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  #31  
Old 11-18-2013, 06:49 AM
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SchrodingersCat SchrodingersCat is offline
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Some people think it's just semantics, but I make a clear distinction between boundaries and rules.

Boundaries are about how I allow people to treat me.

Rules are about how I allow people to live their own lives.

I try to avoid rules. It's not my place to control the behaviour of others.

It's nonsensical to make a "boundary" that you can't date such-and-such a person. If you're going out, then whether you're going out on a date with a particular person or just going for drinks with your friends, that's not treatment towards S. If S isn't there, it can't be a boundary.

It's like saying "I have a boundary that Palestine and Israel need to stop fighting" when you live in the middle of Texas. It just doesn't make logical sense.

If you don't like the semantics, focus on the meanings. It's ok to tell people how to treat you. It's not ok to tell people how live their lives.

Saying that you can't date J is not a boundary, it's a veto. Before meeting J, did you and S discuss veto power? Did you agree to give her veto power over your other relationships? If you haven't, then she has no basis to tell you whom you can date. If you have, you can simply say "I retract my agreement to give you veto power."

Worst of all, to veto your entire dating pool just because she doesn't want to socialize with your other partners...

This has "blech" written all over it. Threatening to dump you every time she doesn't get her way is nothing but an adult temper tantrum. She could stop "considering" whether or not she wants to be in this relationship and make a decision one way or the other. Enough with the games.
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Last edited by SchrodingersCat; 11-18-2013 at 06:52 AM.
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  #32  
Old 11-18-2013, 07:14 AM
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Originally Posted by SchrodingersCat View Post
Threatening to dump you every time she doesn't get her way is nothing but an adult temper tantrum.
It sounds like you both have a lot of emotional triggers that make it difficult to have a balanced, calm conversation when difficult issues arise.

Can you and S find some way to create a new way of interacting that leads to a more harmonious relationship? Less ultimatums and more negotiations? The way you describe it sounds more like an ongoing drama
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  #33  
Old 11-18-2013, 07:19 AM
london london is offline
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I called this from the beginning. Please, listen to what other people are telling you then. She has no intention of ever allowing you space to date anyone else. I get that you feel very fondly for her but you need to have some self respect too. You don't seem like the Jeremy Kyle type. Surely this is a hard limit.
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  #34  
Old 11-18-2013, 07:27 AM
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Originally Posted by SchrodingersCat View Post
Threatening to dump you every time she doesn't get her way is nothing but an adult temper tantrum.
It sounds like you both have a lot of emotional triggers that make it difficult to have a balanced, calm conversation when difficult issues arise.

Can you and S find some way to create a new way of interacting that leads to a more harmonious relationship? Less ultimatums and more negotiations? The way you describe it sounds more like an ongoing drama
It is unfortunately, we are capable of communicating well, it's just that it seems to be a process we are learning as we go. Poly is all very new to us and the most important thing is communication, communication, communication... That needs to be a two way process with both parties wanting to come to it willing to express how they are feeling, what insecurities they have, how they feel it might be possible to address them etc

Coming to it and making the first thing you say "I have to be honest, I have been thinking of splitting up" when you've clearly designated to try to work through things seems from my perspective to be a manipulative tactic. From S's perspective that's just sharing how she's been feeling... but surely that should just be something you go to when you have tried resolving things and it's got nowhere?

I want her to have the freedom to leave if she wants to, but she's spent the past couple of weeks saying she's been willing to talk and we have made progress at times. Baby steps. But that's all I expect.

I'm not going to rush her on things as I know these are genuine insecurities. Insecurities are not something you can control, she's not consciously saying no to me and J because she's a nasty bitch - quite the opposite!! She feels horrible for saying no and has been beating herself up over it.

But when we try and talk things through she feels this weight on her shoulders... like everything's her fault. It's not!! I just want to communicate properly and that's something we both need to do. If ultimately that fails then by all means we should conclude that the relationship won't work... but to throw this into the communication stage as a statement strikes me as not being willing to communicate. I've told her it hits upon insecurities for me and seems manipulative and she's done it again today.
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  #35  
Old 11-18-2013, 07:27 AM
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Originally Posted by london View Post
I called this from the beginning. Please, listen to what other people are telling you then. She has no intention of ever allowing you space to date anyone else. I get that you feel very fondly for her but you need to have some self respect too. You don't seem like the Jeremy Kyle type. Surely this is a hard limit.
And her behavior at the munch was so uncalled for and frankly immature. Doesn't.she care about anyone else else? How embarrassing
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  #36  
Old 11-18-2013, 07:29 AM
LondonGuy LondonGuy is offline
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I called this from the beginning. Please, listen to what other people are telling you then. She has no intention of ever allowing you space to date anyone else. I get that you feel very fondly for her but you need to have some self respect too. You don't seem like the Jeremy Kyle type. Surely this is a hard limit.
FFS London will you listen to yourself and read the thread?

The argument today was nothing about me dating J or anyone else - it's about her insecurities and mine and how we communicate those.
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  #37  
Old 11-18-2013, 08:33 AM
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Originally Posted by LondonGuy View Post
Poly is all very new to us and the most important thing is communication, communication, communication...

