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  #11  
Old 03-21-2011, 06:22 PM
habitat habitat is offline
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Originally Posted by TL4everu2 View Post
You feel "threatened"? By what? Do you think he will leave you for her? If so, you need to express your feelings to him immediatly.
TL4everu2, I have told him this. He assures me that it's not true, but can't deny that he wants his relationship with Ladybug to be more time-intensive, which would have to take time away from his relationship with me. In theory, I can do that, but I'm struggling because I'm trying to decide if I should wait for that to happen, or just take some control over my own time and make a limited schedule for Pretty and I (3 nights/wk), so that I'm not going through shock when he asks for more nights away. Does that make sense?
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  #12  
Old 03-21-2011, 06:53 PM
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Absolutely it makes sense. Set the schedule, and tell him that if you all spend MORE time together, it will be counted as extra and definatly not taken advantage of.
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  #13  
Old 03-21-2011, 07:30 PM
habitat habitat is offline
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Absolutely it makes sense. Set the schedule, and tell him that if you all spend MORE time together, it will be counted as extra and definatly not taken advantage of.
I guess that's the way the cookie crumbles. Something's got to give. For me, there will be major grief associated with the change, if it ultimately happens. At least for a while. I'm mostly jealous that he'll be too busy with Ladybug to have to wallow in that the way that I do! I guess we could think of really neat things to do together on our nights, which would make it easier. And it could be a good opportunity to focus on personal goals.

Any other coping strategies? What to people do when their partners start other relationships and time is taken from them?
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  #14  
Old 03-21-2011, 07:47 PM
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My immediate impulse is to take back some control - to really turn down the volume on my relationship with Pretty and make it way more part-time, and perhaps even PIV/fluids-free. I have a three-nights-a-week scenario in mind, which would be a powerful change for us. I'm not sure if I'm acting out of resentment or common sense - he wants to seriously develop his relationship with Ladybug and I know that if I don't start weaning myself, time-wise, he will do the weaning for me. Regardless of how I might want to feel, that scares the living $%^& out of me. I'm ashamed to say that part of me just wants to be done with it, even, since I can't guarantee that my comfort levels will be taken into account, and neither can he.

But then, I LOVE HIM. I LOVE HIM. I LOVE HIM. I want him to be around and part of my family as I become pregnant, give birth and raise a child. A part of me is afraid that he's moving away from me - that he's prioritizing other relationships over keeping ours comfortable and safe, because they're more important. Maybe these are crazy thoughts, but I'm not sure.


What do people think? How could I most adequately communicate/respond/advocate for myself and our relationship? Am I being too this way or that way?
You are not being way too much of anything. You are being you and that is the best you can do. I think it's very appropriate to have concerns about their speed in becoming intimate and how they broke a well known boundary. It's a shame they didn't think to talk about it first, but there is no time like the present to slow down and re-negotiate.

The thing with breaking boundaries is that everything slows down after wards until everyone is feeling respected, trusted and trusting again. Barreling forward and just saying "fuck it, its done now" doesn't seem to work if those being disrespected aren't being considered... consideration is huge in Poly I think.

I think that if you love him (in capital letters) then you should ask for your needs to be met regardless of whether or not you think you are unjustified or not. That is where the negotiations should start I think... at the pace of the one that is struggling the most.

Keep at it and keep being radically honest with them. Keep at staying true to your heart. If they are unable to "control" the love and NRE they have, then that would be a big red flag to me that raising a kid with them in my life would mean I can't rely on them. That's okay, but something to note about the future I think.
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  #15  
Old 03-21-2011, 08:39 PM
habitat habitat is offline
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Originally Posted by redpepper View Post
You are not being way too much of anything. You are being you and that is the best you can do. I think it's very appropriate to have concerns about their speed in becoming intimate and how they broke a well known boundary. It's a shame they didn't think to talk about it first, but there is no time like the present to slow down and re-negotiate.

The thing with breaking boundaries is that everything slows down after wards until everyone is feeling respected, trusted and trusting again. Barreling forward and just saying "fuck it, its done now" doesn't seem to work if those being disrespected aren't being considered... consideration is huge in Poly I think.

I think that if you love him (in capital letters) then you should ask for your needs to be met regardless of whether or not you think you are unjustified or not. That is where the negotiations should start I think... at the pace of the one that is struggling the most.

