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  #11  
Old 12-03-2013, 05:29 AM
WillSing WillSing is offline
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I guess I have less worry about a guy stealing her away as much as undermining our relationship. I have a lot of faith in her. Less so in other men in general. Of course, I feel a lot less stress over the guy she has feelings for that is already poly. It's the other guy I have some concerns about. But that's really a drop in the bucket.

"The devil IS in the details. It is a lot more complicated than knowing she can love two people at the same time. The daily grind can be demanding, and because she is the hinge, a lot of responsibility would fall on her."

You have expressed my concern better than I have been able to. I worry about feeling less loved. I will get less of the pie. Her heart may have the same feelings for me, but she will be dividing her available time in smaller chunks. It's just math. Now I know I can find a secondary person as well, but I feel that keeping one woman happy is a big enough challenge that the thought of two makes me feel tired. I remember the days when I was younger and dated multiple women. It sounds exhausting to me now. There's a part of me that feels like, "Great, now I have the chance to disappoint TWO women!"

Anyway, I'm not sure how it will all work out, but I really appreciate your words. It's uncharted territory for me. So I thank you all for your wisdom. It still might not be my thing when it's all said and done, but I'm willing to try and see.
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  #12  
Old 12-03-2013, 06:20 AM
WillSing WillSing is offline
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GalaGirl, thanks for the links! I'm working through them now. Lots of information to digest, but good info. I'm grateful to you for sharing them.
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  #13  
Old 12-03-2013, 07:09 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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You are welcome. I am glad it was useful to you.

Here's the bits that popped out at me:
Quote:

My fear comes from inviting someone into what feels like a safe space and having to trust that they won't steal her away. That they won't undermind me and our relationship. That they are enlightened and want us to succeed.
This seems like "fear of the unknown stranger" -- and I sometimes have that anxiety too. I note how you feel more comfortable with the already poly guy and not the non-poly guy. Is it because you perceive him as having "poly skills?"

I know my partner. I know how he works and what he is capable of. A wild card stranger -- I do not. It takes TIME to know them and how they move in the world. What their intentions and character might be. That's the price of admission to getting to know new people, right?

You could talk to your hinge or to your potential meta to lay out reasonable expectations of each other and yourself during a transition time.

Maybe that could lessen the fear?

Quote:
But I think there lies the crux of my problem. I'm NOT sure if I'm cut out for a Polyamorous relationship or not. It's not been something I've aspired to. I know a lot of our views are shaped by experiences and society around us and I'm willing to entertain the possibility.
To me that reads as...

Polyship? I don't know if it is for me. I am willing to try. But at this time...
  • I don't know that I have the skills to be ABLE to execute it well.
  • I don't know that my partner has the skills to be ABLE to execute it well.
  • I don't know that my potential metamour has the skills to be ABLE to execure it well.
It doesn't seem to be about "willingness" here. But about "ability" to execute well and if required, ability to handle a break up without "devastation."

You could sort out you. And since she's here, help her sort out her. Then the only wildcard is the meta and sort with them next when they appear on the scene. Agree on a non-devastating break up plan if it comes to pass.

Could accept you cannot have it ALL sorted right now, but perhaps doing some of that work and REDUCING the load you would have to sort later could help ease your burden now? You could take comfort that it is not complete, but it IS moving forward?

Quote:
All I know is I'm willing to take this journey but it scares the hell out of me.
Of course. Anything new is sometimes scary.

Who do you need comfort and reassurance from? You? Her? The potential metamour? All the above?

Quote:
I worry about feeling less loved. I will get less of the pie. Her heart may have the same feelings for me, but she will be dividing her available time in smaller chunks. It's just math.
No, not just math to me. That is assessing human and non-human resources for the new thing.

Time, money, bedroom/living spaces/cars -- those kinds of non-human resources could factor in.

Intrapersonal skills, interpersonal skills -- those kinds of human resources could factor in.

You seem to be saying "I would like my GF to demonstrate loving behavior toward me by making time to spend with me. "

What about the next part of that?

