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Old 03-23-2014, 12:13 AM
Kernow Kernow is offline
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Default Adapting to change

I'm feeling a bit confused today because I am trying to adapt to new ideas, no doubt I will sort things out in my head in due course, but I would be interested in your thoughts (please don't be too hard on me, the last few years have been quite a steep learning curve).

My husband is poly, that's just the way he is and now that I understand more about it I have no problem with it; he is who he is. He and I have been together for ten years, his other partner C has been in his life for over four years. When I found out about and accepted the poly, I expected that it wouldn't involve me much, in my head it was just a case of sharing him. It didn't work out like that, C and I quickly became very close fiends. C is bisexual but I am straight or at least I thought I was. In time it just evolved that the three of us were involved, we spend time all together and we see each other individually. The physical side of things is important but it is not the most important part of the relationship. We have continued happily like this for almost 4 years.

In the past my husband has had occasional 'dates' as well which I am okay about as long as he is honest about it. C is less comfortable about this sort of thing, but she has agreed to it once or twice. My husband and C are into bdsm but I'm not, except in a very minor way. Today he told me that he wants to play with an acquaintance on a one off or very occasional basis. I have met her briefly once or twice and after asking him a couple of questions I am okay about it. I made it clear that C has to know and agree too, I am not willing to hide anything from her. He understands that, but what he said next left me totally shocked; he wants me to go and watch! My first reaction was to say no, that it is outside my comfort zone and not something I want or need to be part of. He accepts that it is my decision (he has never pushed me into anything) but he asked me to think it over for a few days.

I guess a little bit of me is worried about upsetting the balance of what we have for something relatively unimportant, but that is not a big worry. C and I decided long ago that our friendship/relationship would continue even if things end with my husband and C. Each of us is free to pursue other interests if we want to so I'm certainly not going to stand in the way of that. In a way it is quite nice that he wanted to include me and it wouldn't be such a big deal to do what he wanted, but my instinct is still to say no. I think my real objection is that I don't want to take responsibility for this other person, and if he wants this it is up to him to negotiate it with C. I don't want the responsibility of being the one who everyone depends on. I'm not sure if that makes any sense. I think the best thing I can do is park it at the back of my mind for a few days and give myself time to think it through.
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Old 03-23-2014, 12:31 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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I'm sorry you struggle.

Here's what stands out to me from my POV.

PROBLEM
  • he wants me to go and watch him have a BDSM scene with his acquaintance.
  • he asked me to think it over a few days and answer
  • he's willing to accept my decision.

MY WANTS
  • My first reaction was to say no, that it is outside my comfort zone and not something I want or need to be part of.
  • my real objection is that I don't want to take (emotional?) responsibility for this other person and if he wants this it is up to him to negotiate it with C.
  • I don't want the responsibility of being the one who everyone depends on (emotionally).
  • (Unspoken -- I didn't expect to get close/involved with C, and then I did. I don't expect or want to get close with his play person so I rather not get involved there at all.)

I'm guessing you mean emotional responsibility there? I'm totally guessing the last bullet point. I could guess wrong.

But basically I'm hearing "NO."

You could tell him you don't want to attend his scene with the person, and that you expect him to also ask C about her feelings on it. Remind him you made it clear that C has to know and agree too, you are not willing to hide anything from her.

Seems straightforward enough. What is making it hard for you to tell him "no?"

Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 03-23-2014 at 12:34 PM.
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Old 03-23-2014, 12:46 PM
Kernow Kernow is offline
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Thank you for summing that up so well.

The difficulty is that I am so pleased that he has done this the right way round in terms of expressing a need and telling me clearly what he wants that I really don't want to just say no.

I don't dislike the person, she seems quite nice but I know that she has some problems and while I feel for her I don't want to take responsibility for her vulnerability. My head knows that she is old enough and wise enough to make her own decisions but I can also see her vulnerability. It has taken me a while to become strong enough to express my own needs and I still 'wobble' a bit when I feel as if I am putting my own needs or wants before those of the people I love. Sorry, that last bit probably doesn't make sense.
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Old 03-23-2014, 12:56 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Quote:
The difficulty is that I am so pleased that he has done this the right way round in terms of expressing a need and telling me clearly what he wants that I really don't want to just say no.
Is it possible for you to say something like --

"I am really pleased you have asked me up front like this. I'm pleased that you clearly expressed you wanting me to come along to watch, were willing to give me time to think it over, and were prepared to accept my decision. That part was AWESOME!

I have to say "no" because it really isn't my cup of tea though. But keep asking me like this! I love it!"


If you are a person raised to put other people's needs/wants ahead of yours it can be hard to learn the difference between "selfish" and "self full." Other topic, but perhaps reading this post helps you with the (selfish -- self-full -- selfless) thing.

I think you could meet your OWN need for (I need to feel emotionally safe) first, and then whatever else you do for others after that can be a gift. Rather than a chore or oblgiation or worse -- meeting other people's stuff before yours and running your own self dry.

"Self-full" to me is meeting your own needs and the needs of others in a balanced way. Put your own oxygen mask on first -- after that help whoever else. This is not being selfish. This is necessary! If it were an actual plane emergency, you can help a lot more others having put your own mask on first than trying to help and kicking the bucket because you ran out of air from not attending to your own need to breathe.

