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Old 09-22-2009, 11:11 AM
Io55 Io55 is offline
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Default some time away

Hi everyone, and thank you for providing me with an open space to share in. heres my OP http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=777
and now a bit of follow up (sorry for the repetition fidelia, i just realized it was probably pretty unfair to rely only on you for advice and feedback, and now that i can share, all the feelings and anxiety ive been storing up for months just want to come out everywhere and often)

the quality of communication in the past 3 months between M&H&I has been pretty abysmal. this was also something i noticed about their relationship before i became a part of it. the fault doesnt lie with any one person, its the way they interract with each other, but i will say this: M tends to pretend everything is fine until she cant take it anymore and explodes, whereas if and when she has attempted to immediately address an issue when it came up, H tends to react really defensively.
So, i made a few feeble attempts at the beginning of the summer to sit us all down and talk about specific boundaries and feelings, and things were discussed, but not as specifically as was needed i guess. and sometimes when i felt uneasy in situations, and like she was not comfortable or happy (generally one where physical affection was involved-cuddling in bed while watching a movie, or one of the few sexual situations during the month when i was living there)i would leave the room so they could discuss, sometimes they did and sometimes they didnt, but she would always assured me the next day that she wasnt feeling badly towards me(also though, whenever we are alone, none of these bad feelings seem to surface, we enjoy each other so much, have so much fun, and are really loving and passionate towards each other when we're intimate just the two) So i chose to believe that and maybe not examine it as closely as i should have. so when things all exploded last week, and she sent me a hurt email asking why i hadnt given space to people so plainly having problems, i felt like she was justified. i chose to listen to her words instead of her actions, because on some level i was selfish. i was pretty intoxicated with the new, deep feelings i was developing for both of them, and also, seeing as i dont have very many friends in the area (which is my anti-social problem and not theirs, i know) they also comprised a large part of my support network. so i let a situation that in the back of my mind i knew was festering, fester. she came over on saturday night and we talked about this, though i was not as verbose about it as i am now, ive had a bit longer to think i guess I also feel like i am not the sole person responsible for this lapse in communication, and that even to maintain a platonic friendship things would need to change on that front, but i love them both so much, and would want to keep them in my life even if they were only comfortable with acquaintance-level familiarity (though that would take some time and time apart to heal to be possible). all that being said:
If M decides that she wants to keep us both in her life as partners of a sort, how can i help her (and i) come back to a place of healing and trust and love and honest communication?
For now, as was wisely suggested, i have made clear that i am following their lead as far as contact is concerned, i am pretty present online, but let them start conversations, have not said ANYTHING about when we will next see each other etc. after the email she sent me last monday, and the angry-and hurt-on-her-part, shitty-feeling-and-apologetic-on-my-part, IM chat that ensued, (it was a long conversation, but a lot of things were said that needed to be, and we ended the conversation on considerably good terms, reasserting the love we have for each other and our non-plussedness at what would happen next) anyway, after all that we did not speak again until saturday. in the meantime H and i chatted a few times from work, but pretty surface stuff, and not for long, and no where near as often as usual. we had a few serious chats about how he was feeling (uncertain) and about the situations possible outcomes(uncertain). on saturday, M and i chatted again. they seemed to not be doing much better, but she said she really missed me and apologized for some things she said monday, and i was over the moon when she said she wanted to see me soon. we decided she would come by that night for a drink. we talked a lot, and i said mostly what ive said to you, and we also talked about how the connection between H and i makes her feel really insecure some times, that we will forget about/abandon her, and we also discussed some problems in their relationship, i.e. communication problems, too much stress and time spent together relating only to work, not doing enough for themselves separately, as well as some of H's and M's personal issues that can sometimes be a barrier to the relationship functioning properly. it was a GOOD conversation. we were feeling good around each other, finally, again. she ended up sleeping over, and we were intimate, i dont know if thats a pertinent, good or bad thing, but it seemed right as her being physically with me was never part of the issue for H, and also, given her previously mentionned healthy libido and their lack of sexual contact for the last while, AND my 3-month old singledom, we both REALLY needed to get laid she left early the next morning and they left to go out of town that day, will be back tommorrow. the conclusion this left me with though was that i should still give them LOTS of space, and was not expecting to see them again for another little while(but i really, really want to, which makes this last part hard) so today i am chatting with H for a few minutes, from the city theyre visiting. he tells me how much he misses me, that things are going ok, theyre trying to make things work. BUT that for him, hes only willing to try if he can still see me. and that she is ok with this. and that he could come see me THIS week if i wanted, but that if i felt we should wait longer, he understood. i think i need to talk more with M before i even believe that completely(i do not believe H would ever lie, but she may be feeling pressured to shy shes ok, and he may be wishfully believing her half-hearted acceptance the way boys sometimes do when we say everythings 'fine'. but even if M is sincere about this. im not sure I think its the best thing. so its really hard, but i think at some point this week im going to tell them i want to temporarily cool things WAY down? (as in maybe a couple weekly chats or phone calls and no actual visits for at least a month? what do you think?) and i really dont want to cause any added drama in their lives, and make some kind of grand exit. i wrote a draft email explaining what im doing and why, would you maybe take a look at it and tell me what you think?

