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  #611  
Old 01-04-2013, 04:45 AM
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AnnabelMore AnnabelMore is offline
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When dealing with problems that I don't have a clear way to resolve, I take the mature path and work out my feelings via art:

http://ragegenerator.com/pages/comic/140029
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The major players. Me, 30ish bi female. Gia, girlfriend of 4+ years. Clay, boyfriend/dom. Davis, ex/friend/"it's complicated." Eddie, roommate & fwb.
The supporting cast. Eric, Gia's husband. Bee, Gia and Eric's toddler. Dexter, Gia's lover. Helen, Eric's lover. Izzy and Nikki, Clay's partners. Liam, Eddie's husband.
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  #612  
Old 01-04-2013, 05:59 AM
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That's fabulous, Annabel!
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Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own...
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Me: female, bi, (formerly hinge of a vee)
with FirstBoyFriend (FBF)(moderately long-distance)
and no longer with CurrentBoyFriend (CBF)(who lives in the apartment building next door)
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  #613  
Old 01-07-2013, 05:12 PM
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Thanks, NR! Believe it or not, making it was actually helpful in the moment. I'm having mixed results with the whole "don't obsess" thing, but I think it's deeeefinitely the right impulse and I'm continuing to work on it.

Saturday night put my recent fears to rest to a great degree. It was the monthly club night that we all go to. Gia, Eric, and Helen (y'all remember Helen, Eric's lover) were all there when I got there. The music was on point, and I spent more time on the dance floor than I normally do. Gia was wonderfully dom-y, she grabbed me, tipped my head back, kissed me, spun me around, kissed me some more. Hard not to feel wanted in the midst of all of that, I was digging it sooo much, both for the attention from her and for the exhibitionistic aspect of it. Then I noticed that Dexter (y'all remember Dexter, Gia's lover) had shown up, he was standing near us on the dance floor, off to Gia's other side. It didn't occur to me at the time, but I wonder now what he felt, watching us -- appreciation, jealousy, lust, none of the above?

I pointed at him. Gia looked over and lit up at seeing him. Without really thinking about it, just drunk from her kissing me (and from the cocktail or two I'd had earlier, to be fair), I gestured wildly for him to come closer. "Kiss her, kiss her, kiss her!" I told him. He obliged, kissing her cheek and neck on one side, and I fell to work on the other side, doing the same. She sort of stuttered incoherently, shock and pleasure in her voice. She seemed completely unprepared and overwhelmed, in a very good way. It was AWESOME. Then we both broke off, and went back to dancing.

After she'd had a moment to recover, Gia said to me "You... I... I'm not upset at *all*, I'm just a little frustrated that you knew that I'd want that without me even saying anything!" I could only laugh. "It's not like it was some huge mental leap," I said, "it's what I'd want." She didn't have an answer to that.

The rest of the night proceeded equally satisfactorily. Gia danced some more with me, and also danced with Dexter and with Eric. I didn't stare, so I can't say for sure, but I'm pretty sure there was a fair amount of making out and groping going on there as well.

I grabbed Helen and danced with her at one point. She was so cutely shy while seeming really into it at the same time. I'd never thought her unattractive before, but her appeal started becoming a lot clearer to me. I managed to not make out with her (Davis would definitely not have been cool with that), but I did sort of maneuver her around so that she was sandwiched between me and Eric at one point, which both of them seemed not at all displeased about.

So, yeah, a really good night all around, kind of the ideal of how I'd like life to be... a lovely tangled web of friends and lovers, all getting along, all natural and sexy and free and fun and respectful. Gia posted later about having had an amazing fucking night.

She and I saw each other again the next day. I came over to her place in the early afternoon to drive her up to see some mutual friends of ours about an hour away. Eric and Bee were already there, she'd waited for me (I'd had another obligation in the morning). Which meant that it was just she and I in her house.

