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  #1  
Old 11-20-2017, 04:47 PM
doglover0217 doglover0217 is offline
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Default Advice on talking to BF about dating others after moving out (but staying together)

Hello everyone!

I've posted quite a few times seeking advice on a moving out of a toxic situation. A short summary is that I found myself in a relationship that was built on the idea of polyamory and openness, but for a variety of reasons (namely control issues), I wasn't able to seek other romantic partners or connections.

I moved out, we have stayed together and been working our issues, and most importantly I've found that I have felt more like my true self and I now have the space to look for other things! Additionally, I'm stronger and can see more clearly how I deserve (and don't deserve) to be treated. It's going to be a very long road for us, but for now we're trying it.

In other words, Red and I have stayed together, and he still lives with Blue (they are married). Moving out was absolutely the best decision I could have made.

My question for everyone here is if they have any words of advice on advocating for myself and having the conversation about me starting to date other people and actually (for the first real time) practice polyamory. I'm planning to sit down with Red this week and I need to go in with a strong game plan. Basically, what I want to say is that seeing other people is something I really want, and that if he isn't OK with it then we can discuss but it's still something I plan on doing. (I'm entirely too fed up with the double standard and he needs to learn to deal with it).

Is that too course or rigid of an approach to take? Does anyone have any words of wisdom? While I'm not planning on going on like 1000 dates, I'm anxious to have the convo because there is a person I want to go out with but I can't in good conscience until I let Red know.

Side note, Red is currently not dating other people (though he is married, so IMO that counts), and I think he will react negatively and automatically jump to the conclusion that I'm trying to replace him or drive him further away.
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  #2  
Old 11-20-2017, 05:38 PM
icesong icesong is offline
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I think saying exactly what you said is a good plan. Red doesn't have the right to control you, and you shouldn't have to stifle yourself.

A link I reference often on these things: http://www.theferrett.com/ferrettwor...y-polyamorous/
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  #3  
Old 11-20-2017, 07:44 PM
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Refusnik Refusnik is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doglover0217 View Post
Is that too course or rigid of an approach to take? Does anyone have any words of wisdom? While I'm not planning on going on like 1000 dates, I'm anxious to have the convo because there is a person I want to go out with but I can't in good conscience until I let Red know.

Side note, Red is currently not dating other people (though he is married, so IMO that counts), and I think he will react negatively and automatically jump to the conclusion that I'm trying to replace him or drive him further away.
I read your other posts to get the backstory here and think you should say almost exactly what you said in this post. It's clear from your previous posts that this is something you want and need. It's also clear from your posts that in the past he's proficient at underhanded emotional warfare so if you say anything other than "I am doing this," he's going to take that as an opening to try to talk (or browbeat) you out of doing what you want.

That attempt includes the negative reaction you predict him to have. While his reaction is likely based in icky feelings that he has it's also become something else- a tactic of control. From your other posts it's clear that you've expressed this need previously and he had a negative reaction then. While it wasn't your responsibility to give him time to process and deal with his own bs, you have. If he hasn't put the effort into the emotional labor necessary for him to come to this from a kinder more empathetic place then he has only himself to blame.

I understand what it's like to be a little anxious about having a conversation with someone that will elicit an unpleasant reaction, particularly when the person is likely to flip it in such a way as to blame you for their emotions. I used to struggle with telling people things because of this very thing. What I found to be very helpful in overcoming this fear:
-being very clear with myself on what I was seeking

-being very clear with the listener that it was not a negotiation but rather I am telling them very clearly what I want

-staying calm while I tell them and after

-when they are having their shit fit, being empathetic that it's hard for them but remaining firm

-I give them some leeway in being sloppy in how they approach the discussion but in no case will I feel responsibility for how they're handling/not handling it

-if they continue to ratchet up the fit, calmly let them know that you're disengaging from the conversation to give them some time to process their strong emotions and then come back to the conversation when they can approach it without arguing

Good luck!
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Old 11-20-2017, 07:48 PM
doglover0217 doglover0217 is offline
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thank you so much for your response! exactly the type of insight i'm looking for. so so very helpful.
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Old 11-21-2017, 01:09 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Quote:
Basically, what I want to say is that seeing other people is something I really want, and that if he isn't OK with it then we can discuss but it's still something I plan on doing.
Sounds clear cut to me.

Quote:
Is that too course or rigid of an approach to take?
No. Not coarse or rigid. It's simple, clear and to the point.

If the the "discussion" is basically Red saying you have to do what Red wants or he breaks up with you? Say ok and break up. You do not have to continue to accept poor treatment/double standards.

Quote:
Does anyone have any words of wisdom? While I'm not planning on going on like 1000 dates, I'm anxious to have the convo because there is a person I want to go out with but I can't in good conscience until I let Red know.
Then say that if you prefer.

"I'm going out with someone else next week. I am making you aware now so you are not surprised."

Then let the chips fall where they may. If he kicks up a fuss about ACTUALLY practicing poly with you, say "I'm done doing one sided poly. I'm fed up with the double standard. So if that's what you prefer, we cannot practice poly together. We are not compatible. I am breaking up with you." and finally let this all end.

No more shenanigans for you. If he wants to keep on with them? Great. He can do it on his own or with other people. You do not have to be there for the next batch of them. He doesn't get to keep doing shenanigans with YOU.

Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 11-21-2017 at 03:02 AM.
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  #6  
Old 11-22-2017, 12:56 AM
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kdt26417 kdt26417 is offline
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Hi doglover0217,

I think you have the right idea; tell Red that you want to start seeing other people, and that you are going to do that. Mention the specific person you want to see, if you want. Don't let Red push you into not seeing other people. Take a stand for yourself, and for what you are interested in.

I hope you stand up for your rights.
Sincerely,
Kevin T.
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Old 11-22-2017, 01:54 AM
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vinsanity0 vinsanity0 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Refusnik View Post

-if they continue to ratchet up the fit, calmly let them know that you're disengaging from the conversation to give them some time to process their strong emotions and then come back to the conversation when they can approach it without arguing

Good luck!
But never EVER say this to woman if you are a guy
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Old 11-22-2017, 03:41 PM
doglover0217 doglover0217 is offline
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It was an interesting conversation

We talked about some communication issues and eventually segued into this. I told him I want to actually practice polyamory and want to start seeing other people, and that there is someone specific I want to go out with.

He was upset that:

1. the person i want to date is a man, because throughout our relationship I expressed more interest in dating women, so I "blindsided" him. He is asking for more time to process. I basically responded that he has had the entirety of our relationship to process it, as dating other people is something I have brought up multiple times and the sex of the person doesn't matter

2. he thinks it's going to cut into our time together. he is unhappy with the amount of time we spend to together (a couple nights per week, oftentimes weekends). I told him I'm perfectly happy with the amount of time we spend together but if he wants to negotiate a magic number of days/nights we can do that.

The convo ended with me having to reiterate that he has had several years to process me dating other people, and that it isn't fair that I put in a ton of work to process and be OK with him being married and also him dating other people but I'm still slapped with a double standard and I'm not coddling him anymore. Then I left.
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Old 11-22-2017, 03:55 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Good for you.

Be firm. Because you are right -- gender doesn't matter, and he has had YEARS to process.

If he didn't do his share of the processing work during that time? And it comes back to bite him now? That's not your problem. It was his choice to blow it off.

Galagirl
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Old 11-22-2017, 04:00 PM
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Good for you! It's definitely time he learn to deal with his own emotions instead of controlling your behavior to avoid working on himself.
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