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  #41  
Old 01-06-2013, 08:46 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Something I noticed: I am getting the sense that some view poly as you just do your thing and I do mine. In my house, we are in a life-long relationship. We do not operate our lives quite that independently, or have one foot out the door.
Everyone runs their polyships different. Over here we are married and interdependent and prefer that model. *shrug*

Again.... just tell him straight up how you feel about it and what you struggle with here and WHY.

Do not offer to do things that you are NOT willing to do. That is not self respecting behavior.

From this quote?

Quote:
Which brings us to today. My husband has a healthy relationship with a great gal. No drama, but also higher maintenance. He would rather spend time with ex-lover, or at least add her into the mix. However, I simply can't stand the thought of her in our lives again. My blood pressure actually rises and I see red. I sincerely wish her ill. The year they dated was the hardest of my life.

I try to play this out in my head. What if I have no contact with her? If we are just honest and say we don't like each other and we won't interact? Would that work? How do I get around the feeling of contempt for my husband's interest in someone universally looked down upon my our social circle and whom I do not trust and who causes me such anxiety because she is such a disruptive force?

So, I guess what I am asking is, do I have to suck it up because it's not my gf, it's his? Or do I exercise veto power -- which I don't like to do obviously because I want my husband to be happy -- and say, honey, I truly wish the thought of her in your life did not make my blood boil, but it does.
Here's what I hear...
  • I do not want you to take up with your cheatee.
  • I feel disrespected that you even bring it up, and devalued if you actually do so.
  • I feel contempt for your interest in someone universally looked down upon my / our social circle.
  • I do not trust her because she causes me anxiety and because she is such a disruptive force. It was horrible for me when you were with her before -- I am not willing to revisit that.
  • I am not willing to put myself at risk to build trust there with such a person so I could get ok with her as my metamour. She is not trustworthy to me.
  • I feel cagey and uncomfortable. So please do not put me in that position by asking me. I feel it devalues and disrespects our marriage to bring cheatee person back.
  • You are free to seek another GF who is low maintenance if the current one is too high maintenance for you. It isn't like you do not have other options. I am more willing for you to pursue that one and can feel more at peace with that option.

And if your relationship agreements/arrangements with your husband has a "veto power" option in it... this is the time to invoke it.

Again -- tell him straight up how you feel and give him the right to clear communication.

Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 01-06-2013 at 08:50 AM.
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  #42  
Old 01-07-2013, 05:12 PM
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SchrodingersCat SchrodingersCat is offline
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One thing about "high maintenance" people is that you are not obliged to provide their maintenance. You can choose to, but you can also tell them "You're being high maintenance and I can't keep up. These are the things I'm able and willing to do for you: ---, ---, ---. If you have more needs, you'll have to find other ways of having them met."

When my girlfriend and I started dating, it quickly became apparent that she's high maintenance, and that I wasn't interested in taking care of all those things. Fortunately, she recognizes that she's high maintenance. We had a really good talk about it, where we established what I am and am not capable of providing. She decided that she liked me enough that she was willing to take what I could offer, rather than walking away entirely. It's been great ever since.

Of course, that does require the high maintenance person to have a certain degree of self-awareness and personal responsibility. Lots of people who are high maintenance to begin with also happen to think it's everyone else's responsibility to make sure they're taken care of. But those are exactly the kinds of people I refuse to even consider dating...
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  #43  
Old 02-22-2013, 05:51 PM
sparklepop sparklepop is offline
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Hello lovely people,

Long story short, when I met my GF two years ago, she'd only just opened up their marriage. I later discovered that Hubby was extremely reluctant and it was a 'coerced poly' situation. However, he genuinely liked me (the old 'dating a woman is less painful than dating another man' chestnut). We live in separate countries, but I stay with them for a total of about 6 months per year, until I can move there permanently.

During this time, Hubby has done things that I am unspeakably in awe of, and grateful for. Firstly, accepting me into their marriage and home with open arms. Secondly, providing immense financial support. Not long after meeting them in person, I was made redundant. They basically completely rescued me and made an immediate commitment to me that I was not expecting or asking for. He has paid for most of my flights, almost all of my expenses over there, paid for my GF and I to have weekends away. Though GF feels that his money is *their* money, because they are married... essentially, he's the one going out to work. Finally, he's also always vehemently fought my corner whenever GF has had an issue with me.

