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  #31  
Old 07-30-2010, 08:26 PM
anotherbo anotherbo is offline
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Default Smack!

I would want to smack him too.

Even as a poly guy who feels very little jealousy, this struck me as so insensitive, and so disrespectful of the suffering you've both endured. Here's grasping at straws... is it possible he didn't mean it that way.

Anyhow, just sitting here at my computer, its hard to resist an urge to violence... but mostly toward the abusers.


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  #32  
Old 07-31-2010, 08:20 AM
dragonflysky dragonflysky is offline
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Originally Posted by DavidWebb View Post
Just in general, I have always thought that the Little Red Hen was the only one who should be able to eat the bread.

-DW
I can certainly relate to that feeling/belief!! At the same time....healing is healing. The good news is that she has healed enough to be able to engage in healthier relationships, including those of a sexual nature. The "bad" news (in terms of the feelings you're struggling with) is that she has healed enough to be able to engage in healthier relationships, including those of a sexual nature, with more than one person.

I can believe that your intent was "pure" in terms of hanging in there, supporting her, helping her out, being with her through the tough times, because you genuinely love her.....not because you expected to be "rewarded". At the same time, of course you'd want the benefit of having a healthy sexual relationship with her. It's something that has been missing in your relationship. And since "poly" just came into the picture, you would have had no reason to even think about anyone else "benefiting" from the healing she has experienced. In all those years of struggles, it was a non-factor. (It would be kind of like "Damn, I finally get something I've been wanting all these years....and now you're telling me I have to share it?!)

I want to encourage you to be patient and gentle with yourself. You've had a lot to take on that you had no way of knowing about ahead of time and gradually preparing for.

Last edited by dragonflysky; 07-31-2010 at 08:25 AM.
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  #33  
Old 07-31-2010, 11:45 AM
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Erato Erato is offline
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Originally Posted by DavidWebb
I believe that we do have an awesome connection. But what I find difficult believing is that it is completely “satisfying” to her. Because if it was, why the need for others? I feel I have done whatever she has asked of me and yet I have a sense it leaves her wanting more (even though Christie counters this by saying “And it's not that I do, necessarily”). For me, there’s a loss of pride there that I can’t “satisfy” her (kind of ‘all of a sudden’ – see next paragraph).
My partner struggles with this concept too. The only way I could think to explain it for now is that I am completely satisfied in my relationship with him but he cannot, and likely never will be able to, satisfy me in my relationships with others.

For him, being monogamous, I satisfy his sexual/emotional/partnership needs completely so that, even when he has attractions to people, he has no inclination or desire to act on it.

Because that's the way it works for him, it hurts him to think that it doesn't work that way for me. It's not that there's some deficiency in him or our relationship it's just that I don't operate the same way as him. We're wired differently.

I've given up trying to understand his view point and now I'm working on accepting it and being patient, kind and gentle with him while we work on our relationship.

The point about sexual verses emotional freedom I would also mention is this: (and please keep in mind that I am only referring to what is happening in my own relationship with my partner here) I had to give up the idea that I was refraining from sex with others because I wasn't "allowed" to by him and embrace the concept that I am focusing on building up my relationship with the man I want to be with and choosing to only be with him in that way for now. Having grown up trying to force myself into monogamy, which never worked for me, it is hard to see it that way but it helps when I manage to get there.

Oh, and I don't mean to go on but, I wanted to mention one more thing: The fact that Christie now feels safe enough to admit to herself, and the world, that she has poly tendencies speaks volumes of how happy and secure she must feel with you. It's generally conceived to be pretty socially abnormal, by the general public, in my own limited experience - to break from the mono-mould. The fact that she feels she can talk openly with you about it shows that you've built great communication together. The fact that she felt she could bring it up and you wouldn't condemn her or head for the hills also is a great sign of how supported she must feel.

When I've been in bad relationships (not blaming anyone as I was half of each of those relationships!) I have been inclined to hide or deny any part of myself which might cause disturbances - especially if I got a knee-jerk reaction when brought it up. The fact that you're here and she's becoming comfortable with herself on this level tells me that you must be a really great partner - not lacking in the least!
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  #34  
Old 08-08-2010, 07:50 PM
inlovewith2 inlovewith2 is offline
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When I've been in bad relationships (not blaming anyone as I was half of each of those relationships!) I have been inclined to hide or deny any part of myself which might cause disturbances - especially if I got a knee-jerk reaction when brought it up. The fact that you're here and she's becoming comfortable with herself on this level tells me that you must be a really great partner - not lacking in the least!
Erato,

You are absolutely right--he is the most awesome partner I could ever ask for, in *every* way, and his working so hard to understand my poly desires is just further evidence of that.

He's been through so much, over the years, but especially in the last couple of years and not only does he still love me, he has the strength to put so much work into our relationship and examining why he's having such a difficult time.

