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  #31  
Old 08-29-2011, 09:20 PM
MichelleZed MichelleZed is offline
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Also, for me, the issue isn't BDSM (cops and robbers with your pants off) or depression (makes things harder to deal with, but so many of us have been there and lived our lives anyway).

I guess the actual problem is the very real distress our OP had in her tone about the possibility of adding a third into her relationship by October. And I guess I just wanted to ask to Monogamish and her partner: are you dealing with that, and how? Because Monogamish sounded pretty sad about the whole thing. And it doesn't really matter that it's what you agreed to a year ago--it's just that she seems to be having trouble with it now. Are there some things you can do, Mr. Monagamish, to re-assure her?
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  #32  
Old 08-29-2011, 09:40 PM
Lilin Lilin is offline
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So rather than to further confuse posters by my reluctance to sign up for another damn forum, I finally caved and created my own account. Now I can take my own credit for my book long responses .

You are quite right, BrigidsDaughter, in that having friends and family can be an important coping mechanism, but I would definitely argue that they are not the healthiest one you could use. To be fair, any port in a storm, but the "goal" for me has been to make sure that the point she stays at (she was at this point before i was with her) is that her life has meaning solely on it's own, without any external influences.

MichelleZed: I should probably clarify the type of structure that we are aiming for then. What we are shooting for is basically a satellite configuration. To further explain, our current monogamous lives would go from what we have currently to a situation where we may see other partners once or twice a month, for a date, then return home for the night. We are not actively planning on anything close to a secondary relationship, or any other D/S or M/S entanglements. Also, our partners would not need to be involved with both of us.

Now, I know that the idea of polyamory in some type of structured plan is not a popular one. This is definitely where we differ from the "average" poly individual in that we crave and seek out structure, not because it is necessary for us to feel comfortable, but because that is how we live our lives. We produce a BDSM-themed video blog for the under 35 age range, and we actually did our first opinion episode on just this topic. I ask that if you are going to attempt to hold our feet over the fire for our desire for structure that you watch it first to more accurately gauge our opinions (Link here).

You're quite right, she is/was quite distressed. Some of it has passed for now, but there are a few ways I am attempting to help her cope with it. I mentioned in one of my earlier posts that my date has now moved out into the future, at an unspecified time. Hers has not. While that is not "fair" to me, it is something I happily do to make it easier to her.

There is more going on here than she has initially disclosed. Her time with said sociopath is quite a story, and one I would prefer she tell, but needless to say, it has left deep impressions. We had a discussion today where she freely admitted if none of it had ever happened to her, that her current anxieties would not exist. We feel that, while further time from the incident will continue to reduce the overall stress level on this topic, that the only way to eliminate it is to go for it, and prove that just because bad things happened once, it doesn't mean they will happen again. If she has hit that point or not by October is the question, and one that will warrant further discussion and decision making closer to the date. If she hasn't, I am content to wait until she is. I am quite patient, and I am invested in her future.

I'm open to suggestions as to how also to reassure her, other than to continue to prove that this situation is not like the last, and by giving her more time.

Last edited by Lilin; 08-29-2011 at 09:54 PM. Reason: Fail, left out a not that was entirely necessary to the sentence.
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  #33  
Old 08-29-2011, 10:13 PM
MichelleZed MichelleZed is offline
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[QUOTE=Lilin;99675]Now, I know that the idea of polyamory in some type of structured plan is not a popular one.[quote]

Hey, look, we all seem to have some wacky arrangement or other. No judgements.

Quote:
You're quite right, she is/was quite distressed. Some of it has passed for now, but there are a few ways I am attempting to help her cope with it. I mentioned in one of my earlier posts that my date has now moved out into the future, at an unspecified time. Hers has not. While that is not "fair" to me, it is something I happily do to make it easier to her.
It's all fair if both of you are chills with it. But are you going to resent her because she can see other people while you can't? Or will you hold it over her head as a "gift" you gave her, when really, it's just a mutual arrangement you made? Make sure you're careful about doing this because it could lead to some problems.

Anyway, time seems like a reasonable thing to try to me to see if it makes her feel more comfortable. But ultimately, she'll have to face the issue, so just more time by itself can't possibly help. Will she feel any better about it in November or December? I guess it's what you guys do while you're waiting that matters. I guess talking about it will help the most, but what do I know?

