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  #1  
Old 01-04-2013, 09:57 PM
lolalondon lolalondon is offline
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Hi, I posted a few times re my swinger (me) / poly (him) relationship and different obstacles we've had. On the whole we are doing really well and are happy together. He's met a lovely girl he gets along with and she was keen to meet me (the first time he's had someone who actually "approves" of me and our relationship). She is a lovely person and the three of us are all fond of each other and there's a lot of mutual respect. I'm happy when I see him happy with her, as is she. I doubt it'd turn into a triad - I don't think she finds me attractive, which is fine by me, and he says he'd find it too confusing - so it would likely only remain a V with him at the centre. So this is all the good stuff... now to the difficulties:

He knew right from the start that I can't really cope with him spending more than one night per week with another woman. It's because sharing a bed is a really big deal for me, as is cuddling etc., more than sex. I'm not poly and this is already a massive shift. In the past I couldn't cope with him having a regular partner he sees weekly so he had some FWB "on rotation", but with her I've been much more relaxed because she is so lovely and respectful. So they've been seeing each other once a week after they finish training together. This has also shifted to a weekend night when she's asked (if her friends have a party) or when I offered, and that's been difficult at points but I managed.

Last night my boyfriend told me that she gets sad about not seeing him more often, that he would like to see her more often, and that he would like to see her on nights we don't see each other (we don't live together and usually spend 4 nights per week together). I also know he'd like more freedom to see her on weekend nights, which is fair enough. He also said he really appreciates the efforts I have been making to accommodate this (I previously resisted a poly scenario, although I think her coming along and being right for us made a lot of difference). But he then said that he doesn't know how long they can wait for me to be comfortable with seeing each other more often; I felt things were moving very fast - they've only been seeing each other for 2 months - but he feels it's been slow in terms of lifting "restrictions". He thinks it'll start to damage their relationship if it doesn't increase "within weeks rather than months" but I'm just not comfortable with them spending 2 nights a week together - or more. He thinks it's disrespectful towards a secondary to just "give them scraps", which is not how I see this at all, especially since they are in daily contact and it was her choice to enter this arrangement. She doesn't have another relationship and seems to mainly rely on him for emotional support. Just to clarify - she isn't in any way needy and doesn't have a manipulative bone in her body, but it's clear that this is a primary relationship for her. I don't want to damage their relationship but I also don't want to be miserable... and she is a keeper because she's a special person, so as a couple we both want her in our lives.

Another issue is that he seems to think he'd be fine taking on two women and be their primary (and only emotionally involved person at this stage) but I have reservations; he is already tired often since he has a physical job, and while we have a fair amount of sex it's been hard for him to find the space and time to spend time on each other and do kink, etc. He's often exhausted, and gets exhausted when things get overly emotional or complicated. I guess I'm concerned that if they get deeply involved there won't be enough of him to go around when my needs already go unmet regularly due to his exhaustion. It's easier to deal with it when I don't have to share...

Should I just bite the bullet and compromise? Should I explain that they'll have to make do for now as things are already moving so fast for me? Am I being controlling? Why is it that he'll push me into a corner so that she "doesn't get sad" knowing it'll make me sad? Is this normal for NRE? And finally, what are people's arrangements here for nights per week, etc? Would love to hear... and thanks
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Old 01-04-2013, 10:33 PM
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LovingRadiance LovingRadiance is offline
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A) you should address your unmet needs and how to get them met-without her being in the discussion. Each party needs to have their needs met-and deserves to-but it should be the sole focus of a discussion-not related to other partners.

B) you should identify what it is that makes you feel as though its unfair for him to do whatever he wants to do with the nights he's not with you anyway=that seems very... controlling.

C) you should work on accepting that whilst your relationship with him needs to be given the respect of its existence and needs; theirs also needs to be given the respect of its existence and needs. He and she need to identify what they need for their relationship and you and he need to identify what you two need for your relationship to be functional. THEN he needs to figure out if the two are compatible or not.
But-its not your place to decide what is or isn't reasonable for their relationship and that includes the pace that they move at-unless he has already agreed to boundaries in your relationship that limit the speed at which he moves in his other relationships.