Thanks for your input. We are actually close to posting an update as it's been a (busy and eventful) couple of weeks I think.
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  #35  
Old 08-09-2010, 05:42 PM
inlovewith2 inlovewith2 is offline
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Default Update on the importance of sex--Had our first appointment with a poly-friendly couns

So, DavidWebb and I went to see an actually poly-friendly counselor yesterday. How refreshing that she was using terms like “secondary” and “poly” with not so much as a bat of an eyelash. So, in that sense, I felt at home. A friend suggested that a poly-friendly counselor might make DW feel “ganged up on”, but as a therapist myself, I know that this should not be the case. As the recipient of many horrible counseling exchanges, I knew it was possible, though.

We'll have to see what he says, but at first check in, he did not feel that way at all with her (he concurs). It is pretty clear that she didn't gather that DW is not comfortable with poly yet, so she needs to have that clarified! But she did an amazing job gathering a history with a few well chosen questions. And it helps that we are obviously in love and committed to each other!

Anyway, so we talked about the advantages of the relationship with bf, and how his being a survivor fits. DW reflected how he understood a relationship with another survivor would feel safer, and indicated that he knows he can't offer that to me, but he said it in what I thought to be a very defeated way, so I made it very clear that my relationship with him is so much more whole. No, he's never going to be able to understand it all, but he offers me so much more.

Anyway, I got really emotional when going back to January when this all started, remembering the place I was in --I've been feeling closer to that place of late given a series of community tragedies and some other interpersonal struggles, including the termination of one secondary relationship, which though in the long run is most definitely for the best, still has an emotional impact—and it was good to finally be able to have the connection between the sexual abuse, the depression and the entry into polyamory honored. No one was letting me off the hook (which they shouldn't), but no one was pointing fingers either. It felt much safer.

At the end, she asked us to paint a picture of our “worst-case scenario” and what absolutely cannot happen. So that's our homework.

****On the way home (where truthfully we do the best work), DW commented on the point in the session where I said that hitting bottom was very eye-opening for me and I thought “let's do this” (referring to healing myself sexually). His immediate thought was “yeah, let's; YOU and ME”. And it just hurts so much to understand how he feels that way and to not be able to give that to him. Well, maybe I can (go back to being mono), but I don't think it's ever going to look the way either of us would hope if I do.

I don't know how to help him understand that my loving someone else and even being intimate with them, only serves to keep the idea of sex as a positive alive. That was stolen from me for a long time (way too long) and I just want to take it back. It sure as hell isn't his or my fault that we are where we are, but we are. Does that make sense to anyone? ******

I think I'm in a unique position relative to what I've read of others' experiences on here. I certainly didn't repress for years that I was poly, what I did was repress for years that I could be a healthy sexual being. Now, I am, by definition, poly, but do you see how it's not the same? So, in some respects, I think it may be even easier for DW to fall into the trap of thinking that it's because of something about him, either active or passive, that “caused” me to look elsewhere. I know that it's not so. I know that it's about experiences way before he knew me, but he doesn't know that, and I don't know how to show him that it is true.

So, I was very despondent and rather unresponsive Friday night after the session, which of course can feed into the idea that he gets in “trouble” when he shares his real feelings. He's not in the least bit of trouble, I'm just fighting with guilt, and trying to help us move forward. I'm so glad that he felt comfortable sharing that with me and as I told him Saturday, whether he shares it out loud or not, his feelings will find a way to manifest (I know, I know, psychobabble, but I am a therapist and no one can change that either :P) so I need to know so that we can heal together.

So there you have it. This is more of an update than anything, so I'm wondering if maybe it should go in the blog. I'm wondering if the blog should be retitled—something like Survivor issues and poly, so that it would be easier to find. I think it's currently titled "ILW2's blog". I don't know how these things work.

If anyone has thoughts questions, or feedback, we're open to that too! I'd particularly love thoughts on the two paragraphs starting with "on the way home". I've starred them to make them easier to find.

Thanks all,
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  #36  
Old 08-09-2010, 08:13 PM
Tonberry Tonberry is offline
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Originally Posted by inlovewith2 View Post
On the way home (where truthfully we do the best work), DW commented on the point in the session where I said that hitting bottom was very eye-opening for me and I thought “let's do this” (referring to healing myself sexually). His immediate thought was “yeah, let's; YOU and ME”. And it just hurts so much to understand how he feels that way and to not be able to give that to him.
I can see how it would hurt him. It would have seemed to him that as much as he wanted to help you, he couldn't, you wanted/needed someone else to do it. He could have felt unimportant, rejected or not good enough.
I completely understand how that is NOT the case though.
The way I see it, you needed to do it for yourself. However, your husband is someone you already trust completely, and therefore, to know you were healed, it made more sense to figure out if you were able to trust someone else with your sexuality.
Because of who he is, because he has been there the whole time, trusting him might just mean you trust HIM, and nobody else.
Being able to be intimate with a new person, however, would be more depending on YOU than on HIM. It would show that YOU were now able to do it. Not just with DW, but in general.

