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Old 04-28-2011, 04:06 PM
Minxxa Minxxa is offline
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Default Keeping a rein on thoughts...

I'm having an issue that I'm trying to work on, and I thought I'd ask here and see if there was any advice.

Some background on me, my husband and I are nonmonogamous. I would say poly, but I think it's a work in progress for us. We have never been monogamous since we met, he knew I was poly and didn't expect to change, he had never had a long-lasting relationship, mostly because he wasn't monogamous and didn't necessarily handle it well. He is also 9 years younger than me, so at the time was only 24. I mention that because as he's gotten older I realized that for the most part he does want relationships with the people he's with, even if they are more friends than romantic.

Over the time we've been together he's had other relationships, but mostly long distance with the same people (an ex, another lady who lives in another city). I have not had any other relationship since we've been together mostly because at the time I had two younger (5 and 8) kids and was just separated from my ex and was working so I either spent time with him, or with my kidlets or at work and there wasn't a lot of extra time (or energy!). Then a few years ago I started having some health issues that affected my energy (and sex drive), so I have been really focused on getting better as opposed to getting some from somewhere else.

Also, it just takes me a lot more to really connect with anyone enough to want to bring sex into the mix-- and I haven't been getting out enough to meet people enough to make that connection. I'm actually fine with this, it's temporary and I'm happy enough with everything I'm doing now.

At the moment, he's across the country for 7 months for his work (military), which makes connecting/reconnecting a little more difficult but not impossible. We text a lot, talk almost daily and skype here and there. I've been to see him once, and we're meeting up somewhere else in a couple of weeks for a weekend. I'm also going out for 5 days in July.

My issue is this... whenever my hubs is with one of his loves I tend to get time-obsessive. As in, "It's x o'clock here, which means it's y o'clock where he is, what are they doing now?" It's a bit intrusive into my own life at times, and takes away from other things I'm doing. I've thought about it a lot lately to try to see where it comes from and I am thinking it's maybe just plain old curiosity of wanting (theoretically) to know something that I don't know.

I want to be at the point where if he's off with someone else I can go about my business and enjoy what I'm doing without all of the mental goings-on that are happening right now.

This weekend, one of his amours is flying out to see him. I know her, she knows me, I like her and vice versa. She's got two kids and has had a hard couple of years, and honestly I think she could use the weekend! So there's no jealousy there, no personality issues. On top of that, I'm going to a conference this weekend that I've really been looking forward to, and that should be really fun and enjoyable and meeting some new people in my future field. I'm hoping that with all that going on, the "distraction" part will be less, but still would appreciate any opinions on either why I might be doing this, and/or what kinds of processes have people done to stop!

I am going to a counselor next week (It's a requirement of my program as a future counselor), so I'll talk with her about that and some other things I have going on. But definitely if anybody has some insight that would be much appreciated.

Thanks!!
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Old 04-28-2011, 04:18 PM
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Derbylicious Derbylicious is offline
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I have a husband in the military too and I found the same thing while he was away and with his other love (although that relationship was brand new and I hadn't met her). I had obsessive thoughts too about what time it was there and what was going on.

Since he's been home (she moved to the same city too) I really don't think about it much when they're out together now. I just kind of get on with my life. I don't know if it's something that's come with time or something that's come from him being in the same city as me again. Sorry I don't have an answer for you, but I thought you should know that you're not alone in feeling the way you do.
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Old 04-28-2011, 04:39 PM
Minxxa Minxxa is offline
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Default Military ...

Thanks Derby! The military thing does make it harder because you're already so far away! And it doesn't help that he did two deployments in two years and was on shore duty (for a whole 8 months) when they pulled him for an IA for 7 months.

It's funny because when he does see his amours it's usually for a weekend, because it usually involves travel. I've told him I think that it would probably affect me hardly at all if it was just an evening or overnight even! But it can be hard to juggle the emotional detritus for 3 whole days!

I'm glad I'm seeing the counselor (who is poly-friendly) because I'm thinking (in my soon-to be counselor point of view) that I probably just need to do some CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) with myself and retrain my brain a bit.

I'm glad it's not just me, though. I tend to head into the "all things I do not like about myself are defects that only I have" view if I'm not being careful!
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Old 04-28-2011, 04:55 PM
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I'm glad you cleared up what CBT was...the abbreviation means something entirely different to me! LOL.

My husband was gone for basically a year last year (October to October) he was deployed and then almost immediately sent on course across the country. It does suck being apart for that long. Does he still maintain contact with you when he has his visits with his gf? If not does he refrain from electronic contact with his gf when you are having a weekend together?

Have you put any thought into doing something that you enjoy? I know it can be hard with kids to get out and do something just for you. It really does make the time go faster and things seem less lonely if you have something to look forward to every week. How old are your kids now? Do you have other partners that you make plans with? If you do can you arrange to have more going on on those weekends when you know he's going to be with someone else? (If you don't have other partners a girl's night out is a good alternative).
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Old 04-28-2011, 06:01 PM
Minxxa Minxxa is offline
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Urgh, a year stinks. Yeah he was gone 6 months, home 11, gone 6-1/2, home 8 now gone 7. I told him I'm done with the distance thing for a couple of years after this! LOL

We still will be talking (at least texts and calls good night) during the weekend, so yeah there will still be contact. Right now they only get together 1-2 a year. Mostly he's been deployed much of the past three years, and she has had other things going on, other relationships (non-poly) and she has small kids. So while they are emotionally connected, they are not physically together all that much. Another reason I truly feel they need the weekend as well. And while I want to maintain contact, I also want them to have their time together. It's good for both of them.

