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  #21  
Old 05-24-2018, 06:48 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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(I think compromise is the best thing when trying to work with someone, especially if they have any trepidation's).
Does she share this belief? And she will try to work with you and your trepidations? Like a 2 way street?

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Aren't we suppose to feel free enough to express even what we know might trigger the other person to feel hurt (not that we are TRYING to hurt them)?
Yes. Speak your truth. You are not out to hurt the other person with it. But you all cannot make a plan from complete information if people aren't putting their cards on the table PLAIN.

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I have a hard time demanding a firm agreement, I do not want to be controlling or forceful; I'd rather she CHOOSE me.
You don't have to demand. She already agreed not to contact until October. Presumably she knows herself well enough not to agree to stuff she cannot actually do.

If this time you guys decide to allow an exception, then it is this time only. She can contact at the end of this month and then leave it alone until October.

It cannot be like "every other day changing stuff." Because if you are constantly having THIS talk about contact agreements, you cannot get on with having the OTHER conversations you need to do to repair trust so things can get back to being solid.

If things keep changing every other day or so, it's hard to feel solid. It feels like chronic instability.

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I just don't see how "sticking to my guns" will be helpful, especially right now when we are rebooting our relationship.
I think "sticking to your guns" about the contact agreement lets the "time out period" where you two are supposed to talk and work some things out be a period of calm/stability. Wasn't that the purpose the agreement in the first place?

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I am not even solid on "the way I hope"; but I think I've decided to give Poly a try with her (and, i guess, him.). I just need time for us to rebuild so I can feel we have something strong and solid again that will be added to, not distracted from.
That could be a problem. On the boards I see a lot of people coming to it like "add a third." I think emotionally it is more like "break up the old relationship model on purpose" in favor of "starting a new poly model."

There will be "breaking up" feelings to process even if breaking up the old model was wanted. Not everyone realizes that they might go through a kind of mourning period. Then they wonder why they feel yucky in the new model.

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Right now when I think about it I would want to put on a ridiculous amount of boundaries that are a bit unreasonable when we all live on an island that is 28 miles long and 7 miles wide...
Could she keep her agreements from here til October to demonstrate that she can be trusted again? And then in October once he's back you don't restrict?

You just expect her to treat you well in honest and forthright ways. (personal boundary.)

If she doesn't behave that way?

Then you have a new choice to make: Keep on like that. Or stop being with her. (Both choices that YOU can do.)

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I almost don't feel like I have a choice, when he moves back... would I just become resented because I'm holding on to a belief structure I don't fully agree with and forcing it on her?
Are you saying you are going to enter a poly V you don't really want to do just to avoid breaking up with her? Rather than doing a poly V because you love doing poly V's?

You DO have a choice. You decide what you will and will not participate in.

She has a choice too. She decides what she will and will not participate in.

If you want Closed and she wants something else, you both could accept you are no longer compatible. Because you forcing yourself into a model you do not really want? That's not good for you. And her forcing herself into a model she does not really want? That's not good for her.

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I remember what a new relationship is like, I know exactly what she's missing, I guess maybe I'm missing it too. We sort of have that right now with each other, we stayed up till 2 am last night talking about our first sexual experiences and how funny young people are, our past relationships and how each one affected us as a person... a conversation we never really had before but probably REALLY should have.
Well, could do the catching up work you need to be doing right now.

Then assess if it will continue in a romantic way with her or if you are better off good exes and friends.

You are not going to figure these things out over night. And maybe not even by her bday in July. I think the original plan to wait until October to make final decision gives you more time to do the soul searching and talks that you both need to do.

Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 05-24-2018 at 08:22 PM.
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  #22  
Old 05-24-2018, 07:13 PM
HurtandConfused HurtandConfused is offline
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Originally Posted by GalaGirl View Post
If this time you guys decide to allow an exception, then it is this time only. She can contact at the end of this month and then leave it alone until October.

It cannot be like "every other day changing stuff." Because if you are constantly having THIS talk about contact agreements, you cannot get on with having the OTHER conversations you need to do to repair trust so things can get back to being solid. [/

If things keep changing every other day or so, it's hard to feel solid. It feels like chronic instability.
I agree, I would consider this the only "change" and it seems reasonable and I thought we were both clear that it was just a one time thing until later; but I will clarify it again to be sure we are both on the same page.


