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  #11  
Old 09-17-2018, 02:06 AM
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BelleRose BelleRose is offline
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Originally Posted by GalaGirl View Post
I cannot compartmentalize like that forever. Or at least I couldn't in the past. For me that only works up to a point. Eventually I will want a "whole relationship" with people. Not like parts of this one offset parts of that one. Because that only lasts for so long for me before I start to feel grumpy. What I want is two whole partners. Not a bunch of "partial puzzle piece" partners.
That is a very, very good point. Thank you. This is really my first time being in an established relationship while dating new people. I think it caused me to kind of cut slack in areas that I shouldn't. Luke and Jose may be emotionally unavailable because they're mono and I'm poly. Or they could be emotionally unavailable because they're emotionally unavailable. I have no idea. What I do know is that before poly, if I'd been dating either of them I would have gotten frustrated and moved on. Poly can't become the reason that I stay in bad relationships, sort of shifting them around on a given day/week and hoping they'll fit together somehow to make one good one. You're right. I want a whole partner or partners too. Not partial puzzle pieces.

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Originally Posted by Tinwen View Post
Hello,
in your initial post, the vulnerability thing stands out to me. Relationships without vulnerability do start to feel empty. I can't just say "be more vulnerable with George" because sometimes people are not very compatible in that area, but if you found ways to do that, I think it would help a bit.
I wish you good luck, Tinwen
Thank you for the advice. I think this fits into the deep compatibility issue. I find that George's ways of responding to me when I'm distressed only make me further distressed, which is why I avoid being vulnerable with him. He usually projects sympathy rather than empathy, which makes me feel pitied. Or he gets so worked up that I feel like I need to make him feel better. I typically take time for myself when I'm upset, but my distance worries him, so then I keep checking in with him, working on him, not getting what I need. He isn't the first boyfriend I've experienced this with, though. I have issues being vulnerable in general. I didn't grow up in a very loving, touchy feely home, so I'm used to dealing with pain and other emotional stressors by isolating and dealing alone. It could be that I just don't know how to accept the comforts he tries to provide.

I'm so sad and overwhelmed. The more I type, the more I'm afraid that my relationship with George is ending.
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  #12  
Old 09-17-2018, 04:13 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is online now
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I think that situation shows that George's laissez-faire approach as a hinge creates problems, and I think I'm just tired of solving them, trying to solve them, and having them unfairly affect me.
I think you are right. His laissez-faire approach as a hinge causes you problems and you are tired of the problems. Like they happen, but nothing is LEARNED from it. So it comes around again, and again in various guises. You seem tired of explaining so much and him just not getting it. You end up "carrying" him and doing most of the work... and you seem really tired of that. Before where you tried to work through it or work around it? Now it sounds like having to repeat "more of same" again is just actively turning you off and making you resentful.

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I'm so sad and overwhelmed. The more I type, the more I'm afraid that my relationship with George is ending.
I'm sorry you feel sad and overwhelmed. You sound like you are done with all this.

Maybe not at final acceptance about ending it all yet, but you sound very close to getting there.

I can imagine this is all very disappointing for you.

In a way though, maybe it's good? Like a break from all the draining things and then looking forward to a fresh start later? Just have to deal with clearing up one thing at a time first?

Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 09-17-2018 at 04:31 AM.
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  #13  
Old 09-17-2018, 01:47 PM
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I'm seeing a pattern of unfulfilled expectations. You want these guys to behave the way you expect without having to tell them. That's all fine and dandy if you happen to meet someone who already behaves the way you expect (e.g. you and Luna and Teal would be great partners together in terms of sharing "special things"), but as soon as the evidence rolls in that they behave otherwise, then it's time to change either your expectations or your partners. It's not reasonable to change other people's behaviour to fit your expectations.

