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  #291  
Old 01-02-2013, 10:54 PM
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Originally Posted by SNeacail View Post
Also don't make him feel that only he has to change to match what you want. Neither way is inherently WRONG and there is always things each of you can do to fight better.
Don't worry about that. At least, well, one might worry a bit here, as I told him that it wasn't his fault obviously and that I didn't tell him to seek him to change his ways, as I know that he just works that way by now. I told him that I was searching for a solution for myself to handle his emotions the next time they hit me like some sledgehammer and be better prepared for it. But despite my explanation WHY I was so consumed with the topic he didn't quite understood that I was searching for a way out for me, not asking of him to not be himself.

I am still uncertain if he will be able to see this as something we both need to work on. He hates the thought of having such a trait to him that causes me so much unrest and in a way even worry. (Or me having a trait that reacts so badly, put it as you may; he sees this from the point of view of 'who is at fault' - I never understood this search for blame, but he is always at it. )

And I wouldn't call my reaction passive aggressive. I am just calmer. I tell the person I am in whatever way disagreeing with, what my problems are (in general, with said person, etc.), I can get a bit louder if I get the feeling that I am not understood or answered in a not befitting way, but I never screamed or got personal beyond the matter at stake. (As far as I remember) As soon as I notice that the discussion gets us nowhere I break off the talk and wait some time to think some more and wait for the other to think about everything as well.

Lin just has to get all his frustration and anger out at once. And isn't satisfied until he voiced all of it. After this explosion things are settled for him (even if I would never call that 'settled' when I noticed a standstill or a stalemate) and he just forgets about it. I can't let go before everything was cleared, that's why we collided the second time and things got worse. It wasn't settled from my point of view and I dug at it again, which is utterly unnerving for him.

As I said some time ago: We found our kryptonite
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  #292  
Old 01-03-2013, 12:26 AM
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And I wouldn't call my reaction passive aggressive. I am just calmer.
I didn't mean to imply that YOU were passive aggressive. Just that after reading up on different behavior styles, I finally had a name to put with my husband. I have absolutely NO experience in how to deal with passive aggressive personalities and he has no frame of reference for how I react. I am now learning how to deal with his personality type and am OK with letting certain things slide without taking offense or personalizing it. In the same light, I have been able to modify how I deal with my explosive tendencies, it takes practice and thought, but it can be done. Recognizing that I'm in that place is a big step. For years, I did think that it was all my fault and that if I could just pretend to be calmer and ignore the feelings it would improve things. It didn't!
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  #293  
Old 01-03-2013, 04:41 AM
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I second SNEacail above. I've been on the receiving end of this, like you. I am not the type to lash out in anger but was facing a partner verbally exploding with hatred on me, over something I'd triggered. It shattered me, sometimes still does, but I now know it is his way of letting off steam, and something he needs.. It's him expressing his reaction to something, and is part of the process of working it out, no more than that. It's coming from a place of deep hurt/anger, yes, but it's usually a momentary flash rather than bubbling up from a seething pit of resentment...

You know, you asked Lin if he felt wounded by anything you said... maybe it wasn't something you said, but the situation which pained him and triggered that response?

Glad you're learning more about each other's communication styles I love the way you three seem to talk things out
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  #294  
Old 01-03-2013, 04:50 AM
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I was searching for a solution for myself to handle his emotions the next time they hit me like some sledgehammer and be better prepared for it.
For me, it helps to first recognise it for what it is - "oh shit, this has really triggered something for him, he's letting off steam", curl up into myself and wait for him to get it all out... I keep aware of what he's saying, and my reactions to it... Sometimes I don't feel broken by anything because I see it for what it is (an extreme reaction, poorly phrased, whatever) but if I have been hurt by something he said, I bring it up in my response. "When you said that, it hurt me..." etc. He usually apologises and clarifies his words, and we end up discussing the issue itself in a relatively calm, cuddly way. Maybe a few more flares up of emotions but nothing that morphs the words we use into fire-breathing dragons
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  #295  
Old 01-03-2013, 08:29 AM
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I didn't mean to imply that YOU were passive aggressive. Just that after reading up on different behavior styles, I finally had a name to put with my husband.
Ah, sorry, got that mixed up as it seems.