I don't say this with any judgment-I for one prefer SLOW progression and we do have boundaries regarding that.
But it is imperative to self-monitor and understand that you aren't part of their relationship and you don't have a right to define their relationship. It can be tricky-but it is possible to respect and allow them to have their relationship and define it themselves while still negotiating your needs within your relationship. It does require a GREAT DEAL of responsible thought on the part of the hinge (in your case, that would be him).
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Old 01-04-2013, 10:43 PM
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Dagferi Dagferi is offline
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I am the poly one in my relationship but my husband is opening up to the idea of exploring his own options (YAY!)

I just spent Friday afternoon through Thursday morning with my boyfriend. That was an unusual length of time. I was really sick and did not want to expose my kids. I usually spend 2-4 days a week with my boyfriend. That means sleeping over at his house. I spend every other weekend at my boyfriends house Friday after work til Monday morning when I head into work. Then I spend a week night or two at his house in between (On his days off he works 6 pm to 6 am)

I know it bothered my husband but he wants me happy so we compromised. Now that he and my boyfriend are friends it got easier. Plus my husband has found some play partners of his own and is experiencing NRE of his own.

I actually see my boyfriend more NOW then when we first started dating. We have been together over 8 months.
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Old 01-05-2013, 01:43 PM
sparklepop sparklepop is offline
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Hi Lola,



Firstly, congratulations for responding so well to the girl so far.

Six months ago, my advice might have been slightly different to how it is now.

If you were living together, I would think that going from once a week to three times would be even more of a practical issue. However, because you live apart, I can see why he wants to fill his time over the other three days. Of course though, I absolutely see why this is hard for you. I live with my GF for half of the year and if she wanted to see a secondary three times a week, I would have a problem with it. But... we also have a child, a business together and she has a husband to balance, too. That would be a genuine cause for concern... but I would also use it as an excuse to justify my emotional discomfort. We can't do that.

I would have given you different advice 6 months ago, because I was still clinging to a primary model where I expected every decision to be made purely on the comfort of each other. (That's ok if it works for both people). I found that I was expected to adhere to this, but when it came to my GF wanting something, her needs were stronger than her need to please me. I could either keep ignoring this and telling myself that she was being unfair. Or I could say, sod it, just let go and let her make her own decisions. I can't tell you how much it has helped - and we haven't lost closeness because of it. From what she tells me, she feels more in love with me than ever. And I'm happier for letting go.

Your boyfriend is saying that he could balance two primaries. Of course he doesn't know if he can yet - he hasn't had the chance to explore that. That's not your fault - I would feel exactly the way you do. But... what if you looked at your relationship a different way? Force yourself to let go of possession and let him make his own journey, let him make his own decisions. I've realised restricting my girlfriend doesn't make her want to be with me more. Giving her freedom makes her love me more.

All of this being said, this doesn't mean you have to be a doormat. You should still be allowed to express your wants and desires. He feels that he might want two primaries, because he's never experienced that reality. You feel that you don't want him to, that he won't be able to balance it, because you haven't experienced him in that situation.

Ultimately, if your discomfort isn't enough to make him want to keep it as it is, you know that he is starting to need something more than he needs your comfort. Does that make sense? If he loves you, he won't be doing this because he's cruel. He'll be doing it because he cannot control his needs/wants.

You have to decide what is a deal breaker for you and what is uncomfortable. We use a number system for dealing with poly events. This is how our number system works:

0= completely comfortable, no issues
1,2 = normal poly pangs, minor
3 = enough cause to stop and think, quite uncomfortable
4 = seriously uncomfortable - compromising may help
5 = guideline broken or possible deal breaker for the relationship

This helps us, because it helps us to measure discomfort. "I'm uncomfortable" can mean a million different things. "I'm at a 4 about this" very clearly means "do it if you want to, but expect to do some work on our relationship if you want us to pull through". It can alert your partner to needing to give you extra time or care. It can alert ourselves to put a problem into perspective.

If I were in your shoes, based on how I feel, I'd say to my boyfriend "I'm a level 4-5 about this. But I want you to have what you want. I do not want to stand in your way. However, you should know that I am not sure I want to be in a full V relationship. Time will tell whether I am happy to share my primary partner on this level, or not. It might not work for me. But I will give it a 3/6/12 month trial."

