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  #11  
Old 12-06-2013, 07:22 PM
london london is offline
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What you aren't understanding is that you won't be able to control your feelings in the way he wants you to. You aren't going to be able to put him first in the way he needs when you love two people. This isn't because polyamory doesn't work, because you can't do poly or because he doesn't understand polyamory. It's because he needs relationships that aren't necessarily monogamous but are couple focused in a way that inherently restricts emotional availability outside the dyad. Which, alas, is something you, like many of us, seek.

So, what you have to do if you don't want to break his boundary is completely avoid forming relationships where you can start to build those emotions. That means you keeping any outside relationships to casual, NSA, swinging type encounters. That's the only way you will be able to keep his boundaries and not treat someone else badly when your partner pulls a veto again.
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  #12  
Old 12-06-2013, 07:36 PM
Pienata Pienata is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by london View Post
What you aren't understanding is that you won't be able to control your feelings in the way he wants you to. You aren't going to be able to put him first in the way he needs when you love two people. This isn't because polyamory doesn't work, because you can't do poly or because he doesn't understand polyamory. It's because he needs relationships that aren't necessarily monogamous but are couple focused in a way that inherently restricts emotional availability outside the dyad. Which, alas, is something you, like many of us, seek.

So, what you have to do if you don't want to break his boundary is completely avoid forming relationships where you can start to build those emotions. That means you keeping any outside relationships to casual, NSA, swinging type encounters. That's the only way you will be able to keep his boundaries and not treat someone else badly when your partner pulls a veto again.
You're probably right, but it makes me sad.

It's not that I want to pressurize him into anything, I really don't, it's just.... It seems so overly common around here as well, that people get into it because of their partners, sometimes reluctantly, and it still works out fine in the end. Probably because poly isn't quite the default state, so I can imagine anyone being hesitant.

Bambi is actually much more open to it already than anyone else I met so I can't help but wonder whether there might not be a little poly inside him. When I told him yesterday when I was feeling sad that I had still not really put what happened to rest, and that I really missed Tizza... He wasn't hurt, he was supportive.

We really just shared feelings (I nowhere really suggested trying it again) and he does understand how I feel in a way..
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  #13  
Old 12-06-2013, 08:55 PM
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Dagferi Dagferi is offline
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You can't make a leopard into a tiger.

Stop trying to change Bambi by forcing him into a relationship he truly doesn't want.

I have never had Butch try to manage my emotions in regards to Murf or anyone I dated.
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  #14  
Old 12-07-2013, 12:29 AM
Sayuki Sayuki is offline
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Pienata, my thoughts (and experience) are a bit different than other people here. Shortly I understood that others mainly advice you that Bambi is - as he is - and that you can't do much about it.

My own experience about poly was different. After being 7 years in really good and happy marriage (totally faithful person) I fell in love with other man. I came to my husband and told him all about it. At the beginning he was not happy about idea at all. He was afraid that he will lose me, family, everything we have.... We started to talk a lot, to investigate... and i wanted to include him in every step... Never did anything with my boyfriend (no sex) before he approved it. With time he started to look totally different on that and even got himself a GF (but he never wanted to have sex with her, even though I was totally ok with it if he wanted)...

So, maybe you can't make Bambi into lion... but if you will be patient and give him time to adjust I see in him a lot of potential that he makes himself into lion... (and not you forcing him).

That happened with my husband...
People often need time for such switch in head...
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  #15  
Old 12-08-2013, 01:15 AM
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BigGuy BigGuy is offline
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It's not unusual for partners to ask for reassurance of their importance early in the poly experience. It's scary to think that the person you love may find someone "better".

In my opinion, as long as you and he continue to communicate and you meet his need for reassurance, there's nothing to say that he won't become more comfortable with your relationship with others.
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  #16  
Old 12-08-2013, 08:30 AM
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SchrodingersCat SchrodingersCat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pienata View Post
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.
I strongly strongly recommend getting the audiobook or training course for Nonviolent Communication (both available as torrents if your morals permit it). The audiobooks are great because hearing the tone of the communication really helps, plus you can put them on while you're driving or walking to work when your brain is free to learn.