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Originally Posted by GalaGirl View Post
That could be a problem. On the boards I see a lot of people coming to it like "add a third." I think emotionally it is more like "break up the old relationship model on purpose" in favor of "starting a new poly model."

There will be "breaking up" feelings to process even if breaking up the old model was wanted. Not everyone realizes that they might go through a kind of mourning period. Then they wonder why they feel yucky in the new model.
I think our relationship is new after the affair; we both are being more sensitive to each other and it feels a lot better.

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Originally Posted by GalaGirl View Post
Could she keep her agreements from here til October to demonstrate that she can be trusted again? And then in October once he's back you don't restrict?

You just expect her to treat you well in honest and forthright ways. (personal boundary.)

If she doesn't behave that way?

Then you have a new choice to make: Keep on like that. Or stop being with her. (Both choices that YOU can do.)
I am pretty sure that's her intent, I told her we would talk seriously about this after her birthday at the latest (july 30) so she doesn't feel like it's somethign that will be ignored.

I do not feel like she is being dishonest or breaking her word or any of that, but if it DOES come to be that way; I'll probably end up moving on... I could be blinded by my own confirmation bias.


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Originally Posted by GalaGirl View Post
Are you saying you are going to enter a poly V you don't really want to do just to avoid breaking up with her? Rather than doing a poly V because you love doing poly V's?
I don't know that I really don't want to do it or I'm really just hurt that she did this deceitfully. I think I was semi on the fence before this incident. For some reason I don't see it as me entering a Poly V (guess I don't know the term) I see her having two men in her life she loves and me exploring if I want more as well.
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Originally Posted by GalaGirl View Post
You DO have a choice. You decide what you will and will not participate in.

She has a choice too. She decides what she will and will not participate in.

If you want Closed and she wants something else, you both could accept you are no longer compatible. Because you forcing yourself into a model you do not really want? That's not good for you. And her forcing herself into a model she does not really want? That's not good for her.
If it comes down to that, we've already decided we will be friends and she will move out.

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Originally Posted by GalaGirl View Post
Well, could do the catching up work you need to be doing right now.

Then assess if it will continue in a romantic way with her or if you are better off good exes and friends.

You are not going to figure these things out over night. And maybe not even by her bday in July. I think the original plan to wait until October to make final decision gives you more time to do the soul searching and talks that you both need to do.

Galagirl
I think we are, we've been very connected lately, sexually and intellectually I'm not trying to figure things out over night; but I don't want to be rash either, I don't want to pass up an opportunity that I might prefer, who knows?

A lot of my insecurities were bleeding out into my earlier posts because of the rawness of the situation; I'm not a push over and I don't feel like I'm being treated unfairly. I think we are going about this in a very "adult" way, we hit snags where one or hte other gets emotional but we are both quick to realize this in our selfs and articulate that to the other person.

I like what I see between us and hope to foster it as best i can.
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  #23  
Old 06-13-2018, 09:06 PM
HurtandConfused HurtandConfused is offline
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the "mind goblins" got to me, I felt like something ws up so I snooped in her phone... someting I've never done in the 6 years we have been together.

I found her pet name for "the other guy" and that all text messages had been deleted.. I confronted her and found out she has still been receiving status updates, not really communicating. (hes polioting a boat to the north sea in alaska.. very limited on communication availability and it's a bit dangerous) On one hand I feel like the concessions I'm giving are ultra generous and I"m "a bitch" or "pussy wipped" or "a cuck" for going along with it... on the other hand none of that shit makes sense and its all based on prejudices that have been applied to me or that I have applied to myself.

stuff that is super reasonable and I probably would have agreed to if I had been told ahead of time... But since I feel like I found this out accidentally (seems like a very common theme...) it caused feelings of being deceived, inadequacy... self loathing, fear of loss... all the good stuff I've been struggling with for a month or so here.

I don't think I'm very mentally stable at this point, but it's given me motivation to do some pretty extreme fasting, nothing like knocking off a pound or 10 to make you feel a bit better about yourself...

I am trying to focus on fixing me more, I'm most of the problem in this situation... I can logically agree with so much, but I feel a physical reaction when certain circumstances are evoked.

