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  #11  
Old 03-29-2010, 09:54 PM
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LovingRadiance LovingRadiance is offline
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I have to agree with grounded spirit on this one.

The bottom line is that for your relationship to be sustainable you each will HAVE to be capable AND WILLING to support one another in whatever it is you each need.
That means you supporting him in whatever HE needs and he supporting you in whatever YOU need.
It means accepting-FULLY accepting that you are both different people, with different needs/desires/comfort levels and neither of you feeling it necessary to CHANGE the other..

Can it be done?
Yes-
Look at Mono/RP
look at me/Maca
Ciel/his mono partner
It CAN be done.

The question is are you BOTH willing to do that?
Because it won't work unless you are BOTH willing.
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Last edited by LovingRadiance; 03-30-2010 at 01:00 AM. Reason: to add ciel and his mono-partner
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  #12  
Old 03-30-2010, 12:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LovingRadiance View Post
The bottom line is that for your relationship to be sustainable you each will HAVE to be capable AND WILLING to support one another in whatever it is you each need.
This. OH yes this!

Quote:
Originally Posted by LovingRadiance View Post
Can it be done?
Yes-
And my monogamous partner and me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LovingRadiance View Post
The question is are you BOTH willing to do that?
Because it won't work unless you are BOTH willing.
If I had a drink in my hand I would be raising a toast to this!
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  #13  
Old 03-30-2010, 12:18 AM
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@confidence,

After reading both your posts, one line jumps out at me, the one GS quoted:
Quote:
I feel like if I asked him the question you asked about why I need to live my love life by his standards, he would reply with something about the fact that he does not like to see me as "loose" or "slutty" and feels that is what my behavior is.
That he'd say that to your face, outside of an "ethical slut"/reclaiming the term context, bothers me a great deal. I can't honestly say how much of that is me projecting my issues onto your words, but it still makes me nervous.

Regardless of what lovestyle you're practicing, he needs to be okay with your practicing it for the relationship to work. I still haven't found the magical solution to a relationship where one person can't handle the other person's lovestyle... if you do, please let me know. (And a time machine wouldn't hurt! )

Wish I could be more help...
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  #14  
Old 03-30-2010, 12:59 AM
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If I had a drink in my hand I would be raising a toast to this!
Lets get a drink Ciel!!
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  #15  
Old 03-30-2010, 01:17 AM
confidence confidence is offline
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Whoa! Lots of responses since earlier. I appreciate it sooo much.

GroundedSpirit - Thanks for your comments on getting to the bottom of whether this cautiousness is related to fear or idealism. I feel as though I am open to compromise but as the relationship goes on I become less and less so as I feel like the compromises are commonly on my end. Although...he counts me being allowed to be involved with anyone as a "compromise" for him which I do not fully understand. I definitely recognize why he would be fearful of my interest in other loves AND that my freeness could cause some trouble. I am open to having rational conversations but in the past they seem to always end in the decision that I need to change. I first recognized this as becoming a major problem when I caught myself afraid to admit to my boyfriend that I liked someone. He had previously bad mouthed this person (who I had admittably just started getting to know) and implied that there was something childish about me being interested in this person. I retaliated by denying that I did not. I think what happened was that I had the beginnings of a crush on this person but because I was afraid of how my boyfriend would react, I just shut it down. Something somewhat similar has happened before and it lead to a very difficult spring for him and I. I do not want my frustrations to pile up and cause issues again but at the same time, it's hard to express myself honestly when my boyfriend is so negative about the whole thing.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that maybe our boundaries need reworking. Does that sound right?

And thanks for the conversation starter. I'm bad at that part.

CielDuMatin - Welllll...I think I should have been more clear. He has actually said those exact words to me, although not in response to a question. In some of our conversations he has said he does not like me being so free with other people because it makes him see me as "slutty". But you're right. It would be wise to have that be part of our conversation as well because I need to know exactly what his issue is. I think something that is important is that this time around (as opposed to when we had first got together and I was much more green) is that I take a harder line on this kind of thing. While I don't want to say, "That's your problem if you think that I am slutty", I feel like it is important for me to stand up for myself and express that regardless of his negative feelings, this is important to me. Am I being too uncompromising in that?

lisbeth - Nope! It's just the lovers he interferes with! Good thing to watch out for though, for sure.

LovingRadiance - I definitely hear this and I appreciate the sentiment. Do you think there are real ways in which I can be more accommodating without giving up freedoms that are very much important to me? I feel like we've gone down the route of me trying to make a change in myself and it is proving itself to be both painful and frustrating. Maybe I approach this the same way he approached me about the lover he wanted me to give up on, "if you can't help me figure this out, I will be miserable and continue to start fights about it...because it is that important and hard for me".

saudade - Yes. It bothered me too. We had a rather large fight about it and unfortunately, it has sort of stuck in my head ever since.

<3

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  #16  
Old 03-30-2010, 01:31 AM
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LovingRadiance LovingRadiance is offline
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Well-here's the hard part.

