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  #11  
Old 11-05-2012, 05:37 PM
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nycindie nycindie is offline
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Oh my word, no. It doesn't sound like he's insecure - it sounds like he just wants to be in control. Why shouldn't you flirt with anyone you want to? Geez, IF HE IS A FRIEND, he needs to stop trying to boss you around. Ick!

I am really curious about what happened when he suddenly told you that he thought you were dating while you thought you were just friends. What prompted that? How did you feel and why are you being so loyal and submissive to him just because of that announcement? Why couldn't you have said, "Oh, I didn't think we were dating. I like things the way they were, and I am interested in dating other people, so I would rather you and I just remain friends." But because HE SAYS you are dating, you go along with it and then are afraid of upsetting him and his other girlfriend? Huh?

Where is your agency in this? It sounds like you need to learn how to take charge of things in your life.
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Last edited by nycindie; 11-05-2012 at 05:44 PM.
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  #12  
Old 11-05-2012, 05:40 PM
irina irina is offline
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I don't think he's trying to boss me around, as much as it sounds like it. This is his first poly relationship and he doesn't identify as poly, so he has a lot of jealousy issues and seems really afraid of losing us. I wrote another post about this but it hasn't gone through the moderators yet or something.
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  #13  
Old 11-05-2012, 05:58 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Asking for clarification does not make you terrible.

If someone chronically refuses to clarify, do not make excuses for this behavior. Accept that this is the behavior they do right now. Ask them if they plan to change this behavior or not. If they don't plan to change, then I suggest stop dealing with them in the interest of your OWN mental and emotional health.

You are not responsible for their unwillingness to behave like upstanding, forthright, solid, reliable partner to you.

You ARE responsible for YOU and how you choose to behave. Why choose behavior that keeps you in relationship with a person who is not upstanding, forthright, solid partner to you?

Here's how it reads to me when stripped of extra detail:

Last night, my roommates/neighbors threw a party. I planned on going and expressed this to hinge.
  • Hinge asked to bring OSO. (I told him fine and assumed she was coming as his date. I did/did not ask him to clarify if he was indeed bringing OSO to be his "official date" to this event and I was a free agent at this event.)
  • Hinge texted me to ask if he could spend the night. (I told him no.)
  • Hinge was bringing a guy that I've had a crush on for a long time. (I sort of wanted to flirt with Other Guy and ran it by hinge. Hinge got offended that "I would plan to do that."

    When the conflict came up...
    • I did/did not ask him why he was offended.
    • I did/did not tell him I thought his official date was the OSO who was coming.
    • I did /did not remind him that he did/did not clearly ask ME to be his official date at this function.
    • I did/did not ask him if he does/does not assume he is entitled to my time and attention whenever he wants it without formally asking me out.
    • I did/did not tell him I expect to be formally asked out so I am clear as my role at events.
      • Am I the official date and just with him at this function?
      • Or am I a free agent at this event to be with whoever I please.
    • He gives me/does not give me honest feedback when I do/do not seek clear communication in the interest of tending my OWN emotional balance and well being.
    • I do/do not expect him to treat me with formal good manners when asking me out to prevent crazy in baby polyship. I have/have not let him know this.
    • I do/do not own my OWN emotional baggage only. Not extra from other people.
    • I did / did not let him own his own upset that he made with his lack of communication clarity and his own assumptions.

This quote is an assumption/not an assumption of mine:

Quote:
So my conclusion is that he's feeling insecure in our relationship and to get into a close friendship or relationship now would probably just make him withdraw (that's what he does when he's upset) and that I would lose him a lot to his OSO. Puts me in a weird situation, though.
because I did/did not ask him directly whether he is feeling secure in our relationship.

Am I chronically having to assume things with him and having to own his emotional baggage because he will not clearly articulate where he stands with me on things? Yes or no?

Does that make me feel weird? Yes/no.

Is he willing to own his own emotional baggage forthrightly? yes/no

Am I willing to keep on receiving this sort of treatment? yes/no

Is this the treatment I most want in my relationship? yes/no


Are you communicating clearly to him? Is he communicating clearly to you?