She's made it 'round about clear that there won't be a "us" ever again, there will be a me and her and who ever else she decides she needs in her life... and this makes all the logical sense in the world, but I still feel like a piece of me is being slowly ripped away infront of my eyes. (which is kinda funny, since I used to try and coax her out of what I considered to be co-dependency... and here I am waist deep in the same swamp)

Fun times!

Last edited by HurtandConfused; 06-13-2018 at 09:10 PM.
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  #24  
Old 06-13-2018, 10:21 PM
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Hi H&C,

It sounds like you are mainly confronted with a question of whether you can trust your partner. She has been hiding stuff from you, that much is for certain. Which makes you feel less like accepting polyamory, or at least less like accepting it with her. She is obviously struggling with the idea of seeking your consent. She finds it's easier to just hide it from you. I think that she will find that it is harder in the long run.

Hang in there, you are doing the best that you can.
Regards,
Kevin T.
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  #25  
Old 06-13-2018, 11:01 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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I'm sorry this is still going on.

Let me repeat back what I understand. So...

You thought something was going on. And snooped in her phone. (Which is not ok to do, but let's set that aside for a moment.) And in doing so you discovered she broke agreements again. Because there's been some texts that were deleted and so on. Had she been up front about all that you probably would have agreed to it and been ok with it. But the chronic "hiding stuff" bothers you a lot. Esp since there was supposed to be no more communication until October.

Is that it?

If so, then I think you are going around in circles with her. You try to get her to change her behavior and be more up front and communicative, more considerate of you. So you can stop feeling run roughshod over. She's just not interested in doing that. She's ok doing this behavior and not changing anything.

You can ask her to stop doing that, and tell you ahead of time instead. But how many times do you ask for changes to no avail before you accept that NO. It is not gonna change here?

So far it's been broken agreements 2 times that I can tell. I believe in second chances, but it isn't gonna be like 20, 200, 2000 chances waiting on her to get her behavior towards you better together, right? And you keep on being dinged some more in the meanwhile?

What is your number? That makes it easy for you. Hard to FEEL but easy to execute. Once you pick your number limit? You sit back and wait to see if she changes her way of going or if the count keeps going up with agreements broken again. Once it hits your final number, you can bow out. You can decide that she chronically breaks agreements, you are done. You can bow out with regrets, but bow out all the same you are not longer affected by her behavior. You get yourself out of the line of fire so you are not dinged again by the same stuff over and over. The hurting can STOP.

Quote:
She's made it 'round about clear that there won't be a "us" ever again, there will be a me and her and who ever else she decides she needs in her life...
She can decide that's the outcome SHE wants. But it takes 3 people saying "yes" to make it actually come about like that. You don't sound like you joyfully consent to participate in any of that. So there isn't a "3 people yes here.

Quote:
I still feel like a piece of me is being slowly ripped away infront of my eyes.
Because it is/had been. There is not more (you + her). You are mourning a break up. It is definitely over.

This new model that being offered to you isn't something you esp enjoy. You feel crap most of the time and you aren't considered much in it. Like you don't really matter or are disposable/replaceable. And she's going to plow on ahead whether you come along for the ride or not.

Quote:
I used to try and coax her out of what I considered to be co-dependency... and here I am waist deep in the same swamp)
In trying to recover from her codependency has she gone too far the other way? Like instead of stopping at healthy interdependence she's gone out the other side to "Nobody can tell me what to do, I don't have to give a crap about anyone!"

I guess it doesn't matter in the end why she's behaving this way. Whether the ceramic jug hits the rock or the rock hits the jug? The jug till gets damaged.

If her behaviors are not going to change any time soon and it basically stinks here?

All you can do is

1) Stinky Choice A: Decide to stay and expect more stink circles with no end in sight. So the short term and the long term both stink. ( I do not think this choice is good for your mental health.)

2) Stinky Choice B: Decide to leave. Which stinks in the short term. But leads to healing and not being dinged any more in the long term. ( I think this choice is better for your mental health even if you don't love this choice.)

That's it. Those are the choices you can decide on your own. If she's not willing to modify her behaviors -- this is all the choices you get here.

If she's willing to work with you, maybe there's other possible options. But you cannot MAKE her work with you if she does not care to do so. And that is really hard to digest. When you realize you love someone and try to treat them with loving behaviors... and they don't treat you with loving behaviors back.
Like maybe they say "I love you" but how they behave toward you is not esp. caring or loving. There's no action to back up their "I love you" words so the words start to ring hollow.