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Originally Posted by BelleRose View Post
When we were on the phone he asked me - of course, asked me, because I need to be the one to find a solution to the problem - how I would want him to behave instead.
You're the one with the problem, why shouldn't you be the one to suggest a solution that works for you? Would you prefer that he just experiment with random behaviours until he stumbles upon something that works? How well has that worked so far? If he knew what you wanted and was able to do it, he would have by now, right?

You're not the first woman to expect a man to read her mind, but it never works out very well... People need to be told explicitly what we expect of them so they can decide whether they're willing to cooperate. If they're not, you decide whether you can tolerate the behaviours you don't like.

You seem to struggle with clear communication on both ends. You're assuming you know what George's lip pout means without checking in, and you've given many examples of expecting others to know what you want without explaining it.

You expected Jose and Luke to know that you wanted deep romantic relationships with them. What exactly do you mean when you say you were "explicit?" It's hard to misunderstand the words: "I want to have deep, loving relationships with more than one person at a time. I don't enjoy casual sex and I'm not a swinger. Do you want to have a loving relationship or are you just interested in sex?" Maybe to you, all this is conveyed by the word "have a relationship" but that's not universal.

Whether or not you decide you're incompatible with George, I think there are some areas you can work on to improve future relationships. Be more clear and specific about what you want and expect from your partners, and find out early whether they'll fit into those roles. Don't waste time on people who don't fit your expectations, because you're only setting yourself up for disappointment.
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Last edited by SchrodingersCat; 09-17-2018 at 01:53 PM.
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  #14  
Old Yesterday, 04:38 PM
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Magdlyn Magdlyn is offline
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Schrodinger, you have a point about "mind readering" as GG calls it. But the thing is, Belle does tell him what she wants, specifically. I think the issue then is, he only understands that one specific thing. He doesn't take it and generalise it outwards. Nothing is really learned except that that one incident went badly, could have been done better.

I feel George is probably a charismatic sexy hunk. A charming bartender? A harem of lovers of more or less emotional depth. Going from one to another like a pretty male butterfly or bee. So, he doesn't "need" to do any emotional work. He has some kind of charm that overrides needing to be... human, caring, thoughtful, or even kind.

He reminds me of one of my exes, Ginger, who was on the autism spectrum, and also, I finally realized, a narcissist. He also couldn't or wouldn't understand the idea of me needing to feel "special." Especially in our 2nd yr when his NRE wore off. He just started collecting lovers then. It was quite alarming how he idealized me at first, then devalued me, then disregarded me.

He was also very attractive physically, tall, beautiful hair, big blue eyes, artistic and musical, well hung and also sexually skilled orally, and kinkwise just what I liked, intelligent, cuddly (at first!), adventurous (fun dates). He really hooked me in good. Then once I was well and truly hooked, he enjoyed letting me hang on the hook while he pursued others.

This is obviously not the exact same situation here, but just similar.

But when I tried to explain how I needed more consideration, how I no longer felt special, I'd have to explain and explain basic normal human emotions to him. And he'd respond with "word salad," with denials, with gaslighting, laughing at my pain (yes, literally). He outright refused to concur that each of his partners should be special in some way. He refused to say I was special. He finally, after hours long conversations that went round and round, said I was "important" to him. But that wasn't the point. I felt part of a harem, I felt interchangeable. I quite soon felt "less than" his newest lovers, despite what we'd shared for a year plus.

I know some people here highly object to "diagnosing" narcissists unless one is a freaking psychologist. I however feel well within my rights to "diagnose" anyone I am involved with, friend or lover. It helps understand them. It helped me to realize he was a very poor partner for me, and why. It gave me the motivation to stop trying so hard to explain basic things to a person who was literally incapable of normal human emotions or relating. He surely had absolutely no ability to empathize.

I found out (on website about narcissists) that narcs are excellent at pretending to be human by mirroring normal people around them. You see the actor that played Cunanan in the Gianni Versace TV show literally watching people and mirroring their behavior to blend in to a social situation. That really hit home when I saw that in the show, and triggered me a little, even though it's been 4 years since I dumped Ginger.

