Polyamory.com Forum  

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

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 04-12-2013, 06:49 AM
CharlotteSometimes CharlotteSometimes is offline
New Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 4
Default Saturation from my Metamours?

So I am fairly new to this whole poly thing, nine months ago my (wonderful) guy asked me to go out with him and I accepted, knowing that he was poly. I'm really enjoying the vast majority of the relationship/lifestyle but I'm struggling in other areas.

Quick overview, he lives with his main partner (of nearly twenty years) and then has me and one other in committed relationships (ours is d/s based, although I don't think it's relevant to the situation other than I am the only one he does that with). He also has other male/female partners who he doesn't see very often, but who may have been going on for some time. I live almost three hours away from him so we don't get to hang out as much as we'd like.

Now, I love his long term partner, she is wonderful. And I am completely happy with their relationship (and the fact sometimes I get to be part of that relationship ) and I love his other committed partner (although I sometimes get a little jealous when they see each other, but I figure that's ok, it's mostly because she's closer to him than me and sees him a little more).

Recently I've been struggling with two things. Firstly he seems to have so many partners sometimes (maybe not partners, maybe people 'on the go' that he's talking to and potentially playing with, although that's not a nice way of putting it) that I struggle to keep up with them. I find just keeping up with the people he is dating/potentially dating/playing with (etc) a job all to itself. I literally feel like through his partners, *I* have reached my saturation point! I feel like I have very little emotion left over to give anyone else once I've finished thinking about his life, certainly not enough left over for me to maintain another relationship of my own! Is this something I'll just get used to over time?

Secondly I get frustrated and jealous of the time he spends scouring the internet and meeting people with a view to future playdates/relationships/etc. I know rationally that this isn't time he could spend with me because of the distance, but I become frustrated easily when he always seems to be going out for coffee with people (a couple of times a week at the moment) and can quite easily find myself feeling a little hurt and rejected.

I'm just really wondering if these feelings are normal for someone new to poly. Like I said, I'm totally cool with his two other main partners and to be honest, I think we make a lovely little 'family' type group (as well as their main partners). But I am finding it hard to navigate the storm waters outside of this little group, if that makes sense.

I suppose maybe it is because I'm not into playdates/casual/less-committed type relationships myself that I find it difficult to see him enjoying himself in that way. (And that's important - it's part of him and I don't want to change him because it would make me unhappy to think he was just doing what I wanted him to).

We talk about this stuff quite a bit, he is keen to make me happy obviously, and he wants me to be comfortable with who he is, but I also know he is nervous about me being a little flighty about it. I know he's had problems in the past with partners new to poly who just couldn't handle it in the end, so I'm really trying to put the leg work in here to try and work out if there's anything I can get a grip on, so to speak.

Any thoughts?
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 04-12-2013, 02:28 PM
opalescent opalescent is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: US
Posts: 1,291
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlotteSometimes View Post
Recently I've been struggling with two things. Firstly he seems to have so many partners sometimes (maybe not partners, maybe people 'on the go' that he's talking to and potentially playing with, although that's not a nice way of putting it) that I struggle to keep up with them. I find just keeping up with the people he is dating/potentially dating/playing with (etc) a job all to itself. I literally feel like through his partners, *I* have reached my saturation point! I feel like I have very little emotion left over to give anyone else once I've finished thinking about his life, certainly not enough left over for me to maintain another relationship of my own! Is this something I'll just get used to over time?

Secondly I get frustrated and jealous of the time he spends scouring the internet and meeting people with a view to future playdates/relationships/etc. I know rationally that this isn't time he could spend with me because of the distance, but I become frustrated easily when he always seems to be going out for coffee with people (a couple of times a week at the moment) and can quite easily find myself feeling a little hurt and rejected....

I suppose maybe it is because I'm not into playdates/casual/less-committed type relationships myself that I find it difficult to see him enjoying himself in that way. (And that's important - it's part of him and I don't want to change him because it would make me unhappy to think he was just doing what I wanted him to).
My first thought is why do you need to? You did not mention any concerns about him breaking agreements or being untrustworthy. As long as he is keeping his agreements and meeting your needs, his casual encounters are not your business. If you are spending this much emotional energy on something that isn't your concern and it is causing you this much pain, stop doing it.

