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  #231  
Old 06-17-2012, 01:33 PM
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Like rory wrote, the visit was quite emotional. I felt sorry for rory for having to be there for the two of us and having her own things to deal with on top of that. It must be quite hard. But like rory, I'm also really happy about the comfort we have. Me and Alec can both show that we're not feeling good and I do like that we're able to do that around each other.

I'm moving to Dream City in about 2 months. I already brought one big suitcase full of stuff and left it at rory and Alec's place. I'll pick it up from there when I've settled in my new apartment. The move is causing me quite a bit of stress and anxiety. Am I really sure I want to do this? What if I hate it? What about the people I leave behind? This is a huge decision. I'm also hopefully changing from my freelance job to a basic office hours job which would give me more security but less flexibility. This is a change I'm looking forward to even though it has its downsides as well. I'm just tired of all the insecurity and stress that my current job has caused me so I'm hoping these things will get better if I get the job I've applied for (which I think I have good changes of getting) or some other job in Dream City.

One of the things me and rory discussed while I was there was moving. Now that Alec is about to leave his job, they might be moving away from their current city. One of the choices is Dream City which would obviously be perfect from my point of view. However, another choice is to leave Wonderland. The very country where I'm moving to. This possibility - even though nothing's been decided yet - has made me very sad. Then again, the possibility of rory in Dream City is making me excited like nothing else. So you can imagine the mixed feelings I'm having over a decision I have no control over. I know this decision is hard for rory and Alec, but it has such a big impact on me too, that this is quite an emotional time for all of us.

Back home I ran into Bob when I was out with friends. We ended up going to his place again and this time we had a great conversation. I asked about his thoughts on us and he said he's been thinking if there is a "purpose" in what we're doing. I asked if by purpose he means future and he said yes. I said that the reality is we're both moving away soon, but that I like what we have and I like him. I said I'm going to be sad when this has to end in a couple of months but I think that is not a reason to stop now. We both agreed that we should really try to enjoy what we have for the time being but not expect anything from the future. I feel like I laid all the cards on the table and he knows exactly where I stand regarding us. That feels good. He's also been incredibly sweet to me, telling me I'm special and that I deserve the best. He even kissed me and held my hand in public which was surprising because I thought he wanted to keep a low profile. Well, the hand holding happened outside the city center so I guess that was a bit safer but to be honest I'm a bit worried about the kisses. I don't know who saw us, but I just hope nobody who likes to spread rumours. Then again, that is the least of my worries right now.
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  #232  
Old 06-17-2012, 01:45 PM
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you can imagine the mixed feelings I'm having over a decision I have no control over.
Oh hun, I totally get this. *hugs*

Yeah, in response to both your posts (rory & Mya), it is indeed amazing when you're able to be sad around people you love. It's a very intimate level of comfort. Pity that stress and heavy conversations do sponge up time and energy, esp in LDR when these are so precious... But weary silence it is yet another kind of togetherness which feeds into the multi-dimensional experience of living & loving. It's good, it's real, and it's something to savour (kinda sorta) in its own right. Basically, what you both said I concur.

Luckily you'll be seeing each other comparatively soon! Take it easy x
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  #233  
Old 06-18-2012, 06:04 PM
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Phy thank you for your thoughtful comment. I agree with you about what you write. Rationally, I do believe in it being alright in the end, but emotionally it fluctuates. Sometimes I can trust it completely, at others I can't stop the stress and worrying.

fuchka thank you!

----

I've had some things I felt like talking about to Mya, and I think finally yesterday the last of them got out. I am feeling closer to her as a result, even though I didn't know the stuff was getting in the way of feeling connected.

Some of it was just emotional things that I don't regard as having a very valid base, but I felt like they were slightly bugging me until I was able to express them. We were in such raw places when she was visiting that it could have been less constructive to try to talk about them then. But yesterday and the day before we skyped and it was better. It was good to hear, in a way, that we have the same struggles. Basically, on one hand we both value our own autonomy and freedom very much, yet, on the other, both of us have passing feelings of being not as important to the other one as the other things/people in her life.

