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  #21  
Old 04-11-2016, 11:27 AM
Tinwen Tinwen is offline
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I am sorry you are experiencing this. I have been in a very similar situation, (with only the minor differences that I was full-blown in NRE, and that my ex was at least in words willing to try work towards opening up, but his emotions were essentially the same as your partners, so...).
I miss him, and I miss the dream of building a family together. But I love that I was able to experience my kinky side, so the only thing I regret is dragging it out for several months and hurting each other more and more deeply in the process.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vulpis View Post
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.
And? Isn't this exactly what would happen? (less the cheating part) You can't shelve sexual exploration, can you? And he can't help feeling pressured, if this is what you want and even just mention it, can he?
Again, I am sorry, but this seems real. You would have to truly commit to monogamy, which ...
Quote:
the idea of closing myself off from such beautiful connections forever just seems sad and limiting.
... is not what you want at this point in time.

People told me recently in another tread that settling down is not something to force myself to do, it is something which usually comes as a desire naturally. You might find out easily later that you in fact prefer (serial) monogamy, but I am sure the decision to remain faithful must come from deep inside, not be enforced.

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.
I had that too, with regards to kink.
It seem it is not so uncommon though. Anecdotally people do break marriages even after decades when the discover they need to explore (kinky) sex. Over amplified guilt is quite a useless feeling. Your not alone with this.

Good luck.
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  #22  
Old 04-11-2016, 08:05 PM
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kdt26417 kdt26417 is offline
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Re (from Vulpis):
Quote:
"It frustrates me that he refuses to read even chapters or passages from the books. Not even the general ones about communication."
Possibly he is afraid that he will read something he agrees with?
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  #23  
Old 04-12-2016, 01:57 PM
Vulpis Vulpis is offline
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Thanks again to all posters and readers; your concern and care moves me.

I understand that we have sort of grown apart, but what strikes me is the speed with which that happened. This realization of my need to explore myself and other people sexually was sudden, unwelcome, and shocking to both of us. Although we have always had our differences, I never viewed them and still don't really view them as incompatibilities. He has flaws. We work on them together. Things like him being aggressively logical and bullying others into submission when he argues is an issue for him as much as me and we work on that together.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GalaGirl
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 don't know what the plan is right now. We seem to be pretending that none of this is happening and going on with our lives together. He has been texting with a mutual friend who knows the situation. While I'm a little sad that she's not talking to me, I understand because she's been on Partner's side of this problem in a previous relationship. Hopefully she can help Partner to sort out his thoughts and come to terms with everything, for better or worse.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nycindie
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.
Thank you. I only hope that by embracing myself, I don't cut him deeper than necessary...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tinwen
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vulpis
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.
And? Isn't this exactly what would happen? (less the cheating part) You can't shelve sexual exploration, can you? And he can't help feeling pressured, if this is what you want and even just mention it, can he?
To some extent, yes. However, I am not going to leave him for another. If I leave him, I will leave for myself. What he seems to fear (I can't be sure because he won't communicate effectively) is the discovery of another man who is "better" than him, especially sexually. The way he's been acting during and after sex suggests that he fears he is not sexually satisfying me and that if he could just fix that, everything would go back to normal.

I have told him the truth from the beginning of this, but he still doesn't trust that I'm not planning an affair right now. He is so caught up on the idea of me having sex, specifically dick-to-skin contact, that it's hard to even talk about what agreements would look like with him. When I say things like "I'm not interested in that right now because it's not constructive for us," he'll say "Yeah, maybe not right now," and then shut down the conversation.

