Polyamory.com Forum  

Go Back   Polyamory.com Forum > Polyamory > Poly Relationships Corner

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #21  
Old 04-06-2013, 03:30 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 2,806
Default

Mind readering. Ugh.

You gave her the chance for an "out" when you realized you didn't get a solid yes from her.

How about apply reassure? And let her own her yucky feelings? Be supportive as she deals with them, but don't play mind reader games. Maybe something like...

"I am sorry it did not go how you wanted it to go. I see you are hurting and I want you to know I do love you and I want to be with you.

I offered to cancel it if you were not comfortable. You said you were ok so I believed you.

I cannot mind reader you. Thank you for telling me now. I expect you to continue to tell me things you want me to know. This is good. Now I know what you want next time.

For what it is worth, I thought it went fine. J checked in and she thought it was fine. So if this is about anxiety with a new thing... you were lovely. We are all learning how to be together here in a new way.

I love you and want to be with you. How would you like to move it forward from here? If you need extra reassure in the moment? What's our bat signal gonna be? Squeezing my hand? "


Offer her a face saving "out." Hug her to reassure. Tell her you are willing to meet her needs (on this thing) now that you KNOW them. Tell her if she lets you know what other future things are you will try to meet them. But you like knowing BEFORE if possible.

Then let it go and expect her to TELL YOU things. You do not mind reader.

Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 04-06-2013 at 04:41 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 04-06-2013, 04:23 AM
SchrodingersCat's Avatar
SchrodingersCat SchrodingersCat is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Saskatchewan
Posts: 2,130
Default

Her reaction reminds me of how I felt a couple months ago, when my husband took me out for beers with his railroader work buddies. Right before my eyes, my considerate, loving husband transformed into this crass, insensitive macho. He's in his 40s and the guys who work under him are in their 20s. In my eyes, he basically reverted about 20 years.

At one point, he went out for a smoke with one of his coworkers and told me that the other would keep my entertained. I felt pawned off. I'm an introvert and I don't especially care for talking to strangers, especially when I feel no real connection as was the case here. When someone takes me out to meet people, I expect them to keep the conversation gears greased.

It would appear that R struggles to be open with you. My husband does, too. That's why when he finally does work up the courage to say something painful but important, I listen with my rabbit ears pointed straight up. He doesn't make those comments lightly, and dismissing or negating them would be the quickest way to clam him up for good.

Maybe she's being overly sensitive. So what? She's asking you for help and support, and even giving you very specific, unambiguous examples of how she'd like you to behave next time.

When you choose to date a sensitive person, you can't just expect them to suck it up. They'll need a little more support and compassion than some people. Providing that support is the price of admission.

When my husband took me out for beers that night, he felt that the evening was good fun, as did his buddies. THEY were all having a grand old time, hitting on the waitress and making objectifying comments at the table full of women celebrating a birthday beside us. Quite frankly, their opinion on how the evening went is less than irrelevant to me. I was hurt and offended, and that's all that matters to me. A get together can only be considered successful if all the participants enjoyed themselves.

Going forwards, if you insist on them meeting again and being buddy buddy (not sure that's even necessary, btw), you'll have to man up and take on more of the responsibility in how the evening goes. Ask R how you can help support her. At some point in the evening, take her aside privately and ask how things are going and if there's anything you can do to make it better. In a nutshell, listen to her and help her when she asks for it.
__________________
Gralson: my husband (works out of town).
Auto: my girlfriend (lives with her husband Zoffee).