I think if your conversations go round and round with George and you never seem to get anywhere, it might be pointless to even try. He might just be enjoying the drama, and unwilling or unable to ever get it. To ever empathize, to ever really care.
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  #15  
Old Yesterday, 06:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SchrodingersCat View Post
I'm seeing a pattern of unfulfilled expectations. You want these guys to behave the way you expect without having to tell them. ... It's not reasonable to change other people's behaviour to fit your expectations. You're not the first woman to expect a man to read her mind, but it never works out very well... People need to be told explicitly what we expect of them so they can decide whether they're willing to cooperate.
I agree. It isn't reasonable to change other people's behaviors to fit my expectations. I did tell George that I don't want to prescribe his behavior; that my goal isn't his compliance. I don't know that I expect mind reading. When we've hit road bumps in the past it hasn't seemed so dire. What's becoming grating is the cumulative experience of having similar road bumps, for similar reasons, occur after a former issue was thought to be "resolved". It's like GalaGirl was saying - George and I have these conversations when things occur. I want to reach a true understanding so that George can, indeed, know what I want and expected and decide whether he wants to/can provide those things. What I find is that George sees the specific actions that bother me, but doesn't grasp the why in the case of the reoccurring instances. Hence my feeling that he doesn't really understand me, "get" me, etc. It isn't for lack of explaining.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SchrodingersCat View Post
You're the one with the problem, why shouldn't you be the one to suggest a solution that works for you? Would you prefer that he just experiment with random behaviours until he stumbles upon something that works? How well has that worked so far? If he knew what you wanted and was able to do it, he would have by now, right
I hear you. At the risk of belaboring my point, I think my one underlying problem has become the lax attitude George brings to the relationship(s), hence my growing resentment when I confront him with an issue and the ball is tossed back to me. Not a perfect analogy, but it's like a boss confronting an employee for always coming in to work half an hour late, and the employee turning around and saying to the boss, "so how do you suggest we remedy that?" Especially if it isn't just coming in late, but completing projects late, or forgetting to do things altogether. At a certain point there isn't much the boss can do save for terminating the employee. I'm still trying to avoid termination right now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SchrodingersCat View Post
You expected Jose and Luke to know that you wanted deep romantic relationships with them. What exactly do you mean when you say you were "explicit?" It's hard to misunderstand the words: "I want to have deep, loving relationships with more than one person at a time. I don't enjoy casual sex and I'm not a swinger. Do you want to have a loving relationship or are you just interested in sex?" Maybe to you, all this is conveyed by the word "have a relationship" but that's not universal.
You're absolutely right - that's hard to misunderstand. In the case of the "mono-boys", Luke and Jose, I think I've just been naive. I've been explicit. Not verbatim, but I've used those words in a very similar fashion. I think that I've made the mistake of continuing to participate/invest in the relationships even after expectations weren't being met. If I were single and I had a great date with Jose and then didn't hear from him for a week and a half, I'd be upset and move on. I think being with George has distracted me from telling behaviors like that, and I've continued to latch onto words (I want a relationship with you too!) even though the actions haven't been following through. Actually, I think I fall into a similar pitfall with George. He talks a lot about poly relationships in day to day life. About the fact that they require initiative, attentiveness, open communication, etc. Which is why I often think we are compatible in ways. But then the actions don't follow through.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SchrodingersCat View Post
...I think there are some areas you can work on to improve future relationships. Be more clear and specific about what you want and expect from your partners, and find out early whether they'll fit into those roles. Don't waste time on people who don't fit your expectations, because you're only setting yourself up for disappointment.
Yes to all of that! Sigh. Thank you. Upon reflection, just in typing my response to this, I think my biggest weakness here is boundaries. How I react when my expectations aren't met. It seems like I don't enforce my own boundaries - at least, not consistently - but then get upset when they aren't consistently acknowledged.

