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  #11  
Old 04-03-2019, 10:38 PM
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kdt26417 kdt26417 is offline
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Hello JaneBell,

I can see going to therapy as a trio, as long as all three of you consent to it. It sounds like you and your hinge partner want kitchen table poly, while your meta wants parallel poly. That poses a problem. It would be okay if all three of you wanted the same thing, but when one of you wants something different than the other two, it's not going to work for all three of you to go to therapy together. I suggest going to therapy separately, or at least with you and your meta separate.

You cannot have kitchen table poly unless/until your meta is okay with it.
Sympathetically,
Kevin T.
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  #12  
Old 04-05-2019, 01:32 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Thank you for more info.

Quote:
But at the end of the day, that’s really not my business and it’s up to him to set boundaries and protect his relationship with me. In those moments I was feeling both protective of my partner and annoyed that she was emotionally inserting herself into our time. He needs to be setting better boundaries and I need to make peace with his decision to be with someone who will behave that way.
Yes. He's picking her out to date. He needs to set better boundaries with her so she's not bleeding over into (you + hinge) time.

YOU might also need to set better boundaries with HIM if HE is the one bringing stuff from that side of the V into (you + hinge) time. If he's going all sloppy hinge. Apple calls him to witter? And then he gets all crnaked up and witters to you?

Call him on it. His problems with Apple? He didn't have to answer his phone when he is with you. If he chooses to take messages from Apple? And they get him all cranked up? HE is the one bringing the crank up into (you + hinge time), not Apple. He cannot control when she calls. He CAN control when he takes his messages! He can control his emotional response to stimulus. Either don't answer the stimulus, or answer it and keep your cool. Jeez.

You also have to reflect. He might be picking her out to date. But you pick HIM out. And if he's letting you down a lot? You can stop picking him out.


Quote:
I came into this poly situation with the intention to take care of my partner and my metas. When that wasn’t reciprocated by this meta, I felt slighted. But now I realize that my meta never signed on for that type of poly. There were never any conversations about what type of poly we were doing, I think each of us has just been operating under the assumption that our personal poly expectations are the default.
To me? That's a pretty big omission and it might explain a lot of the tension. Everyone operating under a different manual and confused why the others aren't "flying right."

Might want to take a little break, and after that? Have a talk about what kind of poly you guys guys are practicing together. Figure out what you are ACTUALLY signing up for and if the people still want to sign up for that or not.

Quote:
To my partner’s credit, he has been working on setting boundaries with my meta and things have been getting better. My meta and I are polite and kind to each other, we’re not going to fight if we bump into each other or are forced to overlap at a hospital visit or the like, but we don’t love hearing about each other because it brings up my meta’s fears/insecurities and my resentments.
Well, hinge can stop talking so much about the other one then. Dial it down some.

Quote:
I think the trouble is that having two relationships existing in totally separate vacuums is not a sustainable model for the type of person my partner is. I see how hard it is for him and I want to help, but I don’t see that there is reasonably anything I can do as things stand now.
I don't know if this helps you. But you could let Apple be his problem and you could be generous WITH boundaries.

I have a friend, call her Mary. She has a friend. Call her Nancy. I cannot stand Nancy's guts. I think she's a mean spirited person who likes to dump on Mary all the time. I honestly do not understand why Mary is friends with Nancy because I have seen Nancy be verbally abusive to Mary for years. She's mean, selfish, puts Mary down a lot, etc. Drives me up the wall to watch that go down, and Mary not do anything about it.

A long time ago I told Mary I cannot hang out with Nancy. I can be basic polite if I come to Mary's house if she's there, but I'm not gonna hang out super long if she is and I prefer NOT to cross paths at all.

I get that MARY likes her for whatever reason, but I do not. I find her personality and her treatment of Mary gross. But I can respect that Mary and Nancy are friends. It's Mary's decision who she is friends with. But it is MY decision where *I* spent my time and energy.

So...

