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  #1  
Old 11-18-2012, 05:07 AM
sparklepop sparklepop is offline
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Default unfair long distance rules?...

I'm in a long distance poly relationship with my GF, where I switch between the US and the UK every 3 months. I've just finished a wonderful stay in the US. While I was there, my GF got hot and heavy with a guy over text/IM and was heading towards sleeping with him once I returned home. Last time I went home to the UK, she dated heavily, very quickly, which caused a lot of strain. This memory, plus her impending sex with hot and heavy guy, led to me suggest a guideline - we agreed that when I got home, we'd put off dating for a couple of weeks, to give us time to adjust to being apart before adding other people to the mix.

So, I have been back in the UK for three nights. The first night I was away, she went online to talk to hot and heavy guy. He apparently did something to annoy her and may now be off the cards. She said that she didn't know if it was the right thing to talk to him, but needed a distraction from missing me. I was minorly upset but understood and moved on... The second night, she went into an online sex game we play (similar to Second Life) and met up with a guy who had emailed her previously. I was a bit more uncomfortable, talked to her, moved on... Tonight, she told me that she went into the game to meet the guy again, then 'jumped' her husband and had unusually hot sex with him. (i.e. chat with game guy had wound her up). She's also been emailing back and forth with a guy who lives locally and is really into him.

For some reason, it really upset me this time and I don't know why. I know she turns to sex/flirtation/attention when she's down. She has no platonic friends - whereas I do. I've seen friends since I got home - she says that chatting to these guys is her way of getting a friend to distract her from missing me. She also left messages from guys unanswered when I was there and basically focused on me.

We've talked a lot recently about how to do 'the right poly thing'. What is considerate? What is rude? What is supportive? What is oppressive? To her, being inconsiderate would be sleeping with hot and heavy guy, cybersexing with game guy and going on a date with local guy, during these first two weeks. Talking and flirting shouldn't be a problem. To me - the method she's chosen to ease her pain increases mine. That's not helping each other; it's only helping ourselves. I would really love some outside opinions to help me navigate this in my mind. I truly to not want to be unreasonable and perhaps expecting her not to flirt with others when her evenings are now so empty is too much to ask.
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Me: (29f) open poly
In a long-distance relationship with GF (39f)
Dating Descartes in my home country (27f)



“Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without." ~ Buddha
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  #2  
Old 11-18-2012, 05:41 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Quote:
"we agreed that when I got home, we'd put off dating for a couple of weeks, to give us time to adjust to being apart before adding other people to the mix."
Quote:
To me - the method she's chosen to ease her pain increases mine.
I am not hearing specific on the limit.

What is "dating" to each of you? It is _____? I get confused sometimes because people mean "dating" like "having sex with."

"The mix" of WHAT? The bedroom for sex? Emotional relationship? Friendship?

I am not hearing specific on "the method" that bugs you either. That she overshares this information in general? She tells you at night when you are tired? Drives you nuts with texting? There are no specifics on how to communicate in the 2 week window to ease transition of "being back at home."

SMART check:

What (s)pecifics? No slang or euphemism. Let's get clear with GF.
  • No intercourse or outercourse or kink of any kind for 2 weeks when you get back to UK? General dating is fine?
  • Or not talking/flirting or general dating much less sexing with anyone new for 2 weeks when you get back to UK?
  • Or not TELLING you about the sex she has/talks she has/flirts she has for 2 weeks?Because overshare makes you nuts?
  • Or not TELLING you this stuff in _email/cel___method that makes you nuts and doing it in THIS ___phonecall___way instead, please.

I am hearing (m)easurable. 2 weeks.
I am not hearing (a)ttainable because 2 weeks is attainable but the (s)pecific is unknown still
I am not hearing (r)easonable because 2 weeks part is reasonable enough but specific is unknown still
I am hearing timely -- 2 weeks is an ok turn around for settling into regular life post trips.

This agreement is almost SMART criteria if you can iron out the specific.

Could also consider rewrite the agreement so it is more focused on what you want more of and "do this" , and not written from what you do not want -- "do not do this."

When GF asks you if you would like a beverage? "Do not bring me milk, please" (what you do not want) is not the same thing as saying "Do bring me orange juice, please." (what you want)

She could spend all day bringing coffee, tea, vodka, milkshake and you get pissed there is STILL no OJ and she gets pissed she's carting drinks about trying to satisfy you and you still are not satisfied.

Could maybe try to be more clear, more specific about your need that you want her to meet.

GG

Last edited by GalaGirl; 11-18-2012 at 05:49 AM.
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  #3  
Old 11-18-2012, 08:27 AM
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SchrodingersCat SchrodingersCat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sparklepop View Post
Last time I went home to the UK, she dated heavily, very quickly, which caused a lot of strain. This memory, plus her impending sex with hot and heavy guy, led to me suggest a guideline - we agreed that when I got home, we'd put off dating for a couple of weeks, to give us time to adjust to being apart before adding other people to the mix.
The first thing I notice is that you only say her dating caused the strain. Is that the complete story? Or is it partially true that your reaction to her dating was partially responsible for the strain? If you were someone who was turned on by her dating other people, then her dating would not cause strain. So you cannot put the blame 100% on her dating, you have to accept responsibility for the way you feel about her dating.