Here is my problem....

Originally, Hubby hoped I would be their Unicorn. GF liked this idea too, but didn't expect it. In the past, he has been very pushy with boundaries. He would never harm me or assault me! But he is very tactile and used to constantly touch me, hug me, try to stroke my hair, or some such. He would constantly make flirtatious or downright pervy remarks, thinking he was being funny. His hugs or kisses would last way too long. He still struggles with GF and I doing 'relationship' or 'friendship' things together when he is not involved.

With some firm words from GF and some gentle ones from me, this behaviour really improved last time I was there. However, I think it created a barrier for me that I'm finding difficult to get past.

Here's the other problem... I started to learn that he and I really don't have much in common. He can be very envious. His perviness has improved, but his lack of boundaries and respect for personal space make him quite difficult to live with at times. He also has a couple of mood disorders that make him quite strenuous to interact with at times.

Despite all of this, I actually love living with them and I do respect him a great deal. I don't want to live separately. I am extremely attached to their daughter and she is to me. I see my relationship with him almost the way I might see working with someone every day - you chit chat, you have a little laugh, you might even hug them when they walk in, but you don't necessarily need to socialise with them or be the best of friends. I absolutely don't want him out of the picture in the slightest and I am happy with a basic level of interaction. I'm really thrilled with the fact that he and I don't ever fight and that, at least on my part, I feel absolutely no jealousy about his relationship with GF. For me, it's all ok and manageable.

However... I am due to go back soon and hubby is fixating on our relationship again. He has been struggling with the fact that I spend about 4-6 hours a night on Skype with GF, but don't want to text him every day. In truth, we just don't have enough in common and I don't even text my best friend more than once every couple of weeks. He is asking uncomfortable, direct questions about whether I love him as a family member, whether I would be friends with him if we'd met outside of GF, whether I'd still want to live with him if ever anything happened to GF and daughter, whether I think of him in the same way I think about my two male best friends at home.

When I've gently suggested that I'm ok with a basic level of interaction, he becomes down and obsessed with anxiety about our relationship. If I tell him the truth, it's going to hurt him, possibly even ruin things between the three of us. I'm not sure whether it's better to pretend that I do, to keep the peace and show my gratitude for all he has done for me... or whether to be more honest, so that he stops expecting our relationship to be forced into an artificial box. Does anyone have any advice or personal experience of anything like this?
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Last edited by sparklepop; 02-22-2013 at 05:55 PM.
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  #44  
Old 02-22-2013, 06:38 PM
learninginTN learninginTN is offline
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So he wants a triad, while you and his wife really want a V relationship, where you and he are friends but not lovers. He is obviously pretty sexually attracted to you, but you not to him. This is indeed a delicate situation.

Some serious introspection is going to have to happen for all you, but especially you and him. Is he ever going to be happy just being friends with you, or is that going to not be doable for him long-term? Would you ever be happy being sexual with him? If neither of you think you can make that compromise, I can't see this situation ever improving. Hubby will continue to resent you for being sexual with his wife but not him. You'll continue to resent having to be on guard from his perviness and in general feel quite uncomfortable around him. Neither makes a live-in situation very fun.

Could you guys do a V without you actually living with them? Could this be a possible compromise?
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  #45  
Old 02-22-2013, 07:05 PM
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Magdlyn Magdlyn is offline
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Never lie in poly !!! No, no, no, never! Personal integrity and full yet compassionate honesty is the only way to go.


This guy wants his hot 3some. He's been shelling out mucho bucks to try and make that happen.

And some newbies wonder why we come down hard on unicorn hunters here....

You have a right to have sex with someone you truly desire. He has no right to perv on you if you do not desire him. Of course you don't even want simple friendship if he won't stop being all pervy, and pressuring you right and left.

Personally, I wouldn't want to live with a guy who can't accept my boundaries, not matter how I felt about his wife and child. However, you need to be honest as the day is long. He did make your ability to parnter with his wife easier, by agreeing to use their funds to help you travel, etc. But he did it b/c he wants to get into your pants!

