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  #11  
Old 04-04-2016, 05:06 PM
Ravenscroft Ravenscroft is offline
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Welcome here, Vulpis! Plenty of big-hearted people in these forums, with a wide range of relational experience.

However, I don't see where you're particularly polyamorous. You & your husband have widely mismatched needs for exploring sexual/sensual/emotional interactions with others. You barely know anything about monogamy, let alone multiple relating.

And in order to be with him, you abandoned friends, family, & familiar surroundings. I'm not saying there's some echoes of creepy cultish mind-control here, but...

You sound more like you want The Wing-Walker's Rule of serial monogamy: "Don't let go of one thing until you've got hold of another."

I'd say you're investing waaaaaaayyy too much expectation in the guy you sucked face with, at a party, while stupid-drunk -- any further depth is probably just Romantic tripe you're layering onto it.

My guess is you're psyching yourself up to dive headlong into another ill-advised relationship because you're afraid to even risk being an individual human being rather than the next "+1" for some stranger who toddles along & is "nice" to you (by taking advantage of you while you're emotionally desperate & clearly inebriated...?).

Furthermore,
Quote:
while he is so worried about his own health. I've been selfish and insensitive to his needs
makes it sound as though you've been recruited as a live-in nursemaid, not a lover, & certainly not a friend. You might want to ponder the implications of caregiver & caretaker --
Codependency & addictive behavior

Last edited by Ravenscroft; 04-04-2016 at 05:08 PM.
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  #12  
Old 04-05-2016, 01:50 PM
Vulpis Vulpis is offline
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While I appreciate the concern from those pointing out the possibility of manipulation and over-dependence, I don't believe that is at play here. I have been insensitive to needs that are more dire than my own. My partner is a very anxious person, so the illness he has been dealing with is affecting him more than it would most people. He needs my support right now to move past that before I can even think about re-introducing something as emotionally charged as polyamory. My needs, for this particular issue, do not outweigh his in the current state of the relationship, but they may in the future.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kdt26417
My recommendation is to give him some time to change his mind on his own
I like the idea of a timeline. My needs are not urgent. To me this is not an either or scenario unless he really wants it to be. If he does, I think everyone is right that I have an obvious choice to make. I guess my issue is that it's very difficult to make that choice when I don't have experience with the alternative.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tinwen
What was the idea of handling LDR up to now?
The plan was for me to visit every other weekend or so. I'm only moving a couple hours away. We haven't discussed it at length yet; it's on the to do list.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WhatHappened
Quote:
Originally Posted by GalaGirl
From your writing it still strikes me like you are the more emotionally mature of the two even though you have less dating experience.
Keeping in mind we're hearing one side of the story here. [Although I don't actually see the poster as 'more emotionally mature' than him, anyway.]
I am not the more emotionally mature individual, I'm just more in tune with my own emotions. There's a difference there, I think. I'll still throw tantrums if I'm not careful with myself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ravenscroft
You barely know anything about monogamy, let alone multiple relating.
Hence my desire to explore.

To re-iterate this point, this whole mess is not about party guy. Party guy was just the person who made me realize that there are other people on the planet that I can connect with in a sexual way, that I have in fact not "lost eyes for all others", and that I am sexually assertive when I am confident in myself. Certainly there is some desire specific to him, but I have it under control now.

Hard to know what I want when I can only see one side of the fence.
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  #13  
Old 04-10-2016, 04:00 AM
Vulpis Vulpis is offline
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Things are not going well.

A few nights ago, Partner read some texts on my phone that seemed to upset him, but he didn't want to talk about it. I let it go and said he could talk to me if he wanted to at a later time.

Last night, while he was a bit drunk, Partner was texting with a mutual friend. I asked what they were saying, and Partner evaded the question. I laughed and, curious, asked again. Partner responded with "It's not like I'm flirting with him," and that started a very nasty fight.

The fight started okay. I asked how he was feeling about what he had read on my phone and he was very evasive, saying things like "How do you think I feel?" and "How would you feel?" while not telling me exactly what he had read. As far as I knew my texting with friends was perfectly platonic in nature, with maybe a flirt thrown in here or there.