Keep at it and keep being radically honest with them. Keep at staying true to your heart. If they are unable to "control" the love and NRE they have, then that would be a big red flag to me that raising a kid with them in my life would mean I can't rely on them. That's okay, but something to note about the future I think.

Thanks so much. It's nice to hear that my feelings are legitimate and that I deserve to have my boundaries respected.

I do realize now that I was perhaps being a bit... permissive when we talked about it last night, and have been thinking about it in pretty finite terms.

He was having a hard time communicating post-transgression. He felt very guilty and anxious and when he feels that way he tends to get a little paralyzed. I kept trying to reassure him that he breeched our agreement because those boundaries weren't appropriate anymore, and that I wasn't going to try to stop him from doing what he wanted. He agreed and said that he wasn't prepared not to engage in that particular way with Lovebug. So here I am, kicking myself for not making my needs clear and hoping that I can remedy the situation.

I just texted him at work (he's going straight from work to her house), reestablishing my comfort level and asking him not to breech the boundary again until we've had more conversation and more time. There are plenty of things that they can do besides have PIV intercourse, if they want to. We'll see how he responds.
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  #16  
Old 03-21-2011, 09:34 PM
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I don't have much help to offer here, but I was wondering, if you use female pronouns for Pretty when in a safe place, any reason you don't here? Is it because this isn't a safe place? () or are you worried sentences like "her penis" would be weird?
Because I can assure you that people here wouldn't have a problem with it. It might take a little bit to process the relationship dynamics at first (it always does with poly anyways) but once that's establish, it should be fine. Pretty isn't the only genderqueer we hear about around here.

But maybe I misunderstood and Pretty is neither or both, so you just picked one for here, and use a different one when you're home, or something?
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  #17  
Old 03-22-2011, 12:14 AM
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I don't have much help to offer here, but I was wondering, if you use female pronouns for Pretty when in a safe place, any reason you don't here? Is it because this isn't a safe place? () or are you worried sentences like "her penis" would be weird?
Because I can assure you that people here wouldn't have a problem with it. It might take a little bit to process the relationship dynamics at first (it always does with poly anyways) but once that's establish, it should be fine. Pretty isn't the only genderqueer we hear about around here.

But maybe I misunderstood and Pretty is neither or both, so you just picked one for here, and use a different one when you're home, or something?
Good question! I'm glad that this is a (somewhat, at least) queer-concious safe spot, though I have noticed some less-than-sensitive/homophobic threads (and many of the dynamics seem a to lean towards male-centricity, which seems to be the cultural norm even within the poly community), but I'm aware that's not a fault of the community at large, and that the outward dynamic doesn't necessarily speak to someone's point-of-view. And I and am happy to gain whatever support I can get.

Let me reassure you, I'm not worried about the "weirdness" of my girlfriend/boyfriend/partner having a penis at all, regardless of pronouns. Being in an amazing and supportive queer/feminist community, I know many women with penises and I know many men who are capable of getting pregnant. I'm very comfortable with Pretty's queerness, as he is with mine, and would have absolutely no qualms about using female pronouns, but where and when I/we do so is up to him. Our rule of thumb is to go by male pronouns unless Pretty explicitly expresses the want or need to use female pronouns, which happens usually in very queer-oriented environments, where he feels most safe about his identity. It's all about consent. The only place that we've agreed is always 100% safe is in our room. That's about his comfort level, not mine. I'm up for whatever makes us feel good, and I like referring to him by either pronouns (though I will admit that I really do love using his female pronouns, when we've decided that's okay).

Pretty and I work really hard at practicing good consent on every level. It's very important to us, which is part of why this boundary issue is really hard right now.


A General Update:
I texted Pretty and he agreed to discuss things tomorrow night, and that he and Ladybug won't breech any boundaries. We'll see how it goes when we talk about it tomorrow night. I'm hoping that he will discuss things with Ladybug, to get a better idea of what her goals and ideas are for their relationship. I think that I would like it if Ladybug were open enough to talk with both of us about this, but she's from a pretty strong mono background (until she and Pretty fell for eachother ), and I get the impression that it would be a stretch for her in the beginning. Does anyone have any experience with group discussions early in a new relationship?