I sense that your boyfriend telling you he appreciates your efforts, but he doesn't know how long they can wait is hurtful for you. I can understand that. It's incredibly difficult when you've already given so much of yourself to get to a certain point and then the goalposts move. It can make you feel unappreciated and resentful, regardless of his first statement. I've been there too. The only thing you can do in this situation is listen to what's being said and work out how you feel about it. Your boyfriend is telling you that he wants to move forward and doesn't think they can wait. He's made up his mind. That means you have no other choice but to accept it. If you put the brakes on, he will only come to resent you. He hasn't said to you "I'd really love to see her more, but if you're not comfortable, I absolutely understand and won't push the issue." I say let him know how uncomfortable it makes you, let him know that there might be consequences of unhappiness for you, that it might affect your future together, but that you want him to have the experience.

I do think you should speak to him about your concerns re: his current exhaustion. Don't go on and on at him, but state it clearly. Say that you are not sure he can balance and you are worried that even less of your needs will be met; but then follow up with "but I won't know until we find out". Because, in truth, you won't.

In terms of NRE taking sexual/affectionate time away from you... Certainly, my GF has had her head in her newest exploration. But I've been clear with her - I've said "You want a real life submissive, so have one. See him whenever you want. More than once a week is a level 4 for me. But do what you want to do. I'm worried that you will be so sexually caught up in him that our sex life will suffer. If that happens, I will not be happy in our relationship, as I need a primary who sees me as their primary sexual and emotional interest. I do not want to be a primary through emotion, but a secondary through sex. Those are my expectations and desires. Now, let's give it 6 months and see how it goes."

That's what I would do with your boyfriend. Yes, he probably will struggle with balancing at first. He's learning. Give him the opportunity to learn. If you do and it goes badly, it will go better the next time, because of the experience. Or, you'll realise that you need something else from a primary relationship. Either way, you come out of it knowing more than you currently do.
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life partner GF (39f)
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metamours:
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Garcon (26m, GF's submissive)



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  #5  
Old 01-05-2013, 05:56 PM
Myyste Myyste is offline
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I've been off the boards and forums for a few years, going through my own growth opportunities and learning quite a bit about myself..
it's funny that my first visit back, I'd see a post about letting go of the ownership and letting one's primary partner see their other love more than x amount of time...

SparklePop had so many good thoughts that I need to re-read that for myself and my own growth! (thanks for that)... I can't say it any better, especially since I'm struggling with the same thing. It really comes down to trusting that your own relationship isn't going away, and just letting go... (not as a doormat, but as someone who owns their life and feelings, but doesn't own anyone elses)

good luck to you
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Old 01-05-2013, 06:09 PM
lolalondon lolalondon is offline
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Wow guys, thanks so much for the thoughtful replies! Definitely food for thought. Will answer each point in order...

LovingRadiance:
A) we discussed these issues. He is English and quite indirect about stating his needs/avoids confrontation. But he has finally been able to be clearer about what's been happening in terms of having a less adventurous sex life. A lot of this has been because I've apparently been putting so many rules and restrictions in place he has been feeling increasingly "caged in", controlled and unable to be himself. As he used to do in the past, he dealt with it through being withholding or withdrawing, but he's realising it about himself now and he's learning to express things as and when they bother him instead of only doing what he thinks I need to make me "happy", because he can see in the long term this way of behaving is damaging to both of us. So some things re my needs not being met are being resolved through this "letting go" process. Even where we are now is much more open-ended and flexible than where we used to be, and he is appreciative and happy about that.

B) I thought about this point, and I think it might be a hang-up from when we got together, at that point he wasn't poly-identified and had about 4 girls he was sleeping with, all of which thought they were his girlfriends. He would fill every night he didn't see me with a different woman without full honesty and I wouldn't be able to communicate with him much (apart from a cursory goodnight call). So it's a combination of being overwhelmed with a large amount of partners, lack of honesty with those partners and lack of ability to be there for me when we're not together. Looking at it now I can see much of it is part hurts and we've both made mistakes, so might be time to let that go. We've talked about it and he is reassuring me that if he sees his secondary more often I'll be able to contact him for chats when I want to - of course I wouldn't take advantage, but perhaps keeping in regular contact would help "normalise" the situation. He is also adamant that he's happy with the both of us and isn't interested in going back to having numerous partners like he used to, so this helps.

