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  #71  
Old 03-08-2013, 06:46 PM
BoringGuy BoringGuy is offline
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Originally Posted by FullofLove1052 View Post
I'm soooo bad about saying, "No, nothing's wrong. I'm fine." Then, I'll wake him up at 3 in the morning, so we can talk about what "wasn't" wrong 12 hours ago.

I think the same is happening now only it's months later, and it's like that original yes, no, I'm fine, or extension of an invite to dinner, really meant no or yes, but I wanted you to pick up on that or read between the lines. Subliminal messages. I think we'd have better luck with the morse code. And people say women are complicated! Ha.
People should not use the word "fine" for so many different things. I think it originally meant (in addition to "the opposite of coarse", as with ground coffee beans) that things are neither extremely well nor are they extremely unwell. But now it gets used as kind of a go-to word for when someone wants to shut down a question without really answering. For example, in the most benign iteration I can think of as an example is when you see someone in the hall way at work and go, "How are you" and they say "Fine" meaning "I acknowledge that you said "How are you". You don't expect me to tell you how I really am, do you?" and it's understood between both parties that this is exactly what "fine" means and they don't get in trouble about it because they're not emotionally involved to a significant degree (I'm operating with the set-theory that everything is a "relationship" and if you're saying "How are you" to a person then you are emotionally involved with them to some degree, however casual or ephemeral that involvement may be). But, when it's a relationship that affects your life on multiple levels on an every-day, long-term basis (whatever those things mean to a particular person), asking them "How are you" or "is everything ok" or "is there something wrong", deserves more than just an "I'm fine". Even if you ARE really "fine" according to the definition I gave above (because I own the definition of the word "fine", you already knew that, right?), I think it's healthy and partnerly to ask the other person what was it that made them wonder?

Story time: Not too long after Spouse (I keep typing "Soupse") starting seeing their Other, they started becoming withdrawn and when I asked what was the matter, they said "It isn't you. Other has been asking me the same thing." I let it go but when it didn't get better I checked back again and it was something having to do with work.

I take these things at face value because i trust them, but I'm not sure "fine" would be enough. No, I'm sure "fine" wouldn't be enough. Even if you don't know what's bugging you, you're better off saying "yes, I'm pre-occupied with something right now, I need to think about it more before I talk about it." This seems like stuff you learn in therapy, but I never had therapy (except briefly when I was in high school but I was forced to go, I didn't want to go), I figured it out by myself. My mother had a tendency to say things to me like "you're not SUPPOSED to know this, but you HAVE to know this" (or "do this", etc.) and that mindset kind of leaked into other areas, such as saying what you really think instead of what you think other people will be ok with (which makes a lot of people on the internet dislike me, but in real life it has been labeled "charisma" and "you-should-try-doing-stand-up-comedy - which I have tried, and don't suck at, but I can't keep up the energy required to make a "thing" out of it).

When you say you're "fine" but you really mean "leave me alone", you send a message that messes with a person's perception of reality. As a doctor, you must know a little about how the brain struggles to make sense of sensory input any way it can, for example when prisoners were brought to Auschwitz their brains at first couldn't make sense of it all and they rationalized, "this can't possibly be what it looks like" (I've read lots of stories from Holocaust survivors) which is a way that the mind PROTECTS ITSELF from bad things. If you tell someone you're "fine, really, nothing's wrong" and something IS wrong, you're teaching that person to interpret your demeanor a certain way:

"if you love me, you'd know how i feel"

"if you love me, you'd tell me how you feel"

I hope that you can not only sort this thing out intellectually so that you can accomplish "personal growth" and all the new-agey-indigo-crystal crap, but also that you actually are able to apply your new insights to your life in a practical way - that you not just come to appreciate what makes you all tick, but to be able to modify the way those things affect your life in ways that you would prefer they don't. I'm not sure I'm being clear. It's like, when someone declares that they "are" a certain way because of their upbringing, and make it seem like they have no other choice. Yes, you DO have a choice, you don't HAVE to be a doctor just because your dad was one. Oops, that was not the way I meant it. Cab driver! You don't HAVE to be a cab driver just because your father was one. Or, "my father was an abusive alcoholic. that's why I'm in a co-dependent relationship". Well, I guess we better close the shop, sell the farm, and hit the road. Nothing to see here, move along.