I guess if I were feeling insecure about my own husband's wish to have other partners outside our marriage, I'd want constant re-assurance in the moment that our marriage was strong and that he loved and cherished me. So I'd want lots of attention and consistent attention. Not that I'm sure you don't already pay attention to your lady, but... that's another thing that might help. Sounds simple, I know.
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  #34  
Old 08-29-2011, 10:23 PM
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nycindie nycindie is offline
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I want to add that there are quite a lot of members here who are into various types of BDSM and are well-versed in M/s dynamics. I am not one of them, but I have suggested that a section be created for it here so that people who are involved in BDSM can get more focused advice from the more experienced members, rather than opening up discussions to the members at large who don't know as much about it. However, I still think people who don't know much about it can offer valuable input to you, just from the standpoint of polyamory, or relationships in general.

Furthermore, I have already admitted that my calling the situation "fucked up" probably sounded harsh, but I was tired when I wrote it and certainly was not implying that the OP is fucked up. And I didn't mean the BDSM was fucked-up, if that's what you both thought. I apologize for using that term. I won't keep on apologizing for my fuck-up, though. At some point you will either forgive me or not. However, Monogamish said in her original post that " any and all input or advice would be greatly appreciated, from monos and polys alike." Apparently, though, she was hoping for different responses. Nevertheless I was touched and concerned by her posts, and I did acknowledge that she seemed mature and quite intelligent.

To clarify, when I suggested that she "enjoy being young and single, and forget about poly, BDSM, and (romantic) relationships altogether for a while" I did not mean that I thought she should leave her relationship with you (unless she discovers that she wants to). I meant not to fret and worry so much about it all, because she's young, there's so much ahead of her, and that there are so many other, wonderful, beautiful things in life to focus on. She wouldn't necessarily need to dump you to "take a road trip, make new friends," etc. I would think that she can travel on her own if she wants, without having to end a relationship. Please note that my telling her to stretch her wings, and "find out all the things [she] can be, besides someone's slave" is not the same as saying instead of someone's slave. You asked me: "why do you feel that further exploration has to be done with no ties at all? Why must it be done without any regard for a close connection to someone?" I don't know why you both seem to think that I was saying she should run away and not to have ties or a close connection to someone. That strikes me as peculiar, and perhaps indicates a sore spot with you both, since I meant to express that she find more ties and develop more connections with people. I wasn't even remotely talking about splitting from you (again, unless she feels it is appropriate for her -- no one else can make that pronouncement for her). So, big misinterpretation there.

Male Half (don't know what else to call you ), [EDIT: I guess you joined while I was writing this -- Hi Lilin!] here were my basic concerns. Certainly the talk about being depressed and tempted by the razor blade was a big one (and I've been depressed and suicidal, so I know what that's about). Also, she said she was scared to talk to you about these things. Glad to hear that you are both talking now. In addition, she's said that she doesn't want to live a 24/7 D/s lifestyle, but it seems she already is, to me. Unless I am perceiving things wrongly. If it's not 24/7, I find it interesting that she has deferred to you to keep answering this thread. Also, you say now that what you wanted hasn't changed and that Monogamish's "filter was blackening" what she heard. My initial response was to her stating that she was confused by the things you've said you wanted, because it seemed to her that you kept changing your mind, and that she really doesn't know what she wants. So, again, it's a good thing you've talked about everything. However, one thing I noted was that it sounds like you want her to take on additional lovers and she doesn't really want to:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Monogamish
He has someone sort of lined up for October, and so, I guess, do I (at least, someone has expressed an interest in me) . . . He actually has decided he is going to slow down so much that, until I have had a few poly experience I'm comfortable in and am enjoying.
So, just a little more caution there. I may not be into the D/s lifestyle, but I know enough to know that it's not about making someone have sex or a relationship with people when they don't want to. Maybe that's my misinterpretation, and not what you are moving toward, but I think that it sounds like a fear/concern of hers, even though she's willing and excited about pleasing you. Nevertheless, even if it is only about YOU having additional lovers, Polyamory should be consensual and agreed upon. When a Master wants it and a slave does not, is the slave supposed to submit anyway? I'm genuinely asking. That doesn't seem to really be in the spirit of poly and having agreements, but hopefully, some other of the many folks here into BDSM can address that.