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I have absolutely NO experience in how to deal with passive aggressive personalities and he has no frame of reference for how I react. I am now learning how to deal with his personality type and am OK with letting certain things slide without taking offense or personalizing it.
I am experienced with passive aggressiveness for sure. That's Sward's way. Something equally unnerving and nonconstructive most of the time, but I am just used to it, I guess. Something that shows me, how fresh the relationship between Lin and me still is, as I need to make up my mind about so many things concerning him and me. Everything's mostly sorted out with Sward after all those years ^.^ (And Lin is having a hard time with this trait of Sward right now. It isn't something he is used to as well.)

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In the same light, I have been able to modify how I deal with my explosive tendencies, it takes practice and thought, but it can be done. Recognizing that I'm in that place is a big step. For years, I did think that it was all my fault and that if I could just pretend to be calmer and ignore the feelings it would improve things. It didn't!
Yup, that's what I thought. He needs to get those things out and it wouldn't do him any good to pretend they or the need to voice them aren't there.

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You know, you asked Lin if he felt wounded by anything you said... maybe it wasn't something you said, but the situation which pained him and triggered that response?
Wounded was meant in the context of communication style. He lashes out when he gets frustrated, attacks personally and strays from the main topic we are having a problem with. That's why I asked him, if he feel I did the same and he had to realize that I never did something like that. I am factual and mostly impersonal as far as a personal matter/trigger can be. He is outraged and sweeps across every thinkable field remotely connected to the topic at hand that comes to mind.

I know what triggered the response: pride vs dogmatism. There is quite a complex, underlying structure beside those main problematic traits but that's what it comes down to in the end. The difference is, that as soon as we reach the place of frustration (feeling misunderstood, unnerved and just feed up with everything) Lin needs to voice his frustration and afterwards forgets about it, while I would just retreat, cool off by myself, revisit the real problem and want to start talking about it again, to solve it. For Lin, it is solved as soon as he found that there isn't a solution other than telling the other party that he isn't happy with this or that. For me, those personal attacks stay and leave a bad taste in my mouth, even when the other stuff is cleared up. Both of us were right in retrospection, it wasn't something solvable (at least the underlying pattern isn't) and the main problem was solved through other means. I am searching for a way to deal with the bad aftertaste of the fallout.

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Glad you're learning more about each other's communication styles I love the way you three seem to talk things out
I like that as well, even though Lin is more or less exhausted because of it. As he is more used to little explosions and no further talk, my need to dig at things again isn't something he likes. But yes, we can talk about nearly everything. It just needs to be in smaller doses from time to time

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Sometimes I don't feel broken by anything because I see it for what it is (an extreme reaction, poorly phrased, whatever) but if I have been hurt by something he said, I bring it up in my response. "When you said that, it hurt me..." etc. He usually apologises and clarifies his words, and we end up discussing the issue itself in a relatively calm, cuddly way. Maybe a few more flares up of emotions but nothing that morphs the words we use into fire-breathing dragons
This will be the way we need to go. I am curious how it goes for us, because for me apologizing doesn't really work, at least it didn't last time. Yes, I see that he is sorry, yes, I know he didn't mean it that way theoretically. (In my head: ) The fact that he was able to say it means that there is a part of him that thinks that way about me. Right now, I am having a hard time not feeling hurt but words coming from extreme reactions, that are poorly phrased or meant in a slightly different manner I need to work on that. And I need to work on letting go this will keep me occupied for quite some time, I suppose.
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  #296  
Old 01-03-2013, 06:54 PM
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He is outraged and sweeps across every thinkable field remotely connected to the topic at hand that comes to mind.
And likely somethings that aren't related. OK, were out of bullets, lets pull out the hand grenades, then the homemade bombs, when all else fails reach for rocks...

SPEAKING FROM EXPERIENCE HERE - BTDT!

The first and foremost thing I would address is the need for him stay on topic during an argument. What help will he accept from you (what can you do to get him back on target without making things worse)? He can pause and write down, anything that surfaces that's NOT immediately related to bring up later. Most of the time, the stuff that surfaces, is just a way of playing dirty and is not really an issue, until it seems useful as ammunition. Believe it or not, staying on topic will help diffuse some of the anger that builds up as well.