I invite you to read this list and see if anything else rings a bell. I am not saying you are being abused. I would not wish it on anyone. I am saying I'm sniffing some very weird control tactics there. Where he likes HIS options wide open but wants YOUR options closed.

http://speakoutloud.net/wp-content/u...urphy-2010.pdf

Take an honest look and think about it. I am hoping I am wrong. But if not? Keep it real over there. Do not ostrich.

You have an controlling dude on your hands -- whether it stems from a place of "mean" or a place of "insecure?" Doesn't matter.
  • "Mean" doesn't make you a good, solid, reliable romantic partner.
  • "Insecure" doesn't make you a good, solid, reliable romantic partner.

What character traits do YOU want in a good, solid, reliable romantic partner? Does this guy meet your standard?

Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 11-05-2012 at 06:40 PM.
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  #14  
Old 11-05-2012, 10:36 PM
irina irina is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
Why couldn't you have said, "Oh, I didn't think we were dating. I like things the way they were, and I am interested in dating other people, so I would rather you and I just remain friends."
Oh, it just seemed inconsequential. I didn't realize that was his intention but if that was I was happy to be in that kind of relationship. The more important thing is that we remain close and supportive to each other, not what the label is or how "romantic" we are. It just seems if we are going to define it as dating, we have to define a lot of other things and I'm having trouble doing that.


Oh, and here's the response I wrote earlier that didn't post for some reason:


BrigidsDaughter:

Yes, that's a HUGE part of it. I've been trying to talk to him about it but I don't think he knows.




GalaGirl:

This post was REALLY helpful. I really appreciate you taking the time to write all that out. Just a few responses to questions / some stuff I wasn't clear on:

Does he tell you inappropriate things like a "leaky hinge?" Where's the TMI wall at in this polyship? Is the problem HOW he presents the fact that he's busy already to the OSO? ... I do not know what this means. What makes this an issue? Like there's some event you really want to share with him but it is not on "your night" of the week -- he's not willing to go? Is that what that means?

I'm not sure, which is part of the problem. Maybe it would help to give an example:

I had been spending time with Hinge for the day and asked him if he wanted to spend the night. He said that he'd asked OSO to spend the night there, but that he'd drive me home. I was fine with that, I knew we had spent a lot of time together and his OSO was probably missing him. There was a potluck (a weekly thing at rotating locations) near my house, so we stopped at that on the way home. He later informed me that OSO was mad that she hadn't been invited to the potluck, because it's an event he's been bringing her to (a thing we always used to do together). She felt like it was a public event and she wasn't invited because I was there. He also told me that he would have picked her up on the way there but didn't want to ask because he thought it would upset me. I think he communicated that to her.

When he got to my house, he wasn't interested in interacting with me because his OSO was upset. He was just texting her and crying. I tried to be supportive and told him if he needed to talk or wanted a hug he could wake me up but I had to go to sleep because I was getting up early.

Now I feel guilty for having put them through that but the truth is, I don't know if I would be able to have fun at the potluck with her there. I don't know anyone else that goes to them that well, and he's sort of my safety. For example, if I start getting nervous and it's just me and him, I know I can tell him that and he'll take me home. If there's three of us, I have to wait for the OSO to be ready to leave and risk having a panic attack.

I don't want to make it sound like I'm nonfunctional, because I actually have a lot of acquaintances and friends (just nobody I'm really really close to, other than him). I go into social situations regularly. I just have to make sure that they're carefully controlled (there is someone there that I sort of know, or I can leave when I want to, etc) so I don't risk having a panic attack.


Or he's a lazy hinge not committed to continuing to court his ladies now that he's got them. Or he's a lazy hinge not doing his part keeping a healthy trio by being good about his calendar management so he spends his time well balanced across his own alone time/resting time, his time with you/his time with her. He is not creating an environment of goodwill if he's letting this "competition for my time" thing go on.

Occasionally I've brought up stuff like "I feel like you're spending more time with OSO than me, and I'm kind of bummed out because I've been going through a rough patch and your support really helps me" and he says stuff like "Well, she always asks me to do things first." I get the sense in general that he doesn't really do time management/courting and just does whatever people ask him to. Which doesn't make me feel especially wanted. He talks a lot about being afraid of losing one or both of us, and that makes me feel like he's motivated more by fear than by actually enjoying our company.


You seem to worry a lot about her feelings. Why? Can't she be allowed to own her own feelings? [...] loved ones and that's a line with him. Isn't it a line with him? Why not?