I just saw it as a huge red flag when someone feel like a "horrible person," as Monogamish said she does, for feeling jealous, scared, or insecure. And I do think her youthfulness is a factor in negotiating any kind of relationship, whether poly, mono, BDSM, or not.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SNeacail View Post
I don't think it was so much the D/s dynamic that concerned people, but it's more the DEPRESSION combined with the D/s dynamic. Just because someone chooses a certain lifestyle, doesn't mean it is an exactly healthy choice, especially if those choices are being heavily influenced by a very real mental/medical issue like depression.
^ This. And all this combined with being only 23, no matter how mature she is for her age.
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An excellent blog post on hierarchy in polyamory:
solopoly.net/2014/10/31/why-im-not-a-secondary-partner-the-short-version/

Last edited by nycindie; 08-29-2011 at 10:33 PM.
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  #35  
Old 08-29-2011, 10:23 PM
Lilin Lilin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichelleZed View Post
It's all fair if both of you are chills with it. But are you going to resent her because she can see other people while you can't? Or will you hold it over her head as a "gift" you gave her, when really, it's just a mutual arrangement you made? Make sure you're careful about doing this because it could lead to some problems.

Anyway, time seems like a reasonable thing to try to me to see if it makes her feel more comfortable. But ultimately, she'll have to face the issue, so just more time by itself can't possibly help. Will she feel any better about it in November or December? I guess it's what you guys do while you're waiting that matters. I guess talking about it will help the most, but what do I know?

I guess if I were feeling insecure about my own husband's wish to have other partners outside our marriage, I'd want constant re-assurance in the moment that our marriage was strong and that he loved and cherished me. So I'd want lots of attention and consistent attention. Not that I'm sure you don't already pay attention to your lady, but... that's another thing that might help. Sounds simple, I know.
I won't resent her, not in the slightest. What she needs is what she needs. As I stated earlier, I am taking the long term view. I'll EVENTUALLY get to do as I want, and it won't hurt her, so i'm content to wait on that eventuality.

Thanks for your last paragraph though, it lead to a solution I had not contemplated. While I would be incapable of spending more time with her, as we're pretty much spending the max amount of time together, I COULD increase the number of protocols in our current M/S relationship. While more protocols typically ends up being unsustainable as they are a drain on time and resources of both parties, they would serve to reassure and provide safety in the short term.
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  #36  
Old 08-29-2011, 10:44 PM
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AnnabelMore AnnabelMore is offline
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I'm gonna second NYC's concern about whether you really want to be engaging with new partners, Monogamish. If it's just a question of maintaining balance, and not something you really want and are excited about, I would hold off. Starting a new relationship should be a giddy time, not something you do because you feel like you're supposed to or there's a timeline involved.

"I don't know what I want anymore. Monogamy seems simple and happy. Poly seems complex and full of woe. But I don't want to close myself off to the possibility that someone wonderful could walk into my lifeand enrich itin ways I don't even know about yet."

If you're feeling so troubled, don't push yourself! Waiting until the idea really excites you is not the same as closing yourself off.

In the meantime, I truly believe that overcoming your jealousy about your partner being wih other people is a completely separate issue. On *that* front, I don't think it's a bad idea to put extra work into getting cooler with it sooner. I think that it's great of Lilin to hold off for you, to give you more of a chance to assuage your worries. The resources on dealing with jealousy at www.xeromag.com are great, give those a read.

Getting together with other people will not, on its own, get rid of your jealousy and insecurity issues. Work on them first, and then find yourself another partner or two when you truly want them, whether that ends up being before, during or after Lilin begins his search for other loves. Having other loves of your own won't make you feel better unless you really want them, and I don't believe that's something that can be pushed. Desire is a tricky thing.

Worst of all, I think, would be if you got together with someone because you felt like you ought to, Lilin got together with someone new because you guys figured that you now had it all worked out, but then unresolved jealousy/anxiety reared its head and you ended up resenting your new partner AND Lilin because you hadn't even wanted a new partner in the first place and it wasn't helping you feel less unhappy about the whole thing!
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  #37  
Old 08-29-2011, 10:57 PM
Monogamish Monogamish is offline
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Cool OP here

OP here. I've been following the thread, as after Lilin came in and posted the responses and communication seemed to clear up a bit. He'd like me to respond to nycindie myself, so I will attempt to do so.

A few points, before I go ahead, though:

1. I've been clinically depressed for my entire adult life, and basically all of my adolescent one. This is not a new problem, nor is it one I don't know how to manage. I'm sorry everyone took the 'razor' comment to a distressing place. I use dark humor to cope with the fact that the ideations live in my brain, even though I don't want them there and never have. When the chemical imbalance in my brain takes over to a serious degree, and very obviously influences my quality of life, I treat it with medication. This is a path I am currently pursuing, and am confident that it will meet with success. I have NEVER been actively suicidal, despite the ideations, and have never made an attempt on my life. Suicide is a spectre I'm haunted by, but not an option for me. Hopefully that's put everyone's fears to rest.