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  #297  
Old 01-04-2013, 08:55 AM
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And likely somethings that aren't related. OK, were out of bullets, lets pull out the hand grenades, then the homemade bombs, when all else fails reach for rocks...

SPEAKING FROM EXPERIENCE HERE - BTDT!

The first and foremost thing I would address is the need for him stay on topic during an argument. What help will he accept from you (what can you do to get him back on target without making things worse)? He can pause and write down, anything that surfaces that's NOT immediately related to bring up later. Most of the time, the stuff that surfaces, is just a way of playing dirty and is not really an issue, until it seems useful as ammunition. Believe it or not, staying on topic will help diffuse some of the anger that builds up as well.

No, it's always related, he doesn't do this. There is always a connection to the problem. It's not the things he says, it's the way he does it. Both of us are right or wrong when it comes to our point of view that is discussed, but I have a hard time dealing with the way he looks, the way he behaves, the atmosphere that is there, when he is outraged. He never insulted me or used unfair or really foul language. He is just harsh, cold and totally distant. (Maybe the lashing out part was a poor choice for a description, I didn't mean words, I mean looks, gestures and such. Words as well, but not foul language. It's complicated *scratches head*)

Writing things down would help me, we had one or two quarrels like that over the years and I didn't have the problem because we weren't face to face back then. Fighting with a computer screen is no problem for me. It's the feeling of complete disconnection that is hard on me when I look into his eyes. But, well, writing things down wouldn't do him any good ^.^

We talked shortly about the topic yesterday evening and agreed that we will try to separate in the next given moment, when such a confrontation should arise and we notice that we aren't getting anywhere by further talking about it. He admitted that me turning my back on him in the given situation would be another trigger for his wrath, but he doesn't mind to let off his steam alone afterwards. I guess I will see how a little walk could affect the situation and if it will do us any good.
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  #298  
Old 01-04-2013, 06:00 PM
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I mean looks, gestures and such
What he says or does, that he can control and modify, but facial expressions, gestures... He can no more control that than the color of his eyes or what his face does when he's asleep. It's hereditary and instinctive (I saw it in my kids when they were still babies).

Learning how to ask for space (and learning how to grant it) is a good thing. Took years before my husband would accept my need for space to calm down, that was after I finally figured out that's what I needed for the rage to die so I could be rational again. Good luck, I know you guys will find some solutions.
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  #299  
Old 01-06-2013, 09:09 AM
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What he says or does, that he can control and modify, but facial expressions, gestures... He can no more control that than the color of his eyes or what his face does when he's asleep. It's hereditary and instinctive (I saw it in my kids when they were still babies)
I know, that's why I need a way to handle this. A big part of the solution will be getting used to it, I guess.

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Good luck, I know you guys will find some solutions.
Thanks, as far as I am able to speak of experience here, I am tempted to agree with you on this one

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As I had an interesting conversation with Sward, I thought about sharing it and marking one of our poly-check-ins while at it. Maybe to one day look back on my own coming to terms with the possible polyness of my husband and how things started out.

The thought that Sward may want a second relationship was there right from the beginning. At first, it totally frightened me, I was hardly able to understand myself in regard to my desires, I felt unable to start thinking about my former 'one and only' going through something like this as well. It is still a bit scary, because I don't know how he would handle multiple relationships and (as usual ^.^) I am starting with the worst possible outcome when thinking about it. But I became more and more comfortable around the theoretical concept. I thought myself into a safe place by now.

Over the course of almost a year he developed a really close friendship with our neighbor's daughter (the neighbor who is my godmother). As she is a regular part of our life (more precisely his life), I thought about naming her, even though there aren't positive names coming to mind, when I try to characterize her. I will go with Goody, I guess, because she is a real goody-goody. She is one of those persons who can't say no, totally naive, stuck in a relationship with a real douchebag, gets pushed around daily and asks herself all the while, why there are so many problems in her life. Because of Sward's caring nature, he started to listen to her worries and tried to help her see the whole of the situation she is in. Wasn't successful up to now, I guess it never will be, I lost my patience with her months ago.

