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  #31  
Old 10-18-2010, 09:05 AM
anotherbo anotherbo is offline
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Wow, its hard to believe this huge shift in mindset happened within 3 days!

Remembering to see S as a whole person, not a plaything, is so crucial... I'm so glad RP helped you refocus! S would have been so hurt otherwise, and you would have felt like the biggest asshole.

The next big test of this mindset will come if (BIG IF I know) you and S start getting involved. Its perfectly natural to think, C and you will make the boundaries. But S needs to be able to make her needs and wants known, as well.

And of course you'll have tons of work keeping C feeling loved, safe and cared for.

Congratulations on avoiding one of the biggest traps!


Side note: C's increased sex drive/curiosity could be more related to her depression being alleviated than anything else. As someone who has had long stretches of crippling depression, once you "wake up" from it, sex drive and overall confidence tend to go through the roof. Might be why she felt ok about bringing up the subject of your feelings for S, as well.
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  #32  
Old 10-18-2010, 08:03 PM
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Crazy weekend, all told.

@anotherbo: It's not that it's a massive shift in mindset, persay, but more of a breakdown of cognitive dissonance. Busting down walls that I'd put in as a safety mechanism. To keep me safe. To keep my marriage safe.

I knew I felt a certain way. But I also knew what it would mean to admit that I felt that way. So instead, I put up walls - detachment - to hide it.

Dealing with these feelings openly and honestly forced me to deal with some demons, to steal a cliche. It actually gets all the way down to my father, and the ways he "taught" me to see and deal with women. I know it's the likeliest story in the book, but it's true.

My wife, C, as it turns out, did become quite jealous as we talked through things. It was a tough series of conversations. I had to say hurtful things a few times to be really honest.

What I realized was something I hadn't expected. It was never the sex that bothered her - she was being honest about that. Which is why she was saying to go for it - but at some point, I told her I had feelings that weren't as simple as getting laid. And then things got difficult.

I've read around that jealousy really comes from other places - and it really is true. The details are hurtful, and I don't want to go through them here, but suffice to say that S wasn't the only person that I wasn't giving enough respect. The weird thing is, it took all this to work through that, to realize that, and to realize what it is about myself that causes me to act that way.

If none of this had ever happened, I would have had a much quieter weekend. But things also would have been the same as before - I would have had feelings locked away in the closet, unaddressed - convenient, complacent, but miserable at the same time.

I had to put it out there, and risk hurting myself and others, to learn how to love better. And I have.

I'll never have the sexual relationship with S that I'd fantasized about. And it took me exploring those emotions to realize that I don't want to. She verified one thing - that she trusts me and regards me as a close friend. I promised her I wouldn't betray that trust.

I...don't know where that leaves us - NS partners, or close friends, or what. I guess at some point, you need to quit worrying about defining things and just talk about how the heck you feel. Honestly, the way you guys look at emotions, and the more I look at things, the more I realize that nothing is anywhere near as cut and dry as we're all conditioned to think it is.

Anyways. I'll be around. Thanks for everything.
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  #33  
Old 10-18-2010, 08:54 PM
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NS partners is not a bad place to be. This site has a lot of good information to help strengthen your relationship with your wife as well.
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  #34  
Old 10-18-2010, 09:15 PM
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I guess what's not clear to me is...where do you draw the line between a close friend, and someone who's closer?

Is there a line at all there? Or is it something that can only be self-described, in the eye of the beholder?

Put a different way,

What is the difference between a polyamorous person's NS partner, and a mongamous person's close friend?

Are there genuine differences here? Does it just come down to how you personally feel about the person?
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  #35  
Old 10-18-2010, 09:53 PM
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I can only speak for what I have seen with my husband. I am the one that has labled our friend as his NSP or NS G/F, he just calls her a close friend, but he doesn't even have this close of a relationship with anyone else. Personally I like the term Partner vs G/F because it is a better description of their relationship.

1. If anything happened to me or the kids, she would be the first person he would call. He might even call her before calling me, depending on the situation. Truth is I would also call her if anything happened to him or the kids before even calling my mom and have.

2. She knows more about our family life than anyone else not living with us.

3. People mistake her for his wife and are surprised when I finally show my face. It is actually the ongoing joke that she is his second wife, even from her husband.

4. They can't go more than a day or two without talking, not sure who actually needs to talk more(probably her since my husband is happy just being silent). Texting is another story

5. I don't even blink an eye if she is at our house when I get home from work on his day off.

For the most part, I have never been bothered by their relationship, except when things start getting bad between us, then all my insecurities come to the forefront. They do alot of service projects together and it is nice knowing that someone will be looking after him when I can't be there (or don't want to), she is a detail person like me where he sees the starting line and the finish line and can't see any of the pitfalls inbetween.

Last edited by SNeacail; 10-18-2010 at 09:56 PM.
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  #36  
Old 10-18-2010, 10:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mumbles View Post
I guess what's not clear to me is...where do you draw the line between a close friend, and someone who's closer?

Is there a line at all there? Or is it something that can only be self-described, in the eye of the beholder?

Put a different way,

What is the difference between a polyamorous person's NS partner, and a mongamous person's close friend?

Are there genuine differences here? Does it just come down to how you personally feel about the person?
Sorry I missed chatting with you this morning Mumbles. Work is not the best place for me to chat, but I would of liked to of said hi.

I think your relationship can be whatever you want it to be. No restrictions or boundaries in terms of definition. The rules are fluid and about following what feels right. My NS boyfriend and I decided on that term for us because it fits. I hold his hand, snuggle up to him in a loving way and talk to him about deep issues. It just fits to call him a boyfriend. He and I both enjoy that. I get my sexual needs met elsewhere and he is working on that too.