2. Thanks to everyone who has responded so far. I really DID mean any and all advice; I was just apparently not communicating my position clearly enough, and that led to people misunderstanding, and taking away some terrible impressions of me. Seriously sorry about that. I'll try to do better this time.

Okay. To break down cindie's post:

As for the "fucked up" comment, it's cool, I'm over it, no harm meant so no harm done. All's well that ends well, ect.

As far as the advice you gave in your original post, I don't think it's at all amiss, now that I understand the context in which you meant it! If we both seem a bit sore about people potentially telling us to end things, it's because we've unfortunately come under attack in various communities (including BDSM) for simply being young, likeminded people in a power exchange relationship, and that, as one can imagine, gets old. Apologies if we misinterpreted your advice that way. When I get my new work schedule, and figure out when I'll have time to make new friends, explore new and old activities by myself from week to week, ect, I look forward to doing so!

I was very scared to talk to him about my concerns and feelings, mostly because after apparently wearing him down by continuing to bring them up, he had kind of exploded in an emotional breakdown that made both of us feel pretty awful. I took from this, rightly or wrongly, that continuing to talk to him about poly was a BAD IDEA and was only going to bring him back to that place (especially since I had no further solutions on how to make myself stop feeling the anxiety and insecurity, so it felt like I was really just going round in circles).

I actually DO want to live in a 24/7 D/s lifestyle (and am already), incidentally, just not "as part of a household comprised of many slaves all living under the same dominant and roof" (been there, done that, got the t-shirt, donated it to charity). Lilin has since reassured me that my current relationship with him is more important than a nebulous idea of what he might possibly want in the far distant future (sorry if that sounds bad or selfish, I'm not sure how else to word it succinctly!).

Lilin was always saying that it was me who heard things differently, and I continued to be confused about how he wasn't saying different things. It was a bit of an impasse, but communication is at least partly about taking someone at their word, so that's what I'm choosing to do.

As far as "making me enter relationships"...that's a huge pickle. I know that isn't what he's doing, but as a result of my miswiring (the first man I had sex with was also the sociopath who pimped me out, both for free and for money, immediately thereafter, and I enabled him to do so by pushing myself harder to have sex with these people so that he would love me and approve of me), I'm afraid that I'm going to fall into the trap of pushing myself sexually or emotionally with someone when I'm not 100% clear on what I want, just because I feel like I "should", for Lilin OR for my own benefit. Although I don't want this to happen, this is a huge part of where my nervousness about opening up comes from. I hope that fills in a blank for you.

If the Master wants something and the slave does not, the slave is supposed to submit anyway, yes. On the other hand, this slave, at least, also gets a voice, and a very highly valued opinion, and lots of consideration if I say I really don't want to do something. The final decision is up to him, but you bet your butt that he pays attention to what I want.

My choice about power exchange is not being influenced by my depression. You can choose to take that at face value or not, but it is what I find most healthy and productive for me.

As far as my age...well...without being flippant about it, that isn't something I can change just yet, but someday I'll be older. Eventually it won't be a concern anymore. I guess I'll just have to wait until then. :\

Thank you, everyone, for your time, yet again.

Last edited by Monogamish; 08-29-2011 at 11:01 PM. Reason: clarity
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  #38  
Old 08-29-2011, 11:04 PM
Lilin Lilin is offline
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Also, to further clarify, communication actually didn't really break down. I encouraged her to post here to begin with, and we were discussing responses as they came in. I was just a silent lurker, as I often am and prefer to be.
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  #39  
Old 08-30-2011, 10:42 PM
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Anneintherain Anneintherain is offline
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Interesting video there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Monogamish View Post
I was very scared to talk to him about my concerns and feelings, mostly because after apparently wearing him down by continuing to bring them up, he had kind of exploded in an emotional breakdown that made both of us feel pretty awful. I took from this, rightly or wrongly, that continuing to talk to him about poly was a BAD IDEA and was only going to bring him back to that place (especially since I had no further solutions on how to make myself stop feeling the anxiety and insecurity, so it felt like I was really just going round in circles).

