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Old 12-04-2009, 03:14 PM
Malison Malison is offline
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Default the other side of the equation

Well, I've been with my partner (now husband) for close to 8 years, and my lover has been part of our life for over a year. The situation however, is that my husband recently started seeing someone and I find I am not dealing so well...in effort to spare you from my ranting, I think I can sum up (most) of my feelings:
- I feel overwhelmed by the amount of emotional work I think I need to do to make this work.
-I have "space" issues, I guess I am territorial about my house, my stuff, etc.
- I am not used to not being front and centre (in a "V", most of the attention, affection and such is on me)
-anger at the pressure for me to get to know this new person and have them be part of our life.


I think the biggest thing is that I'm disappointed by my own feelings, because logically I know this can be a good thing, and he's happy, but I feel like shit.

Would love to hear from those who have maybe been there, or are working through something similar...
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Old 12-04-2009, 03:46 PM
GroundedSpirit GroundedSpirit is offline
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Default Standard stuff

Hi Malison,

Will offer what we can from our experience etc. Hope it helps.
Was good that you sat down & did a little self analysis and got your "list" together. I think that helps keep focused on tackling things in a logical manner. That to me is real important as a lot of this stuff will try to drag you in an "emotional" direction and if you don't keep some logic in the process it can just run away with you.
So................
1> Emotional demands
One of the big things in general about increased "numbers". It will remain a challenge to keep balance there even if everything was all warm & happy
But my instinct (nothing more) tells me that some of this emotional demand at the present may be "control issues". You kind of allude to that in another line about being accustomed to the "V" configuration - you being the center. I think you're going to have to practice "letting go". If your relationship with your hubby is good and solid, you have to TRUST ! Trust - and keep TALKING Sounds like this is a new, but kind of expected bridge that you haven't crossed yet - so cross it TOGETHER. Trust that your love for each other will guide you safely to this new place.
2> "Space" issues
This is a biggie - especially for women, we feel, more than men. There's some stuff posted here addressing this. If you can't find it I'll try to help or elaborate if need be. I'm sure most of the girls here can address this better than me. But you HAVE to acknowledge this in a gentle manner and figure out a solution. If not, it can overshadow the other stuff. This is (potentially) the EASIEST to conquer (finances allowing) and other stuff deserves more attention.
3> Used to being the "hinge" - center of attention
Think there's a couple of possibilities here you'll have to soul search about.
First, maybe just the "ego" part - the being pretty much center of it all. It's been a wonderful thing but I'm assuming you knew from day one that that would not be guaranteed to last forever. Seems maybe that time has come. So now - ego is threatening to topple the whole tower. You don't want that ! (I hope) Give ego a kick and tell it to get back in it's proper place It will fight - but YOU are in the driver's seat.
Secondly............
Maybe we have a little jealousy/insecurity surfacing ? You don't specifically mention whether your "lover" was M or F. If they are female then this isn't a concern probably - already crossed that bridge. But if not then this may be the first time that this nasty "competitive" monster has emerged. In either case, it pretty much comes down to the same thing.
That big ol "C" word again - COMMUNICATE !
Sit down and talk to your husband (and lover) and just explain it's new and you're feeling a bit threatened. It's normal and nothing to be ashamed of or keep bottled up inside. Talk it through. You'll likely discover that the "fear" is way out of proportion to the reality. Pretty standard stuff. Work it through. It help that connection with everyone !

Good luck.

GS
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  #3  
Old 12-05-2009, 01:41 AM
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LovingRadiance LovingRadiance is offline
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Clarification questions:
Are you currently in a V or a triad?
Do the three of you live together?
MFM or FMF?
The additional is a woman?
Is your husband looking for her to move in or just be able to hang out?


Quote:
- I feel overwhelmed by the amount of emotional work I think I need to do to make this work.
Any relationship-even monogomous ones do require a lot of emotional work to be healthy. I'm curious if you feel like THIS relationship (the added woman) is MORE work than the one between you and hubby was and/or with your other lover was?
Also is that only in reference to your emotional work or everyone's?
What I mean is-is this one more work for EVERYONE or only you and is the amount of work you need to do for this one at all comparable to the amount of work they had to do when you started the V?