I haven't brought up the issue since the fight. Until he wants to sit down and discuss things, I'm not interested in more fighting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kdt26417
Possibly he is afraid that he will read something he agrees with?
Why would he be afraid of that? I don't understand how he could be willing to end the relationship without even making an effort to understand my position or work on his own communication skills. I feel like I'm doing all the heavy lifting while he's just hurting.
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  #24  
Old 04-13-2016, 12:41 AM
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Possibly he is putting up a wall of resistance, painting himself white and you black. Reason being, he's in a state of conflict within himself. On one hand (the subconscious hand), he may wonder if there is some merit to the idea of opening up. On the other hand (the conscious hand), he's so terrified of opening up that he's determined to never find out there's anything good about it.

That probably doesn't make a lot of sense, but how do you make sense of the insensible.

Sympathetically,
Kevin T.
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  #25  
Old 04-13-2016, 03:04 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is online now
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I don't understand how he could be willing to end the relationship without even making an effort to understand my position or work on his own communication skills. I feel like I'm doing all the heavy lifting while he's just hurting.
That's is exactly why. He's hurting. When caught up in hard emotions, some people are not able to calm down enough to think straight. They need some time.

Making an effort to understand your position or being willing work on his communication skills? That's admitting there's a problem in his understanding of you or a problem in how he communicates. He doesn't want to do that and appear "weak." He has a fear of you dumping him for someone "better," remember? Showing "weakness" must be avoided at all costs.

Where HIM ending it before you do? That gives him the feeling of control. And the sense that he is protecting himself from having to feel anything else yucky. He can feel powerful then. "Get you before you get him" mentality. Especially since he believes you are going to cheat on him anyway.

The healthier approach is to be emotionally honest, be ok feeling vulnerable and work THROUGH this. But he's not great at emotions so I don't know how likely that it as an option here.

I'm hoping that his friend will be able to tell him that he's jumping the gun, working himself up, and then wigging out over his own wonky thinking rather than actual facts. Maybe he will be open to hearing it if it comes from someone else?

Quote:
I haven't brought up the issue since the fight. Until he wants to sit down and discuss things, I'm not interested in more fighting.
I think that's the best thing you can do right now.

When someone is all emotionally het up, you could let them have time and space to cool down. Trying to talk to them while they are all het up is not productive.

Hang in there!

Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 04-13-2016 at 03:07 AM.
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  #26  
Old 04-15-2016, 02:00 PM
Vulpis Vulpis is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kdt26417 View Post
That probably doesn't make a lot of sense, but how do you make sense of the insensible.
Makes sense to me, even if it's irrational.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GalaGirl
He's hurting.
When I told him during the initial fight that I knew he was hurting, he kept insisting he wasn't. That's very frustrating to work with.

I'll wait. I do worry about LDR and know we need to have a real conversation about that, but I guess we can't really until he figures out what he'd like to do about all this.

I know that I'm not actively causing this pain to him, but I was honest with him when I knew that it would be painful for him. Then again, I guess that was a better option than trying to ignore it and growing resentful of the relationship...

He seems to be okay right now, but he does make little comments suggesting he is still hurting. Things like "When I find a hot girlfriend for you to approve" and being overly curious of every text I get. He even seemed to be afraid I was reading his texts this morning when I was reading the news on his phone (he has a better app), but that might have been me projecting.
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  #27  
Old 04-15-2016, 03:18 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is online now
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Quote:
When I told him during the initial fight that I knew he was hurting, he kept insisting he wasn't. That's very frustrating to work with.
I get that it is frustrating.

I have some people in my life who are like that. I have three friends with the same tell -- they all bounce their knee up and down when sitting when they feel anxious/agitated. They don't notice they do that, but I do. When I ask if they are ok? They INSIST they are fine and nothing's wrong with them.

I have another who has "I'm fine" like a mantra and not like a report on her emotional state. She just goes "I'm fine, I'm fine" like she hopes just chanting that will make it so. If she's ACTUALLY fine, she usually says something else like "I'm doing well, thanks! I did _____ this week. How are you doing?" But when the "I'm fine, everything is fine" chant starts up I know something is NOT fine.

They think they are "fine enough." Who am I to argue?