Belle needs to do better!
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Last edited by BelleRose; Yesterday at 06:14 PM.
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  #16  
Old Yesterday, 06:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Magdlyn View Post
I feel George is probably a charismatic sexy hunk. A charming bartender? A harem of lovers of more or less emotional depth. Going from one to another like a pretty male butterfly or bee. So, he doesn't "need" to do any emotional work. He has some kind of charm that overrides needing to be... human, caring, thoughtful, or even kind.

I think if your conversations go round and round with George and you never seem to get anywhere, it might be pointless to even try. He might just be enjoying the drama, and unwilling or unable to ever get it. To ever empathize, to ever really care.
Sigh. Two out of three ain't bad. George works at the bar as a bouncer on weekends. He's more of the stoic, stand-alone, "who the hell is that" kind of character. He's certainly charismatic when engaged, though he doesn't typically initiate things. At least not directly. Though to be fair, as per the sexy hunk factor, he doesn't really have to. People will always notice him. Superficially he ticks all the boxes. Tall, gorgeous, beautiful body, hung like a God, oral sexes the shit out of me. Lol. So yes. There are some similarities. I knew him for seven years and wouldn't get involved with him until time had passed and I got to know him better to avoid the feeling of being one more in the beautiful man's harem.

I can say that he isn't a narcissistic personality, though. He definitely wants more than a surface level relationship (with me and with Gina, though the bee, if you will, has maintained his other "flowers" in spite of developing deeper relationships with us). But I do agree that some of of the hard work being done here is probably a result of him not typically having to do the hard work in relationships. They take care of themselves, I guess, because of what he does have to offer. I've also noticed that he's drawn to strong, action oriented women. Gina, for example, has admitted (in playful conversation) to control issues - indeed, I can be controlling at times, and this was no doubt the source of a lot of the tension between us - and I don't think George minds letting his partners take the lead. Some people might be fine with controlling - or to me it feels like carrying - a relationship. I guess I just want more of a co-pilot?

Also, I SO relate to what you said about "word salad". I've called George out on this before, without using that phrase, but it's a good one and it really resonated with me! When I finally laid down the law about not being pressured into KTP with Gina, I pointed out that he and Gina always trot out the phrase "if it happens naturally and organically". And yet they both went about trying to create a KTP dynamic in a way that was anything but natural and organic! Just because you say the right words doesn't mean you're doing the right things.

This may be something for me to keep an eye on. He says a lot of great things. "I'm showing empathy; I'm exercising compassion; I understand" but at the end of the day those are just words. Without the actions behind then, they're empty.

I feel very torn because I don't think it's an unwillingness on George's part, to "get it", but I do think there's an inability present, if not just a very sharp learning curve. I haven't completely decided yet, but I think I'm going to tell him that I'd like to take a break - maybe a month? - to recalibrate. Just get back to a good place personally where I'm not resentful or depleted, so that we can continue to work on the relationship. But I'll do my damnedest to communicate the "why" and to set the expectation that I do not want to be the only one doing the work going forward. Who knows, maybe George will be the one to decide that this isn't worth the trouble...

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Last edited by BelleRose; Yesterday at 06:46 PM.
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  #17  
Old Yesterday, 07:12 PM
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Narcs are often drawn to, or draw to themselves, strong caring "normal" loving capable partners. This gives them status, to be seen with cool as shit women.

I don't know about the controlling aspect you and Gina exert between yourselves to "claim" more of George... I don't keep up with your blog consistently, though I have read it some.

In this case, it seems to me he's enjoying triangulating the two of you for his own "sick" pleasure. He has no compassion for either of you, so he has no moral reservations about using you two as an entertaining marionette show. His casual sex partners are the sideshow.

Narcs have an empty hole for a soul. They are absolutely incapable of normal human relationships. But since their soul is empty, they get hella bored when they are alone. They need constant attention and entertainment from others to fill the place their soul should be.