C) I completely understand, again this might be a throw-back to several of his previous partners who would prefer it if I didn't exist, got very territorial and weren't supportive of our relationship or respectful of my boundaries. So I became more controlling because every time a relationship progressed in the past it resulted in indirect pressures and manipulation. While this isn't the case at all now, I still think there's a difference between him having a secondary partner and a full "sharing" of him, so there's still a switch in ways of thinking I may or may no be able to do. Ultimately I guess I still want to control how deeply they become involved/how central she becomes in his life because I can only share so much, regardless of whether this is even possible. Sorry if it doesn't sound grown up! But please remember I'm not poly-wired so do struggle with this whole scenario. In all honesty I would prefer it if he was just a swinger, and I would prefer it if she had another primary relationship, but I also know I want them both to be happy and that they want me to be happy. I know they'd always consider my feelings and comfort.

Dagferi: that's helpful, and yes, I hope I get more comfortable. The fact we don't live together is I think one of the reasons I feel unsettled, as due to various complicated reasons it's unclear if it will happen in the future. I don't want to live along or with flatmates forever and he knows it. But me not being poly, looking for a partner who would live with me is likely to result in us breaking up... so there are still levels of commitment and lifestyle discussions to be had over the next year or two.

sparklepop: yep, you've hit the nail on the head. It is painful that no matter how much I give it's not enough. I didn't realise I was signing up to a full V so it is a boundary I feel is being slowly trampled on and I am powerless to do anything. It's not a good feeling. I want to get to the point of "sod it" and let him make his own decisions - I think I'll get there eventually - and he keeps saying I'll remain his primary, although I am starting to feel (especially without living together or sharing a life in a practical way) that it's just a hollow term. When I ask he isn't able to say what he means or what's the difference between the two relationships apart from us seeing each other more often. So perhaps it's the idea that us seeing each other much more often than them is literally the only things remaining differentiating the two relationships in my mind and protecting my "primary" feelings, which I do need to be able to cope (as I'm not poly). Does this make sense?

Re exhaustion, that's also a question... she goes to sleep earlier than us or him, and it doesn't sound like she's keeping him up all night; I wouldn't say he's been significantly more tired or less interested in sex with me after spending a night with her. It's also worth noting he has delayed ejaculation so without wanting to be graphic - it's not often that he'll be too "drained" to perform after a short while... these things do have their advantages he does however work in a very draining job and comes home at 10-11pm during week nights. This is another reason I find weekends so hard to share...

But I think you're right, I should let us both learn and grow through this experience. We'll need to figure it out, but I might say we try two nights first and see how it feels without lifting "restrictions" completely. Or is this still being controlling?? We love each other very much and this isn't a major drama/crisis scenario, but it's hard to know exactly how to move forward...
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Old 01-06-2013, 02:56 AM
sparklepop sparklepop is offline
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Quote:
I still think there's a difference between him having a secondary partner and a full "sharing" of him, so there's still a switch in ways of thinking I may or may no be able to do.
You are absolutely right about this. Sharing him with another primary, in a V, is different to sharing some of him with a secondary.

Quote:
Ultimately I guess I still want to control how deeply they become involved/how central she becomes in his life because I can only share so much, regardless of whether this is even possible. Sorry if it doesn't sound grown up! But please remember I'm not poly-wired so do struggle with this whole scenario. In all honesty I would prefer it if he was just a swinger, and I would prefer it if she had another primary relationship, but I also know I want them both to be happy and that they want me to be happy. I know they'd always consider my feelings and comfort.
This made me smile. Hey, you're being honest! It doesn't matter if you don't sound like a Poly Yoda. It's perfectly ok to say that you'd be happier if your primary partner was polysexual/swinger. You have to search inside yourself and follow your own needs. I understand control. Of course we want to control things. To have out life out of control is scary as hell. Unfortunately though... in my opinion... no matter what we do.... the only way out is to give up the idea of controlling someone else and turn it inwards - control *our* lives, our decisions, our actions.