I explained how I felt, that we needed to have more discussions about the possibility of opening up and that I wouldn't be able to shelve my feelings. I told him I want to know myself and learn that with him, not against him. Blah blah blah.

He left the room.

An hour later, we had probably the worst fight in our relationship's history. Some truths were said. We slept apart.

Tonight, we revisited the argument while in better moods. He told me he thinks I'm being manipulative and pushing him farther than he wants to go, and I told him I would make an effort to be better, but that I don't consider flirtation to be breaking boundaries unless he wants to add new ones. He explained he was uncomfortable with the entire package of how I've been acting, that I'm basically a completely different person who is trying to manipulate him into letting me do whatever I want. He kept saying he didn't believe me when I told him things I felt.

He doesn't believe:
  • That I am not starting a romantic relationship with Party Guy
  • That my desire is about sexual connection, not sexual acts
  • That I have set boundaries with my friends

He said he doesn't trust me, he doesn't know who I am anymore, he didn't sign up for this, he doesn't think he'll ever be okay with it, he thought he wanted to be with me forever but now he isn't sure.

He started crying. He never cries.

I'm staying somewhere else right now. He said he needs a lot of time. He said he doesn't know what to do.

How could this possibly be so important to me that I could ever hurt the person I love over it? If I could bottle it all up again and never look at it again I would a thousand times. I don't deserve him. How could I have done this? What have I done?
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  #14  
Old 04-10-2016, 11:54 AM
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Magdlyn Magdlyn is offline
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Just want to point out that Vulpis is not married to her guy. She called him Partner, let's go with that.

Partner seems very emotionally withdrawn. Unable to express his emotions. Throwing it back at you, Vulpis, when asked to speak: "How do you think I feel? How would you feel...?" instead of just speaking his own heart.

Now, of course, men are trained in our society to not express feelings. Sigh... from a young age, they are constantly told, "Big boys don't cry. Suck it up. Walk it off."

Now he has finally cried to you, Vulpis. (Hey, it's a start.) But he's not liking this at all, you feeling attracted to another man. He is snooping on your phone and feeling jealous you even talk to your platonic friends. Imagining the worst. He is also in denial, not just of his emotions, but his sexuality. He won't even admit to masturbating, much less enjoy doing that while having sex with you, no mutual masturbation at all? To me, that is a big red flag. "Look at how pure I am. I don't even jerk off. I keep all my sperm for you. But here you are, throwing yourself at another guy, you slut! You whore!" That is what I read into it. (My ex husband was the same way. Of course, he was lying. He did jerk off, and he did get attracted to other women. He just said he didn't in an attempt to control my sexuality. He admitted all this finally, in couples counseling and in our long drawn out tiresome talks.)

Your Partner has always been this way. Closed off emotionally, closed off to sexual exploration. He chose to get involved with a teenager when he was 29. At those ages, there is a huge gap in experience and self knowledge. He may have felt "safe" with you, since he could lead and never be questioned.

Now, you are catching up. You're over the hero worship stage and on to: Who am I? Who is Vulpis, how does she prefer to relate to others? To platonic friends, to potential other lovers?

He may be growing and changing. Other posters have said you are growing and changing but he isn't. Everyone grows and changes. They sometimes just change in incompatible ways, and grow apart. Then again, he might be fighting change, trying to be "conservative," because change makes him anxious. He has anxiety disorder. He shoves his feelings down. He demands you tell him how to feel, in a bratty sarcastic way. Pffft. Who has time for that? Life is short.

Look at this as a starter relationship for you. You learned some things about yourself, and how to be in relationship, but now you've come to the realization, you don't get along anymore with a man so closed off emotionally, lacking interest in experimenting sexually (even something so simple as touching his own dick and admitting he does so), so anxious and jealous.

"Relationship gone bad, add other people," is a recipe for disaster. You've got a life to lead. If you want to completely close down the poly discussion until his physical health improves, out of a feeling of duty, fine. Up to you. But in September you will be moving out. Going to school 2 hours away! Of course you will be tempted by other students you meet. Long distance relationships are hard. Partner will be suspicious constantly you are forming sexual or romantic relationships with others in your new city. He will even be jealous of your platonic friends.