If Mary goes to Nancy's bday and comes back telling me " I went to Nancy's bday. Nancy said this and Nancy said that?" I'm gonna be pissed. Because we have an agreement that Mary does NOT talk about Nancy to me in "deep detail." She knows I don't like her. I don't give a flying fig about Nancy this and that. She also knows I'm not the one to ask for help when Nancy's been mean to her and Mary wants comforting. Go ask someone else. I already did my quota of that in the early years, and if Mary chooses to keep going there like moth to flame? Not my problem. Don't expect me to be the clean up woman.

But If Mary goes "I went to Nancy's bday party. I had a nice time. Nancy made a new kind of chocolate cake and it was delicious! I ate it with vanilla ice cream. I also played one of the new board games Nancy got for a present. This new one called ____. It's a tile style game, not a card one..." and the main focus is about MARY and HER experiences?

Then I'm alright hearing a little bit about Nancy. So Mary doesn't have to feel so compartmentalized about her other friendships. And at the same time, I am not bombarded by "the Nancy show." Or being asked to do ANY emotional labor kind of work on Nancy issues.

Want to know how long that truce agreement has been going on? For 31 years.

Maybe you can print that and show your hinge. As a "for now" truce agreement. You guys are in actually better shape because you were casual friends with Apple. You and her are not anything like me and Nancy. So... there's better hope there for you guys. It could start at a "for now" truce and maybe after a long break, try to be better than that.

Me? I cannot offer better. Nancy really is the pits. Ugh. I think I'm being generous as I can be in my situation with this horrible woman.

Quote:
If my meta reaches out and asks for feedback from me, I would be willing to share, but I don’t want that to be under duress
That's fair. You can say "I'd normally be willing to share, but under duress right now. I'll call you later when I'm doing better."

Quote:
I worry about getting sucked into doing lots of emotional labor on behalf of one of this other relationships.
You can say NO. And not spend YOUR time on that stuff. Set your OWN boundaries with the hinge and the meta.

Mary used to try to suck me into mediating between her and Nancy when they are on the outs. I've long grown comfortable saying "No, thank you. I would not be honoring my "we don't deep talk about Nancy" truce if I get personally involved. I suggest you and Nancy go to talk to ____ instead. "

They try to bring you their business? Hand it back, politely.

Quote:
I feel like they have a lot to work out between themselves
Then leave it to them and stay out of it. If they try to bring it to you making it be your business? Say "No, thank you. This belongs to you guys. It is not mine" and hand it back. Firm but fair. Polite but all "broken record."
  • I see this bothers you. I cannot help. This is not my job. Suggest you see ___ instead.
  • I see you want me to do X. I cannot. This is not my job. Suggest you see ___ instead.
  • I see that you want me to pick sides. This is not my job. Suggest you see ___ instead.

Lather, rinse, repeat. Expect them to get mad. Like "Why won't you help me? Don't you love me? Care? Lalalalala!?"

For the same reason you do not ask a hammer to do a screwdriver job. Just not able. Unreasonable expectation. Screwing the screws into things? Not the hammer's job.

Stick to lather, rinse, repeat.
  • I see that you are frustrated I will not participate. But hon, this really isn't my job. I can imagine how upsetting this is. I can see that you want it solved. I think you could talk to ___ to help you with this.

See their pain, reflect back and then? That's right. Lather, rinse, repeat.

You have to be able to say "I love you a whole lot. I care about you. But not even for you will I get myself into things that hurt me." And getting all up in their stuff? Not your biz, and it hurts you when he's a sloppy hinge piling things on you. And it doesn't really help him learn the hinge skills he needs does it? If you ALWAYS bail him out on doing his emotional labor things for him?

For him to learn to firm it up? He might not LIKE it. But you have to back off. He has to learn to paddle his own canoe and learn the skills. He has to learn not expect you to do the emotional labor on his other relationships. He's the one taking those relationships on. You are not dating them! HE is.

Even in KTP model, you would have to have some boundaries and respect each dyad as a dyad. Because while KTP might be cozier than "separate V" model, the goal of KTP is "family" vibe. Not "enmeshment" or "codependency" right?

Sometimes it's just NOT your stuff to field. In my fam? I don't do my kids' homework for them. Not my stuff.

Quote:
and we all need to be aware and respectful of what type of poly and boundaries each of us is signing up for.
That's why I say... have a little rest. It sounds like it's been hard.