I'll write a bit about what has been going on for me. I've felt a bit unimportant on a few occasions when I've felt like skyping and Mya has agreed that she feels like we would need some more time to connect, but then she had all these other commitments and we weren't able to talk for days. Yet, I definitely wouldn't have wanted her to cancel plans or anything like that, and since I do need respect for my own autonomy, I will not try to persuade my partner to spend their time with me instead of something else if the something else would have been their first choice. With this I am trying to express that while I had the urge of wanting to spend more time with Mya, what I choose to do is based on what I actually want on a more profound level (i.e. a relationship where both of us spend time with each other not out of a sense of obligation but because we want to). We talked about this, and it felt good just to hear her say that our time is important to her, too.

To the other side of the same issue. As Mya wrote, right now the issue of where and how I and Alec will live in the fall is up in the air. Mya is moving to the country where we live in now, but to a different city, Dream City. Due to the recent financial turns, it is uncertain that me and Alec will be able to stay where we are. If we have to leave here we might be able to move to Dream City, too (though it's looking really unlikely), but another possibility is that we are forced to return to Home Country.

Not surprisingly, Mya has a vested interest. Obviously, it would be awesome for us to be able to live in the same place, but then it would be the shittiest timing for moving away just when she is moving here. She was expressing all this to me, and don't get me wrong, I couldn't agree more. She also said that if I move to Home Country, it will feel like I'm choosing Alec over her (since he'd like to move there, though not for just a little while but eventually for good). Note, she didn't say that she would necessarily rationally think that it would be the case, and I can understand the feeling. However, I also felt a bit resentful about her reconstructing the situation as me choosing between them, when I am already upset about possibly not being able to afford living here as I want to. I felt resentful that because of her expectations from me, she couldn't really support me very well. Whereas she felt like her moving here is totally unimportant to me when I may move away at the same point.

It's just that right now my emotions are all over the place (and same seems to be true for my partners). Makes it difficult to untangle which aspects are valid and which are not in my own emotional existence. I hope Mya will add more about her point of view when she has the time.
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  #234  
Old 06-22-2012, 09:33 AM
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I've been thinking about what rory wrote and I don't really have much to add. She described the situation and my feelings very accurately. I haven't been the best partner lately with my own emotions getting in the way of being able to be supportive. I would love to say "I'll support you whatever you decide" but my selfish side is saying it's going to be damn hard to support the decision that would make me so sad. But I guess I have no choice but to really try to take myself out of the equation and see things through rory's eyes. I know this isn't easy for her either.

I'm just so tired of being in a LDR. I've been counting months when I get to be in the same country with her. The disappointment of her moving away just when I thought the long distance thing was over would be huge. Also, the LDR has been possible in the first place because of my freelance job and ability to work from wherever. Now that I'm looking for a permanent position in Dream City it wouldn't be easy to see each other as often as before if we lived in different countries. But still, I think we could make it work somehow. I have faith in us, faith in our love that will carry us through all this.
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  #235  
Old 06-25-2012, 09:30 AM
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I don't think I have ever been as stressed out as I am right now. Well, ever when adult. I fluctuate between feeling calm and feeling panicked. Tends to go towards the panic the later in the day it gets. I am so afraid of so many things. This has an effect on relationship life; the fear gets projected on relationships, too, and pretty much all negative emotions are blown out of proportion.

Mya and I sorted out the stuff that we both wrote a bit about. I had a truly lovely talk with her yesterday, we got to do some philosophising about stuff like abortion and euthanasia, which we totally enjoy doing but which has been drowned out lately by all the practical stuff that's been going out. Neither of us can totally block the fears about future, but yesterday I felt very strongly the present, where I am totally in this relationship and feel strongly about it.

In the morning I felt very good about my relationship with Alec, too, but then in the evening I was a wreck. I sometimes think that I really should never ever talk heavy relationship stuff late in the evening. I am tired and everything feels so massively important and urgent. I am not at my best. And neither is he, but that is because he is tired and can't really concentrate on trying to understand what I am trying to say, and then I feel like he doesn't care, because he doesn't see the urgency. Which is something I often also cannot see the next morning...

I nowadays have that voice of reason in my head in the evening, telling me that it is not the best time. How much I listen to it varies. Yesteday, partly, and that is why we didn't end up fighting, just both feeling sad and agreeing to discuss at a later time.

