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  #1  
Old 09-01-2013, 08:08 PM
gingersnap gingersnap is offline
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Unhappy Uneven Attention

Ok, so I would really love some advice on my current snag.
We've been dating for 7 months, and had multiple check-ins during that time. We are usually pretty happy together, except for my girlfriend. She is having issues with "sharing" the attention (not really the sexual attention. That is an additional matter). But not between her and I or her and her husband, but when her husband and I give each other attention even with her there.

Her example: when we all hang out (on the bed, in the living room etc.) and she "space outs" but when she comes out of it, myself and her husband are talking about other things/playing/wrestling, and she then feels left out. Or she feels left out if she wants to go to bed, and the rest of us dont. So she wont go to bed. She'll stay awake and repeat that she is tired until we go to sleep. So she wants us to constantly check in on her. Or involve her without her just involving herself.


I mean I get it, she grew up as an only child. She tells me how her parents drop everything for her, and when she would go home and visit they would go out of their way to accommodate her, or cancel their own plans (she's now dealing with her parents not dropping their plans for her on her upcoming trip and shes confused by it). And her husband is extremely kind and giving, and hates to see her cry (which is in any situation regarding emotion). He considers himself lucky to have a wife (and now girlfriend) and would rather just change things for her then argue or cause problems or have his own opinions. Its just easier for him to change and go with whatever she decides. So shes always been the center of attention.

I dont understand it because I give her the same attention I give her husband, and he gives her much more attention then he gives me (which I dont have a problem with). But I feel like she is expecting this relationship to be more of a V (with her at the bottom) instead of the triangle it was ment to be. And I dont know how to talk to her about this.

I dont want to cater to her, because Im not responsible for her insecurities, and I dont think that its fair. Its also confusing to me because I want to also receive attention from him, but he then has to overcompensate to her (especially if he and I have sex. He has to then make sure she feels like she received the same amount I got...even though they live together and have sex together all the time without me.) But if I dont cater to her and be more comfortable and myself, then she feels left out or overshadowed by me. This isnt going to work if I have to constantly be catering or tiptoeing around my girlfriend.

Any advice is appreciated!
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  #2  
Old 09-01-2013, 08:42 PM
monkeystyle monkeystyle is offline
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If she's got significant insecurities, bringing them to light won't do much good unless she desires to improve them for herself.

As for you, if you have a partner like this you'll find yourself adjusting to whatever insecurities she's going through in a particular day, in order to keep the peace. And eventually you'll resent it and start biting your tongue, or resort to sharp exchanges of frustration. There's not much else to do, really. Except to accept that you have a partner who is probably going to find something to feel vulnerable about. Eventually she might acclimate and allow her insecurities to move on to new things, but it might take years for it to happen.

I've seen people try talking, more talking, and even more talking. Along with lots of attention, tough love, pure honesty and even deception to get a person whose insecurities are enflamed to cool down. Nothing really works until that person starts examining why they're reacting that way. And to get them there is something which requires time and a great deal of patience.

Sorry, but there are no quick fixes to these things.

Last edited by monkeystyle; 09-01-2013 at 08:46 PM.
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  #3  
Old 09-01-2013, 09:04 PM
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alibabe_muse alibabe_muse is offline
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Default spacing out

it seems strange she let's herself space out for so long that she becomes completely oblivious to the exchange that continues without her involvement, even though she's sitting right next to you. the going to bed thing, sounds like she's not comfortable with her husband and you alone when she's tired. makes me think she has some insecurities with self-esteem since mommy and daddy use to cater to her.

the only child syndrome possibly (i am not harshing on anyone who was an only child just my sense of this partner) where everyone has focused on her and that's what she expects, but as an adult it'd seem like she'd be more confident.

i don't know enough about traid's and i wish you luck. you are either going to have to communicate with both of them how this affecting you, communicate and get her to figure out what her real insecurities are or are those insecurities really her needs that are not being met...but a talk sounds in order. Otherwise you will be frustrated that you are in reality not equal and at the will of your partners.
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Old 09-01-2013, 09:18 PM
bookbug bookbug is offline
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Her parents did her no favors in catering to her. She never learned how to be self-sufficient and may even feel entitled to be the center of attention. The question is, can you talk to her about these issues on a logical level? Is she able to put herself in anyone else's position to understand how her behavior affects those she cares about?

If the answer is yes to these questions - and she truly desires to grow - she may be able to learn. If the answer is no, then I doubt you will gain any ground.

Having been where you are (although my gal was not an only child, so apparently there are other causes to helplessness and entitlement), beware of the fact that she may give lip service to the logic, but never behave any differently emotionally. This confused me for a long time. I thought if she said it she meant. Really turns out she never had any intention of making the situation workable for all of us.