Lilin was always saying that it was me who heard things differently, and I continued to be confused about how he wasn't saying different things. It was a bit of an impasse, but communication is at least partly about taking someone at their word, so that's what I'm choosing to do.
I don't know if you've tried writing to each other about this at all. I am sure there are lots of resources on different ways to communicate, but if he says you are mishearing him/vice versa, trying to email or write letters with questions in them is the fastest and cheapest way of trying to give yourself another way to hear what your partner is communicating. Although if it is an ongoing problem I'd see about some relationship counseling that focuses on improving communication.

I will also differ on something AnnabelMore says, to wait until both parties are EXCITED about poly.

My husband had been in open/poly relationships for almost 20 years when I met him. We closed our relationship to new people when I separated from my ex-husband and I was pretty emotional and wanted a bit of stability. I asked for 3 months, and it turned into sheesh...almost 6 years. My husband was reluctant to become open again, because he felt like his "failure" to provide me with certain things meant he was a bad partner.

The last two years where we were discussing my desire for it, and waiting for him to get "excited" about it were the lowest period in my life so far. I wont get into too many details here, maybe I should get around to starting a blog - but for me, waiting til both partners were "yay poly" was not a good thing, though I'm glad we made it through.

For us the changing point was that somebody on polymatchmaker wrote to my husband, he had been clear he was only interested in friends - before they met for coffee I told him to feel free to flirt if he wanted. He came home having done a 180 and had a great time, was totally ready to do poly again, and was interested in dating her. Not that the complete change of attitude was really thrilling for me after pleading for changes and growing misery for so long but, eh. I think it's 7 months later and he's very glad he changed his mind, and thinks it's brought almost all positive changes into our lives.

Now that I write that I see it did end obviously with both parties "yay poly" before we started dating others, but in my case, the long struggle to get there took a toll (on my self esteem, my sex drive, and in built up resentment), and I that if I had pushed to start dating before he got around to remembering he loves dating and women, that our results would've have still been the same although it might have been a bit more rocky at the beginning. So I certainly don't think you should do it if you feel pushed, but if you are unsure, maybe you can explore flirting with people you like, test the waters to see if you find it causes positive or negative sensations. I think if people aren't being open to seeing if dating others would be good or bad, they're not going to get some magical sign form fate that says "you are ready now!" to let them know it's "safe"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Monogamish View Post
I'm afraid that I'm going to fall into the trap of pushing myself sexually or emotionally with someone when I'm not 100% clear on what I want, just because I feel like I "should", for Lilin OR for my own benefit. Although I don't want this to happen, this is a huge part of where my nervousness about opening up comes from. I hope that fills in a blank for you.
On the other hand, it sounds like you are not sure you can trust yourself to behave in a healthy way in future relationships. Can you trust Lilin or have some other friend who's opinion you trust, provide feedback and let you know if you're not putting yourself first if they see red flags? Maybe doing some work on what your clear boundaries are before you get into any relationship and write them down, and stick to that list. If you find yourself violating your own agreements you've made with yourself with a different partner more than a couple of times, you might want to chalk that up as an unhealthy relationship and not be in it anymore.
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Old 08-31-2011, 08:14 PM
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nycindie nycindie is offline
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Glad you came back here to re-join the discussion, Monogamish. I am sure you two will find your way through this stage of your relationship.

Just wanted to say I had to laugh about the age bit near the end of your post. Of course I guess it's silly that I kept mentioning it, as if you could do anything to change it. I suppose I just meant that, because you're young, to remember that emotions can be much more tumultuous when you're in your early 20s. Though it seems you do have quite a lot of life experiences under your belt already, the thing that happens with age is that you become more comfortable in your own skin, more confident in knowing what you want and who you are, and not as easily ruffled by the stuff life throws at you. So, I think whatever you can do to keep examining and exploring the way your mind works, how you handle feelings, what your passions are, and what you want from life, the more maturity you can bring to any situation.

Also, for anyone, it's incredibly useful to have a five-year plan. You can do this for any aspect of life: professional, personal, creative, etc. Ask yourself what you want to have/happen in five years, and then give yourself short term goals to get there: What you need to do in one year... six months... one month... today... in order to reach that five-year goal. It can be revised at any time, but it is one way to stay on track and create a sense of structure for oneself.
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"Oh, oh, can't you see? Love is the drug for me." ~Bryan Ferry
"Love and the self are one . . ." ~Leo Buscaglia "

An excellent blog post on hierarchy in polyamory:
solopoly.net/2014/10/31/why-im-not-a-secondary-partner-the-short-version/
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