I am not absolutely sure George is a narc, although from how you just described him, charismatic, gorgeous, hung, sexually skilled, tall, handsome, how all he has to do is stand there and women flock to him, plus the "word salad" bit, the empty words not followed by actions, it sounds even more like he is one. It's just something to think about. Just google "narcissistic relationship patterns" and see what pops up. Read a few to get varied viewpoints into this personality type and how they relate romantically and/or socially.
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  #18  
Old Yesterday, 07:16 PM
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Oh and I am not sure, but it's quite possible Gina is a narc too. One of Ginger's new partners was.

Example: When he tired of me, Ginger started dating a MF married couple who were new to poly. He got with the wife first, poor naive thing. Then he drew in her husband. Between them they strung the wife along, controlling her, convincing her she'd done bad things in the triad, so that the men were "allowed" to date and fuck each other one on one, but eventually (when I finally dumped Ginger) she wasn't allowed to see or fuck Ginger at all. Or if she was allowed, after a period of "good" behavior, she couldn't be one on one with Ginger, her husband always had to be present for the sex/date.
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Love withers under constraint; its very essence is liberty. It is compatible neither with envy, jealousy or fear. It is there most pure, perfect and unlimited when its votaries live in confidence, equality and unreserve. -- Shelley

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  #19  
Old Yesterday, 07:29 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is online now
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Some people might be fine with controlling - or to me it feels like carrying - a relationship. I guess I just want more of a co-pilot?
I don't want to carry anyone. That's like pulling them along in a wagon. That's a drag.

And I don't want to control anything. That's another kind of drag. Like pushing them along, poke poke poke, herding them.

I resonate with wanting a co-pilot. Walk side by side with me. On your own two feet under your own power.

Quote:
This may be something for me to keep an eye on. He says a lot of great things. "I'm showing empathy; I'm exercising compassion; I understand" but at the end of the day those are just words. Without the actions behind then, they're empty.
Yup. The "talk" and "walk" have to match in order to have integrity. Otherwise a bunch of pretty talk is just talk. And talk is cheap. When I get mixed messages, I'm going to believe the ACTIONS.

Quote:
I feel very torn because I don't think it's an unwillingness on George's part, to "get it", but I do think there's an inability present, if not just a very sharp learning curve.
Whether he doesn't get it because he's a narcissist or he doesn't get it because he's on the spectrum, or both, or something else? In the end? If he's not getting it enough for you to be happy participating in this dynamic? If overall it is a drag? You could stop participating.

Quote:
I haven't completely decided yet, but I think I'm going to tell him that I'd like to take a break - maybe a month? - to recalibrate. Just get back to a good place personally where I'm not resentful or depleted, so that we can continue to work on the relationship. But I'll do my damnedest to communicate the "why" and to set the expectation that I do not want to be the only one doing the work going forward. Who knows, maybe George will be the one to decide that this isn't worth the trouble...
Sounds like a good enough plan.

Either you will decide it's not worth the trouble or he will decide. Or maybe after a time out to recalibrate you will continue from a fresh page.

It will be what it is.

I think you could set a limit though. I believe in second chances. Even third chances... because some things take a while to resolve. If I see progress, I'm willing to renew/extend the agreement and keep working things out. But I do not believe in 200, 2000, 2 million of them and I don't want to be "working it out" forever.

Like a house. I don't mind buying a fixer upper, but eventually I want to be done and just live in the house and do normal home care. Not always be living in a partly done remodel, always and forever working on bits of it. YKWIM?

I also have a limit of tolerance for "lather, rinse, repeat" stuff that never really changes. Some gaps are just too BIG to bridge.

And I know relationships don't have to be so HARD. I dated a guy who had to be "carried" a lot and I got tired of explaining. We had big gaps between us. It was tiring. Then I dated three other guys after that one. One tried a little too hard, but all three only had to be told something ONCE. They would remember. It was so EASY being with them compared to the first. More like "copilot" instead of "carrying."

Maybe on the break you can think about where your limit of tolerance for working on this relationship lies? And how many times you have on the clock for second chances?

Galagirl
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