I believe a lot of what's happening here is that Bambi doesn't believe his needs could be met in any arrangement where he is not #1. However, "being #1" is not a need, it's a strategy for meeting his need for security, connection, stability. But as it turns out, a hierarchical arrangement does not meet your need for autonomy, freedom, and equality.

NVC can help you both understand what each other's needs are, and how you both feel when those needs are not met. By empathizing with each other, you can work together to find strategies that meet everyone's needs. At worst, you might come to the realization that your mutual needs really are incompatible, but then it wouldn't just be "I want poly and he doesn't" but that perhaps there is no strategy that can meet both your needs at the same time while remaining in a relationship together.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pienata View Post
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.
For me, it depends on what's truly meant by "effortlessly" and "hard work."

Having long emotional talks is really hard work for Gralson. He was raised in a home where having emotions wasn't permitted, and expressing needs was a sign of weakness. He's much better at it now, but it's extremely draining for him, and he often gets flooded and needs time to settle down before conversations can continue.

For me, however, talking about my feelings and my needs is fun. I feel closer to my partners when I connect with them, and I've always been very in tune with my feelings, so expressing them is effortless.

For Gralson, absolutely any relationship that's more than casual sex will be "hard work" because being happy and healthy in a serious relationship requires talking about your feelings and your needs. Now to be fair, he could (and some people do) decide that that's "too much work" and choose never to have any kind of serious relationship. And indeed, that's what he did for years. He also spent a lot of time in semi-serious relationships where he coped by letting them have their way to avoid any fuss, until he got tired of them being needy or demanding or whatever, and walked away. Until he met me, he just didn't feel it was worth all that trouble.

Now I firmly believe, and I've managed to convince Gralson, that two people must share their feelings and needs in order to form a connection and experience intimacy. Since we've done this a lot and he's experienced how good it feels to be heard and understood, and how empowering it is when someone sees your vulnerability and accepts you and loves you just the same if not more for it, he's come to appreciate the value of this "really hard work."

But having difficult emotional conversations is nothing like "trying to become someone you're not." If "hard work" means "changing your core values" then I don't believe that's healthy. If "hard work" means "learn to suck it up and just deal with all your icky feelings because your partner wants to do whatever she wants and you just have to accept that" ... then no, probably not going to work out for anyone.
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Last edited by SchrodingersCat; 12-08-2013 at 08:39 AM.
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  #17  
Old 12-08-2013, 02:47 PM
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Magdlyn Magdlyn is offline
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Yes, being poly (or a mono partnered to a poly person, for that matter) requires one be in touch with one's feelings, able to identify them, and express them clearly (using "I statements" and not calling your partner names or casting blame), and work to have your needs met, either by yourself, by your "primary" partner, or by another friend or partner if need be.

I think it's immature to imagine anything worth having is not worth fighting for, and working for. Whether it's that dream vacation, a home of your own, a certain big ticket item like a car, having and raising a child. All these things don't just "happen" effortlessly (unless you're like, an heir to a fortune), you gotta work for 'em! Likewise, if you've found true love, you don't just get her, and live happily ever after. You need to be kind, patient, caring, nurse them when they are sick, hold them when they are sad, listen to them when they need to talk something out, etc., etc.

I know men in our society are trained to not show feelings. This is unfortunate and becoming outmoded in most cases (not showing feelings on the battlefield can save your life, and your co-soldiers' lives, otherwise, I do not see the point).

But many men who can't or won't deal with their emotions end up with partners who feel so distant from them, their partner eventually shuts down sexually, and then the guy wonders, what happened to the sex kitten I used to know?

My other point is, why demand nothing changes in your relationship? Whether it's another partner to love, or a new job, a newborn child, needing to move to a new home in a new city, a weight gain or loss, a medical issue, loving partnerships are guaranteed to change. Maybe you two can ride out this change. Great! Maybe the relationship won't survive the change. Not so great, sad indeed, but after healing it is possible to meet new partners who can meet you in your new normal.

However, if you were presenting poly as your "one big happy family" ideal, 3 people living together as co-primaries, this might have been jumping the gun a little! OTOH, if you and Tizza are fine with one date a week, say, to begin with, and you can limit your IMing/texting/phonecalls when Bambi is home, this will help to ease him into it. Give him lots of quality time, sex, fun date activities so that he doesn't feel left out when youre swoony with NRE.
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