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Old 02-03-2014, 06:14 PM
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alibabe_muse alibabe_muse is offline
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Unhappy Anxiety - Not ready

Sooo, wild orchid and the hunter have invited us over for a BBQ on Sunday. When the invites were happening yesterday I honestly thought it'd be postponed for a bit or wouldn't be so soon (original invite was for Saturday).

Kids are invited too and the hunter's OSO (other significant other) will be there too. It didn't hit me until now that I'll be the "oddball" there. And I don't think I'm ready for this.

I understand my metamour and her husband would like our families to be super close and they are very wonderful people but all of a sudden my anxiety is up and I realize I'm not ready for in person love share (being okay with watching my partner be all kissy with my metamour). I know some love this but for me personally I am just not there,yet. Maybe I will be and maybe I will never be.

I'm feeling really pressured by outsiders to become this poly-like family (is that it) community. I just don't know how to tell our hosts I'm not ready. Yes that's it, just tell them. I've already told bassman I can't go, just am not there mentally for that. I know it's only a BBQ and playing board games, but really? The Hunter will have his girlfriend there, wild orchid is in so much NRE with bassman that based on past experience my boundary in person request wasn't respected then and I just don't see it being respected now either.

If this was after my busy work season and I hadn't just got over my issues this weekend, maybe I'd be ready but I'm not.

Is it wrong to not want to get close to everyone, at this time? Is this moving super fast or is it normal speed? I'm a pleaser but when I do things I'm not comfortable doing, well then it causes a huge fight between bassman and I.
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Old 02-03-2014, 06:25 PM
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Originally Posted by alibabe_muse View Post
Is it wrong to not want to get close to everyone, at this time? Is this moving super fast or is it normal speed? I'm a pleaser but when I do things I'm not comfortable doing, well then it causes a huge fight between bassman and I.
If you aren't ready, then the time isn't right.

Talk this TO DEATH before doing it if you're at all unsure:
What level of PDA are you comfortable with in front of you and the kids?
What level of PDA are you comfortable with in front of you when the kids aren't there?

I went through something similar when P, M1, and I were invited to our first get-together without kids, and it went horribly wrong. Awful miscommunications, a perception that M1 was receiving the lion's share of the attention, that P wanted more of a "girl on each arm" and I wanted to avoid being "put on display" as opposed to just enjoying a party with P. It went badly, involved some friends ostracizing P, and it took a lot to pull ourselves out of the aftermath. There is still some bad blood between some of my friends and P/M1, and this still leads to drama today.

I hope your situation wouldn't go THERE, but if you're at all worried about it, make sure you have your ducks in a row before you go. The BBQ, with kids and other partners/metamours around, is no place to find out that it's going badly.

Good luck!
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Dramatis personae:
Me: Mono. Divorced, two kids, two cats, one house with many projects.
Chops: My partner of ~3 years. Poly. In relationships with me, Xena, and Noa.
Xena: Poly. In relationships with Chops and Noa, and dating others.
Noa: Married, Poly. In relationships with Chops and Xena (individually).

My navel-gazing blog thread: A Mono's Journey Into Poly-Land (or, "Aw hell, there's no road map?!")
My slightly more polished blog (external): From Baltic to Boardwalk
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Old 02-03-2014, 06:34 PM
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Its fine for you to never want this.
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Old 02-03-2014, 08:55 PM
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Originally Posted by YouAreHere View Post
If you aren't ready, then the time isn't right.

Talk this TO DEATH before doing it if you're at all unsure:
1-What level of PDA are you comfortable with in front of you and the kids?
2-What level of PDA are you comfortable with in front of you when the kids aren't there?
Thanks YouAreHere!

In response:

#1 - at this time, in front of pnutt the 8 year old boy NONE besides a hug. Our oldest has had the poly talk and in all honesty NONE for her too since she's bothered by her dad and I kissing in front of her.

#2 - I've been fine in the past with them sitting next to each other when we went out to eat as they were on an official date and even being naked in her hot tub together. But my in person compersion has changed drastically since my surgery in Dec and it's like I'm starting all over again. I think a hug, kiss (not make out) in front of me at this time I can handle, but not more than that.