here goes, the letter is included in a reply to this post, ive really gone from 0-60 on the 'sharing my feelings' front, huh?
(please be brutally honest, as i reread myself i see i might come off as a little self-righteous and high horsed..
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Old 09-22-2009, 11:11 AM
Io55 Io55 is offline
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Default some time away..continued

Dear M, dear H
Im not happy about it, and i wish things were very different, but i think we need to take a break from seeing each other. The way i see things, and please let me know if you feel differently, I think you need to seriously recommit yourselves to each other, or to whatever solution you find, before making any kind of new commitment (small as it may be) to anyone else. I'm here for you if ever you need to talk or anything, and i'll still be here in a few months time, so theres no need to cause undue strain on your relationship by having me around all the time right now. for now im thinking we could maybe get together in about a month (supper before the metal show?) and see how things are going, and see if more time is needed.

WHEN this time apart has been taken:
If we are to continue a friendship in any form, some things need to be made clear. I think there is a massive communication problem present here, between you and me, and between the two of you. as trite and silly as it seems, for any contact between us to be possible, i need actual, (possibly written down:P),specific descriptions of the boundaries we are all expecting one another to respect (this would include boundaries to be respected if we decide to have a platonic friendship). im not taking some easy way out, saying 'you guys write up all the rules and i will follow them' (though if thats what you want thats what i'll do) what im doing is proposing that we openly, honestly, and WITHOUT JUDGEMENT discuss together what each person is comfortable with. and to check in regularly, at first i think weekly, to see if everyone is still comfortable.
also:
at this point, its impossible for me to have a casual sexual relationship with either of you. there is nothing casual about the way i love you, and to be treated like a temporary plaything, though lots of fun in general, would be too painful for me in this situation. im not asking you to completely restructure your relationship and your lives, but if we are to start being intimate together again, i need you to understand that i will have certain expectations related to the amount of time we spend together, and the consideration thats given to me. i would not want to be an equal part of your relationship (unless that was what you wanted) but i will need to be kept informed of events and feelings that will affect me.
So thats also something for you to think about: with your busy work schedule, and the stresses you already have, do you have the time and emotional resources to spare to a third person? do you really want to complicate your lives in this way?
in the event that the answer to those questions is 'no, we dont', please rest assured that after i have healed for a while, i would very much want to stay your purely platonic friend as long as you would have me. im not stepping out of your lives for good, unless you want me to. im just in need of some stability, so i need to know where i stand before i invest myself further.
I care so much for you, both as individuals, and as the unit you form. i dont know how else to help you through this difficult time than by giving you much belated time to yourselves, if you have any other ideas, please share them with me.
I really hope to keep you both in my life, in whatever fashion you choose, whether you are together or apart. i hope you think that would be possible.

i know this is just another lovely little drop of drama in the already-overflowing vase,
i didnt WANT to write a novel about it, but i didnt want to just disappear without a word either.
Let me know what you think,
I

Thank you again everyone, im feelling pretty isolated right now, and reading and writing on the forum has really helped me feel less alone.
Io
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  #3  
Old 09-22-2009, 11:49 AM
Tia Tia is offline
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My first reaction to this is what a beautiful, selfless act. Your letter is well written and expresses perfectly where you are & what you offer/expect. I would be careful about giving up yourself to "follow all their rules" completely though. What happens if they decide on a rule which is totally abhorrent to you? You'd have to go back on your assertion, and that could be more damaging to their trust in you in the long run.
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Old 09-22-2009, 03:19 PM
AutumnalTone AutumnalTone is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Io55 View Post
so when things all exploded last week, and she sent me a hurt email asking why i hadnt given space to people so plainly having problems, i felt like she was justified. i chose to listen to her words instead of her actions...
I'll disagree with you on this. She wasn't justified for trying to lay blame on you.

You are not responsible for their lack of willingness to communicate. You have only what they say to direct you. Trying to assign meaning to behavior can't be done with any great degree of accuracy--attempting to read somebody else's mind is an exercise in futility. Verbal communication is what provides accuracy (provided the person is honest in the exchange) and that's what you have to go by.

