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  #31  
Old 09-26-2011, 12:26 PM
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I had an enlightening poly conversation with Alec yesterday. We haven't really talked about it as exhaustingly in a while. I mean, we've communicated about specific situations and if there's been something acute, but we haven't had a "general-poly-discussion-session" as such, other than the ones we had in the beginning of all of this. And I don't think it's a bad thing that we haven't had those kinds of conversations, because we've still communicated everything that's been relevant to the situation at hand, and if we're constantly talking about something we have no time to process and form opinions of our own (this is how it works with me and Alec, and in our dynamic).

Anyway, I feel very good that we discussed things at length, even though it wasn't all warm and fussy. There was a lot of new information for me (though no total surprises), and I'm sure some for him, too. I can see that he's done a lot of processing about poly, and it's all starting to feel a lot more concrete. That is, he is seeing what a poly situation actually means for us, and what me having a girlfriend entails to him, as well. He's not big on hypothesising in general and knows nobody with experience of poly, so there is a lot of things he is feeling and thinking about only now that poly has started to become more concrete. Therefore, much of the stuff he shared with me yesterday is very propably almost as new to him as it is for me. But he is now thinking about the future and about what it is that he wants or needs, and some boundaries are starting to take shape around that.

I know there are some conflicting wants. There may be even somewhat conflicting needs, although I feel hopeful that with creative thinking we'll be able to find a situation where everybody can be satisfied and happy even if they aren't getting everything they want. It is rare, though, in life generally to get everything you want, although you can maximise it by thinking outside the box(es). So poly isn't really special in that respect.

Anyway, it's good that Alec is thinking and communicating about stuff. It's good that he is forming boundaries and being clear about them, even when he suspects I won't be too happy about them. It's good that he tells me how he feels and what he wants, even if those things make him feel ashamed or guilty. It's good that he's sharing his feelings without any wish to control me, i.e. without wanting me to change my behaviour based on them (while still obviously expecting me to care about them and take them into consideration - I think there is a huge difference). It's good that what he expresses as his wants and needs seem to be his genuine wants and needs coming from within himself and NOT from any feelings of jealousy or competition or possession or selfishness.

None of us have any poly experience, Alec doesn't know anybody poly or even open, and all of his friends and family have a very monogamous mindset. Because of all of this, I feel that there are a lot of potential pitfalls, in which it would be easy to fall and which could blow the whole thing up. But all the good stuff I wrote above makes me feel safe. It makes me feel that we are doing poly in a healthy way.
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Last edited by rory; 09-26-2011 at 05:38 PM.
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  #32  
Old 09-26-2011, 02:24 PM
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Last week Mya described me as a patient person. I've never really thought of myself that way. But when we talked about it, and the more I think about it, the more it starts to sound like it's true. It may be that I've always been quite patient but I think I've become better at it.

Today, I'm thinking about patience in relation to communication. I think the bit of reading I've done about poly and the importance of communication has had a major effect. Somehow, I'm becoming a very good listener. I think it comes from realising how important it is to listen. But I think there is some baggage I've left behind, and the concept of boundaries has been really helpful. For example, if Alec tells me about some negative feelings he has, I only take it as a statement of a fact. I listen and interpret it as it is meant: that he has feelings. I no longer take it to mean that he's blaming me, or attempting to control me, or that it is something he wants me to fix. And I no longer feel guilty. Wow. It's taken me seven years to get rid of that shit.

Looking back, first I always felt guilty and tried to please him (as in do as I thought he wanted me to). After that I started to get angry about the feelings of guilt, and at him for "making me feel guilty". After that I started to doubt whether he was in actuality trying to make me feel guilty and control me or whether the guilt was purely my own reaction to what he was saying. In most recent years, I haven't believed in him trying to make me feel guilty anymore, but I've still tried to fix stuff and I haven't been good at making boundaries. But now. I can actually have a conversation and listen to him and sympathise to his feelings. And not feel guilt or feel that I have to change something or automatically believe that his negative feelings come from something I must have done wrong.

Wow. What a load of crap it is that parents are able to install into us as our way of relating with other people!
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  #33  
Old 09-28-2011, 04:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rory View Post
Wow. What a load of crap it is that parents are able to install into us as our way of relating with other people!
Eh, don't be too hard on them. They only passed along what they themselves were taught. Plus, our peers growing up, and incidents from early childhood play a huge part in how human beings learn to relate to others. By the time a kid is about seven years old, it's pretty much fully baked with regard to having strategies for life. Freaky, isn't it?
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  #34  
Old 09-28-2011, 05:21 AM
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Hey Rory, I agree with you, it sounds.like the communication skills in your relationship are really strong, kudos.

I have to admit, I'm very curious -- "But he is now thinking about the future and about what it is that he wants or needs, and some boundaries are starting to take shape around that." -- are you up to sharing any details on this?
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  #35  
Old 09-28-2011, 07:53 AM
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Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
Eh, don't be too hard on them. They only passed along what they themselves were taught.
Thanks for writing nycindie. Yeah, I know what you mean and agree with you. And I didn't mean to say that it's intentional, I know for a fact it isn't. I just feel that I've done a lot of work in reprogramming myself out of some stuff, and still it's sometimes surprising when I notice how much work there is.