It's often in HOW one says what they feel. Not in how they actually feel-that problems arise.

It's ok for him to FEEL anything.
It's ok for you to FEEL anything.

The key is to be sure you convey that in your responses.


(you might check out the communication thread-I did a whole he said/she said work up in that one awhile back)

For example:

You sit down to talk, he says "I don't like how fast you go from being introduced to Joe Bloe to being in bed with Joe Bloe."

First you respond-"If I understand you correctly you don't like how fast I feel comfortable sleeping with someone new in my life, is that correct?"

The REASON for this SEEMINGLY obvious statement is to make sure he MEANT what he SAID-because honestly 9 times out of 10, they/we don't actually SAY what we mean, we just THINK we do.

THEN-once you are sure you understand what he meant and he has confirmed that you do:

You respond with something like this,

" I understand how moving at the pace I do in relationships would be difficult for you. That makes perfect sense. I would never expect you to be comfortable with moving that quickly-it's just not what you are comfortable with, but we're different that way-it's one of the things I like about you. I allow myself to move at a pace that is comfortable for me. Of course that doesn't mean I expect you to be like me just because you love me, I only ask that you accept me for who I am, because if I weren't who I am, well then you wouldn't love ME."

You can flip things around and use your own words. The point is to confirm his right to his feelings, confirm his right to manage his relationships as HE is comfortable, while also reiterating your intent to remain true to what is comfortable for you.


Now, I'll tell you straight up, GENERALLY this tends to PISS PEOPLE OFF at first. But it really is the key to solving the problem. EITHER they will figure out that it truly is healthier, more mature and more reasonable for people in general to accept that we are all different, respect those differences and be harmonious, or they will leave; allowing you to be more intent on putting your time and effort into relationships with people who DO respect you and love you for WHO YOU REALLY ARE.

Please feel free to read through my history on here-it took me a LONG time to come to turns with the reality that trying to be that which I was not was only hurting not only me, but my husband, children, friends, family as well. When I put my foot down and started being myself-a lot of people were ticked off AT FIRST. Almost all of them have come around to acknowledge that now that I've got 6 months in of being ME for real, I am easier to get along with, happier and making much much more progress in my life and my relationships in all arenas-even those who are NOT pro-polyamory...
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  #17  
Old 03-30-2010, 03:42 AM
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I think lisbeth has a good point. Does this type of controlling behavior spill over into other areas, or just this area?

If this behavior spills over, then you are simply dealing with a controlling person and you are going to have issues with that no matter what.
If this behavior is isolated and only showing up with reference to your poly lifestyle, then I agree with what a lot of people said:

See if you can assist him in getting in touch with his fears.

Also- some people are just more co-dependent than others and they have lived that all of their lives.....it's a mindset that is definately supported by our culture....songs, movies etc and that can be hard to break out of.

Compersion (the opposite of jealousy) is an amazing thing to experience, but until you do, it's hard to imagine that it's real. And, in a way, you have to just "let go" to be able to experience it. It may seem like jumping off of a cliff when you do it for the first time.....and it sounds like "letting go" is the last thing he is about to do!!
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  #18  
Old 03-30-2010, 01:13 PM
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CielDuMatin CielDuMatin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by confidence View Post
CielDuMatin - Welllll...I think I should have been more clear. He has actually said those exact words to me, although not in response to a question. In some of our conversations he has said he does not like me being so free with other people because it makes him see me as "slutty". But you're right. It would be wise to have that be part of our conversation as well because I need to know exactly what his issue is.
Yes, and then you have the opportunity to follow up on:

1. How, exactly, he sees this as "slutty".
2. Why he feels it necessary to judge you in this way.
3. Is he really worried about what he thinks, or is he worried about what everyone else might think?
4. Whether he is really willing to accept you, respect you and love you for who you are, or whether he wants you to be some ideal of his that isn't really who you are.

Quote:
I think something that is important is that this time around (as opposed to when we had first got together and I was much more green) is that I take a harder line on this kind of thing. While I don't want to say, "That's your problem if you think that I am slutty", I feel like it is important for me to stand up for myself and express that regardless of his negative feelings, this is important to me. Am I being too uncompromising in that?
No, you don't need to compromise your viewpoints or stance in any way, but I would strongly caution you against using language like "it's your problem", even if you feel that it is. If it is getting in the way of the two of you having a good relationship then it is a shared problem which the two of you can work together on to find some resolution.

The trick to me is to dig deeper in terms of how he feels - why is this important to him, what does he think it means, stuff like that.
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  #19  
Old 03-30-2010, 02:21 PM
confidence confidence is offline
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LovingRadiance - The last paragraph you wrote is really what meant the most to me here. I've kind of been going through stages where I get closer and closer to knowing myself and thus, being able to conduct my relationships in a way that is genuine to me. It reminds me a lot of what you're said because something I keep seeing over and over again in my life is that trying to compensate by being someone I am not only makes me miserable and shortchanges the people in my life. Eventually it takes more and more to hold the facade together and I end up being angry at those I love for some vague, undefinable reason (which I am coming to understand).