Incidentally, I have often found that polysexuality becomes polyamory, whether we like it or not. My girlfriend, who used to be very promiscuous in her twenties, adamantly believed that sex and emotion could be separated. After dating a few people, she's started to change her views on this. She now feels that if you spend a certain amount of time with someone, or if you have sex, emotions are going to start to grow. I have a tendency to believe this too, whether I want it or not. So rather than trying to prevent things... I am trying to just let them happen - because I feel that they will happen one way or another anyway. That is just my belief.

Quote:
sparklepop: yep, you've hit the nail on the head. It is painful that no matter how much I give it's not enough. I didn't realise I was signing up to a full V so it is a boundary I feel is being slowly trampled on and I am powerless to do anything.
This is really one of the genuine solid cruxes of what you have every right to be uncomfortable about. You didn't sign up for this. Unfortunately, it's happening anyway. Even if your boyfriend turned around tonight and agreed to calm his other relationship down, or adopt a more polysexual viewpoint, would that actually change his mind or his needs?

My favourite mantra for life is the Latin phrase: 'mutantur omnia nos et mutamur in illis' . It means 'all things change, and we change with them'. I believe in this idea so strongly that I wanted to have it permanently tattooed on my body, to guide me through life. I hate to admit it, but I can be a control freak. Without even realising it, I try to restrict when I am floundering. The only difference between me and someone who *is* a control freak (i.e. rather than 'can be') is that I don't *want* to be.

To me, nothing is valuable if it's not real. If it's synthetic, it's not real; thus, it's not valuable. If my girlfriend is falling in love with someone else and wants another primary, I can try to stop it. I might even succeed in squashing it. But she felt it. She wanted it. I can't change that. Most likely, she'll want it again. Should I keep trying to force a synthetic environment in which she is not allowed to do something that upset me? Or should I allow what is real to be real? That doesn't mean I have to stay around, if it pains me: I can leave. But if she feels something, wants something, if it's real for her, she should have it - with or without me. I would rather accept that just like engagement, marriage, divorce... relationships (like everything in life) change... and we can change with it.

Quote:
I want to get to the point of "sod it" and let him make his own decisions - I think I'll get there eventually
Trust me, I completely, utterly understand your pain.

How long have you guys been together, by the way?

Quote:
- and he keeps saying I'll remain his primary, although I am starting to feel (especially without living together or sharing a life in a practical way) that it's just a hollow term. When I ask he isn't able to say what he means or what's the difference between the two relationships apart from us seeing each other more often. So perhaps it's the idea that us seeing each other much more often than them is literally the only things remaining differentiating the two relationships in my mind and protecting my "primary" feelings, which I do need to be able to cope (as I'm not poly). Does this make sense?
It does make sense. What I'm seeing here is that you want a partner who considers your feelings as their primary priority. You want to be a primary; very likely a solo primary. You do not like the idea of being a joint primary, or being a join secondary.

For me, primary and secondary poly *is* about choosing one person as a priority. No, it doesn't mean treating the secondary like a second-rate human being. It means being honest with them about what you have to offer and treating them with as much respect as you would your primary; but feeling a greater commitment to the primary. If you were my sole primary and I only wanted one sole primary, I would compromise with you and set a happy medium pace for both of us. The problem that I'm seeing... is that it looks like your boyfriend isn't sure that he does want just one primary, if any primary at all.

Quote:
But I think you're right, I should let us both learn and grow through this experience. We'll need to figure it out, but I might say we try two nights first and see how it feels without lifting "restrictions" completely. Or is this still being controlling?? We love each other very much and this isn't a major drama/crisis scenario, but it's hard to know exactly how to move forward...
Any time we ask someone to change their behaviour to suit our own needs, we are being controlling. By definition - we are being controlling, because we're controlling something There are different levels of being controlling - you're definitely, definitely not being horrid. You've done an absolutely amazing job, by the sounds of it.

I look at it this way.... I want to place a restriction. Do I want to place it to prevent something from happening; or do I want to place it so that I can do a better job of accepting the inevitable? For example - I recently came back to the UK and asked my GF to hold off from dating for a couple of weeks, to give me time to settle back home (emotional, upsetting time, etc). I hated asking her to do that. But my motivation was *genuinely* because I wanted to give myself an emotional leg-up, so that I could deal with her dating much more easily. I wanted to deal with it more easily, not just for myself, but to be a better partner to her and make her life easier. I didn't ask her not to date to prevent her from dating - I asked her in the hopes of enabling the end goal of her dating.