Usually I'm all about more communication but maybe you don't need to know that he is trolling the intertubes for dates or play partners or that he has a coffee date with so and so. Maybe you don't ask for more information if he mentions he has a date lined up for Wednesday next. Maybe you ask him not to tell you about said coffee dates. I get wanting to know his daily life but maybe less information is better in this situation.

It's ok to be jealous that some random hookups are getting time with 'your' man that you can't enjoy because of distance. Some things about long distance relationships can't be changed - like limited time together - and just have to be accepted. Sometimes just acknowledging that one is jealous AND that there is nothing that can be done about it to yourself and to him is helpful in accepting that jealousy and moving on.

And you have different ways of doing ethical non-monogamy. You are fine with his committed partners, other than the totally normal tinge of jealousy that they get time with him that you don't. You seem very comfortable and happy being part of a committed poly 'family'. I suspect a polyfi situation would probably suit you very well.

But, as you know, that's not who he is. Sounds like he does poly with a side of open. And that's a fine way to 'do' poly. Lots of people do. He seems to be ethical about it. You don't have to accept casual involvements as something you would want to accept it in him. His casual dates and play partners have nothing to do with you. They don't reflect on you. And, except for your concern about them, they don't impact your relationship with him.

Long story short, stop trying to keep up with the Joneses. You're not in competition with his casual hookups. You've already 'won'. Enjoy your victory and move on.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 04-12-2013, 05:05 PM
WhatHappened WhatHappened is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 526
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlotteSometimes View Post
...he seems to have so many partners...that I struggle to keep up with them. I find just keeping up with the people he is dating/potentially dating/playing with (etc) a job all to itself....I feel like I have very little emotion left over to give anyone else once I've finished thinking about his life...
Is he talking to you constantly about these other people or his searches or his issues or ups and downs with them?


Quote:
Secondly I get frustrated and jealous of the time he spends scouring the internet and meeting people with a view to future playdates/relationships/etc. I know rationally that this isn't time he could spend with me because of the distance....
I'm speaking admittedly from only partial information, but I'd partially disagree. Time is finite. Time spent scouring the internet for more dates and time spent going out on those dates IS time he might potentially have used to see you. Do you always get together in your town, his town, meet halfway, alternate?

Quote:
I am finding it hard to navigate the storm waters outside of this little group, if that makes sense.
I guess same as my question above...but is it all stormy waters with him? Lots of drama? Telling you about it all the time? Wanting your input or sympathy? If so, I can understand why you feel exhausted 'keeping up' with his life. But I'm not clear if that's what's happening.


Quote:
he is keen to make me happy obviously, and he wants me to be comfortable with who he is, but I also know he is nervous about me being a little flighty about it.
What does it mean to be 'flighty about it?' Do you think you're flighty about it or does he say you are?


Quote:
I know he's had problems in the past with partners new to poly who just couldn't handle it in the end, so I'm really trying to put the leg work in here to try and work out if there's anything I can get a grip on, so to speak.
I'll be honest, I have a huge problem with the concept that someone 'can't handle' another's lifestyle. My BF said this to me almost from the start: "You're smart enough to handle it." No, sorry, intelligence has nothing to do with it. There are smart people who like the lifestyle and smart people who don't wish to live that way. I enjoy our time together, our conversations, lots of things, but there are inherent problems with dating a married man, and if/ when those problems outweigh the benefits, it doesn't mean my IQ suddenly dropped. :-)

If someone prefers monogamy, that has nothing to do with intelligence...or any other measure of ability to 'handle it.' He's had partners in the past who apparently don't want to live a poly life. That's their right. Perhaps they're out on another board somewhere saying, "I've had problems in the past with guys wanting to be poly."

