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  #1  
Old 03-07-2013, 11:35 PM
westVan westVan is offline
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Default Advise need please:

Here's some history and maybe someone can help me sort this out:
I’ve been in a relationship for 3 years with Bob -who is married and poly...
Ann- His wife of 25 years -has been in a relationship with Fred for close to 5 years.
Fred and I live in the same city over 400 miles from Bob and Ann, but we do not know each other or hang out when we aren’t with Bob and Ann.
Ann and I text, e-mail and get together for drinks when she is in town to visit with Fred, I wouldn’t call us friends but we are friendly. I live very independent life and have a very demanding career. So I'm fine not seeing Bob all that often - every month or so when he is in town on business.
Ann comes to town once a month for a few days at a time to stay with Fred and Bob comes to town every 6-8 weeks (most times it’s allot longer between trips), when he has business and then its only for 1 night.
Everything was working just fine until recently....
So here are my issues:
Bob was in town and began talking about how Ann and Fred seem to have grown apart and their relationship doesn’t have the "Spark" it once did. This to me is normal for all relationships but not the point of this story. Hello when you’re laying in your lovers arms in the afterglow of sex and he's talking about his wife’s partner and how that relationship isn’t going well. .... Is it just me that thinks there is better time this should have been brought up? I fully understand that he is married to her and I really don’t want any more of a relationship than what we have but for some reason it just didn’t sit well with me.
Other issues I have are: When we’re together he has to call her when he arrives in town, which I get. Then he has to call her before we go out for dinner and when we return from dinner and give her updates of what we are doing. It drives me crazy. Sometime she will call him every hour or so just to check in ....I have spoken to her about it and that I feel it is disrespectful to my time with him, but she says it helps them stay connected while they are apart and I have to get used to it. Is this normal in poly relationships? She says it is....
I do go to the town that they live in for work about every 3 months for a few days but Bob is not permitted to see me while I am in town. At first it was because they had child that was living at home, ok I get that, but the child now live 500miles away going to college. And Bob is still not “permitted” to spend time with me while I am there, not even get together for a coffee.
Next issue: Bob is going on a business trip to a local community about an hour from where I live. I would like to see him but I would have to take some time off work and travel to a very remote community, he would be working all day and then a dinner with the client that evening which I couldn’t attend so not really time together other than after 9pm and I would have to be on the float plane back home at 7am the next day, so really why go. I was hoping he would want to spend an extra day here and we could spend a day together just relaxing and enjoying the spring weather. But it doesn’t sound like something that is even crossed his mind. I would bring it up but I feel like I would be begging for a little much needed time with him, and I know it would cause difficulties for him when he got back home.
So what do I do? Do I continue this relationship the way it is because this is what poly relationship are or is it that I am with a selfish man who only wants things his way and the demands of his wife because she is the “Primary” and makes the rules.
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  #2  
Old 03-08-2013, 02:50 PM
learninginTN learninginTN is offline
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I feel your frustration, and I'm sure it's a common theme amongst secondaries, but the bottom line is the primary relationship determines most of the ground rules, and it's up to you whether to accept them, negotiate new ones, or leave the relationship.

It sounds like you've done quite a bit of assuming and not much actual discussion with the primaries about things. Have you actually asked Bob if he would consider occassionally doing these types of visits you're interested in? It's OK to ask from time to time. Sometimes the "rules" change.

The thing about the constant phoning is a little overboard perhaps, but if that's what they've worked out in order to do this type of relationship, that's their thing. I wouldn't push that issue. Ann may be dealing with some insecurities, but that's their thing. Let them deal with that. If any of that kind of stuff becomes too much for you, voice your feelings, but don't expect they're going to change their rules to accomodate you. If the rigidity becomes more than willing to tolerate, then you'll have to consider leaving for a more flexible arrangement.