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Originally Posted by AnnabelMore View Post
Hey Rory, I agree with you, it sounds.like the communication skills in your relationship are really strong, kudos.

I have to admit, I'm very curious -- "But he is now thinking about the future and about what it is that he wants or needs, and some boundaries are starting to take shape around that." -- are you up to sharing any details on this?
Hi Annabel, thanks for writing! I hadn't had time to communicate the new things to Mya when I was last writing so I didn't go to much detail, but I'm happy to write some more about that now.

First we were discussing about how the time-sharing is going to work now that Mya will be staying here for a week once a month. Alec is working long days and he was worried that on those weeks he won't see any of me if I'll be sleeping the most nights with Mya. But I explained it to him as I had thought to arrange it, so that I will spend a substantial part of the evening alone with the one of them I'm not sleeping with. I definitely want to have some alone time with both of them every day (and I think they want that too), and I don't think it will be too hard to arrange. Alec felt a bit weird that Mya will be visiting us but I won't keep her company all the time. But the excact difference with this situation is that Mya is only sort of 'visiting' and sort of living here for the week. It's not supposed to be a special occasion but more like everyday life, and she won't be expecting for me to keep her company all the time just as she wouldn't expect it if we were all living together. I think Alec understands that point of view a bit better now, and I think the 'oddness' factor will subside with time. We settled that on the weeks Mya visits I'll be sleeping every third night with Alec and the rest with Mya, i.e. two and five nights. On one hand, he would have hoped for a more equal sharing but, on the other, he does completely understand that me and Mya need to take more time together when she visits cause it'll be three weeks then until we'll see each other again.

That got us talking about what the situation will be like once all of us are living in the same city. I still have three years left in my studies here before we are planning that. Alec has some fears/worries about that, some more and some less realistic. He has no problems with me spending time with Mya, and is happy for me for the love I've found in her. But he's worried about having enough time with me. For one, he expressed fear that I'll spend more of my time with Mya than him since that's what I do when she visits. He does realise himself, though, that this fear is irrational, and that the reason for the unequal time-sharing is the excact fact that we are not living near each other. Therefore I would, for example, obviously sleep more than every third night with him if we were all living very close to each other. I'm glad he expressed that fear, though, since I was able to reassure him about that.

What he's mostly wondering, though, is how much time I'll have for him in the new situation, how much is going to change, and what are his needs in regards to that. One example Alec gave was that I would be living with him for two days, then gone for two, then again he'll see me for a couple and then away again, etc. He said he's not ready for that kind of scenario, and doesn't think he'll ever be, so there is clearly a boundary there. But that's not really what I want either. I don't want two separate relationships, and I definitely don't think it would work for me to compartmentalise my life like that. Rather, I would like to spend a lot of time with both Mya and Alec being present, whether it's group time with all four of us or with the three of us hanging out at home or going somewhere, whatever. The point is that I don't need to divide my time to either one but I'll be able to share much of it with both of them. Obviously all of us need couple-time, too, but it's still a different picture. Still, these things are something we need to get back to, and I guess we won't get the whole picture until we are actually living in the same city. But Alec is worried that we'll have problems arising in the future with incompatible needs. I'm pretty optimistic that we'll be able to find a solution that will feel good to all four people involved.

We also talked about the possibility of living in a poly household, and Alec has some boundaries about that (as I'm sure I do, too, I just don't know yet where they lie). Alec said he doesn't see himself wanting to ever live together in a household with all four of us. We talked about some hypothetical situations, and it seems that he could see himself living with a metamour, but not with a metamour's partner, no matter who they are. Also, he feels that 4 adults living in the same household would just be too much for him. This does put some limitations to the possibilities in the future. But if it's something he doesn't feel comfortable with, I will respect that. I'm not sure at this point if I would've wanted to live together with all four of us at some point (propably), but I know that it's not a need for me. There are plenty of other arrangements where I can share my everyday life with my loves, and I'm sure I can be happy with any of those. What I do want is to live close, and be able to see both of them every day. Although, I don't need that either (couldn't really be in an LDR if I did, and obviously we'll have other important commitments and want to travel separetely, etc.), but it's definitely among my priorities.
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  #36  
Old 09-29-2011, 03:13 AM
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Interesting! Yeah, it sounds to me like this is all important stuff but also stuff that can be worked out.