I can only imagine the hard stuff you are feeling/processing right now.

Again, I'm sorry this is happening like this.

Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 06-13-2018 at 11:24 PM.
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  #26  
Old 06-13-2018, 11:39 PM
HurtandConfused HurtandConfused is offline
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Originally Posted by kdt26417 View Post
Hi H&C,

It sounds like you are mainly confronted with a question of whether you can trust your partner. She has been hiding stuff from you, that much is for certain. Which makes you feel less like accepting polyamory, or at least less like accepting it with her. She is obviously struggling with the idea of seeking your consent. She finds it's easier to just hide it from you. I think that she will find that it is harder in the long run.

Hang in there, you are doing the best that you can.
Regards,
Kevin T.
I agree, I'm trying to find out where I can make her feel safe enough to share what shouldn't be a big issues (I think the previous circumstances have colored all of this in an abnormal light).
I think we are about 5,000 miles from great communication, but at least we have reached "acceptable" levels for both of us




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Originally Posted by GalaGirl View Post
I'm sorry this is still going on.

Let me repeat back what I understand. So...

You thought something was going on. And snooped in her phone. (Which is not ok to do, but let's set that aside for a moment.) And in doing so you discovered she broke agreements again. Because there's been some texts that were deleted and so on. Had she been up front about all that you probably would have agreed to it and been ok with it. But the chronic "hiding stuff" bothers you a lot. Esp since there was supposed to be no more communication until October.

Is that it?
yes /no

first, I want to say I absolutely agree, I had no right to look at her phone and violate her privacy, i feel bad about that and no justification changes that, in fact it only causes more division between us if nothing else, more self destructive behavior on my part.

I am writing this very close to the events so I am sure they are heavily colored by my perspective/ emotional reaction. NO I do not feel like she broke a clearly communicated agreement, in fact I think we are still very much working on communication and full honesty (we have an issue of holding things back to protect the other person, which never works).

I do not feel like she violated the "letter" of an agreement, I feel like she betrayed an unspoken expectation from me.. so this is again largely my own issue. Our entire relationship has been organic and non-verbal, which has caused many problems to lie dormant... we are working on being more and fully communicative as this very difficult process evolves (we both have high stress lives, own a business etc... )

I have been very clear with her as of today, I am ok with her talking to him, she loves him and nothing will change that, distance will only hurt her. I don't want to make her feel like I am an oppressor or rule setter, we have never had that dynamic and I know she is diametrically opposed to it (which you touch on later).

I am unsure of the timelines but I don't want to do that "tit for tat" stuff so I'm not going to look into it, but at some point I was pushed to the edge and said "you can talk to him when ever you want" with some stupid secret hope that she knew how much her talking to him hurt me... of course she didnt understand what I did not articulate and so we come to bad communication again.

I feel like I am unfairly representing her, this is far from a black and white issue and I am not the hero here, I caused a lot of what lead up to very bad decisions on her part; but I don't see any thing other than fear and panic, not maliciousness or true deceit for spite. That's important to me.

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Originally Posted by GalaGirl View Post
So you can stop feeling run roughshod over.
we are all complicated right? I'm a very compassionate/empathetic sensitive man that has a shit ton of self loathing for not being "aphla" enough, I'm not a beta by any means but I"m very cautious and thoughtful before I commit to anything; now this is a lot of my own insecurities and self expectations coming to light (finally i guess) and the compounded issue of a hidden affair with someone I view as "everything that I am not" (more insecurity) makes me a bit more volatile (which really means I shut down and walk away) than I tend to be.. it's been very difficult on both of us when we are trying to communicate on a topic that is this sensitive (I have a lot of history with being cheated on, clearly I have something to learn from this; but I think I am starting to understand how I was a part in it).

When I saw that in her text menu she had me saved as "honey bunny" and him saved as "My Lion" I lost my shit, that triggered so many insecurities that have nothing to do with her or this situation, I grabbed my shit and went to another bedroom so I wouldnt wake her up while I freaked out... then sent her about 10000000 text messages over explaining my insanity... didn't sleep much.

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Originally Posted by GalaGirl View Post
And you keep on being dinged some more in the meanwhile?
But why do I feel dinged? I mean I didnt even clearly expressed what I hoped she would do... I don't feel like anything has been done that my poor communication wasn't largely to blame for.