Well that was a lot longer than I intended...
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  #72  
Old 03-08-2013, 07:22 PM
FullofLove1052 FullofLove1052 is offline
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Right! For me, it's almost a programmed response. "It's nothing. I'm fine. Can we talk about something else?" They know "fine" is the keyword that truly means nothing is fine. Shut down mode happens immediately, and it's a calming mechanism. They understand that in my lingo that means, "Now is not the time, but when she wants to talk about about it, I'll be ready." Even at 3 in the morning. I have a habit of isolating myself when something ticks me off. When I emerge, I just offer up information without questions being posed. They're usually burning questions, so I take out the guess work. I had to isolate myself yesterday and meditate. After I finished, I was able to express what was wrong.

Matt just says, "Later," and later could mean anytime. It's never clear. It's like it doesn't bother him immediately or even in that moment, but after he thinks about it for awhile, it hits him. It's like when somebody says something that takes you aback, and it's just incredulous. You look at them squarely, and it doesn't register right off the bat. After it has set in and processed, THEN you respond. That's my hubby.
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  #73  
Old 03-08-2013, 07:44 PM
BoringGuy BoringGuy is offline
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My Other partner says "it's not you, it's me" and that means exactly what it says when they say it. But to many people, "it's not you, it's me" means "there's something about you that I can't stand, but it isn't your fault that I can't stand it".
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  #74  
Old 03-08-2013, 07:47 PM
CherryBlossomGirl CherryBlossomGirl is offline
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Default The Right to be Imperfect, The Right to Change

Here's my two cents. Some communication can be hard. Really hard. There are so many things that factor into our ability to feel strong and brave about communicating our feelings, and so many little things that can skew our perspectives to make it even harder to communicate. Family patterns, insecurities, misguided attempts to be brave, etc. etc. etc. It always makes me shake my head when I see such blatant judgements and projections; to me this forum is for sharing, growing and learning, not condemning people for their shortcomings as human beings!

I think it's pretty harsh to blame Matt for not being able to communicate his feelings to Si. None of us know either of these people, and projecting our own experiences all over him has made him leave his own thread and stop sharing his experience. I feel badly about that.

To me, responsibility falls on EVERYONE, not just Matt. It falls on Si for not ever asking, "Do you two need time alone?" Or checking in to see what was happening for Matt - "How are you feeling about us these days? Is there anything that you need from me?" Where is her self development - time with friends, pursuing interests and hobby, time with self, etc? Why is a full grown adult always at someone else's house and not developing a life of their own too? FullofLove knew that her husband was struggling, but didn't sit Si down and say, "I'm really feeling that Matt needs some time to connect with me right now, and I'd like to start creating some space for that to happen at our home. How can we create some nights for just him and our children to be together without it making you feel excluded?" It all seems to have been shifted to Matt's responsibility; he was the one with issues, so it's all his responsibility? In a respectful partnership, I would think not! I would think that ALL parties should be checking in with each other, giving each other space and time to pursue other interests and relationships, and safe space to express their feelings.

So I call bullshit on pointing the finger at Matt. It frustrates me to no end when people's judgements end up silencing a member on this forum; you want to preach about respect and good communication? Then please be sure that you're giving the people that you're telling that to the same respect and communication skills you're talking about.
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  #75  
Old 03-08-2013, 07:51 PM
BoringGuy BoringGuy is offline
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Quote:
So I call bullshit on pointing the finger at Matt. It frustrates me to no end when people's judgements end up silencing a member on this forum; you want to preach about respect and good communication? Then please be sure that you're giving the people that you're telling that to the same respect and communication skills you're talking about.

I call bullshit on you calling bullshit.

Would you feel better (be less frustrated) if instead of "blaming people for their feelings" we said "holding people accountable for their actions" (or "communicating the opposite of what they're feeling") instead? Because that is essentially what is going on here.