Last edited by bookbug; 09-01-2013 at 09:19 PM. Reason: Typos
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  #5  
Old 09-01-2013, 09:54 PM
gingersnap gingersnap is offline
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I dont think she will change things. Its one of those dealswhere she will say shes not needy, so you cant tell her she is because she wont recognize her actions. And I dont feel like I should be the one putting my foot down because Im relatively new to the relationship and if I attempt to assert my opinion, in a nice way or not, then I will be overshadowing her.

With the insecurities, I know there's no way to fix them. I mean she is more introverted then I am so Im often more... dominant(?) than she is? So I find myself quieting myself down to ether build her up or to be lower then her (in a sense.) Her husband is also a bit more extroverted then her, but less then me. Which then brings about the problems of again overshadowing or "forgetting" about her when the three of us hang out. I get excited so he matches me, but then she feels "forgotten" or "left out" so then we have to match hers or ask her what she wants to do.

Could the issue be Im just too extroverted for this couple? Should I try and match them and then when Im not with them, be myself?
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Old 09-01-2013, 10:54 PM
monkeystyle monkeystyle is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gingersnap View Post
I dont think she will change things. Its one of those dealswhere she will say shes not needy, so you cant tell her she is because she wont recognize her actions. And I dont feel like I should be the one putting my foot down because Im relatively new to the relationship and if I attempt to assert my opinion, in a nice way or not, then I will be overshadowing her.

With the insecurities, I know there's no way to fix them. I mean she is more introverted then I am so Im often more... dominant(?) than she is? So I find myself quieting myself down to ether build her up or to be lower then her (in a sense.) Her husband is also a bit more extroverted then her, but less then me. Which then brings about the problems of again overshadowing or "forgetting" about her when the three of us hang out. I get excited so he matches me, but then she feels "forgotten" or "left out" so then we have to match hers or ask her what she wants to do.

Could the issue be Im just too extroverted for this couple? Should I try and match them and then when Im not with them, be myself?
You can try, but would you remember to keep it up? Guess the question is really is it worth the effort to work around her issues?

I don't think altering your persona is very wise though. It probably provides a spark to your relationship and is a joy to have around. Introverts (like me at least) don't usually require someone to tone it down as we enjoy the rambling fun of an extrovert. Keeps the house from getting too quiet.

We need to time to decompress, but then we get lonesome for our extrovert pretty shortly afterward.
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  #7  
Old 09-01-2013, 11:51 PM
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Natja Natja is offline
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This feels very familiar to me, you cannot change for anyone, sadly in the situation you have found yourself in, you will always be the one expected to accommodate She is not going to deal with her issues since she has become the victim in her mind.

Eventually her behaviour will start to turn you off, you'll feel less romantically inclined towards her, this in turn activates her insecurity more and you'll find more rules and restrictions placed on your other relationship, which the man will follow because he doesn't want to hurt her and accommodating her is just the dynamic they have.

You'll get fed up eventually and move on, it's just the nature of these things. I am sorry for the bs though
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  #8  
Old 09-02-2013, 12:40 AM
rosephase rosephase is offline
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I'm surprised everyone is jumping to the “leave them this is to much trouble” thing so fast. It doesn't sound like the OP has talked to her about how she feels. Not in a telling her she is needy kind of way. In a “I would like these things to be okay in our relationship” kind of way.

Gingersnap, have you told her “I would like for you to be comfortable going to bed and husband and I stay up and chat.” Have you been doing the hard work of figuring out what you need and asking for it? If your worried that she will feel overshadowed by you bringing it up maybe write your partners so they have the time and space to think over what you are saying.

Poly isn't easy. Really amazing loving people struggle with it. And yeah you've got to decide how much your willing to struggle for a person. But the stuff you are talking about sounds like a completely normal struggle for someone who is facing dismantling the monogamous paradigm.
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  #9  
Old 09-02-2013, 12:53 AM
monkeystyle monkeystyle is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rosephase View Post
I'm surprised everyone is jumping to the “leave them this is to much trouble” thing so fast
Uhh, I'm not sure where anyone advised leaving. You may want to re-read the posts. Insecurity is a normal part of some people's behavior, but how they deal with it defines the outcome. From what the OP is describing, dealing with things her partner is displaying will take a long time. It's up to her to decide what she wants to do about it.
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  #10  
Old 09-02-2013, 01:26 AM
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Dagferi Dagferi is offline
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If it effects you you have every right to put your foot down over her behavior I do not care how new a relationship is. If someone is stepping on my toes you had better believe I am going to call them on it.
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Murf my monogamous second husband has been with me since May of 2012.
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