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Originally Posted by GalaGirl View Post
She can decide that's the outcome SHE wants. But it takes 3 people saying "yes" to make it actually come about like that. You don't sound like you joyfully consent to participate in any of that. So there isn't a "3 yes" thing here.
I feel like she doesn't fully understand this, she keeps saying "but I love you, I"m here with you" like he is a non-issue; I have been trying to let her know that she is expecting me to be a third in an established and happy relationship (more so than ours is currently anyway) that I never knew existed until recently; I guess she sees it as so natural she doesn't fully grasp my issues with it... again to be fair to her she does talk to me a lot and is very supportive, but the lack of feeling a true connection on the topic is difficult especially when emotions flare around every corner.


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Originally Posted by GalaGirl View Post
Because it is/had been. There is not more (you + her). You are mourning a break up. It is definitely over.
I agree, I have shed my tears and am looking for the silver lining.

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Originally Posted by GalaGirl View Post
And this new model being offered to you isn't something you esp enjoy doing. You feel crap most of the time and you aren't considered much in it. Like you don't really matter or are disposable/replaceable. And she's going to plow on ahead whether you come along for the ride or not.
Yes, yes I do feel that way, but how much of that is my own insecurities? I am not ended if she's not around, I am not less for being with or with out her; I think I am more when I am with her.


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Originally Posted by GalaGirl View Post
In trying to recover from her codependency has she gone too far the other way? Like instead of stopping at healthy interdependence she's gone out the other side to "Nobody can tell me what to do, I don't have to give a crap about anyone!"
Oh there's a bit of that for sure, but how do you tell a Leo that? haha
She's also a complicated person, and like most women I'm drawn to has a past that is causing us issues in the current (religious sillyness... Jahova's witnesses are brutal to eachother).

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Originally Posted by GalaGirl View Post
If she's willing to work with you, maybe there's other possible options. But you cannot MAKE her work with you if she does not care to do so. And that is really hard to digest.
I truly feel that she is; I hope I have clarified where I mislead.

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Originally Posted by GalaGirl View Post
When you realize you love someone and try to treat them with loving behaviors... and they don't treat you with loving behaviors back.
I tend to be a very physical person in my expression of affection/love, she wants affirmation and probably sees that as more important (something I actually feel uncomfortable with (complements etc..)).. we speak different love languages and we are both working to understand that, maybe I'm just missing what she is doing because I'm looking for something else?

women are from mars, men venus etc??

Thank you for the well thought out reply, you have helped me clarify my own stance on a few issues with this discussion and I truly appreciate your time

Last edited by HurtandConfused; 06-13-2018 at 11:47 PM.
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  #27  
Old 06-13-2018, 11:59 PM
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Sounds like communication is the key,
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  #28  
Old 06-14-2018, 06:51 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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You are welcome. I am glad it helped you some.

I also hope you feel better for airing out some. You sound really frustrated. It's almost like you hold so much in it all comes out in whooshes. I wonder if you in the habit of gunnysacking?

I am going to make some guesses. I could be totally wrong. But you think on it some, ok?

I think you have MANY problems. More than an internet forum can help you with. It's ok to vent here some, but I think you need more help than just this forum. I sincerely hope you consider individual and couple's counseling.

I assume that nobody in this picture is some evil villain. I do see 3 people in a BIG mess though. I see some behaviors that are not so great. I think those behaviors could change so hopefully people can start to feel better.

I think all 3 people have had a share in the situation making. It might not be useful to assign blame like who did what. It might be more helpful to acknowledge all had a hand in it and move on to list what behaviors could change, and who is going to be in charge of changing those.

What is on the problems list for (behaviors that could change)?

I think one of them is that you seem dwell a lot on what YOU are to blame for. Like “this is my fault” and "that is my fault" and "I'm painting her in a bad light." You write like your list is MILES long. And maybe it is. But I don't think it is the one and only area of problems here. Going too far down that rabbit hole might be counterproductive. You do not water your lawn forever and ignore doing the groceries, washing the dishes, and doing the laundry. You attend to each house chore in turn. Then come back around to visit those areas again later. YKWIM?

I think this could be like that. Take it one area at a time and in turn.