Perhaps I'm reading into it, from my own previous experiences with this phrase or whatever...but it seems to me it's a little bit of emotional blackmail along the lines of, "Oh, poor me, I've had so many problems with people not accepting me, don't be like them." My feeling is that we can love someone, we can like them, they can be great company, but sometimes it's still not a compatible match for a relationship. You get to decide if this lifestyle is right for you. You get to decide if you want a relationship that includes a supporting cast of dozens of metamours and whatever storm waters these are. You get to decide if you want to have a relationship with someone who is using his finite time to look for ever more partners and hook ups and coffees when chances are some of that time could be used for you. I'm not saying dump him or anything like that, just don't twist yourself into pretzels trying to change yourself into someone you weren't, and accepting something if it really does make you uncomfortable and unhappy.

Last edited by WhatHappened; 04-12-2013 at 05:08 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 04-12-2013, 05:45 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 2,956
Default

Whatever you feel is valid. It's your feelings. But if you are feeling "meh" about some parts of your relationship? Could sit with it a bit and figure out what your OWN preferences are and if this is meeting your wants, needs, and limits.

Is he meeting your "time share" needs? If he is not meeting your "time share needs" then he's just not spending enough time with you to keep the thing going between you. So I could see where knowing/seeing him spend his time elsewhere could grate. Time for coffee with someone? Maybe you hoped it could be used for a good phone call or Skype visit with you.

If hearing about his other relationship up-and-down dramas drains you, it drains you. Could ask to stop being told TMI details.

If you DO want to share close details but he's just got so many people you are over-saturated with other people details? He's got more people in his poly network than you can deal with then. That doesn't mean you cannot handle poly at all. It means your saturation point is different. Could decide if this is something you want to live with as the "price of admission" to be with him or if you rather give him up and seek a more compatible polysaturation point person(s).

Is this open relationship model a model you resonate best with? Maybe you prefer a different model? Again, doesn't mean you cannot "do" poly. Just may be that this flavor of poly isn't your style.

I agree with Opalescent. Maybe you are discovering that you dig the "closed polyfi" route more than the "poly with a side of Open" route? If so, that's fine. Everyone can like what they like.

So yeah... "normal" in the sense that dating is that time. The time to assess compatibility of the dating partner. Not all dating partners are going to be as compatible as others.

Just have to decide what YOU value most here and what YOU are after at this time. Poly comes in many flavors -- not all of them will be your cup of tea. Even within the same person -- what poly shapes they want at different ages/times of their life could change.

Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 04-12-2013 at 05:50 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 04-12-2013, 06:44 PM
Nox Nox is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Texas
Posts: 202
Default

Love the username, Charlotte
__________________
Me: 40 straight male in a V with
Wife: Kay - mono female - married 18 years
LDR girlfriend: Susan - poly female - 3 year relationship
Stakes - very intimate friend
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 04-13-2013, 02:58 AM
nycindie's Avatar
nycindie nycindie is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: The Big Apple
Posts: 7,209
Default

Two things stand out to me.

First, I think you need to focus less on him when you're not with him. You are too preoccupied with what he's doing, who he's with, trying to keep track of who's who, how he manages his time, etc., while you need to engage more in your own life. Do you get out with friends, socialize, have hobbies? Invest in your career, your home, perhaps other potential beaus, and even just flirtations? Find something to be passionate about and throw yourself into it! It sounds like you have made him the central focus in your life, and that is why you get upset -- because you obviously cannot be at the center of his.

Second, you may always have a degree of discomfort or dissatisfaction in this situation if you are not into having more casual relationships. Given how many other partners he has, and the distance between you which naturally limits the time you can spend together, it would seem that this just will never be as committed and full-time as you would prefer. This doesn't make you flighty. It may mean, however, that ultimately you are not compatible in ways that are important to you.

Relationships shouldn't be angst-producing. If the scales are too often tipping in the direction of frustration and dissatisfaction instead of joy and fun, then maybe it's not the right relationship for you!
__________________
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
  #7  
Old 04-14-2013, 07:09 PM
CharlotteSometimes CharlotteSometimes is offline
New Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 4
Default

First of all, thank you for all the replies. I have read them over the weekend but couldn't really reply easily on the iPhone!