We snuggled on her bed for at least a half an hour, talking, nuzzling, kissing just a little, touching each other gently. I'd been thinking to myself earlier about what intimacy means, that it doesn't have to be sex. With those thoughts still in my mind, I was extra conscious not to try to push for anything, but to just enjoy the moment for what it was, a lovely little bubble of intimacy, physical and emotional and mental.

She reiterated how happy last night had made her, and how good I am at making her happy (if you know me at all at this point, you know I enjoyed hearing that very much). We talked more on the drive up, about our friends and lovers and our lives, about this and that, nothing too huge or deep.

While we were up there, chatting with our friends, the subject of the changes that Gia's gone through with her pregnancy and birth came up. Gia talked about her changing desires, and how our relationship had definitely "taken a hit" because of it (obviously that's true, but it was still oddly difficult to hear her say that).

Our friends, who are both also bi, concurred that their desires have swung back and forth between being more male-focused and more female-focused over the years. One of them asked me if that was true for me too. I said simply that, no, I've always felt very equally interested in men and women, and that that hasn't shifted noticeably in the last fifteen years. There was sort of a pause in the conversation after that, and I felt a bit like the odd one out.

The rest of the visit was very pleasant, Bee was adorable and very happy to see me and vice versa, etcetc. Gia drove back with Eric and Bee, and I did a fairly good job on the ride home in thinking of many things that didn't have to do with her or us.
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The major players. Me, 30ish bi female. Gia, girlfriend of 4+ years. Clay, boyfriend/dom. Davis, ex/friend/"it's complicated." Eddie, roommate & fwb.
The supporting cast. Eric, Gia's husband. Bee, Gia and Eric's toddler. Dexter, Gia's lover. Helen, Eric's lover. Izzy and Nikki, Clay's partners. Liam, Eddie's husband.

Last edited by AnnabelMore; 01-07-2013 at 05:18 PM.
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  #614  
Old 01-08-2013, 12:27 AM
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rory rory is offline
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Yeah, I saw your gender-related post earlier, it was interesting. I think your aim of limiting the time you spend obsessing about your relationship with Gia might be quite helpful.

I'm so happy to read your texts, you sound a lot calmer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnabelMore View Post
Clinging to a hard limit provided the illusion of a solution without actually settling anything.

When I started to discard that way of thinking, I became much calmer. Since then, the whole situation hasn't troubled me in the same way. I'm sure that there will be times when I struggle with it again, but for now I've found what I needed in order to have some peace, which was to let go of the idea of controlling the situation.
I totally get this, it is very similar to how I feel about these things.

I had some thoughts about this
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Originally Posted by AnnabelMore View Post
I'm actually thinking that I'll bring it up again soon. I have a plan for how to explain to her why setting once-a-month dates as a goal would be better than the way things are now. I think she's afraid that it will create disappointment, on both our parts, if we can't meet that goal, and so she'd rather shoot for something more attainable. But I'd rather be satisfied more often and disappointed occasionally, than never disappointed but less often satisfied.
I may be projecting, since I don't know Gia so can't know what is going on in her head. However, as an introvert, I feel that I can relate somewhat to her position. I don't have an opinion about whether you should ask or not, just my gut feeling.

For me, your solution wouldn't really help that much. Logically, I see why it "should", i.e. why, rationally, it seems it would. But, at least for me, that is not how it works emotionally. I would definitely not want to commit to something I felt was too much, even if my partner made it very clear that they are prepared to be occasionally disappointed. That anxiety coming from "not being enough", it is not much lessened by the other person's attitude, no matter how understanding. However, I am not sure how much of my own anxiety is related to introversion, and how much to other things, which Gia may not share.
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  #615  
Old 01-08-2013, 05:18 AM
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AnnabelMore AnnabelMore is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rory View Post
I think your aim of limiting the time you spend obsessing about your relationship with Gia might be quite helpful.
It really, really has been so far, even in this limited time. It was like something just fell into place and I could see the pattern for what it was. I still do it, but now I can actively stop myself because I realize that there's another option.

