New to Living Poly
Three weeks ago I took the plunge and moved to FW with IV and CV. The three of us got an apartment together. IV is my first fully independent poly relationship and this is my first time living as a "v".
Dating IV for a year and having interacted with CV a number of times, we figured it was worth a shot. They were moving to FW at the beginning of the year anyway and I was not overjoyed at the idea of so much distance between IV and I. Since I work from home I can be located pretty much anywhere. We discussed our space needs, talked about the finances (though we need to do a little bit more talking on that front), and how IV might split her time between CV and I.
I need my own space, including my own bathroom if at all possible. Since rent is SO CHEAP in FW this proved to be a non-issue. IV and CV share a room and bathroom while I have my own room and bathroom (perfect!). When CV brought up how we might work out how often she sleeps with each of us IV suggested that it would stay much the way that it was before moving. That is, she'd stay with CV most of the time and would stay with me a couple of nights a week. As I said, I like my space and having her company a few nights a week sounded like a good arrangement, at least as a starting point.
I moved in, getting settled, and tragedy struck. There was a death in IVs family. Not only was the death itself bad enough but it was even more complex because it was a suicide. So LOTS of emotions on her part. She traveled out to the funeral, stayed about a week and then came home. This is when something happened that I hadn't expected.
IV came home and was her usual affectionate self to me but has not slept in my bed since. It's been two weeks.
I've been pondering this reaction and it makes sense. She's been with CV through thick and thin for upwards of 9 years. It is reasonable that she turns to the person she has this relationship with for comfort. To be clear, she and I have had many lengthy conversations, she has laid in my lap and bared her every feeling to me, so I do not feel that I am being cast aside in that regard. She still considers my relationship valuable and has made it abundantly clear. However, in her most vulnerable hour, when she sleeps and wakes to face the day, she has done this with CV exclusively.
She asked me pointedly about my emotional state the other day because I was clearly getting cranky. Work was being a bother and I was beginning to work through my emotions about our lack of "rack time". I told her I was having difficulty with the living situation, more so than I imagined I would have. She responded that she was too, that she and CV both were a little surprised about how much she latched on to him after the death in the family. She also said that she hoped that things would return to normal soon, once she gets her emotions better in hand. I didn't get into any further details, she sounds like she knows what is going on more or less and I am VERY cautious about putting pressure on her grieving.
Now, here I am, struggling to separate out my feelings, not let them get bunched up with resentment and unrelated childhood loss issues. I'm working on an intellectual level to remember that she is grieving and that people deal with that in a myriad of ways. I'm keeping in context that her relationship with CV is different from her relationship with me and that it is unreasonable to presume they should mirror one another equally.
But... my feelings are hurt.
I feel like I am a "secondary" to a married couple. Which is EXACTLY the kind of arrangement I am not at all interested in.
When I had my own place and we would go through periods of not seeing each other for a couple of weeks at a time and it was no big deal, I would miss her company but there was a physical separation (we didn't live together) and it didn't prompt sore feelings on my part. But seeing her every day, talking with her, kissing her, touching her feet while she talks, and then not being able to listen to her breath as she sleeps next to me is... well, worse. I don't know, maybe it's because the carrot is RIGHT FREAKING THERE and I don't get to share it with CV.
Anyway, I need to have an explicit conversation with her about what I'm going through but there are some guidelines:
1. Let her know that I am desirous of her in my bed. I want to be clear to her that, just because I am being patient and backing off that this should not be mistaken as a lack of desire to sleep with her.
2. Make her aware that her current approach is not my preference. My goal is not to get her to come to bed with me. My goal is instead to make sure that she is aware that I desire her and that I am dealing with some emotions related to her absence. If I don't explicitly tell her, how can she know that there is a possible problem brewing in the wings?
3. Do not pressure her to change her behavior to sate my feelings. I want her in my bed because she wants to be there. My hope is that I am informing and encouraging, not emotionally bullying or shaming.
I hope to have this conversation with her tomorrow if she is not at work. Often times we have several hours together throughout the day and that will be a perfect opportunity. I'm a little nervous about it, not because I think she will be anything but incredibly receptive but because direct and adult confrontation makes me nervous. I'm better at bottling up and exploding like a child - ah family inheritance.
This is not a private entry. Feel free to chime in if you have something constructive to add.
Independent (Anarchist) Non-Monogamy
Me: male, 40, straight, single
Last edited by Marcus; 03-19-2013 at 03:03 AM. Reason: Subscribed to thread