Last edited by BoringGuy; 03-08-2013 at 07:54 PM.
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  #76  
Old 03-08-2013, 08:08 PM
Livingmybestlife Livingmybestlife is offline
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Baggage patrol, you said it better then me. This is my point exactly. No one person can create this situation.
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  #77  
Old 03-08-2013, 08:12 PM
Matt Matt is offline
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This thread has been busy.

Look...I take responsibility for not saying anything and keeping everything inside. I'm human. I have flaws. Every day is a lesson. I'm not apologizing for anything I said to her. I said it. I meant it. It came from the heart. It's not my fault that it was taken wrong or if she got offended. That's her problem. Not my problem. She doesn't want to attend therapy with us? Cool. I'm not losing any sleep.

I have no desire to be around my wife's girlfriend. I'm not even calling her my metamour. Why should I? She's a person, but I am opting not to acknowledge her beyond a professional scope. Out of sight. Out of my mind. I have to work with her, and I am paid to do a job, so the job will get done. I don't have to see her after hours or say anything to her. That's what it is.

Would I prefer if she wasn't at our house or around our children? Yeah, you can say that. On a serious note, shit got real the other day, but I bet my voice was heard.

We'll see how it plays out. Our lives don't have to cross any more than necessary which is on the clock. She may be dating my wife, but I don't have to deal with her or see her more than necessary. I'll keep you guys posted and check in.
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  #78  
Old 03-08-2013, 08:49 PM
CherryBlossomGirl CherryBlossomGirl is offline
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Default Hey look! It's the guy who started the thread!

I am so glad that you posted Matt. Growing, learning, and finding out what I need in life is a process I'm engaged in on a daily basis too. I think it takes strength to speak up and share what you feel, and what other people do with that is not your responsibility. Taking space and time is a good thing, and it sounds like you're working hard to keep things professional at work.

BoringGuy: Judgements and aggressive language seem counterintuitive to encouraging a forum member to find their voice and express their needs to a partner. Are you trying to encourage Matt to get closer to his own truth, or your truth? Are you opening the doors of communication or closing them by holding a stranger "accountable" to the limited perspective that you have on their life situation? Do you feel that it's empowering for others to cast judgement on their ways of being? Human relationships are incredibly complex, as are human emotions. We're all just doing our best, and for me, supporting observations go a lot further than condemnations or judgements.
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  #79  
Old 03-08-2013, 09:11 PM
FullofLove1052 FullofLove1052 is offline
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Thank you! We've all taken responsiblity for our eff ups. It's too late to change anything. Matt has an IDGAF attitude.

I guess the want to be around us was strong. We know we have crazy schedules. We were doing a lot of traveling for business reasons. At one point, I was in Australia. Matt was in London. Si was in Malaysia. Insane. It's normal to miss people. I think that's how she ended up so involved in our marriage recently. Nothing wrong with wanting to be around people you care about, but there's s line. The relationships became one big mess. There was no division. All of the relationships had a different style and approach.

Matt and I talk every day. If something's wrong, he's the first to pick up on it. I miss him even if he has just left. With Si, it isn't like that. We don't have that connection that defies all logic.

With Si, there's something different. She's more understanding because we're both females. It's in her nature to be maternal and to have certain qualities. We can go for days without talking but it works because when we do, it's like there was no break.

IDK about Matt and Si's style. The relationships turned into one and the results were catastrophic. As he's been saying, "I married YOU. Not her, too." We took vows. A mess is what was created.
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Lizzy formerly known as Ry - Me. Panromantic demisexual with a history of polyamorist tendencies. Married to...
Matt - The once distant stranger that I complement beautifully. DH of 12 years and father of our (3) children.
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My Blog
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  #80  
Old 03-08-2013, 09:27 PM
FullofLove1052 FullofLove1052 is offline
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-Duplicate-
__________________
Lizzy formerly known as Ry - Me. Panromantic demisexual with a history of polyamorist tendencies. Married to...
Matt - The once distant stranger that I complement beautifully. DH of 12 years and father of our (3) children.
Closed.

My Blog

Last edited by FullofLove1052; 03-08-2013 at 10:12 PM.
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