Quote:
-I have "space" issues, I guess I am territorial about my house, my stuff, etc.
I am certainly territorial about my home, stuff, kids, etc. as is my husband, but we haven't had difficulty negotiating these details in regards to BF... Wondering if you are feeling unsafe about it?
In our case for example, GreenGecko (my boyfriend who lives with us)and I do NOT have sex, sleep, cuddle etc in hubby's bed EVER. We also do not use the bathroom/shower that I share with Maca (hubby)... those two places are "sacred to our marriage" in Maca's eyes and so we respect that and honor that... Thus allowing him security in his territory...
Can you identify your territorial issues a little more clearly?

For me (no extra woman dating husband but my sister lives here and there is another woman moving in soon) I am territorial about the kids. They are all my kids-and I've had all but one since birth (ss I've had since 18 months old). I am free with ANYONE upholding the rules for them, but the rules are made by me. I share that duty with Maca and I take suggestions from anyone (live in or no) but the bottom line is mine. This is just understood about the kids. If Maca had a girlfriend move in-then she would need to understand this. Can she discipline the kids? Sure. Can she discipline them for something I don't hold them to? Absolutely not and she may not create rules for them.

Do you see what I am trying to show about how you can be territorial and make concessions for relationships dynamics that ALLOW that territorial security?

Quote:
- I am not used to not being front and centre (in a "V", most of the attention, affection and such is on me)
This is a big change, but I agree with GS, need to control the ego here. Once we grow up we have the ability to recognize that the world really does not revolve around us. Therefore we have to take that recognition and add to it the understanding that if things are not revolving around us and we are "bored", "lonely" etc we have the freedom to find something else to entertain us (reading, bubble baths, dancing, photography, date with other person in V, etc).

Quote:
-anger at the pressure for me to get to know this new person and have them be part of our life.
Why is there a pressure here? Why are you angry about it?

Quote:
I think the biggest thing is that I'm disappointed by my own feelings, because logically I know this can be a good thing, and he's happy, but I feel like shit.
Don't beat yourself up-look at this as an opportunity. You've reached a new grade in school so to speak and it's time to learn new things. New things aren't always easy or fun to learn. But once we do master them they tend to lead us to greater happiness and joy in the long run!
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Old 12-05-2009, 09:29 AM
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Yup, been there, done that, got the t-shirt.

Grounded Spirit is right - this is actually pretty normal stuff for poly. GS and LR have some solid advice, which pretty much jives with my own experience, too. Talk to everyone involved, be loving & respectful, but don't be afraid to set some boundaries if you have to. It's OK to have your space and your stuff be sacrosanct. Nothing wrong with that. Don't beat yourself up.

We've found that it works better if we don't think of it as relationship "work", which can be overwhelming. Think of it as something fun instead, so that you are motivated to do it rather than intimidated by it.
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Old 12-05-2009, 02:28 PM
Malison Malison is offline
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Thank you everyone for your input and advice I just wanted to say that I've read through it and will post my responses when I have a bit more time. But it's wonderful and helping me to think more clearly - thank you!
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Old 12-05-2009, 08:04 PM
Winterfire Winterfire is offline
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I'm in a similar situation. In my case, my husband was the one who wanted to be poly and now we have a V situation where I have a girlfriend and he's not seeing anyone (although is working on that).

What I'm aware of in terms of work I have to do is making them both feel like they are valued and spending enough time with each of them without wanting either to feel neglected. It is a lot of work. I'm also a little resentful of my husband dating new women because I'm an introvert and it takes energy for me to have to get to know someone who may not even stick around for long.

What I try to look at is how it would be if he did get into some sort of stable arrangement. He'd be happier and I'd have to have less worry about him feeling abandoned when I was with my girlfriend. So all in all I know it's for the best even if getting to that point is difficult.
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Old 12-05-2009, 08:21 PM
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Quote:
What I'm aware of in terms of work I have to do is making them both feel like they are valued and spending enough time with each of them without wanting either to feel neglected. It is a lot of work.

This is very important. It's not easy-that's true. But it helps a lot if everyone involved owns their own feelings. Actually ceoli was talking about this on another thread. At risk of possibly stepping on toes-I'm going to paste her statement here, and hope she understands its with ALL due respect and appreciation for her well thought out explanation of her opinion-and I think it really pertains!