It's ok to "wobble" -- but you are not doing anything horrible in trying to meet your own need (to feel safe) above his want (come watch me do a scene.)

Wants are not needs. If his need is to feel close and connected to you, it can come about doing something other than you watching him do a scene. To be close in that form is a WANT to me. The NEED can be met doing something else to me -- go bowling, have dinner out, catch movie -- whatever thing you BOTH like doing.

Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 03-23-2014 at 07:59 PM.
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Old 03-23-2014, 03:41 PM
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Magdlyn Magdlyn is offline
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Why are you "shocked" he wants you to watch him do kink with new girl? You say he and C are more into BDSM than you are. Have you watched them do kink? Would he ask C to watch him do new girl if you don't want to? I mean, C is more into that scene, she seems like the one to ask.

I am not a voyeur or an exhibitionist so I don't get this "watching" thing at all.

If C struggles with jealousy, seems to me the main problem is getting her OK with hubby being intimate with others, period, not his random feeling of increasing hotness with new girl by having his wife (who isn't very kinky at all) watch them do stuff!
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Old 03-23-2014, 07:48 PM
Kernow Kernow is offline
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GalaGirl thank you so much, your thoughts on this have been a great help. I will be able to express my feelings much more clearly now.

Magdlyn, thank you, your very straightforward logical questions have made me think more clearly. My response to the questions that you raised took a bit of thinking about. I'm shocked (probably surprised is more accurate than shocked) because it is unusual for him to articulate his 'wants' so clearly without prompting. I feel uncomfortable because it is a bit of a jolt to our security (but that is not necessarily a bad thing).

The question about C watching instead of me is perfectly reasonable. She wouldn't want to, I know that even before the issue has been raised with her. She is much more prone to feel hurt or jealous than I am but if he explains what he wants and why tactfully she will probably agree to it. C has a disability and because of that the possibility of her watching (or participating) isn't very realistic even if she wanted to. Yes I have watched and participated in kink stuff with my husband and C and I like it. The difference is that I am emotionally involved with both of them, I have no interest in this new person and I have no desire to participate in or watch something which I have no emotional investment in. It wouldn't be such a big deal to watch if it really matters to him, it just wouldn't tick any boxes for me. Like you I don't really get the watching thing.

Assuming that C agrees to it happening. I think I will talk the issue over with her before giving a final answer.
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Old 03-23-2014, 09:00 PM
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Inyourendo Inyourendo is offline
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I just feel like if its not your thing and you don't want to, then don't do it. Seems pretty simple to me
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Old 03-23-2014, 09:51 PM
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SchrodingersCat SchrodingersCat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kernow View Post
e understands that, but what he said next left me totally shocked; he wants me to go and watch! My first reaction was to say no, that it is outside my comfort zone and not something I want or need to be part of.
I met Gralson through the kink scene. We used to go to BDSM parties. A few times, I watched him play with other people, but I never got excited about it. At first I felt like a "bad poly" because I wasn't feeling all awesome about him having fun with other people. Not that I'd call it jealousy or even envy. It was mostly just boring, like being the kid with the cast at a birthday pool-party. I didn't want to be the birthday girl, but I didn't want to be stuck on the deck either.

Has he expressed his desire as a "need" and if so, was it a need to have you specifically watch, or just to be watched by someone? Lots of people have voyeuristic fetishes and I doubt he'd have too much trouble finding a suitable substitute.
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Old 03-23-2014, 09:57 PM
Kernow Kernow is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inyourendo View Post
I just feel like if its not your thing and you don't want to, then don't do it. Seems pretty simple to me
You are right of course, the responses on this thread have helped me to untangle my thoughts about it. I now feel comfortable to explain why my answer would be no, but thinking it through has made me feel much less anxious about saying yes, if it matters that much to him.
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Old 03-23-2014, 11:48 PM
Kernow Kernow is offline
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SchrodingersCat, yes we sometimes go to those sort of parties and events, he likes to watch but he doesn't play in public. I don't really get anything out of watching, and at first I felt awkward at those events because I don't have a 'label' so It was hard to fit in. I'm okay now, people are used to me and I have made my own friends so I feel able to sit and have a chat or go off and do my own thing rather than needing to stay close to C or my husband.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SchrodingersCat View Post
Has he expressed his desire as a "need" and if so, was it a need to have you specifically watch, or just to be watched by someone? Lots of people have voyeuristic fetishes and I doubt he'd have too much trouble finding a suitable substitute.
Thank you for prompting me to consider that question. Yes, I think it does have to be me. It wouldn't cross his mind to ask C because he would worry about her reaction to watching him with someone else (he gets very scared of damaging their relationship). He and I have been through a lot together and he knows that I am fairly resilient so he tends to assume that I will always cope. Having thought about it I think that he does actually want me to watch, but I think me being there is also partly about keeping him safe and reminding the new woman (J) that he is attached (she doesn't need reminding). Maybe there is also something in his head that makes him feel that C will feel better about it if I am there to ensure that he doesn't cross any boundaries. My view is that none of those reasons are valid, if he wants this encounter fair enough but if he doesn't trust her or himself or if he is worried about his relationship with C then he shouldn't get involved. It isn't really my responsibility to meet any of those needs. If he just wants me to watch because it would make him feel good in some way i wouldn't really mind doing it, but I don't think he has thought clearly about my needs/feelings or about how J (the new woman) may feel.
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