Taking you and your bf.... If you asked him to compromise on twice a week to *stop* behaviour... in the hopes that it would always be that way... you may have a problem. If you asked him to compromise, because you genuinely want the time to be able to feel better about it, for him and yourself, that's a more productive reason.

I was thinking about this a little tonight and something struck me. Rather than jumping into the decision of giving the green light for two or three nights.... perhaps you two need to back up a bit.

Before anything happens, (I think) you really need to know where you stand. You can only ask him to do certain things for you if he wants a primary/secondary model. If he does, he has to genuinely see you as his primary to be able to make any decisions based on your comfort. Clarity in poly relationships is so important. If you're not his primary, if he's not committed to you, you can't really ask him for anything - because essentially all he's saying is "I love you, but I'm not committed, I just want to enjoy you, but make my decisions completely independently of our relationship".

If he does see you as a primary and wants that commitment... yes... if you need a compromise, it's only been two months... I'd say that's reasonable. (IF you truly think it would help you and you're not just trying to restrict behaviour/emotion). I hope what I said makes sense. I waffle like nobody else I know... ~laughs~
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Me: (29f) open poly
life partner GF (39f)
newly dating Descartes (27f)

metamours:
Hubby (36m, GF's husband)
Garcon (26m, GF's submissive)



“Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without." ~ Buddha
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  #8  
Old 01-07-2013, 02:36 AM
lolalondon lolalondon is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sparklepop View Post
I have often found that polysexuality becomes polyamory, whether we like it or not. My girlfriend, who used to be very promiscuous in her twenties, adamantly believed that sex and emotion could be separated. After dating a few people, she's started to change her views on this. She now feels that if you spend a certain amount of time with someone, or if you have sex, emotions are going to start to grow.
I wouldn't know about that; I think I'm "polysexual" wired... I've always been like this. As a teenager I had many lovers/fwb and wasn't interested in being emotionally invested in them for the most part, just enjoyed having fun. Sex is no big thing for me and I enjoy exploring my sexuality and kink with different people with minimal complications. I've had 3 LTR, this is my fourth; 2 have been mono. While sex and craving variety did become an issue for me, I can genuinely say I'm only interested in becoming emotionally invested with one partner at a time.

A big part of it might be that I have quite a few close friendships, close relationships with my family and I work as a therapist (effectively getting paid to form reflection-oriented relationships with people who often find relationships difficult). So I have many meaningful relationships in my life; when I have free time I want to play!

My bf, on the other hand, doesn't have good relationships with his family and can be socially quite shy. So his other poly relationships also meet his friendships and family needs. He is quite open about this and how he struggles having to place clear boundaries between love, sexual intimacy and friendships. I think he's very classically "polyamory-wired".


Quote:
Originally Posted by sparklepop View Post
My favourite mantra for life is the Latin phrase: 'mutantur omnia nos et mutamur in illis' . It means 'all things change, and we change with them'. I believe in this idea so strongly that I wanted to have it permanently tattooed on my body, to guide me through life. I hate to admit it, but I can be a control freak. Without even realising it, I try to restrict when I am floundering. The only difference between me and someone who *is* a control freak (i.e. rather than 'can be') is that I don't *want* to be.
I really loved this quote - might end up tattooing it myself one day!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sparklepop View Post
How long have you guys been together, by the way?
We've been together for 2.5 years, him and her nearly 3 months. Open from day one. He's 42, I'm 33. We've been through quite a lot together and he's been there to support me through bereavement, career moves and buying a property, all in the last year alone...