I care about her, and I think she's a good person and that she tries to be supportive/respectful, even though she's not somebody I would hang out with. I just want things she doesn't want -- like the event example. I don't want to ask for things that depress her or cause problems with her and Hinge (both for her and the fact that it will make my relationship with Hinge worse)...

I don't think he knows what his lines are because he's never been in a poly relationship before (he doesn't even identify as poly, which is a reason I always classified our relationship as a friendship).


Is he doing his hinge job well or not?
I'm not sure. I'm trying to be objective, but I am aware that I've had a tough few months with my friends leaving town and all, so I'm probably more sensitive than usual. I've also only been the hinge or in a secondary relationship to someone's primary, never in such an undefined situation (he says he thinks of us as equal, that's actually a lot more stressful to me than being secondary because it complicates decision making.)
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  #15  
Old 11-06-2012, 04:07 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Quote:
I don't think he knows what his lines are because he's never been in a poly relationship before (he doesn't even identify as poly, which is a reason I always classified our relationship as a friendship).
Could let him worry about his own lines and you worry about YOUR lines:
  • If you know this guy is not cut out for poly, why keep trying to poly with him?
  • If you know you are happier in a primary-secondary model and you are NOT happy in a co-primary model, why are you in a co-primary model right now?
  • If his insecure/speak from fear thing turns you off and makes you doubt he wants to BE with you -- why BE with him?

Could sit with those things and think about where your own lines lie and where you willingness to stay in this space is at.

If you strip your example down? It plays like this.
  • I spend day with hinge.
  • I ask him to spend night. He says no, he has plans with OSO that night but will drive me home. I am ok with it.
  • On way home we pop in at potluck that is on the way.
So far so good. Then? All this other stuff? YOU do not need to know any of it. He is oversharing:
He later informed me that OSO was mad that she hadn't been invited to the potluck, because it's an event he's been bringing her to. She felt like it was a public event and she wasn't invited because I was there. He also told me that he would have picked her up on the way there but didn't want to ask because he thought it would upset me.
Backhanded oversharing all this does WHAT for you? Make you JOYOUS? Nope. You end up feeling guilty. He doesn't want to "upset you" and then he overshares and upsets you anyway. For what?

Well, you could choose to change your behavior when he does that behavior:

"No. Do not tell me. If you have things to tell her, TELL HER. Do not put me in the middle. If she has problems with me, she can tell me direct. You don't have to be put in the middle. If there are things we need to cover in trio, let's talk in trio. No playing he-said, she-said. Let's go for all in a room, everyone airs it out in the open. I am willing to attend trio talks. "

Lather, rinse, repeat.
Quote:
Now I feel guilty for having put them through that.
You did not put him through anything. He could choose to say "NO" to your requests. Poor management on his part does not make it a crisis on YOUR part.

That's where you are over-responsible. Own your own emotional baggage. Do not take on other people's. Encourage him to own his own baggage. Not sit around dumping bags at your doorstep.

If you are happier as a secondary in a primary-secondary model and he wants a co-primary model but isn't making it work, you could talk about going with the other model. If it works out better, yay.

If it is still an on going drama thing -- you could evaluate if it is worth the bother any more.

I mean that kindly -- because YOU are the one ultimately responsible for your own health and well-being and so far you don't sound happy and thriving here.

Take charge of your own life! You can do it!

Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 11-06-2012 at 04:58 AM.
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  #16  
Old 11-06-2012, 05:20 PM
irina irina is offline
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Wow, thank you guys so much for your time.

Just to follow up:

I delineated a list of actions based on how y'all responded to the situation and now I'm feeling a lot more empowered I think I just wasn't sure if I was being overly sensitive or jealous or something or if there were legitimately issues with the relationship. Based on what y'all said, I think it's a little of both, but it seems fixable now!

- I need to work on finding more people that I feel comfortable and safe with. It's key to making me feel better and I think it's my right. I do plan to ask him if he has any limits in this regard and we can talk about it, but ultimately, it needs to be my priority.

- "People who care about their friends let their friends know when they want to see them." I should not have to feel like I am competing for his time or begging him to hang out with me. I'm going to ask him to be more proactive if possible, and I think I'm going to ask him to maintain his online calendar (just shows when he is free or busy, but he doesn't actually upkeep it) so I feel more comfortable asking him to things instead of just hearing "Sorry, OSO already asked me to hang out" all the time.

