Polyamory.com Forum  

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

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 12-06-2013, 12:59 AM
Pienata Pienata is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Posts: 21
Default Advice on "The Talk"

Hello Poly people!

I posted here a while ago after some trouble I had. I had my first small taste of polyamory a few months ago which kind of ended in a trainwreck.

Summary for those who didn't read it or forgot: My primary partner (Bambi) allowed me to explore polyamory with a guy I met and fell in love with (Tizza), but not being much of a talker he didn't really want to discuss the implications of this "new thing". It basically ended up with Bambi having some issues with how things were going, and not talking until it was too late, at which point he requested me to stop seeing Tizza. I felt this was unfair, blabla, lots of arguments, emotions heightened etc. At some point I realized that there was not a constructive way to get what I feel I need (I've felt polyamorous for much longer) because things had become too dramatic. We decided to determine a future date to talk about this again, when things are less.. Emotionally charged. This date is december 14th. In the meantime, I agreed to his demand to stop seeing Tizza (we talk on the phone incidentally, but that's it). December 14th, we would speak about polyamory in general (because I feel it's "me") and, if I'd still care, with regard to Tizza.

Well, I still care very much. Tizza haunts my dreams regularly, and the few times I've mentioned him (maybe two or three times maximum), Bambi didn't sound all too pleased. Despite this, I still want to have this planned conversation. Ideally, I want it to develop in the most favourable way, at least getting Bambi to explore the implications of polyamory, which he never really did. Do you guys have any advice on how to constructively have this conversation so that hopefully everything will turn out well for all of us?

Bambi really hates to read, and since the failed venture he's probably not going to be very motivated to actively look into polyamory either, so I was hoping you guys knew a good documentary that shows polyamorous couples that are actually likeable and in a good, stable relationship that all parties seem happy in? I'm fairly certain he'd be willing to watch that if it matters to me and maybe it could show him a glimpse of how such a relationship would and could work. The first time we tried non-monogamy nothing was clearly defined or discussed beforehand and he basically had no knowledge of the concept at all (I had read A LOT about it already, here and on many other websites, I have a poly friend, thought about it actively, etc.)

Basically what I want to reach in conversation is that he will also actively question himself: "Why not?" since (romantic) monogamy is the standard that is usually assumed as opposed to polyamory... I would like him to step out of that thought and review what I'm suggesting as objectively and open-mindedly as possible. If he still really needs to be monogamous afterwards, that's fine, but I want him to REALLY think about it.

Oh, and we've actually been working on the lack of communication thing. It's difficult for Bambi and he used to actively resist talking anything through, but he does now realize that he needs to think things through and communicate about it because I cannot read his mind. He still has trouble defining and communicating thoughts clearly but at least now makes an effort to do so for our sake.
__________________
Bambi - Boyfriend of 1+ year
Tizza - It's complicated
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 12-06-2013, 05:05 AM
london london is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: UK - land of the free
Posts: 1,635
Default

Most poly documentaries I've seen are about religious nuts. I think you've got to accept that your boyfriend doesn't want this. Give him some links to read, if he isn't interested in this, he won't read them. But do stop thinking of ways to get him to feel the same as you.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 12-06-2013, 12:20 PM
Pienata Pienata is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Posts: 21
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by london View Post
Most poly documentaries I've seen are about religious nuts. I think you've got to accept that your boyfriend doesn't want this. Give him some links to read, if he isn't interested in this, he won't read them. But do stop thinking of ways to get him to feel the same as you.
He's not uninterested per se, he was okay with it before (technically), but he's in general part of the group of people that believes relationships have to work effortlessly or it's just not really meant to be. I differ believing sometimes they're hard work. I know poly can work but I also know it takes work and some effort from everyone involved and I need him to see that that's okay (actually this would be a problem for our relationship in general, except that usually we get along so well that things ARE effortless. But I know it can't be like that all the time)

He actually agreed to talking about it again sometime since he's not opposed to the idea per se. I'd say there's quite a chance he'll agree to try again, we still have the sexually open relationship and he's not strongly opposed to relational openness in itself. But it went wrong and I'm afraid it will again if he doesn't get some info on how these things go, like that it's OKAY to sometimes feel bad about smth and talk about it instead of assuming that something that makes you feel bad once is "apparently not meant to be that way". Sometimes I fear the day that even just the two of us run into trouble. I mean, we've had quite our share of bad luck lately and stuck together through it without many trouble, and I know we're really not prone to arguing a lot. But still, the day may come.
__________________
Bambi - Boyfriend of 1+ year
Tizza - It's complicated
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 12-06-2013, 12:53 PM
london london is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: UK - land of the free
Posts: 1,635
Default

I'm in his camp of relationships shouldn't be hard work. I wouldn't take kindly to someone pressuring me to change my view. If I thought polyamorous relationships were going to be harder work for me than monogamous ones then i would be monogamous. Your partner obviously feels that further opening of his relationship would be harder work for him and is therefore apprehensive about it. I support his apprehension entirely if he feels that a polyamorous relationship would be too much hard work to adjust to and be happy.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 12-06-2013, 01:11 PM
Pienata Pienata is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Posts: 21
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by london View Post
I'm in his camp of relationships shouldn't be hard work. I wouldn't take kindly to someone pressuring me to change my view. If I thought polyamorous relationships were going to be harder work for me than monogamous ones then i would be monogamous. Your partner obviously feels that further opening of his relationship would be harder work for him and is therefore apprehensive about it. I support his apprehension entirely if he feels that a polyamorous relationship would be too much hard work to adjust to and be happy.
Responded to this but there's an update.