Cat is out of the bag. Barn door open, horse is out.

He no longer has you in your safe little box, and he knows it. He wants a mono partner, or wife. You're too young to shut down your explorations. You're just beginning to flower! Do you see the benefits to yourself of grasping hold of a new freedom, of learning how to relate to people, to grow, experience life and joy? It's not selfish to be true to yourself. Fitting yourself into a box just to please him will breed resentment and warp your mind and soul. And he will never trust you again, and will punish you in an infinite number of ways, forever.
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Mags (poly, F, 63), dating... again!
Pixi (poly, F, 41) my darling nesting partner since January 2009
Master, (mono, M, 37), Pixi's Dom/bf since April 2013
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  #15  
Old 04-10-2016, 01:04 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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I'm sorry there was a fight. But what happened really?
  • You noticed he seemed upset or "off."
  • You tried to connect and asked what is wrong. He was evasive wanting you to mind reader his feelings rather than responding directly to questions.
  • Then he blew up.
  • He accused you of being manipulative and pushing him farther than he wants to go.

I don't see you manipulating anything. I see you reported where you were at. And you reported that you had a flirtation with Party Guy. You said you would like to Open if he's up for it. He said he is not up for it, and if you want to do that, best you guys break up. You decided to stay and be Closed. Sounds like things were solved. So how is this pushing him?

You also explained you do not consider flirtation to be breaking current boundaries, but are willing to discuss adding new ones. Again, not pushing. You seem to be willing to problem solve here.

What's he doing? Does he want to problem solve? Nope.

You have discovered new things about yourself. You have realized that there are other people on the planet that you can connect with in a sexual way, that you have in fact not "lost eyes for all others", and that you am sexually assertive when you are confident in yourself. Does that mean you are running around breaking agreements jumping everyone's bones? NO. You had a slip up, you made him aware, and now you are wanting to move forward. You are willing to be Closed.

Instead of thanking you for your honesty, and appreciating your willingness to reaffirm and continue with current agreements? Or take the opportunity you are giving to tweak agreements? I see that he's working himself up, snooping in your phone for "evidence", getting drunk, and watching you with suspicious eyes because he doesn't trust you. If he no longer trusts you he could simply break up with you and move on. Instead he's wanting to do what? Fight with you? How's that help anything?

I see that you are sad he is hurting, but that doesn't make you responsible for his feelings or his behavior. When you report where YOU are at, that is not you doing things TO him. That is you reporting where you are at. If he's thinking things and working himself up, then HE is thinking things and HE is working himself up.

Quote:
He doesn't believe:
That I am not starting a romantic relationship with Party Guy
That my desire is about sexual connection, not sexual acts
That I have set boundaries with my friends
He doesn't trust you. And it's going to be hard to be with someone who doesn't trust you.

Quote:
I'm staying somewhere else right now.
TBH? I think this is the start of the crack up. I also think it is ok to LET IT crack up and let it end. Don't be in a rush to swoop back in and prop him up and "prove" how much you love him. Love doesn't have to be proven.

If you go back, I think he's going keep breaking boundaries like snooping in your phone. Increase "policing" you because of HIS mistrust. Not healthy.

I'm going to suggest you stay living apart. Especially since you are leaving for school in September. If he already doesn't trust you living there with him, he's not going to trust you living away in September.

Quote:
I guess my issue is that it's very difficult to make that choice when I don't have experience with the alternative.
Quote:
Hard to know what I want when I can only see one side of the fence.
You seem to be saying you don't know if you really want the freedom TO date other people because all you have ever known is this first adult relationship. How would you know it was worth it? Or if the new relationship would be better than this one?

You would prefer if he would be ok with it and explore this with you, but he doesn't want to. So you don't know with certainty if you want to give up this relationship and explore the freedom to date others on your own when you are reaching for unknown.

Well, here's another freedom to consider: Freedom FROM.