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I'm so happy to read your texts, you sound a lot calmer.
Thank you, I am. I still have my moments now and then, but it's been loads better.

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Originally Posted by rory View Post
I may be projecting, since I don't know Gia so can't know what is going on in her head. However, as an introvert, I feel that I can relate somewhat to her position. I don't have an opinion about whether you should ask or not, just my gut feeling.

For me, your solution wouldn't really help that much. Logically, I see why it "should", i.e. why, rationally, it seems it would. But, at least for me, that is not how it works emotionally. I would definitely not want to commit to something I felt was too much, even if my partner made it very clear that they are prepared to be occasionally disappointed. That anxiety coming from "not being enough", it is not much lessened by the other person's attitude, no matter how understanding. However, I am not sure how much of my own anxiety is related to introversion, and how much to other things, which Gia may not share.
Wow, this was VERY helpful. I had been feeling ill at ease about the idea of pushing for a once-a-month commitment, considering how unhappy Gia was about it last time (she said that me pressing on the topic made her want to "run the other way"), but I just couldn't see a single unreasonable thing about it. I couldn't understand her reluctance in any way that had to do with something other than her just not wanting to see me. Which was confusing, because I know that she DOES like seeing me.

Having a new way to think about it is a really big deal, I can't thank you enough for taking the time to lay it out. It makes perfect sense, too, because, in addition to being introverted, Gia deals with a lot of anxiety, and a ton of guilt any time she feels like she's not living up to how much she should be giving someone... Eric, me, Bee, her cat... the only one she *doesn't* feel that way about at all is Dexter, really........ and WOW things are making a lot of sense now...

Heh, that all just puts things in a whole new light and goes even further towards making me feel better.

Something else that's making me feel better -- it occurred to me that, of everyone, Eric is the one who ought to be jealous. I can at least console myself with the thought that, hey, if she's more excited about getting with Dexter than with me, it's not personal, she just really wants some dick right now. If she suddenly has an interest in reading up on fellatio techniques, well, she can't exactly do that with me.

But Eric, of course, IS a dude. If I were him, I'm sure I would be thinking to myself "no fair, how come she never took the time to learn about new and improved ways to suck cock all this time when my cock has been right here!" Instead, and I know this because she told me, he's just pleased that she's looking into at all. Looking in from the outside, at least, it seems like he's just happy to get the side-benefits of her NRE without being threatened by it. It's kind of inspiring, his simple faith in her and in their relationship.

One last thing that's making me feel better, before I get to bed. Gia and I have a date on Wednesday night. I sent her a long-ish list of ideas for things we could do. Some were at my house, some were out on the town, no expectations whatsoever about which she ought to choose, making it clear that sexytimes didn't need to be the focus of the evening. She wrote back with her choices of activities, and they were, um, actually ALL exactly what I would've most wanted to do. So. That kind of rocks.
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The major players. Me, 30ish bi female. Gia, girlfriend of 4+ years. Clay, boyfriend/dom. Davis, ex/friend/"it's complicated." Eddie, roommate & fwb.
The supporting cast. Eric, Gia's husband. Bee, Gia and Eric's toddler. Dexter, Gia's lover. Helen, Eric's lover. Izzy and Nikki, Clay's partners. Liam, Eddie's husband.
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  #616  
Old 01-08-2013, 05:23 AM
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AnnabelMore AnnabelMore is offline
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The one big question left now is -- do I tell her about my mental shift away from needing her and Dexter to limit their intimate time together based on what she and I have? I think so. I'm just a little nervous that I'll say it's ok, and then she'll go for it (which would honestly be a little surprising, but is not out of the realm of possibility), and then I'll turn out to be liar if I'm not actually ok. I'd like to think, now, that I would be? But I don't really know. Hmm. :/