You clearly love her a lot. It is ok to love HER, but not love some of her behaviors. I love my kids. I did not love it when they were little and would scribble on the walls. It is not being disloyal or being mean to her to list the behaviors you don't like. I imagine she has a list of your behaviors too. It's just listing. If you are going to work things out together you have to start by figuring out what you have and where you are starting from. Taking an honest assessment of the situation and what problem behaviors are happening. You have to list.

If you keep stopping to explain how you are all to blame and whatnot? What I see is that you keep getting lost on side trips and the assessment doesn't get done so you can move on to the next step of problem solving -- forming some kind of actionable plan to try some new solutions.

Like side anxiety or something. Anxiety might be an issue here, but you cannot let it block you from moving things FORWARD. If you want to solve problems? You have to get on with the problem solving steps.

How about listing only 3 in each area? What could that shorter list look like so you are not making your part of the situation making MILES long, and not attending to listing behaviors that could change in the other areas that other people could help resolve? I know a lot of stuff sort of "overlaps" but be ok with that and just make rough general categories. Don't get too bogged down in details.

I quote just to visually block it off. Blue comments are mine.

Quote:
MY STUFF

These things here? These are my responsibility. It's my job to fix them.
  • 1)emotional management / insecurities
  • 2)not doing destructive behavior
  • 3)

HER STUFF

Those things here? Those are HER responsibility. It is her job to fix those.
  • 1)She's a complicated person, and has a past that is causing us issues in the present
  • 2)In trying to recover from her codependency she has gone too far the other way. Like instead of stopping at healthy interdependence she's gone out the other side to "Nobody can tell me what to do, I don't have to give a crap about anyone!"
  • 3)

OUR STUFF

These other things here? These are SHARED responsibilities. Those are a shared job. We both have to put in effort to fix those.
  • 1)communication problems
  • 2)we speak different love languages and we are both working to understand that
  • 3)How to live regular life while ALSO trying to solve these things. (<--Because your whole lives cannot be ONLY this stuff. You both need to eat, sleep, work pay bills, rest etc)

OTHER STUFF ( <-- I'm not sure what category or combo of categories but they seem pretty important so they have to be on 1st list.)
  • I need to feel safe/secure
  • She needs to feel safe/secure
  • healing from the cheating start
Then maybe you can take that initial list to the counselor so you can get help sorting things out further into actionable steps to DO.

You don't need 1 plan to solve 1 issue. There's a lot of issues. So you need a collection of plans to solve various areas. And you need to put the collection in order to form a STRATEGY so you get through it all.

I've taken the liberty of sticking some things I've read in your posts or my suggestions on there. You could reorganize if they are not in the right spot. Or change them if they are not the most important things.

You could also just list stuff WITHOUT sorting and ask the counselor to help you sort them into the categories later on. Do only what you can handle, but do SOMETHING. That way you can feel a sense of "Ok, this is a mess. I'm trying to do something CONSTRUCTIVE about it by taking notes to give to the counselor. That can help us start to make our way out of the mess. Not make the mess even bigger."

Because this stuff?

Quote:
I had no right to look at her phone and violate her privacy, i feel bad about that and no justification changes that, in fact it only causes more division between us if nothing else, more self destructive behavior on my part.
Quote:
I lost my shit, that triggered so many insecurities that have nothing to do with her or this situation, I grabbed my shit and went to another bedroom so I wouldnt wake her up while I freaked out... then sent her about 10000000 text messages over explaining my insanity... didn't sleep much.
That is behavior is not ok and/or destructive. You seem to recognize that.

Quote:
(we have an issue of holding things back to protect the other person, which never works).
What are you protecting each other FROM? And if this approach never works.... why keep doing it? What would you like to try next instead?

Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Galagirl
She can decide that's the outcome SHE wants. But it takes 3 people saying "yes" to make it actually come about like that. You don't sound like you joyfully consent to participate in any of that. So there isn't a "3 yes" thing here.
I feel like THINK she doesn't fully understand this, she keeps saying "but I love you, I"m here with you" like he is a non-issue; I have been trying to let her know that she is expecting me to be a third in an established and happy relationship (more so than ours is currently anyway) that I never knew existed until recently; I guess she sees it as so natural she doesn't fully grasp my issues with it... again to be fair to her she does talk to me a lot and is very supportive, but the lack of feeling a true connection on the topic is difficult especially when emotions flare around every corner.
One small actionable place where you can clear up communication confusion is to use "I feel" for actual emotions. Happy, sad, mad, etc. And use "I think" for thoughts you are thinking.

