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  #1  
Old 04-23-2014, 07:53 PM
MelinaJ MelinaJ is offline
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Question Partner wants blackout dates for BF

Me and Dan are engaged and have been together for 6 years. I have had prior non-monogamous relationships; but in this relationship I have been poly for only the last 6 months after months of communicating to Dan - who is definitely mono. Basically, Dan will be preparing for the MD exam and has asked me not to go out with other men during a 2 month period while he is studying for the exam 10-12 hours a day, 7 days a week.
I think this absolutely ridiculous and I feel he is being selfish and petty. His logic is simple, he is still adjusting to me being with other men and each incident is stressful and painful; studying for the exam is stressful enough and having me spend the night out or just dating will be adding to his stress. I object for a few reasons, 1) I think it will be unfair and likely deal breaking to any man that I am regularly seeing at that time 2) I am going to be under more pressure during that time as well as I take on more of the household duties and deal with his unavailability basically he is removing an emotional outlet for me .
I think it is a manipulation but I wonder if perhaps I am wrong?? Thoughts.
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Old 04-23-2014, 08:07 PM
AlbertaRaven AlbertaRaven is offline
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Hi Melina,

It sounds like he's made some compromises for you in the last six months. Can you compromise for him for two months? I agree that it will feel like a long time, especially if you're in NRE right now. But any dude worth keeping in your life will wait. Maybe there's a platonic friend or family member you can go to for emotional support during that time? Or maybe you can express those needs to Dan during that time?

From what I understand the partners of MDs have to be willing to make sacrifices. Have you two talked about this?

I agree that it might be a manipulation, but with good logical reasoning on his side. It being a potential manipulation doesn't take away the good reasons for his request. I'd do it, then after the exams ask him to think about why he asked for the blackout. Will he be asking for blackouts again? This is essentially a veto power. Are you willing to allow him this power at times? Can he function as a mono partner with a poly person without that power?
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Old 04-23-2014, 08:25 PM
AlwaysGrowing AlwaysGrowing is offline
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When is this 2 month period? 2 months beginning right now? 2 months beginning in a few months? Beginning in a year?

If it is immediate, I personally would do it. He's not asking you to wait indefinitely to date, he's asking you to wait until he is in a position to emotionally handle the strain that the adjustment takes. While he's studying, he is NOT going to be able to process relationship changes in a healthy way AND be able to absorb and prepare for the exam like he will need to.

If it is way down the road, then I would ask for a compromise. Maybe a minor DADT kind of arrangement where you can date casually but not form any really lasting commitments until he is able to discuss (after his exam).

Opening up a relationship is a major life change - especially when you're monogamous in nature. Taking an exam that is going to forever impact your career, life goals, etc - also a major life change. I don't do more than one major life change at a time (if it's within my control). Someone trying to force me into more than one major life change is not someone respecting me. You have to respect that this exam is a big deal and that he needs to be able to focus. You dating could very easily compromise that focus in a way that could cost him dearly. What's 2 more months of waiting, researching, and thinking about what you want to look for when you're able?
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Old 04-23-2014, 08:26 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Quote:
Basically, Dan will be preparing for the MD exam and has asked me not to go out with other men during a 2 month period while he is studying for the exam 10-12 hours a day, 7 days a week.
It is not manipulation to me. It is simply a request.

He's not always going to be medical exam testing in his life but its one of those big life milestone things that does suck up time, effort and energy and IS stressful. From his POV you dating in a new construct (polyship) is also stressy. 8 weeks to me is pretty short. Shoot, a year is short to me.

He's not saying NO never, just consider taking a break to allow him to succeed at this stressy career thing. He's been trying to work with you on opening a previously monoship shape to something new (polyship) to help you meet your relationship wants/needs/goals. Here is opportunity for you to work with him back to help him meet his career wants/needs/goals. Did you not expect to take turns in a marriage? In 6 years together you never had to take turns?

You could answer him.
  • "Yes, I will do that"
  • "No, I will not do that."
  • Compromise counter offer -- "Ok, I won't see any NEW people. But X? I've already been seeing him. He's not new. So plan to continue to see him. Does that work for you?"

Then let Dan digest your response. Finish negotiating the terms for the next 8 weeks to something that suits both to the "good enough" place.

Getting all bent out of shape over him just asking seems like emotional outburst to me. Calling his want to meet his career goals "selfish, petty and ridiculous" is not kind.

What if it were not studying for medical exams... but his mother was dying? Or him having back surgery? And he asked you to chill on new dating for 8 weeks to let him deal with those things first so he's not having stress on top of stress? So he can then come the polydating thing in better shape and not run down bedraggled? Would you be more willing to do it then?

What is it about this request that pushes your buttons?
  • That it is not fair? (To who? How? You do not expect to take turns in life partnership when stuff comes up?)
  • That X, who is dating you, would break up with you over you being unavailable for a few weeks? (What if you were on a business trip that has NOTHING to do with Dan's schedule -- they'd dump you then too? )
  • That you will be stressy dealing with the house chores and have no emotional outlet if you do not date? (Because you neglected to cultivate other emotional outlets like having friendships? What did you do for emotional outlet before opening up with Dan? Those outlets are no more? )

Quote:
I think it is a manipulation but I wonder if perhaps I am wrong?? Thoughts.
It's reasonable for him to ask to see if you are willing or not willing to do something. He is not a mind reader. It's a reasonable request and it is reasonable to ASK. I think you could be over-reacting.

All you have to do is say "No, thanks" and not stop dating if you don't want to stop.

Then Dan gets to digest your answer and make his next choices from there.

Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 04-24-2014 at 06:18 AM.
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Old 04-23-2014, 09:21 PM
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Anneintherain Anneintherain is offline
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All good advice. If this time doesn't start now I would agree to not date any NEW people during that time, but I would not stop seeing people I was already seeing, though I would agree to manage my dating schedule so that I had set dates and my availability to him was constant and known.

I don't consider new dating partners to be an emotional outlet in the context you are speaking of - you can choose to focus on making friends with the potential for future dating. You are reading as really pissed off to me, I am wondering if there have been other things Dan has done that you feel are "ridiculous" or if you just really aren't happy in this relationship and would be better with a poly partner who is also dating. Truth is you have a winner in a partner who recognizes their limitations and feelings and is asking ahead of time for what he needs instead of telling you its "fine" and then acting like a passive aggressive jerk later. Most people who post for advice on forums would be thrilled to have a partner willing to ask for what they want, and be asking for a limited time change instead of an open ended one.
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Old 04-23-2014, 09:46 PM
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nycindie nycindie is offline
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It sounds like Dan's not totally on board with poly but has acquiesced, even though it is painful for him. Wouldn't some compassion be in order, especially since this is a relatively recent change to your relationship? Two months is not very long. Is your fiance worth that considetation or not?

If I were you, I would ask myself which deal-breaker is more of a risk - the one that could prevent you from getting jiggy with whoever might come along, or the one that hurts your partner of six years.
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Old 04-23-2014, 10:56 PM
MelinaJ MelinaJ is offline
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Thank you for the all responses. I do think I should clarify somewhat. The 2 month hiatus will amount to almost a 3 month hiatus because after the 2 month "study period" we will be across the country on vacation for 3 weeks.

Also, I have agreed to refraining from starting any new relationships or new dates but currently I am seeing someone Joe (though that maybe ending soon). Assuming me and Joe remain together we would have been dating for about 3 months and I think it would be wrong for me to say can we hit "pause" for almost 3 months. I did ask Dan to simply let me compromise by just seeing Joe once per month in that study period but he objects to that.

I do have emotional support from other friends and family. I suppose part of my concern is that he will then want other blackout dates: the holidays, starting a new job. After reading the responses, I am definitely in need of being more compassionate and need to consider his perspective a bit more and look at some of the suggestions you all made.
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Old 04-23-2014, 11:00 PM
PolyinPractice PolyinPractice is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MelinaJ View Post
Me and Dan are engaged and have been together for 6 years. I have had prior non-monogamous relationships; but in this relationship I have been poly for only the last 6 months after months of communicating to Dan - who is definitely mono. Basically, Dan will be preparing for the MD exam and has asked me not to go out with other men during a 2 month period while he is studying for the exam 10-12 hours a day, 7 days a week.
I think this absolutely ridiculous and I feel he is being selfish and petty. His logic is simple, he is still adjusting to me being with other men and each incident is stressful and painful; studying for the exam is stressful enough and having me spend the night out or just dating will be adding to his stress. I object for a few reasons, 1) I think it will be unfair and likely deal breaking to any man that I am regularly seeing at that time 2) I am going to be under more pressure during that time as well as I take on more of the household duties and deal with his unavailability basically he is removing an emotional outlet for me .
I think it is a manipulation but I wonder if perhaps I am wrong?? Thoughts.
You say you've been "poly." Just how "poly" are you? Because that really makes all the difference. If you're mostly casually dating; accepting OKCupid dates, etc. I don't think it's unreasonable to take a stop from dating (bear in mind, if you HAVE started dating someone, and it's brand new, they're not likely to sit around waiting for you for two months).

On the other hand, if you do have a serious relationship (which you've given no indication of in your post, but maybe you just didn't mention), I would say it's definitely NOT cool. I would not mind giving a metamour extra time with a certain partner (especially if s/he were their only partner), but I wouldn't be okay with NO contact for two months.

I think it's best to not do a blackout, but to be extra sure you're giving him the time he needs during this stressful period.
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Old 04-24-2014, 12:26 AM
AlwaysGrowing AlwaysGrowing is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MelinaJ View Post
Also, I have agreed to refraining from starting any new relationships or new dates but currently I am seeing someone Joe (though that maybe ending soon). Assuming me and Joe remain together we would have been dating for about 3 months and I think it would be wrong for me to say can we hit "pause" for almost 3 months. I did ask Dan to simply let me compromise by just seeing Joe once per month in that study period but he objects to that.
Have you asked him why he objects? Granted, if you're thinking it's about to end, it may not really matter.

Still, though. 2 months. The extra 3 weeks aren't Dan's fault, that's a joint vacation/trip that you've agreed to already so you can't really decide to tack that on top of the ban since it's YOUR choice not Dan's request.
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Old 04-24-2014, 12:53 AM
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LovingRadiance LovingRadiance is offline
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I happen to think the request on his part is reasonable and not manipulative.
Part of being partners, is caring for needs that may be "above and beyond" SOMETIMES.
Two months is a long time compared to two days. But two months is a drop in the bucket compared to a lifetime commitment....

When I had an emotional breakdown-no one (not just not girlfriends, no friends no family etc) came into our home for almost 6 months-except the people who live in it.
Furthermore-my partners didn't go ANYWHERE except to work. They have opposite schedules and they worked their schedules around being able to supervise me and the kids.

No dating.

It sucked. For me and for them. But-in the long run-big picture-it was worth it to all of us-for my LIFE. For OUR life.

Likewise; When I had emergency surgery that knocked me flat on my back for 8 months-there wasn't any option of "going out" on a date, which meant if they wanted to see anyone else-those people had to come here. Because I couldn't take care of myself much less the kids. Another adult HAD TO BE PRESENT. Period.

Two months for him to finish the culmination of education so he can get a job and have a future with you. Not an unreasonable request.
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