Then have the conversation you all could have had from the start of all this. Catch it up. Sort that out. What kind of poly are you all practicing together? What are the boundaries? The dealbreakers? The expectations of each person? Now that it is clear... the offer is on the table. Who still wants to sign up for this?

Be super clear. Then perhaps the tensions will dial down even more.

Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 04-05-2019 at 02:09 AM.
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  #13  
Old 04-05-2019, 02:33 PM
Raynes Raynes is offline
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Sounds to me it's very important for everyone to be on the same page, so to speak. Or at least know each other's thoughts on various aspects of the relationship.
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  #14  
Old 04-05-2019, 02:42 PM
JaneBell JaneBell is offline
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@Galagirl

I appreciate all of your detailed feedback! Thank you for all the time and thought you have put in. I think you are spot on, and I shared the link to this thread with me partner who is taking it well and being receptive to the feedback.

I did institute a “no venting about Apple” policy a few months ago and he has respected it, and things have gotten way better. I had also been asking him for updates because we had gotten into a whole thing where he would talk about Apple and I would comfort him and give him advice, and I needed to stop asking as well. We’ve both been holding that line and it has helped.

The more recent issues have been with me feeling like he is always stretched too thin and prioritizes time with Apple because my other meta and I won’t give him a hard time if he needs to take a day for mental health, and he doesn’t want to deal with the emotional fallout of asking for that flexibility from Apple.

He doesn’t straight up answer the phone if Apple calls while he is mid-conversation with me, but he will engage with Apple in his free moments and has historically been so preoccupied and fatigued that even if he’s not talking about it, he’s distant and unable to participate in the fun things we had hoped to do. This is also getting better as he is learning to hold better boundaries with Apple.

With this history and some of the issues that continue need more attention I still have some resentful feelings, and Apple still has insecure and jealous feelings. I’m working on accepting that those boundaries were my partner’s to hold and not Apple’s, and that is helping.

My partner just really wanted kitchen table poly and it was a big oversight to not pre-negotiate that. When we started dating, we were all overlapping much more often socially (I was also dating Apple’s best friend and broke that off, so that created another point of separation). It seemed natural that we would all be seeing each other face to face and be functioning as more of a group, because that’s the way things were. We just never talked about how that would translate into a dating dynamic and it turns out that Apple and I don’t want to be that level of emotionally intimate with each other. That’s what Banana needs to accept.

He felt strongly that direct communication between Apple and I needs to open up eventually in order for us to move forward on a better path, and that made me super uncomfortable, like I was being asked to engage with Apple at an emotional level I was not prepared to sign up for. Which is why I reached out to other poly folks, who don’t have any stake in the situation, to get some perspective. Thankfully, Banana is taking the feedback well and willing to accept the consensus of everyone here (and on another thread I posted of Fet) and reevaluate his expectations.

We really appreciate all the emotional labor that you, and everyone here, has stepped up to do for strangers! This has been a really big help and is informing how we move forward. Thank you!
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  #15  
Old 04-05-2019, 05:38 PM
MayDecember MayDecember is offline
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I have found when the wife and potential mistress do not get along, it isn't going anywhere.

But that doesn't mean they have to be best buds.

Every action one pair takes affects the other person, there is no getting around that. But basic decency and respect have to prevail.

Drama is the fastest way to goodbye with a 3rd person. We have kids to raise, businesses to build, a retirement to fund... no time for drama.

I don't understand how the three of you engineered yourselves so deeply into this with such completely different expectations by pair.

I'm calling out the guy here. Avoiding responsibility. This is not a one-off deal. There is a duty to live up to every day in forthright communication.
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  #16  
Old 04-06-2019, 02:29 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Glad it helped some.

Quote:
I did institute a “no venting about Apple” policy a few months ago and he has respected it, and things have gotten way better. I had also been asking him for updates because we had gotten into a whole thing where he would talk about Apple and I would comfort him and give him advice, and I needed to stop asking as well. We’ve both been holding that line and it has helped.
Sounds like better personal boundaries on both ends is helping.

The more recent issues have been with me feeling like he is always stretched too thin and prioritizes time with Apple because my other meta and I won’t give him a hard time if he needs to take a day for mental health, and he doesn’t want to deal with the emotional fallout of asking for that flexibility from Apple.