He has a right to boundaries too. Maybe you being 4-6 hrs on skype with his wife every night makes him envious?

Is he interested in finding his own gf? Just because his wife got lucky enough to find you doesn't give him the right to glom onto her gf.

Anyway, those are just my first thoughts.
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  #46  
Old 02-22-2013, 07:34 PM
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AnnabelMore AnnabelMore is offline
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Much much better to be straightforward now, and risk things falling apart before you move there permanently, versus letting misunderstandings fester to the point that it explodes when you're already moved in. It'll be kinder to everyone, by far, to be clear now. If he can't handle it, well, he won't handle it any worse now than he will down the line.
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  #47  
Old 02-22-2013, 07:57 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Be honest. Maybe something like
"At this point in time, this is a V shape thing. I am not ready/willing to enter into romanceship with you and make it be a triad thing.

Please keep your behavior towards me in the friend bucket. These behaviors are fine (list). These behaviors I am not comfortable with (list.)

I do not see my feelings on triad changing in the near future. At this point in time my feelings seem 100% on it being a V and only a V.

We could check in if you like one year from now. To see if yours, mine, or Hinge GF feelings have changed or remain the same on the poly configuration we share. But for now, please accept it is a V. Please respect my boundaries."
GG
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  #48  
Old 02-22-2013, 09:51 PM
sparklepop sparklepop is offline
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Thanks to everyone so far - your responses are so helpful. GF and I openly and firmly tried to knock the triad idea off the menu very early on. About 10 months ago, he finally said that he actually accepted it and apologised for pushing boundaries. Since then, he's been saying he's only focused on platonic love with me and this has been the angle he's been pushing lately that I'm struggling with. He wants to text every day, go out together alone, talk on the phone, be involved in moments between GF and I and wants me to verbally reassure him of my platonic love for him.

TN:
Quote:
Could you guys do a V without you actually living with them? Could this be a possible compromise?
Thank you for your genuinely empathetic response. I really appreciate it.

He says he accepts that I'll never feel sexual towards him. The issue with the living arrangement is complex and I will not be able to afford to live anywhere else when I'm in their country, for at least 2-3 years. (I am self-employed and my business isn't giving me enough of a wage).

Magdlyn:
Quote:
Never lie in poly !!!
I've tried to be clear and honest from the get-go re: triad possibilities. I was uncertain about whether to fluff the truth about my lack of 'platonic love' for him.... maybe you're right... maybe I should be completely honest about this too??

Quote:
He did make your ability to parnter with his wife easier, by agreeing to use their funds to help you travel, etc. But he did it b/c he wants to get into your pants!
He said that he wants to make his wife happy and as a pretty submissive guy, I can see that he is being at least partly genuine here. From a less altruistic perspective, he feels that I have helped the state of his marriage ten-fold and he worries that if I left the situation, there would be nobody to 'persuade' GF to stay with him. (They were on the brink of divorce when I came along and now this has done a complete U-turn).

I think he definitely wanted something sexual in the beginning and obviously would go for that now if I offered and I do agree that this was probably part of his motivation to fly me out in the first place; though it was never expressed to me and I would never have accepted if I had known that he wanted it.

Quote:
He has a right to boundaries too. Maybe you being 4-6 hrs on skype with his wife every night makes him envious?
I think you're absolutely right and I do try my very best to ensure that I don't stand in the way of his needs or time with GF. With the time difference, the majority of our Skype talks happen when he's at work, or asleep. When I'm over there, I look after my step-daughter to encourage them to go on dates together, etc. I definitely understand that our dynamic makes him envious, for various reasons, and I try to alleviate this as much as I possibly can.

Quote:
Is he interested in finding his own gf? Just because his wife got lucky enough to find you doesn't give him the right to glom onto her gf.
This is something that GF firmly pointed out to him early on, when his boundary-pushing became an issue. He tries to find women but his mood disorders and lack of confidence tend to mean that he struggles, which is a real shame. I definitely think it would help if he had his own girlfriend. GF and I both take him out and help him look online for people, encourage his dating etc. It's just a case of finding one that sticks around.