There's another issue at play here. You say she has no platonic friends. It sounds like she may be using sex as a surrogate for meaningful, intimate relationships. There are all kinds of reasons people do that, but usually it's because there's something going on in their psychological make-up that ought to be addressed. Now ideally, that means she would seek counselling and deal with her issues. But in the interim, it means you're asking her to live for two weeks in complete isolation, without any of her usual crutches. How would you feel if she asked you to spend the first two weeks back home without talking to any of your friends, relying only on sporadic time-zone-lagged emails and texts with her for contact with other humans?
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  #4  
Old 11-18-2012, 01:11 PM
snowmelt snowmelt is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SchrodingersCat View Post

There's another issue at play here. You say she has no platonic friends. It sounds like she may be using sex as a surrogate for meaningful, intimate relationships.
I agree with this quote from SchrodingersCat. She runs around having desperate sex with people like she's trying to put a fire out, and she explains that by saying she needs a distraction from missing you. In my opinion, she's not capable of meaningful relationships right now.
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  #5  
Old 11-21-2012, 02:15 PM
sparklepop sparklepop is offline
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Thank you very, very much, you three - your responses are always wonderful, both to my threads and the threads of others and I always respect your opinions.

It's why I come here - to get the viewpoints of people from a distance. They usually help me to see things with complete clarity.

Gala, you got me thinking as always. Your drink analogy made me laugh... sadly laugh... because I realised that you were completely right. We had a discussion about it today after more and more chats and date-arrangement with guys and sure enough, she thought that a break from poly meant a break from physically going on dates.

Schrodinger... you make some great points, also. You're right - my reaction to her dating is my own issue. I was feeling betrayed by her because she seemed to be ignoring my wishes in pursuit of her own pleasure... because she continued to do something that she considers menial, knowing that it causes me pain. So I agree - the blame isn't all on her at all.

Both you and snowmelt have made the point that I have always understood about my girlfriend... she replaces meaningful connections with sexual ones. She looks for sexual attention because she is, deep down, low in confidence and was greatly lacking in love and support when she was growing up. She's told me these kind of things herself... though never explicitly made the links.

The point about crutches really got to me... and it was just what I was looking for. I knew and understood why she did it... but couldn't understand why I was still getting upset, even though I know her well.

The way you put it seemed to snap something in my head. I would never want to be so cruel as to take away her crutches.

We had a long talk today and I apologised for not making my expectations clear... and for making them slightly unfair. She told me that she tried to meet them, but is not capable of spending two weeks not talking to guys at all. She said that instead of seeing our time apart as a different lifestyle, we shouldn't need an adjustment period.... that we should just transition smoothly from me being there in person to us being apart... and that way, it won't be such a big deal when she talks to guys like this.

She said that she only agreed to the two week break for me, but that it isn't what she wants. So i've said to forget about the break... to see and talk to and date who she wants, when she wants.

Thank you to all three of you for helping me to understand this in my mind.
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Me: (29f) open poly
In a long-distance relationship with GF (39f)
Dating Descartes in my home country (27f)



“Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without." ~ Buddha
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  #6  
Old 11-21-2012, 05:22 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Glad it helped.

However the communication thing -- note it. She's doing things she does not really want to do for your sake? (Agreed to 2 week break initially?) Maybe on her end it was not SMART on the (R) -- realistic for her. She could learn to speak up better... but that's on her. You cannot control her or do her things for her.

BUT.... you do control you. Having learned this about her? You could learn to look for your SMART places and ask her about HERS when you propose future agreements between you.

On the first pass -- is it hitting SMART for you?

Then on the repass -- is it hitting SMART for her? ASK her. Because she's not at a place where she's tending to looking after it herself. Is this proposed agreement actually DOABLE for you both because it hits BOTH your SMART places? Does the agreement need more tweaks? RELATE to me gf!

Hang in there.

GG

Last edited by GalaGirl; 11-22-2012 at 04:31 AM.
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  #7  
Old 11-21-2012, 05:35 PM
sparklepop sparklepop is offline
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Quote:
On the first pass -- is is hitting SMART for you?

Then on the repass -- is it hitting SMART for her? ASK her. Because she's not at a place where she's tending to looking after it herself. Is this proposed agreement actually DOABLE for you because it hits your SMART place? Does the agreement need more tweaks? RELATE to me gf!
Thanks GG! I absolutely agree with this and said as much to her today... to speak up, make sure she gets her point across... and I will be much more aware now that she (and I) might not be communicating in the best way!
__________________

Me: (29f) open poly
In a long-distance relationship with GF (39f)
Dating Descartes in my home country (27f)



“Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without." ~ Buddha
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