I guess I can just explain all of it, tell her I let go of the limit in my head, that I still can't swear that I'd be ok, but that I feel a lot better about it and that she should do what she wants and just tell me whatever she thinks is important for me to know.
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The major players. Me, 30ish bi female. Gia, girlfriend of 4+ years. Clay, boyfriend/dom. Davis, ex/friend/"it's complicated." Eddie, roommate & fwb.
The supporting cast. Eric, Gia's husband. Bee, Gia and Eric's toddler. Dexter, Gia's lover. Helen, Eric's lover. Izzy and Nikki, Clay's partners. Liam, Eddie's husband.
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  #617  
Old 01-08-2013, 06:52 AM
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AnnabelMore AnnabelMore is offline
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Originally Posted by AnnabelMore View Post
Gia deals with a lot of anxiety, and a ton of guilt any time she feels like she's not living up to how much she should be giving someone... Eric, me, Bee, her cat... the only one she *doesn't* feel that way about at all is Dexter, really........ and WOW things are making a lot of sense now...
She actually tried to explain this to me once, now that I think about it, but I didn't quite process it at the time. Or, at least, I didn't think about it in the same light.

It's so funny, the way you have to let go of expectations to get exactly what you most wanted, sometimes. I didn't ever want Gia not to spend time with Dexter, I just wanted her attention and focus and time in the context of *our* relationship and I was conflating those issues. Rather than going down that road, I let go of my fears that she wouldn't meet my needs or care about my desires, and now she seems more tuned into my needs and desires than ever.

If I'd sent her that email about how and why exactly I thought I needed her to limit her time with him, I can pretty much guarantee we wouldn't have had all the same lovely times we'd had recently. Instead, I opened myself to compersion in service to her needs, to the point of literally begging Dexter to kiss her... which, of course, I only found myself in the state of mind to do because she'd been giving me what I needed not moments before... lovely positive feedback loop there.

I'm so grateful for this board, seriously. I don't think I could have moved through this shift nearly so quickly, if at all, without a place to.just share without reservation, and to get such thoughtful feedback.
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The major players. Me, 30ish bi female. Gia, girlfriend of 4+ years. Clay, boyfriend/dom. Davis, ex/friend/"it's complicated." Eddie, roommate & fwb.
The supporting cast. Eric, Gia's husband. Bee, Gia and Eric's toddler. Dexter, Gia's lover. Helen, Eric's lover. Izzy and Nikki, Clay's partners. Liam, Eddie's husband.
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  #618  
Old 01-08-2013, 01:22 PM
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rory rory is offline
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I'm really glad it was helpful! I've been talking with Mya quite a lot about the introvert/extrovert difference, and I notice she has difficulties with relating to how I feel about time (whereas it is easier for me to understand extroversion since it is so culturally dominant). It is limited in a way that is not so for extroverts. We all have the same amount of time, so I guess it comes more from energy than concrete time.

In a way, for me all time is away from my alone time (which is necessary for recharging). Even when I really really want to do something, the time spent on it is still away from my own time. That has two consequences. I just can't do all the things I want to do, no matter how much I would like to. But also, besides things I have to do, I only choose to do things I very much want to do.

It is amazing sometimes, how much a change of perspective can change how something feels. Positive feedback loop, that's exactly what it is.

About telling Gia, maybe frame it in terms of the issue still being sensitive, but that you don't wish to limit her. Not saying that you won't feel anything negative, but saying that you want her to make her own decisions and set her own priorities regardless. That you wish her to take your feelings into account as one aspect of her decision making, rather than to set your limitations on her.
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  #619  
Old 01-09-2013, 01:24 AM
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Gia and Eric are having some friction again about his involvement with Helen. Not about Helen herself, exactly, any more than my issues have been about Dexter. In a nutshell, Eric keeps trying new, fun, kinky things with Helen, and Gia keeps getting offended that he's never tried those things with her. He protests with what he thinks are valid reasons why he didn't think she'd be interested, she gets angry at his presumption that that would be the case when he could've just asked her before trying something new with someone else first, etc.