Anyways, I took your suggestion about communication to heart. I think my boyfriend and I have been pretty good communicators in the past but I wanted to try your suggestion to see if it changed anything. On the negative side, nothing vastly new was uncovered. On the positive side, we were able to affirm each others' feelings. It made the conversation a bit less difficult. I need to keep this in mind for use with people who are not as strong communicators as my boyfriend is.

idealist - When I first learned about poly, compersion was one of those things that just hit me on the head - like someone had invented a word for something I had been feeling all along. With that in mind, I think my boyfriend felt it with my second boyfriend, but really hasn't felt it in the year and a half or so since him and I broke up. My boyfriend is certainly a little controlling - he has a D/s dynamic that caused us a lot of trouble early in our relationship because he found it hard to have dominant feelings towards someone who he had so little real world say in what she was doing with other people (though "so little" is kind of relative - he did have a bit of control over what I did with my other boyfriend but I began to fight that pretty hard, which upset him). I don't think he wants to control me beyond my wishes though, and that's the problem.

So as I said above, my boyfriend and I had a conversation about all this last night. I hadn't expected to jump into it but I guess it's a long time coming and I was just ready to reassess. I started by saying something that has been said here and a lot in my head over the course of the relationship, "I don't mind you conducting your relationships the way you want but I need the freedom to conduct my relationships the way I want."

This concept is of course, something he supports so we continued. To make it easier to follow, I will just summarize my desires versus his.

Me: 99% of my relationships begin casually. I'm friends with someone and we develop feelings for and/or a sexual attraction to one another. At this point, I am alright with the idea of being physically involved with them in a limited way, such as making out. As the dating relationship develops, it becomes a sexual relationship which is usually accompanied by a deepening emotional relationship. At that point, it can become more serious or it might not. I don't particularly "wait" based on any progression elsewhere in the relationship such as, "I don't have sex until we've said 'I love you'", etc. My ideal isn't that we become boyfriend and girlfriend, however, I'm happy with just letting the relationship be what it is. This is a very prominent pattern for me, even describing the way my boyfriend and I got together. The thing that tends to vary is the timeline for all these events. The thing that I can put my finger on is when I am developing feelings for someone which can take two weeks of simply talking to them online or years of conversation and hanging out in the real world. All of this is not stuff I'm 100% needy of - I realize it is a LOT to ask. I am capable of restraining my promiscuity if when I do get interested in someone, I just need to voice my interest and then am allowed to proceed at my own pace.

Him: All of his relationships happen because of intention. Typically, he will meet someone and hang out with them as friends for a bit. If he is interested in them he will take them on a date. While he's "dating" someone he prefers the relationship to be casual and not physical. When it becomes more serious, he will start being alright with the physical stuff and begin to be emotionally intimate with his new girlfriend. He doesn't really have a set "schedule" for this but he says it takes several months for him to become comfortable. He doesn't pursue a lot of relationships (as I've said he hasn't seriously been with anyone since we've been together) and doesn't see that changing about him.

Anyways, as we hashed this out he suggested I try to formulate a routine which I could follow. My suggestion for this was telling him if I was interested in someone so that he would be prepared for me to beginning a dating relationship with them. However, him and I disagreed on what a "dating" relationship should be and could not seem to come to a consensus. It was at this point that he suggested we might not be compatible (a possibility we have danced around in the past but never really confronted) and we began talking about alternatives. The two that stuck out to us were 1) living separately for a while, 2) backing off of our primary relationship to accommodate each of our needs.

Of course, neither of these are either of our favorite options but I'm feeling frustrated with what the next step would be otherwise. If anyone has suggestions, I would love to hear them.

Sorry for rambling on so long and also thanks for listening. Having a place to write all this out and get input is helping me stick to my guns. Otherwise, I tend to get to this stage and back out because I think maybe I'm just in the wrong. At least here if I am, there are people who will talk to me about it rather than just criticizing me. I appreciate it more than you all know.

<3

confidence.
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  #20  
Old 03-30-2010, 04:15 PM
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Magdlyn Magdlyn is offline
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confidence, good for you for sticking to your guns about your "dating style." I know what you mean about not being completely yourself around ppl you love. I lived in a mono relationship for a v long time and it never felt right and it was extremely hard on both of us as I tried to fit my square peg into the round hole.

Your bf does sound quite jealous. And a Dom who doesnt allow his sub to live poly, if that was the orignial agreement, sounds like a red flag. Just b/c you're sub doesnt mean you have to set your own needs aside. There's a line where domination skates close to emotional abuse, or crosses the line.

Your behavior doesnt sound slutty to me at all. You sound like me, and I'm a good little slut, not a gross pig.

The only thing I think would be hurtful is if you were constantly flirting w others outrageously in front of him. Like at a party or something, if you arrive together, make sure you also give him attention.

I assume you do give him lots of love and cuddles and special service at home?
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