Short description: She is 10 years younger than us, a bit overweight, blonde, shy, a pleaser, never shuts up as soon as she gets comfortable enough to actually start talking and in need of some self discipline in many areas of her life. Goody has acquired many of those traits from her mother, both women are too sweet-natured and not used to stand up for themselves.

He was out with her and a good friend of hers yesterday. They went drinking and talked. That's why we came to discuss his possible desire for a second relationship. Not with her or her friend, just in general. They asked him if he was 'allowed' to search for another woman for himself or if I would have a problem with this. Sward answered that we would have to see in any given case that this may be happening for him and that he wasn't sure how things would work out in that case. From Sward's point of view it would be really difficult to find someone, because he works most of the time, has only every second night to spend and wouldn't really want that person to come live with us, because he thinks that this would be too stressful for him. Both girls assured him that he would be able to find someone, 'because there are many women out there, who have the same problem with time and space and wouldn't want a relationship 24/7 at all'.

Aside from the possibilities that are surely there, in my opinion, (of course Sward would be able to find someone and the girls where right as far as I am concerned) I explained to him, how far I have come with making up my mind regarding this topic.

I wouldn't want anyone living with us, I guess. I am normally having a hard time with people in 'my space' and the person joining in, would need some personality along the lines of Lin's to blend with mine. Sward's and my bedroom would be off limits, as well as many of our shared activities most of the time. I don't mind someone coming along now and then, but not on a regular basis. Living next to each other or in a closer area of each other would be perfectly fine. I just need my own household to be separate. I wouldn't mind children in the long run, as well as a 60/40 or even 50/50 time-split (I guess, not sure about this one).

That's as far as I have come. Everything theory, nothing slightly put into practice and I know that I would be a lot slower with my processing than Sward back then. But I think that it would be complicated, that I would need some kind of secondary arrangement for quite some time, maybe for ever, because I can't imagine him living with someone else and not with me. (If one defines secondary as not living together, not sharing finances, not getting most of his time, yada, yada …) I am more like Lin in regard to intimacy. Sward does not only not mind being exposed to Lin and my intimacy, he even likes it in some ways. I would need more space and wouldn't want to know too much.

How valid all of this is … I have no idea, but that would be the point I am at right now. We will see.
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Last edited by Phy; 01-06-2013 at 09:12 AM.
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  #300  
Old 01-11-2013, 07:26 AM
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Oh dear, I am crushing hard on my Literary Studies professor. I don't know where this comes from all of a sudden, but seeing her again today after the Christmas break wasn't particularly helpful in a way I am starting to feel physically drawn to her and I miss her presence when I am on my way home.

Normally she is objective, distant and professional when she holds her seminars, but from time to time (whenever she gets into the topic at hand or when she has a special personal interest in it) she turns into this charming, radiant 'fangirl' of her subject/ concept/ a personal story or thought of the students and mostly I am taken unaware every time it happens. There is so much I like about those moments. One gets to see a part of her private self that she normally not displays publicly. An intimate moment in a certain way. And she loves to discuss and even to agree to disagree when this happens. And she does this in 2 out of 3 times when talking with me (in those seminars I participate in, of course, I can hardly say anything about the rest).

I know, probably my wishful thinking making things up, but it is so tempting I really like her openness, her honesty and authenticity; she has this special charm and it seems that I am quite weak to it. I am really curious to get to see more of her, but at the same time I know that this won't come into being, which makes me sad. Feeling a bit like a child, wanting the thing not available to me unreachable but seductive and quite some stuff to ponder about for my restless mind at the moment.

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Just thought about this in the evening, next morning there is a mail in my inbox, asking me if I would want to go for a coffee at the end of the semester. *tears hair* argh this seems just so fruitless and futile. What should come out of it? Do I have time? Is there space in my life for it? Would Lin be OK with something like that? (As far as I am informed, it would be a yes from Sward...) Do I have reason to keep pondering about this? Is the possibility of 'something' developing even remotely given? As far as I am able to tell, the answer would be 'No' in every case. Should I go to find out that I will keep thinking even more about her as soon as I discover some more private aspects and character traits?

Probably, I should just stop fussing about this 'nothing' turning into 'something'. But I guess, I am kind of afraid of it being the case in the end. Because right from the start, this wouldn't work. *turns off head* This is just stupid.
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