. In the situation very much worth it. Yet, I enjoy it so much now that we are in the same city: I can see both of them alone, and when there are group hang outs, it is not that they "have to spend time together because of me", but because they want to see each other, too. Somehow, psychologically, there is a big difference for me.

Games are such a great group activity. Hope you guys have fun!
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