Annabel:
Quote:
Much much better to be straightforward now, and risk things falling apart before you move there permanently, versus letting misunderstandings fester to the point that it explodes when you're already moved in. It'll be kinder to everyone, by far, to be clear now. If he can't handle it, well, he won't handle it any worse now than he will down the line.
Thank you for this

I've been very, very, very clear that I have no attraction towards him and that flirtatious boundary pushing is not ok. On the flirtatious/physical side, he has improved greatly, but now his focus seems to be on the best friend/family side. Perhaps I should be really honest with him about that too.


Overall....

I think that upon being rebuffed on the triad angle, he's now forcing me into a platonic love box, because a) he said he genuinely sees me as family now and truly values me in their lives, b) perhaps this helps him handle his attraction towards me, c) this way, he still feels important, even if not sexually part of my life.

His mood/personality disorder means that he has issues with control and fixation. He kind of takes a situation and holds it in a death-grip. One of the key problems in their marriage before I came along is that GF felt very claustrophobic with him, physically and emotionally. When he struggled with attraction towards me, he couldn't just let it go, he pushed it. Now he's trying to push the platonic love/family aspect instead. It's the death-grip thing. It's strangling everything.

I have forgiven his sexual boundary pushing, but it seems to have caused a block in me in terms of feeling platonic love for him. I am happy to live with him now that he's gotten the sexual pushing under control; but I'm uncomfortable about having to verbalise an artificial best friend/platonic love emotion that I don't really feel.

I don't want to paint him as an asshole - he really isn't. His biological family are pretty horrid and I think this is why he is clinging to the idea of me being part of his marital family. I am just struggling with feeling selfish - taking the benefits of being in the family (living with girlfriend, him paying for things, being a live-in parent to my step-daughter), but not *feeling* the family love for him in return.

When I avoid his invitations to go out for a night with him, or when I disappear into my room when GF isn't about, I feel guilty. Telling him that I don't love him as family feels... disrespectful? And feels like kicking a puppy who has been generous to me... Does that make sense?
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Me: (29f) open poly
In a long-distance relationship with GF (39f)
Casually seeing Descartes in my home country (27f)



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

Last edited by sparklepop; 02-22-2013 at 10:02 PM.
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  #49  
Old 02-22-2013, 09:59 PM
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Anneintherain Anneintherain is offline
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Ya...he asked you specific direct questions about your feelings on a few topics, the ethical thing is to tell him now what they are, and let him decide how he feels about it.

If that is not enough to make him realize you aren't interested in the same thing he is, and to stop trying to flirt with you, then that's another issue altogether. I get the impression you haven't been clear with your boundaries with him, and that's part of why he hasn't stopped, though from what you just posted it sounds like he has agreed that it won't go there.

So YES you still should be honest about EVERYTHING, just switch your own words around.
"I have forgiven your sexual boundary pushing, but it seems to have caused a block in me in terms of being able to feel platonic love for you. I am happy to live with you now that you aren't pushing for a sexual relationship, but I don't feel friend/platonic love for you right now and do not want to artificially pretend an emotion that I don't really feel. (I will let you know if and when that changes)"
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  #50  
Old 02-23-2013, 12:11 AM
MeeraReed MeeraReed is offline
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This might not be helpful, but it's what came to mind for me:

Family love is not the same as platonic love for a good friend. One's family contains people that you love because they are your family even if you have nothing in common with them and don't feel the kind of emotional connection you would feel with your own friends.

Would it be possible to regard him as you would a brother and/or tell him that you feel like he's a brother to you? Someone you consider family, but do not have platonic-friend-love for?

But if you regard him as more of a co-worker, then no, you can't lie to him and claim to feel sisterly love toward him. I guess I'm wondering if framing your relationship to him as brother-sisterly could be a goal to work toward? "I don't feel platonic love for you the same way I do for my best friends, but I want to regard you as a brother--someone who will be part of my family for the rest of my life." ??

Personally, I don't like my brother all that much, but I love him and always will. [Of course, I don't live with him and never would!]

Eh, I'm not sure this is helpful advice. Sounds like he has many issues.
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