He doesn't text or call anyone when we have our weekends. He truly is capable of being "all there" with the person he's with, and when we get the time he is all about me and us. So no worries about that...

I'm going to the AASECT (American Association of Sex Educators Counselors and Therapists) conference this weekend, so really I will be spending all day tomorrow and saturday listening to talks about sex and the profession, etc. I can't imagine being more distracted than that!

The issue is that no matter what I've got going on-- friends over, out to see a concert, watching a movie, etc.-- my brain does this periodical time checks. It's just a bit annoying to me, though manageable. My ultimate goal is to really get to the point where I don't think about it at all, though I'm wondering if that's unrealistic? At least it would be nice to maybe think about it briefly and then not for the rest of the day, LOL.

It's one of those things I can deal with if I have to, but if there's another way I'm ALL for it!

I do think that at some point having another romantic connection would definitely make it easier on me... however the opportunity/right person has not come around yet and I'm patient to wait for the right fit. Someone who really makes my toes curl.

P.S. and my kidlets are older. My daughter is in college, son is in high school and lives with his dad, so I have him weekends/holidays/summers.
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Old 04-28-2011, 06:20 PM
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Hi Minxxa,
You sound really grounded in this relationship, it is refreshing to read the compersion in your posts. I guess I'd try and focus on that -- how lucky he is to have a girl like you, who is so loving and supportive of his happiness! Sounds like what you've got is stronger than even a 3-day romp, so rest assured. Good to have the distraction, too -- I can't think of anything you're not doing right, here!
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Old 04-29-2011, 08:02 PM
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I agree with Derby as far as having your own stuff to do. I am her girlfriend and was her distraction for some of those harder times.

It seemed to help to have a set time to check in also. When those check in times are respected it seems to be only a matter of time that the brain turns off and getting about the business of living takes over until it might not be necessary any more.

It is harder when you and he are in different places for such a long time. Maybe setting a skype date for the week after to have dinner together or whatever would help you have something to look forward to in terms of connection time?
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Old 04-30-2011, 03:41 AM
Minxxa Minxxa is offline
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Thank you all for the thoughtful responses!

The weekend didn't happen. She had been unemployed when it was planned, and then got a job, but had told them about the time needed when she was hired, and then they still scheduled her for two of the days. She has two little kidlets and the job is super important.

I really felt bad, both because I know hubs was looking forward to it, but also because she's had a couple of years where she's doing a lot of struggling, and doing that dance you do when you have kids and need to get settled, but it doesn't quite happen. I've been there.. it's not pretty. So I know she really needed the time to be cared for and not think. They're going to try to reschedule, but we'll see.

I think, really, I'm doing everything I can. I'm building my own life, setting up my own thing when he's busy, scheduling time just with him. I might have to just accept that my partially obsessive personality will NEVER be able to just not think about it. Or maybe, after time, it will. But either way, I feel good knowing I'm taking the steps I need, looking out for myself and keeping tuned in to what's going on. Nothing more I can do than that!!

On the good side, the convention I'm at this weekend is blowing my mind with all of the interesting, cool, wonderful things that are involved in Sex Therapy. And at the end I went to a meeting of the AltSex Special Interest Group and we had a great talk about needing more general education of therapist/counselors/educators about alternative lifestyles including BDSM and polyamory. So I'm about to delve in and get involved in helping develop a few workshops to submit for next year's conference. Totally cool...
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Old 04-30-2011, 12:27 PM
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Magdlyn Magdlyn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Minxxa View Post

I think, really, I'm doing everything I can. I'm building my own life, setting up my own thing when he's busy, scheduling time just with him. I might have to just accept that my partially obsessive personality will NEVER be able to just not think about it. Or maybe, after time, it will.
When you say you think about your h when he's on a date, that seems normal. After all, if he was just at a family reunion, or going camping with some guy friends, or whatever, you'd stop and wonder what he was up to from time to time. But, when he's with a lover, you think about what they might be doing, and you feel...? What?

Quote:
On the good side, the convention I'm at this weekend is blowing my mind with all of the interesting, cool, wonderful things that are involved in Sex Therapy. And at the end I went to a meeting of the AltSex Special Interest Group and we had a great talk about needing more general education of therapist/counselors/educators about alternative lifestyles including BDSM and polyamory. So I'm about to delve in and get involved in helping develop a few workshops to submit for next year's conference. Totally cool...
Oh, that sounds so fun.
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Old 05-01-2011, 04:17 AM
Minxxa Minxxa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magdlyn View Post
When you say you think about your h when he's on a date, that seems normal. After all, if he was just at a family reunion, or going camping with some guy friends, or whatever, you'd stop and wonder what he was up to from time to time. But, when he's with a lover, you think about what they might be doing, and you feel...? What?
I had to really think about this. Mostly it's just curiosity as to what's going on. Nothing BAD, not really even jealousy, just an AWARENESS that won't quit.

I tend to have OCD symptoms-- not full blown OCD because it doesn't get in the way of my life and it doesn't meet the DSM standards of taking up a certain amount of time every day. BUT-- I do have obsessive thoughts-- and I think that's what that is. I just obsess about what's going on, what am I not knowing about... wierd.

I will most definitely talk to my counselor about this... but what I'm seeing is that it's not serious, it's not bad. If I can't stop doing it , oh well. LOL. Maybe at some point it will go away or lessen. Time will tell.
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