The trouble is just that when tired it all feels so justified and I just need for him to see it immediately. Maybe next time I listen to the voice of reason better, now that I've written here about it. Even if it is as urgent and important as it feels [which has never yet happened; it may be important but very few things if any are so important that they cannot wait to the next morning], I have 100% better chance of communicating it to him when I am not feeling enough to make me totally incoherent and when he is in a mental state to take it in.

Right now there is a problem. I trust Alec very much in very many things. However, financially we have together created a dynamic, which causes me to be somewhat distrustful. Basically, both of us have preferred for me to be in control of our finances. I, because I feel safe when I feel in control, and he because he'd rather not worry about that; and both of us because of feeling I'm better at it. Which may or may not be true but also neither of us can really know how good he would be if I always do it all.

Additionally, my own feeling of 'being better at it' comes partly from not very fair/nice places, such as feeling like my way of handling money is the most rational and if he made even slightly different choices he would be doing it wrong. I am actually not comfortable with this aspect, because underlying I have the belief that being his partner gives me no right (or ability, even) to control what he does or how. That is, I believe in healthy boundaries and in his right to make his own choices even if they are different than mine would be (or even if I think them dumb). However, it's not as simple as that when we share finances and have different priorities and views. He tends to live in the moment a lot, I tend to plan for the future. In the extreme both of those perspectives have flaws in them. It is rational to think about the future to some extent, but also it is not possible to guarantee financial security in all possible scenarios - planning for everything is not really having control but only an illusion of control. I realise that, and yet I cannot release that illusion; that as long as I have everything budgeted, I am safe.

To feel healthy, I should give it up and not meddle in the things that are his responsibility. But I am too afraid. I don't know what it is that I fear most. What if he does something differently than I would, and it ends up badly, will I blame him for not doing things my way? At least if I have the control, and things go badly, we are both in the mess together. There is something fundamentally skewed here, in this belief we both share that I know best.

Not easy information to write down, please handle with care. Would appreciate viewpoints, though.

Last edited by rory; 06-25-2012 at 09:48 AM.
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  #236  
Old 06-25-2012, 11:35 AM
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Hm ok. I think I can understand what this is about, as I tend to react similarly. But one question nevertheless: Is this your problem or does it bother him as well? Meaning, does he feel controlled by your behaviour or is it just about the theoretical disadvantage of his position?

First of all, we (Sward and I formerly, Lin and I now as well) handle things like you and Alec do. I am in charge of the finances, I handle our bank accounts and do the maths when it comes to the amount of money everyone has to spend on shared finances. (Our income is quite unequal, that's why I need to calculate with percentages to regulate the amounts each has to contribute.) Both trust me with this, are too lazy or just not that interested in looking into things. And yes, I claimed that position in full knowledge that I wouldn't feel at ease with one of them looking after our finances. Sward is just like you describe Alec, he lives in the moment, doesn't plan for long periods of time in advance (financially, I can't complain in regard to other aspects) and usually overdraws his account if I don't look after his money. Lin is different, he knows how much he has each month, he isn't careless with his money, but he doesn't look out for shared goals and money that may be needed for ordinary things like a new dishwasher, washing machine or whatever. That's why I am in charge.

I understand your problem concerning the controlling aspect of this situation. I hate to feel like I force another intelligent human being as well. (Just discovered a similar aspect in our dynamic that made me uncomfortable, see last blog entry.) And here comes the BUT: HE agreed to this. Meaning, he himself sees an advantage in you taking care of your finances. For whatever reason there may be from his point of view. Maybe he is well aware of the positive points you yourself see in this kind of arrangement.

Leaves only your feeling of inappropriateness in this situation. I myself didn't find an answer to my problem with 'having the impression of forcing my partners into a certain situation they wouldn't be in without my meddling'. I think the main issue here is our strife for equality. And our inability to just accept that some situations need some imbalance to function. If you absolutely feel that you need him to be in charge, to satisfy your need for equal standing of both of you in regard to this matter, leave him be. Be prepared to face the consequences, that you may not be happy with his decisions but at the same time relieved of the pressure of being the person in charge.