Hang in there.
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  #3  
Old 03-08-2013, 03:26 PM
westVan westVan is offline
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Default thanks

Thanks for the advise, I'm at the point of trying to figure if these are things I can deal with any more. When the relationship first started I could understand but after 3 years I thought it would get better but it is only getting worse in alot of areas so I guess I have to figure out if I leave or not.
I just needed to know what other people thought and if this was normal. and if it is then I am done.
thanks again for letting me know this is not going to change because I've had this talk with Bob repeatedly and he keeps promising that things will change but they haven't.
At some point a girl has to put herself and her needs first !
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  #4  
Old 03-09-2013, 09:34 PM
JaneQSmythe JaneQSmythe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by westVan View Post
Hello when you’re laying in your lovers arms in the afterglow of sex and he's talking about his wife’s partner and how that relationship isn’t going well. .... Is it just me that thinks there is better time this should have been brought up? I fully understand that he is married to her and I really don’t want any more of a relationship than what we have but for some reason it just didn’t sit well with me.
Everyone has different preferences. So if this makes you uncomfortable you need to talk to Bob about it. After sex, when I am feeling close to a partner, seems like a fine time to bring up things that have been on my mind about relationships, sex, poly, other partners, etc. But if you have topics that you don't want brought to the bedroom - you have to let that be known.

People can have agreements about privacy and information sharing. (i.e. "I'm not comfortable with you talking about our sex life with your boyfriend.") which can also come into play. For us, it's pretty much an open book. It sounds like you have a "limited relationship" with Bob (and aren't really looking for more) - which may translate, for you, into a preference for Bob to keep certain aspects of his relationships "separate" (i.e. you don't want to know the details of his wife's other relationship since you aren't "friends" with her, merely "friendly".)

Quote:
Originally Posted by westVan View Post
Other issues I have are: When we’re together he has to call her when he arrives in town, which I get. Then he has to call her before we go out for dinner and when we return from dinner and give her updates of what we are doing. It drives me crazy. Sometime she will call him every hour or so just to check in ....I have spoken to her about it and that I feel it is disrespectful to my time with him, but she says it helps them stay connected while they are apart and I have to get used to it. Is this normal in poly relationships? She says it is....
"Is this normal in poly relationships? She says it is..." I would say that there is NO such thing as "normal" in poly relationships. My poly is not your poly. There are SO MANY ways of doing things - and what works for some may not work for others.

This may be normal in THEIR relationship - they may operate this way regardless of whether the other is with another partner, out with a friend, or by themselves. I can see if partners are often traveling they may have come up with a "keeping in touch" strategy that helps them feel like they are a part of each others day-to-day lives even when they are apart.

For us, we usually txt/touch base when we are coming/going or plans have changed - so we all generally know where the others are at. For instance, I send the boys a txt when I am leaving the office to come home. They txt me if they are going out for the evening and roughly when they expect to be back.

"I have spoken to her about it and that I feel it is disrespectful to my time with him, but she says...I have to get used to it." I think it is perfectly acceptable to request some txt/call free time while you are with Bob, since your time with him is so limited anyway. It's a little disheartening that she is so dismissive of what seems like a reasonable request. What's Bob's take on this? Have you spoken to him about this? (It is his phone after all...he can turn the damn thing off if he wants to.) Maybe HE is the one that needs the constant reassurance that his wife is thinking of him...

Quote:
Originally Posted by westVan View Post
I do go to the town that they live in for work about every 3 months for a few days but Bob is not permitted to see me while I am in town. At first it was because they had child that was living at home, ok I get that, but the child now live 500miles away going to college. And Bob is still not “permitted” to spend time with me while I am there, not even get together for a coffee.
This seems a bit puzzling. What is the reasoning behind these rules now that the child is out of the house? Does Fred ever go and see Ann in Bob/Ann's city? Do they live in a small town where people are likely to recognize Bob and gossip? Are there professional considerations? Family that lives close by that might get tipped off? Again, what is Bob's take on this? He is a grown man - "my wife won't let me" seems like a lame explanation without more information.