Quote:
Here's the thing: If a person is holding another person responsible for their emotions in a conflict, it is usually very difficult to address it without taking on that responsibility for that other person's emotions. And that's just plain not healthy.

Here's what I mean:

Holding the other person responsible:

A: You're attacking me.

B: I'm not attacking you.

A: Yes you are attacking me and I can't deal with that.

B: But I'm not attacking you.

A: You have no right to tell me how I feel.

etc etc etc.


Being responsible for your own emotions:

A: When I read that it makes me feel attacked.

B: I'm sorry it does that, but I'm not attacking you with that.

A: I still have that feeling of being attacked though.

B: What is making you feel attacked about it?

A: Well, A, B and C.

B: Ok, let's talk about that.



My point is conversations and conflicts tend to break down easily if anyone involved holds the other person responsible for their feelings. This happens doubly so in an online conversations because 90% of the context is missing. And the thing is, there is usually nothing that can be done when that dynamic is set up, because it's all reactionary to a completely subjective standard. Some things may hurt feelings, some things may not. I can't enter into a dialogue about those feelings until that dynamic is fixed.

It's a lot harder for such things to break down when people take responsibility for their own feelings, especially the negative ones.

I think there is often confusion between being compassionate and feeling responsible for someone else's feelings. For me there is a huge difference and I cannot think of taking on such responsibility as an act of compassion.
Quote:
I'm also a little resentful of my husband dating new women because I'm an introvert and it takes energy for me to have to get to know someone who may not even stick around for long.
THIS makes PERFECT sense to me! It's important to me (and my V I believe I can speak for all 3 of us) that if ANY new person is going to enter the picture that they MUST first become friends with US. It's not reasonable to have a "FB" or just start dating someone because they look good or impress you the first time you see them. We have children at home-so we are more diligent about not "Dragging home every stray cat" so to speak. But I think some people without children might benefit in the same type of strategy. It's all good and well if people WANT to have the freedom to randomly check each new opportunity (and some do) but it's equally important to know if you or your live-in partners don't-that there are ways to date and meet people and get to know them, that don't include dragging them through your home life before having some security in the permanence (or at least long term semi-permanence) of their participation in that home life... AND
they certainly do not need to be moving in before there is a sizable history of stability in their relationship with you.

Quote:
What I try to look at is how it would be if he did get into some sort of stable arrangement. He'd be happier and I'd have to have less worry about him feeling abandoned when I was with my girlfriend. So all in all I know it's for the best even if getting to that point is difficult.
I am waiting for "that day" when hubby finds someone. But I think it's going to be awhile. Me coming out poly and changing the dynamic of our relationship has brought up a lot of stuff that needs worked on in his past (and some in mine) that we are dealing with for now. I'm open to it-but for now he's decided to put relationship searching on hold while he settles into who HE is. Which is ok too-sometimes makes me feel guilty-in brief moments. But at the same time it makes me feel proud of him. It also leaves me feeling a little insecure about "who will he be when it's all done and said" but that's no reason to worry-we'll find out when he gets there!!
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Old 12-07-2009, 02:07 AM
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redpepper redpepper is offline
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This situation is rather near and dear to me as I am in a similar situation.

I have a boyfriend and a husband. We are coming up to a year of sorting out dynamics and settling in. My husband looks for a girlfriend but casually. He has a boyfriend and a boyfriend we share, but its not the same as having a woman in his life.

Right now I would be recentful if he started a relationship to another woman. Perhaps you can relate to what I feel in that I am just now able to take a break emotionally and would prefer to wait a bit before taking on more emotional upheavel.

For me I would also have some control issues in respect to this right now. I like being the only woman in my poly grouping right now, but I don't always want that. I want my husband to have whatever makes him happy. I just want to be ready and able to receive another woman.

As for the space thing? I'm not sure what you mean about that. I'm also not sure how this is a "girl" thing
GS? My life seems so different from what you think are basic gender issues. I don't seem to have the same issues going on in my life. To me there are no gender differences, just people differences.
In my house I have no space. My house is shared with two "boys," and now quite often my boyfriend. We live in a house that is only 1100 square feet. One bathroom and two bedrooms. Any issue I have with space is literally to do with space! Fortunately for me the two men like to keep it clean. I like a clean home, but like even better that I rarely clean it myself. How's that for another example of how my life doesn't fit what is perceived as gender differences?