- I am going to ask him if he feels comfortable changing his communication style a little bit -- no "Sorry, I'm already obligated" and more like "I have plans, are you free ____ instead?" I think it's unintentional, meant to be nice, like "I would if I could" but doesn't come off that way. (Reminds me of how I used to say "I don't care" and people took that to mean I didn't care about them/was dismissive, and I really meant "I'm happy with either option!") I am also going to ask him not to tell OSO things about my emotions without my consent, and not to tell me things about her emotions. I'm also going to start saying things like "This is personal" when I don't want something shared with her. I don't mind hearing about her life, but I don't want to hear things that cause tension.

- In terms of events and potlucks and stuff -- I did not even think about the concept of "official date" ... that's an awesome suggestion. I think asking whether or not I am really will help me determine the dynamics of a social situation and let me know things like if I can bring my own date, if I can rely on him to be there for me if I get freaked out, and all the stuff that seemed really complicated and confusing before.

I think this will solve most of the issues, but if it doesn't make the relationship measurably better I'm going to ask if we can do a primary-secondary model instead of a co-primary so I can find my structure that way. If that still doesn't work, we may not want to be in a relationship at all. But I'm feeling really positive now.

Again, thank y'all so much... I can't express how much better I feel.
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  #17  
Old 11-06-2012, 06:40 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Glad you feel better and more empowered to ask what you need!

GG
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  #18  
Old 11-30-2012, 11:14 PM
irina irina is offline
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Default An Update.

I don't think this is going to work out.

It's been over a month and he hasn't agreed to set a date to talk about my concerns, even though I expressed it was important to me.

The only other thing this past month I've expressed as being important to me: sending him a two or three page article on how to be an ally after he mentioned he didn't know what rape culture was until he met me. It seemed pertinent and important so I asked him to read it.

I also mentioned that I have exams over the next two weeks and any support would be great (having a work night together, a little extra attention, just little stuff) and that doesn't seem to be happening either.

And so on.

At first I just thought I was feeling weird because I haven't been in a lot of Vees where I'm not the hinge, and because it was such a sudden change of situation. But I think I was feeling weird because he just doesn't give a sh**.


I just don't get why he claims to really care about me and gets upset that I'm upset but doesn't want to put any effort in other than spending money on me. Which is not what I want from a relationship. I want emotional support and/or respect and consideration...

I have a feeling that when I express this to him, he's going to go out of his way to make me feel better for a few days, and then lapse back into inattentiveness. I explained to him that it really bothers me that he doesn't listen when I say "this is important" unless I'm crying -- and it takes A LOT to get that emotional. At that point it's been going on so long and I'm so frustrated that it's almost unfixable. He's reactive instead of proactive in our relationship. Seems like he just goes around doing damage control.

Anyone been in similar situations? Any advice? I think the outcome is just going to be that we aren't going to date anymore (if we ever were other than in title), but I'm interested to hear any thoughts you might have.

Last edited by irina; 11-30-2012 at 11:18 PM.
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  #19  
Old 12-01-2012, 01:15 AM
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YouAreHere YouAreHere is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irina View Post
I have a feeling that when I express this to him, he's going to go out of his way to make me feel better for a few days, and then lapse back into inattentiveness. I explained to him that it really bothers me that he doesn't listen when I say "this is important" unless I'm crying -- and it takes A LOT to get that emotional. At that point it's been going on so long and I'm so frustrated that it's almost unfixable. He's reactive instead of proactive in our relationship. Seems like he just goes around doing damage control.

Anyone been in similar situations? Any advice? I think the outcome is just going to be that we aren't going to date anymore (if we ever were other than in title), but I'm interested to hear any thoughts you might have.
Oof. I hate to say it, but this sounds like my ex-husband. Emphasis on Ex.

If he's like this now, I don't see it getting better. Sorry to be a cynic, but I spent WAY too long in a marriage like this. He wanted "me to be happy" but he just wanted it to magically happen without actually doing anything so I'd shut up and let the status quo continue.

My personal advice? Find someone who values you before you start losing your belief in yourself.

Good luck.
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