The most dangerous phrase in the English language is "we've always done it this way."
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 04-06-2013, 04:49 AM
LovingRadiance's Avatar
LovingRadiance LovingRadiance is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Alaska
Posts: 5,044
Default

Hmmm..
I have to agree, my first thoughts were-sounds like she's used to monogamy and that she wasn't prepared for what it's like when the person who she's used to paying her sole attention is sharing that attention.
It can be difficult.
As this was the first meeting-my thought is that it's an excellent intro into discussion of mind readering as galagirl says-and then deeper discussion about expectations and desires.
Like-what do you expect to be able to do when other lovers are there and what does she expect (she seemed pretty confident of what she expected-but it might be good to discuss how that works if it was her who had two lovers in attendance) and go from there..
__________________
"Love As Thou Wilt"
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 04-06-2013, 05:54 AM
Anneintherain's Avatar
Anneintherain Anneintherain is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Seattle-ish
Posts: 819
Default

Ahh stressful. I don't see that you did anything wrong, nobody did, I imagine R didn't know what she'd be feeling until she was already in the middle of it, and an hour is a short enough time that it hopefully would've gone smoothly for all involved even if she had a few moments of angst. I don't know if you'd been open to J about how important she was to you (I'll guess you have been) and perhaps if R didn't know that, she feared without kissing/hugging in front of J, that she was dismissed as a less important partner (LD would contribute to that for a lot of people).

The only thing I could think of to do in the future if the relationship with R continues, is that you go out of your way to ask her what would make her comfortable if she is present with your other partners in the future, and maybe to suggest a "signal" if she needs a break or minute aside with you. That's not so easy during a short sit down visit, but for parties or events should be very workable.

I like all GG's advice except for I probably wouldn't ever say "J checked in and she thought it was fine" in case R is worried about comparing - "J is fine with everything so they are thinking and discussing that there's some problem with me!" New is stressful, I remember a decade ago totally liking my boyfriends new partner but being overwhelmed with the new social situation without an escape plan in place. As long as R is open to communicating about ways to do it better in the future I'd be optimistic. If R is shut off from finding ways to move past the discomfort, then I'd imagine there won't be much chance of moving past a compartmentalized relationship, which has its own thoughts to think about.

I guess my main worry would be her displacing her upset with HERSELF for not speaking up sooner and her upset with YOU onto R (who it seems behaved decently, politely, and friendly like), and I'd be focused on clearing that up before much else.
__________________
Happiness will never come to those who fail to appreciate what they already have.
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 04-06-2013, 06:06 AM
SchrodingersCat's Avatar
SchrodingersCat SchrodingersCat is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Saskatchewan
Posts: 2,130
Default

Other thoughts... as an introvert, I find it more pleasant when "social" engagements aren't just "let's sit around and talk." For example, I really like board games and cards. You inevitably end up talking about random stuff anyway, but having a focus takes the pressure off. No awkward silences. If you're not into board games, there are a million alternatives... bowling, pool, shuffleboard...
__________________
Gralson: my husband (works out of town).
Auto: my girlfriend (lives with her husband Zoffee).

The most dangerous phrase in the English language is "we've always done it this way."
Reply With Quote
  #26  
Old 04-07-2013, 12:26 AM
nycindie's Avatar
nycindie nycindie is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: The Big Apple
Posts: 7,064
Default

My first thought about why it took her so long to tell you about this, was this: It's been built upon in her mind after the fact. While it may be true that R was uncomfortable at the meeting, I wonder if she then related the experience to one or more close friends who are also mono (I don't know what "monogamish" means, really) and who wouldn't have looked at it from a poly perspective.

Without context, it could easily be viewed by someone who doesn't know anything about ethical non-monogamy as inconsiderate, insensitive, and rude for you to have any interaction at all with someone else in front of her. "He did what?!!! Made you sit through that?!! They looked at each other?!! He kissed her?!!! OMG what a cad, you poor thing!"

So maybe some outside opinions from people have poisoned her thoughts about it. She had some discomfort and others' reactions fed into it. We humans are very easily influenced by others, especially when we feel vulnerable, so eventually you hear an opinion over and over again until you think it is your own, and then we start believing it and making it bigger and bigger. If I were you, I'd ask her if she talked to any mono friends about it and, if so, did they offer opinions on the meeting. Start to see if she can deconstruct where the discomfort and upset came from.
__________________
The world opens up... when you do.