I would suggest a different solution though. Have you ever discussed the possibility of splitting up your finances even further? Meaning: amount x for monthly expenses, amount y for each of you to spend as he/she pleases, amount z as a cushion like a nest egg for sudden expenses that aren't covered by your usual ones? We do it like that. We know the usual amount for each month in advance, each of us has his own money to spend and there is a safety net for harder times. As our monthly expenses are fixed, as well as the amount you put aside, each gets the rest of his monthly income to use as he pleases. No one ever complained about this system (in our case). It combines control and freedom and works great for us.
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  #237  
Old 06-25-2012, 05:09 PM
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When ALL the finances are put on my shoulders and my husband has NO input, I feel overwhelmed and over burdened. It's a lot less stressful when both of us can sit down together and discuss everything, even when I'm still the one doing the math, paying the bills and such. In fact it's quite irritating, frustrating and exhausting to be the only one who gives a shit about the finances, especially when the electricity bill doubles over the summer, the car breaks down, etc. Alec is probably happy to leave that burden for you, as long as you will bear it, but talk about it with him, maybe set once a month or even once a quarter for you guys to review and discuss the finances.
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  #238  
Old 06-29-2012, 01:52 AM
JaneQSmythe JaneQSmythe is offline
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Rory, I think me and MrS function a lot like you and Alec. I take care of the finances because I am good at it and like to know that everything is being planned for/ taken care of. MrS is not bad with money but doesn't really enjoy dealing with the details the way that I do. We have it set up so a certain amount of money goes into "his" account every month - this is our luxury budget - he can save it, spend it on himself, or spend it on us going out (groceries come out of the household money, restaurants come from his). He does not have to account for how he spends to me. All of our financial "needs" are met by my portion of the budget - his budget is for "wants" and therefore he can't (in my mind) screw it up - it is "extra".

Generally when there is a major financial decision - major purchases, a shift in investing/savings plan etc. I will sit and do all of the research and lay out a number of plans that I think would work. I then sit down with him and go over everything and ask if he sees anything that I missed and make my arguments for each plan. We then decide together how to proceed. Periodically I like to sit down with him and review our financial goals and what we are doing to meet these goals (I'm sure these sessions bore him but I need to feel that he is on board, that we are on the same page.)

Occasionally I will get myself into a tizzy and worry that I am somehow being "financially abusive" by needing to be "in control" of the household finances. He reassures me that this system has worked fine for both of us for 16 years and he has no interest in taking a larger role in the general financial planning (although he does ask for a "raise" once in a while ) - he thinks I am doing a fine job. As long as Alec is satisfied with the current set up and you two periodically touch base to reaffirm that, then I don't see a problem.

My (carefully hoarded and invested) two cents.

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  #239  
Old 06-29-2012, 07:22 AM
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Thank you for the comments! Writing and getting feedback has felt extremely helpful. I feel much more clarity about what I am happy with, and what needs to change.

Phy I definitely agree with you about the aspect of our financial agreements being something all parties have agreed to. That is, I am not forcing anything on Alec, but he has also agreed to this organisation. He actually points this out any time I get the feeling of "maybe we should separate our finances so that you could do whatever you want with yours and I control mine only" (happens maybe once a year; usually having to do with him feeling like changing cars; something that in our situation is NEVER a good idea and to which I have agreed to way too many times). That is actually a key to the clearer feeling I now have, that the whole system is something that both of us have felt works and has benefited us both; and if some aspect is no longer working for either, it needs to change.

SNeacail that is a very good perspective! Right now there have been a lot more little things to take care of than there usually is (because of the potential moving), and I have been very stressed. Most of them are not really something that would be practical to delegate, but I notice it helps to just talk about the things that have needed doing. Just because I take most of the heavy lifting in shared financial things doesn't mean I can't get support from my partner in doing it.

JaneQSmythe I laughed at the carefully hoarded and invested two cents thing. Much appreciated. I agree that as long as everybody is happy there is no problem. I have actually had a similar extra with Alec as you say. It works quite well, except that our income could be a bit higher so that the extra wasn't spent so easily... Then again who wouldn't want more money? It's just that bigger purchases are quite difficult to work into it so that it still remains useful, because it takes so many months to save up.


Basically, I've come to the conclusion that I have no trouble with the basic financial arrangements I have with Alec. If at some point we feel we need to change them (whether due to situation or what one of us wants), we'll look into it then, but at the moment it is mostly working fine.