I just choose to believe them at their word (even if they report wrong) and get on with my things. If I have tried to make space for them and their possible needs, and they choose to pass on that opportunity and don't want to articulate needs? After a bit of time to make sure they aren't going to change their minds? Then I'm just going to move on to attending to meeting my own needs then. And I'm not going to feel bad about that. Life is not a dress rehearsal. I only get the one I get, so I'm going to live it. I can't be spending my life "on hold" for other people. What for? They can put their own lives on hold if they want. But not mine.

If it turns out something bites them in the butt because of their own false reporting? Well, they can own it, and learn not to do that behavior any more.

Quote:
I know that I'm not actively causing this pain to him, but I was honest with him when I knew that it would be painful for him. Then again, I guess that was a better option than trying to ignore it and growing resentful of the relationship.
Yup. It's better to be honest.

Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 04-15-2016 at 03:31 PM.
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  #28  
Old 04-27-2016, 10:18 PM
Vulpis Vulpis is offline
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Thank you so much GalaGirl; your insights into people who don't want to open up emotionally were very helpful for the past couple weeks while I've been trying to deal with the "I'm fine" routine. I no longer view it as lying directly to me; he's creating a barrier in order to internally process things, although I'm very disappointed with the poor job he seems to be doing with that...

So everyone here has for the most part said the same thing, which is that I really have two options:
  • Stay and be closed/ wait for him to be open
  • Break it off and explore my own, new path.

After an argument the other day, it really sank in that we have more issues to worry about than my desire to be open. Although being open is important to me, Partner and I have serious communication issues on both sides and have had those issues since long before the "incident".

I've learned that I seem to be a passive communicator at least somewhat, and probably just a poor listener. I seem to hear things people aren't really saying.

I've also learned that Partner can't wrap his head around why he needs to be able to say what he feels instead of having me guess.

When I told him he should be able to identify specific emotions and relay them to me if he needs support to handle them, he couldn't understand how I could not put myself in his shoes and simply know his feelings.

I'm not really sure how to handle that. I tried to explain that we're different people, and I can't possibly have the exact same reaction he has to things. But apparently I should still always just "know" how he feels.

I thought we had had a breakthrough last week when he told me he felt "threatened" when I was leaving to go to out for drinks with some male friends. But when I brought it up and told him I was really happy he felt safe enough to tell me that, he asked how I didn't know that before.



I have no idea how we're going to get through LDR. Trying to stay positive... but...
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  #29  
Old 04-28-2016, 12:33 AM
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Well, unless you have ESP, you are going to need him to talk to you.
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  #30  
Old 04-28-2016, 02:50 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is online now
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Quote:
Although being open is important to me, Partner and I have serious communication issues on both sides and have had those issues since long before the "incident".
Poly (or just talking about poly) has a way of magnifying already existing cracks in the foundations.


Quote:
I'm not really sure how to handle that. I tried to explain that we're different people, and I can't possibly have the exact same reaction he has to things. But apparently I should still always just "know" how he feels.
I wonder if he thinks you are an extension of him and should already know everything anyway. And this "evidence" of you being an actual separate person and NOT an extension of him is wigging him out.

I also wonder if he likes it how it is -- with you carrying most of the load. And you no longer wanting to do both sides of the communication stick? You doing your side and him doing his?
  • From your POV that means "more fair" -- each person doing their share of the communication load.
  • From his POV, if his expectation was that you do it all? It means now he has to do "more work to get LESS." And you aren't doing "your job" like he wants you to. So maybe he chooses to act out. Rather than reviewing if he has realistic expectations to begin with.

Or maybe it is something else, but he isn't saying.

I'm sorry you deal in this.

And no. LDR with a partner like this does not bode well. Seems simpler to end it in September when you move if communication has not improved.

Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 04-28-2016 at 12:20 PM.
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age difference, break-ups, guilt, maturation, new to polyamory, uncommunicative partner

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