In that prospect (if I understood it properly, that is), it made sense that you needed to get out of the "safe zone" and put yourself on the line outside to see if you could handle it. Since he was/is your safe zone, that meant getting away from him. Which would be hard for him, I'm sure.

Did I understand where you were coming from, or am I completely missing it?
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  #37  
Old 08-09-2010, 08:25 PM
inlovewith2 inlovewith2 is offline
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Originally Posted by anotherbo View Post
I would want to smack him too.

Even as a poly guy who feels very little jealousy, this struck me as so insensitive, and so disrespectful of the suffering you've both endured. Here's grasping at straws... is it possible he didn't mean it that way.

Anyhow, just sitting here at my computer, its hard to resist an urge to violence... but mostly toward the abusers.


Anotherbo

For a series of reasons of which this particular comment he made fit in, I will no longer be dating this man. In that sense, I'm actually glad that he made that comment, for it was a flag that I could not ignore. I'm not a "model" of anything, I'm a human being and like it or not, my anxiety/depression are a part of me. I try very hard to minimize their impact on my life, but I will not date someone who wants to ignore the reality.
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  #38  
Old 08-09-2010, 10:14 PM
GroundedSpirit GroundedSpirit is offline
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Default Late view..........but

Quote:
****On the way home (where truthfully we do the best work), DW commented on the point in the session where I said that hitting bottom was very eye-opening for me and I thought “let's do this” (referring to healing myself sexually). His immediate thought was “yeah, let's; YOU and ME”. And it just hurts so much to understand how he feels that way and to not be able to give that to him. Well, maybe I can (go back to being mono), but I don't think it's ever going to look the way either of us would hope if I do.

I don't know how to help him understand that my loving someone else and even being intimate with them, only serves to keep the idea of sex as a positive alive. That was stolen from me for a long time (way too long) and I just want to take it back. It sure as hell isn't his or my fault that we are where we are, but we are. Does that make sense to anyone? ******
Hi,

I'm late picking up on this thread (and all of them) so hope it's still active.
Where you had asked for some feedback in particular relating to the above paragraphs I'd like to toss something out here.

It does seem hard - maybe even unfair to him - that he was beside you helping you overcome your sexual disfunction - only to have it snowball into something more that he might have imagined.

But here's the (to me) key point that he (and many/most) are missing.
Sexuality is a natural human function and how it's expressed/embraced varies as much as individuals vary. And it continues to vary at different times in our life. It really does NOT justify being put on the pedestal that most people put it on.
I would ask him this............
If he had hung in there with you and helped you overcome an eating disorder, would he be just as uncomfortable with you either eating alone - or having lunch with someone else ?

I suspect not. I suspect he celebrate your new found capability !

I suggest viewing sex in a similar context. While sex CAN play an important role in relationships, it's not the be-all/end-all ! And if it is, the relationship is on slippery ground already.

True enough - your 'coming out' to your suppressed sexual identity was a path you both shared, and you seem to see that aspect - and as the bonding element it should be. It may be that he needs a deeper understanding of how experiences like this serve to reinforce the bonds - NOT threaten them.

He's losing nothing here unless his misunderstanding fouls what should be a hugely positive reinforcement.

My thoughts anyway.............

GS

Last edited by GroundedSpirit; 08-09-2010 at 10:16 PM.
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  #39  
Old 08-10-2010, 12:27 AM
anotherbo anotherbo is offline
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Default For sure...

Quote:
I don't know how to help him understand that my loving someone else and even being intimate with them, only serves to keep the idea of sex as a positive alive. That was stolen from me for a long time (way too long) and I just want to take it back. It sure as hell isn't his or my fault that we are where we are, but we are. Does that make sense to anyone? ******
This makes a lot of sense to me. It is yours, and you surely deserve to enjoy it (finally).

That said, it must be incredibly painful for DW to have to share, just when you're starting to feel good about it.

Are you having trouble enjoying it as much with DW as others? Nothing you specifically said has made me think this, just a feeling. Please let me know if I'm way off base.

But if I'm not, this must be another really painful blow for DW to absorb. And even if it is true, I'd bet its a temporary thing: something that will fix itself as you keep getting healthier.

I am so impressed with you guys, the way you've been working through all this!

/hugs and love,


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  #40  
Old 08-10-2010, 05:24 AM
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SchrodingersCat SchrodingersCat is offline
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If he had hung in there with you and helped you overcome an eating disorder, would he be just as uncomfortable with you either eating alone - or having lunch with someone else ?
brilliant!
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