Quote:
Originally Posted by westVan View Post
...I was hoping he would want to spend an extra day here and we could spend a day together just relaxing and enjoying the spring weather. But it doesn’t sound like something that is even crossed his mind. I would bring it up but I feel like I would be begging for a little much needed time with him, and I know it would cause difficulties for him when he got back home.
It sounds like you are over-thinking this bit a little. It's not "begging" to suggest something that you would like. "Hey Bob, I was thinking it would be great if somehow we could swing it that you could spend an extra day here so that we can spend a day together just relaxing and enjoying the spring weather." He can then take that suggestion and roll with it...or NOT. It's HIS job to decide whether or not that would break any agreements that HE has with his wife and negotiate with her for what he wants.

Quote:
Originally Posted by westVan View Post
So what do I do? Do I continue this relationship the way it is because this is what poly relationship are or is it that I am with a selfish man who only wants things his way and the demands of his wife because she is the “Primary” and makes the rules.
You do what you do in ANY relationship. You decide if you are getting what you want/need out of the relationship. You talk to your partner(s) and see if a compromise can be reached. If not, you consider your options and do what is best for YOU. There is NO "this is what poly relationship are" - this is what their/your relationship is now. That may change/it may not. If not, then...your course of action is up to you.


JaneQ
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MrS: hetero polyflexible male, live-in husband (together 21+ yrs)
Dude: hetero poly male, live-in boyfriend (together 3+ yrs) and MrS's best friend
Lotus: poly bi female, "it's complicated" relationships with Dude/JaneQ/MrS
TT: poly bi male, married to Lotus, FB with JaneQ
VV and MsJ: bi-women with male primaries, LTR LDR FWBs to JaneQ


My poly blogs on this site:
The Journey of JaneQSmythe
The Notebook of JaneQSmythe
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  #5  
Old 03-09-2013, 11:40 PM
WhatHappened WhatHappened is offline
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BF's wife rarely calls or texts when we're together. At 14 months into this, if she did, I'd have an issue for the simple reason that she and BF agreed to seeing other people outside their marriage, and to my mind, that gives them some obligation to remember those other people they want to have fun with are people, not toys for their amusement, people who have some rights to be respected, too.

I'd have a huge problem with being told we can't get together even for coffee, once every three months. Ultimately, of course, Bob is agreeing to this 'rule.'

I personally wouldn't continue seeing someone under these conditions.
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  #6  
Old 03-10-2013, 12:41 AM
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Vixtoria Vixtoria is offline
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I just ran this past hubby just to see if we are on the same page. Honestly that's the best part of this forum, when one of us sees a situation like this we run it past the other to see how we would react. Now I am the poly one, and this started as cheating. The person I had the affair with is not who I am with now.

This is, however, the first totally open and honest, above board, poly relationship we have had. I've been with bf over a year now, but hubby and I have been married 18 years. We both agree the phone calls, is too much. On my first EVER visit to see another man, the first time we'd be apart, hundreds of miles away, first time bf and I would have sex, a lot of firsts, a lot of anxiety. YET, I called to say I got there safe. I texted a signal we had to let hubby know we had actually had sex the first time. I was there over a week in all and there were not phone calls every day let alone every hour!

Yes, we wanted to stay connected, and we did with a few calls, and yes a private pic while apart. We made sure to spend time decompressing when we saw each other again and reconnect, but neither of us felt like we needed constant contact apart! Not that bf would have minded, he often asked if I wanted to call, and when the trip was extended for emergency reasons, helped set up skype so I could see my kids.

I dislike the idea that the primary relationship automatically has the rules in place and you deal. I know many people feel this way and that's why there seems to be a bit of a prejudice against married couples seen.