Maybe you end it no so much to explore the freedom TO date other people. But because you want freedom FROM.
  • Freedom from dealing with an emotionally closed off person
  • Freedom from him pushing you away whenever things are rough instead of coming together to problem solve.
  • Freedom from bullying -- where he'll out-logic you and intentionally drive you into a corner until you relent
  • Freedom FROM being accused of things
  • Freedom from him snooping on your phone rather than simply asking
  • Freedom FROM having to deal with someone who will evade, blame, or act out
  • Freedom FROM someone guilt tripping you and trying to make you responsible for his feelings.

You guys just don't sound deeply compatible to me. Certainly not compatible enough to handle LDR well when you leave for school.

You could stay living elsewhere and end it. You could begin to enjoy freedom FROM all this. You could enjoy your last months in this town with this circle of friends that you like. You could enjoy a fresh start and building new community when you go to school elsewhere in September. You could call this a first adult relationship, where you learned some things. You could move on to have other adult relationships you will learn other things.

Quote:
How could this possibly be so important to me that I could ever hurt the person I love over it? If I could bottle it all up again and never look at it again I would a thousand times. I don't deserve him. How could I have done this? What have I done?
I see you blaming yourself for HIS thinking things and working himself up over it and then HIS acting out.

I suggest you not do that. Do not blame yourself for trying to be honest with your partner as things happen with you. That's a good thing to do. He cannot be a mind reader. It is your job to make him aware of what's going on and where you are at.

Him not being able to handle authentic you? That's his inability, not yours.

You could decide you want a partner who CAN appreciate you being up front and honest. Someone who can not only take it, but LOVES this quality in you! Someone who can relate with you on that level without freaking out. Someone more emotionally resilient.

Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 04-10-2016 at 01:51 PM.
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  #16  
Old 04-10-2016, 05:19 PM
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nycindie nycindie is offline
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Vulpis, you haven't hurt him. He is choosing to hurt himself with the information he was given. He is emotionally guarded and possibly a bit immature/stunted/overly-dependent, thought you were HIS, and now discovers that you belong to yourself and will always be your own person.

He wanted to own you, to a degree. You've done him a favor by opening his eyes to reality.

Now do yourself a favor and leave him. You have your life to live. Go away to college and have a social life, have sex with whomever you want, claim your freedom. You are young, with so many experiences ahead of you - don't waste your life by putting it on hold for someone who will not look at himself and own up to his fears, insecurities, assumptions, and idealizations. Don't put your life on hold for someone who doesn't accept you for who you are and makes all sorts of excuses to justify not treating you with respect. Though I know it feels shitty right now, you'll look back someday and realize you needed to be out of that situation and relationship.
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Last edited by nycindie; 04-10-2016 at 05:28 PM.
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  #17  
Old 04-10-2016, 05:57 PM
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Hi Vulpis, sorry to hear things are going so badly. I agree with the others that you haven't done anything terrible. You stumbled into a truth about yourself, that's all.
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  #18  
Old 04-10-2016, 10:00 PM
Vulpis Vulpis is offline
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A couple hours after I posted last Partner called me. He said he wasn't ready to push me away, that he can't imagine life without me, that he's not strong enough. He is worried I am planning to have an affair. He fears the future, believing that I will push him continuously, even in a year, toward opening up, and that if he doesn't agree, I will cheat on him or break up with him to explore whatever person is tempting me at that time.

He said he was trying to figure out whether to take a break from the relationship, essentially break up with me (though he calls it a break). He said that thinking of me with other people during that break terrified him. He does not want to be a "backup" and would not believe me when I tried to explain that he would be my first and foremost, that his needs would be held over third parties. I tried to describe it the way friendships work, only sexual connections might be added.

He still views those connections as a special form of intimacy that he can't imagine having with someone who isn't me. He doesn't understand that I don't hold intimacy as a sacred thing for only two people, that I view it as multifaceted even if my intimacy with him is extremely important and unique.

As far as him being closed off emotionally, I halfway agree with everyone. He explained that he does not understand how I can't put myself in his shoes and know how he feels. I kind of understand where he is coming from, but I can't know what he is ready to deal with and move past if he can't communicate his feelings clearly. I may know he feels bad, but is it fear? Anger? Guilt? I can't possibly know, can I? Am I asking too much?