I think I need to know more about what is being referred to here in terms of "space" Malison?
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  #9  
Old 12-08-2009, 09:49 PM
Malison Malison is offline
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Hey guys, thanks again for putting so much thought into all this
We have done much thinking and talking together and on our own, and I'm kinda figuring out how to work through stuffs. But I did say I would respond, so:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Winterfire View Post
I'm also a little resentful of my husband dating new women because I'm an introvert and it takes energy for me to have to get to know someone who may not even stick around for long.
This is also where I'm coming from, I'm very introverted, and I know for me it takes a long time to open up and start new relationships (friendships or otherwise). The "pressure" I referred to earlier is largely around the fact that my husband wants my friendship with his girlfriend to be at the same level, so to speak, as the one he has with my lover. Which started well over a year ago...I am feeling less pressured now though, and we've been able to spend time the three of us/four of us and I think we're aware to just let things develop as they will.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LovingRadiance View Post
Clarification questions:
Are you currently in a V or a triad?
Do the three of you live together?
MFM or FMF?
The additional is a woman?
Is your husband looking for her to move in or just be able to hang out?
We are a V I suppose, though it began as more of a triad. The relationship between my husband and my lover has settled (nicely, I think) into a solid friendship, though it started out romantic/sexual. We do live together, it will be a year in February. We are MFM, and my husband's new relationship is with a woman. She has no desire to live with us, or any partner as far as I know (and there isn't room in our house!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by LovingRadiance View Post
I'm curious if you feel like THIS relationship (the added woman) is MORE work than the one between you and hubby was and/or with your other lover was?
Also is that only in reference to your emotional work or everyone's?
What I mean is-is this one more work for EVERYONE or only you and is the amount of work you need to do for this one at all comparable to the amount of work they had to do when you started the V?
That's a good question, and I'm not really sure...! It's been difficult to compare the two relationships as they both started very differently - my lover met my husband and I together, and essentially courted the both of us. It was heading more into triad territory, while this time 'round my husband and his girlfriend had been able to get to know each other online for months and only recently has she been spending time with myself and lover. I am referring to my own emotional work, and it has been more difficult on this side of things. My husband didn't seem to have any issues when our V started out, he kinda fell into compersion right away!

Quote:
Originally Posted by LovingRadiance View Post
Can you identify your territorial issues a little more clearly?
Well, I think a lot of it stems back to the introverted thing - I need a lot of alone time to recharge and the house can feel crowded and noisy with even one extra person around. We've been working on this - for ages I've been able to have my alone time early in the morning and this has been able to continue (mostly cuz everyone is still sleeping, ha!). I work a couple evenings a week, so it is time she can come over and they can do whatever. I've found that if I simply have a heads up that she (or anyone) will be there when I get home it eases that anxiety. Same goes for weekends, if I have some sort of idea when people will be around or not I can fit in time for me and myself

I did unexpectedly have a "jealousy trigger" when she slept over and I heard them having sex (old house, noise carries!) That was awkward and uncomfy....after much discussion I asked for "no sleepovers" until I got more used to the situation, and then it was she could sleep on the couch. Just this past weekend we all went out together and she stayed the night. I said that her and husband should take the bed and I would sleep with lover, and it was fine (they either didn't have sex or were quieter). I can see that at first I was being territorial about my bed/room. It was weird seeing stuff belonging to someone else all over the place, evidence of sex, and so on. They tidy up afterwards now and it seems to have fixed that, lol.

Quote:
Originally Posted by redpepper View Post
For me I would also have some control issues in respect to this right now. I like being the only woman in my poly grouping right now, but I don't always want that. I want my husband to have whatever makes him happy. I just want to be ready and able to receive another woman.
Yes! I think that is certainly part of it for me, and I agree that I want my partners to be able to have whatever makes them happy. GS made a great point about the "ego" early on, and that really strikes home. I sometimes feel like I have to stomp my feet and make a fuss and just tantrum it out. Once that's over though, I can take a step back and see what's actually going on rather than being dragged on an emotional roller coaster! I certainly don't want to topple everything, and it feels like I'm on a better track now.

Hope I answered most of your questions!

~Mal
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