I hope I'm not getting too personal here, but I'm curious... it would seem that both you and Mya are interested in both men and women. Has there ever been any attraction by one of you to the other's husband? That could certainly be a factor in any potentially future group living situation.
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The major players. Me, 30ish bi female. Gia, girlfriend of 4+ years. Clay, boyfriend/dom. Davis, ex/friend/"it's complicated." Eddie, roommate & fwb.
The supporting cast. Eric, Gia's husband. Bee, Gia and Eric's toddler. Dexter, Gia's lover. Helen, Eric's lover. Izzy and Nikki, Clay's partners. Liam, Eddie's husband.
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  #37  
Old 09-29-2011, 10:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnabelMore View Post
I hope I'm not getting too personal here, but I'm curious... it would seem that both you and Mya are interested in both men and women. Has there ever been any attraction by one of you to the other's husband? That could certainly be a factor in any potentially future group living situation.
I think I can answer this one with these earlier quotes from me and rory:

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I've been thinking about my bisexuality lately. I think the best way to describe my preferences would be that I like mostly "feminine features" in a personality, but sometimes you can find them in a man as well. In a way I feel that both my partners are quite feminine, but not too much.
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Originally Posted by rory View Post
I've experienced some major sexuality changes in recent years and nowadays I think the same goes generally for men: while I can find one hot I don't actually want to have sex with him. Alec is an exception to that "rule".
So, JJ is a man, period, and Alec is quite a manly man. Obviously anything's possible but I doubt anything romantic will happen with me and Alec or rory and JJ even though we all like each other.
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  #38  
Old 09-30-2011, 01:54 AM
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We also talked about the possibility of living in a poly household, and Alec has some boundaries about that (as I'm sure I do, too, I just don't know yet where they lie). Alec said he doesn't see himself wanting to ever live together in a household with all four of us. We talked about some hypothetical situations, and it seems that he could see himself living with a metamour, but not with a metamour's partner, no matter who they are. Also, he feels that 4 adults living in the same household would just be too much for him.
Didn't one of you start a thread a while back looking for feedback on moving in together?

Just my initial opinion, which really means nothing, but I think the part I bolded above is a bit strange, don't you? I mean, why does he feel that way, do you know? It just strikes me as a little odd that a metamour could move in but not the metamour's partner. What if your metamour's partner was also a woman? Would he be okay with another woman moving in? Does having another guy around seem threatening to him in some way? Hasn't he ever had a male roommate?

Sorry for so many questions -- I'm just curious!

I think, if moving in together is something you would eventually want, then a nice goal might be to try it for a vacation sometime in the near future. See if all four of you can swing renting a house or villa for two or three weeks somewhere, so everyone can see what it's like to live, cook, shop, and play together. That would be so cool!
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  #39  
Old 09-30-2011, 09:15 AM
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Annabel, I agree with you that all of the stuff is something that can be worked out. The metamour relationships are all platonic. The things Mya quoted are factors in why I believe it will also stay that way.

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Didn't one of you start a thread a while back looking for feedback on moving in together?
Hmm, I don't think so... I think it was somebody else, since the possibility of co-habitation has been so far in the future for us, anyway.

Neither me or Alec have ever lived with roommates. I think the thought of living with another man feels weird to him. But we talked about hypothetical situations, and I asked him whether he would feel comfortable living with, say, Mya's girlfriend (if she had one), and he said he wouldn't want that either. From what I understand, it's about closeness. I guess he would feel like he has a closer relationship to a metamour because he loves me and I love her. So it wouldn't feel so weird living with somebody I love so much. But with metamour's partner there isn't a link that close: that is a person who is loved by a person that I love. He relates to my feelings in a different way, I guess, because he loves me and thinks of me as family, and he would be able to feel that a person I love is his family, too. With a metamour's partner it's different: while Alec can understand that they are somebody she loves, he can't feel the connection in the same way.

Thank you for that question, Nycindie, I hadn't really had time to think about what might be behind it. I knew it was about the closeness, because I asked him, and he also gave an example that his best friend from childhood is the only friend he has he could imagine living with. I think I understand Alec a bit better now that I've thought about this more.

We've had a few weekends of the kind of time you describe when we've visited each other, and it's been a lot of fun. However, all the people who aren't romantically involved are still getting to know each other, so I think it would be too soon for us to go to that kind of a trip together yet. I think it's best to keep on doing what we've been doing previously: to spend time in a group when that happens naturally. I feel it's good to take things slow and get used to the whole situation, so that it doesn't feel overwhelming. There's still three years until we'll be living in the same city, and I think by then everybody will know each other pretty well and poly won't feel as new and odd as it does now when it's only been six months. All of that is good because we'll be obviously seeing a lot more of each other, but also all of us will have our own spaces and own lifes in the same place, so that they are free to choose how to spend time and who to spend it with. I think it's important that nobody feels pressured. I guess I see how often it can intensify conflict and blow things up when things move fast. I rather put a lot of time in building the base for poly, particularly since it's new to all of us, so that by the time it's done it won't be very much affected by any conflicts there may be.
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Old 10-02-2011, 02:43 AM
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I'm now far away - and many time zones apart - from rory and it's really hard to communicate. She wrote me all that stuff before she wrote it here. I can tell you it wasn't easy reading it. I didn't sleep well in two nights, because I wasn't able to talk to her. I wrote a reply but it was very emotional, just a burst of negative feelings. When we finally got to talk via skype, it was intense. There were some misunderstandings to be cleared but mostly we talked about my message where I wrote stuff I felt and rory read some of them as accusations so there was a lot to deal with.

I just felt so disappointed. Living together all four of us was my big dream. I know it was bigger for me than it was for anyone else. And now that dream is crushed and it hurts like hell. Even though I can intellectually understand Alec's point of view, it makes me really sad that he doesn't want to live with JJ and can't imagine thinking him as family.
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