Hubby and I have certain boundaries we discuss yes. That's for OUR relationship. The boundaries bf and I discuss are for OUR relationship. When there is overlap, we all discuss it and work it out. Sometimes not to everyone's satisfaction but in those cases we typically put a time line on it. "Let's do this so no one is pushed too far on personal comfort and discuss it again in X months okay?"
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Old 03-10-2013, 02:50 AM
dingedheart dingedheart is offline
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Do you continue because this is the way poly relatioships are? I'd say who cares how they are .....what do you want. I didn't read the other posters so this might be redundant ...but it looks like your good enough when things line up for him and his wife. The big IF. If I'm in town ...( in your town ) ...if I got time ....if the weathers not too bad ...if my wife give's me my balls ( kept in her purse ) ....if I don't have a heavy meal or one containing MSG.

Id find someone a tad more invested or at least closer to what you want out of the relationship.

How did you find this guy ?
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Old 03-11-2013, 05:33 PM
westVan westVan is offline
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thank you everyone,
you've all given me allot to think about.
Thank you again for the time you took to respond
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  #9  
Old 03-14-2013, 02:08 AM
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kdt26417 kdt26417 is offline
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If I'm understanding right: You don't see Bob often, which you're okay with because you have a lot of independence; however, you feel that since your opportunities to see Bob are so limited, you should get just a little more privacy (i.e., have it be "just you-and-Bob time"), and, you should get a little more opportunity to see Bob when you can.

I think those are reasonable things to want, even if Bob and Ann have a different arrangement that is incompatible with what you want. Perhaps it just comes down to a question of whether to keep the relationship with Bob going, if he and Ann are unwilling to compromise a little more, but I would at least discuss your feelings with Bob first and find out if there is a chance of some compromise.

That's how I see it anyway.
Regards,
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Old 03-14-2013, 03:30 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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I am sorry you hurt. Let me try to reflect this back to you in the way I understand it so far, ok? Maybe that could help you. I am guessing in some places. I could guess wrong.

ISSUE 1
Where / When: Laying in your lovers arms in the afterglow of sex.

What: he's talking about his wife’s partner and how that relationship isn’t going well.

My Willingness: I am not willing to talk about Ann stuff at this time. He might be feeling close and connected to me at after sex to disclose his feelings about things in his life, including his wife's stuff. But I am not receptive at that time.

WHAT I COULD DO ABOUT IT
  • If not willing ever -- I could tell him I am not willing ever to talk about his wife stuff.
  • If willing, but not at this time -- I could tell him I am willing, but not in the immediate after sex time.
  • If I am willing to change my mind after consideration? I could tell him I am willing to listen to wife stuff right after sex with him after all. (What does it take for me to be willing to change my mind? Are my needs being affect by "ANN BEHAVIOR" or by how "BOB DEALS WITH ANN BEHAVIOR" in other areas of my life I do not like that make me unwilling to gift Bob my listening ears?

My own preference at this time in this issue is _____?
ISSUE 2
I have a need for my time with Bob to be my time with Bob free from interruptions.

I am willing for him to check in when he arrives with his wife and meet basic considerateness needs toward wife.

I find him giving her frequent updates "along the way" of our dates like
  • he has to call her before we go out for dinner
  • when we return from dinner and give her updates of what we are doing.

not meeting my need for uninterrupted time when we are on a date. I do not feel appreciated or valued when he does that because he demonstrates a willingness to meet her needs, but not a willingness to also meet mine concurrently.

What I could do:

What I could ask of myself:
  • I could ask me to check in with my partner about issues in our relationship FIRST before asking his wife about issues in our relationship. She's not in the (Me + Bob) tier of relationship.

I could ask him to talk to me about finding a way to meet wife's need while meeting my need at the same time.
  • Check in with her NOT in my presence -- do it when you are in the bathroom?
  • Limit the check in times to this number (a number I can live with that is more than my ideal but less than what I am getting right now so I can feel improvement in my situation)
  • Limit the check in times to a TIME -- bedtime goodnight checkin with the wife.