Really, you are working so hard and should feel very proud I think. Your wife sounds like she is struggling, but I haven't heard any reason she can't trust you so hopefully she will come around to realize that you love her. It takes time, patience, empathy, respect and continued honest communication; radical honesty. Good for you!
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  #37  
Old 10-19-2010, 03:37 PM
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@redpepper: Yea, no sweat on missing me - I was at work too, it was just slow at the time so I thought I'd give you a shout.

I feel the same way; it's more about feelings than labels.

You said I've been working hard...what's really weird about this whole occurrence is it's forced me to look at the way I look at people in my life (not just women!) and realize that I've lived (in secret?) as a self-centered prick for a large bit of my life up to this point.

For instance, my friend B is my single closest friend. He and I go back farther than anyone I know. His dad died not too long ago, and he has a newborn on his hands. He has a really hard time talking about his feelings...I know he's having a hard time letting go of his dad's death.

He's said a few times...things that, had I been caring about him, should have indicated to me that he needed me; so many times I just ignored it. I'm not ignoring those things anymore - he'd had a really hard day yesterday, and for the first time in a long time I put his needs in front of mine, and drove out to him with a couple of brews. (His baby-mama was out of the house, too, as she seems to be a lot. He's told me she leaves him alone kind of a lot, and when he's alone he cries to himself.)

I only bring this up as an example - you go through life thinking you care about people, but so often it's just pretend, and life's entirely too short to pretend.

C and I are actually not shook up at all. Better than ever. We did end up talking really intensely for a few days, about what turned into a much wider range of topics than just me and S.

I had a strange epiphany about it. Remember that "odd" feeling I'd had, how things just weren't quite right with me and C, even though we weren't fighting, or having any major problems? I'm about 99% sure I know what it was now. We hadn't connected emotionally in a long time. I realized something about C that I hadn't before. She feels secure and connected to me when I open up to her, and talk about my feelings with her. I've always (surprise surprise) had a really hard time talking about any of my feelings, and especially things that have to do with my upbringing - there was a lot of "soft" domestic violence in my home, and although my dad has a lot of good qualities, treating women correctly and caring about people was never one of his strong suits. It hurts me so bad to talk about some of those feelings, so I've always boxed them up.

Here's how I know. I've read that jealousy is indicative of something secondary, and I've also read that it stems because of an unmet need; it now makes perfect sense to me that C would be upset that I was having an emotional connection with someone when I hadn't had one with her in a long time - and still have trouble opening up to her when I do. When I talked to her, and opened up to her, the jealousy faded so quickly and was replaced by love and passion. She wasn't mad at me about S. She understood about S. She'd had her need to feel connected met, and I think that's what really put her at ease.

Going forward, I'm going to make sure THAT is the need that I meet, and it's a lot harder than what I'm used to. It's easy to buy someone a purse to make them feel superficially happy; it's much harder to share yourself and share your feelings with someone when you're not used to it. But that's what feeds her, and she was starved.

It feels so good knowing I have a lover who understands me. C isn't threatened by S as much/at all, even knowing "the whole story."

You might have noticed I speak in metaphor a lot - I just find it helpful. I think I found my favorite one so far though, talking to B last night. I told him, human relationships aren't black and white, or even delineated by shades of grey. They're more like individual paintings; each one has it's own palette, with it's own mix of colors. When you paint a painting, sometimes you apply more of this color, or more of that color; if it's a relationship you care about, you really concentrate and pick the right colors to make it the...best painting you can. If you don't care, the colors sit on the palette, and mix, and get untidy, unkempt. You try to paint it and it's dirty, and doesn't look how you want it to. That's just my new favorite metaphor and I wanted to share it.

I thought for a while, "How can I start having the relationship I want with S?" ...and I kept thinking, and thinking. What I finally decided to do was send her a text message:

"How's life for you today?"

Nothing much different than something I've said to people a million times before. But this time, I care about the answer. And that's all I have to do to feel good.

Last edited by mumbles; 10-19-2010 at 03:51 PM. Reason: minor fix just tidying up...
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  #38  
Old 10-19-2010, 07:30 PM
GroundedSpirit GroundedSpirit is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mumbles View Post

I thought for a while, "How can I start having the relationship I want with S?" ...and I kept thinking, and thinking. What I finally decided to do was send her a text message:

"How's life for you today?"

Nothing much different than something I've said to people a million times before. But this time, I care about the answer. And that's all I have to do to feel good.
Hey Mumbles,

Well, well...........

Quite the little journey you've had in a short period. But that seems to happen to more people than we probably realize - some of which discover this "label" (poly) and end up there.

I was stuck on a previous post of yours while reading the one which included the above quote. The age old question of where does a "friendship" end and "love" begins.
I think what many of us either believe - or hope for - is that the line begins & ends with a realization. The realization that there is really no difference - only a difference in whether we embrace it and follow through with actions.

You seem to have hit this realization - not only with S - but with C - which is beautiful. Doesn't it make you feel you took a leap to a whole new level in your relationship ?

When we care enough about someone besides ourselves to TRULY care, to actually feel their pain when they hurt, to step forward to try to bring something light into their life - what else CAN you call this ? And I guess my point is, it doesn't matter ! Call it 'friendship'. Call it 'love'. Call it Namaste. Whatever.

But you feel it. And it changes you. Usually forever. And if you are brave enough - you live it !

GS
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  #39  
Old 10-19-2010, 07:48 PM
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Even found it for your friend. Right now it sounds like he needs someone to be present in his life. It sounds like he is really hurting. GS is right there is really no difference between friend and lover other than investment for me.
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  #40  
Old 10-19-2010, 07:52 PM
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Put so very elegantly.
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