So, you're not responsible for their lack of communication. You're also not responsible for their lack of working through problems in their relationship. Their issues are theirs to own and address--as a friend of mine likes to say about personal responsibility: "Own your shit."

Now, you are responsible for not enforcing boundaries for yourself that involve functional communication in the relationships in which you're involved, it appears. That's something that can be laid at your feet. You knew something wasn't working correctly and made feeble attempts to address it, which is a step in the right direction. I suspect now you understand why it's important to push that sort of issue until it gets resolved (and that's a really rough lesson that I think all of us learn the hard way!), and your letter to them suggests that you do.

I'll suggest that you spend time dating other folks while they work their issues out.
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Old 09-22-2009, 08:26 PM
Io55 Io55 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tia View Post
I would be careful about giving up yourself to "follow all their rules" completely though. What happens if they decide on a rule which is totally abhorrent to you? You'd have to go back on your assertion, and that could be more damaging to their trust in you in the long run.
Hi Tia!
I think youre absolutely right about not leaving myself open to completely give M&H all control of the rules, i guess what i was trying to say was that i will be comfortable moving at a pace as slow as they need, and will respect their boundaries (so long as mine are also respected) i should say that instead:P
and thanks Tia! im not feeling particularly beautiful or selfless right now, maybe more like a little mopey and self-pitying, but thanks for confirming what i thought, which is that stepping back for now is the right thing to do.
thanks for helping me edit!
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Old 09-22-2009, 08:34 PM
Io55 Io55 is offline
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Originally Posted by SeventhCrow View Post
So, you're not responsible for their lack of communication. You're also not responsible for their lack of working through problems in their relationship. Their issues are theirs to own and address--as a friend of mine likes to say about personal responsibility: "Own your shit."
I absolutely agree..thats why even though its hard and ill miss them a LOT, i think this time apart is the right decision..thanks SeventhCrow

Quote:
Originally Posted by SeventhCrow View Post
I'll suggest that you spend time dating other folks while they work their issues out.
ooh, you and my rational mind say the same things...i know i should, i just really dont WANT to. these are rare people, for sure they are flawed, and the dynamics of their relationship are also, but i dont think ive ever felt this depth of love for anyone. or known people who seem to 'get' me the way they do. i know how silly that might sounds since we've only known each other for about a year, but its how i feel..the prospect of a month without much contact with them makes me cry, i dont really want to think about writing them off completely, and probably thats what dating other people seriously would mean, at least for a while. but youre right. and probably once the haze of all these hysterical feelings has cleared, and ive had a bit of therapeutic solitude, i'll see that
Thanks SevenCrow!
I
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Old 09-23-2009, 09:40 PM
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Good for you communicating like that! Keep up the good work. You're getting somewhere and really seem to be grasping the depth of poly loving. To bad its with two people that seemingly aren't able to communicate as well as you.

Feel proud that you are able to achieve your poly goal though as you are on the right track. Stick to your guns and make sure all boundaries work for you too. You are your own best advocate.
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Old 09-24-2009, 01:21 PM
Io55 Io55 is offline
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Originally Posted by redpepper View Post
To bad its with two people that seemingly aren't able to communicate as well as you.
Turns out we're not all as bad at it as i despaired! i had SUCH a good chat about it with M this morning, and even though things are still difficult and complicated, she feels that despite me being a more recent addition to her (their) heart, i am also very much involved in this situation and she wants us all to communicate together, and feels, like i do, that no matter in what formation, i should stay a part of both their lives and them of mine..im feeling worried and i know there will be a lot of work and possibly struggles ahead of us, but im elated too..keeping one of them in my life would have been good, but both is what i truly want. im sad about the mistakes i made in the beginning, but im so happy to have discovered this great capacity for love in my heart, which this situation really pushed me to examine.
im sure ill be asking for lots of advice from you wise people, as this is so new! ive spent the morning reading you 'sharing success and happiness' thread, mono and redpepper, and i must say im excited and reassured to see that this is possible even if there was no proof, its still something id want to try for, with these 2 rare and special people, but seeing proof certainly makes trying (slightly) less scary.
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Old 09-24-2009, 02:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Io55 View Post
ive spent the morning reading you 'sharing success and happiness' thread, mono and redpepper, and i must say im excited and reassured to see that this is possible even if there was no proof, its still something id want to try for, with these 2 rare and special people, but seeing proof certainly makes trying (slightly) less scary.
And that makes sharing our story worth it
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Old 09-24-2009, 02:52 PM
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That is good news!

I wonder why it is that on this forum we here from unicorns and men at the center of "V's" and not so much women as primaries involved in "V's?" am I crazy or is this the case?

Hyjacking the thread on this one, hope that is okay lo55? If not please say so!
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