But this is almost a "poly couples" get together and I only have bassman as my couple....just not ready for it.
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Old 02-03-2014, 08:57 PM
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Originally Posted by london View Post
Its fine for you to never want this.
London - thank you for your reply as well.
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  #6  
Old 02-03-2014, 09:58 PM
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Originally Posted by alibabe_muse View Post
I'm feeling really pressured by outsiders to become this poly-like family (is that it) community. I just don't know how to tell our hosts I'm not ready. Yes that's it, just tell them.
This piece resonated with me too.

I'm really not a "big poly family" person, and I really, REALLY felt pressured to be more to my metamour than I wanted to be.

She wanted a BFF/sisterly relationship. P loved the idea of all of us being close and one big happy family. I just felt on the outside, thinking, "But I don't WANT this."

I told M1 that the only way we'd ever *get* closer was to spend one-on-one time together - that the "big family" moments wouldn't do it and I needed to try to get to know her better one-on-one. Problem with that was, she took that to mean "the more time we spend together, the closer we'll get" and that wasn't necessarily the case. I thought it was just opening a door that may or may not lead to us getting closer. The miscommunication led to my feeling like everything we did together was a milestone toward a goal ("are we friends yet?" "Are we friends now?" "Are we there yet, Papa Smurf?"), and it didn't feel natural at all.

After some months into this, I finally had to sit down with the both of them and say that this wasn't working for me. I wasn't sure we'd *ever* be that close. She didn't "click" with me as a BFF, and I've never been able to force a close friendship. I felt pressured into it, and it was really bringing out a lot of negativity in me.

She was disappointed. I think she felt that we were closer than we were because we tend to regularly get together (the three of us) and have discussions about what's working, what's not, and work through a lot of difficult emotions at these talks. But on her end, what seemed to be confiding and opening up was really just the things I needed to talk about at these meetings - more due to the situation, not seeing her as a confidante.

We agreed to let things be what they are. Not BFFs, but more like casual friends who occasionally talk about "the hard stuff" due to the situation we're in together. There is MUCH less pressure now, and I have much less "big poly family" anxiety (except when the holidays roll around, apparently).

Anyway, to not cut a long story short at ALL (sheesh), you may not be up for a "big poly family" situation, period. You may not be up for being that close to your metamour. That's okay. It's okay to be close with them, too. It's not okay to force it, because it won't be genuine.

You will definitely need to talk to Bassman, but you may need to clear the air between you and Wild Orchid as well, as maybe your expectations of each other don't match up.

Hang in there! You're doing a good job taking your own internal temperature here - I made the mistake of saying "Well, let's see how it goes" and then having it backfire badly. Keep prioritizing and taking care of yourself while being compassionate toward the others and you may do a better job than I did.
__________________
Dramatis personae:
Me: Mono. Divorced, two kids, two cats, one house with many projects.
Chops: My partner of ~3 years. Poly. In relationships with me, Xena, and Noa.
Xena: Poly. In relationships with Chops and Noa, and dating others.
Noa: Married, Poly. In relationships with Chops and Xena (individually).

My navel-gazing blog thread: A Mono's Journey Into Poly-Land (or, "Aw hell, there's no road map?!")
My slightly more polished blog (external): From Baltic to Boardwalk
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  #7  
Old 02-04-2014, 01:19 AM
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LovingRadiance LovingRadiance is offline
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Ya know-I think sometimes people really struggle with accepting that we are individuals. Yes-even if we are poly, we are still INDIVIDUALS.

GG and I don't do pda. We never really have. We do hold hands sometimes. We will peck a kiss on one anothers forehead if one of us is leaving.
But we really don't do pda. It's just not a part of OUR relationship.
On the other hand-it doesn't bother him to see me being affectionate with Maca.

Maca is VERY into PDA (always has been). He's a touchy/feely/kissy/huggy guy. However;he really can't handle seeing pda beyond hugs and a kiss between me and anyone else.

I don't really see any of those things changing and I don't think that they need to.

We do all live together, so we have a lot of time together. As the hinge, it's my job to pay attention to the needs of both of my partners and ensure that neither is being put in the position of extreme discomfort because of a lack of foresight by me.
We do bbq's and dinners and bday parties and family nights with the kids and we've even been known to go out just the three of us. But I make it a point of acting "the lady" in situations where they are together, and not being overly physically affectionate. Because it makes them uncomfortable.