Quote:
Originally Posted by sparklepop View Post
If you were my sole primary and I only wanted one sole primary, I would compromise with you and set a happy medium pace for both of us. The problem that I'm seeing... is that it looks like your boyfriend isn't sure that he does want just one primary, if any primary at all.
I've spoken to him again and he's clear that I am his primary, in terms of him prioritising my needs and being more committed to me while not in any way being disrespectful towards her. He has clearly told her I am his primary from day one, she is cool with it even though he is her primary for now. I've asked him if he actually wanted me to be his primary and he said absolutely, yes. So I do feel reassured.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sparklepop View Post
If he does see you as a primary and wants that commitment... yes... if you need a compromise, it's only been two months... I'd say that's reasonable. (IF you truly think it would help you and you're not just trying to restrict behaviour/emotion).
Yes, I think I want to feel better about it and for them both to be happy. I told him let's go with 2 days for now, and the thinking from him (and her) seems to be that 3 days will probably be too much anyway, since that'll add up to 6 nights and he also needs some time for himself. He's clear about needing some "alone" time. I'm also fine with it being 3 nights on some weeks once the dust settles. It's been hard though, and I do feel a little resentful. From their end they seem perplexed and grateful that I moved so fast when they were happy to wait for a few weeks, but for me ever since it became a question of when and not if, I just thought... "sod it" and decided to deal with the emotional side sooner rather than later... time will tell if it was a wise move I guess.

So for now I've told him ok, it makes me uncomfortable (level 4) but it needs to happen and I want you to be happy.

I have one niggling question though: right now we see each other 4 nights a week and don't live together so it's less of an issue what he does with his nights off. We have talked about potentially moving in next year and my anxiety is that if (for example) they start seeing each other 3 nights per week... well I know categorically that I wouldn't be able to live with him if he's away more than 2 nights a week, this includes date nights with her even if she's staying at ours. 3 nights will be ok sometimes but not regularly. I'm domestic and companionable and I'll be miserable if he's away half the week. Not to mention he gets home at 11pm during the week so getting into bed together is quite precious. I've told him that I don't want him getting used to seeing her 3 days a week and then either me being miserable if we live together and this continues or it being a disincentive to moving in together. So I think keeping 2 nights status quo is quite useful... but just curious, how would you deal with this kind of situation? Make it 2 nights her, 4 me and 1 night hanging-out together night? But then who sleeps where?? Gahhh it's so complicated! (and p.s. I know I'm projecting quite far into the future, but it helps with the anxiety)
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Old 01-08-2013, 08:35 PM
lolalondon lolalondon is offline
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Just wanted to add - we had a talk about this (e.g. moving forward with this, moving in together etc.)

He's really happy that I've given them more freedom (2, maybe 3 nights a week, generally sharing weekends and no limitations on meeting secondaries on days or eves when we're not together). We're also going to continue to hang out, all three of us, every two weeks or so because we're all fond of each other and it helps avoid seeing the third person in a 2-dimensional way, I find.

He is uncertain if he can commit to generally being away only 2 nights a week if we live together, because until recently he used to compromise his own needs by default and get resentful, so he's reluctant to commit at this stage which I totally understand, but it's also a non-negotiable for me. I don't want to sleep alone nearly 50% of the time if we live together and I don't want another "proper" relationship. I'm out lots and not at all clingy, but I need companionship. He wants time to consider and we're both thinking and talking about it; we have at least a year before it happens, probably longer, and it's quite a luxury to take time figuring this out. I've also shown him this thread and told him: "I thought I couldn't be in a full poly relationship, I'm still not 100% sure but I'm willing to try it out because if it doesn't work out I lose you, but if I don't try I'll also lose you (even if you stick around, it won't work). So at least this way there's a chance to stay together and have this journey and give you a chance to have what you need, even if it causes me discomfort at times... All I'm asking - when we talk about living together and the ways you might be able to help me manage living with a poly partner while still meeting my needs - is that you at least consider the possibility of doing the same." He is definitely understanding and open to the idea.

The issue for me is, companionship and life partnership are what I need from a relationship; if he decides it's not for him I'll need to break up, so I'm hesitant to keep taking difficult and scary plunges and make a huge emotional investment in a relationship that might have an expiry date, especially after going through so much together. I have enough resentful friends who kept waiting for their partner to "be ready" to live together/have children etc. and are now in their 40s and bitter. Sometimes it's best to acknowledge different life goals or personality differences and break up fondly instead of trying to mould each other in your own image. On this journey I am learning what is motivated by fear and what is a genuine, conscious life choices and life goals... I guess some of this is about how far we can both compromise, considering our differences (he needs more freedom ; I need more security. He's poly and I'm emotionally mono, he's more "feral" while I'm domesticated, etc.)