I came back to him after talking on the phone for an hour. We spent the rest of the early morning eating junk food.

I still really feel like this is all my fault, and that having sexual connections with other people should not be so important to me. It is, though, and I don't know if I like that. But the idea of closing myself off from such beautiful connections forever just seems sad and limiting.

He fears that my texting with Party Guy is sending the wrong messages. Partner is probably right that I am fostering sexual tension, but he views it as much more romantic and important than that. I agreed to limit my texts to the basics of communication for right now although I am pretty certain that Party Guy views it the same as I do: good fun.

We agreed to revisit the issue in a few months, probably when I move. I think he is just putting off breaking up with me until he is in a better position emotionally on his own. I'm actually okay with that if that is what he decides he needs to do. I will not abandon our relationship when he is this vulnerable.

It frustrates me that he refuses to read even chapters or passages from the books. Not even the general ones about communication.

I do not see how we can survive. I fear losing him, even though I know I would eventually recover. He is a beautiful person and I want to be with him, but I know that he is not willing to step out of his comfort bubble.
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  #19  
Old 04-10-2016, 10:52 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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You seem to see that you two are not deeply compatible and so does he.

Quote:
He is worried I am planning to have an affair. He fears the future, believing that I will push him continuously, even in a year, toward opening up, and that if he doesn't agree, I will cheat on him or break up with him to explore whatever person is tempting me at that time.
If that's how he's feeling, I am not sure how postponing helps. I would imagine that breaking up NOW would be sad for him but it could also bring major mental relief. That he isn't going to be cheated on, that he doesn't have to worry about being constantly pushed into poly, etc. All being together seems to do is prolong his mental anguish and fears. Seems kinder to end his anguish than to prolong it.

But I guess you guys are together til you leave in September and then will break up for good? Is that the plan for handling this?

I guess that works, so long as both are super clear about that. There's never going to be a "good" time to break up. One just gets on with it.

Quote:
I still really feel like this is all my fault, and that having sexual connections with other people should not be so important to me. It is, though, and I don't know if I like that. But the idea of closing myself off from such beautiful connections forever just seems sad and limiting.
You guys having grown apart/wanting different things is NOBODY'S fault. It's just wanting different things that are no longer compatible.

Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 04-10-2016 at 11:19 PM.
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  #20  
Old 04-10-2016, 10:58 PM
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nycindie nycindie is offline
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Vulpis, you are obviously very intelligent and very compassionate. My only hope for you is that you don't join him in avoiding what is true for you and let him sweep things under the rug. You don't want to wind up waiting so long to express who you are sexually and in love relationships that you wind up having regrets about what could have been.

A lot of people who are twice your age look back and regret how they locked themselves away in tightly entwined relationships at an early age when a whole world was open to them. When you finally embrace the breadth of who you are in your 50s, 60s, or older, instead of your 20s, your choices are limited (not to mention your energy!) and sometimes you wonder how much time you have left.

I became sexually active in the 1970s. I don't know if this is a hippie attitude that prevailed at the time or something I learned from my experiences, but I've long considered sex as simply a form of communication and self-expression. It can indeed be a beautiful way to connect with another human being, even when it's just a quickie for fun, and a wonderful path to self-knowledge. I think it is very healthy for a young woman your age to want to explore having sex with other people, to find out what kinds of intimate connections are possible. I am grateful that I did that when I was 23 - I learned so much about myself from my relationships, no matter how short-lived they were.

I remember that a wise person told me that the 20s is all about exploring, having fun, taking chances, fucking up, and learning from your mistakes, and he was right. I wish you the best on your journey.
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"Oh, oh, can't you see? Love is the drug for me." ~Bryan Ferry
"Love and the self are one . . ." ~Leo Buscaglia

Click here for a Solo Poly view on hierarchical relationships
Click here to find out why the Polyamorous Misanthrope is feeling disgusted.

Last edited by nycindie; 04-10-2016 at 11:06 PM.
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