"I would want _____ amount of time each week just with me so can know I am loved, valued and we can connect."

It's good you are doing that -- being realistic about the future lay of the land. That in itself is a good thing -- some people just jump in without thinking out what their way of going will be for dating, problem solving, time management, conflict resolution, etc.

Or what resources they have to hand to be doing it with.

Continue to do your self care so you can be calmer, and then keep thinking things out like you are -- one thing at a time, practical things, realistic things, etc.

Nobody says you have to Open this minute. She could enjoy her crushes while sorting with you -- and it may take a while to get your boundaries and agreements laid out.

Don't skimp on it just because she's in a rush to date a crush. It will either still be there or not. Or if she's not in a rush or under "whooshy!" feelings, but it is you who feel "whooshy" emotional flooding.... don't project your own sense of urgency to this and distort it.

It's important, yes. But it is not important AND urgent. There's no fire. You can handle this in your own good time... so could take the time to assess well.
  • Deal with the emotional flooding first.
  • Then deal with the sorting of boundaries and agreements if you are both willing and able to go there. (If you find either of you or both of you are not able yet, take a time out to become able and grow whatever skills need growing first.)

You can think this out and make your decisions. You can handle this. You will be ok.

Hang in there!

Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 12-03-2013 at 07:19 AM.
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  #14  
Old 12-03-2013, 04:57 PM
WillSing WillSing is offline
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It doesn't seem to be about "willingness" here. But about "ability" to execute well and if required, ability to handle a break up without "devastation."

Actually, seeing how you express it makes me feel a bit better. It's not in my skill set as of right now. I am willing to make this work to the best of my ability, but it's a lot of unknowns right now. And you are correct. The unknown is scary.

As for not being devastated, I'm not really sure how to do that. Truly giving my heart to another person is huge for me. If that comes to an end, it's going to destroy me a bit. It always has and I'm not sure I've changed that much for it not to. When you plan a future and intertwine your lives together, that's a painful break no matter how you plan for it. At least it is for me. I'm a hopeless romantic. I view the world in broader strokes and softer camera focuses. So if this ends it will be painful and it will be awful. That's just what I signed up for when I gave her my heart. I will still be a functional adult though. Because that is also what I do. I choose complicated women. That's been the price of admission. But hey, maybe this time...

Singing in Seattle
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  #15  
Old 12-03-2013, 05:28 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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I am glad you feel a bit better.

I don't know what other things you want to grow in ability, but coping with big disappointment/grief definitely comes up for you a few times. The only way to avoid the risk of breaking up with people is to not date at all. So really you have taken the risk already as the price of admission to dating. Not just her, but dating in general.

Quote:
As for not being devastated, I'm not really sure how to do that. Truly giving my heart to another person is huge for me. If that comes to an end, it's going to destroy me a bit. It always has and I'm not sure I've changed that much for it not to. When you plan a future and intertwine your lives together, that's a painful break no matter how you plan for it.
Of course it is painful.

It's not about avoiding ALL pain and making it ZERO pain. It is about REDUCING pain to minimal if it has to happen, and really it's one of the most loving things one can do.

I don't know how YOU do it. I know how I do it.

Me? Should it happen, I don't want to be up the creek without a paddle -- no plan, dealing with emotional upset, etc. Between
  • upset and no plan and added stress of making plan while upset with upset partner

OR
  • upset with plan made while we were calm to hand to help move it forward OUT of the upset?
I'll take upset with plan to move it forward!

And the process of planning it so it can go well? In my experience it actually draws people closer and it is reassuring. Ups the odds of it not being needed and ups the odds if it going well if it ever IS needed.

Because who wants and loves to experience a break up going WONKY?

Could learning about the grief process help demystify it not be so scary? Could google "stages of grief."

Could you be willing to talk to her about "how we want to break up... if we have to break up? What kind of exes will we be?" Or you need to talk about it with yourself more or others first before talking with her?

Could listing what other abilities/resources you would like to have before going there help? Or abilities/resources you would like her to have?

Hang in there! Keep thinking your stuff out.