If you think she doesn't get your POV? Could use examples she can understand first. Like dinner. People all eat.

If you want (a burger and fries) and she says to get (burger AND fries AND a pizza?) And you say you are not sure. And she says "Why? You still get the burger and fries?" Is she able to see that the issue is not about burger and fries? It is that you are not sure you have the capacity to eat all of that stuff? SHE might have the capacity for a whole family size pizza on top of burger and fries. But you might not.

If she can see that? Then say thank you and leave it alone. Esp when emotions run high? Don't try to have ALL the conversations at once. Take it in installments.

Then later ask if she remembers the burger thing from last week. And if she still can see how her wanting and having the room for all that food doesn't automatically mean you want and have the room for all that food. If she remembers? Then continue.

Try to explain the relationship shape thing next in a similar way.

You signed up and wanted (you + her) for the relationship shape. And now she says it's going to be (you + her + him) shape instead. And you say you are not sure. And she says "Why? I still love you. There's still (you + me)." Is she able to see that the issue is not about her loving you and there still being (you+her)? It's that you are not sure you want or have the capacity (you + her + him)?

SHE might want that relationship shape and have the capacity. But that doesn't automatically mean you want that shape and have the capacity for it.

Maybe taking that approach helps her understand your POV more? But if it is too frustrating? Don't have that conversation by yourselves. Have it with the guidance of a counselor. Sometimes getting outside help is necessary.

Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 06-14-2018 at 10:41 AM.
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  #29  
Old 06-14-2018, 03:48 PM
HurtandConfused HurtandConfused is offline
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Originally Posted by GalaGirl View Post
I also hope you feel better for airing out some. You sound really frustrated. It's almost like you hold so much in it all comes out in whooshes. I wonder if you in the habit of gunnysacking?
Writing helps me collect my thoughts, and reading back what I wrote seems to help clarify things, plus getting advice is awesome also.

Gunnysacking? (had to look that up)
perhaps a bit with this particular situation, but in general that's not a behavior common to me.

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Originally Posted by GalaGirl View Post
I think you have MANY problems. More than an internet forum can help you with. It's ok to vent here some, but I think you need more help than just this forum. I sincerely hope you consider individual and couple's counseling.
That doesn't seem like a viable option given my current situation, I've never been to counseling so maybe I'm undervaluing it.

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Originally Posted by GalaGirl View Post
I think one of them is that you seem dwell a lot on what YOU are to blame for. Like “this is my fault” and "that is my fault" and "I'm painting her in a bad light." You write like your list is MILES long. And maybe it is. But I don't think it is the one and only area of problems here. Going too far down that rabbit hole might be counterproductive. You do not water your lawn forever and ignore doing the groceries, washing the dishes, and doing the laundry. You attend to each house chore in turn. Then come back around to visit those areas again later. YKWIM?
I like the list idea a lot, I think mine is rather short; but then maybe I'm not fully aware of my own needs... Right now I feel like I need to make things more stable for both of us; then work from there.

We run a very messy and busy business; this morning she got snapped at by one of our staff (also her years long best friend) and came back in tears and cried in my arms for a good half hour. A lot of things came up during that, at one point I had to console her over her fears for the other guy & explain the dangers of deep sea fishing in Alaska... At this point I think the lawn has been watered enough (great metaphor). We tried to go on a vacation (took the kids and her friend and her friends kids) but that just added so much extra stress (plus 10 days in Orlando is far too long). And we have a constant stress level while trying to find an even spot in this whole post-affair situation; which adds additional stumbling blocks when sensitive topics come up.

I feel like I've already been mad at what happened, I'm not mad anymore; I don't even know what I want to change really, just more transparency and communication.


Quote:
Originally Posted by GalaGirl View Post
You clearly love her a lot. It is ok to love HER, but not love some of her behaviors. I love my kids. I did not love it when they were little and would scribble on the walls. It is not being disloyal or being mean to her to list the behaviors you don't like. I imagine she has a list of your behaviors too. It's just listing. If you are going to work things out together you have to start by figuring out what you have and where you are starting from. Taking an honest assessment of the situation and what problem behaviors are happening. You have to list.
I've certainly heard a few things from her that she says she used to have issues with before she learned to just accept me as me & realize that I wasn't intentionally trying to do anything to her (which then lead to infidelity.. maybe a bit too far of a swing out of co-dependency?).