Blue 1: You could be generous. If he wants to wear himself out? It's his time and energy. He can do that. Allow him to choose to mismanage his time without you commenting on that or connecting it to anything. Know why? His time management belongs to him. Not you. Not your job. It may also be for other reasons -- like he just plain stinks at time management right now! And is trying to learn! Why are you all up in it upsetting your own self?

Green 1: You ask him out and he says no, he needs to rest? Well, what's horrible about you being generous and not giving him a hard time if he needs to take a day for mental health? You have a problem with that?

Now if he's already made a date with you and he's standing you up because he wore himself out chasing Apple around? That's another story. And you don't get mad at Apple that he stands you up. Then one standing you up is HIM. He's got to own it that he mismanaged his time and it's bleeding over. Cuz he could just have not made the date with you in the first place if he had a prior commitment to chase Apple around and would be tired.

Or... if Apple asks him out and he already made a date with you? He must exercise self discipline and tell Apple not today because from past experience two dates on the same day wears him out and he already has one today. One could honor commitments in the order made. If your date was on the clock first? He could honor that. If hers was? He could honor that.

Blue 2: If he doesn't want to deal with the emotional fallout... So? That's his perogative if he wants to avoid stuff with Apple in their dynamic.

Maybe you just need to ask him not to tell you so much about his Apple stress? To me? I could be wrong but you seem to struggle with internal conflict.

It's like you want to fix a dynamic that is not your business -- how things are with Apple and Banana. Because you think it is somehow connected to bleed over into your part of the network at the hands of Apple. And if it is fixed, the bleedover from Apple will stop.

But you DON'T want to get sucked into fixing it because you prefer not to be so emotionally entangled with Apple doing emotional labor there, etc.

Then you don't see HIM fixing it himself -- he's inappriopriately trying to suck you into it talking with Apple, lalalala. So for you it's like Aaaaahhh! Internal conflict!

You don't actually have beef with Apple. You get annoyed with BANANA behavior in RESPONSE to Apple stimulus. But really? Banana could learn to put on the brakes.

Quote:
He doesn’t straight up answer the phone if Apple calls while he is mid-conversation with me, but he will engage with Apple in his free moments and has historically been so preoccupied and fatigued that even if he’s not talking about it, he’s distant and unable to participate in the fun things we had hoped to do. This is also getting better as he is learning to hold better boundaries with Apple.
So it DOES get better. Could remember that. Could continue to give him that space to learn better boundaries for himself -- be generous that he is a work in progress right now.

Is it that you want to be SEEN and be THANKED by Banana because you are holding space for him a lot? You want to be appreciated for your efforts as you wait for him to get it better together? If so? Ask him to SEE you and THANK you.

Quote:
With this history and some of the issues that continue need more attention I still have some resentful feelings, and Apple still has insecure and jealous feelings. I’m working on accepting that those boundaries were my partner’s to hold and not Apple’s, and that is helping.
Yes. I think parking the responsibility on the right person helps. Often people want to blame the meta as the source of the stimulus but really? Sloppy hinge is sloppy hinge. They CHOOSE how to respond to the stimulus from the meta.

Quote:
My partner just really wanted kitchen table poly and it was a big oversight to not pre-negotiate that.
Yup. Not good to skip that.


Quote:
We just never talked about how that would translate into a dating dynamic and it turns out that Apple and I don’t want to be that level of emotionally intimate with each other. That’s what Banana needs to accept.
Yup. Banana does need to accept that. KTP has to be a "3 people yes" here. (Or maybe 4 -- sounds like there's another partner in there somewhere.) However many it is, it is not just Banana decides and that's how it is.

Quote:
Thankfully, Banana is taking the feedback well and willing to accept the consensus of everyone here (and on another thread I posted of Fet) and reevaluate his expectations.
Good. Not realistic to expect KTP out of the sky when you haven't even talked it out or obtained consent and willingness from all parties to be doing that. Everyone was going around assuming and each one on the wrong manual! So of COURSE there were tensions!

Glad talking it out here and Fetlife helped your group figure some stuff out.

GL!
Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 04-06-2019 at 01:58 PM.
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