Oh, oh, can't you see? Love is the drug for me. ~Bryan Ferry
"Love is that condition in which another person's happiness is essential to your own." ~Robert Heinlein

Last edited by nycindie; 04-07-2013 at 12:29 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #27  
Old 04-07-2013, 06:20 AM
SchrodingersCat's Avatar
SchrodingersCat SchrodingersCat is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Saskatchewan
Posts: 2,130
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
I don't know what "monogamish" means, really
Ugh. It's another one of those stupid words invented by people who need every behaviour to fit into a clean little box.

As I understand the term, coined by The Great Dan Savage, it describes couples who are mostly monogamous. They have flings and random encounters every now and then, but nothing serious.

It doesn't even apply here. This is one of the reasons I hate "ending the conversation" at the label. Terminology like "monogamish" should only be used to introduce a topic and get the discussion started. Since R is not monogamish by the accepted definition, perhaps the OP can fill us in on what that means to her, assuming it's even her word?
__________________
Gralson: my husband (works out of town).
Auto: my girlfriend (lives with her husband Zoffee).

The most dangerous phrase in the English language is "we've always done it this way."
Reply With Quote
  #28  
Old 04-07-2013, 07:02 AM
nycindie's Avatar
nycindie nycindie is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: The Big Apple
Posts: 7,064
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by SchrodingersCat View Post
As I understand the term, coined by The Great Dan Savage, it describes couples who are mostly monogamous. They have flings and random encounters every now and then, but nothing serious.
Well, if someone is "mostly" monogamous, then they are, therefore, not monogamous. Ugh.

I knew the term came from Dan Savage but I have steadfastly refused to look it up because I think it's ridiculous. My refusal is pretty much in the same vein as my refusal to ever read one single article or photo caption about a Kardashian - I deliberately look away. I'm hoping when I'm on my death bed someday in the future, I still won't know which Kardashian is which, nor why they are famous.
__________________
The world opens up... when you do.

Oh, oh, can't you see? Love is the drug for me. ~Bryan Ferry
"Love is that condition in which another person's happiness is essential to your own." ~Robert Heinlein
Reply With Quote
  #29  
Old 04-07-2013, 07:17 AM
BoringGuy BoringGuy is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Nowhere
Posts: 1,647
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
Well, if someone is "mostly" monogamous, then they are, therefore, not monogamous. Ugh.

I knew the term came from Dan Savage but I have steadfastly refused to look it up because I think it's ridiculous. My refusal is pretty much in the same vein as my refusal to ever read one single article or photo caption about a Kardashian - I deliberately look away. I'm hoping when I'm on my death bed someday in the future, I still won't know which Kardashian is which, nor why they are famous.
I'm sorry that you are hurting over this kardashian issue, nycindie. Tell us, is a kardashian like one of those wool sweaters with buttons down the front? Did your mother force you to wear a kardashian to school, where it itched you all day and the other kids made fun of you because it was not a good color? Do you attend Kardashians Anonymous and or Kar-Anon meetings regularly to overcome your cravings and seek support during moments when you are about to reach into the closet and pick up another one? Do you realize that your experience is common as mud? I say this not to belittle your feelings, but to let you know you aren't alone and others before you have worked through the same thing and come out of it a better person after all.

Hang in there!
Reply With Quote
  #30  
Old 04-07-2013, 07:20 AM
nycindie's Avatar
nycindie nycindie is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: The Big Apple
Posts: 7,064
Default

Har-har!!!
__________________
The world opens up... when you do.

Oh, oh, can't you see? Love is the drug for me. ~Bryan Ferry
"Love is that condition in which another person's happiness is essential to your own." ~Robert Heinlein
Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
ldr, meeting a metamour, metamour, metamours, mono-poly, secondary, vees

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 02:53 AM.