Quote:
Originally Posted by opalescent View Post
My first thought is why do you need to? You did not mention any concerns about him breaking agreements or being untrustworthy. As long as he is keeping his agreements and meeting your needs, his casual encounters are not your business.
I suppose I find the idea of that being 'none of my business' just not a nice thought. It is my business, I'm his girlfriend! Maybe that's just me though, I just like to know. I'm interested in what he's doing with his time (not in a weird, stalker way but rather in a 'Hey honey, what did you get up to today?' kind of way).

Actually what I find really frustrating on occasion is that he doesn't tell me beforehand what he's doing, he feels quite secretive. So when he sees other girlfriends or partners, the day after I might say 'Oh, what did you get up to last night, I noticed you weren't online', and then he'll tell me that he spend the night with so-and-so.

Is it 'normal' to want to know beforehand? I'm not asking for details or anything (nor am I particularly interested) it just feels sometimes like he's hiding things by not telling me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by opalescent View Post
His casual dates and play partners have nothing to do with you. They don't reflect on you. And, except for your concern about them, they don't impact your relationship with him.

Long story short, stop trying to keep up with the Joneses. You're not in competition with his casual hookups. You've already 'won'. Enjoy your victory and move on.
The thing is though, clearly they do impact my relationship with him, otherwise I wouldn't be posting here.

And I find the concept of 'winning' at a relationship just... well... distasteful really. I've not 'won' him, he's not mine to keep, I didn't do anything to get him. He's no more 'mine' than any other of his partners. To me 'winning' a partner and feeling smug about it, well that's everything I didn't like about monogamy!
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 04-14-2013, 07:20 PM
CharlotteSometimes CharlotteSometimes is offline
New Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 4
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
Two things stand out to me.

First, I think you need to focus less on him when you're not with him. You are too preoccupied with what he's doing, who he's with, trying to keep track of who's who, how he manages his time, etc., while you need to engage more in your own life. Do you get out with friends, socialize, have hobbies? Invest in your career, your home, perhaps other potential beaus, and even just flirtations? Find something to be passionate about and throw yourself into it! It sounds like you have made him the central focus in your life, and that is why you get upset -- because you obviously cannot be at the center of his.
I think you're right, and this is something that I've been thinking myself recently. I've been in and out of work since we got together (moving location meant I lost my job soon after I started dating him, then a month and a bit ago I was made redundant) and I'm not hopeful to get anything now until I start university in September so I've got quite a bit of free time on my hands.

I do obviously fill my time (not always very constructively, I admit) with rowing and powerlifting (that's about 20 hours a week between them) and also studying (which takes up as much time as I can stand) but I do have a bit of a hole in my life at the moment I suppose. It doesn't help that he contracts so can be very, very busy for a while and then (like the last few weeks) have no work and is therefore in the same situation as myself.

I suppose I've squared the not being centre of his world thing. I'm never going to be more important than his long term partner, and nor do I want to be (that would require actually taking responsibility for him and stuff like that, which is one of the reasons that poly appeals - I can just live on my own without another person to consider tooooo deeply).

Quote:
Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
Second, you may always have a degree of discomfort or dissatisfaction in this situation if you are not into having more casual relationships. Given how many other partners he has, and the distance between you which naturally limits the time you can spend together, it would seem that this just will never be as committed and full-time as you would prefer. This doesn't make you flighty. It may mean, however, that ultimately you are not compatible in ways that are important to you.
Yes, again I think you're right. I'm moving closer to him come September so I suppose things might change a little and we'll spend more time together. It would be nice to be able to go to the cinema at short notice, or just hang our for lunch and an afternoon at the art galleries. At the moment it tends to be a longish weekend a month which is quite hard and ends up quite intense and draining to be honest!

Quote:
Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
Relationships shouldn't be angst-producing. If the scales are too often tipping in the direction of frustration and dissatisfaction instead of joy and fun, then maybe it's not the right relationship for you!
At the moment the balance is ok. It's angsty at times for various reasons but then when I'm with him (and this is totally cheesy) it's like the most perfect thing in the world.

I guess every relationship has it's problems and nothing is ever perfect, just depends how things work out in the future as to how it goes.
Reply With Quote
Reply

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 05:43 AM.