I think your partner and your metamour need to realize that YOU are an individual and YOUR comforts need to be taken into consideration regarding how everyone acts in a group function before group functions are put on the table. But-that also means that you need to state your preferences clearly and concisely.
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Old 02-04-2014, 07:59 PM
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alibabe_muse alibabe_muse is offline
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Originally Posted by LovingRadiance View Post
I think your partner and your metamour need to realize that YOU are an individual and YOUR comforts need to be taken into consideration regarding how everyone acts in a group function before group functions are put on the table. But-that also means that you need to state your preferences clearly and concisely.
That is it exactly LR! My partner, bassman, and I discussed this yesterday when I picked him up from work and again before he headed over there for his overnight. He completely understands and although at some point in time he'd like for me to "hang" with all of them, realizes I am not ready and also acknowledges I may never be ready.

But before he left, I wanted to make sure he's clear with wild orchid on this. That for me and the kids, if we all "hang out" together PDAs are off limits and no sneaking off to a bedroom or the garage either. Not at this time...the future, I can't promise anything and the future may have to look like the present. I'll find out when we connect tonight after I'm off work. So tentatively we're on for Sunday but I'm still thinking even if she agrees that I have limits, she can't follow through and I just don't want to be in that situation.

I'd love to hang out etc, but last time he stated clearly to her my boundaries, what I was comfortable with, etc and some where (he read to me what he sent her about my limits and it was not vague, very clear) it got lost in translation or just plain disrespected or testing my limits in person which caused a huge fight on the long icy drive home that annoying night back in Dec. I don't want that to occur again. Otherwise I'll just say "fuck it all. I'm done with this relationship" and part ways when we can afford to. That is not what I want but I want my boundaries respected as I respect theirs.
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Old 02-04-2014, 08:57 PM
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Originally Posted by alibabe_muse View Post
. . . tentatively we're on for Sunday but I'm still thinking even if she agrees that I have limits, she can't follow through and I just don't want to be in that situation.

I'd love to hang out etc, but last time he stated clearly to her my boundaries, what I was comfortable with, etc and some where (he read to me what he sent her about my limits and it was not vague, very clear) it got lost in translation or just plain disrespected or testing my limits in person which caused a huge fight on the long icy drive home that annoying night back in Dec. I don't want that to occur again . . . I want my boundaries respected as I respect theirs.
Well. If your boundaries are made clear to her, and she oversteps them, you don't just tolerate and endure it and then get mad at Bassman later. You need to speak up when it happens. And so does Bassman - why doesn't he look out for and defend the agreement he makes with you, in the moment? You could say, "Please stop that. I've asked that you not do that, and it makes me uncomfortable that you've ignored my request. If it happens again, I'm going home." And he can reiterate to her that this is a boundary he wants her to respect. She needs to know you mean business and that Bassman is in solidarity with you about it - when it happens, not a day or a week later.

If the situation is such that you wouldn't be able to actually speak up like that, agree on a secret signal with Bassman to let him know if you are uncomfortable or upset. Then he will know the line's been crossed and can take her aside to tell her to quit it.
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Last edited by nycindie; 02-04-2014 at 09:52 PM.
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Old 02-04-2014, 11:02 PM
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alibabe_muse alibabe_muse is offline
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Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
Well. If your boundaries are made clear to her, and she oversteps them, you don't just tolerate and endure it and then get mad at Bassman later. You need to speak up when it happens. And so does Bassman - why doesn't he look out for and defend the agreement he makes with you, in the moment? You could say, "Please stop that. I've asked that you not do that, and it makes me uncomfortable that you've ignored my request. If it happens again, I'm going home." And he can reiterate to her that this is a boundary he wants her to respect. She needs to know you mean business and that Bassman is in solidarity with you about it - when it happens, not a day or a week later.

If the situation is such that you wouldn't be able to actually speak up like that, agree on a secret signal with Bassman to let him know if you are uncomfortable or upset. Then he will know the line's been crossed and can take her aside to tell her to quit it.
NYC - oh I like that. Never even thought about that. A signal is an excellent idea. THANK YOU!
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