Coming to it and making the first thing you say "I have to be honest, I have been thinking of splitting up" when you've clearly designated to try to work through things seems from my perspective to be a manipulative tactic.
Yes, communication is important. But communication and honesty don't mean dumping every thought that enters your skull. It means thinking first and balancing openness with respect and empathy. Maybe it means that even if she does feel like she has been thinking of splitting up, it may not be constructive and helpful to say so.

It's important to consider whether what you're going to say is going to move things forwards and help build foundation, trust, and compassion, or whether it's going to move things backwards and destroy those things. In this case, I think beginning conversations with a declaration that she's thinking of splitting up moves things backwards. So, she could keep it to herself. That's not being dishonest or failing to communicate. It's being respectful and compassionate.

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I'm not going to rush her on things as I know these are genuine insecurities. Insecurities are not something you can control, she's not consciously saying no to me and J because she's a nasty bitch - quite the opposite!! She feels horrible for saying no and has been beating herself up over it.
It's not like saying no is an irreversible mistake. If she truly feels horrible about it, then all she needs to do to relieve the guilt is say yes. Sure, that means she's also saying yes to some uncomfortable feelings and a need to work on jealousy issues, but how much worse can that be than the status quo?

Who gets to decide that pacifying her insecurity is more important than respecting your autonomy? Who gets to decide that the pain she feels from you dating J is greater than the pain you feel by having your choices taken away?

She can't control her insecurity, but she can control how she behaves in response to it. She can choose to respond by putting limitations on you and controlling how you interact with other people, or she can choose to let you control your own interactions, trusting that you'll do what's right for her by continuing to treat her with love and respect.

If she's really in a place that she can't handle you dating anyone (which is what it's sounding like even though she's found ways to convince probably even herself that this isn't the case) then her insecurity may be too great for her to be involved in polyamorous relationships at this time.

The scariest thing in the world is the unknown. She doesn't know what to expect with you and J. So that freaks her out. But the only way to overcome that fear is to take a risk, let the relationship happen, and see where it goes. Maybe that will be awful, but probably it won't be so bad. And even if it is awful, she's already considering splitting up, so that's just the nail in the coffin. But without even giving you a chance to show her that you're able to date J and still respect S and fulfill her needs in your relationship, she's taking away her opportunity to overcome the fear.
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Last edited by SchrodingersCat; 11-18-2013 at 08:41 AM.
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  #38  
Old 11-18-2013, 08:37 AM
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J was there and we wanted to have a chat between the three of us to clear the air. I thought it went well, then afterwards S said that I was constantly talking over her. I really didn't think I was, but if I was then I'm sorry - I am borderline aspergers (I have many traits) and I struggle to know when it's my turn to speak in social situations. S concluded from this that I was clearly putting J ahead of her in terms of my priorities - to conclude this really annoyed me and I tried to reassure, it didn't work and I snapped a bit.
Can you not see everyone since youve posted have said the same thing? The above quote is her manipulating you into believing that you are incapable of maintaining multiple relationships. Even when you think you're being reasonable, mature and fair as you have been, she tells you that you fucked up. You treated her badly as soon as another person was even remotely involved. I'm going to say this in another thread too but what a therapist told me when I was about 14 was that it is fine for me to have an anger management problem. I can keep it if I want. What I don't get to do is harm other people with it. And that is the same for anything: it's fine to have emotions, to have insecurities, to have issues, but when we project those issues onto other people in a way that harms them, that is unacceptable if you want to have healthy relationships. When you identify that you are doing that. You stop. No mater what you have to do, you stop that behaviour. You learn about why you do that behaviour once it's stopped and your feelings will "catch up". But first you stop harming.
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Last edited by london; 11-18-2013 at 08:40 AM.
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  #39  
Old 11-18-2013, 08:50 AM
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Originally Posted by london View Post
I'm going to say this in another thread too but what a therapist told me when I was about 14 was that it is fine for me to have an anger management problem. I can keep it if I want. What I don't get to do is harm other people with it. And that is the same for anything: it's fine to have emotions, to have insecurities, to have issues, but when we project those issues onto other people in a way that harms them, that is unacceptable if you want to have healthy relationships. When you identify that you are doing that. You stop. No mater what you have to do, you stop that behaviour. You learn about why you do that behaviour once it's stopped and your feelings will "catch up". But first you stop harming.
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  #40  
Old 11-18-2013, 09:11 AM
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London - That last post you put... your therapists advice - that is the most brilliant advice I've ever heard. I'd love to build our communications around that.

But for me it's also important not to cast her out in the cold and say "these are your insecurities, deal with them". I want to support her; I want to hold her if she's upset, I want to be there for her to talk to, I care about her. I'd expect the reverse if I have insecurities...

Now, I've told her that the specific behaviour is making me feel insecure (namely throwing around us splitting up at the starting point of any conflict resolution attempt) - considering that I've told her this and I expect that support back, I'm quite hurt.

SC - I've loved your last couple of posts. You make some excellent points about communication and dealing with things, particularly about thinking things through and asking yourself "is this going to be something that moves us forwards?"

However - I do think all of you are still missing the crux of the argument we had tonight. It was essentially an argument about how we communicate and how we treat each others insecurities, it was nothing to do with J or anyone else.

I understand why she has so many insecurities; she has anxiety problems and has just moved to a new city for work, polyamory is new to her, we are still new, she has a lot going on with her family and is trying to get used to managing her existing relationship over long distance - no wonder her heads in a spin and I don't blame her!! What I want to do is support her and work on this so that we as a couple can make those steps forwards.
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