I would like to stress I don't want to pressurize Bambi in any way. He's not necessarily opposed to poly, as the first time he had no problems with it at all... It just failed because we had different ideas about it. I just want to see if we can work that out now that things are less emotional.

As you can read below here, we had a nice talk sharing feelings and thoughts, not really suggesting anything yet, just sharing. He knows how I feel, I know how he feels... Currently we're just thinking about a way to compromise that neither of us feels unhappy with.
__________________
Bambi - Boyfriend of 1+ year
Tizza - It's complicated

Last edited by Pienata; 12-06-2013 at 03:08 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 12-06-2013, 03:02 PM
Pienata Pienata is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Posts: 21
Default

UPDATE

Since I had been feeling increasingly blue since yesterday about matters Bambi started interrogating me about what was wrong (though I had promised not to bother him about anything regarding Tizza at least until December 14th). He wanted me to be honest so I admitted that I was still having a lot of trouble getting over Tizza, and we spoke about relationships in general and a little bit about polyamory.

It was a surprisingly harmonious talk, not defensive at all like when we were arguing about Tizza a month or one and a half ago. We mostly just shared some thoughts, I didn't want to pressurize him into actually trying polyamorous relationships but I think it might be possible to suggest trying at some point.

I told him that over the past few years I've grown increasingly conscious about the fact that I really do feel polyamory is the way to go for me. I asked him if he thought of it as a completely ridiculous idea (because I don't want to pressurize him into anything, london, sorry if it looks that way). He answered that he thinks it's not ridiculous, and that it can be done but that maybe I'm trying too hard. He thinks I have too much of an idealized view of a loving extended family where everyone just gets along and everyone is there for everyone when needed. He doesn't think polyamory is worse (or better!) than monogamy per se but sees more potential for trouble (but also some perks).

What it basically came down to in the end is that he's not necessarily opposed, but we have different ideas about what polyamory means (which also caused the not-really-well-discussed first attempt to crash and burn) and the form of it that we'd find ideal. He seems to be levitating towards a "core couple" kind of construction where there are only secondary relationships to ours whereas I have a strong preference for equality (where it's wanted) and tend to feel a little (just a little) choked in a traditional couple's set up.

Is there any way to work out those differences? Or another way we haven't thought of at all, that might suit both of us?

As for Tizza, I'd really love it if we could be together again. Bambi has no problems with Tizza on a personal level, they even like eachother, he just had some problems with the situation stemming from our different ideas of poly.

In the case of Tizza returning, obviously his opinion matters too. Thankfully, he doesn't really even mind. He cares about me a lot but is comfortable in secondary position because he's a fairly independent non-homebody type anyway, with a very active social life and no desire to start a family or anything like that. Therefore, his wishes don't clash with Bambi's wishes at all so that's fairly easy.

What's left is the differences between me and Bambi..
__________________
Bambi - Boyfriend of 1+ year
Tizza - It's complicated
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 12-06-2013, 05:37 PM
london london is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: UK - land of the free
Posts: 1,635
Default

There is no new information here; its actually the same as your last thread. He is only comfortable with Oi guys having casual sexual relationships with others. You want more. You need to decide if you want more than you want him. There Isnt a wrong answer here. You need to accept what he has said.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 12-06-2013, 06:24 PM
Dagferi's Avatar
Dagferi Dagferi is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 1,032
Default

Your boyfriend has made his stance perfectly clear.

He is ok with you having casual sex with others, but not an emotional or romantic relationships. You have to decide whether you would be ok living the rest of your life that way.
__________________
40 yo straight female
Married in the eyes of the government to Butch since 2001...
Murf my monogamous second husband has been with me since May of 2012.
In a V relationship with an average 60/40 split of time. Only due to Murf's and Butch's crappy work schedules.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 12-06-2013, 07:00 PM
Pienata Pienata is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Posts: 21
Default

It's not true though, at least if I assume that he means what he says.

He says being romantically involved is fine. In the failed attempt he was just not all too happy with my case of NRE (my fault), because he was afraid he'd be less important. He's fine with me being romantically involved as long as he will always be #1. I feel that I cannot guarantee that, even though in the particular case I mentioned it would not structurally change anything for Bambi.

Either way, the trouble are a while ago now and he seems much more happy to talk now and he does not mind the idea theoretically. The part we keep getting stuck at... He says it's all good as long as I promise it won't change anything significantly between us. I don't feel it will now, but how can I ever speak for the future?
__________________
Bambi - Boyfriend of 1+ year
Tizza - It's complicated
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 12-06-2013, 07:04 PM
Pienata Pienata is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Posts: 21
Default

By the rules of communication, I have to assume that he speaks truthfully, right?
Or do you think he would only try (by his rules) because he's afraid I might otherwise leave?
__________________
Bambi - Boyfriend of 1+ year
Tizza - It's complicated
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 04:16 PM.