So far I have asked the wife to not need her need. She's not willing to not need her need. (And when I ask her to not need her needs, I set me up for being perceived as a threat and her fearing her need will go unmet while I'm around. Maybe that's why she has to "make all the rules" in the polyship. Food for thought, eh?)
  • I could ask her again in a different way -- "Could your need for connection with Bob still be met with another method? I have a need to have uninterrupted dates. Could a goodnight check in at the end of the date serve your need and my need at the same time ok enough so both of us get needs met? Could you be willing to try that out next time to see how that flies?"

ISSUE 3:
I would like to see Bob when I am in their town. At the present time, it is a LIMIT I previously accepted. I find this limit hard to deal with at this new point in time. I could...
  • Talk to Bob about renegotiating the limit. Is he willing to change the limit so he can spend time with me when I'm in town?

    If he is willing for the limit to change, we could then ask Ann if she is also willing for the limit to change. What are her needs that still would have to be met by a new limit agreement? (Discretion? Chores done at home? What?)
ISSUE 4:

I want to spend time with Bob. There is opportunity at this business trip coming up to make the time to spend together if he's willing to extend his stay.

I am not willing to bring up the topic and ask him if he is willing to extend his stay. Though I want to spend the time with him, I am not willing to bring it up because:
  • I am disappointed he has not suggested it first. I am afraid to find out that it has not even crossed his mind. I've been feeling undervalued and struggle with wanting to meet my need to be considered with / without my actually having to state the need out loud.
  • I feel like I would be begging for his time if I try to meet my own need for companionship from Bob by making him aware I have that need. I expect / do no expect myself to articulate my needs to my partner.
  • I feel undervalued because he does not share more of his time without my having to ask for it. I want/ do not want him to mind reader my needs.
  • I want to be considered by Bob and valued by Bob. (Does Bob do considerate behaviors toward you? Does Bob do valuing you behaviors toward you? Do you do considerate behaviors toward yourself like meeting your own need? Do you do valuing behaviors for yourself? )

    (Do you note how these mixed up feeling things can be separated by going with "behavior done/ not done by WHO? To make sure all things possible are being done by all people in the polyship?)
  • Bob choosing to spend extra time with me could mean he has to change time spent at home with his wife because he would not be at home if he's somewhere else. (Yep. He cannot be in two places at once.)
  • I do/ do not like dealing with Ann's reaction to sharing Bob time. (Info not given.)
  • I do/do not like to have to watch Bob deal with Ann reaction to sharing Bob time. (Info not given.)

    So I do / don't meet my own need to spend time with Bob by asking him if he is willing to spend time with me. When given these choices...

    A) Expecting myself to assert myself in making my needs known to my partner Bob
    b) Expecting Bob to let me know if he is willing or not willing to participate with me in spending time together once he is aware of my need
    C) letting my needs go unarticulated and unmet


    I pick.... ?

Quote:
So what do I do? Do I continue this relationship the way it is because this is what poly relationship are or is it that I am with a selfish man who only wants things his way and the demands of his wife because she is the “Primary” and makes the rules.
Well... assess all the players.


Are You making your needs known? Yes/no?

Is Bob, once aware of your needs, willing to try to meet both your needs and Ann needs? Yes/no? Why/why not?

Is Bob meeting the needs/not meeting the needs of both his partners. Yes/no? Why or why not?

If you are in a primary-secondary open relationship model and you signed up with "Ann makes the rules" in place? Those are the rules you agreed to, dude.
  • Primary people get X.
  • Secondary people get Y.

Your options are

a) deal with the rules staying how they are.

b) Ask Bob and Ann if they are willing to meet with you. Make them aware of your changing needs. Ask if the polyship agreements in this model could change a bit to meet and accommodate your needs -- could they be willing to entertain that? Still a primary-secondary model but adjust enough to meet all the people's needs? Change to a new model that could meet all the people's needs better at this point in time?

c) stay in the polyship

d) leave the polyship

e) Something else I cannot think of right now.

Or some mix and match thing from options above. Life is not a dress rehearsal. You only get the one. Choose how you want to live your Life well.

HTH!
Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 03-14-2013 at 04:06 PM.
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