I'm not sure what the talk will be like, at any rate, but I'm glad we'll be having it.

Last edited by habitat; 03-22-2011 at 12:37 AM.
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  #18  
Old 03-22-2011, 02:17 AM
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Originally Posted by habitat View Post
Good question! I'm glad that this is a (somewhat, at least) queer-concious safe spot, though I have noticed some less-than-sensitive/homophobic threads (and many of the dynamics seem a to lean towards male-centricity, which seems to be the cultural norm even within the poly community), but I'm aware that's not a fault of the community at large, and that the outward dynamic doesn't necessarily speak to someone's point-of-view. And I and am happy to gain whatever support I can get.
I'm glad you realize that even though people are not open to genderfuck in their own lives that some of us do understand the theory behind it and/or support it.

People who have a hard time with stuff generally don't say anything on a thread or when they do, do so knowing that the members writing are not going to allow them to get away with much. Sometimes these things are a matter of educating and being patient. Good for you for seeing that patience and acceptance are important... I enjoy the diversity here emmensely and do hope that anyone writing will feel safe and supported regardless of where they are coming from... that doesn't mean that there won't be debate, but acceptance within it.... hopefully.

Hope all goes well tonight
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  #19  
Old 03-23-2011, 05:34 PM
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So, Pretty was very understanding of my request to reinstate the previously agreed-upon boundary. He has talked to Ladybug, so that should be the deal henceforth and until further notice. Good stuff.

Pretty and I have decided that we are going to stick with 3-4 nights a week, depending upon availability. This is actually the healthiest way for me to go, I think, since I really should be focusing on my personal goals a bit more, and preparing for the conception of my first child. Still, this poly thing is so hard. I didn't imagine that I would be this jealous, but I don't think the circumstances helped (boundary-crossing, super quick progress into NRE, etc). It would, presumably, have been a lot easier at a slower pace and with a lot more discussion.

I do wonder how I should get more comfortable with the idea of spending time with Lovebug and talking to her. Pretty said that she would be intimidated at first, as she has some feelings of guilt, and I want to ease that as much as possible. It's not going to work for me if I can't easily talk to Lovebug on a friend level. I really like her and would like it to be easy for us to get along.

Any suggestions on getting along openly with your parter's first new, serious, potentially long-term committed love?


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Originally Posted by redpepper View Post
I'm glad you realize that even though people are not open to genderfuck in their own lives that some of us do understand the theory behind it and/or support it.

People who have a hard time with stuff generally don't say anything on a thread or when they do, do so knowing that the members writing are not going to allow them to get away with much. Sometimes these things are a matter of educating and being patient. Good for you for seeing that patience and acceptance are important... I enjoy the diversity here emmensely and do hope that anyone writing will feel safe and supported regardless of where they are coming from... that doesn't mean that there won't be debate, but acceptance within it.... hopefully.
I totally get it, redpepper, and I certainly was by no means implying that the community was flagrantly homophobic, etc. I would be foolish to imply that, as there is clearly a great deal of gender/sexual deviance here. A big, genuine thank you for sharing a space that aims at diversity and learning. I am truly happy to find a place where I am comfortable enough to post about our situation honestly, and expect feedback that is accepting and positive.

When posting about homophobic tones in certain threads I came across, I only meant to imply that what discomfort there is with queerness should always be noticed and pointed out, and I think that on the whole (and to my limited experience searching tags, etc), that certainly is handled well here. That can only come where people are intentional about educating themselves and opening a dialogue. I make it a point not to be in denial of some people's prejudices, whatever the environment, but I am not pointing fingers and not singling people out. I do feel that queerness and feminist values, and the acceptance/exploration thereof, should be central to the poly conversation. Exposure is important, but it's not everything, and genuine reflection on our own developing views are always crucial. That is not to say that I disapprove of closed Vs with males at the point, for instance, or that I find them inherently problematic in themselves. I am, after all sort of in one. but where the feminist/sexual/gender-deviance conversation is not there, I would argue that the poly relationship is unhealthy. But then, I would argue that any un-analyzed, conditioned patriarchal attitude is unhealthy. But that's just kind of my rub, coming from the place and perspective that I do. I understand we're all learning.

Thanks again, everyone, for your wholehearted support.

Last edited by habitat; 03-23-2011 at 08:14 PM.
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