Time will tell, but so far we've having really good open and honest communication about it all for the first time in a long while, and hot sex, too
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Old 01-12-2013, 11:13 AM
BirthofVenus BirthofVenus is offline
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I'm in the same situation as your partner's extra curricular relationship. In my opinion it seems very controlling and almost abusive of you to be someone who puts a limit on how frequent your partner is able to be with someone else. It's actually unreasonable. Setting boundaries on how, when, etc... two people want to interact is unfair. Especially if she's getting so little and she probably needs more. Infact I know she needs more. If she's not a real threat, relax, and let them spend however many days together as long as it doesn't dominate your time.

Like she's made the choice of going into this arrangement, you're making a choice by only giving a few days/nights of your time to your partner, and being with your partner in general knowing their Poly needs. Even if you didn't know this until some time into the relationship, you were still made aware of it, and have a choice to stay, or continue fishing. You're not living together, married, or with children together. So, it's a less risk prone situation for you to walk away should this not have been to your liking. If he needs to be more engaged with female company, maybe you should give him more of your time. Perhaps this will shake the Poly webs off of him and give you the Mono attention you require.

In my experience with the man I am with who is Poly... these men generally need to be constantly engaged with a female relationship, whether it be sexual, romantic, platonic, etc... They require that connection to feel good. More often than not the attention they require isn't enough for them and they find other partners to sustain themselves. They also have an ego where they enjoy feeling wanted in every which way. The more dependencies, the more important they feel. Most Poly men are more successful in their careers, they like to dominate, and they like being able to get what they want at a drop of a hat. Most on a MFF level are Alpha Males who instinctively enjoy providing and supporting their partners. Sometimes a quality is lacking in their primary, that quality is something they need, they look for extra curricular activities to find it, but still want to maintain their primaries because they enjoy the qualities that they do have. Some Poly relationships surface because of ones ability and need to share love alone with multiple partners. Not because one partner personally isn't enough, but because they enjoy loving many in an isolated sense. There are also those Poly relationships that exist because someone is obligated and can't bring themselves to fully leave. So, they just add to what they have to get through their days. There are so many motives for these relationships existing.

I find it's due to women being more unavailable because of modern society that these relationships are happening more. Most women won't stop working to stay at home (whether it be their parents house or their house with their husbands - only in the last century has it been acceptable for a single woman to be on her own), even if their partner is well off enough to support both. Polygamy is more dominated by the male. There are more men looking for multiple partners and most of the partners they chose are Mono to them. This I feel is because men are more territorial. I also feel it's safer for paternity should a partner become pregnant. A society that Polygamy is more accepting of is Islam. It goes long before the Mormons. In Islam a man is allowed four wives as long as he is able to support each wife 100% and equally.

I also blame the media for "Sister Wives" and "Big Love" in the increase of these relationships. It looks trendy, cool, and gives everyone a reason to 'cheat' with dignity. I'm not saying I'm anti-Poly with that remark. It's just amusing to see people who've been notorious cheaters transition to being Poly still engaged in cheating ways. Being Poly is about being open and honest with your partners. Screwing around with a few partners and having not one of them know about each other is cheating, not Poly.

I don't know how new you are to this whole world of Poly, but the reason for my banter is to educate you on the motives.

It's largely your subconscious telling you that you're insecure with what you have by being so hesitant. I think it's selfish if you already know your partners tenancies. Limiting his time to feel even better about himself and giving her little of his time to feel good about herself/connected in general will do more damage. If you keep firm with your original wants/needs and they're that crazy about each other... they will rebel, all will be hurt.

You need to allow a balance where not just your needs are met. If this becomes all about you it's not a healthy two way (in this case three way) street of a relationship. Trying to change a person because they're Poly to suit your Mono ways will also never work. These behaviours don't change. You just need to accept it. A Poly person is just as valid as a Homosexual person. It's their human nature. Taking that away from them will be a very uncomfortable transition. Us women have issues with relationships we enter inevitably becoming all about us.

These relationships are so multi layered and resemble an onion in my opinion. They're so complex but at the end of the day you need to give a little bit more to get a lot more. You'll earn more respect by him and especially her. Like in business, in order to make money, you need to spend money.

I wish you the best and please accept my apologies if I have offended you in any which way!
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