There is just a specific aspect of incomes/employment. It has been generally the case that both of us have an income to contribute. There have been times for both of us when this has not been the case but ordinarily it has. We've had a bit different sources. Alec has been working, and I have been mainly studying. Thus, while I have often also worked, I have not often relied on working for supporting us (I've had student loans etc.). Also, while I have actually often earned almost the same as Alec during a year, it's been more varied; i.e. I would make less during term and more in the Summers etc.

However, I have very little student loan left, but have also two years before I graduate. I generally do not like working while studying (it tends to affect my studies adversely). We had hoped that by this time, Alec would have a steady income, and we'd have a bit more savings. Thus, we could go on without me having an income.

So we're now in a totally new situation, for both of us. Thus far, it has been the case that if there is a period of time when the other person is not contributing, we still manage with the other person's income and possibly savings.

From this comes a need for some new boundaries; to see our finances less as 'common' and more as 'both are responsible to contribute their share'. If, at some point, either of us has an income which can support both of us so that it is less crucial for the other one to work, that is fabulous. But in our current situation that is just not realistic, and having that view of 'common' was not working very well.

Basically, it is simply not realistic for me to earn enough for both of us while studying. That is, there is nothing I can do to make sure we can stay in Wonderland. It might be realistic for Alec to make enough (just barely), if he got a full-time job. So, basically I was trying to maximise the odds for that. Asking him questions to the effect of "what if you can't get a job you would most like, what would you least hate doing?".

Well, those conversations truly were not making either of us happy. The truth is, he doesn't want to take some job he doesn't like just so that we can be here. He doesn't want to leave to Home Country (not unless it is more permanently, and in this situation it would be for a year or few only). But he also wants a job that he likes (at least to some extent). Basically, he wants to drive. Which is fine, except that our experience in this city has been that he was looking for a driving job for about half a year and couldn't get one (pretty much all jobs were looking for experience from here, not other country). This is one of the biggest reasons we are looking into moving to Dream City; it is a bigger place and will hold more potential work opportunities. Still, there is no way to tell if he will be able to get a driving job there either, and the uncertainty makes me super frightened.

So, because of the fear, I would pester him. But he reacted defensively (not surprisingly), and I would feel like shit about fighting. And I started to feel more profoundly uneasy about the whole thing.

I am fundamentally against pressuring anybody to do anything they don't want to, and yet here I was.

So, some boundaries are needed. If he doesn't want to take a specific job, that is his business. It is his decision. He will need to face the consequences of that (e.g. him not being able to stay here, or live as he would wish). I have neither a right or an ability to control his choices. And, in addition to something problematic, there is also something ethically questionable in me relying on him for my ability to stay here.

I will need to get a job which pays enough for me to support myself while studying (unless alternative funding materialises). Failing that, it may well be the case that I have to move back to Home Country. If, then, Alec happens to get a great job on his terms and has enough money to pay for my living, too, he will probably be happy to do that and I will be lucky in that I can stay. But it is not something I can rely on. And also, if he can't support himself here and I can, I will may not be able to support him, or at least we will have to live somewhere I can afford (i.e. with roommates).

I feel better about this. There's still all the uncertainty about our future. But I don't have to fear for our relationship in addition to that. Because I do see a perspective without proper boundaries as harmful; and I absolutely do not want to put either of us into the position of relying on him for our future. I'll rather make the boundary and say, both of us for their own.

I actually started right away by telling him I will no longer mention his job seeking. He can talk to me about that, or ask for help, if/when he wishes, but if he doesn't it is his choice and I will stay out of it.
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Old 06-29-2012, 08:55 AM
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Mya Mya is offline
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^ I think your decision sounds really good and healthy. I'm all for independence in relationships and to be honest it made me a little worried too when it seemed like whatever happens to Alec, the same will happen to you too. Obviously the same insecurity about the future is still there, but it comes from a different place; it's more in your own hands now. I mean, it is still possible that you don't get a job/funding and won't be able to stay in Wonderland, but at least you know you did everything you could in order to stay.

When it comes to me and JJ, we are planning on going to couples counseling. We have problems and we need to sort them out in order to stay together. The relationship isn't going to get any easier when I move out of the country soon and we'll be in a LDR for some time. And then him moving to Dream City.. It terrifies me. He would be moving for me and I'm not sure our relationship is strong enough at the moment to carry that sort of a burden.
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