I just asked her for honesty and transparency, perhaps a ridiculous amount of transparency when the situation involves her other man. She (while still in tears) told me he texted last night at 3 am, and she tried to respond but got nothing back. I didn't feel anything negative on hearing that & that's exactly the behavior I asked from her (on that topic). Then she said she feels bad because I'm trying so hard & she feels like the only fair reciprocation is for her to leave the other guy. I told her I'm not asking her to do that... I guess I should have added in that I would support her if she chose to leave him, but I don't feel like I need to voice my discomfort endlessly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GalaGirl View Post
If you keep stopping to explain how you are all to blame and whatnot? What I see is that you keep getting lost on side trips and the assessment doesn't get done so you can move on to the next step of problem solving -- forming some kind of actionable plan to try some new solutions.
Well, 2 things.

1) I'm very aware of how a single author can write about a situation that is so heavily colored by their perspective that it might not reflect reality much.. I am trying to explain things in a balanced way.

2) I am in self maintenance mode right now, so I'm focusing a lot on the "low hanging fruit", I feel like me fixing me is the best first step.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GalaGirl View Post
You don't need 1 plan to solve 1 issue. There's a lot of issues. So you need a collection of plans to solve various areas. And you need to put the collection in order to form a STRATEGY so you get through it all.
I think we need to sit down and write this out together, it's a great idea.. maybe on a whiteboard (I have lots of whiteboards.. haha).

Quote:
Originally Posted by GalaGirl View Post
What are you protecting each other FROM? And if this approach never works.... why keep doing it? What would you like to try next instead?
Hmm double edged sword, we are protecting each other from expected emotional "hurt", and maybe ourselves from bringing up topics that give us mixed feelings?

She says she doesn't want to tell me some things because she sees how hard i'm struggling with this and doesn't like to see me beating myself up so much; I've told her that a major part of this whole problem is that exact behavior & asked if she would stop trying to protect me and just be transparent.


Quote:
Originally Posted by GalaGirl View Post
SHE might have the capacity for a whole family size pizza on top of burger and fries. But you might not.
At this point I think I'm equally jealous and hurt by her pizza.. which is sort of a weird dichotomy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GalaGirl View Post
It's that you are not sure you want or have the capacity (you + her + him)?
I'm pretty sure I've convinced myself I'm going to give this a try, I think it has good potential outcomes... & hell, you only live once (as far as I know), right?

Plus, I'm acting way to American in my reaction to infidelity.. I'm trying to narrow that down, the thought of her being physically intimate with others is still quite uncomfortable for me; but less so than before I think. Plus from what I'm reading it sounds like this is a fairly common feeling in these situations.

Thanks for the list format, I'll see what I can do with it
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  #30  
Old 06-14-2018, 04:51 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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That doesn't seem like a viable option given my current situation, I've never been to counseling so maybe I'm undervaluing it.
What makes it not viable? Money? Time? Something else? It's possible to do phone counseling appointments or Skype or similar. Maybe seeing a counselor is just something to think about for while. You guys seem to lead very stressful lives. Perhaps talking to someone else could help you figure out how to reduce the stress.

Quote:
We tried to go on a vacation (took the kids and her friend and her friends kids) but that just added so much extra stress (plus 10 days in Orlando is far too long).
Why not just you and her? Or just you and her and your own kids? Do you guys get enough REST? Not getting enough will any situation that much harder because you are coming to it run down.

Quote:
we are protecting each other from expected emotional "hurt", and maybe ourselves from bringing up topics that give us mixed feelings?
Well...Life has feelings. Some are fun to feel. Some are not. They all pass in time.

Quote:
She says she doesn't want to tell me some things because she sees how hard i'm struggling with this and doesn't like to see me beating myself up so much; I've told her that a major part of this whole problem is that exact behavior & asked if she would stop trying to protect me and just be transparent.
Right now you guys are stressed and sound like you feel rough a lot. If you already feel ugh, what's some more ugh? At least that pile of ugh brings you the wanted transparency, right? It might be worth the price of admission.

Glad the list format helped you some. I hope you two can have more productive conversations.

GL!
Galagirl
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