Gia and I were having a lovely discussion of our own kinky plans when this situation struck and the conversation turned into her venting about him. I tried to be sympathetic and helpful, while pointing out how much he loves her, but I don't think any of it penetrated.

I was surprised when Eric messaged me. He was very respectful about it, asked first if it was ok for me to be a sounding board for him on this. I told him that I might be cautious in my responses, but to go ahead. He said that he was frustrated with always being cast in the role of the bad guy, that he felt ambushed, that he didn't understand why she was angry (I didn't feel like I could explain without violating Gia's trust, so I stayed quiet on that point, even though it was a bit frustrating to know that I could have easily enlightened him -- it's not like she hasn't talked to him about this before, for the record, but I think she didn't take the time this time... hopefully they'll talk about it tonight), and that he didn't know if he should carry on with Helen.

I responded at length, told him that I thought that he should, indeed, stick with Helen. She's so sweet, if it's not going to work with her, who's it going to work with? And I don't think he'd be happy for long if Gia could have another partner and he felt like he couldn't, so dumping his lover because of his wife's semi-related frustrations is hardly the solution. In fact, it's helpful, I posited, for these sorts of tensions and misunderstandings, which might otherwise lurk below the surface indefinitely, to be forced into the light by situations that arise from having another partner. At least then they can deal with them. I talked about my difficulties with Dexter's appearance on the scene, and about how I thought that Gia and Eric's past was probably coloring everything that was happening now.

I think it was helpful, but it's hard to tell with that guy. He thanked me profusely (for a man who's usually so stoic, anyway), and I told him that I was glad we could talk. And it was true -- while it would have been easy to feel caught in the middle in a situation like that, instead I felt like I was able to take the opportunity to provide some informed perspective, and, as well, to give him a new window onto my own life and struggles (I had never had occasion to tell him before, for example, about my insecurities about Dexter, though perhaps Gia had mentioned it at some point).

I really hope that they work it out. :/ And not JUST because I really don't want it to ruin my date with Gia tomorrow night, I swear! But omg, I reeeally hope it doesn't ruin my date with Gia tomorrow night!! I managed to secure the prop we needed and everything.
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The major players. Me, 30ish bi female. Gia, girlfriend of 4+ years. Clay, boyfriend/dom. Davis, ex/friend/"it's complicated." Eddie, roommate & fwb.
The supporting cast. Eric, Gia's husband. Bee, Gia and Eric's toddler. Dexter, Gia's lover. Helen, Eric's lover. Izzy and Nikki, Clay's partners. Liam, Eddie's husband.

Last edited by AnnabelMore; 01-09-2013 at 01:27 AM.
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  #620  
Old 01-10-2013, 02:41 AM
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AnnabelMore AnnabelMore is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rory View Post
In a way, for me all time is away from my alone time (which is necessary for recharging). Even when I really really want to do something, the time spent on it is still away from my own time. That has two consequences. I just can't do all the things I want to do, no matter how much I would like to. But also, besides things I have to do, I only choose to do things I very much want to do.
This is really important to remember. For an extrovert, like me, it's easy to forget how it works for introverts, and how much of a gift their presence is.

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Originally Posted by rory View Post
About telling Gia, maybe frame it in terms of the issue still being sensitive, but that you don't wish to limit her. Not saying that you won't feel anything negative, but saying that you want her to make her own decisions and set her own priorities regardless. That you wish her to take your feelings into account as one aspect of her decision making, rather than to set your limitations on her.
I like this framing of it. We'll talk soon, I think.
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The major players. Me, 30ish bi female. Gia, girlfriend of 4+ years. Clay, boyfriend/dom. Davis, ex/friend/"it's complicated." Eddie, roommate & fwb.
The supporting cast. Eric, Gia's husband. Bee, Gia and Eric's toddler. Dexter, Gia's lover. Helen, Eric's lover. Izzy and Nikki, Clay's partners. Liam, Eddie's husband.
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