GL!
Galagirl
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  #16  
Old 12-03-2013, 05:51 PM
WillSing WillSing is offline
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Thanks. I actually worked a lot through the stages of grief four years ago when my relationship of almost seven years ended. Knowing the stages and letting myself grieve was important but it only gave me a road map of what might happen and how to deal with it. It still was very devastating. Understanding helps, but break ups tie in someways to losing my mom at a young age. It's gotten better over the years, but I still have some abandonment issues. Knowing helps, but it doesn't always fix everything. That seems to be a life long process. Life tends to damage us all in small and big ways. I think the trick is acknowledging your demons and coming to peace that they will always be there in some way. They just don't have to define you.

You have been incredibly generous with your words and wisdom. I know the path is still mine to walk, but everyone has been very helpful. A heartfelt thanks!

Singing in Seattle
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  #17  
Old 12-03-2013, 06:17 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Quote:
I think the trick is acknowledging your demons and coming to peace that they will always be there in some way. They just don't have to define you.
Yup.

Giving yourself permission to move on past it.

You don't have to forget it, or get over it. But you don't have to keep it in right in front of you blocking the view either.

You could set it down, move yourself forward and get past it and move on to living the rest of your life without it clouding things. If you want to go back to visit it, you know where it lives. But you don't have to carry it around!

Is that part of your plan-in-progress now? To seek counseling to come to terms with that and become able to lay it down? That could be a helpful thing.

Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 12-03-2013 at 06:21 PM.
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  #18  
Old 12-04-2013, 07:09 PM
WillSing WillSing is offline
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Ok, so huge step for me today. I could tell something has been a little off with my girlfriend. After a year and a half I can sense her emotional state. It took a while to get the conversation going, but she finally opened up. She was trying to respect my need to go slow and not force me to confront the feelings she has for two other guys right now. (Let's call them NY Boy and Poly Guy to keep in simple and anon.) But seeing her in pain trumped any concern I have for my comfort zone.

I've had the most concern about NY Boy. I was never really sold on his intentions and he's a drummer! So last night he really hurt with somethings he said. I believe that he thought on some level he could keep getting closer to my GF and then win her away. Now that I'm back home and haven't ran for the hills with everything changing, I believe the reality is setting in for him. So he's acting out a bit and trying to "protect his heart" by hurting hers.

This is where I'm proud of myself. She was able to express her pain and frustration with what he's doing. I didn't feel defensive. I didn't go into any passive aggressive "well that's what you get" bullshit. I just listened and sympathized with the girl I love who was in pain. It actually surprised me a bit. I thought it would be much more difficult to hear her expressing love for another guy.

Maybe there's hope for us!

Singing in Seattle
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  #19  
Old 12-04-2013, 08:20 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Kudos on the self discipline!

Esp on not taking it personally or getting defensive (adding to your own load) or let your emotions take the spotlight.

When she came to you for help, you were able to keep the spotlight focus on her and her problems and what she might need at this time (ex: an ear, comfort, support.) And in providing the need (comfort, support) you were able to help lessen and TAKE AWAY from her load rather than ADD to her load.

Sounds like both of you came out of it in a good way.

WTG!

GG
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  #20  
Old 12-04-2013, 09:20 PM
WillSing WillSing is offline
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Thanks! As I said, I was surprised I handled it was well as I did. I guess the unknown is scarier than the reality. There's still a lot of ground to cover, but it feels just a bit less overwhelming today.

On a selfish note, it would be easier for me if it was only one guy to adjust to. At least at this early stage. And Poly Guy is actually pretty cool and I can see how he is good for her. Also, he understands my journey and is willing to give us both the time we need to make this transition. And I believe he will remain her friend and confidant regardless of what happens. While NY Boy is exciting, I worry about him in the mix while this is still so new. But ultimately she needs to come to her own conclusions. Though she does feel like he has been misrepresenting his true intentions and seems close to ending it with him. But I'll keep out of it unless asked.

Thanks again GG. You have been a calming voice in the midst of my brian storm the last few days.

SeaSing
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